Chapter 8:

Chapter Eight

The Foreign Yakuza

“I was born here and lived here until I was 18–19. The cemetery we went to today was where my father, mother, and younger sister were buried,” Akira explained as he looked around aimlessly. Hearing this, David's indifferent face turned anxious and uncomfortable. He turned to Akira and sadly said, “I'm sorry; I didn't know you lost your family.”

- It doesn't matter. You must be curious about who the old woman at the cemetery was. She was my mother's sister, i.e., my aunt.

David was even more surprised and said, "What?! She was your aunt?! But... but I don't understand, so why was she talking to you with such hatred?!" He answered with a sad smile, "If you listen to the rest of my words, you will understand."

- Eleven years ago, on a similarly foolish summer day, I returned home from remedial school sessions. I was an aggressive guy in school, and I was often having fights and conflicts, so I studied less, and I failed three of my tests that year, forcing me to take remedial classes.

- When I returned home, I felt that no one was home. It was very strange to me, because usually at that time of the day, my father was still at work, my mother was doing home works, and Miho, my sister, was usually with my mother. She was only 8 years old…

David felt that the Japanese boy was disgusted. He slowly took out the flask from his backpack, poured a glass of green tea, and held it to him. Akira took the glass with a sad smile, drank a little from it, and said as he stared at the rest of its contents, “When I entered the house, no one answered me. I went to the living room to cool off with the air conditioner and also take something from the fridge and eat it, but as soon as I opened the hall door…”

Suddenly his voice trailed off; it was obvious to David that the Japanese boy was struggling with unpleasant memories. He gently put his hand on his shoulder and said, “If it's hard to tell, you don't need to say anything more.” Akira looked at his hand, shook his head left and right, then said, “No, I want to face it for once.”

He took a deep breath and continued, “When I stepped into the hall, I felt wetness on my soles. I lowered my head and saw... I saw that the whole floor was full of blood… My mother and Miho fell on the ground covered in blood… and my father... my father hanged himself in a corner of the room.”

David was taken aback by the mental image of this scene. He couldn't imagine how he would react if he were in such a situation. He was speechless because he was so taken aback. But then he saw the Japanese boy's body shaking, and he noticed that his face was red from fighting back tears.

Unconsciously, David leaned closer to him, wrapped his hand around his shoulder, and said, “I'm really sorry that you witnessed such a scene, my friend.” Akira leaned on him helplessly and said sadly, “It was a family suicide… Only… Only I remained… That's why my aunt said…”

David interrupted him and said, “Enough, Akira; you don't need to say anything more about that incident; now I know everything and the reason for your nightmare. But still, your aunt had no right to say those things to you. I feel sorry for your family, and I hope their souls rest in peace, but you survived, and you have the right to live, and no one should blame you for that incident.”

Akira's head shot up, pulling away from David, and with confusion in his eyes, he said, “You, you don't hate me?” The foreign boy raised his eyebrows and said, “Should I hate you? Why? You didn't do anything wrong.”

- But… But I…

David rolled his eyes and said, “What about you? Did you survive? I'm sorry; I know Japanese society and people are sometimes not kind to survivors of some unfortunate events, but I'm not Japanese. Like I said, I feel sorry for your family, But I don't see any logical reason why you should be ashamed or blamed for being alive.”

Akira did not know what to say. After that incident, he had a hard time at school. His friends avoided him, and everyone started gossiping when they saw him. That is why he abandoned his studies, but in order not to be a burden on his guardians' shoulders, who treated him with contempt, he worked in various places until moving to Tokyo to escape the suffocating atmosphere of this city. He was free there and was not judged, but the secret of his past had consumed his soul like a sinkhole. But now someone was sitting facing him and saying that nothing is his fault and that he also has the right to live.

With a burning sensation in his eyes and wetness on his cheeks, he realized that he was crying. How many years have passed since the last time he shed a tear? The last time was at his family's funeral. David hugged him tenderly and said, "You have to move on with your life, put your past behind you, and live." As he leaned against him, Akira silently allowed all the tears of the previous eleven years to flow.


