The rain was falling. Summer vacation was coming to an end, but with what had happened, nobody was likely to be in the mood to finish their homework.
Those were my first thoughts upon waking up. It was already the tenth morning in a world without her.
Incidentally, since I was the type to quickly settle my summer vacation homework, I‘d never had to rush through it in a panic right before the end of summer vacation.
I headed down to the first floor to wash my face; my father caught me as he entered the washroom to check his appearance before he left for work. We exchanged some pleasantries, and just as I was about to leave the washroom, my father gave me a pat on the back. I figured that there was probably some meaning to it, but thinking about it would’ve been troublesome.
I greeted my mother who stood in the kitchen, and seated myself at the dining table. The usual breakfast had been prepared. I held my bowl with both hands, and drank the miso soup. My mother’s miso soup was delicious as always. While I was having my meal, my mother approached the dining table, carrying an aromatic cup of hot coffee.
When I glanced at her, she looked at me.
“You, you’re going out today huh.”
“Yeah, after noon.”
“Here, take this.”
She had casually held out a white envelope to me. I received it and looked inside. A single ten thousand yen note had been slipped inside. Shocked, I looked at my mother.
“Go and properly bid your goodbyes.”
Having said only that, she turned to face the television, and laughed at an entertainer’s worthless line. After finishing my breakfast in silence, I returned to my room carrying the white envelope. My mother didn’t say a single thing.
I passed the time in my room until noon arrived, whereupon I got dressed in my school uniform. It just so happened that I’d heard it was better to go in uniform than casual clothes, and not to mention, there was also the reason of wanting to avoid arousing suspicion in her family.
I fixed my bed hair in the washroom on the first floor. My mother had already left for work.
I returned to my room to pack my bag with the things I had to bring - the money I received from my mother, my cellphone, and ‘The Little Prince’. I was still unable to return the sum of money I had borrowed.
I left through the front door of my house. The downpour had now begun in earnest - raindrops ricocheted off the ground, leaving my trousers dotted with a number of wet blotches. Since it wouldn’t have done not to put up an umbrella, I decided to forgo cycling, and began instead to walk towards the girl’s house.
It was midday, and large droplets of rain were falling, so there were few pedestrians on the public roads. I quietly walked the path to school.
Dropping by a convenience store close to school, I bought a proper envelope for the condolence money. Luckily, the store had a table for customers who intended to eat there, so I took the opportunity to sit down and transfer the money into the envelope.
I entered a residential area after walking for a while past school.
Aah, I understood.
In a corner of the residential area. I thought of it, even though it was impudent.
She had been killed somewhere around here. There were pretty much no pedestrians in the area today. It was probably the same that day too. She had been stabbed. Not by someone she had incurred the hatred of, or someone who sympathised with her fate, but someone from somewhere whose face she didn’t even know.
Oddly, I didn’t feel a tinge of guilt. If I hadn’t made plans with her that day, she probably wouldn’t have died - there wasn’t any meaning to regrets like that, and I already understood that it wasn’t that sort of problem.
Some would probably think that the cool-headed me was heartless. Anyone?
I was sad.
But though I was sad, that wouldn’t break me or anything. Losing her, of course saddened me. But there must have been many that were sadder than I was. Her family that I was about to meet was one, Best-Friend-san was one, and the boy who was our class representative was probably one too. When I thought about it like that, no matter what, I was unable to honestly accept my sadness.
Besides, even if I became distraught, it wouldn’t bring her back. The natural conclusion was to tightly keep my spirits together.
Under the rain, I walked. And passed by the place where I had been hit.
I wasn’t very nervous about going to her house. I wasn’t thinking about anything beyond what to do if no one was home.
Arriving before her house for the second time, I pressed the interphone without any hesitation, and after a short time passed, there was a response. I was relieved.
“……Who would this be?”
It was the muffled voice of a female.
I gave my name, and said that I was Sakura-san’s classmate. After going “aah……”, she fell silent for a little bit before finally saying, “Please wait just one moment,” and the interphone cut off.
I waited in the rain, until the front door was opened by a slim woman. Somehow, it appeared that she was the girl’s mum. Notwithstanding her poor complexion, she looked quite similar to the girl. After we exchanged greetings, she made a very constrained smile, and invited me inside. I furled my umbrella, and having been prompted to, entered the house.
I closed the front door behind me, and bowed my head.
“I’m sorry for coming uninvited all of a sudden. I had to attend to a separate matter, and was unable to show my face at the wake and funeral, so at the very least, I’d like to offer some incense.”
Receiving the words I had mixed lies into, she made another constrained smile.
“It’s all right, since there’s no one else around right now. I’m sure Sakura would be delighted too.”
I wondered just where that delighted girl was, but of course, I didn’t say that aloud.
