He wanted to sleep more but the voice murmured in his ears bothered him. It wasn’t clear enough. He didn’t even know whether it was a voice of a human being or not. It was vaguely forming words, but he didn’t understand what it meant. It was too abstract. But he liked it. He enjoyed it. He even waited for it to come again between his sleeps. It was like the silk touching his skin, too smooth to be ignored. It was too comforting in one way but he was still feeling too comfortable with his sleep.
His eyes glued and he didn’t mind. More like he just wanted to let it be. He didn’t want to open his eyes, which mean he had to face the reality he didn’t want to face. The reality was too cruel to him. He felt like it was always against him all the time. It took his gentle father away from him, and now it gave him back but with his new form. He was no more a gentle person so far he knew when he was a child. He was a monster now. A monster, who tried to take his happiness away from him, trapped him to the dungeon of the darkness of life, and killed him slowly from the inside. It’s not just his life but also his soul. He almost couldn’t feel anything right now, neither happiness nor sadness. He just ate everything served in front of him, and never thinking again. Too much hurt if he did that and he was too tired to deal with all of it.
He wanted to sleep forever and never opened his eyes ever again. Nevertheless, the voice, those soothing voices he heard every time was like something tickling in his ears. The voices, which tried to give him courage to open his eyes, assured him that everything would be just fine and he shouldn’t be afraid because everybody would be there for him, to protect him from any harm.
He was debating with himself since he heard those voices for the first time few times ago. Were they real? Or, were they just his imagination? The imagination created from his subconscious mind. The imagination created from his unconsciously willing to hear them.
He didn’t care.
He had heard those voices, and he had to find where those voices were coming from. Then finally he decided to open his eyes one day. It was not only because of his curiosity to find the source of those voices he heard on his sleep, but also because he felt the bright light radiated to his body, his face, until he could feel its warmness.
How could I resist the calming feeling? Is it Mr. Sun who gave me this warmness? Oh, he was so good because he still remember me. I forgot him almost all the rest of my life. Still he illuminates me, this bright. I have to get up then and thank him to be always there for me. I have to wake up.
Trying hard, slowly, he opened his eyes. It felt heavy but he tried repeatedly. Once at a time he wanted to just give up because the tiredness, but the grip upon his fingers gave him strength and courage to fight and not give up easily.
“Yamato!” Yuichi almost shouted when finally he saw Yamato was closing his eyes again. He gripped his fingers tightly, signaling him to stay awake.
“Yuichi, you’re too loud.” Ryu hissed at him.
The low shout was like a sting to his ears. The grip on his fingers felt too tight until he felt it would crash his bones. He felt annoyed, yet enjoyed it. He felt the warmness transferred to his body through the grip.
Is it where that calming feeling came? Who’s this? Why do I feel familiar with this kind of warmness? Isn’t it Mr. Sun who gave me this warmth?
Yuichi’s body tensed looking at his brother was still trying to wake up. He wasn’t opened his eyes fully but he looked trying hard to wake up.
Come on. Open your eyes. Don’t close it again. Stay awake until we know that you’re okay.
He suddenly gasped when something flashed on his mind. “I’ll call the doctor.” With that Yuichi walked out of the room, or more likely ran away through the corridor to get Natsume. It’s been a week and he couldn’t wait any longer for his brother to wake up. He needed him to open his eyes and told him that he was fine. He didn’t care if people would call him brother complex or something. He lost him once and he didn’t want to lose him again now, not when they started to reconcile after ignoring each other for ages.
Aside of that, he needed to know who did those cruel things to him. He couldn’t run away again right now. They had proves that he was abused. They had proves that somebody tried to harm him. He couldn’t hide it again. He would tell them now because everybody knew his wounds weren’t coming from any fight.
He just grabbed Natsume’s hand when he found him talking in the corridor with one of his nurse and dragged him to Yamato’s room.
“He’s opening his eyes.” It was all he could say along the way back to the room.
Once they got to the room, He saw Yamato had awakened fully. Ryu sat on the side of his bed, tried to make simple conversation with him to make him stay awake. Shin stood near him, watched every move Yamato made, every sound he produced, every word he tried to compose. He saw his forehead furrowed many times hearing Yamato’s answer but he stayed silent. His grandfather was sitting silently on the couch behind them. He just stared at Yamato, who tried hard to stay awake with Ryu forcing him by asking him questions, and gripped his fingers tightly.
Natsume stunned with the brightness of the room. “Would you mind to close the curtain, please? He’s just opening his eyes so this is too bright for him.”
“He liked the sun a lot, Sensei.” The old man said to him. He smiled at the young doctor. “And I believe that it was the one that forced him to open his eyes.”
Natsume stared at the old man in silent then moved to Yamato who wasn’t even bothered with the brightness of the room. He checked on him, tried hard to avoid too much eye contact with him. He just asked him short questions, checking him that he was conscious enough and nothing wrong with his brain. Moreover, he relieved when he gave him the answer he expected. He gave him another injection so he could rest more.
