Welcome to the final volume of "I Can't Believe I Have the Girlfriend of My Dreams!" Please...enjoy! ~kenbinru


PROLOGUE

"Is this how we're going to end today?"

Akane stands in the center of the empty gymnasium. The only source of light was coming from the windows placed above, and by now the afternoon sun was about to set.

"Is there something wrong with that?" she asks.

"Not really. I'm just surprised we're here is all."

We were stuck in a perpetual loop. Every day we repeated the same February 2nd, with the same things happening over and over again.

And the same person dying.

The key towards breaking this loop was remembering my memories, sealed away for some reason. Akane and I only recently decided to team up together, though this wasn't the first time apparently. She had been repeating the same day for almost an entire lifetime, and it seems that with every step she takes, its two steps back. However, maybe this time things will be different.

"We did enough for today Kazuki."

"We did? I don't feel like we made any progress towards figuring out my memories." I reply.

Akane lets out a small chuckle.

"You don't have to rub it in."

She turns back towards me. I'm still standing a bit far from her. I think she just wants a moment of peace.

"There's always tomorrow unfortunately." she sighs. "You remember what I said right? That I'll break you."

"Who could forget that?"

Akane glares at me.

That was a poor choice of words on my part.

"So why are we here?" I finally ask.

"I dunno. I just wanted to come here for a change of pace. We're alone together, just you and I." she replies. "Anything can happen and no one would know."

"What's so special about the gym?"

"As you know Kazuki, I've been picking up on some skills here and there. Some of which you probably don't remember but helped me learn."

"Like what...?" as I raise my brow.

"Like..." she pauses.

"Dancing." she reluctantly admits. "It's not really my ideal, but this gymnasium is the closest thing to a ballroom."

I never thought about what a ballroom was. Wasn't a gym technically a ballroom since you'd play sports inside?

"Dancing...? As in like the waltz...?"

Akane's stoic demeanor is broken for a second as her face turns slightly pink.

"Yeah..." she nods unwillingly.

"W-What?!" I burst out laughing.

I laugh so hard that my stomach actually starts to hurt. The laughter echoes throughout the empty gymnasium. This is just too funny!

"Y-You...? Dance?" I try to compose myself but fail spectacularly.

I can't shake the hilarious image of the cool, calm, and collected Akane Yuki prancing about. Never would I expect in a million years she learned to dance of all things.

"C-C'mon Ka-Kazuki! You're embarrassing me. A-And you danced too!" she pouts.

Finally, I dry my tears and manage to calm myself down, though a few chuckles manage to escape my grin from ear to ear.

"Jeez. I just thought that maybe if we came here you'd manage to remember something."

"Oh...I see." I say, a bit guilty of taking advantage of her ingenuity.

The problem was I don't think I've ever danced in my life. At least, in this lifetime.

"You see, some places have a big annual dance called a promenade or prom where couples dance together." she explains.

"A what?" I ask.

"It's just a silly social event for people to celebrate the end of their year or something. I-I stumbled across it while researching a way out of this loop."

"Right..." I said suspiciously.

Suddenly I wondered if this was something she didn't just stumble across.

"So this is something we'd do to celebrate the end of something? Have you been thinking about maybe this loop is impossible to es-"

"Shut up." Akane snaps at me. Her slender index finger points at my face.

"We will escape this loop no matter what." she says with conviction.

"Though it doesn't mean we can't relax every once in a while right?"

She did have a point. We don't have to think about misery and suffering every waking moment. Having a moment to ourselves could let us rest and be ready for later. It's okay to have fun or lighten the mood once in a while.

So in that case...

I offer my hands towards her.

"Shall we?"

Akane steps back, surprised at how forward I was.

"A-Are you serious?" she blushes.

I nod.

"D-Do you even know how to dance?!"

I shake my head and shrug.

"That's why we were here in the first place right?" I reply.

"Remind me, won't you?"

Akane smiles wryly.

"Follow my lead then." as she takes my hand.

