To The Angel Who Couldn't Fly
He had such bored eyes. He always had this expression like he just got out of bed, eyes somewhat downcast, only the slightest lavender hues could be seen. His fine silver hair would catch the hint of the setting sun every time he would stand by the huge windows, watching the little children run around two storeys below.
"Ne, ne, ne...what are you guys doing?" a high pitched voice asked. It was from a latecomer. He was so small compared to the others, and his eyes were so big for that small face. The innocent glint in them even from that distance was annoying the silverhaired young man so much.
"Tsk...him again?" the young man hissed. He really disliked that kid.
Takahashi Misaki. A five year old boy. Eyes so big he looked like a bee. Body so small he looked like a small doll that can easily be trampled. Everything about him was so small but that voice and that annoying personality was one hell of an annoying matter for the eighteen year-old by the window.
What was more, their rooms were just across from each other. Talk about hell.
Slowly, as if a camera was panning out, it focused on the young man's shirt first. A silver embroidery that said "Usami Akihiko" became visible. It passed Usami's face and eyes. And then it went out of the window, leaving the facility. Everything on that wide playground, the modern-looking building, the forest surrounding them, and the depressing sunset became visible, painting a picture of something that Usami Akihiko had already accepted. Death.
"Have you been taking your medicine properly?"
The woman doctor asked calmly. Her long hair was tied in a bun, her face pretty but tired. She crossed her legs and sighed.
"Usami-kun...you're not helping yourself..." she whispered. "You even refuse the vaccines..."
The young man across smirked. The tips of his fingernails were already darkening. His face palid and thin. However, nothing of how sick he was could make that haughty attitude go away.
"Your father called...he's worried..."
"I am not stupid," the young man said, his voice ever sounding so bored. As if he was bored with his very existence too. "This place...is for the hopeless cases. What treatment? The medicine you're giving me and the rest of the stupid bunch here are nothing but in the trial stage right?"
The woman doctor's face paled. That was something they didn't want the patients to know. They only wanted them to believe that going here would make them better.
"In short...guinea pigs."
She stood abruptly almost knocking her chair down. She started pacing around the room, her one-inch healed black shoes clicking loudly against the stark clean tiles.
"Please...don't put it that way..." she whispered. "We really have high hopes that we already found the cure for people with this case..."
"Heh...and if it doesn't work...? What about that kid in the room across mine? He had convinced himself that he'd be better by the end of the year...he sounds so positive he sounds so stupid. But well...his condition's not that serious unlike mine...one more stage and I'd be ashes."
The woman looked at Usami like she's hurt too. Usami was right. They were filling the children with these promises. TOSEI facility was gambling with a recent research. This sickness that was creeping slowly into the bloodstream, little by little depriving the body of oxygen. Like a slow suicide to put it directly. The fatal the condition, the darker the fingers were.
Usami grabbed a squeeze ball from the table beside him. Sometimes he would lose his sense of control with his fingers he had to use that. But instead of using it for that purpose, he threw the ball at the partially opened door.
"Oi, damn brat, how long are you gonna eaves drop there?"
A few seconds passed, and the door revealed a small child, dragging his teddy bear with him with his cute, little knitted yellow hand gloves.
"M-misaki-chan!" the woman gasped. The kids should be asleep by now. That was why she somehow let her guard down. If the little one heard everything she had said, it would definitely break the kid's dreams. "Why are you still awake? Anything the matter?"
The boy darted his eyes to Usami and yawned. "N-nothing...I just came to...sleep here..."
"Doctor...do something about that parasite will you?" Usami grumbled. "He sneaks in here and sleeps on my bed in the middle of the night. I'd lock the door and he'd knock nonstop."
"Oh..." the woman smiled as she walked towards the little boy. "Why don't you go back to your room Misaki-chan...Akihiko-niisan here needs his rest too..."
Misaki shook his head. "Because there's only five months before I leave...he'd be lonely."
"..." the woman fought the urge to show any sad face to the boy. "Oh..."
"I drink my medicine on time, and eat my vegetables...so I'm going to be fine by new year right?"
Usami looked away, angry. The kid came to this facility at around the same time as him. The kid seemed to be at the very first stages of the disease. More chance of getting cured. Good for him, it was detected early. The thought was angering Usami. The kid still had some tiny, winy, bit of luck probably. Unlike him.
