Chapter 17:

017 – Realizations

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World

Most of the people already know that I, as weird as a person I am, like to describe either the world or my life in colors, and perhaps even the degree of them. That's just how I got to view everything as an artist.Bookmark here

In this case, both I and the world are dull and desaturated. Well, I'm fully aware that it was my fault this time.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Time flies just like every single chapter recently, and a month had passed with the monthly exams done at the 20th and 22nd.Bookmark here

Oh, it's the 24th today. Man, a time skip just happened in the last paragraph and the month is almost over already. Hey, what's up with this, Author? Are you rushed or something?Bookmark here

Anyway, the mood around my neighborhood is a bit meh. It's however my fault and I have no excuses about that.Bookmark here

I'm getting a bit lonely though.Bookmark here

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I got up from my bed as I have finally slowed down my brain and did the boring morning routine of going to school. Still, I'm thankful that our classes start at 8. No, not classes, but homeroom rather.Bookmark here

"I guess I'll take a look if she went to school without me…Bookmark here

I'm kinda hesitating though…"Bookmark here

I locked my door and saw Rin sitting on a squat, tending to my plants on my yard, which greatly surprised me. When she briefly turned around and saw me, she turned away vigorously and walked out of my yard.Bookmark here

I tried to catch up to her but did otherwise. Though, I can see that she is walking at a slow pace than how she used to. So, I caught up and walked beside her without saying a word.Bookmark here

"Gin, 027, Eiji, Potato… Just be glad that you're walking with Rin today, alright?"Bookmark here

Goodness, I was seriously born an idiot.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Still not a word came out of our mouths up until we reached the classroom. What came to sight was a drooping Nagi with his head slammed on his desk, forehead under.Bookmark here

"Woah, he looks dead."Bookmark here

Why do you look so dejected, is what I would like to ask but I stopped myself seeing quite a situation on Nagi. If he wasn't like that, I may have already said my first dialogue in the chapter. But I guess I would be keeping myself quiet for the most part.Bookmark here

It does seem like Shiro is at school too, seeing her bag on her desk.Bookmark here

"I wonder if something happened to… those… two… ugh…Bookmark here

Wow. The question backfired to the one that asked."Bookmark here

Oof.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Afternoon break.Bookmark here

With Nagi still looking more dejected than I am, I literally carried him around my arm which my hand is situated on my side. It made a lot of attention but I personally can't do anything about it. It's so weird that I can lift people so easily much less than easily carrying a car in my case.Bookmark here

I'm serious with everything that I have said. Nagi is so light and so is everyone perhaps.Bookmark here

Anyways, when no one was seen around, I jumped up to the rooftop of the building of our classroom.Bookmark here

But Gin, you could have just gone through the stairs and opened the door. What's wrong with you, dude?!Bookmark here

That's because the rooftop of this building hasn't been opened yet. So we basically sneaked in from above.Bookmark here

Mind you, this building has three floors.Bookmark here

"Hey… what's the big idea, Gin…?"Bookmark here

"Ask that yourself when you finally realize that you look like a tofu ever since this morning."Bookmark here

"Tofu… I don't look like rectangular, though.Bookmark here

But Gin…Bookmark here

I don't feel so good…"Bookmark here

"Ah… I get you. I get what you mean."Bookmark here

And we both stared at the horizon as our emotions suddenly landed on us like a meteorite. Now, we feel our bodies slowly disintegrating to dust with the thought of regret that lingered in our hearts in our last breath.Bookmark here

The two of them then dusted out and disappeared from the Earth without any trace.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Hello… this is AkaGin, the author of this novel.Bookmark here

Thank you very much for reading Rainbow of the Horizon. Though short, I had a lot of fun writing this. But to be honest I still can't believe that this story of mine has come to an end-Bookmark here

NOT.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

"No, seriously what happened? I already asked myself, so I'm at least a fried tofu now."Bookmark here

"I'm really not that depressed, but I'm so used to talking with Shiro everyday.Bookmark here

But then, we got into a fight yesterday. Though I apologized immediately, she's still ignoring me until now. I expected that she's still mad but…Bookmark here

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh…"Bookmark here

"Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh…"Bookmark here

"Wait, why are you also sighing the same length as mine?"Bookmark here

"We're both sailing on a stormy sea, huh…"Bookmark here

"Oh… Same boat, I guess.Bookmark here

What happened on your side, then?"Bookmark here

"Well… I'd probably say that it was 'half a fight' since I'm entirely at fault. But there's one more thing I'm depressed about…"Bookmark here

