The Door to my Memories by Nekochan Kawaii
Disclaimer: I don't own Fruits Basket… I just obsess over it!
Some Notes: I don't think there are any major spoilers in this fan fiction… This starts out written in first person point of view (the stuff in italics), in Tohru's perspective (when she is talking about Kyo's imprisonment, and how she can't forgive herself for not breaking the curse and such), but then switches to third person POV (also in her perspective).
When I saw Kyo-kun, locked away like that, I wondered to myself, why did it have to be him? Why couldn't I have done anything to save him from his terrible fate? The thought obsessed my mind. For the first time in my life, I had felt truly "broken"… helpless, lost…
Help me… Help me save him… Help me break the curse!
As I thought more and more about it, deeper and deeper I sank into that dark abyss that was the pain of my shattered soul. A terrible feeling of emptiness engulfed my heart, and I had nothing left to do but cry, cry for the happiness that could've been…
"Wouldn't it be nice if you had never gotten involved in any of this in the first place? If you could forget?"
…And when Akito-san whispered those few words into my ear, in my mind, I felt strangely tempted to follow his advice. How unlike me… how could I have let myself be so selfish? No matter what I said or did, it was done. Akito-san had ordered it to be… my memories of the past few years – they would be erased. After all, that is why I am here…
Wanting to turn back from it all… Seeking for it to be erased.
Why? Why did I allow myself to be that way? Mom, I just don't understand… I promised myself, I promised you I'd remain strong… that I wouldn't give up no matter what!
So, then why do I feel so broken…?
The sun was slowly sinking beneath the horizon, ending yet another glorious spring day. However, as Tohru's glassy eyes gazed outside the window of the black-colored car with red velvet seats she sat in at that very moment, she did not feel that same joyful feeling that spring had brought her every single year before. Although the grass was a bright green, the colorful flowers had bloomed with such great beauty, and the sun had been shining so brightly throughout the cloudless day, a feeling of emptiness tore through Tohru's heart. Spring wouldn't be the same… never again.
She turned her gaze back towards the interior of the automobile. Looking down at the tear-drenched, dark green notebook that was resting on her lap, she carefully opened to the first page of the notebook. She had used this for several years, as a sort of photograph album, to store all of those precious memories that she contained so closely to her heart. On the very first page, lay a photograph of her deceased mother that had remained there for ages since the day of her mother's death, nearly three years before. However, also finding their way inside, were more recently taken photographs, consisting of many other faces, all smiling back at her and forever unchanged by the motions of time.
As she lightly skimmed through all of the different photographs, she viewed all the many people that she had met in her time at the Sohma house in the last two and a half years… Shigure, with his mischievous smile that could never reveal quite what he was thinking; Yuki, who had always been such a mysterious, yet, kind person, in her view, a great friend to have; and all the others… She smiled, thinking about those many nice people, whom had made her feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Suddenly, her hands stopped moving, as she gazed into the book with great sadness in her eyes. She looked over a picture where an orange-headed boy and herself were standing together, gazing up at her from the pages of the book. Her eyes closed, as a single painful tear flowed down her cheek in her grief. A single name came to mind in her head, as she tried to hold back from collapsing into tears…
She sighed, and she turned back to one of the first pictures in the book. It was a photograph taken about two-and-a-half years previously, around the time that Tohru had first moved in the Sohma house. A sea of memories flooded her mind, as she stared at each individual picture inside the notebook. Although the memories were happy, cheerful ones, there was still that looming shadow in her mind that soon, they would just fade away into oblivion… a painful, sorrowful prospect obsessing her mind miserably.
When I first arrived at the Sohma house, I remember thinking about how kind they all were to me… Kyo-kun… Yuki-kun… Shigure-san… They made me feel as if I truly did 'belong', that I was not a lonesome rice ball in a fruits basket… but somebody more wanted than that. It's funny… I had only intended to stay for a little while there, until the remodeling of grandfather's house was finally finished, but instead, I ended up staying for a few years… and they became like a 'family' to me… my family.
She flipped through the next few pages, watching time pass through each new page she saw. She had organized the pictures beforehand from the very oldest (in the front of the notebook) to the most recent (in the back), so it was like she had been slowly traveling through time as she looked at each individual picture. Looking onto every precious experience that made her feel as if she truly did belong, she felt so sad to have to let them go.
And now… While looking back upon my experience, I've realized that no matter how hard things may have gotten, I am so happy to have met them all… To have shared the last few years with them, made so many wonderful memories… that feeling is… so precious to me. So very dear…
She continued through the notebook, every new picture bringing another memory to her mind. Finally, she turned to the very last page, which contained a photograph taken about a week ago – at Tohru's high school graduation. She saw herself, her two best friends (Hana and Uo), Yuki, Kyo, and quite a few of the other Sohmas looking back at her. Everything seemed so much more cheerful than it used to have been… everybody was so happy, so overjoyed to live…
Her mouth twisted slightly to form a small smile, though tears still ran down her cheeks. She held the notebook closer to her heart, as she looked up from her lap to face the surroundings in front of her.
