"Jin-Tan! The cherry blossoms are falling!"

I looked up from the discarded jar I was toying with, and searched for my friend's voice. I found it under the largest cherry tree in our neighbourhood.

She turned around to face me.

"Do you remember what Yukiatsu was talking about in school?"

"Yeah, how they fall at 5 centimeters per second," I said. "Just as fast as the human heart."

She smiled.

It was the first day of the year that we'd seen the petals fall. We usually explored our neighbourhood in our spare time, and we loved the large cherry blossom tree that resided the few blocks from our houses. We loved how the cherry blossoms looked as they fell - so much that we made an occasion of seeing the first petals fall in each other's company. And we tried to do it at the same tree every year, if we could.

"Hey, Jin-tan... Aren't we late for something?"

Before I could even look up properly, she'd began running towards the train crossing. Placing the few flowers I could pick into the jar, I got up and ran after her.


I didn't remember having to go anywhere else today. Regardless, I followed her, trying to catch up as fast as I could.

When I caught up to her, we were coming to the railroad crossing which separated our neighbourhood from the shopping district. The alarm was sounding and the barricades were lowering, but she dashed forward anyway - making it across just as the barricade lowered into place.

I stopped in my tracks.

She stuck her arms out and span around, her white sundress and silver hair floating in mid-air.

And as the breath left my lungs, she disappeared behind the speeding train.

This is just an idea I had. I might write more, but to be honest I feel that the characters would fit better in The Place Promised In Our Early Days. Let me know what you think, if you liked it or disliked it.

Also, as a final note - This would take place in a world where Menma doesn't die. The ending is fairly unambiguous, but I wanted to make it clear.