Chapter 4:


Skipped a Beat

(The Next Morning)

My bag, it's so light… My books and notes… they are gone… my bag's empty. When did this happen? Last night? No, I remember I was studying with Aiko. Yeah, Aiko, I should ask her. It's 08: 00, I should get ready for school. Even if I don't have my books, I can't skip a day.

I should ride my bike today, I want to find out as early as possible what happened to my books, I'm sure Aiko knows something. What if Aiko's the one behind it? No, she won't do anything like that… would she? She wouldn't, right? Aaah why am I doubting her. Anyways, there's no point in pondering about it right Now. I'll just have to ask her directly.

I'm here, ok… I have to rush towards the class, why am I in such a hurry, it's not like she'll run away or something. It's just that half of me is doubting her and the other half thinks she's innocent. Why does the thought of her doing something like this come to my mind anyway? I don't get it. I just don't want her to be the one who did this. I'm here!...

She's not here yet… I'll wait…

15 minutes have passed, homerooms about to start, she hasn't come yet, did something happen last night? No, she said someone was coming to pick her up, so she should have gotten home safely… unless they got into an accident… shut up… I'm just over-thinking… relax…

"As of today, Aiko Sakata Won't be coming to this school", the homeroom teacher said… the whole class is just saying "what, why" I should ask sir why

"Sir, do you know what happened? Why did she suddenly drop out of this school?" (Takahashi)

"That's personal, we can't share it with her classmates or anyone else"

So, she's gone… she didn't even say goodbye… Maybe she'll come home after school to say goodbye or something, at least tell me why she's leaving

"Oh and, she will participate in the first term exams here, but she will not be sitting with her class"

Takahashi: What!? So, she'll come to school after a week? But just for the exams and she'll not even take exams with us…

"Why is that, why separate?" (Takahashi)

"She requested it like this, we don't know either"

What is she planning…? I have to call her… but I never asked for her number or email… shit what should I do now… OH WAIT… my books, yeah… what am I supposed to do now, I don't have any lead to finding out the whereabouts of my books… this sucks, for now I’ll buy new books and ask friends to lend me notes so that I can photocopy them

(18th July 2015, 2 Days before exams start)

So, I couldn't get notes earlier and now I only have two days left to study, I'll have to pull 2 all-nighters in a row to get somewhat good grades, I couldn't find anything on where Aiko had gone or why. But that doesn't matter right now, I have to study as much as I can

(20th July 2015, Exam Day)

I couldn't cover the whole syllabus, but I did what I could. Now I just have to give my best at these exams, and I can get top position, but will I be able to top Aiko? I don't think so because right now, if she's also giving the exams, she's probably better than me. Well, nothing can be done now, I still heavily suspect Aiko, but I don't know, I can't just accuse someone of a crime they didn't commit. Even though there was no one with me that night… Ahhh… This is not the time to think about the past, focus on the exam, 5 minutes left until they distribute the paper.

(After the first term exams finished)

Man, that was something. This was the first time I was nervous that I might not know the answer to a question. But Whatever, the exams are finished now. Time to relax and watch some anime

Which one should I watch hmm…. Which one was the last one that I bought? yeah this one... (starts watching) 

"Takahashi, There's a parcel for you, from… Aiko Sakata" (Takahashi's Mom)

Just as I heard the name "Aiko", I smashed the pause key and ran downstairs.

"It's heavy, what do you think, What's inside? "

"I don't know, I'm taking it upstairs, I'll tell you later what was inside"

What could it be, A Farewell gift? Or maybe something expensive? Let's open it. Here's a knife and… there, opened. Huh... A letter, it's her handwriting. What does it say?

"Hello there, My 'dear' Takahashi Tanjiro, There's a little Farewell gift inside the Package. Something I would like to give you back "

What's inside? What the… these are books… burnt? Wait a minute… they are mine, that's my name on the cover… all of these… are my books… so she was behind all this… but why…?

"I'm sorry, I got a little carried away and burnt them, I just wanted to keep them away from you until exams ended. So now there, you can have them back, again sorry for the burnt books… Aah fuck it, who am I kidding. I'll tell you the real reason I became 'FAKE' friends with you."

Fake friends? She never wanted to be friends with me… why? What did I do that you had to burn all of my books?

"You already know that I'm a genius, right? But when I came to this school, I got second position for the first time in my Life. I felt like I had to crush you somehow. I became friends with you to see how you study"

Just for that? You could have at least tried to compete with me… that would have been a lot more fun than fake friends… but what can I do now… she's gone… huh… why am I crying? I should be angry but for some reason I feel sad for her, and it's making my chest hurt. I guess this is what it feels like to be rejected… it hurts

"But it was nothing different from me, you were just a lot smarter than me, I hated that, so I asked a friend how I could distract a man from his studies. He told me to tell you about anime, and yeah, I don't watch anime. So, I tried anime, I told you about that Soul something my friend recommended to me"

Soul for a Soul… DAMNIT! at least try to remember the name, it was a masterpiece… huh… even though I'm hurting this much, why? Anime just came to my mind. I don't want to continue; I want to watch anime… I want to forget she ever sent me this letter, this parcel. I want our previous memories to be the last memories of us… but I guess that's not possible anymore, what I have read until now, I can't forget that...

"He also lent me the CDs, and it worked. You got so addicted that you forgot to study or even sleep. Finally, I thought that you would start to fall behind in studies. You couldn't even take the test the next day. But that was just for that time, you kept studying normally after that. But I saw that you weren't as good as you used to be. So, I had to do something because first term exams were coming near, hence the books. I took them that night and took a leave from school for a week and requested teachers to allow me to take the exams separate from the class, just to stay away from you. You should see now, how much I hated you, don't come after me, I'm not in Tokyo anymore.”

