Chapter 42:

Epilogue – With Grace

Grace Dances Upon the Clouds

A phone rang in a certain office located in the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Center. The man at the desk took a few moments to finish up the last few lines of a debriefing before picking up the call.

“Department of Neuroscience, Tokyo Med, Doctor Higashi Haru speaking.”

He nodded his head a few times as the other end relayed patient data and the circumstances for his admittance.

“We will do what we can. This is the most advanced site concerning comatose patients. We are on record for having a 500% better rate of restoring full consciousness than conventional hospital care.”

Haru nodded a few times, laughing at the skepticism in the other person’s voice.

“How do we do it? I’m afraid that’s a trade secret. And one that would be fairly challenging to replicate. All you need to do is have a little faith.”

Not long after, the call ended. Haru was left with a thin smile, like that of a salesman successful in his pitch. A cup of coffee was placed before him.

“Another one to add to the ICU? We’ve been receiving a lot of requests lately, Doctor Higashi.”

A nurse smiled at him, clipboard in hand. She brushed back her medium-length brown hair, tucking it under her cap. Her eyes could dissect the facial expressions that Haru tried to hide from others. But they could never escape her, not after knowing him for so long.

“The recovery rate for patients is quite noticeably faster here than other wards. It’s no surprise that the geezers, ahem, I mean, directors of other hospitals would take notice.”

“Look at you, trying to take all the credit for yourself. Same old Haru.”

“That’s Doctor Higashi while at work, Nurse Higashi.”

“Oh, stuff it, you. We can call each other whatever when the door’s closed.”

Nurse Kasumi bent over and gave him a kiss before whispering in his ear.

“Get to work, mister. And say hi for me.”

She stuck out her tongue and walked out of the room. Duty called for her to check up on her patients. Haru was left with a few silent moments before he grabbed the headset on his desk. He walked over to the comfy couch and put it on before stretching himself out on it.

It would take a few minutes to kick in. Enough time for his eyes to wander and reminisce about various things decorating his office.

A wedding photo of himself and Kasumi was proudly displayed on one bookshelf. He had tied the knot with her during their studies at Tokyo University together. She had insisted on following whatever he decided to do – cheering him on, offering support, and accepting every bit of him. The least he could do was offer a place by his side, shoving her credentials down the director of Tokyo Med’s throat and announcing that he would pack up his research and go elsewhere if he didn’t comply. Kasumi refused to have it any other way. It was always an interesting time when it came to Haru.

He looked at a picture of his high school soccer team next. They were celebrating at the Winter Kokuritsu, after placing in the top 4 nationally. Failing to guard a two-pronged attack that moved faster than his body could dive still left a bitterness in his mouth. A well-played strike had capitalized on any weakness in his form.

Below that was Daichi in the uniform of the Samurai Blue, the Japan national team. He sent his regards all the way from Argentina, returning home after the quarterfinals. His journey started after scouts approached him for scoring the most goals in the high school tournament. Haru missed his chance in that moment. That was where that dream faded.

Next to that was a picture of BUST at the Summer Sonic Festival. They had scored a stage opportunity after one of their live performances caught the attention of a random producer. In a crowd of thousands, Haru had the chance to sing Endless Sky as a tribute to Grace.

Below that was the album BUST produced, sans Haru. That same producer had listened to Haru sing and play, feeling like he was the weakest link. Since Haru’s medical studies were kicking up a notch anyways, he opted to back out and not hold up those truly committed to music.

His eyes darted back to his desk, where a picture of the entire gang – Koichi, Daichi, Kasumi, Megu, Grace, and himself – stood for a group photo. It had been difficult to connect so many minds together, but they did it to commemorate the first time a dream could be visually recorded.

Next to that was a collage of photographs, all with Grace. Koichi and her performing a duet. As Daichi’s wingman. As a maid along with Kasumi and Megu. And finally, as a nurse with Kasumi.

It had been five years since that. And only two years since she parted from everyone, her body finally giving out. Haru heaved a sigh at that, as his consciousness slowly yielded to sleep.

He awoke to a familiar sky, beautiful and surreal, yet not the slightest bit uncomfortable. The flap of wings caused him to smile.

“Hellooooo! Is it that time already?”

A lovely voice welcomed Haru into his dream world. It was bright and energetic, just like how it always was, and always will be.

He sat up to a jungle of different hobbies, interests, and knickknacks littered all around the area, so much that he wondered if too much intruded on the capacity of his brain.

But part of it had been the fault of a certain pink-haired fairy by the name of Grace.

“Yes, break time is over. Patient Mizuhara in room 312 has shown positive responses to different cuisines of the world. You were correct in that he was quite the foodie, so continue with that stimulus. And patient Kowai in room 306 has a history of baseball fandom. Think you can conjure up a dream league for him to participate in?”

Haru gestured to the makeshift kitchen and library of sports cards that had popped into existence behind him. A sparkle of magic surrounded Grace, leaping out of it into a nurse uniform similar to Kasumi’s.

“And what about McCrary-san, the tourist?”

Haru thought for a moment. “A birdie told me that he prefers pain up close by cute girls. Maybe a wrestling move?”

“One Grace Suplex. Strong enough to send him back to the other world. Gotcha.”

Though Grace’s original body had passed on, Haru helped successfully engineer a way to transfer her entire consciousness to another medium. She was now living in a partially organic mainframe, supported by IBN Research. Since she was still considered human, Grace chose Haru to be her main hub of support. The costs of her upkeep were balanced through providing aid to the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Center, under Haru’s division.

As a dream walker, Grace could dive into the minds of comatose patients, sparking activity by having fun with their dream selves. Haru smiled as he recalled how she did the same for him, albeit not quite as dire of a situation. But that was the secret to his division’s success at bringing people out of comas. The ‘fun’ served as good stimuli to kickstart brain activity after repeated treatments.

Haru waved as he watched Grace fly off and disappear from his dream world. She could come and go as she pleased, so there was no way that he could ever keep her to himself. As much as Haru loved her, she loved the world and everyone connected within it.

There were others that needed a dream fairy much more than Haru did. And in doing so, she left a calling card to all that she met.

Your hopes and wishes will be protected by a dream fairy. If you have the motivation, follow her lead. You are not alone in this world as she will carry you through. To everyone, live your life with ‘Grace’.


Dhamas Tri (dmz)
Taylor J
F.C Fondness
Mario Nakano 64