Last year, Hikaru died in a car accident. Tomorrow would be her death anniversary. She was only sixteen, her life had hardly begun! All her friends mourned her passing, many left the funeral with lingering looks. She was an optimistic person, never failing to keep others around her happy as well. It was her own unique gift.

Till this day I can remember vividly how she looked like during the funeral, it was the most painful thing I had ever gone through. Her long ruby tresses finally being let down, dressed in a simple white gown edged with lace and wearing satin gloves on her small hands which held a white tulip. She was beautiful.

A photo of her sits on my desk, everyday I never fail to look at it. It was a photo of me, Hikaru and Fuu when we were playing with her dog- Hikari who has mysteriously vanished after her death. Hikaru's ruby eyes looked without any trace of worries as she smiled fondly at Hikari. That was the way we all remembered her as, a free spirit who has a heart so pure and compassionate. Her flaming hair was in a braid as usual with a small golden ring at the end. I confess, it was my handiwork, I just wanted her to look prettier. Not that she wasn't, she just prefer people to see her true self, who she was , not someone hiding behind a mask of make-up. I used to think that was silly, lately I found that it made perfect sense.

Fuu stood there silent and elegant with the wind blowing back wisps of her short blond hair. She was the smartest out of the three of us, it did not make much difference though, after she had learnt of Hikaru's death she had became frail and fragile... like a delicate piece of glass. I should know no matter how well she tried to hide it, all three of us were best friends. She had this dark aura of sadness surrounding her, it felt awkward to say anything to her thus everyone avoided being around her. She was being cloaked in eternal mourning and only her boyfriend, Ferio stood by her. I still don't like him much, but I know how worried he is. After all we share the same sentiments when it came to Fuu.

Her family was being deeply affected as well, her three brothers haven't really been the same ever since. The Shidou dojo they were so proud of had lost its former reputation and glory. Satoru, Maseru, Kakeru looked like the only reason they were living was because they weren't dead. Yet. Their eyes devoid of any emotion, faces gaunt and they never laughed nor smiled since. Nothing anyone did helped.

Still the ones who took it the worst were Lantis and Eagle. Lantis finally blew his top at Primera who is still in denial that 'her' Lantis- kun would ever treat her that way. I'm shocked to say the least, all these years he hardly spoke a thing to anyone, it was considered an miracle if you were honored enough to hear Lantis Sol's voice. Hikaru was an exception. He had deep feelings for her, somehow I could just sense it. He had quitted school, I heard a couple of rumors that he went into some kind of career where he taught kendo to others. Eagle? Geo and Zazu tried their best, I give them credit for that but he wasn't the same. It was plain obvious. His smiles weren't the same kind of smile girls used to swoon over and label perfect. But he was in a better state than Lantis, at least he stayed in school. Not that it made much difference, he was flunking everything.

I grieve for my friend always, although I knew she would want me to move on, live my life to the fullest. But I couldn't do it. I wasn't strong enough, so I pretended. I appear to be okay but every night I cry, alone, never letting anyone know. I should share my problems, I just can't... Neither Clef nor Ascot knows about this , neither do I intend to let them know. I have to stay strong for the rest of them now that she's gone... This burden, I carry alone. I have to be everyone's pillar of support and I don't want them to have to add me to their already long list of worries. This is a secret I'll carry to the grave. It's eating me inside, slowly one day I fear I may not be able to continue like this anymore. I'm afraid, I feel that the day is coming soon...

Hikaru... you will stay in my heart always.

Umi Ryuuzaki gently placed the pen next to her diary. Grabbing a paper napkin she tried to dry her tears without much success. What would she wear tomorrow? She sighed, this wasn't really what she was worried about. What she really feared was... She shook her head to clear her mind. Closing her diary, she placed it back in its drawer. Tomorrow would be a tough day...