Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path
Indeed I heard them again. The voices… those voices… their voices. But not only did I hear, but I have seen it so clearly that I can't believe it is a dream.
There are the adults clad in their white lab coats and there are the fellow children, dressed on hospital clothing. I see that the place is still at peace. There are no echoes of tragic screaming of small voices. It does seem that this was the beginning…
The beginning of all the agony.
My eyes opened. My senses came back.
It does seem that I passed out, though I can't really remember. But in spite of whatever happened to me, Rin… she is watching over me.
"Ahh, I slept on her lap…"
"Oh… you're finally awake, Potato.
You had me worried there… Thankfully you just fell asleep. I thought something has happened to you…"
"Sorry for worrying you, Rin. How long was I out for?"
"Around 15 minutes."
Again, sorry for worrying you. But I promise that I'm not doing anything dumb. I just happen to pass out for some reason. And then I dreamed again…"
"But you look fine after a dream, thankfully."
"Yeah… what I recalled is kind of calm. The laboratory at that time was still quiet.
Hmm… I guess I could tell some stories from these memories."
"I'll gladly listen. But I won't cry on this, okay?"
"Perhaps not you, but probably me. You know that I'm a crybaby."
"Yes. If you need to, just cry them all out. I'm always here."
Alright~ I should be getting… up! Hoo…!"
"No problem for the most part. I can stand up just fine."
"Mhm. That's good, then.
I'll help you with making lunch. I will have to stick for a bit longer just in case something happens."
"Then I will be in your care."
~ ~ ~
I think I'm seriously miscalculating the current situation.
It's a given that I feel fine and normal, but in the duration of four hours, I passed out for six times.
Therefore, I came to a conclusion that in some way or another, I am falling under a state of slumber at random. I feel very awake but suddenly, my body turns off as if a switch is being pulled or pressed.
And what's more is every time I've been put to sleep, I see my memories through dreams.
With as much information I have gathered through those situations, I have considered it as something like a phenomenon.
Thankfully, Rin made a good call of staying around my house if ever I suddenly "switch off."
It happens so randomly that it can occur when I'm in the middle of talking, walking, or even… when nature calls me, yeah. Having known now that such an occurrence is happening to me makes a seemingly shallow thing a big deal. That in itself is honestly terrifying.
▪ ▪ ▪
The next day.
"Knock, knock. Is anyone home?"
Opening the door came to my sight four people. In such cases, this sudden visit is an unusual one.
There's Nagi, Shiro, Jean, and the most unexpected one—Ai-san.
"Didn't expect this combo of four all together visiting my house. What's up? Came to hang out?
It's still a bit early in the morning, though."
"We're kind of informed by Ringo about the things happening to you recently."
"Yep. So we came to check you out."
"I would assume that all of you already had breakfast.
I hope that's the case. Please…"
"You really do think of us as food scavengers when we crash in here, huh?"
"We already have, don't worry about that."
"Oh, thank goodness…
So… what did Rin tell you all?"
"Just about how you randomly come down to a state of slumber at any given time."
"I see… But I'm sure that you'll probably see me fall down at some point. Please, someone catch me if that happens."
"Where's Ringo, by the way?"
"She's helping out Sis at sorting something work-related. She'll probably be surprised once she comes here."
"Have you been here in Gin's house before, Ai?"
"One time, yes. They invited me for a dinner around the summer vacation."
"Ugh… As much as I don't like to say, Gin's far better than me in cooking…"
"That's because you're the pupil, Jean."
"Yeah, I know that already, Nacchi."
"Well, acting so modest doesn't suit you at all. I bet you haven't even served your food to Ai-san."
"Actually, Nagi. Even though I'm not a witness, they're pretty much having dinner for almost a month back in the North. Ai-san was basically Jean's critic."
"Wow, good for you chefs," Nagi uttered a lukewarm response.
"So anyway, whatever is happening to you, Gin?"
"Now that you ask, Shiro, I don't even know. But I'm sure that Rin already told you about it, or did she not?"
"She has said it once."
"So that leaves Jean who still doesn't know of it."
"And Ai-san, of course."
"So to put it into a few words, I've been having dreams, or nightmares if you will, containing my locked memories starting from when I was five.
Surely, you have the idea of what I'm talking about."
And so, Jean immediately came near me and whispered:
"Gin… If it is about the program, is it really okay to tell Ai about it?"
