A/N: I am not dead. Certainly not. Very much alive and busy. I hope one as a reader has not forgotten me, that applies if one has read my previous stories written for Mai-Hime. I have realised that my writing style has changed over the past year? or months, but no worries as those uncompleted stories will be completed sooner or later; they are too precious to be thrown away. I do hope that this short comeback one-shot does some good to those have supported me this far.
Then again, until the end,
I was dreaming, I was.
In a turbulent dream, filled with turmoil and despair that made me, in desperation, to wake up.
However, I had resolved to keep my eyes closed and my mind to exhaustion that I remained asleep in order to see the end of this bad dream.
It was not a nightmare. Certainly it was not as it had small tiny elements littered around the dream that show it was not a battle with King Gindora mutilating the humongous female star-ship soldier. An image that I had pushed deep into my mind, hoping that its sexual content would not push me to the verge of masturbation. Silently, and contently, it did not plague my mind.
Yet scenario after another, the conclusion to this bad dream filled with people I had glanced at before to people I had known since a child, seemed like it was never going to come. I never knew when I fell asleep and drowned in a bad dream, but I knew I was waking up, soon. I could hear softly, the mellow sound of the piano, reverberating in my ears.
No sooner, it became louder, and I cracked open, but left my mind still swimming in my sub-consciousness. My alarm on my mobile phone was getting louder every split second and the piano theme of the latest Final Fantasy game echoed around like the church organ.
It buzzed continuously on the pile of blankets beside my pillow and I lazily reached over, my eyes searing in pain as the bright light of my mobile glowed in front of my face. I barely remembered what I pressed to shut the sound, but I could remember clearly that I had seen the snooze button below my finger the moment I hit a button.
I dived back into my bad dream, but the images once clear, were now in Gaussian blur. The colours of the illusion were turning lighter by the minute and again, in the recess of my mind, I could hear the sound of the piano. The images in my mind were a haze and I keep my eyes closed, hoping to salvage whatever I could, while I blindly waved my hand around to find my buzzing mobile.
However, I had to pull myself up, slightly, crack my eyes open again and reach to my mobile, to finally put the end of my mobile alarm. After I had successfully done so, I buried my face back into my pillow, hoping that my mind had not fully awakened and had the need to fall back asleep. Nonetheless, all that I had done to turn off my mobile alarm had completely set my mind awake despite how tired I was feeling.
I shut my eyes tight, hoping to recollect whatever images I could remember from my bad dream. Yet, whatever I did to remember, nothing but a thick pale haze covered my mind, like a blanket to put out a small fire. Everything I had dreamed of was now nothing but an atmosphere my mind could swim in. My mind was clear of all images, but my head did not feel cleared or fresh, it only felt heavier and dense.
My ears were stuffed and I could only slowly open my eyes to welcome the fact that morning was here…
No, it did not feel like morning.
My hand fumbled around the area of my pillow to find my digital watch and eventually when I did, I flipped it around to have a look at it and cursed loudly at the time.
It was already close to twelve – still morning but certainly very close to afternoon.
I rolled over onto my back and closed my eyes, I was not ready to face the huge pile of homework I had from school. All this was happening due to the fact that I had injured both of my hands in an accident, not by riding my motorcycle, but sadly with the dormitory's facilities.
An incident I was not willing to remember despite the vivid scenes that flashed in my mind. My right was on the way to full recovery, but my left was still suffering the pain of having the stitches being taken out a little too early than they were suppose to.
Other than that, I was working fine.
The AC was on and it was getting colder, it was only a while later, when my ears had cleared that I could hear the crashing sound of the rain against my window.
The rain. No wonder why it was unusually colder.
I opened my eyes and the rain not only made my room colder, but darker, as I assumed that a huge dark thundercloud was looming above Fuuka. My curtains were drawn over my windows, so only a dim light was entering my dark den, casting the faintest and weakest light on my bed.
The rain was not a good sign, I knew it.
It never meant anything good to me when it rained.
In a way, it only made me gloomier.
Lazy to get up from bed, I pulled my covers to my chin and turned to reach over for my phone, remembering that when I reached to turned my alarm off the second time it went off, my eyes had caught onto the small icon on the screen on my mobile that I had a message.
A reply from her.
Something I had been waiting for since I had sent a question to her when I prepared for sleep last night.
Just a question.
A serious one.
Then again, it was not all that serious. I just wanted to see what kind of serious answer I would get from her.
