Prologue: A tragic new year

11.50 pm, 31st December 1996, London…

A black car could be seen speeding along the London Bridge. There were two people in the car, a man and a woman. The man's features were extremely handsome; short black hair with bangs covering his piercing blue eyes, and rather pale skin. The woman, on the other hand, had warm honey brown eyes, striking reddish-brown hair reaching the waist, and a darker complexion compared to the man's. Nevertheless, she was quite beautiful.

At first glance, they looked like total opposites of each other. The truth was, they were the total opposites of each other. Whereas the man was cold and aloof and quiet, the woman was vibrant, loud and the happy-go-lucky type. But, despite their differences, you wouldn't have been able to find a more compatible and loving couple.

Yes… Rukawa Kaede was absolutely and madly in love with Sakuragi Hanamichi, and she him.

"Kitsune, there's only 10 minutes left before the countdown," said Hana. They were heading to the Trafalgar Square, where the 1997 New Year Countdown was to take place.

Kaede turned to look at his lover, and then leaned over to plant a chaste kiss on her lips, before saying, "Do'aho. We'll make it. No sweat." He pressed down harder on the accelerator.

10 seconds before countdown…

The crowd that had gathered at Trafalgar Square started the countdown.


The meter in the car was reading 100 miles per hour.


105 miles per hour.


110 miles per hour.


120 miles per hour.


Kaede and Hana started counting together.


Hana laughed happily. "Four."

"Three." Kaede was smiling.



"Happy New Year!"

At Trafalgar Square, fireworks started exploding in the sky. Everyone started to cheer and throw confetti and hug and greet each other. It was truly a happy and merry occasion.

However, two blocks away, it was an entirely different picture. The atmosphere was eerily quiet, broken only by the soft sizzling sound of smoke billowing from the engine of an overturned car.

Kaede slowly crawled to where Hana was lying and tried to shake her awake, calling out softly, "Hana… Hana…" When he realised that she would never wake up again, he bent down to kiss her one last time, and then laid by her side, his face facing hers. As life slowly spilled out from his body, he kept his eyes open, for he wanted to carry the image of her face with him forever.

Wait for me, Hana. I'm coming to you soon. Wait for me.