The Hanahaki disease is one of the scariest diseases in Japan. It usually occurs when the victim experiences unrequited love. They tend to cough up petals of a flower that is dwelling on their lungs. Most people who have this disease are saved because of surgery while some people are saved because the people they love end up liking them back. Unfortunately, there are people who can’t afford the treatment and end up sleeping with the fishes.
Just like the girl in this story. She’s a student from Hokkaido Wakkanai High School, one of the biggest and smartest schools in Japan. However, this school was infamous for the number of students who caught the Hanahaki disease and only one out of seventeen people are saved from it. The school may have the smartest people, but they have the weakest hearts.
Her name was Sakura Ichika and she was 17 years old. She was an outstanding student who had excellent grades and had an excellent mentality until she met Tsukuyomi Mei. He was a strange man to many people but he’s as smart as Einstein and he’s exceptionally handsome. Not only that, but his heart is as soft as a pillow; and this was the reason why Sakura fell in love with him.
Sakura fell in love with him in the spring of 2016 when they were in the train station. She felt someone was following her, and looked back, seeing no one. She continued walking to the station with that thought in mind. Then, someone took her bag and ran away from her. She shrieked and started running to the thief.
“Give me back my purse, thief!” she yelled. She continued running to him. She was exhausted and wanted to stop but she didn’t give up and continued chasing after the bandit. Suddenly, she trips and hits the ground. Unable to stand up, she lost hope and decided to go back to the train station.
“Are you okay?” someone asked her from behind. His voice was clear; it sounded soothing to the ears. She looked back and saw a tall man. She was terrified and thought he was a thief, too so she didn’t want to get hurt by the man. “Here! Take my phone. Please don’t hurt me!” she shrieked.
“Here’s your purse. Next time, don’t bring fancy ones to school, Sakura,” he said with a smile. She was confused but took the bag anyway. She looked around for the thief but there are no signs of him around. “Where’s the thief? How do you know me? Who are you?” she asked with a worried face. “The thief is on his way to the police station,” he answered without answering the two other questions she asked him.
“Can you walk?” he questioned her. She tried standing up but it was painful enough to make her paralyzed on the floor. The man bent down and offered her a piggyback ride. “You’re on your way home, right? Let’s go home together,” he said with a smile. She denied and looked away from him.
They heard a rumbling noise. Sakura was starving; she needed something to eat because the food that her parents prepared was expired. She didn’t get to eat lunch. “Will you treat me on the way home?” she asked him. He nodded, “Yeah sure, is that a yes?” She replied with a smirk, “Maybe,” then rode his back.
While walking to the station, she asked him once again. “Who are you and how do you know my name?” The teen smiles “My name is Tsukuyomi Mei, and we’re classmates, Sakura.” he replied. “Wait a second, you’re Tsukuyomi Mei?!” she yelled. Tsukuyomi nodded and said, “You don’t have to scream. Chill down, Sakura.”
They reached the train and Tsukuyomi guided Sakura to the seat. He sits beside her and gets his backpack. He brings out a donut in a Tupperware and gives it to her. “I haven’t eaten that yet, eat so that you can replenish strength,” he whispered.
She opens the Tupperware and picked up the donut. She took a bite and thought it was really tasty. “It’s good! Where did you buy this?” Sakura asked. “I made it myself,” he replied. His smile was shining to Sakura and she blushed. He gave her his donut with no hesitation. In her school, no one wanted to be judged so they never ask someone to criticize their work. She felt loved by someone other than her family.
The train straps were dancing along with the movement of the train. The sun was setting. The waves splashed on the white sand and the birds chirped their melody. Sakura’s eyes were slowly closing. She dozed off and slept on the shoulders of Tsukuyomi.
“We have reached Sapporo station.” the train conductor declared on his little walkie-talkie. The doors open and passengers leave the train. Tsukuyomi carries Sakura and walks out of the train. He grabs her ID and identifies her address so he can bring her there. Before that, he buys her 2 donuts.
It was 6 PM; city lights are visible from afar, and Tsukuyomi successfully brings Sakura home. “Wake up, Sakura. You’re home,” he gently pats her back. Sakura waking up from her short slumber asks, “Where am I?” “You’re at home, I’ll go home now, see you, Sakura.” he waves to her and walks away.
4 years later, she’s hopeless. She can’t handle the flower inside her anymore, and she would have one foot in the grave. She coughs up petals here and there, and can’t stop. She’s unfortunate and cannot afford the surgery to remove the flower. She regrets confessing to Tsukuyomi. If he didn’t know about it, she wouldn’t be in the hospital bed right now.
Suddenly, she hears a knock on the door. A silhouette of a tall man was identified on the other side of the door. The door creaks open and there he was, the person Sakura loved the most. She didn’t know what to feel; her emotions are mixed up. She wanted to shout at him for rejecting her; she also wanted to cry because of how painful that rejection was.
Tsukuyomi looked at her; embarrassed, he slowly puts the things he bought for her and walked to the door. Just when he’s about to reach the door, Sakura started crying. “Why? Why do you always leave me? Am I not worthy enough to be yours?” she exclaimed. Tsukuyomi just looked at her and walked towards her. She continues weeping because of the rejection she experienced.
Tsukuyomi gives her a hug. She felt the warmth of his body and it cooled her down. Her heart was beating fast and she was speechless. It made her cry even more but she felt happy. The birds chirped, the sun was smiling at them, and the waves were splashing. Tsukuyomi let go of her and told her to read the letter under the gift he gave her.
He left the room and Sakura was curious about what the letter’s contents were. She grabbed the letter under the donuts Tsukuyomi made for her. She unwraps the ribbon and opens it.
“Hi Sakura, it’s me, Tsukuyomi Mei. The person you confessed to on November 12, 2019. This letter was written the night before it was given to you. I want to ask a lot of questions like were the donuts I made for you good? Are you okay? Are you happy in this room? It’s really embarrassing. You disappeared a week after you confessed to me. I wanted to talk to you more. I was starting to feel concerned, and now I know why. I love you, Sakura Ichika! You made me happier than anyone could make me. I wish to spend more time with you, please be with me until the end. From, Tsukuyomi Mei.”
Sakura’s tears drop on the letter. She started crying again, this time, it was loud. The nurses heard her and rushed to her room. When they reached the room, Sakura was there, standing peacefully. It looked like she lost the flower inside her. They brought her to the X-Ray room and tried to find the flower, but it was gone.
A few days later, she’s back to school. Her friends meet her again and they rejoice. She had a lot of things to share with her friends. She was really happy to be back at the school she studied in.
Class ended in a flash, and it was recess. The sound of trays banging on the metal railings, the chattering heard from afar and joyful faces of students. There she was, walking to an empty table, alone.
Tsukuyomi was walking to the table of Sakura. “Hi, Sakura, you’re back from the hospital. I’m glad you are,” he said. She was clueless about who he was and asked, “Who are you and how do you know me?”
“I’m Tsukuyomi Mei, the teenage boy who loves you, Sakura Ichika.”