I was shocked to see my high school senpai in the hospital corridor. For a second, he held the same expression as mine on his face. As he regained his composure, he continued to go on his way, as I wasn’t there. I do not know what I felt at that moment. There is no anger or hatred. Frustration, maybe. I have had liked my senpai for such a long time. I admit I felt quite frustrated when he acted as if we were total strangers. From that day, we had started a routine to run into each other way, going the opposite direction at the same corridor almost everyday.
She was like a big sister that I never had. Living away from family make me longed for someone to cling for. She was the reason I went to the hospital during my lunch hour. She always complained about how I look paler than she does. Even in her worst day, she still looks beautiful and lively, as she was not sick. She often jokes that if we change places the doctor may not notice it.
When she was discharged from the hospital, she asked me out on a dinner to celebrate. I was excited. It had been a long time since we had decent dinner together. As I was about to enter the restaurant, I saw her with senpai. They seemed to get along very well. He was laughing. The first time I had seen since a long time ago. Are they seeing each other? Why there was not even a pinch of jealousy when I saw the both of them together? Am I really over him? What if I do not want to? I picked up my phone and told her I had to do a rain check. Later that night, he called me for the very first time.Her condition had worsened.
When she told me about him during my frequent visits, I could see her eyes sparkle. I was relieved to know that they are not in any kind of relationship other than a doctor-patient relation. But it was obvious that she loved him. The way she talked about him, the way she looked at him when we bumped into him, the way she smiled when he greeted her and as usual he ignore my existence, the way she laughed at his jokes, the same jokes that I used to tell him. She was totally immersed into him. Like I used to be.
I was in a room full with books on the highest floor of an abandon building. This place held many memories of senpai and me. We used to hang a lot at this place and he was always teasing me for getting carried over by a simple novel. This place used to be so special. I really missed those times. I missed his jokes. I missed the way he looks at me. I missed his loop-sided grin. But most of all, I missed the senpai that I used to know not the senpai that I bump into almost everyday.
Suddenly, there he was, at the door, with anger in his face, demanding the reason I came back to this place. I was too surprised to answer. Shouldn’t he be at the hospital right now? Her operation was going to start in less than an hour. As I opened my mouth to ask him, I felt the floor below me start collapsing. Senpai was still at the door looking at me with blank expression. We stare at each other for a while before the gravity pulled me down. I try to find something, anything to hold on. Senpai was still standing there motionless watching as I fall. I try to reach for him but he was to far away and he make no effort to move. The last word that I muttered was
I do not know how long I had wandered around the busy city. People were so busy rustling around, they hardly even noticed anyone but themselves. I try my best to follow their fast pace but a newsstand caught my attention. I reached for the newspaper, ignoring the look the owner of the newsstand gave to me. It was a picture of me, my pale body lying there between the ruined walls of the collapsed building. I was wearing the same sleeveless and black skirt I’m wearing now. He didn’t even try to save me. He just watched and let me die. He just watched me die. Watch me die. Don’t even try to save me. Watch me die. Watch me die. Watch me die. Then he probably went to the hospital to save her life. My heart ache even worse at that thought. Am I better off dead to him? And that expressionless look on his face, it just hurt me more. Hatred. I wish I can hate him. I was at the edge of crying when a familiar word formed at my lips,
I smile at the scene in front of me. The lake was as beautiful as it was before. The last time I came to this high school was seven years ago. I turn around when she tapped my shoulder. The smile on my face widen when I saw her eyes darting all around the place.
“This was his school?”
I nodded slowly leading her way to tour her around the school. I always wondered why she adores him. And it was clear when one day she told me during one of our girl’s night. When she was diagnosed with the sickness that runs in her family, her world went black. All the doctors seem to give up and she already feel like dying. However, when he was posted at the hospital, he gave her hope. He tried his best to cure her and he almost succeed. Her health started to improve. Even though it took a long time, she can feel nothing but grateful. To her, he was a savior. Her savior. He tried his best to save all of his patients including her. But he just watched me die. I smiled bitterly at that thought.
As I glanced at the school for the last time, I wondered if my feelings were one-sided all along. That day was the same as any other day we see each other. When his face starts to lean close to mine, I was startled. My feelings were undefined. Confused? Yes. Surprised? Yes. Sad? No. Happy? Happy? No. Definitely no. When he leaned on closer and the tip of our nose almost touch with each other, I backed away as far as I can from him and look the other way around. Pretending nothing happened. I heard him muttered a ‘sorry’ under his breath. I usually ignore the fact that he accidentally touch my hand or accidentally brushed my face and even when he accidentally pulled me close to him. He was the only male that I opened myself to. Probably because I liked him. He was special. But no matter how special he was, it was definitely wrong. If he were any other person, I would have already slapped him.
We went through the rest of the day as nothing had happened. He laughed at my lame jokes and I pouted when he started teasing me. As usual as any other day we went out since we can no longer see each other as both of us had entered different college. That was the last day I ever met him. The latest news I heard a month later after our last meeting, he had gone steady with a college mate. After hearing the news, I know I had made the right decision. Come to think of it, my feelings were definitely one-sided all along.
I hugged her for the last time, knowing that we may not have the chance to see each other. She gave me a peck on the cheek. That is how we parted. However, before long, I heard she shouted my name. I looked back and saw her drifting away.
“I know I shouldn’t have told you this, but don’t you know why he never made it to the hospital?” She shouted at me.
I look at her, trying to understand what she about to say.
“They found a body not far from yours.” She paused.
A body. Could it be?
“There’s a picture of you in his wallet”