"Don't you remember me?"
He woke with a start, tossing his blankets haphazardly off to the side as he shot upright on his bed, tears streaming down his face. He was breathing heavily, and it took several moments for him to slow it down and take in his surroundings.
He was back in his small apartment, back in Tokyo, back with the stacks of old textbooks and dozens of intricate and detailed drawings and sketches neatly arranged on the walls. He glanced down at his right hand, almost as a reflex at this point. It's almost as if he was expecting to see something there, something written. His memory stirred; a vague memory of a promise, a promise he swore to keep, about someone or something he swore he'd never forget about.
But for the life of him, he couldn't remember.
He looked over at his desk; his dream journal sat there, unused for the last week. He had begun to start recording his dreams a while ago. He thought it was back right after his trip to Itomori, or something along those lines. Something happened, and he had suddenly taken off on a trip to the countryside, Tsukasa and Okudera-senpai in tow. But what for? He couldn't remember, and his dreams, rare as they were, began to frustrate him to no end. The entries ended up being almost identical after awhile: "I wake up, and I'm in a traditional-style home, with tatami mats and sliding doors. I get up, and I go to look in the mirror… and I can't remember the face that looks back."
His phone alarm goes off again, and he's snapped back to reality. The world doesn't stop for the wistful longings of one man, and with that thought in mind, he quickly ate breakfast, dressed, and left his apartment to begin his day.
The train doors opened, and people began to flood out. There was no other choice than to go along with the flow. She tried to fight it, but she was quickly being forced out the door and onto the platform. She didn't want to. She didn't want to leave, didn't want to be separated from this boy that had become such an important person to her.
The boy moved towards her, reaching out with his hand. He didn't know her, but he couldn't just let her go.
"Wait, what's your name?" he called out as she began to dissolve into the crowd.
She untied the braided red cord she uses to braid her hair. She tossed it out like a lifeline, hoping that he'd be able to catch it, that he remembers.
"My name…" she said, just as the boy caught the other end of the cord and he disappeared from view.
"... is Mitsuha!"
Some days, she wakes up crying. Today was one of those days.
She was jolted awake, tears streaming down her face, an annoying and insistent beeping noise in her ears. The alarm. She slapped the snooze button on accident. Oh, well. She took a cursory glance at her immediate surroundings. She's back in her apartment, her tidy little apartment with the white laced curtains and the small rug in front of her bed, books neatly lined along the shelves.
It was one of those days again. The days she wakes up crying, feeling that she's lost something, or someone, so important to her.
But for the life of her, she can't remember who or what.
She rubbed the sleep from her eyes, and glanced down at her right hand, reflex at this point. It was almost as if she was expecting to see something written there. A promise. Her memory stirred. A promise she made, a vow she swore, to a person she told herself she would never forget.
But with who? And about what? She can't remember, and this hurt so much she had trouble breathing.
The alarm went off again, bringing reality crashing back in. With an immense effort, she recollected herself; she could and would keep herself under control. The world doesn't revolve around the wistful longings of one woman. And with that thought in mind, she quickly freshened up, dressed, ate her breakfast and left her apartment to begin her day.
The train was a bit emptier than usual. He stood near the entrance, alternating between staring at his right hand and staring out the window as the Tokyo skyline blurred into an indistinct mass of shapes and colors.
As the skyline sped by, he could feel his chest ache.
Why? Why had he felt so… empty for so long? Who or what could've possibly made him feel like this for the last 5 years of his life? Why did it hurt so much to not remember?
His gaze shifted from his hand to the world outside the window. The train entered a station; he doesn't remember which one it is, probably Yotsuya. He wasn't sure he cared enough to remember. With a sigh, he stepped back from the entrance to make way for the people squeezing onto the train. There was enough room left near the entrance, so he shifted back to his original place right up against the doors.
The train left the station, a couple dozen more people crammed within its cars. It took less than a minute for it to reach full speed as it sped through the city.
Another train came up alongside, going on parallel routes. Something told him to look. On instinct, he glanced over at the other train. She was looking at him, and in that moment, he knew.
He didn't know how, but it didn't matter anymore. It was her.
She was late.
Her bus got caught in unusually heavy traffic, and by the time she ran into the train station, her train had left 10 minutes ago. With a sigh, she resigned herself to the fact that she'd have to wait for the next train; she'd be late for work. Her boss would chew her out for this one.
A couple minutes later the next train rolled in, wheels squeaking in protest as the train gradually slowed to a stop. She quickly squeezed on with everyone else, apologizing whenever she bumped into someone. She stood near the doors, gazing out upon the bustling city as people began their day. She glanced down at her right hand and sighed before looking back out the tinted windows.
As the skyline rushed by, she could feel her chest ache.
Why? Why did she feel so… empty? What could've possibly made her feel this way, and for the last 8 years, no less? She couldn't remember why she felt this way, and it hurt.
The train pulled into a station. She didn't remember which one it was. The train stopped and a number of people board. She made way for them before shifting back to her original spot.
