AUTHORS NOTE: Wow wee. No school today. RNR :)

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5 CHOICES CHAPTER 11

..::TRUMPET SERENADE::..

written by: reizu

"Hahahaha! I'm alright! Please don't worry about me!" Azuma lay in the hospital bed with thermal bed sheets. He was entertaining some late night visitors which included Kazuki, the Yunoki Guards (yes they're still dedicated) and Shimizu.

"But Azuma-Sama! You almost died!" The guards gasped. They started murmuring about how life would be without Azuma.

"But…Yunoki-kun, what were you doing out this late? They carried you in wearing a white Tuxedo." Kazuki asked clueless. He glanced at Kahoko who seemed to be in a black dress with a slit from her lower thigh down. Could it be that these two were together somewhere.

"Hmmm…Now that you mention it…I don't really know…" Azuma said shaking his head. "The doctor told me it was nothing to worry about…but…I really don't know… I don't remember anything…" he gave an empty stare. He directed his attention at Kahoko. "Who are you?" he asked.

"…Yunoki-kun! That's Kaho-chan! Don't play silly games!" Kazuki laughed. He looked at Kahoko who seemed to have a very sad look on her face.

Nothing to worry about…that's not what it is… Kahoko began to think deeply.

Flashback – Inside the doctors briefing room.

"It seems to be a bad case of amnesia…" the doctor said seriously, he ruffled through some papers and selected one.

"But…he didn't hit his head…How can that be?" Kahoko asked. The doctor gave her the paper and she read through it in her mind.

A patient can sometimes forget key moments in his/her life after experiencing a traumatizing event. Usually, they forget what stresses them the most…examples include school work, jobs and family matters. In some rare cases, the patient actually remembers what he/she has forgotten, but usually, they never do.

"So…you're saying…" Kahoko's voice broke.

"He…won't remember whatever happened between you and him…or maybe…he won't even remember you at all…" The doctor said smugly. He glanced at Kahoko's hand, where the little music note ring lay. "This must be hard for you." He said resting his hand on her shoulder. "Just give him some time…maybe he'll remember…"

"Don't lie to me." Kahoko said monotonously. "What's done is done…I think he should just forget about me…"

"Don't say that!" The doctor replied quickly. "If he's forgotten you…that must mean you meant a whole lot to him before the accident…" he smiled. "Now, why don't you visit him. I'm sure you want to know how he's doing.

Back to present time.

"No…I'm serious…" Azuma said giving a gentlemanly smile. "I don't think we've met…"

"What?!" Kazuki stared at Azuma with his mouth open. He looked back and forth from Kahoko to Azuma. "What's going on?!"

"…My name's Kahoko Hino…" Kahoko said forcing a smile. It looked so realistic it was pretty scary. "I participated in the concours with you once." She bowed, "Nice to meet you."

"Really?" he said as he made a face. He placed his hand on his forehead as he tried to remember. "The one we had at Seisou Academy? I remember Shouko-san being the only girl…I'm really sorry…" he frowned.

"That's alright." Kahoko gave a professional smile.

"What's going on!?" Kazuki and the Yunoki guards demanded.

"…Amnesia…" Shimizu said absent mindedly.

"Amnesia?" Azuma asked almost immediately "What talk is this of amnesia?!" he snapped (still in a gentlemanly way.)

"Yunoki-kun! Kaho-chan participated with us!" Kazuki blurted out. "She played the violin!"

"…I…I don't recall…" he sighed. "Gomenasai…Hino-san…" he said sadly.

Hino-san…I haven't heard him call me that in forever…Kahoko thought to herself.

Kazuki decided to walk Hino home since it was pretty late out. They made their way across the streets.

"I don't believe this…Amnesia? This is weird…" Kazuki shrugged.

"Yeah…I know…" Kahoko agreed with a nod although she knew exactly why he forgot.

"Kaho-chan, I hope you don't mind me asking, why were you all dressed up?" Kazuki had his cheerful tone back.

"…I was going to a party." She answered after thinking. Best not to let anyone know.

"Party huh? Who's party?" Kazuki continued.

"My friends…"

"Who?"

"…Mio-chans…" Kahoko was running out of answers.

"Ohhhhhhh! I see! That's nice!" Kazuki had his hands on the back of his head as he walked.

"…Ow!" Kahoko said suddenly.

