Chapter 24:

024 – Hope

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

October 17, twenty-four days since the beginning of Gin's inevitable recollection of his agonizing past.Bookmark here

His house has been bare, but it had become barer for almost a month, with only Yuna Akanami residing in it. All that being said, the atmosphere has gotten a lot worse due to the recent revelation of her parents that she accidentally heard.Bookmark here

She has been crippling over the guilt that she has done nothing for Gin, who she had dubbed her "younger brother." Her younger sister and Gin is apparent to be sharing their affection towards each other, but in the older sister's case, she had developed a familial love that she regretted not showing Gin when he was still not under the mental breakdown.Bookmark here

It was lonely. She hasn't seen the couple for a while. The most that she can do is reminisce the fun moments the three of them had under the single roof. She may not be a true resident of the house, but she had finally found how it felt to have a brother, only for it to fade away, turning to loneliness.Bookmark here

"Hahh… I really sound like I have a brother complex…"Bookmark here

She has not come home to her parents. She had mentioned how he knows how kind Gin is and how he could forgive her parents without second thought, but it was different for Yuna. Gin has become family to her, and to discover that he was a "sacrifice" to save her sister's life, her thoughts aggressively mixed.Bookmark here

She is sat on the couch alone early in the morning, sipping her daily coffee with a plate of fried rice on the table. The television is turned on, not tuned on the morning news, but rewatching a comedy anime.Bookmark here

She's taking advantage of Gin's subscription to Crispyroll. He still has two months from his subscription.Bookmark here

But with that said and all, with them rewatched and all, those are just a momentary escape to the sadness that grew on her. However many times she laughed and smiled, it was just ephemeral happiness.Bookmark here

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It is very rare to hear someone knocking on the door of the house. If it was just Gin's family, they will twist the keys in the doorknob and they will enter. No one knows how many days or weeks has it been since the last time someone knocked.Bookmark here

But if Gin was there, he would probably complain that no one is using his doorbell.Bookmark here

Out of excitement that she expected it to be her sister and Gin, she opened the door gracefully with a big smile. But it was not them.Bookmark here

However, it was not the end of her happiness. In fact, her happiness doubled as she saw right in front of her is a man which made Yuna's face turn red.Bookmark here

Without a second of hesitation, she embraced the man, which perhaps is her lover.Bookmark here

"I-I haven't seen you in a while… I'm so lonely."Bookmark here

"Mhm. It does seem like it. Why don't we drink some coffee?"Bookmark here

"I'm already drinking mine," monotonously, she said.Bookmark here

"Ah… Hahaha…"Bookmark here

"I'll make you a cup."Bookmark here

"Thank you, Yu."Bookmark here

She ran to the kitchen with the excuse of making another cup of coffee for her boyfriend. But actually, she was just so happy that she can't hide it.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Hooo… You sure make it strong. Have you ever made Gin taste your blend?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

How is he… anyway?"Bookmark here

"Gin, huh…Bookmark here

It was definitely a rough time. Even for me, it was also painful. I have seen no person suffer like that until now. He is carrying such a heavy load with him.Bookmark here

But things are almost fine now. There is no more of that suffering and pain in the air near him. He had survived, thankfully…"Bookmark here

"Is that so… I'm so glad. Will they be back soon?"Bookmark here

"That… it's up for them to decide. Gin hasn't fully recovered yet, so your sister will be taking care of him further. So I don't think I can answer your question.Bookmark here

But with his current physical condition, he can go home any time. Just… don't be so surprised."Bookmark here

"…?"Bookmark here

"Sorry I can't stay much longer, Yu. I have to check things in there."Bookmark here

"No, it's okay. But I have one last question."Bookmark here

"Hmm? What is it?"Bookmark here

"Why is your face censored and you're not even given narration of your expressions?"Bookmark here

"Aahhh… I guess it's part of the story…?"Bookmark here

Well, some of you might know who he-Bookmark here

"Oh, shut up, narrator!"Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Anyway, I have to get going now.Bookmark here

Love you," the man leaned Yuna's head forward and kissed her on the forehead, making her red behind her glasses.Bookmark here

"S-See you later…"Bookmark here

And the requested narration has been written.Bookmark here

"I told you to shut up! I never requested for it anyways!"Bookmark here

Oh? Really? Not even one bit?Bookmark here

"Mhrrrrrmmm… I just love him so much! Are you satisfied now?!"Bookmark here

All the man heard, who just stepped out of the yard is senseless talking-to-herself of her girlfriend.Bookmark here

