It’s regret. The feeling of regret is so strong it suffocates me. It’s pain. The feeling of pain is enough to eat me whole. It’s love. The feeling of loving you has taken up my whole being that when you left, I didn’t know what to feel anymore.
Technically it’s been about a month, but for me it seems like it was just yesterday. The time has been going incredibly slow or more like it has stopped. I don’t know what I should do to get over you. I don’t think I can be happy again. You were the source of my smiles, but now you’re gone. Who is going to be there for me when I’m sad? Who is going to hold me when I’m lonely? Who is going to love me unconditionally?
The one thing I regret the most was me not telling you I loved you. If only I knew time would run out for you, I would’ve told you. But I was scared; scared of you rejecting me, scared of our friendship breaking, scared of you leaving, but you ended up leaving me anyways.
Tell me, who did you think of while you were breathing your last breath? Was it me? I always suspected that you might’ve loved me too, but maybe we were both afraid of crossing that invisible line. I know I should’ve gone with you that day to go eat ramen, but I was too stubborn and wanted to finish a game. Maybe I could’ve prevented the accident, maybe I could’ve pushed you out of the way, maybe we could’ve gone somewhere else. I was stupid, so so stupid. Now I’ve lost my best friend to a drunk driver that had to cross that red light and hit you. God, Satoshi, do you know how much I miss you? Do you know how much I’m hurting? If only I could go back and tell you how much I loved you. If only I could have done everything I’ve wanted to since I’ve figured out my feelings for you. If only we could’ve lived a blissful life together. If only, if only I could go back in time. Tonight would be the same as any night; crying myself to sleep while thinking of you.
I wake up with swollen, red rimmed eyes. I sigh, maybe Satoshi dying was a dream, a horrible horrible dream. But it wasn’t, it was real. I get out of bed and get ready for work. Like always, the routine of everyday is the same since you have gone; going around like a zombie. But recently, I have been walking a different route; I go through the route that passes the beach you always loved. The reason I go? Maybe it’s to have hope; maybe to see you there once again. I take the key and stuff it into my pocket and close the door to my apartment.
Today, the sky and sun is shining and the air feels different. It feels warm and full, like when you used to be here. When you were here, the sun would always engulf me and make everything bright and warm, or maybe it was just you that made me feel that way. For some reason, I don’t feel the usual sadness and my body feels light. I like the feeling and I wish it would stay forever, it’s like you’re back. But I know that couldn’t be true, you died a month ago. I reach the beach and I see a tanned figure facing the water, sitting down on the sand. I freeze. What? No, it can’t be. I rub my eyes harshly, thinking that my vision was playing tricks on me. But the figure in front of the water didn’t go away. Before I even knew it, my feet are running.
I stop just behind you and I’m panting. The “Satoshi” like person turned around and I gasp. He looks just like Satoshi.
“Yes?” He says.
“Sa—Satoshi?” I say; holding my breath. He blinks slowly and cocks his head to the side, that’s what he does when he’s confused, and nods.
“Yeah, I am. But how do you know my name?” He asks with a confused but oh so cute expression.
“You, you don’t know me?” I ask heartbroken. I must be dreaming. This is impossible; he can’t be in front of me right now.
“No, I’m sorry, but you seem like a nice person.” He smiles, that smile, the one that always makes my heart skip a beat, and sticks his hand out for a handshake. I take it, and it feels so familiar.
“Ohno Satoshi,” he says while moving our hands up and down. My mind still can’t seem to function and I nod fervently. He giggles, and I realize how much I’ve missed the sound. I can’t help but pull him closer and engulf him in a hug. The feelings of being in Satoshi’s arms overwhelm me and I’m crying.
“If this is a dream, I really hope it never ends. I really don’t care if this is some alternate universe that you don’t know me. But I’m glad that you’re here again. I really am Satoshi. I’ve missed you so much. Never leave me again.” I say. He probably didn’t hear me since my mouth is muffled by his shoulder and I’m holding onto him so hard it must be hard for him to breathe, but I couldn’t really care at this moment. Just having a breathing and alive Satoshi in my arms right now is enough for me to die happy. I’m expecting for my alarm clock to ring any second now to wake me up and bring me back to the harsh reality of Satoshi being dead, but it doesn’t happen.
Instead, Satoshi speaks, “Um, I guess this is your way of saying hi? It’s cute and all, but you’re kind of suffocating me.” I pull away unwillingly.
“Sorry.” I end up saying; and I feel my cheeks start getting warm, dammit, I must be blushing right now.
“It’s okay, you’re cute, but aren’t you going to introduce yourself?” He smiles that heart pounding smile again.
“Ninomiya Kazunari, but you can call me Nino.” I smile back, his is too contagious.
“Well Nino, it’s nice to meet you. But I must be getting back now; I have to get to work soon.” He says.
At the mention of work, I quickly take out my cellphone to make sure I’m not late. But what gets me flustered is not the time, but the date. It’s July 19th, a month before Satoshi’s accident. I gasp and think back to last night. No, it couldn’t be. I actually went back in time?! But wait, what does this mean? Satoshi is actually the real Satoshi and he hasn’t died yet? He also doesn’t know me. So does that mean, I have a chance to change things? That must be it! The gods, or the universe or whatever it is, is giving me a second chance! Getting lost in my thoughts, I didn’t know he was already walking away.
“Wait!” I call out.
He turns around and says, “Yes?”
“Can I get your number and um, can we meet again?” I ask with my heart beating rapidly, what if this Satoshi is different.
“Sure.” He walks closer and I meet him half way. “I’ll think we’ll be great friends Nino.” He then turns around and I’m left with a tingling feeling. Of course he would be the same. It’s not like he’s a different person. The only thing that changed is the time went back.
Even though Satoshi doesn’t know me, it’s okay. What I did know was that, we can be acquainted again; we could be just like we were before he died, and that there’s all the time in the world now. I smile and I go to work with a goofy grin. What I didn’t know was that there were two people who watched the whole meeting from the beginning and now following me as I skip with light feet to work.