Lovesickness, or heartache, is something most of us can relate to. We may have dealt with a short bout of it at some time in our lives. But, did you know that it can cause mental and physical symptoms, such as depression, hopelessness, nausea, tearfulness, insomnia, lack of concentration, loss of appetite, stress, and so on? It should be noted that prolonged lovesickness can cause physical harm and injury.
—Excerpt from some pamphlet found on the subway years ago
Kato slept poorly all night. He cried until he couldn’t cry anymore. When he did sleep, he had nightmares of arguing with the wolf.
He overslept his alarm and barely made it to chow. Takahashi wasn’t there.
“You look like hell,” Murata pointed out.
“I hurt Takahashi,” Kato sadly admitted.
“No surprise there,” Murata stated flatly.
Kato simply stared at his food. He was so depressed he had no idea why he even came to breakfast. Then he immediately corrected himself. He came to see if Takahashi was here. Even just to see him for a few minutes would make Kato happy.
“You gonna tell me what you did?” Murata asked.
Kato started to tear up again. “I made him fall in love with me.” He started to cry. He didn’t care that the other two boys at the table were uncomfortable.
“Get a hold of yourself, damn,” Murata said. “You didn’t do any such thing.”
Kato sniffled, wiping his tears.
“He fell in love with you because he wanted to.”
“Yeah, but I sent him signals. I led him on. I did all these things. I never said no. Now he doesn’t want to see me anymore.” Kato sobbed.
“What did he say to you?” Murata spoke calmly.
“He doesn’t want to swap with me anymore.” Kato frowned.
“Because he’s in love with me and I won’t have sex with him,” Kato spoke frankly.
Murata scoffed. “Well, then. It sounds like you got what you wanted.”
“Huh?” Kato was annoyed.
“He broke up with you so now you don’t have to worry about having sex with him anymore.”
Kato looked at his food and some tears started rolling down his cheeks again. He felt rejected. He briefly wondered why he even talks to Murata who never seems to try to cheer him up.
“And, a bonus, you don’t have to worry about him being in love with you anymore.”
Kato shed a few more tears.
“You’re free to find another seme to protect you. I’m sure Nakamura-san will help you find one.”
Kato got mad and angrily stated, “I don’t want another fucking seme! I want Ken!”
Murata shrugged. “Sounds like it’s too late.”
Kato put his hands to his face and started crying again. Tears worked their way through his fingers and onto the table.
Kato ate no breakfast that morning. He returned to his room. His emotions were raw. He grabbed his stuff and hoped to at least see Takahashi during class. He looked into the mirror; he did look like hell. His eyes were puffy and red from lack of sleep and crying.
He stepped into the classroom and met eyes with Takahashi for a moment before Takahashi looked down at his hands on his desk. Kato knew that Takahashi was in wolf mode. It made him sad. He sat down at his desk and waited for class to start.
Kato couldn’t concentrate all of Chemistry class, which is typically one of his favorites. He hoped Takahashi would want to talk at break, so he got up and looked. Takahashi had his head down on the desk. He went out into the hallway, walked slowly to the water fountain, then walked into the bathroom, stared into the mirror, and waited for a boy who was not going to come.
He walked back into the class and saw Takahashi working on something, never looking up. Kato sat down and hardly paid any attention to his second class.
He had an idea. The chimed announced that class was over, and the students started filing out of the room. Kato was going to wait for Takahashi. When they were the last two left, Takahashi got up and walked right past Kato as he rose out of his seat. He chased Takahashi down.
“Wait, dammit!” Kato yelled at Takahashi’s back.
Takahashi stopped. He didn’t turn around as he asked, “What do you want from me?”
“I just want to talk.” Kato complained.
“About what? I’m pretty sure nothing more must be said. We both know what we each think and feel.”
Kato didn’t know what to say in response.
Takahashi stood there, silent.
“I just want things to go back to the way they were,” Kato said softly.
“I can’t do it anymore. I can’t be your seme anymore. It hurts too much. Go torture somebody else.” Takahashi sounded wounded.
“But—” Kato started.
“Kato-san!” Takahashi snapped. Then he walked away.
Kato suddenly felt very ill. He ran to the bathroom and into an empty stall and started retching. He hadn’t eaten since yesterday at the Halloween party. There was nothing but bile to throw up. After dry heaving for a few minutes, he went to a sink and cleaned up. He looked into the mirror. He didn’t like what he saw and quickly looked away.
He felt like he was sick but didn’t have a clue as to what was actually causing it. He went back to his room. He didn’t even go to lunch. He ate what was left of the food in Takahashi’s gift bag. He laid down on his bed and curled up, alone without either wolf to hold onto.
Kato awoke an hour later and got himself ready for class. He walked into the class, but Takahashi didn’t bother to look up. For the entire class, the instructor regaled the class of the finer arts of whaling. Kato didn’t hear a thing.
When class ended, Takahashi walked briskly past Kato who jumped out of his seat and grabbed his stuff. He followed Takahashi back to the dorm. Then he ran as fast as he could and opened his room door and threw his stuff on the floor and closed it and ran back out. He stood waiting for Takahashi. He knew they had class together today.
Takahashi came out of the dorm, took one look at Kato, then walked off. Kato followed a few paces behind.
After about five minutes, Takahashi stopped. He turned around and screamed, “What the fuck do you want from me, Kato-san?”
Kato stopped and cowed a little. “I dunno,” he said with a tear in his eyes.
Takahashi crossed his arms and angrily said, “If you ‘dunno,’ then go away.”
“I want you!” Kato cried out. Tears were streaming down his eyes.
Takahashi looked away and then down the road. “We already tried that. It won’t work.”
“But you said you could wait for me. Why didn’t you?” Kato asked tearfully.
“I changed my mind. You’re not worth it,” Takahashi said cruelly.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Kato was hurt.
Takahashi turned and glared at Kato. “You aren’t worth the pain.”
“But I’ll let you do whatever you want to me. I won’t complain,” Kato said plaintively.
“Don’t mock my love for you, dammit. If I wanted to fuck someone who wasn’t in love with me, there’s a whole goddamn school of boys here I could go to.” Takahashi looked away as he choked up a little.
Kato was silent for a minute and Takahashi took off. Kato followed again. He didn’t understand what force was driving him to do this, but it felt like his soul was chained to Takahashi and being dragged along.
Takahashi stopped again after a few minutes. Kato stopped as he could hear sniffling. Takahashi asked with a distinct bitterness in his voice, “Why can’t you just love me? What’s so hard about that? What is it about me that is so unlovable?”
Kato had no answers to any of those questions. He wiped away a few tears. Takahashi wiped his tears and kept walking. Kato followed.
The boys reached the gate to the Sports Complex. They had the same class, but Takahashi paired up with a different boy. This forced Kato to pair with another boy. He did his best to work out with the boy, but his heart wasn’t in it. He realized that he hated lifting weights, and the only reason he got through it was because when Takahashi was his partner, he encouraged Kato. Halfway through the exercise routine, Kato excused himself to run to the restroom and throw up again. He told the instructor that he was very ill, and he returned to his room, not even finishing the class.
He wet two rags and folded each. He put one on his tummy and one on his head. He fell into a restless sleep.
He got up for dinner, but nobody was there. He was partially glad. He didn’t know if he could tolerate anymore of Murata’s sage advice that happens to point out everything Kato’s ever done wrong in his life. He forced himself to eat and he went back.
He saw no reason to take a shower, so he skipped that too. He simply laid in bed all evening. He missed his wolf, the human one, not the plushie. He was up most of the night, getting barely any sleep.