He cracked, almost
Yoshiko closed the door slowly. Afraid if she made a lot of noise she would wake Yamato from his sleep. But when she turned around she saw him had awaken already.
“Yamato, you shouldn’t get up from the bed. You should rest more. Don’t force your body to move.” She hurriedly reached him and tried to make him back to sleep.
“Mom, I’m fine. It’s just a fever. It will be gone in no time.”
“No! Uncle Jun told us that you should take a rest more. You’re too tired. He will do cross-examination this afternoon after doing his surgery.”
Yamato stunned. Cross-examination. It means he will examine me thoroughly. If he does that he will find what had happened to me. No. There’s no way I will let him find about it. “Mom.” He reached his mother’s hand. “If you let me stay here, I won’t get better. This place is too suffocated. I can’t handle the smell. It’s too strong. Our home will be the best place for me if you want me to get well soon.”
Before Yoshiko could answer him the doctor had already stood behind her.
“A place called home is the very best place for everybody to recover, both physically and mentally. Its warmness can bring calmness in every body’s soul which leads them to their fast recovering. And I’m sure that Yamato is matured enough to realize that.” The doctor, Kawashima Jun, turned to Yamato and smiled. “And for you young man, congratulation for your graduation.”
Yamato nodded at him slightly.
“But Jun, are you sure that he can go home? I mean, yesterday he was so pale. He even lost his consciousness. His temperature was too high and his heart rate was too low. Are you sure that he will be okay if he go home now?”
“Look at him. He is fine. He could get up from the bed without any help. It means he is totally fine. He’s just still weak because of the impact of the fever. That’s all.”
“But … “
“I’ll check on him to assure you, okay?” with that he reached Yamato’s wrist to check his pulse, and he saw it. The traces of contusions were still clearly seen on it. He stole a glance Yamato slightly who tried hard to pull back his hand but slightly he grabbed it so he couldn’t release it. He turned to Yoshiko. “Would you wait outside? I can’t concentrate if you stay here.”
Yoshiko looked at him and then Yamato. Then she nodded before walked out of the room.
“Tell me. What is this?” Jun hissed while staring at Yamato.
“It’s nothing.” Yamato tried to release his hand from the grabbing but failed.
“Yamato, you can’t lie to me. These wounds didn’t come from fighting. They didn’t come from any cut of a knife or any other sharp objects too. I and do know that you’re clean.” He then grabbed Yamato’s another hand and showed him his two wrist. “What had happened?”
“I told you it’s nothing.”
“I’ve known you since you were in diaper so if you think you can hide something from me you are wrong. There’s only you and me here. Tell me honestly before your mother barged into this room because of her curiosity.”
Yamato’s still didn’t give any answer. He’s still trying hard to release his hand. “Please, let me go home.” He whispered weakly.
“No. Before you tell me I will not let you go.”
“Please.” Tears dropped from his eyes.
Jun stunned. Unconsciously he released his grab. He then reached Yamato by his shoulder and made him sat on the bed. “Is it that bad until you couldn’t tell me what is it?” He asked him softly.
Yamato gritted his teeth hard. He tried hard to stop his tears but failed. It flew even uncontrollably. “Please … don’t ask … I’m fine. I’m totally … fine.”
Jun looked at the boy silently. He looked so fragile until he could break any time. He didn’t have a heart to force him to be honest any further. He sighed and tapped his back. “Okay. But if you think I gave up, you’re still wrong. I will still ask you one day if I think you’re ready to answer me.”
Yamato gave no answer. He wiped his tears with his fingers in silent. He then breathed heavily to calm his emotion down.
Jun stared at him. Silently he observed the boy. Not just fragile, but he also looked thinner than the last time he saw him. He lost his weight a lot. It must be something big until he couldn’t control his emotion. This boy in front of him was a person who tried to always smile back then. He always tried hard to not cry even when he was alone. Many times accidentally he found him tried to suppress his cry years ago, even when he was wounded badly. But now those tears fell down uncontrollably. He must be hurt so much until he couldn’t handle it. Unconsciously he caressed his back gently. And when he saw him calmed already, he stood up. “I’ll call your mother now.”
There’s still no answer. Yamato just stayed silent but this time he looked calmed like himself as usual.
“How’s he?” Yoshiko demanded him once she entered the room.
