Chapter 10:


Skipped a Beat

It’s 27th July, Saturday.
Aaahhh… We are here. Hina just knocked at the door. Man, I’m so nervous, hope I don’t end up making fun of myself. It’s 11: 40 right now. Oh… I think she came.Bookmark here

“Oh, you must be Aoi's friends. Come inside, I’ll call Aoi from her room” (Aoi’s mom)Bookmark here

Takahashi: oh, it’s her mom. Bookmark here

Hina: aaah, her friends came to meet her after this long and she can’t even come to open the doorBookmark here

“Hey…” (Aoi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: she’s looking at me… what should I do… my mind completely went blankBookmark here

“Hi…” (Takahashi) Bookmark here

“Why are we standing, I’m tired” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Oh… yeah. Come upstairs to my room.” (Aoi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: this is sooo awkward… Bookmark here

Just entered her room,Bookmark here

Ok… first thing I do is apologize; rest, I’ll just go with what happens afterBookmark here

“I’m really sorry for reacting like that” (Aoi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: she apologized? Why? It wasn’t her fault. This all is clearly on me. What is she doing?Bookmark here

“Huh… why are you apologizing, it was my fault for acting so dumb. I’m Sorry” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“I over reacted, I should have asked what’s wrong. Clearly something happened. And now I know what so, I’m sorry”Bookmark here

“You both can apologize later, Aoi, first tell my why change place just because of that?” (Hina)Bookmark here

“I don’t know, I was so hurt at that time that I didn’t want to attend school and without even thinking, came back home here”Bookmark here

“Yeah, well you discuss that type of stuff with your friends, you didn’t even say a single word and left”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, I acted childish.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, you should be”Bookmark here

“Hey, stop acting like a boss, what happened is in the past. Aoi, how are you doing now?” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“I’m fine, just regret acting on a whim. Wish I had waited, things wouldn’t have been like this”Bookmark here

“Well, what happened is in the past, no point in thinking about it now. What do you want to do now” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“I… started attending school here, so I won’t be coming back to Tokyo this year, maybe for last year I might. But I don’t know”Bookmark here

“I see” Bookmark here

“How have you guys been?” (Aoi)Bookmark here

“We have been fine. Oh yeah, Shinichi went crazy after you were gone.” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“Huh… How?”Bookmark here

“Apparently, he had feelings for you but got mad at Takahashi for shouting at you”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

“Yeah, and he even tried to use a knife…” Bookmark here

“On Takahashi?”Bookmark here

“Yeah”Bookmark here

“I have actually turned him down before, last year”Bookmark here

“Wow… really?” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Yeah, Takahashi would know… if he still had memories of last year”Bookmark here

“Oh…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Honestly, some part of me is still angry at you. Even though I know that it isn’t your fault. All the time I spent with you to change you, that day, was gone. That’s what broke me the most. I had lost a huge part of me when you shouted at me that day.”Bookmark here

“I… I’m really sorry, I should have controlled myself that day, it was my fault” Bookmark here

“Sometimes I think that this whole situation you have made up is just a bluff so that you could break up with me”Bookmark here

Hina: what happened to her in these months, she has changed so much. She used to be so sweet and polite. And now she’s… so cold and straight forward… people change so easily. I guess love does that to a personBookmark here

“No… I would never”Bookmark here

“I know, just sometimes I think like that, because you felt like your old self, he might do something like that”Bookmark here

“But I have changed, I would never lie like that”Bookmark here

“I know, you are more polite than you were at first, but you still aren’t like the one I knew”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

“It’s ok, you don’t have to apologize. What happened won’t change and nor the feelings I have for you will ever go away”Bookmark here

“You still like me?”Bookmark here

“Not you, the old you. The one I fell in love with”Bookmark here

“Oh… But I have changed, I won’t do anything___”Bookmark here

“No Takahashi, you haven’t changed. You died for me”Bookmark here

Eiji: Wow… she not the old Aoi we knew… I wonder how much she grieved about Takahashi acting like that towards her. I can understand a little because how I saw these two. And her worrying about him all the time, she can’t forget that. It’s better that I keep my feelings a secret for a while. This isn’t the right time.Bookmark here

“Huh…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: died? Yeah… I can understand that. It’s like there’s an imposter in my body instead of the Takahashi she knew. That Takahashi died on that day when he woke up. And probably can never come back. Sorry I can’t do anything about that, even though I have changed.Bookmark here

“I still miss you, even though you are sitting right in front of me.”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

“No, sorry can’t bring back anyth…” (Aoi stops as her voice starts to tremble and tears fell from her eyes)Bookmark here

“Aoi, what’s wrong?” (Hina)Bookmark here

Takahashi: it hurts, seeing her like that… I can’t… I have caused enough pain already. I should just walk away from here. Who needs me anyway? Their life would have been better if I had just stayed away from them…Bookmark here

