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I'm no longer on WtW and have withdrew the majority of my pieces. If you want to get in touch, you can message me on Instagram or my email (found in 'Message from Writer').

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Message to Readers

This took me forever because... it was a hard chapter to write. I'm not exactly happy with how I've written it, but I needed to publish it anyway. I wasn't sure how I wanted this chapter to go. Kei is such an amazing main character, but I want to show all aspects of her personality, not just the good ones. Anyway, let me know what you think!

Explosion, pt. 6

March 27, 2019


Explosion, pt. 5
My mother became terribly ill the same year that Mirai decided to get married instead of going to university. The same year that I was prepping for the STIC exam. The same year that I was preparing to say goodbye to my closest friends. It was a disappointing year. 
We were working in the grape field of the winery, the sun at our backs and the threat of a storm causing us to rush. We had to hurry or else the fields would get flooded. But the sky was so, so blue. I remember staring up at that sky and wondering how could it possibly rain. 
A hand touched my shoulder and the woman at my side gave me a sad smile. She told me that my mother had passed out while working inside the winery. She said that my father had rushed her to the hospital, leaving me here in the fields to work.
After she had been in the hospital for a few days, and after the rains had fallen hard, we were told that my mother had an advanced stage of breast cancer. She needed to start aggressive treatment or else she could die. We didn't have the money to pay for the treatment, but we were prepared to do anything to save her life. 
While she was on chemo, my mother kept calling me brave. She said, "I love you so much, my beautiful and brave little girl." I worked even harder at the grocery store and went to even later cram classes so that I would have time to visit her in the white-walled hospital.
When she was allowed to come home, but still had medication to take, I was the one who rubbed her back as she puked in the toilet. I was the one who scrubbed the bathroom floors clean. I was the one who gave her baths and fed her food. My father worked in the winery day in and day out. Mirai was ready to leave. Nakami spent every waking second with her friends. I was the only one willing to be home and take care of our mother. Why?
Because my mom always said I was brave. 
I'm not brave anymore.
I can admit that now. As I stare out of the dim mosaic window of the attic, the only thing I can think of is how much I don't want to die. And that's incredibly funny to me. In the face of what's happened in the last day, my only thought is that I really don't want to die. Not yet, anyway. 
I slowly bring my mug to my lips and take a quick drink of the gross water. It's clean, so I suppose I should be thankful for that. But it tastes like the cellar of the chapel that it had been taken from. Footsteps gently thump against the ladder embedded in the floor of the attic on the other side of the room. I don't even look to see who it is. 
"Are you feeling well enough to come down?" Youta asks, quietly making his way around the large boxes of Christian trash that was stored up here. I don't mind being in a chapel, but my goodness, there are too many crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary. How many does one need, anyway?
I glance over my shoulder to focus on Youta's face. Everything had become a blurry mess during the first few hours of me waking up. Dr. Yabasako diagnosed me as dehydrated and explained some of the side effects. I don't think I was paying attention to him that much.
Clearing my throat, I take another sip of the water from my dusty mug. "I don't want to go down there. I've met almost everyone already," I whisper, staring in the murky water of my red mug. It's clean, I think. Just a little off.
"So? You're such a social person. I'm sure you're suffering with not speaking to anyone right now," Youta smiles and lays a hand on my arm. I glance over at him again, staring at the boy I once knew, who has now become an unfamiliar man. 
I shrug his hand off my arm. I see his eyes dim as he withdraws back into himself. My throat burns but I level my eyes at him and speak as clearly as my parched mouth can manage. "I'm not the same Kei you remember. It's been years, Youta. Don't pretend that you know me," I snap, surprising myself. His gaze darkens and he nods, pushing himself to his feet. I feel guilty, but there's no point.
"You're right, I don't remember you being this cold. Life must have really changed during these past few years," he says evenly. I shrug but follow as he leaves the attic. I glance down the ladder and see a blur of red flashing by, followed by laughter. I put the mug down by the ladder and start climbing down.
I hold on tightly to each rung above me, ignoring the waves of dizziness washing over me. Once I get to the bottom, I see numerous children dashing around, playing several games with one another. 
I nimbly slip around them, heading towards the main room of the chapel. The pews had been converted to makeshift beds while the elevated altar was converted to a dining room. I slink along the aisle and stare at each of the adults sitting on the altar steps. 
A woman with weary eyes, Nagatomi-san, whistles softly while braiding her graying hair. Next to her lies Father Shozo, who is busy praying while holding onto his rosary beads. Dr. Yabasako happily reads a book, stroking the oddly shaped beard on his face. I slip being a pillar and watch the most interesting one up there. Youta is absolutely still, staring at the large cross on the wall where a statue of a man with a crown of thorns on his head lies.
Unless he changed in the Air Defense, I know for sure that Youta believes in the kami. When he was accepted, I ran as fast as I could to the closest Shinto shrine to pray to the kami Hachiman, the god of war. I prayed for Youta and Haru to be able to survive. It didn't work for Haru. I don't think Hachiman listened to me.
"Are you hungry, miss?" a voice asks from behind me. I jump and turn swiftly, staring into the dark eyes of an unfamiliar man. He has light hair that remind me of Haru's. I blink a few times, trying to block Haru's grinning face from my mind. The man in front of me lifts an eyebrow. "I'm Tajima. You are?"
"Kei. Um, Akimura Kei. Sorry," I look down quickly. He laughs loudly, which is a relieving sound. I smile softly and glance up at him.
Tajima-san shoves his hands into his pockets and tilts his head. "So, are you hungry?" he asks again. I nod slightly, even though I have less than an ounce of hunger in my body. I can't help myself but want to agree with everything he says. As he leads me to the altar, I can't help but feel a pang of guilt. My fiance, Hinata is somewhere out there, and I'm busy blushing over a man I've just met.
Besides the dehydration, there must be something seriously wrong with me, I think to myself as I follow Tajima-san to the altar.
Quick little clarification: this chapel is Christian Catholic. At this time (and even now) there were tons of different religions in Japan since missionaries travelled there often. 
One of Japan's main religions (it's pretty old) is Shintoism, which is the belief of the kami, or spirits similar to gods. The only kami I've mentioned is Hachiman, the kami of war. 
The reason why I'm clarifying this is because my main character, Kei, is not religious at all, so you might find some of her input on both religions to be sarcastic and even demeaning. It can be offending, so sorry if I've offended anyone at all.


See History
  • March 27, 2019 - 12:10pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Mary Wall

    Leaving a short comment because I want to go read the next part!:)

    8 months ago
  • Quille

    Got it =) Gonna read the next piece since I just happened to see it............ :DD

    8 months ago
  • korra4life

    I know I haven't made the time frame very clear, but I'm going to say that they've been in the chapter for almost a full day. Not a lot of time for Kei to recover, but enough time has passed for everyone to be a little comfortable

    8 months ago
  • Quille

    Actually really loved how you showed her character further here; especially through the sarcasm about religion. It's a really important detail :) My only question after reading this is how long have they been there?
    Other than that, I really enjoyed reading this and must admit, I was definitely waiting for it :DD Kei is definitely an awesome character :DDD Looking forward to more! :DDDD

    8 months ago