In those days when they were young, passing the ball around was fun and a great waste of time. Makoto had always been stubborn in the past, and the future seemed too far. She wouldn't admit to herself that she had always liked Chiaki. Before going to sleep, she would wonder about him. She thought it was just friendly gesture that he was so nice. And it wasn't until he asked her out that she had even considered him that way. They had always been Just Friends.
She had told her aunt that she couldn't see them as any more than friends. But the truth was, she didn't want to see them as any more than friends. She didn't want change, because she was afraid of it.
She was deathly afraid of it. Change was almost never a good thing. And after she started leaping, she became almost more afraid of change. She was afraid that if she changed the past too much, it would alter the future too. Change.
She had been lying when she said she couldn't see them as any more than friends. But she hadn't ever seen them like that. She hadn't ever remembered thinking, Someday, I will go out with Chiaki. She did like Chiaki. She liked him past liking him.
She loved him.
But it was too much to think about right now. Stubborness and youth. What she hadn't seen until it was much to late. Until he was gone and she was left with an overwhelming feeling of something. But she had been to young to know. To understand.
After loving him for what seemed like ages, she found herself moving on. Slowly, but surely. She didn't want to. She knew she would always love him. And after this long, she had to know it was true. She had thought it over time and time again in her mind.
And she still couldn't shake the love.
She got older, true. But she had matured. She was in her second year of college. Life was moving by so... Slowly. Thinking to the future, all she could do was think about the life that she wanted to share with Chiaki.
Her friends had set her up on a blind date one month ago. With her new boyfriend, she was at least enjoying the time as it was. And it helped time move by faster. Before she knew it, she was already on her third semester, and she would be finishing the year soon.
Before, she used to use up precious time leaps to savor moments. But she didn't really care for one now. She found that she liked the pace of things. It kept her on her toes, and more homework with less time to finish it just meant that she had less time to think about the things that upset her.
So that day, she was walking with Maki, her room-mate, on the school campus. This new school was so big compared to her old one. She almost didn't like it. There was so much room, yet it didn't seem like that crowded of a school. There was a favorite courtyard, that they would eat lunch in. Small stone benches and pigeons that would peck at small food scraps on the ground.
Shade danced as the trees moved in the breeze. It was so beautiful. Sitting down, they both pulled out lunch bags, and began picking at the small lunch that Makoto had made that day. Maki was more artistic with food, and she was a much better cook. She could make the perfect bento out of whatever odds were in the cupboard.
As they sat down to a lame lunch of sandwhiches and bottled juice, Maki drabbled about homework and her friends. Who her favorite teacher was, who her least favorite teacher was, who was dating, and who should be. Every once in a while, Makoto would mumble, "Ah." or "Hm." Although she wasn't really listening.
People passed by, and it was interesting to just stop and look at the different types. Some of the people who attended this college were older. In their thirties or fourties. And seeing people in casual clothing also added to your total impression of them. Before, seeing people in school clothing made it all so bland.
Although, she did miss the school clothes. And it was just another change.
She would also be lying if she said she hated all change. Because casual clothes did feel much more comfortable then the whole getup she used to have to wear.
"Are you even listening?" Maki asked.
"Uh..." Makoto thought a second. She didn't want to lie... But...
"You weren't. Dammit Makoto!" Maki said sarcastically, hitting her on the arm gently.
And that was when it fell from the sky.
It hit her on the top of her head, and she fell from the bench.