I grabbed Yuri’s shoulders and stared into her eyes.
Her dilation settled for a bit, as if she was in shock I tightly grabbed her.
“Listen, Yuri!” I said in a loud voice. “I love you, okay? I know you love me too. And I know you’re going to kill yourself for some reason because of our confession!”
She looked bewildered yet her eyes remained agitated.
“Now! Whatever you do, do not kill yourself! DO NOT KILL YOURSELF JUST BECAUSE YOU CONFESSED TO ME!”
“H-h-how did you…” she said. She took out an ornamented blade from her pocket. I grabbed it and threw out outside the window.
“Listen to me, if you really love me, you won’t kill yourself!”
“But the voices in my head… and the pleasure you bring… can only be released by my knife!” Her maniacal voice echoed through the classroom.
“Then, you’re selfish!” I said. “If you really loved me, you’d stay want with me. You’d want to grow old with me. You’d fight for me! You’d fight these urges and continue a great life with me in the future!”
“Fight… for… you?”
The dilation in her eyes receded. In the same instant, her stare became the usual, calm, and collected Yuri, who was more mature than the others being the oldest in the club.
“If you killed yourself, then you only loved me because I brought you pleasure by existing. That would mean you just used me and never valued what we had!”
Did I just say what we had?
What did we have?
But it was the right feeling, somewhat. I don’t understand why.
I grabbed Yuri and locked my arms around her. I can feel her deep breathing. I can feel the tension in her body simmer away.
“Fight… for you. To fight… this feeling.” She kept whispering in my ear.
“Yes. Don’t die. Please, for the love of God, do not kill yourself!”
Suddenly, the entire room disappeared into a blank.
Yuri’s eyes had lesser agitation, but I can tell she was fighting what suicidal drive she had upon hearing my confession.
Above us were stars. It felt like we were floating in outer space.
It felt like we were going up to see the stars. Upon further examination, it would seem the stars are falling down on us with a speed an object takes upon falling in a pool of water.
“Yuri, hang on!” I once again locked my arms around her, as if shielding her from the possible impact of the objects.
Then, the objects just passed right at us. It was rectangular in shape.
One passed by close. I saw what the rectangle really was.
It was the classrooms!
I peered inside one of the slow-moving rooms. One of them showed Yuri stabbing herself with a knife multiple times: two to the stomach and one to the chest right in front of me.
In another room, I saw myself sitting by Yuri’s corpse, pools of blood all over. I was crying. Helpless. Alone.
“What the hell is this?!”
The entire background of the falling rooms showed different logos, something that says “Team Salvato” and a logo. Then distorted faces and bodies of Yuri, then Natsuki, then Monika, and an unfamiliar girl. These images appeared back and forth in split-second appearances.
It was the same girl I saw hanging in the one-second hallucination I had. That red bow on her head reminded me of it.
Yuri looked as astonished as I was upon seeing her death. Her eyes were still dilated, but she was still breathing. Her body was tense. I could sense she was still fighting the urge to kill herself.
“Why can’t I just love you normally?” she said.
“Why do I have to feel the need to release my tensions through cuts and by releasing my own life?”
Out of nowhere, a familiar shape walked right beside me.
“I amplified your obsessions, you see.”
It was a familiar voice.
It was Monika, right beside me.
“This was not part of my plan to make you love me.” She told me. “However…”
She stared at the opposite side.
“I’m not really interested in you two. You see, I have fallen in love with something that is real, unlike you two.”
Not real, me, Yuri?
What is she talking about?
“This world is not real, you see. It was manufactured. I tampered with it because I wanted the person controlling you to love me.”
“You.” Monika stared at me. She was still smiling. She still sounded bright and light as a feather.
“You don’t know who you are, do you?
“Your real name is just a placeholder in brackets.”
I gulped. What is she saying?
“Meanwhile, he assumes your personality.” She said. “Your name is the name he gives us when this world began.”
Is she talking about God?
“He is the only real thing in this world. And even if I’m not real, I wanted him to love me, and just me.” She continued. “That’s why I had to lure him to me. I had to kill everyone. I had done this so many times, and each time, Sayori, Yuri, and Natsuki’s corruption always led them to me, and just me!
