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The three of them had long since left the wooden deck, leaving Yukio alone with a cup of strong coffee he made for himself after declining to join them for a walk around the island.

Above him he saw a blue sky dotted with small clouds yielding to a sun burning surprisingly strongly despite modest temperatures.

He wanted this moment alone. In difference from Urufu Yukio planned to put a stop to a dirty habit rather than have a healthier life sprung on him. One of his pockets held a packet of cigarettes. There were only two left – he had counted them this morning. Buying more offered no problems, but Yukio decided to give his body a heads up before he was subjected to Japanese strict laws about minors and smoking.

There was another thing as well, or rather several small ones. Stories, some fun and some just insane, brought back memories from their last trimester as second years. Two months filled with shenanigans came as a welcome respite after the hell Kareyoshi put them through. That still didn’t mean he only had fond memories of that winter and early spring.

Yukio pulled out the package and put flame to a cigarette he expertly fished out with his lips. He’d smoke them both back to back just to remind himself just how superbly bad a habit he’d picked up during his university years.

Urufu, you used to burn through a full packet of this shit daily, didn’t you? Yukio didn’t even want to think about what that did to your body after a few decades. He felt guilty about his own two lasting a week. They dug a hole in both lungs and wallet despite being far less dangerous to the former since some ten years. Pricing became prohibitive though. Eight packets a month was over five percent of his income.

So, there was one more thing, he pondered. His and Kyoko’s birthdays, but something else as well. Ah, yes. It all dragged out. That’s why I didn’t remember.

He quickly finished, first one and then the last cigarette. Coffee accompanied them while he tried to recall in what order everything had happened, or if that even mattered.

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