Chapter 13:


Skipped a Beat

Today, I woke up around 10, feeling a lot better than before. Its 14: 26 right now. Watching anime since morning, kind of keeps my mind occupied with the story, thoughts don’t drift off much to Sachi and all that. Bookmark here

(Phone ringing)Bookmark here

Who is it? Hina…Bookmark here

*Picks upBookmark here

Just as I put the phone near my ears “Do you know anything about Sachi? Where is she?” is what Hina asks…Bookmark here

“What happened?”Bookmark here

“She hasn’t been replying nor answering her phone”Bookmark here

“She must be away”Bookmark here

“Since this morning”Bookmark here

“Have you asked Eiji?”Bookmark here

“I did… nothing”Bookmark here

“Wait, I’ll try contacting and see if she picks”Bookmark here

“The call says her phone is dead”Bookmark here

“When did you last talked to her?”Bookmark here

“Last night, she was completely fine”Bookmark here

Takahashi: should I tell her or not? Sachi told me not to tell anyone... but now… Bookmark here

“Have you gone to her home yet?”Bookmark here

“No, I haven’t tried that yet. Thought if you guys knew anything, I should check”Bookmark here

“I don’t know. Yesterday I went to meet her. she looked really down but nothing serious.”Bookmark here

“What? When? She didn’t tell me anything”Bookmark here

“In the morning, she messaged me that she wants to meet me. She told me not to tell anyone”Bookmark here

“Do you think___”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, but I hope she didn’t”Bookmark here

“Think about it, why did she wanted to meet you?”Bookmark here

“It was 2nd January, she couldn’t have”Bookmark here

“Maybe. we can’t be sure”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m going to go check on her house.”Bookmark here

“I am going too”Bookmark here

“Tell Eiji too”Bookmark here

“I think he left already”Bookmark here

“Okay”Bookmark here

What the hell happened. I don’t want to think that she lied. But if she has left today… what can I do… she left. I should try calling her just in caseBookmark here

*Calling Sachi
*Call endedBookmark here

Shit… it doesn’t go through. I’m going to take the bike; I hope that she’s still hereBookmark here

(Upon Arriving at Sachi’s house)Bookmark here

Eiji is already hereBookmark here

“Did you check?” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“I tried ringing the bell, no one answers the door” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“What the hell happened… (Takahashi Starts banging on the door)”Bookmark here

“STOP! This won’t make her come out if she isn’t even here anymore”Bookmark here

“How do we know? How can we be sure?”Bookmark here

“What happened?” (Hina just arrived)Bookmark here

“No one is answering the door either. The house looks locked”Bookmark here

“Then she’s…”Bookmark here

“Hey kids, what are you doing there?” (Neighbor on the right came out of his house)Bookmark here

Takahashi: he must have heard me knocking at the door so loudBookmark here

“Do you know anything about Sachi and her dad that lived here?” (Hina)Bookmark here

“They left from here in the morning”Bookmark here

“Huh…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: so, it is true… she left without telling and she lied about the date… ORBookmark here

“Maybe they had to leave early than 2nd January and now maybe the plane won’t crash” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“What are you talking about kid?” (Neighbor)Bookmark here

“Sir, thank you for the information, we’ll be going now” (Eiji)Bookmark here

Takahashi: oh… I shouldn’t have said that hereBookmark here

“What were you thinking idiot” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Sorry… I just thought that maybe the problem is solved… she won’t die”Bookmark here

“We don’t know for sure. It could be that she lied about the leaving date”Bookmark here

“Why… would she lie? I don’t see a reason”Bookmark here

“Maybe she did go early than we expected. We can’t be sure. For now, let’s keep checking the news if we see something about the crash”Bookmark here

“Yeah”Bookmark here

“Takahashi, don’t expect something good to happen, if it doesn’t go the way you expected it to, it will kill you”Bookmark here

“I know but… I just think that she couldn’t have lied about this”Bookmark here

“And if she did?”Bookmark here

“I…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: it’s middle school all over again, isn’t it… NO… Sachi is different. Even if she hid the actual date. She must have had a reason… But what?Bookmark here

“Let’s just go home for now” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Yeah” (Hina)Bookmark here

“Yeah…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

I hope she’s safe… Bookmark here

(Reached home)Bookmark here

This curiosity is killing me. Did she lie? Did she move early? Is she safe? What happened to the plane? Why did she lie? What now? If she dies… what then?... if she had to go away in a hurry and couldn’t tell. Then by tonight. She will tell us. That she moved to Kyoto and she’s fine now… I hope.
It’s… who cares what time it is. I’m going to listen to music until night comes. Feel like crying but can’t cry, just my chest hurts… A LOT… is this her fault? NO, she didn’t do anything… I’m just too sensitive, just like she said… why did she wanted to meet me anyways? Last time meeting me before she goes away? Maybe… I can’t be sure. I should stop thinking, overthinking is just going to ruin things more for me…Bookmark here

