Perhaps it wasn’t the first time, but still…
It hurt no less.
A certain spiky-haired boy had been so carefree. And yet, when he had intervened when she was surrounded by delinquents..
It was not the outcome, but the intentions behind it. Of course she could handle herself, of course it was just another ordinary night for the Railgun. And he might not have been risking his life, but his unusual behavior caught her by surprise all the same.
Maybe, just hoping against hope, Mikoto had gotten his number. To be more accurate, his number had mysteriously ended up on her phone. And initial conversations had been frustrating, yet enjoyable.
Frustrating, because she had felt anticipation for an unknown reason…
(…what exactly am I doing?..)
This feeling of anticipation was hard to shake, as she nervously typed her request.
The reply was favorable. And though it was hard to explain why, there was…the feeling of a small smile..
Somewhere lower than where smiles usually appeared, around the left area of one’s chest.
She tossed the phone on her table, and went to sleep. Whatever it was, one could wait until tomorrow.
(let’s let it spread…)
The next day saw a sleepy Mikoto rise. Sleep does not quickly come to those who feel a certain feeling within their hearts – Mikoto was no stranger to this.
Yet mixed within these feelings of anticipation were anxiety and worry, tinged with a sense of insecurity. There had been a slight buoyancy though, and it was on this..unstable, turbulent, but hopeful grounds, that she tried to take it further.
It was raining outside. A heavy storm, washing the streets of Academy City clean. The weather forecast had predicted this, but even she was surprised at how torrential it was.
She glanced back towards her phone.
No reply. This delay was unusual, but he had definitely read her message. Maybe he needed some time to confirm with others…
(…It’s been a busy day today, and Kuroko’s not back yet…I should really change out of these into sleepwear.)
(A shower…that would be good…)
(…why’s my heart so loud all of a sudden..?)
If it had not been for the sturdy bed, the patrolling Dorm Supervisor might have heard a loud crash as a certain girl dived for her phone.
Mikoto had other things to worry about, however. The small hope had faded, and was in danger of being extinguished…
(a wa-walk, that’s….that’s the- I should, I should take a walk…)
Out on the road, a driver was heading home. A curious sight…he could’ve sworn there had been a drenched schoolgirl walking on the other side of the road…
(In this torrential rain? She must have forgotten her umbrell-Oh sh*&, what’s with the brakes now…?)
One should have been…maybe, a bit more guarded. And in being unguarded…
(I guess…this is…)
Feelings are strange. Of course, maybe when one enjoys a conversation and they meet someone new, they could find them interesting.
And in the process, maybe one puts a bit of hope, hoping against all hope, that things may be in their favour. There could be a certain reality that one might have imagined to exist, but without confirmation…
(Why did I do this…?)
Maybe there was a reason in not wanting to confirm things. Maybe there was a reason, but one would have done so all the same, for fear of seeing their fears unveiled…
(this is…I guess…)
And the hardest part was holding it together..
How often did one know they were lying? Or was it not a lie if they felt that things were ‘fine’ or ‘alright’…even if it was not how they completely felt? Was there an arbitrary threshold for one to feel that things were fine, and for them to say it, or could one say it with mixed feelings…?
…and even if they did so, would the other person understand how they were feeling? Or did they want the other person to understand how they said they felt, or how they really felt?
Tears did not flow. But their absence was not indicative of an unbroken, unwounded heart. Rather, it was the other extreme – when one was not sure how to react aside from struggling to keep things together, and put up a front…
Still, the shambling of a certain girl continued. Maybe it was a proxy by which the skies were crying, but that would not have solved, nor healed, anything.
Biting cold, shallow breaths, and a heavy step. Full of nebulous thoughts, and yet a thoughtless girl walked. Swirling multitudes of emotions, yet not one she could pin down and examine thoroughly.
Perhaps the lack of desire to do so was, in itself, an emotion.
As she wandered listlessly, an observer might have noticed that she had began walking on the road. A concerned observer might have shouted warnings at her as a truck lit her soaked uniform.
A certain spiky-haired boy would have ran up to her and sheltered her as he led her to the sidewalk. And been with her as grief was poured out in tears.
Alas though, the solution had also unknowingly been the problem.
Somewhere out there, a certain girl’s heart wept. Not out of bitterness, not out of self-pity. And maybe there was no tear-streaked face.
But there definitely was, in its place, a tear-streaked heart.