The Seven Heartbreaking Chapters Of Her Life
"My Heart is Still Yours"
Written by: keaRy anCe
"Be here by nine or you'll miss the train, so just once in your life, don't be late, sweetie. I know it's hard to leave everything behind especially when you're in the middle of high school, but everything will be worth it. It's going to be your new home, so just bear it all, alright, honey? Honey? Sweetie, are you listening to me?"
"Yes, mom. Don't worry. I'll be prompt and I'll promise to do my best."
Natsume expected Mikan not to listen. He will simply, after all, defend himself for the sake of his reputation. It made him seem very… unlikeable and evil. After reading her essay to the class yesterday, it came to him that the girl loved him more than he loves Sumire.
And every single time he remembers that cheerful winsome smile of hers, it reminds him that he's not the only person in the world. That everything won't always go according to his plan.
That there was something and someone way more important than the one he originally thought was.
And Mikan was there. Plain and simple. She was probably wearing the school uniform under the oversized sweater that reached past her knees. He never noticed it before, but she was quite thin; it made him wonder of the strength she possessed in such a seemingly fragile body.
"So…" Mikan glanced at the tree. He didn't need to tell her where to go. She knew. "What do you want to talk about?" Although she is aware of what their topic is going to be, well, she still need to ask, does she?
"You said you would listen."
"You don't need to have my word. I will always, always listen to what you have to say, Natsume." He looked at her. She was sincere. "I'm considerate." She added.
"And I'm not?" he countered.
"Tic, toc, tic, toc," she gave him a mysterious smile, "The clock is ticking, Natsume. Your fifteen minutes are ticking down." For the first time, she wanted to be the impatient girl even for a moment.
And it hit Natsume. It hit him hard.
He killed Sakura Mikan.
"What's the matter, Hyuuga Natsume? Are you, in some way," she tilted her head to the right with the same mischievous smile, "afraid of me?" She finished.
Am I? He asked himself. No, he decided firmly. "I'm not."
Mikan shrugged. "That's what you say." She ran a hand through her slightly damp hair. "But will you please get to the point? You're already wasting my time."
"Shut it." Natsume has gone berserk. He didn't know why, so God help him.
Mikan didn't stop from pissing him off. "Tic, toc, tic, toc, Hyuuga."
He grabbed her by the shoulders and forced her against the tree. "You talk too much for such a small person." He hissed, trying to control his temperament.
"You shout too much for such an introvert." She retorted, her voice is cold.
"I swear, if you cut through me—"
"Oh, intimidating me won't be necessary."
Natsume calmed down a bit. "Look, I just want to ask for your forgiveness. It'll take less than five minutes."
"Oh, Natsume." Mikan exhaled loudly, frowning. "That's the most difficult thing you've ever asked me to do. Way more difficult than pretending that I didn't know you were 'cheating' behind my back."
I don't blame you, he wanted to say. But he wanted his reputation back on track. If he doesn't, Sumire won't let him hear the end of it. Nor his parents. "I'm not asking you to really forgive me. You can tell everyone in class you and I are done, no more hate. After that, you can go back to cursing my name in your mind. With your friends. In private. Without ruining my name."
Mikan shook her head amusingly. "Natsume, I may be foolish, I may be an idiot and I admit I'm no Einsteinette, but I'm not that dumb."
The girl who used to respect him was long gone.
"What?" Natsume was utterly aghast.
Mikan had a small smile playing along her lips before she replied. The wind brushed past her like a gentle puffed-out air. "Natsume, I love you so much, it hurts. It still does." He couldn't tell what her eyes were saying. They looked teary, yet they were strong and powerful. "But I never want to forget that feeling, Natsume, because no matter how sadistic it sounds, it's one of the most important happenings in my life." When she looked at him straight in the eye, he swore the hair on his back stood in fright. Yet, her next words were sincere— so sincere that it made Natsume wonder why, of all the girls in the world who worshipped his every step, destiny had to choose Mikan Sakura. "I'll forgive you, Natsume, but not now. Not today. Not in a long while."
Caught short, he cried in frustration, "See here, you don't understand!"
"No, you don't understand." She poked him the chest. "Forgiving you would mean that everything is useless. If I 'forgive' you even though I really don't, it still doesn't change the fact that I come out looking like an even bigger fool than the big one they already know I am." Her voice softened and he was again reminded of the avenging angel who once brought a moment of solemnity in his life. "Natsume, if I tell anyone that I'm letting you off after all that crap you did to me, what I learned would be futile, and I don't want that to happen."
He stared at her.
"I must've caused you a lot of pain, didn't I?"
Yes, she yelled at him in her mind, imagine that sting I felt when I realized that no way could a wonderful knight like you fell in love with a damsel like me! "Not every question comes with an answer." She said, looking deeply into his eyes.
I know I did. Why can't you just say it? "I've always thought that Sakura has an answer to everything."
I'm not giving you an answer, Natsume. "I never thought Hyuuga would hate having another fan girl."
Just say it. Please. "You weren't a fan girl. You played a role in the tale." He cleared.
