[[ This is pretty much a gift for my friend… And can't say that I did a good job on it, my brain wasn't really into this pairing when I wrote this, so it might not be as good as I liked.
Once again, beware of OOCness and read at your own risk. ]]
I first met him when Natsuki introduced his classmates to me, him being the complete opposite of the other person Natsuki introduced. He was really cheerful and friendly as he greeted me and he was smiling the whole time. I first thought that he was weird to be smiling so much but somehow I could not resist smiling back at him.
Unlike most people who immediately comment that I'm cute when they first met me, he merely smiled and introduced himself to me, with no comments on my height or looks. He simply raised him hand out and spoke in a cheerful tone. "You must be Kurusu Syo, Natsuki mentions you quite a lot to us. I'm Ittoki Otoya, it's nice to meet you and it's fine if you just call me Otoya~"
"In that case, feel free to call me Syo. And you should ignore whatever Natsuki says about cute and small things."
I ignored Natsuki's argument that I was cute and that I was being mean to him and shook his hand. Otoya simply chuckled and nodded his head before releasing my hand, it was a really gentle handshake and I could tell that he did it with the intent of being friends with me. As long as he does not call me cute or comment on my height, I would be fine with being friends with him. Having Natsuki alone as a friend is enough, if another person that keeps calling me cute appears, it would not be pleasant at all.
He was rather interesting to talk to and he reminded me of myself, except that he is much more cheerful and energetic than me. I could tell that he loves music a lot from the way he talks about it and he was really nice, which I later found out was his personality. He was nice and friendly to anyone and he does not judge them in anyway either. That was what made me decide that I would get along well with him, besides out similar personalities.
The next time we met again was when Natsuki dragged me out with him to teach Otoya how to bake. I was paling and struggling when we finally met Otoya before giving up that there it was impossible that I would be able to get away from Natsuki. After hearing the reason why Otoya wanted to bake, I felt sorry for him since there was no way he would be able to learn what he wants from the way Natsuki bakes.
His face paled like much once he saw what Natsuki puts in his baking and we were both hugging each other in shock when the concoction exploded. I fled when Natsuki wanted to feed it to me before ending up eating it anyway. I felt sick and passed out immediately, certain that Otoya was in the same position as me.
I felt really bad that I did not warn him about Natsuki being such a lousy cook, but at least now I have someone with me that is able to prevent Natsuki from feeding his horrible cooking to the others. There was no need for anyone else to suffer from food poisoning. It was a miracle that I had not ended up in the hospital even once from eating Natsuki's food.
Somewhere along the days, I developed a habit of going out for a walk at least once a day where I get to be free from Natsuki and everyone else and simply be myself. During one of the walks, I met Otoya, more like he saw me before I even noticed him. "SYO! Are you here for a walk too?"
I nodded my head and looked up at the sky with a smile. "The weather's really good for a walk isn't it?"
He grinned cheerfully and walked beside me. "I know. Although I do go for a walk every day around this time if it isn't raining. I like going for walks here and it gives me a sense of peace and I get to relax more from it too~"
"You go for a walk alone every day?"
It just didn't appeal to me that Otoya would go for a walk alone every day with his personality, I thought that he would at least go with someone.
He scratched his head and sighed. "Well it didn't seem like much people enjoy going out for walks. They would rather hang out together or stay in their rooms doing their homework or revision, so I didn't ask. Tokiya wouldn't agree to come with how busy he is, which is why I thought that I might as well just go for one alone. Of course it would be much more enjoyable if I had someone else coming with me but at least I get the fresh air."
He stopped and turned to me with sparkles in his eyes suddenly. "Would you like to join me every day here for a walk if you don't mind that is?"
I blinked before smiling, more than happy to accept it seeing that I went on my walks alone as well. I would be cutting down the time that I get to be alone but Otoya was someone that was similar to me in personality and I did not exactly mind spending time with him. He did not seem like the kind that would judge me on whatever I did anyway.
"Sure, why not. I do enjoy walks as well and it would be much more enjoyable like you said."
He grinned and shouted a yes before motioning to go over to the lake. My smile broadened and before I knew it, we were already in the midst of a conversation. I was almost sorry that it all came to an end so soon but it was getting dark and we both still have classes tomorrow. He confirmed the time and place with me before we parted ways and I managed to make him promise to keep it a secret between us that we were going on walks together.
