Chapter 14:

...Or so i thought

Skipped a Beat

*Phone buzzingBookmark here

Takahashi: … it’s my alarm. Should get up and turn it off.Bookmark here

There… turned offBookmark here

Takahashi: oh yeah, first day of third year. What time is it? Huh… my phone’s wallpaper is different from what I had set it to before… whatever, must be a glitch. It’s 07: 33. I should get ready.Bookmark here

I want to take a bath too. Then I’ll get ready for school… the room looks a little different than what I remember yesterday… I’m still sleepy. I should get my cloths and take a bath, that will wake me up. Where did I put my school cloths last time? Hmmm… where did I put them… WHAT’S MY JACKET DOING HERE? I gave it to Aoi didn’t I… OH WAIT… What day it is. Bookmark here

2nd April… 2018… WHAT THE HELL… I went back to my first year… before I go through my third year… that’s… OH, Sachi is still alive. SACHI IS STILL ALIVEEEEE. AAAAAA MAN, I am feeling so happy right now… we weren’t sure that if I go back to first year or not… but I did. And before third year. I will be able to see Sachi again... Bookmark here

Wait, she doesn’t attend school until second year… and I have to go meet her this year. She doesn’t know me yet… Come to think of it. Nobody knows me right now… that’s kind of sad. But I shouldn’t be. Since it’s just this year. When I’m done with this year, who knows. Maybe I go through my second year again… maybe. Bookmark here

Oh… I should be leaving by now, it’s getting lateBookmark here

08: 10, I’m on bike today. Will get there soon. Bookmark here

(After reaching at school)Bookmark here

Yeah, the first day crowd. I guess I’ll wait, just like before. Bookmark here

(After 10 minutes)Bookmark here

Let’s see, Takahashi Tanjiro… there! 1 – A. It’s actually 1 – A this time. I wonder if Eiji and Hina were in the same class too.Bookmark here

It’s 08: 30 right now. And since I have spent a year at this school, I know exactly where 1 – A is. Oh… that’s Aoi going into the class. Wonder if Eiji and Hina are there yet. Hina must be late. Bookmark here

Yeah, Eiji’s here, but not Hina. Wow looks like everyone is here. Not that many free chairs are left. Maybe I should go sit behind Aoi…
Bookmark here

(Takahashi as he walks towards his seat and gets near Aoi and Eiji) “Goo…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: what am I doing, they don’t know me yet… out of habit, I almost said good morning… though it won’t hurt if I talk to them… why did I stop, I look like an idiot now…Bookmark here

“You were going to say something?” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Good morning…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: aaaaaaaa… why am I acting so weird… they are my friends… or will be but right now they aren’t… so it’s feeling a little weird Bookmark here

“Good morning!” (Aoi said with a bright smile)Bookmark here

Takahashi: So this is the Aoi that I became friends with… I can’t imagine how much pain she went through to become that…Bookmark here

“What’s your name?” (Aoi)Bookmark here

Takahashi: it’s obvious she wouldn’t know my name. but it still hurts… I don’t know whyBookmark here

“I’m Takahashi Tanjiro”Bookmark here

“I’m Aoi Sakamoto”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I already know that…Bookmark here

“You’re that kid that got the highest marks in the entry test, right?” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“Yeah, that’s me”Bookmark here

“Wow, your looks tell off too, you look tired” (Eiji)Bookmark here

“What do you mean tired?”Bookmark here

“You look stressed, study too much I guess”Bookmark here

Takahashi: maybe because of last year… but I feel fine right nowBookmark here

“No… I’m fine though”Bookmark here

“Oh… I see” (Eiji)Bookmark here

Takahashi: Hina is here too…Bookmark here

“Good morning Aoi, Eiji” (Hina)Bookmark here

Takahashi: she didn’t mention me… of course she wouldn’t. what am I thinking…Bookmark here

“Hina, I found you a tutor” (Aoi)Bookmark here

“Huh… who?”Bookmark here

“Meet Takahashi Tanjiro, he’s the one that got the highest score in the test”Bookmark here

Takahashi: what is she doing…Bookmark here

“So? Why would he tutor me?”Bookmark here

“Just thought that maybe someone smarter than me might be able to get your grades up”Bookmark here

“I got into this high school; my grades are fine. And why would I let a stranger tutor me in the first place?”Bookmark here

Takahashi: that hurt…Bookmark here

“Yeah, you’re right…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I wanted to tell you guys that I made it, I made it back to first year. and maybe I can come up with a way to save Sachi but… You don’t even know me… acting like strangers. I understand that it was going to happen but… now that it actually is happening. It hurts a lot. Will have to wait till I can talk to them about Sachi. Right now, they would just think I am crazy or something.Bookmark here

