Click. Clack. Click.
Where are you...?
Clack. Click. Click.
Any minute now... I'll see you again, right...?
Clack. Clack. Click.
Oh... Please, please be safe...
Please... I'm only asking you to come back to me... Is that too selfish? Too much to ask for?
The door's opened! Is that you?
No, of course not. Just a nurse with my medications.
But she's one of the kind ones who does not betray what she reveals. She understands. She sympathizes. I believe her name is Miku? Ah, well, names do not matter to me ever since I've had time to think. I only trust in intentions and the messages given in actions.
That is why I took an immediate liking to you.
You looked so miserable behind that fence, that barrier that keeps separating us. But you had a look in your eyes as you gazed at the sky... full of hope and longing. I had naturally assumed everyone who were where you were would have been devoid of emotion, no longer human beings with the ability to feel. Perhaps I was wrong to judge like that. For that, I am truly sorry.
And I am terribly ashamed to say that I used to have no care for the poor things. In a way, I tricked myself to think that they deserved it.
The criminals of innocence.
However, you were the one who captured my attention because, unlike those soulless eyes, you possessed a certain spark about yours. When I found myself staring into them, I saw the girl from a long, long time ago, who loved to laugh and love and had a cheerful spirit. I also saw a boy (from a long, long time ago as well?) who had solid determination, a sharp mind (you were the one who came up with the idea of letters in the form of paper airplanes), and a patient heart. That boy... he was you, wasn't he? ...No, don't answer. I already know it.
The nurse, Miku, seems to be very intent on something outside. I wish I could get up and see it. Actually, I want to be able to get up and run to your side again. You have absolutely no idea how much I've been longing to see you again...
Which leads me to my previous thoughts.
Are you alright?
When will I see you?
Are you thinking of me as I have of you?
...Have you already found another girl to communicate with paper airplanes?
I remember you asking for my name in one of your letters. I was afraid to tell you because my father was the one in charge of the hellhole you were so unfairly forced to suffer in. I didn't want you to think less of me, or worse: be angry.
It was queer, how I felt, I had thought to myself.
After being confined to the hospital for so many years (before the day I decided to rebel and happened to meet you), I had long given up on keeping in touch with anyone except for Father. I had never cared much for friends. In fact, I never have called anyone my friend. They were either categorized into family or acquaintances.
Why? It was a rule, encoded within the dictionary: a friend is "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard".
Over the years, I felt that that definition wasn't enough, so I came up with my own version: "a person who is willing to sacrifice anything for you, who is willing to stand by your side, who desires to become close with you and takes the time to understand how you feel, who you truly are; a person who you can deeply relate to and accepts your differences without hesitation or reason. Because they already know that reason." A tad long and somewhat sounding like a life lesson, but I am rather pleased with this.
Len... You are the first to perfectly fit my description. You are indeed my friend, my best friend. Or that's what I thought. During the time that I was confined to bed and couldn't sneak out of the hospital, I realize that this is no deep friendship.
The attraction I have for you is too strong to be a simple thing. I... I think I'm love with you.
...I sound exactly like those girls from those clichéd romance novels Father always brings for me. It's a little disturbing.
But, back to the point.
I should be happy now, but... I fear you will reject it. At the same time, I feel a twinge of lightness near my heart when I think of your feelings being mutual. Is this how you feel whenever you stare at the freedom that tempts you on the other sides? I am so sorry you have to face this torment everyday.
Right now, I wish I could just take a pencil, some paper... and write all of this to you. But I don't want to hurt you any more than you need to.
Instead, I will tell you that I am leaving, no matter how much it pains me to say it. However, I promise you... I'll see you again someday, I'll make sure of it.
...Oh? Miku, why is she crying? She looks so pale and even weaker than I feel, if possible. Her whole body is trembling. No one told me my condition was contagious! I feel so guilty now, causing another person pain. Have I turned into a monster?
"...Rin-chan. I'll help you... with whatever it is you need. Anything."
I am surprised and pleased, and right now, I just want her to hug me and let her tell me that I will get better, I will recover fully, and it would be possible for you to be set free so we could be together without risks.
"...P-Pencil... Pa...per..." It drains so much of my energy just to use my voice.
She smiles gently at me, tears still streaming down her face as she slides the paper under my cold palm and tucks a pencil into my other.
My hands are practically numb. "...Wr...Write for... me, p-please..."
Miku nods quickly, taking back the things. She automatically writes without asking me. I wonder that if I could live a few more years if we could be good... friends.
I close my eyes and listen to the slow beeps from the heart monitor next to me. Couldn't they unplug it? I hate how it reminds me of how I will be leaving soon, and I go into hysterics when I suddenly realize that time is running out.