He looked confused as to why I would want that but agreed to it regardless. The reason was that I did not want Natsuki to find out about it and end up tagging along and making me feel even more annoyed with being called cute so much.
During our next few meetings, we had already walked through most of the places and we even decided on places that the both of us liked the most. We had gotten into a habit of talking during our walks, breaking the peaceful moment that I had when I went on walks alone. It was enjoyable talking to him even though mostly all I did was complain to him about Natsuki and about our classes.
Once, I mentioned to him as to why I liked Hyuuga-sensei and ended up showing him my Karate moves that he seemed to like. He said that it was something that suited me and that I really did seem happy when I did that.
I was shocked when I heard that since people often just view me as cute and believe that I am only suited for cute things and I could not help but blush slightly, hiding my face under my hat. He chuckled and commented that I really was cute, and I found myself blushing more. I quickly took a deep breath and looked away, fixing an irritated look on my face as I did not want him to know that I actually did like being called cute. "Otoya, you should know that I dislike the word cute and you should never mention it to me."
When I was sure that my face was back to normal, I turned back to face him to see him shaking his head. "No, you actually like being called cute don't you? You just dislike that people call you cute because of your height and start treating you as a kid. I really do find you cute and it has nothing to do with your height at all. I find you cute because of your expressions and the way you act to cover up the fact that what people say annoys you. The best example is how you react to Natsuki whenever he calls you cute, you like being called cute but you can't help but be annoyed that he finds you cute because of your size."
I widened my eyes and stared at him in surprise, he had somehow managed to see through my Tsundere façade and at my true self that I was certain that I had managed to hide really well. People really did believe what I say and he saw through me just like that? How was that possible when even Natsuki fails to see how my personality is after knowing me so long?
I was staring at him for a really long time that it had made him feel uncomfortable and he was looked away with a faint flush on his face. "I shouldn't have said all that, sorry about it. It's just that it really seemed that way to me when I look at you, like you only show certain sides to people and keep the rest hidden to yourself. It's true that you're cheerful and energetic, but it's of a different kind compared to me and it appears to me like you want people to view you as a strong person, most likely due to your height. If it made you uncomfortable, you could just forget what I said earlier since I only wanted you to know that the reason I found you cute is different from the others."
I broke the stare and flashed him a small smile, feeling rather conflicted rather or not I'm glad that someone had finally managed to see through me and look at my real self. "No need to apologise, what you said is true after all. I act like a Tsundere most of the time and it's really surprising that you managed to see that. I'm just not sure if I'm pleased that you managed to see the real me or not. It does feel good that you would know what I mean even if I act like my Tsundere self."
I stopped and looked at him seriously before continuing in a threatening tone. "As long as we're alone and you keep the fact that you understand what I'm trying to hide when we're in front of others, it would be fine. If you tell anyone that I actually enjoy being called cute, you're going to regret that. You can voice out that I'm lying when we're alone and I'm really curious to see how much of the real me you're able to see."
He gave a relieved sigh before smiling his usual smile. "Of course I wouldn't go around telling people that you're actually a Tsundere and don't mean everything that you say. It's your business what you want people to believe and I have no plans on giving it away and who knows, maybe one day I would be able to see through you completely."
If he was able to see the real me in such a short amount of time, maybe he really would be able to see through me some day. For now, I am just glad that I have someone that I know I would be able to be true to, even if I might not completely say the truth, at least he would be able to tell that I am hiding what I am truly feeling, that itself is good enough for me.
The walks quickly turned back to normal, just that I was beginning to open up to him more and more since he knew about my Tsundere self anyway. There was no point in hiding things from him but I could not help but blush when I do since it was really pointless. It was really hard to break that habit of mine since I do not even know how long have I kept that façade up but it did seem to amuse him and make him laugh whenever I attempt to hide what I really feel from him. But there were times that he was not able to see through me, which is a good thing as I do not want to be completely seen through by someone.
One day before we met for our daily walks that Natsuki always ask to know where I am going as well as why he was not allowed to come with me, we were dragged by Natsuki into the kitchen. Apparently, he had a sudden inspiration to bake a new kind of Piyo-chan cookies and had dragged Otoya with him and me as well, when I was unlucky enough to walk pass them.
From the looks of things, Otoya wasn't here willingly either. I tried to move closer to him when Natsuki released us from his grip and when into his baking mood. We whispered softly and tried to come up with a plan to run away before Natsuki finished baking and decides to feed us his cookies. We both paled and gripped each other tightly, thinking back on the last time we had eaten his cooking. It was just too horrible and I was feeling sick from remembering all of the food he had forced me to eat.
