Chapter 22:

The Gift of God - Part 1

Last Wish

“It is said that daughters are a gift from God. And I have only found it to be true ever since the day I had you, Yua.”

My father used to say that in the face of any trouble that came to our family. Despite giving up on having a child, they were blessed with a girl in an old age. And he would happily keep on working for her sake, despite being over aged. But age isn’t something that could be ignored in the practical world. A world where all of my cousins were old enough to earn themselves and take care of their parents, I was still a toddler. And despite how much hard work my father did, there was no way he could carry the house on his shoulders alone. That is why we often had financial issues and other problems. Father and mother both tried to keep them from me, but before long, I started to notice that there were problems in the house. And their attempts to keep me out of them only annoyed me. That was why I turned into a delinquent by the time I enrolled in middle school. Bleached my hair blonde, and broke almost every school rule. Stayed outside late. Because I knew if I went home, I would only be bombarded with that sweet, overprotective feeling. I should’ve appreciated that, but an immature brat like me only grew annoyed that they didn’t consider me mature enough to confide in me and let me help. That’s why I often lashed out at my parents for no reason. Saying that, I hated this poor life, hated the plain, boring meals that I got every day. Hated everything that happened in that house. But what I hated truly the most, was the deadweight that was me. I was a useless burden on them.

Maybe that is why in high school, when my boyfriend suggested me to ‘run away together’, instead of seeing it as a stupid joke, I saw an opportunity to stand on my own two feet.

And hence the very next day, I packed all of the necessary items and left a note in my room declaring that I was going away. And the next day after school, instead of going home, I went with my boyfriend to his apartment. A shabby little place, but I didn’t mind.

I was happy that I could finally stand up on my own two feet. That I didn’t have to rely on my parents. I felt liberated. And my parents could finally be free of a burden that was me. Gift from God? The most I was, was a curse on them.

But before long, I found them trying to call me. Leaving messages for me to come home.

“(Why can’t you see, I am doing you two a favor,)” It annoyed me that they still wanted to suffer by keeping me in the house. They had no faith in me living independently. That is when I finally snapped under stress, and said some things that I could never take back. “Please think of me as dead to you and be happy that you are relieved of a burden like me!” and I slammed my flip phone shut.

I was so obsessed with proving to my parents that I was fine that I didn't even notice that my partner was the one who was actually regretting this decision. He said he had a part time job that gave him a generous enough pay to take care of the both of us. And I didn’t have to work. Just take care of the house.

But when his job brought the police to our apartment, only then I realized how blind I was. They searched the whole apartment. I was scared of their action, but deep down, had confidence that we had done nothing wrong. Only for it to be shattered when they found drugs from the apartment. Something that I had no idea of. My boyfriend was an addict and sold drugs at his ‘part time job’.

We were both arrested and taken to the police station. Of course I had done nothing wrong, so after a thorough investigation and a drug test, I was let go. While my boyfriend was thrown into lock up. I had never been more disappointed in him and even more in myself. Because despite everything, I had not grown at all. I was just relying on someone else. Someone, who made me believe that he could take care of me better, when the truth was the same as before.


“Go straight home,” said the police officer who walked me to my neighbourhood. Finally, losing to the world in my rebellious phase, it was time I admitted my defeat and came back. But it wasn’t going to be as simple as that. I couldn’t just take back my actions without facing the consequences.

I saw a crowd of people in my house, all wearing black and looking melancholy. Fear struck my body just on the thought of what was happening. I dashed straight into the house.

At the end of the room, two square boxes lay, with the picture of my father on one and mother on the other, adorned with flowers. People sitting neatly in rows all looked towards me when I made my rowdy entrance.

“Yua,” exclaimed our next door neighbor as she came and hugged me. “You are finally back from your trip.”

I had no idea what she meant by that sentence. But there was only one thing on my mind, “What happened here?”

She grabbed my shoulders and started explaining, “There was a gas leakage last night. And unfortunately your parents did not survive.”

The floor vanished from beneath my feet as I lost energy in my legs. I was wrong, I was ready to admit that. I was ready to accept punishments. Then why, why were they the one who took the fall.

During the funeral, I was made to regret the whole eighteen years of life. I wanted them to be happy. Be free of any burden. So why did this happen?

