|Life IV: Bonds of Life
Author: Monty Mason PM
The girl with a normal family and normal bonds, the boy with a broken past and isolation. The girl reaches out to the boy wanting to show him the values of bonds in human life and help him change. I know summary sucks, but tell me what you think.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 23 - Words: 124,802 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-13-13 - Published: 04-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3017775
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Here is chapter 3! =)
-3- The Lonely & the Confused
The sports team outside were now packing to go into their change rooms. Katsuo had packed up in the classroom getting ready to leave as the orange glow of the sky settled in. After school club activities were over for today as students came out of their club classrooms. The halls were filled with students walking in groups talking amongst themselves happily. Katsuo looked outside from the empty classroom; he packed away his speech into his bag neatly and hung it on his right shoulder. Katsuo stepped out the classroom walking amidst the crowd of students exiting the school building. He walked alone out the school gates to the nearest public bus stop. And so the patient waiting begins for Katsuo among the other students.
Miri and Nakami walked in the mall together browsing clothing shops, book shops and the food court. The two window shopped while at some Miri took the liberty of buying herself some clothes. Nakami wanted to buy something as well but kept a tight restraint on herself as she knew she didn't need the clothes, it was only a want after all.
The two now sat in the food court at a small cafe. Miri took a bite of her cake noticing Nakami sitting still with her coffee. "Something wrong?" asks Miri breaking Nakami out of her thoughts.
"What?" asks Nakami.
"You seem distracted."
"Sorry, I was just busy in my own thinking."
"Thinking about Katsuo-san?" says Miri playfully. Nakami immediately jumps at bit at hearing Katsuo's name leaving Miri speechless with a smile overcoming her. "So you like him?" asks Miri playfully again moving a bit closer towards Nakami who jumps to back away. Nakami remains quiet, "I guess you do then?" again asks Miri.
"It's not like that Miri-chan, I like him as a friend. It's just I keep thinking about him for some reason" explains Nakami to which Miri laughs slightly. "What's so funny?" asks Nakami and Miri replied "You".
"How am I funny?"
"You don't even know your own true feelings for him...but if you don't like him, you wouldn't mind if I snatched him away will you?" speaks Miri mischievously yet in a playful manner. Nakami was unable to control her anxiety, her heart rate increased without knowing the reason for it. She wanted to run away, somewhere she can be alone to think what was happening to her. She wanted to get her thoughts in order.
Katsuo sat on the bus by the window looking outside at the darkening sky. The bright street lamps were turning on shining their beautiful rays off into the night sky. The light illuminating such a clear pathway for the street occupiers, yet the pathway in Katsuo's mind remained dark. Things were happening too quickly for him, his sudden development with Nakami was a bond he wasn't ready for yet. Katsuo has always remained indifferent and distant from others ever since one life changing moment. The moment he had lost someone very precious, it was also the moment which defined his outlook on life as he looks at right now. 'If someone creates a bond, were that bond to be ever broken or damaged; they would suffer. So in the end it's better to not ever form any bonds at all' is the thought which runs through Katsuo's head every waking second he spends on the bus. All the people that once approached Katsuo were immediately grown distant by him.
The light on the stop sign lits up as the bus comes to a slow halt at the next stop. Katsuo gathers his bag on his back as he quickly makes his way for the exit. Getting off the bus he walks a couple of blocks before reaching his home, a home which stands lone and desolate. He opens up the mailbox to check for any possible mail. What he finds everytime is junk mail, nothing from his relatives or anyone else; he lives alone. Standing outside his home he skims through the mail getting rid of the junk mail on the spot in the nearby trash can. Just as he was about to throw the last mail under the presumption of it being junk as well, he noticed something. It didn't have any ads on it or any sort of official markings. Just a stamp and address information. Katsuo further studied the envelope as his eyes widened at the name he saw, "Eri Tanaka" Katsuo's elder sister. Katsuo rushed inside his front yard taking out his keys to the house. He opened the front door, entered and locked the door behind him rushing into the living room. Katsuo threw his bag on the couch sitting beside it and carefully opened the letter.