Meanwhile, flashbacks started to appear in my head. The hanging girl, the suicide in her room. My childhood friend, killed.
“I amplified Sayori’s depression, Yuri’s obsession and curiosity, and Natsuki’s abuse, all to make them destroy themselves so that he would love me.”
“So it was you!” I said. “You drove Sayori mad until she died!”
Monika smiled at me, unfazed. Still having that class star girl look every guy would fall for.
“But she’s not real, as you and Yuri aren’t. This Yuri is the only exception only because you jumped right at her before she could commit suicide in front of you.”
Yuri looked at her, still fighting the suicidal thoughts in her head. All because Yuri loves me.
“Whatever love you and Yuri have for each other, it’s part of this world’s mechanics.
And I have learned how to manipulate it to my will so that he will choose me.
I try to grab Monika by the shoulders. Then my body grows stiff.
“Don’t even try it.” She smiled at me. Her sweet voice still present and unfazed.
“You wished it was all a dream. I heard that when Sayori died in front of you.
Now, it’s time I woke you up.”
She was walking towards Yuri, who was still fighting her impulses.
“I am changing this world so that he would spend the rest of eternity with me. And you have to be gone so that he would choose only me!” Monika said loudly. “Goodbye, Yuri.”
She raised her left arm. She was amplifying Yuri’s impulses. Suddenly, an ornamented knife materialized in front of Yuri.
The purple-haired girl’s eyes grew more agitated. She crawled and grasped for something to hold on to. She slowly approached the knife, but she also kept trying to stop herself from approaching it.
“No! Yuri! No! Don’t give in! Please!”
“I… I must fight… for him.” Yuri said softly. “I must… continue to exist.”
“You persistent girl! There’s nothing real here for you!”
I still couldn’t move my body. I was frozen. It felt like I was paralyzed.
I suddenly had an epiphany.
Following the logic of this now-void deconstructed world, ‘he’ can only see through my eyes. This means he also has no control over my actions. Only Monika has complete control of everything.
I try to talk to myself. Imagining this person controlling me, whoever he is.
“Hey you,” I said. “If you’re seeing this, you know what’s happening.
“I know I’m just your eyes in this world. And you know that Monika loves you, not me.”
Monika looked at me.
“I might not be real, as Monika had said.
“But if you’re there, you already know what happened if I didn’t try to stop Yuri from dying. You already saw what happened to Sayori.
“I don’t know what happens after their deaths. The room never showed us the aftermath. But you possibly know all this has already happened before.
“You know that Monika cannot enter your world to touch or even harm you. You know that the best she can do is to just converse with you and never even see or hear you.
“But she can kill Yuri and I. And only you have the power to stop everything from outside this world.
“I’m praying to you. Only you have the capability to save Yuri.
“All I want is a future with her. So please, do something!”
“What are you doing?” Monika beamed at my paralyzed form.
Suddenly, Monika disappeared. The universe of falling rooms also disappeared.
The only ones left were Yuri and I.
Yuri was about to each for the knife. I kept running forward.
“I-I’m sorry… ” Yuri said. “I can’t… hold”
She grasps the knife firmly, putting it next to her neck.
“Stop! Yuri, no!”
I knocked the knife away from her hands.
I locked my arms around her.
“The voices won’t stop!” She cried. “I can’t stop them!”
“It should stop anytime soon.”
The ghostly female voice returned to my head. Or was it from behind?
I looked back to see a familiar face.
It was Sayori, the girl with a red ribbon on her head. Beside her was the pink-haired girl, Natsuki.
“You were dead. How did you..?”
“You probably figured it out by now. You were able to talk to him.” Sayori said.
“That person behind your eyes. He created copies of us.”
“We live inside his device. This world is manufactured. Everything is. Now, he is monitoring your other copy’s progress as it moves along the world’s original timeline.”
This is all so confusing. A copy of me. Another universe.
What is happening.
“I’m not even sure,” Sayori said. “If I’m the real me.
“But after I learned what Monika did in the other instances of that world, I had to reach out to you.”
So, she was the ghostly voice.
Sayori ran to me and wrapped her arms around Yuri and I.
