Shige lay awake in the still and quiet darkness, oblivious to what was going on around him: In other words, oblivious to the world. Not caring about anything else except what he had done to cause someone he loved, and still loves, to say something that hurt him unbearably. The series of events that happened just a few hours ago refuses to leave his mind. Instead, it’s continuously playing repeatedly. Like a spoilt tape stuck on the most depressing scene:
Heart pounding, perspiration ran down inside his pants while he put on a confused expression, ignoring the tense atmosphere around him.
Koyama’s handsome face, completely blank while a series of depressing words, though mean nothing to them then, cold and heartless Koyama, bring Shige’s life crashing down to tiny bits and pieces, escaped his lips, as his head hung low in shame.
Shige’s scrunched up face, trying to put on a façade, but failed terribly.
Koyama’s words that crushed him rather violently.
The silent but loud footsteps of Koyama, walking cruelly, away from him, walking away from him, forever.
Followed by the most eerie and dead silence Shige never expected to come across.
And lastly, the heartless walls, mocking him.
Shige woke up the next morning to the sound of his alarm. It all felt like a dream, the incident that happened yesterday, was a dream. Shige was definite it was. Even though he knew it wasn’t as the incident was still fresh and lingering in his mind. And his mind is honest; it has never lied to Shige. He got up and got ready for work.
With his heart pounding violently against his ribcage. Shige twisted the doorknob and entered the room with his normal sheepish grin on his face. Still pretending that yesterday was just dream.
The atmosphere of the room was the same, nothing changed. Adding on to his hopes of what happened yesterday, a dream.
As usual, Ryo walked up to him and punched him playfully in the arm. Massu, gives him a whole hearted friendly smile, welcoming him. Yamapi, an energetic high-five to start the morning afresh. And Tegoshi---. Tegoshi was supposed to pull him to his seat and he was supposed to listen to his gossips of the day. But he couldn’t find Tegoshi anywhere. Neither could he find, Koyama. He scanned the room with his eyes, straining them, expecting to find Tegoshi waving at him and Koyama appearing out of nowhere and giving him a surprise kiss on the cheek. But however he strained his eyes, he still couldn’t find them, not even at the corners of the room. Nowhere. Trains of thoughts in his head were interrupted by familiar voices outside the door.
Then the door opened. Shige turned around to see two familiar figures, holding hands lovingly while repeatedly apologizing to Yamapi and explaining why they were both late. Shige stared at both of them with a stoned expression. If his eyes were like superman’s, Both Koyama’s and Tegoshi’s hand would have melted. Koyama’s eyes met Shige’s, and he looked away rather quickly when he noticed Shige’s shocked and pained expression. Shige felt as if time stopped, and started without him. Purposely making the world oblivious to him. And he had to struggle to keep up with time, forced to accept what happened when it was all oblivious to him. Forced to accept what was happening right in front of him.
The day passed by rather slowly. Every agonizing second that passed, mocking Shige. Shige had to force a smile the whole day and pretend that everything was normal, to not worry the other members. But he knew it didn’t work for Koyama, because Koyama had already mastered how to see through the thin and obvious layer of façade everytime Shige put it on, no matter how thick it was. But even so, Koyama ignored it. They avoided each other the whole day. Shige was forced to watch Koyama and Tegoshi, both cheekily playing with each other. He stared with the most hurtful expression when he stared at Tegoshi sitting on Koyama’s lap and sharing his bento during break time. Without realizing it, slowly ruining the layer of lies that he struggled very hard to maintain.
The painful hours of his life finally ended at ten in the evening. Shige said his goodbyes to everyone in a hurry, but what escaped his lips were just a mumble that no one but Koyama understood. He grabbed his bag and ran out of the room. But pathetically, since he ran too slowly, passed by Tegoshi in a corner and noticed a smirk forming on his already mocked expression, while his eyes were telling him to give up. Give up, give up. Koyama’s mine now.
Shige stared at him, but again, he failed in a pathetic attempt to ignore him and ran faster out of the building while hot tears streamed down his cheeks.
