Characters: Ninomiya Kazunari, OCs
Pairing/s: None, but suggested Nino/OC in latter parts
Summary: Three unseparable best friends meet a terrible tragedy. With each of them suffering a terrible state, will things go back to the way they were?
A/N: Originally posted: October 6, 2008
Episode 1 | one | two | three
Episode 2 | one | two |
Her mother made her some pancakes for breakfast. She put on the butter and maple syrup and placed it before Sachiko.
"You breakfast is pancakes today!" she said cheerfully. "I also made you some freshly squeezed orange juice."
Sachiko didn't say anything.
"Otousan's making french toast for you too." her mother continued. "It's just like an American breakfast. That's your favorite kind of breakfast, isn't it?"
Sachiko still remained quiet. Her mother sighed and just smiled. She hummed as she sliced the pancakes. Her father arrived with the french toast.
"Tada..." he said proudly.
"Hmmm... That smells good Otousan!" her mother said.
"Of course! I made it especially for Sachiko!" her dad said cheerfully. "Sachiko, eat it all up, okay?"
Sachiko's mother forked a few slices of pancake and held it close to Sachiko's mouth.
"Here, open up Sachiko." her mother said. Sachiko took the fork from her mother's hand.
"I can do it, Okaasan." she said. She faked a smile.
"Eat up! It's really good!" her father said.
Sachiko ate the pancakes.
"Mmm! Oishi!" she exclaimed. She felt for the plate in front of her and aimlessly forked another pancake. She put it in her mouth...and another...and another.
She smiled as she chewed the pancakes. Her cheeks were fat from all the pancakes in her mouth. Tears voluntarily fell from her eyes.
Sachiko's parents just watched her sadly. Sachiko choked on the pancakes and started to cough. Her father quickly placed the glass of orange juice in her hand. Sachiko drinked half of its contents and slowly placed it back on the table. She wiped her face and smiled again.
"Sumimasen. The pancakes are just really good." she said. "Otousan, can I have some of the toast?"
"Hai." said her father. He handed her a slice of bread.
She took a bite of it and more tears came. "Mmm... Oishi desu, Otousan!" she exclaimed.
"Stop it Sachiko..." her mother said gently.
Sachiko took another bite of the toast...and another... and another... until she has consumed the whole slice.
"Stop it!" her mother yelled.
Sachiko cried as she chewed the food. She started to grab pieces of pancakes with her hand and tossed it in her mouth. Just as she was about to eat another piece of toast, her father grabbed it and took it from her.
"I want more toast, Otousan!" she cried.
"No, Sachiko, that's enough." he said firmly.
Her mother moved the plate out of her reach.
"I want some more..." she sobbed. She swallowed what's left of the food in her mouth and felt around the table for the orange juice. Her mother held it away from her.
Sachiko's father kneelt next to her and wiped her cheeks.
"Sachiko..." her father said in a shaky voice. He tired to hold back his tears. "We're still here..."
Sachiko lifted her fingers to her mouth to lick the syrup and butter from them. She wiped her face with her other hand while she sobbed.
"Are you listening?" her father asked, his voice loud but trembling. "We are still here! Your mother and I... We are still here, Sachiko... Okay?"
Sachiko just cried. Her father grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her a bit.
"Do you hear me?" He shook her again. "We're not going anywhere, okay?"
"H-Hai..." she answered in between tears.
Her father embraced her and she cried on his shoulders. Her mother walked over to them and embraced her too. They locked her in their embrace as she continued to cry.
The nurse assisted Kazunari as he practiced walking. He didn't think that a month in bed would make it quite difficult to walk. The doctor said he can go home in a week if he's okay already.
He was excited and scared about that. He couldn't remember what home was like. He still didn't know how he ended up in the hospital. His parents don't talk about it and the doctor just talks about his head trauma.
They ran into his mother.
"Kazunari!" she said in surprise.
"Ohayou..." he greeted.
"Ohayou gozaimasu, Ninomiya-san..." the nurse greeted. "He's having his morning exercise."
"Sou desu ka." she answered. "I'll take him to his room."
"Hai. I'll have someone bring up his breakfast."
His mother walked beside him.
"You look better today." she said. "The exercise is doing you good."
"How are you?"
