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Aoi Asahina walked into the dojo with her head held high and a heart full of pain.

She sat down in the middle of the cherry trees, cross-legged and neat. Their petals fell all around her.

“Hey, Sakura. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” she said, a smile on her face.

“Things have been going alright since you left. I don’t think anyone is going to try to kill anyone else, so that’s good!” A petal fell onto her hair, and she picked it out and looked at it.

“I miss you, Sakura. I miss training with you, I miss making protein drinks with you, I miss talking with you, I miss your company, and-” her voice wavered, but stayed steady, “-I miss the nights we would spend together. Just you and me, you know? Training, talking, cuddling,” she wrapped her arms around herself in a sort of makeshift hug, as if that would alleviate her pain.

“But you knew that, right? I really hope you did. You were-” and there her voice cracked, and she choked on her words. Blinking furiously, she attempted to speak again.

“You were the closest person in my life and-” a tear fell down her cheek then, but she stayed composed, “-and I might have been in love with you.”

A petal fell onto her cheek, and it stuck to the tear tracks. She left it as it was.

“That’s kinda sad, huh? I’m in love with a dead girl.” Laughter bubbled in her throat, and the tears fell faster.

“I still can’t believe that just after you d- you left, a dojo opened up. And the sakura, too. It’s as if-” she takes a deep breath, “as if Monokuma knew what you would do. As if the Mastermind had already guessed that you would-”

She sighed, and wiped away her tears.

“I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, but I’m glad that I met you. Even if you never thought of me the same way I think of you, I’m glad that I got to meet you. So don’t feel bad, ok?

“Say hi to everyone for me. Tell them that I miss them.

“But don’t forget that I miss you the most. I really do.”

She sat completely still, taking in the silence surrounding her, and no more tears slipped from her cheeks.

Rising, she gathered her determination.

“I’ll protect everyone for you, ok? We’re all gonna make it out alive, for you and everyone else who can’t.” Her hands were in fists, her passion was rising, and she was full of hope.

She was going to save them all.

For Sakura.

“I’ll do it for you,” she said, and left the dojo, still covered in sakura petals.

Sakura’s hope would save them all.