Distance

A sweet melody chimed in my left pocket. I reached in and grabbed my brand new cellphone. As I continued to walk through the park, an even sweeter melody came through the speaker of my phone.

"Hello Aoi," he said.
"Mizu!" I screamed, almost too loudly, "Mizu! It's been ages!"

I was a little overly excited. But the sound of Mizu's voice was so rare to me now that I could not keep my cool when he had time to call me.

"How are you Aoi? How is it in Tokyo?" he asked calmly.
"I love Tokyo! It's so beautiful here, especially in the spring. I wish you could see what I'm seeing Mizu..."

Suddenly, my heart was pained. I had to stop and take in a breath. The cherry blossoms around me were a sad reminder of the distance between us. Of course Mizu would never see what I could see. He was so far... so far. I hated the very thought of what he did for a living, because it seperated us. After University, I could only ever hear his voice. I didn't even know where he was stationed anymore.

"So Mizu," I managed to cough out, "where are you right now...?"

There was a long pause. For a mintue, I thought he had hung up.

"Aoi, you know I can't tell you that..."

I stood still under the petal rain, and listened to the shuffling in the background. Mizu was not alone.

"I'm sorry Aoi, I have to go," he apologized softly.

I was silent. Who knows when he could call again? I loathed those same words he said to me when I had crossed the line; asked beyond him. He was running from me.

"Mizu... I... P-please don't go!" I cried. I could feel tears welling up. A bit of the salty liquid spilled over and a single tear managed to roll down my cheek. I watched it fall into the pavement with a splash.

"Bye Aoi," he replied. It was a coldhearted tone, and it made me hurt more on the inside.

-----

For weeks I anticipated a new call from Mizu. It was nerve-racking, and I could feel a bit of paranoia beginning to creep over me like an ominous shadow. I could hardly sleep, hardly think, hardly breathe. Before I knew it, my life was centered around that one single call. I waited and waited... months past, seasons flew, and I began to lose my hope of ever hearing his beautiful voice again.

Mizu could play violin, and he could sing. But he chose not to persue those as careers. I never really did understand why. All I knew was that Mizu was somewhere out there, like me, waiting. His waiting wasn't the same though. He was waiting for those orders... the orders that would change his life forever. After University, he became an astronomer. I was fine with that, for there were plenty of facilities in Tokyo. However, he chose to join a top secret government operation, and he left before I could even say goodbye. Since then, I hadn't seen him. He wasn't allowed to reveal his location, and camera phones were strictly out of the question. So, obviously, I would never see him again.

It was spring again, and I walked the same path I had many times before. I watched the soft pink petals drop elegantly to the grass. It was nostalgic, because I still remembered, so many years ago, when Mizu took me to the exact spot I stood on and sung to me. I was so entranced, so distracted, that I hadn't realized the true message behind the lyrics. It was our last spring together.

I sat under the tree, and gazed up into the sky. Where are you Mizu? I miss you so much. I want you to be here with me...

As if by pure coincidence, my phone rang. My heart leaped from my chest and across the street. It was him!

"Mizu! Oh my god! You finally, FINALLY called! I've been waiting!"

Mizu wasn't the same. His voice was no longer a beautiful ring to my ears, but a hard, monotonous bellow that made me shudder in fear.

"Aoi, I have to tell you something..." he whispered.

There was a lump in my throat. How could I answer? How could I answer when I knew what he was about to say?

"I got the orders Aoi. I don't know if I'll make it back," he hinted.

The tears were coming now for sure. Not just one, but a whole fountain. People stared at me in pity as they passed; I was too distraught to notice.

"Mizu, Mizu, MIZU! Please don't go! Please! I've been waiting for you forever, and I miss you more than anything in the world! I love you more than anything in the world! Mizu, Mizu..." I choked, my eyes red and puffy.

"I'm so sorry Aoi... but I have to go."

I slammed my palm into the trunk of the cherry blossom tree. Why, why now? Why him?

"No!" I yelled, tears muffling the seriousness of my voice, "NO! You can't go there! It's a suicide mission! I know it, you know it, THEY know it! They're sending you to die Mizu! You can't leave me here, not when I waited so long for you! You can't!"

Mizu was going to cry as well. I could hear it in his voice as he forced the words out of his mouth. "Aoi, I'm sorry... I'm sorry... Please, stop crying."

I buried my head deep in my knees and screamed his name. Mizu, please don't go, please!

"I love you, Aoi," he breathed.

I gasped, and the line was silent.

-----

The space shuttle launched at exactly 4:06 am on Tuesday. It was destroyed at 12:06 pm on Friday.

Mizu was on that shuttle. He was the only one left that could help the government navigate the ship through the hazy stars and planets. He was forced into a war that he could not win. Everyone died on that ship.

None of the bodies could be retrieved. In the end, I didn't get to see Mizu. Even in death, he was an unknown face to me. Maybe he still did look the same as he once did? I would never know.

The last I heard of Mizu, was the second he died. I was in my room, gazing through the window absent-mindedly, when a pretty sound, almost like a music box, filled the room. It was quiet, but I could make out the words. It was Mizu's song that he had sung to me before he left to persue his career. The song that was everything to me, I could hear one last time. When it faded away, I weeped into my pillow.

The line between our two phones was dead, and so was Mizu.

End