We had finally decided to escape when he was busy placing his cookies into the oven, sneaking out of the door as quietly as we could before making a mad dash in the direction of the forest, one of the places that we enjoyed going on our walks on.
When we finally made it safely, we both burst into laughter and highfived each other, glad to be free from Natsuki's cooking. The time was much earlier than when we usually meet for our walks and Otoya suggested that we stay here and I nodded my head in agreement and added that we might as well watch the sunset from him too since we are unable to move away with Natsuki bound to be looking for us.
Since we were on walks here so often, we knew this place really well and where there were hardly people around. We picked one of the spots that weren't that complicated to head back in the dark and climbed up one of the trees to get a better view of the sky.
Once we were there, we started on our usual talks before commenting that it was lucky for us to flee before being stuffed with Natsuki's cooking. He mentioned to me that Natsuki had dragged him with him when he heard that there were Piyo-chan cookies being sold and that gave Natsuki the idea to make some himself.
We were certain that the cookies would look cute but the taste would no doubt be deadly. It is a miracle that Natsuki can eat them and not see that his cookies are horrid. We pushed those terrible thoughts away and I quickly changed the topic by asking if he wanted to listen to one of the songs I came up with lately.
He nodded his head eagerly and I felt nervous, regretting suggesting that when I was not even sure if it is completed or not. Too late for any regrets, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes before singing softly. I did not want to risk blowing our cover by singing too loud and Natsuki could be around too.
I kept my eyes closed till the end of the song, feeling rather awkward that I am actually singing a song that I had not finished to someone. I could hear him clapping before opening my eyes slowly to look at him, he was smiling and he said that he liked it. But I was not sure if he really meant that or was he just being nice by telling me that it was good.
He further commented that it was something that suits me and the song really does remind him of me as it contains some hints of me in it. It was pretty much true since I based it on when he was able to see through me, except for some changes of course. I kept very little things of what I wanted to mean in the lyrics to prevent people from knowing that I was actually singing about myself.
I guess he really could see through me and I smiled at that, glad that he could see that I included bits of myself in my song. He promised me that he would sing to me once he had thought of a song and I added that I would be looking forward to it. I had not heard him sing before after all, not even once.
I pointed that out to him and he nodded his head at that statement, he had forgotten that we were not from the same class and there was no way I would be able to hear him when he sings in class. He scratched his head to try to think of something before saying that he could sing the song he came up with Nanami if I did not mind.
I grinned and shook my head, wanting to hear how he sings. I was quickly lost in his song when he started, my eyes were closed once again as I could hear his emotions and feelings in the song, it was really warm like him and really nice. His voice suited him really well, it was really cheery like him. Cheerful songs are definitely what suits him and I highly doubt that he would be able to pull a sad song without people thinking that it is not him.
He was really pleased when he heard that I liked it and he gave all the credit to Nanami. Somehow, I frowned at that and said that he deserved at least half the credit that it was so well done. Otoya did not answer but simply direct my head towards the sky where the sun was setting, it was really pink and pretty. It was much better seeing it from the trees instead of the buildings since we are outdoors and the air is much nicer too.
With our purpose finished, we both hopped down the tree and made our way back towards our room. He wished me a good luck on getting back to my room and I made a face at that, not liking that Natsuki might still want to stuff the cookies in my mouth.
When I made it inside, Natsuki was pulling a sad look and said that I was cruel to have ran away from him with Otoya and left him behind with him cookies. To my relief, he had eaten all of the cookies from being too upset and I simply answered that we did not like his cookies and we had something on. I ignored him when he asked what we were busy with and simply plopped on the bed and closed my eyes, smiling when I thought back to earlier. Otoya's song was really catchy and nice and I still had it in my head.
Lucky for me, there were no classes today and I was glomped by my twin, Kaoru out of nowhere. I stared at him in surprise wondering why he was here, returning his glomp with a hug and waited patiently for him to get off. He smiled at me and like usual, tell me how much he missed me. I returned his smile and commented that I missed him too.
