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A/N: This fic takes place when Syaoran, Sakura, and Meilin are twenty-ish, somewhere like that. There will be alternating POVs, so it might be confusing, but I hope all will be clear at the end. =)

That day… it was…

I was ashamed.

I am still ashamed, to be honest, and I’ll never regret what I have done to relieve the guilt. I cannot ever repay Sakura for her kindness, and leaving Syaoran was to help with my debt, no matter how little it can do.

She refused him.

It must be my fault, I believe. I was too – too possessive. Syaoran is not my toy. He is not something I can lock away in my closet, and not let anyone near him. He is a human being, with a free will, and – and emotions, feelings. He – he loves whoever his heart tells him to.

I denied him that.

That day, with towering nobility I can never hope to match, she gave him to me. With her heart full of love for him, she gave him to me. I was shocked, so truly shocked I hid it with a smirk. Oh, how I hated myself that day. Syaoran was too shocked to register any emotions – why couldn’t have I followed his example? No, instead, I smirked, scorned her, causing her to leave trying holding back more tears than she could handle. Syaoran looked at me coldly then, and I knew whatever little feelings he had for me was dashed away with my one single act. I regretted it, but not for the reason that he doesn’t – and never will - love me, but for the reason that I destroyed our friendship – the only thing I had with him. And – though it seemed virtually impossible – I still hoped I had a friendship with Sakura. No matter how little, I hope Sakura was still my friend. And I shall never have as good as a friend as her… if I only knew to treasure what I had in life sooner… it must be nice to have a best friend…

Please, Syaoran-kun, Sakura-chan, please do not let me go in vain… stay together…

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe all of it was just a hallucination, or – even better – a dream. A nightmare, actually. Her words still echoed in my mind to this day, so clearly it seemed as if she had just spoken…

May you two grow old together with joy…

I vaguely remember there were pauses in between that phrase when she spoke, but that doesn’t matter anymore. It was a translation of the Chinese phrase for newlyweds – bai tou dao lao. She must have meant what she said, if she went through the trouble of finding a phrase to translate – right? Or does it mean…

Wishful thinking. I laughed at myself. How stupid can I get? She – she doesn’t want to be with me. I don’t know whether or not Meilin meant what she did on our wedding day – though I suppose you cannot call it that, since it wasn’t complete – but it doesn’t matter to me. I was, honestly, relieved. If it had been Sakura, my heart would have been shattered, like that tiny crystal swan when I proposed to her.

The next day, she gathered the three of us in the same room and congratulated us, hoping we would have a wonderful wedding and even more splendid a life together.

… She rejected me.

Meilin – she should be regretting terribly for her actions, her manners, that day. She should be. She should be trying to find a way to make up for what…

She has.

She has made up for what she had done. It all clicked.

Am I going mad? What took me so long… ?

But – she did not – no. That would not have been like Sakura. I am glad to know Sakura did not immediately take Meilin’s place. If she had, I knew that girl – that woman – was not my beloved Sakura–chan. But now, now it’s all too late…

Was what I did all in vain? Oh Meilin, why couldn’t have you just married him? I would not feel this worm-like guilt eating away my heart. When you walked away, my mind registered only one thing – Syaoran was free. I could be with him. But something deep inside of me told me it would not have been right for me to take your place like that.

I was in cloud nine those few days I spent with Syaoran. He bought me this beautiful, delicate, little crystal swan. It was one of the most heavenly things I’ve ever seen. The way it caught the light, bringing out the beautiful hues of the rainbow. My heart sang with joy.

It was for me. From Syaoran.

When I took it into my hands, his eyes clearly expressed it was from his heart.

I hope he knows I accepted it with my heart.

That moment, we were truly happy, blissful, in love, because that crystal swan represented everything we had.

I broke it.

He proposed to me, oh my kami he simply kneeled there and proposed to me. Startled, I dropped it – I had it no more than a few hours and I have already broken it – and I ran away from him. I don’t know why – maybe to avoid confronting him about the swan… maybe to avoid answering him. I simply ran as fast as I could back home.

You may wonder why I did not throw my arms around him and scream “Yes!”… Syaoran has – had an engagement with someone else… and I cannot have him eat his words, even if they were not his own. He was still engaged to Meilin, and he could not simply throw that promise away and leave her alone… he cannot. I thought and thought and I decided on what I had to do. I had a little Chinese – Japanese dictionary I bought a few years ago for my college course in Chinese. I looked up a specific phrase, and the next day I invited and Meilin to a café down the street. Mustering all my willpower, I tried not to cry as I congratulated them. Bai tou dao lao – yes, that was the phrase. Meilin – I was hoping – she wounded me terribly. I knew she couldn’t have meant it – I think I saw the shock in her eyes through the blur of my welling tears – but it still hurt.

The bitter tears spilt.

I ran out of the café then, determined to cry in private. I cried all the way home, and throughout the rest of the day.

I cried myself to sleep.

And on Syaoran and Meilin’ wedding day, I cried before trying to make myself look presentable for the occasion.

What happened surprised me – delighted me, too, I’m afraid – but also irritated me. She – all I did was in vain! I left the wedding after her.

… I’m so sorry.

Meilin now lies buried under the soft earth, and I cried my last tears. I cried not only for her, but for Syaoran and me. Her okaasan informed us of Meilin’s last wish…

No matter how indifferent Syaoran-kun may seem, he does have feelings. And I, I cannot bring myself to get over the representation of her death.

Gomen nasai, Meilin-chan… we will not be able to…

A/N: Somewhat OOCish (especially for Syaoran), ne? =) But let’s all keep in mind people do change over the years…

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