“I'm sorry, I cried like a little baby; you missed the second train too,” he said, sitting uncomfortable with red eyes and a little distance from him. David replied with a smile. “It's okay, go to the bathroom and wash your face. If you don't have anything else to do here, we can take the next train.”

Akira said confusedly, “Do you want to get back together? Do you mean you've forgiven me?” David laughed and replied humorously, “How dare I not forgive Mr. Thunder, who cried like rain?” The Japanese boy laughed and said, “Shit you big boy, remember if you tell anyone I cried, I'll kill you myself.”

David raised his hands in surrender and said with a laugh, “Oh yes, yes, I've tasted your power before; don't worry, my mouth is closed.” With a frown and a smile, he gave him a friendly punch on the shoulder but pulled his hand back in pain. David asked worriedly, “Are you okay?” he replied as he rubbed his hand. “I'm fine. I'm fine. I've been through worse; don't worry.”

- I think it's better to go to the hospital and get an X-ray of your hand when we get back.

- Come on, man, I'm not a child; it will be fine. I'm going to wash my face.

He stood up and proceeded to the station's restroom. David felt compassion for her as he watched her walk away. This young man has had a difficult life, and fate has not been kind to him. He gave a sour smile and murmured, “The world neither waits for you nor moves according to your wishes.” He sighed and reflected on how powerful this guy is. He couldn't even put himself in his place; he overcame every hardship and made a new life. Perhaps his current work and character were not acceptable to society, but the fact that he did not commit suicide or use drugs showed his strong inner resolve to live.

He was lost in his thought, staring at the moving crowd at the station, and he jumped, a chilly feeling on his cheeks. With a smile, Akira held out the can that he rubbed on his face and said, “You seem to be very busy in mind; come drink this; it's pleasant in this hot weather.” David gratefully accepted the can and smiled as he replied, “Thank you.” As the Japanese boy sat next to him, he clicked open the can's lid and drank some of its chilly contents.

Tormented by the stillness, Akira took a sip of his drink and asked, "So? "Are you still interested in seeing Nagoya Castle?" David paused before responding, "I don't mind if you're not tired."

- Tired? No, I just have energy.

- Okay, so we will have lunch at Nagoya Castle.

He smiled cheerfully and finished his drink. The next train arrived on the line a short time later, and they both boarded together.


David was fascinated by the history of Japan's Sengoku period, which lasted from 1467 to 1615. A time of many civil wars, interesting families, and great warlords. Although the current Nagoya Castle was completed after the Senkou period ended in 1619, it was built on the site of the previous Nagoya Castle, which was established in the early 16th century.

David was interested in visiting all the accessible places and taking pictures with his mobile phone. Although Akira wasn't too fond of old and touristy places, he was happy to be with the foreign boy. He never imagined that things would turn out this way today and that his friendship with this boy would be preserved.

As he walked a few steps away and looked at the foreign boy's back, he wondered why his companion felt differently. After that unfortunate incident, he had no more friends in Gifu. Yusuke and Kotaro, who were his closest friends, completely distanced themselves from him and ignored him.

When he arrived in Tokyo, the matter did not alter. Shinjuku was not a respectable city; women showed interest in accompanying him, and men did not have pure intentions of expressing interest and friendship. Even when the boss first invited him to work, he was distrustful of the old man's intentions, suspecting that he was motivated by something other than benevolence. Little by little, by dyeing his hair, getting tattoos, and changing his hairstyle, he changed himself from a boyish to a manly state in order to attract less physical attention.

At the start of his career with the Yonkiko group, he worked for Mikitani-san, who was the Kyodai of the group in Shinjuku at the time. Mikitani was both calm and quiet, yet powerful and serious. During his term, he was respected by all groups, and there were no major conflicts.

Suddenly, David's voice interrupted his thoughts. He raised his head and said in surprise, “Did you say something?” The foreign boy raised his eyebrows and said, “I just asked if you would come here to take a picture together.” Then he added worriedly, “Are you okay? Are you tired? Do you want to go back to the station?” he replied with a smile. “I'm fine, I was just thinking.”