"Pff…"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

An hour later, someone is in front of Gin's house again.Bookmark here

This time, the doorbell rang.Bookmark here

Without getting her expectations ruined, Yuna just normally opened the door, seeing a woman with chest length black hair with fringes waving to her left, and wearing a pair of eyeglasses with a standard frame.Bookmark here

It is actually Yuna's character description. At least her appearance.Bookmark here

"A-Are you… my doppelganger?" Yuna thought to herself, but ended up saying it out loud. "Ah, sorry. May I know who you are?"Bookmark here

"My name is Shiina. I'm looking for Kei Sakato. Is he here?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

By the way, isn't this his brother's house?"Bookmark here

It is indeed Shiina Kumine, which happened to not be sporting her past hairstyle (NoFutsuu, chapter 29) and she just happened to have the same hairdo as Yuna.Bookmark here

"Are you by any chance Kei's girlfriend?"Bookmark here

"Umm… yes."Bookmark here

"Before anything else, this is really his brother's house. I'm a next-door neighbor who is currently living here to watch over the house since Gin is away right now.Bookmark here

If you're looking for Kei, he's probably in their house a few blocks from here.Bookmark here

Nevermind, he's already here."Bookmark here

Just a few meters away, Kei was seen walking towards them. What is in his perspective is two girls with the same looks. On the left is Yuna, which her head is poking from the door frame and on the right is Shiina standing as they both look at him approaching.Bookmark here

Although they cannot hear, he muttered, "Is it left…? Is it right…? Left… Right… Left…Bookmark here

On the right…!" he suddenly shouted.Bookmark here

"Whoa there. Chill, Kei. It's still morning."Bookmark here

"Hahh… I almost mistook you from my girlfriend, Yuna."Bookmark here

"Well, sorry not sorry. This has been how I look like ever since the start. It just happened that we look very similar."Bookmark here

"Oh, right. Any news about Gin?"Bookmark here

"He may be coming home any time soon."Bookmark here

"Hahh… That's really good to hear. That idiot's worrying us to the edge again.Bookmark here

Anyway, let's go, Shiina."Bookmark here

"Okay."Bookmark here

"Later, Yuna."Bookmark here

"Have a nice date."Bookmark here

"A seminar. Not a date," he stressed and they walked out of the lot.Bookmark here

"It seems like something happened to Gin?" asked Shiina.Bookmark here

"Something reeeaaaally happened. Excuse how nonchalantly I will say this, Shiina, but he was in a critical condition."Bookmark here

"W-What happened…?!"Bookmark here

"Something in the lines of extreme mental breakdown. Hearing what Yuna told earlier, I'm so relieved that he recovered."Bookmark here

"I see… I hope your brother gets well."Bookmark here

"Thanks.Bookmark here

Ah, sorry. I need to wipe my glasses."Bookmark here

As they were walking, Shiina bumped to a decently tall man with a walking stick which is walking with a woman. It seems that they are a couple too.Bookmark here

"Oh. I'm very sorry," the man apologized.Bookmark here

"It's okay."Bookmark here

With that, the couple lightly bowed and continued walking in the opposite of her direction.Bookmark here

"Something wrong?" Kei asked after getting his glasses cleaned.Bookmark here

"No big deal. I just bumped to someone.Bookmark here

Wait, have I seen that person somewhere? His hair is long though. Nevermind, did I just see Ringo?"Bookmark here

"…?Bookmark here

You're probably seeing things."Bookmark here

Side note, Kei and Shiina are helpless without their eyeglasses.Bookmark here

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"It's a given that you still have some difficulties with walking, but you ought to be more careful, Gin."Bookmark here

"S-Sorry…"Bookmark here

"Anyway, that woman really looked like Sis… or Shiina?"Bookmark here

"You mean… your sister?"Bookmark here

"It's weird how you say that. I don't think I'll get used to this… You know, you even call her Sis."Bookmark here

"Oh. I see…"Bookmark here

They both wondered of how Yuna will react once she sees them. But in Gin's case, he seriously thought of it as he was very curious of how he will react to someone he knows well but can't remember.Bookmark here

That is what he also felt upon meeting with Rin without his memories of her.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Four days before this very day, the whole of it was intended for a whole body checkup of Gin, who lost his memories the day after.Bookmark here

"Alright, checkups are all done," Sean announced behind his mask, followed by a tense gaze from anyone involved in the current circumstances.Bookmark here

Gin is still in the same isolation room, just with the addition of a hospital bed. As suggested by his father, they decided to keep the scribbles displaying "RIN" that he wrote. It was for the reason that he might recall something as they assumed that it was a very important memory for him.Bookmark here