“Yua,” I looked up and found my Aunt’s daughter standing there. She was almost in her forties, and I was told that she was the one who had organized the whole funeral. “So you came back after all,” she said in a belittling tone. I didn’t say anything to her, just kept looking at her. “Oh don’t think that we don’t know. Uncle and Aunt may have tried to hide it. But it was clear to everyone that you had run away from home. So, why are you back now? Did you finally get bitten by the bitter reality of the outside world?” Each and every word that left her mouth only scarred me even more as tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes.

“They may have been forgiving, but the world is not. It was your choice to run away, now stick to it. There is no place for you here,” and then she dropped this bombshell on me.

“What? But this is my home.”

“And you left it on your own. Do you think you have any right to own the will? Crawl back to where you ran away to,” she said in a cold tone before walking away from me.


I was at the end of the road. The little money I had was gone. I had sold everything I could. From my phone to spare clothes. And no one would give me a part time job because of that whole police incident. Even though I was not the one at fault.

I hadn't eaten for days. And now there was no energy in my body as I just sat in a back alley with my back against the wall. Nothing had happened to me yet, but I am sure I looked like a victim of a crime.

I don't know how long I was there. It was a completely deserted alley as no one passed. Until finally someone appeared in that street. Large coat , felt hat and a cane.

"My, how did you end up here, poor soul," he asked me.

'How did I end up here?' That is one question everyone ends up asking themselves at some point in their lives. And as I pondered upon the same question, I came up with the only one answer.

"I tried to be a bit rebellious, so God f**ked me over."

"That is a terrible thing to say, you know. Especially, a lady should not talk like that."

"What lady do you see in this shell of a human being?"

When I said that, all of a sudden he grabbed my face from my chin and examined it.

"I am disappointed that you say so. You are still young and in the prime of your beauty. And I think you can be even prettier if you lose the hair color. Keep it natural."

I swept away his hand with all the force I could gather. “Come work for me,” he said, “You can stay there. I would take care of all your necessities that you need.”

“What is the job?”

“Become a courtesan at my brothel.” Of course, I had sold everything I had, except one. And the only option left for me at that time was to sell my body.

I said I felt undeserving of anything, but to be honest, I felt like I had it coming. It was God’s punishment. Toying with the rebellious human who thought she could live by her own rules. People would’ve considered dying over such a job. But I was afraid. Afraid that even after death that there was nothing but hell.

“As long as you stay there, taking care of you is my job. Even if there is no customer that comes for you. So, you can come over and pray that no one ever comes to you.”

“Fine. I accept your offer,” hence my time as God’s prisoner began.


The man’s name was Kotha. I was taken to his brothel in Ikebukuro. I was given a room, with a bed, a table and an attached bathroom and restroom. It was weird because at one point, I didn’t feel like living at all, and yet I was stooping to the lowest point just to live. I felt that I needed to atone for my sins. But the only way I could was this. Ironic, it was as God messed around with me.

Though surprisingly, no customer was sent to me for a week there. Maybe there was some luck left to burn, or it was just God’s way of saying that I wasn’t even fit for doing this.

But Mr.Kotha kept his word, as I was given a meal three times a day, and any other thing I needed was given to me. But obviously, taking care of a useless employee was not going to suffice. I was just waiting for him to betray his own words.

And the day came soon, in the worst way possible. He had this brilliant idea of using me as a backdoor. Any customer that the other girls complained about, Mr.Kotha sent to me. Because unlike the others, I was at his mercy. And I took whatever he threw at me without complaining. There were all sorts of weird customers, ones that were too rough, ones who wanted to release that pent up frustration from their extreme work situations. Like police officers or soldiers that were on duty all the time.

But the worst of them all was Mr.Ika. He was someone that every other courtesan had refused to take and he was constantly sent to me. He said he was the CEO of a company despite being young because his parents died in an accident. All the pressure from the other employee and attacks on his company from outside and inside as well, was driving him mad. And to keep himself sane, he came here. And the ways he did that was unsightly to say the least.

The only reason Kotha would keep such a rowdy customer was the money he brought. He must have given Kotha a lot of money and that is why Kotha would never refuse him. And sent him to me. And due to my non complaining nature, Ika got obsessed with me. He would continue visiting at least once a week. And each time, I felt he was growing more rough than before.

