Author's Word: I hurried to upload this 'cos my new school life starts in a day's time for me. It's the last chapter already. Like, seriously.
Everywhere you walked today, the air would smell of rain. But of course; it was pouring mercilessly outside, looking as if it might go on forever and never stop. In the room, not a single person smiled and hardly anyone was speaking. And in the front, a monk was chanting prayers while several more people dressed in black came in.
Each and every one of them, they were all waiting for it to begin.
People that knew him, including past teachers and classmates were shocked. "But, he's only 20! That's so young!" they said. "And he was a smart boy too! Quite a shame there, really..."
In the front row, offering their prayers, were Christina and Bookman respectively. Holding the joss sticks in their hands, they quietly bowed when asked to and after that, they said their prayers to send him on his way. Only people that were closest to him would get to go first, but even when they were done, there was still one person missing.
Lenalee hasn't come yet.
The monk had hurried them; asking if the very last person was ever going to turn up. To make everything go faster, the others in the room had already lowered their white chrysanthemums into the coffin. And as Allen lowered his, he even had to choke back his tears. This guy had been his best pal for years. The others were right; he was only 20. He didn't deserve to die.
Outside, the sound of a car skidding to a stop could be heard.
Rou Fa's ears perked up and when she looked up towards the front door, she could see Komui helping Lenalee out of the car. "Lenalee," Rou Fa had whispered to herself while she went over to give her best friend a hand. But evidently, Lenalee was too upset to even look at her.
The room fell down to absolute silence as people laid their eyes on the petite girl. She looked so pale and fragile, like a vase about to break soon. Anyone who knew him would know Lenalee. She'd been the biggest part of his life, they understood.
"Lenalee, dear," Christina said while pressing a white chrysanthemum into Lenalee's hand. "Say your final farewell now."
"Yes," Komui let go of his hold from Lenalee. "Let's not keep him waiting."
Lenalee could hear them and her head knew what she was supposed to do. Slowly, she dragged her feet across the cold tatami flooring of the unfamiliar ground, inching closer and closer towards the coffin till she was just right next to it. She got on her knees and stared blankly at the flower in her hand. But it was something she needed to do.
While reaching into her pocket for something, Lenalee lowered the chrysanthemum into the coffin. And then above it, she placed a picture of the one they'd taken during their first school festival with Allen and Rou Fa. Those were good times, weren't they?
Weren't they, Lavi?
Her eyes trailed up the sea of white and stopped when she found his face. They had let him put on the beanie she'd made but inside, she knew Lavi was going to complain if he knew about the loose threads that she'd carelessly forgot to cut off. Yet now, he was just...quiet. He wasn't saying anything to her at all, his eyes shut tight.
As she looked at him, the pain started to set in once again. Memories, so many of them, flooded into her mind and scorching hot tears started to flow down her face unknowingly.
A sudden thought came to her. She remembered...the Baby's breaths. And the way he'd looked as he ruffled her hair in joy. She could recall pressing her face against his back as they rode his bike to school. And the crazy boy, with chalk on his angry face, had broken into a smile as they kissed in the library. Not only that, he'd sewed over a hundred pair of mittens for the baby all on his own! ...Even till now, Lenalee could still picture his face when he held her tight as they caught their first sunrise together earlier in the year. She could still feel him, sitting right next to her, her hand in his...
"That way, no matter where Lenalee is, I can instantly find her."
"Have the baby! You must have the baby! And I will definitely work hard to bring you happiness too!"
"Lenalee...Lenalee, I love you."
"...s-smile for me?"
Lenalee's head hurt, as she gripped at the side of the coffin without much strength. "Why, Lavi..." she questioned him, even though she knew he wasn't going to answer her, "Why are you so cruel? Why are you always leaving me behind on my own?!" They'd planned for him to get well. They'd planned for them to get married together, so he could buy them new rings, have kids and they could work hard for their lives together hand in hand.
Lavi, you'd promised, haven't you?
Lenalee kept on crying but she refused to stop herself. "Why...why won't you wake up? You're so cruel to me, Lavi." He only looked as though he was still sleeping. If he were, he could just wake up now and spare her of this...
Lenalee reached in to the coffin and touched Lavi's forehead once. She remembered the last time she felt his warmth, and yes, he had always been warmer than her since forever. But now, his skin against hers was icy cold and in a way, the reality further pierced itself through her heart. She loved him too much. So how could she accept this?
"Lenalee, Lenalee sweetheart," Christina came kneeling down next to her, tearing as well. "Say your last goodbye to Lavi now."
