Tsuki no Hikari
By Kurohane Shizumi
Hisou Youhi was taking another night walk through the park. It was about nine o'clock. He sat on his favorite bench in a glade. The trees swayed in the gentle breeze. Summer nights were the best in his opinion. He was wearing a navy blue cotton, long sleeve top and a pair of grey sweatpants. Another warm breeze blew, tossing his short black back and forth. He laid down on the bench, cupping his head with his hands to lie on them. He closed his eyes.
The memories came flooding back to him like a tsunami and he opened his eyes quickly. The images played before him as though it were the exact day, time and place of its execution. Youhi sighed, immediately taken by them. He closed his eyes and allowed the recap.
Youhi was five. He was riding in the car. He was in the backseat. His father was driving and his mother was in the passenger seat. Suddenly, the car swerved all over the road. He put his hands up to shield his face. When he opened his eyes, he was frozen with fear. His father and mother sat motionless in their seats. He called for them under his breath. They did not answer. He called louder, but not too loud, afraid that if he did he would crush them with his voice alone. They still did not respond. He began to cry, fearing the worst. He shook. He heard a voice from outside the car. He forced himself to turn to look. There was a man. He was running toward the car. He heard police sirens.
He was being pulled from the car. His parents were being rescued as well. While he was taken with the police, his mother and father were lifted onto stretchers in separate ambulances. Youhi was scared and confused. He wanted his parents. He told the officer that. The officer told him that they were also going to the hospital. He was going to ride with him because a child shouldn't have to see his parents like that. They arrived at the hospital and he asked the officer where his parents were. The officer wanted him to be looked at for any signs of wounds. He was taken to a pediatric room and a nice nurse came in and looked at him. He asked her where his parents were. She told him he was a brave boy. He told her he wanted to see his parents.
He recalled being in an office a little later after that. They had left the hospital and went to a big building. He was asked questions about his family. The woman asked him if he had an aunt or uncle. Someone else he could go to. He told them about his aunt. He told her that he did not really know his aunt but she visited them a lot. The woman asked him if he knew where she lived or what her phone number was. He replied no. She asked her name. He told her his aunt's first name. Since she was a close relative, they had found her and sent the boy to her. Youhi was happy to leave the big building but he wanted to see his parents. Where were they? Why hadn't they come to get him? Why was he going to live with his aunt?
He asked many times about his parents. The officers would tell him nothing. His aunt took him to see his parents at the hospital. The doctors and his aunt spoke and she covered her mouth at a point. He looked on curiously. She came to him and told him that they were going to see his mother but that he had to be especially quiet because his mother was sick. He nodded happily.
He opened the door to the room silently as his aunt followed behind him. It was a typical hospital room. On the bed, his mother lay motionless. A few beeps in the background were white noise to him. He approached her cautiously. Once he realized that she was going to stay in the bed he climbed a chair and placed his elbows on the bed carefully. He called her in a whisper. She did not answer. He whispered words of encouragement to her. He told her she could wake up now. She did not respond.
Once they were out of the room, he asked his aunt what was wrong with his mama. She explained that his mama was very sick and she had to stay here for a while until she got better. He asked about his father. He asked if they were going to visit him next. She replied no. They were not going to see his father. He asked why. She was silent for a little while. Then she bent down to be level with him. She grasped his forearms almost painfully and her voice trembled.
"Your father is dead and your mother is dying. And all of this is your fault."
Youhi opened his mouth to speak but no words could come out. She rose and led him to the car. He stayed there that night. He thought about his mother and begged his aunt to take him to see her everyday. Everyday he went to the hospital and spoke in hushed tones to his mother. Every night he cried and prayed that his mother would be well soon. He mourned the loss of his father in that period too. After a week, they received a call from the hospital. His mother had passed away. He cried all day that day.
