Chapter 17:

Act 17

I'll carry you

We were both discharged the same night after I kept annoying the doctor and nurse. Akimitsu tried to convince them as well and, in the end, they finally gave in. My father never turned up to the hospital and the calls from the nurse weren’t going through. We walked all the way back to the train station where his bicycle was. It was completely empty, and no trains were running. I stood at the platform and looked into the distance.Bookmark here

“Do you know why I like trains and train stations? Because you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. You can be free,” I said my thoughts out loud.Bookmark here

“Where would you want to go?” Akimitsu asked me and stood next to me.Bookmark here

“Somewhere where there is a big body of water,” I answered and zipped up the jacket he lent me. Bookmark here

“So, you mean the ocean or the sea?” he questioned.Bookmark here

“Yes, that’s what I just said,” I confirmed. It was silent around us. The lights were flickering, and the tracks were deserted. I could see buildings glowing in the distance. The dark blue night sky was covered in stars and the moon was full. He told me to sit on the back of his bicycle, but I refused. It was too dangerous for him to ride it. So, we started walking again. The convenience store was still open, and we bought some instant ramen and snacks. Bookmark here

“You have changed a lot. I didn’t recognise you at all. You were so small,” I said and placed the plastic bags in his bicycle basket. This time, I was walking him home. I really didn’t want to go home tonight.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I changed quite a bit. I have gotten a lot bigger since back then, but you haven’t changed at all in my eyes,” he said and looked up into the sky. He had a bittersweet smile on his face. The night had finally become peaceful. It was a long way until we got to his house. Or better said to his apartment. He locked up his bicycle at the bicycle rack and I quickly grabbed the plastic bags.Bookmark here

“Carrying some instant ramen and snacks won’t hurt me,” he said and chuckled. We went up the stairs and he took out his key to open the front door. The water in the kettle was boiling and the heating was turned on by him. I opened the instant ramen and poured the hot water in. I didn’t realise how exhausted I was but even eating was becoming a difficult task to complete. My eyes were blurry, and my eyelids felt very heavy. They kept closing on me.Bookmark here

“You can sleep here tonight,” Akimitsu said and took out two futons and placed them next to each other. “My father is away for a couple of days and won’t be coming home until next Thursday.”Bookmark here

“No, I can’t. I have to go home. I need to be there for when Ai-chan comes back home,” I said and tried to stand up. My hand slipped on the table and I fell on my knees. I felt dizzy. I had completely forgotten about the fact that my head was slammed against a wall, just a couple of hours ago. It might have given me a small concussion. Akimitsu looked extremely tired as well. His white bandages on is head made me feel bad again. I crawled over to one of the futon and laid down.Bookmark here

“I’m just going to rest here for a bit,” I told him and closed my eyes. I heard him laying down next to me on the other futon after turning off the lights. The entire apartment smelt like him and it wasn’t helping me that I was still wearing his jacket. My feet were hurting as well from only walking around in socks. They were probably really dirty as well. That’s why Akimitsu wanted me to sit on his bicycle, but I convinced him that my feet were fine. My hands were still cold. I opened my eyes and saw Akimitsu holding and blowing on them. It gave me goosebumps. But also, it made me feel very warm and cosy inside. My cheeks felt hot and I buried my face into the pillow. And before I realised, I fell asleep. It was a very deep sleep. One of the kinds that I had never experienced. Bookmark here

“My heart belongs to you,” I heard Akimitsu whisper. He seemed so far away yet very close to me. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or not. What I did know was that I was feeling awful after I had woken up. Akimitsu was still fast asleep. I went to the bathroom to pee and clean myself up. The mirror showed me how horrible I was looking. My phone’s screen was broken after what I did to it yesterday. I tried to turn it on, but the screen remained black. I plugged it into Akimitsu’s charger and while my phone was charging, I boiled some water and took out the sandwiches that we bought yesterday out of the fridge. Akimitsu woke up and went into the bathroom to freshen up as well. He took his pain medication that he was given from the hospital when he came back and suggested for me to take some as well. We sipped on some green tea and very slowly ate our sandwiches. The sun was already at its highest peak. Akimitsu changed into some new clothes and gave me some as well that I changed into. They had belonged to his mother. It was a light pink dress with a peter pan collar and lace, and some new socks. Bookmark here

My phone made a noise and turned on. I was already expecting a lot of missed calls and text messages from my mother. And I was correct, but I was wrong about the reason. My phone slipped out of my hand and dropped on to the tatami floor. I immediately ran out of the apartment. Akimitsu grabbed me by my arm and told me to hop on the back of his bicycle. I gripped at him firmly and kept hitting my forehead against his back. I honestly thought that nothing worse could happen after last night. But I was naïve. I was stupid. My worst nightmare had come true.Bookmark here

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