I was not ecstatic, though I was happy that I received something from her, curiosity above all, won all other emotions. I huddled further into the comfort of my covers and a small huggable soft toy that she had given to me; in return for the one I had given her. Pushing my mobile button to open the message.
She had sent me two.
I read the first one.
Then moved to the second one.
Then I re read the first one again, before I realised that my mind was not starting to clear but getting more hazy, fogged and heavy.
I moved to the second message and read it thoroughly before a breath escaped through my lips as I finished. Then the room suddenly when silent, or was it the fact that I had stopped breathing for a while and gasped for breath seconds later; that was when the sound of the rain re-entered my ears. I stilled myself and I could slowly feel that my body from the way it was positioned on the bed was getting heavier and heavier. I did not want to move and my body was doing, as I wanted. My hand that held my mobile had turned slack by the time I noticed and the bright screen of my mobile died off to blackness as it locked itself automatically.
I turned my head away from my phone and looked at my dark room. Silence caught up with my breathing and my mind from its heavy dense state, exploded into pure blackness. Like ink that splotched and ate away the pristine whiteness of clean paper. It was then did I realise that the tugging feeling in my chest was severed with a swift cut and that my heart felt as if it was punctured once again and left to drain.
Whatever that filled my heart was draining quickly and I could seemingly do nothing to stop it. For I merely stayed the way I was, wide eyed and still on the bed. I did not move my hands, nor my legs, nor put my phone away. I kept absolutely still the moment I pulled away from my mobile.
My heart soon felt empty and hollow, still functioning- yes, perfectly normal for a healthy living girl – but whatever I had passionately filled with was no more there, but wasted and gone down an imaginary drain that lead seemingly to a place I do not and will never know. I felt no excruciating pain, nor searing pain, nothing of all that psychically but the feeling of feeling unoccupied and in a total void. I was breathing normally, controlled and calm.
Just feeling unfilled with something I had taken so long to get.
I stayed like a doll, absolutely lifeless, for a while before a flash of images ran into my mind and reminded me what I had been doing so far over the past year with her.
The times where we first met, the troubles that we had gone through together and the intimate sessions we had where prying eyes were sealed and blind folded. A time where the both of us felt mutually as one and undivided, no matter how different we were from each other.
A time where our love could transcend practically anything.
But also a time where time seemed so short to be even called time.
It happened so fast, but I could see her face with that smile I knew she only reserved for me slowly fade into the dark blackness that my mind was currently swimming so comfortably in.
It happened so fast.
Too fast that bitter sadness could creep in faster than self-control. At first it seemed all so calm and peaceful, but as all sailors would say that it was always the calm before the storm to be so frightening, that indeed I was starting to feel fear. The storm came in so fast that the only thing I could brace myself was a lone tear that escaped from my eye and irregular breathing that made me feel all so uncomfortable. It was as if a gust swirled within me as I coughed and tightened myself together. It was also then that I was still holding onto my mobile, with those two clear lengthy messages for me to read over and over to confirm that what she said was not just a joke but the reality of what she and I was living in.
The truth I wanted was so clearly written in her reply and she though how gentle and kindly she had put it, I could solely only read her venomous, disappointment, anger, bitter frustration and overwhelming sadness within those words she had typed.
However, I had briefly wondered in my anxious state, wasn't her reply too serious.
I was not expecting such a reply, nor was I expecting such words. Then again, what could I expect from something I had done so carelessly and out of selfishness.
A selfish and careless question.
It was certainly my fault that I had caused all this, yet, what had I done to deserve such a piercing answer from someone I believed would not have seen such words in another light.
Was it my behaviour?
Certainly my brash behaviour was an aspect of myself that I thoroughly disliked, but…
There are not buts.
I have no excuse; I should not have an excuse.
If I had not even sent that foolish question in the first place, my full happy heart would not have been drained so quickly to be empty.
I picked my head up and turned it to face my mobile clutched tightly within my hand. At an impulse, I had wanted to type something in reply, then realised that her reply was final. I had then wanted to call, but then realised again, that what could words do to heal something that would take years to mend.
If words could not work, then I could write a hundred letters to her and it would not carry the same effect as it use to.
I heaved a breath in and looked at the time my mobile had received her reply, to find out that she had replied soon after I had fallen asleep and the second sent two hours later.
Two hours later.
She must have been waiting for my reply.
If only I had stayed up a little while longer for her first reply?
Would it make any difference?
