Considering the material I worked with, ‘happy’ isn’t a term I’d use to describe this story. Melancholy is an emotion I’ve been looking to channel and this is one of a few stories (only KS related one) that it’s popped up in. Mirage feels this story can stand on its own, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage reading the two fics it’s based on.
Thank you to Mirage for editing this. Stories always seems to live or die by the editor
If I could hear, this room would be filled with the sound of… What sound do computer keys make? Misha would say something like ‘a woodpecker making holes’, or some other cute animal doing something inane. Either way, I’d take her word for it. Whatever the sound is this room must be overflowing with it, considering how long this report is taking. Thinking of my bubblegum-haired friend has thoroughly derailed my focus. A silent sigh escapes my lips as my eyes wander to a clock on the wall. 8:23 PM. Almost time to wake her up.
Misha has improved greatly in waking up early, but everytime life calls her to be awake before 8 AM she appreciates getting a video chat from me. With her flying across the globe this morning - for her anyway - I have more than enough investment to give in today. I reach across the desk to grasp the piece of plastic and metal that ties me to her, the phone I still somehow dislike despite needing it for everything involving my family’s business. As the little screen lights up, a text message stares at me. From Hisao.
I input my password and open my messages.
A frown creeps across my face. I’m glad to hear from him, but this seems very out of character. Pulling out a planner, I thumb through my day tomorrow. Aside from classes in the morning, I should have a few hours before meeting Misha at the airport. I can’t think of a reason why not, but doesn’t he have classes tomorrow? It seems important, so only a little ribbing, but I pull up my phone to reply.Hisao wrote:I’m catching a train to Tokyo in the morning. Will you have time?
Hitting SEND, the date on my last message assaults my eyes. A month? No, I swear I contacted him- Oh, right, the business meeting… The frown turns into a scowl; I let school and work get in the way again. A less than silent breath leaves my lungs. I lost again. Before I’ve even finished the thought, my fingers have typed an addendum to my message.Shizune wrote:Should be fine. Misha is flying in tomorrow afternoon, I wanted it to be a surprise. Are you alright? Don’t you have classes on Fridays?
And sent. I’ve said that a lot recently, ‘sorry,’ haven’t I? After scolding Hanako about it during our time at Yamaku, it stings how hypocritical I’ve become.Shizune wrote:I’m sorry, school and work have taken all my free time the last month. Can I make-up with lunch tomorrow?
Hisao and I haven’t spent nearly enough time with one another for the past year or so, despite me making a game out it to stop that from happening. As my head swirls with regret, my head falls, a resounding THUMP resonating through the room, I’m sure. Sleep is another lover I have missed far too much.
8:35 PM. Whoops, better call Misha.
“Good night, Shicchan, thanks for the wake-up call! I’m headed to the airport. See you soon, Wahahahaha~!” With an over-the-top wave, and a smile the size of my father’s ego Misha ends the call. I’m still getting used to seeing Misha not sign everything but she insists on it to help me with lip-reading. She still has to repeat herself more than I’d like, but it is helping. A flick of my wrist tells me it’s time for bed. The video calls with Misha always go on longer than is healthy, though I’m sure neither of us mind. The smile plastered on my face shows I’m excited for tomorrow. How long has it been since I’ve seen her? Over a year? My thought stops, my hand covering the extended yawn that surely fills the room.
One last text informing Hisao of my intentions signals the end of my brain functioning. His smile, his hand, his scar… all these fill the void left behind as I clap twice, plunging the room in darkness. These things must be put off till tomorrow, but I am looking forward to seeing him…
I’m fanning myself, while the sweltering heat melts me into the seat. News said today would be quite nice, but evidently they lied. Sweating through my makeup isn’t my idea of “nice weather.” Fortunately, my dress keeps me cool, the white top leaving most of my upper torso free. The week Misha, Hisao and I spent at my father’s years ago comes to mind. As does the first time we had sex. The weather isn’t the only reason my face is red now. This is the dress I wore that day, must be why all these memories are coming back.
Hisao steps off the train. His hair is a mess but he lacks his traditional sweater vest. Sleep must have been avoiding him as much as it has me; the bags under his eyes add weight to the smile he flashes. While he certainly filled out, he’s the same mess I fell in love with during high school. Joy fills my face, but there’s something behind his eyes, something worrying, [What’s wrong?] I question, my frown making it clear I’ve noticed.
Downcast emotions streak across his face before a weak smile punctuates his words. [Ah, sorry, I had a paper due this morning that kept me up later than I thought…] I furrow my brow, his placating words doing little to ease my worry, but I drop the subject. He’ll tell me when he’s ready.
Standing from the bench, a light hug is all I get before we seperate. Something must really be weighing him down. [Okay, don’t worry about it. You ready for lunch?] A small smile and a wink seem to pull him from his funk as I grab his arm. There’s the Hisao I love.
