Die pulled into another strange parking lot, in front of an apartment building.
Must be his apartment. He turned off the car and grinned at me, like he would always do.
“This is where I live… ikimasu,ne?” he said to me.
I nodded, throwing a glance at the building. Die laughed at my expression.
“Don’t worry, it’s not made of ice or something,” he remarked, chuckling.
I opened the car door and followd him into the building and up a flight of stairs. I looked around at the people that lived there, they greeted Die good-naturedly.
He’s so lucky.
We stopped in front of a door and he smiled at me.
“Ne, this is where I live. Don’t worry, it’s clean enough!” he assured me.
I nodded and he unlocked the door and opened it, pulling me inside with him. He shrugged out of his jacket and tossed it on the couch and told me to make myself at home. So I did. I kicked off my shoes and stepped in Die’s livingroom.
It wasn’t too neat, though, but I guess it could be called liveable. Okaasan used to yell at me because my room was messy and my comics were scattered around or something like that, so I was used to messiness. I looked around for Die, but I couldn’t make out where he was.
“Die?” I called out timidly. I heard rustling from one of the rooms.
“Yeah? You called me?” Die answered, emerging from his room with a basket under his left arm.
I nodded. He smiled and set the basket down. He gently patted my head and headed towards the kitchen, opening cupboards and the fridge, looking for something.
“Let me make you some tea or something… you must be tired, singing your heart out like that,” he said, smiling.
I could feel my cheeks burn as I turn away from him, looking around. I looked at the coffee table that had several magazines scattered carelessly on it, coffee stains visible. My gaze shifted to some framed photographs next to the tv stand.
There were so many pictures. Of him, of him and Shinya, of him and his family… and there was a picture of someone that wasn’t at all familiar to me. I looked at his picture more closely, holding the frame up to my eyes. This man had purple hair and was smirking into the camera. His smirk was… taunting.
“What’re you looking at?” Die suddenly asked from behind me.
I turned around and saw him holding two mugs of steaming tea. He set them down carefully on the coffee table, pushing away the magazines. He brushed his hands againts his jeans and tilted his head to see what I was looking at.
“Oh! That’s okaasan, that’s my tousan, those are my cousins… and that’s me and Shinya at Aomori on a skiing trip… “ he started.
“And this?” I asked him curiously, showing him the framed photo of the smirking purplehead.
His face fell when he saw the picture. He took the frame from my hands and stared at it, hard. His gaze shifted back to me. I looked at the picture, questioning him with my eyes.
“Kaoru.” He answered, his voice barely audible.
Kaoru. That familiar name…
“Etoo.. he was my uh…koi. Before this.” Die continued uneasily.
“Koi?” I repeated.
“Hai. Was, my koi. Not anymore,” he stated that firmly.
“Nani ka? What happened to him?” I pressed, talking much more than I ever had to him.
“Well, he found someone else… and we broke up. We broke up,” Die replied, staring at the picture in front of him sadly.
I looked at Die’s expression when he looked at that picture of Kaoru… a mix of sadness, and maybe anger.
He let out a frustrated sigh.
“I don’t even know why I still keep this picture of him, he means nothing to me now,” he continued softly.
I watched him in silence as he went to the kitchen and dump the picture in the trashcan. He looked satisfied and then he looked at me.
“Tea?” he gestured towards the neglected drinks on the coffee table.
We were curled up on the couch in front of the tv, watching one of his many videos that he had rented and didn’t return.
A horror movie. About vampires.
He is such good company to have while watching a horror movie like this one. I buried my face into his shoulder when the vampire bit his victim’s neck and mercilessly sucked her blood.
“Cool!” Die cried out.
Gross. I kept my face buried in his shoulder until that scene was over. But I kept on hiding my face anyway, the whole movie was about some vampire sucking his victim’s blood, and I gave up watching.
When the movie was over, I was shaking and Die was laughing at me and teased me, saying that I was a weakling that couldn’t stand blood.
I chose to ignore that remark and stretched. I looked at the clock on the wall.
So late. I yawned widely and I could hear Die laughing again.
Boy he likes to do that. I rested my head againts the couch and I felt him sit next to me and I felt him wrapping his arms around my shoulders. He rested his head on my shoulder and held me close to him.
“Oyasumi, pretty Totchi,” he murmured, then fell asleep.
I smiled contentedly and fell asleep as well.
I woke up hearing Die’s voice. I rubbed my eyes to see what was wrong. I looked at Die who was talking on the phone exasperately.
“No… he’s fine! No… he was with me last night… I just took him out, okay? Yes, I know, sorry for worrying you… he’s *safe*, yes, I know… nothing, just watched a movie… vampires?…Whatever…yes, he’ll be back there, I assure you…” Die said into the receiver.
