Chapter 16:

Poignancy

One Wish They Never Wanted


"E-Exercise!" Takuma suddenly protested. (Admittedly, this was not a lie - he had been doing it both before and after his transformation. It was just that it never visually made a difference for him, whether he did it or not.)

Amelie kept her brow furrowed while her friend went ahead. The blonde's eyes fixated on the maroon carpeted floor of the section they'd just entered as her friend's darted through the windowed hallways as rapidly as she could move.

"Amelie! Come over here so we can take a commemorative picture!" the friend called not too long afterwards, a russet brown hand waving wildly.
----
As the lights went on outside, suddenly the event room the valedictory was held in became lit with a blanket of surrounding lights - exactly like Ember had described it.

More and more details began to align by the second due to every just-about-graduating student receiving certificates after some (only mildly interesting, in Takuma's opinion) musical numbers, and of course that warranted boatloads (again, in Takuma's opinion) of selfies and photos.

Even with all of his low opinions of the valedictory, there was an inevitable, unshakeable sadness lingering over the boy.

As if there was some regret he'd never managed to push away.

He stared at his lap intensely, trying to piece together what was wrong, when he felt a slap - not particularly friendly, but not particularly threatening either - on his shoulder.

It was the burly bully who'd tried to reconcile last time - Takuma's memory, in a split second, recovered the name of this former classmate and friend to be "Max", and due to that, the dark-haired boy hissed a curse under his breath.

"...you listening? Takuma?" the brunette leant in and whispered into his ear. Takuma had frozen up, but this sudden dialogue caused him to shudder to life and with a gulp, he finally gathered enough courage to turn around.


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