Kaori Letter to Arima
Dear Arima Kousei,
It feels weird writing a letter to someone you were just with…
You’re the worst.
Indecisive. Gullible. Twit.
The first time I ever saw you perform, I was 5 years old. It was at a recital for the piano school I was attending. This awkward, clumsy kid came onto the stage and accidentally knocked over the piano stool with his butt. It was too funny. Then he turned to the piano and it was way too big for him, but the moment he played that first note, I was drawn in.
The sound was beautiful, like a 24-colour palette. The melodies danced. The girl next to me burst into tears; I wasn’t expecting that at all.
And even so, you gave up the piano. Despite how much it would affect other people’s lives. You really are the worst. You indecisive. Gullible. Twit.
(Cut to Kaori as a kid, telling her parents she’s giving up piano for violin because she wants to have Kousei play piano again.)
When I found out we were in the same middle school, I was ecstatic. But how would I ever come to talk to you?… Maybe I’d hang out at the lunch concession and hope to bump into you. In the end, I just watched you from afar.
I mean. After all. The three of you got along so well. There wasn’t really any space in there for someone like me, was there.
When I was a kid, I had to have an operation and I started having to be at the hospital for regular check-ups. In the first year of middle school, I collapsed and I had to be admitted several times. With every visit, I was there for longer and longer. Really, I didn’t get to class much in middle school, I spent more time at the hospital. And I knew something was wrong with my body.
One night, I saw my parents crying in the waiting room and I knew that my time was running out.
That’s when I ran away.
I didn’t want to have any regrets following me to heaven, so I stopped holding back from what the things I had always wanted to do. I got over my fear of getting contact lenses. I ate what I wanted instead of always worrying about my weight. And I took the music that always tried to tell me what to do and played it the way *I* wanted.
And then I told a lie. Just one.
I lied and said that I, Miyazono Kaori, liked Watari Ryouta.
And that lie brought you to me.
Please apologize to Watari for me. Though I’m sure he’ll forgot about me before too long, I think I just needed someone more wholehearted and earnest than him. I think we would have been fine as friends though.
Please apologize to Tsubaki for me too. I want for there to be no hard feelings. The one thing I could never directly ask of her was to introduce the two of us. I don’t think she would’ve known what to say to that. After all, she loves you so much. We all knew that. I think the only people who didn’t know were you and her.
That underhanded lie brought a completely different you than I had imagined.
It was darker, gloomier you. Meaner. Denser. And more stubborn. And more perverted.
But softer, too. And more masculine. And sweeter.
Remember that bridge we jumped off? The water was so cool and refreshing. Racing each other alongside the train. I really thought I could win. The moon was saw from the music room that night, like a delicious-looking bun in the sky. Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with you as we rode on that bike together. Then falling out of time. We’re awful singers. At the school at night. I’m still sure there was something there. The falling snow, just like cherry blossoms.
It’s strange to be a performance musician, but then to have your heart so filled up by things that don’t come from the stage.
They’re unforgettable scenes to me. But they’re such little things. It’s weird, isn’t it?
What do you think? Do you think I filled anyone’s heart like that? I wonder if I made it into yours. I wonder if you’ll still remember me.
If you forget about me, I don’t want to have to come back and start over. So please don’t forget me. Promise me you won’t forget me.
I’m glad it was you.
I hope this reaches you, Arima Kousei.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
I’m sorry we couldn’t eat all those canelés. I’m sorry I hit you so much. I’m sorry I was so selfish.
I am so, so, so, so sorry.
Thank you for everything.
P.S. If you look in the envelope, I left you my most prized possession. If you don’t need it, it’s okay to toss it out.