Fear is the Heart of Love

Chapter 13

Glass littered the floor as I sat there, shocked. I looked at the clock, seeing only half an hour had passed of Kisa’s devastating visit. I then turned my gaze to the floor, fixating it on a piece of glass. How was I supposed to explain to Masamune that one of his glasses broke? I could lie and say I dropped it, but I was a terrible liar. He would know instantly something happened; could I actually tell him what happened? And what about Kisa? What was he going to do now? His abrupt exit had shook me, as if he didn’t care anymore. What should I do? What should I do? All my life since I found out I was dying, I’d always asked the same question: what should I do?

I hadn’t realized I said the question out loud. I glared at the glass, squatting to the floor from my seat and picking up a rather sharp piece gingerly. I turned it slowly in my fingers, studying it. How easy would it be, to end my life? To just cut it a bit short, to just end it all. The pain, the sorrow, the grief, everything and everyone. The burden I had and the burden I was. Would it be simple and relieving?

But what would my parents do if they found out I was such a coward? That I just ended my life to escape my problems, not facing them instead? Leaving them behind for others to deal with so I could be free? And what about Masamune? Just thinking of him made my heart ache and head throb. How would he cope? So, why should I do it?

I dropped the piece, disgusted with myself at such thoughts. This wasn’t a good sign, I know; suicide. But it was just another problem to deal with. Another to add to the list. I shouldn’t be so selfish; wasn’t I supposed to work on that?

I stood up, wiping the tears from my eyes. I went and retrieved a broom to sweep up the mess. I then got a rag to soak up the water, hoping the mess wouldn’t leave signs that something happened.

As I walked back to the kitchen, I noticed the plastic band around my wrist again. I fingered it, rubbing it absentmindedly between forefinger and thumb. Why did I still have it on? It only reminded me of what just happened merely minutes ago in the living room. I opened a drawer, grabbing the kitchen shears and clipping the damn thing off. I tossed it in the trash, putting back the scissors. I looked to the clock again; half passed ten. Masamune wouldn’t be back for almost another three hours.

I might as well finish what my original plan was for today. I walked back to my apartment and decided to start working on the living room to distract myself from today’s events. I was trying to hold it in, not show much emotion since I was supposed to be used to this. But it was getting harder and harder every time.


Nearly three hours later, I had completed the entire apartment. It was clutter-free and fresh, a drastic contrast from its prior condition a few weeks ago. I vowed to myself to never allow it to become such a mess again.

A knock on my door startled me. My heart sank, replaying what happened this morning. It all had started with a knock on my door. I slowly approached the door, afraid of who was behind it. My hand lingered above the knob, shaking slightly. I bit my lip, dreading to open it. Would it be Mino this time? Or Hatori? Or did Kisa come back?

Another knock and I opened it, rather slowly. Masamune stood there, looking bedraggled and tired. I breathed a quiet sigh of relief.

“You’re still here?” He asked.

“Uh, I just finished straightening up the house. Come see,” I led the way inside, hearing his heavy footfalls following.

“Wow,” He smirked at the difference, admiring.

“I know. I hadn’t realized I owned so many clothes before you cleaned.”

He chuckled a bit, a small smile coming to his lips. I looked away, blushing and heart beating. His rare smiles always sent my heart into a frenzy.

“Hey, I’ll make lunch. I’m sure you’re hungry and haven’t eaten yet,” He offered as he turned around and walked back to the genkan. I followed, agreeing to lunch. I asked him about the meeting as we left, and laughed to myself as he grumbled, “Terrible. Those idiots are all the same.”


During lunch, everything suddenly came flooding back in the silence. I tried to keep it at bay, holding off the emotions and scenes, but it was too sudden. I finished my lunch quickly, hoping that washing the dishes would keep the tears back. I washed quickly and quietly, squeezing the sponge a little too much. I felt arms wrap around me from behind and a familiar presence. My breath hitched and I stiffened, flushing pure red.

“M-Masamune, what are you doing?” I trembled a little as his mouth pressed against my ear, his breath causing goosebumps. He must have noticed my sudden change in mood because he asked gently, “Ritsu, what’s wrong?”

“W-Wrong? Nothing!” I replied. I didn’t face him, afraid he’d see the tears in my eyes. I pictured Kisa, the happy and glowing face I’ve always known, not the horrified and heartbreaking face I caused.

“You’ve always been a bad liar.”

Oh no. He knew I couldn’t hide it anymore. He could feel my emotions, the pain and the sadness. I trembled again, but not because of him. I squished the sponge in my hand. He squeezed me gently, coaxing me to look at him.

I shook my head, whispering, “No.”

“Ritsu,” He begged, “Tell me. Please.”

That’s all it took. I broke down, my tears dropping into the sink. I dropped the sponge, turning around and burying my face into his shoulder. I didn’t sob as loud as I usually did; instead I just trembled, a steady stream of tears flowing down my cheeks. He held me close as he always did, stroking my hair as he always did, pressing kisses to my temple as he always did.

“I-I told Kisa,” I whispered.

“What?” He said, shock evident in his voice.

“He came to my d-door this morning. We t-talked a-a little and I…I…told him. I had to,” My voice cracked on the last word, turning into a sobbing high-pitched whisper.

“Oh, Ritsu,” Masamune sighed, embracing me tightly. As he held me, I contemplated whether to tell him of my thoughts of suicide this morning. He could help me, but it would break him that I was entertaining such malicious thoughts. I was too disappointed in myself anyways to think like that again, hopefully. But wouldn’t it be the right thing to tell him, to seek advice now before it was too late?

But I couldn’t do that to him, not yet.


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