Hiro was lying on a hospital bed. He was sitting while eating some apple sauce. "You know you're eating kind slow," a nurse mentioned.
"I'm sorry, I'll try to eat better…" Hiro sadly smiled and nurse nodded. She turned around walked out as Hiro slouched down.
The case was a triple murder kidnap. The authorities thought the man who killed the woman in the alley and another man were working together. They broke in and tried to kidnap Hiro for supposed human trafficking. The neighbor came, but was killed. Then went to the alley where they killed another suspect. Finally knocking Hiro out from his screams. They assumed Hiro was knocked out and the partner turned on his friend to escape any capture.
Hiro was found unconscious with blood from the victims all over his body. They questioned him, but Hiro stated he did not know. Hiro wasn't questioned anymore and the authorities are looking for the other criminal partner who doesn't exist.
Hiro knows he did it. He knows because his left eye is permanently blue. He doesn't know how to respond, but he is guilty. He been having nightmares about the incident and trying to figure out what could have caused it.
Hiro wanted to sob for the fact that it was him that killed his neighbor and the murderer. But what he was supposed to say? That he got this weird power… they would put him in a mental hospital.
His left eye change was thought to be caused by stress in the brain. It caused a chemical reaction by his fear that ultimately changed his eye color.
Hiro turned and started to sob. He was covering his face and shaking. He could not stand the thought of going back to see the very living room where he killed his neighbor.
Two days passed since Hiro was admitted out of the hospital. The first day back home almost horrifying. He sobbed secretly while his parents didn't notice. He had horrible nightmares of the incident. He wanted to die.
He walking to school like he usually does. He entered the gate and started to walk to the entrance. The first and most obvious reaction. The people were staring and whispering.
Hiro couldn't hear them. But he knew it was about the incident. He didn't mind that people called him a murderer. He wanted that. A much more fitting name than a victim.
Hiro walked inside the school and people were continuously staring. He didn't care as he walked down the hallway and into class.
Once inside class which was empty, he walked to his desk. The silence almost comforted him, but hurt him for the thoughts he had.
He went to desk and laid his head down. He started to think before remembering the horrible nightmare that was 'that night'. He saw her body, and his body. Hiro wanted to scream.
"H-Hiro…" Hiro heard a voice and looked to the left. It was Mika. She was looking down and Hiro shivered. He didn't want Mika to look at him. The face of a murderer.
"It's good to see you are alright," Mika smiled and Hiro glanced down.
"I'm sorry, I didn't get to study with you," Hiro tried to change the subject.
"No it's alright," Mika shook her hand around. Hiro looked slightly with his depressed eyes. "Wow, you look defeated…"
"I'm sorry…" Hiro looked away and Mika sat in the desk next to him.
"When I heard the new you were in the hospital. I was so worried…" Mika looked down and Hiro didn't want to look back. "I just… I just couldn't believe it… what you went through. Seeing your neighbor murdered and…"
"Shut up!" Hiro got up and screamed at Mika who was shocked. Hiro gasped and covered his mouth. He closed his eyes while tearing up.
"I didn't mean to… I want to help…" Mika saw Hiro ran out of the classroom.
"Hiro?" Ryoku asked as he saw his friend run off. Mika ran out too and chased him. Ryoku wanted to run, but he also knew Mika probably had it under control or will.
"Is Hiro alright?" Mika asked Ryoku in the end of class. Ryoku looked down and glanced over Mika.
"Hiro…? Yeah he's alright thankfully. I'm going to see him today after school." Ryoku chuckled and Mika smiled. Ryoku was about to turn, but he stopped. "Hey if you want you can come. We can see him together…"
"Oh no… I'm not that much of a friend to him to just see him randomly." Mika softly smiled.
"Don't be ridiculous, he would love-" Ryoku looked down, "if you want. You can talk to him when he gets back. He usually comes to class thirty minutes before any of us get here."
"A-Alright," Mika nodded, "Thank you Ryoku."
Ryoku sighed while entering the classroom. If Mika and Hiro don't come back together. He has to go see how his friend is doing.