The boy darted his eyes around. For a long while he stared at the pills on the tray and the glass of milk that was still full.
"Oi...you didn't follow Doctor-san again?" little Misaki asked aloud, walking to the table and taking with his cute, gloved-hands the glass, pushing it to the young man. "Your bones will turn brittle."
"Fuck off!" Usami hissed, standing up and plopping down on the bed. "Just be the good stupid kid and leave like what you had planned. You're not at the last stage anyway...leave me alone."
"Usami-kun!" the woman said, worried at how this young man was acting to the little boy. The kid was nothing but sweet. But always, this young man would always push the kid away. It was a good thing that the young brunette was persistent.
"Yada..." Misaki murmured, walking towards Usami, leaving his teddy bear in the middle of the room, carrying carefully the glass of milk. "If you'd just follow Doctor-san, maybe we can get out together. After all, we came here at the same time...ne?"
Usami grabbed the blanket and burried himself under it. He was so pissed that he's acting more of a child. But what can he do? He's very scared. Everyday, his nails were darkening. Everyday, walking was beginning to be a chore. Everyday was slowly becoming blurry. While this stupid kid was still jumping around with so much energy.
Perhaps...maybe...just a little...he was jealous.
It was then the beginning of autumn. The whole surroundings changed from lush green to burning red and gold. The little children were wearing their cute scarfs and beanies while playing. And the others were having a more cheery disposition from the changing colors.
Usami Akihiko, as the reclusive young man he was, he was just passing time alone. He was lying on his back, arms and legs spread as if he was about to dive into the sky above him and be one with it. Like a smoke that won't leave a trace once gone. What was the difference? Getting sick sucked all his purpose anyway.
The breeze was creating a melody of leaves rustling, together with the faraway laughter of the children, it rendered Usami a bit sleepy. Just as he was about to drift off, he heard some loud steps, twigs breaking and a huffing voice.
"The fuck..." Usami sat, ruffled the back of his head were a few fallen leaves got stuck and looked around. And his jaw almost dropped.
There was a small kid running alone. He was holding a long stick with a net attached to the circular thing at the end. It was like the kind used for cleaning up swimming pools but the old kind.
"What is he going to do with that...?"
Usami slowly stood with his arms crossed as he watched from the side of a huge tree what that annoying bee was up to.
The little kid looked so eager as he ran from the opposite direction right towards an old well. If Usami could remember, it was so shallow, the bottom was as the same as level of the ground. It was like a big waterpail made out of cement. Like where they stuck water before the facility was remodeled.
Misaki run around the well, looking inside with his stick moving left and right behind him. Then it occurred to Usami what the stupid kid was about to do. People who passed by it would throw coins as if it was a wishing well. The little punk was trying to scoop out the coins.
"Little thief..." Usami mumbled, grinning suddenly. He decided he'd bully the kid out of boredom.
He was so serious. HIs brows were in a frown as he directed all his mind to what he was doing. The ring where the net was attached was a bit thick. So up until now, all he was able to do was cause the water to cloud. He couldn't get the coins at all.
Misaki sighed. "I was able to do it yesterday..."
He leaned more, tried to angle the stick better. Finally, he could sense a coin that was about to fall into the net.
"Oh...here I thought you were the little angel."
Misaki lost his grip to the stick and his first coin for the day was but a dream.
"Wh-what are you doing here?" Misaki asked, eyes wide, cheeks flushed as he looked from the well to the tall young man before him alternatingly.
"I should be asking you that," Usami lopsided grinned. "Should I tell your Doctor-san what you're doing?"
Misaki glared at Usami before resuming what he was doing. The older boy thought that Misaki would give it up after being busted, but he was wrong. The little boy kept on fishing for coins. With so much determination. With so much seriousness.
Second by second Usami got bored. Seeing someone so persistent was just annoying to Usami. What's the point of trying so hard when you can't bring it to the graves?
Usami yawned, crossed his arms and sat at the edge of the stone well.
"What...gonna buy a new teddy or something with the coins?"
Misaki pursed his lips.
"Oi...the least you can do is answer me."
The bell from nowhere rang. At the same time a few birds resting flew above their heads. The chatters from far away started to grow softer, until there was only a deafening silence. The bell signalling the time to go back inside the facility just took place.