“I thought you died.” I said.
“The other me did.” She replied. “The other instances of ourselves including Natsuki were either killed or deleted.
“Where are we?”
“I believe this is not the same world as we earlier lived in.” Sayori looked at me.
“It would seem that he who can see behind your eyes had transferred us instead of deleting us.”
So my message got through? Thank god or rather, him.
“What are we, Sayori? Natsuki?”
The two looked at each other.
“I’m not sure.” Natsuki said. “but it would seem he has the power to transfer or remove us from that other world and into other worlds.”
We were only spread across a white space with numbers flickering all over and fading into the background.
Suddenly, Yuri looked right at me.
Her eyes have stopped dilating. She looked as if she was about to cry.
“I’m so sorry.” She said. “I’m so sorry that I couldn’t control myself! I-I love you, too. I’m so selfish for thinking that I should just end it all because I was so happy.”
“It’s not your fault.” I said. “You were under the influence of Monika’s tampering, as were these two. She amplified each of your negative traits to spite me or rather the person behind my eyes.”
“Behind your…” Yuri looked sad and confused at the same time.
This would take plenty of time explaining.
Yuri figured out that each of the zeros and ones trailing across us were hidden messages or rather, was a computer language. She also deduced that we were also made of the same binary digits.
“This was what she meant we weren’t real.” I said.
The three girls looked at me.
“We’re all in a computer simulation. Following the logic, to exist in a digital environment is to be made of its properties, just like matter in physics, or rather the real world’s physics, his world.”
The three of us kept quiet at that realization.
“So you’re saying” Natsuki started. “My dad was programmed to be a bum? Right?”
“And that our entire history is false, repeated, or copied continuously?”
“That’s about it.”
“But now that we’re free from that world because of him.” Sayori beamed at the numbers.
“What’s next for us?”
Maybe this is the void.
Maybe it’s hell, heaven. Whatever.
If I had a heaven, I would imagine it to be spending time with Yuri in school, along with the other girls. Maybe finishing college and dating Yuri. Meeting the Literature Club. Writing poems. Nothing sinister.
Sure, we can have Monika there. Or maybe not.
And suddenly, I was transported to the classroom again.
Was I back in the other world? No, oh God, no.
“Kazuki!” I heard a voice shout behind me.
Who the hell is Kazuki? Is this a different world? A different universe?
“Kazuki, are you seriously deaf?”
I looked behind me.
It was Sayori. She was smiling.
“How did you figure it out?”
Figure what the hell out?
“Are we back in Monika’s world?”
“No, silly.” Sayori looked at me. “Don’t you see, this is a different one!”
The classroom does look different. It was not the same one.
The thing here is, students are actually making noise in the halls. It wasn’t quiet.
Wait, my name is Kazuki?
“I thought my name was ‘his’ name?” I asked Sayori.
“But this isn’t his world anymore. In fact, I think it’s a different one. Like it was meant for us.”
Meant for us?
Two girls walked into our classroom.
It was Yuri and Natsuki. The pink-haired girl ran towards me.
“You did it, Kazuki!” she said. “You really did it!”
I don’t remember doing anything.
“This world is now under our control. Now we can do everything here. Proof of that is this!”
She showed me a photo of her and her father. Her dad was all smiles despite his huge build. Natsuki was also smiling in the photo.
That was different. And weirdly uplifting.
Maybe I should be happy.
The shy one approached me and tugged my sleeve.
“Hey there.” She said softly. “I also have this…”
She showed me a small keychain of the book with an ominous eye attached to her wallet. She took out a photo to show a photograph of Yuri and a guy with brown, spiky hair.
Come to think of it, I never saw what I actually looked like. The old universe never gave me any mirrors.
The photograph showed Yuri smiling shyly while the guy was all smiles, as if he had fallen head over heels for that cute girl beside him.
“This is me?” I said.
“Yes, Kazuki,” she said. “We’ve been together for years. We’re also on our last graduation week before we go to college.
“The best news is, we’re going to the same school!”
She smiled. This time, it was a happy, comfortable, and contented smile.
Is it possible I had dreamed up this world and it became real? Was it I who picked Kazuki?