"What is that, then…?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

She didn't share her lunch with me today."Bookmark here

"That's to be expected, you douchebag. And take this seriously, will you?"Bookmark here

"Ow," and he landed a knock on my head.Bookmark here

"So?"Bookmark here

"She has all the reason to get mad at me. I kept telling her that my trauma is coming back to me, but how I act says otherwise."Bookmark here

"Your trauma coming back… that's news to me."Bookmark here

"I've been getting nightmares for a few nights now. But instead of nightmares, it was my memories that I remembered through those dreams.Bookmark here

Seriously, it takes a toll in my head.Bookmark here

But when it first happened, I thought of diverting myself away from it to lessen the mental impact, even if temporary.Bookmark here

So I absorbed myself at work, in art and even with the cooperation in the production of Silver Apple."Bookmark here

"Ah, the anime, yeah."Bookmark here

"As you know already, I have an insane stamina where I can use it to a certain action, but I realized that even though I have that, I'm still not prone to getting sick. Not like it already happened.Bookmark here

I ended up making Rin worry a lot about me. He had given me warnings but I ignored them and continued working. Then yesterday she confronted me and told me to stop and take things easier already. I had stated my own position but…"Bookmark here

"But you still lost to her."Bookmark here

"Of course. She was thinking much more of me than I do to myself and here I am being disregardful and not insightful of my own self. Clearly, I didn't understand her that time.Bookmark here

'Don't talk to me until you realize what you are actually doing,' is what she said to me.Bookmark here

I didn't think that she will be extremely worried about my well-being, considering the things that have been happening to me, just like what I mentioned earlier. I didn't know that she was so scared of me breaking down again as she is aware of my dark experiences from childhood up to when I was inside the Void.Bookmark here

In truth, I haven't established my own self yet. I still don't know who I am, as the greatest proof of it is disregarding my own state of wellness.Bookmark here

I should be thankful that someone is watching over me and now I'm being reminded of my own chasm again. She was always there when I am almost about to fall to that bottomless pit of darkness.Bookmark here

What I didn't realize is how much she cared for me up until now, and my obliviousness hurt her. She has done a lot for me, and I feel that I have done so little for her. I dislike how it looks like I'm the only one in the receiving end. Now that things have started getting clear to me, I ought to change. I have to build myself first, and if at least slowly, I want to repay her kindness to me.Bookmark here

As a man, I want to show that I truly love her in a way that will make us both happy."Bookmark here

With this, I have discovered another purpose of my life.Bookmark here

"I feel like I've picked up some things from your words. I think I also need to do a bit of self-reflection and hope to make up with Shiro."Bookmark here

"Nagi, question."Bookmark here

"Hmm?"Bookmark here

"Can you tell what could perhaps be one of the most painful things for you?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

If I were to say… one of them will probably be the loss of family or someone important to me.Bookmark here

Ah, and your head chop. Knowing your current abilities, you may just make my head fly to the infinity and beyond."Bookmark here

"Hm. You catch on quick with your answers.Bookmark here

I guess we're on the same stand about the first one that you said. I'm not an emotionless child anymore unlike who I was in the past.Bookmark here

But even if it was a head chop, flick on the forehead, or a punch right on the face, those things can't compare to the pain of being slapped on your cheek."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Oh… Sorry I made you tell that."Bookmark here

"Shush. I was the one that asked first."Bookmark here

"I also want to apologize for not being able to relate. That… has not happened to me yet…"Bookmark here

"But just to tell you… having known the feeling, you will immediately and definitely think: 'I screwed up. I hurt her.'"Bookmark here

"You're making me really anxious…Bookmark here

But I would assume that you already have an idea on what to do next."Bookmark here

"Yeah… I need to fix this soon. The time is also running fast."Bookmark here

"It's already in three days, huh.Bookmark here

Well, before the date hits the 27th. We could at least hang out just like when you separated with Ringo. Though this time, I am in no position to get mad at you."Bookmark here

"We're just in the same situation, so I guess we'll both be grilling our vegetables."Bookmark here

"Hahaha… I'll try to get to three bowls."Bookmark here

"Try if you can. If you outdo me on our bowl count, the bill will be on me. I look forward to defeating you tomorrow."Bookmark here

"Hah. Tomorrow it is, then."Bookmark here

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"Uhh… Nagi…?"Bookmark here

"What now, Gin?"Bookmark here

"We've been talking so long that we're late on the last period…"Bookmark here

"What?! You serious?! Man, I didn't even notice the time! How're we going to go down, then?!"Bookmark here