But the only ones who knew of the recent revelation are Rin and Rishou Kagetora at that time. He discovered Rin's existence as code 019 when Ginji showed him a certain document, which he suddenly recalled that she was always close to Gin after meeting him again.Bookmark here

"The results tell that his mental state has finally stabilized, aside from the fact that he lost his memories. For his constitution, no more declination has been found. If he eats properly in the duration of few days, he will be fine." Sean explained.Bookmark here

"Don't worry. He has an insanely big appetite," added Rin.Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah… he's unreal.Bookmark here

Regarding his memory impairment, Dr. Kagetora found out that it was only a temporary memory loss. Although no one knows when he will regain them. For the time being, he will be fine and we can say that what happened to him will not happen again when he comes back.Bookmark here

That's a guarantee because he can at least remember her girlfriend's name and face but not his own.Bookmark here

If he decides that he wants to go home, as he can any time, we will ask you to keep watch of him, Ms. Ringo."Bookmark here

"Of course. You don't need to ask, Sean."Bookmark here

"I'll give him a walking stick seeing that he has difficulties with walking."Bookmark here

"Umm… may I know if I can go outside…?" in a small opening from the door of the room, Gin peeked outside with only his right eye and asked.Bookmark here

For some reason, Rin suddenly puffed red in her face and came running to Gin saying, "Yes, you can! But you better rest first!" all in one breath with a seemingly delighted expression.Bookmark here

They didn't get her at all.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Again, he is sat on the bed with a curious face and wide eyes which has not been seen from Gin for all eternity. He's still under confusion.Bookmark here

"S-So… I am Gin Sakato and my parents are Amano and Senna…" he pointed with a folded finger. "I am aware that I don't have any memories of my current life, but only I can remember 'Rin' and how she looks like. Do I… have some kind of a connection to her?"Bookmark here

Rin came near to at least seven inches of distance between their faces and landed her hands heavily on Gin's shoulder.Bookmark here

"Gin…Bookmark here

I. Love. You!"Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

(What a way to waste space)Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

.Bookmark here

"EEEEHHHHHH?!?!?!?!?!" it was total silence after Rin's obviously blatant statement, but it was broken when he flinched out of shock together with a goosebumps until he turned white, which then happened to all of them aside from Rin.Bookmark here

"W-W-Wha- I don't quite get it…! You s-s-z-s-z-say you l-love me…?! Wh-Wha-"Bookmark here

"And it's the same for you," she blankly answered with her arms crossed.Bookmark here

"Th-Then, does that mean we…"Bookmark here

Rin then lowered her torso down as to see eye to eye with Gin who has all the shock written on his face. But after a few seconds, he hid on his blanket.Bookmark here

"I-I'm embarrassed…"Bookmark here

"Oh my goodness, our son is so innocent…!"Bookmark here

"Oh my goodness, this guy is so innocent…!"Bookmark here

"Oh my goodness, Potato is so innocent…!"Bookmark here

They all thought, and followed with a synchronized shout.Bookmark here

"What a maiden!"Bookmark here

Gin has become an adorable character.Bookmark here

But to all the reader's sanity, don't imagine that.Bookmark here

"But seriously, it scares me that his reaction is so normal. We've never seen our son this normal for a very long time. No, we haven't seen him like this at all!" Senna exclaimed.Bookmark here

He unwrapped his blanket and sat again displaying a blank face which then sizzled in red.Bookmark here

"B-B-But I guess… I can see us being together… as a couple. Even if I have no memories… I'm certain that I will still fall for you," he struggled to tell but he still gave a refreshed smile with flowers on the background.Bookmark here

"Dude, you're so smooth. Who are you," they all thought in unison.Bookmark here

With all the teasing that Rin did, she still gave out first and fainted.Bookmark here

But as her eyes closed and falls, the arms of the silver-haired, who was sat on the bed is now crouching on the floor and caught Rin before falling down—as if almost a blur had passed. He stood and put the unconscious girl on the bed.Bookmark here

It was truly an event with a surprise after another.Bookmark here

"G-Gin…Bookmark here

It's so amazing to see you acting so manly… but surely you're not okay after that," Hiro plainly uttered with a blank stare.Bookmark here

"Y-Yes… I don't even know how I did that.Bookmark here

And my legs are giving out…"Bookmark here

It was truly an event full of delight.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Seeing that things have calmed down, Rishou Kagetora without second thought asked to send himself back to the hospital, grateful for treating a "scum" like him, as he calls himself, with care inside the base.Bookmark here

He took a look one last time at Gin which sincerely expressed his gratitude to the doctor, being enlightened that he saved Gin's life.Bookmark here