"Damn it Hiro… making a girl worry…"
Hiro collapsed on the corner of a stairway. He started to sob and cover himself. "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry…" Hiro sobbed.
Mika walked slowly and glanced at Hiro who was crying. She saw Hiro who couldn't stop repeating I'm sorry.
"I'm sorry," Mika kneel down and Hiro looked at her with his crying face. "I should have known how much it hurt you… I just… I just tried to be your friend." Mika smiled.
"Mika…" Hiro sobbed even more. "No… don't apologize… I'm…" Hiro broke down crying and Mika leaned forward.
"Hey don't cry," Mika said and touched Hiro's left cheek. Hiro sobbed while Mika rubbed the tears away. "I know it hurts, but guys are supposed to be strong right?"
"I… I…" Hiro closed his eyes which stopped the tears. He opened them and Mika giggled.
"That blue eye of your really looks pretty you know," Mika smiled before wiping the rest of his tears with her left sleeve.
"Thank you…" Hiro spoke softly and Mika nodded.
"Okay come on, get up…" Mika said and Hiro looked up confused. "We need to get to class silly. I don't want you to miss more days than you already have." Mika smiled.
"Okay…" Hiro got up and Mika tap his shoulder.
"I'm your friend now so as friends you and I must watch each other. So if I'm crying… I don't want you to be crying either." Mika poked Hiro's nose.
"Alright," Hiro nodded and Mika smiled.
"So come on, let's go to class." Hiro looked down and Mika grabbed his hand. She led him away. Hiro's mind could not stop thinking of how undeserving he was to be cared about.
"I'm sorry…" Hiro couldn't say anything else. What was he supposed to say? That he was the one that murdered his neighbor and crook? What will Mika think? What would happen to him?
"You don't have to say sorry, you're just a nice boy that had a bad experience." Mika let go of Hiro's hand as they entered the hallway. "So Hiro tell me, do you think we can study after school?"
"After school?" Hiro asked and Mika nodded. "A-Alright…" Hiro said and Mika giggled.
"I really hope boy genius can teach a dummy like me," Mika teased and Hiro blinked.
"I'm not a genius though…?" Hiro looked down and Mika laughed.
"Are you kidding me, Ryoku is always asking you for help. I mean if you have to be the smartest if Ryoku ask you for help."
"I'm just his friend…" Hiro said and Mika shook her head.
"You keep letting yourself down. If someone compliments you, you take it and try to prove it." Mika then walked, "you need to learn more about socializing."
"I do?" Hiro asked and Mika nodded. She then touched Hiro's cheek. "Huh?"
"And what you need to is smile more!" Mika raised Hiro's cheek to force a smile. "See you look much weirder." Mika laughed and Hiro looked shocked.
"I'm kidding, but try smiling more. I know you went through something tough, but my tutor should be the one teaching me not the other way around." Mika joked and Hiro nodded.
He tried to smile, but for some reason it did not want to come out. "Huh… you're trying!" Mika winked and gave a thumbs up.
"I'm sorry," Hiro put his head down and the bell rang.
"We should really get to class," Mika grabbed Hiro's hand and pulled him once again. Everyone was looking at the two who seemed like they were dating. Hiro looked down and his mind was still not on Mika.
Mika could kiss him and that wouldn't help… Hiro was broken.
"Alright everyone, sit down." The teacher said as Hiro sat down looking out the window. He saw the clouds in the sky before focusing on the class work. "As you know in 1994, Japan created their first super computer."
"A supercomputer?" A student asked.
"Yes, an advanced computer. At first we thought it could only basic needs on its own. But it actually came close to creating life…" the teacher looked through his desk. "Oh no… it seems I forgot some paperwork in the lunchroom, would any of you care to get it?"
"Me and Hiro would," Ryoku raised his hand up and Mika was about to raise hers. She looked down and Hiro stared at his friend. "Come on man!" Ryoku smiled and Hiro nodded.
