Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon
First things first I'd like to apologize for the long wait but to forgive myself I brought a loong chapter along this time. About the story: Maan was it depressing to write this, at some point I even felt guilty about certain points but oh well, this is just the beginning of a long drama and I hope I can write happy things again soon! Anyways enjoy and thank you for the reviews, they are always nice to read and to have~
Chapter 11 : The Past and the Present
"It's pitch black again. This feeling…have I felt it somewhere before? Right, I've been here before. Here, in this dark and cold sea, surrounded by nothing else than the bubbles that my breath leaves behind. It's heavy too. So heavy. Please let it stop or I'll be crushed by whatever's pressuring me!"
Touko's eyes flew open in an instant, breathing and sweating heavier than ever. "Right, I got that similar dream again." Suddenly she noticed that something heavy was really crushing her and looked upwards, her eyes meeting nothing but darkness. The only light shining was that of a near lamp post stationed outside on the street, streaming through the window left uncovered.
She waited patiently for her eyes to grow accustomed to the darkness. It only took her a few moments to finally fill her view which was blocked by a brown tuft of hair. At that moment, all the events of last night kicked in, about the fight she had had with Touya, his agreement on seeing his mother, the car accident and finally how it ended up with him crying in her arms.
Touya was snoring quietly above her, his face still buried in her chest. It was only now that she noticed that they had fallen asleep together on the fluffy new rug. A slight blush grew on her face but she deftly shook her head. "No use thinking about how embarrassing it is now. The most important thing is to get him out of here." Had they been lucky that no one of their parents had wanted to wish them good night yesterday? It would surely had been "out of place" if they had seen in what position they were sleeping. Of course, there was no excuse for what they were doing and it's not like they were doing something outrageous but to Touko it would have seemed wrong if their parents had actually seen something.
She gave out a quiet sigh. "Maybe they didn't come because they were feeling guilty? I'm just glad I wasn't there when they mentioned the car accident to Touya…" It already broke her heart when he had come in her room to agonize in her arms but what would have happened if she had stayed?
There again she went on shaking her head, trying to clear out as much morose feelings as possible. With another sigh, she began to slowly shake Touya to wake him up. After a few moments, she sensed his body flinching and decided to move him. Surprisingly enough, he rolled to his side, letting Touko breathe anew.
She thought that he was going to get up but no, he remained silent, his eyes fixed on the ceiling. "Well at least he's awake." He made no signs of moving and thanks to the faint lights coming from outside she was able to peer at his eyes. Her heart squeezed as she saw that his eyes had lost that so devilish glint of his. Indeed, his brown eyes seemed to have reverted into a darker lifeless color, one who would send sadness to whoever had the misfortune to come across them.
It was already bad enough Touya being in her room so late into the night but it would be even worse to have their parents discovering it. She stopped in her thoughts for a few minutes. Why was she so preoccupied about the situation anyway? If their parents were to stumble into the room, would the situation seem wrong to their eyes? Normally she wouldn't care, it's not like they're doing something weird but right now her mind had already won over her heart. In this precise moment she only wanted him back to his room before it was found out. "Heck, I'll find a reason for that later."
Staying true to her decision, she tried to convince Touya with her words. "Touya, you need to get back to your room. You can't sleep here forever you know?" She said the last part jokingly hoping to get some kind of reaction from him but here again, he lay motionless.
Touko breathed in a reassuring amount of fresh air before she proceeded to the next step. She pulled him up until he went into a sitting position, then she slung her arm around his waist while she wound his left arm around her neck. In her mind she was thinking as hard as iron that trying to lift him up was mission impossible, not with that amount of muscles and definitely not with her thin untrained arms.
Surprisingly enough, it gave her no effort and soon he was standing next to her, leaning his head against her shoulder. "Weird. I could have sworn that I wasn't that strong yesterday or maybe-?" She had an idea as to why he felt so easy to lift but decided to test her theory out.
Slowly she took a step forwards and just like she expected, Touya copied her. "I knew it." Touya stood firmly on his feet and could very well go to his room alone, so then why wasn't he moving? Touko had no idea why he didn't but apparently he was helping her carrying him. There were several explanations but Touko only sighed, leading him the way to his own rom although her arm wasn't now supporting him but was only there for "show".
Seeing him in this weak condition, the fact about wanting to be carried and now being tucked in his bed, was like Touya had reverted back to a child wanting that attention and care he had been missing back then.
