1

I am Kyosuke Kamijo, and for the past month I have been stuck in a hospital bed with nothing to do. Earlier this year, I was hit by a drunk driver after a concert, and almost killed. The doctors say I shouldn't have survived, the way my body was twisted when the vehicle made impact. But I did. I won't be able to walk for the rest of the year, and my friends have barely been able to visit me since this all happened right before the end of the semester.

Worst of all, however, is my hands. These wretched useless hands. Once upon a time they were my greatest asset. My nimble fingers and graceful wrists let me show to the world what I was made of, what I was the greatest at… But now that's all gone.

"Mr. Kamijo" the doctor said. "We need to discuss… your son for a moment. Could you please step outside?"

"Yes."

They didn't realize I could hear them through the door.

"There's no chance of his hands being able to recover to what they once were."

"But surely they will still heal, right?"

"I'm afraid not. You need to break it gently to him. He will likely never be able to play the violin again."

"I… I understand. Thank you, doctor."

That was two weeks ago. And nothing has changed since then. My father still hasn't officially told me there is no hope left. Apparently he's either too weak to tell the truth to his own son, or he still holds some naive hope that the doctor was wrong. But who would hold out hope for someone like me?

Well, I wouldn't anyway.

People like me, we cripples. Our purposes are null once our bodies are broken, and there is nothing we can do but bide our time until our inevitable demise. It's the same as any other person on this grayscale Earth, but for us we don't even have our own lives to look forward to. Ah, who am I kidding? I'm sure most people in situations like these can eventually resume their lives, too. It had to be me who was hit. It had to be one of the few people whose lives actually depended on our physical skill.

What always makes me laugh the most about my circumstance is that I was carrying my violin case when the accident happened. However, as the car collided with me, the violin case flew out of my hands. And a bystander caught it before it could hit the ground and break into a hundred pieces. Even right now, my violin is sitting at home, perfectly fine, while I lay in bed here, perfectly not.

This whole deal is ruinous, and I won't stand for it. Not like I could stand for it, anyway, considering my legs are immobile. I sigh at my own terrible joke and lean my head back against the bedpost. The room is warm, aided by the golden-orange glow from the setting sun out the window. But I don't care. My parents gave me the best room in the hospital, but I have already grown tired of living on this bed like I have been for so long now. The artificially-pleasant atmosphere surrounding me has grown quite stale.

I think back to that fateful concert and remember my performance. It was terrible. I was playing an arrangement of Four Seasons by Vivaldi, and I massacred part of "Winter". Nobody seemed to notice as I was able to improvise and cover my mistakes, but for someone of my renown, it was a pathetic mistake. And I will never be able to rectify myself.

"You did amazing, Kyosuke!" she exclaimed.

I looked at her and smiled, but it was only to hide my shame. I wasn't supposed to make mistakes, and I did. I said nothing in response.

"We need to go celebrate. Do you want to go with my family to get some ice cream? Our treat!"

"Ah… No thanks. My father has already booked reservations at the Sushi Mizutani and we are already running late."

"Oh, that's okay. Maybe some other time."

Of course, ten minutes later and I was all but roadkill. If only I had gone with her after all… None of this would have happened...

I can't bear to see that girl shows up at least four times a week, always with a smile on her face, and usually a music CD for me to hear. Even as the end-of-semester exams grow closer, she won't quit coming. It's a nice gesture but she couldn't possibly understand what I am going through. I want more than anything for her to simply leave me alone, so I can suffer in the peace and quiet of my hospital room.

Beep.

"Mr. Kamijo," the nurse says over the intercom. "Your friend is here to see you."

I sigh. "Let her in."

Seconds later, she enters. "Hi, Kyosuke. I brought you another CD. I think you'll like it! Do you want to listen to it?"

Sayaka Miki, the blue-haired demon of my nightmares.

And yet…

"Yeah, sure."