Chapter 7:

Chapter Seven

The Foreign Yakuza

Following that night, David was entirely absorbed in his studies and tests, and neither of them had the opportunity to meet in person. Despite this, Akira would call or send him at least one message every day. This was difficult for him to understand at first because he had been alone for a long time and had no friends. His mother was the only person who ever called him and asked how he was.

But after a few days, he became accustomed to the routine, and if the Japanese boy was still silent by late at night, he would send him a message himself. David had the impression that, despite Akira's warm and sociable demeanor, he was just as lonely as he was.

His phone rang the night before the intended date. The Japanese boy said from behind the phone, “How are you, big guy? Have you finished all your tests?”

- I'm fine. How are you? I'm done; I was gathering quite a few things. When do we leave tomorrow?

- I'm not bad. Look, the train leaves at 5:30 a.m.; attempt to arrive at the station by that time. What do you gather? We'll be back by the evening.

- I know, but tonight I cooked some extra pasta with sausage. I'll bring it with me so we can eat it if we become hungry. There is also an additional set of clothing. Don't worry; I bring only the necessities in my backpack.

Akira laughed and said, “It's like a grandma, okay, I'll see you at the station in the morning; don't you have anything else to say?”

- Nothing, But which station, exactly?

- Oh, I forgot to mention? Higashi station; do you know it?

- Yes, it's not far from me; I believe it's a ten to fifteen-minute walk, so I'll see you in the morning, and good night.

- OK, goodnight.

He hung up and placed the phone on the table. During this time, he had asked Akira several times, but he had never mentioned why they were going to Gifu. He sighed, stuffed the food container into the backpack, zip-locked it, and leaned against the wall. He looked at the clock that showed 22:05 and said, "I better take a shower." He took his towel and went to the bathroom.


He despised waking up early in the morning, especially since he hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before. He gazed at the station's entrance with tired eyes, hoping to see his friend as soon as he walked in. He checked his phone's time; it was 5:10, and the foreign boy still hadn't arrived. He dialed the number, connected after a beep, and before David could say anything, he said, “Where are you, big guy? Are you asleep?”

- Me? No, I'm waiting for you at the station.

He looked around in surprise and said, “Are you kidding me? I'm in front of the entrance of the station, but I can't see you!”

- I sat on the bench near the rail. Do you want me to come to the entrance?

He breathed out angrily and said, “You don't have to! Sit there, I'm coming!” He hung up the phone and walked towards the train platform. As soon as he stepped onto the platform, he noticed the big guy on the bench wearing a red and black plaid shirt and carrying his backpack. He went forward and angrily said, “From which cemetery did you come that I didn't see you?!”

David got up worriedly and said, “From the main entrance,” but Akira frowned and said, “Don't lie, I stood there for more than a quarter-hour!” A foreign boy looked at the few people around them who were looking at them and said with annoyance, “I'm not going to lie, because I was afraid of losing the way and being late, I left home earlier and arrived here at 4:30, and I've been waiting for you here ever since. I'm sorry you didn't notice me, but can you not draw attention like that?”

Akira sighed and massaged his brow with his fingers, having just sensed people's stares. Why was he so tense for no apparent reason? He got to the station at 4:55, and it was sensible that he missed David's arrival. He said in a low voice, “I'm sorry, I'm a little nervous, I'm the one who's late, I'm sorry,” and shyly stole his gaze from him.

David sighed and said, “It's okay, it was a misunderstanding; come sit down.” Akira shook his head and said, “No, I have to go get a ticket.” The foreign boy put his hand in his backpack, took out two tickets, and said, “I got them because I came earlier, so don't worry, come and sit.” Akira looked at him with surprise and said, “Why did you get them?! I invited you. I had to get it!”

- Come on, what's the difference? If you are not comfortable, buy the tickets on the way back and come and sit now.

And he sat down on the bench once more. As the Japanese boy sat on the bench next to David with a pause and a little distance, he said sadly under his breath, “Of course, if you want to come back with me.” The foreign boy turned his head and said, “Did you say something?” But he turned away from him and said no.”

