They told me that the influence of the Obsidian Lord had poisoned me; that my actions for the previous weeks were because of the corrupting miasma he exuded. And that was the end of it. No more questions asked, no more concerns raised…no more anything. Everything was forgiven, just like that.

Of course everyone acted as though the experience had changed us. That we had all become better people because of this ordeal. I know that is a lie though. Because I have not changed. I have not become a better person.

I still love her beyond reason. I still feel that sweet pain blossoming in my heart whenever I look at her. I remember the soft feel of her lips, the brush of her silky hair against my face, the feeling of her arms wrapped around me. Everything. Even if she has never since mentioned what happened that day between us.

She has changed though. She smiles more easily, laughs more often and there is an air of confidence around her that's stronger than it ever was before. She has friends now. Other people she can be close to and laugh with, when before only I had that privilege. It shouldn't upset me, but it does.

I consigned myself to my old position. Natsuki's faithful friend and upperclassman. I even postponed going off to college so I could stay and help her with her remedial lessons. She did not like that, but I told her I had wanted to take a break from school anyway. The truth was I could not bear the thought of leaving her.

Even though I know what lies in her heart, I cannot help myself. She could never love me the way I love her. She could never harbor the wretched feelings I have. She has smiled at me, held me…kissed me…but I will never be reflected in her eyes with the same light she is reflected in mine.

Poisoning from the Obsidian Lord? The thought makes me want to laugh. No, it was an excuse for me to lose my self-control. To indulge myself in my desires. I am not so weak a person that I can be so easily controlled.

Everything I did to her, everything I said to her…everything was what I wanted. But it is better for Natsuki if she thinks that it was not of my own volition. That way she can pretend that nothing really ever happened.

So I smiled. I made up with the people I wanted to crush underneath my sandals. I laugh and tease and joke like I used to. But secretly, I'm afraid. I'm so very afraid, because I know eventually I will break again, and this time there will be no Obsidian Lord to blame my actions on.

I want to grab her and hold her so close I can feel her heart beating within her breasts. I want to kiss her, to smell her, to glide my hands along her soft skin. I want it so badly that it takes every ounce of self-control I have to keep myself in reign.

It's because of this that I can't stay here anymore. The extra year at her side was more than I deserved. The sins of what I did, of the desires I indulged myself in, still plague me with guilt. Most of all I am angry at the pain I caused her.

My bags are packed. Everything is folded neatly within my suitcases and other boxes. The only thing left is the acceptance letter to the University I applied to. It sits on my desk, untouched and unopened, right next to the plane ticket to Kyoto.

I should tell her I am going, but the thought of it frightens me. The idea of saying farewell. The finality of it all is something I don't think I'm capable of handling. Instead, I'll say goodbye in my heart.