It was late at night when Ryu opened the door and welcomed by the worried face of his cousins.
“What?” It was the only question coming out from his mouth. He didn’t remember that he did something wrong but their expression told him that something wrong was going on.
“Yamato didn’t come home yet and we can’t reach his phone. It’s always in busy tone all day.” Yuichi stood up from the couch and started to walk around the room again, like he did for the rest of the night tonight.
Shit! I forgot to tell them. No wonder they couldn’t sleep at all. He sighed slightly. “Ah, he was in Yankumi’s house. With the others.”
Yuichi stopped walking. He walked over to Ryu. “Who’s Yankumi? I don’t know that there is a person with that kind of name. Isn’t it a weird name?”
“His former teacher, and my supervisor for my training, and trust me, it’s not just her name. The person who has that name is also a weird.”
“You should’ve called us.” Shin closed his eyes and sighed slightly, feeling relieved with the good news. Yankumi’s house meant the safest place in the world.
“Sorry. I was totally forgotten. One of them got trouble. It’s something about drug selling. They didn’t believe it. Yankumi didn’t believe it too. So, I guess you know what happened next.”
She will try hard to prove that he is clean, of course. Shin shook his head in disbelief. She doesn’t change at all. He stood up and walked away. “So, case closed then. He is in the safest place in the world so I guess it will be a waste if we stay worried all night.”
“Are you sure he is safe?” Yuichi turned to him.
“Trust me.” Shin nodded before walking to the stairs. “No one with malicious purposes could enter that house. But even if they could, they won’t go out alive.”
Ryu tapped his back before followed Shin to the second floor. He felt sorry for not calling them that he knew where Yamato was, but once again, the fact was that he knew Yamato was staying the night in the safest place in the world. And that’s more than enough for him to forgive himself from not calling his cousins. He sighed heavily and laid down the bed, drifted to a deep slumber before he realized it.
When he opened his eyes lazily few times later, he faced with the sun which shining too brightly this morning. He took a glance to the clock on the wall and groaned when he saw it was already seven a.m. Why don’t you move slower today? He reached his phone and opened it. No call. No message. He closed it again when something clicked on his mind. He dialed a number and waited for a while.
“Don’t do anything stupid and stay at that house until we can do something to clean your friend.”
No answer. Ryu got up and sat on his bed.
“Yamato, where are you? Don’t lie.”
There was a silence for a moment. “We’re on the way to that building.”
“What building? Where?”
“We’re going to find proves that Ren is clean. There must be something in their building. Something that could save Ren.”
“Stupid! Go back to Yankumi’s house!”
“Sorry. I can’t.”
And it cut off. Ryu groaned once again. He got up right away, grabbed his jacket and almost ran to the front door. That stupid boy and his friends! Why don’t they let the adults solve their problem?
Without thinking he rode his motorcycle to Yankumi’s house. Why her house? He didn’t even know. His mind just told him that she wouldn’t stay silent when she found out that the boys were missing under her nose. She would go to the same building where Yamato and his friends were. So he was. So why didn’t he pick her up and went there together, right? It would be faster than he went there first and waited for her to reach the building. And his mind was totally right. He was just turning around his motorcycle when Yankumi suddenly ran out from the house, and gladly she obeyed to ride with him and didn’t cast him out.
It was a really big building, with a very tight security system. They even had to assimilate themselves to be able to enter the building. It took them for a while to finally found where the boys went. They found them in the basement and he almost fainted when he saw a gun pointed out to the boys. His heart beat raised so sudden until he felt his knees weakened and he almost ran to save them when Yankumi held his hand and forced him to calm down. And she was right. Everything moved smoothly when they thought everything in calm. They easily managed to knock down the armed men and the boys survived without a scratch.
“Stay back and don’t do anything useless.” He hissed at Yamato when Yankumi left them alone in the basement.
As he expected, Yamato was just looking at him in silent and ignored him. He held his hand when Yamato turned to help his friends to tie the bad guys.
“I can’t leave them, okay.” Yamato hissed back at him and shrugged off his hand from Ryu’s hold.
Ryu could only sigh. He was totally right. He couldn’t leave them after all. He just stared at them in silent when something flashed on his mind.
“Guys, I have an idea.”
Everybody turned to see him. They stared each other, didn’t have any intention to voice out their questions. They had to always low down their voice if they wanted to stay saved. They still remembered how it felt when the gun pointed out to them before and a little bit loud voice would lure the other bad guys to come to check the basement.