The thing that got me more surprised was when he started speaking again. "You know, I met the person you have been telling me about, the one with the name Otoya on my way here. I met him outside one of the cafes and we had a really long chat together too. Like you said, he's really nice and energetic and he could tell that I'm not you too. He stared at me and said that I looked just like you when he first saw me before he heard my explanation of being your twin. I even swapped numbers with him~"
Otoya met my twin? That really was a big surprise and the fact that he got along with Kaoru just proves to me that he really is friendly to anyone. Kaoru normally tests people that I am friends with to see if they really suit to be my friend and his tests are hard. I still cannot get how Natsuki passed his test when his cooking harms me so much, but I never did ask either.
He was all smiles and he said he understood why I actually enjoy hanging out with him. The rest of the day was spent with me spending time with Kaoru till the time when I meet Otoya for our regular walks. I managed to convince Kaoru to come along as well before he leave and he agreed rather quickly.
Otoya was waiting and he waved to the both of us when he saw us with a big smile. He laughed and said that we were really alike in looks but our personalities are different though. I could not get how he could tell us apart and he said that it was a secret that he was not going to tell. No matter how much I probed or pouted, he would not fall for my cute act and tell me.
Kaoru told me to give up and I had no choice but to agree when nothing worked. Kaoru gave us both a hug before running off, promising to meet me and Otoya again during his next free time. I could tell that the both of them had gotten really close in a matter of mere minutes and I could feel myself jealous at that. Kaoru was my twin and Otoya was my friend first, but it seemed like they were closer friends than me.
Otoya noticed that I was not myself and asked if there were anything he could do to make me feel better. I bit back the urge to tell him that it was not fair that he got along so well with Kaoru in less than a day and simply blabbered randomly about meeting for lunch tomorrow in the forest like a picnic. He was blinking and giving a really cute confused face as he nodded blankly to my suggestion.
We parted after that and I felt like facepalming myself for suggesting a picnic of all things as well as offering to bring all the food. Next time, I really should just tell the truth instead of just saying random things. How was I supposed to get food? I sighed and headed towards the store to get some food, deciding to just make a simple bento box.
I had to wake up early for that but it should be nice, to be there in the day with most of the people away in the cafeteria instead. I managed to get up before Natsuki and I quietly snuck away to avoid waking him up to the kitchen. With a sigh, I started on my task which almost made me late for class. But at least I got it done in time and I wished I had picked a much simple dessert like cookies instead of strawberry mochis. Was what I thinking when I decided to make my favourite dessert?
Lucky for me, Hyuuga-sensei was not mad at all, just reminding me to be on time next time. I was really nervous as well as looking forward to what Otoya would think of the food I made, would he like them? I had never cooked for any one besides Kaoru before, not even Natsuki, which was why I was really nervous if he would like it or not.
Lunch came quickly and I dashed off after muttering to Ren that I would not be eating with him today. He did not seem to care like I thought and I simply set up the place and waited for Otoya to come. He was running when he came, apologising that he got held up by Natsuki. I shook my head and said that it was nothing. He glanced upon the food and immediately asked if I made them myself. I nodded my head shyly and stared at the ground, waiting for him to try it. "It looked really nice Syo, you must be a pretty good cook."
He took a bite of it and I silently prayed that it would be to his liking. He was all smiles as he took another bite saying that he really liked it. I smiled and started eating as well, feeling really glad and happy that he liked my cooking. What I really look forward to was his reaction to the strawberry mocha that was shaped like rabbits. I could not help but give them rabbit ears, probably from seeing Natsuki's cooking too much.
He picked it up and looked at it closely, commenting that it looked really cute before placing it into his mouth. Otoya commented that he liked it and it seemed like something that would suit me and I quietly said that it was my favourite dessert as I looked away with a small blush on my face. Why was I starting to blush so much around him anyway? I could not understand that and simply pushed it aside for the moment.
We finished up quickly, still having classes to go to later after all. We fixed up a place to meet later for our walks before parting. He suggested meeting again during lunch tomorrow, and I accepted it quickly, liking the idea completely. Of course I did not offer to make the lunch this time, not wanting to go through the worries of whether he likes it or not again this quickly.
Once again, I told Ren that I was not eating with him again and this time I got a small reaction from him. I knew that it would be impossible for me to hang out alone with Otoya so much during lunch if I disappear from the cafeteria the same time as him so often so I made up my mind to tell Otoya later that we should meet at most once a week here instead.
He had prepared something much simpler compared to mine, claiming that he had no clue how to cook properly. We had sandwiches which were cut in really cute shapes as well as small chocolate bars since he had no clue how to bake at all. I told him not to worry and that I liked them quite a lot before telling him what I thought earlier.