He took a few steps forward, stood next to him, and asked, “Is it okay here?” David smiled and put his phone in selfie mode, then said, “Come closer; you're out of frame.” The Japanese boy stood shoulder to shoulder with him and looked at the camera.

- are you ready? Smile, man, I don't want to take a picture for prison. Ah, it's good now, three, two, one.

A shoulder-to-shoulder photo of the two boys was taken with Chik's voice, with Nagoya Castle in the background. David said with a smile, “Thank you.” Akira shrugged and said, “I didn't do anything, but you seem even bigger in the picture; with this natural hair color, next to you, it looks like I'm in high school.”

David laughed and said, “But I like your hair; this color suits you much better than that yellow color,” then winked, “This way you are more innocent and popular with girls,” and moved ahead of him. Akira walked behind him, smiling and reflecting on how different this boy was from when he first saw him.

The foreign boy in Tokyo was often taciturn, cold, and indifferent. Despite all his coldness, he had always helped him without hesitation. He sighed and thought back to his first days under Mikitani-san. At that time, he had no friends; most of the people in the group were older than him; he was considered the youngest person in the group; and he often had to serve others.

But little by little, his rebellious behavior prevented him from following the small orders of others, and finally he got into a fight with one of the group members. He, who has been used to fighting since high school and had worked in kickboxing for several years, defeated his opponent severely, although he was left with several bruises and a broken finger.

Following that day, the members of the group distanced themselves from him and progressively ostracized him from their company. But Mikitani-san soon liked his combat abilities and assigned him a few assignments. Due to his fast moves in battle, he earned the nickname Shinka the Thunder at the same time. People's attitudes toward him gradually shifted; they became closer to him and welcomed him into their midst, but still remained beware of him.

In the end, he just knew them; he may have been friends with some of them, but it was a basic superficial friendship, like a friendship between office colleagues, and he had no real relationship with any of them. But everything felt different today. He raised his hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun. He didn't pack his sunglasses.

All last night his sleep was disturbed, and somehow he was nervous about this trip because he was sure in his heart that his relationship with this foreigner would be destroyed. But everything turned out differently. That woman, his aunt, suddenly appeared in the cemetery, and Akira, as always, was crushed under the flood of her hatred. But David silenced the woman with anger and threats and rescued her from that situation like a lost child. But after that, everything was ruined.

As he walked, he tenderly rubbed his injured hand, grateful that it was not broken. He'd vented all his nervous tension on the foreign boy, and if he'd arrived at the station a minute later, he'd most likely have lost him forever. Even after learning about his major problem, this strange foreigner comforted and forgave him.

He smiled a little and said under his breath, “Who are you, David? Somehow, you are questioning all the people I have ever met.” He nodded to himself. What did it matter? The important thing was that his companion felt liberated, and for the first time in a long time, he felt that he had found a real friend.

David turned his head towards him, pointed to the curb on the left side of the road, and said, “How about we sit over there and have lunch?” The Japanese boy nodded and followed him. He thought, whatever it is, he doesn't want these moments to end.

David took a cloth from his backpack and spread it on the grass. Then he took out two containers with lids and a flask from his backpack and look at the Japanese boy who was standing above him, “Why are you standing next to me like the creditors? Come sit down.” Akira laughed and sat on the cloth.

The foreign boy gently opened the containers' lids and set them between himself and the Japanese lad, saying, “It's not much, but it's better than eating train food.” He took a pair of chopsticks, poured some pasta and sausage into the lid of one container, and gave the rest, along with a dish and a pair of chopsticks, to Akira.

The Japanese boy said with a laugh as he took the bowl of food, “You came in full; it's like we came for a picnic.” David said after taking the first bite, “What's wrong? You don't like it?” He shook his head and replied, “No, no, it's very good,” and started eating. After the first bite, he said, “Oh boy, this is so delicious. It's so delicious when it's cold, so how about it when it's hot?” And he continued to eat with pleasure.

David, who had finished his share, poured himself some green tea from the flask and said, “I'm glad you like it; if possible, I'll make it for you one night so that you can eat it warm,” and took a sip of his drink. Akira was looking at his face with a full mouth. It had been years since he had been loved and cared for like this, and it felt strange to him.

