The gloaming's sun bathes the corridor with scarlet light. My chest is pounding, my head's about to split in two, and my legs are screaming for rest. But I can't, not yet, not till I find her. She has to be there. Please don't be too late. I'll give anything. I always gave up the stuff I wanted, but this I'm not budging on. Please, I want to be with her!

She's always been the one person who's ever made me truly happy. Her contagious smile, her kind personality, her slight air headed nature, everything about her. I love everything about her! I don't want to be just friends anymore! I can't just be friends anymore! It hurts too much.

My legs give way and I stumble face first to the floor. Heaving, I pull myself back together, stand once again on the shaky legs due to collapse at any moment.

"NO! Don't give up! Not yet!"

I brush the black bangs out of my eyes and rush to the Service club's room in the old building.

…..

Finally! I see it: The door at the end of the hall. It's slightly ajar and I can hear voices inside so I creep to the opening. Oh god, please, no.

"I love you! Please go out with me!" Of the two figures the black haired one bows. I can see their hands trembling and the face flushed red, redder than the horizon, redder than the blood drawn from my clenched fist.

"Eh? Um…" The peach haired one begins. Her face just as crimson as the human L's bending before her.

"If it's okay with you,"

No, god please no. Please, no, no ,no. The corners of my eyes are welling with moisture.

"Please take care of me" She smiles.

It's radiant, it's beautiful, it's directed at someone else. The smile that always saved me is now casting an inescapable shadow on me. I can only stare in horror and regret, my mouth open like a dead fish.

I was too late. I unclench my fist and draw my hand to my heart. The pain only grows as I silently stalk away.

It always ends like this. I can never say what I truly want. How many opportunities did I squander? How many times have I lost something only because I was too craven to take any action until I was on the verge? Hold backs the tears and regret, bottle it up and cram it down. You're an adult now. Congratulations on graduating you indecisive garba-

"Oi!" I turn around and see it's Hiratsuka Shizuka who interrupted my thoughts. Her eyes widen in surprise, " What's wrong?"

Inhaling deeply, " Nothing at all sensei, I was just leavi-" Her hand grasps my shoulder.

" Come with me." She turns around and I trail behind her. Each step plodded along heavier than the last, trudging forward like the condemned to the guillotine. At long last we reach her office and take seats on opposing couches. Seeing as there is no one else there she pulls out a cigarette and a lighter from her lab coat.

Lighting it, she takes a few whiffs and starts, " You know, life is full of the expected and unexpected. Happiness and sadness, they're mere centimeters away from each other. That's why people have to keep moving forward. If not -"

" Like there's any choice Sensei. Regardless of what happens, time keeps moving forward so please stop giving me this spiel about working through my emotions towards a happier tomorrow." I smile a smile worthy of a monster of hidden desire I know so well.

I hate the idea of moving forward. It's an illusion. It doesn't matter how hard people struggle, time will just keep flowing. That is why regret is so cruel, it can't be addressed, it can't be made up for. All one can do is wallow in it until they forget. Willfully or not it doesn't mean that "moving forward" is the most genuine option to oneself. The true meaning of moving forward is just becoming apathetic and killing part of your past. It's rejecting a part of you: your feelings, your thoughts, your very existence in a particular frame in time. They do not matter. I hate mov-

"Ow!"

"That's not what I was going to say you shitty brat. Suffer through this, weather the storm. Lash out, lash in. Do everything you can to work through this. Also, If you interrupt me again I'm gonna Falcon Punch your face across the room instead of a giving you a light chop."

"Anything but that please." I smile though the pain holding my head in my hands. A giggle echoes through the outside hall and I feel something moistened and heavy flow down my cheeks.

"I really do love you Yuigahama-san"

The sound of a small pout," I told you it's just Yui. Say it with me. Yui. Yui. Come on say it!"

"Y-Y-Yui. I love you, Yui."

"You're so adorable Yukinon! I love you too!"

I could hear their footsteps carry themselves further and further away until all that remained was a tense quiet. All of a sudden my head is pulled into a face to abdomen embrace with Hiratsuka.

"When you're happy, smile. When you're angry, hit something. When you're sad, cry. You may have just graduated but I have one last lesson for you. It's okay to cry when you're sad. Adults are humans too.

The dam broke. I wailed. I choked. I cried and moaned.

"It hurts! It hurts! Why? Why? Why? I love her so I'm supposed to be happy for them s-s-s-so why is there just frustration!? I hate this ! I hate this! I hate loving her! Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!"

The sun had set, and the stars glittered in the sky, dancing around the luminous moon. Who knows how long I kept wailing? Just enough for the well of tears in my eyes to grow empty, arid, and dry.

"I'm sorry for my outburst Hiratsuka-san."

She stroked my hair gently, gingerly, like a mother comforted a child.

"It's Hiratsuka-sensei shitty brat.

I crack a toothy grin,

"I already graduated."

"Lesson's not over. You're definitely going to feel even worse in the future, so even if it's unsightly, lean on someone. It could be a stranger, a friend, family, a teacher. Just find someone to lean on. A burden isn't as heavy divided in two. That's why relationships are so precious to people. They ease suffering, so even if it just sounds like self-satisfaction, like you're using someone to make yourself feel better, just do it. You're not Atlas: life will crush you if you're unsupported. I hope you can bear that load for someone else as well. No, I know you will. You were always the best at silently supporting others."

She smiles and I feel warm, still sad, but I'm okay with it.

"Alright, the lesson is over. Take my words to heart and do what you need to do even if it's not what you want to do."

I stand up to take my leave. " Goodbye Shizuka-san"

"See ya later, Yamato-kun"