How could I have done what I did? Fall in love with 2 men, to hurt and eventually, cause them to die?! I deserved to go straight to hell for that. I wished I never met Tokiya or Cassius. If Cassius hadn’t come… NO! It wasn’t their fault. It was mine, all mine. So what did history have to do?! I knew what was going to happen, but I didn’t stop it. It was my fault. If I hadn’t lived here, if I hadn’t been Japanese, hadn’t gone to that school, hadn’t accepted the fuujin, all this wouldn’t have happened. Tokiya and Cassius would still be living, 2 brilliant, smart, talented students who would contribute to society. But their youth was cut short by a stupid, silly girl. If only I hadn’t existed…
Suddenly, I felt a presence behind me, and whirled around, and saw… Cassius. He was still the same, sable black hair, laughing shimmering eyes, tender smile playing about his lips. My throat caught, and all the apologies I had thought of vanished immediately, leaving me shaking my head like an idiot. Finally, I looked up at Cassius, who was gazing at me without hate, just full of love and understanding. I could not take it; I could deal with hate, not forgiveness.
“Dammit Cassius, I killed you. Stop smiling at me!”
“Did you, Fuuko? Do you believe you killed me?”
“Fine, the ensui killed both of us, but it’s still my fault!”
“Are you referring to your fault for loving both me and Mikagami, or your fault for just existing as a certain Fuuko Kirisawa?”
I gasped, he understood my feelings so well. There was no doubt now or then, that Cassius was my soulmate. That was it, I loved Tokiya, but it was Cassius who understood me through and through.
No matter what you say, it’s still my fault.” I started crying, tears falling.
I never cried before, when I lived, but now I was dead, it didn’t matter.
Then arms encircled me, wrapping me in Cassius’ warmth.
“If only I could. I wished I never met you, or Tokiya, or the Hokage, for that matter. Then all these wouldn’t have happened…”
“But would you want to remember all that happened?”
“Remember all the pain, all my folly?” I laughed, short and bitter, “It might sound crazy, but yes. To remind myself how stupid I was, to make sure I would never commit the same mistake again. If I had forgotten all I learnt during the UBS, would I now still be the same Fuuko? The girl in your arms now is composed of many, many stupid incidents. I learn from my mistakes by remembering, and not burying them.” I sighed, “But what’s the use of wishing, when I forever will be stained by the memories of killing you and Tokiya?”
Cassius hugged me even closed to him, kissing my hair as he replied softly, “Wishes do come true, Fuuko.”
“I don’t understand.” I was very, very confused.
Cassius ran his hand through his hair, a gesture that betrayed his nervousness. He held me at arms length.
“Fuuko, you never killed me nor Mikagami.”
Once again, I was regarded with those amazing silver eyes, now with a tinge of sadness and sorrow in their depths.
“Explain, Cassius. You’re hiding something. I can tell.”
“Can you handle the truth, Fuuko?” Cassius’ voice held infinite regret.
I steeled myself. “Don’t shield me, don’t protect, don’t save me.”
“This,” he waved about the surroundings, “is a figment of your imagination. This is only a dream sequence. I never met you, not in real life.”
It sounded so weird, so strange, so X-Files. But for some reason, deep in my gut, I knew Cassius was telling the truth. “You don’t exist?”
“No, I do exist, actually, I did exist. As a certain Cassius Nakamura. I was supposed to meet you, to fall in love with you, to be your soulmate.”
“Then why…” I had no doubt that Cassius loved me, but, why was this only a dream?
“Kagerou was right. 200 years ago, all of us died. But exactly why? She played a part, Fuuko. If our previous selves never met Kagerou, never had evoked our powers, we would not have died.”
“You mean Kagerou’s immortality caused history to change?”
“Yes. She came, and changed the course of history. Changed everything. She should not have become immortal. If she had not sent Recca to this very time, to be your friend, you would never have encountered the Fuujin, the UBS or Recca. You would just be Fuuko Kirisawa, who later met Cassius Nakamura and lived happily ever after.” His smile was rueful, for we both knew Kagerou had destroyed his hopes for happiness.