David took a piece from the second bowl, which had four triangular sandwiches, and while eating, he gazed up at Nagoya Castle's roof and golden fish. After finishing his spaghetti, Akira started to pour himself some green tea, but his hand suddenly halted, and he asked, “Don't you have any other glasses except the flask lid?” The foreign boy turned his head, surprised, and said, “Unfortunately, no, if you're saying that because I hit my mouth on it, you can pour me some into a glass and drink directly from the flask yourself.” Akira said shyly, “Oh no, no, I just thought you might not like me hitting the glass with my mouth.” David paused and said, “You already hit it; did you forget?”

- What?! When?

- In the morning, when you coughed at the station.

Akira hesitated, remembered that he had taken the bite with gusto, coughed, and then been given a glass of green tea by the foreign boy. He forced a smile and said, “W-well, if you don't have a problem, then I'll drink from this glass.” David smiled and returned his gaze to the roof of Nagoya Castle.

The Japanese boy filled his glass and wanted to drink, but he didn't know why he was so embarrassed. It was like an indirect kiss. He felt his ears get hot. He cursed in his heart and said, "Damn you, idiot! Are you a virgin high school kid who thinks about such nonsense? No, you are 27 years old! This is just another boy's cup, and your friend!" He exhaled sharply and sipped the glass.

He turned his head towards the second container and asked, “Did you make these yourself too?” David looked at the container and said, “Yeah, I make it sometimes when I want to go to college. It has a layer of sausage, tomato, and lettuce inside.” Akira nodded and took one. He took a bite and said, “Hmm, the bread and the contents are crispy and fresh; you obviously know how to cook.” David smiled and said, “I know things, although I rarely cook, except when I feel like it.” Akira nodded, ate the rest of his sandwich in one bite, and took another one.

Meanwhile, David said, “You don't want to get a souvenir? You didn't get anything in Gifu.” The Japanese boy raised his eyebrows before biting into his second sandwich. “Souvenir? For who?”

- Well, for your friends, colleagues, or boss I often saw that in Japan, when someone goes on a trip, he brings a souvenir for his colleagues or his boss, which is mostly food.

- I have never done this before. In addition, I have never seen yakuzas or anyone in our group doing this.

And then he gasped at the sandwich. David asked with a pause, “So no one knows you came here today?” As he finished the second sandwich, looking at the container and the last piece, he said, “Aren't you going to eat that?” David nodded, and the Japanese boy took the last piece and added, “Only Tajima-san and Mikitani-san know, which Mikitani-san probably tells the boss,” and started eating the third sandwich.

David shrugged and said, “The choice is yours, but I think according to Japanese customs, it's politer if you at least buy souvenirs for these three.” As he chewed the end of his sandwich and poured another glass of green tea, he said with his mouth full, “I don't know... I said that… I have never done this before… What should I get?” He swallowed the bite and drank the tea behind it.

David replied, “I think it's better to have something to eat. I've seen Nagoya souvenirs on the internet before. You can get Nagoyan. It's easy to pack and ready to take away.” Akira tilted his head a little, and with a glaring look, he said, “As a foreigner, you are well aware of these things. Who do you want to buy for?” David liked this expression of him; he didn't know why, but when he tilted his head a little, the combination of the color of his eyes and hair, along with the depth of his gaze, felt incredibly beautiful. He blinked, shyly looked away from his face, and said, “No one. No one knows I'm not in Tokyo today.”

- Really? You mean you came with me without even telling one of your friends?

Without looking at him, David smiled bitterly and said, “I don't have any friends; the people I know in Japan are only limited to the university, and now that we are on vacation, most of them are going back to their homes to see their families.” Feeling that he had asked a ridiculous question, Akira said with a confused expression, “Ah, s-so what about you? You don't want to go back to your country and see your family?”

David shook his head in denial, saying, “No, the round trip will be expensive; I can send them that kind of money instead; it's more useful for them than seeing me,” and began packing items into his backpack. Akira cursed himself for ruining the good mood and said with a pause, “The food was delicious; thank you.” David said with a smile, “I'm glad you liked it; can you get up? so I can shake and collect the cloth.”