Lenalee shook her head. "Lavi, please, I beg you...please wake up. Please...come back to me, Lavi..."
Even when she knew he was never going to open those eyes to ever lay them upon her again, she had to ask. But no. Even if she begged and cried, Lavi would never return to her side again. He would never ever take her hands in his ever again, or smile and tell her that she was beautiful. He really had left.
And outside, the rain continued pouring down, almost as if Lavi was crying too.
Back at home, Lenalee sat by her window and looked out of it peacefully. The sun had begun to set and the entire city was probably bathed under its warm, orange glow. The air still had a certain rainy smell to it but at least, the rain itself had stopped.
Lenalee could hear a knock coming out of nowhere on her door. And knowing that she wasn't going to respond, Komui came right in.
"Lenalee, Lavi's sister wanted me to pass this to you. She said its stuff he wrote..." At the sound of the name, Lenalee's ears pricked up slightly but she made no effort to turn around to see what exactly it was.
"Well, I'm just going to leave it here," Komui said after a moment of Lenalee's ignorance. Lenalee heard a heavy thud on her desk but still, she made no effort to see what it is. "Dinner's ready, if you're willing to have some. Just call me if you need anything, okay?"
When Lenalee failed to respond again, Komui simply went out, closing the door behind him.
Lenalee then turned her head around to see a plain, blue color cover book on her desk. Yet somehow, she chose to ignore it to stare up at the open sky instead.
It was already 1 in the AM. However, even after crying so much during the funeral in the morning and wearing herself out, Lenalee still couldn't fall asleep. She had been...thinking. Or more like, being kept awake for a certain reason since saying she'd been thinking sounded wrong. Her mind was a blank page. Since the time she knew Lavi had died, it'd been like that.
Lenalee tossed around again, laying on her other side.
She hasn't even gotten the chance to close her eyes before her phone begun vibrating. Sitting up, Lenalee wiped her eyes subconsciously. Oh, so she had been crying again? Not that it was anything new there.
Reaching over to her bedside table, she saw the incoming call was from Christina. Tiredly, she picked up anyway.
"Lenalee...are you asleep yet? I'm sorry to be calling this late."
"Mmm." That can't even be considered as a decent reply, but Lenalee didn't have the strength to really speak right now.
"Well...have you read Lavi's diary yet?"
Lenalee didn't answer, but at least she was listening.
Christina went on. "Lavi had a short life. But I believe part of him existed just so he could meet you. I'm sorry if it sounds a little cheesy but to put it simply; I think Lavi was satisfied and should have left in peace."
Really, Lavi? Are you really satisfied with just...this?
"...so therefore, you have to cheer up too, Lenalee. Stay strong, alright? Ah, well, goodnight then."
Christina had hung up. Lenalee did so too, lowering the phone on her table and curling back up into bed. She cried herself to sleep that night, holding Lavi's diary in her arms and shivering even though she'd already tucked herself under her blanket. For some reason, she's still unable to find the strength to open up his diary.
Too quickly, morning had arrived. Lenalee did the math in her head and realized she probably didn't even have 3 or 4 hours of good sleep in total. Not as though she cared. Like a mechanical robot, Lenalee had washed up, combed her hair and got dressed. She wore that same flower-patterned dress she'd once wore to visit Lavi in the hospital. He'd never complimented her on it but it doesn't matter. Nothing matters now anyway.
Daylight had barely broken but Lenalee was already out of the house. On the street, there were hardly any people, only the early risers and old folks heading for the market. She herself didn't exactly know what she doing, but her legs did. They seemed like they were moving on their own in fact.
Before she even knew it, they brought her to face a stream and a familiar piece of grassland.
"This is my favorite spot, Lenalee."
Lenalee hugged the diary close to her and stood over at the bridge, looking across everything. Lavi's favorite place had somehow become hers as well, only for different reasons. This place had witnessed the ups and downs in their relationship, watching as they first kissed, as they broke up and even the last times of Lavi's short life. And that river...like it, Lavi had rushed forward and again, he never waited for her. He simply went ahead on his own and left her behind to fend for herself.
Lenalee's facial expression was bitter when she thought about it, and she shook her head in frustration.
Lavi's death had hit her the hardest. He had been living and breathing one day and next moment when she returned, his heart had stopped. To come to terms with that would be the hardest thing she'll ever have to do in her life...No, to live without him would be. She didn't want him to become the sky to watch over her or anything like that. What was the use if he could never be next to her again, to hear her voice, see her smile and hold her close against him?