Touko tucked him to bed, sliding the blanket up to his chin and with a last smile she closed his eyelids with a soft touch of her hand whispering him good night. How much she had wanted to stay with him all night but here again her sense of morale had caught up to her. Had she stayed if he had stopped her? Maybe, but she would feel too much obliged to go back to her own room. At every step she took towards her room, her heart squeezed tighter. "Would it be really bad to feel like this?"
Morning sunlight gave out his welcome present through the window which had been left uncovered the night before. Touko's eyes fluttered open as the mild heat of the sunlight shined on her. She lied comfortably in her current sleeping position while enjoying the last rays of sunlight for the season. Her eyes opened up again, only to stumble upon a simple plain black dress. With a sigh she heaved herself to a sitting position. "Mom must have brought me the dress when I was still asleep. So…it's finally the day."
Two days had passed since Natasha's death and during these days, Touya had completely changed into a lifeless zombie. He barely ate, absolutely didn't utter a single word nor did he put a foot out of his door since that day Touko had tucked him in his bed. His behavior was worrisome for the rest of the three family members but no one ever tried to get him to speak. Touko's mother brought him daily his food and although the tray was always returned half empty, she didn't complain but had only felt relief as Touya had at least eaten enough to her satisfaction. His father was the most concerned one and kept on blaming himself whenever his son had been the subject of a conversation. He also made long strides along the hallway, going back and forth in front of his son's room, only stopping to take a long glance at the door then sighing sadly while going back downstairs. Lastly, Touko also kept herself busy in her room, taking out random books out of her shelves, turning the pages one by one without even reading a single one. As hard as she tried to think about something else, it always came bugging back…until today.
A soft knock came out at her door before a fine silhouette came in, graciously walking towards her. Touko was wearing the black dress that had been presented to her, glancing at the mirror to get a clear look at herself when she saw her mother standing behind her. "As expected, Mom is really beautiful once she does her outdoor make-up." Without a word, Touko turned around, only to be hold in a tight yet compassionate grip.
The two of them reached the living room downstairs where Richard had been waiting. Touko looked around but found no trace of Touya anywhere but when her eyes met Richard's, she knew that another heavy task was about to fall upon her.
Richard briefly closed his eyes at the view of the two women, breaking off the call he had been making. While her mother was putting on her jacket, Richard walked over to Touko, putting a gentle hand on her shoulder.
With a weak smile he said, "Touko, I know that it feels like I'm dumping all the dirty work on you whenever it concerns Touya, but would you help me out here again?" His eyes were glistening in the light whether it was because of the funeral or because of the fact of being still convinced of having been a bad father was left unknown.
Touko firmly nodded despite herself, shooting a reassuring smile to her mother who had been standing by the door. Pulling her in a warm embrace, Richard whispered a word of thanks in her ear before releasing her completely to join her mother. Before he could actually pass the door, he turned around reminding her that she had thirty minutes left before the funeral would begin.
With a heavy sigh, Touko began her little journey up the stairs, searching for all the right words existing in the world to convince a son to come to his mother's funeral along the way. She found her soon to be brother's room closed, exactly how it had been when she had passed by with her mother earlier on. After softly having knocked on the door, she waited for a response which as she had expected didn't come. She resolved to open the door but stopped by the doorway when she saw him standing by the window, looking outdoors, just like all the other times she had seen him upon stumbling through the door. This time however, his face while looking outside gave out another type of emotion.
Touko's eyes suddenly softened as she began to understand. "That's right. Though this lies entirely under my speculation." When Touko had seen him looking like this before, she could see that his eyes seemed to search something that wasn't there but still hoping it would come to view. Now, the word sadness was written all over his face, he knew now that the silhouette of the woman he had wanted to appear at his doorstep would never even be able to even try it.
"Touya…" Touko cautiously called out to him so as not to take him by surprise. Touya slowly turned around, and something about the way his eyes narrowed, told her that he had guessed why she had come. After a few slow steps, he slumped on his bed and while propping his arms on his legs he held his head downwards, gazing absentmindedly at nothing in particular on the floor.
Touko remained where she stood for a moment, silently gazing at him. She had gathered all her effort in trying to pick out the right words but she knew that whatever words she would utter wouldn't make him feel better. Looking at him now, made her remember how it had been for her the day of her father's funeral and suddenly all the events of that time came back to her. Even though she had been much younger then, the feelings she had at that time were surely the same as his. Words wouldn't do much besides calming someone. What he needed the most was presence and understanding.
An idea popped into her head and she briefly closed her eyes. "Mom, I'm sorry. I'll have to break our promise."
