Chapter 15:

Chapter 2 - Part 2: Reunion

I’ll Wait For You At The Train Station

The doctors came to check me up. They told me that I had head trauma and was comatose for about two months. It was difficult for me to believe it because I couldn’t recall a single fragment of what happened. Right. I have memory loss; I couldn’t remember anything before the incident, but I still have memories of everything else including my name, as well as my childhood up to my miserable twenties.Bookmark here

Had I been involved in an accident? Or else, was I miserable enough that I considered “suicide” as an option to break away? There was a possibility. I had been bored and hopeless in continuing my life, after all.Bookmark here

“I… can’t r-remember what happened.”Bookmark here

When I told the doctor that I couldn’t recall the incident, he stopped with a frown.Bookmark here

He stared in a suspicious manner and answered, “You are a hero. You saved that girl’s life.” He pointed at the person who stayed in my room.Bookmark here

The girl moved forward and bowed her head.Bookmark here

“Thank you for saving my life, Akamatsu-san.”Bookmark here

She said with a broad, earnest smile. And then she added, “I’m sure you’ve forgotten about me. It’s been a long time since we last met. My name’s Shirase; Ayase Shirase.”Bookmark here

It has been a while since we last met, that was perhaps the reason why she looked familiar. Anyhow, did I hear it correctly? Did I really save her life? How? Why? I wondered.Bookmark here

Ayase-san glanced at the doctor. The doctor then told us, “I’d leave for a while. I hope Ayase-san here could explain everything to clear up the misunderstandings.”Bookmark here

He left the room. I felt like the incident was something personal that he allowed himself to stay away. Ayase-san dragged a swivel chair beside my bed and took a seat. She stared at my wrist where the IV line was connected.Bookmark here

“I tried to kill myself.” She said in a monotonous and eerie voice. Now it made sense why the doctor has to get out of the room.Bookmark here

“That day… I was prepared to deny my existence and leave the earth for good. I removed the fear of death in my head. When I jumped towards the train, you suddenly appeared to save me. I didn’t know what happened next, but I realized that I was safe. On the other hand, your head was badly injured. When my parents found out what I did, that was the only time I realized how a fool I was. Back then, I had forgotten about how important they are to me.”Bookmark here

The story seemed surreal or implausible. No, I just find it hard to believe that I, a failure, would do something noteworthy. It doesn’t make any sense, isn’t it?Bookmark here

“Hey, Akamatsu-san.” As she called my name, we exchanged a gaze. Averting her stare, she continued, “Do you… remember me?”Bookmark here

She couldn’t look straight to my face, so I replied, “Let me look at you.”Bookmark here

Her eyes widened for a split second. Sluggishly, she lifted her head to look at me. When I focused my sight to her, I recalled a “spur of a moment” memory. I was still in high school when I met her. Yeah, it was at the train station. She was the person who stopped me from committing suicide. Now that my memory about her was clear, I also recalled how important she was.Bookmark here

Why did I forget her?Bookmark here

Through the years, I was always a failure. I don’t make anything right. I existed to break things. That was perhaps the reason why I have blanked out.Bookmark here

No, not really. I chose to forget her. As far as I could tell, we’ve only met twice, so how could I raise my hopes towards her? It was obvious that I’d cast her aside in my darkest times.Bookmark here

Superficial as it was, coincidences take place at times we were not aware of. Who would’ve thought that we’d meet again? And in an unusual reunion like that.Bookmark here

“I remembered you; so your name’s Shirase Ayase. I was the only one who managed to tell my name that day. It was a big mess.”Bookmark here

I did my best to present a smile and she returned joyous laughter.Bookmark here

“Fu fu fu, yeah right. It’s because you forgot your belongings.”Bookmark here

After that, I couldn’t think of other things to say. The silence went on. She too was somehow forcing herself to continue the conversation. A great coincidence as it was, but it happened so quick that I didn’t know if I’d be happy or sad.Bookmark here

“Hey, A-Ayase-san… Did I really sav-”Bookmark here

She butted in by calling, “Akamatsu-san…”Bookmark here

I refrained from speaking and let her go on.Bookmark here

“That day.” She looked straight into my eyes and continued, “Where did you go? You disappeared so suddenly.”Bookmark here

My mouth opened, as I tried to recollect all the important details in my memories.Bookmark here

“Sorry, I didn’t even get to say goodbye.” I turned my head towards the window. “Well, that day I made a choice.”Bookmark here

“Choice?”Bookmark here

She parroted my words; I nodded and replied, “Yes. Before I met you, Dad already gave me the assignment to look after our business at Miyagi[1], while I’m still studying of course. Like what you said, I thought of it as a privilege rather than responsibility so I accepted.”Bookmark here

She continued to listen as I went on, “It was a sudden move and change of schools, but it isn’t like I didn’t try to say goodbye to you. I didn’t go to school the next day after we met, because I began packing my things. On afternoon though, I tried to wait for you at the station, but you didn’t come.”Bookmark here

“I see. I went out of school late that time.”Bookmark here

I smiled, telling her that it doesn’t matter.Bookmark here

“What’s important now is that we meet again.”Bookmark here

She nodded.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Let’s start over.” She dropped her gaze and muttered, “So it’s all a misunderstanding.”Bookmark here

I didn’t quite hear what she said so I inclined my head while letting out a faint, “Hmm?”Bookmark here

She glanced at me, more or less flustered. “It’s nothing. I’m just talking to myself.” She changed the topic all of a sudden, “Akamatsu-san, thank you again. You’re the one who saved my life this time.”Bookmark here

At the moment she said it along with a heartfelt smile, I remembered the day I built up the courage to approach her.Bookmark here

/ Thanks for saving me. /Bookmark here

That was what I said. Sooner I talked to her, I realized that I was important, that an ordinary person would always have the tendency to feel the same way I often do. That day, she gave me hope. She released me from my chains and guided me to the path where I could move forward.Bookmark here

I still have doubts if I did save her. But here was what I think: Perhaps that moment when she tried to jump, I stopped caring about the world. I stopped caring to myself as if saving her from the dashing train was also a part of me committing suicide. If that was the case, then what I did was no heroic at all. Now I have these wounds around me. Despite that, I felt like the scars have beneficial compensation.Bookmark here

Because now,Bookmark here

my hope,Bookmark here

Ayase-san,Bookmark here

…was here.Bookmark here

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[1] Miyagi Prefecture (宮城県 Miyagi-ken) is a prefecture in the Tōhoku region of Japan. The capital is Sendai.Bookmark here

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