She suddenly pulls me towards her, nearly taking me off balance. I try my best to match her movements.

"You know what's funny Kazuki?" She asks.

"Besides this?" as she accidentally steps on my foot.
"Ow!"

"Whoops. Guess I'm a bit rusty after all." She smiles smugly.

"I'd think if the promenade was a thing, I'd ask you out."

Akane leans in close to my ear.

"But promise me Kazuki, don't forget about me next time. I don't want to lose you again." she whispers.

And so we danced away.

We'll escape this loop. I know it.


CHAPTER 48

"I want you to relax and say the first thing that comes to mind. For example, I'd say 'Day' and you'd say...?"

"Wasted."

"Jeez Kazuki-kun!" Dr. Mori snaps at me. She then turns off the tape recorder.

"I'm trying to help you here kid. I know it's your first week back but jeez." she snaps at me. "The only way you can make any progress is if you're willing to participate."

Dr. Mori takes a small sip from her coffee cup. It doesn't have the faint smell of alcohol like I remember.

"Take a deep breath and we'll start again."

She fumbles with her old tape recorder. The plastic molding of the case was a pale yellow, probably damaged over time from sunlight. It was about the size of a regular smartphone, but I couldn't help but think why someone would even bother using something old-fashioned like that today.

Don't they have smartphone apps for that?

"You youngsters and your smartphones these days." she deeply sighs. "Sometimes you just need something simple that works at the click of a button." as she clicks a button on the tape recorder.

Dr. Mori quickly slaps the tape recorder a few times as her eyes roll back.

"And least most of the time..." she mumbles under her breath.

Her fingers push the record button repeatedly, until we can both hear a distinct clicking noise.

"Ahem." Dr. Mori clears her raspy voice.

She says the date and time, followed by my first name and subject number.

"Ready?"

I apathetically nod.

"Blue."

"Ocean." I reply.

"Child."

"Lonely." I reply.

"Rose."

"Red." I reply.

"Power."

"Lost." I reply.

"Sun."

"Bright." I reply.

"Moon."

"Dance." I reply.

"Time."

"Endless." I reply.

"Love."

I pause. The word catches me off-guard as I struggle to think of something quickly. Dead is the only word that comes to mind but obviously I can't say that.

"Love." she repeats, unsure if I heard correctly.

Finally I answer:

"Akane."

A heavy sigh leaves Dr. Mori's mouth.

"I think that is probably good enough for today Kazuki-kun." as she presses the button on the tape recorder.

"You do realize that I am on your side right? All of us want you to get better."

She slides her office chair closer to me.

"The only way you're going to get better is if we talk about what happened to you."

I can instinctively feel my uneasy fists curl. I try to dive deeper into this chair, as it feels like there's a pit in my stomach.

"I know. I'm fine."

Dr. Mori takes another long sip of her coffee.

"I only want what's best for you Kazuki."

She raises her hands towards the ceiling and stretches her arms.

"Oh!" as she looks at her wrist watch. "It's almost 3 o'clock. You better get going to the clubroom right?"

That's right. I almost forgot about that. Rather than letting me take it easy after the incident, Dr. Mori has encouraged me to be more social in order to get back to the hang of things. As part of my rehabilitation, she has placed me on the planning committee, composed of the former members of the study group, along with class president, Tsubasa Takemi, as our resource with the student council.

Now why didn't the student council just do it instead?

That was the first question I asked. Dr. Mori simply said they had "too much" on their plate already. We were unfortunately the first group she had in mind when the idea was brought up.

"I know you're gonna come up with something interesting Kazuki. I just hope the senior class would appreciate it."

"Do you really think that?" I ask.

Dr. Mori looks at me, her brow furrowed from my apparently stupid question.

"Of course you dummy. I know you've been through a lot but it's okay to lighten the mood or enjoy yourself once in a while you can. You and the whole group are still young so make the most of your time here. Time is gonna fly by and then next thing you know you're my age, talking to a bunch of kids." she laughs in a self-depreciating manner.

