Authors Notes: For tsuite livejournal and beta'd by xcry livejournal. As always, excuse the poor grammar.
Disclaimed: Not mine. Never mine.
Aya adds "thinking" to the list of reasons why she hates this disease.
This disease had made her doubt herself. Think about things she never had to before. Her old life had been easier. Wake Up. Eat. Go to school. Study. Shower. Sleep. Have Fun. All she needed to do was study hard, and then all of life's opportunities were open to her. She could be a doctor or a dentist. A lawyer or a garbage [wo]man. The world had seemed small in comparison, trembling before her but now she is at nature's whim. She is the prey, scared and vulnerable. It makes her mind tick late into the night with haunting what ifs and depressing could have beens.
She wonders if there was anything she could possibly have done to prevent this.
This nerve wracking disease that made her think. Had she not been healthy? Hadn't she played basketball? She had, well enough to make it into the team without try outs. She'd played it well enough for Kawamoto sempai to like her. Maybe even love her in time. Had she not eaten all the right foods? Hadn't she always eaten what her mother made her and her fair share of tofu? Aya abstained from junk food, (it always tasted artificial), and it messed with her ability to play at the top of her game, and with her family budget too. Had she not been a good person? She had never been overly religious but that did not prevent her from being kind, especially to those less fortunate than her. Yet now she was becoming someone she once pitied.
She wonders if anybody has bothered to return her library books.
The one about aquamarine life, the one she planned to read, in order to impress Haruto with her knowledge on marine biology. She imagined his facial expression distorting as he came to recognise her abilities. His eyes widening as he was forced to accept her intelligence.
The one about a guy who was in love with a girl whom he'd met in his childhood, but had now forgotten. Mari - chan had told her about it, the beautiful heroine who worked hard to help her sick mother, the corrupt, yet undeniably handsome hero who was her employer. She remembered squealing about it then, looking it up in the library and finding it available, an uncontainable smile spreading upon her face, jumping up and down with glee and annoying library goers in the process. The happiness of that memory now seemed light years away, and Aya can't remember the last time she felt so excited about anything.
The one about Spinocebrellar disease. She had wanted to know more. What the doctors were telling her simply weren't enough. There had to be more to it than that. It was a thick book with a picture of a brain and a number of question marks hovering over it. The book had been hard to carry, heavy, stretching her woven bag, banging against her leg with every second step, unbalancing her, making her twice as susceptible to fall. Weighing her down. She'd opened it at home, made sure Ako was fast asleep and turned on the desk lamp discreetly. She finished reading fifteen minutes later, the section on Spinocebrella disease being fairly short. It was like reading a telegram.
Disease that affects the cerebellum. Stop. Causes immobility. Stop. Victims die within 5-10 years. Stop. No known cure. Stop. Survival rate zero. Stop.
She wonders if it's possible to ever feel truly happy again.
Her condition was never far from her mind. God dangling her inevitable fate on a long thin string. She was constantly reminded of her abnormality. Children running in the park. Girls dating their boyfriends in the streets. Basketball matches on televisions in electronic stores. It was impossible (she knew), to ever be that child running around screaming "you're it!". Impossible to marry and have children, or even to go out on a date. Impossible to play basketball again and experience that feeling of invincibility, the confidence that she had only truly felt on the court. Right now it felt impossible to dream.
But most of all she wonders if it was alright to let him love her.
Her broken body, wasting away before his eyes. Was it was okay to let him into her heart? One that would surely stop beating sooner than later. Her selfishness surprised her. The longing in her soul to hold him close and never let her go, festering deep inside her, disguised by her kind reassuring smile, slow annunciated speech, feather light touch. She didn't flatter herself. He'd never said that he loved her. Never asked if they could be more than friends. Any small gestures of romance that she would normally have speculated over with friends, giggling during long conversations over the phone, were now simply signals that he supported her. He didn't love her. He didn't need to. She loved him enough for the both of them. Her conflicting feelings terrified her too. At times she wanted him to love her, love all of her, all the way from her lifeless toes, to her silly little head. At other times she hoped he hated her. Secretly taking pleasure in her failings during physiotherapy class. Delighting in her immobility. If only so there wouldn't be a Aya shaped hole in his heart, when she would inevitably leave.
But he never said anything about it, and neither did she.
Aya looks down at her list. Bare and barren like her future. The word in capital letters had been re-traced over and over so that it barely resembled a PRO column . The paper had remained blank. There was nothing in life to look forward to. Hell, there wasn't even a life to look forward too. Aya looked over her shoulder at the clock on the wall. It was five to six, and her dad had invited Haruto over, to "further asses his character". He'd been nice about it, kindly refusing at first, but relenting without much persuasion. He was now the only person who really ever came to visit her. The only person who treated her like a real human being. His touch seemed to be magical, send subtle feelings of excitement, dread and adventure mixed in her veins. Unknowingly, she had given him a small part of her. The best part of her. The part that would live on. And the knowledge that he had a bit of her with him all the time pleased her. A calm bubbling feeling that she'd be wherever he was. That not all of her would leave when mobility left her bones.
"DINNER! And Asou kun is here!"
Aya smiled. If anyone could make her forget everything and anything it would be Haruto.
"Coming!" she yelled back, hastily trying to wheel herself away from her desk, leaving a rushed "Haruto" in thick pen underlined on the page.