A/N: This story is meant to be both a companion piece to "Relativity of Hers" and a standalone project. However, it was written without the same motive that drove "Relativity," and so the result is very different. That said, I nevertheless hope you show it the same generosity you've shown "Relativity."
I've made deliberate changes in the cell message that's received at the end of the story. If that puts you off, then feel free to let me know.
Voices of a Distant Star is the work of Makoto Shinkai. I use that story and everything therein without permission and only for free entertainment purposes.
A Kingdom by the Sea
I was a child and she was a child,
--In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
--I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the wingéd seraphs of heaven
--Coveted her and me.
- Edgar Allan Poe, "Annabel Lee"
He is not one to take matters of the heart lightly. Eight years of loving a nostalgia-tinged memory has hardened his soul and awakened his senses, so that now, as he listens to the cries of the love-laden teens next to him, he can't help but understand that their love was a love that was more than love.
But, unlike them, forever unlike anyone, his love is a love that is more than love. He has few friends now – many deserted him long ago, citing his indifference to their lives as the key with which they unlocked the chains of friendship – and those said few are hardly friends. He eats with them sometimes, he makes promises to join them for a night of joy and entertainment, but for the most part, these are all farces. He hardly ever goes out anymore, and even then, those with whom he shares a movie or a drink or a bed are acquaintances and cannot become, will not become, anything more.
He knows that this is unhealthy, but he also knows that inside his ancient cell phone lies a message in digital print from eight years ago that was sent by his love only a few moments ago. It was the message that changed him. He remembers, almost fondly but mostly self-reproachfully, that he'd been trying to resume his life when he received the heaven-sent decree of her innocent, childish love for him. And although he's moved on, freezing her in her timelessness, his feelings likewise are still those of the times when he was a child, and she was a child.
The teenage soldiers lament and lambast their lost little ladies, the Ligeias and Lenores who have been, as of late, lassoed and lifted, perhaps spirited away like the perfume of an unseen censer by the seraphim of heaven. He cannot reproach them, but neither can he withstand them.
They do not know what true matters of the heart are. They have never watched as the wind from the cloud bore their loves – though at the time he and she did not call each other such – into the lofty and timeless heavens.
There truly is a place where one lives forever, and certainly she is there. A heaven, an Aidenn, a Paradise lost.
He scratches his head and turns to leave the bar. There is no need for him to be here. All that lies here are sepulchers marking the deaths of many a love, and his love is a love that is more than love, and therefore will not suffer love's fate.
The armada duty. There was never been any real impetus for him to have advanced so far in the UN Spacy. Like everything else he had done since receiving her final message, his enrollment into the UN Spacy had been a mere turn of the page, a very emotionless and uninteresting endeavor, as if he hadn't particularly cared, because he hadn't particularly cared.
He stares out at the blue, the cloud-blowing wind reminding him of his love. The wind, it seems, now looks for him, and the cloud throws its shadow on him, and he questions whether that streaming cloud's shadow comes from the rain-bringer, from her memory long since blown away, or if it is simply a figment of his imagination. It is a sobering thought, but he has been sober his entire life. The implication of that thought frightens him.
He realized some time ago that what those friends who had flown before had hated most about him had been that he made his love for her an almost religious affair. Religious in that he often doubted it, he often questioned it, but when he was forced into the depths of despair, as was the case just before her last message, he was always saved by it. He had often had thoughts about killing himself, in the beginning, when he swore to himself to shut up his heart, but as time wore on, he came to realize the merits in his belief, in his unwavering love for her. And now, as he stares at the cloud casting its shadow on him and he feels the chilled wind that bore her away graze against his cheek, fluttering into his eyes the remnants of her ghost, he remembers that she no longer exists as he once knew her. She exists now only in his memory, that single love of his life.
The ring of the phone is jarring, more so because of its inaudibility than its sudden breaking of the silence. Nothing hinders his movements but the mere thought of her sepulcher rising. Ligeia, she truly is.
He stares at the phone for a moment, unsure of how he suddenly transported from the balcony, and then he clicks a button to turn a key, and a splash of stars and dreams crisscross the neon green.
The words therein are a secret shared with his soul of souls, the place where not even he can reach, but it is a place in which the moon never beams without bringing him dreams, and the stars never rise but he feels the bright eyes, of his darling—his darling—his life and his bride, and in their little self-made kingdom by the sea, he lies by her side, by her transient tomb by the sounding sea.
"To the 24-year old Noboru – Hello! From your 15-year old Mikako. I still miss you very, very much."