Ten Thousand Drops of Blood

Chapter 1

I never really knew what it was like to feel half dead. The Final Judgment was just a judgment, no more. And just because Sakura won and I lost doesn't mean I'm worthless, right? Then how come I feel so worthless? How come I feel so tired, so lifeless, a withering leaf blown away the wind. Why do I feel so empty inside? Did I lose more then I thought? Did I lose more then the Clow Cards?

School went on as normal, with Sakura very happy and proud. I am proud of her, relieved that the job was done. I am proud that she was successful. That she is capable of accomplishing something I cannot. And even though I feel half dead and completely forgotten, I still bask in her happiness. She had won, and that's all that matters.

After the Final Judgment I didn't bother keeping up my reputation or sense of honor, although that still probably stayed with me. I didn't care though. People can laugh at me if they want. Something inside me was lost. Something had died. And the thing was, I didn't try to get it back. I feel so lonely. I want to go home. Living in Japan had been nerve wrecking. I know how to speak Japanese, but I longed for a chance to speak my best language. I want the comforts of family. I had never realized how important it was until now. Never had I felt so alone, without any support. Without any support.

It was a Saturday. Sakura had invited me over to her house along with Tomoyo. Eriol had already finished his business. That day Touya had opened the door and I just went on in. I didn't care if he glared at me or not. I was pondering on what I had lost. I lost so much in my life.

" Konbonwa, Syaoran-kun!" Sakura smiled. " How are you?"
" I'm fine." I answered quietly, managing to muster up a smile. " How's everything going?"
" Alright. Kero-chan is in the kitchen with Yukito. I'll bring you guys tea." Sakura went into the kitchen. I blushed a little, but I soon went off into my own world. Perhaps I should buy some clothes for my sisters and some kind of jewelry for my mother. They would like that.

" Syaoran-kun, are you alright?" This time, Sakura seemed concerned. I blinked, and then nodded.
" Of course I am. I was just thinking about doing some shopping in a few days."
" Running out of clothes, eh? You can always ask Tomoyo-chan to do the tailor work for you, you know."
I smiled again. It felt very weird, smiling. " I guess. But..." I decided not to mention it.
" But what?" Sakura asked, completely oblivious. " Is everything alright?"
" Ah, sure." I answered. " Everything's alright, I guess."

Tomoyo and Eriol looked at me strangely. I leaned back. Then, having nothing to do, I decided to go help Sakura with her cooking. We were going to have dinner here, after all.

I was not a bad cook, naturally. But it turned out I was a bad, well, of course, it was all an unconscious work of effort. I didn't eat anything last night nor this morning, which might have been bad for my mental health. I was trying to repress the stomach grumbles and was succeeding, fortunately.

" Arigatou, Syaoran-kun." Sakura smiled at me. " You were always very good at cooking."
" No problem." I answered. I sighed.
" So how is it like in Hong Kong?"

I stopped for a moment because I was thinking about going back. I was slightly startled.
" Oh, fine I guess. Nothing special." I answered.
" I should like to visit that place."
" I would too." I answered absently, then stopped. Sakura looked at me weirdly.
" Were you thinking about going back?' She stopped as well, asking me very cautiously, with a half pleading look in her eyes.

I knew I was a bad liar. I didn't know how to get out of this one, so all I said was maybe. Sakura fell silent. I briefly wondered why. It wasn't as if she wanted me to stay or anything. After all, I am of no more use here. I was getting seriously homesick. I wanted my mother, as all children do. I wanted my family.

" When?" She asked finally.
" Depends." I answered. " When I feel like it, I guess." Namely now. I turned off the fire and lifted the pot, and poured the contents into the bowl. Fujitaka was also a good cook, I was thinking, but he was off on that trip of his.
" Well," Sakura looked at me hopefully. When I didn't give her an answer, she sighed, and continued to work.

Touya was in the kitchen with us and I ignored him completely. He said nothing that day, I really didn't know why. No glaring attacks, nothing. For a while there wasa silence, except for the oil sizzling, and finally, the meal was basically finished, save for the rice that was needed and some chopsticks.

The dinner was good.
" You are a great cook, Li-san." Eriol smiled at me. I didn't feel like answering. I never liked him anyway.
" Hai." Tomoyo agreed. " This is one of the best I've ever tasted. Where did you learn how to cook?"
" From Hong Kong, of course. I learned how to cook when I was seven." I shrugged. " That's basically it, I guess. Sakura did most of the cooking though. How did you know I made that?"
" Because I saw you, baka." Tomoyo teased. They all laughed, except for Touya, who was sitting next to Sakura and Tomoyo.

