Thirty-fifth chapter written by Batteries.

It's Snowing Tomorrow

Chapter 35

Jun knew there was something odd with the way Mato came home the day before. He spoke to everyone in a soft, barely audible voice, and his voice could only be heard when it was necessary, like when asked if he was okay or if he needed some water. He said he wasn't hungry when dinner was prepared. He'd stayed in his room and laid in his bed from the moment he came home.

Jun had suggested their parents bring Mato to a doctor. Probably for a check-up to see if Mato had a bit of a physical problem, but they said no, Mato would be himself by the next day.

The morning thereafter, Mato did finally leave the safety of his only to drag himself into the washroom. Jun, who was reading a novel in his room next door, heard Mato's door creak open and hurried to throw his bookmark into his open page and scuttle over to the wall and press his ear against it, as if he'd never heard his brother leave his room before.

Taking care to breathe slowly and quietly, there was the sound of the bathroom door swishing open and hitting the wall, as if Mato had recklessly swung the door open. Then there was the delicate sound of the toilet seat hitting the toilet bowl. Then a cough. A few additional coughs, and then a wretched gag and the sound of liquids falling at regular intervals between more gags.

Jun took his face off of the door immediately and swung it open. His first thought was to race into the bathroom and help his brother dry heave, but then he reconsidered. He tiptoed across the hall from his room to Mato's, thanking the Heavens that the bathroom door was closed (1: Because Jun threw up watching others throw up and 2: If Mato saw Jun going into his room, he wouldn't let him live to tell the tale).

Creeping into his brother's room, he just wished he knew what his brother was doing in his room for so long. Nothing seemed out of place as he stepped in, but a glint of light on the blanket caught his eye. As Jun inched towards the bed, scenarios popping into his head rapidly as he grew more and more scared, he realized it was what he had feared; a knife. The inexpensive kind that people use to sharpen their pencils.

But as he got nearer, he realized it was considerably far on the bed from where it looked Mato had been spending his time. There was an area of the bed where the sheets were a bit wrinkled and as Jun patted it, was still slightly warm from body heat. Picking up the knife, he eyed it and noticed there were no traces of blood. It was as if Mato had contemplated using the knife, but then decided not to. Or maybe he just didn't feel like it.

Jun almost jumped as he heard the toilet flush. He retracted the knife back into its plastic and shoved it into his pajama pocket. Sounds of tap water running and Mato rinsing out his mouth were heard as Jun scurried from the room and back to his own, taking care to quietly close his door as if he'd never left.

When Jun heard the sound of Mato falling back into his bed, and he was certain that Mato hadn't noticed the disappearance of his knife, Jun left his room once again. This time heading to his parents' room. Mato wasn't eating nor drinking, locking himself up in his room, and throwing up although there was almost nothing in his stomach. Mato was not okay.

-

Days later at school, Kurisu was quietly sipping on his newly bought iced cappuccino at the lounge area when his phone began to vibrate. He swallowed his mouthful of coffee-flavored ice and took another sip, waiting for the vibration to end. When it did, he waited for a second vibration to confirm it was a phone call. No second vibration meant he'd received a text. And there wasn't.

Taking his time, he set his cappuccino down on the low black table and slid his phone out of his pocket. He clicked the centre button. The screen flashed on.

"1 new message from Mato"

Kurisu almost choked his coffee slush down the wrong tube as he read it. Sitting upwards from his slouch, he reread it again. He'd read right. Mato was sending him a text. Kurisu hurriedly pressed the centre button to open it.

"this is Jun. Mato's sick. come to the mental asilum across from the hospital you were in before asap."

And suddenly worry washed over him like a tidal wave. The worry overpowering the disappointment he'd gotten when he realized it was actually Jun. Kurisu might've actually laughed because Jun had misspelled "asylum", but he hadn't noticed. Mato was sick.

But then another thought crossed his mind. If Mato was sick, why was he in the mental asylum? Kurisu pondered the question for a moment before deciding that Mato probably just got so used to the place that he'd rather go there than an actual hospital. Then he shook himself and got up, speeding towards the nearest exit, abandoning his quarter-finished ice cappuccino on the table.

Deciding that the bus would be too damn slow to wait for, Kurisu took a massive breath and sprinted. Kurisu estimated that there were about twelve different cars (buses and trucks not included) that could've ran him over had he been running a brush slower, but he hadn't.

Almost running into a pedestrian while texting on the go, he sent Jun a quick "which room". His answer came just as he flew in through the asylum doors. The way he walked in made him seem like he was one of the inmates, which the reception nurse probably thought before Kurisu stumbled up to her and said he would be visiting Mato Norman, and then took the time to tell her that he wouldn't need assistance as he already knew where his room was, thank you miss, and have a great day.

Deciding the same situation with the elevators as he'd decided the bus, he ran up seven flights of stairs and ignored a doctor telling him to slow down as he sped across the hall. Not bothering to knock on the door as he suspected there was no need as Mato was (was) a close friend of his, he threw the door open and stumbled inside, gasping as if he was the one unwell.

Jun and his parents looked up in surprise, and the tending nurse spun around. Mato slowly turned his head from where he was in his bed and gazed at Kurisu through half-closed eyes. Kurisu huffed and puffed and stood where he was, eyes glaring at everybody in the room, waiting for someone to tell him what was going on.

The nurse, having seemed read Kurisu's mind, stepped over to him, her high heels clacking against the floor (the only sound in the room aside from Kurisu's hyperventilating gasps), and as soon as she was close enough, whispered with a blank face, "Mato is suffering from depression".