"Mm... I'm fine."
Her mother stopped walking and faced him.
"Is it...okay...if you held on to me instead?" she asked. "I'm stronger than I look, you know."
Kazunari looked down at his walker, and then at his mother. He smiled shyly and nodded. The woman set the walker aside and stood beside her son. She held her elbow up for him to take. Hesitating at first, he coiled his arm around the woman's arm and held her hand. Her eyes beamed as she smiled. They started walking.
His mother chuckled.
"Nani?" he asked.
"Well...It's been a long time since I held your hand like this." she answered. " You were just a little boy then...you wouldn't cross the street unless I held your hand."
"I was like that?"
"Yes..." she chuckled. He smiled.
They silently walked for a while before Kazunari decided to ask her about the accident.
"Hmmm...about the accident... Could you tell me what happened?"
She sighed. "I was wondering when you'd start asking me about that."
She led him to a couch in the waiting area.
"It was a car accident." she started. "There were four people in the car, including you."
"Hai... It was you, Sachiko, Akane...and Akane's father. He was behind the wheel."
I've already seen Sachiko...
"Akane?" he asked.
"Yes. She's your other friend. You, Sachiko, and Akane were very good friends."
"Oh... Where is she now? Why haven't I seen her?"
His mother lowered her eyes.
"She passed away." she answered after a while. "She was the only one not wearing a seatbelt when the accident happened. I think it might have saved her life."
Kazunari felt sad. He couldn't recall anything about Akane but he felt terrible to have lost a friend.
"I'm... I'm glad Sachiko is alright though." he said.
"Hai... But I think she's taking it a bit hard. She looked so sad when I saw her." she answered. "She lost her sight because of the accident. She lost Akane too.. And I think, somehow, she felt like she lost you as well."
"Well, you don't even know who she is anymore."
He suddenly remembered how confused Sachiko looked when she was in his room.
"Don't feel bad, Kazunari..." she said as she patted his shoulder. "Everything will come back. Soon everything will be alright. Your family...and your friends...especially Sachiko... we are all here to help you remember."
"Hai.. Arigato gozaimasu..."
Sachiko heard the rustling of leaves when she stepped out of the car. It was a windy day. She zipped up her jacket and fixed her hat.
"Ready?" her father asked.
Her father guided her as they walked across the cemetery to where Akane lay. She felt afraid all of a sudden. She was finally going to visit Akane. Going there would only confirm that Akane was gone and that she would never see her again. But Sachiko knew that it was something she had to do. Sooner or later she had to accept it and move on.
"We're here." her father said. He handed her the flowers they had bought for Akane. Sachiko bent down and knelt on the grass. She felt for the tombstone and laid the bouquet before it.
"I'll be back in a while..." his father said.
"Okay Otousan..." she answered. "Arigatou..."
Sachiko closed her eyes and Kazunari's piano piece played in her head. She thought of Akane.
Sachiko painted a picture of her in her head... the last time that she saw her...
Her long hair was tied in a ponytail. Her big black eyes were always sparkling with mischief. And her smile...Her wide smile that always made Sachiko smile as well...
Sachiko didn't realize that she was crying again. She quickly wiped her tears away and smiled.
"Hi Akane!" she said. "It's me..."
Sachiko bit her lip when she felt her tears threatening fall.
"I'm sorry I didn't get to visit you earlier." she continued. "I've been sleeping for a long time...and so was Kazunari. Sorry we missed your funeral."
Sachiko placed her hands on the grass and the warm soil. The wind blew.
"I'm a bit happy I wasn't there though... Gomen... But... I don't think my heart could take to see you." she laughed a bit. "Well.. I probably won't see you anyway."
"Kazunari doesn't remember me, you know... I want to punch him in the head to make him remember... I'm angry that he can't remember..." Sachiko started crying. "I'm angry because I remember everything.. And it hurts so much... I wish it would just go away..."
I miss you...
Sachiko looked up at the sky.
"You were always the strong one... You were always strong for us..." she continued. "Why did it have to be you?"
She wiped her cheeks.
"I'm sorry...Akane... I'm going to try my best to be strong for Kazunari...and... and I'll keep my promise..."
Kazunari's music slowly faded as Sachiko stood up.