It's hard to find something that I will miss about January because there's nothing particularly exciting that goes on. It's filled with mostly people grumbling as they return from the festivities of December to the drudgery of their normal commutes. The snow on the ground corresponds with the mood; it's brown and mushed from heavy footprints and car tires.
But I loved New Years.
I loved walking through crowds of people greeting, embracing, laughing. I loved wandering among the toasty glow of food stalls that contrast against winter night's biting cold air. I loved watching fireworks bloom and wither in the sky, making it seem as if stars cascade from the sky.
I loved it the most when the large gong at the shrine echoed through the town, as if welcoming the first of January while those around me cheered, hugged, drank, kissed, promised.
I loved it.
But this year, this year New Years is nothing special to me. After all, what is New Years? It is celebration of the change from December 31st to January 1st. But what makes that one change so unique? Every second that passes is a moment of change. The person I am now is one second's worth of life different from the person I was one second ago. So why not celebrate every second?
This year, it hurts to watch the festivities of people who look forward to the future with excitement, without knowing what lies ahead. I think the mystery is truly wonderful and don't understand the popularity of the fortune stalls. That's one of the reasons I don't plan on going to get my fortune.
That, and I already know what's going to happen to me.
Hey, I hope the fireworks this New Years Eve will be beautiful.
Because they will be my last.
His wintery, blue-green eyes stare at the o-mikuji in his hands with smug amusement. The small slip in his hands read:
endan marriage engagement
He folds the slip up and ties it to a wire wall, with the rest of the bad fortunes. It's not that he believes in them; the fortune he just got was viable proof that all fortune tellers are simply cheap ways to trick people into wasting money.
But still, marriage? How is that a blessing in any way? He scoffs.
"Eh...Hitsugaya's says he's gonna get married..."
He turns to see a black haired girl peering at the fortune he left behind. The expression on her face looks as if she has just obtained a valuable piece of information to blackmail her friend if she were to ever need to do so.
"Shut up, devil Kurosaki." He replies in a nonchalant manner.
She grins and catches up to him in small steps. He purposely walks slower—traditional kimono sure looked uncomfortable. Karin has consistently complained about them, but ends up wearing one every year due to her twin sister Yuzu's insistence.
"Yeah I know, you never believe in fortunes anyway. Plus, who would like you enough to stay with you for life anyway?"
"You~ Karin!" Her twin with light brown hair hugs her from behind.
"Oi! Yuzu!" Karin's face turns uncharacteristically red.
"Plus, Hitsugaya-kun is really popular among the girls, even the ones who aren't the senior class. He's the favorite among the "calm, mysterious cool-type" fangirls!" Yuzu brightly states.
"Hah! Calm? Cool? He was a brat who was shorter than me just a few years ago!"
"Ah! Karin! You're still red!"
Toushiro blocks out their chatter as he stares at his breath that comes out in white puffs in the icy air. Unlike the people around him who seem to fight the cold with warm treats and thick clothing, he welcomes it; winter is his favorite season precisely for its weather.
He feels something faint bump into his chest. Looking down, he notices a slight girl with dark brown hair and matching warm eyes on the snow before him. Upon realizing that he was the one who knocked her over, he offers her a hand. It was unusual, however, for him to carelessly collide with someone—it was second nature for him to be attentive.
"Are you alright?"
"Yep! Sorry about that." She apologizes cheerily, genuinely carefree the melting snow on her pink kimono.
He pulls her up and is surprised at how feather-light she is.
Almost like air... he thinks.
With the slightest tilt of her head, she smiles, "Thank you, Hitsugaya-kun."
He notices the slip of paper she dropped on the ground, but before he can point it out to her, the girl is gone, as if the wind has whisked her faint presence away.
Wait, how does she know my name? Have I met her before?
Bending over the pick up the damp o-mikuji, he reads:
endan marriage engagement
Sparks of white-red blossom with a boom in the night sky, reflecting in her warm brown eyes. She appreciates the solitude of the hilltop—far from the warm bustle of the shrine below—as she lies facing the fireworks with her arms and legs spread out wide. Too entranced with the beauty of the lights, she ignores the damp, coldness seeping into her body through her disheveled kimono.
"It really is the most beautiful tonight." She smiles.
The crunching of the snow becomes more present, but at this moment she does not care enough to greet whoever is approaching.
The crunching stops. She can see sneakers in the corner of her eye.
"Oi, you'll catch a cold."
"Whatever happens happens." She airily responds.
He softly scoffs. "What kind of motto is that?"
She recognizes the voice. It reminds her of winter—reliably cool and composed.
He wants to ask why she is alone and she knows this. But she could ask why he is alone and he knows this. They leave their questions unanswered and come to a mutual gratitude for silence.
The last sparks burst in the sky as the countdown begins.
Her countdown begins. At 60 seconds before the new year, she allows herself the relief of an expression other than that of lightheartedness
"You know what I hate about fireworks?"
"They're so beautiful, yet they last only a few seconds before they disappear."
"But I can't help but love them at the same time."
"You're right. But since it's a once in a while thing, it's no good thinking that much into it. Just enjoy it."
She closes her eyes as a genuine smile tinged with sadness spreads across her face. His words give her peace and suddenly she allows her desire for excitement to wash over her. In her fingers, her cheeks, her chest, she feels a sort of tingling-a want to hear, see, feel everything. She makes her resolution.
"You know, I went to the doctor's today. And they told me I only have twelve months left."
"Do you think it'd be okay for me to be greedy once?"
"I think so."
"Then, will you do me a favor?"
"Please go out with me."
I know it's been a long time since I've showed my (figurative) face here and I can only blame the horrors of junior year! I've actually had the seedling idea for this fanfic for 4 months now and have been itching to start. Hopefully I can try to type like the wind and get a sufficient amount done before senior year starts!
Boy have I missed writing fiction. I hope the year of dull literary analysis writing hasn't eroded my writing into something bland...O.o
Please review as always!