Chapter 17:

Haruko, under the sea

52 Hertz


“Yulan. Yuuuuulaaaaan. Can you say it? Come on, try one more time. Ugh, if you can’t even say my name how the hell are people going to know you belong to me??? I didn’t kidnap you!”Bookmark here

The little girl made a strange gurgling noise.Bookmark here

Hey, HEY, NOT ON THE CARPET! THIS IS A NEW CARPET!”Bookmark here

The girl threw up.Bookmark here

“UWAAAAAH! STOP!”Bookmark here

Yulan quickly picked her up and rushed to the bathroom.Bookmark here

“Go on now. I told you not to eat the silica packets. Those aren’t edible.”Bookmark here

“Bible?”Bookmark here

The child asked.Bookmark here

“Edible.”Bookmark here

“Ble?”Bookmark here

“Yeah sure. Done? Okay wash your hands.”Bookmark here

The little girl scrubbed her hands with soap as Yulan sat on the bathroom floor, his head leaning against the bathtub.Bookmark here

“My god, Suki-san, how did you do it?”Bookmark here

“Sooki? Mommy?”Bookmark here

Yulan glared at the girl but then sighed loudly.Bookmark here

“Haruko-chan? No, Ko-ko, come here.”Bookmark here

He opened his arms as Haruko smiled and gave him a hug.Bookmark here

“Haha. Do you miss mommy?”Bookmark here

“.... no. Ko-ko has Lan.”Bookmark here

“Hmmm. You’re lying.”Bookmark here

“Ko-ko doesn’t lie.”Bookmark here

“Is that so?”Bookmark here

Yulan picked the girl up once again and walked out into the main room of the small apartment.Bookmark here

“Thank goodness there’s a bathroom here. For a one room apartment, it’s a luxury.”Bookmark here

“Lan, where's Suki?”Bookmark here

“Suki-san? Your mother? You know where she went, Ko-chan.”Bookmark here

“Mommy went to play right?”Bookmark here

“That’s right. Mom went to play in the clouds. She can eat what she wants and sleep as much as she wants. Of course, she can watch over Ko-ko as well.”Bookmark here

“Wachover?”Bookmark here

“Yes she watches over you everyday. That’s really special isn’t it.”Bookmark here

“Yes!”Bookmark here

Yulan sat down and pulled out a maid outfit magazine. Haruko grabbed it but Yulan yanked it away and stood up. He was so tall, 5 year old Haruko could never reach. He giggled.Bookmark here

“Hehe~ this isn’t for kids now! When you grow up, Ko-ko, you can read it okay?”Bookmark here

“Ko is big.”Bookmark here

Yulan snorted and chucked the magazine away. The apartment was a mess. You could barely see the floor. Funny that Yulan cared about a new carpet when you couldn’t even see the damn thing.Bookmark here

“Laaan.”Bookmark here

“It’s Yulan, you know. What do you want now?”Bookmark here

“Huggsies.”Bookmark here

Yulan looked like he just ate a lemon.Bookmark here

“Don’t even say that- ugh.”Bookmark here

“HUGGSIES!”Bookmark here

“Fine. Come here Ko-ko.”Bookmark here

Yulan said, exhausted. He grabbed the little girl and laid down on his back. Haruko smiled happily and hit Yulan’s face. She grabbed the tie from his school uniform and stuffed it in her mouth. Yulan laughed and patted her on the head.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“TELL ME EXACTLY HOW THIS HAPPENED! WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING???!!! STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET LIKE THAT!Bookmark here

“I TOLD YOU, THE DRIVER WAS IMPAIRED! HE WAS DRUNK! OTHERWISE, HE WOULD’VE STOPPED!”Bookmark here

“WHAT THE HELL? WHAT THE HELL! SO YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG THEN???”Bookmark here

“GOD… THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEAN!”Bookmark here

Who’s yelling?Bookmark here

“WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER? SINCE DAY ONE, YOU LASHED OUT ON HER. AND NOW THIS?”Bookmark here

Itsuki-chan? That’s Itsuki-chan’s voice. And…Bookmark here

“Stop that. Both of you, get out. Now. You’re both disturbing her. You think she wants to wake up to this? GET OUT. Now.”Bookmark here

