Chapter 9:

What comes next?

A Reverie for Another Eternity


"Lost memoirs in grayBookmark here

three stages yet anotherBookmark here

the seventh hour strikes."
Bookmark here

- MiyoriBookmark here


Bookmark here

Her feelings, the flurry of love, admiration, and infatuation that had accumulated for as long as she could remember, had finally broken through the harness of self-restraint. However, those feelings were only met with the disheartening silence of the void. In the place where Takumi should’ve been, there was only a scant smell of smoke, her words falling upon the silence of his non-existence. Bookmark here

Her eyes widened, tenderly waving her arms in the air in front of her helplessly. Emotions frayed, the situation couldn’t have gone any more wrong - not that she knew exactly what had happened. She knew, however, her best wishes went unanswered, the cold and clammy depths of her heart echoing in familiar loneliness. Bookmark here

“Ta-Takumi?”Bookmark here

The moment after she had confessed, his disappearance was instantaneous. There was no way he could’ve done something like that voluntarily and out of nowhere, especially after tagging along for so long. They still needed to get back home together anyways, meaning that there was no reason for him to disappear like that by himself.Bookmark here

So then, where was he? What was that flash of blue light she saw?Bookmark here

Further, in the distance, a slow yet menacing clap could be heard. Ahead of the desolate hallway was a single wavy-haired boy. The steady footsteps echoed as his taunting sneer came into view. Bookmark here

“Takeshi?”Bookmark here

A devilish grin sat upon that smug mug of his as he put his hands into his pockets. Looking at his confident yet reprehensible facial expression, Miyori couldn’t help but wonder if the person standing in front was the same person that she called her friend. At least, in her memories, he was more innocent.Bookmark here

“What’s with the surprised look, Miyori? Not too keen on seeing your classmate from an hour earlier? Very sorry to present me to you if so.”Bookmark here

With a sarcastic voice, he gave an insincere bow. Miyori paid no attention, her brain firing off every synapse to formulate a conclusion on what happened. She soon realized that there was no way for her to know for sure what had happened. If only there were other people around to witness his disappearance…Bookmark here

That’s it!Bookmark here

At that distance, Takeshi could have spotted where Takumi went when she had her eyes closed. Bookmark here

Though, the question remains why he was there, to begin with. Miyori had made sure to have Takumi accompany her at the time when there were barely, if any, students in this specific sector. The timing of this was too convenient.Bookmark here

Her doubts were pushed to the back of her mind, not wanting to doubt her friend. Yet, those thoughts remained in her movements, as she hesitantly came within an arm’s reach in front of Takeshi.Bookmark here

To the best of her ability, she attempted to keep her voice nonchalant, seemingly keeping Takeshi out of the picture to avoid arousing any suspicion.Bookmark here

“Hey Takeshi, did you see where Takumi went? He was just right next to me but in a flash, he was gone.” She paused, waiting for a response that never came. Not wanting the awkward moment to last, she continued. “It was almost as if he was taken away by aliens or something, I’m sure of it. Ahahaha...”Bookmark here

“Sure” wasn’t the right word for what she felt at the time. It was a conviction, an ascertained knowledge, that Takeshi definitely would have seen the two before appearing in front of her. It simply had to be, or else both her heart and mind would fall into complete disarray. At least, that’s what she was most certain of.Bookmark here

He smiled, going along with the terrible joke she had made. Though, at the same time, he seemed extremely satisfied that she could make such a joke at such a time. She could only wonder why.Bookmark here

“Do you really surmise that a nobody like him would ‘run away’ from a simple confession? Use your head for once - what might have caused his disappearance, and what exactly seems out of place here?”Bookmark here

Miyori’'s face scrunches at a phrase she couldn’t overlook: a simple confession. If he were close enough to hear Miyori, then that must unquestionably mean that he very clearly saw what had happened between the intervals of her confession and Takumi’s disappearance. But obviously, something was off here. Something about that knowing look and smile, as venomous as a viper’s bite, patronized her lack of knowledge.Bookmark here

She steeled herself, the cirrus clouds brewing well below the heights of her confidence at this “friend” of hers. Her eyes glimmered with an icy blue resolution just at the thought of him having to do something with Takumi’s disappearance. Bookmark here