I took off my shoes and walked deeper into the house like I had been prompted. It may have just been my imagination, but the inside of the house looked wider than during my last visit, making it feel just a little colder.
I was led into the living room I hadn’t entered the previous time.
“I guess we should start with the prayer offering.”
I nodded, and her mom guided me into a tatami room that was connected to the living room. Though I could feel my heart and body tremble as I looked into the room, I somehow managed to stand firm, and with steps that I didn’t think looked unnatural, walked over to stand before a large wooden shelf with various items lined up on it.
Her mom kneeled down, took out a match from below the shelf, and lit a flame on the candle on top of a pedestal next to that thing for poking incense sticks in.
“Sakura, your friend is here.”
Her faint voice directed at the portrait on the shelf wasn’t conveyed anywhere - it reached only the vacant membrane that were my ears.
Having been prompted to do so, I sat in seiza on the floor cushion that had been placed there.
Whether I was ready to or not, I ended up coming face to face with the girl’s portrait.
Her smile in the photo; even now, I could almost hear her laughter, just as when she was still alive.
I turned my eyes away from the photo, rang a high pitched sound from an instrument I couldn’t name, and brought my hands together.
But for some reason, I couldn’t think of anything to say in my prayers.
After the prayer offering came to an end, I turned to face her mom who sat in seiza beside me. For now, I got off the floor cushion. She smiled a tired smile at me as I came to sit before her.
“This is something that I borrowed from Sakura-san. Would it be alright if I were to pass it to Auntie?”
“Something from that girl…… Hmm, wonder what could it be.”
I retrieved ‘The Little Prince’ from inside my bag, and handed it over to her mom. With a look that said she recognised the paperback, her mom received it with a hug, and proceeded to place it beside the girl’s portrait like an offering.
“……Thank you so very much for getting along with Sakura.”
She respectfully lowered her head, leaving me at a loss.
“No, I’m the one that should be grateful, she really aided me when she was alive. She was always lively, and being together with her made me brighten up too.”
“……That’s true huh, she was lively.”
Noticing the hesitation in her voice, it hit upon me that apart from me, nobody beyond her family knew about her pancreas.
Though I thought that I should have left it a secret, I realised I wouldn’t be able to bring up my original goal if I continued doing so.
Truthfully, my conscience was telling me not to bring up this matter to her family after such a long period of time, but I ignored it and pushed on ahead.
“Excuse me…… But I have something I’d like to talk about.”
“Hm, what could it be?”
Her mom made a gentle, sorrowful face. Once again, I struck down my conscience.
“The truth is…… I knew about her illness.”
Her mom made a surprised face just like I had expected.
“I had heard about it from her. That is why, I could never even begin to imagine that something like this would have happened.”
Still surprised, her mom wordlessly brought both her hands to her mouth. Just as I thought, she hadn’t informed her family that she had told someone else about her illness. I figured that was probably the case. If I had to say why, it was because even though I had run into Best-Friend-san in that ward of hers countless times, I had absolutely never run into her family. Though if that had happened, I was the one that would’ve been troubled.
“The truth is, I had just happened to meet her in the hospital. It was at that time that I had heard about it from her. Though I still don’t understand why she decided to tell me.”
I presumed upon her silence as she listened to my words, and continued.
“She had kept it a secret from her classmates other than me. That is why, for bringing up something like this right now and surprising Auntie, I’m sorry.”
I broached the true motive behind my visit.
“Having come here today, the truth is that apart from offering my prayers, I have one other request. I’d like to take a look at the book she had carried around like a diary.”
“The ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’.”
Those words, were a trigger.
Her mom, Sakura Yamauchi’s mom - with her hands still covering her mouth, tears began streaming down her cheeks. Quietly, quietly, trying to suppress her voice, she cried.
I didn’t understand the meaning behind her tears. I could tell that they were likely born from sorrow, but as for which part of the truth that I knew about the girl’s illness had the effect of inducing further sorrow - I didn’t know. That was why, unable to offer any words of comfort, I waited silently.
Finally, while her tears had yet to dry, her mom looked intently at me, and slowly proceeded to talk about the reason for her tears.
“So it was you huh……”
What did she mean?
“I’m glad…… I’m glad…… That you came…… I’m really glad.”
I understood less and less of what she meant. At a loss for words, I merely watched on as her tears trickled down.
“Wait just a moment……”
Her mom stood up, and left for another part of the house. Having been left behind, I thought about the meaning behind her mom’s tears and words, but nothing came to mind.
And so, before I could figure out anything, her mom returned to the room. She carried a paperback that I recognised on sight.