"What I'm saying to you Kazuki, is it's okay to be happy."

Is that really the case?

Can I ever be forgiven for doing that? I squeezed the life out of Her with my own two hands. I can still feel how tender her neck was as my palms wrapped around. The problem was that anyone would just tell me "it didn't happen." But it did.

And now every time I look at Her other self, The Akane Yuki of my world, I can't stand it. Her lifeless eyes still haunt me whenever I see Yuki-san. I only see the one I loved, and I killed Her.

I take a quick glance at the clock above Dr. Mori's head. Our session was quiet enough that I could almost hear the ticking noise the clock hands made.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

"Thanks." I say to Dr. Mori.

"See ya next time kiddo." as she waves me off.


I walk towards the clubroom in the old building. As I pass by I see the other students glaring at me like I'm some zoo animal. I can hear their quiet gasps and whispers, as they see the rumors in person.

"Hey, is that the guy that was missing?" someone says quietly behind my back.

I do my best to ignore them and walk a bit faster. I can tell everyone wants to ask me what happened, but either as a courtesy or cowardice, no one has. Even if someone asked me what happened, they wouldn't believe me anyways.

"Yo I heard he was kidnapped or something. Can you believe that?" another voice speculates.

Suddenly I feel my pulse rising. I tightly grip the bookbag hanging off my shoulder, as I start to pick up my pace, almost at a jogging speed. My lungs start to get tired as I notice my breathing was getting sporadic.

I-i can't breathe!

I turn the corner towards the stairs and quickly lean against the wall with my hands.

J-Just breathe Kazuki! Nice and slow.

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. I keep repeating this until the anxiety wears off. I cough and wheeze loudly, but luckily I see no one is around.

"Kazuki?"

I suddenly gasp.

"Are you well?"

I turn around and we meet eyes.

"I-I'm fine." I quickly compose myself.

Akane Yuki is standing in front of me. My Akane Yuki. The Akane Yuki of World B. Akane Yuki is the one I love. Akane Yuki is the one I cannot stand to see.

"It seems we are going to be a bit tardy today." she jokes.

"Y-Yeah." I reply.

"We better not keep them waiting then." as she waits for me to follow her. "Let us go."

We walk towards the clubroom. Fortunately, it wasn't that far from where we were, so we didn't have to talk to each other. We arrive in front of the old room, tucked away in the corner of the hallway. Yuki-san slides the door open.

"A-And that's how you do that problem."

There goes class president again.

"Argh! I can't believe it was that simple!"

There goes the Roadrunner again.

"We apologize for the tardiness. Shall we begin?" as Yuki-san takes the empty seat on the right. I take the remaining empty seat next to her.

"O-Of course Akane-chan."

Class president and Mary both close their textbooks and place them to the side of the table. Class president stands up and pulls out a sheet of paper. She adjusts her glasses and reads off some administrative announcements. It goes on a bit too long and I don't really care for what she has to say right now.

"A-And remember that tomorrow's science fair starts right after school okay?" class president drones on.

I'm getting kinda sleepy...

I instinctively yawn and cover my mouth with my hand.

"How was it today?"

I faintly hear a high-pitched voice. It's Mary Kaneko to my left.

"Normal."

She lightly punches my left shoulder.

"That's all?!" she whispers loudly. "We're all super worried about you!"

"Ahem."

Mary and I both sit up straight.

"Eep!" Mary lets out.

Yuki-san turns her attention towards class president. Class president continues speaking.

Mary slides me a note, it reads:

TALK TO ME LATER!

""U-Um th-thank you Yuki-san. Anyways, that's all the business stuff out of the way."

"Thank you. Shall we discuss the logistics of how we will accomplish our task? As a reminder, we only have a few days left to figure out a final decision for the senior celebration."

For the past few days, our newly formed group had been struggling to find something worthwhile. I've never personally met any seniors, but I would imagine that I'd cut some slack to some underclassmen who have never done anything to this scale. Previous years had something like a class trip or some kind of gathering at an amusement park. This year, the school simply did not have the budget, and due to previous events being open to the public, really wanted something privately done on campus, incident free.

