NARRATOR: "I scratch the back of my disheveled hair, glancing around the room. Lilly and Hanako are nowhere to be seen, and the television's turned off. The clock above it says it's pretty late in the afternoon. The noticeably reddened sky outside the windows confirms it further. I turn and pick myself off the futon, swaying slightly as I put my arms out for balance. I suppose I'd better go look for the girls to see if they're... all right... As I look out the window, I faintly see something in the distance. Straining my eyes, I can just make out the shape of a person's figure. Her long blonde hair, swaying in the faint breeze, makes her almost seem to melt into the bright yellow of the wheat field. Without a second thought, I leave the room to follow that lone apparition."
NARRATOR: "The brightness of the setting sun assaults my freshly woken eyes, forcing me to avert them until they adjust. The long, yellow strands of wheat brush against my legs as I wade through them, the densely-grown field making it hard to advance. Regardless, my eyes stay fixed ahead, true to that solitary figure. Within minutes I reach her, meters behind her turned back."
NARRATOR: "She simply nods."
HISAO: "Where's Hanako?"
LILLY: "She's in bed. She went to sleep after I calmed her down."
NARRATOR: "She says it matter-of-factly and with as few words as possible, as if saying any more was strictly forbidden. There's something different about her. Her normally confident figure seems oddly fragile, her body offering no resistance to the breeze blowing her skirt. The strands of wheat sway from side to side while a deafening pause passes, the only sound being their rustling. As we stand in the field alone, I know what I have to ask."
HISAO: "What's wrong, Lilly? You're not acting like you usually do."
LILLY: "Remember when I talked of my family, Hisao?"
HISAO: "Your family..."
NARRATOR: "I look downwards in thought, sifting through my scattered memories. The event seems to leap ready to hand when I search for it, rising to the surface as soon as it was recalled."
HISAO: "After Hanako's birthday party?"
NARRATOR: "She gives a single, simple nod."
LILLY: "It was nice... back then. You and I, celebrating with Hanako. Simply sharing presents, talking, having fun together. It was almost as if we were a family. One small, misshapen family. I thought that could just go on forever. Just the three of us, happily together."
NARRATOR: "She takes a long breath, a slight shakiness to it just barely audible through the moving air."
LILLY: "Even if my family was so far away... as long as we were together, that was all I needed. I don't want to lose you, Hisao. I didn't even realize how afraid I was of losing someone else until today. Until..."
HISAO: "I'm sorry, Lilly. I know my body's weak, but even then I make the most stupid of mistakes."
LILLY: "Don't apologize... please don't apologize..."
NARRATOR: "She turns to face me, her pale cheeks stained with tears."
NARRATOR: "One misguided step after another she stumbles towards me, her arms held out in search of so much as a faint brush against me."
NARRATOR: "My heart doesn't race nor pound as I step towards Lilly, gently taking and steadying her in my arms as she quickly clutches to me, sobbing. With her face trembling against my shoulder, the next words from her mouth are the last I expected."
LILLY: "I love you, Hisao. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you! Don't go away, I beg of you. Never, ever go away. I love you, so please...!"
NARRATOR: "So... that's why she's been acting like this. That tender voice when I called her, her thoughtless concern at the slightest pain I might feel... After having been left in Japan without her family, and with only Akira, Hanako and I around, she was afraid of losing yet another person who was close to her. She was genuinely worried for me. It's a strange feeling. A mix of surprise and sorrow, yet also of the deepest gratitude I think I've ever felt. The only reaction I can muster among my conflicting emotions is a calm sigh."
HISAO: "You idiot."
LILLY: "Hi... sao?"
NARRATOR: "For a fleeting moment, I feel her body become still. The only movement to be felt is the calm afternoon breeze."
HISAO: "I said it before, didn't I? It's only natural to feel concerned about those around you. I'm still here, and I'll always be here, because I want to see you more each day. To share in your happiness, to support you in your sadness... But most of all, I'll still be here because I want to see your smile. Your true smile."
NARRATOR: "A single gust of wind rustles the long strands of wheat, a second's silence passes."
HISAO: "Smile when you want to smile. Cry when you want to cry. I love you, Lilly. So you don't have to hold back any more."
NARRATOR: "With that, her arms clutch my back as tightly as she can, her face buried beside mine."
NARRATOR: "Her tears fall down my back and she cries unrestrainedly as the last of her resistance melts away."
LILLY: "Hisao! Hisao! Hisao!"
NARRATOR: "I close my eyes and bring my head down to her shoulder, holding her shaking frame tightly."
HISAO: "It's okay, Lilly. I'll never go away. I promise."
Next Scene: Diminuendo