Episode 1: The Thoughts Entrusted in a Letter

GACKT shared the video「手紙に託された想い」(The Thoughts Entrusted in a Letter) through his Official Facebook page (this post). After GACKT shared the video, the original uploader, Haato no Kakera, remade the video, and included its text in the description. That version is found here.

Staff Introduction

We’re bringing you behind the scenes stories of the making of “P.S. I LOVE U”!

GACKT will release his 44th single, “P.S. I LOVE U,” on February 12th. After over six months of fretfully rewriting the lyrics and singing them in different ways, this song has evolved to the point that GACKT himself has called it his “legacy.”

While working on the lyrics, seeking to answer the question “what is the ultimate expression of love,” GACKT gathered up all sorts of videos and letters that told a variety of stories, each time surrounding himself with the essence of love. Taking it all in, he made “P.S. I LOVE U.”

This week, follow GACKT’s journey in making this song.

GACKT’s Introduction

[Episode 1] The Thoughts Entrusted in a Letter

This piece displays the feelings of loved ones left behind. Even so, as I watched this, I started thinking about what I would want for my loved ones when it’s my time to go. I’ll talk about that later.

I wonder what you’ll think upon watching this video.

The Thoughts Entrusted in a Letter (手紙に託された想い)

It’s only been about a year since then…when my girlfriend passed away. She died from a disease.

We met about 7 years ago. At the time she was a freshman in college and had a chronic disease.

“I don’t know if I’ll live another 5 years…” she would say, laughing lonesomely.

We started going out, aware of that fact. Things were fine at first, but because of circumstances related to my work it ended up being a long-distance relationship (between the Kansai and Tohoku regions). Even so, she’d just laugh, saying she would get to travel on top of seeing me. She’d come see me at least once a month. She was living with her family, I was a poor salary man. So because of that, she would come to me. That’s how it was for the first 3 years. Most of the time it was lonely, but we were also able to spend time happily with each other.

Then she graduated. However, in this time when it’s so hard to get a job, it would’ve been impossible for her to get a job in the Kansai region, coming from Tohoku. So she got a job in her home region, saying she’d save up then come to Kansai. I started desperately saving up too, to be able to welcome her here.

About a year passed since she started working. Up till then, she had been coming to visit every month, but gradually the space between visits started stretching out to 2 months, 3 months…

We would speak on the phone every night, but from about a year and a half ago, sometimes she wouldn’t come to the phone. Since that time, I got a sudden bad feeling.

I don’t have any parents. My father left us when I was little, and my mother died from a sickness when I was in high school. That’s why my girlfriend’s parents disliked me. She was the daughter of a relatively well-off family. From the start they didn’t want a nobody like me going out with their daughter. So one day, her father called me.

“My daughter’s condition has become grave. She’ll be in hospital from next week. So don’t call here anymore. Please leave her alone.”

He just said that, then hung up on me.

I thought, this is it, the time has come. For a while I worried about what to do, but then I dared to try to negotiate with my boss.

“Please, let me transfer to an office in Tohoku…” I said. But the answer was “NO.” For a while longer I tried to talk things out with the company, but ultimately I quit and went back to my hometown.

I sold everything I could, to carry as few things as possible. I rented a small room close to the hospital my girlfriend was at. Thankfully I’d applied for the room before the notice of my unemployment was issued, so I was able to get it.

Then, I went to see her. She was very surprised, and earnestly apologized, saying “I’m sorry.”

All I told her was “I got laid off from my job and went back to my hometown. But my new workplace is near here, so I’ll come see you when work’s done.”

During the day her mother would be visiting and wouldn’t let me in the room. On the weekends her father would be there too, and I wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near my girlfriend’s room. So I worked part time at a convenience store during the day and on weekends, and went to see my girlfriend in what precious little time remained of visiting hours after her parents had left in the evening. This was how I spent my days.

In that time my girlfriend’s condition deteriorated visibly. Her once-soft hands became bony, her cheeks hollow, her legs wasted away completely, so much so that it became difficult for her to get up out of bed.

She often cried when I went to visit:
“I’m sorry for being sick.”
“Sorry my parents won’t accept you.”

I wasn’t worried about those things at all.

She barely had any appetite, and was receiving nutrients exclusively through an IV. But sometimes I’d take apples, her favorites, and let her have a taste of freshly made apple juice. Seeing her smile then was enough for me. That’s all I could do for her. Cheer her up a bit.

Since I could visit her only for such short periods, we didn’t talk much. About all I could do was hold her hand, and give her a kiss before leaving. But that was enough to make me happy.

I think it was around the end of March of last year. I went to see her as always, but she was asleep. The sound of the regular beeps echoing in the room made me sleepy, and I ended up falling asleep for about an hour. By the time I woke up visiting hours had already ended, and I rushed out of the room in a panic. On the way out I noticed someone sitting on the bench near the elevator. Without paying them any attention I tried to push the call button, but suddenly the person spoke to me.

