"When he thought he was in love"

(by: Nirvash Serpentine )

She threw a knowing glance at the piece of envelope neatly placed at the top of her desk. It was Valentine's Day. A warm and welcoming event against her cold and unperturbed mood. – Ironic.

It has always been that way – with Fuji leaving her a note containing all the excuses and alibis he could ever muster just to give in to tennis. A simple note to cover up his absence.

At first it was fine. ...at first.

But not when tennis started to ruin their mutual relationship towards each other... not when everything started to feel wrong even if those were meant to be right.

"I'm giving up." Angelica seriously declared without looking at her lover.

Fuji stared blankly at her. If he was even confused or worried, it never showed. One thing was pretty obvious though. He didn't know what to say.

"I don't want you to take this against me, Syusuke. You know how much I love you" She continued with a heavy sigh.o

Angelica loves him so much...and maybe she'll always do. Fuji was after all, her first boyfriend. But no matter how she tries to convince herself that the guy feels the same towards her, Fuji really didn't care to confirm her belief with actions – at least that was what she felt.

"But you're still breaking up with me, Ange.." Fuji finally said like a restatement of the obvious.

Angelica nodded.

"Is it because of tennis?"

She once again nodded.

Fuji smiled apologetically. His blue eyes looking straight at his 'former' lover's face as he leaned closer and planted a kiss on Angelica's forehead.

"I love you too Ange...but never could I ever give up tennis...Gomen ne..." he gently said as he brushed away the strands of hair that were covering Angelica's eyes with his fingers.

It was too much, and Fuji was hurting her...

"We can still be friends, right...Fuji?" Angelica asked, offering her right hand for a handshake.

Fuji smiled and took her hand.

"Hai, of course.."

"See you around then." She dismissed with a smile as she turned on her heels and waved him goodbye.

Never did the blue-eyed boy knew how Angelica dreaded their break-up. He never knew how she spent Valentine's night crying for her lost love over and over again.

...and then...time passed...

-New Year's Eve-

Angelica was busy opening the gifts which their relatives and friends had given them. She found it amusing how the simplest of things like a keychain can make her so happy and grateful. Indeed, it's the thought that counts more. Just as she was about to start cleaning up ,she noticed a white envelope lying on the floor. She wasn't sure if it was just her imagination. – It has been 4 years, after all – but she really felt like she know who was 'that' from.

She picked and opened it up.

It's from Fuji.

...

Happy new year, Ange...

It's been a long time since I sent you a letter. 3? 4 years?...Right. I really fought the urge to write and send you messages so as to help myself from missing you more. Yes, Ange, I miss you so much. There has never been a day that I stopped missing you...loving you...

At first I thought I made the right decision- that was letting you go when we broke up – but then I realized that it was the greatest mistake I did in my life. I love tennis...but I don't think I can continue living without you at my side. I know I hurt you. I've been so insensitive and selfish during those times when you needed me most. I'm sorry Ange. ...I really am..

But the very reason I'm writing now is to tell you that I'm going back. I'm not really expecting anything more than to see you again ... Will you grant me this request? ... by the time you read this, I'm already on board the plane that would bring me to the place where I met you. I'm really looking forward to see you Ange ... I'll be waiting at the front gate of Seigaku on the third day of January, 1 pm. I'll wait no matter what.

Angelica blinked for several times, trying to comprehend everything that she had just read. Fuji wants to see her? Unbelievable. Fuji confessing his love for her? More unbelievable.

Angelica sighed. She's coming no matter what. Whether Fuji appears on the scene or not, she's coming. Not to bring bring back the things about them before, but to settle everything on its right place. Yes. She might still have feelings for the blue-eyed boy, but she was more than convinced that everything has ended when they broke up four years ago. She has no intention of giving Fuji any reason to begin a relationship with her now that she's dating Giovanni Garcia-her best friend.

-January 3-

Rain.

Angelica never appreciated the uncomfortability that tiny droplets of water brings in her skin. It's uncomfortable not because she hated the cold weather. It's just that, rain always reminds her of the day when Fuji broke her heart. She had moved on, yes. But forgetting? Never. Because Fuji was, is and will always be a part of her….Fuji will…..always be, her first love.

"Ms. Saniel?.."

Angelica frowned as she abruptly turned her head to see who the owner of the cold voice was.

"T-Tezuka…"

She tried to comprehend what exactly was going on. The letter was from Fuji, that's for certain. So as to why a Kunimitsu Tezuka, adorned with his ever stoic expression, was standing in front of her, she didn't know. All she was aware of was the tiny voice at the back of her mind that tells her that something's not right.

"Tezuka…..it's really you…Well, I'm supposed to see.-"

Tezuka gestured her to stop.

"I have something very important to say Ms. Saniel….If you don't mind, I would prefer if I tell you inside my car."

Angelica, though baffled, nodded and followed him. She could have asked for the reason directly from him if she wanted to, but she thought it was wise to listen first to what the other has to say. After all, it was Tezuka. And Tezuka, being Tezuka never talk about things which he deemed unnecessary.

"So it must have to be something.." she thougth.

"Here.." Tezuka plainly said as he handed a clean white envelop to Angelica, the moment they settled inside his car.

"Fuji…"

Tezuka nodded.

Angelica sighed heavily before dropping the envelop in her bag.

"So this is it. Fuji 'again' isn't coming and asked you to hand me 'another' excuse letter…great.!" She sarcastically commented without trying to hide the annoyance she felt.

Silence.

"It's not that Fuji wouldn't like to."

"Then what?" she snapped-feeling personally surprised by the intensity of her own voice – (c'mon…she just raised her voice in front of Kunimitsu Tezuka!...tsk3x..)

"Will you first listen?"

Angelica felt a bit embarrassed. Now she really felt like a small kid being reprimand by an adult – worse, it was Tezuka – the least person whom she wanted to see her annoyed temper.

"Fuji….he could no longer see you.."

"What?"

"It'd be difficult if I explain the technicalities, so I'd appreciate if you take time reading his letter. Only then will you understand what I'm trying to say." Tezuka declared.

Angelica shook his head in disbelief. Fuji and Tezuka….they're idiots.

Gomen nasai, Angelica….

You, reading this letter only means one thing…. – Ididn't make it.

Everything were lies.

From the moment you learned about my decision to study abroad up to my promise of showing up today…They had all been a fabrication of my mind.

If Tezuka handed you this letter – which was exactly what I requested him before my operation – it means that I once again broke my promise of seeing you.

and I have to be honest, I didn't go abroad to study but to do my rehabilitation. I badly want to live longer to see you, Ange…

When I learned about my brain cancer, I couldn't do much than to look forward to seeing you once again soon…It's not that I'm running away from death, though. I just don't like the idea of dying without even letting you know how much I love you.

.but still, this has happened. No matter how I fought hard to live, time just wouldn't allow me. – I guess this is enough of a reason to hate Mr. Time…hehe,,..just kidding.

I wish it wouldn't reach a point where Tezuka has to give you this….but in case….just in case I don't make it in time….do believe that I'll always love you Ange…

."…Anata wo aishitemasu, Angelica-san…"

S.F.

"Syusuke…." She silently muttered in between sobs, while hugging herself.

In the silent atmosphere of her room….the feeling of emptiness and guilt reverberated inside Angelica's heart….