We left East Asia in a course of a three months. We ended up in Turkey. My master is really good at speaking different language. I think he could speak every language in the world. I only knew English and some Japanese. Because of this, I let him deal with everything. My master is the one who brings our food and deals with the money. As we travel further west, I feel that I have to stay by him. Lately, Mikado doesn’t seem to mind it. He still doesn’t talk much about himself, though.
More and more people are fleeing East Asia. Looks like the plague is spreading faster than they predicted. The body count kept rising each day. The governments keep burning them to stop the spread.
“Fire will not help,” my master told me after we learned about what they were doing in Thailand.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“It’s evolving,” he said.
“But how is that possible?”
Mikado turned his head. “That’s how it was designed.” I couldn’t understand what he was saying. But, I noticed him trembling.
“What’s the matter?” I asked. I reached out to touch his shoulder, but he shoved me away.
“Don’t touch me,” he said.
“Mikado?” I asked. My master stood up and walked over to the door.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“Out,” he said. My master closed the door behind him. I lowered my hand and as I sat down on the low bed. Mikado…
Niki looked at me in bed. “What’s the matter Mikado-kun?” I shook my head. It felt like staring at Anri-chan. I reached out and touched her cheek.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Come on,” Niki-chan said. “I can’t stand to see you upset like this.”
“I’m not upset.”
“Yes, you are.”
I looked up at the ceiling and sighed. Am I really that transparent? I shut my eyes and shook my head. “There’s so much on my mind?”
“Is it Jessie again?”
“Her. How things have turned out. Figuring out how to stop it.”
Niki rested her hand on his chest. “I don’t like seeing you like this.” She looked like she was ready to cry. I rolled over and kissed her on the lips. I have been going to Cheri’s kitten more often lately. This was turning into a bad habit.
“You can take the wig off now if you want,” I said. Niki shook her head.
“No?” I asked.
“I’m okay with it on for a little bit longer,” she said. My eyes rolled back up to the ceiling.
“Fine, whatever,” I muttered.
She nuzzled me on the neck as I patted her on the head. I didn’t know I came here tonight. I just left the hotel room in the living world and went to Purgatory. Cheri didn’t say anything either. She didn’t need to. I reached over my cigarettes.
“I have been trying to fix everything,” I said.
“How are you going to do that?”
“I will try any way possible. I just need to find Itori-san to help me.”
“She’s still alive?”
“Yes. She and her daughter.” I lit up my cigarette. “They might help reverse this.” My mind went back to Anri. I’ve tried to see her in Heaven many times. They’ve turned me away every time. I couldn’t understand it at first.
“Why can’t I see her?” I asked. Rei bowed her head.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “She doesn’t want to see you.”
“But why?” I asked.
“I’m so sorry,” Rei repeated. She turned and walked into her office. My heart sank as the door closed. Fifty-eight times I tried. Fifty-eight times I tried to enter Heaven. Rejected every single time.
“Were you rejected again?” Niki asked tonight. I shook my head.
“I might just have to give up,” I said.
“What? You can’t mean that.”
“What choice do I have? They won’t let me see her. And apparently she doesn’t want to see me either.”
“What makes you say that?”
“The head teninn told me. ‘She doesn’t want to see you,’ she said. I asked why and she wouldn’t tell me.”
“That doesn’t seem right.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “That’s just how it is now.” It hurt to say it out loud. Niki did have a point, but what could I do? The teninn had the final say. And I wouldn’t doubt that Anri-chan would not want to see me in Heaven. I’m part of the reason why she’s there in the first place. Same with Masaomi’s fate.
Niki put her hand on my chest. “It’s not your fault.”
“I know.” I clutched the sheets under me. “I will make this right. No matter how long it takes me.” She rested her head on my chest.
“Is there anything that I can do?”
I gently patted Niki on the head. “Just be there for me. I don’t need anything more.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah.” I didn’t think she knew how to help me. She laid her head on my chest.
“We can just lay here until you have to go.”
I closed my eyes. “Thank you.” Jessie and Akira-kun will be alone again this morning. But somehow, that isn’t on my mind all that much. I just didn’t want to feel anything for the moment. I can’t keep doing this. No matter where I go, I always end up going back to Purgatory. Back to Cheri and her kittens.
I shook my head.
Is this what I have become? Have I really become this pathetic?
“No,” Niki said. “I don’t think you are.”
“Thanks,” I said in a low voice. I wanted to believe her, but yeah…
It’s only three in the morning. He’s gone again. I should be used to this by now. I rolled over onto my back and stared at the ceiling. It still sucks when he’s not here. I looked down at Akira-kun still sound asleep beside me. Seeing his little face reminds me that this is real. I am not really alone anymore. If Mikado-san hadn’t come along, I would’ve been stuck in prostitution in that club until the plague claimed me. With him, I have been able to hold on for so long. But, I can’t help but wonder how long it will last.
He’s immortal and will stay forever young. He keeps reminding me of this. It’s not bragging, mind you. Mikado-san does this as a way to try and push me away in a sense.
“You can’t always stay with me,” he says. “You will eventually die. That’s just how it is.”
“Well, let me stay with you until then,” I tell him.
“You don’t get it, do you?” he asks. “You are just a normal. You have the pleasure of growing old and dying! The only person that could kill me has vanished without a trace. I don’t even know where she went. Akira-kun and I will just go on living as this world keeps dying. You on the other hand will die and never have to see this place again!” Mikado-san sounded so angry when he said that.
Maybe he is right though. When you are in you are a kid, you don’t think about things like growing old, getting sick, or dying. The world seems like an endless planet of dreams and possibilities. Excuse me for sounding cheesy, but I’m trying to make a point here. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, world seems like an endless planet of dreams and possibilities. But as you grow up, that planet starts to shrink. A little bit at first, so small that you don’t notice it. It gets smaller and smaller until you notice that you are looking around in the darkness. You don’t even see it coming either. I’m not at that point yet. I can still see that planet of dreams and possibilities. It’s not closed in on me yet.
Or at least that’s what I want to believe.
I looked over at the clock on the nightstand. 4:47? It doesn’t feel like it. He’s still not back yet either. I don’t know when he’s coming in this time. I should be used be it by now. My thoughts broke when a little warm body cuddled up against my side. I looked down and saw Akira-kun again. He had his hand in his mouth. He does that in his sleep sometimes. I tried to smile as I shook my head. I pulled his hand out of his mouth. We don’t know why he does that. Mikado-san is trying to break him of that habit.
“When did he start doing that?” I asked. He only shrugged and shook his head. Akira-kun mumbled something as he turned over on his side. Seeing him pushes away my worry and calms me down.
I looked up when I heard the door open.
“I’m back,” Mikado said in a low voice. I closed my eyes and pretended to still be asleep. I heard him slip off his shoes and walk over to the bed. Sure, I will grow old and eventually die. Maybe my master and I will go our separate ways in another country somewhere. I don’t care. They are all I have to keep me sane in this mad world.
I know that I have been saying this many times, but I feel that I have to stress this. Otherwise, I will just start losing my mind.
“I know you’re awake,” my master said. I slowly opened one eye. Mikado-san sat at the foot of the bed, watching me.
“Good morning,” he said. I moved my arms behind my head.
“How long are we staying here in Turkey?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” my master said. “We’ll just play it by ear.”
“Okay,” I said. Fine by me. Turkey doesn’t seem that bad once get used to it. It’s just another adventure with my master and his son. Just the way I like it.