The air feels heavy. Breathing becomes harder and harder. With eyes barely open, he can see pills on the ground, bathing in red.
Is that his blood?
Looking down, he sees fresh slashes dripping blood onto the white bathroom tile. They replace old scars that horizontally climb up both his forearms. The sight of them—flesh smothered in dirtied red—was dizzying and everything starts to blur into a murky darkness. Despite the pain, they give a sense of relief.
He shouldn't be doing this. He knows. But the images of his memories flashing before him tell him that he deserve this.
This is the only way.
The pills—how many did he take?—begin to take their toll. He feels his lips curl upwards slightly through drugged paralysis. The pain, the pain…
He takes the last effort to clutch his chest.
There are footsteps approaching. Was that just his mother's scream? But she is too late:
He is free.
This is what he deserves.
The uniform hospital environment is disrupted by a flickering section of ceiling lights. There is a buzzing and humming and faint beeping of machines coming from various rooms down an empty hallway. The sign above the emergency room at the end of this hallway glares red, carrying a sense of anxiety.
The red light shuts off.
The large doors crack open and a female doctor walks out. A couple rushes towards her, and after an exchange of murmurs, the spouses hold each other and sob in relief.
The doctor strolls down the hall with a clipboard. Before she reaches the vending machine, a young intern calls out to her.
She presses a few buttons for coffee and turns. Giving a tired smile, she replies, "Hanatarou-kun."
"How did it go? Is the boy okay?"
Taking the can out of the machine, she takes a sip before answering. "Yes. The medication the patient overdosed on led us to try a heart transplant. It worked surprisingly well. Hitsugaya Toushiro will be fine in a few weeks."
"A heart transplant…then the donor…" The intern slowly makes sense of this information.
"Passed away a year ago after two years in coma." The doctor affirms his thoughts.
"B-But Sensei…" He is about to say something but allows his voice to trail off.
The doctor notices that something is bothering him. "Go on, Hanatarou-kun. What is it?"
"I'm sorry, but wouldn't a waste? I mean, he did try to commit suicide…" He blurts and then flinches afterwards, expecting chastisement.
Instead, the woman sighs and smiles gently as she rests on a bench. "I understand. But people do change. Maybe this surgery will change him."
Her student-worker looks at her curiously, "What do you mean?"
She looks upwards at the ceiling, taking a sip from her coffee. "They say that spirits return to their donated organs to guide those who received them."
He chuckles nervously, "You mean like ghosts? It's just a superstition though, you don't really believe, right Sensei?"
A young girl sits on top of her gravestone, swinging her legs gaily. The other spirits are gathered across the cemetery to see off a soul who has completed. But they were too chatty and she did not feel like interacting with the other spirits.
She looks down a small puddle beneath her. The reflection shows her a blue sky with the bright sun shining overhead. If she squints hard enough, some days she can see a pale, translucent figure in the water. But today —like most days—isn't one of them.
A group of teenagers in school uniforms walk by down the block, heading towards the crosswalk a few feet away. They pass by as if they do not notice the commotion going among the gravestones. But she knows that they can't: they cannot see her or any of her other neighbors in the cemetery. That's okay though, because then she can watch them without having a weird face given to her.
Her favorite time of the day is the evening, especially during the weekdays because she gets to see the high school students go home after a days worth of studying. She likes to imagine herself in each of the groups that walk by, complaining about school work and joking about what-happened-yesterday-in-class. Her favorite students to watch are the senior high school students; that's because if she was still alive, she'd be that age.
Other than watching people come and go, there is nothing else to do. As she came to learn during her first days here, she cannot leave this place unless it has something to do with "finding peace"—as the other spirits called it. She has tried to climb over those black-iron gates, but always finds some kind of force holding her back from the lively world outside.
Some days she wonders how she will find her peace. She has asked more experienced spirits how she will know what her peace is, but the only replies were that she will know when the time is right.
Other days, she is not curious at all. She does not want to complete and go into that light, even if she gets a festive goodbye party. On those days, she is frightened to leave this world because it is the only place she knows.
A silver car stops a few feet away, waiting for the traffic light to turn green. She usually doesn't care much for cars, but there is a face behind the windows that catches her attention. Something—almost like a gentle breeze of revelation—rushes through her.
Go. Go. Her companions behind her egg her on.
She walks over to the gate, straddles one leg over it. And then the other.
She was on the other side.
A smile appears on her lips.
Inside a silver car, a young man sits in the backseat, silently observes passing buildings and landmarks. He looks past his faint reflection—showing a set of blue-green eyes and silvery hair framing a naturally pale face—in the window. After stopping for a traffic light by a cemetery, his driver asks:
"So, Toushiro-kun—still remember this place?"
"Yeah, sort of." He lies.
In truth, he can't remember a single thing before the surgery. He can't even remember the car accident that got him in the emergency room. All he knows is that it must have been extremely fatal, for he had to get a heart transplant and his mother spent a whole day crying in relief by his bedside when he opened his eyes. Even after he was strong enough to leave the hospital and spent the next month home, his mother had this worry in her expression—as if she could lose him any minute.
He doesn't understand why his parents sent him here to study for the upcoming school year. His parents told him that it would do him good to revisit the town he spent his entire childhood in. They said he would be happier there and that they just want the best for him. Why they believed he would be happier there he doesn't know—he feels no different.
And he still can't remember anything at all.
They pass by a dense growth of tall pine trees. Squinting carefully, he notices that the plant life surrounds a lake along with a thin dirt path leading into the mini-forest. His breath stops short and this chill passes by him. He hears a little boy's screams.
But there is no one there.
He tells himself that he is being over-imaginative and ignores sudden coldness that just enveloped his body because it didn't make sense—it was over a hundred degrees outside.
His breath returns to normal once they drive a distance away from the lake. But he finds himself looking back and wondering.
"Toushiro-kun, we're here." The car stops.
He gets out and looks at the house—moderate in size with a small stone path leading to the front door.
This place truly is foreign to him.
A/N: I really shouldn't be trying to start a new fanfiction at this point in the summer, but I can't help myself. This plot line just formulated in my mind and I just HAD to get it out! Ah…now I'm going to want to finish it…
But please review! I'd love to think how you guys think about this!