The boy laughed and reached into his backpack, then held out a small sandwich to him and said, “Take it.” The Japanese boy raised his eyebrows and asked, “What is this?” David replied with a laugh, “Bomb! It's a sandwich; from the look on your face, you obviously haven't had breakfast. Come eat this; your stomach shouldn't be empty.” Akira smiled and said, “You really look like grandmas.” He took the sandwich, opened the nylon around it, and bit it.

As he chewed his mouthful, he said, “Oh boy, this is so delicious!” and took another bite. The foreign boy said with a laugh, “Now eat slowly; be careful not to throw food in your throat.” But he finished his sandwich with a special desire, and suddenly he felt suffocated.

David rubbed him on the back and laughed as he coughed “You look like you haven't eaten in days.” When he felt better, the foreign boy withdrew his hand, pulled a flask from his rucksack, poured its contents into a small glass, and extended out to Akira, saying, “Take and drink this, green tea.” The Japanese boy, who had tears in his eyes from coughing, gratefully took the glass and drank it bit by bit.

He cleared his throat and said, “I'm sorry; I'm always only troubling you.” David smiled and said, “It's ok; don't worry.” Then he looked at her again and added, “Again, you are wearing a black T-shirt and pants. Do you really like this outfit?” But just as he was about to respond, the station's speaker announced, “Dear passengers, please refrain from gathering on the platform and wait behind the yellow line; the train is entering the station.”

David said with a smile, “I think it's our train, isn't it? Do you feel better now? Are you able to stand?” Akira said with a frown, “It's just that the food jumped into my throat; I'm not injured,” and as he returned the small glass, he got up and went behind the yellow line. The foreign boy also gathered his things, threw his backpack on his shoulder, and joined him.


It had taken more than three hours to get to Gifu. They took a train to Shibuya station, another to Shinagawa station, and finally a direct Shinkansen train to Nagoya station. Finally, they boarded another train from there and arrived at Gifu station at 9 a.m.

David had the impression that the Japanese boy was grumpy and nervous the entire time, so he tried to converse less with him and focus more on the scenery or working on his phone. He took a deep breath, stretched, and gazed around with interest as they left the train. Gifu was a city far from the sea and close to the mountains, so it was less humid than Tokyo, and the temperature was not uncomfortable despite the heat.

“Well, well, where are we going, Captain?” he asked, smiling at the Japanese boy. But Akira, who didn't seem to be in the mood for a joke, said as he looked around with disgust, “There is no train to our destination. It's no different than walking if we wish to go by train. It's half an hour away. Do you have a mood for walking?” David, who was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his actions, nodded slowly in assent.

- All right, so go ahead, but be careful not to get lost or fall behind.

He put his hands in his pockets and started moving without paying attention to him. David threw his backpack on his shoulder with annoyance and said under his breath, “What's wrong with him? He invited me himself.” and I followed him with a sigh. During the walk, Akira only looked behind him twice to make sure he didn't fall behind, and apart from that, he continued on his way, ignoring David's presence the whole time.

They were almost at the end of the path when Akira asked him to wait a little. Then He went into a store and came out a few minutes later with a shopping bag. David asked curiously, “What did you buy? It looks like food. Are we going to meet someone?” Akira said nonchalantly, “You'll find out soon,” and started walking again.

As David walked behind him, unhappy and regretful for accompanying him on this trip, he noticed they were approaching a green space with standing stones. David has visited a Japanese cemetery in Tokyo before. The cemetery's name was etched in Japanese next to the entrance, and thankfully, it was also mentioned in English as Kamikanoyama Cemetery. David, who had stopped for a few moments to read the name of the cemetery, noticed that the Japanese boy was moving away from him, so he reached him with fast steps.

After passing three rows of tombstones, Akira turned left and stopped in front of a stone after about 5 meters. David stood behind him with curiosity and took a few steps away. The Japanese boy took three incense sticks from the shopping bag, lit them with a lighter in his pocket, and placed them in his special container in front of the tombstone. Then he took out some rice cake from the shopping bag and put it in the offering container in front of the tombstone.