Don't force me. Please. "No, Natsume. I was just a fan. I worshipped your voice. I kissed your feet. I daydreamed about you. I was an obsessed fan. Didn't you realize it?" Mikan shrugged. She couldn't be even more light and easy as she was, although deep inside she had a hundred of emotions waiting to burst out, already in smithereens. "Just a fan."
Natsume was speechless. He couldn't think of anything wise to counter her Mikan-logic. Stop making this hard for me.
Mikan didn't say anything else. Stop making this hard for me.
He finally lost control. He slammed his hands and trapped her against the tree. His eyes were intense, not of passion, not of anger. They were just strong and powerful, it made her wince a little. But his next words were murmured. "Why don't you just listen to me?"
In the same, soft voice she used that made him wonder, Mikan whispered with a trembling voice, "I am listening, Natsume. But you're not listening to yourself." She allowed the tears to escape. She held his cheek and continued, "You want to say something, Natsume. You want to do what's right. But you're not listening to what your heart is telling you. You keep acting on your own accord with whatever your head is asking you to do. Natsume, before confronting someone, sort out your thoughts. Listen to your heart. You're a smart person, Natsume. But great minds are useless if not sincere."
He didn't know what to say, and so he spluttered out, "I'm as earnest as everyone else."
She smiled a little. "No, Natsume. Do you want to know what being sincere is? It's me telling you that I don't hold grudges against Shouda Sumire. It's me telling you that I'm not mad at the person you chose over me. Natsume, being sincere isn't just being honest to other people. It's being honest to yourself. I told you I'm no whiz, but I know you're not being truthful to me right now."
"I'm not hiding anything."
Patting his cheek playfully, Mikan sighed. "If you say so, Natsume. I should go. I—" I'll see you around? I'll see you later? I'll see you soon? Will we really see each other again? "—I have something important to attend to."
The talk wasn't clear, because neither was being honest. Natsume knew he wasn't. Mikan wasn't either.
She slipped under the cages he held her in and turned her back. "See you when I see you, I guess."
I am finding out that maybe I was wrong
That I've fallen down and I can't do this alone
Stay with me
This is what I need please
As she sat on the train with her luggage in front of her, Mikan wondered how she really hated it. She would leave behind everything in a matter of seconds— everything she earned in her sixteen years of living: her friends, her dreams, her thoughts, her secrets. Without even saying goodbye.
Love is patient and kind.
Mikan wanted to laugh at the absurdity of her mind. The paper she wrote was truly a mirror of a three month-long experience. Of course, who would've known? She had been tolerant, walking around with her eyes closed, with her hands on her ears. She pretended to be mindless of reality who rode past her in a speed.
Sing us a song
And we'll sing it back to you
We could sing our own
But what would it be without you
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Mikan didn't know exactly what she was feeling. It was as if everything was beginning to be a blur. Perhaps the talk of Natsume sealed the bitterness. It didn't leave a trace of sweetness, but it made Mikan felt whole, like she was unscathed in the beginning. Desire and jealously bubbled inside her, but she couldn't say the same in present time. People say that jealousy was a good thing in a relationship— that it was good to know that someone feared to lose you. But Mikan didn't own Natsume in the first place; he had his eyes on someone else.
And so, Mikan thought it over, and she realized that jealousy, perhaps, is not good at all. Jealousy was being possessive of your partner. Mikan reasoned to herself that love is supposed to be unconditional. It doesn't ask to be favored in return. When someone loves, they love. There is no need for it to bounce back. Love does not like being showed-off in public, because once love is settled between two people, it doesn't need to be spoken about in the whole world. Love requires only the participation of two beating hearts, not the whole population, for it is not swollen with pride.
I am nothing now
And it's been so long
Since I've heard a sound
The sound of my only hope
This time I will be listening
Mikan tried to sit comfortably, and the train started to move and pick up speed. Starting then, she wasn't just Sakura Mikan. She was Sakura Mikan. It was a new life she was heading to. A new light of hope.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered…
She left with a million regrets, but the burden suddenly seems light. There was no room for anger. She has to start new. She has to start easy. She has to do it all over again, with the best smile she could muster, with the best memories she had, with the best of everything that she still has. There was not a space for any negativity to take over this new life. It was her last hope to be someone again; someone untainted with rust, and once again be the person who brought smiles wrapped in sunshine for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Sing us a song
And we'll sing it back to you
We could sing our own
But what would it be without you
…it keeps no record of wrongs.
Mikan thought that if only she didn't fail her Math exam, she wouldn't have asked help from Hotaru, she wouldn't have headed to the library, and she wouldn't have stopped by the Sakura tree. If only she looked at Ruka a little longer, everything would've been fine. If only they talked a bit longer, she wouldn't have heard everything under the tree.
But love didn't keep a record of one's mistakes. Mikan was destined to fail the exam, ask help from Hotaru, head to the library and stop by the tree. She was destined to be blind and deaf to Ruka's affections.
It was all destined, and no one would remember it all.