He knelt down shedding tears and replied, "No… there's no reason for you to thank me…" and injected a tranquilizer once again and left the underground base.Bookmark here

Finally, it is now the time for lunch. Those who are in charge of the kitchen did not hold back with making countless dishes. Thus, turning a simply defined lunch to a feast.Bookmark here

It was once again a rowdy meal. Rin has gotten used to it, as she had meals with the Exiles for a few times. Amano looked back on the times when Eijiro invites him to eat in the base so forcefully. Senna on the other hand is experiencing her first bite with the Exiles, but she honestly daydreamed of the "if" of Eijiro Kurogane being with them.Bookmark here

While Gin is just sat with all of them, stuffing any food that came to his sight. His memories may have been lost, but his powerful appetite remained.Bookmark here

"Geez… You're eating like a caveman, Gin.Bookmark here

Here! Open wide!" Rin offered to feed him.Bookmark here

Both of their feelings in that current moment were very different, not even like they were back to the very start, but as if a new relationship between them was formed.Bookmark here

The said thing for instance is not even something they cared much about. They just let such a trivial thing to come and go with their nonchalance that was far from the normal. But it was different as it weirdly turned to a flustering moment.Bookmark here

Nevertheless, with the sudden change in their relationship, perhaps temporary, Gin had recovered a lot in those few days of slowly getting back to shape.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

Thus, it came to the 17th of October, with the third time that someone is in front Gin's house, ringing the doorbell.Bookmark here

"Ugh… it's still morning. Why are there so many people coming here…" Complaining and all, she still opened the door, revealing her younger sister and her brother(?).Bookmark here

"W-We're home… finally…" Rin, for some reason has shyly greeted.Bookmark here

"…………Bookmark here

Uuuuhhhhh… Waaaaahhhhhhh…! W-W-Welcome back…! Waaahhhh… I miss you two so muuuccchhhh… Aaaahhhhh…!"Bookmark here

Emotions have overflowed to the lonely heart of Yuna after finally seeing the two who somewhat became very special to her. Tears flied out of her eyes as she dived towards them with an embrace.Bookmark here

She will not be alone in the house anymore, she thought.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

After they have calmed down, all they did was sit on the living room idly, without anyone talking.Bookmark here

Gin was looking around with somewhat astonished eyes. Rin's face has turned into a blob with so much delight shining from her. And Yuna is sat, swaying her head left and right with a smile along with her nose running with the opposite direction of her swaying while her eyes are still swelling red from crying.Bookmark here

It was honestly disgusting.Bookmark here

"Why would that have to be added?"Bookmark here

It was necessary.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"S-So… this is my house…?"Bookmark here

"Huh?" Yuna jolted.Bookmark here

"Yep. As far as I know, you're still paying the loans for the house together with your family. But you have a house for yourself for more than a year of living alone."Bookmark here

"Oh. I understand."Bookmark here

"By the way, your room is upstairs. It's the door on the left of the hallway. The opposite room is ours for the time being. Can you climb the stairs on your own, though?"Bookmark here

"I can. Thanks for telling me in advance.Bookmark here

Umm… you say that I live alone, but are you also living here by the looks of it…?" Gin timidly asked.Bookmark here

"Huh?!" Yuna jolted again.Bookmark here

"We are the only ones that can look over you when your condition was not yet critical. So Sis and I are living with you temporarily."Bookmark here

"Uhh… You're Rin's older sister, I see. But were you the person I bumped with earlier?"Bookmark here

"Nah. It wasn't her, Gin. I can guarantee you. The woman earlier was prettier than Sis."Bookmark here

"You sure have the guts to say that, imouto… But you're probably talking about Kei's girlfriend most likely.Bookmark here

Wait, that shouldn't be the thing I'm worried about! Why the heck is Gin behaving like that?! And why is his hair that long and silver?!"Bookmark here

She realized too late.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"So let me just speak in Gin's behalf, Sis. I'm sure you already know what happened to Gin with all of his key memories coming back to him. It was too much of a strain physically and mentally, which became life endangering. In the midst of that, for some unknown reasons, his hair grew quickly and in turn changed the color of his hair to that—gray, or silver. According to his parents, it was how he originally looked like when he was born."Bookmark here

"So… you're saying that he was born, not with a black hair but silver? How is that even possible?"Bookmark here

"Honestly. None of us knows what could be the reason for it. It did not originate genetically, but they just shrugged it off and settled with it being nonsense."Bookmark here

"How carefree…Bookmark here

Wait, I get the feeling that you haven't been getting to the main point, little sis."Bookmark here

