II. Melancholy: depression of spirits
The trip to the Asakura residence was filled with loneliness and quietness. Yoh was still quite confused. He hadn't seen Anna for almost ten years then she showed up and introduced herself as Hao's fiancée. My brother's fiancée… Hao didn't know about their hidden past. As he was looking outside the window of the moving vehicle, pieces of their hidden memories came rushing back in his mind…
They were 14 years old that time—Kyoyama Anna and Asakura Yoh. The young brunette told his girlfriend, Anna, to meet him by the Usorisan Lake. It was such a memorable place for the two of them.
He sat patiently by the gleaming lake. It was 7:30 in the evening and he had been waiting for his Anna for thirty minutes. The blonde was never late for their meeting or date but that time, it was different. 'Maybe Anna had to do something important. Yeah, maybe that's why she is late.'
He looked at the star-filled sky as the cool breeze gently caressed his face. He turned his gaze at the light brown paper rolled into a scroll at his side. His lips curved into a contented smile. 'I will make this night really special for Anna.'
He waited and waited for his Anna to come. It was 11:00 in the evening but still she wasn't there. He finally gave up and decided that he would just talk to her the next day. He took the scroll then stood up and walked away.
Five minutes' walk took him to a clearing. He found it the time he went to Osorezan for a vacation and visited the lake—where he first saw Anna. Yoh learned that hot water would come out from the land when it is dug. The piece of land was owned by someone and he planned to buy it someday for Anna. She wanted to own a hot spring; it was one of her dreams.
He unrolled the paper and read its content. He made it himself—hand-written, it had two blank lines on it. His name was under the first line then Anna's name was under the second one.
"This deed is to certify that Kyoyama Anna is now the rightful owner of the 'clearing near the lake' and could turn it into a hot spring. Asakura Yoh bought the land from Iwagawa Kichiro and has given it to Ms. Kyoyama." He read out loud.
Even if it wasn't true, that it was just a useless piece of paper, he knew it would make Anna really happy. He loved Anna with all his heart and intended to make it real for her.
He went to Anna's house the next day. Her guardian talked to him instead and explained that Anna had already left unknown reasons.
… And it broke his heart.
He felt someone tap his shoulder.
"Could you help me carry my bags?" She asked.
He forced a smile. "Yeah, sure." He cheerfully answered.
Yoh showed her to the guest room. He put down the bags he was holding and said to Anna, "This will be your room."
"Hmm… Neat. Thank you." It looked like she didn't really mean it because of her expressionless face. "Now, I would really appreciate it if you would leave me alone, Yoh."
Yoh slid the door close and sat in front of Anna. He didn't have his usual smile on his lips; his eyes showed seriousness. He had a lot of things he wanted to tell Anna but it's as if he had forgotten all of them. There was an awkward silence in the room.
"Why didn't Hao come with you?" He asked, breaking the silence.
"He said he needed to finish something. Don't worry; he'll be here after some weeks." She answered. "He loves to surprise people. I'm sure you know that since you've been with him for many years."
There was a small sad smile on his lips. "Yeah, he sure does." And I'm really surprised that you've become his fiancée.
Again, silence consumed the two.
"How have you been, Anna?" He finally asked. Even if she left him, he cannot make himself get angry to her.
Anna stared at his serious orbs. "Just fine. Hao had been taking good care of me."
"Hao is really lucky because he have you." He said, trying to make their conversation longer.
"And I'm blessed because I've got him," She monotonously answered.
"He told me you were adorable. He's right." He really mean it. She was the most adorable woman he ever met. And so that's what Hao thinks about her, too.
Anna said nothing.
"How did you meet my… brother?" Yoh asked her.
She brushed her hand on her blonde hair. "Just ask him that question. I don't like telling other people my history."
Other people? It stung his heart. He wasn't able to speak for some seconds.
"You really like him, huh?" He asked casually. Every word that came out from his heart was like venom slowly poisoning his heart. It was a question Hao cannot answer.
Her lips curled into a small smile. "I love him."
Yoh turned his eyes away from the blonde. "Anna, why did you leave me?" He slowly asked her.
