Chapter 16:

Cherish your friends (Part 3).

A Reverie for Another Eternity


Ahh… It’s been a year already…Bookmark here

A year since we took a shower together, a year since we ate together, and a year since we slept together.Bookmark here

Helena heaved a heavy sigh, ignoring the droning of her last-period teacher. It wasn’t like her, an honor student, to act like this. But recently she’s been feeling even worse than before. It even got to the point where she could barely sleep.Bookmark here

It was an awkward situation. Clearly, Mikuta was at fault for deferring her duties as a sister of the church, but it was also Helena’s fault for not accounting for any measures should the need arise. But it was because of what she said that they both had mutually ignored each other since then, spanning an entire year… She even moved out after only a few days!Bookmark here

Her head made a loud thud against the tabletop, her mind far elsewhere from the last lesson of the day. Her eyes watered, remembering Mikuta’s dismissive stare on the day her hand was unable to reach her. Bookmark here

That wasn’t what she wanted at all, she thought. She was self-conscious enough to understand how stupid and petty the both of them had been to each other, and how easily it could still be resolved.Bookmark here

But was this something that could be resolved in the first place?Bookmark here

Mikuta seemed to think of herself as a princess of some far-off land, always doing whatever she wanted without regard to anyone's demands. Her only redeeming feature was her looks, which even she herself didn’t seem to realize.Bookmark here

But what was so wrong with that?Bookmark here

An entire year of solitude, a year which made her realize the importance of the little sister character, despite the glaring differences in height and body type. Her jealousy notwithstanding, she decided to be the bigger person, the bigger sister she always was. Bookmark here

*BRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEENG*Bookmark here

Today was the day to patch things up.Bookmark here

The crowds were flooding the halls, in which Helena decidedly stayed put. Nothing wrong with delaying the inevitable if only by the few minutes it took for the students to finally disperse and head on home.Bookmark here

Just as she had predicted, the halls were emptied in only six minutes, miraculously. It was as if the universe was telling her to go ahead and finish the deed, to get back that little sister character of hers.Bookmark here

But maybe staying behind a little longer to ponder wouldn’t be so bad after all. In truth, she had made up her mind to apologize ever since the day Mikuta had left her. She couldn’t argue or have her stay with that look of hers that told her to not interfere. She was powerless to do anything, even now.Bookmark here

No! That simply wasn’t true. She was sure that Mikuta held the same feelings as she did if nothing else. That was the type of person she was. That was the type of person she had to be.Bookmark here

She slammed her palms on her desk, standing upright, attempting to dispel the doubts and fears. Shakingly holding her back in her hand, she opened the sliding door and walked out into the hallway.Bookmark here

She remembered seeing Mikuta’s face on the school newspaper before as part of the new student council. That must be where she should be, assuming she actually held her duties responsibly. She chuckled at the thought.Bookmark here

Those amusing thoughts were only a desperate facade to hide away her true worries, however.Bookmark here

Her long strides grew smaller with each step as she rounded the corner. In front was the student council office, desolate and empty. It had an ominous feel to it, a feeling that almost every passing student had. Perhaps that was why there was barely any to be seen in this specific hall.Bookmark here

Every step onward, she could hear her feet drag. Despite her best efforts, her body didn’t agree with her.Bookmark here

Cold sweat began to form around her body, her feet getting heavier by the second. It would seem that, again, she wouldn’t be able to reach the door many times over like before. Bookmark here

But three times before, she managed to touch the door. If she could do that again, then she could call it her victory. Bookmark here

A victory against what, exactly?Bookmark here

All she was doing was simply running away, too afraid to confront her worst fears. Bookmark here

All she had to do was walk in and talk it out with her, assuming she was even there to begin with.Bookmark here

Her heart skipped, the shadows clouding her mind. Doubt was the enemy and it lingered, twisting the truth in her heart. Before she knew it, she was before the door once more. Bookmark here

The long and arduous hallway that seemed to stretch on for eternity was back to normal. Of course, this whole situation was simply overblown out of proportion in her mind. It was only a matter of talking anyway. Her heart shuddered at what was to come through.Bookmark here

Oversimplifying important moments like this one was a bad habit of hers. Reaching in, she gave three sharp raps on the door, using all of her willpower to resist moving from her current position. But it was too late. Suddenly, she was overcome by the urge to run, to move, to escape. A rush of adrenaline flowed, through her breath hastening. Bookmark here

What if this was just one big mistake?Bookmark here

One second, now two, had passed. Before, she would’ve bolted without a second thought. She was quite proud right now. Bookmark here

It’s ok to run. It’s ok to be afraid. But don’t live with regrets.Bookmark here

Those were the words said by Sister Melissa, to which Helena had kept to heart. Bookmark here

