There was a night here. It wasn’t long, and it really wasn’t dark enough to merit being called night.

Urufu said it was a filthy habit, but Yukio had seen him smoke occasionally. Apparently he was a heavy smoker reformed.

Reformed. Only you would use an expression like that, Urufu. Transitioning into this world and a body that had yet to taste a cigarette.

In a few days Yukio would do the same. He and Kyoko.

What will it feel like? He drew a lungful and watched the tip of his cigarette grow brighter. With a flick of his finger he twisted ash from it and stared into the night.

A little closer to the shore someone spoke silently. Yukio strained his ears to hear better. Eavesdropping didn’t make him feel ashamed at all. Not any longer.

A few days more. After that almost everyone he knew would be gone. Or rather he would be gone.

Those aren’t words. Not even in Swedish. Then he understood what he was listening to. Someone sobbing.

One of the kids drinking too much? Yukio killed his cigarette and began walking down the hill to find out.

Halfway to the sobbing sounds he stopped in his tracks. It was Kuri. Well, he guessed she counted as one of the kids drinking too much. So you’re remembering what you did? What you both did. Because that was the problem. Both of them. Urufu and Kuri. So much effort spent scarring each other in an attempt to protect the other. And so many others hurt because of that.

Urufu might be his best friend still, but Yukio refused to place all blame on Kuri. For being so brilliant both had behaved like first class idiots.

Why, you two? Why make it so difficult? The question brought his thoughts to Kyoko. What’s so hard about falling in love with a wonderful girl and then stick to her no matter what?


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