Shige reached his apartment and fumbled for his keys in his bag. He opened the door hastily and ran to his room, not bothering to even lock the door. He ran towards his unmade bed and threw himself on it. Reaching out for his pillow, he buried himself into it, soaking the pillow with his hot and wet tears.
He didn’t believe what happened. He really didn’t, questions of why Koyama was with Tegoshi was popping in his mind. Keeping his already worn out mind full with questions that was demanding its answers, wanting to burst out of his head. He absent-mindedly picked up his bag and emptied out everything on his already messy bed. He was about to reach out for his wallet that contains pictures of him and Koyama together, ready to feel the pain, when he noticed a red envelop. It had a dangerous and mysterious touch to it which the then, curious Shige, completely ignored. He picked up the envelop and with trembling fingers, slowly opened it. The letter was untidy. The words were all jumbled up as If the writer could only write when there are lines. But the handwriting looked familiar, yet different. Shige read the letter, twice, thrice. His eyes slowly moving, cooperating with his brain at what he was reading, stopping sometimes to register and absorb what was written on the letter to his dysfunctional brain, trying to understand what the writer meant. After he stared at the letter for what seems like forever was when he finally understood. And his heart hurting with such excruciating pain. A pain he only now understood.
Shige loves Koyama. Even though he knows Koyama was with Tegoshi. He still loves and cares for Koyama. He wants Koyama to lead a happy life. With or without him. To him, that’s what love is called. And when he finished reading the depressing letter, realization dawned into him. He finally realized what his existence now is to Koyama.
To Koyama now, Shige is nobody. Just someone he is friends with, nothing else. Koyama won’t give Shige his love like he used to last time. Neither would he receive the love given by Shige. Shige now, he realized, is just ruining both Koyama’s and Tegoshi’s relationship. Trying to break both of them together with his existence and both his selfishness and jealousy without realizing it, thus, making Koyama to not lead a happy life like how Shige’s love wanted him to, but instead a sad and depressing one. Shige now understands all this. And he made a decision.
For his love for Koyama, he would do anything.
For his love for Koyama, he would risk anything.
For his love for Koyama, he would sacrifice anything.
Even if it includes his own life.
He had promised himself this ever since he fell in love with Koyama. And he NEVER breaks his promises. Especially promises as important as this one.
With the letter clutched in one hand, he reached out for a pen and paper in another hand. He decided to reply to the previous letter. He wrote the letter in no hurry as he had all the time in the world behind his back. Slowly, he wrote down what was going on in his mind, on a piece of paper. After he finished writing the letter, and sealed it, he walked to the bathroom. He stared at the mirror, his heart hurting painfully while he did. Asking himself why he was doing this. He stared at the big mirror in his toilet, staring at the most pathetic loser in the history of mankind. Watching the tears that were uncontrollably and continuously streaming down his cheeks. He wanted to scream at himself, at his own stupidity but when he opened his mouth to do so, no sound came out. His ears was alert to every sound he heard, hoping that he would get to hear his voice. But all he could hear was silence. Not even the screech of moving cars, or roaring engines that could usually be heard on the road just opposite his apartment. He listened to the silence that could easily kill him.
He was feeling angry at the world, he clenched his fist tightly, and digging his fingernails into his own flesh, as fresh blood trickled down his skin and onto the clean and white marble tiles of his toilet floor. His heart was bearing rapidly against his chest in anger and pain. He hold up his clenched fist, he punched his own reflection, not bearing to see anymore of the grief stricken face staring pathetically back at him. Mocking him, taunting him, reminding him it’s over, and he lost.
The mirror broke and shattered in the most extraordinary way. The sound of the breaking mirror when his angry fist collided with it produced such beautiful shattering, like music to his ears. Killing the eerie, cold and deathly silence. The sound of it was as though, reflecting how he felt now, healing his heart. The glass cut into Shige’s still clenched fists, with the small pieces of broken glass peeking out of his skin. As crimson colored liquid trailed down his arm, staining it in a way Shige thought, extraordinary and at the same time, outstanding. It was much more beautiful in real life than in the movies where Shige knew it was all a fake. Shige stood there marveling at what just happened, not believing that, how, when a broken and angry heart teams up with a clenched fist, produce such brilliant sound and beautiful magic.
