The Girl and The War – 3

3 – (Reminiscence)

I had a dream. It was a nostalgic and sad dream.

In the past, I had a childhood friend. A girl the same age as I, she lived next door and we played together a lot.

Saya was a girl with a strong sense of justice. She had the personality that didn’t hesitate to help others. It was enough to make me who watch her felt worried, and I remembered sometimes she got hurt as well.

Every day, we go back from school together. We talk and laugh together, she never runs out of a story to tell me.

However, I knew, that she was actually only pretending to be okay…

“Did something happen recently?”

“Hnn? No, there’s nothing…”

She had a habit of placing her left hand on her chest every time she lied. After all, I always watching her…

“You don’t have to hide it. You’re being bullied no?”

“Ah…”

Saya’s expression sunk. I felt anger when I saw her expression.

“Do you have an idea why?”

“Well, maybe because I saw someone being bullied during our first semester, and helped the person. In the end, the target changed to me…”

“As expected, it was that…”

Saya was a cheerful and well-mannered child. If she was ever being bullied, I thought it must be because she was popular and incurred the other girls’ hatred, or it was because of her natural personality.

“You know, it’s fine to help others. It might be rude for me to say this but. Who helps you when you help other people?”

“I can’t think like that… I cannot pretend that I didn’t see the incident…”

“Like I said, what I wanted to say is, first think about yourself…”

“It’s impossible! I cannot abandon that child you know? I will rather be bullied than being such a coward!”

While being emotional, I could see Saya’s eyes had become watery.

It seems I’ve said too much despite that was not my intention, thus I thought of changing the topic. After all, no matter what I said, she was a stubborn person, even if she ended up dead, she wouldn’t change her beliefs. I thought such personality was not a bad thing, but I wish Saya to think a bit more about herself.

I averted my gaze away from Saya. Then embarrassing words escaped my mouth.

“T-Then, I will be the one who protects you.”

I feel my face hot from embarrassment. I unintentionally become assertive in front of Saya. Although it was not in my character, somehow my voice also become a bit rough.

Since I didn’t hear any response from Saya, I fearfully tried to look at her face. There, Saya was looking at me with tearful eyes.

“L-Like I said, it is impossible for us to be always together since we’re from a different class, but every recess I will come to get you, and we will go to school and back together. I will also speak with the teacher in secret. If something bad happens to you, tell me!”

“Really?”

“I promise…”

“Always from now on?”

“Always from now on…”

Tears came out from Saya’s eyes without stopping. Saya then rubbed the tears off with her cloth and then looked at me again.

“It is a promise!”

At that time, I made a resolve to not let that smile fade away. I made a resolve to protect her noble-minded soul so that it won’t break.

I resolve myself, to protect her…

I vowed myself as I said…

“Yes, it is a promise.”

——————————————————————

Time had passed since then. As usual, we go home together.

Saya didn’t seem to be bullied anymore. I could see that her smile was genuine every time she was with me.

However, I felt like Saya didn’t talk much lately. It was not like it makes me feel like I was talking with a doll, but she definitely lacks her usual spirit. A cold wind blew when I was about to ask what was wrong with her…

“Cold…”

I shrunk my body. Since it was already winter, I guess it was normal for it to be cold.

“It’s so cold right, Saya?”

When I looked sideways, Saya was not there. Turn out, Saya had stopped walking a bit behind me.

I was wondering why she stopped. Come to think of it, she seems to be busy with something, since I could see that she lack some sleep. I was wondering if she was tired because of that…

“What’s wrong, Saya? Did you fell asleep while standing–”

“That’s not it!”

Saya cut my words in haste. Despite the weather being cold, her face was red.

“Lately, the weather is cold, t-that’s why I tried to knit this… You know, soon it would be Christmas as well, that’s why…”

————————————————————————

Hand knitted scarf was something like a curse.

You cannot help but felt wrapped in love when you wear it.

Even if it was something from the past…

“So cold…”

I tried to cover my mouth with the usual scarf…

At that time, I said thank you to her with an embarrassed voice…

At the same time, I also remembered what Saya’s mother told me during the funeral, ‘Please forget about Saya, you should find your happiness…’

(Aunt, there’s no way I could forget. After all, I stuck with her soo much like this…)

When the anniversary of Saya’s death approaches, I always felt this kind of mood. Struggling with the pain in my chest as the world turned grayish.

Every time I felt this, I want to burn myself. I want to burn this deep nostalgia with fire.

Thinking that I touch my breast pocket. There was no cigarette left. I realize that I already smoked the last one a while ago. I looked around meaninglessly as my vision turned blur as if it was between the boundary of reality and imagination.

After I left my parent house, I work continuously as a part-time jobber, and as time goes on, my heart also turns dull. Most people say time would heal anything, but will I also be saved like that?

Rather than salvation, I wanted death. But I have no willpower to do that.

No, rather… Whenever such thought crossed my mind. Saya’s face would come to mind. Then I would wonder what she gonna say to me. Will she forgive me for what I did? In the end, I could commit suicide…

The scarf that was a gift from her become a dear mommento… –

In the end… I just wanted to be immured in the memory when she was by my side…

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