(Title – 苦 – Ku – Hardship, Part 3)
Warning: Suicide Content.
A group of boys passed by him. Seeing that it was the new kaichō, they immediately approached him.
“Okama !” They ridiculed.
( derogatory term for a male homosexual)
“Why don’t you go and suck your boyfriend’s d***?!? Kuso , I can’t believe I even voted for you,” one of the students said as if he even wanted to spit on Kichirō.
( sh*t, damn, bullsh*t)
“What are you saying?” Kichirō was shaking deep inside but still made sure to maintain his composure.
“Don’t act dumb you faggot! You even hurt our Kaichō just to be with another boy. You’re such a disgrace! If I was your dad, I would have tied you on a pole and stripped you naked,” another boy said.
Kichirō attempted to run away from them but he was pushed into the corner. He could not escape. He received all of the punches and ridicule from the group. They even spit on him out of disgust. Kichirō was crying but he held on to his voice, not making a sound. He wanted to stay strong as he crouched on the ground. Blood spewed out of his mouth and his nose was profusely bleeding. All he could feel was pain, to the point that he became numb of it.
Fortunately, a teacher passed by and saw what happened. Seeing that the teacher was fast approaching, they ran away in different directions.
Kichirō finally got the opportunity to run away and went to the student council office. He locked himself in, like his life depended on it. He was crying but still forced himself not to make a sound.
Did I kill a person? How could they have done this to me? Could they have at least thought of all of the good things I did in this school? Just because I wanted to be with a man, they did this. Who gave them the right to do this?!? I already gave up on Shirō, what else do they want me to do? He thought to himself.
He was nearly out of it. Thoughts were fleeting in his mind. He was deranged and confused. Suddenly, he heard someone loudly knocking on the door. “Ishikawa-kun, please open the door. We need to get you treated!” It was most probably one of the teachers.
Kichirō was trembling. He did not answer. He really could not take it anymore. He thought it was better to end everything in here. A thought flashed his mind. He rummaged through the office, in search of a sharp edge. In a matter of seconds, he found a razor.
He stared blankly at the shining silver. He was wondering if it was worth it… If it would be better to leave this world and wait for his punishment in the afterlife… After a few seconds, his phone rang — it was Miyuki. He suddenly got the feeling that this girl had something to do with all of this.
Without hesitating, he answered the call, with his shaking hand…
“Ki-chan~~~ did you see my gift for you? I hope you liked it… I made sure that your face was obvious in the photo. My koibito  looked really handsome. Too bad he was hugging somebody else. He–” Kichirō immediately ended the call and bursted into tears.
( lover, sweetheart)
He no longer had any second thoughts — he finally slit his wrist with the razor he was holding… Crimson red blood spurted. It appeared that an artery was cut by the razor. As the blood spurted, it flowed on his arm and dripped on the floor. After a few minutes of staring at the blood dripping to the floor, his vision started to become blurry… He fell into boundless darkness…
When Kichirō opened his eyes, he saw that it was bright all around him. His eyes were still blurry, just like when he woke up, first thing in the morning. Am I dead already? Is this… the afterlife…?
“Kichirō? You finally woke up!”
He heard someone calling him. He looked where the voice was coming from. He saw a woman with a long black hair. His chest tightened and his head started to hurt. Is that Miyuki? Why is she here?
“Stay away from me! You’re the devil!” He cried out weakly as he tried to move away from the woman who approached him.
“Son, it’s me, your mother,” Fumiko softly spoke. Her voice was weak as well, giving the impression that she had been crying all along. Kichirō felt something wet drop on his arm — Fumiko was crying.
“Honey, our son is awake! Call the doctor please. Both Fumiko and Akihiko were doctors but they could not bear taking charge of their son’s medical treatment. They were afraid that they would get overly emotional and dramatic because of it.
Akihiko quickly called the doctor. When the doctor came with a nurse, they started assessing Kichirō. As they approached him, Kichirō became frantic and combative.
“Stay away from me! Don’t touch me!” He yelled as he tried to resist. The doctor beckoned and the nurse immediately knew what to do. She went and called other nurses to help them. They restrained Kichirō who was still in a combative state. The other nurse handed over a syringe to the doctor who in turn injected it to Kichirō. In a matter of seconds, Kichirō calmed down and appeared like he was in a daze.
“Doctors, I’m sorry but I had to give him a chemical restraint as he was already combative. He may have undergone some trauma so that he was in this state. I strongly recommend that we collaborate with a psychiatrist for us to be able to assess his mental well-being. I’m afraid that there’s a possibility that he will attempt to commit suicide again in the future. He is already physically stable but as members of the health team, we know that we should treat every patient holistically,” the doctor explained.
“Are you saying that my son is insane? My son is not insane! Why do we need to get a psychiatrist involved here!” Fumiko roared with tears in her eyes.
“I’m not saying that. I am not in the position to diagnose his mental condition since it’s not my specialty. You should think of what’s best for you son. If you will excuse me…” The doctor then left with the nurses.
“Honey, we should really consult a psychiatrist about this matter. I have a friend who –” Akihiko tried to convince Fumiko but she stopped him.
“No… No… We would become a laughing stock if people find out that our son is a lunatic! I don’t agree!” Fumiko refuted.
“For once Fumiko will you listen to me?!? I’m saying this because this is what’s best for our son. Do you think I am happy about what’s going on? Choose — we consult a psychiatrist or your son dead?!?” Akihiko roared as he lost his temper.
“…” Fumiko was dumbfounded. She never realized that these two would have the audacity to go against her. In the end, after thinking about what had happened, she gave in and agreed to consult a psychiatrist. She did not want to lose her son. Losing her second son, Ritsu was already enough. If she were to lose Kichirō or Shūichirō, she would definitely go crazy…
After consulting a psychiatrist, they found out that Kichirō had major depression and suicidal tendencies. The doctor was also considering that he may have paranoid schizophrenia because of some signs and symptoms he manifested along the treatment process. The psychiatrist offered Akihiko and Fumiko to confine Kichirō in a mental institute for him to be monitored, which they refused.
Kichirō attempted to commit suicide multiple times after that event. He was delirious and was swallowed by his hallucinations and delusions.
Akihiko and Fumiko tried to look for Shirō, in hope that his presence would help hasten their son’s recovery. Their efforts were futile since they could no longer find him. His aunt said that Shirō moved back to Osaka and refused to give any details about his specific whereabouts.
Miyuki did not stop harassing Kichirō. This was found out by his parents so they took the necessary actions. They terminated his social media accounts and changed their numbers. Since it was the end of the school year, they opted to move back to their hometown in Ōhara, not letting anyone know where they moved to. They also processed their sons’ school records and arranged their school transfer.
Fumiko also changed for the better. She was still strict and harsh at times, but she became more compassionate toward her family, especially Kichirō. She spent more time with them instead of spending too much time with work. Although she softened and became more lenient, it was still a taboo for her to talk about Kichirō’s orientation.
They were able to get a recommendation from the doctor for a longer vacation for Kichirō. Kichirō and Akihiko went abroad for 2 months to help Kichirō recuperate. They stayed at their relatives’ place. Kichirō continued his treatment abroad. It was hard for Kichirō to move on… But he was able to manage a recovery.
Kichirō held onto the crescent moon pendant that Shirō gave him. He never separated from that pendant, holding it like it was a part of him. He hoped that someday, destiny would allow him to meet this boy who he loved the most. He vowed to Kamisama  that he would never love anybody else and would never befriend anyone ever again…
Looks like fate was playful since it was divine intervention, itself, who made him meet Ryū and the others…
End of the flashback.