“Let me rephrase my question: What do you have to do with Takumi’s disappearance, Takeshi?”Bookmark here

Her voice was as cold and emotionless as her eyes were blue. It was as if her entire being was now dedicated to interrogating Takeshi as quickly and efficiently as possible to figure out what had happened - assuming he was the perpetrator.Bookmark here

Though behind the overwhelming feelings of frozen conviction, there remained a few rays of hope sparkling beneath its weight and through the transparency - hopes of denial that she wished would prove her wrong on the situation.Bookmark here

Perhaps that would help numb the pains of her heart.Bookmark here

“Now that is exactly what you should be asking me.”Bookmark here

The reprehensible expression returned, the poisonous grin killing any glimmers of hope she had for her friend. Bookmark here

“I am sorry to say, but he is no longer a part of this physical plane, of this reality in which you seek to live in with him.”Bookmark here

‘What… Do you mean? Did you do something to him?”Bookmark here

His purple bangs bounced as he shook his head from side to side, hands out of his pockets and palms facing upwards as he gives off a knowing shrug, Bookmark here

“Well, I can’t deny that I hadn’t had any involvement with it buuuuuuuuuuuut.” His face inched a little closer to Miyori’s, leaning forward with his neck out. From there, his face grew to be more irritating with every passing second. “I don’t think I’m obligated to tell you anything though.”Bookmark here

The loose veil of denial was unraveled, the worst of her conjectures seeping through the rough cracks of doubt. Not wanting to experience the heart-wrenching pain any longer, she bit her tongue with the front of her teeth, the blood keeping her focused on what was in front.Bookmark here

Swallowing the saliva-blood mixture, her mind raced through the possibilities of what had happened. At this point, he basically admitted to having a hand in Takumi’s disappearance.Bookmark here

Justifying this as the reason, Miyori lunged at him, grabbing him by the collar while holding a terrified expression at both the consequences and Takumi’s fate. Takeshi's face remained as pleased and undisturbed as ever, much to her annoyance.Bookmark here

Even then, the pangs of her loneliness didn’t cease. Not even for a friend would she forgive such an act.Bookmark here

“What. Did. You. Do. To. Takumi?!”Bookmark here

Face to face, she made her voice as menacing as she could, a low growl escaping her lips after speaking.Bookmark here

“I wouldn’t worry about him if I were you. Though, I will admit that he isn’t with us anymore in both mind, body, and soul. Maybe if you were caught up with the times you would understand the true reason for his disappearance.”Bookmark here

He chuckled lightly to himself, satisfied with how aggravating his answer was to her. She gripped his collar even more tightly, deep in thought as to what he had meant with that last sentence.Bookmark here

Takeshi, the child, no, the heir to a prestigious family who owns the few conglomerates running the world economy. His mother, the chairwoman of this academy, is also a trusted associate of both the ascended and the government. His father, the CIO of a very successful entertainment company in the industry, has utilized the technological breakthroughs of today to ramp up the quality and quantity of his production. Bookmark here

Knowing all this, Miyori still couldn’t grasp the modicum of that something that would indicate Takumi’s connection to Takeshi’s parents or his current self. Maybe, just maybe, it had to do something with her instead.Bookmark here

Her jaws dropped, her eyes horrified at what might have happened.Bookmark here

Oh, I see how it is.Bookmark here

“I don’t know why you are being so roundabout on explaining what had happened, but I think I get the general gist of it.” Her breath shakily resonating throughout the halls, lips trembling in both anger and fear. “How could you take him away from me?”Bookmark here

This was an act of vengeance against Miyori, against her who had willfully pushed Takeshi away to spend more time with Takumi. With his power, erasing Takumi’s existence could easily be done as swatting a fly with no wings. Her anger surged throughout her body, further enforcing the hold she held on him. Bookmark here

“You *gurgh* really are a dumb broad, aren’t you?”Bookmark here

“If you’re really the Takeshi I know, then you wouldn’t have done something like this,” she paused, her small fists trembling, “Please, just tell me what happened to him!”Bookmark here

“Let *cough* me down first.”Bookmark here

She let go of him and he fell on the floor. Legs unsteady, he rubbed his neck while shooting irritated glances at the equally emotional blonde. Bookmark here

