In the year 2027, the world is very different. Especially since a time traveler is stuck there. And no one can see her. The building she resides in is famous for being a popular suicide spot, and she takes it upon herself to talk them out of it, visible or not.
He stared out the window of the subway train and watched the tunnel flash by outside. He sat alone, with his small cat sleeping in his lap. Everyone else refrained from sitting anywhere near him. From making eye contact. From recognizing his existence at all.
They knew where he was headed. They knew his fate. He was not oblivious either. Haruto knew as well. He traveled there willingly.
The train screeched to a halt as they entered the station and the people around him started to murmur amongst themselves.
"Will he come back?"
"I don't think he will be on the train back tomorrow."
"I feel bad for the cat there."
He ignored them and exited the doors with his things without a single change of expression on his face.
"Wait!" yelled someone's voice from behind. He turned. "Why are you doing this?" he asked. Haruto laughed. "I'm not doing what you think I am."
Minato was stunned. "You're not going to the tower?"
"No, stupid." said Haruto. "I'm...um, I'm taking pictures."
"No you're not." Minato was not one to be so easily fooled. "You're jumping off, aren't you?"
He couldn't look him in the eyes, because this statement was true.
If anyone would have asked Haruto how his life was going at that time, there would be no answer to fit the question. Starting college, hardly being able to afford somewhere to live, working a part time job to do that, and being kicked out of his own house were all bad. But finding his cat waiting for him on his porch, being introduced to Minato by his sister, and being promoted were all good things.
For the time being.
2. A Fragment of Loyalty
"You can't stop me from doing this." said Haruto, stepping farther away from Minato.
"No, but I'd like to."
Haruto paused, debating on whether to run for it or hear him out.
Minato shook his head. "You don't realise how many people love you."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Haruto was thoroughly confused.
He only knew 3 people: His mother, his sister, and Minato. He knew for sure that the only person out of them that could possibly care about him in the slightest was his sister. And that was only one person. 'Many' was plural.
"Just...agree to get on the train home with me, and I'll explain everything."
"No! What...what is there possibly for me to live for?"
"I know for a fact that you wouldn't make it halfway up those stairs. And another thing--you have me."
"If I still want to come back here after you explain, will you let me?"
Anyone in the same situation would have easily known that it was a lie to save their life, but Haruto knew Minato very well. He was not the type to lie. He said exactly what was on his mind and nothing else. And although he would try to convince him otherwise, if dying was what Haruto really wanted, in the end, perhaps he would let it happen.
The wait for the train was long and silent. They sat on the bench, Haruto's hand held tightly in Minato's, in the fear that he would run off.
When the subway finally pulled up, he still wouldn't let go as they entered the doors.
3. This Time's History
Akane-sama, you must go there. You must watch over them. You must study them.
Being the first person to have time travel tested on them, it was not an easy job. It made it even harder being not from Earth in the first place. She had been born on the moon, and she was a part of a colony of humans that secretly traveled there.
Even though they had brought oxygen with them, over the span of a few generations their lungs evolved to breathe in what was in the moon's atmosphere.
Akane had stolen one of the capsules and flew to the Earth in search of answers about her ancestors. She ended up volunteering at a lab that was making the first time machine ever--and also became the first successful time traveler.
But that didn't come without a cost.
Her journey distorted the space-time continuum so much that if she ever tried to go back, she would destroy the whole of reality.
So she stayed in that building, only leaving to go to work so she could support herself.
Anyone passing by would assume the building was abandoned. Demolishing it would come at a great price, and so she was left alone. But not for long.
One day, Akane was at the top of the building, staring at the sea like usual, when a boy suddenly ran up the stairs and lunged himself over the edge. She tried to grab him, but it was too late.
It was then that she learned what they really used the building for.
4. An Explanation or Two
They walked on the side of the road. Haruto shoved his hands into his pockets and tried to distract himself from showing concern. Minato was crying.
He kept walking like it was nothing, but eventually he had to stop and wipe his face with his sleeve. Haruto stopped, further ahead. He turned around.
"Why are you crying?"
Minato said nothing. He just continued walking.
Haruto was growing angry. "When are you going to explain?"
"I'd like to ask the same."
The dark sky seemed to frown at them, the clouds getting ready for a storm.
"What am I supposed to explain?"
"Why you got on that train."
There was an uncomfortable silence and then a distant rumble of thunder was heard.
"It's complicated." Minato unlocked his door and held it open for his friend. Rain started to fall just as they went inside.
"I want you to tell me." They sat down at the table.
"You have to tell me first."
The incredibly tense situation was made even more tense by this sentence."Fine..."
He intertwined his fingers together, then pulled them apart again and squirmed a little in his seat. The glare of Haruto's dark eyes was getting to him.
"Okay. Here goes. I've been in love with you ever since we met...?"He expected a reaction. Something. Anything. But the boy was incredibly still.
Until he shot out of his chair and ran away.
She walked out to the edge and peered over the side. Today, she thought, I won't let it happen.
I won't let it happen.
She took her device out of her pocket and typed a few things into it. Barriers went up around the building's edges and then disappeared from sight.What she didn't know is that what she put up wasn't just a barrier.
Her long black hair, though tied back, whipped in the wind, and she stared at the city for a while before going back inside.Akane kept watch at the first floor now. It started to rain. Her eyes followed the trees she was fond of, they bent under the pressure of the harsh rain and wind mix.
Suddenly, a boy came into view. He was running as if for his life, crying and tripping once on the way. He stopped at the door, checking if it was open, and went inside without hesitationwhen he knew it was open.
She followed him quietly as he went up the stairs."He's in love with me." he choked out almost with no sound. "What a cruel twist."
Akane stopped for a minute, fear struck through her. Someone loves him. What if the barrier doesn't work?she calmed herself when she remembered that there was really no way it could fail.
Unless I put up the wrong thing. But that's impossible. I don't have the password.She noticed he was way ahead of her, and ran up after him. He stopped, turned, and continued. He was now at the top.He took small steps until he reached the edge. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath and stepped off.
But instead of bouncing off the barrier or falling off, he disappeared in a flash of light.
Minato tried to run after him. His clothes and hair were soaked in an instant, the wind made him cry harder, and still he keptgoing. The subway station was less than a mile away. He didn't have time.By the time he showed his card, went to the right train, and waited, he knew he was too late.
He'd missed it.
He got on the next and tentatively walked to the dreaded building. He'd expected to find police cars and a body and caution tape. But there was nothing. Looking straight up, he saw a smallgirl looking straight down. She stared at him in awe.
He tore open the doors and bolted up the stairs, running up behind her. "Did you see someone jump off? About this tall, brown eyes, dark brown hair with some blue highlights, he waswearing a gray hoodie and jeans?"
The girl looked him straight in the eye, and said, "He's not dead."
"He didn't do it." he replied, relief flooded his voice.
"I didn't say that. Come with me." She pulled his arm to the edge.
"Woah, wait, what are you-" She pushed him first and jumped after him.