“I need to talk to you.” It was my girlfriend’s father.

“Yes, what is it?”

“What’re you doing here?”

“I’m visiting your daughter.”

“That’s not what I’m asking.”

“Then…?”

“Why did you quit your company job, and come back here to be a freeter?”

“So you knew?”

“How can you go so far, to do all that?”

“Why? Do people need a reason to be at their loved one’s side?”

“…”

“I won’t ask for your acceptance. I won’t cause you any trouble, so please, at least let me…”

“I see. From now on, please come see her without worrying about us.”

“What?”

I’m pretty sure that’s the conversation we had.

After that I was able to meet my girlfriend every day. Her mother would leave the hospital one hour before visiting hours were over, giving up her seat at her daughter’s side for me. My girlfriend informed me that her father had told her mother to do that. She also told me that her father said she was free to see me as she pleased.

But about one week later, I was asleep at home when her father called me. In a low, steady, clear voice, he said “Please come to see her now. Come prepared.”

I went to her room in a big hurry. She was there, looking out with vacant eyes while nurses and doctors surrounded her bed. The medicine had made all her hair fall out. Her cheeks were hollow. A doctor grasped her pallid hand, apparently taking her pulse. When I’d gone to see her that evening, she had certainly become much weaker, but she’d still had the strength to talk. Seeing her changed beyond recognition, I was frozen in place.

A step back from them stood her parents, eyes swollen and red. Her father saw me, and silently prompted her mother. She led me by the hand, placing it around her daughter’s thinned hand while saying, “Please hold her hand.” The instant I did so, I thought I saw my girlfriend’s blank eyes come alive with a gleam of light. Then, she slowly moved her lips. It was a very slight movement, but it was certainly there. I quickly put my ear to her lips.

It was very faint, but she was saying “sorry,” over and over again.

I couldn’t stop crying, nor could I say anything. I just held her hand, and desperately kept my ear to her lips to not miss a single one of her words. Anyway I had blanked out, not knowing what to say, so I could do nothing but squeeze her hand back. I came to my self when someone tapped my shoulder. When I turned around I saw that it was her father. Grasping my shoulder, he was staring at his daughter with bloodshot eyes. I tried to take his hand and put it around hers, but he shook his head sideways.

“Please, you hold her hand. I’m fine right here,” he said.

I don’t know how much time passed with us like that. My girlfriend had been whispering “sorry” over and over, but then she whispered something else.

“◯◯-chan (my name), thank you. I was really happy.”

That’s certainly what I heard.

Those were her last words.

In a rush I had her parents take her hands. They had kept it together till then, but when they took her hand the tears spilled out.

Then suddenly, the irregular beeping turned into a continuous sound. A doctor shone a flashlight in her eyes, and slowly pronounced her dead.

When she heard that, my girlfriend’s mother cried out. Then I realized that her father and I were also crying loudly. I felt her hand turn cold in my grasp…

The following day, her father handed me mourning clothes and two letters.

“Please be by her side tonight too,” he said. I returned to my room for the time being.

Once I got to my room all my strength failed me. I just sat there. Suddenly I remembered the letters I was holding and looked at them.

One was from her father. I looked inside and saw, on a single sheet of writing paper, the firmly-written words, “I’m sorry. Thank you.” Those two things were all that was written there.

The second letter was addressed to me, from my girlfriend. Inside, the pages were densely filled with recollections from the time she’d met me up to her hospitalization. For each thing she wrote, she explained how happy she’d been, and how much she felt she had been saved. I cried loudly while reading her letter.

At the end, this is what she wrote.

“Even when I die, you be well, okay? You’re really, truly important to me, so please be happy. You better get a new girlfriend! ◯◯-chan, if you like me, you absolutely must seek happiness.”

I took a shower, all the while crying out. I could’ve stayed in there crying forever.

When I got out of the shower, I put on the mourning clothes her father had given me. For some reason they fit me perfectly. My tears were still wet on my face, but once I’d changed, I went to her house.

Little by little, relatives and acquaintances started gathering at my girlfriend’s house. Her parents took me to the room where she was lying in state, and gave me the privilege of sitting right next to her. They introduced me to their relatives as the young man who had been going out with their daughter.

I was allowed to attend both the all-night wake and the funeral. And I was always given the seat closest to my girlfriend. Since I would’ve ended up sitting closer to her than even her parents, I tried to decline, but her father protested, saying, “How could we have you not sit in that spot? If you’re worried about us then you’ll sit there, for us…”

Now, I’m working at a company her father introduced me to. At first I turned it down, but her father convinced me by telling me that he had no personal connection to the company, and that I could quit freely if I didn’t like the job. So I decided to accept his kindness.

Her memory remains vivid in my heart.

{Note: I originally posted the video’s translation to my personal blog here.}

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