The living room was too silent that morning. The eerie atmosphere surrounded the room. There were many people stayed in the room but nobody talk. They had been buried with their own thought. Only a light footstep in a constant rhythm echoed and broke the silent.
“Yuichi, would you sit down, please? You give us more headaches.” Kawashima hissed, loudly enough for everybody in the living room to hear it.
There’s no answer. Yuichi obediently sat down on the couch beside Ryu, but few times later he stood up again and started to pace back and forth around the room.
When Kawashima just wanted to remind him again, the sound of the footsteps heard from the stairs and the psychiatrist went down to them.
“How’s he?” Yuichi asked him right away even before he took his seat.
“He is fine. There’s nothing wrong with his memory. He remembered everything happened lately as you told me.”
“But Mitsuhide-San..., his attitude ..., I mean, behavior ..., it’s just like when he was a child. It isn’t him.” Kawashima looked at him intently, demanded for further explanation.
Mitsuhide smiled. “He is just afraid to face his true self now so he brought his past behavior back to him. He hopes that it would reduce his pain. And if it works why should we worry about that, right? The most important thing for him now is that he could heal himself. It is better than anything else you could do to him. He has to stand on his own feet, has to decide whether he should stay still to mourn on his unlucky fate or he should move on because his future is still waiting for him to reach, it is all him whom to decide. In this case, we are, all of us, are outsiders.”
“Are you sure he’s fine? That it’s just his effort to make himself to forget the pain?”
“Not forget it. Just to reduce it. It is still there and he is aware of that. It won’t just disappear like that. It will stay there and he knows it.” Mitsuhide smiled again. “But you don’t have to worry. He is totally fine. You just have to be patient with him. He is trying to cure himself. Then one thing you should do is giving him support so he could step his every day, his every moment, and always be there for him so he assured that he has at least someone to lean on whenever he fall. With that, trust me, he will heal soon.”
Kawashima stared at the psychiatrist in doubtful look. His mind still couldn’t accept his answer.
“I’m still …”
Kawashima turned to Shin who suddenly spoke. He was listening silently for every explanation this psychiatrist told them but he looked like couldn’t handle his urge to ask anymore. He saw the others looked the same. Everybody stared at the psychiatrist with questions suppressed in their mind.
Mitsuhide smiled at Shin. “Of course there will be a little change here and there. You know, every wound left scar. So is he. There must be something different from his old self. There must be a change in him. And according to our talk yesterday, and few hours ago, I believe that his change is directed to the right way. It means, he is in a good mental condition, which allows him to heal completely. He just needs time to adjust himself into that change, and as I’ve told you before that all you have to do is supporting him. That’s it.”
The old man sighed heavily, made everybody in the room turned to look at him.
“So, Sensei, what if I take him with me, to the country side. The air is still fresh in my place and I know he loves it. There’s nobody could touch him there. He will feel safe in my place.”
“I couldn’t answer your question, sir. You have to ask him by yourself. Trust me. He is in a condition where he could decide the best thing for himself right now. Ask him, and make him feel like you treat him as the one who deserves to decide everything for his own sakes, Treat him like you always did before the accident happened. It will make him feeling more like a human being.”
Everybody in the room stared each other in silent. They still couldn’t believe for what the psychiatrist said to them.
Mitsuhide smiled and he stood up. “You really have to try. He couldn’t heal completely if you always treat him like a very fragile doll that you should take care all the time. He has to be strong to face his future. He still has that bright future and I believe that he could reach it. And it’s your job to make him feeling that he could do that.”
Kawashima sighed heavily. He felt the uneasiness feeling stayed in his heart since they brought Yamato home. He felt like another storm will come to attack them again. And he wasn't ready for another strike. He believed that they weren’t ready for it. It was enough for them and they were tired of it. “Are you sure?”
“Yes.” He grabbed his bag. “I take my leave now. And I will come again about a week to see his progress.”
Everybody looked at each other when Kawashima followed Mitsuhide to the door.
“Isn’t it better that he stays here until he heals completely?” Ryu asked after debated with himself. “I mean. This is his home. This is the place where he feels comfortable. His friends are here. His life is here.”
“I know what you mean. It’s just a suggestion. And I know that he will reject my offer too.” The old man didn't even look at him when he answered the question. His mind was full of plans and strategies. He wanted to finish this. No more pain in his family again. They deserved all the happiness they could reach. Every one of them.
They fell into silent again. Shin and Ryu exchanged stare, asking each other in silence about what they should do. They’re tired of this uncomfortable feeling they felt since they found out about Yamato’s condition. It should be ended right away. It meant that they should do something to end it.
Yamato looked around the living room in silence. It’s empty. There’s no one but him. It’s too quiet. There is no joy or blissful laughter, which was usually filling this room. This place became so cold lately. The warmth, which had always surrounded this room, had now disappeared. There was no sign of life in this house. All looked dead.
Unknowingly tears flew out of his eyes. He cried silently. This loneliness was stifling him. If he could turn back the time, he would do anything to fix things for the better. He would put everything as it should be. On the other hand, he might be better if he wasn’t be born at all. It would be better if he was never there from the beginning.
He stood up and went to his room. He opened the door to the bathroom and went to the sink. He stared at the mirror in front of him and found nothing but his own shadow, which moved as he was.
He turned the water faucet and the sound of the flowing water stifling his chest. It sounded like a sad song that sliced his heart. He looked at the mirror in front of him. This time with the hope that he would see his shadow has always mocked him. He wanted to praise him that he was always right. That he should have been listening to him since the beginning. That he should not hated him for being there. That he should thank him for reminding him about his existence that troubled everyone around him.
