Ash sighed as he stared out the window in his classroom. The teacher kept talking and talking about the unit they were working on, but he didn't need to pay attention.
He knew all the answers anyways.
He sat one row away from the window. If only he could sit right next to it, that's all he asked for. But unfortunately, the desk next to him and also next to window was all ready occupied.
Occupied by a strange girl who never stopped smiling.
Not only did the red scarf she always wore stand out, but so did her bright smile. 'Why does she smile so much?' Ash would think. 'There's nothing great about the world. It's unfair. It's stupid that she smiles so much.'
And he was right about one thing. She never stopped smiling, especially when she caught his gaze. She'd give him the biggest smile ever that was unforgettable.
'With a world like this, she can't possibly be that happy.'
It annoyed him. That smile was blocking the view of the outside through the window. The only thing he couldn't answer was why the window interested him so much. Is the outside world calling out to him? Telling him to break out of his shell? Telling him to enjoy life more?
He sighed again and put the thought aside again. He'll figure it out soon enough. The alarm will go off in his head when he figures it out. In the mean time, he waited for the teacher to hand back their recent tests.
The girl sitting in front of him turned around and smiled, handing him his paper, though her smile was nothing compared to the smile of the girl that sat next to him.
"Congrats, Ash," the girl in front of him said. "You got a perfect score again!"
"Thanks, Dawn…" Ash murmured, taking his test from her. "What did you get?"
"A ninety two. I'm getting closer and closer!" Dawn said happily. Another happy person that annoyed Ash. She was just trying to be nice to him because he was always so quiet and distant, and it irritated him. He was also told that she had a crush on him, but he hoped that it was just a stupid rumor.
When Dawn turned back around, Ash stared at his paper. A large 100 sat circled in the corner in red pen. With an expressionless face, Ash crumpled up the test into the ball and set it to the side of his desk. "Another boring and pointless test…" he muttered quietly.
Then, someone reached out and grabbed the crumpled paper ball. His eyes widened and he looked to see the girl sitting next to him, smiling with his crumpled test in her hand.
He glared at her. "What are you doing, May?" he demanded.
May's lips slightly lowered, but she still kept smiling. "I should be asking you the same thing. Why throw away such a perfect grade?" she asked.
Ash scoffed. "It's just the same as the others. It's boring to look at the same thing over and over again."
"You should be proud. I nearly failed the test…"
He rolled his eyes. "No surprise there."
She pouted and growled. "Hey, that's mean!"
'At least her smile is gone,' Ash thought. But not even a second later, her smile returned.
"Look, you think it's boring? I'll make it fun," she said. She smoothed the paper out on the desk and began to fold it in different directions. Ash stared at her in confusion as she kept folding, turning, and flipping the paper.
His eyes widened when she had finished. She had turned his test paper into an origami bird. "Ta dah~!" she exclaimed, putting it on his desk. "Isn't it cute?"
Ash sweat dropped. "Um, I guess…?" he said unsurely.
"It's not boring now anymore, is it? Instead of wasting the paper, you should make it into something fun!"
"Do you think I know how to do that?"
She grinned playfully. "Well, you are Mister Smarty Pants. Want me to teach you?" she asked.
The bell rang, indicating lunch. Ash sighed and looked down. "Whatever."
"Great, let's start now!" she said, pulling her desk next to his.
As the days passed on, Ash began to get used to May. He began to get used to her voice, her attitude, and her smile, but that didn't mean he liked it. She would always talk with him, tug on his shirt, and do anything to get his attention. He would sometimes ignore her and just brush her off though.
She was still blocking the window and it still annoyed him. How can he possibly find the answer to why he keeps staring out the window when she keeps getting in the way? She would catch his gaze again and flash another smile, but he would glare at her in response and turn his gaze back to the front of the room. Without even noticing, May would stare out the window and her smile would disappear.
One day, during lunch, May had left the room for a moment. She left another paper origami bird on his desk. Ash frowned. He stood up, grabbed the origami bird, and stormed out the room.
Dawn stared in confusion as he left. "Ash…?" she muttered.
Ash ran up the staircases until he finally made it to the roof; the best view of the outside world. He walked over to the edge and placed his hand on the fence, looking down. He took in a deep breath, the warm gas being visible in the cold air. Without any hesitation, he ripped up the paper origami bird and let the wind blow it out of his hands. He watched the shredded paper float in the air and disappear in the distance.
Ash sighed in relief. "Good riddance…" he whispered. "GACK!"
