A Change Of Seasons

Based on the Dream Theater song "A Change Of Seasons";

Music by Dream Theater, Lyrics by Mike Portnoy

I. The Crimson Sunrise

(Autumn - September, 1995)

"I love you… Goodbye." The last words said to Sakura by her long-time love, Shinakio,

her first love, her love of 5 years. He rose above the ground, signifying his entrance into Heaven.

Sakura fell to the ground, kneeling, crying. All of a sudden… he was gone. She didn't know what to do in her life anymore. Her purpose for waking up in the morning was no longer there. The sole reason she had for living was now gone. It was over.

She awakens. She is lying in her bed. It is 4:27 in the morning. She has experienced the dream she always experiences, with no sign of the dream leaving her subconscious anytime soon.

'I had that dream again. He wants me to move on, I know it. But how can I?'

Today marks the ten-month anniversary of the plane crash that took Shinakio's life. It is the incident that plagues her mind every day - the haunting image of a plane crashing down in a field of trees shown on the nightly news, with him shown as one who didn't survive.

She looks to her nightstand to see a photograph of the two of them; a bittersweet smile creeps across her face, along with a few tears falling from her face.

"You'd want me to move on and live life… right?" she says to the portrait.

As the young girl begins to prepare for her day at school, she looks out her window, watching the crimson sun rise into the light blue sky, a signification of the beginning of Autumn. Sakura knew she would have to continue her life, but when?

II. Innocence

Sakura arrived at school, receiving greetings from her friends. They all knew it was obvious that she was still grief-stricken. She tried to act happy and somewhat enthusiastic, but they knew it was a façade. Especially one boy named Satoru.

You see, Satoru had a very close friendship with Sakura. He was always concerned whenever she was upset or sad, and he would be there to listen when she needs someone to talk to. She felt closer to Satoru than Shinakio.

During the five years that Sakura was in that relationship, Satoru felt somewhat envious and jealous of him, which was the catalyst to the day in May of 1994 when Satoru came to the conclusion that he had fallen in love with Sakura. He knew that he could never tell her his feelings toward her, thus making Sakura his unrequited love, while still being his best friend.

All Satoru wanted was for Sakura to be happy, and if that meant for him to be unhappy, then so be it. Even if it meant ending his friendship with her, which he did do.

In class, Sakura would occasionally send one-sided glances toward Satoru, always accompanied with a smile. She would, every now and then, reminisce about the happier memories she and Satoru have shared throughout their friendship.

I remember a time my frail, virgin mind

Watched the crimson sunrise; imagine what it might find…

She thought of the time the two of them met, how he would always defend and protect her, and even when, for her birthday, he gave her a heart-shaped locket with pictures of the two of them inside -- she smiled at that memory especially.

Life was filled with wonder, I felt the warm wind blow

I must explore the boundaries, transcend the depth of winter's snow…

Satoru taught her how to experience life at its fullest; leave no boundary unbroken, leave one's mind open, accept any and all challenges, and show no fear. Be proud of who you are, who you're with, what you do, and how you act. Live and let live.

Innocence caressing me, I never felt so young before

There is so much life in me: still I long to search or more…

Let's go back to last November. After Shinakio's death, Sakura fell into a sorrowful, saddened state of mind. She didn't want to be a part of anything anymore; she became more isolated, introverted, drawn away from society. The shift from Autumn into the darkened Winter of that year signified the shift in personality in Sakura. Simply put, her grief overtook her.

But those days are gone now, changed like a leaf from a tree

Blown away forever into the cool Autumn breeze…

She spent all Winter in a severe depression, which pained Satoru greatly. He didn't want to see Sakura alone and saddened; for 6 months prior, he had realized that he was truly in love with her, but he knew she didn't want to be bothered. She wanted to be alone, so he obliged and left her alone.

For an entire Winter, he grew sadder and sadder, unable to tell her how he felt about her; he wondered if she'd ever know the truth. He kept holding on, though, knowing that Sakura was the one thing in his life that was important, that was vital, that kept him alive.

The snow has now fallen, and my sun's not so bright;

I struggle to hold on with the last of my might…

Sakura always felt some kind of connection towards Satoru. She knew he was very special to her, and how he was always there for her, more so than her past love, even. But she always wondered, "Was there something more to our friendship?"

As she looked toward Satoru in class, a smile grew across her face. She knew that no matter what, he'd always be there for her, regardless of who they're with. She thought of how he was so warm and kind and gentle towards her and how she liked the feel of his arms around her.

It was obvious to her now; she was in love with Satoru.

What she didn't know, however, was that Satoru felt that his feelings of love toward Sakura would, in his mind, always be unrequited.

He tried telling her how he felt many times over, but every attempt was always plagued with sudden interruptions. He couldn't speak his mind, and she never showed any signs of affection.

Simply put, he was happy with being her friend, but unhappy about not being more than one.

In my den of inequity, viciousness, and subtlety

Struggle to ease the pain, struggle to find the same…

Needless to say, both Sakura and Satoru felt like they were unimportant, that nobody could make them happy; her heart was filled with regret, seclusion, and grief, while his heart was filled with lament, frailty, and unrequited love toward his best friend. But, alas, much like the seasons, people change for the better.

Ignorance surrounding me, I've never been so filled with fear,

All my life's been drained from me; the end is drawing near…