Voices murmured in the distance slowly woke his consciousness. He opened his eyes, trying to digest the surrounding. His view was vague and ambiguous. It felt like he was being in a place shrouded in blue atmosphere that made him feel like he was flying under the very broad sky. The voice which sounded vaguely like the hum of bees in the distance was slowly getting clear. And when his brain began to function again, and his eyes were wide opened, he breathed with relief. Blue ceiling, yellow blanket, comfortable bed, brown curtain, broad window.
I'm in my room. My own room. Thanks God.
Slowly he got up. The pain all over his body began to disappear. It replaced by a sense of fatigue that felt like pilling up. His body felt heavy. Nausea began to attack him again. Immediately he stepped into the bathroom and tried to vomit the entire contents of his stomach, hoping by doing that, the feeling would disappear quickly. But he did not succeed. He stared at the mirror in front of him. Nothing. Only a pathetic reflection he saw. He sighed and gargled.
So, do you realize now that you're pathetic?
Yamato was stunned. He looked up and found the shadow smirked at him. It came closer to him.
Hey... did you forget that you're also just garbage? The garbage smells and disturbing. Your existence makes everyone annoyed. So go away quickly. Psst. Just like a smoke soared into the sky and disappear.
Yamato looked at the shadow in the mirror without blinking. He did realize that his existence was disturbing all the people around him. He was nothing. He was just a delinquent with no brain. He was just a stupid who broke his family apart. He was just a moron who caused his mother's smiles fade away. Maybe he was right that if he disappeared everyone would be happy.
Well, you know that. You're only a parasite who always takes advantages from others. You see mom? She always thinks of you at the first place. She always concerns about you aside of her own happiness. What is it for she asks you when she should be thinking about her own happiness? It is her who had been proposed. It is her who wants to get married. It is her who wants to reach the happiness. Why should she ask you? Do you realize it now?
Yamato swallowed hard. He clenched his hands.
You should be aware that you're the one who made mom's life miserable. Without you she would be happy with her marriage. She certainly would not be divorce dad. At this time, she would definitely be cooking with smile plastered on her face, preparing breakfast for her loved ones. And you made a mess. You made her divorced dad and erased those smiles of her face. And what are you doing here? What are you waiting for? Just disappear for everyone to be happy.
"I know that, so shut up!" Finally he reached his limit. He did realize that he was everything his shadow told him. He was just ran away all this time, pretended that he could still bring everything back to normal while nothing could be repaired. His father hated him, his brother started to kept a distance from him, his mother's smile, it faded away.
Really, what am I waiting for?
"Yamato? Are you okay?"
Yamato jolted by a loud knock on the bathroom door. He turned over to the door.
"I'm fine, Mom. Just puking." And when he looked back at the mirror, his sly shadow had disappeared already, replaced with a picture of himself looking at his own reflection without expression. He sighed before turning the faucet and washed his face.
His mother's worried face greeted him when he returned to his room.
"If you feel unwell, get some rest. No need to go to school. I can contact the school for you."
Yamato change his shirt and grabbed his uniform. "Today's the last day at school. Tomorrow's graduation day and you want me to ditch? "
Yoshiko smiled. "I have not suggested a ditching. I said you should stay home if you feel unwell. That's two different things, Yamato. "
Yamato grabbed his school bag. "I know. It's just ... it will be a waste if I stay at home all day when it's the last day at school, right? I'm leaving."
Hurriedly he left the house. He almost ran along the way to school, tried hard to erase the memory of the conversation with his own reflection this morning.
He gasped and stopped suddenly when a hand grabbed his shoulder. He turned quickly as he shook the hand off him, only to find Ryu who looked at him with a face full of concern. He gulped hard and closed his eyes, tried to soothe his heartbeat which suddenly beating faster. He breathed a sigh of relief. "What are you doing here?" he hissed sharply.
"You haven't answered my question yesterday. Since when this happened and who did it?"
"I told you this was nothing. I'm fine. It isn't clear enough for you?"
"You lied. It's written all over your face that you're suffering from something. Don't you realize that we know what had happened to you?"
"Ryu! I'm really fine!" Yamato almost yelled at his cousin. He didn't want Ryu to follow him all the way because he knew that if he did that he will give up at last. He knew that Ryu wouldn't stop until he tells him everything. He was just not ready. He was not ready to tell him the truth now.
