the sky in the city is so blue today; the end of the long summer has come. wind spirals through the tops of the buildings, coming down with mist and light and fall. it's not so much a change as it is a crossfade-- the season you know and have known
they gather on the rooftop and you watch them together. you watch kido and kano's constant banter, seto braiding mary's hair, hiyori alive and well and actually fast asleep, momo poking hibiya's face with the bright, playful manner of an older sister.
(you wished you had stayed long enough to do that with those three.)
your eyes linger on haruka, haruka remembering. a haruka that recalls and can bring it to words, a haruka that draws it out for them, a haruka in a wheelchair who laughs.
you think about your three younger siblings. you remember kousuke picking flowers and sobbing, hiding his face behind his hood as he took clusters of daisies into his hands. you remember shuuya who woke up screaming, his form rapidly shifting and contorting as his eyes flickered from red to yellow to black. you remember the look in tsubomi's eyes years ago, like a terrified deer unsure if it wants to run or to die.
that kousuke and this seto, that shuuya and this kano, that tsubomi and this kido do not match up; he gathers daisies for mary and grins widely as he threads them into her hair; he knows who he is and walks with purpose and maybe even a strange sort of candor, an honesty that he never had before; she is confident and she stands up tall and with a pulled-back bow sort of spine.
they are your siblings, and you are so proud of your siblings.
and then you look and shintaro is there, he's looking out past the rooftop into the distance, and it's selfish of you, but you want him to be staring at where you fell, anything to have him think of you--
but still you know that he'd been thinking of you for more than two years, plus hundreds of august fifteenths, and it had hurt him more than you could ever know. and maybe it is better that he no longer thinks of you. if he is smiling, if he is no longer in pain, you will watch from here and be satisfied.
you look at him, and his eyes have gained a light. he takes both his earbuds out and lets the sound of the earth spinning fill his head.
(years ago, you know he would have never done that.)
he turns to momo and says something into her ear, and even though the wind you can hear.
"i wish ayano were here," he says, with a quiet smile on his face.
(you want to yell, i've been here the whole time.)
momo looks down, as if nervous about a possible relapse, but before she can comment, he continues. "i wish she were here so we could laugh with her. so i could... so i could look at her and not back away. i want her to see how far... how far i've come."
you had known august fifteenth for so long, but you still feel the same as you did before. why is that, you wonder. why is that.