"I will try to keep it as vague as I can. But I'm afraid that she will eventually know about it."
I raised the volume of my voice again, "Then, going back, it is indeed my memories of my childhood, specifically from the time when I was still involved in the Medical Children Program."
"I suppose that you do not know of it since you were from the North, Ai-san. But the only thing I can say is that I am one of those children.
I do think that it is better if you do not know of the whole story, Ai-san. As Jean being one of the few people in Orio that knows it, I can't guarantee that he will say anything to you even if you ask."
"O-Oh… I see…"
"Continuing, I'm regaining my memories through those nightmares. That is why sometimes, I feel so dead when coming to school. I sometimes wake up with newly found unpleasant memories that could easily derail my whole day.
And then yesterday, I suddenly collapsed after coming home from shopping. I can't be thankful enough that Rin was there and she confirmed that I suddenly fell asleep for a couple of minutes. But at that point when I was asleep, I have dreamed again and recalled more memories.
It happened for another five times, and I saw a lot of situations from that past. I can easily say that those were just mere dreams… only if I could. But having them replay in my mind, I can't deny that they realistically happened. What is very frightening is how I can clearly see everything. It was like I'm being immersed in an extremely realistic simulation of what is in my mind.
It was like I went back in time roughly twelve years ago as my child self."
After a short pause, I heard a dangling of something metallic from the distance coming towards my front door. I'd say, of all dangling sound I hear, I'm very familiar to it of course since that's the same sound of my keys.
Thus, it opens with Rin entering.
"Good morning, Rin."
"Hi there, Ringo."
"Good morning, Ringo-senpai."
"Ah… Mhm. Thanks for visiting Gin, I guess."
"Well, Gin already explained what has been happening recently so we're pretty much informed now."
"I wonder how Potato explained it with Ai-san here."
~ ~ ~
With how much it became normality, we are all crammed inside my room.
"By the way, how are you going to explain it to the school? It sounds like you'll be hindered with your studies like that."
"Oh… I haven't really thought of that, Jean.
But if something happens, I am probably going to take a leave of absence again like last year. Maybe even longer than a week.
Though I will just look like a pain for the principal so it's better to tell Akira first as he's the secretary now."
"That works, then."
"But I think I'll have to take a checkup first so I may not be around tomorrow. It's nothing major, but just so I can get it seen by a doctor."
"You have a point. Hiroomi and Sean have been looking out for you for a year now."
"Ugh… I don't know if I can work…
Oh, dodged that, haha."
"I didn't know that combo.
Ah, got you. Sorry if I break the button."
"Lol. You ain't getting me, Nagi."
"What?! How come you drained my HP?!"
It was a close game for the two, but Nagi was about to admit his loss until an upset happened where he suddenly won.
W-What just happened?"
"Aah… Look here."
They saw Gin lying down, asleep without the controller on his hand.
"Oh… he went to sleep mode. That's so last minute. He was winning and all."
"Well, I got the win and Gin lost."
~ ~ ~
"Thanks for hanging out today."
"Yeah. Be well, Gin."
"We'll visit again some time."
"I wish you well, Gin-senpai."
"Haha. Thanks, really."
"Ah, I'm going to run an errand for Sis. Are you sure you'll be okay alone, Potato?"
"Don't worry too much. I'll probably just do things that don’t require a lot of movements."
"Alright, then. See you later."
"Be careful, Rin.
Hmm… I guess I'll do some drawing. Hey, Haku. Scratch my face if I fall asleep."
~ ~ ~
I have done a few sketches for around half an hour and tried to watch anime after that. Thankfully, I haven't had any case of switching off after when the others were still here apart from one earlier.
I still ran out of things to do, however. The last thing I can do is lay down on my bed as I observe the afternoon sky outside from what I can see through my window.
"I guess I'll take a nap.
I didn't expect to be saying that of all times…"
But suddenly, my doorbell rang.
I went downstairs and checked who is in front of my door through the viewhole, and saw that it was Ginji.
"Hey G. What's up?"
"Thought I'd share some pizza since we ordered a bit too much," he followed up by showing the box.
"Ohhh… Thanks, then. If you're not in a rush, you can come in."
"Excuse my intrusion, then."
"You really live alone in this house, huh. Now that I've taken a good look, I can definitely say this is too big for you."
