"Never ignore a person that loves you, cares for you, and misses you. Because one day, you might wake up from your sleep and realize that you lost the moon while counting stars".
The line, I wasn't sure if I heard it somewhere or whether it had been in my head for as long as I could remember. But, it was there, it was the advice I never took not for selfish reasons. There was something heart-breaking in the sentence that I want to try to capture, still, I never quite get the feeling right. And then I stumbled over 49 Days and the song by Shin Jae – Falling Tears (lit. Tears Are Falling) and I felt how the song sort of breathe life into the line. It took me a while to write this down; I started on February 11th, 2012 and did not finish until March 31st, 2012. It's a one-shot. Of course, I would also like to thank panda_VIP profusely for agreeing to BETA this for me.
He didn't count on it. He didn't expect it. He didn't even see it coming. One moment she was there and the next she was no longer where he can see her. She was no longer calling out his name and giving him those cheerful smiles that were reserved only for him. He didn't know since when, but when she was gone, there was a hole in his chest where his heart used to be. He could have laughed at the twist of fate if it wasn't because of the aching pain from the hole in his chest. His heart, he never knew someone could steal it away and leave him breathless without her in his life. He was better than that. Everything was a game. There was no such thing as destiny; there was no such thing as true love – well, maybe his friends were an exception to that rule, but certainly not him.
He acted like he didn't care. He acted as if her absence was a blessing. He went around with his games, laughing and drinking. He didn't need her – at least that was what he kept telling himself after donning yet another drink and planting a sultry kiss on yet another forgettable woman. He kept lying. The more he lied, the more he began to believe it. I don't need her, I don't need her, and he kept repeating the words like a chant at the back of his head as he flashed another smile. I don't need her, he thought as he drowned himself with another glass. I don't need her, he repeated as he felt his body push onto the mattress. It was another meaningless, forgettable night. He wished he could forget her like how he could easily forget the nights.
"Ne, you'd buy me a drink, won't you?" A petite, overly cheerful woman loosely hung her arms around his neck. Her lips were dangerously close and her hands were roaming to places where it shouldn't even venture in the first place. He flashed another smile – he was getting good at it.
"Of course, how can I refuse a lovely woman?" He complimented her as he lightly traced his long fingers on her cheek. Just another meaningless move, yet he knew it would please the woman immensely.
Right on cue, her squeal and high pitched laughter filled his ears. The smile that was smeared with red lipstick landed on his cheek. His mind went numb at the contact but he regained his composure in a split second. He didn't care about her, the girl that sat next to him. She was nothing. He didn't want to hear her voice; it was not the sound he longed for. He didn't want to taste her lips; he didn't even want her to smile towards him. Yet he sat and draped his hand over the woman's shoulder, pulling her close as he mumbled sweet nothings into her ear and heard her chuckle seductively. She was nothing; he had already forgotten her name. Only one name still resounds in his heart.
"Sir, your five o'clock is here," His secretary announced through the intercom, startling him from his daydream.
He cleared his throat, straightening his jacket before pressing the button on the intercom. "Send him in," He said flatly.
Less than a second, not that he was looking at his watch or counting, but it took less than a second for the door to his office to roughly swing open, revealing a well-dressed man with a reproachful look on his face.
"Hai... What sort of a messed up world is this?" The man complained as he plopped onto one of the comfortable couch. "I have to make an appointment to even see my own friend," He added, followed by a disapproving look.
He could only smile as he watched the man feigning annoyance. "Are you that bored?" He guessed as he claimed the seat across his guest who glared at him.
The guest rolled his eyes to heaven before fidgeting uneasily in his seat declaring, "I have news,"
"About?" He asked indifferently. At this point of his life, nothing ever surprised him anymore. He was getting older and he would bet that there was nothing he hadn't seen or done in the past years that could have easily trumped what news his guest had brought.
"She's back," The guest stated and his heart sank.
"Who?" He asked, feigning ignorance even when her name and voice echoed through his mind at the mention of a return. Just hers, her name, her voice, her face, her laughter- all of it, every bit of her that he remembered- everything about her was as clear as the day. He remembered how she just left, leaving him behind.
"She's not here," Her boss easily offered as he stepped into the shop.
It had become a habit by then, to come and see her with every chance he got. He didn't even realize what he was doing; all he knew was that he would find himself in the shop, looking at her for a few moments as he makes a purchase before walking out. That was all he needed then, he just needed to see her and he didn't even realize how much he needed her. Everyone else but him saw it, everyone but him… and her...
"I'm sorry?" He asked, trying to be as indifferent as he could be as his eyes scanned the small shop.
"She left, this morning," Her boss clarified, he wanted to ask where but the words were stuck in his mouth. "I don't know to where," Her boss added as if his mind was an open book, free for anyone to read. Was he that transparent? He wasn't staggering, he had kept his composure, yet it was obvious.
"Welcome home!" The woman to his right squealed before jumping on her friend. He watched as they exchanged pleasantries.
"Oh my, you've grown prettier," The squealing woman complimented her friend. He couldn't help but agree in silence.
"Nishikado-san," She bowed to him politely when she noticed he was standing among their friends.
"Yuki-chan," He returned the favor.
The words were failing him. Five years, even after five years she was still stealing his breath away. The power she had over him, only if she could realize it...
"Yuki!" The sound of an unfamiliar male voice joined the group and Soujirou watched Yuki's face lit up as the man claimed the space next to her.
"I apologize for my tardiness," The man stated as he bowed to everyone in the room.
Shock. Stunned. Confused. A thousand different emotions flew across the room as everyone in the room exchange a quick look of surprise to see a stranger amongst them.
"Who..." The squealing woman broke the silence. Five years had changed her into a sophisticated woman but around her friends, she never did change.
Yuki blushed deeply.
Blush. Soujirou didn't miss the crimson-colored face and he felt as if he was chocking. He recalled it, how she would blush for him, but that was another lifetime ago.
"Oh... I forgot," Yuki stated sheepishly, entertaining her hand with the man beside her. "Tsukushi, this is my fiancé, Asou Tamaki," She proudly introduced him.
Asou Tamaki. For the first time in his life, Soujirou felt true envy of the man with the name.
"Tama-kun, this is Tsukushi and her husband Domyouji-san, Mimasaka-san, Hanazawa-san and Nishikado-san," Yuki went on, introducing the man to everyone in the room.
Soujirou stopped dead at the mention of his name. He watched her looking at him and saw her warm smile. But she was not smiling at him; she was smiling at the man beside her, a place that would never be his. "Nishikado Soujirou," He offered his hand to the man.
It was all he could do, even when he could hear his heart shattering to pieces. He faked another smile; he was good at it – pretending.
"Asou Tamaki," The man replied politely.
For a brief moment, he finally caught her eyes as Asou Tamaki exchanged quick handshakes with everyone else in the room. He saw it, the happiness. There was a bit of regret, a little longing but the happiness overshadowed every bit of it.
She was happy.
He could only swallow the words he wanted to say and smiled at her. I love you; his heart ached as he smiled. I love you, his heart called as it cried. I love you, I have always loved you.
She won't forget it, the memory of her first love. He would always remember the memory of it, his first real love.
Are you happy Yuki-chan? I'd like to think you are. For you, I would never be worthy, a half-man flaunting as if he had a clue. But you know Yuki-chan, I was – am happy, to have met you, to have loved you, I am happy. I'll remember and I'll keep you here, always, in my heart.
Originally posted on "Lovers Unparalleled"1st April 2012