Yuki was checked out when he stepped out from the corner. His shadow covered eyes cast a dark stare. The two nurses didn’t know how to react, surprised by his sudden appearance. All they could do was flee down the hallway away from him. He staggered forward towards his mother’s room without a thought controlling him. Everything in his mind was echoing the same words over and over again completely crushing his body.
The door was ajar causing him to shut out the light that crept into the room as he stood before it. It felt as though there was a wall that stood before him. A wall that couldn't be shattered or climbed; it knew his weaknesses and was able to defy him at every attempt. There was only one way for it to be overcome.
“…Yuki…is that you?” Their mother’s health had continued to decline despite her assurances. It had gotten to a point where her voice became empty and rough, distant from what it had been. However, Yuki would always know the sound of his mother.
As though upon command, the door creaked open slowly. Yuki pressed himself into the entryway feeling a sense of dread crawling up into his legs. The lights were dimmed, as she had been resting, leaving the air to feel tight. It gave his mother a deathly appearance draped in the dark veils cast from the streams of lights from the machines that lined the wall. Yuki felt his heart drop into his feet from the sight. “…mother…”
“…Yuki…you can come…in…” There was little strength left in any part of her as she simply lay in the bed. It took great effort for her to even move her hand.
Yuki rushed into the room having been beckoned. She tried to pull herself up out of the bed for him. “It’s alright, mother… I’m here. You don’t need to get up for me!” Watching her struggling sent needles all through his skin leaving it all numb.
She eased back into her bed resting her hand on Yuki’s hands at the side of the bed. She had managed a smile for him with her half closed eyes looking over at him. “How are you…doing, dear?”
“I-I’m fine! Get some rest so that you can get better!”
Those words had made him freeze stiff. The pounding of fear that had been starting to fade was renewed with even greater crushing strength. “School?”
‘Did you hear that she got another call from the school?’
‘Don’t they realize that she doesn’t need the stress?’
‘She’s the only parent left and her son’s such a bully!’
‘She seems to only be getting worse too.’
‘Especially after those calls.’
‘I don’t know if she’ll be able to take another call in her state.’
The words whispered through his ears continuously making him want to run away, but it had left his body too weak to move. All he could manage was to place his hand on his mother’s hand for reassurance. “…it’ll be alright...mother…you don’t have to worry anymore…”
“…Yuki…” His mother’s eyes closed slowly followed by a long exhaled breath. It pulled him up on his legs leaning in towards her fearing that she would never open her eyes again. The shallow, quick breathing came to a rest as she opened her eyes to look back at Yuki. “Please stay safe, Yuki…” It seemed to be getting more difficult for her to even speak, bringing her short of breath with each word.
Yuki’s hands tightened up wrapped firmly around his mother’s. His fears wound with tension. Silent prayers muttered through his mind. “I will! I will, mother!” He dragged in towards her feeling her hand suddenly become loose. It felt as though life slowly pulled away. “Mother?! Please! I won’t cause you trouble anymore, mother!”
She coughed a couple times coming to a long quiet rest. Her half opened eyes looked at him softly. “Yuki…please…don’t hurt anyone…you’re a kind boy…show them…” The labored breathing from her became further drawn out as her eyes closed once more. However, this time it did not seem like they would open.
Tears came down his face as his fears were speaking to him, telling him what was happening. He pulled a little at her hand tightening his hands around her hand hoping for a sign. “Mother! Mother…I-I…” His head hung low looking away from her. The words that she spoke to him spun in his mind. “…I won’t…I’ll stop fighting! I’ll stop if that’s what you want!”
The fading warmth in her body was able to smile softly to him. “…th..ank…you…” A constant ringing filled the room. There was a moment of silence as Yuki froze.
He snapped his head up towards her, breaking away the tears. “Mother! I promise! I won’t hurt anyone ever again! So please! Please…open your eyes just once more for me…” There was no response from her apart from the lasting smile. “Mother! Please just once more…open your eyes! I promise! Mother!” Yuki's head fell into the sheets weeping and screaming until his throat ran dry.
None of the doctors or nurses dared to enter the room. After his voice had been lost and his tears dry, Yuki stood up and left the room in silence. It would be a silence that he kept for a month with no one able to understand what he was thinking.
Chapter 55 – Strength of the Blind
The void began to pull Yuki away from the past. Remnants of thoughts remained as a distant echo through his mind. Emotions, questions, fears and thoughts merged together in a myriad chaos. ‘I killed her! It was all my fault! I promised her! She wouldn’t wake up! It wasn’t my fault! I stole her away from them! It was me!’ Yuki fell back into his body, nearly jumping out of his bed. He was panting heavily and covered in sweat.
His hand pressed up against his face trying to calm himself back down. The nightmare that he had to endure left him completely exhausted. Yuki wasn’t sure if he wanted to go back to sleep for the fear of having to relive any more of his past. The night brought too many things already. “I need to clean up at least…”
Morning arrived with a headache and dried out eyes. If it wasn’t Ayumi’s ghosts, it was his personal ones. Yuki left the house walking down the street hoping that the air would clear his mind. He rubbed his hand against his temples doing anything he could, while ignoring his surroundings.