After this, I got up and opened the doorBookmark here

“Takahashi… where are you going?” (Sachi)Bookmark here

and ran downstairsBookmark here

“Sachi, you go after him” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“I know” (Sachi)Bookmark here

ran towards the doorBookmark here

“Takahashi WAIT!” (Sachi)Bookmark here

opened it and Bookmark here

“Stop acting like a kid” (Sachi)Bookmark here

ran outside bare footBookmark here

“Aaahhh, what’s wrong with him all of a sudden” (Sachi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: Yeah Takahashi, stop acting like a fucking child… what are you doing… stop running from your problems, face them. Accept your mistakes. Where are you going to run off to? Wherever you go, your past goes with you. You can’t hide anywhere…Bookmark here

I stopped running, and Sachi caught up with me Bookmark here

“What was that… Idiot…” (Sachi)Bookmark here

Sachi grabs me from my arms turn me towards her…Bookmark here

“You… are you ok? What’s wrong”Bookmark here

Sachi: he’s crying… I… seeing him like this hurts me. Maybe he’s feeling guilty for everything he did. Bookmark here

Sachi… just hugged meBookmark here

Takahashi: Bookmark here

“What are you thinking?” (Sachi while hugging him)Bookmark here

“Nothing…”Bookmark here

“What happened? Why did you run away like that?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know… I… just couldn’t see her like that. Realizing that it’s my fault. How much pain she has gone through because of me…”Bookmark here

“So you ran away”Bookmark here

“yeah”Bookmark here

“How did running away make you feel?”Bookmark here

“More guilty… what should I do?”Bookmark here

Sachi: he wants to make things right… but he knows he can’t do anything about it…Bookmark here

“Whatever you do, what happened has been done. There’s no denying that, you know that too. If you want to make things right, just let go of the past.”Bookmark here

“But… Aoi... seeing Aoi like that, it made me feel bad about myself…”Bookmark here

“She didn’t cry because of you, she cried because she can’t get what she lost. And it’s not because of you, stop blaming yourself”Bookmark here

“If I hadn’t shou___”Bookmark here

Takahashi: she… kiss… why… what is she thinkingBookmark here

“Why…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Shhh, I told you, to make things right, stop thinking about the past.”Bookmark here

“But the ki...”Bookmark here

“Haha, you are embarrassed. It was just to make you shut up”Bookmark here

“Huh…”Bookmark here

“And payback from that day, you kissed me. So today, I kissed you. Now we are even”Bookmark here

“You could have just told me to stop talking…”Bookmark here

“That would have sounded mean”Bookmark here

“But you told you wanted me to shut up anyways, that hurts more you know…”Bookmark here

“Sorry… well I hope you understand what I’m trying to say”Bookmark here

“I do… but just can’t control my thoughts”Bookmark here

“It will be fine”Bookmark here

“And this feeling”Bookmark here

“It will be fine”Bookmark here

“WHEN IT WILL BE FINE… when…”Bookmark here

“Soon”Bookmark here

“How far is soon…”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, but it will be fine”Bookmark here

“How can you be so sure?”Bookmark here

“Because I’m here!”Bookmark here

“Huh…?”Bookmark here

“Because I’m here, I’ll make sure that you don’t worry about the mistakes you made in the past. You have already learned from them, changed. The old you doesn’t exist now… so why think about it?”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Don’t say anything stupid again, or I’ll kiss you”Bookmark here

“You are saying it so easily… wasn’t it embarrassing for you?”Bookmark here

“It was… but worth it”Bookmark here

“How?”Bookmark here

“You aren’t thinking about that anymore”Bookmark here

“Oh… kind of, yes…”Bookmark here

“yesssss, I knew it, totally worth it.”Bookmark here

*Sachi’s phone ringsBookmark here

“Oh, it’s Hina, they must be worried”Bookmark here

*Sachi picks it upBookmark here

“Hey, are you with Takahashi?” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Yeah, he’s with me”Bookmark here

“What happened, is he okay?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, everything’s fine”Bookmark here

“Come back”Bookmark here

“Yeah, we’ll be coming back shortly”Bookmark here

*Sachi hangs upBookmark here

“Let’s go back”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

We are walking back to the house, I didn’t run that far, it’s probably 2 or 3 minutes away from hereBookmark here

Takahashi: that was so embarrassing… better not say anything in front of her or else she’ll kiss… so she says but I think she won’t… anyways it actually worked, now I’m more thinking about the kiss than what happened earlier, though I’m still worried. But I’ll see what happens, will face it. I… didn’t even thank her… too embarrassed to say anythingBookmark here

