A Kimi ga Nozomu Eien fanfic

Sakura in the starlight

Written by Spiritblade

Disclaimer: I do not own the anime, but I do love it – even though I tremble in remembered pain at the thought of watching it again. It is a story of people like you and me, real right down to the last detail. This is an anime that does NOT talk about pairings, but about life. So, my dear readers…if you have not watched the anime, please watch it.

And learn from it.

This is the second draft of my story - and I hope it is better than the first. This is dedicated to all of you, so that maybe, we can all treasure the things that are beyond price.

How long has it been, really, since Takayuki and I stood here? It seemed like so long ago when it had all happened. But I know it had happened. My memories of those days are vivid, and the pain that I felt then reminds me to be thankful of what I have now. The tree on this hill, overlooking the city and the sea, bears memories both happy and sad. It was on this spot that my friends and I would gather, would sit and share our troubles, where we would watch the stars glittering high in the night sky.

It was also a place where one could dream of the past, think on the present, and hope for the future. I was not unlike many others. I had dreams, hopes and ambitions. Back when I was in High School, I had a goal of joining the Volks Swimming team and representing Japan in the Olympics. I remember it still. I remembered Takayuki cheering for me and the warm smile on his face as he teased me. He had always been there when I needed him.

Kind, clueless, gentle – was it any wonder that Haruka fell in love with him? He was kind to everyone, putting other people before himself.

Was it any wonder that I fell for him as well? I had hoped to match Haruka up with him, and remove that one obstacle to my dream. I cheered her on, even as I asked myself if I was doing the right thing when I wanted Takayuki for myself. How he wormed his way into my heart, I don't know – and I didn't care.

Even as I watched Haruka get closer to Takayuki, I felt my heart splinter piece by tiny piece. Akane, Haruka's younger sister, approved of the match – going as far as to tease both her elder sister and Takayuki to blushing embarrassment.

I wanted Takayuki, but I didn't want to wreck the friendship I had with Haruka. If I could ignore the feelings I had for him, I thought that it would go away eventually.

How wrong I was. They deepened.

Many guys wanted to date me, but I turned them all down. I only wanted one guy, and he had his eyes on another. When Haruka met that accident, everything changed. I remembered the sight of Takayuki breaking before my very eyes. It was heartbreaking to see him simply fall apart. My Olympic dream faded away that day, replaced by the fact that there was something better than that dream.

I helped Takayuki to heal. It took a full year before he finally stood back up and moved on. But, even so, even as his eyes looked at me, they were always somewhere else. When Haruka finally woke from her 3-year coma, it was to send a bombshell into our lives. Takayuki had never forgiven himself for what had happened to her, and I wanted to find some way to tell her that her boyfriend was mine.

Akane had never forgiven me for stealing away her sister's man, and the angry abuse she hurled at me was one I deserved. I had betrayed my friendship with Haruka, after all. There is nothing more despised than a woman who takes her friend's man while that friend is helpless and unable to do a thing to keep him. Haruka's return to wakefulness strained my relationship with Takayuki further, putting into doubt all the plans we had made for a shared future.

It was bound to hit breaking point. Takayuki had his eyes on her again, and I felt never more alone than that moment. He was drifting so far away that it was almost impossible for me to catch up. I had given up my dreams of being an Olympic swimmer, my dignity and my dreams to be with him.

In my pain, I turned to alcohol, trying to drink away the pain. I could blame Takayuki for everything, but I know that it was not his fault. How could it have been? Had I not held him up that day, he would have met Haruka on time and the accident would never have happened. None of us – Takayuki, Shinji, Haruka and myself – would have to experience this much anguish. My most bitter memory of those days when nothing was certain was that I almost slept with some guy that knew me out of my High school days. Shinji had rushed in to prevent me from making a terrible mistake. Those days were the most painful days I could ever endure. I had never felt more abandoned, lonelier and more heartbroken than that very day. I told Takayuki about my affair with Shinji, but his reaction to it made me realize that there was no point continuing our relationship anymore. Shinji confronted Takayuki at his workplace soon after, angry at the indecision of the latter.

Even as Takayuki was forced to come face-to-face with his actions, I had to do the same. I knew that I could no longer put off facing Haruka. She was aware that the 3 years in which she had been in a coma had changed everything. Akane had told her on that same fateful night I slept with Shinji. I filled in the days that had happened, and what had happened afterwards. Haruka had slapped me, hard. She was angry that I had betrayed her; angry that I had betrayed him, and helpless that she could do nothing to ease the pain we all felt. We both loved the same man, a man who held a precious place in our hearts and memories. Neither of us wished to surrender this. But, unless that one person we loved made a choice, this pain would not end.

In the end, I had thought about leaving and starting again. I had wanted to let Takayuki go, to allow him to be with Haruka again. I had come to this same tree on the hill, for the last time, to bid farewell to my memories, only to find Takayuki waiting beneath it, sad and broken. He had been looking for me, laying his hopes on the prayer that I would come to this very place where we lived out the best moments of our lives. He told me what had transpired between him and Haruka. I wanted to ask him why. Why did he do it? Why did he say goodbye to the one person he loved so very much? And the realization struck me harder than anything before he even spoke the words. Three long years. Three long years that felt like an eternity...and after so much...it was finally at an end. The answer to a question that I wanted answered was given.

No longer would he look at Haruka. He would look at me. I will not replace her. I never will, he promised.

And when he held me, I felt that terrible weight in my soul lift even as the storm ended. We would leave the past behind, and walk – together, hand in hand – into the future. We would never return to this place where it all began until many years later after our children were born and had grown up. I've made my dream a reality, even if I had to sacrifice one that I cherished. I tried to thank Shinji, but he had made it clear that as long as Takayuki was by my side, it was thanks enough for him. We all have the eternities we wished for.

I smiled quietly, as the night wind lifted my long, pony-tailed hair in the wind. I grew it back to the same length and kept it in the same hairstyle that Takayuki loved back when we were both in high school. My – no, our – daughters keep it in the same hairstyle as I do, and aspiring to the same dreams as I had. My son, the eldest of my three children, is the man his father had been. Was it any wonder that Haruka's daughter is hopelessly in love with him? And who, from what I can tell from my daughters' furious rants, is not appreciative of any other girl running off with him.

I felt two arms pull me into a warm embrace, and I need not turn to know that it was my husband. I turn my head and kiss him, "Where is everyone else, Takayuki?"

"They're getting the bags out of the car. Chiharu and Raiha-kun planned this in order to give us some time alone," my husband replied, tightening his hold around me. The look of amusement in his eyes tells me that my daughter's devious plan had worked. No doubt she wanted some 'private time' with her boyfriend, the only child of a single mother who owned the restaurant Takayuki and I chose to work at in our later years.

I nestle in my husband's embrace, watching the sakura petals waft in the wind and illuminated in the starlight. I close my eyes, taking in the sweet scent, taking in my husband's warmth. A bright flash of a camera caused me to open my eyes to face the smiling face of my daughter's boyfriend, who was lowering a digital camera, and the grinning faces of our children. And in front of them, I kiss my husband again. It is a small gesture, but to me, it meant everything.

Yes. I have the eternity I wished for, Takayuki.

It is one with you in it.