Katsuo's mother is dead, his father works oversees and his sister live with their aunt to further her studies by wanting to go to Tokyo University. Eri could easily come to visit Katsuo by taking their local transit system granted she had the time. Before when Katsuo was in middle school, she used to have quite a bit of free time, but ever since she entered high school; it's been studying day after day. Before she could come over to check on her little brother, she would come to make him dinner, a warm dinner which is now missing from Katsuo's memories. He can't even recall when the last time he ate a warm dinner was. He so craved to see his sister again and his father as well, those two were the only real family he had left now; but he was left, left all lone in this house he sits in. He was left to carry on with his life without anyone there to look over him, anyone to show him some love, kindness and care. Pictures of his family occupy the whole living room, and upstairs a little shrine rests in one of the vacant rooms dedicated to his deceased mother. Katsuo takes out the letter opening it from its neat plastic packing. Eri always did go overboard when it comes to packaging her letter; she always took the precautions in case of weather changes such as rain. Putting aside the wrapping he opened the letter to start reading it.
How are you? I'm doing fine here. I'm sorry I can't come as often as I once used to but high school now is seriously keeping me busy. I hope you're doing fine. You started junior high didn't you? You're growing up little brother, perhaps growing up much too fast for me to keep track of. I can remember helping mom changing your diapers when you were just a baby. Well enough of the reminiscing, how are things at your new class? Got a crush yet? I'm so happy to be able to write to you again. If I could, I would move back to our old house, but unfortunately it's not possible anymore. Aunty here also asks about you a lot. I wish I could come over there to make the meals I used to make for you, are you eating properly? It better not be all the junk food I saw last time I had come over. Is dad still sending well enough amounts back from America to help pay for your tuition and living needs? If not, I'll talk with him. Don't hesitate to talk to me about anything, remember, I'll always be here if you need me.
Your dear sister,
Katsuo while reading a certain parts of the letter felt somewhat embarrassed, especially as his sister starts to enquire about his romantic interests while some things made him feels safe. He felt safe knowing that there are still some people out there who care about Katsuo. He felt safe knowing he wasn't forgotten. At the very bottom of the letter there was a little note indicating for Katsuo to turn over the letter. He did just so as the note instructed and behind it he found two tickets to a publicly organized treasure hunt. Below the tickets was another note saying, "Take a friend with you if you would like to" No such friend would come to Katsuo's mind. He had always pushed away people, yet when he could not think of anyone, one person's picture popped up in his head, Nakami.
"Why did her image pop up in my head?" asked Katsuo aloud. Only to find silence surrounding him in the home meant for a family; yet only occupied by a boy struggling with an unforgettable past. Katsuo sets aside the letter and the tickets walking into the kitchen. He opens the refrigerator to prepare for a late dinner.
He sets a plate neatly on the dinner table; a table meant for a family, yet only used by one.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
The microwave goes off alerting Katsuo; his dinner is ready. He takes out the left over curry he had received from his neighbors a few days ago. Katsuo then walks over to the rice cooker and takes out the pre-prepared rice. He brings his plate over to the rice cooker pouring some rice on the plate; just enough so he doesn't waste any and so he doesn't feel the sense of hunger later. Katsuo pours all the curry onto the rice and mixes it all together. He sits down looking at the other empty chairs. A feeling he experiences every night during dinner. A feeling of complete isolation and loneliness, it's a feeling that can't be helped no matter how hard he would try to repress it, somehow this feeling always managed to escape and freely express itself through Katsuo's mental emotions. "Why am I here? Why am I here alone?" the boy asks himself as he digs his spoon into the curry. Digging up a bit of the curry and rice with his rice he picks it up gently placing it into his mouth. Even the food seems so cold, flavorless to him as he can feel the strong force of tears fighting to break out. Fighting for a way out, the boy wants to cry. Yet he holds it back; he knows he can't be weak. Katsuo can't be weak for all the people that still care about him, he can't be weak so he doesn't bother his father's work and so he doesn't worry his elder sister. The boy couldn't be weak.