But until he felt tired of standing in front of the mirror, his reflection didn’t show any signs that he would appear. There was only his own reflection, which looked back at him in silence. He sighed. Even the shadow that had always taunted him had already no longer wanted to see him. He no longer wanted to sneer at him. He must have been tired with him. Everyone must be exhausted by his existence.
Ok. It’s enough. It is indeed better for me to disappear.
He reluctantly reached for the medicine box and took out a bottle of sleeping pills.
I should havedone thislong ago. I should havedone this before,so I wouldn’t beburden for everybody with my existence. Everyone would be happyandfine without me.
He was just trying to open the bottle when a hand grabbed him on his wrist, made him turn around too quickly which result a sudden vertiginous attacked him. He closed his eyes firmly, tried to cast the dizziness away from him.
He opened his eyes and saw Reita was looking at him in worried face.
“But you still owe me a promise. It’s too late to fulfill it now but you can pay it with other things.”
“What are you doing here?” Yamato tried to release his grab but failed.
Reita reached for the bottle from his hand and dragged him back to his bed. “I’m just passing by, and then suddenly I have a feeling to see you. I guess my instinct is still working because I found you tried to …”
“You’re wrong if you think I would kill myself with those pills.” Yamato cut him before he could finish his words.
Reita gaped at him. He saw him annoyed when he grabbed his bottle back.
“I better cut my wrist if I want to do it. It’s faster.”
“Then what were you doing there? Standing alone in front of the mirror in the bathroom, staring at your own shadow like you want to say goodbye to your own self?”
Yamato took a glance at him before swallowing one of those pills with a glass of water. “It’s nothing. I just finished my private business in toilet and washed my hands in that sink. Fortunately, there’s the mirror in that sink and I just took the bottle when you grabbed my hand. I need more sleeps you know. And I need those pills to get better sleep.”
Reita pouted slightly. He thought he was deciding to end his life with drinking all of those pills. Actually, deep inside his heart he could understand if Yamato wanted to do it. He heard all of the conversation between the elders yesterday. About the abusing, the rape, even his mental condition which was still being observed by a psychiatrist. Not that he intentionally eavesdropped them, it’s just accidentally he was in his park, picking his ball when he heard them talking behind the brick fence that separated his park with the Ogata’s. He heard all of them. His heart stopped beating that time, and he was stunned for a long time in his place after hearing the truth. He then remembered when he met him late at night few months ago, when Yamato looked devastated, suffered, and almost cried. Now he knew the reason, and somehow he felt hurt inside.
“I’m sorry. I should be there all this time.”
Yamato chuckled. “What’s that for? You think if you‘re there you will …“ Yamato stopped his words. He turned around and saw Reita with horror. “You knew it? How?”
Reita looked away. “Sorry. No one told me. I just heard it. Accidentally.”
Yamato was trembling all of sudden. He held his body tightly and hobbled to his bed. He shrugged Reita off when he tried to hold him. “Don’t touch me.” He hissed weakly. “And get out of here. Stay away from me. Your life will go miserable if you stay close to me. You will only get sorrow and your happiness will fade away.”
“No. I’m staying.” Reita stubbornly held Yamato and helped him sit on his bed. “I won’t go away even if you threat me to kill me. I will stay.”
Yamato gulped many times and he couldn’t hold his tears anymore. He wanted to cry since many days ago but he couldn’t. Now those tears were threatening to fall down and he couldn’t handle it. So he let it be. And it fell down uncontrollably when Reita hugged him tightly.
“There’s nothing left in me.” Yamato wailed weakly between his sobs. “I’m nothing now.”
“No, you’re not. You’re still you. There’s nothing changed.” Reita caressed his back, hoped that it would sooth him, at least. ”You still have your future. It is still bright. And you still have me, your family, and your friends. It’s still the same. We don’t go anywhere. We won’t go anywhere. We will stay here no matter what happened.”
“Saying thing is easy, isn’t it?” He snorted cynically between his sobs.
“It’s not just a word, Yamato. It’s a promise. I won’t go anywhere. I’m sorry for all this time but now I won’t leave you. I will stay. No matter what happened I will stay.”
No respond from the figure he hugged made him curious. He released his hug and Yamato fell down on the bed. He was shocked for a moment but smiled at his own stupidity when he found him sleeping peacefully.
Stupid! He drank sleeping pill in front of me. I shouldn’t be surprised. Of course he will sleep after drinking that stupid pill.
He sighed before stood up and moved Yamato’s body to the right position and covered him with the blanket. He smiled at the peaceful face of his childhood friend and decided to stay until he woke up. He then looked around and took one of the books on the shelf and made himself comfortable on the couch near the window and started to read.
Hesitantly he reached out the phone on the table when it rang many times.
“It’s okay. Pick it up. We will be here for you.” Shin assured him.
He then picked the phone up. “Yes?”
“I’m waiting for you in the usual place.”
“Yes, it’s me. Hurry up. I can’t wait any longer.”
“The usual place, Yamato, don’t be stupid. Or did I hit you too hard on your head until you lost your memory? Fine then. I will make you remember. It’s the pub near the main intersection. Diamond. Be sure to be there in five minutes.”
And it cut off. His hand was trembling when he put the phone back to the table. He gulped many times and looked at his family. He reached the couch and sat down. He closed his eyes to sooth himself from the trembling.
“It’s okay. We will go there with you.” Ryu tapped his shoulder gently.
The old man stared at him in silence. He gritted his teeth to suppress his anger.
So it’s really him. That stupid bastard! Don't think that I will let you go after what you've done to my grandson.