DISCLAIMER: I don't own Vocaloid (unfortunatly), Hatsune Miku or the song this story is based on. The Night Before the Cherry Blossoms Bloom is owned by Hoehoe-P, and Miku is owned by Vocaloid.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've loved this song since it came out but I never thought do write a fanfiction on it until I saw someone else write one based on Gumi's song Sorry For Being A Closet Otaku (it's by iheartbronies and it's really good; check it out!)
This is the first time I've tried anything like this, and I think it's turned out pretty well, but please let me know what you think! I didn't whether to write it all as one big story or to split it up into chapters. For this one I've made it one all story, but if you think it would work better if I did separate chapters if I was to do something like this again then please let me know!
Also, if you spot any spelling mistakes or any other errors please let me know in a PM. I wrote some of this pretty late at night because I wanted to get it finished as soon as I could. Thanks guys! Please R&R!
"Dad, Mom, thank you, and I'm sorry, but I can't stay in this house anymore."
My pen hovered over the piece of paper as I tried to think of what else to write, but the words wouldn't come. So, sealing the goodbye letter to my parents, I crept out of my room, pulling my coat off of a peg on the back of my door. I glanced out of the window at the top of the staircase. The stars were out; the moon full and high in the sky. I tiptoed down the stairs as quietly as I could, cringing as the fourth step down creaked under my weight. I froze, not even daring to breathe, but when I didn't hear any movement from downstairs I cautiously continued down to the landing.
The door to the living room was cracked open. I peered in without opening it any more. Dad was sitting slouched on the couch with a can of beer in his hand, watching a football game on TV. I could hear Mom clattering about in the kitchen.
"Get me another beer!" Dad yelled suddenly.
"Get your own fucking beer!" Mom bellowed back.
For a moment, it looked like Dad was actually going to stand up to get it himself, but then he grunted and chucked his still half-full beer can at the kitchen door, causing it to spill all over the carpet.
"Miku!" he roared, obviously not realising that I was right there. "Get your ass down the stairs and get me a beer!"
I stayed as silent as the grave, keeping my eyes locked on Dad, his face getting redder and redder.
"She's probably asleep", Mom shouted back through.
Dad's face screwed up. "Lazy bitch", he muttered. But I heard him.
There were so many things I wanted to say. I wanted to storm in there, slap his face as hard as he liked to slap me, and yell, "I'm a lazy bitch? Look at yourself! You can't even be bothered to get off your fat ass to get yourself a drink!"
But I didn't.
I've only ever talked back to Dad once, and that didn't end well. I cupped my hand over my left eye, sighing quietly at the painful memory. It was a long time ago; I must have only been seven or eight.
That was the day that we made our promise.
I slowly stepped back from the door. Dropping the letter onto the table next to the stairs, I took a deep breath and opened the door, stepping out into the cool spring night. Silently closing the door, I clenched my fists and broke into a run down the street.
As I ran, my teal hair in two bunches streaming behind me, I thought about what I was doing, and why I was doing it.
I knew that he'd probably forgotten the promise we'd made all those years ago when we were separated...
We had met up at our special place in the woods the same day that he was moving away across the country. I had cried a lot that day, even before we'd met up. He was my only confidant; my only friend; the only person who I could talk to about the horrors of home. He'd come running up, not looking very happy himself, but seeing how upset I looked, he'd immediately pulled me into a hug.
"What am I going to do without you?" I'd sobbed into his shoulder.
He'd kissed the top of my head, before peeling me off of him to look me in the eye.
"Listen, I'm going to promise you something. Miku? Look at me."
I'd wiped my eyes and looked up at him, blinking back fresh tears.
"Once I've grown up, I'll come back to save you. And I'll be waiting for you right here." He'd tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear, resting his hand on my cheek. "The night before the cherry blossoms bloom."
I'd smiled, and despite my best efforts, silent tears spilled down my cheeks again, running over his hand. He'd smiled sadly and pulled me back into his embrace. I'd wrapped my arms around his waist, my shoulders moving up and down in time with my sobs.
It had been the time of year when the petals starting falling from the cherry blossom trees. I'd felt something very gently drop onto my head. He'd pulled it off and held it in front of me. It was one of the pale pink petals from the tree branches above us. He'd smiled and taken my hands in his. Holding them out between the two of us, he'd dropped the petal into my hands.
I stopped running for a moment, and pulled a small plastic slip out of my pocket. A plastic slip which contained that very petal. It had been seven years since that day, but I still clung to the symbol of our promise.