Ryu walked away and went back together with someone.
“Guys, this is Tsuciya, a friend of mine, and he worked as a cameramen assistant.”
They bowed at him in silent.
“You will broadcast this?” Yamato asked him after a little thinking.
Tsuciya smiled slightly and nodded.
You don’t look like a stupid like us. And even if you colored your hair you still don’t even look like a delinquent at all. Why you were in Yankumi’s class?
A tap on his shoulder stopped his train of thought. He turned over to find Ryu nodded at him and asked him to follow. He gasped slightly when he saw drugs stacked in front of his eyes. He smiled ear to ear, made the others chuckled at him. “Say hello to my bonus.”
Ryu smiled slightly with his friends words. “Just work on it and prepare to receive your extra bonus after this done.”
Lazily, Yamato opened the front door just to be welcomed with his brother’s stiffened face.
“I saw you on the news. What were you doing in that dangerous place? They have gun! Did they do something to you?”
Yamato was taken aback with his brother’s sudden wrath. He blinked many times before walked away from him without answering his question.
“Yamato, I’m asking you!”
There’s still no answer. Yamato just walked away upstairs silently.
“I can explain.” Ryu said calmly to him before walked to the kitchen.
“Oh yeah, you sure have to do it! And also the wound on your face. Gosh, Ryu! You’re not in the age where you have to fight over something with your friend. And you’re going to be a teacher soon. Do you think it’s appropriate to fight when you decided to become a teacher? What will you teach your student then?” Yuichi gasped at the sudden thought on his mind. “Do you get any other wound? Tell me where it is. We should do something with it before it got infected”
Ryu stood in front of him right away to stop him. “Would you shut up?” He hissed, trying to not shouting at him. “My head ached hearing you talk nonstop like that. I guess Yamato’s right that you’re so noisy lately.”
Yuichi sighed heavily. “I’m worried, okay. We didn’t even have any clue about the person who bullied Yamato, if he was really bullied. Or abused as grandpa told us, and now you came home with bruises all over your face.”
“Don’t talk about him in this house or else he will hear it. Not when he is around. He tried to hide it so we should let him be. He will break down and nobody could pull him up if he knows that we knew the secret he tried hard to hide.”
Yuichi gasped and turned around to the stairs just to find it empty. “You surprised me. I thought he was there”
“He will be there if you talk louder than now.”
Little did they know that Yamato stunned behind the wall. He suddenly felt thirsty and was about to go to the kitchen and took a bottle of water when he heard his name mentioned. He blinked many times to suppress his tears.
Oh my God. They knew it.
He turned over and walked back to his room. He closed his door very carefully, tried hard to not make any sound and fell down to the floor. He hugged his knees and hid his face on it. His tears fell down uncontrollably.
What should I do? Oh my God, what should I do?
Morning came again in no time. Hesitantly he walked down the stairs. He was about to just walked away to the front door when a hand suddenly grabbed him and pulled him to the kitchen.
“I won’t let you go without taking a breakfast.”
Yamato gritted his teeth, tried hard to not fall down in front of the others who stared at him silently. Their eyes felt darted to him but he tried to ignore it. He sat down and digging his food right away. Not more than five minutes, he got up fast and grabbed his bag.
“Why don’t you stay at home today? You looked really unwell.” Yuichi reached his arm and held him.
Yamato shrugged it off without words and walked away.
Shin saw it. Ryu saw it too. He tried hard to suppress his feeling. They saw him gritted his teeth. They stared each other and Ryu suddenly got up and followed him.
“Is it hard to say something to us?”
Yamato turned to his right and found Ryu stood there.
“Don’t follow me.”
Ryu chuckled. “You do know that this is my only way to Akadou.”
Yamato stared at him silently then looked away. He moved forward when the traffic lamp turned green, tried to walk as fast as he could.
“You don’t have to run away from me. I won’t ask you anything like the last time because I know you won’t answer me.”
“I don’t run away. I just don’t want to be late.”
Ryu just smiled slightly. He tried to keep up with him in the very crowded street. He almost bumped to Yamato’s back when he stopped abruptly.
Yamato didn’t give him any answer. He was just gulped and continued walking silently.
