The decision I made on that fateful night acted as a bandage for my injured mind. All my efforts from then on were directed towards realizing it. I would go to Japan, the homeland of Yamato Damashi. It was the only, however impossible, remaining chance for me to ever fight on the highest level.
After saving almost all my earnings for a year or so I had enough money for the trip. I could stay in Japan for up to three months without a visa, which, I thought, was enough time to find a way and means to remain there for much longer than that.
Since I left the hospital, I had no contact with my family. I felt somehow obliged to let them know I was still alive and kicking before I departed for Japan. I had no phone, so I used one of the computers at the pub to write an email to my sister Lara.
Lara was three years older than me and we shared the least emotional bond one could have with a sibling. She despised everything I liked and vice versa and we couldn’t stand each other. She came to visit me in the hospital only once and when nobody was looking she whispered in my ear, that I got exactly what I deserved.
‘Going to Japan. Probably won’t come back. All is fine otherwise. Pls let mom and Erik know, as you see it fit. I’d appreciate no drama. N.’
I knew she would regard my email with utmost practicality and without any emotional investment, and pass on the news to my mom and my little brother in the way it would least affect them. She too hated the drama above all.
Her reply came in less than 5 minutes: ‘Bastard. I will.’
I smiled; just the reaction I hoped for. For the first time I felt appreciative of the fact she was my sister.
Leaving like this was a cruel and selfish thing to do, especially to my mom. My 10-year-old brother Erik probably got used to my absence, but my mom... She certainly didn’t do anything to deserve such an attitude from me.
In my own twisted way, I acted out of care. I minimized all the contacts to spare her and my siblings with my destructive behaviour as well as with the future troubles that would very likely follow me on my uncertain path. By removing myself completely from their lives, I hoped to loosen the emotional ties enough to become only a vague memory.
Not to be suspicious I bought a two-way ticket, even though I wasn’t planning to return, well, at least not alive. Japan was my intended last station.