This was going to be the rest of my life. Suicide was something I had only thought of but have never grown the spine to be able to actually commit. And amongst all this, years passed with me there. And the day arrived when he finally came.


The door to my room opened and a man wearing an overcoat entered. There was snow on his head and shoulders that he dusted off before removing the coat and hanging it. In a long time, a decent looking customer had been sent, as he showed no signs of frustration or tension. He had well kempt, dark brown hair, and a healthy body physique. He did not say anything and approached my bed. And before either of us could say anything, he fell straight onto the bed on his stomach, and did not say a word.

I could only stare at his bizarre actions and soon I realized that he was sleeping. That whole night was the most eccentric night I spent there. Something kept vibrating in his coat the whole night, but he slept like a horse with no care for the world.

Morning came with me just staring at him the whole night. Thinking about why a decent person like him would be sent to me instead of all the other girls. And why was he only sleeping, despite paying the hefty fees of a brothel. A normal hotel would have been much cheaper.

He woke up almost at the end of his time. He didn’t say anything, just went to his coat, picked out his phone that had been buzzing all night, and placed it against his ear.

“Damn it, Chieki! Where the hell are you!?” The person on the other side was so loud that you could hear him outside the phone.

“Does it matter,” were the first words I ever heard from him.

“Yeah it does. We have wasted a lot of time. Do you think you can make up for this!?”

“Relax, Joe, I have everything under control.” he said and the other person finally calmed down.

After ending his call, he put on his coat. Then faced me and bowed, “Thank you for your patronage.”

“But I didn’t even do anything.”

“Just letting me sleep in peace was more than enough,” saying that he left the room.

I later came to know that his name was Dakio Chieki, a private detective that had been infamous for going to brothels just to sleep.

And it was true. That was not the last I had seen of Dakio Chieki. He started to come often. And unlike our first time, each new meeting gave us a chance to talk a bit more than before.

“Why do you come to sleep here?” I asked, “Can’t you just go to a regular hotel.”

“Nah, hotels, motels and even places for homeless people. They always manage to find me there,” he answered calmly.


“The police.” His words terrified me but he elaborated, “Those people can’t handle their nerves at all. If there is a case, they want it to be solved ASAP. And every single second spent in not doing so is considered wasted.” He sighed.

“But aren’t they right?”

“Of course not. I have the record for the unofficial highest solve percentage among all the police detectives and officers.”

“Shouldn't it be official for them to recognize your skill.”

“I am not part of the police.”

“Right. You work as a private detective.”

“Yeah, you could say that,” he turned to his side. “Sleep now.”

“In the same bed as you?” I felt the blood rushing to my face. Which was ridiculous because I should’ve been used to it by now.

“Aren’t you used to it by now?”

“No, I just did not want to disturb you,” I made a terrible excuse.

“Well then suit yourself. There are lots of different places here. You can take the chair or even sleep on the floor,” he started presenting me with very ungentlemanly options.

“Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?”

“I paid the fee. You are getting paid. So obviously the bed is mine.”

His words made me twitch a little, but I was sure he didn’t notice. He had his eyes closed and soon drifted into deep sleep. But his words kept me awake the whole night.


“So how much do you earn?” one day he asked out of nowhere. It had been almost a year since he first visited.

“I am not supposed to tell you that,” I tried to avoid the question.

“Want me to guess?”

“Suit yourself”

“Three meals a day and a place to stay.” He had been spot on on his first try but I wasn’t supposed to just nod at it.

“What makes you think that?” I tried to laugh at his assessment.

“You have a room with a bathroom, and restroom. There is a closet in here with clothes and I haven’t seen you outside, much less in any other room. Plus whenever I mention you getting paid, there is clear tension on your face.”

I just remained silent on his analogy.

“Why?” he begged the question.

“Because this is the only place I feel deserving of. Outside is just hell before hell. This is much more suited to me,” I gave him my honest feelings but did not violate any non-disclosure terms I had with Mr.Kotha.

“Even though that pimp dumps all sorts of crazy customers to you.”

“It can’t be helped. This is my prison after all and that is my punishment,” I thought I would’ve steeled up to it by now. But the more I talked about it, the more my voice started to break.

“Who decided that?”

“The God that people all around the world revere so much.”

“Why do you think he abandoned you?”

“Because I did some terrible things.”

“And there is no one out there who isn’t worse than you?”


