We had attended Tatsuya’s funeral, which seems to also include his parents who were working at the bakery below his house when the tsunami hit it. His extended family, friends, and co-workers attended too.
For being his girlfriend, and quite close to him, his death impacted me the most. It left me a huge void in my heart. My willpower to find another boyfriend is weak since I had already poured my heart and soul on Tatsuya, but if it wasn’t for my brother who comforted me, I would be feeling worse now.
It was that day after the tsunami on returning home, dad was comforting me and my brother who… hold on. Something is wrong with my memory: dad had clearly said “my two daughters” instead of “my daughter and son” when he hugged me and my brother on seeing us for the first time since the quake. I also kept thinking that my brother was a girl that whole day. How on earth did I not notice it until now? Why did I actually see Tsukasa as a sister instead of a brother crossdressing?
Tsukasa: “Um, are you okay? You seemed oddly shocked instead of sad…”
Me: “Were you with me on the day after the quake?”
Tsukasa: “Of course I was. You were with me the whole time at the evacuation centre as a matter of fact.”
My memory from that day is clearly that of me being with a girl that I oddly refer to as my brother. However, I couldn’t bring up that topic up. His answer a while had me doubt if that girl was him or if someone else was in his place.
Tsukasa: “If you are thinking about that, I can assure to you that what you remembered is exactly the same as what happened.”
Remembered what exactly? Or are you saying that the strange memories I oddly have actually happened as I remember seeing?
Tsukasa: “I think you would be less confused if you just think of me as your older sibling and don’t think too much about what I looked or sounded like at any point in time.”
Spring has arrived, but the atmosphere is gloomy despite the blooming cherry blooms around. (Quite a number of its flowers dropped during the quake.) The area where the harbour town was looked like a big open land filled with rubble and ships washed ashore. The furthest the tidal wave reached could easily be seen by the vegetation. Only concrete buildings, and steel frames of some others, remained standing. Worked has started to clear the rubble, but due to the vastness of destruction and limited manpower, it’s progressively slow. So far, it’s limited to clearing out the roads.
Besides rubble, foreigners were seen in the destructed area either helping out the affected, or picking things in the mess, including a safe. It’s unknown if the latter group are helping out too, or looting.
Since a nuclear power plant in the neighbouring prefecture was damaged by the tsunami, and straining the remaining working power plants, people are also faced with blackouts and radiation fears. People who didn’t know what radiation was were overacting, especially people overseas, and referencing it with a nuclear plant explosion in eastern Europe about 25 years ago. It’s true that there’s dangerous radiation emitted from both incidents, but not as big as the one in Europe. Also, my town is certainly within the safe range even though it’s closer to the plant than the capital.
Around my town, and the city where my school is, quite a number of electronic signs, vending machines, and even escalators, were turned off to relief the strain of electricity demand.
The news of students at my school affected were known to everyone. Staff, students, last year’s third years, and this year’s first years too. People who knew I was Tatsuya’s girlfriend, or knew I had a boyfriend that had died, were trying to have me feel more comfortable.