Under the Oak Tree
"Ne, Krad! Let's go to Dai-chan's house!"
"Krad, hurry up! We're late!"
"Oops…I forgot my obento again…looks like I'll be eating yours!"
"Krad! I'll meet you by the tree!"
"Ne, Krad, creepy boy's being creepy again…"
He never thought that he would actually miss his annoying complaints. But here he was, thinking about memories from the past.
It seemed that the violet-haired teen was constantly flitting in his mind these days. Of course, he probably wasn't the only one. The accident had affected everyone who had known him.
But it had hit him the hardest.
Krad slid down against the rough bark of the old oak tree. He hit the ground and stayed there, slumped. This tree was where they always used to play when they were kids. The trunk was so wide; it took 10 kids to be able to form a complete circle around it. Of course, when they were teenagers, the tree seemed smaller, less opposing.
But it was still their special tree.
He traced his finger along all the nooks and crannies that were etched into the wood. There were so many, and every few seconds his finger would slip as it unexpectedly lurched against a new bump, and impale a splinter into the skin. But he ignored them.
If Dark was here, he would have laughed at him every time he got a new splinter. Of course, he knew just about every bump, every knothole, everything that was carved into the tree. Whenever he ran his finger along them, it would slide among smoothly as if it was a flat wall, and never ever would he get a splinter.
It was just one of those crazy little things about him that one rarely noticed.
But Krad did. And now, even that tiny memory was enough to bring him close to tears.
He looked up at the sky through the tears that were threatening to fall. His vision was partially blocked from the thick leafy branches stretching out from the oak tree. They were laden with acorns, and every few minutes, another acorn would drop to the ground.
He smiled weakly, remembering the many times the acorns had hit Dark on the head.
"OW! Damn acorns…"
"Ouch! Friggin…take that you!" The acorn clattered against the wood as it was thrown at it. Dark loved the tree alright, but still…
"Why you--! I swear, if another acorn hits me on the head, it's gonna be as good as dead--ow!"
Of course, Krad had never been a victim of those dreaded acorns. He was always the one that stood by smirking at Dark's bad luck.
Ah…those peaceful days from long ago, where no one worried about anything major…they were long gone. Gone with the carefree lives they once lead.
All because of one stupid little accident.
Krad refused to believe it when he first heard it. Absolutely refused to. He had every right to. Dark was his best friend! He couldn't just--
He choked. Even in his thoughts, he couldn't bear think about what happened.
But it just wasn't possible. How could one, just one car, just one driver, cause all this to happen? How?.!
How could it happen to Dark, of all people?.!
It was a rainy night, he understood. The driver lost control on the roads. In fact, it had happened on the road right here, next to the old oak tree. But Dark…how, why did he get caught up with that?
He didn't hate the driver. And he knew Dark didn't either. Dark had told her, with his infamous smirk, that he didn't blame her. He had told her, just before he was gone…
But Krad still felt guilty. Why guilty? Because he wasn't there for him.
He was away, studying. All the way in faraway England. If only he had stayed…maybe he could have prevented that accident.
Or at least got to say goodbye.
Before he had left, Dark had given him a present. He still remembered when he gave it to him, grinning in that stupid way of his.
"Ne, Krad, a present for you!"
"What is it?"
"Open it up and see!"
It was a necklace. A necklace with an amethyst pendant hanging off it and Dark's name messily engraved on it. The pendant looked like a circle that had been cracked in half, and a black wing was shooting out from the side.
"See? You have a purple one, and I have this golden one!" he proudly held up a shiny gold one with 'Krad' similarly engraved on it and a white wing spreading out. He put it next to Krad's one and they seemed to fit together perfectly.
Dark pouted, "Ne, Krad, you're mean..."
"It's to remind us of each other, of course."
"Why? It's not like we're not going to see each other again…it's only a year, and I'll be back."
Dark had remained silent.
Had he known what was going to happen? Was that why he gave him that?