He got up and both friends exit the classroom. "You realize how worried I was when I found out what happened?" Ryoku asked and Hiro moaned. "It was too scary… I didn't want to lose you."
"Lose me?" Hiro asked and Ryoku nodded.
"Well yeah, I mean you are like a brother to me," Hiro's eyes widened. "I mean I have my old man since my mom… you know… died, but since you are around. You're my brother."
"Ryoku…" Hiro looked down sadly, "I'm sorry…"
"For what?" Ryoku said and Hiro kept on walking.
"If I ever doubted you as a true friend," Hiro said and Ryoku chuckled while patting the back of his friend's back.
"Don't be silly, I never realized how important you were. But now that I know… I want to do my best as a friend." Ryoku pumped himself up and Hiro looked down.
"Why are you sad?" Ryoku asked and Hiro shook his head. He didn't know why, but he couldn't bring himself to smile. "So let's talk about Mika?"
Ryoku smirked while looking back at his best friend who didn't stop looking down. "Hiro?" Ryoku spoke, but his friend was silent for some reason. Ryoku stopped and stopped Hiro who came back to reality.
"Huh?" Hiro blinked and looked at Ryoku. "Ryoku…"
"You were dozing off you know?" Ryoku said and Hiro's eyes softened. It's the nightmarish flashbacks that keeps returning and he can't make it stop.
"I'm sorry," Hiro repeated and then saw his friend turn around. "Ryoku…"
"Look here Hiro, you always been quiet, but never depressed. Now if you keep acting that way I'm going to have to do the impossible and get new friends. It was hard enough to get a reaction out of you to begin with!" Ryoku pouted and Hiro blinked.
Hiro looked down and got a smile on his face. He chuckled and Ryoku sighed, "there you go, that's the you I know. Come on let's get those notes."
"Alright," Hiro smiled and followed his best friend.
Hiro was walking home while looking down. Although Ryoku managed to cheer him up and Mika talked to him. He didn't feel right. People pitied him. They felt bad and he was bothered by it.
Hiro was questioning himself. If that was all a nightmare and the murderer did kill his own friend? But his eye… why is his eye blue?
These questions were just pounding on Hiro's skull. He doesn't want to go home because of the scene. Although it was resolved and fixed since police will watch the area. Hiro couldn't look at it.
The sight of him using some weird thing to stab his neighbor and kill her. It was haunting.
Hiro didn't know why he hasn't been able to turn to the monster he turned into. He doesn't know why it isn't coming out. Hiro thought it was a night thing until when he was at the hospital, nothing happened.
"Maybe it was a…" Hiro stopped and looked shocked. He saw the alley in which he killed the murderer.
"I said shut up!" Hiro's covered his face and gasped. He was seeing it all again. The image of ruthlessly stabbing him.
"Did the murderer deserve it? He deserved to die… but I didn't want to kill him…" Hiro asked himself before running off. He was walking up the stairs to his house and got to his door.
He took out the key and he opened the door.
"Hiro…" Hiro saw the dead corpse of his neighbor. He screamed and fell back. He teared up and the image went away. He gasped before getting in and running to his room.
He laid in bed while thinking about what he had done. "I'm sorry…" Hiro was crying. "Her husband, her baby… she had a baby! They all... because of me…" Hiro sobbed and wanted to scream.
Hiro gasped and kept on sobbing before he heard the door open. His dad was home. He covered his face as his dad opened the door.
"Hey…" the dad spoke softly. "You okay?"
"Yeah…" Hiro said and wiped the tears. He looked at his dad who was worried. "I'm just… I just can't stop thinking about it."
"My poor boy…" the dad walked over and hugged his son. "It must have been tough in school…" he spoke. "You know me and your mom love you."
"I know…" Hiro started to sob, "I just can't stop thinking about it all..." although the father did not know what he had done. In a way Hiro wasn't lying anymore.
"You are strong," the father broke the hug. "I can't say it'll be too easy, but you'll forget… I bought you a book."
"You bought me a book?" Hiro blinked while wiping the tears.
"Yes, I know how you talked about Bird's Eye. So I got you the sequel, Bird's Sky." The father took out the book and Hiro's eyes widened.