(Later that day, at night)Bookmark here

Eiji is calling… my heart is pounding so fast right now… Bookmark here

*Picks upBookmark here

“Hina just told me… She saw it” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“The plane crashes?”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: what was I even expecting? It was so obvious… My only hope is when I go back now…Bookmark here

“Eiji, I just remembered. When I told Sachi about the crash, Aoi was with me. So, she should know what date I told her”Bookmark here

“Yeah, she can but… what will you do then? This will only make you doubt her more. You don’t know why she did this in the first place”Bookmark here

“I understand but I still want to confirm”Bookmark here

“Ok”Bookmark here

*Takahashi Hangs upBookmark here

I should call Aoi… I don’t have her number… Hina would knowBookmark here

To Hina: send me Aoi’s number, I want to talk to her
To Takahashi: did you hear about the plane crash? And what are you going to talk about with Aoi?
To Hina: yeah, Eiji just called me. I want to ask what date I told Sachi at that time last year
To Takahashi: I see. Ok, here’s the number.Bookmark here

Ok… Oh wait… this number is already added in my contacts… I must have added her in first year.
Bookmark here

*Calling AoiBookmark here

“Takahashi?” (Aoi)Bookmark here

“I wanted to ask what date I told Sachi last year?”Bookmark here

“About the crash? Yeah, Hina messaged me, but I haven’t talked with her yet. And it was 2nd January. I remember”Bookmark here

“Oh… Thanks”Bookmark here

*Takahashi hangs upBookmark here

So, it was 2nd January… and it changed. But how? What happened? And how? Didn’t I tell her after seeing her die on 2nd January? If she died on, what is it today… 27th December… I will tell her 27th when I go back… and I’m not even sure if I’ll go back or not… Bookmark here

Aaaaah… I can’t focus on one thing, there are too many questions. I can’t even think properly… my only option is going back… nothing else… but if her date changed, and she still ends up in that plane crash… what can I even do to save her? staying away? I can’t do that. Because this plane crash isn’t happening because of me… why did the plane crash anyways?Bookmark here

To Hina: what happened to the plane? Did they tell anything?
To Takahashi: engine failure from what it looks like right now. They are not sure, is what I heard
To Hina: How do you know that it was the same plane she got on?
To Takahashi: A plane that took flight in the morning, going to Kyoto… Who else could it be…?
To Hina: What if she took a different plane
To Takahashi: if she took, we could wait. She’ll message that she reached safely… but think about it. You knew about a plane crash. And a plane actually crashed around that time? What else do you want to see
To Hina: nothing… I just hope that she’s safe
To Takahashi: don’t hope for the impossibleBookmark here

Every thought that comes to my mind… I just want to believe that she is safe… but too many things happened to prove that it happened what we have been waiting for the whole year… I should just go to sleep. No matter what I think of… the only solution is to go backBookmark here

(Next Day)Bookmark here

it’s 7 in the morning… I couldn’t sleep at all. Eiji and Hina messaged to ask me how I was doing. Don’t feel like replying.Bookmark here

It’s 28th December. 3 days until new year… why am I even counting new year now… does it really matter? Nope, it doesn’t now. For now, the only thing important for me is to pass this second year. And then third year, then maybe I’ll go back to first year… A whole year without Sachi… Can I spend that much? Why am I even waiting for first year anyways? I still don’t know if I can save her or not. It’s just a hope that maybe, when I go back to first year myself, I’ll see something that can help me save her. No point in thinking right now. I’ll just listen to music for now… (goes to sleep)Bookmark here

“Takahashi, breakfast is ready. Come downstairs”Bookmark here

Huh… Mom is calling…I went to sleep for a while... what time it is? 11: 12… I don’t feel like eating anything either… she’s probably going to come upstairs. I should lock the door…Bookmark here

There. I’ll go downstairs later, don’t want to show my face like this to my mom… I have been in bed for so long now, I look like shit. Need to take a bath too. Maybe I should reply to them. Don’t want them to bother me later. Bookmark here

To Eiji: I’m fine, was sleeping. Just woke up
To Hina: I’m fine, was sleeping so I couldn’t replyBookmark here

What do I even do now? I want to talk to her… I should message herBookmark here

To Sachi: hello
To Sachi: how are you?
To Sachi: probably dead
To Sachi: Haha, see? Death jokes. I can do that too
To Sachi: why aren't you replying?
To Sachi: what should I do?
To Sachi: what am I even doing? This won't reach you ever, you aren't even here anymore
To Sachi: did you lie? Did you hide the date? Did you know you were moving earlier than we knew?
To Sachi: there are so many things I want to ask you but… you know
To Sachi: I think that you had to move in a hurry, but the plane crashed anyway…
To Sachi: am I right?
To Sachi: just a yes… just one word I need right nowBookmark here