"People throw coins here to make wishes right?" Misaki mumbled, still putting his all with scooping out the coins.
"Yeah...what of it?"
"There's too many wishes...how could Kami-sama see mine if there's so many inside?"
Usami stood stupefied at what the kid just said. His crossed arms fell to his sides, his lips opening a little. It was an innocent selfishness of a child. Nothing else. But somehow, it tugged Usami that the him who was always annoyed at this ball of energy felt pity.
"Give it here," Usami said.
When the kid just looked up, Usami walked towards the boy, grabbed the stick and started taking the coins out for little Misaki. Just like that he became a partner in the crime. All the while, Misaki with his eyes, just watched the coins one by one getting extracted from the well. Jumping up and down every time there was one.
The sky already has darkened by the time Usami got all the coins out. He just tossed everything on the ground, stick and the money, tired from the stupidity he just did.
"Thank you Akihiko!" the kid shouted, running around again with his hands in the air.
"Punk...don't act chummy with me...I just did this because you're so pathetic."
The little boy just grinned and his running slowed down. His steps had grown so much slower as he started fishing for a 100 coin inside his pocket. The coin looked like it was glowing from the yellow gloves the boy was wearing. And he proudly showed the single coin to Usami.
"What the heck?" Usami blurted, narrowing his eyes. "You marked it with your name too?"
"So Kami-sama would know easily that it's from me!"
"If I were him, I'd really be annoyed at you," Usami snorted, mocking the kid. But he didn't say anything after that and just stood there quietly.
The kid then drew up the coin to his lips, earnestly whispering with his eyes closed. And then he threw it. Both males staring at the C shape route the coin made in the air before it produced a plopping sound as it hit the water and sank to the bottom of it.
"What did you wish for?" Usami asked as the both of them started heading back to the facility.
"..." the little boy bowed his head.
"Don't tell me it's so petty...after all the efforts I made..."
"It's a very precious wish..."
"Really?" Usami asked sarcastically. "'Please make me well by the end of the year Kami-sama' or let me see santa" or something I guess. What a child."
Misaki stopped walking which made Usami stop as well. "...I wished that the nii-san standing before me starts helping himself. Drink his medicine and listen to Doctor-san. So then we can leave this place and maybe I can play in his house."
The warning bell rang out, calling for all the late comers. Misaki dashed past Usami. He looked like a dirty rabbit hopping away.
Left alone, Usami stood narrowing his eyes at the child he least liked in the world. That energy, that positivity was really annoying him. He gritted his teeth, he continued to walk.
Something pierced his chest. It made him stop in his tracks. His hand on his chest clutching his shirt. His breathing somehow hard. He searched that throbbing. It wasn't the painful kind, but something he couldn't also point out.
That smile the kid gave him just a moment ago, was so innocent and sincere that it was blinding the young man.
One afternoon, while Misaki was ready pestering the boy across his room, he ran into the pretty woman named Aikawa. The woman doctor incharged of those living in floor three.
"Doctor-san!" Misaki called, dragging the hand of his bear. "Whose tray is that?"
The woman looked at the tray she was carrying. The plate was empty, the milk was gone and the medicine were all taken. She smiled as she bent her knees a bit to look at eye level with the little angel before her.
Aikawa winked at the little one before glancing at one of the closed doors.
That was when Misaki's eyes widened. His lips turned into a wide smile and hurriedly, he dashed to the room across his without knocking and left Aikawa watching him.
"What the hell, don't go barging into my room like that!" an annoyed voice yelled.
"Akihiko! Akihiko! I'm so happy!"
"Don't cling to me!" the voice grumbled. It was responded by a merry laughter that touched Aikawa's heart deeply.
If Aikawa and little Misaki thought that this was the start of a drastic change, both were wrong.
Unlike those movies or dramas, when the main character started trying to change themselves, one by one things fall at their feet perfectly. It wasn't the case for Usami Akihiko. The time he started taking his medicines properly, eating his food diligently and attending his regular vaccines without qualms, he started feeling worse.
"What believing..." Usami hissed, throwing the tray over the floor. "Get out! Get out!"
"Usami-kun..." Aikawa soothed, trying to reach out but Usami was making it hard for her. All the while little Misaki was peeking from the door, eyes reddening.