"Lavi...don't leave me alone..." Lenalee sniffed and she dropped Lavi's diary on the ground.
It was like...having your oxygen supply cut off suddenly. Humans wouldn't be able to survive without that. With Lavi, it was the same thing. She simply can't do without him in her life because that would be too painful. Without Lavi, it'd seemed as though her world should come to an end as well. She just wanted to be where he is and if...if dying would allow her that, then there wasn't anything she was afraid of.
Lenalee grabbed the railing of the bridge and tried to heave herself over it.
Wait for me, Lavi. I'm coming. I'll be right beside you soon...
Everything happened so fast that even Lenalee couldn't catch anything properly. She knew she could see the river water rushing down beneath the bridge, her mind blank save for the suicidal thoughts. But after that, two things came flying in her face that scared her instantly, so much so that she lost her balance and fell right back on the stone cold ground of the bridge.
Her eyes widened and she'd scanned for what came at her; finally finding two white doves flying into the sky.
The sky was barely opening up to a new day, so it was still a mix of blue, purple and orange. Or maybe even more colors too. But doves were extremely rare where she was from, and to see two of them together must mean something. Behind her, Lenalee's ears caught the sound of paper flipping due to the wind, and she spun around to look down at it.
Lavi's diary, the pages in fact; were being flipped slowly by the wind, allowing her to catch a glimpse of what he wrote for the first time.
"I don't want a break up but Lenalee would be happier if..."
"...wonder if Lenalee's still picking out her carrots..."
"...so many memories of me and Lenalee at the library..."
"I saw Lenalee with her boyfriend today. Hope she's doing well..."
"...wish Lenalee all the best. Praying for her that she'll make it to Osaka University..."
"Lenalee, careful not to catch a chill."
"To be with Lenalee again...that's more than I can ever ask for."
"I'm going to fight this illness! I still want to be with Lena..."
"Lenalee, don't slack off! You aren't as smart as I am, so you'll need to study..."
"...Lenalee came by again this morn...has no idea that I just took a picture of her..."
"Lenalee's eyes are swollen...has she been crying?"
"I'm afraid of dying. I don't want to leave Lenalee..."
The wind paused for a moment there, stopping at one of the pages randomly, allowing Lenalee to catch sight of a doodle at the bottom of the page. Despite being a lousy artist, Lavi had doodled a heartfelt drawing of him and Lenalee holding hands with a little girl in between them. It was Lavi's dream: for them to have a child of their own.
Lenalee cupped her mouth with a hand as she cried. Lavi's diary, nearly all of it, was about her!
"You're one dumb boy, Lavi," Lenalee mumbled to herself as her tears continued falling. Slowly, she bent down to pick his diary up and when she did, she noticed something sticking out in between the pages at the back. Lenalee gave it a quick flip and realized something she hadn't noticed before. A letter, addressed to her, was right at the end of his diary.
Lenalee carefully opened the letter and read it.
I guess if you're reading this letter...it must mean I'm no longer around anymore.
Originally, I really wanted to walk in step with you to the future and to be with you forever. In the end, I left first. For that, I'm sorry, Lenalee. I'm really sorry.
I guess you must be crying right now. But don't, because I'd rather see you smile instead. Even though I've grumbled a lot about my illness, to be able to meet you had already been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. To meet you, to spend my life with you...you've already given me so much. I may not have any right to say this but I really love you, Lenalee. More than you'll ever know, in fact.
If someone were to ask me if I'd ever been happy, my answer would still be: Yes, I am. I am because I've got the chance to fall in love with Lenalee. And for that...I guess I'm already very fortunate. That's why every time you see this letter and think about me, I hope they will be the good memories I've given you. I'm not sure if I've given you many, but I hope you'll smile when you think about them.
You have to be happy in life after this too. From above, I'll always take care of you. And I definitely wouldn't anyone bully you either, I swear! So no matter what happens, keep smiling okay?
Thank you, Lenalee. For loving me, for everything you've given me...thank you.
Lenalee ran a finger across the words that Lavi had written to her before turning to look upwards at the morning sky. Even when Lavi knew he didn't have very long, he was still constantly thinking about her. His final message to her was for her to continue living and not to give up. To think she'd been so silly a while ago, trying to end her life just like that, without thinking about her brother, her friends and more importantly, Lavi.
I'm sorry. Lenalee sniffed as she hugged Lavi's diary to her chest. I'm fine now.
