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Chapter Twenty-Five: Parallels:

This all felt familiar. Not the searching and running part, but somehow Sakura-hime reminds me of Hitomi. Both of them acted so strange, but really they just needed help. They seemed to turn to me, but never told me what was wrong. Their darkness kept them isolated from those that they loved. The difference was Hitomi died before I could help her. I only hoped to stop Sakura-hime before she died.

I paused and shook my head. No, it might not come to this point. She didn't show the signs. Neither did Hitomi on the time I saw her. Rather, I did see it, but I didn't really buy much attention to it. Hitomi said that she was okay and I just accepted that. I closed my eyes and tried to think about where Sakura-hime could be. It suddenly donned on me that I didn't have a clue. I don't really know anything about her. I didn't really know anything about Hitomi either. What have I been doing all of this time?

I sat down near the fountain in the middle of the square. I am stuck on my future, friends death, and trying to find Sakura-hime. How did it all end up on me? I never wanted any of these headaches. I thought after I graduated that I would just study for the entrance exam and go to college. Then maybe look for a job, marry, and have kids. Hitomi and Akemi threw everything out of balance for me.

I picked up my phone and dialed Cassius.

"Hello?" he asked.

"Hey, it's me," I said.

"Have you found her yet?" Cassius asked.

"I don't know where to look," I confessed. "I don't even know her that well."

"Just look for abandoned place," he told me.

"Why there?" I asked.

"She loves abandoned buildings and 'haunted' things," he explained. I frowned to myself as I remembered how she asked about Hitomi died.

"Oh," I muttered. "Where do I start?"

"Where you are is fine," Cassius told me. "Meet us back at the garden plaza."

"Okay," I said. I hung up and looked at the sky. He didn't give me much to work with there. Still, that's a start. It's more than what I got with Hitomi. I gritted my teeth as I rose to my feet. Why do I keep thinking about her? She's dead, you idiot! You're not going to get an answer for the why! You barely even knew her when she was alive! My mind still would't let it sink in. It felt like I just had to know everything about her before she died. I couldn't explain it anymore. Maybe if I found Sakura-hime, I would have answers to questions and my head would finally rest. I frowned at that notion.

What kind of a stupid idea is that? Sakura-hime is not Hitomi! Stop using her as an excuse to try and justify your own indecisiveness!> I cursed myself under myself. Screw this! I'm going to look for her! I raced down the paved path, looking for abandoned buildings. My mind kept running back and forth between Hitomi and Sakura-hime. I couldn't really separate the two anymore.

Why didn't you say anything to me? I was right there. I was right there! I was right there, damn it!

After about an hour of looking, I gave up in that area went elsewhere to look for Sakura-hime. Calling her didn't work as I discovered.

"Sakura's phone," Miki answered. My stomach dropped when I heard her say that.

"Oh, she didn't have her phone on her?" I asked.

"No," Miki answered. This isn't good, I thought. "Did you see her before she left?" I asked.

"No," Miki said again. "And she hasn't come back either. Her boyfriends haven't heard from her and no one has seen her." I nodded as if I had just taken a bitter pill.

"Okay, thank you," I said before hanging up. When I looked up, I came across a neighborhood long since abandoned since WWII. I bit on my lower lip.

Come on, Sakura-hime! Where could you have gone? The crumbling dirty buildings that time forgot made me feel so tiny inside. My thoughts went back to that day at the creek. I had just gotten Hitomi's message on the answering machine.

"Hey, Kichiro-kun, it's me. I really need your help. Please call me. I'm so lonely. Come out and meet me at the creek where we used to play. Please help me!"

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