“It’s this, right……”
While crying, her mom softly placed the paperback onto the floor, and turned it such that its front cover faced me. That was certainly the book she had carried wherever she went. It was the book which contents she had assiduously kept hidden, except for just one occasion.
“Yes, this is the ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’. I’ve heard that it was something like a diary that she began keeping after she became ill. I’ve never seen its contents when she was alive, but I’ve heard from her herself to disclose it to everyone after her death. Regarding this matter, have you heard anything about it?”
Nodding, nodding, she wordlessly nodded her head countless times. Each time, tears would fall onto the tatami and her lightly-coloured skirt.
I properly lowered my head and made my request.
“Could I please, take a look at it?”
“…… Yes………… Of course, of course……”
“……Thank you very much.”
“This was something Sakura, thinking of you, left behind.”
My hands that were reaching out to the book came to a stop. Thought I didn’t mean to, my arms stopped on reflex, and I looked up at her mom’s face.
With tears quickly staining her face, she began to speak.
“I heard about it…… From Sakura………… That girl wanted this diary…… To be passed to a certain person after she died…… To the one and only person…… Who knew about that girl’s illness………… She said that because…… That person knew about the ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’……”
The tears that had stained her face melted into the air. I couldn’t do anything but listen. From the side, the smiling girl was watching us.
“Even though that person………… That person…… Was a coward…… And may not come for the funeral, that person would definitely come to retrieve this…… And until then…… She said not to let anyone outside of our family see it…… I remember, that girl’s words, clearly…… It really was, something from a while back……”
Perhaps having finally been overwhelmed by emotion, her mom began to cry, covering her face with both hands. I could only sit there, dumbfounded. This was different from what I had heard. This was something the girl had left, for me?
My memories of the girl surged through my brain.
Within the gaps between the tears, her mom’s voice leaked out.
“Thank you…… Thank you so much………… It’s thanks to you that……… That girl…… That girl was…… ……With you……”
No longer able to bear it, I picked up the paperback that had been placed before me. No one stopped me from doing so.
I began from the first few pages - monologues from when she was a middle schooler.
“29th November 20XX
I don’t really want to write about dark things, but it wouldn’t do not to write down something like this, huh. It was when I learnt that I had contracted my illness. My head went completely blank, and not knowing what I should do, I got anxious and cried, got angry and took it out on my family, and I did various other things. First off, I’d like to apologise to my family. I’m sorry. For watching over me since then until I calmed down - thank you. …………”
“4th December 20XX
It’s gotten cold recently. But after learning that I was ill, I started thinking of various things. One of which, was my decision to not resent my own fate of becoming ill. That is why, I’m not naming this a disease-fighting, but a disease coexistence journal. …………”
Every few days, she would document the happenings of her everyday life. This carried on for a few years. But even with that said, her accounts during this period were all rather short. Since I thought that they weren’t really related to what I wanted to know, I decided to skim through them for now. Of course, there were accounts here and there that caught my attention.
“12th October 20XX
I got a new boyfriend. It’s an odd feeling. If I continue with him for longer, I’ll probably have to tell him about my illness. I don’t really want to though.”
“3rd January 20XX
We broke up. Something like breaking up within the first three days of the year - guess it might be a bad omen. I got comforted by Kyouko.”
“20th January 20XX
One day I’ll have to tell Kyouko about my illness too. But that can wait till the very last moment. Because I want to keep having fun with Kyouko. Just in case Kyouko reads this, I’ll apologise right here for keeping quiet. Sorry for not telling you that I’m dying.”
After graduating from middle school, she entered high school, and together with Best-Friend-san, she enjoyed the joys of youth to the fullest. A year passed, and she became a second year; the everyday that she decided to live brightly even as she felt death coming that much closer, line by line, sunk itself deep within my guts.
“15th June 20XX
It seems like I’ve slowly become more like a high schooler. I was totally split on whether to join a club or not, but I decided not to enter one in the end. I even considered joining a few of the culture clubs, but in order to treasure the time I have with my family and friends, I chose the go-home club. Kyouko’s the same as before, getting all sweaty everyday playing volleyball. Do your best, Kyouko!”
“12th March 20XX
It’s often said that watching the sakura scatter would make one feel an ache in their heart, but watching them bloom makes my heart ache too. Because I’ll end up estimating how many more times I’ll get to see the sakura. However, there’s an upside to that too. Surely, the sakura I see are more beautiful than the sakura anyone else in my generation sees. ……”
“5th April 20 XX
I’ve become a second year! I got to be in the same class as Kyouko!! I’m so glad!!
There are also others like Hina and Rina, and as for the boys, I’m also with Takahiro-kun. My luck’s good huh. Well, if I think of it as all of the luck from my pancreas being brought over to this, I guess it’s only appropriate. Speaking of which……”
And then, on a certain day in the middle of spring, she met me. We had known of each other from much earlier before, but that was the day that we met.