“He’s fine like I’ve told you. He’s just still weak and that’s all. Let him take a rest for one or two days then he will recover fully.” Jun smiled widely at her.
Yoshiko looked at him in doubt. She then turned to Yamato.
“How do you feel? You don’t have to force yourself to go home if you still feel weak. We can stay here for one night more to be assured that you’re fine.”
“Mom, please. I’m fine. Just let’s go home.” Yamato pleaded her now. He really wanted to go out of the room before his strength lost. He knew he would never win against his doctor. He could see him thoroughly even without asking him. He would tell him honestly if he stayed longer in this place.
“Okay. But if you get fever again tonight, I will bring you here again and force you to stay no matter what you say. Do you understand?”
Yamato nodded many times to assure his mother. He stood up and walked out the room without waiting for his mother.
Yoshiko looked at the doctor and smiled. “Thank you. I’m sorry for always bothering you.”
“Hey, that’s what friends are for, right?”
Yoshiko nodded and smiled again.
“Be sure to always check on his temperature. And call me if you needed something.”
Jun smiled widely and escorted her to the door. “Ah. Congratulation. Your wedding. I don’t think I could come on time next week, so I think it’s better to congratulate you now.”
Again, Yoshiko could only smile. “Thank you.” She then turned to find Yuichi came hurriedly.
“Are you sure he could go home?”
Jun smiled and nodded to him. “Yes. Home is a better place for him to recover now. Much better than here. So, I send him home.”
“You looked just fine. Don’t exaggerate something just to get attention. You’re not a child anymore.”
Before Yuichi could ask any further, they heard the voice of a person they’ve been waited since yesterday. They hurriedly went out of the room.
“Dad! Finally you come.”
Clearly Jun saw Yamato stiffen in his place. But it’s not because of anger as usual. It’s more of afraid. His curiosity rose up suddenly so he stood beside him. “His heart rate was too low yesterday but he is fine now, so I let him go home. That’s the best place for him to recover soon.” He caressed Yamato’s back and felt its stiffness. Why? What is it? This isn’t his usual stiffness. He is … trembling? What happened? Did he do something to him?
“I see. Because he’s fine so I guess I’ll leave then.” And without waited any respond Tatsuo left.
Everybody was too stunned with his coldness to give any answer. Jun observed Yamato silently. He didn’t ask. He was just staring at him. The boy was gritting his teeth hard. He saw his hand trembled slightly before he hurriedly hid it into his jacket pocket.
“Can we go home now?”
His voice was also trembling slightly but he covered it by turning left so fast. He walked away and left them in the corridor. Yuichi almost ran after him. And when Yoshiko was going to left too Jun grabbed her hand.
“Make sure you won’t leave Yamato alone. If you think you can’t leave your work, or you can’t go home on time, call someone else to accompany him, okay?”
Yoshiko stared at him for a moment. “Are you hiding something? Is there something wrong?”
“No. Everything is fine. It’s just …, my instinct told me that you have to be careful with him. Just …, say what I’ve told you. Tell Yuichi to go home so there is someone else in the house beside you two.”
Yoshiko kept silent for a while before nodded. “Okay.” This childhood friend of hers was special. His instinct was always true. When he said she should be careful, then she knew that something bad would happen. “Explain me if you find something, okay?”
“I’ll do it right away when I found it. Just …, keep your eyes on him closely. He looked very …, uncomfortable. He is afraid of something. He’s hiding something.”
Yoshiko nodded many times before finally decided to left.
Along the way to home, in the car, Yoshiko was always stealing glances at Yamato from the rear mirror. His youngest son looked too silent for her. He was never talkative before but now he was too silent. What is it Jun? What do you think he’s hiding? Is it something bad? Did something happen to Yamato? Did he involve to something dangerous?
She then tried to recall his behavior. It is true that lately his youngest son was always trying to avoid her. He went to school too early than before, and went back too late. He didn’t hear him fighting lately but he always got new bruises. When she asked him he always said that it’s nothing. She then remembered one morning when Yamato was shouting in the bathroom. Is that related to his suspicious behavior? I guess Jun’s right. Something is going on but I don’t know what. I shouldn’t leave him alone.
Later on his room Yamato lied down silently on his bed. His mother was just left. He stared at the ceiling silently. Just a little bit more. Please. I just need a little time. Give me strength to get through this.
He jolted in surprise when his phone rang suddenly. He grabbed and stunned when he saw what flashed on it.