Shige thought it was rather confusing that it didn’t hurt one bit while the glass cut into his flesh. Instead, the deeper the cut was, and the more blood that oozed out of his cut, the more his heart that had been in pain for the past forty-five hours, healed. As he watch in amazement how his blood dripped out of his skin and dropped on the broken glass, staining and decorating his ugly and hairy exposed legs with small little beautiful red dots. He was starting to feel faint when he heard the most beautiful voice in his head. The voice he was dying to hear since forever.
DON’T! Stop it. Stop it. Please. For me.
The voice was repeating itself in his mind. Making him feel as if he was really there.
Koyama? You there? Are you really there? Talk to me if you really are.
Yes, I’m here. Stop please, stop!
Shige believed and followed the instructions of the beautiful voice. But when he did, the voice refused to say anything anymore. It took Shige awhile to realize, that the voice would only talk to him when he hurt himself. He slowly picked up a broken glass and held it in his palms as he wobbled back towards his bedroom. Shige felt faint, he clenched the glass in his arms as he savored the feeling of the glass wounding and slitting his skin. He still couldn’t hear the voice. He forced the glass into his flesh, deeper.
No, no, no. Please no. Stop it.
No, I won’t. If it’s the only thing that allows me to listen to your voice for the last time. I won’t stop.
He savored the feeling of the glass that cut deeper and deeper into his skin, slowly cutting through his flesh. The deeper it went, the more urgent the voice sounded. Blood oozed out uncontrollably from his wound, staining his ugly brown and smelly t-shirt, a brilliant and genuine red. The smell of rusted metal wafted through the air and through his nostrils, entering his already weak lungs as he inhaled. His head was spinning, but he ignored it, instead, he focusing on the voice in his head repeatingly, begging him to stop. Loving how the voice sounded. How he almost forgot how beautiful the voice was. He hovered the glass over his wrist, and he slit it, deeper, cutting through his skin, his flesh, and finally his veins. And then, the pain in his heart stopped, no, his heart stopped. He wasn’t breathing and all he could see were the light, the beautiful white light engulfing him and blinding him at the same time.
Koyama felt like talking to Shige since he was feeling guilty. Shige’s pained expression when he was staring at both him and Tegoshi stained Koyama’s heart with guilt. He couldn’t bear it anymore. He knew he had to talk to Shige before he did anything stupid. But he was completely oblivious to what he would see. He didn’t know he was going to enter the world of guilt and regret, no he didn’t.
Koyama walked in the apartment, the atmosphere was dense, it was all wrong. It was strange that the front door wasn’t locked. And there wasn’t any respond when he called for Shige. He walked towards Shige’s room. The cold stale air was mixed with the smell of rusted metal, making Koyama feel sick when the smell entered his nostrils and into his still functional lungs, suffocating him, making it hard for him to breathe. What he saw in the room, made his heart beat so fast, pounding so fast, trying to break out of his ribcage.
It was a bloody mess. The carpeted floor was stained with fresh but drying blood. The once alive and cheerful Shige was now motionless, pale and still, not moving, still and, dead. His hands was disgustingly sick, Koyama couldn’t bear to stare at it. But even so, he stared at it, absorbing everything, the deep cuts on his skin and how the pale skin peeked out eerily under the layer of blood.
The disgustingly sick air was now lingering on Koyama’s jacket, making Koyama feel dizzy. Koyama stayed quiet, still, rooted to the ground, unable to move. Like his brain stopped and any part of his body was dysfunctional at the moment except his eyes, which at the moment, was staring at Shige’s motionless body in disbelief, trailing his eyes at the blood stained carpet that lead to the toilet, and then, the broken mirror.
Koyama didn’t know what to do. He absent-mindedly walked towards Shige with his uncooperative legs. He touch Shige’s cold, still, unmoving shoulder with his trembling fingers. Half expecting Shige to wake up, lift his head up, kiss him on the check and tell him it was all just a joke. It was all a punishment for not talking to him at work today. But nothing happened, Shige didn’t even move. He just lay there immobile, as if his system shut down.
