He could have finished work quickly instead of taking his time changing. He could have met Bokuto halfway down the road but no, he insisted that he should go home first because “Bokuto-san, I’ll be fine. You need to get rest, alright?”
Instead of coming home to Bokuto’s “Akaashi!!” He comes home to complete silence. He figures that Bokuto already passed out on his bed and usually, Bokuto would leave a note with messy handwriting, “I bought you food, Akaashi! Sorry I can’t eat with you, I’m so tired. B( I’ll see you tomorrow morning, hey! Eat well!”
But this time there’s no note or food in the fridge, Bokuto forgets— he often forgets.
For now, Akaashi sleeps.
When he wakes up, it’s 11am. Bokuto usually leaves the house early for work on Tuesdays. Akaashi drags his body to the kitchen after getting washed up, there’s always a note. Always. However, there’s nothing. It’s the same as he left it last night. He goes into Bokuto’s room, hoping to see his bed sheets unmade. But it’s not. It’s just as he left it for work yesterday.
That’s when he feels his anxiety rising up, taking over his whole body. That’s when he realises the bombardment of texts and calls he ignored last night. He checks his phone and there’s Kuroo’s, Konoha’s and Tsukishima’s name on the notifications.
[18 hours ago] Tsukishima: Akaashi-san, where are you?
[20 hours ago] Konoha: Keij-kun, come here! It’s urgent.
[22 hours ago] Kuroo: Akaashi, Bokuto is at the hospital.
[Mon 10:30] Missed Calls:
He calls Konoha, no answer. He opts for Tsukishima, no answer either. He prays the God to let Kuroo answer, and he does.
“Akaashi!? Where are you?"
"I’m at home, where are you?”
"We’re still at the hospital, we’re waiting for the doctors to tell us what’s—”
He hears another voice, and he makes it to be Tsukishima’s. “Akaashi-san, Konoha-san’s come to pick you up."
With that, he changes his clothes. Akaashi is shaking— his mind racing, his eyes stinging with tears on his cheeks, his body about to crumble. His best friend— the boy he fell in love with— all that is about to change into past tense. He hopes it won’t, he hopes he’ll still get to see his smile, hear his voice.
They arrive at the hospital just when the doctor comes out of the surgery room. Bokuto’s parents shoot straight up of their seats.
The “I’m sorry,” slips off the doctor’s lips and Akaashi suddenly goes deaf. It’s what he feared the most. From when they first met, that if Akaashi were to have this owl-like friend, he’ll lose him someday. But he didn’t. Bokuto stayed with him for as long as he can remember. Bokuto cared for him like his brother. Bokuto was a person he always wanted to be with.
All throughout the funeral, Akaashi grips onto Konoha’s hand, biting back tears as they lowered the coffin. Flowers were dropped six feet under ground, along with some of his favourite belongings.
Well after his headstone was placed, Akaashi stays while the other three wait for him. Then, and only then does Akaashi break down. Voice cracking at, “I’m so sorry I made you go without me, Bokuto-san. I’m so sorry.” He clutches at the headstone, already pale knuckles turning ghost white. He stays for five minutes, caressing his portrait. “Thank you for everything, Bokuto-san. Thank you for being there when no one else was. I’m sorry I wasn’t there, I’m so stupid. I hope you…” tears fall faster, “Have a fun time up there. Good night… Koutarou.”
Akaashi frequently going in Bokuto’s room. The second he opens the door he falls to his knees and repeatedly says sorry because he wasn’t there on time. Akaashi frequently visiting Bokuto’s workplace because “Bokuto-san, do you want coffee?”, “Bokuto-san, they made you your favourite cake. So, here. Have it.”.
Akaashi leaving work early and waits for Bokuto’s silhouette to come out of the dark, but he doesn’t. Akaashi wishing to come home to Bokuto’s “Akaashi! Dinner’s ready!” on Wednesday nights. Akaashi knocking on the bathroom door, hoping to hear Bokuto’s “Hang on, a second, Akaashi! I need to finish this level!!”.
He can’t do those anymore. It’s not the same, it’ll never be the same.
It’ll never be the same because Bokuto was the one who made him see the purpose of friendship; love. The purpose of life. Bokuto was the one who pulled him back up off his feet. Bokuto was the one who turned his stoic expression to a constant smiling, laughing, happy Keiji.
Yet Bokuto was the one who made him see the negatives in life. Bokuto was the one who let go of his hand just as Akaashi was about to stand up. Bokuto was the one who turned Keiji’s smile upside-down.
The boy who deserved every happiness in the world, the boy who deserved everything.
The boy who Akaashi was meant to be with.
The boy who decided to ask Akaashi out the night the slowing speeding car accidentally pressed accelerate than brake.
The boy who was too nervous yet happy to meet Akaashi by the park at 8pm and ask him to be his on the way to their apartment.
The boy who deserved to live life at its fullest.
A memory waiting to be forgotten.