"I am too stupid to be carried away with the wishful thinking of that brat...look at me..." Usami raised his hands, eyeing them with hatred. The young man was breathing heavily, his finger nails just got a shade darker, and everything was beginning to become really foggy in his eyes.
"Do you see this?!" Usami shouted at the door, shooting a glare that can stab at the peering eyes. "Not all wishes are granted you understand that?! There's no fucking 'Kami-sama'!"
"Usami-kun...please calm down..." Aikawa begged as she walked to where Misaki was, taking the little hand in hers.
Misaki's eyes never left the miserable form on the bed. The hollow cheeks, the almost ghost-like complexion, the heavy breathing, they were all etched inside the boy's mind.
"So, kind-hearted doctor...are you happy? This is what you're going to do to everyone. You're giving everyone a big disappointment at the end! I am going die. You guys can save no one!"
Aikawa gripped Misaki's hand and fought the urge to cry. "Usami-kun...you must be at the withdrawal phase...be patient...after your system has gotten used to the vaccines...I'm sure-"
"Akihiko..." Misaki started, taking one small step forward. "...you know...maybe we can make the medicine sweeter? Ne, Doctor-san?" Misaki looked up at Aikawa. "My medicine is in the jelly right? Maybe if you do that to his...then...after...we can go home to..."
"What going home are you talking about?!" Usami growled. "You have no parents anyway! You came from an orphanage right? The orphanage threw you in here! So stop filling your head with delusions since no one's waiting for you to come back!"
"Usami!" Aikawa shouted angrily this time.
Misaki swallowed hard. He looked at the toppled tray and spilled food. He looked at the messy bed and the medicine on the floor. And finally rested his eyes at the young man on the bed glaring at him. Slowly, he gripped his shirt tightly. Huge tears rolled down his cheeks. But he never made a sound. It was the kind of cry too painful in the chest. That Misaki could just hold his breath still.
The silverhaired teen was running after his breath. His heavy breathing was too much that when he finally eased up a bit, a suffocating silence filled the room. "Get out. Never come back to my room again. I'm tired of putting up with you..." the young man whispered.
"Uhm..." the little kid didn't know how. But it was so painful even though the teen just whispered them. It had the same effect had Usami shouted it at his face. He didn't wait for another word from the angry teen. He pulled his hand off of Aikawa's hold and left the room silently on his own.
Usami Akihiko and Takahashi Misaki had never spoken to each other again after that.
It was dinner time. There was someone celebrating his birthday so almost all the persons living in the facility were in the activity hall. The entire third floor up to the fifth floor was soulless and empty. But then, two shadows emerged from both the opposite sides of the hallway. One tall, one so much smaller. The shadows against the wall started getting closer as if they were about to meet up. But they just passed each other like passing strangers.
"...Akihiko...the party..." a soft voice mumbled.
Usami pressed on the switch against the wall and the hallway became filled with a blinding brightness.
"Everyone's invited..." the small voice continued, trying to glance at the silent young man.
"What's so good about it?" Usami replied coldly, his hands inside his jeans.
Little Misaki raised his hands covered with the cute yellow gloves and looked out the window. There was a thunderstorm from afar. The drizzle earlier that afternoon had become a steady rain pounding against the windows.
"You're not taking the medicine again?"
"None of your business," Usami hissed and started walking away.
"You're wrong!" Misaki angrily shouted.
Usami, who was getting annoyed himself turned to look. But he lost what he was about to yell when he saw Misaki's eyes. They were glassy orbs of tears that refuses to go down.
"Kami-sama has granted me so many things...a big house even if it's just orphanage to you! A pretty sister, Doctor-san! And you...I wanted to...if I prayed earnestly...I'm sure..."
The annoyance in Usami was reaching the boiling point. That without knowing he had taken huge strides towards the boy. His hands, although weak, found the strength to grab the boy in a vice-like grip.
"Just what do you want from me?" Usami hissed. "What? You want to what!?"
Misaki looked eye to eye with the young man with his lips trembling. "I..."
As much as the boy wanted to say it, he was too young to understand things that were so complicated. He could only put it into his own simple words.
"You would always allow me to go in your room, even when you're acting angry. That's why I am happy! I want you to live! Because Doctor-san said that if you go to a deep sleep, you're never coming back!"
"Huh?" Usami started chuckling in a low manner. He's had enough.