"Well… I still try to live with minimalism. That's why I have a lot of space in this house."
"Aren't with Ringo today?"
"She's out running an errand for her sister. She was here earlier along with the others from the club to check up on my condition."
"I'm currently experiencing something that puts me into sleep by force. And with that, I always get dreams even if it was just a short time of slumber.
When you think about it, it could still be threatening to me."
"I see… Dreams, huh…
Gin, sorry but I will be very blunt with this. I have a question…
Do you know the Medical Children Program?"
Hearing what he just said, I came to a state of shock inside me. My suspicions of G suddenly rose up after hearing that.
"H-How… did you know that…? It was not disclosed to public even if it benefited a lot twelve years ago up until this point."
"So you really know of it…"
"Why do you ask… and why do you know…?"
"It's no use beating around the bush. I've heard a lot about you from the doctor himself, 027."
"He knows my code…"
"Rishou Kagetora, huh…
G, I'll need you to explain."
"Sure. I'll tell you my story then.
I met Dr. Kagetora around last year when I got into an accident of some sort. He was the one that gave me first aid in the scene of the incident. It was later revealed that I had respiratory infections because of mostly inhaling cigarette smoke and other forms of pollution overtime, apart from a much bigger accident I got into.
My family were then found by the doctor and sought to get me better from the infection and treatment from the accident: free of all charges. He was working at Maris Hospital at that time. But that was also the time when I discovered how much he was haunted by his past. Seriously, he was so broken. He had no one to talk it out, so I volunteered to listen to him and I ended up accompanying him when he's driven down by anxiety.
Thus, I've also discovered the program in which he led for a year. What I knew was about how 100 five year-old children were put to examinations involving incomplete drugs, which lead to death of the children and suicide. Even if the program was successful, all of the subjects were assumed to have died.
Listening to his every word, he made me stay in a hospital room inside his office until I recovered."
"I saw that room when I confronted him."
"Even after my confinement, I still come by and visit him and he still told me stories about someone he called as '027' and how he was so happy that there was someone who survived. That was the first time I saw you, although in an image. That's how it came to this day that I have asked you that question."
"So you already know about 086 too, I guess."
"Ken Ichikawa, I assume? He was your classmate up until last school year but after his surgery, he went off somewhere. Even the doctor does not know of his whereabouts."
"Yeah. He's doing fine somewhere."
"I'll take that as he knows where he is." Ginji suspected.
"But you sure do your research, G."
"Oh, please. That's just mere information gathering. I suck at research in school.
But I just got into it because of the doctor. I owe him a lot too."
"Are you still in contact with the doctor?"
"Sure, yeah. We're lending each other’s ears."
"So… can you tell me about him when you were a patient? Sure, I've heard from him already, but I want to know from other perspective."
To say it to the simplest, he was destroyed by the program. He was saying it was his fault, or he regrets everything, or his life per se can't equal to the lives that he 'killed.' Seeing him every time with a much distorted state is very surprising.
Honestly, even I was scared whenever he talks… or agonizes about it. Because of that, I have somehow woken up to how much corrupted this world is."
"So he still thinks that he was a murderer. He sure has changed so much for the ten years I haven't seen him.
If you ever have seen how he knelt down in front me and Rin, it made me very apologetic. I used to hate him, honestly, but when I saw how different he is from the past, I felt that it was time to forgive him."
"…With Ringo, huh.
Gin, there's something I need to tell you."
"This is something that even the doctor has not yet realized up until this moment. But to be honest, I am in no position to say this.
It is about you and Ringo. Seeing the two of you right now made it apparent that you two still don't know. But what I am talking about is not something I can say with my words.
There will definitely be someone that will tell you what the truth is. I know… it will be sooner than later. This is something you definitely… definitely need to know.
Even if it ends up hurting both of you."
Tranquility engulfed the whole house as Ginji awaited for a comment or reply from Gin, which did not ever come.
"Gin… You're so unfair, for crying out loud… Here I thought you were listening all along and I see you sound asleep.
Hahh… I still wish you two for the best.
Man… what a 'coincidence.'"
With the presence of Rin after a few moments, Ginji left the house after looking after the asleep.
▪ ▪ ▪
I got Doctor Kagetora's contact information from G, and attempted to make an appointment with him in the next day after submitting a day of absence from school.
