They're always there
He smiled and breathed the cool air of spring in. He closed his eyes and felt the breeze slowly crawling to his heart, erasing all worried which stayed like forever in his heart since the last time he met Yamato.
“Where the hell is Yankumi! What took her so long, anyway? She doesn’t even have to do her make up!”
Those grunts awakened him from his own world. It pissed him off suddenly. “Shut up, shorty! You’ve just erased the comfort I’ve just got from this fresh air.”
Everybody turned to him right away and stared at him without words.
“Did I … say something wrong?” He asked them sheepishly.
Kamiya moved over and touched his forehead. “He doesn’t have a fever.” He mumbled by himself.
“Is he okay?” Ichimura asked him from behind.
“He’s fine. No fever. I wonder.”
“Mm, guys? Do you mind telling me what’s wrong? Did I say something weird?”
Kuraki moved over him. “Honjo, maybe being a graduated made you more matured. You’ve just said something which is so not you.”
“Eh?” Honjo stared at him without blinking. He was confused. “Did I?” He looked at Ren and Ichimura.
“Yes. You’ve never cared about the fresh air, about the comfort things. You’ve only care about yourself before.” Ren explained him the truth about him.
Honjo smiled sheepishly. “Guys, I grew up, okay. I’m an adult now. I’m a tofu maker.” He raised his hand to the air.
“But you’ve just called me SHORTY!” Kuraki jumped and slapped his head hard.
“Ouch, that’s hurt!”
“Sorry, I missed the bus so I have to wait the next one.” Yamaguchi came in pants.
“Why don’t you just say that you woke up late again?” Ren mocked her.
Everybody were grinning at her like there’s no tomorrow, made her smiled sheepishly at everybody.
“Yosh, everybody’s here. Let’s go to his house.” She took out a paper from her bag. But before she could read it, Ren had taken it away.
“Okay, let’s go.”
Yamaguchi’s just gaped at them, didn’t believe that these guys were still never changed. But she smiled finally when she saw their enthusiasm about finding out about their friends. So she just followed them obediently.
Few moments later they arrived at the written address. Everybody was just staring at the house in front of them. They lost their words.
“Are you sure this is his house?” Ren asked with his eyes blinking many times, tried to assure himself that he saw the same thing like others.
“Yes. It’s written clearly on that paper, right?” Yamaguchi answered nonchalantly. She tried to open the gate but it locked. “As expected.” She mumbled by herself.
“Are you sure? Maybe we turned at the wrong turn?” Kuraki looked at Yamaguchi who still tried to unlock the gate.
“I’m sure we didn’t. Look at the sign near the door, it’s clearly written OGATA. So I guess we’ve arrived at the right address.” She then gave up when the gate didn’t move at all. She turned and joined the boys who still fascinated with the huge of the Ogata Residence.
“He never mentioned that he was one of the rich?” Ichimura said with a weak tone, feeling suddenly so small at the sight in front of him.
“And living in a huge house.” Honjo was still staring at the house in front of him. He was still couldn’t believe his eyes. The house was too big for him to imagine that he had a friend who lived in such a place.
Everybody was still amazed with the house and stood in silent when a car suddenly stopped abruptly in front of the house. A young man, Yamato with a short black hair and matured features, run to the house. He was so fast until no one of them could ask him something. And few times later, he came out again from the house, with someone in his embrace. It’s the real Yamato. Their Yamato. The one with the dark brown hair, in a really thick blanket, pale, with the worried face mother followed behind them. They hurriedly go away with the car.
“What happened?” Ichimura asked after a few moments silence.
Nobody answered. They suddenly ran to the same direction where the car moved away. What happened? Is he alright? He looked pale. Really pale. Is he sick? Those questions mingled on their mind while running along the way to the near hospital, hoped that they came to the same place where they took Yamato.
The corridor was too silent until Yuichi felt the cold crept out on his heart. He saw his mother was trying hard to hide her worried. She grabbed her jacket hard to prevent the cry. She tried hard to not cry. Yuichi sat next to him and reached her hand.
“He will be fine. Don’t worry.”
She smiled to her first born. “I know. He never gives up. He will fight to stay strong, and will always try to not worry us more than this. He is fighting now, to stay with us. He will be fine.” But her tears betrayed her. It rolled down her cheek. She wiped it quickly.
“I’ll call Dad.”
Yoshiko nodded. Honestly she disagreed if Yuichi called him but he was their father. He deserved to know about Yamato’s condition.