"It's no use beating around the bush…Bookmark here

Gin… has lost all of his memories again, though temporarily. But…"Bookmark here

"M-Memory loss…? But what?" she came to the point where she doesn't know what to feel anymore. Her positive and negative emotions kept bouncing back and forth resulting to an indefinite feeling.Bookmark here

"But… Hwaaahhhhh…Bookmark here

Of all the things he can remember, it was only me. Ehehehe…" Rin turned back to a refreshed blob.Bookmark here

"I seriously want to pinch you…!"Bookmark here

"…!Bookmark here

Please let us not be hostile to each other. Although I can't recall anything, I do get the feeling that it was a very fun time ever since you started living here. Even though I say that, I'm somehow having fun right now," a serene expression has been painted on his face as he let out a blissful smile directed at Yuna.Bookmark here

Seeing such an almost angelic face, her heart softened and fluttered.Bookmark here

She silently embraced the two who is sat in the couch in front of her.Bookmark here

"Uhh… Sis?"Bookmark here

"Gin."Bookmark here

"W-What is it…?"Bookmark here

"Once your memories come back to you…Bookmark here

I will have nothing to say if you decide to marry my sister."Bookmark here

"Sis…!"Bookmark here

"U-Uuuhhh… Even if it was just a joke…Bookmark here

We've just been dating for a year and besides, we're still both young… I'll pretend that I didn't hear that since that's still out of the question…Bookmark here

Ahaha…?"Bookmark here

The two suddenly turned their gaze at him suspiciously.Bookmark here

"I don't think I have ever mentioned that we're in this relationship for a year, although true."Bookmark here

"Gin. Did you really forget everything?"Bookmark here

"I swear…!"Bookmark here

"Then prove it…!Bookmark here

One night I sneaked in your house. What do you think I did?"Bookmark here

"W-Wait! You did that? Maybe you forgot something?"Bookmark here

"He's clear!"Bookmark here

Correct answer: Gin was asleep and she stole a kiss on his forehead.Bookmark here

"Then my turn! What is the name of my boyfriend?"Bookmark here

"W-Wha-?!Bookmark here

Wait, can I also call you Sis like Rin does?"Bookmark here

"Yep. Go ahead."Bookmark here

"W-Wha-?! Sis, you have a boyfriend?Bookmark here

Then if I were to guess… I don't know many names so…Bookmark here

Hiroomi?"Bookmark here

"Like I know who the heck that guy is…!!!Bookmark here

Positive! He has no memories!"Bookmark here

But in truth, even Rin does not know the name or the face of her sister's beloved.Bookmark here

After that fuss, Gin had finally come back to his room.Bookmark here

"I-Is this really my own room…?"Bookmark here

"Something that I would assume that you won't currently know is that you love art so you turned your own bedroom to an office. Sometimes you play games on the console."Bookmark here

"I see…Bookmark here

Oh? A cat?" right after he opened the door, came Haku snuggling on his foot.Bookmark here

"His name is Haku. He is originally your first companion in this house. He keeps you occupied a lot of times so you won't feel lonely.Bookmark here

Though I haven't seen him act like this towards you. Maybe he missed you considering that you were away for a bit."Bookmark here

"I really don't have much to say… I can't even imagine that I live here…"Bookmark here

"Not to mention, the window outside which is accurately parallel to yours is my room inside. I told you already that we just live next door to you. If anything, we always wait at each other every morning on our windows. Thinking about it now… it hasn't happened in a while."Bookmark here

He stood still and silent while his eyes are focusing only on the window.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Rin?"Bookmark here

"Hmm?"Bookmark here

"Thinking about it now… how are we really as a couple? And how was I as your certain someone…?Bookmark here

I'm kind of curious, I guess."Bookmark here

The sudden questions took Rin by surprise. Knowing that Gin may not know what she is thinking, she answered with a question.Bookmark here

"Gin… Do you want to remember everything?"Bookmark here

"Of course I do. I have no memories, but I always weirdly react with things that apparently, Gin has memories of. I can definitely say that I had fun with those."Bookmark here

"You really want to remember everything…? Even the things that had happened to you?Bookmark here

The things… that ruined you…?"Bookmark here

The concerned look of Rin bounced back to her as a hint of sadness is seen in Gin's face.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I may not be the real Gin… and I am aware of that. But if it is my memories that I need to remember, then there is nothing I can do. Besides, I don't think I can ever escape it.Bookmark here

So now… I will decide not to run away."Bookmark here

"No… that's plenty of a reason that makes you Gin. You even said it yourself awhile back, that you will not run away anymore.Bookmark here

I'm sorry for bringing that up."Bookmark here

"It's okay. For now, I think we should rest. We just got home."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Yeah."Bookmark here

