Chapter 21 - Hallucination
The dangerous murderer is wearing a cape, chasing me with a knife, always showing out of nowhere. Then, the mysterious killer disappeared, and I gasped for air.
The chills down my spine, the intense fear and pain, something I couldn’t describe. Out of the anxiety, I began sobbing, tears rolling down my face.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” I yelled loudly, not aware of the last stair in front of me. I slipped, and in the terrible moment realized, I’ll land on the edge of the stair. I gasped in surprise.
“KU!” Something prevented me from falling. “OH MY GOD! KU! ARE YOU OKAY?! ARE YOU HURT?!”
“Huh?” The blurriness stopped, and a familiar face showed.
It wasn’t the slaughterer, but my friend. He looked confused and worried. I realized this must have been my imagination again. I gulped, unable to say anything, only sobbing. “I-I-I...”
He scooped me in his arms. “It’s okay, Ku. It’s gonna be okay.”
“P-Pablo... I-I’m s-sorry –”
“Why are you apologizing? Hey, don’t cry, or I’ll too.”
He got up and walked upstairs with me in his arms. At this moment, I completely lost myself and could only cry. He sat on the floor and hugged me. I buried my face in his shoulder, getting the terrible grief out.
“Hey, it’s fine. It’s okay.” I’ve had no idea what to do or say. What shall you do when there’s a crying girl partly sitting on your lap?
“Y-you d-don’t u-u-understand...” she talked between her sobs.
“I do. I understand.” Do you actually? A voice in my head asked. Still, I ignored it.
“Satou Mei. She was your best friend and murdered. You are the witness, right?”
Kurumi cried even more. “N-no, n-no, I l-loved hh-her, I-”
“It’s okay.” I ruffled through her hair, “Don’t talk.”
Seeing her this way makes me want sad and yet, protect her even though she beat the gangsters up. It makes me doubt she needs to be protected. I watched my shirt becoming drenched.
I convinced myself it’s going to be okay. Will it, though? And why does seeing Kurumi like this make me upset? I dislike people shedding tears. It makes you sad.
“P-Pablo...” Kurumi sobbed. “I-I’m s-sorry.”
“What do you keep apologizing for? You didn’t do anything.”
“I r-ran away a-and...”
“So what? You ran away. It already happened and can’t be changed; stop apologizing.”
Huh, I have tears in my eyes already. I don’t want to, yet they soak my cheeks.
“No, d-don’t cry too...”
I sniffed and wiped my eyes with my right hand. “Sorry. I’m a little more emotional, but I’ll try not to shed tears. It’s only making you sadder.”
I didn’t know how long I cried, but my friend was there for me the whole time. I inhaled his scent. To my surprise, he smelled nice.
His scent reminds me of a recently cut lawn. I can also feel his heart pounding and chest going up and down how he breathes. And I’m just crying hysterically.
I slowly calmed down, and my eyes hurt. I pulled away from him and sniffed. He handed me a tissue from the pocket of his gakuran.
“Thank you.” I blew my nose and sighed.
“Do you feel better now?”
“I do. Thanks a lot, Pablo.”
“No prob. I’m delighted you cheered up.” he gave me a light smile, and I blushed.
“Have you got hot chocolate? I could make you some. It’s good on nerves.”
“I think there ought to be some in the kitchen cabinet...”
Pablo found instant chocolate and poured it into a cup; he took it from the cabinet as well. He turned on a kettle with water and faced me.
I realized I’m blushing and tried to hide it. I tried to think about anything else, yet my mind attracted Pablo like a magnet. The only other thing on my mind was Mei, which made me sad.
After a while, he carefully poured some water from the kettle into the cup and stirred chocolate powder with liquid. He placed the cup in front of me on the floor. “Huh? Thank you.”
I picked up the cup and held it with the palms of my hands. Pablo sat next to me and held the chocolate too. When I looked at him, he smiled. I’ve never seen anyone so lovely since Mei’s death... It’s incredible opening up to someone. He already knew what was going on; I didn’t need to explain. It would break me for sure.