"Oh! I know! We can do a sports festival." Mary suggests.

"But haven't we already done that?" class president comments.

Yeah, we did, didn't we?

It was hard to believe that time had flown by so quickly. We were already within the final few weeks of second year. I still remember what happened the last time anything sports related here at Kasumigaseki High, and really don't plan on involving myself again with that.

"Darn." Mary sighs.

"NGHRNGHRNGHR!" Mary slumps into her chair, unable to think of any more ideas.

Jeez. Can't we just have a party and call it a day?

"Might I suggest something?" Yuki-san speaks up.

"What do you have in mind Akane?" says Mary.

Yuki-san rummages through her schoolbag and pulls out a black notebook. It has a small logo of a cat's face on it.

"I have been researching ideas for a celebration. Given the restrictions imposed on us by the school administration, and the fact that we are expected to do something unique for the graduating class, I have found something suitable." as she flips through her notebook.

"I suggest we celebrate the graduating class with a promenade dance."

"A prom...?" I ask.

Yuki-san's eyes widen, surprised at my response.

"Do you have knowledge of this type of event?" She asks me.?

"Not really aside from it being a silly dance." I try to recall what She said to me.

They really are the same but different.

"Oh! I know!" Mary raises her hand.

"Papa talked about this once. It's not a big thing here but in his school they held a dance at the end of the year. He and my mom didn't go to it, but they said it was really cool."

Wait...if your parents didn't go isn't that a bad thing?

"But then both my parents said they were too cool to go..." as Mary digs herself into an existential rabbit hole.

"Anyways..." Yuki-san continues. "A promenade dance or prom, is a formal dance party. Attendees are usually couples, where one would ask the other to it.

"A-Ask someone out?! I-Isn't that a-a d-dddate?!" as Mary's cheeks turn pink.

Yuki-san's stoic demeanor is shaken for a second as she clears her throat.

"Y-Yes." she confirms. "The event is significant enough that inviting someone to the promenade dance has some romantic implications."

Romantic implications?!

"However, I have also read that there are many cases where couples attend as platonic friends. It is apparently done in order to not attend alone, as it is seen with a negative connotation. But, some courageous attendees ignore the social awkwardness to go alone in hopes to find another like-minded single person there."

"W-What?! So you're saying someone can go with their date, and have someone else at the end of the night?!" as Mary can't believe what she's hearing.

"Technically, it is possible, but it is almost never the case. Couples usually stay together until the end of the dance."

With that, Yuki-san closes her notebook.

"In short, I believe having a prom for the graduating class is a unique social event that will create memories for a lifetime. It will be an opportunity for students to strengthen their bonds, whilst also potentially creating new ones. It can take place at one of the many large buildings we have on campus, or even outside like the previous bonfire dance. With the restrictions and demands the school administration has in mind, this is our best option."

She was right. I think everyone else was having the same feelings as well. Having a prom is the most simplest and interesting idea for celebrating the graduating class. I'm also sure most of them have never heard of something like that, and will probably appreciate it. I'm also guessing for some people this will be a convenient opportunity to express their hidden romantic feelings for another, further cementing the idea of no regrets. It just seems so perfect and I can't think of any holes in her logic. It's the typical calculating and pragmatism I've come to expect from Akane Yuki.

"I-I think Yuki-san's idea is good. How does everyone else feel?" class president asks.

"Sounds fun to me." Mary replies.

Everyone turns their attention to me.

"Whatever." I shrug.

"Then it is settled. Please notify the student council of our decision Tsubasa."

"I will. I suppose that is it for today. I'll update everyone soon."

And so with that, we headed our separate ways, except Yuki-san and I headed home together. She had been staying at my place for a while before my return.

"We do have to stop at the market on the way. Your mother asked me if I could do the shopping for today."

"Fine."

We leave the school, and walk towards the supermarket.


"Hmm..."

Yuki-san stares intently at the stalk of celery.

