(Title – 悪夢 – Akumu – Nightmare)
I was about to walk out when he said, “Date me.”
I was petrified. I couldn’t believe that he would utter those words to me.
I continued to leave and pretended not to hear a word he said. As soon as I reached the locker room entrance, the door suddenly closed with a loud bang. The lights switched off but it was not that dark because I can still see lights coming from the outside.
I felt like I was suffocating. My chest started to tighten. I was panting and almost out of breath. I tried to scream for help but the words won’t come out.
I was so profusely sweating that the cold sweat started to seep through my shirt. I don’t know what to do. I tried to hit the door and even kicked it with all my might just to get people’s attention; but to no avail.
I looked back at Senpai and my heart sank when I saw that it was no longer him. Standing there was a girl with black, shoulder-length, straight hair. Some of her hair was covering her face. She was wearing a black seifuku with white linings on the sleeves.
( Seifuku [制服] – A Japanese school uniform modeled on the sailor suit.)
“Ki-chan, you fooled me. You’re gay! Ha ha ha ha ha!” she ominously laughed. Her laugh sent chills down my spine. I noticed that she was crying while laughing hysterically. What’s disturbing is that her tears were made of blood.
Her voice echoed, not only within the locker room, but also within my troubled mind. I tried to speak but I still could not utter anything. I became mute out of fear. I knew it was my ex-girlfriend, Miyuki.
I tried to speak again, and this time, I was finally able to say something: “Wh-what are you doing here? H-how did you find me? Please… leave me alone!” I was trembling with fear.
My knees became so weak that I unwillingly sat on the floor, with my back against the door. I hugged my knees to my chest and closed my eyes, hoping that this is all just a bad dream.
I glanced at her, with hopes that she would disappear; but she was still standing there, smiling at me. Again, she called my name: “Ki-chan.”
She started to stagger slowly toward me.
I cried some more. I then felt someone pulling my arms on each side. I saw a dark figure pulling my legs apart.
“Ki-chan, why did you betray me?” she said again with a sinister smile on her face.
I screamed my lungs out.
I sat back up with beads of sweat running down my face mixed with tears. I was on my bed, panting really hard. My mind was in a daze as I was in a confused state. I reached out for my chest with my right hand and I felt my heart was beating fast; so fast that I could even hear it beating loudly.
“It was a bad dream,” I weakly said.
I switched on my lamp, got out of bed, and headed to the kitchen to drink some water.
Of all the people, why did I dream of her?
I recalled when Ryū-senpai asked me to date him. That indirect confession might have reopened my wounds from the past. I feared that I may need to visit my psychiatrist again but I don’t want to tell my parents about this. I caused enough trouble for them in the past.
I sat on the counter stool and let go a deep sigh. I dug my nails into my arms in an effort to keep awake. I don’t want to sleep anymore because I was afraid that she would show up in my dreams again. On top of that, I feared that my special ability will act up again.
I thought of a way to alleviate the intense emotional and mental pain that I felt inside. The least that I would like to do is to attempt to kill myself again.
I stared at the ceiling for a few minutes. I was brainstorming on what I should do next; I suddenly had a bright idea. Why not talk to Ryū-senpai? I checked on the time and it was already half past 11 in the evening. I hope he’s still awake.
I took a quick shower as I felt my skin was sticky from all that sweating. I put on a new set of pajamas and went out of my room. I walked toward Ryū-senpai’s room and started to knock.
“Ryū-senpai, are you still awake?” I asked while knocking.
Nobody responded so I knocked some more.
I then heard him shout: “Go away! I’m sleeping!”
“If you’re sleeping, how come you were able to respond?” I shouted in response.
There was a brief silence. I then saw the door knob turn. I happily smiled from the sight of that.
Once the door opened, I saw his tired eyes glaring at me.
“What?” he mumbled.
“Ano sa… uhm… I had a nightmare,” I shyly said.
“What does that have to do with me?” He looked annoyed.
I hesitated to respond; but was able to gather some courage to say: “You said you will date me.” I immediately blushed after saying that. I wanted to dig a hole and crawl into it. Ha ha
“So?” he coldly responded.
I was persistent. “Can I come in?” I shamelessly said.
He slammed the door shut on my face. I knocked again. This time it was harder.
After a few minutes, he opened the door again and said, “Get inside.” He rolled his eyes after saying that.
I sat on his bed near the headboard. When he was about to close the door, I hurriedly said, “Wait, I forgot something.”
He knitted his brows and frowned. “Make it fast!” he growled.
I ran back to my room and got my favorite Keroro stuffed toy. After getting that, I dashed off toward his room. I almost forgot to lock the door. I looked back at him to ensure that he was still there. I smiled after I saw him standing by the door, doing a quick face-palm gesture.
“Sorry,” I said.
“Are you a kid?” he sarcastically asked. “Get inside, now,” he ordered.
I went inside and laid on his bed as if it was my own. I was so shameless that night.
He smirked and said, “So shameless.”
“What? You said you’d date me,” I remarked.
“Whatever. Move aside,” he said while attempting to lay beside me.
“Wait,” I stopped him.
“What is it now?” he rolled his eyes and let go a sigh.
“Can I get a separate blanket?” I flashed my puppy eyes on him.
He immediately opened the cabinet beside me and got a clean blanket. He threw it on my face.
“Hey!” I said while taking off the blanket on my face.
“Next time, you know where to get it,” he said. “Can I get some sleep now?” he added.
I nodded in response and then covered myself with the blanket.
Once he got into bed, I faced the cabinet on my right side, flexed my right arm, and placed it under the pillow. My back was facing him. He placed his left hand on my waist and pulled me closer. We assumed the spoon position. I felt cozy with him, hugging me tight.
I started to talk again. “I had a bad dream.”
“Hm,” he responded.
“I dreamt that we were back in the locker room, on that day when you asked me to date you. After you asked me out, the scene changed. I was attempting to walk out but the door slammed right in my face. The lights went off. I felt uneasy. I looked back at you and I saw my ex-girlfriend, standing where you were. I was so scared. She ruined my life.” I vented out and started to feel my eyes become wet. “Ryū-senpai—”
“Remember, I told you not to call me Senpai anymore? Please call me Ryū,” he calmly said.
“Oh, yes. I forgot, Ryū.” I blushed.
“Get some sleep. You have me,” he reassured. “I will listen to your story all day if you want me to. I want to get to know you more; whether it may be your darkest past or your happiest memories — I am willing to accept them all. I will love you with all of my heart.” This was the longest statement that I heard from him.
I paused and then turned back to face him. I saw that his eyes were already closed and that he was fast asleep already.
I let go of the thought of that bad dream. For once, I felt that I was at ease since I knew that he was there for me. Unknowingly, I went into deep slumber.
I know some of you may be confused. This happened, a few days after the locker-room confession. The next chapter will talk about Ryū’s POV, right after he asked Kichirō to date him.