It's a cold night
Impatiently Ryu pressed the buttons on his phone. He nervously paced the room while Shin just looked at him in silence.
"He didn’t pick it." He moaned softly. "And it's almost midnight."
Shin was silent for a moment before standing up from the couch. "Let's find him."
Without waiting Ryu soon followed him. Hastily they walked down the street. The street which was usually filled with a variety of vehicles passing by looked deserted. They only encountered with the people who were still passing by on the sidewalk. Some just got home from work, some were departed to work and others just spent the night aimless.
The air that night was fresh, without the smoke from vehicles which suffocating, without its noises, and without the sound of horn that pressed continuously.
The winter winds were blowing rather harsh. But Shin didn’t feel the coolness. His feeling was erratic. He looked around anxiously along the way. Many times he stopped to make sure that he would find the he looked for but he was still unable to find him.
No signs of him at all. He went to the places he met Yamato before or places where he saw Yamato with his friends usually hanged out, but he found nothing. Everyone shook their head when he asked about him. He never had been in there today.
He sighed heavily. He stopped at the intersection, waiting for the light to turn blue.
“You can’t find him too?” Ryu came with panting.
Shin didn’t turn over. He was just looked around the wide street, trying hard to find the figure he tried to find since hours ago.
“And it’s almost two o’clock.”
Shin didn’t reply at all.
“Maybe he’s already home. I’ll call Yuichi.”
After few moment waiting somebody answered from the other side.
“Do you know what time is it? Don’t you guys need some sleeps?”
“Is Yamato home?”
Only the sound of rustling for a moment and then followed by the sound of the door opened.
“No, not yet. His room is empty. Don’t you find him yet? It’s really cold here. He didn’t wear any jacket this morning. And he got a little fever last night.”
Ryu hissed weakly. “We’re trying. There’s no sign of him everywhere. How’s aunty?”
“She didn’t know yet. Just please, find him soon before she realized that he didn’t come home.”
Ryu hang up his phone. He didn’t have to tell Shin that Yamato didn’t come home yet. Shin had already walked ahead to continue the search. He followed him right away and again, they wandered around the city to find Yamato.
Almost three o’clock in the morning. There’s no wind but the air was freezing. He clenched his jacket tightly, trying to warm his body from the biting cold air. He titled his head at the sight of a familiar figure walking with a limp not far in front of him. He felt familiar with the figure. And when he realized who was it he chased him
“What are you doing here? This is passed midnight and almost morning. Are you out of your mind? And you’re not wearing the proper jacket!” Reita snapped at the figure. Hurriedly he took off his own jacket and put it on him. “You should consider your own body.”
“I’m fine. And what are you doing here too?” Yamato tried to run away from him but failed. His body couldn’t move fast. It hurt a lot.
Reita narrowed his eyes. He saw the bruise on Yamato’s jaw. “Did you fight?” he reached his chin to look at his jaw more clearly.
Yamato shrugged it off. He took off the jacket and threw it back to Reita. “I didn’t. Don’t mind me. I’m totally fine.” And he started to walk away.
But Reita insisted to follow him.
“Move away! Don’t follow me!”
Reita chuckled. “We lived in the same neighborhood if you forget. Your house is right next to mine. And this is the only way for me to reach my house. I’m walking home. Not following you.”
Yamato kept silence. His mind didn’t work at all. He was just following his feet. His body instinctively walked along the way home without the instruction of his brain. It stopped working.
Reita stared at him in silence from behind. He limped for sure but tried hard to walk properly. He chased Yamato and walked beside him. “Are you sure you’re okay?” he reached his arm.
Again, Yamato shrugged him off. “Don’t touch me!” He hissed.
Reita stunned. There were tears hanging in his eyes and ready to fall in no time. The last time he saw him cry was long time ago. When exactly, he had forgotten already.
He looked at him and studied him carefully. He looked suffering. But why? He was just graduated today. Everybody was so cheerful this morning. They fought to save him but still they laughed from their heart. They went back to school with puffing out their chest. They looked proud and happy with their graduation. But now, Yamato didn’t look like himself this morning. He looked different. He looked lonely and tried to pull himself from the outside world. He seemed to want to disappear.
Something is up. What is it?
“Did you forget what you tell me this morning? You told me to not fight for nothing. A fight will only cause more problems. And look at you now. How many people did you fight until you hurt this bad?”
Yamato kept silence. He didn’t have a will to say something to Reita.
Reita was just staring at him when he got no answer. Again he put his jacket on Yamato. This time, he didn’t refuse. Reita walked slowly beside him.
“Want me to help you to walk?”
This time Yamato didn’t refuse too. He surrendered to the fact that he couldn’t move alone anymore. His body ached. And he leaned on Reita when he reached his arm.
Reita grabbed Yamato and put his arm to his shoulder. He embraced his waist and propped his body as Yamato leaned his weight on him.
“Geez, what exactly happened to you? You look like a crap, you know.”
I know. I’m not just a crap. I’m also a burden for everyone. Without me everybody will live happily.
Reita hobbled when suddenly Yamato leaning his body totally on him. He looked at him and saw a teardrop falling from the corner of his eye.
“Want me to stop?” he asked him softly.
“No, please. I’m sorry. I’m just …” Yamato didn’t continue his words. He stopped and kept silence once more. With his sleeve he wiped his tears.
No one talked for the rest of the way. Reita didn’t have a heart to ask him more. He even waited until Yamato closed the door before turned around and went to his own house.
Inside the house, Yamato sat silently on the couch in the living room. He was almost drifted to the slumber when a hand touched him gently. He lifted his head and saw his brother was staring at him.
“Where have you been? Do you know what time is it?”
Yamato stood up. He didn’t want to explain anything right. He was exhausted, from everything.
“Yamato, I’m asking you.”
“I’m fine. I was with dad until I forgot the time. He asked me to celebrate my graduation.” I’m not lying. It is the truth.
“You should call me first. You made us worried like hell.”
“I’m sorry.” That’s the only answer came from his mouth. Limped, he walked to his room and locked the door from inside.
Yuichi stayed silence in his place. There’s no way Yamato spent his time with their father to celebrate his graduation. They were like fire and water lately. They couldn’t stay at the same place at a time. And he limped.
What had happened? Where had he been?
He then he called Ryu.
“How is he? Is he fine?”
“Not really. He limped. There were bruises along his jaws. And it seems he’s hiding something. He didn’t tell me the truth.”
“What did he say?”
“He said he was with our dad to celebrate his graduation. That’s really impossible, you know. They didn’t get along well lately.”
There was no response. Ryu didn’t talk for a while.
“Can you tell me when he goes out tomorrow?” Shin was speaking on the phone.
“Why don’t you come over tomorrow? He will be alone in the house. I have classes, and mom will go to work.”
Silence for a moment.
“Sure. Call me when you’re leaving tomorrow.”
Something popped out of his mind suddenly. These two were too worried about Yamato. Did something happen? Did he miss something? So far he knew Yamato was just fighting and fighting. He graduated was something big. He knew that his brother wasn’t a stupid but he hadn’t read his books for years. He closed it and never opened it. He was still curious about the reason until now but he didn’t dare to ask him. He was busy with his school’s paper already. He didn’t have time to think about anything else. And now his cousins worried about Yamato made him think about everything carefully. Something was happening and he needed to find out.