Disclaimer: I do not own La corda d'oro.

Inspired by the book 'Dear John' and dedicated to all the Yunoki fans out there.

Dear Kahoko,

I've been meaning to write this letter to you for a very long time. But, I had neither the right words at my hand that could do justice to my feelings, nor I had the courage to rebel against everything that had so long been possessing the major part of my life. But, in the present circumstances, I can care less about anything in the world other than you.

Surprised, Kahoko? Are you thinking what place you could possibly hold in the seemingly very perfect life of mine? Well, I'm afraid I don't know it myself either. But, I know this much, since that fateful day when you entered the competition, my life has not been the same as it was before.

So, the question is what the reason behind the change was and whether it was better or worse. Ironically, I can't answer this either. All I know is that when the first time we met in the school corridor, my first impression about you was you were another one of those silly girls, who I can dazzle with one smile of mine. Later, if I need, I can make a good use of you during the competition. I guess I was right about the power of my smile, but for the other part, wrong.

You were a G.E. student, so like any other music student, I wasn't surprised when my assumption about your ability proved true and you came out to be 6th (or should I say last) in the first round. But I was feeling something else that day. For the first time in my life, I felt jealous. No, it wasn't your skill-level, nor it was your beauty or perfection, the sole thing that made my heart swing on that evening was the way you played your violin, the calm, peaceful yet joyous tune you produced filled me with emotions ; emotions I never thought I could ever experience.

I was stunned. So, you turned out to be the silly girl who possesses requirements to be an object of interest for me. I wanted to explore more about you. The camp at Fuyumi Villa could serve this purpose. On our way to the Villa when I gave you a ride, you told me about your so little experience in the world of music. But your performance told me otherwise. So, I felt a tinge of suspicion that maybe you have been cheating. I checked if anyone other than me felt like this. Well, apparently, they didn't. They were convinced about your god-gifted talent. Unfortunately, I couldn't.

In those two days, I couldn't set myself right even for a moment. I sometimes asked myself, why am even bothered about you in the first place, when you were nothing but an ordinary girl lucky to even enter the competition. But the last night of our stay brought the answers to all these questions. Yes, the night you played Ave Maria with Tsukimori. Everyone else staying in the Villa could feel the emotions and ease behind your playing. For me, it was much more than that. It was beyond words, beyond feelings. Like Shimizu said, it was magical.

Yes, it was magic. In what other name can I call it? That night, in the moonlight, with every stroke of your bow, the melody your violin presented to my ears, each beat, each tune mocked at me, slowly melting the ice around my heart. It was like a carefree, jolly wind from the south that swept away the invisible wall that had been covering my heart and revealed my true self in front of me. It felt like joy, looked like beauty; but above all, it smelt like freedom, the single aroma I always craved to savor.

So, all of us went to bed that night with the reminiscence of Ave Maria, except me, who was restless all night, because I felt a lion was freed in my chest, the lion that had been hiding in a dark cage there for a very long time. This lion was hope, my hope for freedom and also fear to lose every thing I had built around me all my life. This fear led me make the worst mistake of my life.

When we were back to school, I was sure of my strategy to protect my existence, which was to demolish every bit of your confidence, liveliness that make your music so very pure and innocent, to destroy the very annoying Kahoko.

Yes, Kahoko, I did tell you that you were very annoying, didn't I? I guess I never explained why I called you that. I devised a ploy to revenge you, for making my perfect existence stand on a shaken ground. I thought of embarrassing you, making you upset, by not pretending around you, not faking smile towards you. I decided to let you have a look into the real me. The real me, who is not the Charming Prince of SEISO, who can be devious, cruel, scary, 'the real man behind the iron mask'.

I took my first attempt on the rooftop at your practice; I cornered you, and then threatened you to stay away from the competition. You sure were scared then, weren't you, my sweet Kahoko, to find such an evil inside me? I felt a strange contentment while looking at your wide open eyes, filled with fear and disbelief, and cheeks reddened with sweat. Oh, I so much enjoyed myself that moment. I wish I had known the outcome of this back then.

