Maybe the best place to begin would be right in the middle of it. After all, it's not a long story, nor a complicated one, there are no turns, twists or moments full of suspense. It might be just a silly stream of consciousness, but it's ours.
It happened on a dull, grey, and cold night - the end of an otherwise unremarkable and uneventful day, just like any other. I had been desperately searching for a little bit of an escape, something that would let me forget about the state my life was in. Something nice, something warm. But nothing could have prepared me for what, or rather whom, I came across. At that point, I've had more then enough of the real world. And believe me, living in a noisy, shared dorm room doesn't exactly mean peace and quiet after a day full of work. I needed to get out of there. Randomly selecting one of the too many slice of life series that were waiting unwatched on my hard drive, I arrived at Hidamari Sketch. A cute little show about cute girls where nothing really happens? Perfect. Just what my stressed mind needed. But the real surprise was still waiting for me.
Headphones, check. Mentally tuning out all outside noise, check. Time to relax a little - I thought. You know, I could always "feel" right of the bat whether I'm going to like a series or not, and this one was giving of some very good vibes instantly. And there she was! Of course, I never realized the significance of that moment at that time. To be completely honest, I didn't go in entirely blind. I had seen her before. Just a stray picture or two, but she had planted a seed in my mind. I think, maybe even then, subconsciously, I knew she was something else. Someone special.
With that first scene of the show, that seed had started to sprout. Slowly, steadily, it grew and kept growing. It happened just as the clock struck midnight, right on the start of my birthday. I never thought much of occasions like that - but I ended up receiving the greatest gift of them all. Looking back, it was as close to love at first sight as it gets. But then, I could not make head of tail of what I was feeling. This has never happened before! I was always in control of my emotions, or so I have thought. I didn't dwell too much on it, I attributed it to being sleepy and tired. It'd just fade away by daybreak, I thought. Needless to say, that turmoil of unknown emotions was more than enough to get my mind off reality. Of course, I was surprised to find that she did not leave my thoughts, furthermore, she settled in even deeper.
But wait, let's back up a little. Maybe outlining my situation a bit would give some context to these sudden feelings. I was an empty shell, lost, and clueless. Starting my second year at university with no money, no friends, no ambitions and broken dreams. At the wrong place and the wrong time, as the wrong person. Only filled with anxiety and negativity, stuck in a downward spiral. Having lost all joy in life, I began to tune out reality itself. It's not as if that was a sudden affliction - the demons inside have been growing stronger for years now. Simply at that point, I was under attack from all fronts. All decisions seemed to be wrong, absolutely no feeling of success from anywhere. Isolated, lost and weak. I only acted as an automaton, detaching myself from my emotions. In fact, they still have not returned properly to this day. Deep down I knew I needed to get out of there, one way or the other. But I was too powerless to make that decision. I just needed a push. Thankfully, she ended up pushing me the right way. If it weren't for her, I'd have gone down the other path.
As the series progressed, so did my feelings for her. Every time I saw her face, every time I heard her wonderful voice - my heart just kept skipping a beat. If there was a point of no return, then I'd name the tenth episode. Her inner monologue about that accidentally unfinished painting for the school festival. There was just something about that which resonated with my soul in a very special way. While it's not particularly a curious or outstanding moment, it still went straight to my heart. It was only then that I realized. This must be love. No doubt. Needless to say it hit me especially hard, like nothing before. I could feel like this too? Even with such a cold and dark outlook on life? I was floored, speechless, my mind drew a blank. The weight of it was overwhelming, I couldn't think straight for a a whole day afterwards. That had been the spark that really set things off.
