Red... Green... Yellow... Blue...A harmony of colours up in the sky above. With a loud 'BOOM', all of these colours shoot up high in the sky, dispersing into a myriad of colours, releasing the colour faeries; the only fitting competitors for the moon and the stars. However, these colour faeries posses a short life span. Their beauty lasts only for a fleeting moment. How cruel it must have been to be so beautiful only for a fleeting moment and only to streak down to nothingness, to death.
As sad as their deaths may be, their short moment of beauty puts a smile on the faces of many that stop to witness their glorious dance in the sky; the dance of the hanabi.
From my earliest memories as a child, I have always been fascinated with these colour faeries dancing in the skies during festivals. I remember pointing them out to my parents excitedly all the time. With smiles on their face, they will always correct me, telling me that those are not faeries but fireworks; a man-made beauty. As a child, I refuse to believe that such a beautiful sight could be ever be made by humans. So, I stuck to calling them colour faeries.
Seeing how I was so fixated on calling them colour faeries, my parents stopped correcting me. They created many stories based on the adventures of the colour faeries with me. From helping to festival goers to slaying evil dragons, their adventures went on and on.
Even in my high school years, I still refer to them as colour faeries. Some of my friends, being the no-nonsense and mature teenagers, laughed and ridiculed me for calling them colour faeries at my age. While there are others that laughed at me, there are those that find the term fascinating. Before I knew it, I was known as the 'Colour Fairy Girl' in school.
Throughout my high school years, I have been to many summer festivals just to watch these colour faeries. There is just something magical about watching their glorious dance on a hot summer night in the company of friends.
In my senior year in high school, something changed my life forever. I found myself falling sick frequently and when I am not in bed with fever, I experienced fatigue even after sleeping more than 6 hours. I began eating less as I was constantly left with no appetite. Even when my mum made me my favourite dish, a bite was I could manage. Normally, I would have wolfed it down in an instant. Due to my frequent fevers, I stayed at home most of the time rather than in school. I missed out on watching my beloved colour faeries with my friends. Instead, I was forced to watch them on my bed through the window. Though it wasn't as fun as watching them from a river bank, I was glad to even be able to see them. To me, it was a brief respite from the fever and the pain that wracked my body.
My parents began to worry when these fevers become more and more frequent. The pain that accompanied the fever became a frequent visitor even when I was not down with fever. I became thinner and thinner due to my loss of appetite. Worried that something might be seriously wrong with me, my parents brought me to the hospital for a check-up.
The doctor told my parents and I the results of the check-up. It was the piece of news that tore my world asunder. "She has leukaemia". Itwas only three simple words. It's funny how it only takes three words to tear my world apart.
I was told that unless I can find a suitable bone marrow, I had only 2 years to live. Denial came, promising me protection against the bad news. The doctor must be playing a belated April Fool's joke on me. He was doing it so convincingly too. Something within me snapped. I laughed at the doctor. It was a hysterical sort of laugh.
My parents stared at me as though I had lost all trace of sanity. The doctor could only look at me with understanding. That made it even worst. It wasn't long before the tears came streaming down. It looks like the Shield of Denial was too weak against the powerful blow of the news. It wasn't forged to withstand such a heavy blow.
I have leukaemia.
I was depressed ever since knowing that I have leukaemia. My parents were always on the look out for a suitable bone marrow donor but they never seem to find one. With each passing day, I grew thinner and weaker. I go to school whenever I can as I intended to see that I complete my senior year. I felt the need to make as much memories as I could while I still can.
My friends received the news badly. Some of them had the same reaction as I did when I first heard the news. Some of them stood staring at me in disbelief while the rest cried their eyes out. Seeing their reactions was the hardest thing. It was though my sadness was amplified through them. The tears that I had been holding back broke free. On and on, it came pouring down. My friends and I hugged one another and let the emotions ran free. I felt relieved. The tears had washed away the rot of sadness within me.
Before long, I went through chemotherapy. I have read about chemotherapy and its many side effects. Reading them didn't prepare me for the difficulties that arose. I was weaker than usual. Nausea and vomit gutted me raw. Bruises appeared on my arms. My hair began to fall off. Streaking my fingers through my hair left me with clumps of hair in between my fingers. I stopped going to school and was admitted to the hospital so I can be monitored, in case my condition takes a turn for the worst.
I knew that being negative about my illness is not going to help but it will make it worse instead. Slowly but surely, I crawled out from the darkness, one step at a time. Seeing that I had so much free time on my hands in the hospital, I decided to write and compile all of the stories that my parents and I had made up in my childhood: The stories of the beautiful colour faeries.
The days crept on slowly. I was glad that the days did not pass me by quickly. The slowness of Time's pace gave me more time to appreciate and make the most of what limited that I have. It's ironic how much free time I have on my hands in the hospital but such a limited time on my life span.
I had missed my graduation ceremony. I was too sick to attend it. It made me sad that I didn't get to spend my last day in school in the company of friends. It was the one memory that I could never have. As I was lying in bed, trying not to think of the graduation ceremony, a man's smiling face peeked out from the doorway and I saw a few familiar faces behind him. I was both shocked and surprised to se him. It was Mr Tanaka, my homeroom teacher and my classmates. I sat up slowly as he approached me with the entire class trailing behind him.
