i had a dream.
in his sleep, where hajime no longer keeps seishu at an arm's length, a film reel flashes into his mind: a supercut, a series of vivid imaginations of what they could have had, and this time, what he lost.
seishu was there, he remembers, on a seat beside him, still as an ethereal beauty that his eyes have always known to admire. and frankly, hajime still love those cerulean eyes, as though a vast ocean he could drown into if he let himself, even if he no longer have them in his life. hajime remembers seishu, and his strawberry blond hair cut short—which baffled him at first, because seishu would say he likes his hair long better—then, in a vision, hajime heard seishu saying his name. he has always liked how seishu says it, how the nickname he gave hajime when they were young naturally slips out from his mouth, ever-so familiar and sweet, like it was his favorite word.
koko, the nickname echoes, this time leaving a sting on his skin, and hajime could have sworn it was real. or at least, it felt that way—until his eyes awoke from the deep slumber, and saw emptiness beside him. there's a space here he could've spent with him.
this, i admit to you, my love: i don't think of you all the time.
when all there's left in hajime's life are piles of money from illegal crimes and puffs of cigarette smoke, drugs and liquor and cold, dead bodies on the ground and unmerciful darkness—all of it are the kind of noise he'll ever know. but perhaps, only for a while, it is. because what comes after is the deafening silence when his hands aren't holding a gun nor cash, and just like that, hajime relapses.
there's the street hajime used to walk around with seishu, the roads that used to lead him back to their old hideout, the fast food restaurants they went to. there's a massive poster of seishu's favorite singer somewhere in shibuya, and his favorite song playing on the radio. all of those little things take hajime's thoughts back to him, inevitably so. then he's staring out in the open again, and that's when he dreams again.
hajime dreams of everything he wants; of everything he spent quite some time longing for; of everything he regrets doing. hajime dreams of making it clear to seishu that he did love him—not because his face resembles a girl he was infatuated with—but because he's seishu. hajime dreams of becoming braver when he said farewell to seishu, so he could take the last chance to stare at him once more, as a finality. but perhaps saying goodbye was easier if hajime wasn't haunted by the look in his eyes.
this is the part that haunts hajime most. because he could've shown him all that he is, his truth an open secret, and yet—he failed to do that, too. and then: all he gave him was a farewell, and made peace with it because he had to, because he had to protect seishu from him, from the darkness that could dull his light.
hajime dreams—yearns—he's the one with seishu. when he secretly passes by the motor shop seishu co-owns, he dreams of seishu looking over his shoulder as hajime stands outside the store with that smile so inviting. so hajime counts, right? he counts the time—one, two, three, and then four. the numbers go on until fifteen, and from a distance he sees seishu throwing his head back, laughing, smiling widely. he seems happier, and hajime wishes it could be the same for him, too.
hajime could only dream that seishu knows he still thinks of him, and he doesn't feel any sort of resentment towards him. reaching out to him would cross his mind, he admits. there are occurrences when he would type a message meant for seishu on his phone just to ask how he's doing, but halts himself, because he knows better. he can't call him. so there's a void that accompanies him when it happens, leaving hajime with thoughts that trails back to his best friend.
what is he doing now? is he doing well? is he happy? he wonders at night as he stares at the buildings and city lights from the window of his penthouse, while the person he thinks of is miles away, and the silence only answers him.
and that was enough. that could be enough. he could settle with this.
because hajime knows this, now: someday, somehow, friendships drift apart, too—like pebbles when they erode and change when tides wear them down, the drift carrying them farther away until you could no longer find them in the same place. it's the truth you have to live with—or in this case, hajime has to live with: there are no preparations for a fallout with a dear friend—you'll never really know when is it time to go, until you count their footsteps walking away from you, finally disappearing into a sea of strangers.
i have a dream. a good one, at that. it's still you, seishu.