Skipped a Beat
"Wake up Takahashi, it's 08: 30 already, you are going to be late for school, Seriously, even though you are a high school student now, can't even set your own alarms"
Huh… my mom is waking me up? What happened to my alarm? Oh… my phone is dead…
(Instantly gets up) what year it is? I’ll have to put my phone to charge… Oh, the calendar on my table says 2019… so this is second year then. Yesssss! I’ll get to spend time with Sachi again… I’m still not over Sachi…
Ahh… she dies at the end, so don’t get attached future me, please
Making a request to myself is kind of weird. It’s like I’m being selfish and leaving the important job to someone else, but here it’s me. I should prepare myself for her death. Who knows, by the time December arrives. I’m fine with her leaving.
Shit! I forgot I am late… I should get up. What time it is? 08: 36… this is bad. I have never been this late before. I am going to take my bike. Fastest way to the school
(After arriving at the school)
It’s not that crowded this time. probably because I’m this late. It’s 08: 49 right now.
Okay, let’s see… Yeah, 2 – A. last time I was trying to figure out which year it is, so I got really late into the class. This time I’ll be early for sure.
(Entering the class)
“Where were you Takahashi?” (Eiji)
“My alarm didn’t go off, so mom woke me up, around 08: 30. That’s why I got late here”
“I see. Well, glad we are in the same class this year”
“Just like before, late”
“But she is in our class, right?”
“Yeah, Aoi too. This is a really great coincidence. We all in the same class another year”
Takahashi: everything seems the same as the first time I was in second year. then Sachi should be here too. Where is she?
“Yeah, normally friends get separated and that’s really sad”
Takahashi: because I have been through this… third year…
“Yeah… Hina should be getting here by now.”
“Yeah, it is getting really late. It’s 09: 07 right now…”
Takahashi: why isn’t Sachi coming? Did I change something again? Well, if she isn’t coming here that means she is still in Kyoto which means that she won’t die. That’s better for me… Or she got into a different school this time… FUCK… that can’t be helped then. there’s nothing I can do about that. I won’t go from school to school searching for a girl. Just let go…
“Oh, Hina came. look”
“Good morning, guys” (Hina)
“Good morning, what happened” (Eiji)
“Nothing, just woke up late.”
“Where’s Aoi? She is usually never late” (Hina)
“Yeah, I was wondering too” (Eiji)
Takahashi: when did Aoi enter the class? Oh yeah… some time after me. At that time I was pretty late so I don’t remember the time. but I remember that she was looking for me at that time, so she got late. Wonder what’s the reason now
“Don’t worry, she’ll be here.” (Takahashi)
Takahashi: they both don’t know anything about what is happening with me. I have to tell them this time. but I should wait for Aoi. She understands better than them what is happening with me. If she tells them that I am telling the truth, they will probably believe me. Otherwise, if I tell them myself… they might laugh or think April fools.
Oh, Aoi is coming in
“Hey guys! (Aoi panting) sorry I’m late” (Aoi)
“What happened?” (Hina)
“Nothing, just woke up late”
Takahashi: seriously!? Everyone woke up late…
“That doesn’t happen often with you” (Eiji)
The rest of the day just went by like that. Nothing happened much.
Oh… I forgot to talk with Aoi about how to tell them. Right now, we are on our way back home. It’s me, Hina and Aoi. I’ll ask Aoi when Hina turn her way.
“Aoi, I had something I wanted to talk about”
“What is it?”
“I want to tell Hina and Eiji about what is going to happen.”
Takahashi: does it really matter? If I tell or not?... because I don’t this Sachi is coming. She didn’t come today…
“About Sachi and her death? You can tell if you want. Why are you asking me?”
“Now I’m thinking maybe it won’t happen… because Sachi didn’t come today”
“No, she did get admission in this school. I saw her name in our class list, 2 – A.”
“Oh… so she is coming… maybe tomorrow”
“Yeah, she will. So, you can tell them when Sachi arrives.”
“Yeah, but I was asking you because they’ll believe you more than me”
“What are you saying! They are your friends too. Of course, they’ll believe you.”