He agreed to it saying that it was hard for him to get away from Natsuki so much too. We had a small chat as we ate, and once again, I found myself confiding things to him. I could tell him things without worrying about him judging him anyway, even if I say that I actually like stuffed animals, he would not comment about it but simply accept it.
I had learned a few things from him during our chats, how he was an orphan, he enjoys soccer, why he likes singing in the first place as well as other things. In exchange, I would make sure that I tell him something too. To him, my Tsundere self was cute and he enjoys seeing my attempts at pretending to disagree with something people say.
True to his word, he has never revealed what I really feel and simply acted like himself during those times. I could see a twinkle in his eyes during those times and he was no doubt enjoying himself. I would pout when no one else was looking for a moment, for him to know that I was not happy that he was enjoying himself at my expense.
I wondered how long this time would last, with my condition it is a miracle that I am even alive at the moment and I smiled sadly that it might end any time soon. That was the real reason why Kaoru is always so worried and makes sure that I text him every single day. It was something that I would never ever tell Otoya as I did not want him to worry and it is much better to see him smiling and happy.
I received a call from Kaoru one day, he told me that he was supposed to meet Otoya today and he could not make it currently, asking me to take his place and go there instead. I was curious to know why they were meeting and how come I had never met Otoya outside of school before too. I agreed to it and sighed, flopping on the bed and wondering if Otoya would buy the lie that I was Kaoru.
Quickly finding a set of clothes that would not seem like my style and not wearing any of my usual accessories, I headed out with hopes that he would not be able to tell that I an Syo. Like I thought, he recognized me immediately and would not believe me that I was Kaoru no matter how much I tried to convince him. I sighed and admitted that I was taking Kaoru's place as he could not make it and that I hoped that he would not mind that I was here instead.
He did not seem to mind that I was taking Kaoru's place since Kaoru was the one that asked him out in the first place. I did not get why Kaoru asked him out instead of me at all and decided to call him later to ask once I get back.
We headed off to a cake shop first because he noticed that I was interested in the picture of the cakes. He did not say that out loud but I knew he picked it because I wanted to go and that there was no way I would ever admit that I liked sweets. I was starting to get used to him knowing how I feel toward things that it no longer came as a surprise that he knows what I want.
The next place we went to were an accessories shop and I immediately bought a new hat along with a couple of armlets and bracelets that I did not have yet. Once I paid for it, more like Otoya managed to pay for it before I even manage to, I put them on, glad to be back to my usual style.
I could just ignore the clothes part as long as I had my hat and everything else would be fine. Like usual, we ended up going for a walk, to a park this time. It was deserted for some reason with barely anyone around at all. Otoya suggested we get on the swings when he spotted that I was eyeing it with interest.
Once again, I am grateful to him for not saying that he knows what I want and instead pretend it to be something he wants to do. We stayed there for a few minutes as I did not want to risk having people see us playing there and getting more comments that I am cute.
We passed by a photo booth and this time I took the initiative and dragged him inside instead. I put on a cute face and begged him to take it with me, wanting a form of memory that I had existed in his world and that I would be able to keep it with me.
He chuckled and nodded his head, saying that he did not mind taking them with me at all. We pulled a few funny faces, serious ones as well as normal ones. I could see the smiles in all of them and they were very much as warm as the ones he shows. I liked his smile as it was something that could cheer me up. It was also something that I did not want to part with, which was why I wanted a photo of it. That way, I could keep it with me even if I died.
I thanked him for an enjoyable time before shyly tiptoeing to kiss him on the cheek and dashing off after that, not wanting to see his reaction to that. I had no clue why I had a sudden urge to do that and it was much too late for me to take back my actions.
I once again ignored Natsuki when I got back inside and called Kaoru immediately. I could hear him laughing softly as he muttered a soft "I knew it." when I told him that Otoya completely did not buy the act that I was him. I frowned at that and asked him why he asked me to do that instead of just cancelling it in the first place if he knew that he would not believe me.
The tone in his voice grew serious and he asked me when did I feel when I had heard that he had asked Otoya out for an outing. I kept quiet and a few seconds later, he spoke up again. "You were jealous weren't you? I had a suspicion when you mentioned him to me and it appeared to me even more when I met the both of you during the walk. You weren't happy that the both of us were that close and it wasn't just because I was your twin was it? You have another heart problem don't you?"
