After a few weeks, everything had settled down. At first I thought my new human body would make things more awkward between us, but the opposite happened. Me and Oshige were now frequently invited to Mitsuki’s house for dinner, and we were warmly welcomed by her grandmother, though we still kept my past a secret from her and her maid, Miss Tanaka.
Mitsuki’s grandmother, Fuzuki Koyama, had changed a lot since Full Moon’s last concert. She had become so accepting of Mitsuki’s dreams. She was actually helping her get into auditions and buying her karaoke tracks.
“It’s nice that Mitsuki has a friend like you.” Said Fuzuki. She always made an effort to smile, but Mitsuki told me once that her grandma felt a little disappointed that Mitsuki didn’t invite girls, or friends her age over, as often as me.
I sucked the ramen into my mouth, making a loud slurp. My face felt hot when Mitsuki began to giggle.
Fuzuki was away at the time, and I had been invited to her house for lunch with Mitsuki. This happened more than often- sometimes twice a day. I knew her grandmother was uncomfortable with a boy visiting her granddaughter, who was like a real daughter to her, this frequently. But Mitsuki insisted on my constant visits.
I pointed back at Mitsuki and returned the laughter when she also lost control of her ramen. There was a pause, and then we both burst into laughter again.
It felt good to be human again, and not having to deal with the stress of a death spirit. Those thoughts of having to kill. Those memories that called out, but could not be remembered. Invisible to the world. All that was gone. Now All that mattered was me and Mitsuki.
“Takuto.” A familiar voice rang in my head.
“Did you hear that?” I asked Mitsuki.
“Takuto.” There it was again. The low, cold, gentle voice of a shingami. Izumi.
I stood up and turned around to face the death spirit.
“T-takuto? What is it?” Mitsuki questioned.
“You can’t see him?”
Izumi placed a finger to his lips. “I don’t think you want her know I’m here.” A smirk slid across his mouth. “Sit down. Go back to eating. I’ll talk to you alone later.”
I thought it through for a moment, and sat back down. “It was nothing. I guess I must just be tired.” Mitsuki blinked, confused. “I promise. It’s nothing.” I smiled and shook my head.
“I-if you’re really that tired, maybe you should go to bed.” She crawled across the floor and placed her hand on my head.
I grabbed her wrist and took it off my head. “I’m not sick, silly.” I smiled. “I just stayed up late last night.” I sighed, and stood up from the table. “I should head home.” I shot a glance at Izumi waiting patiently in the corner of the room.
Mitsuki frowned. “Well… ok.” She said. “I hope you start feeling better soon! Get lots of sleep!”
I nodded to her, grabbed my things, and wandered out the door, Izumi close behind.
As we walked down the street I sighed. “Alright, Izumi. What is it? Why are you here.”
He smiled. “If you think hard enough, I’m sure you can answer that on your own.” I noticed something odd in his tone. A slight hint of something other than his usual sadistic self.
What could he mean? I thought, not coming up with any immediate results.
“Think, stupid. I’m a shingami. What are shinigami‘s purpose, Takuto?”
“For taking the souls of those who are going to-” I choked before I could finish.
“You didn’t think that just because you were given a second chance at life, means you were cured from cancer, did you?” His eyes darkened as he began to laugh. “I hate you, Takuto. I hate you stealing Meroko’s heart. I hate you for making her disappear. I hate you for taking what every death spirit wishes for!” His smile vanished. “And now… I’ve been ordered to take your life.”
It felt as if my heart stopped beating. As a leaf blew by my side, I counted the seconds it took for it to leave my sight. Then I realized I felt it. The same feeling I felt the months before I died. That disease. That cancer that crawled through my throat like a parasite. I rubbed my hand over my neck and swallowed.
“I’m so delighted to have been chosen to be your death spirit, Takuto.”
I couldn’t reply. I struggled to breath, but I kept moving forward, like a zombie, as if reaching my home and going to sleep would make it all disappear.
“Stop and look at me, Takuto. You can’t deny the truth. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can make your final days on this earth worthwhile.”
I stopped and spun around. “What would you know?!?! What would YOU know about dying?! YOU don’t remember dying! I remember. I remember everything! You don’t understand what you’re telling me I have to go through again!”
“You must’ve realized when you became a human again, that you would die someday, didn’t you? You didn’t just think that you and Mitsuki would live forever.”
“But why now? Why when I finally have everything I could ever want!?!?”
“The cancer was already there, Takuto. Before you met Mitsuki. This isn‘t new.” Izumi looked down on me with false pity. I knew how pathetic he thought I was.
When I reached Oshige’s apartment, I walked straight to my room, ignoring Miss Oshige’s note that she would be home late. Ignoring Izumi who, after I shut the door on him, gently floated through with no problem. Ignoring Jonathan popping party poppers at me shouting “welcome back!” (Jonathan is Izumi’s partner shinigami.) I walked up the stairs, and fell onto my bed.
I would have to tell Mitsuki at some point. After finally achieving what we longed for. I’d have to tell her that I was going to die.
“How long do I have left?”
“About a week.”
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