"What's the matter?!" Kazuki asked quickly. He noticed the blood forming on Kahoko's back heel.

"…Blisters…" Kahoko forced another smile. "I'm pretty pathetic aren't I…? Can't even walk properly in heels." She shrugged.

"…Up you go!" Kazuki said scooping up Kahoko into a piggy back form.

"Sempai! What're you doing?!" she asked quickly.

"Helping you home!" he said with a wink. There was an awkward silence between the two as Kazuki walked.

"…Thanks…" Kahoko sort of murmured this. "Sempai…"

"Hm?"

"I'm sorry about earlier…" it came out in a sort of whisper. "I shouldn't have acted so rashly towards you."

"Don't worry about it!" Kazuki said (with energy…he seems to never run out…)

"…I feel like I'm such a burden to you Sempai…" her voice started to tremble.

"Kaho-chan! Don't be so emotional! I want you to cheer up!"

"…Hihara-sempai…"

"Listen! I know how you can thank me for this!"

"…How?"

"I need to give some old records to Seisou! How about you come with me to Kanayan. I need to give them to him pronto!" Kazuki seemed to have a faraway look.

"…Alright…It's the least I could do…" she sounded better now.

"Great! Meet me at the fountain tomorrow." He gave her a big smile. "Here's your house!" Kazuki said going into a saluting position.

"Arigato Hihara-sempai!" Kahoko said holding in a laugh.

"Alriiiiiiiiiight!" Kazuki cheered loudly.

"What is it?!" Kahoko asked quickly. She gave a hushing sign to Kazuki.

"I finally got you to laugh!" he smiled proudly. "You've been a bit down lately…"

"I have been…haven't I…" she sighed. "Thanks again Kazuki-sempai." She smiled. She waved and entered her house.

Kazuki breathed hot air onto his hands, stuffed them into his pockets and began to walk home. Underneath the dark, snowy, moonlit sky, you could see a small smile hidden on the young mans face.

The next day

Kahoko woke up the next day with sore feet. She had to apply medicine to the swollen parts of her foot. She put on something decent (a plaid blouse and a skirt) and decided to head out. Her walk to Seisou was quiet. She decided to take some time to think about recent events. Everything around her seemed to be beautiful today. She felt calm that morning. Everything complemented the relaxing mood.

So many things have happened in this past week... I can't believe Yunoki-sempai doesn't remember me anymore… Funny…it feels weird… Now that he doesn't remember me…I feel as if a good friend was taken from me…It's strange to know that the man who proposed to me that day…forgot all about me in 1 hour…I must have hurt him so much for him to forget about me…

Maybe I should've said yes… Or maybe I did the right thing…

The wind blew silently, creating a soothing sound. She decided to take the scenic route as she continued to contemplate.

Tsukimori-kun… I don't know what to believe… Even if he truly likes me…I guess I shouldn't have been mean…I've hurt him so much, and yet…he still stands strong on stages…playing each piece with perfection…as if I haven't done anything wrong…I guess admiration for someone is different from liking that person…

She walked passed the trees and from a far, she saw Seisou academy. She started walking in that direction.

Ryo-kun… even though you're gone…I'll still remember how you looked out for me each time I messed up… You never failed to take care of me… Sometimes…I felt greedy…I wanted you to be mine…My own big brother…But when you left…I felt devastated about losing you.

You didn't even tell me…Did I look that horrible…? Or maybe…I deserved it…

As she approached the school, she heard a familiar tune being played inside the campus.

Is that…Gavotte…?

She entered further and saw Kazuki playing his silver trumpet in the exact same spot where they first played together. Kazuki looked so different when he played the trumpet. He looked much more mature.

Kazuki-sempai…

Kazuki noticed her and gave her a wink. The happy tune continued until the end. "How was it?!" Kazuki asked in his usual cheerful tone.

"…I remembered…the first time we played this together… You really saved me that time didn't you, sempai…" she smiled warmly. "Thank you."

"No need to thank me." Kazuki turned light pink as he scratched his head. He looked embarrassed. Kahoko giggled at this.

"So what did you need to submit to Kanazawa-sensei?" Kahoko reminded.

"Ah---about that! I submitted them already!" Kazuki laughed. "Don't worry about it! So how about I take you somewhere instead!" He smiled. And with that, he escorted Kahoko to the park. Kazuki started playing his trumpet which in turn attracted some kids.

