~by Unyielding Wish~
Four walls, a single window, and an IV attached to one's wrist is indeed quite a boring sight to set eyes upon. There's not anything interesting enough to look at, and an onlooker could only peer into the room from the window, perhaps, and watch the sick one die a slow, painful death. That is definitely not something most would look forward to staring at.
Perhaps gazing at the scene is bad enough, but being the one in the room?
No, most people would go on with their own businesses when hearing that suggestion.
I was one of those people. Arrogant, ignorant at sickness. It is quite curious why I would be, since I in fact was born with a delicately weak body.
And yet, as I look around, I see four white walls surrounding me as a square room, the paint crusting and peeling in places. A metal bedpost is under the soft pillow I'm propped up upon, and a thin tube leads up to the IV dangling above.
The typical scene of a hospital room. One would think I'd be enjoying it, the way I talk about it, but actually…
I'm sick of it.
I'm sick of being ill for six months and not able to get out once.
I'm sick of being trapped in this cage.
I'm sick of seeing pity in the eyes of passersby when they walk past my room.
I tuck a strand of indigo-toned hair behind my ear. I've lost hope in ever recovering and living my old life once again some time before, but my fear of dying keeps me alive.
I'm lonely, but I refuse visitors.
I don't want people to see the pitiful being I've become.
How can one come down with a critical illness and yet be able to smile and tell another, "I'm okay?"
I wish I could be like that.
But I'm not strong enough. I resent it, but I can't do anything about it. It's…my inability to cope…it's pathetic, really.
I've been thinking about that a lot since he visited me.
I don't like telling the truth, but he had been my friend for a very long time. Our friendship traces back to childhood when we first met, about four or five years old. As time passed, we began noticing certain traits about each other…and it felt awkward to exchange words, so to speak.
A raven-haired boy smiled and gave a girl a hand. "That fall must have been hard. What's your name?"
"I don't like talking about my last name."
"I see." He paused for a minute. "I'm Kirigaya Kazuto, but I like it better when people refer to me as Kirito." His way of speaking was so formal, the girl almost laughed, but her scraped knee and the sharp pains vibrating through her body emanating from the chest distracted her.
That disorder of her heart…she'd always hated it.
"Are you okay?" Kirito asked anxiously.
"I'm fine." Not wishing to talk any more, the girl clambered onto her feet and ran away.
Oh…that first encounter with him? He'd always talked like that…Never changing.
But then, I like it better that way.
"'Truth or Dare'?" Kirito scoffed. "Are you serious? That game sucks."
We were twelve-year-olds, at a party in a friend's house.
"Let's try," suggested one. "Kirito? Truth, or Dare?"
The boy grinned mischievously. "I dare you to spend a night alone with Sachi."
We didn't do anything deemed as "forbidden", but we did talk about some things.
Kirito's joy and eagerness in the study of life always shocked me. I always thought it was strange that he believes that Life is a neverending cycle, just a natural way of a repetition.
I never gave much thought on it.
I glance up at my IV. How could I tell my life source from that? But for some reason, when I just looked at it, I could feel as if…As if I am my life. It's weird, but for a moment, I thought of dangling on a string that's being worn away.
"It's okay? Are you sure it's okay?"
"It's fine, Sachi. We're sixteen; we can support ourselves. We're like…two stray cats licking each other's wounds."
The girl only pressed her body harder into the soft bed, still uncomfortable of sleeping in the same bed as him.
It shouldn't be long now.
There's a soft creak of metal grinding on stone tiles. I look up and see a nurse walking nervously toward me.
"Hello, Sachi," she says, as if trying to beat around the bush. She lays a damp cloth on my head and feels my pulse; by her expression, something's amiss. The nurse makes a tight-lipped frown and shakes her head as she marks something on a clipboard. "You have…a visitor."
"A visitor? Who?"
"It's…" She averts her eyes, then says, "It's Kirigaya, okay? I'm calling him in."