Touko quietly sat next to him on the bed, leaning her head backwards, her arms propping her upper body as she slid them behind her back. "Touya let me tell you a story. It happened a very long time ago."
There was no turning back now as she started her story. She would have to face the aftermaths later. With a light sigh, she lifted her eyes to the roof.
"Actually it was on the day of my fifth birthday…"
"Mommy, daddy, it's time to wake up!" I had always been cheerful as a child and that day had been no exception. I had stormed inside my parents' room, jumping up and down on their bed.
"Touko baby, calm down. What's the big commotion about?" My father…was the best father one could have wished for even though everyone's father is seen like this by their own child. For me, he was perfect. Kind, cheerful, helpful, all that and much more. He was working as a freelance writer, so he was always at home. Luckily enough, business was going great for him. His books were selling just okay and he was even promised a great career as writer.
I puffed out my cheeks as I always did when I got mad. "Da-ddy, don't tell me you forgot what day today is!" My mother started to laugh while my father continuously teased me in pretending not to know what day it was. It ended with me getting so mad that I turned my back at him, my eyes watering and my tears threatening to fall down.
However, when I thought that I was really about to cry, my feet suddenly left the ground. I turned my head to see who had picked me up and when I turned around my eyes met with my father's one's. He quickly kissed my forehead, whispering in my ear. "Happy birthday Touko baby."
Though it was supposed to make me calm down it brought in the opposite effect, even more when my mother surrounded us to give me another kiss. I was crying out of happiness, just typical for a child. Thinking about it now, people who would see us like this would surely see us as a happy family. Though it was true, we didn't see that by the end of that day, things would change completely. The dreamy reality was about to turn into a nightmare.
The day was going smoothly, we ate breakfast and lunch as always, leaving the celebrating for the evening when the afternoon came kicking in. It was strongly storming outside and when my father went to check the weather through the window, his face was oddly serious. "Marian, the weather outside is really bad, add the strong winds and heavy rain to the list and it would be life threating to even step out of the house."
My mother had suddenly put on the same face as him but of course I didn't understand what was being talked about. "Mommy, daddy, aren't you going to bring the cake?" I asked innocently not knowing that the cake decorated with cute characters I had spotted in a bakery and asked my parents to buy had still been waiting at that so called bakery. The employee had said that another cake had to be made but they would make sure it would look exactly as the cake put on display. My father had wanted to go pick up the cake on my birthday and now with that weather it was impossible.
My mother had noticed my father's perplexed face after I had spoken out my mind and feared that he really might go pick up that cake in such a bad weather. Slowly she came up to my father. "Honey, you're not thinking about really going out are you?"
He didn't need words as his eyes already told her that he was decided on it. "Leonard! Don't even think about putting just one step out of that door." I watched confused, not sure why my mother was suddenly calling my father with his first name as she only used it when they were arguing or talking about a serious matter. At that moment I thought, why are they arguing over a cake? But now I feel guilty for not understanding what was going on.
"Marian, you know that I would do everything for my baby. It won't be long I promise." He crouched down next to me to kiss my forehead and told me to wait patiently for my cake. Perhaps feeling satisfied by it, I nodded, cheerfully smiling back at him.
My mother followed him to the entrance door while trying to dissuade him not to go. My father put on his jacket and hat and turned back at my mother who gave out one last attempt. "Please, you said so yourself that it was life-threatening to go out like this. I know that you'll do everything to see your daughter's smile but didn't I always say to you that going overboard would kill you someday? Though it was meant to be a joke, don't make it come true."
My father sighed slowly, shaking his head. "Love, I'll be back soon you'll see." With a last kiss pressed down on my mother's lips he opened the door and quickly closed it down behind him. For a moment I had felt a cold strong wind coming from the entrance door as I saw strong broad shoulders getting hid by the entrance door. And that was the last time I saw him.
Long minutes passed, and then hours came into play and not long after that, night came. My mother was worriedly pacing back and forth in front of the entrance door, occasionally looking out the window. The storm had died down some time ago when the doorbell suddenly rang. Obviously, thinking it was my father, my mother literally ran towards the sound, opening the door energetically only to close it after a good moment.
Who and what was spoken about behind that door had been a mystery to me. It was only much later did I learn about the details.
Upon opening the door, my mother had been confronted with two police officers who told her that they had found my father's car, crashed against a tree. What happened was that due to the bad weather, my father hadn't been able to manoeuver the left turn on the street and the car had naturally slid on the wet road to crush against a tree. They also told her that my father hadn't survived and they insisted on giving her a white box who had been kept untouched. That box…had been the cake.