. I was sure my threat would affect you; I knew I had a tremendous effect on you. What I didn't expect was our other friends' transformation. Every single one of them was changed in their own way after you had come along. I could only laugh at their foolishness and took advantage of it. I tried to mess up everyone's feelings for you and have it useful in my way to win the competition. Yes, that was my motive back then. In the process, I was the one who spread rumors about you and Tsuchiura and at some points, about Tsukimori too.

Feeling angry Kahoko, to hear someone can be so very selfish to do all these just to win a mere competition. I bet you are, who wouldn't be? But, what if it wasn't mere after all, what if it held a different meaning for me, far more different and important than it was to any of you? What if it was the only door to make my dream come true?

Yes, my dream, Kahoko, Like any other average student, I have dreams, about my life, my future, my flute. I had them ever since I was a little boy. But the difference is at those times, it wasn't revolved around flute, it was piano back then. But as you saw, my grandmother thinks too much well for me and my family, she thought it would be waste of time into nothingness to have two pianists in the family as one of my brothers already majored in piano. So, like every tiny decision concerning my life, she handled this as well and as a result, I had to give up my dream to be a pianist and was entrusted (or should I prefer 'forced') to be a flutist instead.

Look at me, what am I doing here, filling you up with all the backdrops of my life. No, Kahoko, that's not why I'm writing you this letter. Just that, my heart is tired, tired of holding all these stories to myself. Now, as it has found a way to reveal, it tends to spill all at once. Forgive me, for being carried away like this. But, yes, it's necessary for you to know why I wanted to win the competition so badly. It was my only chance to prove to my grandmother that, I too, like any other student in the music department, wanted to lead a career as a professional musician. That was my dream. I too, wished to enroll into Music University instead of turning to be the next tycoon in the business empire.

And so, like I said, I needed to win the competition and I was sure of it. But, there again, you amazed me when I found out, my good friend Kazuki had taken an interest in you, the last thing I ever imagined to happen. It wasn't surprising to see him fall in love with, knowing him, you too know that it was bound to happen. But, it was shocking to find his music changed and the day we three went the gift shop to buy his brother's gift, I observed you two closely, having so much fun with each other. I saw a new Kazuki, his eyes having a strange sparkle whenever he looked at you. It became crystal clear to me, even before it was to him, that he was in love with you. And, guess what, he never told me this, he who never forgets to mention every little details of his day to me.

Again, you won. You won over me and took my only, precious friend away from me. I was angry with you, I was angrier with myself because I couldn't figure out what magic you had that makes you so powerful to produce drastic changes in their lives. First it was Tsukimori, then it was Kazuki. Both of their music took a new road after they had met you. Yet, I was stunned to see the power of your music, but I was not fool like others to fall into that little magical instrument of yours.

Yes, Kahoko. I did give you hint, didn't I? Very soon, I discovered you weren't the one who played the violin; you did have help from someone or something with that. And, as I pondered over and over, soon the shocking truth dawned to me, that, I too, like our other fellow friends, was changed because of you. The more I let the true self of mine expose in front of you, the more it wanted to be. It wanted to taste more freedom; I wanted to be more and more human, I wanted to be more me with every passing moment I spent with you. I was like a bird that once had a chance to spread its wings in the sky for a day, now it could no longer be contented in its cage that used to feel like home before that memento was gathered. It wanted to remain free forever.

You see the flaw in my plan now, don't you, Kahoko? My plan backfired on me. The plan was to make you suffer and I lurked around you to make things worse for you. But, soon, I realized I was doing that, because being around you, teasing you made me happy, I was enjoying myself. So, I fell into my own trap, I grew used to being with you. It started to feel like an addiction. I could not pull myself to be away from you. Even that day in the hospital wing, when I had you all to my own, I was supposed to be notorious, but I couldn't, I found out there , at that moment, I could no longer hurt you, I could not harm you.

