Nightmare 10 – Our dream has just begun


The sky was already dark when I got to our neighborhood and I was surprised to see both Masayuki and Yuka waiting for me just before the gate of my house.

"Why are you two here?" I asked, honestly bewildered.

"I'm pretty sure uncle and auntie are furious right now. They called me many times asking if you were with us earlier," Masayuki explained. "So we're here to help you with that… If you don't mind."

"Oh right." I checked my phone, which was relatively new since my old phone was crushed in the incident. Sure enough there were missed calls and messages that seemed to continue even after scrolling down four times already. I smiled at them. "I'll appreciate it if that's the case."

"…Reiji-kun," Yuka muttered as she looked at me worriedly. "Do you remember…everything now?"

Yuka and Masayuki seemed to be still awkward around me even though I tried to talk to them as casual as I can. I walked the space in between the two of them, who were nervous the whole moment. When I was behind them, I turned around and then practically threw my arms on their shoulders, surrounding their neck.

Both were surprised as the action I had done was something that I had always did back then.

"Yep, I remember everything now," I wholeheartedly said. "And you two doesn't have to worry about it. I don't mind it anymore."

"...It seems that the Reiji I know is back."

"Mhmm. Thank goodness."

Not all had been solved of course, but it was definitely a step forward again.

All three of us entered the house and my parents greeted me with anger. Masayuki and Yuka helped me calm them down by saying we were together all the time. They understood the situation but their anger had not completely abated.

It was then when I thought of telling them that I recovered my memories.

"Is…that true?" My mother asked shockingly.

"Yes."

That alone made my mother cried while my father stood still as if forgetting all his anger earlier. He hugged me gently. "I'm glad, Reiji. Thank god."

It was kind of embarrassing actually being watched by my friends like this and it took them for a full minute before calming down. It was then when my two friend said that they would go home since it's late but my mother stopped them telling that they should stay for the night. And my father insisted too, surprisingly.

They were about to refuse nonetheless but then I spoke. "Maki, Yuka, will you two stay the night?" It was not a question, it was a request. Both of them were a bit surprised but it seemed soon finally agreed. They told their respective parents on the phone and explained that they were staying over in our house.

My parents had wanted to celebrate the occasion but I insisted that we should just do it tomorrow instead. And then soon, I faced a problem. Somehow all three of us, me, Masayuki, and Yuka, ended up sleeping in my room. We had done this many times when we were kids but we were now young adults.

Yuka ended in my bed despite her refusing earlier. And us, guys in the futon spread on the floor. As soon the light was turned off and we were in our own sleeping space, Masayuki asked.

"Hey Reiji, why did you invite us to stay over?"

From atop the bed, I could hear Yuka shifting her position to hear us better.

"I will try to wake up Yume," I said, still in my futon, as I thought of explaining everything to them. "In this past three nights, I have met her in my dreams. Tonight, I will probably meet her again."

"…Seriously?" Masayuki asked. I knew them long enough and the opposite was also correct. They knew that I wouldn't lie in this situation.

"Yeah. It is unbelievable but it's the truth. I can meet her, and speak with her through dreaming."

"So basically your mind is connected to hers?"

"Maybe?" I laughed a little. "It is incredibly realistic too. The places where we met were those inside my memories and I could still imagine the vivid image of the cinema falling apart. And also, I could feel pain and such."

"A dream where you could feel pain?" This time it was Yuka who asked, seemingly taking interest to the phenomenon. "…Your mind connected, so you two must be both dreaming… it's not like your mind and her are physically connected so…"

"Wow class rep," Masayuki interjected.

"Yeah… There she goes again." I knew in the past month and in my previous memories that Yuka was an honor student but she had a quirk of thinking quite extreme while voicing her thoughts out loud.

"Probably your consciousness travels—kind of wireless—and then meet with Yume's mind? Or both of your consciousness goes somewhere like a space for thoughts and then meet with each other."

It was interesting to listen to her like this as she seemingly forgot the awkwardness they had earlier.

"Or perhaps their souls meet together," Masayuki once again interjected but this time, Yuka didn't ignore him as I could see her staring at the person in question. "H-hey what's wrong? I've read into some manga that psyche or mind is something like the soul. I have a basis, you know."

"…Souls." Yuka muttered. "Astral Projection?"

"What does that mean?" I asked, staring at the dim ceiling.

"It means an out-of-body experience or what could be describe as soul leaving the body consciously. Yours isn't exactly like an Astral Projection but it would explain why you feel pain since it was not your consciousness that interacts but your very soul. And also it seems that some people who had experience this phenomenon had a near-death experience before."

"Near-death experience…" I muttered. "The incident?"

"Yes…both of you are nearly died." Her tone was serious but she gradually then loosen up. "It's just my theory though."

"I see… Thank you Yuka, Maki."