“22nd April 20XX
Today was the first time I’ve talked to someone about my illness. The other party was my classmate, ●●-kun. He happened to pick up this paperback at the hospital, and he even read it, so thinking “it doesn’t matter anymore!” I talked to him. Maybe I wanted someone to listen me too. Not to mention, ●●-kun doesn’t seem to have many friends, so I think that’s why he seemed to have left an impression inside my heart. The truth is that since before, I’ve been interested in ●●-kun. We were actually in the same class in first year, but I wonder if he remembers that? He’s always reading books after all - it’s as if he’s quietly fighting against himself. Besides that, having a go at talking with him today was amusing, and I got interested in him right away. Simple as that. ●●-kun gives off a slightly different vibe from other people. I want to get along better with him. He even knows my secret after all.”
My name had been blotted out with a ballpoint pen. Perhaps it was after I said that I didn’t want my name to appear that it was blotted out for me.
It was from this point on that our time began to overlap. The accounts were generally done every three days. Most of the content was trivial.
“23rd April 20XX
I’ve become part of the library committee. Nothing’s going to change even if I say it here, but just what kind of school system allows people to freely choose their own committees? I called out to ●●-kun and he made a troubled face. But it looks like he properly taught me about the roles of my job and such. I think I’ll be asking him about various things.”
“7th June 20XX
I got full points on a small test. As expected of me! Actually, doesn’t ‘expectedofme’ sort of look like the name of a flower? Recently my heart has been feeling light. Sometimes, when I make jokes about me dying, ●●-kun would frown, and he’d say interesting things! It’s just by a little, but I’m starting to understand his character. As I thought, he really is fighting against himself.”
“30th June 20XX
It’s hot. But it’s not like I hate the heat. Sweating makes me feel like I’m alive. We’re doing basketball for gym class. Apart from that, ●●-kun said not to include his name in the Disease Coexistence Journal. Though I imitated him and hit back with disobliging words, unlike him, I’m basically obedient, so I’ll humour his requests from time to time. From here on out, I’ll refrain from mentioning his name.”
It was just like I had thought. I proceeded reading, and my name really didn’t appear after this day. I also came to understand one more thing. It was probably because the contents became like this that her mom couldn’t identify who it was that knew about her illness. Thinking about her family’s concerns, I thought that perhaps I had said something unnecessary. Reading on, those thoughts of mine only grew stronger.
"8th July 20XX
Today, I received advice that I should use my time to do I want to do. When I thought "hmm what do I want to do…”, I decided that I wanted to go out and have fun with the person that gave me advice, and that I wanted to eat some yakiniku, so we promised to do that on Sunday. …………“
"11th July 20XX
The yakiniku was delicious! And I enjoyed today too. It’s regrettable that I can’t write about it in detail. The one thing I’ll say is that, I’m thinking of hammering in the deliciousness of horumon into others until I die. After that…………”
“12th July 20XX
Today, I hastily made plans to, and went to eat dessert. It only occurred to me after my morning classes, so I had to come up with a way of dragging someone into those plans, and carry it out. Since I kept on thinking about it, I probably didn’t do very well in my tests.”
Just as my name had stopped appearing, accounts of what she had thought of me disappeared all at once too. It was a failure on my part.
Around this point of time, her accounts seemed to have become a daily thing.
"13th July 20XX
From today onwards, if I think of anything I want to do, I’ll write it down in here.
?I want to go on a trip (with a boy)
?I want to eat delicious horumon
?I want to eat delicious ramen
I thought of some good things.”
"15th July 20XX
?I want to do something that shouldn’t be done with a boy that isn’t my lover (lol)
I’ll write about my trip after I reach home.”
"20th July 20XX
My test results were better than I thought! I enjoyed my trip, and was forgiven by Kyouko too - it seems like I’m going to start summer vacation feeling pretty good. Or so I thought, but there’ll still be supplementary lessons. Darn it.”
"21st July 20XX
“It was a very bad, and very good day. Just a little bit, I cried alone. Today was full of crying.”
…………It must have been about that day. That day when we both made mistakes. The part about her crying alone brought an unexpected pain into the area around my lungs.
"22nd July 20XX
I’m in the hospital. I’m going to be hospitalised for around two weeks. Something about how the numbers were weird. Just a little - no, I’ll stop lying here. I’m quite worried. But even so, I’m putting on airs to those around me. I’m not lying though. I’m just putting on airs.”
"24th July 20XX
Thinking of blowing my uneasiness away, I was dancing, but I got caught in the act. I was embarrassed, but also relieved that I was visited. Tears came out, and I desperately hid them. After that, time passed by enjoyably. My heart has become lighter. …………”
“27th July 20XX
Something interesting happened, but I can’t write about it because of a rule. So I guess I’ll write about magic tricks. …………”
“28th July 20XX
My remaining life expectancy has been cut in half.”
