az: Guess I be exploring the past...
Written by honou-no-izzu aka Izzu
A month. A year… two… four years…
If he was not just a mere human but a mountain, he would have crumbled to dust by now. But he was not. He was human, and this assault that he had been tormented with for so long was not physical. It was mental.
His mind was going crazy every minute, yet he could still think clearly. His life had continued to become even more stable, yet the insanity just getting worse. Somehow, even he himself was not sure how was it he had somehow finished schooling and going through university life until now the way he had been. While others had only have to worry about studying hard to get excellent result, making decisions that would affect their lives' future and dealing with any other normal daily life problems; he had to deal all that along with the mental burden inside of him that never cease to haunting him.
Wonder, what kind of ability have he had to be able to do all this?
A part of him was still scared. a part of it was already numbed about it. It was like his body was not his anymore, yet he could still move it around. To eat, drink... laugh, cry...
It was as if someone else had taken control of his body but left a bit for him to still be able to perceive the world around him. His life now felt like in a dream, though in reality it was more like a waking nightmare. How was it that he could have remained alive, remained lucid in this world? How in the world—
Ah, he remembered why...
Without warning, Yumehito felt himself being jerked about as his younger brother shook his body really hard. He turned to look towards Ainosuke's face as he frowned.
"What is it?"
Ainosuke blinked at him.
"Are you sick?"
Yume stared blankly at his younger brother before the words sank in and shook his head. He uncharacteristically lift his hand to scratch his head despite not feeling slightly itchy.
I've been thinking about this too much, eh? I should watch myself, Ainosuke shouldn't know about this...
He sighed, before patting Ainosuke's head gently.
"I'm fine. It was just... I had been thinking about something... just now."
Ainosuke frowned at him before climbing onto Yume's lap. The young boy lifted his hand to touch his brother's forehead.
"Are you sick? Why do you look unwell?"
Yume shook his head.
"I'm fine. I guess... I'm just distracted over something. Probably just me being tired from my studies."
The worried expression worn on Ainosuke's face slowly changed into a cheerful one as he smiled.
"Oh, nii-chan need to take care of yourself. Else you can fall sick," said Ainosuke before looking at him suspiciously. "You didn't hide anything from me, did you?"
Yumehito smiled at him weakly.
"No I didn't," he lied. "It's just... I guess you can say, I'm wondering what I gonna do in the future. We can't always stay here with Uncle after all, it's best if both of us could find a way to support ourselves without having to depend on them."
Ainosuke nodded at this before quickly changing the topic to talking about the things at school. Their talk quickly turned into a lighter mood as Yumehito silently watched Ainosuke telling him of the things he had done for the day as well as the things he had noticed. Seeing Ainosuke being cheerful somehow made him slightly happy, yet a part of him was not.
As the years passed by, Yumehito had noticed something. While he had been spending his life these few years still haunted with the wretched memories of the past, Ainosuke had completely forgotten about their traumatic incident four years ago after being kidnapped. Ainosuke had, totally forgotten... or more like; buried those memories of witnessing him taking the life of one of their kidnappers as well as dumping the body into the ditch. His younger brother had completely wiped out that memory from his conscience, while he himself could not. Despite that time he had told Ainosuke to forget about the incident... right now, he was not happy that Ainosuke did forget that incident. Somehow, he found this act of Ainosuke—even if he had done this without realizing it—as somewhat...
A betrayal to him.
Ainosuke, had betrayed him. By forgetting the dark past that both of them had shared.
Despite... he was the reason he had killed a person for the first time in his life! It was because he wanted to protect Ainosuke—he had wanted to protect his most beloved Ainosuke so much—that he had done the sin. Because his little brother was the only one he had left...
Without warning, an unexpected surge of dark emotions engulfed Yume's heart. Dark thoughts started to fill his mind... and those thoughts, were all directed towards Ainosuke. A strange bout of hatred inside his heart, all aimed towards Ainosuke...
Yumehito hastily tried to shake his mind of those dark thoughts. No, he loved Ainosuke. Ainosuke was the most important person in his life! He cannot hurt his brother. He should not hurt his brother! It was not Ainosuke's fault, he was still so young! Something so traumatic, he couldn't possibly want Ainosuke to remember all of that! Something terrible like that, it would scar him for all of his life. For that to happen to Ainosuke—for Ainosuke to lose his smile—he couldn't stand the thought of that happening.
Ainosuke should not be hurt. He wouldn't let anyone hurt his most precious brother, the only one he had! If anyone, would want to hurt Ainosuke... they would have to face him first. Before they could do that, he would see to them personally.
He would not let anyone hurt Ainosuke. Not even himself! He couldn't forgive himself if that ever happens.
Still... those voices refused to quiet down! No, he shouldn't listen... he shouldn't listen to those voices!
"Nii-chan! What's wrong? Nii... what's wrong with you?"
Ainosuke's voice suddenly brought him back from his dark thoughts. Yume looked up to see Ainosuke staring back at him, concern painted all over his face. Somehow the pain in his heart grew even intense!
"Aino... suke... I... I'm fine. I'm fine! There's nothing wrong with me, so you don't have to worry...", he hastily explained as he got up to leave the room before Ainosuke stopped him.
"No, something was wrong! I saw you clutching your chest... are you hurt? Nii-chan, tell me... I'll go find Uncle to get you to the hospital—"
Yume kept trying to reassure him that nothing was wrong as he tried to walk away. Perhaps, because he had been too quick or too hasty—before he realized it, he was falling. He could barely hear Ainosuke's cry out his name when his forehead had hit the edge of the bed. The world was still spinning around him before his eyes could focus on Ainosuke's worried face.
"Nii-chan! Are you—I'm sorry! I shouldn't have—niichan, your forehead's bleeding!"
Yumehito blinked as he touched the side of his head where he could feel something wet. He pulled back and stared at his hand as he saw blood mixed with his own tears. He had not noticed that he was crying...
Ainosuke gasped. "The cut looked deep! I'll go find Aunt Sumire—she'd probably be mad about this but right now—"
Yumehito grabbed his brother's hand suddenly as he stopped him.
"No. It's okay. I could fix myself, pass me a towel from one of my desk drawer—I need to stop this bleeding..."
Ainosuke obediently did as told as he looked on worriedly at his older brother. Yume accepted it gratefully and placed the towel over his injured forehead, before tying it around his head to keep it in place. He turned towards his worried brother and smiled weakly at him before pulling his brother close. Ainosuke gasped as the sudden move caught him by surprise.
"Just stay with me like this, just like this. My heart had started to beat so fast, I thought it could burst out. Stay like this, until I could calm myself..."
Ainosuke nodded his head, slightly confused by that request as both of them stayed like that for a few moments. Yume sighed to himself as he slowly closed his eyes to clear his mind from what was it that just happened earlier. When he finally woke up, Ainosuke was already gone. There was now a roughly-made bandage over his forehead as the towel was removed and taken away. Ainosuke had probably gone to ask his uncle or aunt to tend to it when he had passed out—surely he would get a scolding after this. Yume glanced towards the small mirror on his desk. The cut looked big, judging from the amount of bandages he got, he really have to be more careful...
His thoughts reverted back towards the things that had happened earlier. Somehow, without realising... his mental psych had taken a toll on himself. He could not believe himself for actually thinking of hurting Ainosuke himself. That was something—if that ever happens—that he could not forgive himself to think.
Tanaka Yumehito... perhaps one day, the next person that I should kill—no, perhaps the last person I should kill in the future... is you.
Yume stared at his own reflection as he smiled bitterly.
This was all to protect Ainosuke.