Sachi: Aaaaahhh… I seriously do stuff without even thinking about it… I hope it helped. And hope that he didn’t mind. It was so suddenly. But I’m kind of glad he’s sharing with me, makes me feel better. Like special… heheBookmark here

We are here… going back in is making me nervous… but no running back. That was so fucking stupid. Should apologize to everyone when I see them. Going upstairs…Bookmark here

“What happened, why did you run away?” (Hina)Bookmark here

“I’m really sorry for what I just did, completely stupid of me… I’m sorry Aoi, Eiji, Hina”Bookmark here

“It’s fine, just tell us if you are okay” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just… felt bad and felt like I shouldn’t be here”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, I just couldn’t control my feelings, and just…” (Aoi)Bookmark here

“No, it’s fine…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: Oh… I almost forgot to ask her about last year, if I said anything. Bookmark here

“Aoi, how did you come with me to meet Sachi? What did I tell you about my situation?”Bookmark here

“You never said exactly what was happening and why do you want to meet Sachi so bad. You just said that there’s a friend that you are missing a lot and want to meet. ‘Someone that was with me in middle school, but we have never met’”Bookmark here

“Oh… so I have never shared anything with you guys what was happening with me before?”Bookmark here

“No, but when you finally met Sachi, how you reacted and her reaction afterwards. She didn’t look like someone you knew at that time; she was surprised herself when you came.”Bookmark here

“What did I say to you when I met you last year Sachi?”Bookmark here

“I have told you already, you asked me to go to this school and then find you”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: why is Aoi looking at Sachi like that… did she not tell me something?Bookmark here

“Aoi… what is it?” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“It’s better if she tells you herself” (Aoi)Bookmark here

“HEY!” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“There’s no point in hiding it, if his situation is true, then most likely yours is too”Bookmark here

Takahashi: what are they talking about? Sachi is hiding something from us?Bookmark here

“But I didn’t want to, everything was going to be fine the way it is now” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“Sachi… tell me” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Ok… Last year when you met me. The thing surprised me the most was how you found me. And then what you said later…”Bookmark here

“What was it?” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“ ‘no matter what, please don’t come to Tokyo. Stay away. Please. At the end of second year, your dad has to leave Tokyo early due to an emergency. So, on 2nd January of 2020, you got into a plane that ends up in a crash… resulting in you and your dads death’ ”Bookmark here

Takahashi: huh... Sachi dies at the start of new year, and she didn’t tell me this… did others knew? Of course, Aoi knew because she was with me last year, but what about others, do they know? And why hide this from me… I don’t understandBookmark here

“Did you guys know, Eiji and Hina?”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Takahashi don’t think of this as anything, at that time, I didn’t believe you. And thought that you were joking. Of course, anyone would think that if told something like that so suddenly. And my dad hasn’t said anything about moving yet. If he does that tell me about leaving early then me dying in a crash will also be true, so I’ll try to convince my dad somehow to either go a little late or early, to take a different plane”Bookmark here

“So… you still don’t believe me…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

"I do! But I can’t say anything to my dad until he talks about moving. And I can’t tell him about the plane crash, he won’t believe me anyway”Bookmark here

“But then why try to hide it from me”Bookmark here

“I thought that you would get mad at me for not listening to you… but you should understand that no one would believe something like that… telling anyone you’ll die exactly after a year is going to sound like a joke no matter what”Bookmark here

“I do understand that… but… why hide it? Now I feel like I can’t trust you anymore… any of you…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: what am I saying… I don’t feel like that. Either they had hid it or not… she still ends up dying… and now that I know that she dies at the start of next year, it’s making me anxious… it will bug me a lot. I probably won’t be able to enjoy the time I have left with her now…Bookmark here

“Takahashi…” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“No, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean that… I need some time to think”Bookmark here

“Oh…” (Eiji)Bookmark here

After this, no one really talked much. Everything became so awkward… it’s 13: 00 right now. I think we should go home.Bookmark here

“I think we should go home now…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Yeah…” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“I see… I’ll see you out” (Aoi)Bookmark here

We all got up and went downstairs, wore our shoes, and got out. But Sachi stood there…Bookmark here

“You guys go, I have something to talk about with Aoi” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“Ok…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: I wonder what she wants to talk about with Aoi, probably about her deathBookmark here

We all started walking towards the Station. While Sachi is still at Aoi’s placeBookmark here

“What were you thinking?” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“It’s better for him to know what happens”Bookmark here

“How? Now he won’t be able to enjoy the time left and probably worry or think about how to save me from that plane crash”Bookmark here

“No, now he has option to worry about that or enjoy the time he has left with you.”Bookmark here