"Rishou Kagetora, speaking."
"Hello~ Doc. Haven't talked to you in a while, have I?"
"Who is this speaking?"
"It's me, Gin Sakato. Surprised, are we?"
"Oh, 027… It's been a while. Are you well?"
"I shouldn't be calling if I were. Hahaha.
But don't worry. It's just minor. I need a checkup again."
"Alright. I'll free up a schedule an hour from now. Is that good?"
"Ehhh… I don't think I can get to Maris in just an hour."
"So… you didn't know?"
"Didn't know what?"
"I transferred to a family hospital here in Ginga in Cotona. Actually, Cerulean Street is just near the highway so…"
"My word, are you serious?! That's dead near to my house."
"Oh? Then that makes things easier."
"An hour, you say? Alright, I'll be there.
Thank you very much."
"Sure, sure. You'll be free of charge of course.
Wait, how did you call me?"
"Got your info from your friend, Ginji Satoshi."
"So you met Ginji. What a coincidence."
"I'll explain things later. See you then."
"Dad, you'll meet him again, huh?"
"Please ask him not to freak out when he sees me."
"It's been twelve years already. I hope he doesn't cause a ruckus."
▪ ▪ ▪
September 4, 3:15pm.
A faculty meeting is being held in the office after the dismissal.
"Sir Juushiro, why are we still not starting the meeting?"
"I'm still waiting for someone. He said he has something to say.
Oh, speaking of."
"Sorry I'm late. Good afternoon, teachers."
"Oh, Mr. Sakato. So you're the one that the principal was waiting for."
"Alright, let's start the meeting.
We'll have Mr. Sakato speak first regarding what he has to say."
"Thank you, Mr. Principal.
I asked to join the meeting for today for the advantage of informing specifically my subject teachers of my case. I will immediately step out once I have said what I will.
I was absent yesterday for the reason of having a checkup. I am currently experiencing some kind of sleeping disorder in which at random, I fall asleep or 'switch off' regardless of my condition, so to speak.
With the following days, the teachers might observe me to suddenly nod off in classes. So I ask for this behavior to be excused.
Regarding a remedy or therapy, there is nothing I can do about it but live with it until such time of monitoring. If anything happens beyond that, I would like to ask in advance for an indefinite time of absence from school if my conditions worsen.
That's all I have to say."
"What a brave child he is to be barging in to a meeting. Truly amazing."
"If it is a health issue, there's nothing to talk about. He even provided papers for it."
"What do you think, Sir Juushiro?"
"We wish for our student's safety and wellness so I will permit this behavior in the near future. Mr. Sakato, if something happens, please go to the clinic immediately."
With this supposed to be concluded, I will have to leave now as I may disturb the rest of the meeting."
"Thank you for the consideration, you may leave now."
"Thank you very much."
▪ ▪ ▪
Over the past week, the frequency of my switching off has gotten higher. It came to the point that it became a disturbance in classes every time it happens.
Today is September 14, my last day of being present in school and classes ended quickly. I have decided to pull back from school.
And before this indefinite duration of leave, this might be the last time that I will be walking the White Street from school in a while.
"Hahh… I knew it would come to this…"
"It's for the better, Potato."
"Nee-chan is right, Nii. Who knows what you might have done if you didn't file an absence."
"Though I'm quite worried with how I will continue day to day life."
"I'll be inside now. Nee-chan, can you get Nii home until he opens his door?"
"Of course, Anna.
Potato, you heard him."
Okay… Something is not right with this…
Why are both of our families inside my house right now?
There is Dad, Mom, Uncle Shuu, Aunt Sumi and Sis… all in one place. And there seems to be an argument happening…
A meeting of some sort, rather.
"Well, yes, Shuu. Kei isn't always available since he is working."
"Our daughter is also busy at school works so I don't think Anna can…"
"So that leaves with…"
"Oh, great timing, son."
"Hey there, musuko!"
"Here's little sister too."
"Uhh… Care to tell what in the world is happening right now…?"
"Let's not beat around the bush. I know this is sudden but…
"But what? What, Uncle?"
"We've come to the agreement so…
How about you let my daughter live in this house for a while?"
To be continued.
You've finished 018!
I doubt that it's an actual disorder, but good for him for sleeping that much. I wish I could do that too.
Thank you for reading!
019: Under this roof, what exactly does the future entails?
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