Soon after the door had closed, my mother had slid to the floor, her eyes stuck to the box. I stood on the doorway, not knowing what had just happened, I walked towards my mother. "Mommy why are you crying? Where is daddy?" With each question I made, my mother's cries grew stronger, and the cake smaller. I stood there until my mother calmed down. When she showed her face still wet with tears, no emotion could be seen. In fact, her face was emotionless and blank even when she walked me back to my room and tucked me in my bed. My questions had been left unanswered as well as my wishes for good nights.
Days passed and my mother grew more and more distant, she made less and less meals so I had to search for food myself around the house and she didn't even want to see me in the eye anymore nor smile or talk to me.
I still searched with my eyes for my father and even though my mother didn't say anything about it, I couldn't help but question her. Questions left unanswered of course.
The day of the funeral finally came, here again I didn't understood a thing until I heard other people's talk. "Isn't it horrible? He's leaving a housewife and a child behind." "Yes, I truly feel sorry for them. They were a nice and loving bunch. You should have seen them, a really perfect family." "Oh, I wish them good luck. A child at that young age, losing her father…"
The words they chose were of no offence but as I listening in to them I could no longer stay quiet. I turned towards my mother who was gripping my hand. "Mommy, the people are saying bad things about Daddy. They say that Daddy isn't going to come back. Mommy-"However, my words were cut off by a strong tug from my mother. Without saying anything she strongly pulled at my hand, leading us back home.
Again she refused to answer my questions until one day, something happened. As I stumbled into the kitchen I saw my mother crouched on the floor, crying again. When I touched her hand, she violently slapped my hand away and yelled at the same time those words that I hardly understood but got to understand after all. "Your father is gone; he's never going to come back because of you! If it weren't for your damn cake, he would still be with us, selfish child!"
Then I saw something pass before my eyes and before I knew it, my left cheek began to sting until the pain intensified and brought tears to my face. I realized just then that my mother had just slapped me. My parents had never hurt me before so at that time I was shocked and hurt but in no case angry. Even though she had slapped me, I knew that she hadn't done it with hate because she was crying.
Soon after having slapped my cheek, my mother's eyes widened, bringing both her trembling hands together. "What have I done?"
She was about to hide her face with her hands when I softly touched her hands. "Mommy, please stop crying." After those words, my mother brought me against her chest. "How could I be so blind? Touko dear, please forgive me. I am a horrible mother. I should have seen that he wasn't completely gone. He left a part of him with me which continues to move on, on you. I'm so sorry." She continued to hold me while crying and apologizing at the same time.
The next days, my mother transformed completely, she had reverted back to her old self. Smiling, cooking the delicious meals I so missed and above all she began to reply to my good nights as well as to my questions. Of course, she hid the details from me but replied so a child could understand.
As I grew up I began to reflect upon the incident, and I also began to blame myself for my father's death although my mother always reassured me in saying that whatever happened wasn't my fault. Though, her words were of the most persuasive but I guess they weren't enough because I still feel guilty. I still remember the promise we made back then when she said, "This will stay secret between ourselves okay? Let's make a promise to never tell anyone about what happened to your father alright?"
"That's all about my father's accident, at least the official version because everyone would say after hearing me out that it's normal to blame myself due to the fact that it was me who repeatedly asked for my cake but they don't know the truth why I stubbornly keep blaming myself." Touko clenched her fists as strongly as she could.
"Now that the cat's out of the bag, I'll just have to keep hunting it down." During her story, she had forgotten to check if Touya had been listening but even that didn't matter to her. Talking about all this now to someone else was slowly lifting a heavy burden on her heart.
She continued, trying to keep her voice at a calming pace. "What really killed my father then wasn't only the fact that he couldn't pull the brakes on time but his death had been caused by a particular object. Of course, my mother had hid that detail from me but as I grew up she feared that I would investigate further and learn it from someone else. What she had told me wasn't very pleasant indeed, and I came to know why she had kept it hidden all this time. The true version was that the day right before my birthday, my parents and I had been to a local park and while being there I had eventually brought my favorite toy with me. When we came back I had forgotten to bring the toy back with me which proved to be fatal. While driving back from the bakery he had hit the road at a slow pace but when the moment came in when the car had drifted of the road, my father's reaction was naturally to put on the brakes but it never came to it due to something that got stuck between the brakes and my father's foot. That's right, that object was the very same toy that I had forgotten the day before and because of it, the car couldn't be stopped."
