Ushi/Asahi is literally the best and I'm sad I'm only just now realizing it, thank you for opening up my eyes wowwww
YES! @tanerdka brought it to my attention and i’ve never been the same tbh they’d be so cute and so pure and probably be one of those couples who buy each other little things because they were out and ‘it reminded me of you’
Which he finds funny because the drowning feels like burning – a deep-seated heat that
claws at his lungs, clambers for a scream. One would never think that
surrounded by so much water, you’d feel like your body was on fire.
Either way, this ravenous, ruthless,
starving feeling is drowning all the same: a helpless, hopeless, inescapable
inundation that blotted out your existence in a deceptively serene sort of way.
Struggling only made it worse - fueled the panic, increased the pain. And so
he’s learned to accept it as best he can – letting himself be peacefully swept
along in the cycling deluge of Time that continued to pour into itself, over
and over again. Going with the flow, right?
It must have been a thousand times.
Waking up in that bed to the sound
of birds chirping and his mother’s muffled voice behind the white wooden door.
A thousand times.
Putting on a jacket that he would
never grow out of – the shirt and pants and shoes, too.
A thousand times.
Walking down the road on a morning
that smelled of fresh-cut grass and tasted like spring.
A thousand times.
The charm should have worn off by now - magic is only magic when you haven’t figured out the trick. He’s far from solving the mystery (if there is anything to be solved), but at least by now he has a vague idea of what is going on. But he finds himself breathless each time.
It plays out like a scene from a
movie, each frame painfully slow and every detail of her magnified with almost overwhelming
clarity: the fluttering of her lashes; the strand of hair that’s made its way
out from her usual tidy arrangement; her mouth opening, then closing, opening
again; the quiet confusion in her eyes.
At first the question had been, “Why don’t you recognize me?’
Eventually, it became, “How will you recognize me?”
Because he could hardly recognize himself anymore. The face in the mirror was familiar, but Time was relentless, and even in surrendering to its flow, he could feel the inside of him being gradually worn down, smoothed into nothing.
If a person was the sum of their
choices, then who was he - a person who had made every possible choice? He’d exhausted all the options, and now he was left wondering which choices had really been his own.
He’d tried everything, after all: confessing outright, approaching casually, coaxing desperately. At one point he’d even tried completely ignoring her, to see what might come of it.
But it never lasts long. Because
one look at her face and whatever remains of that disintegrating self in him trembles, and when he opens his
mouth to speak it always turns out to be the things he never intended to say, that she never wanted to hear, that never, ever
seem to work.
It all ends the same.
(Or, should he say, begins the same?)
Waking up in the bed to the sound of birds chirping and his mother’s muffled voice behind the white wooden door, wearing the jacket and shirt and pants and shoes that he’ll never grow out of, walking down the road that smells like fresh-cut grass and tastes like spring, a thousand times a thousand times a thousand-
And the scene - put on pause, rewound- begins to play again: her lashes and lips and the strand of hair let loose from the rest, and when he catches the color of her eyes, he knows – he will never breathe again.