With that, she hurries out of the room.
"Sachi, stop crying. I'm only…It's just college. I'll be back by the end of this year, for summer."
"You won't leave me forever, right?"
"What are you talking about, Sachi? Of course. I won't 'die', for heaven's sake. There's no such thing as dying—only a continuance to an afterlife."
"I didn't mean that…"
I could only stare at the empty space the nurse left. Kirito?
I haven't seen him ever since four years ago, when he first left for college. He never really returned, and slowly our communication faded, and finally, ceased.
I feel sick. It's not because of the shock from Kirito, either. It's because I feel so…I've been feeling like this for the past two days. It feels strange. Very strange. Usually I would take it as my deformed heart acting up again, but this…
It's getting harder and harder to breathe. I train my eyes upon the metal door, willing for the nurse to come soon.
How could I sense this is the end?
Even if it is, I want to see Kirito and talk to him, speak to him, before leaving on an…on an afterlife, as he always said.
"See you again someday," were Kirito's last words before he boarded the train.
Hacking coughs shake my entire body. I turn over and grasp my pillow tightly; my hands are clammy.
I'm not. I won't. I won't be so weak. I won't be so pathetic and heartless that I would die before running my hands through his thick black hair.
But yet, as I think back on the subject of dying, there's…
There's no more fear in my heart, burning like an open wound that never ceased its pain. Instead, what I feel is…
Is "anticipation" the right word?
Yes, that's it. Anticipation.
I feel a strange peacefulness now, but I struggle to keep my eyelids open. Maybe I'll just fall asleep instead. Maybe this is just weariness. But yet… As I listen to the sound of footsteps thumping outside my door—who is doing that?—I realize that I really don't want his pity.
I just want the reassurance that I'd be able to die and keep living on in a philosophical way, without any disturbances.
My breathless gasps heave out of my shuddering chest. Out of the corner of my eye, in all the confusion that's milling around in my head, I see my hand shaking. My hand, too? I watch mildly as the door is thrown open; a rather handsome black-haired man, his gray eyes wide, storms into the room, the nurse following at his heels. My heart speeds a mile a minute at all of this, but for some reason, its beat also feels sluggish.
Why am I so calm when I'm about to die?
I don't have enough time to ponder this, because suddenly there's sweetness. All the bitterness I've been tasting on the tip of my tongue—it fades. It fades into something as sweet as a watermelon left out for a while on a hot day, or maybe cheese melted onto a hot bun and sprinkled with sugar.
There's one last thing I see and hear before my heart slows to a stop.
It's Kirito rushing over, saying something. My mind deciphers the words as "I've missed you".
"I missed you, too," I whisper.
A candle flickering out too early.
A caged bird which knew no freedom.
A mortally wounded deer with a life filled with faithless regrets.
I wish I could say that I'm better than that.
Well, I never really had time to think about it, but…
I enjoyed my precious few years.
Author's Notes and Disclaimer:
~I don't own SAO.
~This is my first time writing a fic for Sword Art Online. I must say this was very difficult for me to write- well duh, new stories always are- but I enjoyed it a lot. This is, if you haven't figured out, told from Sachi's point of view. The reason why I made it so angsty was because I was listening to Synchronicity 2/3. It told a pretty sad story, and as to fit the mood, I made this angsty as well.
~For those of you who are furious over the fact that Sachi didn't die from the monsters, and need some explaining, here. "AU" means alternate universe. So what that basically means is that the authors may make it however they want- have the same characters, and everything, but different happenings. If you're still confused as my explaining skills aren't very professional, Google it. You'll realize what it means sooner or later. (Kind of like the LOL case- it seems awkward when you first try to use it, but soon you get used to it.) So in case anyone sends me a flame questioning why Sachi didn't die from that and instead died from this, here's your answer.
As every author does, I hoped this was enjoyed a lot. I'm still a newbie to SAO, so please give me time.
If you can, leave a review. It'll be greatly appreciated.