"Shut the fuck up alright?" Usami shouted, his anger hiking up. He couldn't ride the kid's wavelength at all and it's driving him up the walls. "I don't care anymore okay?"
"Why are you like that?!" Misaki screamed. "I really want you to be okay! But why!?" the boy screamed and screamed while crying that his face had grown so flushed. "I hate you! I don't want to pray for you anymore!"
Misaki started removing his yellow gloves and threw them at Usami's feet.
"I hate you..." Misaki whispered. "I hate you..."
The little boy ran away, leaving Usami alone. Usami couldn't care less. He walked to the different direction with the speed mirroring his annoyance. But then, he stopped walking, he turned to look at the floor where Misaki had left his yellow gloves. Lavender eyes stared hard at them. He stared at them with so much intensity he could put them into fire.
The next thing, there was nothing on the floor.
Around 11, when Usami couldn't sleep. He heard a soft knocking on his door. He looked at the gloves on his table and frowned. He knew who it was without asking. The little boy would always knock with a certain silly rythm. Usami however pretended he didn't hear anything and continued surfing the net with his phone.
"Akihiko-niisan?" said the small voice. "S-sorry I yelled at you..."
Usami looked again at the door.
"I didn't mean what I said...I...don't hate you...so...so don't be mad at me okay?" the voice continued. "You're the only one who didn't throw me out when I sneaked into their bedrooms...so don't be angry at me..."
"And...uhm...won't you still see me?"
Usami sat on his bed, his phone going idle. The soft knocking with the silly rythm continued to plague his insides. So drawing a deep breath, he stood and headed for the door.
But the knocking already stopped.
Usami heard then the door across his room closing. And then he sighed. He slowly went back to his bed and plopped down to it. He lifted his eyes towards the single window in his room. He continued looking at the rain drops against the window until he fell in a trance called sleep.
He stood facing the door for a long while. Unsure of how to act, Usami frowned. How was he so disoriented at appeasing a brat? He was holding the yellow gloves he filled with candy bars while his other free hand was in the air, still unsure whether to knock or not.
"Oi...bratty, you awake?" he decided to call. "Don't go throwing your stuff again, I'm not going to pick it up the second time."
"Tsk...okay fine..."Usami breathe out. "Let's make up. It's my bad. Satisfied? Now get out, because I am starting to get pissed with this door."
"I have candies here..." Usami added, feeling stupid.
He had thought about the whole thing last night. He really acted like a jerk. He was probably just too annoyed at the dizzying feeling as if he wanted to puke. The times when he couldn't breathe properly kicks at night. Perhaps his brain must have been deprived of oxygen and he exploded at the kid. He wasn't a complete idiot not to admit that.
Annoyed, Usami just decided to open the door. The kid does it always to his room anyway. After a slight push, the door opened. The bed was neat, the teddy bear was sleeping on it, with the blanket covering up to its shoulders.
"What a child...really..."
Usami smiled a bit after closing the door. When he turned around, he saw Aikawa with bloodshot eyes.
The young man just looked at Aikawa confused. Though Aikawa was always busy and tired, she still always managed to slap some makeup on her face. But that morning, her face was bare. Her pursed lips trembling.
"What?" Usami asked. "I was just trying to see if the annoying brat is still sleeping."
Aikawa teared up. That silent tear on that miserable face rang all different warnings inside Usami.
"Misaki's not in there..." Aikawa whispered. "He's gone."
Usami blinked. "Gone? What gone?"
"Did his orphanage take him or something?"
It didn't even occur to Usami the next thing that came from Aikawa's pale lips.
Usami held the gloves he filled with candies very tight. His steps huge as he ran down the long stairs that suddenly seemed to have become endless. His chest was beating wild. So wild like he was about to throw his heart out of his throat.
"You're joking right?" Usami whispered, but it resonated inside his head like a mad chant.
"Misaki was found inside the well at the back..." Usami remembered Aikawa saying so softly he hardly heard it.
"'Found inside the well'?" the young man repeated, unsure if he even heard it right. "Found? He was found...?"
Right then and there, Usami knew it. His head had concluded it at a scary speed.
"The rain wasn't strong...but it seemed like the well became filled with water...the ground was slippery...the police said...that Misaki appeared to be taking something from the well...he slipped inside and drowned..."