Her lips curled distastefully at herself. There was no way she could lie that she wouldn’t have a problem if she were to run away now. She was resolved to see this to the end, at least till she could speak to Mikuta once more. Bookmark here

But her body didn’t listen, taking a step backward.Bookmark here

She froze; a groan could be heard from the other side of the door as it swung open.Bookmark here

And there stood Mikuta, holding the same surprised gaze as she.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Do it. Now. Now. Right now. You have to say it. Now.Bookmark here

She opened her mouth but soon closed them. Mikuta was here. In front.Bookmark here

Open open open open-Bookmark here

Now, though she had seen Mikuta from afar hanging out with her friends, it wasn’t as if she had come to meet her in person before. In fact, they absolutely had no contact previously. Even her so-called “attempts” of ding-dong ditching yielded no results. Bookmark here

But here she was, in person, in front. She had to speak.Bookmark here

To her surprise, it was Mikuta who had initiated though. Acting all flustered, she had raised Helena’s hopes quite a bit. Maybe there was something that had happened while the two had been apart.Bookmark here

“H-hey-”Bookmark here

A sudden “LETSSSS GOOO” ruined the moment. Helena could hear the frantic shuffling of papers being stuffed into bags behind Mikuta. She gave an apologetic smile. This was unexpected. Bookmark here

A girl with gaudy auburn curls handed Mikuta her school bag. She gave a hard stare at Helena before making her way down the hall and out of sight. It would seem that they were finishing up, and Helena had gotten nowhere thus far. Someone else had come up to hold her hand. Glancing back and forth between the two, she looked a little intimidated at the sight of Helena’s haggard appearance, yet her voice remained innocent and pure.Bookmark here

“Do you... have anyone else you want to invite?”Bookmark here

Mikuta shook her head vehemently. What should’ve been the breaking point for Helena was replaced with a strange satisfaction. A satisfaction that arose from seeing Mikuta surrounded by reliable friends who’d easily concern themselves with her acquaintances. There was no need for someone like her to stay in the end. Her ears rang with a strange whistling. Perhaps it came from outside. Bookmark here

Suddenly, the door slammed shut, scaring her. When she came to, Mikuta, with her head down, had already passed by quickly, rounding the corner carrying the little girl in her hand. Bookmark here

She strangely felt weak in the knees, crumpling down onto the floor. Her eyes stung from the tears that ebbed away. Bookmark here

Yes, she had to be strong. She understood that now may not be the time for Mikuta, but she was ready for her anytime. Bookmark here

But, ah. She wanted to see her one last time, that silvery hair, the cute face of hers. She wanted to actually talk to her once more, to be with her. By then, she’d be content.Bookmark here

She reached her hand out to the corner, pretending to stop Mikuta from leaving, from rounding that detestable corner. Yes, next time, she’d stop her for sure. Bookmark here

Now, the whistling was in her eardrums, making her feel nauseous. Bookmark here

*CRASH*Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

Disoriented, she fell to the floor. Her head hung over the edge of what once used to be the halfway, it being cleanly halved judging by the daylight that was filtering in. It was a nice change of pace instead of those appalling led lights. Underneath, an immense crater was covered in red and tattered uniforms.Bookmark here

Her eyes clouded by the stinging dust and dirt, she looked above and absolute despair set in. Thousands, if not millions, of seemingly tiny rocks, came hurtling from above, crashing down onto the city. She watched, frozen, as one particular object burned up, closing in on where she was. Everything felt slow from then on, the rock now sluggishly moving its way onward, almost in contact with Helena’s nose. She could feel the heat and the magnitude of its size from where she stood helplessly.Bookmark here

Instead of praying to her god, an image of Mikuta popped up. It was one where they had first shared their meal in the cafeteria, the one memory she had enjoyed the most. Bookmark here

She smiled, closing her eyes, the heat sinking into her skin.Bookmark here

I ought to give you a strike for that.Bookmark here

From above, the bluebird soared high, witnessing the metallic planes below dropping insignificant-looking pellets. Yet each one of them contributed to an explosion.Bookmark here

It was puny from above, but alas, they needed to go down and secure the target. Swooping down below, it dived at breakneck speeds towards a certain silver-haired target.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Say, do you ever wonder why the kingdom is a matriarchy?” Mikuta slowed her stride, letting Elaina catch her breath.Bookmark here

“Whatever… Do you… Mean?”Bookmark here

“I mean, like, why not a guy in charge, y’know?”Bookmark here

Elaina stood up, her hands firmly within Mikuta’s handBookmark here

“It’s always been this way though…”Bookmark here

“Noooope. I could’ve sworn someone said his highness a while back.” Mikuta racked her brains, unable to figure out the person. A few moments of silence had passed with no answer. “Elaina?”Bookmark here

