Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 1/2/2020)

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DackFayded
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Post by DackFayded » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:00 am

The rest of the festival passes mostly the same, with Saki accompanying me and pointing out various stalls I might be interested in checking out. More often than not, she’s correct, and by the time the sun is starting to dip below the horizon, I’ve definitely eaten far more calories than you’re supposed to.

I’m a bit tired from all the walking as well, and I can tell that Saki is beginning to feel it too. She started hanging on to me again about 20 minutes ago, this time putting a bit more weight onto me than before. I eventually suggested that we sit down, which she agreed to with a nod and a smile.

We find another bench, this one under a shady maple tree, just off the long garden path. One of the spaces of Yamaku reserves for greenery, to give students...somewhere safe to feel at one with nature, I suppose? Whatever the reasoning behind it, I can’t deny that it’s rather nice.

Today has been great so far. Some parts of it remind me of all that I miss from before coming to Yamaku...but it’s also shown me that life doesn’t have to be so different here. At least, not in the ways that aren’t directly related to people’s conditions. I still don’t quite know how long it’s going to take me to understand exactly how to treat people correctly around here.

I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it, though.

Every day, things seem just a little bit easier. I feel a little bit more relaxed, I accept a little bit more about what’s holding me back.

I can hear Saki giggling, and it breaks my train of thought. As much as it happens...I don’t really mind. It’s gotten me out of more than one mental funk, so I can’t hold it against her even when it’s good thoughts she’s interrupting.

“You really do that a lot, don’t you?” She asks, tilting her head quizzically. “Space out, I mean. I feel like you get lost in your own head a lot.”

I breathe a sigh, shrugging and settling back against the tree. “Yeah, I suppose I do. Habit, I guess? I…” My voice trails off, thinking of the right words. How long can I just dance around this?

“I had a lot of time to myself to think before I came here.”

If my words themselves didn’t make Saki’s face turn down in empathy, my tone certainly did. She gently places a hand on my shoulder, turning her body towards me.

“Hey now, that’s no way to be. How can you see the track ahead when you’re constantly looking backwards?”

I...I can’t say I’d ever really thought about it that way. It’s obvious the reason I’m so depressed is because of what happened to me, everything that I lost...but should I really be so obsessed about it?

“‘We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.’” Saki recites, smiling softly at me. It’s a quote from a book, I recognize that much. I can’t remember the title.

“I can’t say I know what you went through before you came here, Hisao. Or what your condition is. I’m sure it was sudden, and a great shock to you to find out.” She starts, taking her hand off me and adjusting herself to sit more comfortably.

“What I can say, though, is that you shouldn’t let it control you. You are not your disability, Hisao; you are a person with a disability.”

She stands, rising before me and looking down at me. “I certainly don’t. I’ll be honest with you, Hisao: what I have is gonna kill me. I know exactly what’s going to happen to me, and a vague idea of what’s going to happen on the way there.”

I know she notices the look of shock on my face. She’s just...telling me all of this. I felt like my heart should be my most closely guarded secret, a physical barrier between myself and a normal life.

She throws her hands out, her cane falling to rest against my knees.

“But do you see me depressed about it? Sure, I’ve had a lot longer to come to terms with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for you to accept it. You can’t change what happened to you, Hisao; no more than I can get rid of what I have.”

“When you first joined us at lunch, I have to admit, Miki was right about you.” My face shifts to confusion before she continues. “You were depressing as hell, Hisao. You barely said a word, and almost never smiled. When I said you looked like a lost puppy, I wasn’t exaggerating. You looked like someone had ripped your heart out of your chest.”

She must notice the look of pain that flashes across my face because she quickly turns to change her point.

“Whatever you have is your business, Hisao. You can tell me when you’re ready. But me? I know I’m going to die. And you know what? That doesn’t matter. When your days are numbered, you learn to make them good days.” There is a tone of painful wisdom from that line; that’s obviously a lesson she learned the hard way.

She plops back down next to me. Retrieving her cane, she rests it across her lap.

“I look at life like it’s a big race. My car is a little bit faster than everyone else’s. My ride’s gonna be over sooner than most people’s, but you can bet your ass I’m gonna make it a joyride that no one will ever forget.”

She takes my hand in hers, looking into my eyes. There is a wetness to her golden eyes, and I can’t help but feel my heart break a little. Just what has this girl gone through?

“We don’t die when our hearts stop beating, Hisao. We die when we lose sight of who we are.”