Reading the characters that had been lined-up, I was left speechless.
“31st July 20XX
I told a lie. I guess this isn’t the first time. I plainly told a lie. I was asked if something had happened, and I almost ended up crying. I almost ended up talking about everything. But I thought that was no good, so I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to let go of the everyday that had been given to me. I’m weak. I’ll reveal the truth, one day.”
“3rd August 20XX
I got worried about. And I told a lie again. After all, if someone makes such a relieved face, you can’t tell them the truth. But, it made me happy. Enough to make me wonder if it was possible to have something in life that made me this happy. Because I didn’t know I was this needed. I was so happy, so happy, that I ended up crying once I was alone. Even though I’m writing about it like this, I want to leave my true feelings to be found out after I die too - as I thought, I’m weak. I wasn’t seen through, I think. I’m, unexpectedly good at putting up a poker face.”
“4th August 20XX
Seems like the me from just recently has been too weak! I’m going to stop writing dark things now! I forgot about how I decided to always keep facing forward! Maybe I’ll even erase the past few days’ records later.”
“7th August 20XX
The truth is that ever since I’ve been hospitalised, as much as I could, I’d try to have two certain people run into each other, in the hopes that they’d start to get along, but it seems like that’s quite difficult (lol). I’ll keep wishing until I die that the two of them will get along. Recently I’ve been practising a grand magic trick! I can’t wait to showcase it. …………”
“10th August 20XX
My plans after getting discharged have been decided. I’m going to the beach. Starting off with something like that seems just about right, I think. It feels like the recent us, without pacing down, have been going as far as we can (lol). That’s fine too, but it’d be nice we could take it slow y’know. The magic trick is difficult. …………”
“13th August 20XX
I got a visit, and I ate my first watermelon this summer. I like watermelon more than melon. I guess a person’s likes don’t really change from when they’re a child, huh. But even with that said, it’s not like I’ll always love horumon. I really can’t stand it when children chew noisily on mino (lol). I’ve explained the rules of this book to my mom. So I’ll write it down once more. Until a certain person comes to retrieve this book, it absolutely cannot be shown to anyone outside of our family. Don’t go asking Kyouko or anyone else for a hint either. …………”
“16th August 20XX
I’m going to be discharged soon! Two people came to give me one last hospital visit. Since I’ve received notice from both sides to cut it out, I decided to stagger their visiting timings for them (lol), but even once is fine so, I’d like the three of us to get along and eat a meal together!”
“18th August 20XX
I’m going to be discharged tomorrooooooooow! I’m going to enjoy my remaining time to the fullest! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!”
Her entries came to an end there.
Just how should I put it?
My concerns had been justified.
Even though something had happened, she had covered it up.
Just like from sometime before, something was rising up from within my guts. Calm down, I soothed myself. I couldn’t have done anything, and nothing could be done about it now - I made excuses, desperately trying to maintain myself.
While breathing deeply, I thought of what I should’ve been thinking of right now.
I hadn’t found what I wished to find inside the ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’. There was no clear answer as to what she had thought of me inside this book. I understood that I was thought of as important, but that was something I already knew. The manner in which she called me still eluded me.
I was, more than a little bit disappointed.
I closed my eyes and steadied my breathing. For the time being, I became as silent as though in prayer.
I closed the book, and looked back up to her mom who had been patiently waiting for me. I quietly placed the book on the floor, and pushed it forward.
“Thank you very much……”
Her mom didn’t take back the ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’. Her eyes that looked exactly like the girl’s were bright red. And they looked firmly into mine.
“What Sakura really wanted you to read is surely, further ahead still.”
Having been told as such, I flipped through the still blank pages in a fluster.
The accounts began once again at the end of the paperback.
There were her words, bursting forth with personality, high-spirited.
I thought that my heart was going to stop.
“Will (Draft) (To be rewritten many times over)
This is my will.
If this enters anyone’s eyes, I’ll probably no longer be in this world huh. (Maybe this is too conventional?)
Firstly, for keeping silent about my disease from almost everyone, please forgive me. I’m really sorry.
Even though it was selfish of me, I wanted to live normally, have a lot of fun, and laugh a lot with everyone. That is why I died, remaining silent about it.
Perhaps there may even be some people who were thinking of telling me something. If you are one of them. Please tell everybody else everything that you want to tell them. Whether you like them or hate them, everything like that - I want you to tell them. Otherwise, they might die before you know it, just like I have. Though you may no longer be able to make it in time for me, you can still make it in time for others, so please tell them what you want to.
