The sound of irritated writing against paper echoed into his room. He couldn't type anything. So deciding to try writing with a pen and paper, Usami AKihiko tried to build up a story for his profession.
But no idea was coming into him. Just a freaking confession that kept on ringing into his ear like a ghost that was following him everywhere.
"Bullshit..." he cursed, throwing his fountain pen against the wall.
He stood from his swivel chair and stood before the window overlooking the innocent, peaceful looking city which under its facade, was concealing more secrets.
"Sugita-san, isn't the only person in the world who loves you..."
Usami lighted a cigarette and the heavy smoker he was, he started smoking one cigarette after another.
Has it been a month and a half since he last visited that cell? Since that night when he almost raped Takahashi Misaki, he couldn't even force himself to go near that place.
"How can he like me? We never even met," he exhaled while his brows were in a deep frown. "I don't care anymore..."
As the man still in his suit late at night stared at the night view of the city below him, the reflection of his window mirror changed. A face of someone else taking form. At first he thought it was Uruha's. But it was Misaki's.
Usami huffed. All that making Uruha's murderer suffer had etched the boy's memory in his head. He wanted to scratch it away, but the more he shoo them, the more they engrave in his brain.
Now that he was out of his insane trance of Uruha's death...he realized, he was crazy himself.
"Serve the sentence like one should..." he exhaled. "I've been overboard as well..."
Just as he was about ready to erase Misaki's memories ad pretend the young man to be dead like he initially thought he'd do, his doorbell rang.
It rang and rang and rang.
The shrill sound almost irritating him.
Usami peeked into the peephole and surprised, he opened the door abruptly.
Takahashi Takahiro threw himself at Usami's feet. Touching the man's legs, clinging tightly into Usami's flesh.
Usami was taken aback. "Takahiro? What are you doing?" he asked as he tried to get away from his bestfriend.
"Usagi...Usagi...please...kill me...kill me!"
Getting confused by the moment, Usami bended and picked his bestfriend up. That was the time he noticed the deep circles under the man's eyes. The weight that was lost. The pale complexion. The burdened look. Takahiro seemed like ten years older than his real age.
"Usagi...I am begging you..." Takahiro whispered in his hoarse voice. He wanted to cry but he already was out of tears. "Kill me..."
All the blabbering started reaching into Usami's head, his chest sensing something was definitely wrong.
"Takahiro...I don't understand you!" the silverhaired man shouted, shaking the other man heavily.
Takahiro grabbed Usami by the shoulders. His fingers digging hard.
"It was all for money and fame...I thought I'd be happy...my talent...everything..." Takahiro muttered hurriedly, brokenly, shakingly. "But my brother...my brother...it's too late to realize that all these fame and material things I acquired is nothing without him...let go of him please?"
Usami sighed as he walked away from Takahiro, stubbing his cigarette onto the ashtray nearest he could find. "Brother's desperation to protect his younger brother?"
The one being asked looked into Takahiro's unkept form. His eyes getting a glimpse of the centipede-like stitches he got from his injury that fateful night.
Raising a brow, Usami looked the other way. "That's impossible. Setting aside Uruha...your brother still killed a human. There's no escaping that."
Takahiro bowed down on the floor. Shaking and like a crazy man sobbed. It was the first time Usami saw the man so...uncomposed.
"My brother is innocent..." a muffled voice escape Takahiro.
Slowly, Usami turned to look at the begging man before him. His face blank.
Takahiro looked up. "Misaki is innocent...Usagi...my brother didn't do anything..."
"I KILLED URUHA!" Takahiro blurted. "I WAS THE ONE WHO KILLED HIM BECAUSE OF OUR RESEARCH!"
Takahiro started crawling towards Usami.
"M-Misaki just arrived that night. He saw me...and took the crime for himself because I was greedy! God...USAGI...RELEASE HIM...YOUR FAMILY OWNS THAT PLACE RIGHT? I'M WILLING TO PAY WHAT HAS TO BE PAID...THROW ME IN INSTEAD! BUT PLEASE...IF MY BROTHER DIES...I'D DIE!"
Almost kissing the floor, Takahiro once more begged before his bestfriend.
"Usagi...I'm serious...Misaki just did those things for show...my career was just starting off...and he's always been a kid like that...taking everythig for himself even if it matters sacrificing himself...Usagi..."
Usami's hands fell on his side. He wasn't able to hear anything anymore but that one part. "'If...if your brother dies'?"
