Gone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Submitted: November 23, 2017

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Droplets of rain smashed itself hard, onto the ground creating endlessly repeating sounds of what sounded like glass shattering. A stream of smoke was released from the incense sticks, spreading all around the room filled with sorrow of everyone who came to mourn the loss. No joy, no hope, no laughter. No one spoke. Even those who were known for being the noisiest kids at school sat with a grim expression, failing miserably at keeping their overwhelming sobs inside. Ticking arms of the old-fashioned brown clock was the only thing that proved that time was still moving on in this tiny section of the world.

 

Yuu couldn’t take it anymore. She briskly stood up from the floor, unable to care about the wrinkles that appeared on her black skirt after having sat down for so long, and scrambled out of the room. Shirou looked up with watery eyes but didn’t stop her. As soon as the wooden door was shut, she leaned her back against the wall and took a deep breath in. Black blue smears outlined underneath her eyes, and cracked lips made her look more fragile than what she already was, although, she certainly did thin down a lot. Her soul was dry, tears wouldn’t even form in her eyes, and all that whimpering sounds only helped Yuu to feel disgraceful that she couldn’t even cry for the death of her dearly 16-year-old son.

 

Her son Ryo, he was a perfect son. A good looking face, playful personality, not that great with studying but an ace in the school soccer team. He was the kind that always donated whenever there was a charity box, unable to overlook anyone that is struggling. It’s been around a year he collapsed halfway through dinner and got taken by the ambulance where they were stated that he had cancer. A tumor that had been growing in his brain, eating up his life, becoming as large as a tennis ball. Misery filled Yuu. The moment she saw Ryo sitting in the waiting room, she thought she would burst out into tears but even then, he was almost too bright she couldn’t believe.

 

“Maybe that’s why I’m so stupid, mom,” he giggled like a child that didn’t know anything.

 

Days passed so quickly after that. He was immediately hospitalized and was recommended to take chemotherapy since his tumor had extended too much for a surgical removal. Each time he had the treatment, he seemed to weaken. First vomiting, then hair falling out. Bones became so distinct on his body, his beautiful face became a shade paler every day. Yuu had never felt so useless around him. She could do nothing but to watch him slowly die. Shame blamed her for her worthlessness, and she secretly shed tears all night long in his hospital room, tracing his pallor cheeks that were no longer smooth.

 

But Ryo kept strong.

 

“When this darn thing in my head’s gone, I’m gonna play soccer again,” he would beam, “miracles can happen.”

 

And it did. His cancer shrunk, and rehab sessions helped his body recover muscles and he could walk by himself. His friends constantly came to visit, once bringing him a big cork board with many message cards stuck on it, all listing encouragements from many other friends at school. The doctor even gave permission for Ryo to return home for a week, and so Shirou came to welcome his dear wife and son back to their house. At last, Yuu too saw hope in her son’s future. Well, at least for that moment.

 

Happiness for the family was brought to an abrupt end when another cancer was found in Ryo’s body. This time in his chest. Yuu blankly dropped to her knees, Shirou unable to support her to stay upright.

 

It was too late.

 

“I’ll be fine,” she remembers Ryo’s determined voice, “Don’t worry.”

 

He quietly picked up his last breath two weeks after the recurrence of his tumor, living longer than what the doctor expected for his life to last. A boy too good to die so young, everyone remarked. She blindly walked into Ryo’s room she hadn’t entered since his long hospital stay started. Golden trophy cups and awards honoring his sporting activities proudly shined on top of shelves, notebooks were neatly stacked by the study desk, and posters of professional soccer players were attached all over the walls. Such a perfect room, just like Ryo himself, she thought.

 

That was when she found the big message board that his friends had given him, hidden between the corners of his room. Yuu slid it out to take a better glance at it and was startled by the big crack, in the middle of the board, aggressively appealing its existence. She took the board to her hands, this time examining it more closely, then she found it. It was Ryo’s handwriting, on the bottom left-hand edge. A thin, shaky writing in pencil.

 

I don’t want to die.

 

That was all.

 

So he was a normal teenager after all. Scared of dying, not knowing where to keep his uncontrollable fear inside. He wasn’t as perfect as everyone thought he was. Nor was he that brave.

 

A flood trickle down Yuu’s rough skin. Rain had already stopped, and clouds were moving out of the way for rays of sunlight to peek through the half-opened curtains of the room. Yuu squinted, the light too painful for her burning eyes. Cherry blossom trees swayed in the breeze, having no flowers left on the branches anymore. Ryo’s gone, she thought, the realisation gouging hollowness in her heart, more painful than she’d ever imagined it would feel like


© Copyright 2018 Rikeda. All rights reserved.

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