David was familiar with the Japanese culture of honoring their dead via movies and anime. After placing the purchased items in front of the tombstone, Akira took a step away from it, placed his palms together in prayer, and stared at the tombstone. The writings on the stone were entirely Japanese, and David had no idea whose grave they were on.

He waited a few seconds for the Japanese boy to say his prayer, then just as he was about to ask a question, a voice from the right said, “Akira?!” David turned his head in surprise and saw a woman in her 60s holding a bag. He quickly looked at the Japanese boy to see his reaction, but he lowered his head and refused to look at the old woman.

The woman said angrily, “What are you doing here, cursed child?! Who gave you the right to come to the grave of my sister and her family? You made them less miserable when they were alive?!” With surprise, David shifted his gaze from Akira to the woman and back again. He couldn't figure out why this woman was treating him so badly, and it was even worse because the Japanese boy, with his sharp manners and quick-tempered spirit, kept silent in the face of the woman's insults.

The woman continued to grumble, and Akira just listened with her head down until the woman said loudly, “It wasn't my sister's right! It wasn't Miho's fault! I wish you had died instead of them!” When the woman said these words, David felt his entire body catch fire, and his face got hot. He took a step forward, his wrath out of control, and yelled, “Shut up, old woman! You're the one standing on the grave's brink! I'll bury you right here if you say another word!” The woman, taken aback by the foreigner's huge height and Japanese accent, took a step back and collapsed on the ground.

Akira, suddenly brought to his senses by David's shout, just stared at the foreign boy for a few moments. During the time that he knew him, this was the first time that he heard his anger and loud voice. As he was surprised, the voice of the old woman screaming for help was raised. David looked at the old woman with disgust, turned his back on her, grabbed the Japanese boy's wrist, and angrily dragged him out of the cemetery.

A little while away from the cemetery, the Japanese boy said, "Hey! Let go of my hand; you're breaking it! What's wrong with you?" David turned in an alley, pulled Akira's hand, made him face him, and said with a frown, "Can you tell me what's going on here?! Why were you standing there like a fool when that woman cursed you?!" Akira frowned, violently freeing his wrist from his grip. "It's none of your business; why are you so angry?!"

David said with a frown, “You expected me to wait for him to tell you everything he wants and wish you death?! You brought me to be a spectator?!” Suddenly, Akira's nervous pressure erupted, and he shouted, “Whatever he wants to say! What does it have to do with you? Who are you to decide for me, you foreign bastard?” David, who was shocked by the angry eyes and the intensity of hatred in the Japanese boy's words, took a step away from him. He was no longer hot and nervous, as if cold water had been poured on him. As he tried not to shake his voice, he stole his gaze from Akira and said, “Y-You're right, I'm no one except a strange foreigner who thought like a fool he's not alone anymore... Thank you for today; goodbye, Akira-San,” walking out of the alley without looking at Akira.

-Hey! wait... I…

But David had exited the alley. He had once again vented his rage at him. This boy merely tried to defend him, but all he got in return was wrath and contempt. He yelled, “Damn it!” and slammed his fist into the alley wall. He had finally found someone who supported and cared for him without judgment, but his behavior ruined everything.

He swiftly pulled his hurting fist from the wall and exited the alley. He took a peek around and noticed David. A hundred meters away, the foreign boy was getting into a taxi. He hurried to meet him, but it was too late; the taxi had already left. He pulled out his phone to call him, but all he received was the message, “The desired shared device is turned off.” Akira cursed and began running after looking at his mobile watch.


David sat on the bench next to the railway platform, his heart heavy and deep in concentration. He'd made a mistake from the start, blindly believing that boy and thinking he'd met a friend. He should not have contributed to his loneliness. His heart began to beat as he remembered how he assisted her without expecting anything in return, but all he got were beatings, broken glasses, insults, and shouts.

He was filled with shame when he remembered his rage in the cemetery. He had been unconsciously enraged to defend someone he believed was his friend, but now that he remembered, he thanked God that no one had responded to the woman's screams for help, or he would have been labeled as a foreigner who insulted Japanese citizens and would have been imprisoned and arrested.