It looks just like every other piece of celery.

"How was it today?" she suddenly asks.

"How was what?" I reply.

"Your session with Dr. Mori. Did it go well today?"

I wouldn't say it went stellar exactly, but it wasn't great either. It honestly felt like a complete waste of time. No one would ever understand what happened. I'd sound crazy and insane if I told anyone the truth.

"Normal." I finally say.

"I see..."

Yuki-san puts the stalk of celery in a bag and places it into her shopping basket, hanging on her arm. I am currently awkwardly empty-handed.

"I have been reading online that celery is able to stimulate neurogenesis. This might assist you in regaining your abilities Kazuki-kun."

I can feel all these people glaring at me.

A heavy sigh escapes my breath.

"Are you sure you're fine carrying all that?" I ask out of concern.

Of course, a stubborn woman like her refused my offer.

"This is nothing to me Kazuki. You need to focus on your recovery."

She head towards the meat section ahead of me. The noise of the heels of her school loafers sound like a jackhammer to my ears.

"What are you in the mood for tonight?"

We look at the long row of various meats underneath the glass. Yuki-san bends over a bit, closely observing which parts were the freshest.

"I'm fine with anything."

She turns her head towards me. Her eyes narrow, filled with intensity, but they suddenly ease as she takes a quick scan of my body. She fully stands up, and moves a few paces to the right.

"Hamburg steak it is then." she quietly sighs.

"It seems that they are out of ground beef right now Kazuki-kun. Mind waiting here for the next batch while I go get the other ingredients?"

I nod apathetically as she leaves without saying another word.

I guess we both needed a break from each other.

I stand here alone, as I start to notice how busy the supermarket was right now. People from various parts of life were walking through me, like the busy and overworked office worker in the suit, or the mom watching over the kid who's bored out of his mind. Needless to say, I still don't feel like I'm present in this reality. Everything seems so ordinary, which was something that I longed for. But now the reality is starting to sink in.

Why do I feel trapped?

"Haha..."

What was that?

I look around to find the source of that chuckle. I quickly scan my perimeter only to find that no one was reacting to it. It was loud and obvious; surely someone besides me had to have noticed it. Suddenly, almost as if it was through pure instinct, I feel something familiar.

"Yuki-san?"

Someone had just walked past, their long and silky black hair brushes by me.

"Akane...?"

By the time my body was able to react, that person was down by the aisle. Without hesitation it seems that my legs had started moving towards it before I realized. There's no doubt that was Her - I've sat behind Her for literal lifetimes in that loop.

"W-Wait!" I shout atop my lungs towards Her but She doesn't stop.

I maneuver through the busy crowd, hogging around the sales and deals scattered around. I try and I try to catch up to Her but She keeps feeling like an arm's reach away. Suddenly a mob of shoppers make me lose sight of Her. I move through the next wave, eventually arriving at a corner of the store.

Where did She go?

"Kazuki..."

Goosebumps appear over my arms. Her soft voice confirms it.

"You didn't forget about me... did you?"

I turn around and it's Her! My legs give out and I collapse on the floor. I see her pale hazel eyes, weary from pain. The single red ribbon affixed to her hair confirms it.

"B-But...how?"

She crouches down towards my eye level.

"Remember your promise." as Her index finger touches my chin.

"I-I..."

I'm too shocked to see Akane here that I can't even speak. It's a miracle that I haven't passed out from the sensory overload. Slowly, She gets closer to me, Her face directly close enough that I can feel Her breath.

"Remember!"

She suddenly grips her neck around mine, forcefully.

"W-Wh"

I can't speak. My hands instinctively grasps my neck, as I struggle to get her to release me. I see my struggling hands in the reflection of Her iris. However, I start to loosen my resolve for some reason.

I deserve this...

Just close your eyes and-

"Kazuki!"

I open my eyes to see her kneeling down at me.

"Where have you been? I have been looking all over for you. I was really worried for a moment."

It seems that Akane has disappeared into thin air.

Was that a hallucination?

