Based on the song from the album Itanshinmon.
Translation note: “Leimu” is an attempt to keep the subtle difference in name between Reimu from the current Touhou games and Reimu from PC-98. Usually, her name is written as 霊夢, but in the PC-98 games it was written as 靈夢, with a different kanji for the rei part.
Sometimes I dream about a time long ago, like a memory of a previous life. In fact, it’s probably my previous life, but it could be a life before it, or even earlier. Since I came to Gensoukyou, many things have happened so fast that my sense of time is not very clear.
But what I often remember is that long corridor. It was dark, I didn’t know how far it went, I was confused as to whether I was moving forward or backward, and when I saw her standing in front of me I was so relieved.
“A dream?” I asked myself after swallowing. It was nostalgic. It’s not like anything special happens when I remember those days, so I’ll just put them away as usual. And today I go to the shrine, just like every day.
Sometimes Reimu curses at me for coming back, and sometimes she doesn’t. When she doesn’t, it’s when she’s tired. I’m not interested in the details, so I won’t listen to her if she does dare to talk to me. She is the failed shrine maiden of the “Hakurei Shrine” even though she usually looks bored. I’m sure that there are many things going on that I don’t know about.
I’m in awe of the green tea she brought to me before I asked for a cup. It’s still a bit chilly in the spring, but the kotatsu here was taken away the other day. So I go out on the porch to take in some sunshine and warmth. I love this porch, after all. “Thank you,” I say, and Reimu thinks for a moment before coming to stand next to me. The way she sips on her green tea is inappropriate for her age, but her spine is the same as always, a good-looking one I’ve been after.
I have never talked to Reimu about those days. I’m scared. It may be the kind of thing that’s just stuck in your brain and doesn’t matter, but what if Reimu doesn’t remember those days, or if she was a different person, or has a different personality than Leimu had back then? When I think about it, the words slip off my tongue, and return to my flesh and blood without any real power. I don’t know why, but when I think about Reimu’s past, I become a coward.
“The cherry blossoms will be in bloom soon,” I whisper to her, and she replies, “Yes.” It reminds me of the incident where the cherry blossoms didn’t bloom for a long time, but it’s been a long time since then. So many things have happened. There would be no end to them if I listed them one by one. So why do I only dream about that encounter with Leimu back then? I fought against Reimu when I ran through the imperishable night, but back then, I was with Alice. I wasn’t alone, and I was having fun for what it was.
No, it wasn’t that I wasn’t having fun, even when I met Leimu at the end of the corridor. It was just that the scene was divine and it burned my eyes. Maybe it was traumatic.
A whim kicks in and I talk to Reimu.
“What’s going on?”
Reimu has a perturbed look on her face that says, “I’ve got a bad feeling.” I take a breath and drink my tea.
“…nothing. Just stupid stuff.”
Despite the words, the atmosphere around me softens. I’m relieved. I’m sure it’s fine as long as she’s able to stay at ease.
To me, being with Reimu is as natural as breathing, so when I feel my heart skip a beat, I’m restless. I’m afraid of exposing my emotions and being exposed. For this I’ve tried to not touch the argument.
Today’s bright sunshine softly eats away my determination. “You know,” I say. My heart is on the verge of exploding, but I can’t stop the words from coming out.
“We should go out once in a while. Wear your best clothes.”
I said it, just like back then. I said it. But I can’t look at Reimu. I’m sure she’s going to say, “What the hell are you saying?” But Reimu said, “hmm,” and after thinking for a while, she opens her mouth.
“It’s a good idea. Don’t take me somewhere weird, okay?”
Reimu said, just like that time, making me smile at the end of her words. When I looked up, she was smiling.
I loved Leimu’s smile. Of course, I love Reimu’s too. This smile is my nourishment, my salvation. Now and in the past, this smile is what makes me live. But there is also a part of me that will always be tied to those days, so please smile and forgive me for that.