Chapter 9:

Echoes of the Past

The Sound of Love

It had been a few days since that incredible day when Kurokawa joined us for rehearsal. The experience still echoed in my mind.

I remember being surprised by Kurokawa's performance, and we immediately invited her to sing more songs with us. To our delight, Airi also joined us after recovering, and together, we had a lot of fun.

Kurokawa accepted our invitation to join the next rehearsal, and I was excited about spending more time with her on the upcoming weekend.

I was at home, sitting on the living room couch, watching a TV show. Sunrays streamed through the windows as I eagerly awaited Kurokawa's arrival. My younger brother, Keiji, came running towards me, as curious as ever.

"Is Kurokawa-nee-chan coming today too?"

"Yes, she should be here any moment now."

"Do you think she'll bring more cookies?"

"Hmm, maybe. We'll have to wait and see."

Kurokawa had been coming to our house quite frequently, and Keiji was gradually becoming less intimidated by her presence. I believe Kurokawa's bribes with cookies and sweets were what made them closer.

*Ding Dong*

Keiji ran excitedly to open the door and welcome Kurokawa.


"Hi, Keiji-kun! How are you today? I brought something for you!" Kurokawa replied, crouching down to his height. "These ones turned out the best, but don't tell your brother." She whispered to Keiji as she handed him a bag of cookies.

Keiji's eyes lit up, and he thanked her with a big smile. He loved the treats that Kurokawa always brought for him.

"Let's go inside, Kurokawa-nee-chan," he said, pulling her hand.

Kurokawa laughed and followed him into the living room, where I was.

"Hi, Tanaka," she greeted me with a warm smile.

"Hello, Kurokawa."

Noticing that I was watching TV, she sat down beside me on the couch, handing me a bag of cookies too.

"I hope you like it," she said, smiling.

"Thank you!"

As I grabbed some cookies, Kurokawa looked at the TV, interested in what was playing.

"I love this show!"

"It's one of my favorites," I replied, trying to appear as calm as possible, despite the nervousness creeping in at that moment.

We watched the show together, but I confess that I couldn't concentrate on what was happening on the screen. My eyes and thoughts were all focused on Kurokawa next to me.

She seemed so at ease, sitting there casually, and her enthusiasm was contagious. I felt mesmerized by her presence.

"I almost forgot! Don't you have some homework to finish, Keiji?" I asked my brother, who was still savoring the cookies.

His little eyes seemed to hide, and a part of him probably hoped that no one would remind him of the homework.

"Come on, don't be lazy. You'll have time to do whatever you want later..."

Feeling down, he headed upstairs with dragging feet, upset to be reminded of his homework.

"Bye, Kurokawa-nee-chan," he said with a soft voice and a lowered head.

"See you later, Keiji-kun," she replied, putting her hand over her mouth to hide her laughter.

After Keiji went upstairs, it was just the two of us in the living room. The silence filled the air, but somehow, it wasn't an uncomfortable silence. Kurokawa's presence brought a serenity that felt comforting.

"Your mom isn't home today?" Kurokawa asked, noticing her absence.

"No, she had to go out for some shopping."

Kurokawa smiled slightly and looked at me with piercing blue eyes. It was as if she could read my thoughts, and that made me even more nervous.

"It's nice to have some time just for the two of us," she said, with a warmth that made my heart race.

Being next to her was both wonderful and intimidating. I wanted to say so many things, but the words seemed to elude me. Nevertheless, for me, just enjoying that moment was more than enough.

After the TV show ended, we got up from the couch and went upstairs to the room where we held our music lessons. The friendly golden light of the sun filtered through the half-closed curtains, illuminating the dust particles that floated in the air. On the floor, books, magazines, and various papers were scattered in colorful and chaotic disarray.

"Sorry for the mess, Kurokawa. I'll tidy up quickly."

As I looked at the scattered objects, I quickly threw myself on the floor to collect the things that were spread around. Kurokawa kindly joined me in the task, picking up CDs and magazines, and organizing them carefully into stacks.

The sound of books closing and papers shuffling created their own melody, and the scent of paper, both new and old, mixed in the air.

Amidst the clutter, notes and scribbles caught Kurokawa's attention. She picked up one of these notes and, for a moment, focused on what she was holding, studying it with interest and curiosity.

"Wow! This is amazing!" she exclaimed as her eyes slid from one line to another, immersed in those words and meaningful scribbles. "Where are these notes from?" she asked, leaning slightly toward me.

"T-They're from my dad," I said, stumbling over the words.

"Seriously? They're really good compositions," she said with a wide smile. "Do Airi and Yamada know about it?"

"I haven't told them."

"Why not? I think it could be something cool to play during the rehearsals."

I looked down at my hands, and memories spread through my mind as if the doors of the past were opening to reveal the moments I spent with my dad.

I remembered our summer trips to the white sandy beaches, where the crystal-clear water enveloped us in its refreshing embrace, and how we built sandcastles with Keiji.

I recalled our picnics in the park near home. My mom would wake up early to prepare delicious sandwiches, while my dad devoted himself to organizing a colorful basket filled with fruits of all colors. Keiji, always full of energy, would laugh at seeing my dad juggle the fruits, and I would burst into laughter when some of them fell, leaving my mom annoyed.

I also reflected on the moments we spent in this cozy room that was our shared refuge. We would sit side by side, flipping through magazines, sharing ideas about music, and letting our improvised compositions take us on unexpected sonic journeys. We would laugh at the insertions of words that made no sense at all but made those moments, even more, fun and unforgettable.

Those special moments I shared with my dad were treasures in my heart. They were a precious part of what made me who I am today, and the longing I feel for him is a mixture of pain and gratitude for having experienced those moments of unconditional love by his side.

However, despite the richness of these memories, sharing them through his compositions felt like revealing my most intimate secret. I knew that sharing them with the group could be a powerful experience, but it would be like opening a still-unhealed wound.

Kurokawa's empathetic gaze brought me back to the present, and her bright eyes guided me like a lighthouse in the turbulent sea of memories.

"Are you okay, Tanaka?" Kurokawa said in a soft and comforting voice.

"Sorry, but these notes bring back so many memories..." My words came out as a whisper, almost lost in the emotions that overwhelmed me.

"I'm here to support you, no matter what," Kurokawa said with an affectionate look and a warm smile.

Her words brought me some relief, and despite my reluctance, I felt I could share with her what was going on in my mind. I knew she would be there to listen and understand, even if I struggled to express my feelings.

"Thank you, Kurokawa," I said sincerely. "It's delicate for me to talk about this, but I think I can open my heart to you..."

The atmosphere in that messy room was charged with intense emotions, as if the memories were dancing around us, pleading to be set free.

"These notes, Kurokawa... They bring back memories of when my dad was still alive..."

The confession echoed in the air, reverberating in our hearts. The silence that followed was profound as if we were both immersed in those emotionally charged moments of longing.

As I looked into Kurokawa's understanding eyes, I felt that she grasped the magnitude of what I was about to share. Expectation filled the room, and the desire to open up entirely to her grew within me.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon