Chapter 15:

Act 15

I'll carry you

I was feeling out of place. There was an odd feeling inside my gut. Like an illusion has bursted open in front of me. And I was seeing the true colours of the world. I was glad that I took a step forward but why was it so scary at the same time? It was like walking on a very thin thread that could snap any time underneath my weight. Why did I become friends with them? What was the reason again? Do you need a reason to be friends with someone? Nakajima was right. I never put in the effort to properly get to know any one of them. It was my own fault that I was feeling like this. Me being his friend and him having a girlfriend were two completely different things. But her being the one who was my bully, hurt a little bit. I thought he cared about me because I started caring about him. I told myself to not get upset and just keep living like I always had. He was still my friend, but I started feeling a bit awkward around him. Yumiko and Nakajima didn’t mention the incidence either. Maybe they didn’t want to make things worse. I kept my distance from him. I didn’t want to interfere with his other relationships. I realised a while back that he was prioritising me over himself. I had never found the right time to ask why. Bookmark here

The weekend had arrived, and I was doing my homework and some revision afterwards. Aiko was at her friend’s house for a birthday party. She would be sleeping over at their house, but my mother wanted go in the evening to just check up on her and see if everything was alright. The sun was going down and the streetlamps turned on. My mother grabbed her car keys and jacket. I was washing the dishes. Bookmark here

“Ayu, get me my purse,” my mother said to me. I dried my hands off of my trousers. Her purse was next to our telephone. I picked it up and wanted to walk over to her who was in the hallway, but my father stood in my way and wouldn’t let me pass him. He was doing it on purpose to get on my nerves.Bookmark here

“Move,” I said irritated and pushed him slightly away.Bookmark here

“That’s not how you talk to your father,” my mother yelled at me and grabbed me by my arm.Bookmark here

“He wouldn’t move out of my way,” I explained to her, but she dragged me with her. Bookmark here

“Apologise to your father right now,” she demanded from me. I kept quiet. “Didn’t you hear me? I said to tell your father that you’re sorry.”Bookmark here

“No,” I answered. Without any hesitation she slapped me across my face. Bookmark here

“Why do you keep disappointing me? When will you learn to finally grow up?” she asked me. The front door was shut down and she left me all alone with him again. Bookmark here

“You shouldn’t have angered your mother,” my father said and cracked his knuckles.Bookmark here

“It’s all your fault,” I whispered. He raised his eyebrows and walked over to me. His hand grabbed me by my hair, and he slapped me across the face as well. It was the same cheek. It was throbbing and painful. I tasted metal in my mouth. He pushed me against the wall and placed his forearm against my throat. I was having difficulty breathing. Bookmark here

“Listen here you piece of shit. Nothing has been my fault. It’s all your and your mother’s fault. I had the worst luck to end up with both of you, especially you. A good-for-nothing daughter. The only good quality that you have is that you are not fucking ugly,” he said and stroked my reddened cheek. He had an unsettling and creepy smile on his face. I pushed him away, but he quickly grabbed me by my forehead and slammed the back of my head against the wall. I felt a sharp pain go through my head and I felt dizzy. I tumbled to the floor and held my head between my hands. Bookmark here

“I’m going to run away. I’m going to fucking leave one day!” I screamed out loud. My body was trembling. Bookmark here

“Good luck. Even if you leave, I will still have your younger sister and your mother will never leave my side. I actually told your mother to abort her second child after getting pregnant again, but she insisted of bringing your younger sister into this world,” he said and turned off the lights. He sat down on the sofa to watch some tv. My hands formed into fists and I kept tugging at my hair. I wanted to scream and scream. Bookmark here

“You bring bad luck to the people around you. It’s your own fault. And if you don’t believe me, go to the closest train station after checking the send messages folder on your phone. If I would be you, I would stay away from the boy called Akimitsu Eichi from today on,” he said and switched tv channels. Bookmark here

“What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked shocked and ran into my room. I grabbed my phone and tried to unlock it with my shaky hands. I went into the folder and saw that someone had sent a text message to Akimitsu; to meet me at the train station this evening. A bad feeling came over me and I ran out of the house, clutching on to my phone. My house slippers were bothering me, so I took them off and kept running. People were staring and cars were honking at me for running red lights. My father was a very despicable man. And so were the people he hung around with. They were bad people and would do anything for a small amount of money. Bookmark here

I arrived outside the train station but couldn’t see him anywhere. He must have been inside. I jumped over the barrier and ran down the stairs. There were still people around. My eyes frantically looked around and saw a crowd of people at the very end of the station. The voices around me told me that a boy was being beaten up by some older guys. I pushed the people aside and made my way closer and closer to the fight. I froze in place. There he was, on the floor. Someone was sitting on top of him and kept punching down on him. Everyone was watching and staring but no one was helping him. They were whispering and making faces like they were the victims. That’s why I hated people. Everyone was the same, vile and shameless. They didn’t like to dirty their fingers because it was not their problem. Akimitsu turned his head and our eyes met. Instead of asking for help, he shook his head, telling me not to get involved. He knew. Tears were running down my cheeks and my shoulders were shaking. I was not safe at school nor was I safe at home. But he was the one who gave me a safe haven. I lost control over myself because in that moment, I realised that I didn’t want to let go of him.Bookmark here

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