They squeezed into the room, each and every of them holding their graduation scroll. I noticed that Mr Tanaka was holding on to a scroll too. He stood in front of me and gave a speech on how he "had the pleasure of meeting and knowing a brave and cheerful girl like me". At the end of the speech, many of my classmates had tears in their eyes, including mine. My homeroom teacher stood aside and one of my classmates took his place to give his speech. This went on until everyone had spoken. By then, tears were already streaming freely down my face. Mr Tanaka came up to me and presented me with my graduation scroll.
"Congratulations on your high school graduation".
It was a simple sentence but it was stuffed thick with emotions and sincerity. It was the definite end of my life as a high school student. It signalled the advent of adulthood and important life decisions but…I will never get the chance…unless a miracle happens.
Just as quickly as a second passing by, my 'graduation ceremony' ended. My friends left, moving towards their respective futures. From that day onwards, their visits to the hospital became less frequent to none at all. To let me know that they still have me in their hearts and prayers, they sent me letters and postcards whenever they can.
During my stay at the hospital, I found a new friend. He was a year younger than me and suffered the same disease like mine. We clicked immediately and became close friends in the course of my hospitalization. The nurses claimed that we were the most cheerful leukaemia patients that they have ever seen. In actual fact, he, Natsu was a more cheerful person than I am. His cheerfulness wasn't forced. It was sincere and genuine. His smile is as warm as the summer sun, bringing light to everyone that he has met. Even after going through a painful chemotherapy treatment, he remains the same, indifferent to his own pain. We were always together, talking the day away.
I would always talk to him of the colour faeries. He didn't laugh at me or teased me. He was as fascinated as I am, always begging me to tell him of the glorious adventures of the colour faeries. Natsu would listen to me raptly, fully engrossed in my stories. Those talks made me forget that Death could come for me any time.
After a year and a half of being in the hospital, I found the days passing me by quickly. 24 hours in a day is not long enough anymore. It is way to short for a dying girl. By now, I've known most of the nurses and patients on my floor by name. I gave up finding for a suitable bone marrow donor. I decided that I would live my numbered days with happiness and that was all that mattered.
During my stay at the hospital, there is only one memory that I will always cherish until the day I breathe my last breath. I remember feeling very cold that night. It was the type of cold that creeps through your bones and settles in. Maybe it was just me because of my body's weakening immune system. It has been battered and left a cripple by the disease.
I was sitting by the window in my room, staring out towards the night sky. It was a starless night. It was as though the stars did not want to come out and play on such a chilly night. Even the moon, who is always radiating her pale light, was obscured by the ominous clouds. It was a sad sight. What is a night sky without his beautiful companions?
Natsu wheeled into my ward. As usual, there was a smile on his face. With his presence in the room, it felt a little less cold than it was before. He had brought with him the warmth of a summer afternoon. It helped to ease my gloom by a little.
Noticing my gloomy expression, his smile dropped from his face to be replaced by a frown. It was the first time that I have ever seen him wearing such an expression. It made me happy knowing that he cared but it made me uncomfortable at the same time. I am not used to seeing any other expression on his face other than happiness. To me, it was a foreign and twisted expression.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he wheeled his wheelchair closer to me.
I looked back towards the black night sky with melancholy. "There are no stars tonight…"
"Come on! Follow me!" I could almost hear the smile on his face as he said that.
I looked back at him in puzzlement. What is going on? Curious, I followed suit. Our nurses were waiting for us outside with smiles on their face. They came over and wheeled us towards the elevator. I was beginning to suspect that something was not right. Where were we going at such a late hour? I kept asking Natsu on where we were going, but all he did was smile gleefully, like a child wanting to show his prized possession. I watched as he fidgets excitedly in his wheelchair while the elevator made its ascension to the rooftop. It made me nervous to see what is it exactly that he wanted to show me. I twirled the fabric of my night gown to get rid of my nervous energy as we ascended to the rooftop in silence.
A cold blast of air greeted us as the elevator slid open silently. The two nurses placed two heavy and thick scarfs around our shoulders before wheeling us to the railing. Natsu and I sat there in silence as we gazed up to the sky. Dark. It was dark and bleak. I didn't like it. Why did he bring me up here? He knew that I didn't like the starless night sky.
"When the sky is dark and there no stars or moon amidst the blanket of darkness, what do we do?" He slowly lowered his gaze towards me and his lips slowly curved up in a mischievous smile.
As I was about to open my mouth and ask him the meaning behind his question, a brilliant ball of light sped of towards the sky. As if it knew that it is safe from whatever might be chasing it, the ball exploded into a myriad of colours, signalling the release of the colour faeries. I sat there; transfixed by the sight above me as another loud boom heralded the arrival of another flock of colour faeries.
"We release the colour faeries when the nights are cold and when the nights are void of the stars and the moon" said Natsu, his voice almost drowned out by the loud 'BOOM' in the background. "I hope you like them".
So, he had planned this from the start. Did he somehow know that tonight was going to be a starless night? I tore my gaze away from the dancing colour faeries above towards Natsu. I saw a smile on his face as he bear witness to the joyous dance of the colour faeries and warmth filled my heart. It was then that I realized that I love this boy. I didn't know why I did not realize it earlier but these feelings have always been there. I guess it was the uncertainty of my future that had made me turn a blind eye towards them. I knew I had to tell him of my feelings, that I love him. I did not want to have any regrets. None at all.
I reached out towar-
For the readers that doesn't know what the title means, it means Fireworks in Japanese. I thought it'd be cool to have a Japanese title for my story. I would like to apologize for my bad grammar and sentence structure. This story is a little rushed and sorta cliche but I hope you liked it anyway =D Aaand, the ending is meant to be that way. Lastly, thank you for reading =)