My blood ran cold as I heard those excruciatingly painful words pierce my being and felt myself involuntarily gasping.
I wanted to cry and fall apart.
I wanted to yell at him for forgetting who I was.
I wanted to shout to him who I was.
I wanted to say that he's an idiot for completing that promise.
So instead I kept those urges down, forced myself to be strong and neutral because I never actually expected for him to just come back the same.
It was an impossible task – or at least we all thought so until he went and did so himself. And even though I had the faintest of hopes that he came back the same way… I knew it was impossible.
"So that's how it goes, huh?"
If I thought of it carefully it really was impossible to come out unscathed.
"Of course that would happen wouldn't it, you absorbed tens of thousands of abilities all over the world – it's a wonder that you're still able to speak."
I kept my face neutral, hiding my true expression.
I told myself I shouldn't cry.
I told myself that this would be inevitable.
I told myself that it was all my fault for expecting too much.
But he kept his promise even though he completely forgot about it as well…
If I fulfil it, wouldn't be akin to forced marriage?
"You know, I'm your lover."
There I said it.
I actually said it.
Was there any point in keeping the promise despite him completely forgetting it?
Yes, he kept his promise and followed it through and through despite the seemingly impossible challenge. Is it not fair to keep my end of the promise?
No, you've suffered enough as it is already why go so far even though this had happened before?
Because I want to make it right this time, to finally have a happy end to this life.
You won't get that if you stay with him you know.
What are you talking about? As long as I'm by his side, I'm comfortable about it all.
Liar, stop trying to act tough. You know that more you act like that the more broken you'll only become.
"A lover? Even though I don't remember you?"
That line alone made me feel as if I was hit by a thousand arrows simultaneously at the same time. I felt it – from every fibre of my being felt it.
And it took so much willpower to overpower the pain.
"That hurt a lot more than I thought." I muttered.
That statement wasn't only true but also a reflection.
A self-reflection on how I thought that I knew all about myself – which was very much proven wrong.
And it showed.
The fact that I thought that my emotions were dulled out far too much to feel this way ever again.
The fact that I thought that the days we all spent within a student council was only "routine" – which turned out to be that this "routine" was the comfort never crossed my mind but was subconsciously sought for.
So I closed my eyes hoping for my already misty-eyes to stop ever-growingly more moist.
I hated that I somehow thought this may happen.
That was a lie again.
To be perfectly honest, I think that I can make more memories just as good as the ones previously – he'd be happier that way right?
But this isn't about him, is it? It's about what you yourself want – admit it, you yourself hoped that there'd be a happy ending.
Shut up. You're just being selfish! Imagine Ayumi's reaction, Shun-san's reaction and the rest who knew him and their reaction to this! I can't just take him for myself just because I lost, what, a year's worth of memories with him! I've got to let him reconnect with his family as well!
Yeah, so? Still means you've lost that one year's worth of memories. What makes you think he can ever reconnect the way his now with his own family? He's lost literally the 16 years' worth of memories that can never be refilled.
He'd be able to, I know.
He's completely devoid of all of his previous memories prior to the power-purge that made him this way in the first place, what makes you think that he'd still hold on to those feelings?
I just know.
No you don't, you're just scared. Scared that he'll reject you so you lie to yourself hoping the feelings will be returned.
Even so, I still want to hold on to that fleeting hope even though it's stupid to hope for.
You're right, because really that's all we have left…
"Did I make you sad just now?" I heard him speak.
I thought on how to answer.
I shouldn't respond with malice I thought, but it was so tempting.
I should be strong and act normally I thought, it was so difficult to do so.
In the end, I responded as honest as I could.
"Yes, yes you did."
I felt it was moronic looking back at how I acted.
"Because we were in the same class, we all lived our high school lives together within the student council and before you left, you even promised me that we'd be lovers…"
It's stupid to recall these things, my negative side thought.
Grasping for that tiny bit of hope that the person he once was will return was just plain childish.
Remembering such would only hurt me.
"I'm sorry… I just can't remember anything at all."
He stated in a sombre tone.
See, idiot! Even he is depressed because of your useless ramblings!
A downtrodden look fell onto his face as those words escaped from his mouth looking severely disappointed.
I'm so stupid, I thought to myself. I just had to make the situation much worse didn't I?
Negativity clouded my mind as I see him eyeing the flashcards I gave to him when he left.
A small wave of relief and a miniscule part of me felt happy.
How could I not? Seeing as they had proven useful to him and kept it all his journey still gave me that fleeting feeling deep within my chest.
"Those flash cards… I made those."
My I still felt disheartened, but learning about such made a part of me relief that I needed.
"So you held onto them until the very end. Did they prove to be useful?"
Knowing about that small fact still made me happy deep down. Away from the confusion and sadness that I tried to ignore.
"So it was you who made these?" I the warmth that is buried within that question.
The same warmth I've long been looking for in the past year.
"Yes." I responded immediately.
I found myself smiling unconditionally about this.
This is what I wanted. This is what I needed and searched for.
This warm fuzzy, confusing but comfortable feeling from my heart.
"For me, this was something like a good-luck charm…"
My heart swooned as I heard those words from him.
It was much like when he saved me back then with the president of the archery club pointing his bow towards me.
"This was one thing that I absolutely couldn't part with. Even though it's in tatters and half torn."
I felt like I was showered slowly in a warm ray of sunlight going through my chest passing through every part of my being.
"Thank you very much. Thank you so much…"
My eyes grew mistier for the third time that day.
"If you were able to come back like this because of that…"
My voice faltering as it cracks parts on the way of my statements
"I couldn't be happier."
That statement itself was so very true. A wave of relief and happiness washed over me.
"Did I make you sad again?"
I so tempted so say yes, to say that I broke down because of him.
But no, he couldn't be more wrong with his question.
"No, I'm just happy… That's all it is to it." I replied as tears formed around my eyes and I refused to let them out.
"I don't really get it but please don't cry."
As soon as I heard those, it completely did the opposite of what it was supposed to do.
I felt his hands hold mine and I felt how strong, how firm and how toned he was from all of that plundering around the world.
"It's impossible." I said my voice faltering ever more as I rubbed his hand with my small thumbs.
At every fibre of my soul, I can honestly say that this man is the one I absolutely love the most in my life.
He made me smile and he made me cry regaining my ability to comprehend my own emotions again.
He is my other half, the one that made me feel as if I was full again.
The one that repaired fractured heart to be as one again.
So with all of my conviction, I look towards him tears still falling from my face.
"Yu Otosaka-kun… Welcome back."
A/N: This scene is really my favourite from the entire series! So that's why I made a story about it reflecting on Nao's thoughts of that time and how she would be like at that particular time.