Anna stood up and got something from the pocket of one of her bags. "Please don't talk about the past, Yoh. I'm not the Anna that you used to know. I'm with Hao now. I know that you understand what I'm talking about."
Yoh wished that he understood what she was talking about but his system won't let him. Teach me so I could learn what you are saying, Anna.
She handed Yoh an envelope. "Hao wants me to give that to you."
Yoh looked at the envelope. It had his name written on it. "Uh, thanks."
"I'm tired, Yoh. Will you just get out of here and let me rest?"
Yoh had his smile again. "If that would make you happy then I would do it." He happily answered and got out of the room.
Anna stared at the closed door then bowed her head. A silent tear escaped her deep, dark eye.
Yoh was too tired that night but he wasn't able to get himself to sleep. His mind was occupied by thoughts of Anna. Hao's Anna. He tossed and turned on his futon. She doesn't seem to be the Anna he used to know. She was quite different but then there was still something in her that told him that everything was going to be alright. It was as if she wanted to tell him something but just couldn't.
"You really like him, huh?" He asked her.
"I love him" She answered.
He remembered the conversation they had earlier.
"Please don't talk about the past, Yoh. I'm not the Anna that you used to know. I'm with Hao now. I know that you understand what I'm talking about."
There were a lot of questions lurking within his mind. He knew that he should just forget about her. The past is the past and there is nothing wrong if she falls in love with another person. But why Hao? Of all the people, why him? Only Anna could answer that question.
He tried to convince himself that Anna already forgot their past and she had already moved on. She wanted him to get on with his present life and just let her be happy with Hao. The past, present, and future are all connected. The present wouldn't happen if it weren't because of the past. He closed his eyes.
I am her past and Hao is her present… her future. She's right. I should start forgetting about her. It's a lesson I should learn by myself. He slowly opened his eyes. If that would make her happy then I would do it.
And tomorrow would be the start of his new project—Operation: Pretend Hating Kyoyama Anna. He started to think of a plan.
Yoh stared at the white ceiling and sighed deeply. Maybe she really is not the Anna that I used to know. He sat on his futon. He forced himself to believe what he was thinking but then his mind and heart told him otherwise.
In the guest room, Anna was also not able to bring herself to sleep. She had been thinking about her fiancé.
Why did you send me here, Hao? She kept asking even if she knew that Hao couldn't answer her. Could it be that he knows? She immediately shook her head. Don't be stupid, Anna. Of course, he doesn't.
She closed her eyes but then images of Yoh suddenly flashed in her mind. She quickly opened her eyes. It's been a while since I last saw him. I never thought that I would be seeing him again. She had a bitter-sweet smile on her lips. He's quite different now. He's more serious that before. Taller and… She sat on her futon. What am I thinking? I've already forgotten about him. She had a hurt smile on her lips. I never really loved him.
She forced herself to believe what she was thinking but then her mind and heart told her otherwise.
… And what they didn't know was that there were two sorrowful souls, each trying to hurt itself because of what they were trying to believe.
In the other side of the world, he was thinking about his twin brother.
He took out his wallet from a cabinet and opened it. The first thing that he saw was a picture of him and Yoh in their younger years. They looked really happy and they had the same smile on their lips. He loved his twin very much and he did almost everything that would make his brother happy. Yoh had always been a considerate, cheerful, happy-go-lucky person. People thought that he was almost perfect but they were wrong.
… He wanted to be like Yoh. So that I could make people truly happy; so that I could make the one I love feel contented.
He closed his wallet and put it away. He glanced at the picture at the right side of his study table then went back into reading his book. This time, it wasn't about cardiac surgery but neurology.
I felt stupid writing this fic when I don't even know a lot about its characters so I've done some researching. It was a nice experience! Asakura Hana is so cute and Yoh's hair became long like Hao's when they grew up. Tamao looked pretty when she pretended that she was Anna. Aww, I want to have a copy of 'Funbari no Uta', not just some manga scans from the Internet! Waaah!
Anyway, thanks for those who reviewed and gave me some information/suggestions. Thanks a lot! I know I can' please everybody but please tell me what you think about this story.