To everyone in school (maybe I should write individually to some people?), I really enjoyed studying together with everyone. While I seriously enjoyed the cultural festival and athletic festival too, what I especially enjoyed was living an everyday life together with everyone. It’s frustrating that I’m unable to see everyone enjoy yourselves doing various things in the various places that you’ll go to from now on. So please, make many more memories to reminisce about, and tell me about them in heaven. That’s why, everyone better not do any bad things (lol). To the people that loved me, to the people that hated me - thank you.
Dad, Mom, Big Bro (would this count as writing individually?), for everything up till now, thank you so much. I really loved our family. Dad, Mom, and Big Bro too, I really, really loved you all. When I was still little, the four of us would go on trips pretty often, right? Even now, I still remember them pretty well. Though I’ve been very rowdy and have only caused problems since I was young, I wonder if I’ve become a daughter to be proud of. Even in heaven, I want to be dad and mom’s child. Even if I’m reborn, I want to be a daughter to the both of you. That’s why, let’s get along forever. And when I’m reborn, I’ll be raised by the two of you again. Together with Big Bro, I want to live as a Yamauchi again. Hmm, there’s too much that I want to write, I can’t get them all down huh.
(Like I thought, I’ll write individually to my precious partner. I’ll rewrite the part for my family again.)
Let me say this first. I love you.
I love Kyouko. Without a single doubt, I love you. That’s why, I’m really sorry.
For informing you at the very last moment, I’m sorry. (I have to properly think about this too)
Forgive me - I won’t say something like that.
But, believe just this. I loved you.
And because I loved you, I couldn’t tell you.
I loved being with Kyouko. Laughing, getting angry, saying foolish things, crying - I loved all of it.
I’m sorry, that’s wrong.
Even now, I love it.
Always. In present progressive tense, I love it. Even when I go to heaven, even when I’m reborn, I’ll always continue to love it.
I love the time I spent with you whom I love, and I don’t have the courage to break it.
It’s a little mean to my other friends, but Kyouko will always be my number one. Perhaps I’ve even fallen in love with Kyouko. Alright, then, in our next lives, Kyouko should go become a boy (lol).
Be happy alright. Kyouko.
No matter what happens, it’ll be fine if it’s you, Kyouko. After all, the Kyouko whom I love won’t lose, right?
Find a wonderful husband, and give birth to a cute baby. Make a family that’s happier than anyone else’s.
Truth be told, I wanted to see it you know. Kyouko’s home. ○ (←I won’t cry when I write the real thing)
I’ll always watch over Kyouko from heaven.
That’s right, I have just one request. I’ll be happy if you think of it as my final request and listen to me.
My request is that I have a person I want you to get along with.
Yes, it’s the boy you’re always glaring at (lol).
That boy is a good person y’know. Really. Though he’s mean to me sometimes (lol).
(I guess it’s fine to leave the explanation about him for a later time)
(I need to better convey the things I want to tell Kyouko)
Well, last off, is you.
I won’t write your name (lol).
You, I’m referring to you. Since you said not to write it down y'know.
Well, ya doin’ fine? (lol)
In various ways, the number of things that I especially want to say have increased recently. (The summer of second year)
But first, the administrative matters.
Please use this ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’ freely. I’ve already informed my family about it. To hand this over to you when you come to retrieve it.
What ‘freely’ means, is that you can do whatever you want with this thing that you’ve received.
You can tear it up, you can hide it, and you can give it to anyone.
In other words, though I’ve written messages for various people, whether they are shown to everyone is all up to you.
Because right now, at this moment you are looking at this, this ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’ has become yours. If you don’t want it, feel free to throw it away (angry).
This is the very least I can do for you, who has given me various things.
The watermelon from the other day was delicious (lol). (The perspective has somehow shifted to the present - maybe I should just rewrite it)
Okay, so I’m going to write down what I want to tell you now alright. These are my true feelings, I think. If my feelings change, I’ll rewrite this. But if I start to hate you, I won’t write anything at all (lol). If that time comes, wouldn’t it be better if you just go and get killed by Kyouko? (lol)
Since that time, that time we met at the hospital, not more than four months have passed huh. It’s strange. I feel like I’ve spent much, much more time with you. Surely, it’s because you’ve taught me so many things that it was so fulfilling.
Though I’ve written it down in an entry too, the truth is that I’ve been interested in you since so much earlier than that. Do you know why? It’s something you say pretty often y'know.
The right answer is, because I thought of it too.
That you and I are surely opposite kinds of humans.
I thought of it too.
Thinking like that, I became interested, but I never got the opportunity to start getting along with you, and that was when that coincidence happened, y’know? So I ended up thinking, ‘Guess I’ve got no choice but to get along with him now huh.’ For having started to get along in the end, I’m glad, really glad.
