I'll carry you
The regret was slowly but steadily creeping up on me. I was out of breath and my entire body was in pain but that didn’t matter. Nothing mattered in this moment. My eyes were fixated on her. She was unconscious and in the same hospital that I was taken to yesterday. I took a deep breath and walked into the hospital room. My mother was sitting on a chair and crying. My father was nowhere to be seen. It was the same doctor. He was surprised to see me again. My legs went weak and I had to support myself by holding on to her bed. She looked even smaller than usual. I hesitated to touch her. My Ai-chan’s face was covered in bandages. My whole body was trembling, and my throat closed up.
“She suffered some second-degree burns on her left side of the face. She is still unconscious, but we will keep monitoring her,” the doctor told me and left to give my family some space. My mother got up from her chair and closed the door. Akimitsu was waiting outside.
“It’s all your fault! You had to make him angry yesterday! Now, look what he did to my precious baby,” she shouted at me. “Why do you always have to ruin everything? My relationship with your father, my life and now my daughter! Leave! I hate seeing your face! I wish you were never born than all of this wouldn’t have happened! My baby would have still been safe!” she wailed. My head was empty. I ignored her and gave Ai-chan a kiss on her head.
“Ai-chan, can you hear me? Everything will be fine. Your older sister, Ayu-neechan is here now. I won’t let anyone hurt you ever again. You’ll be fine. I know that my Ai-chan is brave and strong. Please don’t cry. Promise me that you won’t be sad,” I whispered into her ear. My mother pushed me away from her and raised her hand, but I grabbed her by her arm. Her eyes widened and it was the very first time that my mother was directly looking at me. I let her go and without saying another word I left the hospital. I asked Akimitsu to look out for them because I needed some fresh air. His bicycle was unlocked. And in the blink of an eye, I was standing in front of my house. The front door was unlocked and the tv was on. He was in his room, getting ready to leave again on one of his so-called business trips. I saw the spilled coffee and broken mug on the floor. I went into the kitchen and opened a drawer. He had his briefcase with him when he came into the living room. His face looked surprised and thrilled at the same time.
“Ayu, drop the knife,” he told me and took a step closer to me. I tightened my grip.
“I let you and mom do everything you wanted to me. I kept quiet like you told me. I suffered in silence. All alone, by myself like we agreed on. I never broke one of your stupid, fucking ass rules. So, tell me, why did you do it? Why did you hurt Aiko?!” I screamed at him.
“Look, it wasn’t my fault. Ai-chan got very upset this morning because you weren’t home and your mother kept lying to her. She came over to me and kept asking where you were. I told her the truth that I didn’t know. She then started crying and said that she knows the truth. Her continuous crying was vexing,” he said and lifted up his hand.
“So, what did you do?” I asked him and grabbed the knife with both of my hands.
“To make her shut up, I threw my coffee at her face that your mother made for me,” he calmly confessed. In that instance, something snapped inside of me. I wasn’t scared anymore. I had nothing to lose. Everything had already been taken away from me since when I was born. They had been eaten away at me for so many years that only a hollow, outer layer remained. My parents, the bullies at my school and life itself. But then I remembered that someone had finally given me a chance to live and experience life. He had shown me what having friends and being cared for someone felt like. I didn’t want to throw that away. I didn’t want to become what I hated. The knife slipped out of my hand and dropped to the floor. My father took that opportunity and struck me with his briefcase. I stumbled and fell back on the floor. The knife slid further away from me and underneath the dining table. I crawled towards it, but my father got on top of me and started choking me. He was serious and tightened his hands around my throat. I was gasping for air.
“I knew you couldn’t do it because you’re the daughter of your mother,” he said and chuckled. I scratched and punched and tried to push his arms away, but nothing was working. I was too weak.
“Please, stop dad. It hurts,” I begged him. My tears meant nothing to him. I already knew that, but they were still running down my face. My breathing was shallow, and my ears started ringing. I felt light-headed and my hands and feet were getting numb. I was losing my strength too. In my panicked state, I grabbed what was closest to me and stabbed him in his side with it. His grip loosened and he let out a loud scream. I pushed him off of me and distanced myself. He tried to stand up, but his body gave in and he fell forward on to the floor. I kept staring at my trembling hand. My body refused to move. A chill went down my spine and my vision got blurry. I suddenly felt very cold. The red was spreading and was staining everything in its way. My father was still breathing. I hastily rubbed my hand against my clothes for the blood to go away. The telephone rang and it brought me back to reality. I just had stabbed my own father. It was my mother on the other end of the phone. The ambulance was on its way after I told her what had happened. The handset of the phone was dangling off of the shelf and the front door was left open. The sky was dark grey and there was another warning of a storm approaching.