As if on cue, our discussion is interrupted by an explosion from the sky. It causes me to jump, eyes shooting upward toe cast a fractal of lights and sparkles. Saki giggles next to me, drawing my attention back to her.

“Well, if that isn’t poetic timing…” She says, sounding amused by the situation.

We sit and watch the fireworks in quiet awe, all while Saki’s words still run through my mind.

‘When your days are numbered, you learn to make them good days.’

Honestly, she’s right. There’s nothing I can do to get rid of my arrhythmia. I can manage it, sure, but I can’t just try to deny it’s there. It’s a part of me, as much as my messy hair is. That also means there’s no reason for me to be ashamed of it. It doesn’t make me lesser-than. It doesn’t make me broken.

All it does is make me, me.

I look over at the girl next to me. Her eyes are turned skyward, her face illuminated by moonlight and flashes of color. I’ve only known this girl for two weeks, and yet it feels like she’s done more for me than any of the friends I had before. She’s gone out of her way on more than one occasion for no reason other than to help me feel better about being here.

Saki might just be the best thing that’s happened to me since my heart attack.

She’s given me a new lease on life, an entirely new outlook to approach things from. It’ll take time, sure, but even Saki’s chipper attitude is infectious. There’s no reason to be depressed forever, right? Looking back up to the sky, the finale begins in full swing. I can feel the fireworks just as much as feel them, a bombardment of color and noise spread all across the tapestry of the night sky.

“‘I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.’”

Saki looks at me, a questioning look on her face at my vague quote, before understanding spreads across her face. She puts her arm around my shoulders in a one-sided hug.

“That’s the spirit.”

-----

We ended up spending a few minutes on the bench after the fireworks finished off to let the crowds die off before making the journey back.

Saki and I walk back to the dorms together, the only sound now the chirping of crickets and her cane on the flagstones. I woke up today half-dreading leaving my room. Now? I’m incredibly glad that I did. We spend the walk back in comfortable silence, tired both physically and mentally from today.

We pause at the parting of ways between the two dorms. Saki turns to face me, smiling softly before yawning.

“Ah, excuse me. I’m all tuckered out from today. I hope you enjoyed yourself, Hisao. Goodnight.”

“I did. Goodnight, Saki.”

She turns, her cane calling out her movements into the still night air. Before she pulls open the door, though…

“Hey, Saki!” I call out, still standing where I was. She turns to face me, a curious look on her face.

“Thank you.”

It takes a second, but she comes to understand my meaning. She smiles again, as bright as the day I first met her.

“You’re welcome, Hisao.” And then she’s gone, disappearing into the girl’s dorm.

I stand in the night air for a bit longer, enjoying the soft breeze that’s began to blow as night fell, before a thought strikes me. Saki and I never did see Miki or Suzu again, and I have a feeling I know where to find at least one of them. Instead of heading into my own dorm, I make my way into the girl’s dorm, heading up the several flights of stairs between myself and the roof.

By the time I breach into the cool night air once more, I’m breathing a bit heavily, but I still have some energy left in me. To my satisfaction, my assumption turns out to be correct. Miki sits alone on the roof in the same seat she was in before, a can held in her hand. She turns back to face me, her look of surprise quickly fading to recognition.

“Hey there, lover boy~.” She greets me, turning her attention forward once more, waving me forward with her fingers. “Seems like we’ll have to get another lawn chair up here.”

“I figured I would find you here.” I reply, moving to take a seat next to her. She gives a derisive snort as she reaches into the cooler and produces another can, handing it to me before settling back into her seat.

“Don’t make me regret showing you this spot.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.” For a while, we just sit in silence, unwinding from a rather exciting day. After a few minutes, Miki is the one to break the quiet.

“So,” she starts, lounging in her chair. “I saw you and Saki enjoying the fireworks together.” After a short pause, she takes on a more accusatory tone. “Suzu and I never saw you guys again either. Safe to assume you spent the whole festival together?”

“Ah…” I begin, rubbing my neck with my hand. “Yeah, we did. Sorry about that. I think we just kinda...forgot.” Yeah Hisao, that’s probably what she wanted to hear.

“Don’t be.” She retorts, waving her hand dismissively, still clutching her half-filled can of soda. “I’m not gonna get all mopey just because my friends decided to spend some time with each other.”

“But we did kind of ignore you and Suzu, didn’t we?”

