[ON HIATUS] Beyond the Horizon, Farther Than the Eye can See
If I were to describe my current life, I would say it’s…perfectly normal right now.
It’s what you would expect from your totally average high-school student. Waking up, walking to school, meeting friends, waiting for classes to end, walking back from school, studying at home for the next day and looking forward to any vacation and day-off to come.
But you know what? I like this routine. They say you get tired of something if you’re used to living with it for a really long time. Certainly, it’s not wrong, but that’s not the case for me. Not anymore. Because I’ve found the place I know I belong to.
[But I wouldn’t mind if something different were to happen.]
I suddenly feel something on my shoulder.
Oh, it’s just Yukino’s hand.
‘’Daydreaming first thing in the morning? And not to mention, in front of the school gate, that’s quite the sight!’’
Is that supposed to be her daily dose of sass or something?
‘’You sure haven’t changed at all!’’
Your attitude is what hasn’t changed at all.
‘’But you know-’’ I say with an overjoyed face ‘’-this is my life right now! A normal one! It’s all I ever wanted! This is what I love! I love this school!’’
Yukino seems astonished when she heard what I said.
She pats my head wearing that angelic smile of hers saying, ‘’That was to be expected of you! It's great your wish was fulfilled, isn't it?’’
She takes a few steps forward and then turns around to look at me, her long, black hair swaying harmonically in the air.
‘’That’s what I like about you! I hope you stay like that forever!’’
I instantly feel my heartbeat accelerating to an absurd speed, unable to say a word in response. Thank goodness she was heading to the main building in a hurry and didn’t look back, otherwise it would have been too awkward for me!
How many months has it been by now? They went by so fast I remember my first day like it was yesterday. Looking back at it only makes me feel all the more nostalgic. I got the chance to be in this school for so long because I strived my way here.
Walking in the endless hallways reminds me of the very first time I entered this building. Yukino was holding me by the hand and we were running fast like the wind.
I eventually reach my classroom. B-1, huh? So many memories are inside this one room.
[These memories will always make me happy.]
I open the classroom’s door saying ‘’Goooooood morning!’’ as loud as possible. Utter silence prevails. Just my voice echoing and nothing else. The front row desks are also missing.
What’s going on?
‘’Karasuma Eru, happy birthday!’’ is what I get in response by literally everyone in the class.
They popped up like jacks-in-the-box. I should have known they were onto something.
Nothing can describe the amount of happiness I’m being overwhelmed with right now.
‘’You guys…you remembered…even though I mentioned it, like, only once… Thank you so much!’’
Something’s off. Someone’s missing.
I hear the door opening. It can only be one person, the only one I can think of.
‘’There you are! We thought you would never come!’’
Honoka-chan’s worries seem way too over the top sometimes. That’s what actually makes her lovable. She always puts others over herself.
Yukino is holding a cake with a lit candle on it. I’m pretty sure she wants me to blow it.
‘’Haven’t I told you not to worry about me, Honoka? I’m always fine!’’
‘’But also tardy.’’ points out Yuu-kun.
‘’What was that?!’’
‘’Oh, am I in the wrong?’’
As if this question wasn’t already rhetorical enough.
‘’...HOW DO I ANSWER, ERU?’’
That’s it, it’s game over for her…
Yuu-kun is always sharp-tongued. He rarely makes jokes since he’s generally a serious person, but he never hesitates to speak his mind, be it a joke or not.
And this time, he managed to hit Yukino where it hurts.
‘’Are you sure about this? Giving such a delicious cake to me?’’
‘’I’m eating it then.’’ answers Yukino provocatively.
‘’I never said you could!’’
Of course, our little ‘’act’’ made everyone crack up. We’re an unrivaled comedy duo after all!
‘’Now, Eru, make a wish!’’
‘’Here I go then!’’
I take a really deep breath and blow the candle.
After that, everyone starts clapping saying ’Happy birthday!’ as loud and cheerfully as possible.
‘’Thank you guys! It really means a lot to me that you remembered!’’
‘’Don’t you dare get all emotional on us again.’’
‘’In your dreams!’’
That comment was really unnecessary, but unfortunately for me, it’s true. Last time they were all here to welcome me, I couldn’t stop crying.
‘’If you don’t mind me asking, who bought the cake?’’
‘’We all paid for it, but Yukino was the one who came up with the idea. I helped her pick it.’’
Doesn’t really come as a surprise. Honoka’s parents own a bakery after all.