"The cell guard...gave me a message Misaki's seriously ill..."
The words didn't sound like it was even believable. For all the strenght in Usami vanished as he fell seated on the center table horrified. Usami didn't even know what was going on anymore.
Usami clasped his hand over his mouth. "Oh my god..."
"I could kill you right now and no one would know."
"I am going to make your life miserable...you don't know what you got yourself into...by crossing ways with me."
"Why isn't this enough Usami-san?! What would you do if it wasn't me!? WOULD YOU DO THIS TO MY BR-"
"I'VE LIKED YOU FOR SUCH A VERY LONG TIME AND THIS STUPID ME IS CRAZY ENOUGH NOT TO FEEL ANY ANGER TOWARDS YOU DESPITE THIS!"
"Sugita-san, isn't the only person in the world who loves you..."
"Oh my god..." Usami stood unsteadily and dashed out of his flat not even locking it.
His car made loud screeching sound as he drove through the middle of the night. The dark streets, the silence, the glaring taillights of the car before him as the traffic sign turned red. It was all eating away at Usami's flesh his grip on the stirring wheel got tighter and tighter.
Usami pressed on that horn button a number of times. And when he couldn't hold it anymore, he let out a yell. A yell from the pits of his stomach it grazed against his throat.
His voice echoed and disappeared into thin air. And huffing, Usami slammed his forehead against the stirring wheel. His lips only visible from under, his teeth digging into his bottom lip as he suppressed a shameful cry.
He wasn't allowed to cry and beg for anything. Why was he so afraid so suddenly? Conscience? No. Fear? No.
It was something unnamed yet deeper.
It seemed like a maze. A long maze where one could easily get lost.
Usami ran. His feet carrying him so fast like a wind. His tie already lose flying to the side. His face ashen.
Each time he thought he'd reach the medical facility of the prison privately owned which his family runs, it seemed like it just gets farther and farther away.
He made a shortcut, running past a number of cells. And for some reason he halted. The familiar door he used to open was there before him.
Usami, huffing, swallowed hard as the cellguard emerged from the door, holding what seemed like meager belonging's into his arms.
"What are you doing?" Usami asked.
"Ah sir..." the bulky man looked down on his arms and back to Usami. "Takahashi's stuff. It seemed like he wouldn't make it...so I'm cleaning up-"
For no reason at all, Usami grabbed them off from the bulky man's hands.
Usami couldn't even get mad at that time. Something was loudly buzzing in his ears that he left the other guy and continued with his run. He didn't even feel so much conflicted like this when Uruha died. Why now? Why now?!
The moment he saw the huge door sliding doors to the medical facility proper, his fast steps became slower. As if he was having second thoughts of going in.
Cautiously, breathing deeply and heavily, he pressed onto the door, pushing it and suddenly, the white lights, the white floors and the white walls that were nothing short of a hospital stung his eyes after all those gray darkness.
Before he could continue, something fell from what he was carrying. Like a two by two ID picture contrasted on the spotless white, tiled floors.
He picked it up and grunted as he saw a young Takahiro and very much younger Misaki grinning at the camera. They wore smiles so bright it was hard to believe the situation they were in suddenly.
He decided to tuck it in his pocket, but then brought it back to his face.
For when he flipped it over, it was a picture of himself three years younger.
Usami almost lost his balance and he grabbed on to the walls for support. His breathing thick and his throat felt like something was about to explode inside it.
The man ran his hand over his forehead, pausing over his eyes. "What have I done..."
A few more seconds passed before he was able to drag his feet once more. Leaving his spot, the floor where he stood briefly had some spots. Like small droplets of rain, they shone under the bright lights.
He did saw unfamiliar faces looking at him. Perhaps he looked sick himself. Usami was wearing an ID classified as one of the people running the entire place, so they just stared with confused looks.
And then he froze.
A nurse who just pushed open a smaller door revealed a color he wouldn't mistake for anyone else. That small figure on a white bed could never be any one else.
He gulped as he dragged himself towards the door.
He just entered unannounced. His gaze not leaving the pale face on the bed. Misaki was as white as the bedsheet.
"W-what's his condition?" he asked not looking at the doctor.
The man in white pushed his glasses on the bridge of his nose not too much surprised that this silverhaired man was there.
"He's very much dehydrated...hey...what's the current temperature?" the doctor suddenly turned to his nurse.