"Nothing aside from carrying you and jumping down…! Aghh, we have no time! Just don't move and don't make a sound and we'll get a safe landing. Se~ no…!"Bookmark here

On the note that I carried him the same as earlier he started singing…Bookmark here

"Demo sonnan ja da me, mou sonnan ja ho-Bookmark here

RAAAAAHHHHH…!!!!!!!!"Bookmark here

…and botched the lyrics as we jumped down.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

"Haaaahhhhh…"Bookmark here

"Just what could you be sighing for, Shiro?"Bookmark here

What did seem to have happened was Rin and Shiro also went out together in the same day Nagi and I did.Bookmark here

But well, that is to be expected since both parties are in some kind of a quarrel so this is bound to happen.Bookmark here

"I'm really sure that I'm the reason why Nagi is depressed…"Bookmark here

"H-Huh… How come…?"Bookmark here

"Guhhh… We got into some kind of a fight just this Thursday and I've been giving him the cold shoulder. Now, I feel apologetic."Bookmark here

In Nagi and Shiro's situation, it turns out that they were both feeling guilty but can't get the right time to commune.Bookmark here

"Shiro… you know what? You two really pick up coincidences nearby you."Bookmark here

"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?"Bookmark here

"You see… Gin and I also got in a fight on the same day."Bookmark here

"Wha- that's rare for you two-Bookmark here

Actually, I think it's nothing new."Bookmark here

"I guess."Bookmark here

"But what could be the reason? I really can't see you two in a quarrel unless it's something that's honestly shallow."Bookmark here

"That's because I'm preventing him from overworking himself. Giotto's recently reopened; he's also working with commissions in and out of the club. There are also the things about the production of the anime."Bookmark here

"Oh… I almost forgot about the anime.Bookmark here

But with how much his body can handle, I don't really see a problem that can arise soo-Bookmark here

His time off…"Bookmark here

"I'm not really bothered about time since I can always look out to him as we are just neighbors. But what I am most concerned about is his psychological state, which we haven't talked about with anyone apart from our families."Bookmark here

"Psychological state…?"Bookmark here

"Lately, he's remembering the time amidst of the Medical Children Program through dreams, or should I say… nightmares.Bookmark here

With how much he's being forced to remember in full detail what he does not want to, I'm being extremely worried.Bookmark here

Because of those, he tries to divert himself to other things like work to at least recover from how he wakes up with those in mind. But I felt that what he was doing is a double-edged sword. I've warned him a couple of times but he just shrugged them off saying that he will be fine.Bookmark here

But just this Thursday, I kind of snapped and raised my voice. Because of that, our exchange of words began and because my emotions mixed altogether, I ended up slapping him."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

"I know that I was a bit unreasonable, but I really hope that he can understand what I am meaning to say. I know that he does act differently from his age but I at least want to see him enjoy life more.Bookmark here

I really wish for his many sufferings to end. I want him to have a life he can be proud of in the future, and I want to see it all beside him. After all, I promised him that I will take on half of his pain and share it to me. As I do love him, this is at least what I can do."Bookmark here

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"Uguuuhhhh… *sniff* Ringo…"Bookmark here

"Wha-?! Why are you crying, Shiro?!"Bookmark here

"It's just… I thought you are amazing…"Bookmark here

"H-Huh?! W-W-What?!"Bookmark here

"You're very kind, Ringo… You always look out for others and prioritize things when you think that they should need help.Bookmark here

And you involve yourself, especially with Gin, even though you're aware that it will bring to you what was his pain. I… seriously don't think I can do such a feat. I'm amazed to see you being brave.Bookmark here

Ringo, I know that you can. I know that you can support Gin when he really, really needs it. And I also know that the support you gave him will come back to you. Who knows, he might return it to you like tenfold."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

It's better to know his pain than know nothing. I know… we both know that this will lead to happiness one day. I really want him to be happy. I really want us to be happy.Bookmark here

I guess… this will is what I got from Gin… and I don't want to let go of this strength that he gave me. Even if he does not know, he always gave me strength to go on in this life.Bookmark here

I would dare to say… even if he told me time and time again that he was so glad that he met me, I'm probably way, way gladder that I met him."Bookmark here

"You're just too cute, Ringo… Ehehehe…" Shiro happily worded as her face fawned over her hands resting on her jaws.Bookmark here

"E-Eh…Bookmark here

So, what should we do next I wonder…"Bookmark here

"Hmm… About me, I will probably clear up things with Nagi. I think that I gave him a lot of trouble over trivial arguments.Bookmark here