Usami only managed to smirk that time. Now that was a ridiculous shit first thing in the morning. Maybe this was a shitty prank. But the longer he looked at Aikawa's water-stained coat, the vivid his image of Misaki hopping away became.
"Why would he take those coins out...?" Aikawa whispered more to herself. "Why..."
And that was it. Usami was flying down the stairs, his head a blank sheet of paper, his own weak body growing the strenght to run as fast as he did.
Misaki? Gone? That didn't fit together at all.
When he reached the ground floor, there were so many children and young adults and adults alike gathered in what seemed like a prayer. Usami felt nothing at it but complete the sense of everything being devoid of light. He continued making his way to the door where a few men in police uniform were standing. They looked strict and stern about those who were trying to look, but Usami just pushed in.
"Excuse me...no one's allowed to go-"
The man looked behind the silverhaired young man where a teary woman in white was. She was nodding to let Usami pass.
Within a matter of seconds, Usami was sealed in the room, together with the scent of morning dew and something else. The huge bed was covered with a white blanket. All of it. There was only a small lump under it.
Usami slowly walked to the bed. He just stared at the lump not knowing what to do with that. He had expected Misaki to say 'Boo' or something. Jump off the bed while laughing. But the lump under the blanket was as still as a rock.
"Oi...stupid..." Usami called, lifting his hand to tug at the end of the blanket. He could see his own trembling. He could feel the stifling lump in his throat too that it was getting harder to breathe.
As soon as Usami had pulled the blanket down, he lost his hold of the gloves full of candies. Some rolled under the bed, some at Aikawa's feet who was standing from the very farthest corner of the room.
"What has...happened to you...?"
Usami tried focusing his eyes at that face. He traced the sleeping face with his fingers. The dark circles under those usually bright eyes didn't look right. The lifeless lips too. That face which was always so animated, that morning, only had one expression.
"Brat...you look like a prim and proper kid like this..." Usami whispered, trying to sound sarcastic. "Stop this pretend game...this face doesn't suit you."
Aikawa who entered in the room too a few moments ago had clasped both her hands over her mouth.
Misaki felt so cold against Usami's finger tips. So cold like he was touching a block of ice. Usami couldn't almost maintain his gaze. But he found himself staring at those small hands that was still holding a few coins. Had he so clutched to them that hard they were molding into his flesh?
"You even marked them with your name?!"
"So that Kami-sama would know easily it was from me!"
Black. Misaki's finger nails were nothing but black. Even the nails in his feet. And dumbfoundedly, Usami glanced behind him. To Aikawa who was trying to stifle her own sobs.
"What the hell is this?" Usami repeated.
"Misaki-chan...just fell to the the terminal stage...a few weeks ago..."
Usami just stared.
Aikawa just looked back.
A few weeks ago, she said. That didn't make any sense. Did that mean...right when the annoying brat started making wishes to the well?
"Was..." Usami flinched, addressing the kid at the past tense. "Was...he aware?" Usami asked quietly.
Aikawa nodded. "I talked to him...explained what was happening to his body...He knew that he only have a few weeks..."
Angrily, Usami looked at the boy before him. This annoying brat did nothing but to harp getting well and praying even when he knew he was the worst and hopeless case here? Was he an angel or just plain stupid? Really...Misaki knew how to annoy him to the greatest extent.
"So is it because you knew you're never getting better, so instead of wishing for yourself...you keep on wishing for...me...?"
Usami sat by the bed and just remained motionless for a long while. And then he started fixing some strands of brown hair on the kid's forehead with such frightening calmness.
"I should have opened the door last night...Aikawa-san..." Usami whispered. "He was there knocking and apologizing like silly...if I just did, he wouldn't end up drowning..."
Two pale hands cupped the small face that would never respond again. Down to the small shoulders that would never tremble from laughter or crying again.
"If I only let him inside last night...He wouldn't drown in a well full of his wishes..."
That was when his vision blurred. He felt like choking. He had never cried for anybody this much, much less for himself. But there he was. A huge mess, and he can only grip the small hand in his as if passing his life to it to no avail. "...how can you die like this? What god... if he had a few weeks, why take him so much earlier...? Shit..."