And still, there is so much to mention, many things I need to tell him. It’s going to take me a while before I can. I don’t know how long I do trust him. However, I’m scared telling too much at once could break me. I need to try to deal with Mei’s death first, and I don’t think I’ll ever deal with her death. At least Pablo can take the pain away a little...
And Mizuki? I don’t know how to tell her. I like Mizuki too. With her, I can go shopping. Mai is lovely also, although it hurts hearing her name and how close to name Mei it was. Everyone from the Nakajima family is pleasant to me.
We sat beside each other in silence. I got up and brought a pack of cookies.
“Take one,” I told him, and he grabbed one chocolate cookie, so did I. As we finished eating cookies, Pablo eyed the time on his phone. “I should return home.” he said and sounded disappointed, “I wanted to spend more time with you, but I already missed a few trains, and mom will kill me...”
“Awww. You have to go already?”
Pablo nodded. “Yeah, I guess I do.”
“Alright, then. I’m glad you made me a company.”
“No prob. Oh, so I wouldn’t forget, here is my phone number.” he showed it to my surprise.
“Thankies.” I picked up the phone from my bag, and we exchanged numbers.
“If you feel down or will need something, don’t worry and text me.” he smiled, “So you’ll have someone to talk to. If something happens and I won’t be present, you will be able to text me.”
“Okay,” I repeated his smile. “Thanks a lot.”
“Well, I shall go now.” Pablo threw his randoseru over his shoulder and walked to the door, locking eyes with me. I came closer to him.
“Thanks a lot for everything today,” I said, smiling.
“You don’t have to thank me. I’m glad I can help you.”
I hesitated and hugged him. “I’m happy you’re my friend.”
“I’m happy you’re my friend, too.” he hugged back. We pulled from each other. “I’ll get going.”
“You should, so you don’t miss your train.”
“Yea. See ya!” he waved to me, about to turn around.
I hesitated, then pulled him back and kissed him on the cheek. My friend appeared surprised. “You can go now.”
Pablo’s face turned red. “Y-yeah. See ya!”
I was surprised by what I did, not regretting it, though. I watched him leave and placed my hands on my cheeks, which seemed to be burning.
I placed my hand on my cheek. “She kissed me... on the cheek, but she still did,”
I mumbled to myself in surprise. A girl kissed me! Waiting at the train station, I continued thinking of Kurumi. Did she really kiss me? Of course, she did... It wasn’t a dream or my imagination; it couldn’t.
I came home and opened the gates from bamboo, feeling very happy; I could dance and danced inside, realizing I should do my homework instead. I was unable to focus, though. In Japanese schools, we received a ton of homework to do.
This annoys me. In my opinion, the school is much better in Spain. In Asian countries, people keep working and working, sometimes getting sick or committing suicide. I prefer Spain much more over Japan and the desire to be back in Spain. I used to live there, after all.
I lived in Spain for a few months before returning to Japan. However, if I wouldn’t move back to Japan, I wouldn’t meet Kurumi. And in Spain, no bullying. No bullying and no Kurumi. Which one is the worse option? Neither.
I think I can trust him; he shouldn’t hurt me. Outside it is raining, about two hours after he left. I feel relieved and thrilled.
I lay on my bed and pulled the warm blanket over myself. Outside it is raining a lot. I know the best thing to do every time it does is curl up under a warm blanket. Even better if having a cup of hot chocolate. And I should seriously do my homework. The mound of homework will slaughter me soon.
I sighed in annoyance and got up, rummaging through my randoseru. I grabbed some papers and a pen, getting back in bed, and writing some essays.
Lying in bed only makes me sleepy. It’s warm, though. I’m not leaving.
After a few hours of studying, I felt very sleepy and quickly showered, dressing in my pajamas. I returned to my bed and pulled all two blankets and the warm featherbed over myself again. Not soon after that, I fell asleep peacefully with no nightmares.