Chapter 28:

An Unexpected Reunion

Second Chances

The next day, the sounds of birds chirping right outside my window woke me up. Bookmark here

Then, someone knocked on my door and I heard a bunch of footsteps entering my room. Light footsteps.Bookmark here

“Is he Mr. Shin?”Bookmark here

I opened my eyes: a bunch of 14-15 years old students had surrounded my bed.Bookmark here

“Hello, Mr. Shin,” the boy holding a banquet of flowers said. “I’m Kubota Yoshi, the class representative of this class. We are here on behalf of the donation on our school’s infrastructure made under your name. We were not told of the name of the donors, but it was said that you were close to them.”Bookmark here

“Hi Mr. Shin, I’m Hayashi Tomoko. I think that’s very nice of you, to help others. My mother is also a businesswoman, and she always lent her hands to those who needed it as well. So, thank you for your kind donation.”Bookmark here

This… can’t be. They were…Bookmark here

“Yo Mr. Shin! How are you? The name’s Seki Takehiko, don’t worry, you won’t be here for long. We have a want-to-be doctor among us!”Bookmark here

“Hi, I’m Seo Atsushi, I heard that you have been in a coma for years, Mr. Shin. My mom had also been in hospital for years now. So, I know your feelings; if you need some stories to make this less boring, I can introduce you to a friend of mine.”Bookmark here

“I’m Kubooo Shuichiii. If you’re up for any spy movies, I can recommend them to you. Japanese, American, British. Any. You name it. Seriously, Mr. Shin. Anything!”Bookmark here

“Hi Mr. Shin, I’m Okino Masaki. I’ve brought some travel magazines, of places around the world, I could read them to you if you want.”Bookmark here

“No, let Mr. Shin rest. We brought some bread from our bakery. They are fresh, Mr. Shin. Oh, I’m Tanigawa Shuji, and this is my twin brother, Kei. We made this butterfly-shaped bread ourselves this morning, to thank you, Mr. Shin.”Bookmark here

“It's filled with extra butter,” Kei whispered.Bookmark here

“I’m Tada Yori, if you need any help with legal issues, you can rely on my father, Mr. Shin. He’s a great public prosecutor.”Bookmark here

A girl then moved and stood in front of my bed. “I’m Emilia. I picked those flowers for you—white lilies, I hope you like them.”Bookmark here

Emilia…Bookmark here

So, they all grew up in this timeline.Bookmark here

They… didn’t die. They—Bookmark here

“Are you crying, Mr. Shin?” the class representative wiped my tears with his tissue. “Don’t cry. Don’t worry, you’ll get well soon.”Bookmark here

“Be… be strong, Mr. Shin,” Emilia added.Bookmark here

“Ok everyone, I think Mr. Shin is tired already,” the nurse said. “Let’s come back another time, ok?”Bookmark here

“Ok!” they said in unison. “Bye, Mr. Shin!”Bookmark here

The class representative put the lilies into the vase next to my bed, “Take care, Mr. Shin.”Bookmark here

The rest of them waved goodbye to me.Bookmark here

Emilia took a last bow at me before she left the room, “Thank you,” she said.Bookmark here

“Thank you,” I tried to say back.Bookmark here

Thank you.Bookmark here

As soon as I heard the door closed, Moira appeared before me again.Bookmark here

She stood beside my bed and looked at me without saying a word.Bookmark here

“You don’t need to say anything,” she said. “Fate and destiny, they have their sweet, and bitter side, Shin.”Bookmark here

“Like a box of chocolates,” she added. “There are different flavors, different shapes, and you won’t know what it tasted like until after you ate it. I just wanted you to understand that. Fate can’t be chosen, but your actions of creating destiny, made up a new fate, Shin.”Bookmark here

“Humans are stupid, not only because they try to cherish precious moments,” she continued. “But most of the time, they don’t even realize those are precious moments until they pass right through them. Until bad things happened. Until regrets came kicking down their door, barging into their life, messing with their feelings. It was always too late for them.”Bookmark here

I took a deep breath. “What will happen to this body if I leave?”Bookmark here

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. Let’s just say a duplicated version of you, with what you have experienced ever since you woke up here, will continue living in it. And knowing you, I think this body will be able to move in the next few months and be able to speak again.”Bookmark here

“How about my memories from another timeline?”Bookmark here

“Hmm… let’s just say he will have a nice dream about it, and when he wakes up, he’ll know what to do.”Bookmark here

She tapped my leg. “No need to worry too much, Shin. I’ll take care of this version of you here, while you go and live your stupid life you’ve always wanted.”Bookmark here

“Should I?”Bookmark here

“You should. On behalf of those children who lost their lives in your timeline. And you, yourself.”Bookmark here

She snapped her finger and we were back at the kitchen again. I was able to move, and speak again.Bookmark here

“Our last stop,” she said. “Remember, Shin. Not everyone gets to have second chances. Use them wisely. You earned then.”Bookmark here

I smiled, and patted her head. “Thank you, Moira.”Bookmark here

Her face became slightly red, “Just this once I’m letting you pat my head.”Bookmark here

I smiled, “Take care, Moira.”Bookmark here

She snapped her finger as I slowly lost my consciousness again.Bookmark here

My legs gave in as I kneeled in front of her, then everything before my eyes fades into pure darkness.
Bookmark here

“Take care, Shin.”Bookmark here

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You can resume reading from this paragraph.