VII. The Crimson Sunset

(Autumn - September, 1997–2010)

When Satoru and Sakura walked hand in hand across their town, they knew that this felt right. After spending two years apart, they felt rejuvenated, like they were born anew. All of their friends knew that this would happen; they just had to give it some time.

Throughout the next 13 years, their lives would better.

In 2002, when Satoru proposed to Sakura, she immediately accepted.

In 2004, when Sakura announced that she and Satoru were expecting their first child, they immediately rejoiced.

In 2007, they knew they were ready to move to a bigger house; they were having their second child.

And in 2010, they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the day they met. And here they are now; no longer teenagers who are simply friends, but husband and wife who are each other's true love, they have endured and survived childhoods plagued with emotional turmoil and have come out stronger.

It was during this time that Sakura came to one final realization; she realized that her feelings for Shinakio, compared to her feelings for Satoru, could not be comparable. Her love for Satoru was much greater than her love for Shinakio could have been, even at its greatest peak. The love that Sakura had was unconditional love, something that felt unparalleled compared to anything she had ever felt before.

I'm much wiser now, a lifetime of memories run through my head;

They taught me how, for better or worse, alive or dead,

I realize there's no turning back, life goes on the off-beaten track…

We now see a field. Sakura and Satoru are walking, hand in hand.

"I don't want you to go," he says.

"I know, Satoru, but my time has come. I don't want to leave, but I have to."

The two of them sit atop a hill. The sun is setting.

I sit down with my [love], set to see the crimson sunset,

(Gather ye rosebuds while ye may)

Many years have come and gone, I've lived my life, but now must move on…

(Gather ye rosebuds while ye may)

"Satoru, words can't describe my love for you. You've always been there for me, like a true friend. I can't imagine what I would do if you weren't a part of my life."

He leaned over to her and kissed her; she kissed him back.

"I'll never love anyone but you, Sakura. You know this, right?"

"Yes, Satoru. Much like I'll never love anyone but you."

He is my only one, now that my time has come,

Now that my life is done, we look into the sun…

"Satoru, just promise me this; promise me that you'll keep living your life. Live on without me. Live on… for me."

"Seize the day, and don't you cry, now it's time to say goodbye,

Even though I'll be gone, I will live on…

Live on…!"

They stood up. Sakura whispered into Satoru's ear,

"I love you…"

She then kissed him, knowing that this would be the last time she would do so. She released the hold, leaned back, and said to him,

"Goodbye."

She then ascended into the sky, signifying her entrance into Heaven.

Satoru kneeled to the ground, tears falling from his eyes.

"Goodbye, Sakura…"

We see a couple in bed. It is Sakura and Satoru. Sakura is lying awake in bed.

'I had that dream again. Only this time… it was me that was going to Heaven.'

Satoru is awakened. She notices Sakura sitting up in bed.

"Are you alright, Sakura?" he said to his wife.

"Oh, um… yeah. Just a bad dream, is all."

He puts an arm around her, consoling her. "Don't worry about that, Sakura. It was only a dream."

"Yeah, I know…" She then looked into her husband's eyes, cupped his cheek, and kissed him; of course, he kissed her back.

As she lied back down, she said to him, "I love you, Satoru. I really do."

He responded, "And I love you, Sakura, with all of my heart."

They shared another kiss and joined in an embrace, both knowing that, much like the seasons, people can change for the better, no matter how long it may take.