Kaito-kun. He has a stern yet soft voice.Bookmark here

“Haruko-san…. Wake up now. They’re not here to make a ruckus anymore. How long are you going to sleep? I’m… not good at things like this…”Bookmark here

What things? Am I sleeping? But I can hear you fine. Hehe, Kaito-kun, you’re finally calling me by my first name?Bookmark here

That time I… that time when Shun-kun and Taichi-kun were being introduced as new club members. I saw it. I know what you’re doing. You shouldn’t do those kinds of things… if you’re stressed you can buy an ice cream or take a walk. Why… would you… to your body…”Bookmark here

What’s he saying now? I can’t understand. It feels like I'm underwater. My body feels heavy and I can't breathe. It's like the world is crushing me down.Bookmark here

“I should have… done something… I should have…”Bookmark here

It’s fine. This is just a bad habit of mine. It doesn’t concern you… so think only of happy things.Bookmark here

“I have no idea how to get in contact with --------------. Your phone was found in the park but it was broken…”Bookmark here

“Hey hey, brother, stop. She still hasn’t woken up but you’re putting too many things on her.”Bookmark here

“Sakura…”Bookmark here

“Ugh… Should I even be here? I only met her once but… I really liked her. The way she got all embarrassed when she tried to say the B word.”Bookmark here

“B? BL?”Bookmark here

“Mh-hm.”Bookmark here

“Ehhh…”Bookmark here

“You weren’t even sleeping. That’s why you got all pissed so fast.”Bookmark here

“What? Well how can I sleep comfortably when you all were talking about that type of thing?”Bookmark here

“Exactly! But now you’re telling an injured person about all these difficult things as well!”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

Now they’re the ones arguing. I should tell them to stop but why… can’t I move my arm… I want to wave to them and say “Hello!” We should all go see the ocean. Summer break is going to start soon!Bookmark here

“Sigh… we have to find ----------. He needs to know what happened.”Bookmark here

“The ----------- who’s alive?”Bookmark here

“Oh my god, yes obviously! Don’t joke about that.”Bookmark here

“Sorry.”Bookmark here

Who are they talking about? I want to know too!Bookmark here

“Let’s head back for today. We’ll come back tomorrow.”Bookmark here

What? No! Where are you going? Don’t leave me here alone! I don’t want to be alone! Come back!Bookmark here

Haruko struggled for what felt like a lifetime. Every day, a voice would be heard. The voice would tell Haruko “Good morning!” and later, “Good night!”. But, that’s not the voice Haruko wanted to hear. Whose voice did she want to hear? He was tall. He had long, shiny black hair. He always wore a dark suit. Haha, he doesn’t work in the mafia. Maybe he should! It would suit him more. Then, he would have a good excuse for lying. Yulan, I love you but you don’t love me.Bookmark here

Haruko opened her eyes. The room was dark. Outside the big windows on the wall, the city lights shined brightly. Haruko tried lifting her head. It was heavy. Was her head always this heavy? She looked around. The clock read 3:26 AM. June 9th. She looked down at her arms. They were all bandaged up. An IV was hooked up to her right hand. Where were her things? Her uniform? Her bag? Her book? She ripped the IV out of her hand and flinched. As she leaned over the side of the bed, she noticed the floor looked miles away. Carefully placing her foot down, she tried to stand but her legs gave away, making her fall face first onto the floor. Haruko tried pushing herself back up. After much pain, she decided to crawl over to the drawers on the other side of the room.Bookmark here

Opening the first one, she immediately found her bag. It had been washed. Why was it washed? What happened to it? Why was she in a private hospital room? She opened her back quickly and searched furiously for the book; 52 Hertz. It wasn’t there. It was missing. She was too tired to panic. She suddenly felt weak and terribly unfortunate. What happened… Why was the book so important…Bookmark here

The door to Haruko’s room slid open silently. A pool of golden light shined on her, then disappeared as the door closed again. Haruko lay on her stomach, the floor felt cold and slippery. A pair of shiny black shoes appeared in front of her face. Haruko didn’t look up and decided to play dead. A familiar, gentle voice whispered to her, breaking the silence.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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