It was a long morning, but noon eventually passed by without much of the sun. The three had their lunch together after a time of loneliness.Bookmark here

After the moment he had his fill in his stomach, he went back to his room. Looked for every detail inside, imagined how he could have been conversing with Rin between the two windows. But his eyelids began to fall down on their own and the yawn sounded inside the room. He closed the window, lied down on his bed and closed his eyes.Bookmark here

What he did not know is that the coldness has been growing.Bookmark here

It was time for dinner, but he did not come down. The sisters had a look in his room. They saw the silver hair shining over the innocent sleeping face of Gin. He has not yet woken up from when he originally slept.Bookmark here

They closed the door, and bid a good night to him.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

The sun has risen, but it was not present in the skies. It is truly a dull morning with the gray clouds. It's as if the clouds are hinting that the dry roads and concrete will not stay dry any longer.Bookmark here

Gin opened his eyes with blue and black eyes.Bookmark here

"Brrr… Cold…"Bookmark here

He finally realized how long his hair is and went to the bathroom to look on the mirror. There showed his silver hair with a length that almost touches his shoulders.Bookmark here

He went back to his room to grab something to tie his hair in one place, but the cold says not to. Weirdly, he found hairpins in one of the drawers of his closet.Bookmark here

"D-Did I use to wear hairpins…?"Bookmark here

I don't see a reason why I need to include that to any of the chapters but I still did, is what the author thought.Bookmark here

He wore it and carefully went down the stairs.Bookmark here

"Good morning, Gin," Rin greeted.Bookmark here

"G-Good morning.Bookmark here

How long… was I asleep? I don't remember passing out."Bookmark here

"Around the afternoon, I'd say? I went to your room to tell you that dinner was ready but you were fast asleep. Seriously, you slept like a log."Bookmark here

"Umm… Rin? I just realized just now… It's Thursday today. You said that you've been taking care of me ever since what happened to me. Does that mean that you haven't gone to school since then?"Bookmark here

"Ahh… Don't worry about it. Even though I am absent for almost a month now, I always ask what's happening in school. Whenever someone from the base leaves perhaps for work, I ask them to send paper works to the school mailbox.Bookmark here

If you're worried about not coming to school, you shouldn't. The principal apparently had a good reason for excusing you and I, although I don't know what it is."Bookmark here

"The principal?"Bookmark here

"I guess you haven't seen him ever since you lost your memories. He was the former leader of the Exiles."Bookmark here

"I don't quite get it, but I guess it's okay."Bookmark here

"Anyways, let's have our breakfast. Sis is about to wake up any time soon."Bookmark here

"I guess."Bookmark here

"Oh, look. Gin! It started snowing, finally!"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Snow…"Bookmark here

After that, he decided to learn more about himself, as he even feels that he is a different person, however unaware of whom he originally is. He had finally held a pencil once again, and astonished himself with how he gave life to abstract lines produced by the graphite.Bookmark here

He had learned a lot from his persona, but it was indeed entirely different from what his memories hold. It was frankly just a mere gaining of information, thus, making his being incomplete.Bookmark here

But it was not entirely negative, as the Gin with no memories can relate to the emptiness of himself. One has no memories, and one had no emotions.Bookmark here

As if a pattern, the happenings continued on for a while.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

I wonder what's going on outside.Bookmark here

Yeah. You've been here for quite a while and the door hasn't unlocked yet.Bookmark here

But hey. Would you look at that, Kuro. My head sure has turned white, doesn't it?Bookmark here

A white box, huh? I can't help but feel nostalgic.Bookmark here

For this to happen, it can only mean that something happened to me in the reality. All I know is that I have no memories on the outside.Bookmark here

But for us to retain everything, I guess this won't last.Bookmark here

Wait. It really is just like that time, isn't it?Bookmark here

Hmm?Bookmark here

Just like right now, you are lying down on the floor. Not even thinking about when will the door open.Bookmark here

Now that you mention… I did that and lost interest of counting the remaining days in those two years and before I know it, the door already opened.Bookmark here

Goodness… why in the world did I take so long to fully realize that I was in love with Rin…Bookmark here

Pathetic.Bookmark here

Yep. We're pathetic.Bookmark here

But then again… I wonder how and where I am now. Surely I won't go far away with my flimsy legs.Bookmark here

Who knows? We might be in a coma.Bookmark here

We'd also be asleep if that's the case.Bookmark here

Oh, yeah. Brain-dead.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Suddenly, a metallic sound echoed in the room which was then followed by a sound of creaking.Bookmark here