Though recently, I’ve been hearing voices here and there, like, aren’t they getting along too well? (lol) Is this, playing lovers? So I gave it such a name on my own, but that really gets my heart pumping. Even though we’re only at hugs right now y’know. It’s like, at this rate, aren’t we going to end up kissing for fun? And my heart starts pumping (lol).
Hmm, well that’s fine too though. Do you think that’s a bombshell remark? But really, that’s fine too. Even if we don’t become lovers, I’m still glad.
I was a little troubled, but someday, when you read this, I’ll be dead after all (lol). So I’ll be straightforward.
To put it straightforwardly, I’ve thought countless times, truly countless times, that I was in love with you. For example, that time, when you talked about your first love. There was a fluttering in my chest y’know. That time when we drank liqueur in the hotel room was the same. The first time I hugged you was the same.
But, you know, I didn’t feel like becoming lovers with you, and even in the future, I won’t start to feel so. That’s what I think, probably (lol).
Perhaps, we might even do well as lovers. But the time to ascertain that is something we don’t have, right?
And not to mention, I’d hate to call our relationship commonplace names like that.
Something like love, or friendship. Our relationship isn’t like that, right? Though I am a little curious about how it would happen if you were to fall in love with me. But I don’t have the intention or the means to ask.
Ah, incidentally, since it’s related to this matter, I’ll tell you the question I was thinking of asking that time in the hospital, when I said I wanted to play Truth or Dare. Since I won’t know the answer, I’m not violating the rules alright. What I wanted to ask, you see-
Was, ‘Why, won’t you call me by my name?’
I remember it. When I was asleep in the Shinkansen, you woke me up by shooting me with a rubber band, didn’t you? Even though you could’ve just called me awake, you didn’t call my name. It’s been on my mind ever since then. And you really haven’t called my name even once. It’s always, ‘You’. You, you, you.
At that time, the reason I was at a loss as to whether to ask you about it, was because I thought that, just maybe, you didn’t call my name because you hated me. I was thinking in that manner. Moreover, I couldn’t think something like that didn’t matter. Because I pretty much have no confidence. Since, unlike you, I was a human whose concept of ‘self’ could exist only relative to the people around me.
Because I believed that, I thought that I couldn’t ask without relying on Truth or Dare, but recently, I’ve realised that I was mistaken.
Everything from here onwards is my own imagination. Forgive me if I’m mistaken alright.
Aren’t you just afraid of making me someone to you?
You’ve said it before, right? That it’s an interest of yours to imagine what the humans around you think of you when they call your name. And that having imagined so, it didn’t matter if you were right of wrong.
This is just a convenient and selfish interpretation of mine but, you probably don’t think that I don’t matter.
And so, I imagine that you’re afraid to do so.
You’re afraid of attaching meaning to it when you call my name.
You’re afraid of making me, who you’re going to lose sooner or later, a ‘friend’ or a ‘lover’.
So what do you think? If I hit the bull’s eye, leave some plum liqueur or something in front of my grave (lol).
It’s fine not to be afraid though. No matter what happens, people should be able to get along well with other people you know. Just like me and you till now.
Ah, I keep writing about how you’re afraid, like I’m blaming you for being a coward, but that’s not the case.
Because I think that you’re an amazing human, y’know.
An amazing person that’s the complete opposite of me.
Even more incidentally, I’ll even answer that question you asked before. What a huge service, huh!
That one about what I thought of you. You don’t particularly want to know? (lol) Then it’s fine even if you skip reading this part.
You see, I-
I admire you.
For a while now, there’s something that I’ve kept on thinking about.
That if I were like you, I’d be able to live only for myself, with an appeal that was mine alone, responsible for myself, without bothering anyone else, without spreading sadness to you or my family.
Of course, I am most happy with my life right now. But, I admire you. You, who will simply live as a human all alone, even without anyone around.
The premise for my life is that somebody is always around.
I noticed it one day.
That my appeal couldn’t be established without anyone around me.
Though I don’t think that it’s a bad thing either. I mean, isn’t everyone like that? People are defined by their involvement with others after all. Even our classmates wouldn’t be able to maintain their selves without being together with their friends or lovers.
Getting compared with someone, comparing ourselves, and having our selves found for the first time.
That is, “what living means to me”.
But you, only you, are always you yourself.
You created your own appeal, not through involvement with people, but by staring at yourself.
I wanted to have an appeal that was mine alone too.
That was why, on that day, after you went home, I cried.
It was that day you seriously show concerned for me. It was that day you told me you wanted me to live.
Without needing a relationship such as that of friends or lovers, I was chosen by you.
Not someone else. I, was chosen.
For the first time, I learnt that I, as me myself, was needed.
