A single room on the top floor of a certain hospital. A weak looking girl lies in a bed surrounded by monitors and medical instruments.
Her name is Amemiya Saya.
If she were to go to school, she would be in high school next year.
“…….Yuya, thank you for staying by my side all this time.”
“Ah…hey, don’t talk like this is the end, that’s bad luck.”
I sit down in a chair beside Saya’s bed and poke her cheek; I brushed the hair away from her face. It seemed to tickle Saya and she accepted it.
“I really appreciate it, nii-san coming to visit me everyday, it makes me very happy.”
“That’s because you’re family, isn’t this much natural?”
Our parents died long ago, and since then it has always been just the two of us. When I learned that Saya was afflicted with the same illness as our parents I promised her I would stay by her side until the end.
I honestly wanted to stay by her, so I’ve never felt as if she was a burden.
“I know this isn’t good … … I know that I don’t have much time left, so I’ve abused the kindness of my brother … I knew I’d become a burden to nii-san…”
I couldn’t express the emotions I felt at hearing Saya’s words.
“What…What are you talking about? How could I think of you as a burden?”
“You are kind, but I know, nii-san would have graduated next year, but you quit high school. Is it not because you want to spend as much time together as possible?”
It is true that I quit school, but there are other reasons that Saya doesn’t know about. But……I can’t possibly tell her the real reason.
“It has been just the two of us for so long, I can tell when you’re hiding something, nii-san recently seems to be exhausted, also the number of times you sigh has increased, did you think I wouldn’t notice?”
“Well, it may have seemed like that recently, but it is not because it is a burden to look after you.”
“If that’s true, what is the reason?”
I knew if I didn’t say the real reason here it would be as good as acknowledging Saya’s concerns. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to say the reason. It was a secret that I did not want to talk about.
Even without speaking, Saya will immediately understand. I thought it would be better to clear up this misunderstanding later.
I fall silent as Saya looks at me forcing a weak smile.
“Nii-san sorry for causing you so much trouble…However, this is finally the end…Therefore live for yourself from now on ……”
“…….Saya? Hey, Saya?”
I thought Saya’s appearance looked strange so I panicked and turned my eyes to the bedside monitor. I couldn’t understand the numbers shown on the screen. However–
“… … Is the alarm being cancelled?”
I furrowed my brow at the messages displayed on the monitor.
“I told the doctor to cancel it … I wanted to …. I wanted to quietly spend my final moments with nii-san…this is our last good-bye…”
I understand her meaning, in a panic, I stretch my fingers to touch the alarm setting on the monitor. The moment I set the alarm back to its original state, it played a warning sound that filled me with anxiety.
“……for me please, live freely…….become……happy……”
After her final words Saya fell into an eternal sleep. She misunderstood that she was a burden to me until the end – leaving me with only her wish that I would never be able to grant.
Then, one week passed. I finished Saya’s funeral and sorted out everything else. I was returning to the hospital room where Saya was hospitalized the other day. This time it is not a visit, now I will be hospitalized.
–Yes, I am now hospitalized.
The illness that my parents had suffered from was a genetic disease. When I had gone to visit Saya, I had myself checked out just in case, I then learned the fact that I have the same symptoms as Saya.
There is no known treatment method for this unknown disease. However, I would live longer than Saya whose symptoms kept getting worse. I knew this, that’s why I kept it a secret from Saya.
I didn’t want to cause anymore suffering for Saya before she died.
However, as a result, Saya died while believing she had been a strain on me.
If it were possible, I would like to go back to that day and tell Saya the truth.
I was trying so hard, because I was suffering from the same illness as you, I never once considered you a burden.
But now that is lost forever. No matter how much I desire it, I can never go back to that moment.
Instead of regretting the past I thought of what I could do for my current self. I remembered Saya’s words right at the end, a small wish. I think I want to make her wish come true.
“……for me please, live freely…….become……happy……”
As I lie on the bed, I look out through the same window that Saya had once looked through. The streets spreading across the large windows look just like a boxed garden. This is the only world I can see for now.
This world is too small to live freely and grab my happiness.
“……In the first place, Saya is no longer here”
I lived with my parents when I was young, since then I had lived with Saya.
The insurance money my parents left behind meant I did not have to worry about living expenses, but life with just two little children was a lot of hard work. Saya was like my other half, so it’s impossible for me to be happy without Saya.
So – I made a decision.
I decided to lie.
I would gather various amounts of knowledge with the remaining time I had and make it appear as if I had experienced it. Then if I ever met Saya in the next life, I would lie to her that I was able to live freely and become happy.
It was a poor plan from the start. But at the time I had no other choice-
I spent the last year in my hospital room just collecting knowledge.