Do you believe in life after death?
Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Have you ever asked yourselves any of these questions?
Don't worry if you haven't. Because up until now, neither have I.
But soon, for some of these questions, there will be answers.
Oh! There is one question I forgot to ask. It's also the most important one.
Do you believe that someone who has died once, can get a second chance at life?
Chapter 01: How It All Began
"Ah, I look irresistible."
Today is the opening ceremony for my second year in high school. I, the great Yuichi Shiro, am standing in front of the mirror. I can't help but admire myself, so handsome it's sinful. I now know how Narcissus must have felt. My wonderful short dark hair. My beautiful, yet manly face. My big brown eyes. I truly am a work of art, if I do say so myself.
Knock knock! - My bedroom door.
"Come in!" I call out, without diverting my eyes from the mirror.
I look at the girl who enters my shrine through the mirror's reflection. She is my younger sister by a year, Yuna Shiro. She has dark hair which is tied back, and brown eyes that are similar to my own. She is the type of girl who could be called either 'cute' or 'beautiful' depending on who looks at her. Her maturity hovers between the line of being a girl, and being a woman. But, considering she's my little sister, I never think about such things.
I guess it's to be expected of my little sister. We share the same blood after all. So naturally, like me, she too is really pretty. The type of sister that I can brag about to my friends. I'm sure she too does the same about me. Yes, she most definitely does, who wouldn't?
"Onii-chan, will you please hurry up!? At this rate we're going to be late for the opening ceremony," Yuna urges.
I can't blame her though, Yuna too must have realised. The girls at school will probably kill themselves if they don't get the eye candy of seeing yours truly. This will not do! I must hurry. I wouldn't be able to take full responsibility for a series of mass suicides.
"And Onii-chan, will you stop thinking such things, you aren't as popular as you think," Yuna says as she places her hand on her forehead, "No girl would go that far for you."
As expected of my little sister, you can read me so well. I have nothing further to teach you.
"You have taught me squat!"
"To come up with a retort to my thought process. You've already surpassed me, Yuna."
Wait a second. It's probably because I was so moved by the maturity of my younger sister just now. But did I just miss something Earth shatteringly important?
"Wait, Yuna! What do you mean I'm not popular?" I ask, my voice is unable to hide my mental shock.
Yuna simply remains silent as she quickly searches through her skirt pocket before pulling out a pamphlet. Its title, 'Things to watch out for on campus' and one of the sections headings has. Huh? Why is my name there? I take the pamphlet from Yuna and begin reading it out loud.
"Enemy of all women, Yuichi Shiro. Yuichi is a second year student, whom during his freshman year, became notorious for sexual harassment. Many female students and even a couple of teachers fell victim to this monster. If he ever harasses you, feel free to come to the discipline room in confidence. We shall handle his punishment. Article submitted by Akane Mizuno."
That damn demon Mizuno again. How dare she dye the pureness that is me with this fucked up article. I can feel tears running down my face. My mind becoming plagued with a mixture of anger, sadness and frustration. That bitch should just stay out of my way. What's wrong with me showing some love to all the cute girls?
"See? You aren't well liked by the female student body," Yuna says whilst wearing a smile that seems to be saying 'I told you so'.
"It's just a minor setback!" I proclaim, as I push my bangs out of my eyes like a prince. If this were an anime, there would be a sparkling backdrop behind me right now.
"Just come downstairs for breakfast," Yuna ignores me and walks off. How cold, how cruel. Onii-chan's hurt, truly he is.
After a while, I drag my body down the stairs and into the kitchen. Mum, Dad and Yuna are already sitting at the table. I take my seat next to Yuna and start eating. Meals at breakfast and dinner are family time, our parents are pretty strict about this.
"So Yuna, today will be your first day as a high school student. Are you nervous?" Mum asks with interest.
Yuna shakes her head. "I'm only concerned that people may think that I'm like Onii-chan," she replies whilst looking at me.
Is Yuna worried that she may end up living in my shadow? This is bad, I must remove her worries so she can quickly settle in. Her high school debut is today, I must act now.
"Don't worry, Yuna, you are you. No one expects you to be like me. I have every faith that some day, you will outshine everyone, myself included," I proclaim with a passion filled voice. It's times like this, that I show my brotherly love.