He sighed and shook his head left and right. At the same time, the station loudspeaker said, “Passengers who intend to travel to Nagoya, please board the train from line one.” He stood up, threw his backpack on his shoulder, and moved towards the door of the train.

Two steps before the door of the train, suddenly someone grabbed his elbow from behind and pulled him. David turned his head in surprise and saw the sweaty Japanese boy standing behind him, breathing hard. Akira said, with his words cut off between his breaths. “Wait… damn it… your phone… Why don't you answer…?”

David gently lifted his hand and said, “I used it too much when I came; the charge is over.” He then added indifferently, “I'm sorry, Akira-san, but the train is about to leave.” He half bowed and wanted to go to the door of the train, but Akira grabbed his backpack and said, “Wait damn!”

David said as he tried to free his backpack from his hand, “What for? I've wasted enough time today and been humiliated; please let go of my backpack. I want to go.” But Akira tightened his fist on the backpack and exclaimed loudly, “I'm sorry!” David, who was shocked, halted for a moment, but the train door closed and the train began to move on.

David grumbled and remarked, “Now I have to wait again,” as he looked at the moving train. He turned to say something to Akira, but the Japanese boy who was staring at him said, “Please wait; give me a chance.” After a few moments of staring at those beautiful regretful eyes and red, sweaty face, David sighed and replied, “Anyway, the next train leaves in 15 minutes.”

He slowly took the backpack out of her hand and went back to the bench where he had been sitting a few minutes ago. Akira breathed a sigh of relief, stood for a few seconds to let the physical stress of running ease in him, then walked over to the bench and sat down a little distance from David. As he was ready to begin speaking, the foreigner's hand reached out to him with a cloth handkerchief and whispered, “Dry your head and face first.”

With a pause, he accepted the handkerchief, and while he dried his sweat, David frowned and asked, “What happened to your hand? Did you get injured?” Then he grabbed the right hand of the Japanese boy and dragged it towards himself. Akira answered reluctantly, “It's nothing; you don't need to worry.” David raised his head and said with cold eyes, “Oh, because I'm a bastard foreigner and it's none of my business, right?” Akira cursed in his heart and said with a pause, “No... no...” Then he stole his gaze from her eyes and said, “It hit the wall…”

- To the wall?! How?

Meanwhile, he took out a small container from inside his backpack, opened a small bottle cap, applied the contents to a clean cloth, and then gently pulled the cloth over the wound to clean it.

Annoyed by the sudden sting of the antiseptic solution, Akira tried to pull his hand away, but David held it firmly and said, “Calm down, let me clean it.” After cleaning the wound, he applied a small bandage and wrapped it around the Japanese boy's hand and said, “You didn't say, how did your hand hit the wall?”

“I'm truly sorry...” Akira said softly as he stared down at his bandaged hands. David raised his head and said, “Why? Because your hand was slammed into the wall? That wasn't the answer to my question.” The Japanese boy was becoming angry, but he didn't want to hurt him any further. He closed his eyes for a few seconds, then he took a deep breath and said, “When I got angry and was rude to you... and you left... I got more nervous than myself and unconsciously punched the wall of the alley.”

David sighed as he examined the wrapped hand. “You better be more careful; go to the doctor when you get back to Tokyo; you might have a broken bone.” Akira lowered his head and said, “You're doing it again.” The foreign boy raised an eyebrow, and he said, “What do you mean?”

- You ignore yourself and pay attention to me... I really apologize to you; I shouldn't have vented my anger on you like that… I was angry about something else, and I vented it all on you…

David sighed with a pause and said, “I'm used to it; most people around me know that I'm not suitable for friendship, so they only come to me when they need me. You wanted a companion today, so I came; now I want to go back to my house; I prefer to continue my vacation alone as always.”

Akira gave a sad smile and said, “I know my behavior and words are unforgivable, and you probably don't consider me your friend anymore, but can you at least give me time to tell you the reason why we came here? At least I want you to know first, and then we part ways.” David reluctantly said, “There's still 6-7 minutes until the next train; I'm listening.”

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