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“Turn off the camera,” he said, and there was something in his voice that told you he meant it. This wasn’t the time for the usual sneaky recordings and endless teasing that followed. Hastily you lowered the device, replacing the lens cap carefully, and waited for what he would say next. 

But he was silent. Even the birds in the garden seemed to have gone still. Staring down at the golden blossoms, ripping up little handfuls of grass, his mind seemed far away. You thought he must still be thinking about that day, and so hesitantly you broke the silence. “Ch-chara? It wasn’t your fault, okay? We both didn’t read it right, that’s all.” 

He didn’t answer, but continued on ripping up the grass and staring at nothing. The color was high in his cheeks as it always was when he’d been smiling, and in the glow of the garden there was almost a reddish tint to the brown of his eyes. The truth was, it was Chara’s idea to put buttercups into the mix. He said it would be even better than butter, that he’d seen it done many times before. And even now, you didn’t doubt him. Things must just be different where he came from, that’s all. Chara always laughed when things seemed most bleak. He did a lot of laughing. 

But he wasn’t laughing now. He was thinking. And so, you waited. Like you always did when Chara was thinking. He did, after all, know so much more than you did, about what was outside, about what should be done.

“I have an idea,” he said at last, looking up with a grin, and his eyes seemed to dance.

Relieved, you hunched forward onto your elbows, looking up at that familiar smile that told you something good was coming. “What is it?”

It was a childish plan, really. Laced with the perception that the two of you held some greater understanding of this world’s problems than anyone else in it. You see that now, looking back on those idyllic days spent in the garden with the one you called your best friend. It wasn’t a courageous plan, nor a good one. Who knew what convoluted motivations lurked behind his eyes as he told you about it, while you, despite your misgivings, agreed because it was him. Because he asked you to. Because you didn’t want to be alone.

And truthfully, not much changed for you after that. All those endless loops of time you played over and over - they were all motivated by that same desire. In the end, you’re more alone than ever. But looking down at the soft earth and cheerful flowers of his grave, you don’t mind so much. It seems fitting that he has come to rest while you are left with the curse of endless wakefulness, watching over his resting place. That’s what you would’ve wanted, had you been able to choose. So you tell the other one go, to go on and live his life in a way that Chara was never able to live his. Surely he has better things to do. Things that you and Chara should have done. And the thought of that makes you smile.