Yuna, upon hearing me, looks truly surprised. Dad puts down his newspaper, and looks at me.
"Yuichi, I think you missed the point entirely. She was saying she doesn't want to be thought of as someone like you, not that she can't measure up to you," Dad's tone of voice has something in it I recognise- pity.
Wait, so she wasn't showing respect to me. But that she doesn't want to be grouped with me. How can this be? Where did the little Yuna who persistently claim that she wanted to marry me disappear to!?
"I never once said that!?" Yuna once again retorts to my inner monologue. I don't have the energy to compliment her this time however.
My heart feels like it's breaking.
BANG! - I smack my head against the table. Trying to clear my head of all the awful memories that I wish to forget. This morning has been one shock after another.
Fifteen minutes later and we finish breakfast.
Yuna and I are now walking to school together. I'm still feeling depressed, but I'm trying not to let it show. No girl wants to look at a depressed guy after all.
Suddenly, I notice a familiar girl across the road from us. She's wearing our school's uniform almost like it was made for her. She has a small build, and shoulder length brown hair that has a ribbon tied on to it.
This girl is Sakura Kirei. She's the same age as Yuna, as well as her best friend. I already heard that she was going to attend our school from her brother. So I'm not surprised to see her wearing our uniform.
Sakura is a girl who is very popular with the guys in my year. She ranked second in the girl you most want to call you 'Onii-chan' competition back in middle school.
As a little bit of trivia, the person who ranked first in that competition was Yuna. But because she always called me 'Onii-chan', I guess I kind of take it for granted. Well, those that want things like a girl calling you 'Onii-chan', are those who don't have siblings themselves already. They're unable to understand what it's really like to have a younger sister. You just get used to how they address you, and think nothing of it. The fact I don't go squealing 'cute' every time Yuna calls me 'Onii-chan' proves my point.
Anyway, to mend my hurt heart. that just keeps being trampled on. I believe some skinship with Sakura is just what the doctor ordered.
Locking onto my target's back with my eyes, I put myself in a crouching start stance.
"GOOOO!" I shout enthusiastically.
"KYAA!" Yuna screams, guess I shocked her.
I run onto the road. Faster, faster, faster. I continue to increase my pace so I can reach Sakura, even if only a fraction of a second sooner. My eyes are locked on target. Just wait my dear, I'll give you plenty of loving.
"Onii-chan, on your right!"
Reacting to Yuna's voice, I look right. A man on a bicycle comes into view. He's riding at full speed, and is on a straight collision course with me. The bike won't be able to evade me.
My reflexes instantly kick in, I jump directly backwards. Missing the bike by mere inches. My reactions are as sharp as ever. The cyclist carries on riding past me. No word of apology? The manners of some people, but I'm a nice guy, so I'll let it slide.
I brush my bangs out of my eyes again, almost like I'm striking a victory pose. To everyone present, I must look truly cool right now.
Yuna and Sakura shout at me simultaneously. Sakura must have noticed me when Yuna drew my attention to the cyclist. So much for the element of surprise.
"LOOK OUT!" The two girl's shouts overlap with each other. I feel heavy vibrations on the ground, I look to my left, and I see something I wish that I didn't.
Oh, you've gotta be kidding me!
"A TRUCK!" I scream in shock.
I jumped out of a collision course with a bike, only to land into one with a truck. What the hell's with that!?
I feel my face instantly turn pale.
Honk! Honk! - The truck sounds its horn. But it's meaningless. I know, I cannot escape from this one. The screeching of the tyres trying to brake reverberate inside my ears.
It feels like time has stopped. Is this what is meant by one's life flashing before their eyes?
My body feels light. I'm in the air? Why? Why am I flying through the sky? A second later, I realise.
Oh, I've been hit.
The two girls calling me are the last words I hear. Everything falls silent.
I was hit by a truck, I must look totally uncool right now.
I feel my consciousness fading.
My mind slowly falling into darkness.
Yuna, congratulations on getting into high school. I guess, my time has come.
Goodbye, Mum, Dad, Yuna, Everyone.
This is my main series and the one I have most confidence in (although I am not someone with a high level of confidence). Please tell me what you think whether it is good or bad I wish to hear people's opinions.
Next up please allow me to give a big thank you to ReneAlexa of deviant Art for creating the cover for this story. I love it to bits.