When I first got here, I felt like a rabbit among a pack of vicious wolves, all vying for a piece of fresh meat. Then the most fearful of all the wolves caught me. I feared for my life. But the wolf gave me his food and a place to eat it.
I was cornered by a predator wolf, but my wolf appeared and fended it off, and yet another time afterwards due to my stupid actions. Most recently, I heard that my wolf was protecting me against that predatory wolf in my absence.
My wolf has fed me, clothed me, and asked for nothing in return but friendship.
I am extremely saddened, looking back, after coming to the realization that I was my wolf’s worst enemy. I attacked him when I should have supported him. I took advantage of him when he was vulnerable. I humiliated him in front of others. I was unappreciative of what he was doing for me.
I regret the many poor decisions I’ve made. If my wolf should ever return, I will try my best to return the love he has shown me. My only hope is that my wolf hasn’t given up on me just yet.
Monday breakfast was nothing special. Murata didn’t seem to have anything more to say and the other two boys never said anything. Occasionally, he would look over at Takahashi, but he never looked back. Kato felt sorry that it had become like this. He mentally calculated that from the time they had parted Saturday night until now, they had exchanged less than 10 words between each other. This made him very sad. Again, food just did not make him happy anymore. Kato wondered if there was something physically wrong with him at this point. He’d never lost his appetite like this before.
With the last crack of the headmaster’s cane, all the students got up. Takahashi quickly got up and left, without even a backwards glance at Kato. This hurt Kato, a little more than he was willing to admit. He then left the chow hall too.
Tachibana was somewhat chatty this morning, and seemed to be cheerful, but Kato could hardly pay attention and just went along agreeing with whatever he was saying.
When it was time, he grabbed a few things and he put his little envelope into his pocket and headed to class.
The instructor for Pre-calculus was Father Christiansen. He was young, Kato thought, to be an instructor. He guessed maybe early 20s, but he couldn’t be sure. He really didn’t look that much older than some of the Grade 12 students running around here. All the same, he was quite knowledgeable and helped Kato catch up with the class. He had already taken a similar class in his last school, so he was able to catch up quickly.
The second half of the class, the instructor had the students work on an assignment out of the book. Kato saw this as his opportunity. He reached into his pocket, grabbed the envelope, stood up and walked over to Takahashi’s desk.
Takahashi simply looked up at Kato. He put the envelope down on Takahashi’s desk and turned and went back to his own.
He tried to concentrate on the formula he was expected to solve. It was a simple one. He should be able to do this in his sleep. But he just stared at it. His heart wasn’t in it. It was elsewhere, and he didn’t know how to get it back.
Kato heard a sniffle. It was quiet, but audible. After a moment, he heard a second one, coming from behind. He heard someone get up in a rush, and then saw Takahashi walk by him in a rush and out the door.
The instructor watched as he left with a puzzled look. Kato immediately got up and followed Takahashi out the door. He saw Takahashi enter the bathroom and Kato followed in.
Takahashi was standing next to the wall, holding the picture Kato drew in one hand, with his other hand over his face, tears falling. He was softly sobbing. Kato felt wracked with guilt as his eyes started to sting.
He didn’t know what to do. So, he just quietly walked over and stood in front of Takahashi. He stood close to him.
Takahashi wiped his tears and looked down at Kato but said nothing. He sniffled a little bit, though. Kato wasn’t sure why, but he thought it was kind of cute.
“I’m not a wolf.” He smiled as the tears still ran down his cheeks.
“To me you are,” Kato softly replied. “That’s why I put your name on it,” he added with a smile. When Kato was younger, if he ever cried, his mom would hold him. It always made him feel better. Kato moved right up to Takahashi and put his head on his chest, and slowly and gently wrapped his arms around Takahashi’s waist, being careful that he did not accidently hurt him by putting his arms around and hitting a sore spot from the caning.
Takahashi was warm, pleasantly warm, and quite soft. Kato could hear his heartbeat again, and his breathing. He also detected the familiar masculine scent of Takahashi. Secretly, he was beginning to enjoy that scent, but he would never admit that to Takahashi. Kato had never hugged anyone else but his mother. But for some reason, this felt right. He felt safe. He also felt Takahashi place his arm around him and hold him in return. Kato sniffled a bit too, as his tears ran a little.
Kato was so conflicted. On the one hand, he wanted Takahashi all to his own. On the other hand, he was so afraid of what that might mean. He wanted to hold on and never let go, but what did that imply? He never felt that he wanted to be so close to someone else before. He didn’t understand any of these new feelings that he’d been having lately.
The boys stood together like that for a couple minutes before Takahashi spoke up. “Thank you for the card, Kato-san. I will treasure this always.”
“Thank you for coming back to me and not giving up.” Kato squeezed a little harder while another tear rolled down his cheek.
“Let’s get back to class. I’d hate to have to explain anything.”
“Right?” Kato agreed. He let go and they both washed their faces and went back to class.
The Japanese words in the picture says, “Takahashi Kensuke”