Thinking back on it now, I still don’t know why I turned to look behind me. It was as if I were being controlled by someone. What I saw made my blood run cold.
“Saki, what’s wrong?” he asked, sounding perplexed.
“Over there…!” I pointed toward the canal with a trembling finger.
“What? I don’t see anything.”
It had only been for the merest second. But I had seen it, clear as day.
“They were standing there. Maria, Mamoru, and the faceless boy…”
The three of them had been standing on the surface of the water, looking intently at us from a distant world. It was a perfect depiction of the phrase “passing from this world to the next”.
“Saki.” Satoru held me in his arms. “…I feel the same way. I want to meet them again if I can, even if they’re just ghosts.”
“I’m not imagining it. Trust me.”
“I know. You saw them. But you were expecting to see them before we even got here, right? You can try to hide it, but I already know.”
“Your yukata. It’s so dark and plain it almost makes me look gaudy by comparison.”
His yukata was also dark blue, but with pale stripes.
“You look like you’re in mourning.”
He had hit the nail on the head, and I couldn’t respond.
“It’s okay. You truly wanted to meet them, right? That thought was so strong your mind projected their image on the water.”