Chapter 0:

Lost Days

The Letters That Heaven Sent

I always thought that the human brain was astounding. Each as their own, strong and living or feeble and dying. Some minds are so frail they die on that one thought, while some are so rigid it takes a lifetime to make them utter their last words. Aside from it all, if used carefully you get the brightest of minds. Use it carelessly, you get a fool from an asylum.

I am Inoue Arata and as far as I can remember from my memories, I was a good child. Not too bright in studies but had a sharp mind. I loved to play sports and was somewhat athletic. I was struck with a 'disease' but it wasn't any disease to cause me intakes of medication and stuff but a different kind. I was 16 years old when this 'disease' came to light. It took away my memories of my childhood and took away what makes us all human, the emotions. The basic essence of a life, that was taken from me. Surprisingly it took all with it except one, I can still feel kindness in me.

I am so blessed that this one emotion stayed with me.

My father, Hideaki Arata works as an engineer in Osaka and my mom, Akane Arata works as a high-school teacher. We were a normal and happy middle class family until the trial was sent down to us from God. My mother was afflicted with stage 4 lung cancer. The land beneath my dad's feet disappeared. I could see the terror and shock in his face. My mom was shocked as well but had to hold herself strong knowing I was there.

"I am sorry to say this tragic news. I know it must be very hard on all of you." The doctor said with a sorrowful face.

"Are you sure this is what afflicted my wife?" My dad said with tears rolling down his face and with a breaking voice.

"I am one hundred percent sure it's lung cancer. I recommend immediately admitting her and getting the medication started."

"I am a ready doctor. You can start the process from today." My mom said with a strong yet sorrowful voice.

As for me, I didn't really get it. I thought it was tragic news but I couldn't wrap it around myself at all. I keep wondering everyday what it means to feel the pain of another. Soon it was graduation day.

I was graduating high-school. Didn't matter to me at all but my dad was really happy. I never put on a sorrowful or confused face for them instead always made a happy and cheering one.

"Inoue! Do you have everything you need for the ceremony packed?" Dad said In loud voice that echoed throughout.

"Coming dad, in a minute."

"Today we have to meet your mother and then proceed to the ceremony, Okay?"

"Alright dad. Let's go then or else we will be late."

"Yeah, let's go. Couldn't find my keys for a minute."

Since the news of my mom's cancer, my dad started working twice as he used to. He comes home late and sometimes he doesn't even show up. The bills are going to be big and plus my education and expenses. Even someone as me who lost emotions could still understand how much my dad had been through. I know he really loves us and we do too but only if I could actually feel it and say it.

We took some breakfast from a convenience store and then headed to the hospital. My mom has been in the hospital for about 2 years now. She hasn't seen outside since the day she got admitted here but sometimes she asks the nurse to take her to the gardens behind the hospital.

"Hello mom. How are you doing?" I said with a cheerful smile to make her happy and cheerful.

The hospital room had a window directly viewing the garden and the sunset. A beautiful flower vase beside her and a small fruit basket for her near her bed. She also has a small bookshelf for all her books.

"Inoue! How are you doing sweetie? Oh! Look at you! Dressed up to get ready for graduation." She said with big and sparkling eyes.

I was a little stunned how beautiful my mother looked even without her red hair. Mom used to have dark red hair just like her name. She was one of a kind in her own family and now even though she has lost it, her beauty still reigns over it.

"Looks a little different from how mine used to be but it looks great on you." Mom said with a little giggle.

Soon dad arrived after parking his car. When he saw mom, he was about to burst into tears when he saw her but he controlled it. Dad looks so beat up with all the bags under his eyes and the wrinkles on his face. He went straight to her and asked her.

"Hello dear. How are you feeling now? You are looking so weak. Have you been eating at all? Look how thin your face has become." He started to worry so much that his breathing became heavier.

"Calm down! Calm down. I am fine. These are just some side effects of the medicine. Don't worry, I am totally fine. Look at yourself first. What's with all the bags under and the bones popping up." She said with a worrying voice but when I took a look at her, she too was about to burst into tears. They were controlling themselves only because I was there.

Suddenly mom burst into tears. She started crying like a little baby. Tears rolled down my dad's face too.

"Why are you looking so unwell dear? I thought you were eating healthy and were having a good amount of sleep. Have I done this to you? Was it because of me?"

Dad didn't say a word but instead he cried a bit more. Mom seemed so shocked and was holding dad's hand tightly so did my dad. The floor was filled with an ocean of tears.

"Dear, remember this, you are not the cause of me being like this, nor is Inoue, no one is. Things happen in life. We can't expect to get out of them easily. This is just another test in our life. We all are the ones being tested with. You, my dear, are never a burden to me. I would take you to heaven as many times as you want even if my wings were about to fall off of me."

"But you are looking just like me now. If you are not going to take care of yourself you will end up like me too.

Dad gets up and kisses mom on the forehead.

"I will take care of myself, I promise. I will be there to take care of both of you." Dad again kissed my mom's forehead consoling her.

"OK then I will drop by again tonight dear. We will be late for the ceremony."

"Oh yeah! I forgot completely. Go on then and remember dear to get good photos and videos of ." She said in the happiest way.

"We will dear. Come on or else we'll get late."

He kissed her again on her forehead and this time she blushed.

"Bye dear. See you soon."

She waved back but her expression was very confusing. Was she happy or sad I wonder.

We went to the graduation and the ceremony went just fine. We took all the pictures and videos and then we took the mutton biryani from a famous Indian restaurant. We took it home and had a good dinner. Soon dad was heading out to meet mom.

"Do you want to come ? I am going to visit mom."

"I have some studying to do for the college entrance exams. So I will visit her tomorrow. You go on ahead."

"Okay then. Be sure to lock all the doors and check everything before going to sleep." And he left.

I decided now I have got time to read the new book I bought. I saw some articles about how reading books of different kinds can help in getting our emotions back. According to this book, it says that when you lose the ability to feel and express your emotions, this is called the flat effect.' If this is what I am experiencing, what will explain the loss of memories at the same time? I need to get deeper. I know I can't keep living like this.

I wrote the exam for a university in Osaka and I got accepted into it. I don't have any interest in a particular field but I decided to go with literature and creative writing. Tomorrow is going to be my first day. I wonder what I will get to experience here.

Will this stage of life bring back the emotions, or will I be left like an empty shell in the vastness of an ocean?