One Thousand Mornings: Chapter 2: Rebirth
The room walls sank into the ground, painting the world into an intangible void. Looking down at her feet, she almost felt like she was floating. As if her mind was being taken adrift into the endless expanse of emptiness. As she tried to push further and further, the faintest echo of a voice yanked at her and pulled her back in to reality.
“What do you feel the most at night?”
Chiasa lifted her head. With the space around her now back to normal, the smell of mahogany slowly crept its way into her nostrils. Echoing the antiquate design of the room she now found herself within.
“I don’t really. . . I guess I don’t really understand the question,” she fumbled in response.
“Let me try and rephrase it. Umm, what exactly do you feel stands out within these dreams at night? Doesn’t necessarily have to be something that appears in a physical form per say, but anything that somewhat acts as a motif of some sort. Be it an emotion, or the temperature; it could essentially be anything. I guess. . . I guess in that sense it may even be something that’s so common to the point that you hardly even take note of its existence… Could you come up with anything?”
Chiasa pressed her palms against her thighs, rubbing the sweat off onto her plaid skirt. Trying her hardest to sit up straight as she recounted her thoughts.
“ . . .
“Kurayami—desu. I don’t really know how to explain it. I mean, even when I could feel—- no, when I would know that there was an environment around me, it still felt as if I was immersed in a place of… of… shadow.
“… I don’t even know what it is that I’m saying.”
Struggling to align her sense of thought properly, she caught herself fixated on the sound of a pen scratching against a notepad.
“What are you doing?” she asked diffidently, watching as his hand came to a dead stop. Placing the pen back into the chest pocket of his shirt and resting the pad down on the arm of the sofa, he painted a deep smile in between his cheeks.
“I think what you said is more than enough. Something to work with at the least. We just need to grasp the deeper-rooted aspect behind it all. If there’s anything I would want for you to walk away with, is for you to understand that our dreams are nothing more than a form of… projection of things that we already know or have experienced. You fall off a cliff, and suddenly awake moments before you hit the ground. Well, if you’ve never experienced death before then how could the mind possibly render it in your consciousness? In short, you know what the answer to all of this is. If you didn’t, then you wouldn’t have been capable of conjuring it within your dreams. You simply have to reach deep inside and figure it out. “
He stood up from his seat and walked along Chiasa’s left-hand side, pulling himself out from within her view. The sound of his shoes tapping against the floor rifled Chiasa’s skin. As she cautiously turned her head to follow his movements, she felt a sudden jerk against her chair, forcing her heartbeat to tear through her chest. Drenched in anxiety as she turned her head around once again, she was met with Detective Kawamura staring back down at her.
“Why are you staring at me like that?” he questioned. Stepping slightly to the side, he opened up Chiasa’s view to the two individuals standing behind him. Detective Lee, and Agent Saori. Although she managed to mask her panic on the outside, she could do nothing to relax herself on the inside.
With a calm approach, Saori worked her way over to the chair in front of Chiasa. Standing, with one hand pressed against its back, she only slightly bowed her head before taking a seat. “Hi Chiasa, my name is Agent Saori.” Chiasa’s face was very nonchalant as she crept a glance at the two detectives next to her from the corner of her eyes.
“Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m alive, aren’t I?”
“Yea… that certainly counts for something.”
Chiasa gave Saori a dead stare, before awkwardly bouncing her view around the room. She suddenly made an uncanny pause as her eyes laid rest on the Chinese scroll nearby the office entrance. Saori followed Chiasa’s line of sight and was soon surprised to find Kawamura staring at the exact same scroll.
“… How do you feel about answering a few questions?” Saori enquired. “I’ve said everything that I know,” Chiasa replied.
“Yea, I know. But maybe there’s still something that we haven’t realized yet; and all it takes is the right question to get you there.
“Let’s try and help each other figure this out.”
Chiasa closed her eyes as she absorbed her exhaustion. Finally, her body was a bit at ease, and she could feel her restlessness start to dissipate. She then reopened them and looked at Saori with a settling glance.
Saori slowly stood up from her chair and leaned against the desk behind her. Chiasa kept looking straight ahead. Her posture unusually straight. She then opened out her hand in front of her and looked down into her palm. Studying every crevice and fold as Saori took her time with the questions. “Ok,” Saori finally stated. “What do you feel when you think about your father?”
Kawamura and Lee quickly looked upon each other in a bit of disbelief. With one question, the tension in the room had turned itself inside out. In a swift motion, Chiasa clenched her hand into a fist and squinted her eyes. Peering up at Saori, Chiasa languidly responded,