"So Reiji, how can we exactly help if that's the case?" Masayuki beside me asked.

"…I just felt that I needed you guys with me tonight since I think, this will be the hardest dream I will ever have."

"Ah, I get it. Don't worry Reiji, we'll be just here beside you. That's for the mental support." He then let out a small laugh. "As for the physical support I could just hug you. Just kidding…. Damn! That's a gross joke coming from my mouth."

"…You said it. It gave me chills." I chuckled.

"Geez, you two are really weird."

All of us three then laughed silently.

"Reiji-kun, good luck," Yuka smiled at me atop her bed. "We'll just be here to support you."

She then turned her back towards me, as I myself, started to close my eyes.


Tonight I will meet her again. And I will wake her up from this endless dream


I was inside a space where there was absolutely nothing. It was just pure darkness. However, there was no need to look for her. Akasaki Yume had been standing before me as if she had been waiting all this time. No, I imagine that it was what actually happened.

She was in this place, all by herself all this time.

Her appearance was not of a white lady's, it was just a simple hospital gown. Her black hair dripped down on her back while eyes were still hidden by her bangs. Her bare feet touched the dark floor.

"…Reiji-kun, do you remember everything now?" Her voice was no longer modulated, and I could clearly hear her beautiful voice.

"Yes."

She smiled weakly. "I'm glad I could talk to you before I go."

"…No, I won't let you," I declared. "Just as you wanted us to die together, I want to live with you."

"…I-I can't do…that anymore."

"You can. I will be with you."

"But…" Her words trailed off and then when she spoke again, her tone became malicious. "But you betrayed me before, didn't you?"

It was not only her voice but her entire presence was emitting a dangerous feeling.

"That's a misunderstanding!"

"I wish I can believe you." It was an earnest desire coming from her. I was sure of it. "But where were you all this time? You promised to be with me no matter what happened right? You promised that you will never forget about me. But all of it was a lie."

What she said was the truth. I was a pathetic man who broke his promises. I gritted my teeth, angry at myself.

"…I'm sorry." I could not refute what she said nor do I plan to defend myself. "But still, believe in me once more."

"…Reiji-kun." She paused before tears trickled down her cheeks. She was trembling. "I want to be with you. So let's just die together."

Before I knew it. A knife was stabbed in my side.

Did she…? No...

Yume just stood there and she had not moved therefore it could not be here. There wasn't anyone else in this place beside and Yume… It was as though the world itself just pierced me in its own accord. Gradually, my feet brought me down to the floor.

"I won't let you wake up anymore in the real world." She muttered, no moving from her position. "This will be our death. We will be together."

"Y-Yume…" I tried to touch even though our distance was few meters away. I crawled on the floor slowly as the pain made my limbs weak. "Plea…se, believe in…me once…more."

Please…

Yume wavered. She was taken aback from my desperate plea and she took a step away from me.

"It hurts, Reiji-kun. To see you…like this desperate…breaks my heart." I could see the tears streaming and falling to the dark floor. She then turned her back towards me. "I will wait… I will wait for you…in the other side."

She walked away, leaving me alone in this darkness. Her figure was gradually shrinking and when I took a blink, she was nowhere be seen anymore.

I'm cold. My blood coming out from my wound was never stopping.

This threatening feeling that crushes my chest. This must be despair, and loneliness.

Yume had endure this for months, all alone in this dark place. I could not give up. Not now, and never again. But it seemed that I could no longer move. My mind was hazy…

Then suddenly, I felt a warm feeling touch my wound from behind and then pain started dissipating. I slowly opened my eyes to see two figures that I could not imagine to be here.

"What are you doing Reiji, you can't give up now."

"Reiji-kun, do your best."

Masayuki and Yuka smiled at me. I was confused but more than that, I was happy.

"…How come you two are here?" I asked as I slowly rose up.

They only smiled again.

"This is the best we could do. The rest is up to you."

Their words were the same and after that, they suddenly disappeared.

Even without their figure anymore, I could still feel their presence in the warmth I could feel within my two palms. I was not sure how both of them were able to go here but I was really glad they came.

"Thank you."

With that I ran forward to the endless darkness spreading before me. Yume would be waiting for me somewhere there.

"Yume!"


I recalled every meeting—everything. And how it all ended up like this.


"I can't bear…it anymore… If only I could escape everything…. If only I can kill myself."

Those were the first words I've heard from her back then in the park. To my eyes back then, she was just a stranger that had problems with her life. I thought that I had no reason to interact with her, but somehow I couldn't just leave her alone. I answered unthoughtfully back then. "You shouldn't do that. I mean you could just find a reason to live."

She was angry at me—she lashed out at me, actually. In the process, she unconsciously told me how she suffered from being bullied, how she was alone with no friends, how she was acting a tough front from her parents, how she had to take all her problems alone, and how she has no one to rely on but herself.

