All Good Things
Hanajima knew it would all end one day. She saw all of the signs, subtle or not. She tried to prevent it but just couldn't.
At the beginning, before it started, she noticed the first sign. It might have been an off wavelength or something in their smiles. Whatever it was, the moment that they both took her hands, she felt it. She sensed something that made her doubtful and worry. The linking of their pinkies didn't relieve the feeling, nor did the wishes for tomorrow. That didn't erase the feeling that followed her steps. That, even though Tohru and Uotani offered friendship, it was just a hollow, empty promise.
She ignored that feeling, brushing it off.
They became friends over time-one might even call them sisters. The three girls went together everywhere, even eating and sleeping together sometimes. There were moments filled with teasing and grins, new discoveries and embarrassing experiences. These days were filled with golden laughter and glowing smiles. Days that seemed like they would never end, as if they would stretch on forever. Days that never seemed to have a cloud in the sky, that would fill them with happiness when thought of. However, even if they were as close as possible, Hanajima still had some nagging suspicions. That the oaths they made were just lies, that they wouldn't stay together. That something would break them apart.
However, she ignored those thoughts. They couldn't be true and possibly happen.
Soon enough, she found the first changes in her friendship with Uotani and Tohru. Before, no secrets were kept and everything said was honest. However, while Uotani didn't change yet, Tohru (honest, pure Tohru) lied sometimes. She would claim something happened at her home and that's why they couldn't visit. Her clothes were dirty because she feel and she cried because she bumped into a table. She wasn't hanging out with the Sohma boys, just bumping into them occasionally. Those excuses didn't seem like lies but Tohru would look away when ever she said them, making Hanajima figure it out.
Still, she reassured herself, Tohru told them the truth after and didn't keep it a secret forever.
After Tohru told them about the Sohmas Hanajima felt a little relieved. The change was not permanent and was fixed. Still, to make sure that everything was fine and they were informed, she and Uotani went for a visit. Looking in Tohru's new room, she noticed how Tohru was happy. How she seemed to fit in, as if she lived there for a while—a place was reserved for her at the table, an apron just for her, a cup with her name on it. And even though Tohru hadn't changed too much after her mother's death, there was a sparkle in her eyes that Hanajima hadn't seen for a while. Something in Tohru's grin that wasn't there before. Something with the way she treated her two friends. Something was different.
The clouds covered the sun, enveloping the golden light in a velvety carpet of darkness.
Before, Uotani and Hanajima would walk Tohru to her job occasionally. If she finished really late, they would take her home. However, now when they offered, she would politely excuse herself, saying that Yuki volunteered already, or Kyo wanted to do it for once. Her lunches for them were becoming rarer and their conversations didn't occur as often. While before they were always seen together, Tohru was now in a close-knit group with the Sohma's. If she needed help, she would ask the Sohmas for help, and she no longer studied with them. Her free time was spent with her new family, while Uotani and Hanajima were forgotten.
Still, she reminded herself, Tohru was their friend. She wouldn't forget them forever and eventually come back. Besides, Uotani hadn't left her yet.
Soon, there were more changes. Secretive smiles would flit across Tohru's face, as if remembering a memory, one that the other two weren't apart of. Tohru wasn't the only one different. Uotani's eyes would sometimes stare in the distance, as if she's looking for something. Laughter, silent and held back, and the feeling as though there was somewhere else the two girls wanted to be were not missed by Hanajima. She saw them glance at the door sometimes, check their watches impatiently, and not be completely there when she talked to them. Saw that there were jokes and gestures that came from events she missed, that there were happy sighs from thoughts she didn't hear. There were times when they would claim that they had to go somewhere urgently. Sometimes, when they went to the washroom, they wouldn't return. Sometimes they were at a loss of words for an excuse, so she just gave them one.
"I can't be selfish," she told-more like tried to convince-herself. "I'm sure there is a good reason and it will pass in time."
But it didn't pass. Tohru would sometimes look uncomfortable, as if she did something bad. Uotani would turn red, blushing brightly as she left to go to work. One girl might be chuckling softly, then quickly stop when she got caught. The other girl might be lightly touching her hands, as if reliving some experience. Tohru might be twirling her hair, lost in thought, or Uotani might be looking out in the sky, remembering a fond memory as she gently smiled. They would occasionally be busy, unable to make their get-togethers. Then they told her one day why there were so distant. They were in love.
"If they're happy, I'm happy. They are not mine to keep," she chanted to herself, trying not to feel rejected and lonely.
Soon she rarely saw them. When she did, they had glowing smiles and bright eyes. They would talk about their date or something that happened at the movie they went to. They looked so happy (a happiness she could no longer give them), so she pretended that she was having fun too (not the lonely nights and empty mornings she actually had). Tohru might remember that they haven't had time to have a girls' night out, just the three of them, and suggest that they should meet soon. Uotani might say yes and Hanajima would look relieved, thinking that some things wouldn't change. However, more often than not, she would open the door to an empty house and get a call saying that something occurred—probably their boyfriends, her jealous heart whispered but she would ignore that, for they were her friends and it must have been something important. Other times, when they would meet, Tohru might have to leave early, or Uotani might get a call, ending the sleepover earlier than it should be.
She ignored how they didn't see each other for months, thinking that they were still connected.
One day, she stopped trying to convince herself things would change back. For she realized that they are different and it is permanent. Nothing would change it (for, now they had gotten married, and Tohru—sweet, innocent Tohru—was pregnant). The connection they had, the sisterly bond, was forgotten—lying in the dust, dirty and stepped on. Just like how their childish promises (together forever, voices sang) were broken, the three girls were no longer close. Secrets that were shared were no longer revealed. Conversations that were daily were now a once-in-a-while thing and, even then, no longer face-to-face. For, while all they had was each other before, now there were others. Others that claimed their attention. Others that needed Tohru, others that teased Uotani. Others that pulled them away from her.
All that she could do was watch as the pieces of what was (of sweet smiles, cheerful laughter, and promises for the future) shattered. And the shards fell on her, cutting her with the memories, slashing the ribbon-like bonds that were once connected to her.
She won't admit that she is lonely. She won't cry or let anyone see her sorrow-filled eyes. She won't be angry at them—how can she get angry at them for pursuing happiness? She doesn't regret the friendship, for it saved her and for that she is grateful.
However, Hanajima has one thing she would say, if asked: That in the beginning, when it all started, she knew this would happen. Even though they tried to convince her otherwise, she knew that they were wrong. Even if they didn't realize it, she saw what would come—she tried to deny it herself for she didn't want it to happen either. And that she shouldn't have tried to stop what she knew:
That all good things would come to an end.
A/N: Wow. I didn't think I would write this now (I was planning on having this down in two months, but I just felt like writing something).
I'm guessing most people won't read this, though… (Fruits Basket has ended long ago and most people have moved on to things that are still running).
…for those who are reading, hope this touched you.