His aunt became his legal guardian. She enrolled him in a school near her house. She was kind. However, on occasion, or when she was especially mad or upset at him, she would remind him that he was the cause of his parents' death. That he was sinful. She would ask him why he couldn't be a good boy. She would hit him and then cry over him as if someone else had done it. She would beg him never to leave her and then push him away from her as though he were red-hot coals. She would say I love you and then, not a moment too late, she'd contradict herself in some way. He never spoke to her unless necessary. He never brought a friend over. He never had friends. He stayed away from everyone. He stayed out of the loop.
Years passed. He was twelve. At twelve, he had more scars then anyone his age should have had. His forearms were bruised purple. His hands, if left idle for too long, would shake from the nerve-endings. He was beaten and slashed for no reason. And he would take it. He took it for her sake. After she'd hurt him she would cry over him and tell him she loved him and list things about him she loved.
When he had graduated high school, he went to a college in the next prefecture on a full scholarship. He packed his things one day while she was at work and left, leaving a note.
To my dear aunt,
I wanted you to know I am leaving. I will not come back to you. I have died and gone home to my parents. I will remove your sin. I want you to be happy. This is for the best. I want you to know I forgive you. I hold no resentment to you. I wish I could have seen you smile just once while I had stayed here. Only, after a certain period of time, the thorn in your side must come out. I understand I am your thorn. It is now time for me to leave your side. Good-bye, my dear aunt.
When he had entered college, he didn't make friends. He didn't stay in the dorms he found an apartment close by, got a job, and lived alone. As long as he did nothing, wrong no one could say anything to him. No one could hurt him. Slowly, the flesh wounds healed. He still wore long clothing. Since he had no curfew, he decided to roam the streets at night. He liked the cool breeze of the night. He liked the sound of rustling tree leaves and rain falling. He would walk out and go to a bench every night, rain or not, in the cover of a ring of thick trees. He would sit there and stare up at the sky, the stars, and, if it were there, the moon.
His thoughts would often be melancholic. He would think of his mother and father. How proud would they be? He thought of the love they always portrayed to him. He wondered often if anyone could ever love him. He would remind himself that he could never be loved. He was a sin. He thought if only someone could read his mind, wrap their arms around him, and tell him he wasn't a sin; that it wasn't his fault. He would cry. He would never cry in his apartment, but out there on that bench, where no one was watching, he would spill his tears silently, whimpering and sobbing uncontrollably.
If he was to be loved, why did he feel like his heart was ripped from him everyday? Why did no one seem to care about him? He often thought about what it was like to die. How would it feel? Would it hurt? Would he see his parents or would he just fade and become nothingness?
He desperately wanted to be loved, but he didn't want to look for it and he didn't want to be fooled by it. After everything he'd been through, didn't he deserve love or was he really sinful? He would cry constantly but the tears couldn't clean him of his transgression. The dirt was still there. He would find himself holding himself. He would sleep for countless hours. He concluded if he was to sleep and simply not wake up, he would die and his pain would stop. Every morning, however, he would wake and resent the sun.
Youhi clenched his fists and sat up abruptly. The wind blew again. He thought often about his parents. He had dreams of his parents hugging him and telling him how proud they were of him. He would smile bitterly to himself at these thoughts. No one would ever love him. He was wicked. He wasn't wicked. His mind would go back and forth for hours until he became so depressed he went to sleep.
He sighed and glanced at his wristwatch. It was almost eleven thirty. He sighed again and hopped off the bench. He walked out of the circle of trees and into their thickness for a little before plopping on to a sidewalk. He walked down two blocks and crossed the street walking down that street. He walked about two blocks down nothing but condominiums until he came to a three-story one. He turned into the gate and found the elevator that took him up to the third floor. The doors opened to hallway. He took the right pathway all the way down the hall. He searched his pockets for the key and opened the door.
His apartment was small. There was a bedroom and a bathroom. The kitchen was part of the living room. Youhi went to his bedroom and changed. He took a shower and dried his hair. He decided to go to sleep. There had been enough reminiscing for one day. He snuggled under the warm blankets only to wish there was another warm body under them to snuggle to. Sighing, he shut off the bedside lamp and drifted off to sleep.
This chapter has not been re-eidted. It will be worked on after the Fukai Ai Series.