24 May 2021
Everything between them seems to fall apart after Oboro dies. Hizashi can feel Shouta starting to pull away, so singularly focused on something that he can’t see, can’t follow. It’s like they’ve reverted back to the beginning of second year: cold and distant, no Oboro between them. Strangers again. Oboro was already carved so suddenly out of Hizashi’s life— to have Shouta withdraw too... it’s too much, even for him. So he does the one thing he’d never thought possible: Hizashi ran away.
After spending 9 years abroad, Hizashi returns to Japan under an impulsive whim. He just wants to visit his family and catch up with old friends without bringing up the past, but things rarely ever end that well. His ghosts, dead and alive, come back to haunt him.
Ellie tries to not stare at him. She really does. It apparently doesn’t work very well, because Joel goes to stand right at her feet and says, “You really gonna through with this?”
This finally does make Ellie look up. God, even after death, Joel looks haunted and full of unsaid regrets. He fixes her with that piercing stare of his and looks so achingly familiar that Ellie doesn’t where to settle her eyes. “Yes, I really am,” she grits out, and it sounds somewhat believable.
Ellie is slowly starting to lose her mind, she thinks.