Although those precious memories will no longer exist in a few hours' time, I wish to hold them close to my heart forever. I wish to be able to make them last for always… to be able to say, "Thank you," for all that they have given me, even years from now…
…just for that reason, I wish I could keep holding on.
She set the notebook down on her lap again and continued staring at the pictures for several more minutes, unaware of anything else but the melting pot of emotions stirring in her mind at that very moment. Suddenly, she had been brought back to reality once again by the sudden halt of the automobile she was riding in, and a voice calling out from the front seat of the car, "Honda-kun… it is time."
Tohru looked up from the pages of the notebook, to see Hatori motioning her to get out of the car. Her eyes still drenched in tears, she nodded without a word, and stepped outside. She stood outside of the entrance to the Sohma estate, which seemed so much more dark and unwelcoming than she remembered it feeling any time before.
Once Hatori had left the car, she trailed behind him, with an odd, empty feeling inside her heart, as she passed by every building in the compound. The atmosphere seemed so silent – not a soul was around. It seemed Hatori's office was quite a ways inward, so by the time they finally reached the place, they had already been past most of the buildings contained inside the compound. As Tohru neared her destination, she briefly passed by the building that contained that small, dark room that she had seen Kyo disappear into barely a week before. She sorrowfully looked back at the building, tears falling from her eyes, knowing that in a few moments' time, that feeling of worry for his sake would be gone… erased.
Erased… erased with all of the memories I shared with you… and the others… but then how will you ever be saved? Sitting alone in that dark, dark room… for the rest of your life…
All alone… with nobody to care about you… How could I let that be done?
Of course she didn't want to… but it was too late now… She had her chance to speak up against Akito… but she didn't take it. Those words would become permanently locked away in the depths of her heart, never to be heard by anybody… not even herself.
Shifting her awareness back to what was going on around her, she realized that she was standing right outside Hatori's office. Hatori, who was holding the door open for her, motioned her to come inside. He said, with a slight note of sadness in his voice, "Please come in…"
Tohru slowly walked into the room, only half-aware of where she was. Everything seemed so dark and empty of any joy or happiness that even she couldn't remain cheerful much longer. She stepped onto the dark wooden floor until she reached the center of the room. Without a word, she kneeled on the floor; looking up at Hatori with such sadness in her eyes that it seemed as though she was going to burst out crying at any moment.
The silence was broken by Hatori's words. "Honda-kun… I'm so sorry for what Akito is ordering to be done to you. If I had a choice, then I would not erase your memories…"
Tohru smiled slightly, wiping the tears off of her eyes. "No… I do not blame you… or anybody, Hatori-san… No, not even Akito-san…"
Hatori answered, "You… you truly are a kind person, Honda-kun…" He paused for a moment, and then said hesitantly, "…Are you ready to forget?"
Tohru sighed, her head lowering slowly. A single word emitted quietly from her mouth. "Y-yes…"
Hatori placed his hand on her forehead, in preparation to erase Tohru's memory of her time at the Sohma house. Tears began to flow from Tohru's eyes, as she thought about the Sohma family for the very last time. Memories played before her, as she desperately tried to retain them all, before they left her mind forever.
Just to say "thank you", for all that you have given me…
She watched as every memory of her time with the Sohma family left her. Kyo, Yuki, Shigure… everybody… all waved their final farewell towards her before they entered that open door to her memories. With them, did every warm memory she had of the last two and a half years… all gone… all erased. A piece of her heart was about to go missing… missing behind that door to her memories that was closing in the back of her mind… never to be opened again.
…I wish I could have held on, just a little bit longer…
All of those memories that she once cherished were burying themselves behind that door – slipping out of her grasp, and disappearing into oblivion. Just as the door was about to close, she finished her thought, with a single tear dropping to the floor.
…Before the door to my memories was closed forever.
Tohru left the main Sohma house the next morning. For some reason, she had this empty feeling inside her heart… as if something was missing. I wonder what that something is… she thought to herself, wondering what was making her feel this way. She didn't feel particularly sad at all… and nothing horrible had happened lately, from what she was aware of.
Yet, the feeling was still there…
She returned to Shigure's house to gather her things before she left. She was returning to her grandfather's house that day and didn't want to arrive too late, in fear that her aunt and cousins would not be too happy with her if she happened to come just as everybody was going to go to bed. Just as she entered the house, she called out, "Shigure-san…? Sohma-kun…? Kyo-san…? I just returned…" The house was silent. Where could they all be?