I shuddered and then trembled at the biting cold on my skin. Her feelings towards me like a cozy blanket over my shoulders were now no more there to keep me warm like always. I jerked my head to the soft toy and its eyes showed only loneliness than its usually spark. I heaved in another heavy breath and lifted my head up slightly to see the pendant she had given to me to give me positive energy, slowly losing its cooling aura to something so like the dead atmosphere around it.
My breathing suddenly seemed forced and I shivered on my bed.
Then the pain erupted.
I swallowed a heavy breath and my tears that I did not know came out from which emotion flooded my face and I could only feel the last remaining feelings I had collected so far to be torn into a multitude of shreds and shards.
And I felt worse than ever.
I tried to stifle my cries and tears by burying my face into my pillow, but it just came pouring down like the rain.
It comes down, for it cries for someone that cannot.
I couldn't then.
But its influence had made me.
I dropped my mobile back onto the pile of blankets beside my pillow and pulled tightly at my covers, curled up into a ball and tried to steady my breathing, only to burst out crying a few seconds later. However it did not take long before my mind accepted such terms and terminated everything. Something then had clicked in my mind and all I did was to close my eyes tight to force out the last few tears and it was then my crying had ultimately ceased.
Only that my body was heavy and my legs even heavier.
I stayed the way I was, now breathing through my mouth as my nose was blocked with mucus and I blinked away the remnants of tears.
I did not want to get out bed despite knowing the mountain of homework that awaited me at my table. But I had too; I had nothing left to keep me to the bed. My tears had gone dry and their trails itching my cheeks, my breathing once ragged now in the midst of returning to its normal flow.
Everything is returning to normal.
I raised my hand to wipe my tears away and then reached over for my watch that I had dropped back onto the bed, all in all to be surprised that whatever that had just happened lasted for only a short period for it was still close to twelve.
I sniffled and rubbed my nose to clear the block that happened so fast in that outburst. Hugging the soft toy to me once more, I gave it kiss like she always asked me to and forced a smile. It was not long before I pushed myself into a sit, rubbed my eyes, yawned and cursed at the time. Leaving the bed at twelve with an empty heart, a torn idea and sore legs that has given in from all the chasing, running and keeping up.
When I reached my bathroom, I looked into the mirror and washed my face, I think I cried a little bit more before I ran the tap and washed all evidence away.
What was once there was now no more there as a whole, but of small fragments, like a bad dream; like a single question accompanied with two replies.
I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath. It then struck it me.
I realised the conclusion was always there, always after each scenario.
Just there, in front of me.
Simply the fact that I have been living in a lie of a fabricated fog called a dream.
I was dreaming, I was.
Mai had asked me where she was currently living at and I had replied Kyoto.
That's not far.
Mai commented and I had disagreed. However she countered my disagreement.
It's only a few hours away from Fuuka.
I looked at Mai and smiled and told her what I actually meant. She laughed and placed her hands on my shoulders for assurance.
I'm sure you can survive after going through a year of distance. Doesn't it make you grow fonder?
I smiled in earnest and told Mai that she had been studying for an English exam and needed to at least take a break once in a while. Mai looked at me and narrowed her eyes.
I nodded at Mai though I felt a nudge in the chest, she continued nonetheless.
You have to take a break
I told Mai I have been and showed her my hands.
My homework does not have a mind to understand a break.
Mai pulled back at my words and gave my shoulders a pat.
It takes two to love.
Serious Question. What will happen if I told you I did not want to be with you anymore?
…If it is your decision then I shall respect it. I wish you happiness and I mean every single word of it.
…Thank you for the memories. I love you.
I must be dreaming.
In a turbulent dream where my words seemed always messed up, and that even such a simple question would receive a reply that could crumble the atmosphere of my mind and wake me up, shivering and trembling in cold sweat.
I turn hoping that you would be there beside me.
However you are not.
And that is the reality.
It is, is it not?
A/N: The alarm piano piece if one would be wondering, is titled 'FINAL FANTASY XIII - The promise'. Its my morning alarm and I can really hear it within the walls of my mind when its about time for me to wake up, it damn right reminds me of 'Inception'. This piece shares a title with one of my original works (it shares the same title of my blog too) since it links really well. There was to be a prelude to what happened in here, but I decided it was better to leave it questionable then stated in a matter-of-fact.
I hope all has enjoyed this remotely unhappy story. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a question and pray that I answer it, it seems I have the habit of ignoring my mail. I'll try my best.