“Let him sleep more. Let’s hope he will recover fast.”
“Thank you.” Yuichi bowed deeply to the doctor.
Natsume smiled and went out the room. He walked the corridor in silent and thinking hard. He didn’t really pay any attention when he came that night. His condition was really awful. The older boys who brought him here told him that his name was Yamato. That’s all. In addition, he didn’t realize that he was the same Yamato he knew. He almost gaped when finally, by the morning, when he had cleaned from the bloodstains and his eyes weren’t swollen badly anymore, he realized that he knew that face. He knew the boy. He was one of Yamaguchi’s students back then.
There were so many questions popped out of his mind he wanted to voice out that day. Nevertheless, he knew that those questions would make this boy felt uncomfortable with him. Therefore, he decided to keep silent and held his urge to give him questions about his wounds.
He will refuse me if I insist to ask him. It will be very hard for me to help him curing himself if he felt uncomfortable with me.
He stopped walking and closed his eyes.
Okay. No questions about his wounds and no telling Yamaguchi-Sensei about this. Right.
He had to keep all of those questions inside his mind and found the answer later, but not to ask this boy straightly. He wouldn’t give him any answer. He was the silent one so far he remembered, and it’s impossible for him to get those answers from him easily if he asked all of his questions. Nevertheless, so far he knew, this boy was a fighter, and he confused why this abusing thing happened to him.
Well, at least he woke up. This is better than seeing him unconscious all the time.
He suddenly stopped again. He felt de javu with this kind of accident. His eyes widened at the realization of the kind incident few times ago, where one of those boys wounded badly on his head.
Natsume turned around and walked back to Yamato’s room. He searched from the glass window but found no familiar face. They were all new for him. He sighed and walked away.
No wonder. They’ve graduated and took different paths. Of course, they wouldn’t be here, and I believe that no one of them knew about this too.
The wind blew his bangs as he lay down on the riverside. The sky was so clear and blue. The sun shone brightly this quiet afternoon. The sound of vehicles passing by on the street far away interspersed by the horns here and there, it was calming somehow. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the quietness contently.
A soft tap on his shoulder made him turned his head just to receive a poke on his cheek. He looked up to see a wide smile he longed.
“What are you doing here?”
He looked away from the person and looked back to the sky in front of him. He didn’t have the will to answer the question. He didn’t have the will to talk. His mind was full of thought about Yamato and he couldn’t erase the picture where Yamato answered Ryu’s questions plainly. Almost flatly. There’s no sign of him annoyed like he usually responded their questions, or even fear. He answered him like there’s nothing happened. No trembling hand he tried to hide, no shaking voice when he spoke, not even a single clue of him was being threatened too. It’s too weird.
“Hey, I’m asking you. What are you doing here? When were you back from Africa? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Shin sighed heavily. He closed his eyes before standing up and started to walk away.
“Eh? Wait! Sawada! You didn’t answer me!”
He smiled widely at the complaint but didn’t even try to turn back. He just walked away, leaving that person alone on the riverside.
Eyes narrowed, the person looked at his back with pout slightly tugged on the lips. “He didn’t change at all. What a rude person.”
Everybody moved aside when Kawashima came into the room. He observed Yamato and smiled when he saw him looked at him in silent.
“How do you feel?” Kawashima stared at him intently. His hand grabbed Yamato’s wrist to check his pulse.
“I’m fine. Can I go home?”
Seriously. This kid really didn’t know how to be spoiled by other. He just woke up after a week sleeping in his unconsciousness and now he had asked to go home.
“We will do cross-examination tomorrow and you won’t go home before we do that, do you understand?”
“Come on, I’m fine. I’m recovered. Just let me go home. I hate this place. It’s too stink. You can’t keep me in this place longer than now.” Yamato pouted.
He was just whining. Shin and Ryu looked at each other. Kawashima was also stunned in his place. For a second he couldn’t think about anything. Yamato was just whining. It was the strangest thing he had never expected. He looked at the old man who just stared at Yamato without blinking. His eyes were sharp darted to his youngest grandson, like tried to observe him thoroughly.
He sighed heavily and smiled to Yamato. “Okay, I will let you go home but not today. We have to be assured that you are in a stable condition, and no more faint, no more headache, no more pain in any part of your body. I don’t like surprises and I believe that you knew that. So you will stay here tonight, and we will decide about you going home after we have assured that you are fine enough to walk by yourself.”
“Fine.” Yamato looked away from Kawashima.
Everybody looked at him in disbelief. He was always looked away from the person in front of him when he felt lost and his willing was unfulfilled. But it was long time ago when he was a child. Nobody talked after that. Kawashima went out of the room and reached for his phone.
“Get me the best psychiatrist in this country. As soon as you can.” He hissed over the phone before hung it up and stared to the room. He sighed heavily. He thought it was over, but it wasn’t.