I heaved a heavy sigh. I knew it was too good to be true. I’d have to go back to that place soon. That dump. I wish I could stay here forever, with Die. This place seems so safe… so warm and cozy.
But no. Everyone knows that I belong in an asylum ‘cause I’m insane.
I looked at Die again. He had already hung up and he still looked sleepy. His hair was a mess, but he had on his usual smile.
“Ohayou! Up already? I’ll make us breakfast, then I’ll have to send you back. They insisted,” he told me.
I could only nod and look at him while he set the table and searched around for food.
We finally settled for cereal and milk. He chatted a mile a minute, eventhough I didn’t say much, only nodded at the right places.
“Ma… if only they’d let me keep you here…” Die said, sighing. My ears perked up.
“I can’t let you go back there! You don’t belong there!” Die insisted, looking at me.
I looked up from my cereal.
“I don’t wanna go back, Die.” I said. He smiled at me, but then frowned.
“But you have to. They’d never let me keep you, you now,” he said thoughtfully.
“Here you are. See? He’s safe and sound.” Die told one of the doctors there.
“Thank you, very much. Will you be so kind to escort him to his room?” the doctor asked him.
“Sure, why not?” Die replied, grinning.
He grabbed my arm and we walked towards my room. I had this uneasy feeling in my heart, I just didn’t know what.
We stopped in front of my room. He hugged me and kissed my cheek, telling me he’d come later in the afternoon. I nodded and I waved him goodbye. I slowly turned the knob of the door and entered my room.
I wasn’t ready for what I saw that minute.
It was her. The reason why I’m here. She was floating on my bed, and when she saw me, she giggled.
‘Come and play, Totchi…come and play..’ she called to me softly.
I fell to my knees and screamed. I screamed as loudly as I could, throwing whatever was in reach at her. I screamed more loudly than I screamed in months. I covered my ears to block out the sound of her eerie voice, but I could hear people rushing in and shaking me and holding me tight while I screamed my head off. I felt something sharp in my arm.
Then I blacked out.
The first thing I saw when I woke up was a redhead arguing with the doctor. I smiled.
Then I remembered what put me in this mess in the first place.
That girl. That bitch. She’s the main reason that I’m here, she’s the reason why so many people call me crazy.
She’s a ghost. I first met her a year ago, when I went to Sapporo to spend the vacation there with my bandmates. I met her in the woods, when I was lost. She called out to me, and helped me back to the cabin we rented. I thought that she was just a nice person.
How wrong I was.
After she helped me back to the cabin, she just wouldn’t leave me alone. I could feel her presence all the time. The others couldn’t feel anything, and they didn’t hear anything when she playfully called out my name again and again, inviting me to play with her.
Hell no, I thought. Kami-sama knows what would happen to me if I ever ‘played’ with her.
And months had passed ever since her last ‘visit’. That visit totally freaked me out, and that’s the reason why I’m here. Someone found me clutching my head and screaming like just now. And they sent me here. I thought, after I came here, that she’d finally leave me alone, and I was so sure when she didn’t come for months. But now she’s here, again. She’s come back.
I shook away those thoughts away from my mind and I settled back againts the pillows, closing my eyes, listening to Die’s angry voice. I heard the doctor give up, then I heard the door closing.
I felt him sit at the edge of my bed and I opened my eyes slowly.
“Die?” I said softly. He looked up and sat next to me.
“Yes? Are you okay now, Totchi?” he asked me with concern.
I nodded and he held my hand tightly.
“That idiot injected you to calm you down, I told him to just let me calm you down, but nooo, he didn’t believe me. Idiot.” Die complained.
I smiled. Die looked at me, studying my face.
“What happened, Totchi? I heard you scream just as I was going to walk out the entrance door, so I ran back here only to find you squirming and screaming… tell me, ne?” he pleaded.
I sighed and looked away from him. I felt the warmth of his hand on mine, so comforting, so warm. I took a deep breath and told him everything, from what happened in Sapporo, to what happened just now. Die just listened in silence.
“So, that’s the whole story.” I finished.
Die just looked at me and held my hand tighter.
“Do you hear voices, other than the girl’s?” he asked me.
I nodded. He pulled me close and wrapped me in a tight embrace.
“Don’t worry, Totchi. While you’re with me, I’ll make sure that nothing will hurt you. I promise, nothing will hurt you,” he promised me.
I could feel my eyes fill with tears, and I felt them streaming down my face. I missed this. I missed someone promising to protect me, missed someone loving me.
Now I don’t miss it anymore.
-End of Part 4-
to be continued
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