“Ni-san, are you okay?”
Yuto pulled his knees closer to himself, wrapping his shaking arms around them. His body was completely drenched with sweat and the cold morning air sneaking in from the partly open window was making him shiver. He gazed up hazily at the smaller form of his brother in his black school uniform and took a few seconds to nod his response.
“I’m fine, you’re going to be late for school,” he said weakly but curtly, resting his back against the headboard.
His voice sounded weak and raspy, the room spinning as shut his eyes.
“But…,” began Raiya, eyes wide in apprehension and moist with concern.
“I’m fine, now go will you!”
Yuto scowled and turned his face towards the window. The way his brother had flinched at his harsh tone made him guilty but he just didn't want to be seen this way. Not when he was his most vulnerable.
He sighed as his mother entered the room and gently pushed the younger boy out before closing the door behind her. Yuto ignored the sudden weight next to him and clenched his eyes shut.
He didn’t feel like talking to anyone right now.
“You’ve been ignoring your medication again haven’t you?”
She frowned as she heard no reply.
“Yuto, you know how damaging these nightmares are to your health, don’t you?” she chided.
“I don’t care, I rather not sleep than take those pills and injections,” he grunted. He heard her sigh before she literally wrestled him into a headlock.
“Mama!” he whined as she planted a forceful kiss on the top of his head.
“You forgot who you are dealing with mister 'I'm emo leave me be'. I carried you for nine long months and 10 days...! Back then you were refusing to leave-,”
“Ew Mama stop! Not with that again PLEASE!”
Yuto pouted as she detached herself from him, laughing. He watched her silently as she bustled about his messy desk and pulled a plastic wrapped syringe from the medicine box. She then moved swiftly to the small refrigerator next to his door and withdrew a tiny glass bottle filled with clear liquid. He reached out his arm as she tied the tourniquet above his elbow and waited till the brief pain from the needle disappeared.
He sighed deeply, pulling off the tourniquet.
“Your body can’t handle this stress darling, and it’s about time you accepted it and took better care of yourself,” she said gently hoisting him onto his feet. The door opened slightly and Yuto smiled as he saw Raiya peeking in with big eyes, right underneath his father who seemed to be doing the same.
“We’re done, you can come in now,” Yuto’s mother said and shook her head as Raiya snuggled up into his brother’s open arms.
“I’m sorry,” Yuto said stroking the boy’s hair. Raiya shook his head.
“It’s okay, you do this like every morning ni-chan,” he replied with a playful smile. Feeling sheepish Yuto ruffled his hair.
“Now seriously, get going,” he said pushing the boy off. Raiya pouted.
“Iie ne... Ni-chan doesn’t have to go to school anymore,” Raiya whined shuffling out of the door. Yuto turned to his bedside table as
his phone's message bell rang.
“Do you need me to drop you to the library?” his father offered. Yuto shook his head.
“I have to meet up with the band later,” he informed them, reaching for his phone.
He smiled at the text displayed on the screen.
Be there at 4.00 or I’ll eat your drums
The city is alive with a vibrant beat. I plug in my earphones and slip my hands into the pockets of my hoodie, as they’re the first parts of my body to get affected by the surrounding chill. I watch the footsteps shuffling upon the concrete…soft thumps against a solid surface. I wonder if these pedestrians have even realized the harmony elicited by their actions….probably not.
Everything has a rhythm. The way the traffic lights change, the flow of people crossing the road…like subtle strokes on cymbals…
I wonder back to the studio I’m heading for. Well, it’s more of a tiny room with what we like to believe are soundproof walls.
But it’s all we could get to start it all.
I hope Hikaru-kun’s already paid his rent. It’s really a storage room in the basement of the building his apartment’s at. It’s a good thing his Landlord is fond of music and was kind enough to lend it to us for practice.
I can feel people staring at me as I moonwalk towards the other side of the road. I end up on the pavement with a swift twirl and laugh. I can’t help it. The music blaring through my headphones is too good to resist. I can’t help but not stay still.
It’s all about the beat….the rhythm…it’s what my senses are trained for.
I hear footsteps and smile. I know that rhythm. I know it very well. My best friend’s found me, from among the thousands of bodies moving in the vicinity.
Maybe that’s why we’re friends.
I hear this strange metallic sound. I hear speed but it’s uncontrolled…painful to the ears. A clamor of distorted sounds breaking the rhythm.
It's getting closer… why are people screaming?
The boy felt his heartbeat quicken as he heard the screeching of wheels on the granite road and flinched as the headlights of an out-of-control vehicle made him temporarily blind.