A red scarf suddenly wrapped around his neck from behind, choking him for a few seconds and catching him by surprise. He turned around to find May standing there, holding onto her scarf tightly with a smile. "Gotcha!" she said with a giggle.
Ash glared at her. "You almost choked me to death, May!" he snapped, throwing the scarf off of him.
"Aw, come on, it was just a little tug. Don't be so overdramatic," she replied.
"I don't care. I don't like being startled like that."
"What are you doing up here?"
"Nothing. Just getting some fresh air."
She stared at him suspiciously with large brown eyes. "Hmm, okay…"
He turned around and began to walk back to the door. "Come on, let's get back to class."
"Hey, Ash…" She grabbed the back of his shirt and rested her head on his back. Ash stood still for a second and he stared at her. He wasn't sure if she was still smiling anymore. After a moment, she lifted her head back up and smiled. "Are you having fun yet?"
He sweat dropped. "Uh, sure…" he muttered.
They walked back to their classroom, but now Ash's mind was preoccupied with something else. 'Why did she say that so suddenly?' he thought. 'Why did she stop smiling for a second?'
They said their goodbyes to each other as they left the school. Ash just said "Goodbye" as expressionless as ever and walked away from May, leaving her alone in the empty classroom.
"You cold-hearted fool…" she whispered to herself.
The next day came. Ash went back to school to find May absent. He arched a brow and poked Dawn's shoulder. "Hey Dawn, do you know where May is?" he asked her.
Dawn put a finger to her chin. "Um… No, I'm not sure. Maybe she's sick?"
Ash sighed in relief. "Maybe…" He turned his head to the window and slightly smiled, finally being given such a perfect view of the outside.
A few more days passed and May was nowhere to be seen or heard from. Dawn began to worry, and even Ash had to admit that he was a bit concerned. The window didn't seem as important as it was before. He felt like there was something missing from the view, but he just couldn't figure out what it was.
Ash ran into the school building, hurrying up the stairs. 'I'm late…' he thought to himself with a growl. 'Hopefully I'll make it just in time.' He arrived at his classroom's door and opened it up, but it wasn't the same as before.
About every single student was scattered around the room and crying, holding their heads down. The girls had tissues in their faces while the boys tried to comfort them. The teacher was nowhere to be seen in the room.
Confused, Ash glanced around the room and found Dawn sniffing with her friend, Lyra. "Dawn," he said, walking over to her.
Dawn looked up at him with wet, crystal blue eyes. "Ash…" she murmured shakily.
"What happened?" he asked.
Dawn opened her mouth to answer, but her voice cracked and she broke into tears again, embracing him. Ash stared at her for a moment before glancing at Lyra for an answer. Lyra just shook her head and pointed to a desk by the window.
There on May's desk sat a vase full of small pink lilies. Ash's eyes widened and he swore he felt his heart stop beating. He uttered, "How…?" quietly and barely audible.
Dawn shook her head into his chest. "W-We don't know w-why…" she cried, sobbing.
"Dane, go get another tissue. Your face is soaking wet," Lyra told her. Dawn nodded and walked back to her desk, rummaging through her bag. Lyra turned to Ash and covered her mouth with her hand. "I heard from the teacher that… That May jumped off of the roof of the school," she whispered.
"What? That's ridiculous!" Ash whispered back. "Why would she do that?"
"Didn't you know? Her parents were divorcing because her mom got into a car accident that killed her little brother. She's been depressed ever since," she explained.
Ash looked down. "I had no idea… For how long has she been like that?"
"A few months. I was always so surprised to see her smiling so much around you." Lyra sighed. "You must've made her happy. But I wonder what set her off…?"
Ash clenched his fists. "It's my fault…" he whispered.
Without responding, he turned on his heel and ran out of the room. Dashing up the staircase, he busted through the door that led to the roof, the wind gushing in and messing up his hair. Ash slowly walked outside, noticing the sun still rising from the horizon.
"It's my fault…" he said again, placing his hand on the fence. "I treated her like garbage when she was trying to make me happy…" He took in a deep breath and looked down.
At the corner of his eye, he noticed something moving by the fence. Ash picked his head back up and looked over by the corner to see paper stuck inside the holes of the fence. He walked over to it and picked the paper up to be surprised again.
It was the origami bird that he had ripped up and threw away, but it was taped together again. Ash rushed to carefully open it, revealing the perfect test score he received a while back. He flipped the paper over to find something written on the back.
