Chapter Twenty-two: Expectations

Haru, Akemi, Mitsuki, and Akio sit in the waiting room at Yagami Memorial Hospital where Yamashito is being hospitalized after a dangerous car accident. Akemi and Akio try to be strong. Whilst Haru is letting the tears come. Mitsuki leans her head onto Haru's shoulder and goes into a deep sleep. Haru stays still, trying not to wake her up. The four are sitting across from Haru's parents (who came to make sure Haru was safe) and Yamashito's parents. In between them was a small child playing with a toy truck. The little boy seemed to be no more than two years old; Haru then realized it was Yamashito's younger brother. Akio leaned forward to speak to Yamashito's mother, "Mrs. Yamashito. Were you with your son when he got into this accident?" Kyomi Yamashito shook her head, "No. His cousin was coming for the weekend. So, my son was picked up early from school from his older cousin named Ken Hokkaido who is from my side of the family. The two got into a car crash. His older cousin is also in the hospital from the accident." Haru nodded. Mitsuki then wakes up and yawns, "What time is it?" Haru looks at his watch, "3:23 AM." Even Haru was surprised at how early it was. A doctor came into the waiting room, "I'd like to see the guardians of Katashi Yamashito and Ken Hokkaido." Yamashito's parents stood up and started to walk toward the doctor. Haru also stood up to follow them, "Is it alright if I tag along? He's been my friend since middle school." Kyomi Yamashito nodded, "Of course."

Yamashito's parents and Haru walked into Yamashito's hospital room. The doctor spoke, "He's awake, so you can go ahead and talk to him. But there is a problem."

"What is it?" His father asked. The doctor quickly reassured him, "There is no doubt that he is going to live. Problem is. The crash left him severely paralyzed and it is likely that he will never walk again unless we amputate his shattered leg and replace it with a prosthetic. The choice is yours." Haru spoke out, "Shouldn't Yamashito have a choice. He is the goddamn victim." The doctor did not seem to take issue with Haru's outburst, "Well, perhaps that would be a moral thing to do." Yamashito was waking up. Haru walked over to him and gently kneed him, "Hey." Yamashito opened his eyes, "Haru." Haru was surprised; this was the first time Yamashito has ever called him by his first name. Haru sat down on a chair, "How's the neck?" Yamashito sighed, "Fine, thank god for Doctor Otaru for stopping the bleeding." Yamashito was silent for a moment until something caught his mind, "My cousin! Is Ken okay?" The doctor nodded, "Yeah, he's only suffered a broken arm and hip. He'll recover. As for you, you have a choice between never walking again or to amputate your left leg and replacing it with a prosthetic leg. Luckily, your arms should recover.

"Screw walking, it's overrated," Yamashito said, "Too many people do it. Besides, I don't know the risks of amputation.

The doctor began to speak, "Amputation is completely saf-"

"My choice!" Yamashito said, "I believe you when you say it is safe, but I don't want to do it. I want it to be this way.

Haru began to form a sense of humor, "On the bright side, you don't have to do P.E."

Yamashito lay his head back, "Too soon man."

The doctor was amused at how Haru and Yamashito had had a sense of humor no matter what, "Well, in a few days, we should be bringing a wheelchair to get you out of here."

"What about school?" Yamashito asked.

The doctor smiled, "You should be returning to school in a few weeks time."

Yamashito laid back, "Alright then."

Haru turned to Yamashito's parents, "I have to go home, now. My parents are going to be worried about me."

"Of course," Yamashito's father nodded, "Go ahead." Haru nodded and left out the entrance of the hospital.

After a few minutes of walking with his parents, they made it to their house. As they walked in, Inoue Tsukamato turned to his son, "Haru, get your homework done." Haru walked to his room, "I don't have any." Suzuki and Inoue watched their son waltz into his room.

"I'm worried about him," Suzuki said. Inoue sighed, "Don't be, he'll be fine. He's just getting over his friend getting in an accident. It's happened to all of us.

"I hope you're right," Suzuki said.