Something clicked in Ryu’s mind and he looked around right away, tried to figure out the reason why Yamato stopped so sudden. He tried to find a face, but he saw no one. Everyone was stranger. And when he was sure that he didn’t find any familiar face around, he soon tried to catch Yamato up. Even from behind he could see Yamato’s body was stiffened. He walked too fast, like really wanted to get out of this crowd. Ryu couldn’t leave him in this kind of state so he ignored his turn and followed Yamato until he reached his school.
“What are you doing here?”
He was stuttering, slightly, but Ryu could hear it clearly. He tried to hide his hand on his pocket but he saw it trembling. He looked at him straight to his eyes, and received another rejection. He avoided him by looked away.
“Mmm, I …, guess …, I missed my turn. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Stop asking me that question. You’d better go now or you will get scold.”
Yamato turned over and walked in to the building right after said it.
Ryu hesitantly turned over and walked back silently. He reached his phone and waited for a moment before hearing a wise voice received his call.
“He saw someone. I didn’t know who but he saw someone few minutes ago.”
“Where is he?”
“He was just entering his school. What do you think I should do?”
“Keep in touch with him. I’m going there.”
And the phone cut off. Ryu watched the building once again before hesitantly walked away to Akadou.
For Yamato himself, time moved slower than usual. He couldn’t concentrate on everything his lecturer said today. Everything moved like slow motions around him until he couldn’t understand what they’re talking about. He was just smile when his lecturer or one of his classmates said something to him. His mind didn’t work correctly.
And now, he stood awkwardly in front of the elevator. His class was over few minutes ago and he really wanted to go home right away. The feeling of uneasiness filled up his heart since he stepped in to the building this morning. And he didn’t like it. But the elevator took its time to move. It was like mocking him and moved slower than it should be. Come on! What take it so long? And when it opened in front of him, he walked in right away. He sighed heavily when its door closed, feeling the safety covered him fully.
“I saw you on TV yesterday. How it feel to become the center of attention?”
He jolted and turned over to see his father smiled at him. His heart stopped beating for a while before beat fast so sudden until he felt it could explode anytime. Don’t be afraid. Everything will be just fine. “We just want to save our friend.”
Tatsuo smiled. “And what was that for? Do you get anything from him?”
Yamato glared at him. The feeling of annoying of his father suddenly came back inside him. He had forgotten that feeling for a while but it suddenly came back and filling his heart until he felt sick. “I’m not you. I won’t ask anything for helping my own friend.”
Tatsuo reached for Yamato’s chin. “There’s nothing free in this world, young man. You should always pay for everything you get and you’ll get for everything you pay.”
“Now I wonder. Do you have any friend in this life actually?”
The older was taken aback with his son’s question. He didn’t see it coming. But then he smirked at him. “So, now you want to meet my friends? Fine. Anytime you want.”
“I don’t want to meet people like you more than you are. I’m sick of seeing you and I really don’t want to meet other persons like you.”
Tatsuo grabbed his collar. “Watch your mouth, young man. I don’t care how you feel about me but you have to remember that you still have a business with me. If you think you can run away from me, you’re wrong.”
Yamato shrugged himself off from Tatsuo’s grab. “What?”
“Your freedom or your mother’s happiness?”
Yamato stunned for a while. He wanted to stop this. He was tired of it. But it was only for a while he saw his mother smiled again in happiness. He didn’t want to lose it. It’s worth everything in his life. “You can’t do that to me? You can’t harm her? He was your wife?”
“She was, Yamato. Not again. And I assure you that I could do anything to break that smile again.”
Yamato gulped. His shoulder slumped. “Please.”
“You broke our family apart, don’t you remember. Just use your brain to analyze that. How could that cruel reach happiness while there is a family broken apart because of him? No way. He doesn’t deserve it, does he? What do you think of it Yamato? You are a smart so far I know. I don’t know why you hide it from your stupid friends?”
“Just let me go, please. And don’t touch mom at the same time, would you?”
Tatsuo smirked at him. “You can’t get everything you want in this life, Yamato. Choose. That’s what you have to do to keep yourself alive.”
Yamato gulped once again. He wanted to just run away from all of this and forgot everything. He wanted to be free to live this life, but the picture of his mother’s smile was dancing in his mind. He couldn’t lose it now, after all of the pain she got. It was him after all that caused her pain. So why shouldn’t he pay for it? He broke the family she tried to hold very hard. He was a cruel if he ran away now.
Yamato looked at his father silently, but it’s enough for the man to get what he wanted to say. He smiled and ruffled his hair. “Good boy. Let’s have fun~”