(Title – 反省 – Hansei – Contemplation)
Back to the flashback…
Monday… Kichirō started to have the “Monday Syndrome.” It was unlikely for him to be like this as he would always be excited to go to school to the point that, at times, he would be the first to arrive in school, before anybody else.
This time, it was already 7:30 am and he was still lying on his bed. Staring blankly at the ceiling, while hugging his Keroro stuffed toy, he was thinking: “What kind of a mother would disown her own son just because of his sexuality? I can understand it if it’s about being unfaithful but, still, blood is thicker than water; no matter what, a family should always be bound as one. Ugh, my head hurts… I have to face Yuki-chan in school, too. What to do?”
The morning sun that passed through the window glimmered on Kichirō’s face. It gently brought forth a warmth, yet, it was not enough to warm up the coldness he was feeling inside.
He curled up into a ball and buried his face under his pillow. He then realized, don’t tell me I’m admitting that I’m gay? No way. No… Definitely no… He shuddered and then gave himself a slap on the face. “Ouch!” he roared as he rubbed his cheek that is now ruddy because of the slap.
Suddenly, a loud knock on the door resounded within the room followed by a loud yell: “Are you going to lie there all day? Don’t forget you have school. Be ashamed of yourself! You will be the new school president!” Finally, a loud bang on the door was heard which made Kichirō immediately sit up straight. It was Fumiko, his mom.
Just like a soldier being awaken by his commander early in the morning, he started to get out of his bed without any hesitations. He took a bath, dried himself off with a towel, then put on his school uniform. He went downstairs to the dining room to eat breakfast.
It was already 8:15 am. Fifteen minutes more and class will begin. He didn’t have the urge to hurry up, instead, he even moved more slowly. Fortunately, his mom already left for work. His younger brother, Shūichirō also left for school. Nobody would force him to hurry up. He took his time to eat. He didn’t mind being late today.
“Son, if you will eat that slow, you will really be late for school,” Akihiko suddenly popped out of nowhere.
“Otōsan, I’m sorry. I really don’t feel good lately.”
“It’s okay. Just take your time. I’m here for you.” He tapped Kichirō’s shoulder and sat beside him to eat breakfast as well. “You are my son after all. You should be late sometimes just like me when I was in school, he he. Your mom was like a watchman who would alway keep an eye on every move I make. I hated her at first but hey, your mom is a good person. She just wants the best for you. You will understand her someday. But don’t worry, I will talk to her about what happened yesterday.”
Kichirō was somehow happy because his dad was on his side. Both of them remained silent afterwards and enjoyed eating breakfast.
The time was now 9:08 am. Kichirō was in front of the school gate. He saw the PE teacher scolding the other students who arrived late. The teacher unconsciously looked toward his direction. Kichirō felt a sharp current run down his spine when his eyes met with the teacher’s.
“Ishikawa-kun, what happened to you? Why are you late today?” The teacher gave him an indifferent look.
“Eto…Sensei, I’m not feeling well,” he obviously lied.
“Are you sure? Do you have a fever? Why did you go to school. You should have informed your homeroom advisor. Tsk.”
“I’ll just go to the clinic,” he looked listless.
“Alright, but next time, I won’t give you an exemption even if you are the new school president.”
“Yes, Sensei. Gomenasai.” He apologized and bowed down his head to give respect to the teacher.
Kichirō walked away and headed for the clinic. In reality, he just wanted to lie down and pretend to be sick. The school nurse allowed him to take a rest because he really did look pale and weak.
While Kichirō was dozing off, he felt something cold touch his face. He opened his eyes and saw that it was Miyuki caressing his cheeks.
“What happened to you? I couldn’t even contact you this past few days…” Miyuki’s eyes looked sad but she still managed to keep a calm expression on her face.
Kichirō did not respond and instead, pushed Miyuki’s hand away from his cheek. He lied sidewards, facing the wall, away from Miyuki.
“I don’t know what I did wrong but I don’t see the reason why you have to act like this. I’ll leave you alone for now. You can sleep here. I will inform your homeroom teacher that you’re sick. I will call Obasan (Aunt – referring to Kichirō’s mom) to let her know that you’re sick.” After softly talking, Miyuki paused for a few seconds and looked earnestly at Kichirō, who was facing the wall. Without saying anything else, she then decided to walk away.
When she was about to walk away, a hand grabbed her by the wrist. She stopped walking and looked at the person who pulled her. It was Kichirō.
“I want to tell you something…”
It hasn’t been three days since Shirō and Kichirō met for the first, and possibly the last time. Shirō was feeling gloomy for letting that chance go to be more close with Kichirō.
He just stared blankly at the white board while the professor was lecturing.
He remained confined in his own world.
“Hey dude, the prof is calling you!” His seatmate was jabbing his arm.
He broke out of his daze and was startled by what his classmate said. “Oh shit!” He shouted within the classroom. Everyone in the class looked back at him. The professor was knitting his brows as he crossed his arms across his chest.
He raised his left hand, did a casual bow, shamelessly smiled, and said “Sorry, he he.”
“Morioka-san, if you can’t pay attention in class and would choose to say random swear words, it would be best for you to get out of my class.” The professor was really angry. You couldn’t blame him though because Shirō was really not paying any attention.
Shirō was forced to leave the classroom by the professor because of that. He helplessly obeyed. In fact, he wanted to leave the room in the first place as he was not in the mood to listen to a lecture.
It was lunch time. Shirō didn’t have an appetite to eat lunch so he chose to stay on the rooftop of the Architecture Building. He was lying flat on the floor like the symbol 大 as he faced the blue sky. He lied underneath the shadow of the rooftop. The warm breeze gently caressed his face.
He wanted to sleep but he couldn’t help but feel uneasy. Images of the time when he first met Kichirō kept on flashing back in his mind. His heart was racing and his mind was in a daze. He held onto his chest to feel his heart beating. His heart was definitely defying what his mind was commanding him to do.
Mixed emotions, that’s all he felt lately. Happy, since he finally met him. Jealous, since he was already taken. Depressed, since he will never get his attention. Angry, for walking out without letting him respond to his confession. It may seem as it is, but he felt like he was at the edge of his sanity. What’s more important for a teenager than his first love?
I can’t take it anymore! I need to see him…
Shirō got up and picked up his backpack. Without hesitation, he decided to pay Kichirō a visit in his school.