“So you’re now…”
“I died 2 weeks ago, in a car crash.”
“But what has that got to do with Kagerou? How could she cause that to happen?”
“50 years ago, Kagerou saved a young man from drowning. The driver, whose car knocked me down, was the grandson of this young man, now a grandfather.”
“Oh…” I didn’t know what to say. Cassius, abundant with life, cut short because of Kagerou’s immortality.
“I don’t blame her. But for all the life she has, someone must sacrifice for her. It isn’t her fault.” Cassius looked at me. “I died, but I gained access to all my past lives and the knowledge of everything, and I just wanted to meet you…” His eyes lowered in guilt.
I couldn’t take it, and hugged Cassius for all my worth. “Damn you, I loved you. We were supposed to be soul mates. I don’t mind all this pain, just to meet you too.” I couldn’t continue, for tears clouded my vision.
“Do you still want to remember?”
“Yes. I want to remember you, my stupidity and my folly.”
me softly. I knew our time was up…
My vision cleared. I saw Yanagi, Recca, Domon, Koganei, and… AND TOKIYA bending over me. I struggled to a sitting position.
“Be careful, don’t forget you have a nasty head bruise.”
Cerulean eyes bore down on me. “You don’t remember falling down the escalator?”
“Of course she can’t,” Yanagi’s soft voice cut in, “She suffered a concussion. It’s normal to forget some events.”
I calculated. I had gone back a few weeks. Of course, if Cassius had not existed, which now he did not, I would have ended up in hospital after falling down the escalator. Which did happen. The rest continued to fuss over me, especially Tokiya, but all I could do was think about Cassius.
I knew what I had to do. I had finished packing when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to see Tokiya, flowers in one hand. It was lilies. I love lilies. Tokiya remembered, but so had He. I hated myself for doing this. Tokiya passed me my mail, which consisted of a single white envelope. He had started doing my daily chores ever since I had been discharged. It had arrived.
“Are you going to open it?”
“No, I know what’s inside.”
“Tokiya,” I laid the flowers aside, “I have something to tell you…”
It was late at night when Tokiya left. He understood perfectly when I told him I was leaving Tokyo to participate in the meteorological exercise. I hated leaving him, but how could I continue having a relationship with Tokiya when all I could think of was Cassius. I was unfair to both of them. Unfair to Cassius, who adored me, while I lived happily ever after with Tokiya. Unfair to Tokiya, who didn’t know I was thinking about another man. Unfair to Kagerou, whom I started feeling angry with. I couldn’t deal with my feelings; it was best to leave. I sighed, they all had understood. They though after my brush with death, I had been in a coma for a 2 days, until Yanagi arrived, I needed some breathing space. Tokiya even approved of my move, and told me even if I had not wanted the position, he would have forced me to leave. Live a life, be free, experience the world… was some of the phrases they had used. I also realized that I didn’t really needed the love. I still needed friendship love and family love, but love love could take a backseat for now. I wanted to be known as Fuuko Kirisawa, ace meteorologist, not Fuuko Mikagami or Fuuko, the girl who bagged that ace lawyer. I shook my head in amusement, and opened the white envelope…
Dearest Ms. Kirisawa,
Congratulations. You have passed the aptitude test and examination…
I didn’t need the letter. I tossed it into the dustbin.
in the warm salty air, and stared out at the wide expanse of the ocean.
When did it all happen? Where would I be now, if not for him? It was such
a long time ago, but it seemed like only yesterday. It had actually been
only 1 year, 6 months and 17 days. But all that happened was carved into
my heart, and mind. I wondered how the rest were faring. I was sure Tokiya
had graduated summa cum laude. Cassius, perhaps he had been reborn… no,
not yet. I stared at the cerulean blue waters and the silver sea spray
that licked upon the shore line. It reminded me so much of them. I knew
no matter what, both of them would have a place in my heart, for eternity…