"Are you okay?" she asks, her doe eyes staring at me.

"Did you-" I quickly stop myself.

"Hmm...?"

She wouldn't believe me anyways. I don't want to worry her.

"Nothing...I just got lost is all." as I wipe my brow from cold sweat.

Yuki-san eyes are concerned, but she reluctantly accepts my answer.

"Let us go home Kazuki." as she stands up and puts her hand towards me.

I grab it and we go.


Another night awake.

I lie restlessly in my bed as I stare at the ceiling. Maybe tonight is the night. Ever since I've returned to this world, I haven't been able to transfer my mind into the other world for some reason. In the past, it was every other night after I fell asleep. Now, I am stuck in my original world, possibly permanently. The more I think about it, that was the end goal wasn't it? Once Yuki-san was successfully my girlfriend, there would be no point in the seeing the girl of my dreams any longer right?

This is what I wanted isn't it? Then why do I want to go to the other world so badly?

I had promised Her to be happy, but no matter what I can't shake this uneasy feeling.

I still can't forget about Her every waking moment.

I can't dream of Her.

The one I love.

She is the one I love so dearly.

You cannot expect me to pretend as if it never existed. It is something that was real to me. Unfortunately it has no proof of it ever existing. But then what does that make of my feelings for her? I was in love with the girl named Akane Yuki, but She no longer exists. Instead, Akane Yuki has taken Her place. Isn't this what I wished for since the very moment I laid eyes on her?

I am in love with Akane Yuki.

I despise Akane Yuki.

What a cruel joke.

*DING*

That was the sound of my phone. I reach over towards the nightstand. It seems I've gotten a message from someone.

"Are you free to talk?" Mary Kaneko texts.

My thumbs move fast to reply.

"About what?"

"I'm talking about your session with Dr. M today." she sends with a frowning emoji of the Masked Avenger.

"It was normal. She just made me do a word-association test. That's all." I reply.

"And what about you and Aka-chan?" she suddenly mentions.

It was starting to annoy me how nosy Mary was. I appreciated that she was looking out for me, but at some point you have to give someone some space.

"What about her?"

"Y'know that she skipped school in order to find you right? I haven't been able to see or talk to her until you came back." she explains.

"She did?"

It was strange to me that Yuki-san never explained to me how she found me. Why didn't she tell me?

I suppose both of us are keeping secrets.

"Yeah dude! I'm just so glad you're both back together!" Mary texts, followed by a smiling emoji.

"We're not together together." I correct her.

"I dunno about that..." as I can imagine Mary's trademark smug grin.

"Is she asleep right now? I actually have some homework questions I'd want to ask her..." Mary sends a emoji of praying hands.

"No. I think she's in the living room or something."

"GO TALK TO HER!" Mary replies immediately in capital letters.

"Maybe it'll be a good thing to help your recovery lol."

I guess I don't have anything better to do. I can't sleep and apparently Yuki-san can't either. I get up from my bed and head out. By now it was probably at the stroke of midnight. My hallway was dark, only lit by a small resonating light coming from the kitchen.

"You cannot sleep either?" she chuckles.

Yuki-san was sitting alone at the table. Her slender fingers wrap around the small cup. She was dressed in her rather cute black cat-themed pajamas, sitting with her back straight-up in her chair. It loosely fit her figure, a stark contrast to her usual elegant demeanor. I think the old me would have a small heart attack from "cuteness overload." But now, I am glad that her face was partially covered by the attached hoodie.

"Would you like some cocoa as well Kazuki-kun?" she offers.

"No."

"I see."

Her sullen face was pale, much more than usual. The stress of my disappearance, the planning committee, and probably a few more things I didn't know about was taking its toll on her. I don't think she has been eating well either, knowing her voracious appetite from Her. It doesn't help that I notice she sleeps in class too.

Though luckily the teacher doesn't.

"You should really get some rest." I tell her.

"I know." she sighs. "Though you require it more than I do Kazuki-kun." Yuki-san quips.