His tone had grown sadder as he spoke, and I was taken aback at his words. I had another heart problem? What was Kaoru trying to imply to me? "What did you feel when you went out with him today?"
I took a deep breath before answering his question. "I was really happy and it was lots of fun….at the same time, I was sad that it might end any time soon. There might not be another chance of going out with him again and that made me upset when I thought about not seeing his smile again…"
He sighed and continued speaking in the same sad tone. "Haven't you noticed yet? The other heart problem that I meant is that you're in love with him. Don't try to deny it, I can tell that you do, you have never spoke to me of anyone else with such a cheerful tone before and the more time passes, the more I could feel the tone you use when you talk about him grow warmer. You should know that your heart wouldn't be able to take it if you love someone. I didn't want to say it at first but you're fallen for him deeper and deeper have you not?"
I was speechless at that. Was I really in love with him? When did that happen? When he first showed that he was able to see through me or when he accepted the real me. I could feel tears dripping down my cheeks as I softly answered that maybe that was true. I hung up after that, wanting to figure out my feelings properly.
Natsuki was worried when he noticed that I was crying and he handed me a box of tissues before saying that he had an errand to run and left the room. I was grateful that he could tell that I wanted some time alone to think about it.
How could I fall for him the first place? I am someone that could die any moment after all and he deserved someone much better than me. I felt my tears fall more as I knew that there was no way I could ever tell him that and could I even handle another heart problem with my weak heart? Perhaps I noticed that I was in love with him a long time ago but just chose not to see it to prevent myself from being upset that I could never tell him.
He was like a really bright hope to me and his smiles really cheer me up that I have often forgotten about my heart problem when I am with him. I had never hated my health as much as now, I had long ago accepted the fact that my heart would fail me any time which was why I wanted to do what I want to not regret it. To be able to sing as much as I want, the fact of whether I even become a popular singer or not does not matter.
But now it is just different, now that I had realized what I feel towards him, there is no way that I will be able to treat him the same as always. I would feel sad whenever I see him and cling to him in fear of not being able to see again when I wake up. My tears continued flowing and I made no attempt to stop them.
Perhaps if I just cry my heart out now, I would not cry about this ever again and be over with it. I just have to accept the fact that my time with him is limited and I should treasure as much of it when I can.
When Natsuki came back, I had stopped crying and I was back to my usual self. Close to my usual self anyway, knowing the fact that my time with him is limited had made me rather sad and it was something that I would not be able to will away. I just have to keep it bottled up inside and not think about it.
During our next meeting, he immediately could tell that I was upset by something and he accepted it when I told him I did not want to talk about it. He flashed me a concern smile and told me that I could speak to him any time I want if I was ready to speak. Even though I know I could not tell him, I was happy to hear that he actually cared.
Somehow, I could feel that I was getting weaker by the day. Perhaps the time when my heart stops beating completely is approaching soon. I smiled sadly at that, wondering if I would be lucky enough to make it till we graduate. I want to at least be able to sing a song with him once before I go, making me decide to start writing lyrics for that.
Kaoru grew more and more worried when he called over, being able to tell from just my voice that I was growing weaker. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we are twins that he is able to tell, I know it would be pointless to even lie to him that I am fine. No matter how much he tries to convince me to go for the heart operation, I refused.
During one of our walks, I simply fainted. He was really worried and he had called Kaoru as he sent me over to the infirmary which later changed to hospital once they found out about my condition thanks to Kaoru's overreacting.
When I regained consciousness, the first thing that I noticed was that Kaoru and Otoya were both around. Kaoru immediately hugged me with tears in his eyes and whispers of him being glad that I woke up. He pulled back later and stepped out saying that he would be out for a while to contact the doctor after he gave a nod to Otoya.
Otoya looked really hurt when I finally turned to look at him. "Why didn't you tell me about this?"
I tried my best to control my tears and spoke in a cold voice. "What could you do? Nothing will change even if I did tell you? Why should I tell you anyway?"
I wish I could take back what I said when I saw his face grow even sadder but his next words changed my mind. "Aren't we friends?
Those three simple words made me want to cry even more, I did not want to see him anymore and my voice became even colder. "Aren't we friends eh? Why do you even care if I tell you or not or about my condition in the first place? You treat anyone the same way, even if they're strangers."
