Mizuho walked down the dim lit path towards the playground, the trees slowly swayed as a light breeze blew past by. A feeling of uncertainty came over her questioning herself if she is doing the right thing or not, plagued by a strong guilty feeling towards Kei for accepting Shido's invitation.
Many times she had thought of turning back but could not bring herself to as she knew Shido was surely to be waiting for her.
As she approached the playground she sees that Shido is waiting under the lamplight next to a log. Slowly she approached him steeling herself of what is to come.
"I'm sorry Shido, did you have to wait long?" noticing that he was rubbing his hands together.
"No miss, actually I just arrived a couple of minutes ago, it's a bit cold tonight though" he replied shyly.
"So what was it that you needed my help with? Do you have something that you didn't understand about my lessons?" she asked despite knowing the fact that Kei had told her earlier that Shido planned to confess to her.
"Well...miss, I asked you out here because I have something I need to tell you…" he spoke hesitantly.
The cool breeze moved the swing as Mizuho stood before Shido expecting for him to confess his feelings towards her.
"What is it that you need to tell me Shido?" Mizuho asked fearing for the actual confession.
"Miss Kazami…" Shido paused to swallow his saliva in an attempt to calm himself down, blushing terribly.
"Ever since the first day that I saw you…" he looked at her, uncertain of what she could be thinking at this moment.
Her beauty awed him and for a moment he forgot what he wanted to say, as he kept on staring at her face reality pulled him back and he felt that his courage had all gone with the passing breeze.
He did not want to give up now, he's already gone this far he summoned all of his remaining courage and momentarily thought that even with all the practice in front of the mirror he is still unprepared to tell her his feelings.
"I…I fell in love with you!" he blurted out, his face reddening from the suddenness of his confession.
Mizuho tried to speak, but her voice didn't seem to come out. She is shocked at his confession even though she knew and prepared for it, but the actual words really shocked her making her unable to say anything.
Silence filled the air for a while, to the two of them time itself seemed to have stopped.
"Shido …I'm happy that you have feelings for me but…" she looked at him, his face still red "…I am your teacher, we can't have a relationship together. It would be against school regulations and if people found out I'll be fired from my job" she explained and smiled weakly at him.
"Miss Mizuho…" he softly replied though saddened by her reply but feeling as if the whole world had been lifted from his shoulders, no longer did he have to hold his feelings inside anymore, even though deep down he knew himself that it is impossible for them to be together.
"Thank you" he replied, trying to smile back at her but failing.
"I'm sure you'll find a better girl than me, someone your age Shido" she added, his eyes brightened and his smile widened.
Mizuho felt relieved and thought that she handled the confession quite well. She thought back at Kei, wondering whether he is already home.
"Is there anything else you need to ask Shido?" she asked wanting to go back home and tell Kei what happened.
"Well….I do have some questions about today's lesson..." Shido sat on the log and reached for his backpack and immediately took out a textbook. Mizuho sat next to Shido as he browsed the textbook and looked up into the sky, she smiled and began teaching Shido as he asked her questions.
A passing breeze blew around Kei as he walked down the hill towards the train station. He walked slowly gathering his thoughts, he knew what Herikawa wanted to talk about and deep down inside of him a familiar emotion stirred.
He dismissed the feeling thinking that it was something else, above him the stars shone bright as he approached the station. He stopped in front of the station and hesitated to enter, fearing of the conversation that is to come.
He sighed running away won't solve anything, slowly he entered the station and went through to the platform. As he passed the doors he saw Herikawa sitting alone on the bench deep in her own thoughts. She didn't even notice that he was standing there looking at her. He stood there for a moment admiring her beauty in silence.
"Hey, Herikawa" Kei finally spoke startling her she turned around and smiled.
"Hey Kei" she replied "I'm sorry that I called for you this late" she added.
"Its okay, you said it was something important" he replied. Kei walked towards the bench and sat next to her, both of them looked forward afraid that if they looked at each other their feelings would betray them.
The two of them sat silently for a while, the sounds of crickets filled the silent atmosphere filling the air with their own melodies.
"Kei…lately you've been disappearing quite a lot, every time I turn the other way and look back you're already gone" she spoke at last in a disappointed tone.
"Well I've been a bit busy lately and my grades are dropping quite low these days…" he replied hastily.
"I see…" she replied, "Kei…lately I've been having strong feelings about you…its not enough that we are just friends for me, its not enough that were just classmates…My heart beats fast whenever I see you Kei".
Kei went speechless, he knew that she was going to confess to him but he had no idea that his feelings would respond to hers so strongly.
"Herikawa…I…I already have someone I'm with at the moment" Kei replied slowly but inside his emotions were yearning to tell her that he too had the exact same feeling that she is having.
Thinking back Kei had somewhat liked Herikawa for quite some time but did not have to courage to tell her because of his illness.
His heart could not take sadness, if even there was a tiny hint of feeling sad or hurt, he would enter into a 'standstill' state.