I will, Mikan argued with herself, I'll know why it happened, how it happened. I'll remember how his mouth felt on mine, how warm his breath was on my face when we kissed, how gentle his hands were around mine, and how much it hurt then, when I unraveled the truth.
But she didn't need to remember it.
She would recall those things, but she didn't need to. But even if she didn't need to, she would keep remembering them, because that's what life does. It will keep reminding you of the things that once failed your heart, the things that made you frail and fragile. But it will always do so for something.
This heart, it beats
Beats for only you
My heart is yours.
She leaned her head against the window and for the first time that day, she didn't hold the tears back when she felt them coming. She can't fight it forever so she sobbed all her heartaches.
"Has anyone seen Mikan?" Yuu asked after checking the daily attendance. Mikan hasn't been around for two days, and did not even inform any of her friends.
Anna was beyond worried. "I haven't reached her phone since."
"I dropped by this morning to check if she's sick, but the landowner said she hasn't seen her either." Ruka explained. He was as anxious, not because he had personal feelings, but he treated Mikan as a real friend, too. He wanted to know why she hasn't been answering her phone or why she suddenly left.
Nonoko silently prayed, Please let Mikan be okay.
But Hotaru was silent. She was worried as they were, but she had the slightest hint where Mikan was. She wasn't exactly disappointed of her best friend's decision. Perhaps it is better that she maintains a distance between her and Natsume, but a selfish side of Hotaru wished that Mikan didn't leave. She wished that Mikan chose to stay and remain in Hotaru's side, screaming greetings and hugging people like a kid.
"I know you're worried, Natsume," Sumire snapped at the person beside her without looking up from the magazine.
"Worried with whom?" He tried to keep his voice monotonous, but Sumire knew better.
She looked irritated as she flipped to the next page. "You know damned well who. Stop kidding around. You're worried at that obsessed girl who thinks she was damn great when she 'had' you."
"You were the one who wanted me to find someone to fly time with," Natsume said, slightly pissed, "She did her part and acted it out with flying colors. The girl got an A+ for that, now stop talking about her like you know everything she feels."
"Honey, I do, because in case you haven't noticed, I'm a girl—"
"Believe me, I noticed that as soon as your foot entered—"
"— and I know what girls feel. I know that fluttering in your stomach, that putting on flavored balm, that first kiss, that warmth you feel when the guy wraps his arms around you—"
"She knows them." He said firmly, and Sumire annoyingly flipped the page again. "She's knows them more than anyone else. She's a newcomer with all of this… this…this—"
Both of them were silent. Their fight earned a couple of heads to their direction, and they were silently watched, like vultures with sharp eyes and ears. When the story was out, everyone wanted to know how it would affect their relationship.
Natsume gathered his views carefully.
Listen to your heart.
Great minds are useless if not sincere.
Being sincere isn't just being honest to other people. It's being honest to yourself.
It was time to listen to his heart, to stop doing things according to each dictation of his mind.
It was time to be honest.
"What if I tell you that I felt that love thing?"
Sumire snorted without looking up. "Who wouldn't? Natsume, I know for a fact that you couldn't help thinking of me when you were with Sakura."
"Not with you, you arrogant brat."
Everyone was listening. A pin could've dropped and it would've made a sound like a TNT bomb.
"Excuse me?" The magazine lay forgotten on the floor. Sumire's eyes were wide, her feet trembling when she stood up.
"What if I tell you that I felt that— that flutter in the stomach, that unfamiliar warmth, that wishing you had a mint on your mouth before the kiss— what if I tell you that I felt that when I saw Sakura Mikan two days ago?"
Oh my, is this even a school?
Mikan gazed open-mouthed at the humongous infrastructure behind an equally huge iron gate and high brick walls.
"Honey, close your mouth," her mother reprimanded. Mikan did, but she couldn't help but stare, still.
"Mom," she breathed out, "this is a high-class prison!"
"No, Mikan," her mother laughed, "this is your new school."
My new school. A whole new me. Starting over. My last hope.
"Welcome to Alice Academy, Mikan."
End of Story
Last year, I was planning. Planning to write a story about a fan girl's feelings but I didn't know I kinda applied it here. Or was it Kyra Marie? I really can't remember. Haha!
While reading this chapter, I got teary-eyed. Before I really wanted to make a story that can make people cry because that's another form of entertainment. While listening to Taylor Swift's Invisible, the plot came into my mind. To add some twist, I decided to limit the chapters into seven. I planned everything in my mind the following nights and thus this story was born.
I really am surprise at the feedbacks. Wow. Many like the story. It has been completed and many are like "Nice story!" and many more so after months of its completion, I reread it and found so many errors. I wanted to make the story more beautiful for the sake of the people who disregarded the errors and love the story so I started my search for a beta reader and luckily Kyra Marie volunteered and I also asked Tearless Sonnet for the first few chapters. They did a really good job. Thanks to them.
I hope you enjoyed everything, from first to last.
Write a story too. I'll, no, we'll be glad to read it.
Before I forgot, The Second Book is the sequel if this story. Thank you, again.
Another song that will fit this story is You Will Never Be by Julia Sheer.