"Dad… the copy, it must have cost you fifty dollars." Hiro said while looking at the cover.
"Well it was difficult to get, but for you," Hiro's father who was named Tako smiled.
"Thank you dad," Hiro said while looking at the book. "Um dad…"
"Yes son?" Tako raised an eye brow.
"Well… there's this girl who I might end up meeting today. She wants me to teach her a subject. Can… Can I go?"
"Of course, just don't do anything stupid." The father got up and nodded. He turned, "I need to go get dinner ready. Oh and Hiro…" Hiro looked up, "Ishida, Sumi's husband, doesn't blame you."
Hiro's eyes widened as the dad closed the door. The father didn't realize it, but those words broke Hiro. Hiro started to cry once again, but quietly. He put the book in the side and covered his face.
Hiro was sitting while opening the first page of the book. "A poem…" Hiro repeated. "A night a blue bird was born. In the night, the blue bird had a next, a tree and the nutrients around him. A night later, the bird grew. A night later, the bird lost his nest. The guidance of his life. The bird grew strong and lived. A night later, the bird lost the nutrients, the nourishment of his life. The one that made him strong. A night later the bird lost the tree, the support… a night later the bird was gone. A day later… a tree started to go grow."
The poem was simple, but it meant a lot for Hiro. He viewed his life as the tree. He must forget what happened and move on.
His phone vibrated and Hiro looked down. He saw it was from Mika, "hey Hiro, I'm at the Café World Japan, can you meet me there to study?"
Hiro replied, "yes." He got up and got his bag pack. It was packed with the book his dad gave him.
Hiro exit the room and saw his dad resting on the couch. "I'm going…" Hiro whispered while putting the blanket over his dad.
He opened the door gently and closed it as he sighed. He locked the door and went down the stairs. He looked back at what was the apartment of Sumi. He turned away feeling guilty.
Hiro walked down the street. Café was very close. It was just down the street. So Hiro figured Mika lived close by.
Hiro saw the café and saw Mika looking down while inside. Hiro sighed and walked down the street. He entered the café and Mika looked at him. "Hiro!" Mika waved.
"Hello," Hiro managed to pull a smile this time. He walked and sat across from Mika.
"Come on silly," Mika got up and sat next to Hiro. "If you're going to teach me, you're going to teach me up front." Mika said and Hiro looked confused. He nodded before taking out the class notes.
"So what do you need help on?" Hiro asked and Mika took out her homework. Hiro got the same homework, but it was done. Japanese History was the subject.
"Well I don't understand this question," Mika pointed and Hiro looked.
"It's actually simple," Hiro said and he started to explain. "Well you see in 1994 the first Japanese Super Computer was created. It could do its own work without a human's use. Now tell me what was the first reason it was used."
"Medical?" Mika asked and Hiro nodded his head.
"Yes, but then it was later used for researching purposes and…"
"Wow you really are smart," Mika had filled the entire homework.
"I guess," Hiro chuckled before packing. "Well I guess I have to go now…"
"No stay," Mika grabbed Hiro's hand. "I am your friends now. I think it's best if we know about each other." Mika smiled.
"S-Sure… what would like to talk about." This was the first time Hiro was going to talk to someone personally other than Ryoku.
"Well let me tell you about myself. I'm an orphan," Hiro's eyes widened. "Yeah… I live on the money they left for me… well first I had a foster parent. But later I could take care of my own."
"You live on your own now?" Hiro asked and Mika nodded.
"It's nice you know... being able to have my own space. I mean loneliness is a big factor, but still." Mika giggled, "So you read a lot…?"
"Yeah," Hiro looked down and took out Bird's Sky. "I like reading and this is one of my favorite book, well series. I still love it."
"I never was into books," Mika laughed and got Bird's Sky. "Oh a poem…" Mika read and smiled. "It's nice… weird, but nice. What's the book about?"
"Well it's the sequel, but the book is about a guy who is born in a samurai's family. Well he takes on the role of his dad and learns he must fight to keep his village protected."
