It was hard, standing there, in front of the class with all of those eyes focused on her even as he spoke. It was hard to hear his voice again, too, of course. To hear that same soft tone that had confessed love to her for the first time in her entire life and Nanami wasn't sure what she was supposed to do. She could still feel it, in her chest that feeling- that dull ache that made her whole body feel like it was just going to fall to pieces but every time she saw his face, caught his glance and their eyes met it felt as though the whole world had flipped upside down. Like everything that she'd finally resolved was falling to pieces.
"What about Disneyland?"
Her throat tightened a little and her lips trembled slightly as she fought to keep that same smile on her face. She couldn't speak, though, simply stare.
"We could build the castle, use that mouse character, and light it up with decorative bulbs and stuff."
Even as the class erupted in an excited sound, she couldn't breathe. Couldn't take her eyes away from him, couldn't stop remembering.
"N-Nice idea," she managed to mumble, her words shaking even as they left her lips. And if it were Tokyo Disneyand, it would be better! We'll save up together! "Indeed," she finished, turning her back to the class and blinking several times as she wrote on the chalkboard.
Was it really never going to stop hurting, Yano? Was it really going to continue aching like this every single time I saw you?
It was hard as she made her way out of the classroom at the end of the period, forcing one foot in front of the other, her eyes trained on the floor. She could hear that familiar sliding of feet along the cold linoleum and she stopped in her tracks.
"Ya-Yano..." she called slowly, swallowing hard before she lifted his gaze to meet his. "That idea for Disneyland was really good. You really helped out." Just like a regular classmate, she reminded herself. It shouldn't be this hard. Those eyes shouldn't be-- I shouldn't want to forgive everything. It was the first time she'd spoken to him in the week since she'd left him on that beach.
I love you, Nana-chan.
Who had he been talking to all of that time? Why hadn't she ever--
"Umm..." came his slow reply but she was already turning away, her eyes sliding closed as she forced her resolve back up.
It was hard to forget. Hard to erase all of those memories that she'd built up with such care. To forget the way his lips felt on hers, to forget the sound of his voice as he'd teased her, flirted with her, told her he loved her. Hard to forget the feeling of his fingers so warm and reassuring as they'd clasped hers so many times.
Too hard to forget.
Stop confusing me. This is no good! Whenever I see your eyes, I waver.
"Well then... I'll be going to the student council meeting," she said softly, shaking her head even as her fingers tightened around the books in her arms.
It's too hard Yano...
She could hear even as he took a step closer to her, but she simply moved faster, ever single centimeter of her yearning for him even as she denied herself that.
Which Nana were you thinking about all those times, Yano...
One foot in front of the other, that was the only way to do it and people were staring now, whispering about her again as they had every single day since she'd broken up with Yano.
Stop confusing me... stop making me love you, Yano... please, take it all back. Take all of you back from me, I can't keep it all. I can't keep any of it!
Cold air assaulted her as she finally made her way outside towards the bus stop. It was another day. Just one more day, one day at a time, she promised herself, leaning against the cool pole as she waited for the bus.
One day at a time.
I promise I'll never leave your side, Yano.
That was the best anyone could do, right?
I want to be with Yano forever.
Just one day at a time. One day, one step, one--
Make me yours, Yano... I don't mind if it's you...
A soft sob escaped her as she slid down the pole, clinging to it uselessly as her books fell from her arms and she rested against the dirty concrete.
I really, really love you more than anyone in the whole world, Yano, so please talk to me... You can tell me anything. Rant to me. What would you say if she was here?
Quiet sobs were escaping her now and it didn't seem to matter that someone could have seen her, not as she knelt there, one hand finding her face to cover her lips as soft anguished sounds pressed from between her lips.
Please Nana... come back to me alive and I'll forgive everything... Come back to life, Nana...
The sobs grew steadily louder, even as she clutched at her lips, trying to force them back into herself. She'd truly thought that he'd loved her the way she'd fallen so completely in love with him.
I can't do this anymore, Yano... I can't make you happy. I'm sorry we can't keep our promises.
Why did it still feel like she'd betrayed him somehow? Not when he'd been the one that was still in love with Nana-san. That just didn't--
I love you, too, Nana-chan.
Closing her eyes, Nanami drew in a few deep breaths and carefully lifted herself back to her feet, wiping at her eyes.
See, Takahashi? Human memories are too vague. Thinking something has colour when it doesn't, making things more dramatic than they really are, glorifying things... It gives new, greater meaning than was actually there. That's why I don't believe in any of this talk about 'beautiful memories'.
Is that what it really was, Yano? She asked herself softly, shaking her head even as she heard the beginning of the heavy footsteps that reminded her that school was now out.
Forcing that smile back on her face, she waved at Mizu-chin and gestured the other girl towards her, letting herself fall into an easy conversation about shopping for bags.
Everyday just had to have one more day after it.