But what’s interesting right now is...
‘’Wha-What is it with that smug look, Eru?’’
‘’So it was YOUR idea, no?’’
‘’Is that so~?’’
I throw myself at her and hug her as firmly as I can so that she wouldn’t let go. It was the only thing I could think of to show my gratitude to her, and I think she knows that better than anyone else in this class.
Of course, she’s not the only one I should be thanking, but she IS the one I’ve been relying on this entire time.
After some seconds of complete silence, I hear some unexpected stuttering echoing the quiet class.
Everyone’s gaze is on us, and specifically, on Yukino, who is red to the ears. I instantly let go.
There she goes again…to the infamous melancholic side of the class. The corner where sunlight is unheard of.
‘’I will never get married I will never get married I will never get married I will never get married!’’
That’s her shy side, what she’s actually like. She can only get comfortable around people who understand her embarrassment. This is what she shows to everyone she doesn’t know.
I was the only exception. When we first met, she tried to look as normal-ish as possible; a cheerful high-school girl who doesn’t let go of her happiness. Needless to say that it worked like a charm…at first.
Yukino turns her head around slowly as she hears Honoka calling at her.
‘’What is it?’’ Yukino murmurs in a trembling voice.
She is still red like a tomato. One single squish and it could explode. But it’s actually too cute to just ignore or unsee.
‘’M-Moe~ Moe~ Moe~’’ go the fanboys and fangirls.
I shouldn’t omit the fact that someone like Yukino couldn’t not have a supportive fanbase. She’s like the princess of the class, if you can call it that.
Much to her embarrassment, she returns to her original position. Crouched, looking at the pitch-black parts of the room.
‘’She’s helpless…’’ I sigh. ‘’Shall we eat the cake then?’’
‘’Here’s your slice, Eru-chan!’’
‘’Aah, thank yo- Wait, I didn’t turn my back even for a second! How did you do that!? No, WHEN did you do that!?’’
‘’A magician never reveals their tricks!’’
You work in a bakery though…
I take a bite off my slice.
‘’This is friggin’ delice! Whatcha put in this!?’’
‘’Your accent’s showing again.’'
It's as Oreki-san said, my accent tends to change when something excites me. Pathetic, but true.
‘’Here’s Yukino-chan’s too.’’ says Honoka as she hands me over Yukino’s slice.
‘’Oh, thank you.’’
I approach the melancholic side of the class and crouch just behind Yukino.
‘’Yukino~, turn around~!’’
She turns around, just according to plan!
My finger is touching her cheek.
‘’You fell for it!’’ I giggle while flashing a huge smile at her.
Yukino can’t help but also giggle at my childish side.
‘’Want a bite?’’
Yukino nods in agreement. She seems really happy all of a sudden. Such an open book…
‘’Say ‘Ah!’ then.’’
Her face when she eats something she can’t get enough of is out of this world. Seeing such a smile makes you believe there’s nothing more fulfilling in existence.
‘’It’s not like me to admit such things, but this friendship is just beautiful. I’m jealous of how much they understand each other.’’
‘’What would Akiya have done without Karasuma though?’’
I think I heard Oreki-san and Mirai-san say these.
They are right. How would have things ended up if either of us weren’t here at all?
‘’She wouldn’t have probably gotten out of her shell if it weren’t for Eru.’’
‘’Can’t prove you wrong there, Mirai!’’ replies Yukino confidently.
Despite being the ‘’thug’’ of the class, Mirai’s cute side is something worth pointing out.
‘’Karasuma would get by somehow though, but-‘’
‘’But it wouldn’t have been the same as now. I’ve been transferring schools my entire life, so ending up a loner was a possibility. I was reserved even on the first day. Watching how Yukino was trying to change though made me want to do the same!’’
[I wish things could stay like this forever.]
Me, Yukino, Mirai-san, Honoka-chan, Oreki-san, Yuu-kun, and everyone in this class to be together for as long as possible.
’’That’s not the case now, is it!? I’m more than happy with how awesome you guys are! I’ve finally found the place I belong to! And no matter what happens, I’m not transferring again! I won’t leave this class!’’
I was ranting on and on while everyone kept silent for some reason.
‘’[Nothing’s going to change right now!]’’
This single sentence was the biggest mistake of my life.
Because on that particular day, a certain rumor reached everyone’s lips, even at my school.
[And we were bound to become a huge part of it.]