"Does he have a lover?" Mika gave a grin that Hiro missed.
"No not really, well there is this girl. But she's not interested in him."
"Well what makes you say that?" Mika asked and Hiro shrugged.
"He barely talks to her. He sees her around, but they don't communicate. How can they be in love?"
"Well people do fall in at first sight." Mika said, "do you have the first book?"
"Oh yes," Hiro took out Bird's Eye. Mika got the book.
"Can I use it?" Mika asked and Hiro blinked. "I'll return in, but I would like to read the book a bit more."
"Okay sure," Hiro smiled and then handed Mika put the book in her bag. "Mika, the book is difficult for first time readers…"
"Don't worry, I'm not dumb," Mika giggled and Hiro was silent. "So let's see what we can talk about…" Mika started to think. Hiro looked to the side and thought about the nightmare. Although it doesn't hurt him as much as it did about two hours ago. It still there.
"Oh!" Mika mentioned and Hiro looked. "I know, let's talk about this. How many people have you dated?" Mika asked and Hiro's eyes widened. Hiro was looking down and shrugged.
"I never had a girlfriend," Hiro said and Mika was confused.
"Really…?" Mika looked to the side. "Well I had two boyfriends. Those two were the worst people I ever met." Mika growled, "I can't believe I dated them. Thank god I didn't do anything I would regret."
"Regret?" Ryoku asked and Mika nodded.
"You know… going all the way," Mika giggled, but was blushing. Hiro shrugged and Mika gasped, "what's with him. He was all nervous… is it because of what happened?"
"Mika, I may ask. You said you had two boyfriends. Does that mean you are single…?" Hiro asked and Mika nodded. "So the rumors were true."
"I broke up about two weeks ago, he was rude and stuff. So I dumped the loser," Mika pouted then smiled. "I'm thankful I traded in my rude boyfriend for a good friend like you." Mika poked Hiro's cheek.
"Don't do that, it tickles," Hiro smiled and Mika then poked him some more. "I said stop!" Hiro chuckled and Mika laughed.
"You are so much better than I expected." Mika laughed and then looked down sadly.
"Huh? Is something wrong?" Hiro asked noticing Mika's expression.
"It's nothing," Mika shook her head. "Hiro… I know what happened this morning, but do you want to talk about that night?" Mika asked.
Hiro was silent, "I'm still haunted… on what happened." Hiro admitted, "I just can't stop because I saw the bodies… I saw them die…"
"You gone through a lot…" Mika softly smiled. "Look here Hiro, you are strong for being here and being normal." Hiro looked shocked. "It's good that you took the time to do something probably anyone else wouldn't."
"Thank you," Hiro smiled and Mika then saw down while looking at Hiro.
"I want to ask you. How did you meet Ryoku?" Mika asked and Hiro started to think.
"I can't remember it perfectly," Hiro smiled and Mika laughed. "He needed help on something and I was there. He had no one else and we just… we just started to hang out. I remember one time we coordinated to cheat. It was by tapping."
"Oh my god that was you, Junior High? In Science? You and him were the ones who tapped through the test?"
"You know about that? You weren't in our class?" Hiro asked Mika nodded.
"I wasn't, but damn, it was the talk at the time. We never knew who, but a student always heard tapping and tried to figure out the code."
"It was simple," Hiro took out simple. "Took Ryoku forever to learn, but we created a taping system for the alphabet. So like A was a triple quick tap. Different letter for different tapping." Hiro started to tap continuously.
"What did you say there?"
"I said that in order to master this you must practice all night and day."
"That's so cool, but why don't you guys use it anymore."
"Ugh, Ryoku decided to actually try. But it was so fun. We never got caught because the tapping was light, but noticeable."
"Well aren't you going to teach me. I will need help."
"It's not a one-day thing. It took me and Ryoku a school year and summer before we mastered this."
"You will teach me or else I will cry," Mika and Hiro both laughed while the day went on.
A person across the street glared at the two friends who were talking. He was angry that they were talking in general.