Dear Usako,

I know there was a return card in the invitation you sent me, but I decided a personal letter would be better for explanations. I imagine that you'd be pretty angry at me for my reply.

As you may have guessed, my dear Usagi-chan, I won't be able to come to your wedding. I considered telling you that I had a trip and will be out of town, or that I had a business dinner that week I couldn't get out of. I still may consider that and throw this letter away.

But you see, Usagi, I've decided that you may as well hear the real reason, seeing as you'll be married soon anyway and it's only fair that you know.

I've never told you this, but then, I've never been one to tell people things. Usagi, I still remember that night we broke up. The week following it was the most painful one of my life. I failed my first exam, I skipped class, I forgot to pay my bills, I didn't smile and I didn't sleep.

Since then, I've tried endlessly to get over you, all things, really, short of having a new girlfriend because I just couldn't. But I've learned to be happy to just watch you from afar, however painful it was. Because all I wanted was to see you. When you suggested that we become friends, I was more than willing to be accepted back into your life.

But when I saw you with your first new boyfriend, my heart raged with jealously. You had truly grown up and had gotten over me. You didn't need me anymore, and Tuxedo Kamen, Prince Endymion was forgotten. I was simply a friend. As I watched you grow up and become an even amazing you, I hated that fact that I wasn't there right beside you, every moment, experiencing what you were experiencing.

And I waited. I waited and waited for you to notice me again, to see me as no longer the big brother I had become but the guy who was your first love, who you felt so deeply for, even if it was so long ago and for so short a time.

But now, I know. I know that it's truly over between us.

Usagi, you're getting married.

And I hope you understand that it's simply too painful to watch you shut the door on our relationship forever. To take away the last flicker of hope that I had, the very faint belief that you and I could have another chance.

And that's why, my Usagi-chan, I won't be there on the happiest day of your life. Even though there's no one there who would wish you happiness as much as I would, or who would be as happy for you as I would be, I can't.

I'm sorry.

And so, expect a wedding gift soon some time in the mail. I hope you'll forgive me for my absence, and, once again, congratulations, Usagi-chan. And, even though I'll always be Mamoru-san and not Mamo-chan to you, you'll always be my Usako.

Love always,



Phantasy Star

Part One

"Usagi-chan, don't you think there's too much pink?"

"Of course not, Mako-chan! That's the theme of the wedding!"

"Usagi, I'll give you the pink tablecloths, the pink curtains, the pink flowers, the ugly pink bridesmaid dresses that me and the girls have to wear. But pink walls? Pink plates? Pink tables?"

"All right, all right," Usagi said, "I'll rethink some things, okay?"

"Thank you," Makoto said and continued flipping through the 4-inch binder of wedding plans.

"Oh, by the way, Mako-chan, did any more RSVPs come in today?"

"Oops, I forgot about that," Makoto said as she stood up, "A bunch of them did."

"I'm sooooo glad I asked you be my wedding planner," Usagi said sarcastically, "You never ever forget to tell me the important stuff."

"Loving the sincerity, Usagi," Makoto said while smiling sweetly.

She went to the counter and retrieved a pile of envelopes, dumping them on the kitchen table.

"I wonder if Motoki's going to make it..." Usagi said absent-mindlessly as she rummaged through the pile, "He said he may have to work at the hospital that night..."

The two girls pulled out random envelopes and began to go through them one at a time.

"Michiru-san and Haruka-san can make it," Makoto said as she read the RSVP cards, Coann-chan and her sisters can, Unazuki-chan can... Umino-san says... there's a 50% chance? What the heck does that mean?"

"We'll save him half a seat," Usagi suggested.

"Good idea," Makoto said, "Oh hey, here's Mamoru-san's."

Usagi flinched unnoticebly and Makoto opened the envelope.

"'Sorry,'" she read out loud, "'Going out of town for a conference, but congratulations, Odango-chan. Wish you a lifetime of happiness. Mamoru.'"

Usagi forced a smile, "Just what I expected. He's been so busy lately. I... I kind of wish he could come though... It's such an important day for me and I really wanted everybody I loved to be there."

"I know," Makoto said sympathetically, "But... it may be better that way, what with you and your... you know..."

"We're both over that," Usagi said, "We're perfectly happy being just friends."

Makoto shrugged, "All right, Usagi. But besides, it's going to be a pretty ugly wedding with all the pink everywhere. Mamoru-san might be better off not com- hey!"

She glared at Usagi, who had just suckered her with a pink envelope.

"My taste is great!" Usagi said defiantly, "And if you think- heeey!"

Makoto laughed and threw another invitation at her best friend.

Soon, the two girls were laughing uncontrollably, caught in a frantic paper fight.

Usagi rang the door bell again as she waited impatiently, tapping her foot until the door opened and a tired and unshaven Mamoru appeared.

"Well well well, if it isn't my previously good friend who's decided my wedding isn't important enough to go to," Usagi said, glaring at him.

"Usagi," Mamoru said and a small smile appeared on his face, "Come on in."

Usagi took off her mittens and stepped inside, putting them in her jacket.

"I'm not done being mad," Usagi said.

Mamoru chuckled, "I'll buy you a big present to make up for it, all right?"

Usagi nodded sternly and turned around to face him, "You'd better."

She sighed and looked up at him, her eyes soft.

"I wish you could be there..." Usagi said quietly, finally showing her disappointment.

"I... Me too..." Mamoru answered, "I'm sorry, Usagi-chan. Nothing I can do."

"I know," Usagi said, then gave him a hug, "I just wanted to celebrate with all my best friends. Maybe we can have lunch together or something when you get back."

"Hai," Mamoru said and smiled, "We'll have lunch."

Usagi nodded, "Good. Well, I'd better go. I just stopped by to yell at you but there's still a ton to do before the big day. Unless, of course, you have food."

"Didn't you have dinner?" Mamoru asked.

"I did," Usagi said mischievously, "but I didn't have any dessert."

Mamoru chuckled, "All right, two chocolate puddings coming up."

"Hey, we can have our own little celebration right now," Usagi called to him as he headed off to the kitchen.

She smiled and sat down on the couch.

She looked around the apartment. Still looked exactly the same as it always has. Nothing changes with Mamoru. Always neat, always perfect, always... Mamoru.

Usagi sighed and decided to watch some TV as she waited. She reached for the remote control on the floor and accidentally tipped the garbage bin over. As she got down to gather up the pop cans and newspapers, a white sheet of paper caught her eye.

A letter, it seemed. Lots of words in Mamoru's perfect handwriting...

"Hey Mamoru-san, what's thi-" she began but stopped as she read the heading.

"What?" Mamoru called back.

"N... Nothing..." Usagi stammered.

''Dear Usako'?' she read silently to herself, 'This is a letter for me...'