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枯れ葉

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Autumn seeps in slowly, like the scent of cigarette smoke as it clings to worn clothes.

It's been 2-0-7 days since Togawa transferred away, and Shima is ashamed for knowing this count just as much as he is for still safeguarding Togawa’s dusty pack of forbidden cigarettes.

Curled up on himself in bed: in his own sheets, own scent, feeling like a lone leaf that drifts helplessly past windowpanes, Shima buries his nose in the stench of Togawa’s old clothes and inhales. Somewhere, his heart fears time more than these withered autumn leaves waiting to fall.

Again, a deep breath.