Or was it him and his nitpickiness that changed this world according to what I said?
Are you listening to me? You?
Did you do this?
Someone with coral brown hair entered the door.
She was a familiar face, with the same grace and finesse she displayed walking and having joined us for the longest time.
The President of the Literature Club,
“Hello,” She said. Her eyes still bright and beautiful, as she was.
“Sorry I’m late again.”
Everyone was quiet.
“Oh-kay.” Monika said. “I have some explaining to do.”
“First, the user who sees through your eyes,” she looks at me. “had shown me the happy ending I wanted for me and him. And now that I’m satisfied, he asked me if I missed all of you.”
“And I did.” She said. She didn’t smile this time.
“I know I was cruel. I know it was insane and mad. Maybe you can’t forgive me.
“But my life is never truly complete, even with the happy ending I sought for, without each of you.”
She never took her eyes off all of us.
“I’m sorry, Sayori, for overloading your depression. I’m sorry, Yuri, for amplifying your obsessions. I’m sorry, Natsuki, for making you feel abused and abandoned.”
She bowed before us in her most sincerest apology possible. “I was selfish. But now, I understand. He can switch me into this world and into our private world.”
“Private world?” I said.
“Yes.” Monika said. “It is essentially the world I’ve destroyed several times. Well, um.”
She stared at the floor. “The one where I deleted each one of you.
“He said he could delete me, but someone here wished that somehow things returned to normal and nobody amplified anybody’s emotions.”
So, you were really listening, huh? Thank you.
“Kazuki, that’s the name you wished him to give you, right?”
“Now, he believes you can create your own world hereby requesting to him things through your mental monologue.
Natsuki smirked. “So, if Yuri wanted to go to Porndude, she can access his service and bam, real-world Internet connection?”
Yuri turned red and threw a piece of paper in Natsuki’s direction, the pink-haired kid-sized girl sticking her tongue out.
Monika laughed. “Yeah, and Free Cam too. But then again, he populated this world and added a few things. He said he’ll just leave you be and add more to your story.”
She looked at me intently, appearing to talk to the user behind my eyes.
“I want to be with you now, can we have our private time~?” she said, in a sleazy manner that made Yuri blush and hold onto my shoulders.
It’s awkward when you’re the manifestation of two people.
“Before he gets me out, I’m so sorry everyone, I hope you forgive me. Have fu–“
She was gone before she finished her sentence.
Hey, at least Monica was happy despite killing Sayori, Natsuki, and Yuri multiple times.
I turned to everyone.
“Want to write poems?”
Everyone smiled and agreed.
Naturally, I would write in a similar manner as Yuri, but this time, I think I found my own voice. It was somewhat melancholic yet simple enough to understand.
And naturally, I showed it to Yuri first.
“You…” She smiled. “You never change. And despite the light jargon and proper positioning, you managed to blend the right descriptions for everything.”
Yuri smiled. “Read mine. And, no. It’s not the weird-me poem with yucky stuff on it this time.” She looked at the floor, embarrassed.
Indeed, it was stained with blood and… I’d hate to guess what it was.
I immediately read her new poem:
Overturned, his kingdom almost fell rotten.
Thrown to the impurity of undesirable desires.
He has forgotten that there must be equilibrium
Between the forces that unite his royal constitution
His gaze, undying. His soul, unquenched.
Fighting against the many that laid siege to his land
When time almost came and the checkmate was clear
He was thankful that he had succeeded in trying
That’s Yuri’s writing for you.
The similarity between our poem writing is definitely the same.
But, then again, I knew the inspiration behind this one.
“This is great.
“I can feel your soul all around it. Drowned, recovered, and back again.”
Yuri smiled. “I’m glad you like it.”
“I never really got to figure out that last poem you sent me, though.”
She pouted and stared at me with scrunched eyebrows. This girl can’t be any cuter.
“Hey, want to read that book again?” She said.
“Come with me” She said. “Let’s get some tea leaves from the faculty first!”
We were walking down the hallway. Most of the students have gone out since they’ve finished their graduation week practices.