"42 degrees sir..."
Turning back at Usami as if he was just announcing the weather, he continued. "His fever won't go down and reached that point. If this continues, it might result into irrepairable brain damages or internal organ damages. Or death."
"Can't you do anything?!" Usami hissed at the doctor's face.
Calmy to the point that it was irritating, the doctor sighed. "I already did everything I am supposed to do. It's all up to his constitution now."
Hearing that, Usami was rendered speechless as he watched the motionless, thin and lifeless body on the bed. The only sign of Misaki still being alive was his heavy and raspy breathing filling the room.
Minutes passed and hours went by and still Usami was just standing there. He hasn't moved an inch from the spot where he appeared before. And like him, Takahiro, crying helplessly for his brother was also there.
Surprisingly, Usami couldn't even muster the strenght to get angry over Takahiro at the time. He was just...worried. Nothing else.
As the night went deeper and the silence grew louder, Usami for some reason looked to the open door. He looked because he saw someone pass by. Brunette, thin and wearing white.
Usami threw a look at the body on the bed for a few seconds before running out of the room. Making Takahiro and the nurses on standby look at each other's faces confusedly.
The man ran, his hair and shirt disheveled. His judgement and everything was clouded because of anger that he wasn't even able to see things through. He was more foul than a murderer. And now...he was one big messed up grown up.
He didn't know if his brain was making up things. He didn't believe in spirits or anything related. But what could he do when he was so sure that was Misaki. He was sure of it. That boy walking away from that spot was Misaki.
The boy turned. He looked so healthy. Bright and gentle. The Misaki he never got to see.
Surprisingly, Usami didn't feel any fear...he just knew that if he didn't stop this Misaki before him from going away, the Misaki laying on the bed, 50:50 would also vanish too.
"No...ah...I'm sorry...I...God...I didn't know anymore..." Usami almost begged. "P-please don't go...please don't die...?"
The Misaki figure just smiled. He continued walking away, until before Usami's eyes he vanished.
Dumbfounded, Usami stared into air.
Until the silence was broken by Takahiro's shouts and cries.
From where he was, he could here it clearly. Usami could hear it very clearly it rang deep into his skull.
"MISAKI! MISAKI! NO, NO NO!"
Slowly turning to the room he came from, Usami then dashed to the place where the scream was coming from. Nurses and the doctor looking after Misaki was gathered around the fragile form. Usami couldn't see past them.
Takahiros' sobs sent shivers down Usami's spine. Every fiber of his cell tensing. His very core experiencing utter fear.
When all the commotion ended, they stepped away from Takahashi Misaki's bed. The silence and the sullen appearance on their faces were enough to draw conclusions.
"I'm sorry," the feared words from a doctor seemed to vibrate endlessly into Takahiro and Usami. It made the reality sink in.
"Sorry?" Usami repeated.
Takahiro went to his brother. Asking, begging, crying all at the same time that no one could already understand what he was saying. To everyone's surprise, Takahiro, hysterical, fainted.
"This is real?" Usami asked. He couldn't hear anything from the nurses who rushed to Takahiro anymore as he walked close to the bed. He stood there, cold and weak. "Isn't this the same as me killing you?"
Usami placed his hand over the boy's nose and mouth, feeling for any breathing but there was none.
"Wake up," Usami whispered. "Please...I know already...I know it already..."
The long fingers of the man traveled from Misaki's still warm forehead to his cheek. To the boy's neck to the boy's arm down to the boy's hand.
"I haven't had a proper apology to everything I did to are still a lot of making up for me to do...don't do this..."
The closed eyes, shining from tears left unshed. The half-open mouth, chapped and pale made Usami grit his teeth.
To everyone's surprise, for a man exuding so much tense air around him like any royalty, his tears started running down his cheeks. Call it selfredemption, being haunted by conscience or whatever, Usami was begging all the gods there was for the first time in his heart.
"Misaki...let me make up for my mistakes...I swear I'll do anything. If you tell me to die, I'd do it. Just..." Usami whispered while brushing his fingers into the wet mop brown hair.
Usami collapsed on the side of the bed, buring his face on the boy's chest. Not caring about everyone in the room, and broke down.
"...Just come back. Just come back to me..."
No one aside from Takahiro and Usami knew the story behind why there were being like that. But they all felt sorry for the silverhaired man trembling over a lifeless body.