When was the last text she sent? I should scroll back.Bookmark here

(Looking at the old chat)Bookmark here

To Sachi: what about others?
To Takahashi: No, just us alone. You know we have never hung out, just us. So, I thought before I go…
To Sachi: okay, where do you want to meet first?
To Takahashi: just like before, come to the school in about 20 minutes. We’ll go somewhere from there
To Sachi: OkayBookmark here

'So, I thought before I go…' she… did mention that she's going away… why didn't I notice. If I had Asked her what she meant by this… maybe she would have told me that she was leaving early… Even if she had, I would have only thought that her leaving early will save her from the plane crash. Nothing else. What happened didn't occur to anyone. Bookmark here

Aah… I'm tired, I'm going to sleep againBookmark here

To Sachi: sorry for bothering you with this spam. I'll be going nowBookmark here

(1st January 2020)Bookmark here

2 or 3 days have passed since Sachi passed away. She didn't reply or anything. We are sure that she died in that plane crash. I have slowly started to accept what happened. Although I still spend most of my time in my room. I'm not ignoring anyone. There's still a little hope left in me that the first year will be useful...Bookmark here

Today, me Hina and Eiji are going to the Shrine. I'm going outside my house the first time after I went to check if Sachi was at home or not. I hope that I can focus more on what I'm doing and not what happenedBookmark here

We decided to meet at the Shrine, it's 09: 44 right now. Hina and Eiji are here too. Bookmark here

"It's so crowded" (Takahashi)Bookmark here

"Well, you took your precious time to come here..." (Hina)
Bookmark here

"Hina, don't say that. At least he came" (Eiji)Bookmark here

"I wanted to come here. Thought a little change would be better for me" (Takahashi)Bookmark here

"Glad you are feeling better than before" (Eiji)Bookmark here

"Thanks"Bookmark here

I have to go through all these people… ahh, I should have stayed… No, I'm out here. I have to go and pray, get over my fear of crowds.Bookmark here

(After struggling through the crowd, in and out)Bookmark here

"Takahashi, what did you pray for?" (Eiji)Bookmark here

"I'm not telling"Bookmark here

"It was probably about Sachi" (Hina)Bookmark here

Takahashi: yes, it was…. I wished that I can save her next time I get the chance toBookmark here

"Yeah, just something like that, what did you ask for?" Bookmark here

"For Sachi and you" (Hina)Bookmark here

"Me? What?"Bookmark here

"I wished that you get the courage and confidence to go through any situation without breaking down..."Bookmark here

"Oh… Thanks, and you Eiji?"Bookmark here

"Almost the same as Hina. Just that what you had to go through in past week, I Wished none of us goes through that ever again"Bookmark here

"Yeah, I hope too..."Bookmark here

After this, we all just went home. Bookmark here

School's reopening on 6th January, Monday. School will be better for me since it will keep my thoughts occupied with studies, because I have to pass this year. I haven’t been studying like I used to but it’s not that bad. If I focus on studies, I have enough time to get good grades. Bookmark here

(Somedays later)Bookmark here

I’m on my way to school, it’s 9th January today. I have been feeling a lot better than before. Just the thought of Sachi not being there anymore makes me feel sad. But for that I have to wait till 3rd year ends. Bookmark here

(Takahashi entering the class)Bookmark here

“Good morning Takahashi” (Eiji and Hina)Bookmark here

“Good morning”Bookmark here

“How are you feeling today?”Bookmark here

“Fine, just that Sachi isn’t here feels weird every time…”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I can understand”Bookmark here

“Hmm…”Bookmark here

Everyday has been like this. We don’t talk that much. But I don’t care that much either. I need to study and pass this year so that I can go to third year. And things will get better, I know. Bookmark here

(Months later)Bookmark here

Today is 25th March, last day of second year. Right now, I’m going back home. I have started to enjoy school a little again. Like, preparing for the exams is exciting for me again. I think I’ll be fine spending the next year without Sachi too. Yeah, everything’s fine…Bookmark here

Except when I pass through this park… Every day, when I pass through this park, it reminds me of Sachi. I get sad after thinking about that day. But it’s a not just sad, it’s more of a happy memory now, like there was someone named Sachi I knew, and we grew closer in this park. Bookmark here

Hina is with me too. Eiji, just like before, goes in the opposite direction of us.

And not to forget, Hina is still way better at studies than before, she tries her best for Sachi, is what she said. I’m happy that things are back to normal now.Bookmark here

(Some days later)Bookmark here

Tomorrow is the first day of my last year in high school, 1st April. not sure if I should call it last year… I haven’t even completed 1st year, or I did but I just don’t know.
It’s 22: 58 right now, I’m going to sleep.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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