Miku senses this, because I can see the shadow of the pencil become a blur, then dropped, and the paper is being folded into a familiar shape.
"I'll deliver this to him for you, okay?" She lays a comforting hand on mine, and I can feel her flinch at the coldness before resting it firmly.
"N-No... Please... I want... t-to see... him... One... last... t-time..."
"Okay. Let me get your dress." I am genuinely surprised at how fast she agrees. She's not like others, who look at the outside; she is the rare one who looks deeper than that.
I clutch the final airplane as she rummages through the closet, pulling out the very sundress and hat I wore when I first met you. A coincidence, huh? After helping me change into them, she pulls out a wheelchair from underneath my bed and places me in it with motherly care. (Mother...)
She speed-walks through the halls and out doors, occasionally pausing to tell doctors and other nurses that she's taking me for some fresh air. No one stops us, fortunately.
Miku now runs in the direction of the prison. I love the familiar rush of the warm wind on my cheeks.
"I'm afraid you must walk from here. The hill is too steep for us to roll over, but it is easy enough for you to walk over," she informs me. "Unless you want to go back."
I take a deep breath. Do you know of the scenarios when someone feels a rush of power? All you need is a something to keep you going. I am positive you know what my motive is.
With a grateful nod at Miku, I stumble up the hill, taking a gentle slope curved into the side. I hear her gasp a few times when my feet slips, but other than that, it's completely silent.
Before I know it, I am at the top, and I see you, sweeping the floor, just like that day. My heart flutters. I run excitedly down with a burst of energy, my goodbye message momentarily forgotten and dangling carelessly from my left hand.
"You came back!" you call in a hushed whisper, clinging to the fence. "I knew you would."
It makes my heart burst when I know how much you trust in me. Unfortunately, all I can do is smile feebly, trying to look naturally healthy when I lower myself to the ground. You quickly follow suit, your eyes darting around my face and your fingers poking through the fence. The only motion I allow myself is sticking a finger through a hole your face is leaning against and stroke your cheek. You seem surprised, but you don't pull away and smile contentedly instead.
I want to make this last forever, just the two of us, with you smiling your true, beautiful smile at me and making me feel so... full. So I close my eyes, picture how we must have looked like, and memorize it as fast as I can.
I know time is running out.
I stop stroking (was that a hint of disappointment I saw?), and shake uncontrollably as I get back up. The paper airplane is crinkled and the edges are coated with dirt. Tears run freely now. I can almost hear the grandfather clock back at home ticking. I squeeze my eyes shut and hurl the plane to your world.
Once it leaves my fingertips, I cannot go back.
Your eyes hungrily eat my note, and I turn, unable to stand what your reaction will be. I start to run, no matter how painfully my legs are complaining.
My mind is still running, but my body is separated. I stop.
"I thought... I thought we..."
I turned back slightly, but I definitely regret it when I see your lively eyes dull in unspeakable pain and tears are exploding from them.
"...I-I'm sorry. I wish I could stay..."
"I'll wait for you!"
No... Please don't... You'll only hurt yourself...
"I've kept all your letters!"
So have I...
"I'm not letting you go that easily!"
I'm afraid you must...
"And when I'm free, I'll come find you! I swear it!"
You should move on. You're capable and deserving of so much more.
"...Why won't you answer me?"
... I love you. I hope you know that. And I beg of you, remember. It is my final wish.
I break into a full sprint, leaving everything behind me. I scramble up the hill with the desperation to get out of there. I slide the majority on the other side, where Miku is still patiently waiting. Her eyes widen as she takes in my bloodied knees and elbows.
"P-Please, just... take me... back," I wheeze, hurling myself into the seat.
She's sprinting now, and the winds no longer please me; instead, they are whipping my cheeks, as if accusing me of shaming them. I deserve it anyhow.
Behind us, I hear a faint cry.
Once we reach the hospital, Miku sneaks us in through the back door. We swiftly rush into my room, lock it, and arrange everything back to the way it was before. Just as Miku was finished tending to my cuts, Father walks in, giving her a curt nod and a loving smile to me.
"Rin." His voice is sweet, but I imagine him yelling at those poor prisoners. And you, Len.
"I'll be leaving you two now, Mr. Kagamine. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to call," Miku recites monotonously. "Bye, Rinny," she adds softly.
Father gives her another nod but with appreciation this time. He turns his attention back to me, his smile intact.
"H-Hello... F-Father," I greet. "D-Do you... have a-a... present for m-me?" I tease lightly.