She had clenched her fists so hard that her fingernails had begun to draw blood from her palms, nevertheless she continued, her voice shaking but still trying to keep her tears at bay. "Can you imagine it? Due to a damn toy that I forgot, my father had to pay the price. Sometimes I wish I knew what my father had thought in seeing the toy blocking of his only issue to safe himself. Did he think of me of the one killing him by having forgotten such a simple thing? Did he despise me, hate me or not at all?"
Tears had started to form on the corner of her eyes without her consent when suddenly a pair of hands clutched hers who had been lying on her lap. She looked startled for a moment until noticing that Touya was looking at her with his eyes even sadder than before. It seemed that in telling him of her story she worsened his condition, she even began to feel guilty for dropping of this burden in this situation. "What am I doing? It's not my father who's going to be buried again, it's still about his mother yet I…"
Touko took a deep breath and suddenly got up, clenching a determined fist and when she turned around to him, she had wiped off her unshed tears from her eyes and gave out a smile. "You know, I forgot the reason why I actually told you this story to begin with but I guess I don't really need it anymore. Even though I have that huge reason to blame myself for what happened to my father, I think that as long as I can't forgive myself first, I won't be able to move on. Nevertheless, I truly believe that you hold no reason for your mother's accident if you should think so. There are always people with far more worse burdens upon their shoulders. And should you really keep blaming yourself just like I do then someday you'll drown in the darkness in which your heart would decide to lean on. The result would be that you'll be unable to stand back up on your own two feet ever again."
The words kept spreading out of her mouth and although she kept rambling on, Touya had stayed attentive to her speech. With one last breath intake Touko finished her monologue. "Talking about this really lifted my heart for a moment and although people tell me that I can move on, I still think that it would be rude. I mean, blaming myself means that I honestly cared for my father because if I hadn't, it would have looked like I didn't care about my father at all."
Touya slowly stood up, seemingly waiting for Touko to take the lead. After showing him a last smile, Touko began to walk towards the door, relieved when she saw him following behind. "Just like a little child." Touko quietly giggled one last time before putting on a serious face, remembering the place they were heading to.
The church's bells were ringing their beautiful yet melancholic music while the wind carried the brown colored autumn leaves through the air. The weather was rather pleasant as the sun shone down its mild heat. And if this had been a different situation, one could even say that a beautiful day was on its way.
The priest chanted his words through the crowd of people that had gathered together for Natasha's burial. Although the bells were drowning out most of his words, everyone, dressed exclusively in black, had their heads bended downwards in respect. Some quietly whispered prayers to themselves, while others kept their lips sealed in silence.
Touya had quietly stood beside her, clenching his fist now and then at certain points of the priest's words and at some point Touko had reached out for his hand, squeezing it now and then to reassure him. His hand had twitched at her touch; however he hadn't pulled away but only returned her squeezes. Here again Touko had hid their hands behind her back, not wanting anyone to see. Her mother as well as Richard had clung to one another with Richard supporting her when her tears didn't want to give her a rest.
After the burial, everyone scattered for the final gathering at the Summer's mansion for the reception. While Richard had started to head to the cemetery's exit, Touko's mother suddenly stopped her daughter. "Touko, do you mind going to visit your father?" Touko's eyes widened in surprise for a moment then they softened as she nodded, saying she had thought of doing so too.
Richard had heard their conversation and decided to go beforehand with Touya as someone had to greet the guests.
Touko's father's grave wasn't that far away but was lying in a separate part of the cemetery. While Natasha had been buried in a place which the Summers' family owned and where every Summers' deceased family member was buried, Touko's father had been buried in the regular part. Apparently, although Natasha had, after the divorce with Richard, reverted her name back to her maiden name "Bellevue", Richard had insisted in burying her in the Summers' territory which got argued over by Natasha's parents but they reluctantly accepted due to Richard's constant persistence. He had kept on saying that even though they were divorced, he had and still will consider Natasha as a Summers family member.
Both women finally arrived in front of Touko's father's tombstone and kneeled down, putting their palms together in praying mode. They were both silent with only the sound of the rustling leaves accompanying them when suddenly Touko spoke up. "Mom, I'm sorry. I broke our promise." Right after having spoken out her words, Touko had caught out of the corner of her eye how her mother's shoulder's had twitched at her last sentence.
Touko closed her eyes as she braced herself for her mother's reaction that was about to come. Of course, she didn't think that her mother would yell at her but she couldn't think of what her mother might do either.