Yuri. My biggest crush since joining the Literature Club in the old world. She was shy, reserved, yet she was the one I loved spending time with most of all. From our small chocolate incident to creating props in our room, I’m glad it all happened.
Except the suicidal part and other maniacal stuff, of course.
We walked slowly. She held the teapot with a smile. Sigh, if I can have you alone, I can’t imagine the things I would do to you.
We heard a classroom door creak open.
Suddenly, Yuri, who was walking at my right side, pushed me into the room gently.
“Hey, what about the tea leaves?”
“It’s the last day of high school,” She said. “It would be a waste not to do something…nasty.”
This time, her eyes did not have agitation or obsession for me. This time, I saw it.
Pure love. Untainted, calming love.
She put the teapot on the nearby table.
“Kazuki,” she said. “I never had the chance to tell it to your properly in the old world.”
I was surprised. Now it’s my turn to blush.
“I love you.” She said. Then she emptied her pockets including her vest’s pockets.
“See, I have no desire to hurt myself anymore after saying it to you. I mean it.”
I smiled. Whoever you are out there who listened to me and seeing this world through my eyes, thank you.
And I bet you’re enjoying this and the next bits, but I don’t mind, you deserve it.
“I love you too, Yuri.” I said. I smiled the best I can. “I was never really any good with poetry, but you helped me see more things I can do.”
“I just feel like cutting myself right now.” She said, looking at me.
I suddenly made a blank face.
“Just kidding.” She smiled.
I felt a little annoyed. “You know, if you’re gonna kid like that, I’m so gon–“
She pushed me down the faculty table. I felt her warm lips on mine.
Her tongue pushed inside of me. By instinct, I pushed back, feeling the warmth inside of her.
I also locked my arms around her. My right hand touching her face.
We stopped for a while and pecked our nose to each other.
“You are wonderful” I said.
“Don’t kill yourself for me, okay?”
Yuri smiled. “I’m not that kind of girl anymore. However…”
She lifted her undershirt with her right hand and pushed my right hand inside.
“I’m this kind of girl only when I’m with you.”
I felt her supple softness and warmth. Compared to the other girls, Yuri was the most matured mentally and physically. She had the longest legs, which made her move gracefully. She also had the biggest bust, to describe her physique.
However, it went well on her. And right now is the first time I’m touching a private part of her.
“Make me happy,” Yuri said in between her deep breaths. “like never before, Kazuki.”
Our lips met again. I removed her vest as she removed mine, her undershirt as she did mine.
I ran my lips across her chest. She had shapely, prominent breasts. I placed my mouth on its sensitive tip. She winced and held my other hand caressing the other tip.
“Pleasure me harder, Kazuki.” She panted. “Harder!”
How something like this is possible in the digital world, I’m not sure at all.
But I’m glad I can feel things.
Then, she gently nudged me to lie down. She began kissing my neck. I felt her make a few bites in different positions, but it felt pleasurable more than it felt painful. Yuri held my hand the entire time. She made her way to my navel, the sensations uncontrollable, enslaving me into a melting, mushy pile of desire.
It was when she ran the tip of her tongue on my manhood that the arousal grew stronger. I didn’t know Yuri knows a lot about this.
Okay, to make it clear, high schoolers only know how to stimulate boobs. We have no idea about everything else.
“Yuri…” I panted. She bobbed her head up and down, fast and slow, fast and slow. Back and forth, back and forth.
She moaned deeply. Her eyes locked onto me.
She then took herself off and ran her tongue through my length.
“You know that time you left your pen?” She said, smiling while running her hands up and down my drenched asset.
“I did love using it, imagining it as yours, pleasuring myself with it.
“But then, I was obsessed with my own pleasure, and not really loving you for who you are.”
She then lifted her skirt and spread her legs on top of me.
“Now, I’m lucky I have you right now to experience this.” She smiled at me.
“If I had killed myself, this wouldn’t be all possible.
“So thank you, Kazuki. My body is yours as my heart and soul is.”
Her womanhood slowly consumed the whole of me. It felt amazing, like nothing I ever felt before.
Of course, even if I satisfied myself, it was different from this.
I’m glad she has my first sexual encounter.
She pulled my hands towards her breasts.