His smirk grew even wider at witnessing her blatant frustration, her cheeks flushing with anger. Bookmark here

“Relaaaax. It’s not as if you can’t get him back or anything. All you have to do is just one tiny thing - well, it may not be ‘tiny’ for someone of your caliber.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean by that?”Bookmark here

He got closer to her, his skinny yet tall stature looming over her with wicked eyes.Bookmark here

“It means you do not have the qualifications nor the skills to get him back. As of now, of course.” Bookmark here

He straightened up and looked behind her.Bookmark here

“And-” he looked back at her again, this time with a somewhat less evil grin - ”It’s not like you could do a damn thing against me even if you tried.”Bookmark here

So it’s up to me on bringing him back...Bookmark here

Sighing, she knew that there truly was nothing she could do against this patrician. No local authorities, no nothing. No one was on the side of the social outcast named Takumi, who came from the same slums as she. No one cares or will care except for her and her only.Bookmark here

Takeshi looked down at his wristwatch and whistled.Bookmark here

“Let’s go to an empty classroom, my legs hurt from standing around.” He took a glance down at his wristwatch. “I think the visual arts and design studio should be open by now.”Bookmark here

“Wai-”Bookmark here

Before Miyori could get a word out, Takeshi punctually had spun around and begun walking back from where he came, completely ignoring her complaints.Bookmark here

“*incomprehensible gibberish*”Bookmark here

She trailed behind him, ears fuming, as he continued to hum.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Care to explain your earlier statement?”Bookmark here

Miyori slammed her hands down onto the desk at which he sat, still humming that tune of his without opening his eyes. His unfazed smile only angered Miyori even more. Bookmark here

Suddenly, he stood up without a warning and walked towards the window. His arms were crossed behind him. Miyori promptly walked over as well, staring daggers into his back, careful to maintain an arms-length of a distance. Bookmark here

Though the sky outside was a beautiful hue of purple and green, Miyori couldn’t help but focus on Takeshi, waiting for a proper briefing on Takumi’s whereabouts. Bookmark here

“Say, do you believe in extraterrestrials?”Bookmark here

The words that came seemingly out of nowhere had stunned Miyori. She quickly came back to her senses, even angrier than before at this stupid start of a conversation.Bookmark here

However, to smoothly progress to the point of getting actual information, she barely held back her unspeakable intentions to harm Takeshi in every way imaginable. Her expression betrayed her intentions: blue eyes clouded with cold temper, her teeth clenched so hard together that her molars were practically grinding against one another. Bookmark here

“Why’re you asking me this? ”Bookmark here

He continued his rhetoric, dismissing her questions. It would not have been an overstatement, at this time, to say that she would have killed to know of her beloved’s whereabouts. Desperation overtook her anger, her eyelid twitching.Bookmark here

“What if I were to tell you that the history of this school, nay, the history of the entire world as we know it is all a glorified falsehood perpetuated by aliens.” A dramatic pause ensued. “What if we were simply dancing in the palms of their hands? For their entertainment?” He pivoted on his heel and spun around, arms wide as he looked deliriously at Miyori. His eyes were unfocused, swirling under some kind of enchantment. “Yes… we are nothing more than insects to those higher up on the food chain, nothing more than puppets for their showings. That’s how our lives are led and will be led from now on!”Bookmark here

Miyori thought that he was just plain crazy at this point. So stupid, in fact, that she partially lost the anger she had felt. It was replaced by a small feeling of pity for this fiend. Bookmark here

Regardless, she continued to press him for answers.

Bookmark here

“Why are you avoiding my question on where Takumi went?”
Bookmark here

His dilated pupils creepily focused on Miyori, sending chills up her spine. He pinched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head side to side, as if to clear up whatever was affecting him.Bookmark here

He looked back up at Miyori with a solemn gaze, a gaze that was meant for a friend and not a stranger. A familiar figure had returned, one which matched in her memories. He placed his hands on her shoulders with gentle yet saddened eyes. Bookmark here

Miyori was taken aback by this sudden gesture, but she knew better than to push him away.Bookmark here

“Miyori. Miyori, Miyori, Miyooori. My dear Miyori. I say this because it’s futile to get him back in your current state.”Bookmark here