“Yeah, so? Suzu started falling asleep pretty quick after we got done with the haunted house, and was out for good after we got some lunch. Someone had to get her back to her room safe, and it’s not like I didn’t enjoy the festivities enough last year.” Miki turns to me, a soft smile on her face. “I appreciate the concern for my happiness, Hisao, but I’m not one to get hung up about something like that.”

I don’t say anything in response, just nod in agreement with her. Miki certainly doesn’t seem like the sensitive type, that’s for sure.

“How was it, anyways?” Miki asks, breaking the comfortable silence once more. “Enjoy your only Yamaku Festival?”

“Yeah.” I reply, nodding as I do. “I did. Saki…” I feel a smile tug at my lips. Even now, today is a good memory, a welcome addition to the good memories I’ve started collecting in the past few days. “She knows just what to say to put things in the right perspective.”

“That’s Saki for you.” Miki says, crumpling her empty can under her foot. “She’s such a sweet girl. Always sees the best in people, though that hasn’t always turned out amazingly for her.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Miki pauses at my question, as if realizing that she’s said too much. “Not my place to say.” She mutters, fishing around in the cooler for another drink for herself. “Just trust me when I say that I’m not worried about you, Hisao. You’re a good guy.” She snorts to herself before continuing. “A mopey dork with cute, messy hair, but a good guy all the same.”

I feel my face heat up at her compliments. Physical contact and praise, two things that never fail to get to me. “Thanks. You’re…”

I seem to have fully captured Miki’s attention now, as she turns to face me fully.

“I’m? What ever were you going to say about me, Hisao?” She props her head up on her hand, which has the side effect of pressing her chest together, accentuating her figure.

“N-Not, uh...half bad yourself…” I mutter, each word coming out quieter than the last. This only serves to cause Miki’s satisfied smirk to widen into a devilish grin.

“‘Not half bad’, huh?” Miki says, taking on her usual teasing air. “I’ll take it, I guess. I know most guys drool over me and can barely keep their jaws off the floor, so I can’t say it’s not a welcome change to see a guy getting all blushy over me.” Her words only serve to turn my face an even deeper shade of red, and I’m thankful for the cover of night to hide just how crimson I’ve turned.

She snaps her fingers as some kind of realization dawns on her, before jabbing a finger in my direction. “I better see your scrawny ass on the track tomorrow after school. I bit the bullet and told Shorty that you were all mine now. Boy, you should have seen how mad she was.”

“Shorty?” I question. “You mean Emi? Why would she get mad about something like that? I only went running with her for, like, two days.”

Miki smirks at me again. “Emi doesn’t like when I take her toys.” She purrs at me, reaching over to gently run a hand along my thigh.

Everything this woman does makes me question whether or not she’s actually beneficial for my continued good health.

“I’m not a ‘toy’ for you two to fight over.” I mumble, taking a long sip from my drink.

“Aren’t you? Cute transfer student with an air of mystery and enough emotional baggage to make any girl swoon?” Miki takes an overdramatic pose, laying the back of her hand against her forehead as she leans back in her seat “Oh, take me now, Hisao!” She giggles after a few moments of holding the pose, unable to maintain any real level of seriousness

Miki’s mood shifts sharply as she gives a sharp intake of breath, her hand clamping down on her stump. She almost doubles over as she clutches at her forearm, turning away from me. “G-Goodnight, Hisao.” Miki says quickly, practically jumping from her chair and rushing for the door.

“M-Miki, wait!” I call out, rising from my seat and starting after her. She doesn’t listen, however, and is gone moments later, disappearing through the doorway and back down into the girl’s dorm. I’m left alone on the roof, alone with the mystery of what just happened. Pushing it from my mind, I slowly make my way down the stairs, deciding to swing by Miki’s room on my way out.

I pause at her door, hesitating a moment before knocking. I don’t expect an answer, but I know it will at least get her attention. “Goodnight, Miki. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

After waiting a few moments, I am rewarded for my efforts with a soft ”Goodnight” from the other side of the door before I make my way back to my room.

As I flop down onto my bed, I think about all that today has given me to think about. My heart attack took away the life I had, sure. And up until now, I’d mostly just been coasting, trying to get by.

Tomorrow starts something new.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 1/2/2020)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:01 pm

Nice chapter again.

Hisao's reaction to Saki telling him her condition is terminal was a bit... non-existent, considering up to that point he assumed it was more or less harmless...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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