Chapter 0:


The Weight Of Ignorance

Save her? I said I would protect her no matter what, and yet I couldn’t move a finger even though I knew exactly what was happening, I’m nothing more than a pathetic fool who would never amount to anything.

I cried my eyes out. Akira Kanazawa, the only person that accepted me and always stood up for me, had killed herself. It hurt knowing full well that today was the day I was going to help her. I had finally gotten the resolve but, I was far too late for it. Whatever I did now would not help her. Akira was already dead.

A few hours passed and I heard a knock on my door.

“Hanazaki? Are you in there? Please come to the funeral tomorrow morning if you can.”

After a few moments, I could hear her footsteps move away from here. Takasaki Yuuna was another girl who used to talk to Akira. she made her announcement about the funeral so casually that it looked like she didn't even care. If Takisaki had helped Akira then she would've been alive but Akira wasn't. Whatever the case was with Takisaki, I knew that I couldn’t visit Akira’s funeral. I didn’t have the right to. When everyone was bullying her, all I could do was pretend not to notice the portents of pain that she hid so assiduously.

My body moved itself from the couch to the bedroom and laid down. I wanted to die, but I didn’t have the courage to kill myself - I wanted to close my eyes, but I was terrified because I knew I would have to open them again. After a few hours, I finally fell asleep.

I opened my eyes to see Akira standing beside my bed. Her blue eyes, and her red hair, everything was in front of me right now. She wore her usual school uniform. I didn’t know what was happening. The questions could come later but for now, I had one thing to do.

“Akira, I’m sorry. If I wasn’t scared, I could have helped you. It is all my fault that you’re dead…”
 I said as I started to tear up. My feelings were genuine - if I wasn’t a coward, then maybe I could’ve helped her, but I feared what would happen and refused to take action on time.

“You didn’t help me. You watched everything yet pretended nothing had happened, and now you decide to apologize. Let me ask you something, are you apologizing to make yourself feel better or because you’re genuinely sorry?”

"Akira, it's not like that, I-”


I woke up and this time for real. I felt tears roll down my cheeks. Going to a funeral normally gave people closure but accepting her death was impossible for me right now. And so I didn’t go to the funeral. I refused to let myself feel like I shouldn’t be responsible for her death. I made my way to the bed and laid back down and tried to get some sleep but every time I closed my eyes all I saw was a girl with beautiful red hair and clear blue eyes, a girl who helped me through dark times but was alone at the end.

 3 days had passed like this. I could no longer cry, the tears wouldn't come. It wasn’t because I felt okay about what had happened but it was because I had no more tears left to cry.

I heard someone knocking on my door. what a pain. I didn’t want to talk to anyone right now so I ignored the knocks and closed my eyes.

The knocks got increasingly louder, and in the end, I heard a voice

 “Yuuto? I know you’re in there, why not come out and talk?”

Kokone? Why was she here? I mustered any strength I had in me and walked towards the door and opened it - I saw Kokone Kanazawa, a girl who shared the same beautiful red hair and clear as sky blue eyes as her older sister.

Seeing her suddenly made me gag, I sprinted towards the restroom but fell midway. My body attempted to puke but only the stomach juices came out since I had skipped all my meals for the last 2 days. I tried to stand up but I no longer had the will or the strength to. I had hit rock bottom.

“Yuuto, what are you doing?” the girl asked in a worried tone 

As the girl that resembled Akira walked towards me, my body started reacting on its own and started moving away, I couldn’t handle it, seeing another girl who looked just like her. She came closer and closer to me and I slowly returned to my senses.

 “Kokone? I’m so-”

My eyes suddenly started to close, my entire body was in pain, and I didn’t have the strength to say another word. Was I going to die? I’ll be joining you soon Akira, I’ll be sure to apologize again when I see you.