Chapter 1:

ONE- Spark Again (Yoshida Masanori)

Life x Like

I felt like I was floating. I couldn't see. And in fact, I had lost sensation everywhere in my body. It was a no-brainer that it was what dying felt like.

I could only hear muffled voices. I couldn't make out what they belonged to. I could only stay like that for what felt like an eternity.


"Wake up…"

I grunted and groaned. Everything hurt but I was confused. Why did I feel pain all of a sudden?


I was jolted awake and felt like I was electrocuted. I opened my eyes slowly just to be blinded by bright lights.

"Ugh…" my voice sounded hoarse.

"Oh you are finally awake!" a voice exclaimed. My eyes focused to find a woman's face staring down at me.

"How do you feel?" she asked.

"W-where am I?" I asked, confused. I was supposed to be dead wasn't I?

"The hospital. If you were planning to die, that isn't a good place." the woman said, "As abandoned as it is, it's only a few blocks away from a convenience store. In that case I would be able to-"

The woman stopped herself.

"Wait. Why is a kid your age trying to kill yourself anyway."

Now that's a good question. But something I couldn't get myself to answer at that time.

"I…" my voice quietened down.

"Listen-" the woman started. But she was interrupted by a phone call.

"Hello?" she said, "Sorry! I'll be right there. Don't worry!"

The woman hung up and hastily got up.

"Sorry, I have to go." she said.

"H-huh?" I questioned.

"I'm still working, my shift isn't over yet."

Without another word, she ran off. I watched as her figure drifted off into the distance.


"I'm a mess…" I said under my breath. It had been a whole five minutes since she left. I took that time to survey my condition. My hoodie was all torn and bloody. My jeans were too. They looked a bit shorter than they were too. I felt a few stitches on my forehead. But as I did, a splitting headache shot at me. I placed my hands over my head as an involuntary response.

"I wouldn't have done that if I were you." a voice said. I looked to see a bearded man with a stethoscope on his neck. His dark eyes showed genuine concern. A part of me thought, 'Yeah, you are wasting your time being concerned about me.'

"What?" I asked.

"You shouldn't touch that." he responded, "Your head suffered a minor injury. However, couple of stitches fixed that."

"Oh.. Sorry." I responded.

"Your vitals seem normal." the doctor continued. "You will be discharged on a bit. Do you have anyone you need to call? Where are your parents at such a situation."

"They're… in vacation." I lied, "Out to Kyoto to visit my grandparents."

"So you're home alone?"

"Yeah," I replied. I didn't want to be asked questions anymore. But then something hit me.

"Wait, thrn who's covering charges?" I asked, "Of course treatment needs payment."

The doctor thought for a moment. His face had a look of confusion, which I didn't really understand. His eyes looked as if he were in a trance.

"I suggest a week of rest. You can walk but it will hurt and you will definitly lose balance and fall if you overexert yourself."

The doctor then went outside.

'Phew!' I thought, 'He's not so smart.'

I put an arm on my head and closed my eyes.

'Why doesn't the world want me to leave?' I thought, 'It's not like I have anything left here anyway. It's practically like I never exist anywhere anyway. My own family must hate me now. It's been a while, I must've been forgotten by everyone.'

There's nothing I can do… there is nothing to do.

The doctor returned with a pair of crutches. "Here. Take these. Use thrm for a week or two and come back for a checkup. If you need anything, you can ring Shimizu Takeshi."

He handed me a plain coloured card. His name was engraved in a cursive, fancy-looking font. He helped me sit up too. I dlif the card that I held tightly, into my pocket.

"Thanks." I said.

The man laughed, "Don't mention it. And I suggest getting yourself a girl. Might help with your mental state…just saying."

I raised an eyebrow, 'This doc is smarter than I thought. I laughed, "As if anyone would like a guy like me."

I stood up slowly using the crutches. The doctor offered some support of course. The two of us walked silently toward the exit. Then I managed to get a hold of myself, both figuratively and literally.

"I'm sure there's someone out there." Takeshi encouraged, "Under all that goom.. No even with all that, I'm sure you're a good person at heart."

I silently raised my hand up as a farewell. The doctor couldn't see it but my expression back then was that of doubt.

'I don't know what part of me qualifies as a "good person"…'


I opened the door to my apartment. It was only as messy as an average person's room. The floor was pretty clean. The couch too. The tables were filled with canvases, filled with colour and beauty. On the centre of the room was an empty canvas. The one I've been struggling with for days. My mind was filled with unnessecary thoughts that hindered my work to the point that even my work felt like a pain.

I decided that a change of clothes was needed. Unfortunately, that meant throwing away my hoodie. It was my favorite one too. Black was a good colour after all.

"Well, I guess I could get another one." I said to myself.

I threw away my hoodie on the couch. But then I heard a sound.


I looked back at the couch and then noticed something on the ground.

"This is interesting… How this this end up with me?"

I picked up the object. Thin bristles and a gold coloured grip. There was no mistaking it. Attached to it, like a label, was a note.

This is yours now. Why don't you try using it and see what happens?


"E?" I asked myself, "Why would they give me a brush?"

I went to the canvas. For some reason, I felt a need to comply. And conveniently, inspiration came. Or maybe it's that person's urge to use something new that was driving me.

And I didn't realise it back then but I made one of the most set of incidents spiral out.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

On canvas was a girl's portrait.

Without good memories.

Leading to good memories.