“Yuki?!” shouted Saki from behind him, having already tried several times to reach him. It finally seemed to reach him though as he turned his head back towards her.
He stopped where he stood, unable to do more than one thing at once. “…Hey, Saki…”
“You going to move?”
“Something wrong?” Yuki stared at her puzzled by the question. She pointed down away from him to bring him to his situation. He was standing inside a parked car with half of it removed due to his Field being active. “Wha-When?!” Yuki quickly jumped about feeling closed in with the cross section that he was seeing. Once he was outside the car and safe, Saki knocked his subconscious back into place. “That was close!”
Saki came up beside him looking over at him trying to examine him to know what was wrong. “You don’t normally space out that much, Yuki. What’s wrong?”
“Wrong?” Yuki turned away from Saki realizing how transparent he was being in front of her. He looked over his shoulder back at Saki working up his usual smile. “It’s nothing! Ayumi’s just working me really hard.”
“Doing training still?” She knew about their after school sessions, but beyond knowing about it she had been told very little. It made her a little curious what it looked like, their training. All her ideas didn't sound practical.
Yuki gave her a nod. They began walking with him alert. “She’s pretty insistent on me learning how to control my powers.” He laughed lightly about the problem as though it was nothing.
“Well you do still let go out of control during school. I’m always covering for you.” Her words turned to arrows that pierced on his weakness. “And you can’t turn it off on your own either.” A second arrow sank into his back making it even more painful. “For someone who dreams and pretends all the time, this is the worst possible power you could have asked for.”
The third and final strike dug into him making him pause for a moment. “Thanks for the checklist.”
“I worry about you…”
“I’m trying, but it’s not simple…” Yuki straightened himself up. “I just have to stay focused!” He clenched his fists together trying to give himself confidence.
“Hrmph! I doubt that’s possible, stupid!” said a high pitched voice from behind the both of them.
Yuki had immediately turned to look at Saki, puzzled why she would say something so mean to him. However, she was looking back at him with an equally perplexed look of confusion. It then came to them to look behind only to jump away in surprise. “What are you doing back?!”
The fairy, which he hadn’t seen for more than a week, floated in the air staring at the two of them with her arms on her hips. She seemed even more upset than the last time that he saw her. “I’ve come to torment you, girly.”
A dumbfounded look painted over his face. That was far more direct than he expected. “Seriously? Are you supposed to represent my self-deprecating part of me?”
“Well that’s disappointing. I was hoping for a better response than that. You are really boring today.”
Yuki looked over to Saki with both of them leaning towards each other to whisper to each other. “Is it me or does she sound more irritated than usual?”
Saki nodded slightly to Yuki as she looked back at the fairy, who was crossing her arms in disgust. “Yeah, I was just about to ask you.”
“What should we do?”
“I don’t know it’s your mind that created her!”
“I know but what can I do about it?!”
“Don’t ask me!”
“My head can’t take more punches!”
“You two realize that I can hear everything you’re saying?” The fairy was hovering a little closer to them staring narrowly at them. Both Yuki and Saki pulled back looking at each other quickly before staring sheepishly at the fairy. “Just because I’m small doesn’t mean my hearing is too.”
Further ahead of them, Hiroshi arrived at school. The early time threw him off. Yet it wasn’t the only thing that bothered him. For a week, his head had been feeling loopy. Pieces of memories that he thought were real flashed to him, but they weren’t. He couldn’t remember it happening, but his body said otherwise.
None of it made any sense. All his gut told him was Yuki had answers. He wanted to sleep peacefully for once.
Tatsuya gave the oddly pensive Hiroshi a hardy pat on the back to snap him out of his uncharacteristic daze. “Hey, man! What’s going on?”
“Oh nothing much!”
Kazuhiro joined in from the other side of the aisle made by the desks, having just recently arrived. “Damn! Hiroshi’s here before us? You trying to become an upstanding student?”
“Nothing like that, guys!” Hiroshi dismissively waved his hand to them. He pulled himself together and gave him a mischievous grin that helped to settle the minds a little. “There’s no fun to be had being a model student, you know that!” A need for distraction came to him as he began to look around the classroom searching.
It was Tatsuya that provided it when he looked over at Kazuhiro's school bag. “Hey, what’s that thing hanging from your bag, Kazuhiro?”
Kazuhiro turned down for a moment, reacting with confusion. He lifted up his bag to bring it closer to their sight. There was a medallion hanging from a silver metal chain attached to this school bag. It had some strange letters carved into its surface along with a finely detailed impression of a bust of an unknown person. The craftsmanship on the piece was surprising, but hardly something that Kazuhiro would be carrying around. “Oh this? I dunno. Some strange foreigner handed it to me on the way to school.”
“Foreigner? Why didn’t you throw it away or refuse?”
All he could do was shrug to Tatsuya. “The guy was pretty insistent that I have it. Besides, if it’s foreign I might be able to sell it. It looks pretty nice. Better than nothing, huh?”
Hiroshi didn't really give it much thought as he started to tune out what they were saying. He stared out the window down at the students walking around. ‘Just another normal day for everyone…something feels off. Why am I getting such a bad feeling about today?’