A very dark night
Everyone smiled at him when he bowed his head to greet them for the last time. The words of encouragement showered him altogether, made him smiled sheepishly at the elders. He was about to say something when his phone rang.
“Ah! It rang all the times since many times ago.” Ayukawa gasped and said right away to him. “Maybe it’s important.”
Ryu looked at her before fishing his bag and took his phone. His eyes slightly widened when he saw Yamato’s name flashed on it. He never called him before, even in an urgent situation. But the rings stopped when he was about to pick it up. And his heart stopped beating when he saw the signs that he was trying to call him many times. It said twelve called that he missed.
“Excuse me. I have to go.”
He didn’t even wait for their reply. He turned over right away and ran out of the school. He called Yuichi just to get the busy tones all the times.
“Is Yamato home?” was his only question when Shin answered his call.
“He tried to call me many times. I missed his twelve times call and his phone is out of the area now.”
And it cut off before he could ask further. With panting he looked around. He couldn’t find any familiar face. Whether it’s too dark for him because the night had already came or because of the street was too crowd for him to recognize the people, he didn’t know. He couldn’t find the face he deadly wanted to see. He was desperately running through the corridor in Yamato’s school but found no signs of him. Everybody shook their head when he asked them. Shouldn’t he be here today? He saw him went into the building with his own eyes this morning. So, why everybody shook their head and didn’t see him? It was weird. It’s too weird. He couldn’t be just disappeared like smoke, could he? And he believed that everybody could see him clearly as a creature called a human being because he wasn’t even invisible. Somebody must see him around.
As time went by his heartbeat rose until he felt it would explode anytime. His fear rose to the level where he wanted to grab anybody on the street, to ask them where he could find Yamato, or more likely, forced them to tell him where he could find his cousin. More time meant more chances of him got severe injuries. More time meant more less chances he got to save him. As night covered with the darkness his mind covered with thought that he was too late. He closed his eyes tightly, tried to calm his heart beat, tried to think clearly. But nothing came in his mind. He couldn’t even guess where he could find Yamato. He went to all the places where he had seen Yamato before, even places where he saw him just passing by. But he still didn’t find any single clue of him. He didn’t even get any clue about his whereabouts. Nobody had seen him today.
Oh my God. Please, keep him safe.
He just wanted to see his face, safely, and without any sign of new wounds.
Meanwhile, in another side of the town, Shin found him wounded badly. Even in the dim light of the park he could still see traces of blood that flowed from the corner of his mouth. Blue bruises clearly visible on his parts of uncovered body. Shin reached out his hand and touched him, tried to be careful as he could.
“No..., please ...” Yamato whispered weakly. He didn’t have any power left. His sight blurred. His body felt too heavy until he even couldn’t lift his finger. It was almost numb. Vaguely, he could see some people surrounded him. The feeling of unsecured crawled to his heart right away and he couldn’t handle the feeling anymore. Tears fell down from the corner of his swollen eyes. He curled his body more than before, the only defend he could do to protect himself. “Please ..., no ...” He said weakly. He wanted to get up and ran away from these people but his body couldn’t move even an inch. He could only beg then he would beg so these people wouldn’t touch him again.
“Yamato, it’s me. It’s Shin. It’s okay. You’re with me now. Everything will be okay.” Shin grabbed and embraced him into his arms, tried to give him warmth with the hope that Yamato would feel comfortable. He hugged him tightly, hoped that Yamato would share his pain to him so he wouldn’t suffered too much anymore. “You’re with me now. It’s okay. You’re safe.” He whispered softly in his ears, relieved as Yamato started to look comfortable in his embrace. His tensed body felt relaxed bit by bit as time went by, and the tears stopped flowing.
Noda put off his jacket and covered Yamato with it. Nobody talked. They didn’t dare to ask. Most likely they didn’t have heart to ask. They could see clearly that Shin was desperately trying to resist his tears when he tried to soothe the fragile figure in his arms. He just looked at Minami and Uchiyama back and forth, forced them silently to do something.
“Shin, we need to take him to the hospital.” At last Uchiyama told him softly. “Bring him to my car. I’ll take you there. It’s better than calling an ambulance.”
Shin didn’t answer. But then slowly, with the help of his friends, and trying not to hurt Yamato, he lifted him to the car. Along the way to the hospital Shin hugged him tightly. Many times he calmed the younger who moaned weakly in pain.
The atmosphere in the corridor was eerie, but no one tried to break it. Shin stood up in front of the glass door, watching the nurses and the doctor took care of Yamato. He stared at them as if he blinked even just for once they would make a mistake which lead to him losing Yamato. His fingers clenched hard until his knuckles turned white. He greeted his teeth hard to suppress his anger which started crawling in his heart. How could somebody hurt someone that bad? His mind kept telling him that this wasn’t a human being who did it.
He almost jolted when the door of the room opened and the doctor walked out.
“Who’s the family?”
Shin raised his hand right away.
“We have to inform you the result of our first diagnosis. He ...”
