This letter is something I finally decided to sit down and actually write out. Pen to paper. It's something I've written plenty of times in my head, but I never actually got the courage to set it out in black and white, because that just makes it real, somehow. It makes it a little more definable, makes it that much harder to get away from.
I should warn you now that I may not make much sense. I never do, when I write this in my mind. Sometimes I start out all right, but then I get confused and then I realise I'm not making any sense. I'm not sure you'll understand. I don't think I can write this down clearly, concisely, because I'm not sure myself what it is I'm trying to say. It doesn't come out right in my mind maybe because it's less definable in my mind. I think that's why I finally decided to actually write this. Maybe then I can understand too.
Did you know I consider myself something of a writer? Or at least, I like to write. It's my other passion, other than tennis. Sometimes, when I'm playing a game and it's one of those intense games, something I have to throw myself into or I'm not sure I can win - sometimes when I'm playing, my greatest fear isn't that I'll lose. It's that I'll injure my hand and I won't be able to write anymore. I think writing is cathartic in a way for me. It helps, anyway.
I try to justify myself, I realise. All the time. Everything I do or feel, I want to know there's a reason behind it. That there is a logical explanation, a way to rationalise anything and everything. It's just the way I am, it's me. And it makes me sound cold and emotionless and maybe I am, for the most part.
But there's something about you, you know, that defies any kind of rationalisation. And I certainly don't feel cold and emotionless when I see you. I watch you when you play tennis, did you know? Only you. I know how skilled you are. I know the way you move on the courts. I know how you hold your racquet, the way your eyebrows furrow as you concentrate on your Scud Serve, the way your muscles tense when you bring your arm down. Even the way disappointment would flash in your eyes, back when you couldn't control your serve properly and kept on faulting.
Of course, Shishido got rid of that look soon enough. I wish I'd been there to watch as you realised you'd gotten the hang of it. As you realised you had control of your serve. I'm not sure I would have wanted to see Shishido's reaction, though.
And of course there's that. There's him. I know you think the world of him. I don't know how deep your relationship goes, but I know you think of him constantly, the way I think of you. He believes in you the way I believe in you, and you're close to him, I know. I wish we had that same relationship you have with him, but I know that's not going to happen, either. It's wishful thinking; a fancy, on my part. A dream, if you will, and I wish I could fall asleep to experience it.
But to my earlier statement - I know you. I watch you. And I'm perfectly aware I sound like a stalker, but please don't hate me. I don't think I could bear it if you did. I'm only here for you now, you see. Maybe in some few years I'll be over you. Maybe when I don't have to see you everyday, this infatuation - because that's what it is, I see now - will disappear on its own. Maybe, but I doubt it. And I hate myself for doubting.
Have you ever read The Plumed Serpent? I feel rather like Kate sometimes. Life! What is Life! And why do men always consider the most vicarious things an expression of life? I'm sure I don't. I would never go to a bull-fight, I would never condone the murder of innocent horses and bulls there. I would never condone the carnal, animalistic urges of so many men these days. Then I wonder if I would, if you did.
It does hurt, you know. I think I mentioned that.
I think a lot of things, but when it comes down to it, I don't know anything. I like to think I'm well-read. I'm not. I like to think I'm good at tennis. I'm not good enough for the team. I like to think one day I can be captain of the team. I never will be, as Atobe informed me earlier. I like to think he wasn't being cruel, that he was trying to spur me to greater heights. I'm sure he wasn't. Does he know how to be anything but cruel? He never displays it to me. To you, yes. To your Shishido, yes. But never to me.
I like to think I am important to you, in some small, unimportant way. That you would miss me at least a little if I were to leave, for whatever reason. That you would keep me in your heart for a while before discarding me if I were to die. That my existence in some way, any way, has made an impression on you, at least half of what Shishido's existence has made on you. I like to think I am at least there in your mind, some small speck. It is better than being a sort of vacuum or empty hole. And that would be better than being absolutely nothing. If I have never figured in your life in any way, shape or form. If one day in the future you would look at me and say blankly, "Hiyoshi? I'm sorry, how do I know you?"
I think that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me.
It is also what will happen, I know. Because I'm not important enough. It's foolish of me to hope for that. It's a little, foolhardy wish for something a little stable, something a little like life in my life. I need that spark desperately, god knows how I need it, but I'll never get it.
I know this is what will kill me.
Oh, don't think this is a suicide note or anything like that. I wouldn't kill myself. I wouldn't deliberately kill myself. I know you aren't trying to kill me either, but you are sucking what life there is out of me. It isn't something you can stop. I don't believe you are even aware of it. Don't worry about it, don't think about me if you can help it, and that should be something easy for you. I pray it is.
I hope sometimes that one day I will find someone who can replace you. Remember my wish that some years from now, I will get over you? Even if I do, that hole in my heart will stay there, and so I will still die. I think I will only live if I can find someone else, someone who can maybe fill that void. But not a romantic interest, not a lover. In that I'll remain faithful to you who doesn't love me. It's not something I can help, but I am in a way bound to it.
So no. Don't feel guilty. Don't feel as if you owe me anything, don't be sad for me. Forget I exist, if you acknowledge my existence at all. Live with Shishido, live for him. Be happy, I suppose. I do wish you the best in your life, I really do, and I know that Shishido will be the best for you. Don't cry for me, if you remember who I am.
My only wish is that you will come to my funeral.
This letter hasn't turned out at all like it usually does in my mind. In my mind I tend to ramble, like I have here. In my mind I always ask you if we couldn't be together. I'm a lot more resigned in this real, physical letter, I see. I've read it over twice now and I'm a little surprised myself at how I feel. But it's true, I know it now I've written it.
I'm glad I bothered to sit down and think this out on paper at last. Somehow I feel as if it's all been said; it's all out of my soul; so now I can die peacefully. Oh - not now, though. Let that be some years from now. Let that be when the last iota of my existence has been wiped from your mind, let it be when you ask me who I am. That is when I wish to die.
I will end this letter here, then. I've said everything I really want to say, everything I could possibly need to say. I don't think I could have been any clearer had I wanted to, so you should understand. Somewhere in that mess of words, you understand, I hope. But just in case you don't, I'll just state it here as baldly as possible: I love you, Ohtori.
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