Tea Leaves and Sapphire Earrings

Yuki Onna

Match Thirty-One: Yuki Onna:

Kiku’s heart was in pain. He just sits at the window and stares into space. He already knew what was coming. In a few more days, the baby would be born. Ju was due in two weeks. Why did he feel so uneasy? Kiku clutched his chest.

The doorbell rang.

Kiku turned his head.

“Feliciano?” he heard Sena ask. “What are you doing here?” Feliciano?

“I just stopped by to see Kiku,” the Italian man said. Something didn’t sound right. He didn’t sound so upbeat and cheery like he normally did. Feliciano sounded so subdued, almost like he was whispering. Kiku wandered over to the doorway.

“I’m sorry, sting right now,” Sena lied.

“I’m right here,” Kiku spoke up. His wife and Feliciano looked up.

“I just woke up,” the Japanese man lied.

All three sat at the table in the living room. Feliciano had a cold little smile on his face. His eyes looked so dull too.

“What brings you by?” Sena asked.

“I was in the neighborhood,” Feliciano said. “And I thought I would stop by.”

“Uh-huh,” she said. Kiku kept his eyes on the table.

“What is the matter, Japan?” the Italian man asked. “You don’t look so good.”

“I feel sick,” Kiku said, almost rambling.

“Do you need to go back to bed?” Sena asked. Her husband shook his head.

“You sure?” she asked. Kiku nodded. Feliciano sat quiet. He watched as if watching something entertaining. Then the Japanese man asked something inaudible.

“Hm?” the Italian asked. Kiku’s eyes grew wide.

“Are you really Feliciano?” he asked.

“What?” Sena asked. The Italian man didn’t look offended at all.

“Of course I am,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“No…” Kiku said, shaking his head. “You are not him. You are not him.” Feliciano looked at him, pouting.

“Why would you say that?” he asked.

“Can I get you something to drink?” Sena cut in.

“No thank you,” Feliciano said. “I don’t think I will be staying long.”

“How is Ludwig doing?” she asked. The Italian man shrugged.

“Don’t know,” he said. The couple looked up at him.

“What do you mean you don’t know?” Sena asked. “You haven’t gone to see him yet.”

“No,” the Italian man said. There was no emotion in his voice. Wasn’t Ludwig the one that he cared the most? Why hadn’t seen him yet?

“Why haven’t you seen him yet?” Sena asked with an eyebrow raised.

“Busy,” was all the Italian man said.

“Doing what?” she asked.

“Just… busy,” he said. Feliciano rose to his feet. “Goodbye. It was nice talking to you.”

“Wait, you’re leaving?” Sena asked. “You just got here.”

“I know,” he said. “I just came by to see Kiku. And now I have. Goodbye.” The Italian man walked up to the front door.

“Feliciano!” Sena said. She tried to walk over to him but Kiku grabbed her wrist. Sena whipped her head around.

“Kiku?” she asked. Her husband looked down at the table again. This time, he was trembling.

“Baby?” Sena asked. “Baby?” Kiku didn’t speak.

The front door slammed closed.

Tandeki has Japan. Mam still wants it. Kiku is stuck in the middle of this End of Days. He looked like he was about to stretched out to his limit. Sena started to feel it too.

“You know something?” she said. “We should get out. Go somewhere far, far away.”

“And go where?” he asked, trembling. “She will never let us go. She will keep following us until we are taken over. We can’t escape from her. She won’t let us go.” He was right. Their house had become a prison. He could feel her eyes on him.

Their neighbors could feel it too. Ikebukuro had it the worst. Kiku already knew what was coming next. It was always the same thing. That section of Tokyo was stuck in tis time loop.

“So what can we do?” Sena asked. Her husband shook his head. She gritted her teeth. It could not end this way.

“It can’t end this way!” the woman shouted.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” he kept muttering to himself. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“No,” Sena said. “This isn’t your fault.” Right then, she knew what she had to do.

Sena made her way to Heracles’ house. She pounded on the door.

“Heracles!” the woman yelled. “Get out here now! It’s gotten worse!” She backed up when the door opened. The Greek man looked at her half-asleep.

“What is it?” he asked. “What’s going on?” Heracles paused as he looked at Sena’s shoulder. He took a step backwards.

“Sena!” Heracles said with a gasp. “What happened to you?” She looked so pale. When did she get so thin? Sena stared at him with big, tired eyes.

“You have to help my Kiku,” she said. “She’s going to kill him. I just know it. I don’t want him to die. You have to help him!”

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