Her mother gave out a quiet sigh and Touko felt her fingers curl around her chin to turn it towards her. Touko opened her eyes, only to find her mother's saddened eyes and suddenly regret was making its way through her stomach. "Touko do you know why I insisted on doing that promise in the first place?" Her voice was soft and low and Touko sensed no anger coming out which gave her a sense of relief.
Right, why was that promise even made to begin with? "True, I never even asked myself for the reason." Touko shook her head and her mother spoke up again. "Who did you tell it to?" "Touya." Touko replied without hesitation as her mother returned her gaze with a meaningful look. "Well, I knew it couldn't have been anyone else." She giggled one last time before putting one of her rare serious faces.
When she spoke again, her voice had become shaky. "Touko, when we made that promise, I really hoped you would never tell the real version of what happened that day. I had noticed that the more you grew up, the more the guilt you felt for your father's death grew. Though I really had tried to make you forget about that day, you still insisted in remembering it and even wanting to know more. Actually the real reason why I made that promise was because I wanted to be the one to tell the people what really happened that day if it was needed. I was scared that people, if they happened to know the truth, would openly blame you for it and if they did I wanted to be the one to deny everything even if I had to take all the blame to myself. Everything I wanted was to keep you from harm's way and from people who would psychologically try to hurt you."
She paused only to cup both of Touko's cheeks with her hands, looking deeply into her eyes, then she continued, her words barely a whisper. "I trust Touya and I believe that he isn't capable to blame someone, even more after what happened to his mother. I also trust Richard although I still haven't told him the truth and I don't see the need to either. We are already happy like this but promise me this, if one day you feel the need to tell it to yet somebody again, please call me. I'll be the one telling every ounce of truth behind so that you won't have to relive that day even if those people will turn out to be your own children."
Tears sprung to Touko's eyes. How could she not have seen that her mother was still protecting her all this time? While telling the truth she would have to be the one to relive that day where she lost her husband, another day where she began to mistreat her child and all those other moments where she had to lie to people about the fact that it had been a toy who caused the actual accident to be unavoidable. Finally, she would have to remember how hard she had begged the police as well as the newspapers to keep quiet about the truth while telling that it had been just a vulgar skid.
They rested in each other's arms for a moment with Touko apologizing as well as thanking her mother before Touko's mother finally let go. "Shall we go home for today?" Touko nodded and they both bowed one last time towards the tombstone.
After a while of walking, Touko asked the question which had been bugging her for a while. "Say mom, are you really not going to tell anything to Richard?" Her mother looked at her with a puzzled look before replying back with a teasing tone. "Do you want me to tell him?" It was not like she wanted him to know although she knew that Richard was not the type to pry into things but because Richard was going to marry her mother, shouldn't there be any secrets between married couples? It seems like her mother had noticed her Touko's perplexed face because she answered soon after.
"Well, I think he doesn't need to know, right?" Her mother giggled joined soon after by Touko but once they arrived in front of the mansion, they put on serious faces again, forgetting that they had to experience yet again a morose atmosphere.
The atmosphere in the Summer's mansion was indeed morose as everyone stood together in little groups, some only eating and drinking silently and others talking about Natasha.
Upon entering the living room, Touko had spotted Touya sitting on the couch, looking absentmindedly at nothing in particular and avoiding any conversation by ignoring talkative approaching people. She decided to sit down next to him and keep quiet as she knew he wouldn't answer her if she had said something anyway.
Time passed and conversations about today's event never ceased until Touko heard nearby people talking about the reason for Natasha's accident. "Right, the police had reported the situation back to the family a few days ago." They had said that their first thought had been that Natasha had maybe committed suicide by driving her car out of her own free will down the bridge but later, due to the family's and friends' testimonials and concrete evidence, it came out that it had been another unfortunate accident.
In most conversations among different people, the name of Touya's mother was mentioned every now and then. Touko had feared that Touya would suddenly feel fed up with it and storm out of the room, however, he stayed put. Maybe he didn't react because it would be seen as bad behavior to hide away while family was visiting or maybe he just grew accustomed to the talks and openly ignored them. The fact that he seemed to be so unfazed by his surroundings made Touko worry even more about what he could be thinking of while lazily propping his head on his hands.
Feeling thirsty, Touko slowly walked to the kitchen where the servants, who had been hired for the occasion, were rushing in and out of but not before having told her intentions to Touya who had only given her a nod. While she was walking out of the kitchen she heard the sound of the doorbell ring and as no one seemed to have heard it, she decided to open the entrance door herself.