"You cannot lie to yourself, Yamato. You're suffering. Someone makes you suffer like this but you're still protected him? Tell me who did it. Let us help you. We love you and don't want you to suffer like this. We will be hurt if you hurt."
"I told you I'm fine."
"Is there any problem, Yamato?"
Ren and Ichimura suddenly appeared at his side. Ryu gazed at them without blinking.
"No. Nothing. He's just asking for direction. He's kind of … lost. Let's go."
Yamato pulled Ren's arm when his friend stood still in his place and just staring at Ryu with a curious gaze.
Ryu looked at him in silence. He didn't try to stop Yamato because he knew that his cousin's friends wouldn't stay silent if they saw him forcing Yamato. In silence he gazed the back of his cousin. He looked so devastated. As there was a heavy load slung on his shoulder and didn't want to share the burden with anyone. His cheerful Yamato wouldn't come back if he didn't do anything. Yamato who always tried to be honest to everyone, Yamato who always smiled widely, Yamato who always tried to make everyone happy, he would lose him if he stayed silent and didn't do anything fast. He sighed heavily, hoped the feeling of tightness in his chest disappeared together with his breath.
Meanwhile, all the way to the school Ren glanced at the silent Yamato quietly. Ichimura did the same thing.
"Yamato? Are you sure you're okay? You look a little pale." Ren asked him softly.
"Yes. I’m fine." Yamato replied briefly. He really didn't want to talk to anyone right now. Not when his mood went down to the level where he wanted to scream loudly until all of his feeling flew out with it.
He was trapped between his willing to make everyone around him happy with the fact that his existence alone was making everyone suffer. He gritted his teeth to suppress his feelings that want to burst out suddenly. He really wanted to scream aloud but he doesn't have the courage to do it. Not in front of his friends, who had glanced every second at him with wonder. He doesn't want to give them more problems. They had suffered enough because of the problems they were facing at the time. He didn't want to add them more burden with all of his laments which was not important. No. He shouldn't even be with them. Wasn't all their suffering caused by him? There's nothing happened before he appeared and stick with them. They looked fine and everything went out smoothly. Problems popped up just when they knew him. He was the one who drag out all the problems. He was the one who caused all the things that happened lately. He was the one who lead them to their …
Yamato jolted. He looked at Ren who looked at him with worried. He then realized that he stopped on the way. "I'm sorry. Let's go."
"Are you sure you're okay?" Ichimura asked him worriedly. "You don't have to go to school if you're sick."
"I'm okay. Come on. Yankumi will nag us if we come late."
With that he stepped back, forgetting all his feeling and tried to look fine. But his friends couldn't be fooled. They saw clearly the confusion on his face. But again, they could only stare each other without words.
"He looked very uncomfortable." Ichimura took a seat beside Ren in the classroom. "And he was vomiting just now."
Ren looked at him with wide eyes. "Are you sure?"
"Yes. I saw him hurriedly run to the toilet and I followed him. I just didn't go near him because he will try to hide it again."
Something is happening. What is it? Ren greeted his teeth. "Where is he now?"
"On the rooftop as usual."
Ren was about to stand up when Yamato entered the classroom silently. He just quietly took a seat at the back side of the classroom and silently gazed every inch part of the room, every face of his classmates, picturing them to his mind so he would always remember them. And his gaze stopped to Ren who stared back at him without blinking.
"It's nothing. It's just …, don't you want to tell us something?"
Yamato chuckled. "What?"
"I just feel it, okay? It seems that you're hiding something."
"What are you talking about? I'm not hiding something."
"Why don't you voice out everything in your mind now? I'm sure it will help a little." Ichimura suggested while staring at him.
Yamato looked at him for a moment. He had to say something or these guys wouldn't give up. He sighed. "I still can't believe that we're going to graduate tomorrow."
Ichimura was just staring at him silently. It's not that. You're just trying to avoid our questions again. What is it, Yamato? What are you hiding?
"And it's not complete if we don't graduate together. Not without half of us."
Everyone in the classroom stopped their chattering and looked at him now. Silently they agreed with them. Half of their classmates were not here.
"I want us to graduate together. Every member of this class."
Now they stared each other.
"We will." Ren said that with smile on his face, assuring him that everything would go right.