“Don’t worry, they will”
So Sachi is coming… wonder why she didn’t come today. I’ll ask her tomorrow when I see her in class
(The next day)
I shouldn’t be getting excited for today, but I am… I should be preparing myself for winter vacations. But there’s a lot of time left. I should just enjoy the time for now… No… I’m not going to make the same mistake.
It’s 08: 15, I’m on my way to school on foot today. If I remember correctly, Sachi was sitting on my seat when I first came in. hers was Infront of me because Aoi moved away… but this time Aoi didn’t so… I don’t know what the seating arrangement will be, maybe it changes because there’s an extra student this time.
If I enter my class… I should see Sachi sitting on my seat…
Yeah… she is there but a seat behind me…
“Good morning, Takahashi” (Eiji)
“Good morning. Hina is again late today”
“Aoi isn’t here yet”
“she’ll be here shortly, it’s 08: 25 right now”
“ ‘Nice seeing you here’ ” (Sachi)
“Well, you said that we would be in the same class, and we are”
“So, you believe me now?”
“Heyyy! You didn’t lose your memories. Your trip to Kyoto was useless.” (Sachi)
“Don’t say that” (Aoi)
“Oh Aoi, Good morning” (Takahashi)
“Morning, Takahashi, Eiji”
“You know her Takahashi?” (Eiji)
“Yeah… there’s something I have to tell you and Hina. But After school today.”
“So, you went all the way to Kyoto to tell me but didn’t tell your friends.” (Sachi)
“I wasn’t supposed to. And now I can so I am going to”
“Whatever, I’m going to wait till December and see for myself what happens”
Takahashi: Sachi wasn’t like this when I first met her… she was so polite and soft… right now she’s mean. And I don’t like this at all. But I did everything I did when I was in my first year the first time. so, everything happening right now has happened. And according to Eiji in third year… she becomes my girlfriend. So, we will get close… I should just wait.
Okay… so this is a problem for me… Hina doesn’t like Sachi at all. Of course, the way she is right now, I don’t like her either. Maybe things will get better later.
Right now, we are in the gym. This looks just like last time but Aoi’s here this time. And Aoi and Sachi already knows what’s happening.
“So, what is it that you wanted to tell us.” (Eiji)
“It’s something long and unbelievable, but I want you guys to know because I want your help too”
“What is it?” (Hina)
“When I finished middle school. Instead of going to first year in high school, I somehow skipped a year and woke up on the first day of second year in high school. And I became friends with you guys there, but you told me that I have been friends with you guys since first year started. So, I thought that I have passed my first year. but I don’t remember it. That year, Sachi also tells me that I went to her to warn her about her death in first year, but I didn’t have any memory of it. But Aoi said that it did happen because she was with me at that time. So, at the end of 2019, Sachi dies… and I couldn’t do anything to save her. but then I go back to my first year again. And that first year is the last year. I went to Sachi with Aoi to tell her that she dies. And I thought since I have already passed my second year, I would go to third this time. but here I am, in second year again.”
Takahashi: of course, I can’t tell them that I have been through my first year more than once and that I have also been through third year… I don’t even want to remember that year… it was too much for me. I know what happens in this year. but I want to see it for myself.
“That… was a lot to take in… and I didn’t understand much” (Hina)
“Yeah, what exactly do you want our help with?” (Eiji)
“Sachi, she dies at the end of this year I don’t want that to happen”
“You have already told me to take the train. Won’t that help?” (Sachi)
“You can’t be sure”
“I don’t have more than one lives mister. If I die, I die. Either it’s the train or something else”
“What happens? How does she die?” (Eiji)
“The plane she got into crashes”
“So, hence the train”
“Yeah, but I want other ways she can be saved… If you can think of something. Maybe there’s a better way than the train”
“When does she die?”
