TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE.
(the last thing you remember is shuuya's face. what a childish face that was, a lovely face. a face stricken with heartbreak and horror as you smiled at him, terrified, as you tipped yourself off of the edge of the school roof.)
you are the spitting image of your mother, father says, as you are growing up. you had such a carefree and happy childhood, and you turned out to be the same. a girl who saw nothing but happiness in a future where nothing could be wrong, and everything would be perfectly fine.
despite that your parents were academics, that your father was a teacher, you weren't always the brightest. you were satisfied simply passing classes, because there were more important things than a number on a piece of paper. father didn't mind too much, nor did mother, as long as you weren't failing. there were more important things.
they were always researching something together, but back then, it wasn't important. in no way did it impact your life, and they, and you, were happy. nothing else mattered but that odd thing that they called happiness.
life changes when you're in high school. one day, mother comes home with three children a little younger than you, with eyes as red as the clips that adorned your hair. on that day, you became what they would call a 'big sister'.
when you saw that they weren't happy, you sought out a way to change it. when they cried that they were monsters, you took your red scarf and wrapped it around your neck like superman, and claimed that red was the colour of heroes, and that you should all be heroes together. it was a silly, childish game, but that was how you found your happiness together.
those days were spent happy, running around, chasing each other under the sun. tsubomi, shuuya, seto. at night, the four of you with a torch and a book huddled under the covers reading together.
was that what being a big sister meant?
high school also brings a dark-haired boy with a deadpan face and bright red 100s marked across his test papers that sat by the window and thought of better things to be doing. you could tell he wasn't happy; you tried your best to get across to him.
shintaro was a mysterious boy who kept your interest, who was confused by you folding cranes out of your test papers, their necks coloured with the scores of your 40 or 50 as you hid it away with an embarrassed smile. shintaro was a smart guy, but you knew he was wrapped up in his own problems. he didn't like people. you tried your best.
you wished you could help him.
one day, father comes home different. that day, mother doesn't come home, and you learn what it means to mourn. the four of you, all dressed in black, stand over your mother's grave, all three of them clinging to you and sobbing, and you do your best to be strong.
that spring, you find out why your father changed so much, with eyes as black as the void he had fallen into, and you learn that adults lie.
you see the files on the two students that he taught, you see something about a heat-haze that your mother likely fell into, and you know your father won't stop at anything to get her back.
suddenly, red doesn't mean the colour of heroes anymore. it's what is going to take the happiness away from those you so desperately tried to give it to. you can't let him hurt the other three.
you cry alone in your classroom as you decide what you must do, and shuuya also knows what you need to do. he tries to help. you don't know that shintaro saw you that day.
the school roof seems so high, when you're sitting on its railings in the dead of night. it was pretty hard to break into the school, but shuuya knew how to get in.