I've been trying for the past few days but no avail.

"I'm trying."

I rub my itchy eyes.

"In that case, would you care to join me in my struggle with insomnia?"

I humor her and sit down at the other side of the table. Her eyes glance at the chair next to her, as she probably expected me to sit close to her. My avoidance is almost instinctual, because my stomach churns when I am near Yuki-San now.

"I am not sure if I have said this yet, but I am glad you have returned Kazuki-kun." as she lays her chin onto her arm on the table.

"Seeing you again really makes me...happy." as she smiles adoringly at me.

"Thanks." I reply coldly.

"Oh by the way."

Yuki-san sits up straight.

"Dr. Mori says you have been making progress in those sessions with her. Do they seem helpful in adjusting back to normal?" she asks.

"I guess...?" I say half-heartedly.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

I didn't expect her to be so forward.

"You mean about my session? It went fine. That's all." I say, holding back my disdain.

"I meant about...everything. You were gone for months Kazuki. I am not naive to know that something has changed in you."

You can't even begin to understand.

"I know you need some time to adjust and process everything that has happened." as she looks at her half-empty cup. "But at the supermarket today, I saw something that frightened me. Your eyes looked familiar to me, but not like the way I fondly remembered. It is almost like you have lost something you cannot get back. It reminds me of the same look my big brother had when our mother passed away..."

Yuki-san stands up from her chair. She walks towards my side, and stops directly behind me.

"Please." as her arms wrap around my chest. "I am here to help you. We all are. I cannot stand idly by anymore. You have finally returned, here, in flesh and blood."

Her hold becomes tighter. but it was still frail enough that I could easily push her off.

She is hurting on the inside, but I yet I cannot forgive myself.

"Please..." as I can hear the slight sniffling from her nose, trying her best to hold back tears.

Finally, she says something that snaps me:
"I don't want to lose you again."

And at that instant something resonates in my chest. The old me would have snapped at the chance to reciprocate Akane Yuki, but for some reason, I hesitate.

I can't do it!

I want to push her away. I can't let go of this feeling of despair no matter how hard I try. Do I deserve this? After all that I have done? At what cost was this life I longed for worth?

That's what She would have wanted.

My own delusional line of thinking can't get out of my head. This guilt hanging above my head needs closure, but there is no way I can get it.

I can't be forgiven for killing the one I loved.

The person right here in front of me, pouring out their genuine feelings for me, does nothing to ease my trembling heart. Instead it is amplified, as if at any moment I may just break. But I can't. Because I promised Her.

This is what I wished for...right?

"..." a slight groan exits my mouth as I suddenly stand up from my chair. I turn around to see a slightly shaken Yuki-san, unsure if her words reached me.

"Ka-"

I finally wrap my arms around Akane Yuki. I don't remember her being this soft.

I-I won't let you go.

I won't let you go.

I won't let you go again.

"Ka-Kazuki..." she gasps, breaking my train of thought.

Finally she says the words that break me.

"You're hurting me."

I quickly release my grip from her and back off.

"I-I...uhh."

Akane composes herself as she realized what she said.

"Sorry." as a small anxious smile appears on her face.

"We can talk more soon." she smiles. "I will clean up. We should really head to our beds. It is a big day tomorrow after all."

My puzzled look surprises her.

"Daisuke is finally released tomorrow. We are all planning a small celebration along with everyone." she explains.

"Daisuke is coming back?" I ask. "Why didn't anyone tell me?"

"Yes, but I do not know why. It is possible because I did not want to worry you further." she admits. "I apologize."

Add completely forgetting about your best friend to my list of horrible things I've done.

"But, Tsubasa just messaged me earlier today and we have some errands to run. We have been approved for now." Yuki-san smiles after a sigh of relief.

So we are throwing a prom.

"Would you like to join me beforehand Kazuki-kun?"

"I guess I have no choice."

"Then it is settled." as she claps once joyfully.

"I will see you bright and early tomorrow."

We head to our rooms, as I try to rest up before the busy day tomorrow.