He smiles bitterly now. "Yes." He tosses a book onto a table. "It belonged to one of the 'cretins' down at the camps. I thought of throwing it out when I found it in her cell, but she offered it to me instead, telling me to 'give it to a loved one'. I normally would have burned it, but when I looked through it, the art was amazing and full of detail. And the writing was so beautiful and full of life... I thought you might like to read it."
I brush a curious finger over the worn cover. It doesn't look like much, just an old journal, but when I turn it, the first picture is of a boy and girl, intertwining hands and walking in a meadow full of flowers. In their other hands, they each hold a paper airplane.
"I wrote a letter and folded an airplane as we cross over the wall between us..."
It was meant to be.
Next to me, the heart monitor slows noticeably. Father's eyes widen and he screams for Miku and other nurses. They here in a flash and some usher Father out the room as the rest surrounds me. The last thing I hear is the distant thud as the journal drops to the floor.
Father...? Miku...? H-How long have I been out?
Click. Clack. Clack.
Clack. Click. Clack.
A shadow...Could it be...?
Click. Click. Clack.
No. No wishful thinking. It'll only hurt.
Clack. Click. Clack.
The notebook... ! ...My airplanes...! Where are they? Where are they!
Father... He looks so pained. Of course. I wouldn't expect less if he knew his only child was dying. But there's something else. Something he's not telling me.
I could have sworn I saw a flash of regret in his eyes.
I raise my right hand weakly, but I am not sure what I am reaching for.
Father takes it and massages it calmly. After a while, before he releases it, he places something in it. I close my eyes. I don't need to see to know what it is. The last letter I will be able to get from you.
Your final letter.
"P...Please... read it to me..." If he would like to know what he can do to "help" me... well, that's it.
His voice is deep and hollow (not to mention reluctant), but I am able to replace it with your light, gentle one.
"We haven't seen each other for so long now. I always sit in my cell, on my bunk near the window, wondering what I did wrong. To this day, I haven't been able to figure that out, so for that, I apologize.
But I do want to see you again. I want to be able to hear you laugh and sing for me again. It might be selfish, considering the condition you're in, but... I just want to be with you, only without the prison walls holding us back.
Now, I've finally settled my mind on one thing: your name. You have never mentioned it in a single letter you've sent, and whenever I asked, you managed to elude it. But I know it is a beautiful name. Of that, I'm certain.
I sincerely hope you recover soon and maybe by that time, I'll be released. By then, I hope we can still be together..."
Father mumbles something incoherently and wraps my fingers around that letter. Tears are forming in his eyes. "A mistake," I hear him mutter. "I killed him by mistake."
Instead of crying or being outraged like I expect to be, I feel a strange calm washing over me. You're in a better place now, a place where you can't be in pain anymore.
Maybe... I'll see you soon.
Miku comes running into the room, a horde of nurses trailing behind.
"I deeply apologize, Mr. Kagamine, but you must leave immediately. You are not allowed in this room at the moment," she says.
"Why? What's going on? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Tell me!"
"We are very sorry, but please save your concerns for later," another nurse quickly cuts in, opening the door.
"No! I refuse to move until I am told of what is going on!" Father's face is stoic and devoid of emotion. He plants his feet firmly on the ground.
"Please, sir! You must leave!"
"I told you! I am not leaving until-"
It was all blurry now, and I felt adrenaline pumping through me. Based on the beeps, it sounded like my body was releasing everything that happened these past years: my sickness, my loneliness, my despair when I was trapped in this prison... just, everything. But the one thing I managed to hold onto was the memories of you. I want to see you so badly... I want you to tell me it'll be alright...
...I want you to tell me that you love me...
The blood's rushing to my ears now, and I can't hear a thing except for muffled voices and the erratic thumps of my heartbeat. Then, ever so faintly, I hear a hushed voice singing a familiar lullaby. A second voice joins in slowly, and the harmonies combine and grow stronger.
A last sigh, the last breath of my heart... I realize that that first voice is yours and the other voice was mine. We sound so lovely as we intertwine.
For sure, I'll see you soon... Wait for me, ne?
A/N: HOORAH FOR PROCRASTINATION! XD I'll admit that this is the longest oneshot that I will probably ever write (nine pages!), 'cause I'm too lazy to split it into chapters ._." ...and not that it would make a difference... But if you do think it would, just say so and I'll format it correctly. :)
This is just one of those things where author and authoresses write and write to see where it goes. I guess this is what it means to let the story speak for itself. Constructive criticism would be nice, especially in this case because I can't seem to settle between two writing styles. Would it be better if stories were written in a sophisticated, big-vocabulary manner, or would it just be easier in a simple, causal style?
P.S. I added Miku, 'cause she's awesome. :P