“That doesn’t change anything”Bookmark here

“It does, look. If you hadn’t told him about your death, you would have left him with regrets, thinking only if he knew, he could have done something. Now he won’t have regrets because at least he’ll try his best to save you from that crash. He’ll only miss you. What do you think hurts more, having regrets or missing?”Bookmark here

“Regret…”Bookmark here

“Exactly. And lying to him like this was a bad idea, because he would have realized that he told you about the crash, because he saw it happen, and then when he goes back to first year, finds you and tell about it. He would have end up being alone, distrusting me Eiji and Hina.”Bookmark here

“Oh… yeah, you are right” Bookmark here

“The way you were going with was selfish, you were only thinking about Takahashi until you die. You didn’t care what he goes through after you die”Bookmark here

“No, I… I just wanted him to have fun while I’m still alive… I didn’t think about it that way”Bookmark here

“I know, that’s why I wanted you to tell him”Bookmark here

“Yeah… Thanks… I’m sorry I doubted you”Bookmark here

“It’s okay… just, take care of Takahashi for me…”Bookmark here

“I will”Bookmark here

“Thanks”Bookmark here

Sachi: I should hurry back; they must not have gone too far… but seriously… why didn’t that come to my mind… it’s like I was only thinking about myself… I’m doubting myself now… well what happened now was for the best. I shouldn’t think about it too much. Aoi is right, now he won’t have regrets… or… honestly, I don’t understand him much, what goes through his mind… what if he keeps blaming himself that he could have done something… like if he had more time, he could have come up with something to save me… Aaaahhh… I don’t know and thinking about it will only make it worse. I should just hurry backBookmark here

It’s 13: 15, Sachi still hasn’t come back. Maybe I should message her, or call. We are waiting here for Sachi because we’ll grab a Taxi to go back to the station. We can’t leave without her, Bookmark here

13: 19,Bookmark here

“Look, she’s coming back… running, she looks exhausted” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Hey guys, sorry to keep you waiting” (Sachi)Bookmark here

“It’s okay, let’s just get a taxi and go home, I’m soo tired” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Yeah, me too” (Eiji)Bookmark here

We are getting into the train right now. It’s 13: 38 right nowBookmark here

I still want to ask what she talked about with Aoi. Don’t want to talk about it Infront of everyone, maybe I should text her… even though she’s sitting right next to me, texting her like this feels weirdBookmark here

To Sachi: What did you wanted to talk about with Aoi?Bookmark here

Oh, she looked at me… she’s typing.Bookmark here

Sachi: It was nothing. Just that I was an idiot for hiding about my death from you, I’m really sorry
Takahashi: No, it’s fine. You probably did this for me, so that I don’t worry much about it. And could enjoy the time I have left with you, better
Sachi: Yeah… but Aoi made me realize that I was thinking about you until I die, I didn’t give any thought to what will happen to you after I die, and you find out that I hid knowing about the crash
Takahashi: I would have thought nothing of it, just what I think now, you did it for me.
Sachi: But you would have regrets afterwards, thinking that you could have done something if you knew
Takahashi: Yeah… but what could I have done… there’s no saving you after you die
Takahashi: No… It would have bugged me a lot. Yeah, I tend to overthink and make situations worse for myself. Its better if you told me
Sachi: Yeah, that’s what Aoi made me realize…
Takahashi: Thanks
Sachi: For what?
Takahashi: For everything today, when I ran out, and telling me about your death… Thanks
Sachi: The kiss too? Hehe
Takahashi: No… that was embarrassing… but it worked… so yeah, thanks for the kiss tooBookmark here

Takahashi: she’s smiling…Bookmark here

Sachi: Hahahaha, you admitted it. Yayyyy. I’m happy I was able to help
Takahashi: Whatever…Bookmark here

“Hey… what are you two talking about” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Nothing” (Takahashi and Sachi)Bookmark here

“No, it was definitely something, Sachi you were smiling just now”Bookmark here

“Ammm… I’ll tell you something later, for now. Shhh”Bookmark here

“Ok…”Bookmark here

“Not me?” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Tell me what you were going to tell Hina…”Bookmark here

“That depends on Takahashi, if he tells you himself”Bookmark here

“About what?” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: oh, she’s typing on her phone againBookmark here

From Sachi to Takahashi: The kiss, heheBookmark here

“NOOO, don’t do that… idiot, its….”Bookmark here

To Sachi: …EmbarrassingBookmark here

“Hahahaha, it’s fine. And it's upto you if you want to tell or not” (Sachi) Bookmark here

“Ughh… fine” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“You both are making me really curious about what it is…” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Yeah, me too” (Hina)Bookmark here

“You’ll know, later” (Sachi)Bookmark here

14: 38, I’m home. Today was so exhausting, and in this heat. I’m really tired.
I’ll just take a bath and go to bed for nowBookmark here

Real Aire
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