Never Cry Again
I still don't understand. The bruises on my backside, my back, my face…why does he cause them? I'm not sure why he does it. I don't think he wants to kill me, I'm sure he doesn't. He's never hit hard enough to crack the skin and make me bleed. If he wanted to kill me, he could easily use his poison claws. I asked him one day.
"Sesshomaru, why do you beat me?" I asked him. I remember the terror I felt when his stone cold gaze bore into my eyes.
"It is my right." He growled. He picked me up, set me over his knee, and slapped my backside so hard that I'm sure it is still bruised, even a month later. It makes no sense. I do nothing wrong. I never dirty my robes, I speak properly, I hunt, kill, and cook my own meals as he ordered. I had some problems with getting a fire to cook with, but I figured it out by hitting a rock against a piece of metal I found around the castle to cause sparks that light dry grass. I follow all his rules, the ones I understand and the ones I do not. So why does he beat me?
I thought perhaps he might beat me because he thought I killed my mother. But then I decided that couldn't be right, he knows the human Hirokei killed my mother. I cried that night, cried because I watched her die. She told me to run and hide so they would not kill me along with her. I ran, I hid, I did what I was told. I know my claws can hurt, mother told me to be careful with them. But I did not want to kill Hirokei, although I felt something I am sure was hate for him.
I watched him drag her into the middle of the village, and I carefully watched from behind a house. All the children in the village were not there. I did not know why, I wanted to see Sakura again. She had not played with me for weeks, and I did not know why. But then Hirokei took out his knife, and I understood why the children were not there. I watched as he began to explain to her why she was going to die, that she had to die for giving birth to a half breed. I still do not understand that word. But it that word that sealed my mother's fate. Hirokei slit her throat, and I began to cry.
My crying was heard, and Hirokei found me. He did not slit my throat, but he beat me, and then let the other villagers throw rocks and stones at me. It hurt, but I did not fight back. I did not want them to kill me. I lay very still, let them think I was dead. They left me, and I stood up and ran. I ran and ran until I smelt Sesshomaru nearby. I gave up and fell, hoping he would smell me and come to me.
I now wish he had not. Sesshomaru is very cruel. I knew my mother, and he did not know his. I thought that may be why he hates me, why he beats me. But one of his servants says that is wrong, Sesshomaru did know his mother. So why does he beat me? I think it may be because I cry. When I think of mother, I cry. He beats me for that. I tried to not cry, but it did not work, and I cried. Then he beat me again.
"I beat you because you are a half breed." He said to me yesterday. I still did not know what the word meant then, and do not know now.
"What is a half breed?" I asked. Sesshomaru sneered at me and put a mirror in front of me. I stared at my small, triangular ears, my long silver hair, my claws that are still growing. I did not understand. I knew I was a half breed, but what was a half breed. I thought I understood what Sesshomaru was trying to tell me. I did not.
"But I look like you, Sesshomaru. Are you a half breed as well?" I asked. He drew back his hand and slapped me in the face. My cheek is freshly bruised from his slap. I was wrong. I still did not understand.
"Lord Sesshomaru only wishes to correct your mistakes master Inuyasha. That is why he beats you. He wants you to grow up to be a good man. Men do not cry, or make mistakes, or speak rudely." Oikawa is a nice servant, a kitsune. He often comforts me when Sesshomaru beats me for reason I do not understand.
"But I do not make mistakes. I follow all the rules. I even do my best to please him. I hunted a bear many times my size a week ago, and thought he would be pleased I have become such a good hunter. He was not. How can I correct my mistakes if I do not understand what mistakes I am making?" That was when Sesshomaru entered the room. Oikawa excused himself and left right away.
"Your mistake was being born, half breed." He snarled. He snatched me, bent me over his knee, and began to beat me again. I still did not understand. I whimpered and cried as he hit me, and he only hit harder when I did so. I remembered what Oikawa had just said. Sesshomaru wanted me to be a man. He wanted me to not make mistakes. I am trying my best not to. He does not want me to speak rudely. Although it took me a long time to learn how to, I began to speak formally and properly, like I am now.
Oikawa said that men do not cry. Is that why Sesshomaru beats me? Because I cry? If I stopped crying, would he stop? I tried to block out the pain of his hits. It hurt, very much so, and it was difficult to ignore. But I focused, ignore him. I reached down inside, for something, anything that makes me cry. I found the memory of my mother, the memory that has always made me cry. I clenched my eyes shut and remembered every detail I could of that day. I watched Hirokei put his knife on my mother's throat, I watched him draw it back…
The next hit did not come, and I waited hopefully. Sesshomaru picked me up and set me down in front of him. He put a claw on my chin to tilt my head up. I looked him in the eyes, as he taught me to. I had stopped a beating, and did not want to cause another by breaking a rule now.
"You stopped crying." He said, cocking his head to one side. I nodded.
"Yes brother. I stopped crying." I replied, confirming his suspicions.
"Because I must be a man, and men do not cry. I want to be a man, and to become one, I cannot cry." I said. Sesshomaru stared at me for a moment before rising and leaving. It still hurt, where he hit me. It hurt then, and even now it hurts as I tell this tale. And even more painful is the image of my mother's death in my mind, forever burned onto my eyes, an image I will always remember even when I sleep. But I do not cry. I cannot cry. I am a man, and men do not cry. I am Inuyasha. I am a half breed, but I am also a man. And men do not cry.
I am a man. And I can never cry again.