She – “Rose” I smiled now knowing her name. Stood before me just like every night, every day on this endless repeat. Each day that had passed since we spoke she’d faded from the background and now I was noticing everything about her.
The way she walked onto the station. One step at a time. How her hair danced through the air as she walked, each strand of hair a perfect shade of white.
Some days we would just stand and stare at each other, cursed to repeat it again. Yet, it didn’t feel like a curse. More, it was like a blessing. The train would speed past and we would still be locked in each other’s gaze until we would blind and we would restart. Or, one of us would smile or try to say something. It was a restart we were willing to endure.
God, she was perfect. I blushed as she walked onto the station. Though we had to follow the script perfectly, I would glance up just for a moment. Was she blushing too? Was she staring? Why did these thoughts cross my mind? I groaned to myself “why was I being so uncool?” I placed my hand over the cuts “was I sure –“ I glanced down seeing some of the blood start to stain through my clothes. These second guesses started to arise since she began asking more questions about me.
It started out pretty easy. “What’s your favorite color?”
Her favorite was white and mine was red. She later made a comment about together the colors made pink and how she thought pink was such a cute color. Was that a sign she thought I was cute? Should have made it black! Black is a cool color.
Then she asked if I liked to read. I did like to read but replying with “manga” only made her laugh and reply with “that’s cute! Boys like manga.” Then ask “what manga do you like?”
I thought manga was cool, but it made her say cute again. Was I friend zoning myself? Was I even trying to get out of the friend zone? Was I trying to be cool?
I didn’t know any manga. So I avoided going to the station at any cost till I could scrap my brain and find a manga. Come on, it’s Japan it’s anime and manga everywhere, right?
After hours I finally found one “Two Piece” that manga about pirates. But she replied with “I think you got the name wrong.”
I spent the next day screaming and restarting the day. And since then, I’ve been afraid of looking like a fool in front of her. Or, God forbid looking cute.
Rose watched me eagerly. And I could feel the fire spreading from my cheeks to all over my body. I suddenly became so aware that she was seeing my body. Did I have abs? Was I smooth? Did I have a tan or was I white as her hair? Did she like them scrawny or muscular?
“Calm down. You’re cool.” I told myself. “Don’t let her see you get in your own head.” I could feel the warmth of my blood starting to ooze down to my waist. Was getting this embarrassed causing me to bleed more? I hated all these questions. She was watching me like a hawk as the train was entering the station.
I raised up my shirt before I could question any more illogical things.
“Me too.” She whispered as I felt the warmth of our bodies exploding from the heat of the train. I closed my eyes and opened them to be back in the classroom with her piece of paper in my pocket. Maybe, things were changing and she would think I was cool. I lifted my head, knowing I would have stepped off script and be restarting my day.
". . ." I froze in horror. All their eyes were on me. Staring at me. Unblinking and cold.
Their darkened eyes transfixed on me, mouths wide, and tongues hanging out. Panic surged through my body as the bile began to rise.
“It should have ended that night.”
“That night in December.”
“On that platform.”
“Under that starry sky.”
“Bathed in the moonlight.”
“It was the perfect night.” “It was a perfect night.”
December, 17th. 23:19
I’ve never ran so fast in my life. I sprinted for the train station, holding my breath with every step. It was a beautiful night. A perfect night. The streets were quiet, the moonlight poured down from a star-filled sky, and despite being in winter the air felt like fall. Months of planning had lead me up to this moment, the perfect moment for an award-winning end to the tragedy that was my life. I, Rose Lovell was ready to finally let go and be free. Until I saw him.
My life never meant much. Not to myself or anyone else. How could anyone love an abomination like me? I found myself walking these empty streets with nothing but an empty stomach, bags on my back and under my eyes, and a foreign coin I flipped into the air. The night was perfect. The moon hung above, full and bright, engulfed in a sea of white speckles. I hadn’t planned for it to happen tonight but something pulled me into that station, to those tracks, and to that girl with the snow white hair. I, Suzuki Ki finally had a reason to live – or to die.
Blood sealed their bond, destiny had written their fate, and love had finally brought them back together just as everything went black.
On the night of December, 17th two people from two different walks of life decided it was time to die. They both walked to the same station, got on opposite sides of the platform and jumped together as the train raced to the station.
However, neither died that night. But woke up, cursed to relive that same horrid day over and over again?
Art by: 「宮沢寿平 ＃２８９４０」
(Artist retains all rights to cover art. And agreed to its use on this project.)