Upon opening it, a face she didn't recognize met her eyes. The face belonged to a young man in a fine black suit and red tie who was watching her with a slight confused face before finally opening his mouth. "Excuse me but am I currently staying before the Summer's residence?" He smoothly let his words roll down his tongue in a very courtly manner and gave out a chuckle when he noticed that Touko continually kept her mouth wide open. "Young lady?" His call broke her out of her reverie as her cheeks began to color in a very unattractive way. "Ah, sorry. Yes, you're right. This is the Summers mansion." She noticed she had answered very quickly but by the relaxed expression the young man gave her, showed that had understood.
"Then can I assume that your name is Touko?" Touko's eyes widened at his question. It wasn't a secret that she and her mother were living in the Summers family nor that her mother was going to marry one of the wealthiest men around but it still surprised her to be called out by her name when walking down the streets. It was mostly people only calling out greetings but Richard warned her that she should always stay alert for suspicious people who would try to kidnap people in wealthy neighborhoods only to claim a ransom for a person's return. The man before her had nothing suspicious surrounding him, nor did she see a car nearby so she could only assume that he could be a family member or a journalist though the latter could be excluded because contrary to what most people think, the journalists in Unova aren't always preying around for selling material so most celebrities are left undisturbed by them.
Suddenly the interest she had initially developed for the young man completely vanished in thinking he might be a family member. "I already feel overwhelmed at being asked all kinds of questions by strangers who are supposedly going to be "family" so I don't need more of them circling around me. I'll just let him in and escape his sight as soon as he'll turn his back on me." Having created an elaborated plan on her head, she proceeded in nodding to his question but before she could open her mouth again, he had already beaten her to it.
"I know this might be a little forward of me but could I ask for a favor of yours?" Upon hearing his question Touko oddly didn't grow surprised at all. "Recently everyone just wants to ask favors out of me." Here again she was about to ask what kind of favor it might be when the young man opened up his vest to retrieve a CD out of his pocket. Throwing it out in front of Touko and using the so smooth words of his he said, "If possible, I would really appreciate it if you could give this to Touya. It's something his mother wanted him to have." "Touya's mother?" She didn't hesitate in taking the CD from his hands and quickly pressing it against her chest.
"Thank you very much. Well then, it's time for me to go. Farwell." He was about to leave when Touko stopped him. "W-wait!" All this time, he was the one asking questions while Touko only answered. "Plus, I don't even know who he is." He stopped in his tracks and turned around, his head tilted to the side. "Yes?"
Breathing in some new fresh air she asked, "You know my name but I don't even know yours." His eyes widened for a moment, as if he wasn't waiting for her to ask his name but soon softened up. He elegantly bowed while starting to introduce himself. "I apologize for my rudeness. My name is Brenan Bellevue, Natasha's younger brother which makes me Touya's uncle I might guess."
Touko's heart completely stopped beating for a second. Was she really in front of Touya's mother's brother? At her next words, she stumbled on her words while trying to get more information. "A-Are you really Touya's uncle?" She wanted to face palm herself for asking such an obvious question, even more if the man himself had introduced himself as such a little earlier but she needed to hear it from him again to be completely sure she had heard right.
The young man, known as Brenan, silently smiled bearing no intention in wanting to tease her. "Yes, we do have the same mother and father so I can assure you that I am really his uncle. I was at the cemetery for Natasha's burial but I had stayed back in the shadows because I did not want anyone to suddenly recognize me as Touya is still unaware of my existence. Honestly, the reason why I came in the first place was because Natasha had told me before coming here that if Touya did not want to see her, she would give him this CD which holds all the answers to the questions he might have had all these years."
Suddenly he started to talk without Touko even asking for him to but she intently listened in to what he was telling. "I know fully well that they might not have a high opinion of Natasha, saying she went to different men only to divorce later on and leave them with a child but one thing I know for sure is that the first marriage was indeed an "accident" or whatever one would like to call it. But with Richard it was different; I can assure you of that. Anyway, I should really be going, thank you for having listened to me." Before Brenan could actually say goodbye, Touko asked one last question.
"Uhm, Mr Brenan? Aren't you ever going to meet Touya? I mean, he does have the right to know that he still has an uncle in the Bellevue family." She was hesitant in her question but having seen Touya like she had was truly heartbreaking, not only to her but to anyone who cared about him too.