For the first time, I thought that I, and only I, was me myself.
Perhaps, for 17 years, I have been waiting to be needed by you.
Just like how the sakura wait for spring.
Maybe it’s because I understood that, that I chose this ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’ as a recording method even though I didn’t read books.
Through my own choices, I met you.
Seriously y’know, for being able to make someone this happy, you’re reaaally an amazing human. If only everyone would notice your appeal too.
Since I’ve already noticed your appeal ages ago you know.
Before I die, I really want to brew the dirt under your nails or something and drink it.
So I’ve written, but it’s only after doing so that I realised it.
Such commonplace words are no good, huh. The relationship between me and you - it’d be a waste to express it with words like that that can be found anywhere.
That’s right huh, you may not like it, but y’know.
As I thought, I-
I want to eat your pancreas.
(Your part ended up being the longest - seems like it’ll make Kyouko mad so I’ll revise it)
Having finished reading, I noticed that she didn’t exist in this world I had returned to, and I understood.
Breaking. Aah, I was breaking.
I became conscious of it. I became conscious that stopping it was impossible.
Before that happened, there was something that I had to ask.
“Her………… Sakura-san’s, cellphone.”
Her mom stood up, and came back right away, carrying a single cellphone.
"Ever since that girl…… Left, I’ve tried receiving only the phone calls, but recently I cut the power too.”
“Please…… Let me take a look at it.”
Wordlessly, her mom held out the cellphone to me.
I opened that appliance which had a clamshell mechanism, and turned on the power. After a little wait, I started up the message folder and opened the inbox.
Amongst plenty of unread messages, I found it.
The final words I had sent.
The final message I had for her.
The message had been opened.
It had…… Reached…………
I placed the cellphone and ‘Disease Coexistence Journal’ on the tatami, and somehow moved my quivering lips, to mouth my final words before I fully broke down.
“I’m really sorry…… I understand, that it may be inappropriate, to ask this of you………… But…… I’m really sorry……”
“…………Is it alright, if I cry, already?”
After a single tear streamed down her own face, she nodded, once, and gave me her permission.
I, broke down. No, the truth is that I’d broken down long ago.
“Aaaaaaaaaaah! Waa-aaaaaaaaaah! Aaaaaaah, ngh, aaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaah–aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaahh! Hck, gh, aaaaaaaaa-aaa-”
I cried. Unabashedly, I wept like an infant. While alternating between rubbing my forehead against the tatami and looking up at the ceiling, in a loud voice, I cried. It was the first time. Crying with a loud voice, and crying in front of another person too. Because I didn’t want to do that sort of thing. Because I didn’t want to do something that would force my sorrow onto another person. I’d never done so before this. But right now, the surge of numerous emotions couldn’t allow me to remain self-absorbed.
Because I was happy.
That it had reached her, that it had made it through.
That she, had needed me.
That I, had been of help to her.
I was happy.
But at the same time, I was in unimaginable pain.
Her voice wouldn’t stop echoing.
Her faces surfaced one by one.
Crying, then frowning, then smiling, then smiling, then smiling.
That sickly sweet scent.
As if it were right there, as if she were right there - I remembered.
But, she was no longer here. The girl was no longer here. Or anywhere. The girl I had always been looking at, was no longer here.
We went in different directions, so she often said.
It was only natural.
We, weren’t looking in the same direction.
Always, we had been looking at each other.
From opposite sides, we had always been looking at the other bank.
Even though it really should never have been discovered, even though it really should have never been noticed. We had been looking at each other. From different places, from unrelated places, where we should have existed separately.
And yet, we met, because she had come jumping over the channel.
But even so, I had thought that it was only me. Needing her, or thinking that I wanted to be like her.
To think, that this sort of me was-
That this sort of me was…… By her……
It was me.
It was me that, right now, was convinced.
I had been living in order to meet her.
I had made the choice. In order to meet her, and only for that, I made the choice, and lived.
There was no doubt.
After all, up till now, I had not known a single thing that was this happy, or this painful.
Thanks to her, I lived these past four months.
Surely, for the first time as a person.
Through having my heart connected with hers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Even though I couldn’t say enough of my thanks, the girl I should be saying it to wasn’t here.
No matter how much I cried, I could no longer reach her.
No matter how much I screamed, I could no longer reach her.
Even though I wanted to convey them to her this much - happy things, and painful things.
That the days I spent with her were the most fun I have ever had.
That I wanted to be with her more.
That I wanted to always be with her.
Even if it was impossible, I should have just told her.
Even if it was only self-satisfaction, I should have just had her hear me out.
It was regrettable.
I could no longer tell her anything.
I could no longer do anything for her.
Even though I had received this many things from her.
I, couldn’t do anything…………
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