This time, I could not stop myself as my tears flowed down as I continued speaking. "Why does it matter to you at all? I don't want your pity at all, just go away. I don't want to see you any more just get out of here! I…..really hate you, you know. Being all cheery and smiling all the time like everything would get better and nothing would go wrong at all. Why do you even care about someone like me anyway? Someone that keeps all his real feelings to himself and pretends to be feeling something else? I'm just a pathetic person that doesn't deserve anything and seriously, why do you care?"
By then, I was already breaking down. My heart problems were both acting up right now and whatever things that I had kept bottled up were breaking away from the bottle and out into the open. I did not even want to look at him anymore or even hear what he wants to say. He was quiet and he made no movement to leave, just as I was about to ask him to leave again, he finally spoke up.
He walked closer to me as he spoke, his face unreadable. "Perhaps it's true that we're not friends. I noticed it a long time ago but I couldn't find the chance to comment about it. I care simply because I like you, is that wrong?"
I wanted to laugh, he does not think of me as a friend and yet he says that likes me. "Pretty conflicting now, aren't you? I'm not your friend and yet you like me? Otoya, you like anyone in the first place. So what am I to you? No need to pretend to care or 'like' me because of my condition."
He breathed in slowly and continued speaking in the unreadable face. "I really do care and like you. You know that don't you? You just said all that because you didn't want me to be upset when you die and you felt that it was better if you just break whatever relationship we have right now. You think I'm that ignorant? You know I can see your real self and yet you still try to lie to me? My feelings are the same as yours, I noticed it but never said anything because I was going to do it only after we graduate. But you leave me with no choice now don't you? I'm not doing this out of pity and it's all one hundred percent true."
I looked up at him with my tears-filled eyes, trying to process what he said. His feelings were the same as mine? Did that mean that he likes me too or did he mean it in another sense? My question was answered before I even opened my mouth to ask them because I could feel a pair of soft and warm lips touching mine gently. I could feel myself crying even more, wondering if it was all just a dream before I locked eyes with his, seeing myself being reflected in his eyes. I kissed him back slowly, glad that they were very much real and not an illusion.
He pulled back seconds later and pulled me in a hug. I hugged him back tightly, crying into his chest with words of sorry and not speaking truthfully. He hushed me saying that it was fine and that I should not worry about it at all.
Kaoru came back minutes later with the doctor. He had a knowing look on his face and I suspect that he had stalled for time in getting the doctor and that he had expected this to happen right from the beginning. Regardless, I was just glad that Otoya returned my feelings, even if I could not stay long enough with him.
The doctor suggested that I go for the heart surgery abroad and Otoya and Kaoru were totally wanting me to as well. But I was afraid, really afraid, I had just heard the words that I wanted to hear the most and the operation just had a half chance of it being successful. What if it failed and I ended up dying?
Kaoru sighed and urged me further saying that it would be a waste if I just waited for my death day to come without doing anything to try to live. Do I not have a reason to live now? I smiled weakly at his words, seeing what he says being true.
I nodded my head and gave the okay to go for the operation. Much to my relief, both Kaoru and Otoya agreed to go with me. In a few days, the operation day came. Otoya gripped my hands tightly whispering that I was a strong person and it would no doubt be a success as he gave a short kiss onto my forehead before hugging me.
I closed my eyes and hoped that it was not the last time that I would be able to feel his touch and see him.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I could feel voices calling out to me, who were they? Someone was holding my hand and it was really warm and familiar, who was it? I tried to open my eyes slowly, meeting a pair of familiar eyes before hearing my name being spoken with relief. I'm alive am I not? The operation is a success? Everything felt really hazy and surreal and I had difficulties in knowing if it was all real and not a dream.
But the hands gripping my own were really warm and it was not letting go at all, confirming that it was all real. I found myself crying yet again before whispering his name slowly, again and again. He answered me with a smile before he released my hands and moved away for the doctor to come over.
After some check-ups, I was finally able to discharge and go back to school. The operation was a success and I was happy to be able to live with Otoya again like usual. Kaoru was really happy and relieved too, clinging to me the whole time promising that he would return me to Otoya once we get leave.
We went back to school like usual, just that I meet him more than often and somehow we managed to keep our relationship a secret all the way to till we graduate. Natsuki did not seem surprised at all when he finally heard the confirmation that I was indeed going out with Otoya, and I was blushing bright red the whole time.
Funny that it took me one heart problem to deal with the other heart problem. Regardless, it is a happy ending for me isn't it? Life might be hard in the future but I would not give up on this life that I'm given a second chance of having.