Katsuo finishes his meal and cleans the plate and the spoon he used. Setting them aside to dry off in a separate area, he goes back into the living room taking out the books from his bag and began completing his homework. Katsuo always had been the type to do things the minute they were assigned to him; he wasn't too keen on leaving things for the last minute. Time went by as the clock ticked and ticked, it was nearly 9 PM when Katsuo finally finished his studies for the night. He set them aside only to find himself pondering, 'What do I do now? Not like I have anyone to talk to...no one to talk to...' knowing his own loneliness, Katsuo managed to find some solace in television. He picks up the remote turning it to a drama television; yet even in television he could not find the happiness he craved for. His bonds with others, nearly non-existent and so the boy sits with eyes fixated on the television and loneliness sitting beside Katsuo on the empty spots of the couch.
Bed sheets lay on top of Nakami in the form of a lump as she was sitting below them, thinking of what happened. Thinking about her feelings for Katsuo; thinking about how she really feels about him. To Miri she managed to tell he was just a friend, but to herself was it a lie or the truth she spoke? A question she knows she can't answer sitting about in her bed. The only way to answer her question would be to be around Katsuo, would be to analyze her feelings with him close by, it would be to look in his eyes and search for the clear feelings she has with him in front of her.
"What does my friendship, my bond really mean with Katsuo?" Nakami asks out loud oblivious to the entering figure into her room. Suddenly the bed sheets are pulled away off of her head as she looks up finding her older sister sitting on the bed looking at her curiously. "Why are you looking at me like that?" asks Nakami as her sister scoots a bit closer to Nakami. She puts her hand up to Nakami's forehead trying to feel her temperature and Nakami asks in confusion what she was doing.
"Wh-what are you doing Onee-san?" as Nakami tries to back way. But her older sister only comes closer keeping her hand stiff still on Nakami's forehead. The lack of answers wasn't helping the situation as Nakami wanted to get up and run, her older sister let out a sigh as she retrieved her hand from Nakami's forehead. "Um...Renki Onee-san, what were you doing?" asks Nakami as Renki turns to look at her again sighing, but in relief this time.
"I was just worried that you may have been sick. Your cheeks look flushed" replies Renki. Nakami at Renki's response holds up her hands towards her cheeks, feeling them to be quite warm.
'Is it the thought of Katsuo that did this?' Nakami asks herself this time to herself. "But why would I be flushed?" asks Nakami to her older sister. Renki seems to shrug her shoulders as though not too sure herself and simply gives the answer which comes to her mind first, "It maybe that you have a case of love sickness" says Renki teasingly. Suddenly the two sisters are interrupted by another figure knocking on the door and entering. "Okaa-san is calling everyone down for dinner. Get ready and come down."
"Okay Teruo Onii-san" replied both the sisters. Teruo then left the two heading downstairs towards the dining room, Renki left first winking at Nakami reminding her of the tease Renki had implied. 'Am I really love sick?' thought Nakami to herself as she imagines Katsuo's image in her head. She couldn't think about anything which was outstanding about him, yet it seemed to her as though the invisible threads of fate were drawing her closer to him.
"Just what is happening?" gently asks Nakami as she grips her chest looking out at the night sky. The boy sits alone in the living room, thinking about a family. The girl sits on her bed, with thoughts of the boy. Each wanting to find answers to dilemmas in their lives, just some were bigger than others. Some craved for answers more so than the others. The boy searches for a family and the girl looks to answer her feelings. Yet the weaving threads of fate will bring these to closer more so than they could imagine; fate will have in store a bond stronger than the boy could wish for and the girl could've been prepared for.