To their surprise, they saw the door to "reality" ever so slowly opening.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Oh, shoot. Can't have that closing any time soon.Bookmark here

Kuro! Catch you later!Bookmark here

Yep. I'll be watching you.Bookmark here

And so, Gin left his mental realm without a second wasted.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

October 24.Bookmark here

His eyes opened after being woken up by a cat's tail under his nose.Bookmark here

"Hahh… Haaaahhhh… Achoo~!"Bookmark here

Haku's fur made his upper body rise forward and sneezed, startling the sleeping cat.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

‹Gin›Bookmark here

I looked around as I feel the extreme cold creeping in the entirety of my body.Bookmark here

It was to my surprise to see that I suddenly woke up with my memories intact. Moreover, I froze upon seeing myself sat on a very nostalgic bed. More so, I froze after realizing that I am back at home.Bookmark here

I had the intuition that I will not have the capacity to keep myself out of my cognitive world for so long with how much my head hurts. Thus, I hurriedly jumped and sat on my chair grabbing a piece of paper and a pen on the desk.Bookmark here

For a moment, the small detail that I am now able to move my legs better came and went by. With that thought, I wondered what is the current date and time.Bookmark here

I turned my phone on and showed that it is currently 8:22 in the morning, Wednesday, at the date of October 24.Bookmark here

I tightly held the pen I was holding and started writing whatever came to mind.Bookmark here

But it was just a short time of being "awake." My head told me that it was time's up. It was however not a sad departure as I am satisfied that I managed to write everything that I wanted to say.Bookmark here

Please… let her see it.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"Yawn~ Gin… you awake…?Bookmark here

It's nine now and I just woke up. Sis made breakfast so we better go down…"Bookmark here

Rin opened the door just to see a sleeping Gin with his hand on Haku which is on top of him, who also came back to sleep.Bookmark here

"What a listless pair…"Bookmark here

"Hmm… I haven't seen him interact like this with Haku ever since we came back. That's new."Bookmark here

Seeing that the only window in the room provides light inside, she noticed that the glass has significantly fogged and childishly went towards it to play on it.Bookmark here

But she heard a rustling of paper on the desk which is just by the window and saw a piece of paper on the floor which seems to have something written on it.Bookmark here

"Writing something, I see."Bookmark here

The paper is flipped, thus, she assumed that it had a handful of words written looking at the bleeding of the ink.Bookmark here

She picked it up only to find out that there is also something written on the currently flipped side.Bookmark here

"Readme.txt.Bookmark here

(Seriously, please read this, Rin.)"Bookmark here

"He hasn't joked like this for quite some time, huh…Bookmark here

(!)Bookmark here

Wait… no way…"Bookmark here

After realizing that something was off upon reading the joke, she quickly flipped the paper which said:Bookmark here

"Apples… I'm finally back home, huh? Seriously, I can't believe it.Bookmark here

Rin? Are you reading this? If so… good morning, I guess?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Good… morning…"Bookmark here

"So the current time is around 8:20. It has been eleven days since the last thing I can remember. It's a bit sunny I see. Anyways, hi. I'm Potato.Bookmark here

Let's be real. I miss you, Rin. And to all of you too. The only thing I know is that I have no memories of coming back home, let alone know what is currently happening. No, that's not quite right to say that I have no memories. In fact, I have everything—I mean, "everything."Bookmark here

It's weird, isn't it? But I am a nonsense of a person anyway. Currently, I have all of my memories, but at the same time I don't. Who you're interacting with is also me who have no memories. I'm still inside him.Bookmark here

I feel like I want to tell you this since it's quite interesting. Ever since my memories reset, I've been stuck inside my mind. Literally. I've discovered that I have my own world inside my head. This is not mere imagination! I can see myself there, but I am locked inside. That's why I appear to have forgotten everything. But seriously, it's extremely real.Bookmark here

Sorry, I don't think I can be moving outside my mind yet. I even feel like my head is fogging to blur as I write.Bookmark here

It was a short time of coming back. But I promise that I will find a way to go back for good.Bookmark here

I love you, Rin."Bookmark here

It is what was written. It was a letter mainly dedicated for Rin.Bookmark here

Without conflicting thoughts, he woke up Gin which immediately opened his eyes.Bookmark here

"Mmmm… Oh, Rin… Is it morning now?"Bookmark here

"Gin, even though I highly doubt you're aware, you wrote this, right?" she desperately asked.Bookmark here

"Ehhh… That certainly is my handwriting… but I don't remember writing that.Bookmark here

Maybe I unconsciously wrote that while asleep?"Bookmark here

"You're a crazy sleepwalker, but no," she thought of saying it out loud, but kept it to herself.Bookmark here