"…I see I'm sorry." At that time I could not find the right words to say. "Still, I could not let you die."

"...Just go away."

The second time we met was inside the cinema, our seat was coincidentally beside each other. It was also weekend that time and I had just accidentally won a ticket for a movie, which I thought something uninteresting. But since I was alone, without any company, I thought of killing time by watching it. On the other hand, like she had said, she was always alone.

"What are you doing here?"

"…Glad to see again."

She was surprised to hear my response but I was just honestly glad that time that she didn't commit suicide. She didn't continue talking after that and we just we watched the movie side-by-side, it was about romance that I thought really, kind of cliché. Yume, however, had different view to it.

"…Do you think miracles like that happen?" She suddenly asked me a question, referring to scene where the two destined lovers meet after years of separation. Her eyes back then gazing at the screen expressed longing.

"…I'm sure they happen. Especially for those who needs them, I guess."

I was not lying. That was how I really thought.

"…I see."

"Hey…" I thought. "Would you mind coming back here with me again next week?"

"…I… I'll…think about it."

That was the start of us meeting together. I would invite her in weekends and for some reason she showed up every time. Before long, we had completely became comfortable with each other and it came to the point where one of us could ask the other favors without having any awkwardness. Our relationship deepened without me knowing it and we even exchange our emails. I went with her in different places and spent my time with her. Masayuki and Yuka came with us too sometimes.

In those times, I thought that the girl whom I met with the desire to kill herself was gradually being healed.

"Reiji, why did you invite me today?" Yume asked to me.

"You'll see." I pointed to the night sky. And then…

Fireworks flew upward and exploded in beautiful colors.

"…They're beautiful."

"Yeah, they are," I said, standing beside her. "But you're way more beautiful."

Now thinking about it, it was a cheap line.

As she was surprised, I held her hand. "I think I could say now, Yume you're no longer alone. I'll be always by your side."

"Eh…!" Even Yume was startled by my sudden declaration.

"Yume, I love you!"

She was blushing from ear to ear back then and then she shyly answered. "I-I think I love you too."

That was a beautiful memory that I would always treasure from that point onward.

And then the day came where Yume misunderstood what happened. Yuka had kissed me in the cheek and she saw that apparently. Yume came to me, with a face that was hard for me to describe. One thing was sure, at that time, her expression was dark.

When we went to a desolate place where we could be alone, I tried to clear up the misunderstanding but she suddenly did an act I could not fathom—she brought out a knife from her bag.

I realized. I was mistaken all those time. In the beginning, Yume had been always standing on the edge of a cliff. And in from all the time I've spent with her, she had just been able to take few steps away from it.

It was no wonder what will happen when the cliff crumbles. She would fall.

She was a girl who was always on verge of breaking.

And I was blind to see that.

"Reiji… Please, please be with me forever."

She swung her knife at me many times, and I tried my best to convince her as I dodge. But it seemed impossible.

She had cornered me, and I was left with no choice to run away.

I guess I didn't have to tell what happened next.

She run after me and when she was about to be hit by the truck, I tried to save her.

"Yume…" I weakly gazed at her bloody figure. I managed to squeeze the last of my strength just to mumble few words before my mind blacked out. "Please… wake up."


He was my savior. Like the prince in the fairy tales—that is…what is Reiji for me.


I continued to run forward the dark space. I knew for certainty that I was catching up to her, I could feel it. I had a certain strange feeling in this place and I thought that I had already figured it out.

Taking a heavy step forward, I concentrated my senses and when my feet touched the ground, the dark floor changed into a soil covered with green grasses. I could feel that the path I had traveled to come here had changed into a place that I held a deep importance to my life.

There was a river flowing in my right, a few meters below me, extending forward until it stopped where there was a complete darkness. The promenade on my left was the same, and even the green grasses I spoke of earlier. They all stretch just a few meter in my front before stopping in the darkness.

A bare feet there stood and her white gown had no movements as if this place was devoid of air. The source of darkness, and the one obstructing the scenery from expanding was Yume.

I forced my will but the darkness just wouldn't budge.

And so, I approached her slowly, the scenery extending extended—and then I was stabbed by another knife.

My feet was absorbed by a dark pit beneath me, and it gradually swallowing me inside.

"Don't come any closer…"She whispered.

However, this time, I took a step forward without even minding those obstacles. I shrugged away the darkness and it was as if the knife didn't hurt me at all. In fact, it didn't.

My footsteps resounded in the grass below my feet. The river flowed gently on its path making small sounds.

Yume took another step back. I pointed to the night sky behind her—

And then fireworks flew up in the air, and exploded, releasing rainbow colors into the empty sky. Even for me who was responsible for making it was amazed at the wonderful reenactment of our memory.

"…" Yume looked behind her as she watched it intently.

"Yume." I spoke when I was just more than a feet away from her.