I asked myself countless times in my solitary moments back home, why am I feeling like this and what are these feelings really? Even the great Maestro everyone knows at school, who's likely to answer any question asked, had a hard time solving this little puzzle of heart. But, soon, I found out what this all means. I was indeed a fool, for letting myself to be so vulnerable, for not knowing it all this time, that I too have fallen in love with you, in the most peculiar way.

Yes, I spent too much time on observing and prying on others and especially on you that I was completely oblivious to the undeniable truth that I too, like others have altered from my true nature as a result of having too much of your company. I was shocked, yet I was happy. Then and There, I found out that the true key to the door to my happiness, to my freedom, which was not winning the competition. The key was you. So, to keep this sweet dream wrapped with my life, I had only one choice; to make my unique treasure, my private sole source of entertainment, mine and only mine forever. And, that treasure happens to be you, my dear Kahoko.

In order to do so, I had to be sure of your feelings towards me and I decided to test you. And that is the reason why I picked you to pretend to be my girlfriend ( this word does sound like honey, doesn't it ,Kahoko? I wish I could have you in that position in my life in reality) in front of Ayano. Again, you amazed me and agreed to help and it made me see hope. I thought I still had chance (Ah, how foolish I was to think that! Had I known the harm that had already been done was of that sort that can never be restored.)

There, my innocent little friend Kazuki and his little eavesdrop and misunderstanding caused our other musician friends end up at my house. It did alter my plan in a certain way, but I used this chance to know their feelings for you, how they react to see the two of us together. But soon all my cheers were gone when I heard you explaining to Ayano about love. In front of my eyes, I saw you encourage her to be the one and only love for the man she'll marry, you told her to be strong. Thanks to you, nobody paid attention to me while you said these all.

I was dropped dead at your words. All joy seemed to evaporate as soon as I understood, that was the perception you had about your own lover, you yourself would want to be the sole woman in your man's life. And that was such a life that I could never give you in my family, one that has a long tradition and history of countless wives and mistresses. I realized, the moment you'll step into my life, my world, my house, on that very moment you'll be bidding farewell to all the things that are wonderful and genuine about you, your carefree style, your innocent, sweet attitude, your clumsy yet bold behavior ; all the things that made me love you.

I felt so ashamed back then. What right I had to bring you and bolt you to the very same shackles that had been haunting me all my life and put obstacles in my way to enjoy life like I wanted? But I was reluctant to admit defeat and let go of my love, my freedom that easily. I convinced my heart to give myself one last chance. I even prepared myself to go against my grandmother if that gives me a chance to win you. At that point I won the third round of the competition and I decided to bring your topic in front of grandmother on this occasion. I was full of hope. But, alas! Again fate wasn't with me and what I found as a reward from her for my achievement was an order for studying abroad. Fate did play a game of irony with me.

If it was before, it wouldn't bother me the least to go or not. In the life I led before your arrival, it wouldn't matter much to me whether I stay here or not. My life was focused on taking over the family business and I accepted that to be my world( if it was a world at all). I had everything grey in my life.I had no world at all until you came in and became my world., the sole colorful thing in my world, that painted my heart with the warmest shade of blue, the color of love. Only you( other than Kazuki) have been able to catch glimpse of my heart and I always felt closer to you two than anyone else, maybe because you two were so very opposite of me, always having the best of your lives, Your lives seemed so much closer to me, yet so very distant that I could never taste it. .Oh, I was so jealous of you two.

But I could go there, Kahoko, I really could abroad if only I knew you'd also be accompanying me. Then I would've considered it as a boon, not leaving you, rather having you all to my life. So, this was my sole chance to know where my place was in that charming heart of yours.