It’s better if I stay away for some time. Them, treating me like a stranger… it hurts… but I have to become friends with them otherwise things probably won’t be the same way when I go back… Nothing can be done right now. Slowly maybe I’ll be able to talk to them… though today was really weird, I shouldn’t have started talking like that…Bookmark here

(A week later)Bookmark here

It’s recess right now… I’m here alone, on the roof, eating my lunch… like I was supposed to before… but it doesn’t feel right now. I still haven’t been able to talk to them much. This is what it feels like to be the forgotten one… what they felt at the start of second year, I’m sorry everyone…Bookmark here

But our seating arrangements were made. And I sit behind Aoi now. So maybe I can become friends with her. last year, Eiji and Hina said that I always looked sad and didn’t talk much… but I don’t feel like that. Did something happen? I will have to wait see what happens.Bookmark here

(Weeks later)Bookmark here

Today’s 11th June, exams are coming in a month. And I still haven’t gotten anywhere close to being friends with them. We rarely talk. I don’t understand… why is this different than what they told me? Could it be like Sachi’s date changed, there are changes in first year too? I can’t be sure. I’m getting worried a lot. I’m alone now and it feels really bad. And I can’t do anything about it. Also, I don’t understand how I became friends… if I don’t become friends and go back to third year… maybe these guys won’t know me. This thought is killing me. Bookmark here

I’m in class right now, it’s almost 15: 30, time to go home. I have been studying like I used to. So, my grades are still better than everyone. Bookmark here

Just as the last period ends, Aoi looks back and asks Bookmark here

“Hey, would you want to study with us? I thought having someone like you would be beneficial for us. Of course, if you want to that is. I’m not going to force you”Bookmark here

Takahashi: just now, I felt my heart lighten a little. Aoi asking for studying with us… maybe things aren’t completely stuck. Just have patience, I don’t need to get worried yet. There’s a lot of time till December comes. If I remember correctly, we went to meet her in winter vacations. Bookmark here

“Yeah, I don’t mind. And I can help you guys with topics you feel are difficult”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that too. Main reason was that you are always alone. I thought that maybe you are shy or maybe you are going through something. Thought I could try being friends with you, you don’t seem like a bad person. Eiji felt the same too”Bookmark here

Takahashi: this isn’t what I expected but it’s better than something… and they exaggerated the story I think… this is probably what happened…I was getting worried for nothingBookmark here

“Well… I just don’t like being around people, so I try to avoid them…”Bookmark here

“Oh… So___”Bookmark here

“No, it’s fine… if it’s you guys its fine.”Bookmark here

“I’m glad you are fine being around us”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I want to tell you guys so much… but for now, this is ok. Step by step I will get closer. Bookmark here

“When are you going to study and where?”Bookmark here

“Exams are in a month; we go to school library every day after school. we were going to the library right now so I thought I should invite you”Bookmark here

“Okay”Bookmark here

(Week before the exams)Bookmark here

Today’s 29th June. And I have gotten a lot closer to them in the past weeks. Aoi and Eiji were already nice, so they didn’t have a problem with me at all. But Hina wasn’t friendly at first… ignoring me and stuff. Because I was someone new for her… that hurt me a lot but now, she’s fine with me. Treats me like her friends. Honestly, I didn’t know Hina had this side. but it’s fine now, I don’t need to worry about anything. Just exams and then summer vacation, then second term then winter vacations… it’s still a lot of time. I hope nothing goes wrong in this time.Bookmark here

(Months later)Bookmark here

Ok… I’m nowhere depressed or anything like that. And I don’t know how I will tell them about Sachi. Exams and vacations went by fine. Nothing happened. I mostly watched anime, there were 2 series I was watching in second year and their second season isn’t even released yet… it released next year in April… this is annoying.Bookmark here

Aoi invited me to hang out with them in vacations. But still… how did I even talk to them about Sachi? Should I just tell? Will they believe me? Of course, they will laugh at first… but maybe they’ll listen… to a story that sounds complete from an anime or something. Yeah, there’s no way they’ll believe me.Bookmark here

Today’s 3rd September, first day after summer vacation. I’m on my way to school on foot. The way everything is going, I’ll just pass first year without doing anything. I think I should try telling just Aoi. Maybe she’ll believe me… but if she doesn’t, it’s going to be so embarrassing…Bookmark here

(After school that day)Bookmark here

Hina, Aoi and my house is almost in the same direction, so we walk home together. I will have some time to talk with Aoi when Hina turns on the way to her home. Maybe I should try talking about it today.Bookmark here

(After 10 minutes)Bookmark here

Ok… she’s gone, it’s only me and Aoi now… Man, I’m getting nervous. How should I even start… Bookmark here

“Aoi…” (Takahashi)Bookmark here

“Yes?”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I just called her without even thinking anything… what now?Bookmark here

