Fear is the Heart of Love

Chapter 12

The always bubbly and nosy Kisa smiled brightly at me when I opened the door. Though he was my friend, I couldn’t help the dreading feeling settling in me.

“Richan! How’ve you been?” He exclaimed. He tried to enter my house but I stopped him. I was going to stay at Masamune's apartment anyways, so I decided to bring him there.

“Uh, my place is a mess. Let’s go to my,” I stopped, trying to choose how to word the next sentence, “My friend’s place next door.”

There was no way I was telling him it was Takano’s place. He just simply nodded and followed me in. I offered him a glass of water which he took gratefully. I sat across from him, waiting patiently for him to start.

“So Rittie, how have you been? You’ve been so sick lately, I don’t get to see you anywhere!”

“Um, I’m fine. I’m recovering; hopefully I’ll be at work in a couple of weeks,” I forced a smile, nervous of his presence. He took a sip of water before he continued.

“Good, I miss my desk partner and newbie. Takano-san has been rather hellish without the extra hand around,” He giggled lightly. Silence enveloped us a while. I nervously picked at the fabric of my shirt. Kisa cleared his throat and I looked up, a little shocked at his expression. His eyes were heavy with sadness, suddenly looking his actual age. His mouth was tight and voice heavy when he spoke.

“Richan, is there something you’re not telling me?” I reeled back, shocked by his question. Kisa was never so wise; he always gave off the impression of being a gossiping airhead. Maybe I just wasn’t very observant.

I didn’t answer as he continued to stare at me. His despaired brown eyes bore into my surprised green eyes and he whispered, “I’ll take that as a yes.”

My eyes grew even wider and I stumbled for words. I flickered my gaze down to my lap, wringing my hands. If I was able to tell Masamune so easily, shouldn’t it be the same for Kisa?

“Richan,” Kisa softly called, his voice laced with grief. He knew, he knew, he knew. I just had to confirm it. When was Kisa so smart? I still kept quiet, hoping to stall.

“Richan, please. I’m not as stupid as I look. I know something is wrong. Your health has been deteriorating and you look sicker every month. Furthermore, you have a hospital bracelet on that must be from recently beside your surgery.”

My hand flew to my wrist, feeling the plastic band. Now I knew I couldn’t deny it any longer. I was dreading the day I would have to tell my coworkers, especially Kisa. I didn’t realize how sharp he actually was and how much he noticed. I guess that’s because I was too busy wallowing in my own self-pity.

“Kisa…..” I swallowed, biting my lip. It was finally time. Time to tell him. No more lies, no more secrets. Just tell him honestly; no sugar-coating.

“Kisa,” I took a deep breath, still looking at my hands, “I’m dying.”

My head shot up as I heard glass shatter. Kisa was deathly pale, completely still and his eyes filled with horror. He had dropped his water, the glass exploding as it came in contact with the floor. Water and pieces of glass littered the floor in front of Kisa, but he was completely still. His eyes brimmed with tears, not noticing them spill over as he took shaky, desperate breaths. I didn’t move either.

“Kisa,” I whispered as he shook his head, slowly at first then growing desperate.

“No,” He croaked, his voice broken and raw.

“No. No, no, no, no. This isn’t right Richan. This isn’t right!” He cried loudly, his hand flying up to his mouth and sobbing. He kept his eyes fixed on me the entire time, tears rolling down his cheeks. He was shaking violently now. I felt useless, just sitting there, not able to do anything. But was I supposed to do? He had pretty much guessed it, but he wasn’t prepared for it actually being right.

“I’m so sorry,” Was all I managed. I gripped my jeans tightly, holding back my own tears.

I don’t know how much time passed. Kisa just sat there and cried, wailing miserably. And I just sat there, useless and still. What must have been hours, Kisa’s sobs slowed, his breaths coming easier. We sat there for a few more minutes before suddenly, Kisa stood up. Swaying a little, he quickly walked out of the living room and to the front door. It slammed closed behind him as he left abruptly.

And I just sat there.

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