It's been years since then, now.

Almost ten actually.

I have no idea why I'm going back. I've never visited my friend's graves once in the past. I hope I'm not too horrible a person for that.

Though I would like to see the neighborhood once again. I never found anyone after Natsuki, and I'm not surprised.

I never loved anyone the way I loved him, and I don't think I want to again.

I miss him too much. I miss all of them.

I suppose ten years was enough time for me to run away, but now, all I want to do is see them, even if it's only five headstones in a row.

I have a bouquet for each of them.

Red lilies for Otoya, red roses for Ren, honeysuckle for Masato, moonflowers for Tokiya, and…sunflowers for Natsuki.

Syo looked up into the oak tree with a smile.

In ten years, it had grown even taller and wider than ever.

He leapt up into the tree on his own, no longer needing assistance…not that he would receive it…

The blond shook such thoughts from his head and climbed higher, and higher, ever higher.

The tree really had grown, and if he thought he and Natsuki had been high up all those years ago, he had another thing coming.

The brittle, waxy green leaves blew gently as Syo stood up on the branch he and Natsuki had lain upon many a summer and autumn afternoon, letting his eyes roam over the town he once called his own.

He saw Masato's mansion, still vacant, with Ren's garden just a couple houses down, still growing, but not flourishing as it once had.

He saw Otoya and Tokiya's shared residence, and Natsuki's and his own.

Such sights made his heart clench painfully, and he sat down upon the branch, leaning back.

Suddenly, he felt a space open up behind him, and when he turned around, he could not believe his eyes.

Smaller now from years of growth, but still recognizable, was a knot in the tree where Natsuki and himself had sometimes placed things.

Just little things, like a dried flower or a trinket they had found, or even a note to the other.

They were the only two who went up in the tree, so they knew no one else would read it if they left it.

For a moment, Syo was undecided.

'Should I?'

The blond shrugged, it couldn't do any real harm, could it?

He reached into the hole and felt around for a moment, and he was very surprised when his hand came into contact with a slim, plastic tube.

Upon taking it out, he realised it was a tube once used to hold bubbles, but now there was a piece of paper rolled up and wedged inside.

Syo swallowed thickly, but opened the top and took the paper out anyway.

It was yellow and brittle, with even little bits of mold forming on the corners, but he paid it no heed as he rolled the paper the opposite way to flatten it somewhat.

When he finished, Syo turned the paper over and read it…the read it again…and again…

'I don't understand…'

Syo couldn't even fully wrap his brain around what he was reading, but when it finally sunk in, he frowned, stood, and let the paper slip from his grasp.

He looked at the clear blue sky through the leaves of the oak tree, saying to no one.

"I should have done this ten years ago…"

He let himself fall forward.

The paper was carried away by the wind, and before it even hit the ground, it was taken by a robin who was intent on using it for nesting material.

"My small and cute one! Syo, I'm sorry I hurt you, I know I have, but I couldn't stand by any longer and let the rest of them outshine you and bypass you.

You are so much cuter! better than the rest of them, and they needed to see that.

You're the only one who is absolutely perfect, and I wanted to make sure you

knew that.

You are my everything!

I love you!"


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characters © not mine

story © MarluxiaSutcliff116