She turned to me again. Her expression wavering.

I slowly stretched my hand and then held hers.

From the point of contact, her clothes began to change. The white hospital gown was replaced by her clothes in the day I confessed to her. A blue blouse over a white vest, and a short violet skirt.

Her hair shortened to the state before the accident and caused her bangs to reveal her azure eyes, resembling the sky when it was in its utmost beauty.

The world inside our dreams was our own fantasy. It was where we could make and do whatever we want. Yume had rejected me and continuing to do so. However this time, my will would not be broken.

"From now on, and forever, I'll be always be with you. I won't break this no matter what." With my declaration, the sky turned perfect blue removing any darkness in his world.

She looked at me, her eyes moistening.

"I promise to you and to my own self that if you are alone then I will be with you; If you have no one to rely on, then I'll help you; If you would be swallowed by the darkness, then I will be your light. And if despair clings to you, I will be your hope."

"…I…" She was hesitant but as the wind blew and swept her bangs, tears also floated into the air.

"You are the most important person in my life. I love you."

Her voice was wavering as she asked me. "Can…I trust you…one more time?"

"Yes. No matter what happens in the future, I will always come. No matter what challenges appears, I will always save you."

She smiled weakly. It was the most beautiful smiled I had ever seen. "I'm glad…"

I hugged her tightly. My heart was beating fast with my own happiness. "It's time Yume, let's meet again in the real world. Our dream has just begun."


Our story might be ending. Yes. But I'm sure, this will be also our new beginning.


I woke up, bolting upright and immediately noticed that my two childhood friends were holding both of my hands.

"Reiji… Man, you surprised us there."

"…So how did it go?" Yuka asked me.

"It's alright now." I smiled at them before standing up as they let go of my hands. "I'll be going."

"Wait," Masayuki said as he pulled something from his pocket and threw it at me in an arc. "That's the spare key of my father's motorcycle."

"…Thank you, both of you. Thank you very much."

They gave me a soft smiled then urged me to get going. I changed my clothes in a quickly while both of them temporarily left the room. Soon all of us three quietly left the house and headed to Masayuki's to get the motorcycle.

It was only a several minutes of trotting and we arrived at the place. We sneaked out the vehicle and when it was far enough to so that Masayuki's family wouldn't be able to hear the engine, I started it up.

"Reiji-kun, say hi to Yume for me."

"Me too."

With those words as a final push, the engine roared and I sped up towards the hospital. The traffic was low at night and my mind was only focused on one thing: to see Yume.

I wanted to arrive at the hospital fast, and I was hopeful that she was already awake.

My heart raced as I drove past the streets in our neighborhood. The motorcycle seemed slow at this point, as if it was deliberately making me feel anxious. I remembered the things we said to each other, the promise I've made once again. And her warmth as I hug her.

But as I recalled them, her words of despair also entered my mind. I tried to remove them from my thoughts as I turned again on another corner. Soon, I would be nearing the hospital. I could see the lights of the buildings near it as the sky was dark. It was around ten now, I even doubt that maybe they wouldn't let me in anymore.

I shook those negative thoughts as I entered the lobby after leaving the motorcycle in the parking area. Thankfully, the nurse gave me her consent and that she would follow after me soon.

This time, I will uphold to my promises. And I would never break them no matter what.

Smelling the familiar disinfectant, I stood in front of her room and then turned the knob as my breathing stopped in anticipation. The room was dim but I could still see flower vase I've just seen earlier today and when I shifted my vision a bit to the left, I saw her bed.

…I let out a deep breath.

From the veil of the night, coloring the place in a gentle, bluish light, I saw her figure sitting on her bed.

"Reiji…kun. I'm glad." Her tears slowly flowed on her cheeks as she smiled at me.

Akasaki Yume, the girl in white, had finally woken up.

~Fin


Author's Note: And it ended. To those who've read until the end, thank you very much.

Ghost Girl was an idea that was built upon the concept of "A white lady inside a dream." And in all honesty, this story before I started writing it was planned to have a tragic ending like Kanagawa. From the start Yume will be already dead and Reiji after solving the mystery will be left alone by himself. A story where the people who love each other are destined to never be together.

Somehow, the endings which has beautiful yet tragic feel really attracts me. But I thought that this story might be better to have a happy ending. And the result is as you could see.

Also, I don't really like the kind of endings where it is ambiguous. For example, if I ended this story to where Reiji just opened the door in the hospital room then the readers will not be sure whether Yume really woke up or not. I've read such stories too, even though I think that most of them turned out to be a happy ending, I could not just rest at ease if I'm not sure. I don't know if some of you are like that too.

Sorry for this kind of ranting just after the ending. Feel free to ask any question you can think of regarding this story, I will answer them if I can.

And with that, once again: "Thank you for reading until the end of Ghost Girl!"