The train left the station, now about 20 people fuller than it was entering. It didn't take very long for the train to reach full speed as it shot down the track.
Another train came up alongside. Out of curiosity, she glanced over.
She doesn't know how or why seeing him tugs at her heartstrings so. Just a moment ago, she didn't even know why she felt the way she did, and now she feels he's the one she's been looking for.
But she knows. It's him.
Their eyes met. He felt a chill flow down his spine.
It's her. It's really her. It's not possible, but it is.
He gazed deeper into her eyes.
Their eyes met. She felt a chill trickle down her spine.
It's him. It's him. How is it possible? She didn't know, she didn't care.
She gazed ever deeper into his eyes.
A flash of memories.
A beautiful lakeside town. It's so beautiful! Tessie and Sayaka. Grandma explaining musubi. Miyamizu Shrine.
"...You're dreaming, aren't you?"
"You son of a…!"
The man (her father?) is shocked. He backs away.
"Who… are you?"
The shy girl from the train ride all those years ago. The one with the red braided cord in her hair.
"Don't you remember me?"
The trains suddenly separated, continuing on their own paths.
He had to get off the train.
A couple minutes passed before the train slid into Yotsuya station. The doors open, and he dashed out, running through the checkpoint as fast as he could and out into the city. He wasn't sure where he was supposed to go to find her; his best guess was that she was reaching Shinanomachi on the Chuo Line in a couple minutes. He had to travel almost a kilometer in the 2-3 minutes. He took a left as he dashed out of the station and cursed. He should've turned right. A right and he was down another, smaller street. Fastest way would be to cut through Suga Shrine now. He entered the shrine from a sidestreet, running as fast as he could.
He was at the bottom of the shrine stairs when he spied a familiar red cord.
He stopped, looking up at the top of the stairs and the woman standing there, looking at him. His chest tightened.
It was her.
A flash of memories.
A stunning Tokyo skyline. Tsukasa and Takagi. Finally, a cafe! A job at a fancy Italian restaurant. Okudera-senpai. A date! The boy goes instead. Maybe she'll go see him.
There's no way we could meet. But what if we did?
What should I do? Would I annoy him? Would it be awkward?
He'd be a bit glad to see me?
"So we don't forget…"
"...let's write our names on our hands."
She opened her hand.
He didn't write his name. He wrote "I love you" instead.
She had to get off the train.
The second the train slowed to a stop in Shinanomachi station and the doors opened, she dashed out, sprinting through the checkpoint and out into the city. She wasn't entirely sure where she was supposed to go to find him. Her best guess was that he would be getting off at Yotsuya-sanchome in a couple of minutes; that was almost a kilometer away. She began to run.
A right, then a couple more turns. She realized too late that this wasn't the fastest way to the station, but it would take too long to turn around and head back. She kept pushing on, making a few more turns and running through smaller streets. Suga Shrine would be the fastest way now. She cursed her initial headlong dash into the city; at this rate, she might never find him.
She entered Suga Shrine from one of the larger entrances, running through as fast as she could.
She was at the top of the stairs when something- no, someone, caught her eye.
She stopped, looking down at the bottom of the stairs, at the man standing there, looking right back at her. Her chest tightened.
It was him.
He began to walk up the stairs. He was beginning to rationalize.
She began to walk down the stairs. Her heart began to ache.
What if she didn't feel the same way? He had never met her before. A horrible thought struck him. What if he was just imagining things? What if this… "feeling"... was just a figment of his imagination? What if, all this time, he had been unhappy simply because he wouldn't let himself be happy? What if this really was all just a dream?
But what if… it was real?
They passed each other on the stairway. His heart was thundering in his chest. She was close to tears.
Doesn't she remember?
Doesn't he remember?
He reached the top of the stairs. He stopped.
No. Not like this. Not when he was so close.
He turned around.
She gasped, and froze. She didn't move.
"Haven't we-" he stuttered, sighed. "Have I… met you… somewhere before?"
She turned around, tears streaming down her face as it was lit up with a smile of pure joy.
"I thought so, too!"
He smiled, tears also streaming down his face.
They both ask:
"Can I ask you… your name?"
Author's Note Down Here Because I Didn't Want To Put It Up Top: Hi everyone. Sorry for, well, not writing more. Things have been kinda wonky. I found Kimi no Na Wa again, and got really, unhealthily obsessed with it. I wrote the majority of this chapter over the course of about 2 days, and then spent another couple weeks alternating between rewatching the movie, crying while watching the movie, and editing and changing things around in the draft while listening to songs from the movie on repeat.
When I wasn't working on the story or doing life stuff, I was playing World of Warships. A lot. Akizuki and legendary mod Des Moines are just really fun ok I'm sorry.
As for updates… I've never been good with deadlines (people who've read my other stories probably know this), but I'll try my best. Not sure what'll happen with Chances of Survival; I've got a part of a draft for Chapter 4, but no title yet I'm not sure where to end it or where I'm going to go with it.
Well, see ya guys later, I guess.