The diminutive figure stood still, her tail on the end. She was peering out of the window, something sparkling in the distance. Bookmark here

“Let me see what you’re-”Bookmark here

“GET DOWN!”Bookmark here

Elaina, with inexplicable strength, shoved Mikuta onto the floor and she could see why. In front, a giant hunk of rock came hurtling through, shaving off the side of the hallway, where Elaina was looking through. There was blood, however, and Mikuta began to fear that it wasn’t her own.Bookmark here

“S-stand up.” Quivering, Mikuta scrambled back up. “STAND UP!”Bookmark here

“I don’t think that’s possible anymore.” She gave a weak smile. From above, Elaina was missing her lower torso.Bookmark here

“No. You’re still living. I’m getting you out of here.” Mikuta quickly grabbed her arms and slung them over her shoulder, pretending not to notice the intestines falling out. She could feel her heartbeat ebb away, her breaths becoming shallow with each passing second.Bookmark here

WHERE THE FUCK IS THE HOSPITAL? Bookmark here

Mikuta, who had taken no courses in healing or mending, was in a panic. Crashes and screams could be heard from everywhere, the entire building collapsing from the sheer amount of meteors that were colliding. With the structural integrity collapsed, the blood-slicken floors became slanted as the pair began to slide off.Bookmark here

“Itealaich!”Bookmark here

Mikuta zoomed throughout the air with Elaina in her arms just as another meteor crashed from where they were previously. From above, all the little homes and shops were obliterated with car-sized rocks that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. It was all smoking rubble with tints of red.Bookmark here

Even the hospital was nothing more than smithereens. A soft, small hand brushed against her cheek, smearing it with something sticky. Looking down into her arms, Elaina’s lifeless eyes were trying to say something, the light fading ever so speedily. Bookmark here

Hot tears gushed from Mikuta’s face, falling onto her deadened rictus. She clutched her even smaller body tightly, not minding how soaked her shirt was now.Bookmark here

Another explosion could be heard close by. Looking at the direction of the sound, her eyes wavered as it understood the sight it had caught. A single head, a beautiful smile etched onto the face, flew through the air, right past Mikuta. She knew who it was, her heart tearing itself apart, unwilling to comprehend the situation that had just unfolded. A sickening squelch could be heard as Mikuta hugged Elaina’s dead body even tighter.Bookmark here

“Mikuta?”Bookmark here

There, flying right beside Mikuta with a teary expression, Miyori was met with a thousand-yard stare, with eyes that were equally lifeless as the ones she held in her arms. She seemed a bit scary with her rattled face and blood splotches that stained almost every part of her chest, face, and neck. But there was no time for that.Bookmark here

“Mikuta, we got to go. This downpour of meteors is going to hit us if we don’t seek shelter.” She began to tug on Mikuta’s tunic but was slapped away. On her salt-encrusted cheeks, a solemn tear was shed, making a new trail. Her voice was devoid of any emotion.Bookmark here

“Why do we get to live if everyone else dies…”Bookmark here

Miyori glanced above and saw a meteor hurtling towards their way. Letting out an exasperated sigh, she began to yell.Bookmark here

“Listen to yourself dammit! You are not this type of person. If you don’t get away from here, right now, we're ALL going to die!” She tried pushing Mikuta out of the way, but she wouldn’t budge. Instantly, she decided to go with another tactic, one that would surely work for someone as depressed as she leaned in to whisper. “Don’t you wish to exact revenge on the one doing this for apparently no reason? Wouldn’t you like to kill the person responsible?” Bookmark here

Something ignited inside of Mikuta with those words. A hot, burning fury that melded with her will to live, a single thought, to eradicate the people solely responsible for this massacre. She growled, too angry to speak in words, but Miyori understood just fine.Bookmark here

Suddenly, a shadow loomed over the two, the heat of the meteor within reach of their faces. Only one word ran through Miyori’s mind: Crap. Even if they were to move, the meteor would still hit a part of their bodies, leaving a lethal wound. They shouldn't have had spent their crucial moments bickering over the dead.Bookmark here

“OF COURSE I WOULD!”Bookmark here

Her words were delayed, the ends of her hair burning up. Yet that fiery gaze remained aflame, much to the annoyance of Miyori.Bookmark here

How laughable this all was. The one chance to escape with their meager lives only to be ended with the last of the meteor showers. Bookmark here

Truly, this was perhaps how it all ends. Bookmark here

Miyori couldn’t even let out a defeated sigh before being hit by something, her arm and ribs creaking from the hard, sudden contact.Bookmark here

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