When I awoke again, it was already dark. The lights in the room were turned off and the room was quiet, except for the soft sound of breathing from a distance.
My bones cracked and my muscle ached as I stretched out my left arm towards the ceiling. I could finally move again, yet I struggled.
Like a machine turning on after a long stand-by, my body seem to still be adjusting to the long slumber I've been in. Carefully, I sat up and stretched myself.
My legs felt numb and as I moved them, it felt like pins and needles all over.
The moment my feet touched the ground the coldness of the infirmary floor could be felt across my body.
"Brr..." I shuddered as the blanket fell off my body the moment I stood up. Next to the bed was a mirror attached to the wall. I looked at it and saw myself.
I was standing naked; my hair was a mess and my body was...,
I slowly moved my left hand across my body. So cold. My right shoulder was heavily bandage. Hesitantly, I moved my hand towards it and carefully removed the bandages.
The wound had completely closed up. There was nothing but a stump. Yet, it was almost as if I could still feel it.
The strange feeling of my right arm, to still be able to send thoughts of moving yet nothing happening. It didn't ache. It didn't hurt. There was just nothing. My right arm...
"Sniff..." My eyes became watery as the realization swept across my mind. In the mirror, I could see the figure of a pathetic girl. Crying for something that she will never get back.
My chest tighten as I thought of what had happened and only the word "why me?" seem to be flowing around in my mind.
"No, crying won't do anything." I lightly slapped myself out of my slump and quickly dried my eyes. "I must...I must move on..." Desperately I tried to convince myself.
I struggled to get dressed. It was a little difficult with only one arm and took time to do some of the buttons.
The clothes were also a bit tight, especially in the chest area, but nonetheless it fits.
I pulled away the curtains and looked around the room, my eyes finally attuned to the dark. In the corner was the boy from earlier, sound asleep.
As I carefully walked toward him, I was not sure whether to wake him or leave him be. Besides him, on the table, was a small velvet box containing pieces of a flute.
Was this the same instrument I heard before?
Curiously, I took a closer look. Assorted into 4 pieces, it was neatly fitted within the case with utmost care.
It did not look like any ordinary flute I have seen before, its intricate shape and design looked foreign and special. Each part seem to shine, a craft of silver and fine wood.
The edges were slightly rough, as if it had seen years of use, yet it was still well kept like a treasure. Was this, an antique?
"Wow..." I whispered as I carefully reached for it.
"You're finally awake."
I jumped and turned around to the sudden voice and saw the boy awake. His eyes were wide opened, and he was looking at me with a slight grin.
"G-good morning. I didn't mean to wake you." I said as I slowly stepped back.
"It's more of night right now, but good to see that you're up and about, but don't force yourself." He replied as he got up and stretched himself.
Standing closer to him now, I could see that he was only slightly taller than me.
"O-okay. Thank you." I nodded my head, my eyes still fixed on his instrument.
"Oh? Caught your fancy?" He chuckled as he noticed my interest. "It's a specially made 4-piece Celtic flute. One of a kind, a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Beautiful, isn't it?"
"I heard you playing earlier. When I was lying in bed, it really helped me to sleep. I've never heard such wonderful music before..."
"Is that so? I'm glad then." He replied with a warm smile. "It must be nice..."
"Huh?" I tilted my head to his response.
"Nothing. Thank you for your kind words."
"Are you a musician?"
"You could say that. Although, it's been a long time. I think you're the first to have heard me play in a while.
" He laughed as he spoke in a somber voice while running his hand across the instrument, gently stroking it. He was smiling, yet there was sadness in his eyes.
As he stared at his flute I could see a vaguely familiar look.
It was the same look I had mere moments ago when I saw myself in the mirror; the look of longing for something precious that was lost.
"What's wrong?" He asked as he glanced back at me, noticing that I was staring.
"Wha-no...nothing!" I stuttered, my face becoming flustered as I quickly looked away. "Umm...I'm Takatora Ryuuko. It is nice to meet you...umm...
again? Thank you, for taking care of me when I was...you know." I fidgeted as I introduced myself.
"Oh. I'm Hideyoshi Takuya, a member of the Artificial Research Club, A.R.C., as you might already know." He suddenly blushed as he scratched his head. "And...umm...about that earlier...
err, well, you're welcome."
An awkward silence filled the room.
"So, do you want to go to the clubroom now?" He asked. "I'm sure you have lots of questions and no doubt want answers. That, and the Prez must have been waiting for a while now."
"Yes, that would be great." I hastily nodded my head in response. "Let's go."