"Well, it's fine if you don't remember. But!"Bookmark here

She then hugged Gin for reasons he can't comprehend.Bookmark here

"U-Umm… Rin? For what reason did I deserve to be embraced?"Bookmark here

Rin did not know if it was a joke, or it is just Gin politely speaking. Either way, she answered.Bookmark here

"No reason. I just want to hug you right now."Bookmark here

They had breakfast afterwards.Bookmark here

Let's also include lunch.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"By the way, are you fine with walking now?"Bookmark here

"I guess for the most part, Sis. I'm not having any difficulties anymore."Bookmark here

The topic came up just after finishing their lunch and settling the food they ate.Bookmark here

Kids, don't move around too much right after eating.Bookmark here

"Also, are you by any chance feeling light?"Bookmark here

The follow up question that Rin asked confused him plenty.Bookmark here

"L-Light…? I don't quite get it."Bookmark here

"Let's see. How do I say it… You've lost a lot of weight from the effects of the strain in your body. But at least you recovered quickly.Bookmark here

Gin. Do you think you can jump to the roof from the ground?"Bookmark here

"Eh?"Bookmark here

"Woah. I wanna see that. I only saw that on TV when he jumped so I want to see it personally."Bookmark here

"Uhh… Whhhat?"Bookmark here

"You know, you actually can jump or generally move exceeding the human limits. You talk so fast, you run so fast and you jump so high. You can even recover broken bones in a matter of hours."Bookmark here

"Huuuhhhh…Bookmark here

Oh my goodness… I seriously don't know myself."Bookmark here

"Don't let it get to you."Bookmark here

After thinking about it, he set aside the thought and collected the empty dishes on the dining table.Bookmark here

"I'll do the dishes today. I feel bad for making you two do the housework every time. I own the house, after all.Bookmark here

So go get some rest, Sis, Rin."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Mhm. Thanks!"Bookmark here

Like a fleeting moment, days passed by.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

No… I can't let this pass.Bookmark here

But, do you have any idea on how to get out?Bookmark here

I have to find a way… maybe there's something in my mind that can help me. I'm running out of time.Bookmark here

I promised…Bookmark here

Hmm… Of course I know how you feel. I also want to go out even for once, but I am bound here, only watching the outside. Even I don't want to miss that.Bookmark here

That's the more reason why I need to leave. It's something that has been etched in this head. I don't want to forget it and I don't want to miss it…Bookmark here

You already know what I'm about to suggest. But I'm sure you're aware of the risk.Bookmark here

Yeah… I don't want to be doing nothing when the crunch time comes. Surely a little headache won't be a big deal.Bookmark here

Oh, goodness. Calling it "little" is so much of an understatement.Bookmark here

Well, do what you want. I wish for your success.Bookmark here

Hahaha…Bookmark here

Right. Let's break the lock of this door by force.Bookmark here

▪ ▪ ▪Bookmark here

October 27.Bookmark here

"Yawn~ It's so rare that he woke up before I did."Bookmark here

The door of Gin's room was open.Bookmark here

It was another late start to the day. At nine, the snow has already covered the roads a good layer of an inch.Bookmark here

Seen in the windows are bulldozers removing excess snow in the roads while it still comes down from the clouds.Bookmark here

Rin's sister has not yet woken up, and so she went downstairs to find him. But he was not anywhere.Bookmark here

Gin still has no memories. He hadn't left his yard since he know the fact that he doesn't recall anything outside, taking into consideration that he can also get lost somewhere.Bookmark here

But he was not seen inside his house nor his yard.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

"Is something the matter, Ringo?" Kei opened the door upon hearing Rin knocking.Bookmark here

"Is Gin here? Or did he drop by here?"Bookmark here

"Hmm? No. I've been awake early so I know that he didn't come here. Besides, does he even know that I'm his brother?"Bookmark here

"No way… Gin…"Bookmark here

"What…? Did something happen to him?"Bookmark here

"Gin… I can't find him anywhere…"Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Somewhere, under the silver clouds stood a man with silver hair. The snow is piling up, covering the grass he's stepping on.Bookmark here

The illusion of the dark clouds eliminated the whiteness of the snow—turning gray on the eyes.Bookmark here

"Hoohhh… Sure is cold…Bookmark here

Bookmark here

I can't believe it took me nineteen years to visit. I can't even recall your face…"Bookmark here

The silver snow falls again.

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That ends 024!Bookmark here

Sheesh, I'm bad at making an attempt to make an unpredictable plot point.Bookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

025: Reality. I said, reality.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.