“At the end of this year. in winter vacations”
“I see, then there’s a lot of time left. I’ll think about it, and if something comes to my mind, I’ll call”
Takahashi: they didn’t say it even once that my story is unbelievable… I wonder why. Maybe Aoi did something…
“Well, that was it, I am going back home” (Sachi)
“Yeah, we should too” (Eiji)
It’s 15: 48 right now, I am going back home with Aoi, Hina and Sachi. And…
“Why does she have to walk with us” (Hina)
“Because this is also my way to home” (Sachi)
“Fine another route”
“Idiot, this is the shortest one to my house. And I’m not even bothering you”
“Go away, Aoi and Takahashi are my friends”
“Well, Takahashi is my friend too then”
“Takahashi, are you?” (Hina)
“Hina, stop acting like a kid. She’s not saying anything to you” (Aoi)
“I know… but I don’t like this”
“You’ll have to get used to it, because it’s going to happen every day” (Takahashi)
“Ughhh… Fine.” (Hina)
“Haha, kid” (Sachi)
“Sachi…” (Takahashi while staring at Sachi)
I wanted to ask Aoi if she said anything to them before second year, Should I ask her right now or wait for them to go on their ways. Because first Hina turns then Sachi. Maybe I should just ask
“Aoi, did you tell them anything about what I was going to say today?”
“Last year, when I came back, they were asking why I went to Kyoto for no reason. So, I just said that wait till second year. If Takahashi wants to, he’ll tell you guys.”
“Why were you asking though?” (Hina)
“It felt weird that you guys just agreed to what I had to say without even arguing that it’s unrealistic.”
“It does sound unrealistic, but it did happen right?”
“Then it’s real”
“Oh… thanks for believing”
I guess now I just wait till this year ends. I hope I can come up with something that can actually save Sachi.
Oh… it’s that park… where I told her the story about what happened in middle school… that won’t happen now. In fact, nothing will… we don’t even need to come to this park… at that time, she noticed the cut Shinichi gave me around this park. But this time, there’s no reason for him to fight with me…
But I remember in third year when I was going back home with Hina… when I stopped at this park, she mentioned Sachi, that means she knew that me and Sachi got close in this park. So, something will happen… unless I have changed something which I cannot be sure of until it happens.
Today’s 13th May, my birthday. I’m turning 17 second time in my life, isn’t that great…
Lately, Sachi has returned to her old self, the one I remember. And Hina and Sachi don’t fight anymore either. Though they don’t talk much with each other.
But about Sachi… she’s a little weird, like she’s too sweet, her crazy side is gone… why did this happen? I don’t understand. And I can’t ask her because it will be rude. But there’s nothing wrong with her so I’m fine with the way she is now
I’m on my way back home with Sachi… alone. For some reason, Hina didn’t come to school today and Aoi had to go to Ichikawa because of something.
“I wanted to talk about something”
“About Sachi you were with when you were in second year. how was she, what happened between you too?”
“She was just like you, what else do you think she would be like”
“Never mind. What was your relationship with her?”
Sachi: so, nothing happened between us… I wonder what happened to the feelings I have for him
“Yeah… but we were really close and when…”
Takahashi: should I say that I had feelings for her? I don’t think I should
“Nothing. We just got really close”
Sachi: I wonder what he means by that…
That was weird… why is she interested in what happened between us? Oh… if she confesses in cultural festival, maybe she has feelings for me… but I didn’t even do anything. And she just recently started to believe what I told her… maybe it’s because of her feelings that she believed… well, I’ll just have to wait.
(Some days later)
Recently, Sachi started showing interest in me… or maybe I’m just imagining it. But she tries her best to be with me she can… too much. In the morning, during periods, in recess, after school. And it feels really weird. Is this what happened before? I don’t like this Sachi at all.
It’s 22nd May, Wednesday. I’m on my way back with Hina Sachi and Aoi.
“Takahashi, last year when you met me, you mentioned that you don’t like relationships. I wanted to ask why but I forgot”
Takahashi: why is she asking about that now…
“It’s something that happened in middle school”
“Oh, so tell”
“It’s long and I don’t want to talk about it”
“I wanted to ask too” (Aoi)
Takahashi: maybe because you couldn’t confess because of it…
“Really? it’s not interesting at all. And it was just my own fault. No point in talking about it. It’s in the past”
“Now I am getting curious too… what was it?” (Hina)
Takahashi: hina too? Last time I remember I just told Sachi. Others never knew about it… maybe I should tell. It won’t hurt to tell a story… twice, though I hate to even think about what happened
“Fine… but not like this…”
“There’s a park coming in our way, let’s stop there.” (Sachi)
Takahashi: Oh… maybe this is where something happens… or maybe the whole thing that happened at that time will happen again… that was really embarrassing and now it’s Infront of them too… ughhhh
“Yeah, that would be nice”
(After telling the story)
Ok… that was a lot more embarrassing than last time… this incident still boils me every time I think about it. And because of that… I almost cried… yeah. Seriously, I can’t believe myself.