She crossed the hallway, still wondering why nobody answered her call. Maybe they are out? she asked herself, pondering through the different possible explanations for a moment. She turned to enter the living room, where she saw Yuki and Shigure sitting together on the floor, with two strange children she did not recognize.
One of them, a pretty young girl with short hair curiously colored orange-gold, ran up to her and hugged her tightly, crying out, "Onee-chan!" The other child, a boy with light brown hair, seemed slightly bothered by this, but didn't seem to say anything about it. Tohru was absolutely bewildered. Who was this girl that was calling her "onee-chan"?
Tohru answered politely, trying to disregard the fact that she had no idea who this girl was, "Oh… what a pretty girl! But… I'm not sure… why do you call me onee-chan? Have we met before…?"
The girl replied, with what seemed to be a dawn of realization in her expression, "Oh… of course… That's right… You must not remember…" She smiled sweetly, and introduced herself, "My name is Kisa Sohma… and that is my friend, Hiro Sohma"
"Oh… I see… it is a pleasure to meet you… Kisa-san, Hiro-san" Tohru answered looking at the two, still confused about all of this. I wonder what it is I do not remember…
Then she turned to Yuki and Shigure, and said, "Well… I must be going now… I need to pack my bags so I don't forget anything…" Through it all, she couldn't help but wonder why they seemed to have such odd expressions on their faces… as if they knew something she did not.
She walked upstairs to her bedroom to gather her things. While doing this, she came across that red hat that she had been given as a child by that mysterious boy who had shown her the way back home. Maybe someday I'll meet him once again… She smiled, and put the hat inside her bag with the rest of her possessions.
Suddenly, she noticed a small green notebook lying next to her bed. She remembered, Oh… that's right! I put that there just a minute ago, didn't I? She lightly skimmed through the notebook, which seemed to contain a lot of pictures of different people… There was her mom, of course, on the first page, and then Yuki, Kyo, Shigure, and her two friends on other pages… but then there were quite a few people she did not recall knowing ever in her life, including the two children she had just met downstairs. Yet, they were all there, smiling back at her…
Slightly confused, she set the book aside in her bag. Maybe there was something she didn't understand?
What is that empty feeling I feel? Starting now, it seems like something is missing…
…it is as if there's a door inside my mind that is refusing to be opened…
…a door that, little by little, must be unlocked.
Maybe someday, she would understand what this was all about… but she had to concentrate on the present, not on a missing past wanting to be found. She finished packing her bags, and hurried downstairs where she went to make her final farewell before she left the Sohma family forever.
She entered the living room, and said sweetly, "I suppose this is good-bye then… it has been a pleasure spending time here with all of you, Sohma-kun, Shigure-san… Thank you for being so kind." She thought about Kyo, who was not present at the time and vaguely wondered why. She continued, "Oh… and please say good-bye to Kyo-san for me…" There was an uncomfortable silence at this moment… that was only broken when Shigure left the room to go telephone Tohru's family to let them know Tohru was ready to be picked up.
Once they had all said their good-byes, Tohru hurried out the door, so that she would not be late when her aunt arrived to take her home. As she walked farther and farther away from the house, she knew that she was missing something important… that emptiness had to be there for a reason…
…and someday, I hope to know what that reason may be.
Neko's Rambling Corner: This fan fiction was originally written for Fruity ML's fan fiction contest. That is basically what I think could be Tohru's possible reaction if she fails to break the curse and Kyo is imprisoned! This fan fiction ran way too long… I think I exceeded the word limit for the contest I'm entering it in by something like 300 words or so… oh well… I hope that doesn't disqualify it… (I definitely hope not… this fanfic took so many brain cells to write!)
Just so you know… that same dark-green notebook is the one that Hiro took from Tohru when he first appeared in both the manga and the anime. The picture of her mother is that same one that was shown in the manga in that chapter in the beginning of volume 7… the rest of the pictures are just figments of my imagination.
There were moments that almost made me sob uncontrollably while I was writing this fan fiction. Especially the very beginning, and the part when Tohru's memories are erased! (Aaaaaaaah! Why must it all be so sad?)
While writing this one-shot… I've been beginning to think that there might be a sequel to it… Maybe once I get finished with "Wishing not to be Alone" (which by the way… if any of the readers of this fic happen to be reading WNTBA… sorry for the lack of updates). It's still just a vague idea in my head, though… so I might not make one… but, ah… this is such a tempting story idea to build off of…
Anyway… sorry if this fan fiction happened to depress you, or anything… that's just how my stories are. Trust me, I considerably depressed myself in the writing of this fic, so you are not alone. However, I'm sure you are tired of my ramblings now… so farewell, and until next time!