Lavi was probably laughing at her right then, ruffling her hair as he did, for being a crybaby. He would always be looking at her from above and she guess...he would never ever be gone.
2 years later-
It's been quite awhile but Lenalee had been overseas for a short holiday trip with her friends. Well, namely Rou Fa and Miranda, but it's the first time since they've all graduated from their respective Universities. The plane had barely touched down in fact and Rou Fa and Miranda remained asleep in their seats.
Lenalee grinned to herself. Since completing her Human Sciences degree, she was kind of still thinking about what to do with it. More or less, she knows she wants to do something related to being a teacher, but nothing is confirmed yet. However, whatever it might be, she knows she's going to give it all her best. After all, she'd slogged like crazy for this degree so she'd better make the most out of it.
When all the procedures have been done and the luggages have been collected, Lenalee looked forward to going home. And there, she saw Komui among many other people in the arrival hall, waving for her to come over.
"Brother!" Lenalee ran forward to give him a hug. "I didn't know you were coming to pick me up!"
"That's why those things are called surprises. Now, let me help you with that." Komui reached over to help Lenalee with her bag.
"Aw, you're so lucky, Lenalee! Allen's at work and he can't even pick me up!" Rou Fa pouted.
"Yeah," Miranda added, "My parents are working too and I've got to go all the way home myself!"
Komui sighed. "In that case, since it's almost dinner time, why not we go over to some nearby restaurant for a good meal? A welcome dinner to all of you on me."
No one would be dumb enough to reject a free meal from Komui and they all agreed eagerly. Komui then ran off to drive the car over while meanwhile, Miranda went off with Rou Fa to get something from the duty free store. Lenalee offered to wait, so she stood outside the airport.
It was already the evening. As Lenalee glanced up, she could see the sun setting, the sky a warm orange with a dash of pink. Even though he'd already left more than 2 years ago, Lenalee can't help but think of him sometimes, mostly when she looks up at the sky.
"Lavi...," Lenalee smiled to herself, "What are you being embarrassed for?" The sky was after all a deep orange.
She thought to herself. If she hadn't met Lavi on that fateful day so many years back, she would never have to feel such agonizing pain when he left. She wouldn't end up being so sad, so disappointed and so alone. She would never have to feel such heartache at all.
But if she really didn't meet him, she wouldn't know the warm kind of happiness a person can bring another. She wouldn't know how gentle, how loving and how big Lavi's heart might be and for all the love and care he'd showered upon her, she would always be grateful to him. Sure, she would come across more challenges and losses along the rest of her life, but she guess...she's going to be fine.
Lavi was the one who had been her first love. She never expected this much to come out from what she used to think was simply 'puppy love'. However, Lavi have indeed left some very good and prominent memories. He'd made her the happiest person on Earth and he'd taught her to become strong.
Thank you, Lavi.
Is it good where you are? Have you seen our baby yet?
There were so many questions she wanted to ask him, but now, she always asks in her heart. With so many good friends, her brother and Lavi's memories to help guide her along, she suppose she'll always live on cherishing life. Maybe later on, she would meet someone good, fall in love and then get to experience the same happiness Lavi had once brought her. No, correction. He is still bringing her lots of happiness, wherever he might be right now.
Far ahead, Lenalee could see Komui's car approaching and behind her, she could hear Rou Fa and Miranda's laughter getting closer toward her.
Do you know, Lavi? I'm still in love with this sky.
And this love will never go away, from the first day I've met you till forever. And I know you'll always be next to me, watching over me no matter where you are.
The ring on Lenalee's finger stayed safe on her finger, and Lenalee knows- Lavi will never be gone. He'd never even left in the first place.
This story took a little more than 4 months to finish but even if it wasn't that fantastic, I'm still quite happy with what I've done. I'm not sure if I've portrayed Lavi and Lenalee's relationship as well as the actual stuff, but I really did try my best since Koizora is one of my favorite movies/novels.
Also, I thank everyone that has reviewed for the past many chapters. I don't usually reply to reviews (ultimate fail, I know) but it encourages me to know people make an effort to read and review my stories and that makes me happy :D Therefore, arigato minna-san *passes out rubber duckies to all*.
Lastly, if you've never watched Koizora, please do! I've stolen the plot (from the drama, movie, comic & novel versions, which is like everywhere...) so I'd love to credit them. And I'm not saying that just because I think Miura Haruma is awesome in the movie hehe.
Again, thank you so much all! Enjoy the rubber duckies aye! ;D