Chapter Three: Help
"Your brother seems like a very… colourful character."
I spin my head around and eye the woman I just spent the last hour with. "What do you mean," I ask with a hint of offense. I know what she means, but it still pisses me off by the way she put it.
Kaoru's therapist, who I've come to know as Ms. Namine, pushes a stray strand of hair behind her ear before quickly making a decision about what she'd like to place on her tray for lunch. "What I mean is you two seem to have a pretty strong bond. Even for twins."
I follow behind Ms. Namine in the hospital's public cafeteria line, quickly grabbing something and putting it on my tray, as well. From the time I spent with this woman, I've learned that she's very outspoken and doesn't like to beat around the bush a lot. I guess that comes with the occupation. Still, I can't help but feel a little ticked off by her words. "Yeah, what of it," I all but snap. My outburst seems to have no effect on Ms. Namine as she pays for her lunch nonchalantly. I follow suite and trail behind her to a random lunch table where she sets down her tray without making a sound and slips into her chair just as noiselessly.
After sitting in the seat directly across from the therapist, I realize just how exhausted I really am. The hour I spent in that dark hospital room really took a lot out of me, I guess more emotionally than physically. Still, it's nice to just relax for a moment without thinking about how my actions could have some nasty effects.
I unwrap the turkey sandwich I apparently picked up and bite off a large chunk that fills my mouth.
"Your brother shows high levels of anxiety and paranoia. That was made apparent to me when he struck you across the face when I mentioned your parents returning."
Through my mouthful of food, I muffle, "Yeah, thanks for that." After swallowing the substance, I ask, "I'm surprised you didn't call security on him. Isn't he considered dangerous?"
Ms. Namine brings her tea to her lips and stares at its contents. "I wanted to see how Kaoru would react. It helps evaluating him easier. You can tell more about a person based on their impulsive actions than during an hour-long session." She sips heavily on her drink, then sets it back down on the table and looks straight at me as I take another bite of my lunch. "I think I gathered all of the information I needed within the first five minutes of that session. The rest of the fifty-five minutes were just routine."
"Really now." I raise an eyebrow, skeptical of her assumption. All the information she needed, huh? What could she figure out in a few minutes time? She's so smug it almost makes me want to puke. I swallow again and wipe my mouth on my napkin. I then intertwine my fingers and set them on the table top, trying to seem as smug as she was. "Please, tell me what information you gathered then."
She popped a spoonful of some cheap cafeteria food in her mouth, thinking a moment. She finished it within seconds. "Now, let's see – I can tell Kaoru is not fond of your parents, and I'm guessing you're not either, but probably not to his extent. After hearing that your parents would be returning, he automatically turned defensive." She took another sip from the plastic cup and swallowed. "I wanted to be the one to tell Kaoru about that little detail – and my assumption was correct. He dramatically reacted to the fact that you didn't tell him. It seems he's conflicted immensely on whether or not to trust you."
My eyebrows shoot upwards at Ms. Namine's last sentence. "My brother trusts me," I say with confidence. "If he didn't trust me, then he wouldn't ask me to be around so much! I'm protecting my brother so why wouldn't he trust me?" My tone climbs a few notches as I my speech. "He wouldn't look to me for help, or he wouldn't be so honest with me and –"
"But has he really?" The therapist interrupts. I halt my ranting as she continues. "Has Kaoru relly been open and honest with you? Are you really the only person he depends on? I hate to break it to you Hikaru, but if that was the case, would your brother be in this hospital at all? Are you already forgetting the fact that he harmed himself greatly; he was willing to take his own life a few days ago."
I don't know how to respond. I just sit and stare at the table, trying to think of some excuse to make up for my twin, but I know there are none. I don't want to believe that Kaoru doesn't trust me… I don't want to think that there is some kind of barrier between us.
The emotional distance.
What the hell happened?! I mentally shriek. "Why…" I speak aloud. The half-eaten sandwich goes unfinished; I'm not hungry anymore.
"That's what we're trying to figure out, Hikaru. We're trying to figure out what exactly happened and what's going on inside Koaru's head. So, if there's anything you know that you're not telling me, now would be the time. No matter how you look at it Kaoru is sick, and keeping things from me is not going to make him better."
I start to think back to this morning when Kaoru and I were in the recess room… I remember how he looked at me with such desperation in his eyes. Those eyes, which used to be so full of a care-free and leisurely attitude, were filled instead with a depth of fear and anxiety. They shifted around that room, looking this way and that, as he pleaded with me – "We have to lie. The Dead Boy won't like it if the truth gets out." I can feel those words echo around my head, almost haunting me in a way. I nonchalantly touch the spot on my forearm where my twin's nails dug deep as he waited for me to promise.
And I did.
I did promise.
Does that make me as bad as Kaoru now? Am I harming my brother, just as he is harming himself?
But if I tell, Kaoru won't trust me… although that doesn't even matter, because Kaoru doesn't trust me anyway! I sigh heavily and look back to the black-haired woman sitting across from me. I think it's time I start doing what is right, instead of doing what Kaoru thinks is right. "Ms. Namine, about Kaoru…"
"Hm?" came her encouraged hum.
"Well… he… he's been talking about this 'dead boy.'" I rub the back of my neck, a little embarrassed by my statement.
"A dead boy? What do you mean?" Ms. Namine leans a bit closer over the table.
I avert my eyes, feeling uncomfortable. "Well, yeah… He made me promise not to – " Suddenly, I'm cut off by a loud beeping noise.
The social worker jumps slightly at the sound and instinctively reaches down to her waistband. She grabs at the black beeper clipped to her side and snaps her head back up to me. "Let's go." Her short command has me on my feet in moments, grabbing at my leftovers and throwing them in the same container as her on our way out of the café.
I already know where we're headed. Something is wrong with Kaoru. My heart drops into my stomach, my anxiety reaches new heights as the mental doctor and I rush to the elevator that will bring us to the right floor.
And when we finally reach my twin's room, the door is open and there are several staff members surrounding the inside. Kaoru is yelling, but everyone is talking at the same time so it's hard for me to pick out what it is he's saying. I hear things like "calm down" and "get away" mixed in.
I push my way into the room, asking what's happening as I do. "Where's Kaoru," I shout. One of the staff members look at me. She's a short nurse, probably in her mid-20s.
"All I was trying to do was clean up his lunch trays and then I noticed how stuffy the room was, so I wanted to let some fresh air in, and before you know it, that kid was going insane! He hopped off his bed and has been threatening the staff ever since." She points off to the corner of the room where a lone figure is huddled, pressed against the wall. I quickly identify him as my twin and key in on what he's saying.
"Why, why would you open the window! The dead boy is coming for me now… you released him! The dead boy is in this room, he'll be coming for me as soon as you all leave! He'll be coming for us all! Tonight will be the night – the dead boy comes out to fight!"
Ms. Namine is calling for other medical professionals. "I ordered you to put his restraints back on! Who forgot? I swear sometimes you people are useless!"
I don't know what to do. I don't know whether I should run up to my brother and console him or wait for the medical staff to arrive. I have such a deep rooted sense of responsibility and I'm so torn on what to do. All I can really do is just stand by and watch as my brother engulfs himself in his own delusional hysteria, and make threats to any of the staff that come near.
"He'll kill us! He'll kill us all!"
Author's note: I haven't given up yet! ….. It's just taking me a while… anybody who wants to give me any inspiration, don't feel afraid to message me! I'm trying my best to end this on a good note...