"It's hopeless for me. I can't save myself anymore. If I died right now, someone would replace me. The least I could do was make sure someone like you didn't fall down the same path I went. Please Ash, just try to have fun while I'm gone and don't make the same mistake I made. The world is cruel, but it's also fun. You'll find the answer soon." –May.
Tears began to trail down Ash's cheeks and onto the ground. He sobbed and dropped to his knees, clutching onto the paper origami bird tightly.
A week had passed and the class was back to normal. Ash kept staring out the window with a slight smile. He finally figured out the answer to the window.
He visited the roof again one day during lunch, a note in his hand. He stood by the fence and read it over.
"I'm sorry. The alarm finally went off in my head and I figured it out. I wish I had figured it out sooner. I promise I won't make the same mistake ever again. Thank you for helping me find the answer, May." –Ash.
Ash folded the paper into an origami bird and placed it into the holes on the fence, making sure that it wouldn't fly away. He smiled and took a step back, taking in a deep breath of the fresh air. He leaned back onto the fence.
"You know, May, there really wasn't much special about that window," he said, feeling as if she were right next to him. "It's not interesting anymore… And that's because… You're not here anymore. Your smile doesn't brighten up that window anymore… That's why I liked staring at the window. I liked seeing you there, smiling." He sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"Everyone has seemed to all ready forgotten. Forgotten about you and your smile. But I won't forget. I swear on my life that I will never forget your wonderful smile…" Ash turned back around to face the sky and his lip quivered. "May… Why did you do it? Why didn't you help me find the answer sooner? Why didn't you tell me anything so I could help you?" He clenched his teeth. "It's unfair! It's unfair for you to leave! I never wanted you to leave in the first place, no matter how much of a jerk I was to you!" He hung his head down and sobbed. "I-I'm sorry, May… I'm sorry I acted like you didn't have feelings… I'm sorry for everything. No one will ever replace you, May." He managed to smile again. "You're one of a kind."
There was silence. The wind rushed passed Ash and he watched the origami bird fidget in its place. Ash sighed and released the tension in his body. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He whipped his head around and for a second, he swore he saw May standing behind him with a large smile.
But when he blinked, he realized it was only Dawn. Ash gasped. "Oh, it's just you, Dawn," he said quickly, wiping his eyes with his sleeve.
Dawn softly smiled. "Don't worry, I just got up here, so I don't know what you were doing," she said. She tilted her head to see the note stuck in the fence. "What's that?" she asked, pointing to it.
Ash broke eye contact with her. "It's a note… For May…" he said.
She blinked before nodding. "I miss her a lot… Ash, did she make you happy?"
He smiled. "Yeah, she actually did," he answered.
"That's good. You never looked happy. I'm sure that's what she wanted."
He sighed and looked away again. "I just wished she didn't leave…" he murmured.
Dawn stepped up towards the fence. "You know what?" she said. She pointed towards the sun. "She left because she was sad in this world. She couldn't find happiness in this world. But right now, I'm sure she found the perfect world to be in. Wherever she is, she's happy."
Ash chuckled. "I hope so. This whole time, she was covering up her sadness with her smile. She tried to make her own happiness here… But someone messed it up for her…" he said sadly, looking down.
She stared at him before smiling. "Come on, Ash. Don't get like that. She wants you to be happy, right?" He nodded. "Then be happy! Don't let her down, okay?"
He remained silent for a moment before smiling again. "You're right… Hey Dawn, you want to have lunch together?" he asked.
Dawn grinned happily. "Of course! Let's go, I'm starved!" she said, grabbing his arm and hauling him back into the school.
Still standing on the roof was a shadow. The shadow picked up the origami bird note from the fence and read it. The shadow smiled happily and stared back at Ash and Dawn.
"My replacement has been found," it whispered quietly.
Gahhhh I'm gonna cry~ ;^; Okay, so this fic was semi based off of the song Toumei Answer by Vocaloid IA. It's an excellent song and I absolutely love it, but as usual, emotional songs like these are hard to interpret. So this one shot was my interpretation of the song. I changed the conflict around, but the whole concept was still the same. In the song, the boy's thoughts aren't revealed very well, but it was concluded that the girl did kill herself because she was sad with her life. "If I died right now, someone would replace me," was also lyrics taken from the song.
So yeah, in general, it's a sad song, and I heard it's being made into an anime, so I can't wait for that~! ^^ Anyways, thanks for reading, and I hoped you liked it :D I have another advanceshipping story in the process called The Crystal Revolution, including Ikkarishipping and Egoshipping, so check it out if you're curious :3
Today Is A Beautiful Day~