But it wasn’t just because of that middle school incident, I also started to remember what happened in the park last time… and that was making me sadder… I was remembering what Sachi used to be like. Not like the one here… it feels like she’s an imposter. Kind of started to understand what Aoi felt when I shouted at her… and changed. All these emotions pilled up and my voice started to tremble, so I stopped talking… and then Sachi hugged me… and said that I don’t have to talk anymore. I… skipped a beat. Even though she’s not the same person, she reminds me of her a lot. And I can’t even understand what I did to change her. but today… I felt like maybe she is back… maybe.
Aoi and Hina were just sitting there watching everything… which was the most embarrassing thing. But I could see the sadness in Aoi’s eyes. Now I feel bad for her. Seriously, why do I have to care for everyone? Why don’t I think about myself more? It’s not good, I need change this about myself. Focus on myself more. Otherwise, Sachi’s death is going to kill me again…
After the park, we all just went home.
1st November, Friday. Today was the first day of cultural festival. And Sachi didn’t volunteer for being the class representative this time. so, we spent the most time exploring Stalls. What I wanted to do last time but couldn’t. Also, Sachi changed a lot after that day in the park. She’s now more like the Sachi I remember.
And just like before, we did participate in the play. And I gave the story. Sachi isn’t playing any character though, she’ll just watch with me. Hina and Eiji are the main characters this time too. They spent most of the time today practicing for it. And Aoi has other stalls and places to look after.
Tomorrow they will perform the play and it’s exciting for me even this time. I just liked how everyone cheers at the end of the play.
2nd November, Saturday. Today is the second day of cultural festival. Hina and Eiji and practicing for the play and me and Sachi are looking at them practice. Play starts about in 3 hours.
“Keep up the good work everyone. Me and Takahashi will go outside to check some stalls”
“Wait what? We have done that already yesterday…” (Takahasi)
“Just come with me”
“Huh… wonder what’s with her all of a sudden” (Eiji)
Hina: good luck Sachi!
Takahashi: what does she want to do now? She kind of dragged me outside… maybe it’s something important
“Don’t freak out or react differently”
“I have to tell you something. And I’ll do it in this crowd, just keep walking with me, make it look like we are having a normal conversation, don’t draw attention”
Takahashi: is she going to confess…? Like this…
“Ok… I won’t. Tell me what it is?”
“(breathes in and out) I like you, and I have thought about it a lot. Because I know that I will die at the end and if I got too close to you, it would hurt you. So, I have been confused whether to tell you or not. I have liked you since middle school, but at that time it was because of your looks and grades. But now, I like the person you are more than anything. It’s your choice. Accept if you can bear the pain of me leaving or reject. Either way, we are still friends and I understand why you would want to reject. So, I’ll be fine with it”
Takahashi: … this is what happened in the park… but this time it’s a confession. Yes, I want to accept but then I know I won’t be able to accept that she dies. And she said that it’s fine if I reject her. because it will hurt me, it’s true. It does, a lot… but what do I do now? Eiji said she was my girlfriend. Did I accept last time? what happened to me when she died? I didn’t want to hear about the past at that time so I didn’t ask… what should I do now? Accept and get my feelings gravely hurt or reject and hurt her feelings…
“I… last time in second year, a day before you left, I confessed that I had feelings for you. And you did the same. I have liked you since then, that is why I wanted to save you, so that I can live with you and love you properly… So yes, I’ll accept, even though I know that it will hurt me…”
“I guess we are officially a couple then” (Sachi)
“But are really ok with that? I know that you won’t be able to bear the pain of me leaving”
“Yeah, I won’t. But this will make you happy right? You are going to die anyways so I just want to do everything I can to make your last time spent perfect”
“Perfect doesn’t exist Takahashi, but yes, you can try your best to make it perfect. At the end, it will always be less, wishing that if I had done more…”
“Then I’ll try my best…”
“You can… Let’s go back to Hina and Eiji”
Takahashi: am I making another mistake? This would have been the happiest moment of my life if I didn’t know about her death… instead it’s making me sad…