What about you, then?"Bookmark here

"I will probably do the same. I need to reconcile with Gin since I actually said not to talk to me."Bookmark here

"Eh, that's harsh, Ringo."Bookmark here

"And I will also try to understand where he is coming from. I said it all earlier but the situation is opposed. I need to fix this conflict and resolve it calmly. But I need to apologize first.Bookmark here

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I say that… but how should I do it, Shiro…" the nigh crying and helpless expression of Rin tells everything what Shiro understood.Bookmark here

"Hahh… Now you're even more amazing…"Bookmark here

"What do you mean…?! I couldn't even think of a timing for that. You know that I'm an introvert!"Bookmark here

"Seriously… Just do what you usually do. Like entering his house like you live there and just sit and wait for him or something and talk it out."Bookmark here

"It's so ironic if I talked first when I'm the one who told him not to talk to me…"Bookmark here

"Wow… you're seriously saying that now."Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Come the 27th day of the eighth month of the two thousand and eighteenth year in the calendar. On a certain roof, lies a certain man, taking his slumber on a straw mat, with a blanket wrapped on his body fighting the wind that has gotten colder over the weeks.Bookmark here

And so, thoughts once came to his mind…Bookmark here

"Nah, I wouldn't catch a cold with something like this. In exchange to having a blazing fever every now and then, I don't catch normal colds.Bookmark here

Hah. If ever the people see me at this height which is unlikely, they will probably think: 'Why is that idiot sleeping on his roof?' Oh please, my whole house feels like an oven while outside is fairly getting colder. And being on the roof, I can feel the wind."Bookmark here

Having come to those thoughts, I finally came back to my senses.Bookmark here

"Ahhh… For crying out loud…"Bookmark here

Good morning.Bookmark here

I'm in the process of realizing that I actually sleepwalked or sleepjumped on my freaking roof. Oh, yeah? My case is so bad, seriously. Not like I know what happened but, I got up still asleep, went down the stairs to get a straw mat in my store room, left from my back door where I probably locked it…Bookmark here

Oh, I even have my keys in my pocket. Amazing.Bookmark here

I think it's safe to say that this is my worst case of sleepwalking in my entire life. Much worse than acting like an animal that escaped the zoo.Bookmark here

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Thank goodness I actually locked the door while asleep…Bookmark here

Anyway, I came back inside the house with my eyes floating to the clock in which it says that the time is 8:21 in the morning. I went upstairs to at least get groomed and to open the window of my room. It seems that Rin woke up normally on a Monday, seeing that her window is also open.Bookmark here

I quite don't get her recently. In regards to being in the middle of a conflict with me, she was waiting outside my house to go to school with me and just like right now, she opened her window again.Bookmark here

What's with that, you ask. It's basically because she opens her window and takes a look in this room to check up if I'm already awake. I'm glad and all but I also know that she's still mad at me nonetheless. It's confusing that she still acts like normal in certain ways but she hasn't even talked to me after that day…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Don't talk to me until you realize what you are actually doing."Bookmark here

So she meant it like that… I see now.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Having my stomach filled, I thought to myself that I don't really have anything to do. So I observed around the house and realized that I haven't really cleaned.Bookmark here

Then, my sight was attracted to the calendar as I focused my gaze to the present day which was encircled and noted with "Never Forget" written on it.Bookmark here

"Hahh… I didn't expect to be lonely this day…"Bookmark here

At least I have Haku with me.Bookmark here

But with that, I began to coincidentally clean up.Bookmark here

"I don't have any books to return at school…"Bookmark here

"Goodness… I'm so dumb."Bookmark here

I even forgot that I took the leave today from school because of this very day and had Tenth approve of it with him knowing my recent circumstances about having mental attacks.Bookmark here

"Of course she would be at school."Bookmark here

But my intent for today is spending the whole time with family, as I owe those three years of not having lunch with them in this day.Bookmark here

"I even said that I will be back by lunch at this day three years (one year) ago."Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

With my house sorted out to its shiny state, I stepped out with Haku and had a little stroll outside. Don't worry about Haku. Even if he hates being leashed (which I never did), he either just follows me around or rest himself on my head while I walk. He's seriously a cool cat.Bookmark here

Though he leaves his gray fur on my head.Bookmark here

Surely you all know what the intention of this stroll of mine is. Of course we are on our way to Queen Street—where the piano of tragedy started playing.Bookmark here