There goes everything, the first female friend I ever had. I'm confused, I'm angry, I'm sad, I have questions, I want to call her, ask her why, why this? Why not like a normal human being, this sucks… my chest is burning… tears won't stop flowing. This is all her fault... FUCK HER. I don't want to think about her………… these anime… they remind me of her, since she was the one who told me about them. I want to stop but I can't stop, I want to forget about her but I can't stop watching anime…. I'm stuck in a FUCKING LOOP… FUCK THAT BITCH, ITS ALL HER FAULT. I FEEL LIKE KILLING HER RIGHT NOW, but I can't because I'm a human being and I don't know where she is… ha ha ha…. HAHAHAHA…. FUCKING DAMNIT. Whatever. Nothing matters now, I don't care that I might get second or even third position, I just lost a best friend, and that hurts a lot more than a mere school position. It's killing me… thinking about her, I should go to sleep, I might feel better after I wake up…

(After the results)

In the end, I was 5th, and she was Number 1...

(Present, 17: 25)

"DAMN, I'm sorry, that must have killed you..."

"It did, the cheerful part of me died that day, when I woke up, I was this mean Bastard. But it's fine now, I don't feel angry thinking about it anymore"

"Yeah, since it was a long time ago. So did you actually try to contact her, did you tell your parents? "

"No, I didn't try to call her, because I didn't even have her number. And there was no point in Telling my parents or the school because she was gone, there was nothing that could be done. And I had decided to get over it myself because as the time went by, I sort of started seeing this incident as my own mistake, I was too dumb to not look through her plan. She played me, and that's fine now. Because it's in the past, it doesn't matter anymore..."

"You still blame yourself, don't you? It still hurts, doesn't it? You don't have to lie. Let everything out"

"Honestly, yeah. It does. Wait, No, it did but now, after meeting you, I realized that not every girl’s like Aiko"

"You should be cautious about that, don't trust any girl that's all polite n sweet to you"

"Even you? "


"Why? "

"If I left you all of a sudden, what would you think? "

"You must have your reasons, and why would that bother me, you leaving me?"

"Because we are friends and losing a friend hurts..."

"Not that I think of you as anything, but yeah, it will hurt, to see a friend leaving..."

"You are still lying"


"It's OKAY! you don't have to force yourself to avoid making friends. If you want, you can. I have something I wanted to tell you, at first I thought it would be unnecessary, but now I think it will hurt you more when that happens"

"What? "

"You know that my dad changes jobs a lot. That's how we came to Tokyo"


"After I complete my second year here, I'll be going to Kyoto. And dad said that this is probably the last time he's changing jobs, Kyoto might be his final and permanent destination. So, after this year, might be going away"

"Basically, you have a year to be friends with me..."

"Yeah, so either enjoy your time with me to the fullest, if you think that you can bear the pain of me leaving, or don't get too close to me because that will break you the second time. You are a good person, trying so hard to hide your pain… you don't have to, I know how you feel about this, you don't want me to leave do you?"

As I heard her say "you don't want me to leave do you?", I burst into tears… yes, I don't want her to leave, but I can't be selfish, she will leave when her time comes. I just have to be prepared for that…


She hugged me…

"Shh… you don't have to say anything"

"..........Thank you"

After this embarrassing moment, we got up from the bench and started walking together again. It's 17: 40 right now

"Hey, do you consider me a friend now?" (Sachi)

"Do you really have to ask?"


"Maybe… yeah, I think I can call you my friend"

"Give me your number"

"Give me your phone, I’ll type into it"


After this we headed towards our homes

"Mom, I'm back" (Takahashi)

"Welcome back, why so late… hah, your face… did you get into a fight?"

"It was nothing, really..."

"If you say so… and who's the special girl?"

"Huh… what do you mean?"

"Don't play dumb, you don't have bandages with hearts and teddy bear on them, do you?"

I look into the mirror… Fuck, I didn't notice… damnit! I was walking around town with this on my face, I'm so embarrassed right now…

"She's just a friend, nothing more… "

"Nice! Getting back into the game right after dumping your previous one"


"Haha, go take a bath, change. I'll prepare food for you"

Oh yeah, I have to ask her about that jacket

"Mom, do you know what happened to my favorite jacket? I can't find it in the closet"

"What do you mean, what happened? You gave it to your ex last year, don't you remember?"

"Ex ???"


Oh… I gave something so precious to me to her. Our relationship must have been a strong one. I guess she's the one who changed me, the first person that I could call a friend. I should find her and apologize soon

"Mom, please don't call her ex…"

"Ok Ok..."

Man, this was a long day, it's 18: 00 right now, I have to study too. Then I'll watch some anime in my free Time.

(Meanwhile, At Sachi's home)

"Dad, I'm back!"

"Welcome back… HEY! what happened to your right hand?"

"Nothing, it's just a little cut… Actually, it's the mark of Start of a new friendship"



Today was great! He's actually a really nice person. Just has been through a lot of shit. But he doesn't remember me does he? No, it's not like he doesn't remember me, it's like it didn't happen for him. He acts like a complete stranger. Wonder how he forgot that… Should I ask him? No, I can't. He'll think of me as a weirdo. But it did happen, I know it, my memories don't lie. I'm sure he's hiding something. I will ask him tomorrow.

Real Aire