So, I offered you to come with me abroad. I guess, I really couldn't read you well, or else I would've noticed that you weren't like any of the girls I've known so far, so approaching you had to be different too. And the damage I inflicted before discovering my attraction towards you also gave me away. So, you said no, no to my offer for you to come, which was also my offer for your hand. I lost it, I was defeated to you in the battle of love. Even with a direct invitation, I could not manipulate you, I could not defeat you. You were the one who won instead. I not only lost you, also lost hopes for my freedom too. They were all gone. All I was left with was emptiness, a sinkhole at the back of my heart, which was alien to my life after you shine in there.

I gave up, Kahoko, I admitted my defeat and I don't blame you for any of this .I guess, it was the biggest game of destiny, it showed me the shiny end of a ribbon called hope, I ran and ran after it, but in the end I found it wasn't meant for me at all.

I know I should've approached you differently. I was supposed to be gentle, kind , warm, everything nice but I ended up making you suffer, making you scared of me. You finch away from me, you shudder even at the very sight of me. But, tell me, Kahoko, what else I could do? I was raised to be elegant, elite and fashioned in lifestyle. I knew perfectly well how to knot a bow-tie, but I had no clue how it feels like to pick gifts for your near ones' birthday. I was taught how to treat a hundred guests in a family party, but I wasn't taught how to confess your feelings without pretending, towards someone you love. I learnt how to dazzle a group of ladies with charming smile and present fake compliments to them, have dinners with them at luxurious restaurants, but how it feels to look at the moon, to walk by the sea-shore holding hands of your loved one, was unknown to me. All I knew was to pretend, I played my role as an obedient son and grandson, an ideal student, a good brother, a people's person, a maestro and all other roles that had fallen on me. In the end, I no longer could recognize myself in the mirror, my own voice seemed stranger to me. All I say, seems lies now, even if I smile from my heart, they seem fake even to myself. Anger was forbidden for me, being myself was an outcast from my life book. I realize that I was not human at all. A simple actor who pretends to live the life of someone, who was not himself at all. You could not have someone in your life, Kahoko, who was so opposite of you. But, you could've changed it. You had that magic. Like I said, you are the best thing a guy could ever ask for.

I guess, I can answer the questions from before. Now, do I love you? No, I don't love you , Kahoko, I cannot , I'm not allowed to love you. It's just that every time I play the flute, I play for you. Every time I look at the red sun, I feel your presence by my side. Every time I hurt myself with a cut or a bruise, I think of you attending to me and the pain stops immediately. Every time I fall ill or have a nightmare, I call out to your name. And, every dream I have is about you. You can't call that love, Kahoko, can you? That can't be love, that just can't be. Or maybe it is, I just don't know, as I never learnt what true love, of any sort, really is.

They say, people who are difficult to love, it is considered that they need it most. I guess, they are right and I am indeed unfortunate to be one of the said lot. But I am tired now, so very tired of living a life of lies. I want to be out of it , I really want. I want to be like any other average young man of my age, full of energy, love, mistakes and determination. I want to be loved, to be with you, to be happy. Don't I deserve that much, Kahoko?

May be I don't. so, for this time, for this life, let your heart know that I don't love you. But if I have a second chance to start it all over , from the very first day of our meeting; if not in this life, but in another life,to have the fortune to have you in my life, to prove my love for you, I'll do everything in my power to make you mine. I'll behave myself. I'll be kind, gentle, good-natured, just the way you wanted your lover to be. I'll be the one you'll always go to when you'll need a shoulder to shed your tears on. I'll be someone who deserves you. I'll do whatever it takes to make you say those three very special words, that I long to hear from your sweet, melodious voice, slipping from that beautiful pair of lips yours.

As for this life, I have to say goodbye to my dreams of being your special one. All I want you to do is to forget me for what I am, what I was. Just when you look at the starry sky at night, look for a purple star, dimly emitting a faint glow, pretending to be a white one. When you'll find it, please look at the star. Think of me just then, remember me when you look at the star.

Same way it'll remember you, for eternity.