I hadn't spoken to him since that day, and I knew that he probably wouldn't be there, but if he was coming, he'd be there tonight. This was the night before the cherry blossoms would bloom, and he would have turned 18 not that long ago. I was nine when he left, and we were two years apart, and I'd missed him with all my heart every day for the past seven years.
I started running again, putting more and more distance between me and my past, with only the street lamps and the moon lighting my way.
I was terrified and desperately trying not to show it, even though nobody was around to see me.
I remember another night like this...
Dad had been drinking all day, and, in a fit of drunken rage, had punched me in the face. I'd run out of the house without even thinking about it, not even grabbing a coat to protect my bare arms from the biting December air. I'd run straight down the road, taken the first left, and continued running blindly until I reached the house I was heading for, all without having to look up from the pavement; I'd run this route many times before. I'd swiftly clambered up the twisted branched of the old apple tree and knocked sharply three times on his bedroom window.
It'd only taken him a few moments to throw wide the curtains and push open the window. He'd reached out his hand to help me in. I'd taken it and immediately fallen into his arms.
Usually he would just hold me until my weeping subsided, but that day he didn't wrap his arms around my shoulders and stroke my hair, murmuring into my ear that everything would be okay. Instead, he'd rested his hands on my waist and gently pulled me away from him. He'd softly grazed the skin under my left eye with his thumb and I'd winced slightly, confirming my suspicions that I had a black eye.
"…How did this happen?" he'd asked quietly, not moving his hand from my cheek.
I'd looked down at the floor. He didn't need to ask; he knew who was responsible for this.
He'd sighed and pulled me back into his arms. "I'm gonna kill him for hurting you", he'd muttered into my hair.
I'd tensed up, as I always did when he made that threat. He'd responded, as he always did, by kissing the top of my head and holding me tighter, but still never taking back what he'd said.
"Can…can I stay here tonight?" I'd asked timidly, the thought of having to go back home and face Dad terrifying me.
I'd felt him smile against my head. "Of course you can."
A few minutes later we were both curled up in his bed, my head fitting neatly into his chest, completely innocently of course; I was only 8 and he 10.
"I'm scared", I'd admitted, "About having to go home tomorrow."
His arms tightened their grip around my waist. "Don't worry, I'm right here."
And with that comfort, I'd closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep in his arms. It had been the best night's sleep I'd had in a long time.
With all the flashbacks and relivings of the past, I hadn't noticed I'd reached the outskirts of the town, not that we lived too far away from the edge of it anyway. The forest that contained our special place lay before me.
I took a deep breath and made a first shaky step beyond the trees. Walking much slower than I had been previously, I was very aware that each movement I made brought me closer to 'God's Tree', our old play place, so named because when we were little kids it looked like the tree branches stretched up to heaven.
There was a path that went through the forest for walkers and cyclists. I walked along that for about three minutes before cutting off through the forest. It used to be a natural path, flattened down after years of the two of us walking through it, but after seven years of nobody having any reason to come through here, it was horribly overgrown. Some of the branches were taller than I was, some just my height.
Suddenly I heard a crack right behind me. Something had snapped a branch. Without even turning round to see what or who it was, I bolted off as fast as I could. The branches scraped my cheeks and tore my coat, but compared to the scratches and scars on my body, punishments from not getting down the stairs fast enough when Mom or Dad called, it didn't hurt at all.
The deeper into the forest I ran, the more my legs continued to shake. I momentarily slowed down, and I began to consider turning back, the darkness of the forest and of the night nearly convincing me that this was all for naught.
But I shook my head, gritted my teeth and starting running even faster than before, angry that I ever doubted my reasons for being here. Even if I did turn back and went home, what could I do? Where could I go? Back home? No chance. If Dad found out what I was planning on doing… I shivered at the thought of what he may do.
I hadn't laughed in so long, having locked away laugher from my life for fear of what my parents may do if they ever heard me. But tonight, I would take it back. I would get my life back.
Suddenly, I skidded to a stop. Just ahead of me, on my left, was a tall birch tree with a heart carved into it. He'd carved that heart when I was seven. It meant that our special place, our cherry blossom tree, my sanctuary, was just up ahead.
I walked forward slowly, trying to calm myself down. I spotted a flash of pale pink in my peripheral vision and quickly stepped back. I leaned back against a tree, closed my eyes and tried to steady my breathing. My hands were shaking. I was so sure that he wouldn't be there, and yet I wanted him to be, and I hoped with all my heart that he would.
