Fear is the Heart of Love

Chapter 14

I had a fitful sleep that night. I was either awake, staring at the ceiling or dreaming of my uncle and Kisa. It was more memory than dream; remembering when my parents told me of my uncle’s disease and Kisa’s reaction early today.

Masamune didn’t wake me up when he left. He let me sleep, knowing I had a rough night. When I walked into the kitchen that morning, groggy and exhausted, I saw the note he left me on the counter.

I’ll try to be home as soon as I can. Make sure you get plenty of rest and take your medication. I love you.


I couldn’t help but blush a little at the last line. He always said it, did he really need to write it to remind me too? But I smiled a little at how thoughtful he was. He had a façade of a hardhearted and cold man who seemed emotionless and had no love, but the true Masamune I knew always cared and always loved me. I couldn’t keep up, which seemed to be common in everything I did.

I kept the note on the counter and went to the bathroom to follow his instruction. I took my pills, a few added because of the surgery and the headache I was harboring.

Sleep wouldn’t be so easy, so I grabbed a bowl of cereal for breakfast. As I munched on the hard flakes of honey-flavored cereal, I contemplated what I’d do today. It was Hell Week, and though Masamune told me not to work, they would need all the help they could get. I also needed to distract myself. I didn’t know how I’d work a home without Masamune finding out, but I’d figure it out. First, I needed my laptop which I left in my apartment.

Taking less than a minute, I walked over to my apartment, located my laptop in my newly cleaned living room, and grabbed it and its cord. I grabbed a few pens too and some paper and walked back to Masamune’s. Sitting on the floor in front of the coffee table, I set up my laptop and picked up my phone, calling Mutoi-sensei first.

“Hello?” Her weary voice answered. It was barely nine o’clock and Hell Week had all ready started.

“Hi, Mutoi-sensei. It’s Onodera-kun,” I answered.

“Onodera-kun! How are you? Are you better?” The tone of her voice was now concerned.

“Ah, yes. I’m making my recovery. I should be back at work in a couple of weeks.”

“Oh, thank goodness! I was worried I’d lost my good editor,” She laughed, relieved. I laughed a little too, thanking her for her compliment. She was always kind, hardly ever yelling at me during Hell Week. She was definitely my favorite author.

“I called you to check on the storyboards. I know I should be resting, but I didn’t want to neglect my work anymore. If you could just fax them to my apartment, I’ll check them real quick and send them to Takano-san.”

“Are you sure Onodera-kun? I don’t want you to get sick again.”

“I’ll be fine. I’m just checking up on my authors since it’s Hell Week. You know how it can get,” We both laughed, hers a little strained as she was reminded of what was coming.

“Okay, just don’t overwork yourself. Should I tell Takano-san so he doesn’t wonder where my storyboard is?”

“No, no, no!” I said, maybe a little too rushed, “I-I’ll tell him myself.”

She didn’t seem to catch my stumbling and rushed answer, so she answered with a simple, “Okay.”

I actually gave her the fax number to Masamune’s apartment and we exchanged our goodbyes, me wishing her a good luck. I placed my phone down and opened my laptop so it could boot up. My phone suddenly rang and I picked it up quickly, not paying attention to the caller I.D.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi Richan,” Kisa’s voice answered. My heart stopped. His voice was sad and slow, heavy with misery.

“H-Hey,” I croaked. No one said anything for a moment. I was frozen, staring at my keyboard. Finally, I heard Kisa clear his throat and speak.

“Richan, I’m so sorry about yesterday. I know I shouldn’t have just left like that, but…I just didn’t know how else to leave. I-I’m just not used to dealing with this kind of thing, but that doesn’t give me any right to be that insensitive. I know this is a delicate matter and you need all the help you can get to get through this. You need your friends to support you as well as your family, and I called you to let you know that if you need anything, just tell me. I’m here for you Richan.”

I couldn’t speak. Hot tears had welled up and a thick lump had formed in my throat, rendering me useless to speak. I didn’t even know what to think.

“K-Kisa, I…” I put a hand over my mouth, holding back a sob.

“It must be overwhelming for me to say this out of the blue. But I just wanted you to know you didn’t have to go through this alone,” Kisa breathed softly as he finished. Maybe he was crying too. I managed to swallow the lump, breathing slowly. Seconds felt like hours before I gathered up enough courage to respond.

“Kisa, I don’t know what to say. Thank you,” Was all I could manage. He deserved mounds better, much more appreciation, but my thoughts were too clouded to think.

“Anything for Richan,” Kisa said with a sad laugh, trying to cheer me up. Seconds of hush passed. Kisa cleared his throat again.

“Well, let’s talk about something less depressing. I begged Takano-san to let me work from home today. I told him I had a tragedy in the family, and he seemed pretty understanding.”

That’s because he knows I told you,’ I said in my head.

“So, I’m taking care of your authors and mine. I’m not looking forward to this Hell Week,” He laughed darkly.

“Actually, I’m working from home. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go overboard. I’m asking my authors to fax me the storyboards and I’ll check them. You have enough on your plate already and it’s just gonna get worse, and this is the best I can do to thank you for now. I’ll send them to you afterward so you can send them to Takano-san and take the credit; I’m not supposed to be working,” I expressed.

“Aw, really Richan? Thanks! It’ll help a lot!” Kisa giggled. I was relieved that he sounded like the old Kisa. He may have been somewhat annoying, but now I just couldn’t see him that way. He was now a friend that was there to support me no matter what, so how could I view him as the old annoying, overly-happy, Kisa? Maybe we could become pretty close friends.

“Well, I’ll finish my work and fax it to you. Thank you,” I said, hoping he knew what that thank you was for.

“No problem Richan. Don’t overwork yourself; I don’t want to have to come and rescue you,” Kisa giggled again. I mustered up a small laugh, but I didn’t want him to have to come and ‘rescue’ me. It just reminded me of Masamune all over again.

“Yeah, I won’t. Bye,” I said before I hung up.

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