Koyama grabbed the cold shoulders and shook it violently. Screaming Shige’s name, saying sorry repeatedly, holding on to hope that everything would return to normal. Promising the body that it would not happen again. But, unfortunately, Shige wasn’t responding, he took Shige in his arms and cradled him slowly, as if he was fragile and was about to break any time soon. Holding Shige’s head to his chest, hoping his chest would warm Shige’s ice cold head, while he screamed like a madman. Sobbing uncontrollably, his body shaking in disbelief, hoping that he would wake up. Wishing it was all a dream.
He then noticed a paper stained with red blood, peeking out of his clenched fist. He reached out for it, and unfolded the crumpled piece of paper. He read the letter slowly, registering everything he read to his confused brain. The clock ticked monotonously in the tense background. His heart burning in anger after reading the last line. His eyes, darkened.
‘Tegoshi’, He whispered. He clenched his fist in anger, crumpling the already crumpled paper in his hands.
Tegoshi forged the letter. He pretended it was him. Koyama knew the moment Shige read this his heart was shatter into tiny fragments. Every single word was like a brick hurled directly at him. Then, with his still blurring vision, he noticed an envelop, addressed to him, on the table.
With his shaking fingers, he opened the envelop and got ready to be washed by a wave of heart breaking and touching words.
To my dearest,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry my presence has an irritating touch to you. I’m sorry I’m the one that’s making your life miserable. I didn’t mean to, I swear. I want you to be the happiest human being alive.
Remember our promise? Even if were not together, when you’re so near, yet so far. We still have to love each other. I have kept the promise.
You have taught me a great deal of things during our relationship. You taught me how to be brave, how to stand up to people, how to be strong, how to care for one another, and most importantly, how to love.
But I’m really sorry to say that, I didn’t practice all the things you taught me. I was too dependent on you. I was naïve. I didn’t think of things like this. I didn’t think you would leave me. It was all because when im with you, all my problems I wont have such thoughts. You loved me and cared for me. I didn’t believe that promises are meant to be broken. Because I trusted you. Your presence had my back turn to reality. Your presence has a magical touch to it. Your presence covers all my problems. You’re like my guardian angel, sent by god. MY guardian angel, no one else, but mine. You were mine.
But you decided to leave me. You walked out of my life without an explanation. You left me asking myself what was happening, why the world suddenly turned its back against me, why was the world mocking me, why was everybody’s sympathy not helping. All my questions, unanswered. It was as if my whole life collapsed in a blink of an eye. There was no meaning to life. Nothing else mattered when you’re gone. After spending my whole life with you, you, my pillar of strength. I don’t think my existence in this world means anything anymore now that you’re not here.
I’m not in a hurry. But my brain has stopped for a moment. So I think I’ll end this letter, simple.
I’m sorry for everything I have done for the past few years we were together. I’m sorry if I ever did anything wrong. I’m sorry for being to naïve. Im sorry for depending on you. Im sorry for everything.
Thank you. Thank you for being here with me when I needed you. Thank you for hugging me, bringing me into your warm arms when my life feels like it’s over. Thank you for all those warm kisses that never fail to make my heart flutter. And most of all, thank you for loving me.
I wish you would lead a happy and blessed life with Tegoshi. I hope you would take care of him like how I would do for you, and you to return it. You two look happy together. I’m feeling happy inside too. Im feeling happy for both of you. God bless the both of you. I love you, and goodbye--.
Koyama didn’t believe what he just read. He looked up from the letter to the figure in his arms. Not believing that he wrote all this. Drowning him in the pits of guilt and regret. He shook his head. Rock back and forth silently, listening to the silence that was slowly eating him up.
He didn’t believe that the person who made his heart flutter every time they met is now cold and still in his arms.
The warm hugs and kisses, the late night conversations, the sheepish grins everything, is gone.
The memories of both of them drowned him, the smiling faces, warm hearts, brushing lips, sweet talks, blushing cheeks, everything. All, which before was possible, are now just hallucinations.
Koyama sat still on the blood stained carpet, rocking Shige in his arms in a slow monotonous rhythm while tears rolled won his cheeks. Realization dawning on him that it was all too late. Nothing will get him the once cheerful body in his arms, alive and breathing, ever again.