Akira got up, and David folded the cloth and put it in the backpack and said, “If you want to shop, I think I saw some shops near the station.” The Japanese boy shrugged and said, “Okay, let's go. But I'm not very good at these things. Tell me what to buy.” The foreign boy smiled and nodded his head in agreement.

It was an hour after midday, and the weather was hot. They both strolled to the stores near the station, and with David's help, Akira purchased three packs of Nagoyans as souvenirs, although the foreign boy also took one for himself and paid for it himself, despite the Japanese boy's insistence.

As they sat on the station bench waiting for the Shinkansen train, Akira said sadly, “You should have let me pay.” David smiled and replied, “Why? I bought it for myself, so I had to pay for it myself.” The Japanese boy sighed and said, “You're taking it so hard, big boy,” then, shaking his T-shirt collar, added, “Damn it's so hot, I'm dying of sweat!”

“I'm going to get something cool; do you want something?” he remarked as he stood up. David thought and said, “If there was orange juice, please buy it for me.” then He wanted to take out some cash from his pocket, but Akira said with a frown, and as soon as he started walking, the foreign boy said from behind him, “Don't be late; the train will leave in 10 minutes.” He raised his hand without stopping, waved, and walked away.


As he inserted the money into the machine and pressed the desired drink button, he said to himself, “Dumb boy, we're supposed to be friends. What was wrong with letting me pay?” He let out a disgruntled breath, bent over, and took the drinks from the slot at the bottom of the machine. As soon as he turned around to go back, his eyes fell on a small shop in the station that sold small and fancy items. He paused a bit, then shrugged his shoulders and walked towards the shop.


David was looking with stress at the direction from which the Japanese boy should have come. The train was on the track, and the passengers were boarding. If they didn't board in 2-3 minutes, he would have to wait 40 minutes for the next train in this heat. Suddenly, Akira appeared in the distance, walking carefree. David impatiently raised his hand and gestured for him to hurry. Seeing his friend's movements, the Japanese boy increased his speed and quickly reached him, but as soon as he wanted to say something, the foreign boy grabbed his wrist and dragged him into the train. Almost a few seconds after they entered the train, the doors were closed and the train started moving.

David made his way to an empty chair and plopped down on it with a sigh of relief. The Japanese boy sat next to him, and as he handed him the orange juice, the foreign boy asked, “Why are you so late? We almost missed the train.” Akira smiled shyly and said, “I'm sorry, I went to buy something, it took me a while.”

David raised his eyebrows after taking a sip of his juice and asked, “You bought a souvenir; what else did you want?” Then he added with a smirk, “Aha, you must have bought something for your girlfriend.” Akira sighed, took a sip of his drink, and said, “I don't have such ridiculous relationships in my personal life.” He reached into his pocket, took out something, and threw it at David.

The foreign boy barely caught it in the air, opened his fist, and saw a funny mobile phone pendant that looked like a brown bear's head. He laughed and said, “What is this? Did you go to buy this for yourself?” Akira took another sip without looking at him and said softly, “For you.” David was surprised. “For me? Why?”

- Surely there must be a reason? Think of it as thanks for being with me today.

- Well, as a thank you, you came with me to Nagoya.

The Japanese boy, who was getting angry again, said with a trace of anger in his voice, “If you don't want it, you can throw it away! You don't need to make excuses like that!” David replied with a bitter smile, “I'm sorry. I know I'm making you angry with my words. I'm just not used to receiving gifts.” Then he put his hand in his pocket, took out his key chain, attached the pendant to it, and said, “My cell phone has no place to attach a pendant, so I put it on my key chain so that it will always be with me. Thank you, Akira.”

The Japanese boy, who was ashamed of his harsh tone, sighed and said in an embarrassed tone, “I'm sorry, I can't think of anything else; I'm not good at these things at all.” David laughed and said, “Don't worry, It's fine; now why bear?” Akira smiled mischievously and said, “I don't know, but as soon as I saw it, I thought it looked a lot like you; it is big like you.” David laughed happily and nodded. He hoped that these good moments would never end.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon