This is a piece of fiction I submitted to my university magazine, and I feel it’s time to make it accessible to the whole world. This story is inspired by supercell’s “Sayonara Memories”, a song I used to play during the worst of my breakup period. Please enjoy!
“Clothes… check. Shoes… check. I guess everything’s in here,”
With her two small but sturdy arms, Miya forced the pile of clothes into her large, pink suitcase. With a loud zip, she fastened the zippers and closed the suitcase. Miya let out a long breath of exhaustion. She threw herself onto her fluffy bed and stared at the ceiling.
“I’m gonna miss this bed,” she whispered.
Miya had just graduated from high school and tomorrow, she will be departing for the United States to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. She was making her final preparations before her flight tomorrow.
Twelve beeps rang throughout the large room, making Miya’s hairs stand on end. A tiny clock was vibrating on her desk, amidst the scattered loose-leaf and books.
“Midnight already? Better get ready for bed,” she said lazily while trying to get up.
She let out a large yawn and slowly walked towards the door. Her hand was just centimeters away from the doorknob when she caught a small glitter from her desk. The sounds of paper being brushed away violently continued for a couple of seconds, followed by the thumps of books being briskly dropped to the floor. A single envelope, covered in glitter and a scribble which was supposed to be a name, was all that remained. Miya picked up the envelope and gazed at it intently. A sudden nostalgic feeling coursed through her body. Forgetting that she should be taking a hot shower and it was past midnight, she sat at her desk and stared at the envelope with a reminiscent gaze in her eyes.
Two weeks ago…
“Did you watch yesterday’s soccer match?”
“Yeah! Madrid really rocked, didn’t they?”
“Tsuchiya! The teacher’s looking for you!”
Almost twenty students were in the classroom, resulting in a high degree of chatter and noise. Miya sat at her desk quietly in the back row. In her hand she held an envelope covered in glitter. Her legs were fidgeting under the desk, as were her hands.
Today was the last day of classes. In two days, Miya was going to attend her graduation ceremony alongside her fellow third-years. However, Miya had one last thing to do before this day ended and it involved the envelope in her hand. Today, that envelope should be in the hands of Taku, Miya’s male friend from class 3-2. Miya had postponed this task over and over throughout her high school years. But no longer shall she delay her wish. The letter had to be in Taku’s hands by the end of the day.
Crows cawed in the crimson sky above. The cool spring breeze caused several cherry blossoms to billow away. Miya was standing under the tree; her back slouched against the tree’s hard trunk and her hands constantly fiddling with the envelope. She took a glimpse at her watch. It was almost 4 o’clock.
“Where could he be?” said Miya. She was anxiously looking around, expecting Taku to come any minute. It was not like Taku to be late. Could he have forgotten our appointment? Miya shook her head hard. No, Taku’s gonna come. I’m sure of it.
The sun had already disappeared, its light replaced by artificial lights from the streetlamps around the tree. Miya was leaning on the trunk, covering her neck with a long, wool scarf. Her eyes looked distant and were watery. She occasionally bit her lip and muttered under her breath. In her right hand, a dim light from her cellphone illuminated her dejected face. Taku, where are you? Suddenly, Miya’s cellphone started ringing. Miya promptly answered it. After a few minutes, the caller hung up. Miya then pocketed her cellphone. She pulled up her scarf, gazed at the twilight sky, and started walking home.
Present day, 9 AM…
“Miya, remember, your flight leaves at 7.30 PM! Go say your goodbyes to friends and be back by 4 PM, kay?” Miya’s mother reminded her.
Miya was just getting ready to walk to school, where all of her friends were holding her farewell party. Miya was wearing a cream-white sweater, a red pleated skirt and matching red-white sneakers with knee-high colored socks. She finished up tying her shoelaces and bolted out the door while shouting, “Bye, mom!”
As she walked the hill road that led to school, Miya saw her high school life flash before her, as if her mind were projecting her vivid memories onto the buildings and walls she passed by. As Miya passed the vacant lot near the intersection, she saw first-year Miya crash into first-year Taku. Paper and books scattered everywhere. First-year Miya was constantly apologizing to an angered Taku, who was busy picking up the result of their fruitful encounter. My first meeting with Taku… how nostalgic.
Miya saw second-year Miya chatting happily with second-year Taku as she passed the stone walls of the hill road near the school building. Compared to the current Miya, second-year Miya had short hair and was slightly shorter. Ah, I remember… this was that day when I walked home together with Taku.
She continued along the road and within minutes, the school building was visible. There was nobody in sight. The spring breeze whistled in Miya’s ear as she saw second-year Miya in her sports uniform; a white nylon shirt and red short sport pants; running alongside second-year Taku on the track. Second-year Miya was smiling cheerfully at Taku, who was closely behind. Suddenly, second-year Miya slipped. Second-year Taku promptly grabbed her hand, but Miya’s momentum caused both of them to crash into the brown soil with a loud “Kyaaah!” from second-year Miya. They sat there on the track, brushing off dirt from their uniforms, as others passed, laughing at them. Second-year Miya and Taku’s eyes met and they both exchanged heartened laughs. Second-year Taku noticed a gash across second-year Miya’s elbow and reached into his pocket. A small Band-Aid was in his right hand. He told second-year Miya to stay still as he applied the Band-Aid onto the gash. Second-year Miya was speechless and blushing very hard. As expected from Taku, always coming prepared. Miya looked at her right elbow. The Band-Aid was gone, but a small scar remained.
Miya entered the building and she saw more glimpses of her past as she approached her classroom; this time, she saw her recent third-year memories. She saw herself frantically preparing decorations for the cultural festival with her friends. She also saw herself in the library, pondering over a mountain of textbooks accompanied by Taku. They were studying for finals and Taku needed tutoring help. She was lecturing Taku, who occasionally yawned. Ah Taku, you were never great at studying.
Miya was in front of Class 3-2’s sliding door. She could hear faint sounds from inside. She reached to the door handle and slid it open. Shouts and cries of joy welcomed her, along with several hugs from Sayu and Yui, her two closest friends.
Present day, 3 PM…
“It’s been two weeks, huh? We shared a lot…” Miya’s eyes started to water, “…but you never told me you had a heart condition,” Miya said mournfully.
In front of her, a dark and elegant gravestone stood. The sweet fragrance of incense entered Miya’s nose, giving her a relaxed feeling. Beside the incense at the base of the gravestone, a bouquet of white roses and forget-me-nots was neatly arranged. Miya crouched in front of the gravestone and put her hands together. She closed her eyes and whispered a prayer only known to her. When she finished, she rummaged through her back pocket and produced an envelope, the same envelope which she has been holding on to. She gazed at it for a while, remembering all the memories that certain envelope contained. Her eyes started to water, but she had a sincere smile on her face. Slowly, she put the envelope at the base of the gravestone along with the bouquet of flowers. Tears started flowing down her cheeks, but Miya did not wipe them. She stood up silently and turned around.
“Goodbye, Taku. I’ll never forget you. Thank you for the memories you gave me,” Miya said, her eyes overflowing with tears and her head held high.