I'm probably notorious for starting stories out of the blue, but this one has been on my mind for a while now. I was actually inspired by this person I know who has an interesting idea about love. Anyhow, this will be a darker romance. Thanks and enjoy! (I think I'm just going to release this story, Debates of the Heart, on my blog first before putting it on soompi. I feel bad for neglecting updates for other stories on this blog, besides Rebirth Legacy. I'll get other chapters from other chapters put onto this blog probably in the summer when I'm more free.)

Chapter 1The End

I thought that at the age of twenty five, I would be married with my boyfriend, Tatsuo. We would have a kid together, and eventually grow old. At the age of twenty five, though, I wasn't married nor was I by any means established in my career. Instead, I was attending Tatsuo's funeral.


"I know you must be devastated," my coworker, Yamashita Aya, said to me at the funeral service. "He seemed like a great guy, and you two were so cute together."

"Thanks," I muttered.

To be frank, I was upset for a bit. Suddenly, he disappeared due to a car accident, but . . . I wasn't upset that our relationship was ruined .I was just sad that someone close to me passed away. The two of us already knew that our relationship had reached a point where we were together for teh sake of being together. We were no longer in love with each other, and if it weren't for his parents pressuring him to get married soon, we wouldn't have even thought about getting engaged this early. Luckily, we didn't go through with it.

"You'll always be part of family," his younger sister, Kokomi, told me. Kokomi and I had grown close to each other, like real sisters, over time. We would hang out often because of our similar shopping tastes and eating preferences. She would share her boy problems, and I'd sometimes complain to her about Tatsuto. Tatsuo was a nice, easygoing guy, but that was a problem too at times. He'd be too unambitious and lazy. He wanted the easy way out in life; he didn't want to fight for what was actually right. He didn't want to advance in his career either. He just wanted that steady, nice job, and I couldn't stand that idea at all. Tatsuo was capable of doing so much more, yet he'd just laugh his talent off. 

He used to pat my head and smile at me boldly and widely. 

You think too highly of me, and I like this type of life.

Then, we'd stop arguing even though I really wanted to let him know: "But I don't . . . I don't like this sort of life."

I never said those words because every time, I had the urge to do so, Shuhei, Tatsuo's older brother, would remind me not to. 

Why don't you just let everyone be happy?

This was coming from a classic dreamer. After all, Shuhei was a struggling artist, specifically, painter. He was talented, but for some reason, he just couldn't make it big. As a result, he was still living at home and doing odd jobs here and there to get by. From what I remembered, he was now a male host at a bar, and so it wasn't a surprise that he was yawning at the morning of Tatsuo's funeral service. Their mother slapped the back of Shuhei's back to remind him to be respectful, which made me chuckle quietly. Somehow, Shuhei heard me and caught me in the act. He shot me a glare, and after a few formal procedures, he walked over to my side. 

"I'm glad I could still make you laugh," he whispered in my ear.

"Tatsuo's death is no laughing matter though," I murmured.

"It isn't, but . . . I don't think he would have wanted everyone to be here crying over this. He's just not . . ."

"I know. I know what you mean."

Tatsuo hated drama. He hated being the centre of attention. At parties, he would always drift off to the corner or to the balcony, and I had a habit of retreating with him. We both liked to bail parties halfway. I'd remember how his mouth would gape widely while his eyes peered together to form that crisp laughter. He'd offer his hand to me, and I'd accept it readily.

Let's go home, dove.

He liked calling me, "dove". That name sort of stuck to me after he had to pick up some cosmetics for me and got everything wrong. He ended up choosing Dove, and from then on, he liked to refer to me as "dove".

Secretly, I craved for him ask me to run away with him. I didn't want to be at this reception any longer. I didn't want all the attention brought onto me. People had to stop comforting me. People just needed to leave me alone. Instead, I walked away by myself towards the end of the funeral service. I wandered to the cemetery close by, and not surprisingly, there was barely anyone visiting the area. The grass was uncut, roaming wildly, and there were weeds scattered everywhere. This cemetery was clearly a mess, yet . . . I didn't mind this clutter. I actually felt much safer, and with a gentle breeze, I thought I heard Tatsuo's voice again.
 
They say that within chaos, there is order.

Was I supposed to be find order here then?

I looked straight ahead, and there was a man nearing his early thirties, turning his head slowly towards him. He was kneeling down to place a bouquet of flowers; he let his beige trench coat grazed along the edge of the soil, yet he didn't seem like the type to be careless. The way the flowers rested on top of the grave was perfect, and he even cared to brush off the dust around the area with a handkerchief. These days, people didn't even carry handkerchiefs.   

Perhaps, I was drawn to that fact, and that was why I headed in his direction.

His heartless, dark grey eyes once again met mine, and then I felt my heart thud and my throat tingle. I had a feeling that he was the same as me. He'd be able to understand me.

"Runa . . . it's time to send him off," Shuhei told me from behind.

I shifted a step towards him and sighed. "Already?" I mumbled.

"Yeah . . . they'll be cremating him, and . . ."

I want my ashes to be spread around nature. 

Why?

Apparently, ashes are good fertilizers, and . . . well, if I'm all around the world, then wherever you are, I'd be in air too, right?

You're so . . . cheesy.

Hey!
I believed that alas I cried because not because he was killed, but because he would never be there in my life. He was actually . . . gone.

Shuhei's arms wrapped around me, giving me the warmth of a human body. I had forgotten what it was like to be hugged. Tatsuo and I had long stopped comforting each other. We didn't even sleep in the same bed. We had become more than friends and strangers, yet less like lovers. Regardless, I knew that he'd always be somewhere in my heart, but as I heard that man in the trench coat pass by us, I suddenly remembered Tatsuo's words.

Let's say . . . I die the next day . . . 

Don't say those things!

But I mean . . . it's a hypothetical situation, and we're all going to die some day, so . . .

All right. Go on.

I want you to keep living. I want you to be happy. Don't be afraid to fall in love again.
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