“Don’t!” Shin snapped at the doctor quickly, made him stop right away. “I knew what had happened. Just tell me what to do.”
The doctor clearly could read the suppress anger inside him so he decided to not continue the report. “We have rib fractures here, in six different places. We have to do the surgery because we afraid that some of the fractures will clog his respiratory system. And there are some deep cuts until it reached his inner flesh, deeply. We will also do the CT scan to observe his head. I hope there’s nothing wrong but we found some cuts on it, and they were still bleeding when he arrived here, so pray for him, please. We found also …, “ He gulped. He stared at Shin who stiffened. “… some deep cuts …, on his …”
“Don’t. Please.” Almost in whisper Shin cut off his words, but it was enough for him to stop right away.
Not here. Not in front of my friends. I don’t care if they knew what had happened to him, just don’t say it. I’m not sure that I could handle myself anymore if you say it.
“I know what you’re going to say, so please just tell me what to do to save him.”
The doctor looked at him for a while. The pleading in Shin’s eyes was the biggest reason he stopped talking about his diagnosis. He knew too well that this person was trying hard to handle his emotion. He saw some people did it in the same cases he got lately. And if he forced himself to keep talking about the result of his first diagnosis, this person would break and he didn’t even want to guess what this young man could do. He sighed slightly. “The last cuts I wanted to tell you, just now, may cause severe mental breakdown, that’s the worst probability we can tell you. You know what I mean, right? Let’s hope he can get through the worst stage, it’s the realization of the bad experience, smoothly.”
Shin nodded weakly. He didn’t want to tell the doctor that Yamato would probably fully aware about what had happened to him. But he wasn’t sure about Yamato’s reaction when he woke up later. He wasn’t at home or other place where he could hide his pain and wounds. He was in a hospital where doctors had examined him thoroughly and could guess easily about what had happened to him. He couldn’t run away again. He couldn’t hide it anymore. In his mind Shin could see clearly the scenario where he would break down and he didn’t even what to do. He could see himself just standing there, seeing the youngest of them buried himself in his gloomy world and he couldn’t do anything.
“So, we need you to sign the surgery document in case we found more so we can do the surgery right away.
Shin jolted slightly when the doctor handed him the surgery consent. He reached it and read it silently.
“His heart rate is too low right now so we have to wait until his condition at least stable before we can do the surgery.”
“Fine. Just do anything to save him, please.” Shin signed the document and gave it back to the doctor. “And for your information, he has a very weak immune system. He’s under the surveillance of Doctor Kawashima Jun.”
The doctor nodded and smiled. “We will inform him right away and we will try our best, sir.” And he went back to the room where Yamato was charged.
Shin finally decided to sit down. He sat silently in his place. He bowed his head deeply and pulled his own hair. His tears poured down uncontrollably. They fell to the floor beneath. His body shook because he tried hard to suppress his sobs. He felt helpless. He felt powerless. His important person was now lying helplessly in the room in front of him and he didn’t have the power to help him. The person he promised himself to protect no matter what. The person he wanted to bring his smile back.
He was mad at himself. He was too unguarded. He felt too comfortable with the calmness they felt. No new bruises and no new wounds. He thought he was alright. He thought everything was alright. He thought everything had come back normally. He thought he only needed more time to smile again. He thought they only needed a little more effort to bring his joyful laugh back to him. But he was wrong. They were totally wrong.
Uchiyama sat down beside him and caressed his back, tried to support him so he wouldn’t give up. Noda and Minami followed him. Without words, they tried to tell Shin that they would be there for him. That he wasn’t alone. That they would always tried to give him strength whenever he needed.
“Thank you ...“ He whispered weakly. He felt grateful for them. Without them being there he would have fallen. Without them he would have killed somebody already.
The three were just nodded and patted him softly, telling him silently that they wouldn’t leave him alone.
The sound of footstep moved closer made them turned to the direction where the sound came from. A young man moved closer and stood by the window, stared inside the room while trying to reduce his panting. He then turned over to Shin, darted his eyes on him just to be ignored. Silently, he sat down beside him. No words came from his mouth but everybody could read their silent conversation. How, why, where, when, all of the questions word looked written all over the younger’s face while the older just bit his lips as the answer. But they could see clearly that it was enough for the younger to understand what he really wanted to say.
Suddenly the younger stood up and walked away.
“Don’t dare to step out of this place even once, Ryu.” Shin hissed loud enough for everybody to hear.
Ryu stopped and looked at him. He clasped his jaw tightly. “I need to find the one who did it.”
“We can do it later. Just stay here until he opens his eyes. Do you want him to be alone when he opens his eyes later?”
Ryu greeted his teeth tightly. He felt like he wanted to explode. But seeing Shin who didn’t even look at him when he spoke, it meant he tried hard to suppress himself from exploding. He sighed hardly, tried hard to suppress his feeling inside and went back to sit beside his cousin. He didn’t talk again. His hand fisted beside his body. His teeth gritted hard until he felt hurt at his jaws.
I saw the sign this morning. He saw someone but I ignored it. I should ask him more so this wouldn’t happen.