~Forever and Always~

"Misaki?"

His voice broke the silence between them, and the young lady sitting opposite him lifted her head to meet his tangerine eyes. Feeling her unwavering gaze on him, he started to feel uncomfortable and shifted uneasily in his seat, the sides of his collar dampening, his eyes not daring to return her gaze.

Sensing that something was amiss, Misaki placed her fork down and spoke.

"What's wrong?"

Shintani refused to meet her gaze, and he was now sticking one hand into his pocket and digging for something as a crimson blush started to form on his cheeks.

Oh no.

Misaki froze in her seat and felt her hands go cold as the question she'd been avoiding wound through her head.

Was he proposing to her now? In this restaurant? Today?

After what seemed like ages of fumbling, Shintani finally produced a little dainty velvet box from his pocket as Misaki looked on with sheer horror. He opened it to reveal a diamond ring.

It was a proposal.

Oh my goodness!

At a loss for words, Misaki couldn't do anything but to watch on. Shintani looked squarely into her eyes with the determined look of a young, responsible adult.

"Misaki, will you marry me?"

The tension in the atmosphere was palpable.

He finally did it. Misaki felt her mouth go dry.

"Just say it, Misaki. Yes or no"

Shintani was still staring at her with hope in his eyes. She shifted her gaze from him to her half-eaten steak on the plate. The food was getting cold.

"I…I…"

Shintani extended his hand and gently touched hers on the table. It was warm.

"Misaki, say it."

He was right, she should. Since he had mustered his courage to propose to her, she should do the same to tell him the truth.

"Alright," Misaki exhaled, steeling herself to meet his steady gaze once more. He was her friend and that's what he'll be for the rest of her life.

A friend. Someone she had to protect and take care of. The image of a chubby boy flashed in her mind.

"…No…"

She'd said it straight to his face, hoping that he would accept the painful reality. But it was equally painful to watch him accept it. Staring at the half-eaten steak now, Misaki excused herself.

"I…I have to go. I'm sorry Shintani."

Misaki stood up abruptly, grabbed her bag and walked hurriedly towards the exit, her heels making quick thump-thump-thump noises on the carpeted floor as tears began to flood her eyes.

It was the 29th of September.


Without even consciously knowing it, she had walked all the way from the restaurant to his place.

It always happened.

Whenever she was feeling stressed out, she would trade her heels with a pair of track shoes and start running and running and running, and all she could hear was her heavy breathing and the sound of her feet hitting the concrete pavement echoing in the silent neighbourhood.

And as if on cue, her feet would always come to a stop here.

She tilted her head backwards to take a better look of the enormous building, her eyes traveling up each level as she clung on to the hope that he would be there, at the topmost level, where he would always be.

Her little flame of hope extinguished as the apartment was dark and vacant as always. Misaki smacked her forehead with her palm, feeling extremely irritated with herself.

Give up hope already, Misaki. You know it. He's never coming back.

Tears began to flood her eyes, blurring her vision, as she finally came to an acceptance with reality.

"Baka Usui…"she sniffed.

"I still love you. You said forever and always…"

[to be continued]

miss animefan: hihi :D Hope you enjoyed this fanfic as much as I did writing it. Please review! Thank you very much!

I've actually finished writing this and I'm faced with a dilemma:

Should the ending be a sad one or a happy one? 0.0 Hmmm..