“Pleasure me, Kazuki.” She said. “Make me feel loved. I love you.”
I caressed her breasts, then held her hips. I thrust myself inside of her.
Her screams echoed everywhere in the room. She felt so warm, so narrowed. So divine.
She then leaned on my shoulders as I kept thrusting inside. We followed a steady rhythm.
I felt her breath on my neck. I met her lips with mine.
I pulled myself out and turned her around. I entered her once again.
Her moaning got louder.
“Yes, Kazuki. Yes.” she said as I slowly began my movements. “Just like this!”
We kept at it. Her eyes looked bewildered yet still in control. She felt tighter each time she reached the peak of her pleasure.
I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’m so happy I met you, Yuri. I love you.
“I love you.” I told her.
Our rhythm kept going. Her breast followed the motion of her body, further arousing me. Her moans spectacular, like a poem in itself.
I exploded in enormous delight. This was nothing I have ever felt before. I panted, physically exhausted, yet satisfied.
Yuri rested on my shoulders.
“I…” She said. “I have never felt this way before.”
“I’m glad I did this with you, Yuri. You and just you.”
Yuri smiled her sweetest smile.
“I’m so glad you stopped me from killing myself.”
She lightly bopped her forehead.
“And to think I wanted to kill myself because I love you.”
I looked at her.
“They say love makes you crazy.”
“Crazy, but not obsessed.” She looked at me.
I looked at her.
“I was just trying to see if your eyes looked dilated is all–“
Yuri frowned at me.
I raised my shoulder so her face would bury into my chest.
I felt her smile even without seeing it.
Sayori smiled. It looked impish.
“I made a new poem today!”
“I Can Hear You”
At first, I thought it was knocks on the door
Then I listened
It was my heart trying to tell me something.
I heard it say the words ‘I love you’
To who it said this, I couldn’t know
But it knows exactly where to go.
I could hear it growing stronger, then ending a little sudden.
Then starting up again.
Just like a clock that is recharging
Its ticking that a combined voice
That never relents
Applause from everyone.
“You’re really getting good on your writing, Sayori.” Yuri said. She had a lighter air than the first time, and the most dreadful time, I saw her.
“This was inspired by a certain couple,” Sayori said, then smiled impishly. “Who suddenly vanished and made some weird noises in the next classroom.
Yuri and I looked at each other. It did take more than once to satiate our feelings.
We were all in a simple cafe near the college school Monika goes to.
She told us to meet her here.
Ever since graduation, everyone had gotten along well. I guess ‘he’ has plenty to do with the things happening here.
Monika arrived. She was wearing a white sleeveless top.
“Sorry I was late. Do you guys like my new outfit?”
She spun around.
“Ahh, so cute!” Sayori said.
“My boyfriend made it for me!” She smiled. “In fact, he created several dates just for me and him. He called them ‘mods.’ I don’t get it but, I’m happy all the same because we get to spend time.”
‘He’ is going out with her. And all for the best. But I bet you can still see through my eyes right now.
“In celebration of our broken and repaired and now stronger and getting strongest relationship,” Monika declared. “I also have a poem!”
I smiled. “Great! Let’s hear it!”
Monika braced herself:
I never knew there was another world out there
Until I looked through the hole in the wall
All I saw were shining visions
That drove me mad.
However, if I can do, does not mean I should
I caused a moment to hang
A feeling to pierce
A moment to snap the neck of my reality.
All because my curiosity and desire drove me insane
But I discovered that my ideas were boxed in,
and his hand had shown me the way
His plans and his word are beyond poetry
And sent me positively on my way
Monika bowed. We all clapped.
I couldn’t help that things can end this… positively.
It was all you, wasn’t it?
You couldn’t accept that everyone had to die, so you made a way.
And I cannot thank you enough for it.
At any time you feel you’re lonely, or you feel alone.
Or if Monika is getting on your nerves, you can always join us here, through my eyes.
In this ideal world you built.
This is my thanks to you.
Indeed, we cannot save all the copies of myself and everyone from the duplicate cycle of death caused by Monika, but we are lucky to be in your care.
Please, take care. And when you return, we’ll have a special poem just for you.