Kahoko watched Kazuki intently.

This guy…he sort of makes you feel at ease… I can't really explain it.

"Kaho-chan!" Kazuki called. He ran up to her with a grin spread across his face. "Listen! I heard that there's this new cake shop in central station! How about we head there! Please?!" He looked eager.

"Alright." Kahoko giggled again. Is this guy a little boy inside?

They arrived in the cake shop and almost immediately, Kazuki ordered 4 mini cakes.

"This ones strawberry, that ones chocolate, this one over here is a cheesecake, and this is a blueberry cake!" he pointed each little cake out. "Eat as much as you want!" Kazuki smiled warmly, "My treat!"

"…No! That's alright! I can manage half!" Kahoko replied quickly.

"Nonsense! It's on me! Kaho-chan, just eat up!" He answered back.

The two ate in silence. There seemed to be no topic to talk about, until Kahoko decided to bring up Azuma.

"…I hope Yunoki-sempai recovers well." She sighed heavily.

"Me too." Kazuki agreed. "I can't believe he forgot someone like you! It's not like you're just some outsider! You were with us the whole time!" Kazuki complained.

"I guess fate just wants it that way." She muttered to herself.

"Hm? What was that?" Kazuki asked.

"N-Nothing!" she laughed, "Just talking to myself again."

"I see…" he frowned. Suddenly, his phone rang. He flipped the top open and placed the phone next to his ear. "Uh-huh? Aniki?! Yeah…I'm with Kaho-chan…What!?"

Kahoko noticed blood rush to Kazuki's cheek.

"Anikiiiiiii! Stop it!" Kazuki whined. "Today? Are you serious? But…Wait…Oh fine…" he sighed. He closed the flip phone and looked sympathetically at Kahoko. "Kaho-chan…I'm sorry, I need to go…"

"Oh that's alright!" she smiled again. "It's really no problem. Just be safe." She reminded.

"Aren't you going to even ask why?" He looked pretty serious.

"Hm?"

"Just kidding!" He laughed, but somehow, it didn't sound so cheerful. "So I paid already at the counter, just leave when you're done…I'm really super sorry!" Kazuki bowed.

"S-Sempai! Don't do that!" Kahoko turned pink from embarrassment.

"I'll see you around!" Kazuki said. And quickly, he kissed her on the head, waved and left.

Kahoko sunk into her seat…Her face turned bright red.

This feeling…I know what it is…

Kazuki sempai makes me feel like…I can really…settle down with him…

Kahoko smiled silently and finished the cake…She picked up some flowers to bring to Azuma on the way back. As she entered his hospital room, an awkward silence filled the air.

"Uhm…Hino-san…right?" He sounded respectful

"Yes." Kahoko smiled back.

"…I wonder if it's you I've forgotten…" he said staring out the window of the hospital room.

"Excuse me?" She asked

"The doctor mentioned something about amnesia…But I couldn't quite catch the last few words…"

"…Rest up Yunoki-sempai. You'll need your strength to be discharged early." She informed him. She walked to his bedside table and replaced the flowers.

"I know, I know." He laughed. "…If you are the one I've forgotten…I am…terribly sorry…" he apologized.

"Don't be sorry." Kahoko said shaking her head. "I should be the one apologizing…" she whispered to herself.

"What a beautiful ring!" Azuma smiled admiring her hand. "A music note huh…"

"Yeah…" she sighed heavily. He really has forgotten huh…

"Why the sigh?" He asked quizzically. Maybe this topic is sensitive.

"Nothing…You…Sempai…have you really…forgotten me…?" she asked slowly.

"…Hino-san…It was you then…" he said face turning sad.

"…No! It wasn't…" It's best to forget someone who can't give you a straight answer…

"Who were you to me Hino-san? Please help me remember…"

I'm sorry… "I was…I was…well…"

"Hino-san?" Who were you…

"I was just one of your fans…I loved your playing…and I used to cheer you on a lot…" she said quickly.

"Is that so…Then I guess I should thank you for cheering..." He gave a gentle smile.

"…Y-yeah. "Sempai…If you'll excuse me…I need to go…" she bowed.

"Take care Hino-san." He waved. Kahoko waved back with a fake smile that Azuma couldn't see through.

Yes…it's best this way…sempai…I hope you find someone better than me…

Kahoko clutched the ring in her palm closely to her chest.

But…why does it hurt so much...

END

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