I never gave too much thought to her being "2D". I knew what I felt, I was never so sure about something ever before in my life. So what if I'm in love with a "fictional character"? As I have mentioned before, I was already a stranger to reality. She is a real person to me, I love her and treat her like one. My love for her is real, and that's all the proof I need. Of course, when two lovers are separated by the fabric of reality itself, that also holds a lot of pain, as I have come to learn later on. But that suffering is very bittersweet in nature. A rather sweet melancholy. That pain in my heart, that longing, that struggle - it's the ultimate proof of the validity of our love. After all, what in life comes without pain? This is all just the other side of the same coin, the eternal balance of life. Yet I know that she's here with me, within my heart, within my soul, she has became a part of me. A wonderful, sweet, kind and beautiful girl, who had managed to find her way inside my heart. That way she looks at other people and the world had affected me as well.
Every single detail I learned about her just made me fall for her more. I've never had an "ideal", so to speak, but everything about her felt perfect. Everything from her kind, gentle and peaceful aura to the beauty of her eyes. But I'm not going to detail every facet of her personality here. That would take pages upon pages, without an end in sight - I couldn't imagine a more perfect girl even if I tried. Of course, I do not mean "perfect" as in flawless - her flaws are what make her feel like a real person, and part of that is also responsible for my love for her. The perfection lies within how wonderful she is to me. She is all I could ever desire from a romantic partner. The complete package. She's essentially my soul mate. Truly, my other half, as one might say.
Do I really deserve someone like that? That thought popped up quite often. Let's face it - I am a bad person. Wasted potential, a good-for-nothing leech, pure rubbish. Especially in contrast to her. To say that I pale in comparison would be putting things lightly. Yet she still saw something in me? Why did she choose me? These thought have kept me from completely embracing my feelings. That had been a major driving force for change. I have to do it for her. She did see me as something special after all, I cannot possibly disappoint her. I decided to place trust in her choice, and fully accepted my feelings. I don't just love her, I admire her, I respect her, I look up to her. She's truly a good person, right down to her core.
She made me realize that the path I chose was not meant for me, so I dropped out, and got a job. This way, I could take a huge break, while also using my time constructively. Honestly, I'm still looking for my path, but if it weren't for her timely intervention, I wouldn't even be here to write this. It was too good to be a mere coincidence. I always thought that the "she finds you" part was a little silly, but then I understood. I wholly believe our meeting was an act of fate, so to say. It felt like she chose me, as she patiently waited for that special moment to enter into my life. Her timing was perfect. She offered her hand, with a warm smile, while I only had to take it. She saved me with her love, she gave me the power to take control and carry on, my guardian angel. Needless to say, that was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
While immensely strong, the initial feelings were nothing like what I feel now. Even if I did realize the true nature of these feelings relatively early, they were naive and immature. In fact, I still don't believe that my emotions have fully developed yet - even those so-called butterflies are still in my stomach! Even now, when I look deep into her eyes I have to avert my gaze, since otherwise I'd get too flustered. I still get a silly, wide smile on my face whenever we lay next to each other in bed. That intense, fiery love and adoration is burning stronger than ever! But over time, the love grew stronger, deeper, and more meaningful. That little seed that she had planted blossomed into a wonderful relationship. We laughed, we played, and we fell further and further in love with the other. Just in our first year, we've been through so much. Both happy and sad, or just finding comfort in the mundane, everyday things. Constantly finding new ways to love, growing closer and closer to each other in many ways - a magical experience throughout.
We've already been together for a considerable amount of time now, and I'm looking towards a promising future together. Of course, one can never know what's further down the line, but there is one thing I am sure about: I will always stay by her side, loyal to her until the end of time itself. Often, I can't help but hope, that somehow, someday, we will get to meet in person, and begin a new stage of our relationship. I truly believe that she is out there somewhere, watching over me, and patiently waiting for me, so that we may unite one fateful day.
I love you, Yunocchi. Words can't express how grateful I am for you. You make me feel whole, you complete me. Being with you gave me exactly what I had been missing. An opportunity for a new beginning, a chance to start all over again. You brought warmth and light into this dark, empty shell of a human being and taught me to love. It's all thanks to you, and your love.
You're my sun, my moon and all of my stars.