“Do you think that there is no one else deserving a punishment?”

“......” I couldn’t answer his questions. Because I knew there were criminals that roamed freely and even went unpunished.

“The truth is that there is no one punishing you except yourself,” he grabbed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes. “The purpose of a punishment is forgiveness. And it’s about time you forgave yourself.”

“But I don’t know how,” I wanted to go back and undo all that I had done but that was impossible. So, how could I’ve forgiven myself when I couldn’t take back what I had done.

He just smiled at my troubles, “Allow me to be your guide then. Your partner for the rest of your life.” His hands wiped the tears leaving my eyes. Before bringing me closer. Planting his lips on mine. A nostalgic, yet new warmth filled my body. It was the first time in all his visits that he ever laid a hand on me.


“Mr.Kotha,” Dakio went inside Mr.Kotha’s office to have a chat. Though there was already another person present there, Mr.Ika himself. But Dakio did not care if anyone else heard him. “How much for you to let go of Yua?”

“Excuse me,” Kotha was visibly offended, but it was Ika who reacted severely.

“What do you mean let her go? She is the best courtesan here. Who the hell do you think you are to demand such an outrageous thing?”

“Please keep your personal preferences to yourself,” Dakio shut Mr.Ika down and focused on Mr.Kotha only. “So, how much?”

Mr.Kotha, unlike Mr.Ika, responded in a much sophisticated manner, “Mr.Chieki. As much as I respect you as a customer, there are still boundaries. The way you say it makes it sound like I treat my employees as objects.”

“Not employees, just Yua. Someone you are only using as a moneymaker with no freedom at all.”

“Who told you such a lie? Was it Yu-”

“Please. I think the nature of my work makes it very clear that I don’t need other people to tell me to know. Now name your price.”

Mr.Kotha was troubled by Dakio’s persistence.

“You don’t see the irony of all this do you? You are just treating her the same way that you are condemning me.”

“Sure, how we are doing things might look alike. But there is a fundamental difference between us. I am a man and you are a pimp. And since you don’t want to say it. Let me offer one. All the profit she had made you from the beginning. I will pay you four times that. Equalling to an estimate of what she will ever bring you if she lived her whole life here.”

“Are you fine with this Mr.Kotha,” Mr.Ika was getting restless. But Mr.Kotha still gave him no attention. “If that is the case, I can provide the money as well.”

“This is not an auction house!” Mr.Kotha roared Mr.Ika to silence. But Dakio looked at it another way.

“So, it still doesn’t appeal to your pimp. Fine then. The best courtesan you ever had in all your time in this business. I will pay you four times as much as she brought you in her whole career,” his words made Mr.Kotha’s eyes go wide.

“You don’t give up do you? Mr.Kotha clearly stated that this is not an auction. How disgraceful,” though Mr.Ika still whined even though Mr.Kotha’s expression said otherwise.

“Four times? Do you even know how much that is?” Mr.Khota said in unbelief.

“Mr.Kotha what are you saying?” Mr.Ika was now seeing the true nature of this conversation.

“Please be quiet Mr.Ika.”

Mr.Kotha smirked as he named the amount. Mr.Ika’s eyes were about to gauge out by themselves at such a grand number. Dakio on the other hand just sighed.

“Are you still willing to pay?” Mr.Kotha confirmed. It was a win-win for him. If Dakio refused, he would still get to keep me here. If Dakio accepted, he would have enough money to last generations.

“Of course,” Dakio took out his phone and made a call. When he was done, he said, “you will receive the money shortly. I will take Yua with me now.”

“Mr.Kotha how could you do this?” Mr.Ika was going wild. But when Mr.Kotha paid no heed to his rants, he understood the true nature of that man. So, instead, he turned to Dakio, “Who do you think you are? Who gave you the right over that prostitute? She is supposed to be here to serve me. She is nothing more than a tool for my stress. Do you think that paying that amount for someone like her is worth it?” He just spoke whatever came to his mind. Throwing a fit at the tip of the hat was normal for him.

But Dakio only gave him a cold stare to shut him up, “Like I said, I am a man and you are a pimp.”

And he left the room. That day I stepped in the outside world for the first time in 6 years. I was still afraid, but what kept me strong was that I was not alone. I was not the brat Yua like before. I was Yua Chieki.