The safest place
The long journey to the country side didn’t stop their feeling of happiness when they stepped down from the cab. The smelt of the green leaves, the voice of little insects which sounded continuously, the bright of the sunlight, the smelt of summer. They closed their eyes together and breathed hard, inhaled the fresh air until they could feel the coolness spread all over their bodies.
They smiled each other before moved forward to the large opened gate and entered a very large beautiful park with a traditional big house stood proudly in the middle of it. The sound of a little waterfall welcomed them when they reached a little bridge which led them to the main door of the house.
Yamato stopped for a while on the bridge and looked down to the little river beneath. He saw goldfishes swam around the river. He smiled slightly, remembering the times when he was always trying hard to catch them back then and earned laughter from his grandfather, and the time when he cried all night long when he found one of them died.
“Come on, they’ve been waiting for us to come in.”
Yuichi nudged him on his side and Yamato followed him silently right away. He missed this place a lot. It felt thousand years since the last time he came here.
“Aw, my babies are growing up.” The old woman welcomed them with a warm hug in front of the main door. “Eeeh, Yamato? You’re this tall? Aaah, I lost years of watching you growing up.”
“I’m not a plant you should watch every day.”
His grandmother could only laugh and gave him a hug one more time. She didn’t even release him and dragged him along the way to the living room where the grandfather had waited them.
“Grandpa, look! Our little Yamato grew up into a very handsome boy.”
Yamato could only groan with his grandmother’s attitude. Yuichi was also smiled widely. He knew this would happen when he decided to force Yamato to follow him here. He turned over and saw his cousins were also smiled at the scene in front of them.
“Why you look so thin?” The old man in front of them stared at Yamato. “Don’t you eat properly?”
“Please, guys. I’m not a child anymore so stop treating me like I'm a baby.” Yamato hissed as the answer and grabbed his bag then turned away but stopped when his grandfather grabbed his wrist.
“What’s this?” The old man stared straight to Yamato’s eyes.
“It’s nothing. It’s just trace of contusions.”
“Where did you get this? How?”
Yamato looked at his grandfather straight to his eyes. “I forgot how. It’s just there since I remembered. Maybe I got it when I fought. I don’t know.” He shrugged off and released his hand from his grandfather’s grab. “If you think I tried to kill myself, you’re wrong. I never did, and hope will never do it,” with that he turned over and moved out the room.
“Look what you just did.” The grandmother pouted at his husband and followed Yamato.
The old man was only staring at the door where they left before turned to his other grandchildren.
“Finally you realized that we’re here.” Shin said coldly before sat in front of the old man. Ryu and Yuichi followed him and made a fake disappointed look to their grandfather.
“Heeey! Don’t make that face. It’s true that we missed him so much.”
“So you don’t miss us?” Ryu looked at Shin. “Let’s go back to town.” He stood like he wanted to leave.
“Wait, wait, wait! Guys! Please. That’s not what I mean, okay.” The old man stood up abruptly from his seat and grabbed his hand to make him sit again.
Ryu smiled mischievously and sat back to his previous place. The old man caught that smile and pouted.
“You play a trick on me.” He hissed, loud enough to make them laughed hard at the end.
Ryu laid down on the tatami and folded his hand under his head. “It’s been really long time we’re not here together.”
“Now you mention it. Usually it was only one of you who came here to visit. Yuichi is the one who often comes. May I know what brings you here? Altogether?”
Shin pointed Yuichi with his chin. “He forced us to go here.”
“Hey! I didn’t. I just asked you normally, not forced you.” Yuichi snapped right away. He didn’t want to be blamed for something he didn’t do. Actually, honestly, he would force them if they refused to come here few days ago. But luckily his cousins accepted his offer to visit their grandparents this weekend easily.
“Alright, whatever the reason is, you’re here. That’s the most important part. Get Yamato here before your grandma hogs him for herself. I want to talk to him too.”
Lazily they stood up and moved out the room. Along the way to their room, Shin exchanged look with Ryu, tried to not voice out his silent wish.
Let’s hope he won’t give Yamato questions which will make him uncomfortable.
As he could hear Shin’s mind, Ryu nodded slightly before opened his room.
The white clouds in the sky were looked just like the cottons which spread all over the blue wrapper. It was so clean, so wide, and so calming. The sound of birds chirping on trees around him made him felt the peace of this place. The rustle of the wind gently wiped his face. He smiled and closed his eyes.
I don’t want to go back. I want to stay here forever. There’s no one will harm me if I stay here. Not even a single ant dared to come close to me if I stay in this place. I will live happily and he wouldn’t dare to touch me ever again.
He felt his eyes became heavy and with the escorting of a soothing music of the nature he fell into deep slumber.
When he opened his eyes few times later, the red sky on the west welcomed him. His body stiffened right away at the recognition of a strange place. But then he breathed heavily, relieved that he wasn’t at a strange place at all. He was at the small hill behind his grandparents’ house. He smiled slightly at himself.
Stupid! What are you afraid of? You’re in the safest place in the world. Nobody will harm you here. No one will dare to touch you.
He breathed hard and looked up to the sky, watching the sun which was setting on the west. Its warmness wrapped him with incomparable comfort. The elongated shadows beneath the trees, reminded him his childhood. It was cheerful and full of happiness. He, his brother and his cousins always raced to reach the highest place they could just to see the sunset until it’s no longer visible. And when the sun was already set down, they would race again to reach the house and earned scolding from their grandmother for running down along the hill.
What if you fall and broke a part of your body? What if you fall into the river and nobody knows it?
Those were all she said all the time and they would just giggle as the answer.
He missed those days so much. The day where he could play all day without worrying anything. Life was so light and easy those times. And he wished he could turn back the time so he could fix everything from the very start.
“It’s still beautiful, isn’t it?”
He jolted and turned over so quickly until he felt dizzy attacked him hard. He closed his eyes tightly to reduce the dizzy after knowing that it’s just Shin who came over.
“Take it easy. It’s only us who know this place. No one else.”
Yamato didn’t give him any answer. He looked back to the red sky in front of him. He knew Shin was just trying to make him spill everything so he kept silence. He closed his mouth tightly and didn’t dare to open it even just for giving him short agreement.
Shin himself knew it’s useless to ask him straight. He wouldn’t budge even if you force to kill him. So he just sat down beside him and watched the sunset together until it really disappeared behind the mountains on the west sky.