“And why, exactly, would that be the case?”Bookmark here

She stood her ground, her unchanging pursuit unfettered by the sudden change in display and tone. Bookmark here

“Miyori. You have to place first in the upcoming project showcasing and have it be a project chosen by Margeddon. From there, you will be able to get him back.”Bookmark here

Her heart sank at the mention of winning the showcasing. Bookmark here

The “showcasing” is an annual display of the school's talents, where various high-tech and popular companies come to scout new prospects for hire at the academy. Bookmark here

And to catch the eye of the number one company in the entertainment industry would be a feat nearly impossible. Bookmark here

He gives her a reassuring pat on the shoulder as he puts his mouth next to her ear.Bookmark here

“Good luck.”Bookmark here

Stunned, Miyori stood there with dejected shoulders, hearing him walk out of the class.Bookmark here

The steps faded into the distance as the reality of the situation crashed onto her, like a tidal wave onto an unsuspecting beachgoer. Bookmark here

Fine then, if this is the only way to get Takumi back from Takeshi, or whoever the hell took Takumi away, then this is what I'll have to do.Bookmark here

She let out a trembling sigh, soon changing from hopelessness into indignation as she slammed her ball of a hand repeatedly onto the desk, eventually collapsing on top while sobbing facedown in despair. Bookmark here

Ugh! I hate how useless everyone is!Bookmark here

Just die! Die die die!Bookmark here

Those were the thoughts that ran through her head, the tear streaks drying as the hour hand hit seven. Luckily, the school's functions were open 24/7 for public use, and here she was, crying her heart out.Bookmark here

She rolled over and hit the floor with a thud. Turning onto her back, she stared blankly into the ceiling, a massive headache taking place because of how much she had cried earlier. Her glum face was met with the impartial white lights above, causing her to squint. Bookmark here

I seriously have to wonder... Why aren't there more people who can help others? I mean, this is a clear case of kidnapping! isn't there a place where I could file a missing persons report? Bookmark here

There was another sharp pang in her heart as she realized that not everyone is treated equally, especially if their values were to differ socially and academically. Bookmark here

It truly was an eat-or-be-eaten world, coupled with mankind's ability to deceive, hurt, and rise in power. There definitely was no way that they would expend the city's resources in finding a single child, let alone that who is average with no outstanding qualities. So even if she were to file a report, if such an agency were to even exist in the first place, it would all be for naught.Bookmark here

It hurt to say it herself, but even she was glad to not be him for a second deep down. Though, that thought was immediately reprimanded, as she cursed herself for thinking such a thing.Bookmark here

She thumped her head a few times on the floor to appease her wrongs, which only exacerbated her throbbing headache. Bookmark here

I guess Ta-chan has no worth in this world... As much as I want to say he's the most precious thing in the world, everyone else doesn't think so. I wanted to say that it's fine, to say "screw you" to the world who hates you for who you are, but that won't bring you back, will it?Bookmark here

Sniffling, she stumbled but got up, and wobbled her way towards the window, grasping the ledge tightly. The mild breeze swept through the classroom, causing her hair to flutter restlessly, much like herself.Bookmark here

Gritting her teeth and digging in her nails, she vowed to bring him back one day, even if it was at the cost of her life.Bookmark here

I'll get all the answers to his disappearance myself if Takeshi won't tell me. I'll win that damned contest if I have to!Bookmark here

Looking out into the starry night sky littered with broken objects, her inner turmoils and determination were neatly tucked away within the corners of her heart, as she was only left with a dreadful feeling of longing, her energy drained from the earlier outburst of emotions.Bookmark here

I'm tired... But I have to think of something to win with... Something that... will let him come back to me...Bookmark here

She took another glance at the night sky, the sky that listlessly moved onto another day without a single regard to yesterday's ordeals. How cruel, how absolutely stupid for everyone else to live their perfectly ordinary lives when she couldn't anymore.Bookmark here

If only she could curse the world for being what it was - a relentless, ever-moving reality that marches on. How distasteful, how self-indulgent!Bookmark here

Though she couldn't voice her thoughts out loud due to how exhausted she was, Miyori mouthed her last words, the most heartfelt words into the oblivion above, moving only her lips.Bookmark here

“Takumi, where could you have gone?”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
You can resume reading from this paragraph.