That night I had a long, rambling dream. Most of it was forgotten as soon as I woke up, but the final scene was burned into my mind.
I was in a dim, empty place. In my hands I held a bouquet of flowers. I realized that I was in the school’s inner courtyard. It was filled with gravestones as far as the eye could see. No matter how hard I tried, it was too dark to make out the words carved on the stone tablets.
I put the flowers on the grave directly before me. It was new, but the stone had already been weathered away and it sank into the ground as if melting into it. It was impossible to read the name on it.
As I stood there, an intense feeling of loneliness washed over me, like a hole had opened in my chest.
“Have you forgotten about me already?”
Someone spoke to me. A boy’s voice. It was painfully familiar, but I didn’t know whose it was.
“I’m sorry. I just can’t remember.”
“I see… I guess it can’t be helped.”
I turned in the direction of the voice, but no one was there.
“Where are you? Let me see your face.”
“I don’t have a face,” he said quietly.
At these words, I recalled an infinite sadness. I see…he didn’t have a face anymore.
“But you should know it well.”
“I don’t know. I can’t remember.”
“It’s not your fault,” the voice said kindly. “They erased my name after burying me.”
“Who? Why would they do that?”
“Look over there. They’ve all been erased.”
There was a strangely-shaped gravestone that looked like a house of cards. Most of it had already crumbled away, rendering the name illegible.