[Yeah, know a cafe nearby?] I nod, pulling him towards the stairs.
Squeezing his arm, a familiar distance falls between us to allow conversation. [It’s no Shanghai, but I know a place.]
Plates empty, drinks finished, Hisao fills me in on the last month we’ve missed each other: classes, group projects, nights with friends, simple things. I return the favor, and we continue with the small talk for some time.
[Shizune, could we head back to your place?] I blink, swiftly followed by a knowing grin. It's certainly been a while. Shifting my glasses gives me a moment to plan this.
[Oh? And what are you planning on doing with a helpless girl in her apartment?] Hisao shifts uncomfortably, telling me my teasing worked.
[Uh… No, I just need to talk to you about something without other people around.] His hand ruffles the hair above his neck, followed by the same downcast look he hid earlier.
[Ah, okay. Of course, it isn’t too far. Come on.] I blush, almost dropping my shoulders to give him a glare. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea… Gathering our trash, we drop it in the bin on the way out.
It isn’t long before we arrive at my apartment, it being central to everywhere I go in the city. Grabbing juice and coffee for us, we sit down on the couch, that downcast look having not left his face since we left the cafe. [What’s wrong Hisao? And don’t give me another lame school excuse, I know it’s something else.] My brow stays taut, but my lips and eyes betray my concern. He raises his hands to ‘speak,’ lowering them several times before deciding on what to say.
[What am I to you?]
I freeze, the suddenness of the question catching me off guard. What are you to me? Is that really the question on his mind?
[You are my boyfriend, the man I fell in love with. I know I’ve been distant, haven’t reached out as much as I should, but nothing has changed.] My signs are decisive, leaving no doubt behind their sincerity. He flinches when I mention ‘love.’ What’s got him so riled up? [It’s the same way I’ve felt since graduation, since you told me that day.] Despite my reassurances, he’s sinking further into the same kind of pit I found him in on his first day at Yamaku, [What brought this on?]
He takes a moment to collect his thoughts, almost as if… as if he’d rehearsed this. [Akira visited the other day.]
Akira? Why would Akira be visiting him? [What brought her there? We haven’t seen her since high school.]
It was when we visited my house for the first time, before she and Lilly moved to Scotland to be with their parents. It was very sudden, but Lilly explained it to me very thoroughly. She wanted to be with her parents, with her family, and not be separated from the only family she had left aside from me and my father. Hanako didn’t take it very well. Lilly asked me to watch over her once she was gone. That’s what started to break the antagonistic wall that had been between us since she’d left the student council.
Hisao looks away from me, almost leaving me behind. [She… She came to visit Hanako.] Wait, is Hanako still in Sendai? Last I had heard from her was the trip she took after high school with Naomi and Natsume. But… Why would Akira visiting Hanako mean-
[You’ve seen Hanako? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? You know I’ve been looking for her since she went on that trip!] Anger was plain on my face now. He knew what had happened. He knew Lilly asked me to watch over her, to make sure she was okay. Unless…
No, no, Hisao wouldn’t do that to me, would he? He loves me, that’s what he said at graduation, that’s what he said- I pull out my phone, going to my messages and scrolling through them.
That was six months ago, the last time that appeared in our messages. We’d been so busy, both of us, that I hadn’t given it much thought. He’d brought it up at what seemed like such a random time. Is that when it started…?Hisao wrote:When was the last time you said, “I love you?”
Hisao hasn’t made any motion after what he last said, his eyes looking at the floor. Grabbing his chin, I turn his face towards mine, [Why did you come here today, Hisao? You never come here out of the blue, you’ve never…] My hands fall. Hisao isn’t looking at me, he isn’t signing either.
“… with Hanako.” What? I wave my hands, making a circle with my pointer finger around his mouth. He winces, but repeats it. “I’m cheating on you… with Hanako.”
I’m not sure how long I cried, how much time passed before Misha entered my apartment. “He’s gone…” that’s all I was able to say before it all came back: the emotions, the anger, the pain Hisao had hidden from me. She embraced me for what seemed like hours, saying nothing. At some point I composed myself enough to explain what happened, to relive my heart shredding what felt like just moments before.
I’m not sure what came over me but when I looked up at her, the tears streaming down her face, I saw the girl who’d confessed to me. The girl who’d stayed by my side, hurting. Her hair had grown since then, her natural dirty blonde hair showing, leaving hints of the pink she dyed it. She didn’t deserve this.
I’m not sure when I kissed her or when we went to my bedroom. All I know is that it happened, that she comforted me. The wound left by Hisao is still fresh, still bleeds, still stings, but maybe…
… Maybe everything will be alright, if she is here.