CH 20 – Remorse
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I opened my eyes. 

It was the familar crystal clear white roof I once saw before.

What was it again?

The sounds... They all sound familiar.

What is this on my face?

A mask?

My body feels strangely numb.

Ah... Right. 

I'm in the hospital.

The memories start flooding in, like a caved in waterdam, as I laid down helplessly.

There was... something about Chiaki.

I remember yelling at some person, and I remember the distorted face that rushed me. The blood that sprayed from my woun-

I looked down. 

A large scar stitched together, with medical rags wrapped around it.

Right... I got stabbed.

"Isamu?"

I slowly turned my head to the voice.

And there she was, the once mature cool girl that would sparkle pratically in broad daylight, now looking at me with a contorted expression.

...A "contorted" expression? But why?

"...Chiaki... I'm glad.... you're fine..."

I tried to put strength and depth into my voice, but all that came out was a weak pathetic excuse of a boy's voice, like the whimpering of a wolf cub injured and asking for help from its mother.

"..."

Chiaki continued to stare at me, her cheeks and eyelids stained wine red, before tilting her head downards, as she started to grit her teeth and bite her lips, to the point that I could see blood forming. Her eyes were visibly trembling, as her arms and hands quivered as she clamped my right hand in between.

"...What's wrong.... Chiak-"

"Who the fuck told you to do this for me?"

Chiaki suddenly snapped at me. She was now glaring, burning a deep dark hole inside my retinas, as she continued to squeeze my right hand.

"..."

My heart immediately sank. I thought the first thing I would wake up to was the happy celebration for my livelihood, yet-

"Listen to your own words that you spouted, Isamu. Did you even ask me what I wanted? No. You didn't."

My eyes widened. The feeling of burning anger started to flare up from within me. I just saved her, and the first thing she says to my face was this?

"...What...is....your...fucking....problem...?"

This time she wrung my hand tighter than ever, enough so that it started to hurt.

"What? What is "my" problem? Isamu. I never asked you to get hurt. I never asked you to die for me. I never asked you to lose your life just because of me."

"...Huh....?"

"So, WHY!? Are you trying to make me lose my mind!? Do you understand how it feels to see a person you care about lying in a pool of blood in your arms!?"

"..."

I jolted. Her words thrusted at me, as it pierced my heart. The scorching pain of her words hammered away on me.

"Do you understand, how it feels to sit there, forced to watch you suffer, unable to do anything!? The feeling of helplessness each time I punched in the ambulance's number!?"

"...I...don't...know..."

"Isamu... Your body was so cold that day... Your eyelids were open, and your pupils, they were so muddy and dull... you laid in my arms, limp...."

Her body continued to quaver, as the tears started to come out once again.

".....I'm.....sorry....."

"Sorry doesn't cut it!!! You could of easily prevented this by just calling the police or teachers, but no- You just had to risk your life for absolutely no reason- and for WHAT!?"

"...I...was...just...trying...to...save...you..."

"It has no fucking meaning to me, if you lose your life in the process!!! Are you always this reckless? Do you want to kill me with your stupidity and selfish acts!?"

"I....."

(...Was I always this reckless?)

(No. I never moved without thinking.)

(So... why?)

"If you died, I would of ended myself, chased after you in the afterlife and killed you with my own hands..."

"..."

"No, I was happy when you fought for me, but- No! That's not it! Don't you get it? The feeling of pain each time more cuts appeared on your body? No, that isn't what I wanted to say- FUCK!!! I don't know!!! My mind's in a fucking mess, I don't know what the right thing is to say, I don't know what to do, and I don't know how to convey my feelings to you!!!"

She rubbed the right side of her head and eyes, clearing the debris and moist tears that had accumulated on her eyelids. Her expression was warped. It was a combination of sadness, frustration, anger, happiness; a jumbled mess of emotions in a ceramic pot.

I couldn't take my eyes of her whimpering figure. It continued to drive the stake deeper and deeper into my heart, as I felt it clawing harsher on my conscientious. 

Chiaki weeped, in small and large hics and breathes, as she stammered, "...So, please..... Hic... Isamu... Don't you dare.... do this ever again.... okay?"

All I could muster, was a weak voice.

"...Okay..."

She finally let go of my right hand, as she wrapped her arms around my neck, as she continued to sob in my chest, muffled from the outside world. 

Her warmth enveloped me, as I drifted off to sleep, once again.

-----

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