According to Yugare-san which once resided in this street, the wall where I landed now has a bench right in front of it. I remember being told that the minor who was hit by the truck was never found up until now.Bookmark here

But here I am—the victim of that accident, walking back to reminisce that very scene.Bookmark here

Close to reach that certain spot, I got in the range of my vision that someone is sat there currently. After that incident, a bench had been situated there indeed. As we grew closer, Haku started meowing on my head as if he clearly saw who was sat on that bench.Bookmark here

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Ah, Haku's really good at pointing things out.Bookmark here

She, who is sat on the bench, was drawing on a sketchbook on her lap while both her heels are rested also on the seat. Those eyes that she possesses displays seriousness to what could be being drawn on the paper.Bookmark here

Perhaps noticing that someone is approaching the place, she vigorously tilted her head back up and got a good look to the person.Bookmark here

With it, her eyes widened in surprise and her hand stopped from scribbling with her pencil and placed down the sketchbook on the bench.Bookmark here

I stared at her for a short while and then sat beside her on the bench without saying a word. The things that first came to mind were…Bookmark here

"Why is this silly girl not in school?"Bookmark here

Presented was silence that I endlessly sought, and found time and time again.Bookmark here

Rin's face then transitioned to being troubled and conflicted; there is a strong feeling of sadness. But then, she looked at me regardless of the face she is making. And as she opened her mouth to voice out whatever could it be…Bookmark here

"Uhm-!"Bookmark here

"If what I am thinking is what you're about to say right now, then please don't say it.Bookmark here

Rin, I should be the one apologizing for not putting myself on your shoes, and not you. I'm sorry that I did not understand you at that time. I'm sorry for being so dense. I'm sorry for making you worry. I'm sorry for raising my voice to you. I'm sorry for hurting you.Bookmark here

There's nothing for you to apologize. I really deserved being slapped at that time. Thank you for giving a snotty brat a good beating.Bookmark here

I promise that I will not overdo it anymore. I won't make you worry about trivial things again. But in spite of everything that happened, I'm thankful.Bookmark here

Hey. Love you."Bookmark here

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"So unfair…Bookmark here

I even thought of many ways to apologize. And here you are ruining my plan for it…"Bookmark here

"I'm telling you… you don't need to apologize when I'm entirely at fault."Bookmark here

"But… I slapped you anyway, Gin…"Bookmark here

"Well, truth to be told, for a human who once lost his humanity and emotions, I was actually hurt… but for good reasons that you shouldn't be sad for.Bookmark here

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Anyway… why are you not in school today, huuuuuhhhhh????"Bookmark here

"Eh- Ah… That's…Bookmark here

I said that I'll be with you when you're in agony…"Bookmark here

"Ah… I remember now. Well, that's an acceptable excuse. For me, at least. But you'll have to convince Mato.Bookmark here

How long have you been here?"Bookmark here

"Probably half an hour."Bookmark here

"Is that so… we should head back now. But not like it will rain, though."Bookmark here

I stood up and offered my hand to her.Bookmark here

"Mhm."Bookmark here

She reached out her hand and accepted my offer. Her hands are soft, but unusually small… very small. And then it feels that it was furry in touch…Bookmark here

Ah. It was Haku's paw, for crying out loud. Not Rin's hand. And I saw her carrying the cat with his paw on my palm.Bookmark here

"Ehehe…Bookmark here

Love you too."Bookmark here

She gave her hand anyway.Bookmark here

I'm so happy that this tragic day is replaced with a pleasant and bright one.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Five days passed and that date landed on September 1, which in parallel to last year is the day I came out of the Void after two years of isolation.Bookmark here

The day is coming out to be the typical one with what regularly happens in my everyday life.Bookmark here

"Ah. You're finally back from shopping."Bookmark here

"Yep. Thanks for watching my house when I'm out, Rin."Bookmark here

"No problem!"Bookmark here

"Hmm… I should probably put this in the kitchen counter instead of… the… table…Bookmark here

…"Bookmark here

"Just a sec. I'll help you carry the bags-"Bookmark here

*Thud*Bookmark here

"Gin?Bookmark here

…!Bookmark here

Gin…! What happened?! Can you hear me? Gin…? Gin…!!!"Bookmark here

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Somehow, my eyes wanted to close. I lost all of my strength in my body, I lost my balance and before I know it, I already fell. Those are the only things that I can last recall.Bookmark here

And then…Bookmark here

Ah… I hear voices. A lot of them.

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That does it for 017!Bookmark here

Alright, here we go again.Bookmark here

ayy 2 million sharkBookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

018: Sleep.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.