“Wait! Ryuuko!!” Asumi called out, finally catching up to me as we struggle to catch our breath.
“What is happening with you?”
I threw myself on to her chest and cried.
“Asumi, I don’t know what is going on! I can’t remember anything and I’m seeing weird imagery and… and…” I sobbed as the tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes.
“There, there. It’s going to be okay.” She said as she gently embraced me.
“Here, I’ve got you that cherry drink you like so much.”
She handed me a can of juice and sat down beside me.
“How are you feeling?”
I did not respond. Slowly, I took a sip of the juice. Its sugary, tangy taste bubbled in my mouth and smoothly went down my throat. I was finally able to calm down, just a little. We both sat in silence as we watched the setting sun slowly disappear beneath the horizons.
“You said,” Asumi’s voice finally broke the silence, “You don’t remember anything?”
I stared at my can of juice.
“Then does that mean… you don’t remember anything about me as well?” There was a hint of sadness in her voice. I could see her hands were slightly trembling, as if she was afraid of hearing my answer.
“Yoshiteru Asumi, age 16. Your hobby is kendo, you love old fashion horror stories, hate green bean and a sadist who enjoys picking on me because you think seeing me embarrassed is cute.”
“Wha-that… that’s not true.”
I looked her in the eye and smirked.
“Okay, maybe a little.”
“You also have a mark on your right shoulder from when we were kids you tried to climb a tree and fell. Your 3 sizes are-“
“Stop! Stop! I get it, you remember me!” she interjected, her face flustered.
I smiled as memories of our time together flowed through my head. I didn’t forget anything about her.
“We’ve also been best friends since elementary school.”
Asumi gave a sigh of relief as she rests her head on my shoulder.
“I’m glad you didn’t forget about me.”
We continue to sit in silence. The sounds of birds crying could be heard overhead as they flew away to roost. A gentle breeze blew through our ears as in a distance we could hear noises from the other clubs taking place. The excited shouting of the baseball club, and the far away sounds of practice from the school band as it went from noise to music. Everything felt so calm and peaceful.
“But it’s still strange. Why can’t I remember anything about the literature club if I’ve been there for a year? And who were those two weirdos? Asumi, are you positive you didn’t see them? How can that be?” I pondered.
“I didn’t see anyone. All I saw was you yelling at nothing. I’m sorry but, I was worried if you had suddenly gone crazy.”
“Well I’m not! I swear!” I firmly protested.
“O-okay. I believe you.”
I let out a sigh.
“It doesn’t make any sense.”
“What did they look like? Those people you said you saw? What did they say to you?”
“Umm… they were students like us. One was a scary looking senior and the other was a second year, I think. They said something about a research club and kept saying strange words like “Artificial”, “control” and “infected” and a bunch of other nonsense.”
“Artificial? Is that English?”
“I think so? I had no idea what they were saying. Hey, you don’t think I was hallucinating, do you?”
“Hmm…let me see.” She pressed her forehead against mine, trying to take my temperature.
“You don’t seem to have a fever. Maybe you were just delirious from a lack of sleep?”
“Do… do you think so?” I asked nervously.
“Well, I did warn you that sleeping late will cause you problem. Maybe from now on, you’ll listen to me and get a proper good night sleep.” She smiled mischievously.
“Haa…You’re right. The lack of sleep must be getting to me. Lesson learnt.” I giggled as I got up and tossed the empty can into a recycle bin. “I’ll go home and sleep early tonight.”
“Do you want me to walk you home?”
“I’ve taken enough of your time. I’ll be fine.”
“You promise? Cause I am still worried about you.”
“Yes, I promise. I’ll be okay.”
She got up and prepared to leave.
“Well, if you say so. Then I’m going to club. I’ll see you tomorrow. Make sure you call me if anything happens, understand?”
She waved to me as she left for her club.
“See you tomorrow! Good luck with club.” I waved back as I watch her walked away.
I let out a sigh of relief.
“There’s no way any of that was a hallucination.” I mumbled to myself. Something strange is going on and I can feel it.
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