An illness that is so serious, he lost three years of his life. In spite of losing three years, he didn't age physically time had stopped for him once he enters the 'standstill' state
The fact that he was older than all his classmates also factored in, after what happened with his previous classmates he thought to himself it would be better if no one here knew about his past.
Tears begin to appear at the edge of Herikawa's eyes, she tried hard to hold the tears back.
"Herikawa…I need to go now…" Kei spoke feeling guilty, he stood up and walked away but stopped as Herikawa grabbed his jacket. He turned around to face her, her fringe hid her eyes masking her slowly dropping tears.
"I can't hold on like this forever, Kei" she spoke as she stood up.
"There's no one else I want to be with except you!" she suddenly hugged him tears dropping from her eyes steadily.
Kei felt for the first time that he wanted to embrace her, his feelings telling him that they are not fake but real like the invisible wind blowing through. But at the thought of Mizuho he hesitated. He had the exact same feelings for Mizuho as well and he didn't know exactly what to do.
His thoughts were in turmoil and his heart split in two, a part of him wanted to be with Mizuho but another part of him wanted to embrace Herikawa. Both emotions were strong, he was confused as to what he should do.
"I love you Kei" Herikawa softly spoke in between sobs.
"Herikawa…" he spoke softly putting his hands gently on her shoulders, he pushed her back gently and she looked down at the floor sobbing.
"I understand how you feel Herikawa…but I'm confused at this moment…I already have someone I like but I think…I'm beginning to realise my feelings for you..."
Her eyes widened, as she heard the last few words she abruptly stopped sobbing.
"…that's why I need time to think…I don't know what I should do, I'm confused" He looked into her eyes.
"Herikawa…can you wait for my answer, I really need to think about all of this through" She stared at him for a moment, then put on a faint smile.
"I'll always wait for you Kei, no matter how long it takes, I'll wait for your answer" she responded happily rubbing her tears away.
Not the reply she was hoping but knowing that Kei had feelings for her kept her hopes alive and that thought made her happy. She had already knew that Kei was seeing someone but knowing nothing about the other girl worried her deeply, she decided to risk everything this night by telling him of her true feelings.
Kei looked at the clock on the wall and the time is already nearing midnight.
"Herikawa, it's getting kind of late, I think we should both go home now" he said.
Herikawa searched for the clock and looked at the time briefly, her eyes red but her feelings happy and nodded.
"I'll see you tomorrow then Kei!" After waving goodbye to Kei, she walked off home feeling pleased.
Even though Kei didn't say that he loved her but there is still hope when he said that he had feelings for her. With this, Herikawa smiled and walked off home happily.
Kei waited until Herikawa had already gone from his sights before he started to walk out of the station. He thought about what just happened, how his feelings for Herikawa suddenly grew without him realising it.
The feelings that up till now he only felt faintly for Mizuho, torn apart by the emotions he suddenly dashed up the hill. Thinking that maybe if he ran fast enough the feelings he felt for Herikawa would fade away like the lingering clouds scattered across the sky.
Kei gasped for breath as he rested at the top of the hill, he sat down at the side of the road tired from the sudden exertion. An owl hooted on a nearby tree and observed Kei closely like how a predator watches its prey before the hunt.
Breathing deeply, Kei thought again about Herikawa and the feelings that he felt earlier did not go away. He shut his eyes and put his head on his knees, he felt that he had betrayed Mizuho.
Feeling disgusted by himself he wished for the ground to open up and swallow him whole, getting rid of all his problems altogether.
What seemed like hours were only a couple of minutes that passed, the owl flew away in search of an unfortunate victim for its midnight snack. Slowly Kei stood up and began to walk, realising for the first time that maybe, just maybe he can move forward with Herikawa instead of Mizuho. With that thought lingering in his mind, he headed for home.
Mizuho opened the door and darkness greeted her, she saw that Kei's shoes were already there. He's already home she thought she took off her shoes and quickly went inside wanting to tell Kei that nothing big has happened between her and Shido.
Slowly she slid open the sliding door and peered inside, Kei was already asleep in a separate futon, disappointed and angry by the fact that Kei didn't wait up for her.
But her anger didn't last long when she realized how late it was, she changed into her nightgown and lied down in the other futon that Kei had prepared for her.
She thought of what had happened earlier and even though Shido had confessed to her she didn't think about it much, instead she felt worried as to what happened when Kei went to meet with Herikawa earlier.
After a while of thinking the feeling of tiredness caught up with her and she dozed off easily, telling herself that Kei will tell her everything tomorrow.
In the other futon, Kei is still wide awake, he didn't want to talk with Mizuho at this moment because his feelings were still uncertain. Try as he might to go to sleep but the earlier incident kept replaying in his mind his emotions growing stronger and stronger, after what seems like an eternity and feeling extremely exhausted he finally fell asleep.
Replaced this chapter yet again making this the umpteenth time I did this. I'm trying to make the emotions more realistic this time around not sure if I actually catched it right this time around. Still I'm trying my best! making plans for the next chapter though when its posted even I don't know hopefully if all goes well by next week. Please do review and tell me whether this story is worthy of being continued or dropped altogether. Well off to brainstorm on how to continue from here on