I am the reason I am alone

nicomaki

...

it wasn't fate

"Hey."

Nico ignored it at first. She had one earbud in, so she was more focused on her music and not missing the train than anything. Plus, who would want to talk in such a crowded subway? Of course, someone would want to.

A sharp tap on the shoulder was enough to force Nico to whirl around. Her hair was in a ponytail, which whipped across the unknown speaker's face. Instantly, Nico gasped and spluttered, "Oh my God, I'm sorry. I didn't-"

Maki.

Nico words stopped very abruptly when she met very familiar violet eyes. Time passes, and Nico didn't realize how much had until now, when she observed who was once a young first-year - barely a teenager. Now, Maki looked like she could be a mother - her red hair had grown darker and was longer, maybe reaching past her collarbone. Nico couldn't tell since it was tied into a neat, low ponytail brushed over her shoulder -

"Nico. U-um, san. Nico-san." Nico didn't realize how intensely she must've been staring at Maki, because the latter looked a little shocked. Nico averted her eyes to the floor, noticing how much deeper Maki's voice had become.

"H-hello. Hey, Maki," Nico said. She worried she was too quiet, because when she looked back up at Maki she looked a little confused. However, her sharp purple eyes softened and a smile spread across her face.

"Nico. It's nice to see you!" she said warmly. "God, how long has it been since we . . . saw each other last?" Nico felt her throat bob with a gulp. Why? Why am I so nervous?

"Ah, a couple years or . . . so." She giggled. "It feels odd throwing such big periods of time around. You know?" She must've said something off, because Maki scowled. Nico was about to say something, ask her if she was okay, but she knew it would sound weird. Plus, the train arrived. The crowd shuffled on, and Nico found herself standing beside Maki.

The shuttle took off and Nico glanced at Maki. She was already looking at Nico, so an awkward chord struck when their eyes briefly met before they sharply looked away from one another. Nico was reminded of being a third year at Otonokizaka. Her and Maki would always catch one other staring. They used to pester each other about it - "Why are you looking at me, weirdo?" "No, you were looking at me!" Now, they were adults. It felt odd, not being able to say anything. Maybe Nico just hadn't matured like Maki did.

Nico must've been deep in thought because the train suddenly halted, and Nico stumbled to the side. She felt herself run into Maki, who she slumped against. A strong arm wrapped itself around her shoulders, hauling her to her feet. Nico glanced at Maki, blushing hard, before uttering out a croaky, "Thanks. Sorry."

She hurried off the train, the feeling of Maki's arm around her . . . burnt into her shoulders. There was no way she would catch the familiar affections again. She was going to Tokyo for an errand, and she just so happened to run into Maki. It wasn't fate. It wasn't fate. It wasn't fate, it was coincidence.

As she rushed away from the train, a hand caught her shoulder and she whirled around. Once again, she was met with Maki's captivating gaze. She wanted to excuse herself and leave, but Maki spoke.

"Nico-san . . . I'm sorry if I scared you away. I-I just, I want to talk to you," Maki stuttered. Her face was flushed, growing more vivid at each word she spluttered out. Nico wanted to tease her about it. Look at Maki-chan, losing her cool . . . it's so cute!

Nico gulped and said, "Maki. I'm so sorry. This is a coincidence. I don't want to." I don't want to fall for you again.

"No, Nico, I don't want to reconnect in any way, o-or have something . . . like we used to," Maki murmured, looking away. "I just supposed that since I'm just now seeing you, I might as well try to get in contact with you. As friends." She looked at Nico, their eyes truly meeting for the first time in which seemed like forever.

"I am engaged now, after all."

Nico's jaw dropped slightly. She could literally feel everything shatter, and time felt like it was passing slower. She stared at Maki, trying to utter something - anything - but she was stuck. It felt like hours had passed when she whispered, "Wow."

"Nico, are you okay?" Maki asked. Suddenly, Maki seemed so much more different. She wasn't fifteen, she wasn't Nico's crush, she wasn't a cute girl who Nico didn't realize she needed until it was too late. Maki was a grown, engaged woman.

"Congratulations, Maki," Nico said, smiling. Her voice sounded hoarse, but she hoped Maki didn't notice. "That's-that's amazing." She felt destroyed, and incredibly embarrassed. I thought I was being mature . . . by trying to turn her away. I probably came off as weird and clingy and childish. God, why?

"H-hey Nico, I need to go. It's been nice talking to you. Want to exchange contact info?" Maki began to dig in her purse. Nico nodded absentmindedly and pulled her phone from her pocket. They gave one another their phone numbers.

"So, um, goodbye," Nico rasped. She smiled weakly at Maki and turned around sharply on her heel, walking away before Maki said anything else. Tears were hot in her eyes as it repeated over and over in her head - 'I am engaged now . . .'

Nico wished for a happy ending. She had almost everything she needed - a handful of friends, a mother who loved her and siblings who cared. However, they were all walking forward. Soon, everyone would be engaged. Everyone would stop walking alone, like Maki. Nico would be left behind, having fallen in the dirt. This time, no one would reach forward to help her up.

She was the reason she was alone.


should I make a couple more chapters for this? For now I'll call this completed until I get some feedback. I have a lot of ideas as to where this could go

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