Chapter 12:

Lost and Found

One Wish They Never Wanted

Takuma couldn't bring himself to forgive the people in front of him, so after prolonged mental vacillation, he slapped the hand away.

As if they were snapping out of a dream, the crowd began to shuffle away and head home, just like they usually did. It pained him to remember he was doing the same things they did just over half a year ago.

"What are you trying to do?! You could've gone with no regrets! This is the last chance you'll have to fix anything with them! The valedictory is tomorrow, and after that, you will never be able to gather everyone in one place for a public apology!" Amelie's face contorted into wrinkles of anger and she thrust her face right in front of his as she yelled this.

Takuma shrunk back. The way she was speaking, it was almost as if she were the one responsible for this. As if she had the means to justify the end.

Amelie produced something from her pocket - it was miniature, stick-like and glowing with an unmistakable golden aura.

"That's-" Takuma felt his warm breath course over his lips as he unconsciously gasped.

"You recognise it, huh? This little wand was meant to save people, but it hasn't. Not for me, so far." She turned and sauntered off, but he ran to block her.

...Save people? Not just him?

It all made sense now.

"You tried to save your sister," Takuma surmised, his voice strangely calm after the pressuring ordeal, "but it failed." Amelie grimly nodded, uncharacteristically facing the ground while all her attempts of getting away dissolved into nothingness. "I can't pressure you to tell me your story, but I can tell you someone's dearly missing the wand you've held on to."

Amelie tugged on her skirt with her left hand as her grip on the tiny wand tightened in her right.

Takuma stepped forward with one hand ready to receive the wand.

Even though Amelie hesitated twice, she eventually placed the wand in his open palm. "If I give this to you, promise me you'll come to the valedictory, okay?" She smiled softly."I've done my part of everything."

"I already said I'm not going!" he snapped back, suddenly huffing from how quickly he'd responded.

"Too late. I've paid for your spot already." From her pockets, she produced four tickets, printed on to lilac paper, and flashed him a cheeky grin.

All according to plan.