" This is some kind of dinner." Eriol smiled. " We're all related to magical works and all that. I mean, Fujitaka does not know anything yet. Although he soon will."
" I guess." Sakura smiled. " When are you leaving, Eriol?"
" Oh. In twoweeks. Or later, it depends on what happens. If we suddenly have a ferocious thunderstorm I can't go."

They laughed. I poked at my food. I wasn't very interested in eating.

" Syaoran-kun, are you alright?" Sakura asked, for the third time. " You seem a bit out lately."
" I am. Why?"
" Well, for one thing, you didn't really talk much. And you seem to be in your own world most of the time."
" Well, I was just..." I decided not to say that I was thinking about going home. " Pondering on things, I guess. It just feels strange, with everything gone and settled. You wouldn't even have thought that everything had happened during this time."
" What do you mean?" Eriol asked, politely, as usual. This time I wasn't answering him. I was answering the whole group.
" Well, everything's normal now." I shrugged. " Eriol's going back to England. All the cards are captured. All the strange stories are gone. This story has basically ended."

All of them stopped at that. Sakura looked at me, as did the rest, seeming to be pondering whether there was a meaning behind my words. For a while we sat, silent as stone, all of them looking at me and me looking at all of them until everyone was very uncomfortable. I suddenly realized why, and blushed in embarrassment.

" Iie, I don't mean it that way." I quickly explained. " It's just that the action is basically over so soon. I couldn't imagine that so much had happened already."

They relaxed a bit. I was relieved. I went on poking my food. So I am a bad socialist. What can I do?

It was after school right after soccer practice the next time the whole group was going to gather. I was running a little late because my zipper on my backpack broke. I never did catch up with them.

I was listening to Yamazaki, with my hand on the wall supporting myself. How it got to the door frame I have no clue, but somehow it did. One of the students tried to close the door.

My hand was at the back of the door, opposite the doorknob. So imagine having a nut cracker attempting to crack your fingers instead of nuts. That's how much it hurts. I let out a loud yell, and a young child, a second grader, perhaps, reopened the door.
" Gomen," He said in a small voice. I did not answer. I was holding my third, fourth, and pinky, which had been nearly crushed. I couldn't answer him; I was in too much pain. I knew they weren't broken or anything like that, but it was so painful, so painful. Yamazaki winced, then went on talking, and eventually I couldn't hear him anymore. I thought briefly, very practical, I think I'm going to go into shock. Just then, darkness swirled around my eyes, and then...

I knew I was dreaming. I knew I dreamt a whole lot of things, a whole lot of things, like memories or just plain imagination. When I woke up I half expected to be in bed, woken up in the morning. But when I saw Yamazaki; he was the first person I saw, I figured something was wrong. The I became very confused. Is this a dream or is it real? But the colors...the colors hurt my eyes. They were real alright. Someone shouted, ' He fainted.' I shot up, blinking.
" What happened?" I asked. I was surprised at how weak my voice sounded.

For a moment there was a silence. Then, Terada-sensei quickly supported me.
" It's alright." He said. By that time, my mind, being perfectly clear, had already noticed the obvious. " You fainted."

I felt so nauseous. I heard someone remark, " He's so pale, his lips are white." I didn't know where the others were and didn't want to. It was strange; I wasn't scared nor was I very confused. I had a clear mind and I knew what was going on. I knew my fingers weren't broken. But how come I'm still suffering the aftereffects? I never knew that people throw up...

" I think I'm going to vomit." I begged.
" Eriol! Bring a garbage can! Quick!" Terada-sensei called. And I threw up into the garbage can, noting that most of the contents was liquid.
" Aiya, didn't eat today." I heard Terada-sensei murmur as he patted my back. " Good boy, that's it."

Good boy. I thought bitterly. I am so tired. How come these things wouldn't stop? Why couldn't I just faint, wake up, and get over with it?

" Syaoran-kun-"
" Out of the way!" The teachers moved everyone. " Call the ambulence!"
" No ambulence." I called, but they didn't listen to me.

Normally I wouldn't have liked it if I fainted in front of everyone, but strangely I didn't care anymore. I didn't care about anything. I wouldn't have cared if I died, even.

What would the world be like if it had no color? If everything was gray. Black and white. If there were no music and no sounds. If the world was empty. What would it be like? Would it be like death? Because when one is empty inside, everything else becomes empty. An empty laugh. Empty voice. Empty eyes. Empty dreams.

When I came home, everything was still. Everything was dark. Feeling another spasm, I rushed for the bathroom, and vomited. But it wasn't vomit. It was blood. Where did the blood come from? I did not know. I swallowed, the attack had ceased. I wiped my mouth. I went to the bedroom to change. I didn't feel like brushing my teeth that day, nor taking a shower. I crawled into bed. And never woke up again.