“Would you at least come here, please? There’s nothing to lose if you leave your work just for one day. He is your son. And now he is fighting inside the emergency room to stay alive.”
Yoshiko looked at his son when suddenly he raised his voice. “Yuichi, we’re in the hospital. Low your voice, please. And don’t force him to come here.”
“He is our father, mom.” He hissed while looking at her. “He should be here when one of us needed him, no matter what.”
Yoshiko sighed. It sure ran in the family, she realized that. The stubbornness.
“Listen. I’m in the middle of a meeting. This meeting is more important than anything else in the world. This meeting is being hold for our future.”
“Dad, his heart is beating too low. The doctor suggests us to call you. He needs you.”
“Yuichi, I told you I can’t leave this meeting. You can handle that easily, can’t you?”
“You’re the one who told me to always be careful with him because he has a weak immune system! Would you at least see him? You don’t have to say anything, just hold his hand, just for a second. It would make a difference. Make him know that you’re here. Please … I beg you. I really don’t want to lose him.”
“I’m sorry. I will not come. He never listened to me. He never obeyed me. He always did anything he wanted and never thinks about my position. Do you think he deserves my presence?”
“He is your son no matter what he did.”
“Why are you defending him?”
“I envy him a lot. I’m nothing compared to him.”
“He’s nothing compared to you. He’s just a pain in the ass.”
“He is a human being. He proved that. He dared to shout at you just to show him that he is a human being. He decided to live his life on his way, that’s why I envy him a lot.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“He decides his own path. The path he chose with his own will.”
No answer for a while.
“I have to leave. Take care of yourself and don’t get involve with him.”
Before Yuichi could say anything the connection was cut off. He stared at his phone without words. His heart wanted to explode. He knew that they’re always fighting lately but he didn’t expect that the result would be this bad. He never knew that his dad would be wounded that badly until he didn’t want to see Yamato even just for a minute. He never knew that his pride was this high. He thought that he will always forgive like every time he did mistakes. Was he wrong all this time? Did he really know who his father was?
“I told you to not force him to come.” Yoshiko said softly from her chair. “Yamato will fight whatever happens. With or without dad here, he will still fight.”
Yuichi was just staring at her silently. You knew him well. You knew that he won’t come that’s why you told me to not force him to come. You knew that he will not come. You knew that he will refuse to come. Is he that cold? How could you handle these years together with him every day? How could you stand living for years with that kind of person? How come I didn’t realize that he is this cold? He then sat beside her.
The doctor came out from the room and went straight to them. “What happened? I told you that he should always stay in a warm place, didn’t I? Did he spend the night outside the house?”
“Yes.” Yuichi said it quickly before Yoshiko could say anything. “Few days ago after the graduation, he spent the night outside. He came home around three or four, I forgot, but he looked exhausted. He slept all day after that.”
The doctor sighed heavily. “Any fever before this?”
“Yes. Right the night before graduation he got slight of fever. We don’t call you because it still under the emergency temperature you told us.”
The doctor nodded many times while reading his report. “I couldn’t say anything right now except that his heart rate is too low. We have to wait until tomorrow before we do the cross-examination.”
“He will be alright, won’t he?”
The doctor caressed Yoshiko’s arm. “You know that I couldn’t answer that now. Let’s hope that his condition will go stable until tomorrow, okay.”
“I will stay here tonight. You know where to find me.”
Yoshiko nodded and smiled. And she turned to Yuichi when the doctor walked away. “Why don’t you tell me that he came home late that night?”
Yuichi looked away. He didn’t want to face his mother. “Sorry.”
Yoshiko sighed and went to Yamato’s room.
Yuichi followed her silently. He was not ready for further interrogation. He didn’t know what had happened to him that night. He was just known that he came home too late, with bruises on his jaws, and he believed that he was still hiding other bruises all over his body. After all he had not gotten any answer from his cousins for their concern about Yamato, which too excessive for him. Something was going on and he wanted to know what it is. Something which made even Shin cared too much. He smelled something fishy.
What is it?
Out of their sight, in the corner of the corridor some people stood up silently. They stared at each other without words.
“I … don’t know that he is that weak.” Ren finally said in low voice.
“Is that the reason why he was always avoiding us lately?” Kuraki looked at him.
It’s not that. There’s something else. It’s more than that.
Unintentionally he looked at Yamaguchi who stared back at him. They exchanged silent question and promise to find out more.