Sobbing he never did in his entire life, Usami stayed there like a child. A child hoping for something so impossibl but still so much clinging into.
Usami cleared his throat, ignoring the ticklish sensation on top of his head he thought was just a breeze.
But the gentle sensation againts his hair so focused only on one spot couldn't be just a breeze.
He looked up slowly with his blurry eyes. It was a hand, fingers brushing into his hair. Fingers that came from the boy before him.
The people in the room gasped. Some couldn't believe it. Some uttered a small prayer.
The boy has beed dead practically for nine minutes. This wasn't short of a miracle. That loss of oxygen into the brain could cause severe complications. But there he was, moving still weakly, yet alive.
"Mi..sa..." Usami whispered hoarsely.
Eyes halfclosed, Misaki opened his mouth.
Breaking out in more tears that wasn't so him, Usami pulled the thin form into his arms and hugged him.
"I'm sorry...God...I'm sorry..." Usami repeated and repeated.
Misaki just ran his weak hand over Usami's back. As if saying "It's okay".
The teen who just crossed the after life and went back burried his face on Usami's neck. His words were so soft like just a passing breeze that tickled Usami's skin.
"I told you...I can't get mad at you..."
It seemed like everything was just a dream. All the things they went through. All the realizations of how fragile a human heart and mind was, they all swirled into a grim yet bitter-sweet memory.
Takahiro, who named all his belongings from the medicine discovery to Takahashi Misaki, his brother surrendereed himself to the police instead. Taking the responsibility he should have done so from the very start.
"Don't cry Misaki..." Takahiro whispered, brushing his brother's tears gently with his thumb after the verdict has been delievered. "I didn't mean it...but a human action has it's consequences. That's how the world revolves..."
"Usagi may be hating me now...but he promised me he'd look after you until you can stand in your own feet...he'd take care of you...I'm sure."
"Don't say it like we won't be seeing anymore!"
The brother smiled at the younger one, his face so much better that he finally was able to let out the burden he tried to keep inside him.
"Have I ever said that you are my sun, Misaki? You're worth more than you think...have more self-confidence..."
It was silent and calming. The breeze brushing against Usami's cheeks. He had rolled the car windows down and was enjoying the view from an uphill. He just came from hearing and wanted to ease the crying of the little brother that was left, he brought him to a drive.
But Misaki fell asleep on the way.
Since when did he feel this peaceful, Usami wondered.
The greenery before him, the small figures moving from far away, they all suddenly felt so precious to him.
Strectching a little, Usami then turned to the seat beside him. He watched the soft strands of brown dance over the brunette's face. He just realized it until now that when Misaki's eyes were closed or looking down, his eyelashes that were so long were casting playful shadows over his cheeks.
Usami reached out to brush boy's cheek slightly. He almost lost another precious being. That feeling of relief...what was that?
He removed his dark blue coat and tugged them gently over the sleeping form's body before looking out once more at the sky.
Uruha...I'm letting go now..I've found someone to pour my attention to. The two of you isn't comparable and you're always a part of me...but there's one similar thing between you two. He saves lives in his own way. He tried to save his brother. And he also saved me in other ways...
I don't deserve him. But I've come to harbor strong feelings I don't have yet the courage to call 'love'. Right now...I just want to pay everything. Cherish him, protect him and take care of him.
Uruha...I realized love is the root of all evil. It made me show something I didn't even know I have. But it is also the root of all goodness. At least that's how Misaki showed me.
Usami threw a glance at the person on his passenger seat.
Uruha, the heart I thought would never beat again when you died started beating once more here in my chest.
I think you'd understand this of all people and you'd support me.
I guess this the end for us.
chapter end notes:
OMG...THAT WAS HEAVY EVEN FOR ME...LoL..this is definetely the effect of too much green tea in my head. then mixed with black, unsweetened coffee, a reciper for brain disaster...hahaha
i think you already all know...the old man saying he thinks of Misaki as 'spring' because in Japanese culture and many other cultures, Spring season symbolizes hope and new beginnings and starting up.
-i don't know much about prisons but i have one in mind (the prison in Mine, Yamaguchi.^^) while writing this and just pretend Usami family owns it. LoL,
-42 degress if untreated and left for a long period of time is damaging
please do tell me your experience while reading this. honestly i scared my self at the scene where usami saw another misaki out of the room. sort of like a spirit. hehehe
THANK YOU FOR THE TIME.
-always grateful for the support and love