Brenan only smiled again. "Just call me Brenan please. And yes, of course, some day I will present myself in front of Touya as his uncle but I do not think today is a good occasion due to it being Natasha's burial. But one day, I will be there for him whether he would like to know about Natasha's younger years or not. Whatever he will ask I will be there to answer." After his last words, he slowly walked towards her and pulled her into a soft hug.
Touko felt her heart starting to gain speed although she knew that despite his looks, this man was much older than her. "Forgive me for this impulse I felt that led me to do this but when I look into your eyes I can see honesty like I have never seen before. Plus, I can also see how you care for Touya and all I ask is for you to keep my existence a secret to him until the day I will be able to reveal myself to him. Soon we will be family too as well so do not hesitate to seek me out if something happens alright?"
He let her go waiting for her response which she had hurried to give with a nod. After giving her his number, he walked away, only turning around to wave to her one last time before completely disappearing behind the portal. Touko gave out a sigh while walking back into the mansion. "Well, I really learned some new things today but…" It was clearly something she had been wondering about ever since Brenan mentioned it. "If Natasha was married before, does it mean she even had a child? If yes, does it also mean that Touya maybe has a stepbrother?" Somehow, she had trouble believing that there really might be another Touya-like person roaming around or someone completely different from Touya who knows? Everything she could do now was showing Touya the CD that she still held clutched to her chest.
"That is if I can find him." When she had returned to the couch, Touya had disappeared and Touko began to ask random people if they had seen him. One person she had stumbled upon said that he saw Touya going upstairs and after a few moments, he came down wearing a blue jacket and went out the entrance door. "So while I was searching for him, he just went out huh?"
It would be a lie to say that she didn't want to run out through that door and search for him because as she had been about to do it, she stopped herself with her hand on the handle. "I think I should let him go think by himself. I'm sure he already has a lot to think about." Was that a mistake?
"What should I do to keep my head safe of any blame? Am I really guilty in all this?" Touya was wandering around town, walking on the pavement next to the road where cars drove by without a care in the world. He felt as if a hand was crushing his heart a little harder every time he breathed in. Was there really someone as unlucky as he was? He was finally able to gather up the courage to put aside the fact of his mother having abandoned him and seek answers out of her but just as he was about to meet her, she has a fatal accident.
He suddenly stopped, holding his hands to his head. "I want to scream so badly right now!" But he retrained himself, feeling tears prickling on the corners of his eyes until the feeling of guilt stubbornly returned to kick on his gut. He was about to blame himself again when her words rang on his head.
"Nevertheless, I truly believe that you hold no reason for your mother's accident if you should think so. There are always people with far more worse burdens upon their shoulders. And should you really keep blaming yourself just like I do then someday you'll drown in the darkness in which your heart has decided to lean on. The result would be that you'll be unable to stand back up on your own two feet ever again."
For a little second, his mouth had curled up into a smile but sadly he forgot to look what he was walking on or even that he had started walking for that matter. It happened in a matter of seconds, the car was rushing towards him, the tires shrieking on the road as it desperately tried to put the car on stop but everybody knew it was too late.
His body had stood frozen in the middle of the road and he asked himself why don't people in these situations move? Well, it's simple, why doesn't the deer caught in the headlights flee away? We are exactly like deer, because we don't know what is about to befall on us and because of the fear caused by this ignorance of what is suddenly happening we stand there, unable to make a move.
It isn't true what they say. People don't see their lives dash before their eyes in such a situation, no, this comes just way later. They see their regrets and the wrongs they did and after that they think that maybe it isn't so bad to be gone.
Touya just had the time to close his eyes when his body made impact with the car. Returned to the ground, he knew that recklessly moving would result in nothing because he could already feel that most of his bones are damaged or even worse, broken. It hurt; it hurt like hell although a part of him felt at peace. His lungs struggled to catch every ounce of oxygen particle floating around while Touya's eyes grew, with every breath, heavier and heavier.
The last things he could see was a lot of pairs of shoes as well as a dark red fluid gushing out from somewhere and it didn't last long for him to understand what it was. He was severely bleeding and maybe his time was already counted. Finally, his eyelids closed, his consciousness fading away.
Some distant voices could be heard, voices of the people most nearest to his heart.
"Touya!" "Dad, I'm sorry…"
"Touya…" "Touko, I…"
"Touya…here." "Mom, wait…I'm coming…"
And this was the last time he felt his heart beating. Someplace there was a phone ringing brining yet again, in a mansion where a recent misfortune had just come to an end, another misfortune who was just beginning.
Do not fret, next chapter will not be so depressing...I think.. next chapter: Chapter 12: Remember me