"What going home are you talking about?! You have no parents anyway! You came from an orphanage right? Stop filling your head with delusions since no one's waiting for you to come back!" Usami saw himself yelling these harsh words. He knew nothing at that time. It was heart wrenching to remember such things that he would never be able to take back, much less ask for forgiveness.
"Isn't this my fault then?" Usami nodded on his own. "... It really is..."
Aikawa walked closer to Usami, patting the young man on the shoulder. As harsh the young man had been to little Misaki, it was evident now, how much he really was attached to him. He was so, to the extent that he had to accuse and blame himself.
"This morning...I came to his room in a rush to surprise him..." Aikawa mumbled. Her voice shaky. "That's when I realized he's not in..."
"What's the use? He's there like a rock..." Usami gritted.
"I knew he'd be very ecstatic to know...so instead of telling you first, I wanted to tell him...though that'd break the doctor-patient confidentiality..."
Usami raised his red eyes to the woman questioningly. He read the woman's lips with his insides churning painfully. He clutched the blankets tighter and muttered so many soft 'sorries' he lost count of them.
A few months passed and the boy who drowned in the well was nothing but a gossip topic now. There was a new occupant in the room across Usami. And everything came back as it used to be. It was even like nothing has happened.
Usami was standing by the window where he used to watch the little kids with Misaki running around and doing stupid things. His brows turned into a painful frown as he saw a red car going into the gates of the facility from a far. His family's car.
As he watched the red dot becoming bigger, he was starting to fall back into six months ago...
"I knew he'd be very ecstatic to know it...so instead of telling you first, I wanted to tell him..."
Usami raised his red eyes to the woman questioningly.
"I'm sorry that Misaki-chan wouldn't be able to hear this..." Aikawa whispered. "Usami-kun...your results...finally turned into negative..."
"He'd be very happy for you...that what he couldn't wish for himself... came true for you..."
He didn't know how much he cried back then. Instead of being happy, he felt anger. Very deep anger at this 'Kami-sama' that little Misaki so believed in. Such a cruel god, Usami couldn't understand why save the wretched him instead of the sweet child? It'd be long for him to realize that though.
Lavender eyes just stared vacantly at the nearing car. He missed the university exams again that year and had a lot of catching up to do. He thought of becoming a doctor. But maybe he'd be able to express himself much better with words.
The seasons from the windows of his room had so many times changed he couldn't count it anymore. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, over and over and the clock on his wall had cycled its endless measure of something that one could only feel but never touch. Time.
So many things have happened since then. But no matter, he'd still look out his window with the same lavender eyes with the same emotions. That was something that even when everything around and about him have changed, it wouldn't.
And one day he found himself looking out the window, the vast Tokyo view was what he saw from the pent house. The TV in his living room was showing an awards night where a silverhaired, lavender-eyed, twenty-eight year-old dashing man was accepting a trophy for the novel "Marked Coins".
It was about an annoying kid who wouldn't stop pestering a reclusive man. About the sweetest kid who didn't give up on that man's ugly personality some ten years ago. About the kid who earnestly wished for the man's well being without hoping for anything in return. Sometimes, the little ones were even more mature that it was mortifying. They see things that the clouded eyes of adults couldn't.
Somewhere, somehow, Usami Akihiko, now a celebrated author could hear a laughing and young voice saying "See...Kami-sama exists."
"Hai, hai..." Usami whispered, ruffling his hair as he turned back.
The open window the man left allowed the breeze to enter. The pages of the open book on that metal table moved as if someone was flipping to it. Then it stopped at the last page. At the dedication for someone who was unnamed.
He had so many times questioned over and over why did he have to meet the child in the room across his. Why he had to put up with the little one pushing him around. Why he had to shoulder the pain of suddenly losing him. He knew them now.
He needed someone that would shape him differently from how he used to be. He needed someone to teach him to believe. And this time, he knew his wish would come true somehow...in a different time, at a different place, even if it was in a different universe. It would happen. It was bound to happen.
"To the angel who couldn't fly,
I'd rather you not growing wings.
And If you and I ever be reborn again,
You don't have to knock anymore to come inside.
Because it'd be me to pull you in...
-the proof of your wish, UA
chapter end notes:
thanks for reading. please share your thoughts. also i made a cover art that could be seen in my tumblr.
the little poem at the end...hahaha...just interpret it the way you want. XD when i was writing it i was half-awake. LoL.