“Nothing…”Bookmark here

“You look troubled… something on your mind?”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I am making this so awkward… I think I should just say it…Bookmark here

“This is going to be so weird…”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“There’s a friend I want to meet…”Bookmark here

“And…? What’s weird about that?”Bookmark here

“She’s someone I knew from middle school”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I can’t say second year yet…Bookmark here

“And?”Bookmark here

“She’s in Kyoto right now”Bookmark here

“Oh… you are missing her?”Bookmark here

“You could say that… yes”Bookmark here

“It’s not weird, you can miss a friend. Why do you think it’s weird?”Bookmark here

“Because… she has never met me…”Bookmark here

“Huh…? How’s she your friend then…”Bookmark here

“This is the weird part… and I was planning on meeting her in winter vacations”Bookmark here

“I don’t understand… meeting her is weird?”Bookmark here

Takahashi: this is getting nowhere… I should just say itBookmark here

“The reason meeting her is weird because she hasn’t met me yet… but I have… in second year of high school”Bookmark here

“Hmm… I see”Bookmark here

“Huh… really?”Bookmark here

“You watch too much anime…”Bookmark here

“That’s why I said it’s weird, and I knew you wouldn’t believe me”Bookmark here

“Because… you are talking as if you are from the future or something”Bookmark here

“Exactly! But no one would believe me so I was thinking whether I should talk about it or not”Bookmark here

“This isn’t funny though…”Bookmark here

Takahashi: I thought maybe she might… this is awkward… aaaaaaaahhh she thinks I’m some weird otaku kidBookmark here

“Ah… sorry forget I ever said anything”Bookmark here

“Why do you want to meet her anyways… IF… you met her in second year, just wait till second year”Bookmark here

“It’s more complicated than that… and talking like this won’t solve anything. I think it’s better if we stop”Bookmark here

“Okay…”Bookmark here

MANNNN! I wonder what she thinks of me now… this just made things worse than before… what if she tells Eiji and Hina… they’ll laugh.Bookmark here

Oh… I remember now, I never mentioned her the situation until we were going to Kyoto… something like this Aoi told me, and that Eiji and Hina never knew about it. I just told her that I have been through my second year… I seriously act like a complete idiot sometimes. I should have gone with what happened before. What now… I should just go home and relax for now. I will come up with something later.Bookmark here

(At home, around 18: 44, Takahashi is studying right now)Bookmark here

*Phone buzzesBookmark here

Aoi messagedBookmark here

To Takahashi: I was thinking, why didn’t you talk to Eiji or Hina, and why just me alone?
To Aoi: I would have told you everything, but you didn’t seem to believe it. So I thought it’s better if I stop
To Takahashi: Then tell me everything. I will listen, no matter how absurd your story sounds
To Aoi: Ok… but promise you won’t tell Eiji or Hina about it
To Takahashi: I won’t, I promise
To Aoi: After I completed my middle school, instead of starting first year, I woke up a year later. And it was second year. There I met you guys and made a friend named ‘Sachi’. And that Sachi… she dies at the end of next year. So, I thought If I ever go back to first year, I will go warn her about everything. That is why I wanted to go meet her in Kyoto
To Takahashi: Ok… but where do I come in? why just me?
To Aoi: because in second year, when I met you. You told me that you went with me to Kyoto to meet Sachi. And Eiji and Hina said that they never found out about this until second year. So I don’t want to tell them now, in second year, they will find out.
To Takahashi: You knew about us from the first day?
To Aoi: Yeah
To Takahashi: then you also know what the questions in exams will be?
To Aoi: if you had told me in Second year… I would have told you right now
To Takahashi: Hmm… makes sense but still unbelievable
To Aoi: That’s why I thought it was better to not talk about it
To Takahashi: I’ll go with you
To Aoi: to Kyoto? Really?
To Takahashi: Yeah, it will be in vacations. It will be like a trip. And you can go meet this Sachi friend of yours.
To Aoi: You believe me?
To Takahashi: Nope, but just saying that a single trip to Kyoto won’t hurt. I’ll go with you
To Aoi: then please don’t share this with anyone else
To Takahashi: I won’tBookmark here

Bookmark here

She agreed… even though she doesn’t believe me. And a trip to Kyoto is Really long. I don’t know what she is thinking. Well, it’s better that everything is now set. Now I just have to wait, till December. Then I can go see Sachi… After a complete year… thinking about it is making me nervous, anxious and happy at the same time. I will be able to talk to Sachi, but she won’t know me. And she said herself that she never believed me. So, if I try to tell her about the plane crash… she’ll make fun of me no doubt, that’s the type of person she is. Well. Anyone would… now I know since even Aoi was looking disappointed when I told her about meeting Sachi in second year. Why am I even thinking about it right now. I’ll think about it when the time comes. Right now, I should focus on my books.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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