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.

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

Takahashi: oh, it’s her mom.

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

“Hey…” (Aoi)

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

“Hi…” (Takahashi)

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

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

Takahashi: this is sooo awkward…

Just entered her room,

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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”

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

“I’m sorry, I acted childish.”

“Yeah, you should be”

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

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

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

“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”

“I see”

“How have you guys been?” (Aoi)

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

“Huh… How?”

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


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

“On Takahashi?”


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

“Wow… really?” (Hina)

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

“Oh…” (Takahashi)

“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.”

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

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

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 person

“No… I would never”

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

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

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

“I’m sorry…”

“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”

“You still like me?”

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

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

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

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.


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.

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

“I’m sorry…”

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

“Aoi, what’s wrong?” (Hina)

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…

After this, I got up and opened the door

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

and ran downstairs

“Sachi, you go after him” (Eiji)

“I know” (Sachi)

ran towards the door

“Takahashi WAIT!” (Sachi)

opened it and

“Stop acting like a kid” (Sachi)

ran outside bare foot

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

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…

I stopped running, and Sachi caught up with me

“What was that… Idiot…” (Sachi)

Sachi grabs me from my arms turn me towards her…

“You… are you ok? What’s wrong”

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

Sachi… just hugged me


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


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

“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…”

“So you ran away”


“How did running away make you feel?”

“More guilty… what should I do?”

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

“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.”

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

“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”

“If I hadn’t shou___”

Takahashi: she… kiss… why… what is she thinking

“Why…” (Takahashi)

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

“But the ki...”

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


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

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

“That would have sounded mean”

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

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

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

“It will be fine”

“And this feeling”

“It will be fine”



“How far is soon…”

“I don’t know, but it will be fine”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because I’m 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?”


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

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

“It was… but worth it”


“You aren’t thinking about that anymore”

“Oh… kind of, yes…”

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

*Sachi’s phone rings

“Oh, it’s Hina, they must be worried”

*Sachi picks it up

“Hey, are you with Takahashi?” (Hina)

“Yeah, he’s with me”

“What happened, is he okay?”

“Yeah, everything’s fine”

“Come back”

“Yeah, we’ll be coming back shortly”

*Sachi hangs up

“Let’s go back”


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

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… hehe

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…

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

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

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

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

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

“No, it’s fine…” (Takahashi)


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

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

“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’”

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

“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.”

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

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

“I see…”

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

“Aoi… what is it?” (Takahashi)

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

“HEY!” (Sachi)

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

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

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

“Sachi… tell me” (Takahashi)

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

“What was it?” (Takahashi)

“ ‘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’ ”

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 understand

“Did you guys know, Eiji and Hina?”


“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”

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

"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”

“But then why try to hide it from me”

“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”

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

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…

“Takahashi…” (Eiji)

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

“Oh…” (Eiji)

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

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

“Yeah…” (Eiji)

“I see… I’ll see you out” (Aoi)

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

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

“Ok…” (Takahashi)

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

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

“What were you thinking?” (Sachi)

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

“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”

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

“That doesn’t change anything”

“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?”


“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.”

“Oh… yeah, you are right”

“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”

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

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

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

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

“I will”


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 back

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,

13: 19,

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

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

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

“Yeah, me too” (Eiji)

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

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 weird

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

Oh, she looked at me… she’s typing.

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 too

Takahashi: she’s smiling…

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

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

“Nothing” (Takahashi and Sachi)

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

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


“Not me?” (Eiji)


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

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

“About what?” (Takahashi)

Takahashi: oh, she’s typing on her phone again

From Sachi to Takahashi: The kiss, hehe

“NOOO, don’t do that… idiot, its….”

To Sachi: …Embarrassing

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

“Ughh… fine” (Takahashi)

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

“Yeah, me too” (Hina)

“You’ll know, later” (Sachi)

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 now

Real Aire