Maybe Dark didn't, but he had already had a foreboding feeling. When he was offered that scholarship to study abroad, he had been hesitant. He couldn't explain it, but…there was this little voice that was telling him to refuse, to stay at home.
But Dark had convinced him to go.
"Stupid Dark…" he whispered hoarsely, looking down at his feet again. "Why did you make me go? Why?.!"
He choked. "Damn you…why couldn't you make me stay? If only you had told me not to go. If only you had…"
If only you had, you wouldn't be dead.
It was his own fault, and he knew it. If he had stayed, then Dark wouldn't have been wandering around the road on a rainy night doing god knows what. If he had stayed, he would have been with Dark elsewhere, away from all dangers.
Even if he couldn't have taken Dark away from the scene, then maybe…
Maybe he could have been in his place instead. Maybe he could have been hit instead.
Maybe then, he would have at least got the chance to say goodbye.
But fate was a strange thing. Fate was probably the thing that stopped Krad from getting home in time. There was a freak blizzard in England, and he couldn't get on the plane.
If he had, he would have gotten back in time. He would have been there when Dark woke up from his coma, and would have been able to talk with him one last time…
He fingered the two pendants around his neck. Yes, two. The doctors, when he finally got back, told him that Dark had wanted him to have the other pendant. It hung next to his own one at this very moment, the two colours contrasting sharply, yet it seemed perfectly normal. There was something wrong with it…the two halves wouldn't fit together like they normally did.
"I'm really sorry Krad-kun. It was my fault that it happened, and I'm really, really sorry! Please don't hate me!"
"Don't worry, I don't hate you. It's alright; it wasn't your fault…"
It really wasn't her fault.
But…do you hate her?
Are you sure?
Well…how about him?
Do you hate him?
Do you hate him?
I said no!
Are you sure?
Are you sure?
How are you unsure?
But do you hate him?
I…I don't hate him. I wish that it hadn't happened, that he hadn't been such a fool to have been there, but…I don't hate him.
Are you sure?
I don't hate him.
I don't hate him!
Yes you do. You hate him for what happened.
I don't hate him! I don't hate him for what happened! I never have and I never will!
…There, I knew you really didn't.
"No…I don't hate him…not at all…I don't hate him at all…"
Golden eyes looked up wearily. A young redhead stood in front of him, accompanied by another boy with blue hair. The redhead smiled gently at him.
"We're going to the cemetery. Wanna come?"
It's been two weeks since it happened. Not once did he go. He couldn't, not when he refused to accept that it happened it at all. But…he had to move on.
Krad smiled softly back. "Yeah…I'll come with you."
Daisuke's eyes widened in surprise, before he broke into a huge grin. "I'm sure Dark-kun would love it!"
He gave a small grin back. "Yeah…I'm sure he will…"
Daisuke ran ahead, while Krad and Satoshi followed more slowly. Satoshi looked at him from the corner of his eyes.
"So…are you ready to accept it now?"
Krad nodded. "Yeah…I can't change what happened. But…I can still live. It's not his fault." He smiled softly.
Satoshi looked away from him. "I guess we're all going to have to move on at some point. He's such a jerk though, probably did it all for attention…" he muttered, just to lighten the mood. He walked ahead.
Krad smirked and followed him. "Don't worry Dark…I don't hate you."
His smirk grew even wider, and a small chuckle escaped him. Satoshi turned. "What?"
He shook his head, waving for him to ignore it. "Don't worry, it's nothing." Satoshi raised an eyebrow, and Krad turned around to look back at the oak tree again.
"It's nothing…" he smiled, as the wind ruffled his hair, tossing around the small pendants hanging from his neck. The gems glittered in the late afternoon sun as they gently slid into place, forming a perfect circle. Krad finally walked away, away from the old oak tree, a small smirk still lingering on his face.
Behind him, a single acorn dropped to the ground.
Well, this is probably as close to angst as I can get…I was in the mood to write, so yeah…I won't say much here, cause I might spoil the mood, but please R&R…