I leaned my head back against the tree and opened my eyes, staring up at the sky. The moon was perfectly full; the stars were beautiful and sparkling. I squeezed my eyes and made a final wish to the stars; a final prayer to whatever gods might be listening, before walking around to the other side of the tree as slowly as I dared.
My eyes automatically flew to the top of the tree. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom, just as he said. My heart almost seemed to fill with joy. I hadn't seen those petals in so long; it was the foundation to most of my happy childhood memories. But, as my eyes travelled down to the trunk of the tree, the joy started to leak out.
He wasn't there.
My legs seemed to give out underneath me, and I sank to my knees. Silent tears starting streaming down my cheeks, ironically mirroring the last time I was here seven years ago.
I knew I'd been stupid to expect otherwise. I knew he wouldn't be here. Why would he? He probably had a whole new life; he'd probably forgotten all about me, the sad little girl who always ran to him for comfort and safety.
I buried my face in my hands. Is this it? Is this what the rest of my life is going to be like? Is this what it's like to grow up? I noticed a strange muffled moaning noise. It took me a few moments to realise that it was me; that my silent sobs weren't so silent anymore.
I subconsciously slipped my shaking hand into my pocket and pulled out the cherry blossom petal in its plastic slip. I viewed it through blurry eyes, before clenching both my hands around it. I pressed my hands to my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut.
"Please just let him be happy", I found myself murmuring, again to the gods or the stars; anyone or anything that might be listening.
A picture flashed into my head: his smiling face, shining like the sun, my impression of pure joy. I knew that his image would always stay in my mind, and that that would have to be enough. I'd have to live with just the memory.
But that was fine. I'd lived with just my memories of him for seven years, and I would be able to leave home in two years; Mom and Dad wouldn't be able to stop me.
I curled up in a ball under 'God's Tree' and opened the plastic sleeve. I tipped the petal out and gently placed it under my tongue, feeling it slowly dissolve.
I would have to move on one day, as he did…but not tonight. I closed my eyes, a single tear escaping as I did so. Not tonight…
I walked through the front door two hours later. I'd taken a long time to walk back home, trying to elongate my time of freedom as long as I could. If I had the guts, I would've run off there and then, but I couldn't. I didn't even have any money for food, or any clothes other than the ones I was wearing.
I closed the door quietly behind me. I spotted a white piece of paper on the floor. My letter. So they'd read it. I frowned as I realised something. It was awfully quiet.
That when I heard it. The unmistakable sound of a punch.
My eyes grew wide. Was Dad beating Mom? Was it because he thought I was gone?
Mom started screaming. That was it. I suddenly didn't care about her cruel words or harsh punishments; she was still my Mom, and Dad was not going to hurt her because of me.
I rushed through to the living room door. Mom was standing at the kitchen door, screaming through to the kitchen at someone to 'Stop'.
I heard another punch and Mom screamed 'Stop' again. Now I was immensely confused. If Mom was here, who was being punched?
I walked slowly towards the kitchen, Mom seemingly oblivious to my presence.
When I heard his voice I stopped like I'd been shot.
"You never touch her again, you hear me?"
I'd know that voice anywhere. It was deeper than the last time I'd heard it, but I'd still know it anywhere.
I burst into the kitchen. Dad was facing me with one black eye and a bloody nose, squatting down on the floor. Someone else was standing over him. I could see from his shoulders moving up and down that he was breathing heavily.
"You stay away from her", he spat at Dad.
I walked over slowly. At the sound of my first step, his shoulders stopped moving; he was holding his breath.
I stood behind him and slowly reached my hand out to gently touch his shoulder. He turned his head round gradually until he was looking me in the eye.
It was him. He was here.
I dropped my hand from his shoulder. His eyes looked full of tears, his face slightly more angular than it used to be, but it was still him.
He softly cupped my cheek with his hand, and I placed my own hand over his just to make sure that I wasn't imagining it.
"You're…you're really here…" I whispered, hardly daring to believe it.
He smiled gently, leaned towards me slowly and kissed me.
"I'm here, just like I promised", he murmured in my ear. "And I swear I'll never leave you again."
Soon we were standing in our special place, with a bag full of my clothes at my feet. I was staring up at the pink petals when I felt him slip his hand into mine. I looked over at him and he smiled that smile that I knew so well, that had resonated in my memories for the past seven years. He leaned in to kiss me again and this time I kissed him back. Just then, I didn't care what happened next. This was all that mattered: standing at the one place that made me feel safe with the one person I loved.
On the night that the cherry blossoms bloomed.