Hey! So today marks the final day of this series. This four part series that I created about a year ago and am now reliving. If you have been following this series then I’m going to say thank you! And if you haven’t then what are you waiting for!? No really, but this series was probably something that I made with a lot of homage in mind because really this series is like one big love letter to Japanese entertainment medias. But the main reason that I wanted to relive this series was because of this last chapter specifically, as you will read, this was probably the birth of my experimental writing style. Where I tried new things out and I think I’ve really honed it more now. But either way, I’m probably going to actually start a new series just because I have a fun little idea I want to try out, but that guarantee will only be certain to time, so let’s see. Without further ado, here you go “The Feeling Of Living”.
It was noon and I didn’t have that much longer to live. Seven P.M was the time that I was expected to die. That means I have seven hours left. Sitting here alone; quiet, in this lounge, I waited. What was I waiting for? Who knows at this point. Am I waiting for my own death? Am I waiting for a miracle? No. At this point, I’ve given up on miracles. But here in this lounge; in this hospital, as I sit on this chair, staring out into open space, I waited.
The quietness of the lounge began sifting in, and all around me I could feel darkness; dread, flowing towards me. I wasn’t particularly that mortified by the fact of dying. In fact I’ve come to accept it a long time ago, but, In this lounge, as I sat here waiting, I could feel; despair. It was all around me. No matter how much I tried; it ate at me. Despair. How many others had to sit here, waiting for their ends? How many others were appointed to this hospital? Those questions; I couldn’t possibly answer. And at this point if there was a god, I would think that he would be tired of answering them.
Seven more hours. Tick.
Seven more hours. Tock.
Seven more hours. Tick.
Seven more hours. Tock.
I sighed. This lounge was making me sick. Usually it wouldn’t happen. Usually I came to respect the quiet and still nature of this lounge. But now, it was just making me feel like the entire world has ended. And who can blame me? I was sitting in this lounge; completely quiet, with not a single person in sight outside of the window I was staring at. Only the lone flowers dancing softly through the wind. If the world had ended, I wouldn’t be surprised. And if it did, I would simply sit here and continue watching the flowers. The relaxing quietness that I used to love, now gave me the feeling of hate. And slowly, I wanted to get out of the lounge. It was eating me up, and I couldn’t take it. I wanted to go. But my legs didn’t move.
I sat there. My legs couldn’t move. The dread and despair that I was feeling before, still exuded greatly in this room. And it surrounded me. I didn’t want to feel it. I wanted a more peaceful way to end. But they just surrounded me. They cornered me. They consumed me. My legs couldn’t move. The darkness came closer, and closer. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run. I wanted; to live. I was given no other choice. The darkness came closer, and closer. The darkness gripped my neck, and before I knew it, It was choking me. It was killing me. I was being devoured.
My legs couldn’t move.
The darkness seeped in.
I was suffocating.
Where, am I?
Suddenly, my legs responded to my commands. I finally got up from my seat, and began walking back towards the stairs. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed, to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room. I needed to get out of here. I needed, to go back to my room.
I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked.
I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked, I walked.
But, why wasn’t I making any distance? I walked, I walked, I……..walked.
I looked under me.
And I was terrified.
The floor had sunk, and I was standing on a black nothingness. A black veil. A black, floor. No. it wasn’t a floor. It was just blackness. It was just, there. Nothing to say. Nothing to gain. I was floating. Simply, floating. Simply standing on nothing. And I wasn’t falling. Why wasn’t I falling? Why, wasn’t I falling? There had to be a reason. Why was I still standing? Why wasn’t I walking? Why hadn’t I gained any distance? Where was the stairs? Where was I? The world around me was fading into blackness. I was enveloped. Suddenly, I found myself just standing, surrounded by complete; void.
I was hyperventilating. Sweat began falling down my head. My heart rate was increasing. My pulse was going through the roof. Dead by seven P.M? No, I’m going to die right now at this rate. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Help. Please, help. I really need help. More than ever, I’m dying. Please. I…..don’t….want….to…..die.
I tried to scream, I tried, I tried. But my voice, was empty. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything. Why. Please let me scream. Please.
Suddenly, I was knocked out of my trance. I was brought back into the familiar lounge I had been in. This quiet, lounge. But why was I knocked out of my trance? I focused, and in the distance I heard; footsteps. People were coming, but why? Why were people coming? I don’t get it. People were…. coming? I stepped out of the way and waited.
The footsteps grew louder, and as they got closer, I noticed that it wasn’t just one person that was coming. Step after step, the number of people kept growing. It was kind of scary. So much people being at a hospital lounge meant one of two things. Mass disease, or farewell party.
In the distance, as I was thinking to myself; I heard a voice, “Hiroshi!” I looked up, and in the single moment I saw them; I think I almost cried.
The people who had walked in was my: parents, relatives and friends. In a single moment, they all poured into the lounge without warning. And I was surprised. My mother was the first one to talk, “Takashi. I’m sure you realized why we all came.”
“To say your goodbyes?” My mother replied by nodding. So, it really was coming wasn’t it? The darkness. Whether I wanted it to or not. Even in the back of my mind; where I thought this was all a dream; it turned out to be all true. But, since they’ve all come, that just means, that they’ve all accepted it. And that means I have one less thing to worry about.
When people think of death; they usually think of a very small minority. Sometimes, people don’t even care about what the consequences of death are. People go and kill themselves regularly. Suicide is a big thing. But, I wonder, when people kill themselves, do they ever think of others? Do they really think that no one will feel remorse or even be saddened of their death? It’s sad if someone dies, but if it’s someone you know, then that feeling is intensified. Your parents, siblings, friends, loved ones. The list goes on, even people you may not know may feel grievance over your death. Some people may think that their death only extends to a certain few. Some people may think their death doesn’t matter. But, they’re wrong. People will be sad. People will be hurt. And you’ll be the one responsible. Death is a harsh thing to take in, no one should have to experience it; but it has to happen. But just because someone’s feeling a little sad or depressed; doesn’t mean they should bring everyone around them down as well. I hate people like that. Do they not realize how much people they’re affecting?
But if they came here, if my family and friends have gathered here; then that means, it’s okay. It’s okay to die. It’s finally okay.
I felt like crying, but I couldn’t in front of everyone. I had to be strong. I had to show them that they didn’t need to cry either. I didn’t want them to feel; darkness.
My mother and father both hugged me, and simply said, “We love you.” It was all they needed to say, no more, no less. Simple, and, effective.
My relatives; which saved up money after they heard I was diagnosed, all gave me teary eyes. They all regretted not being here earlier, but I can’t blame them for anything. My grandma was here as well, and she gave me the same old smile she gave everyone. She had the same look, and the same aura.
She came up to me with a deck of cards and said, “Why don’t we play?” I smiled happily and replied, “Sure.” My uncle; the same one who introduced me to the Game Boy, said loudly, “Since we’re all here, why don’t we get this show on the road?” I looked at him questioningly and then he said, “Party time.”
“You have it backwards. I’m dying. Isn’t it weird that you’re celebrating?”
“Weird or not, we decided to give you a good time on your last day. It’s the least we can do.” It’s the only thing they could do. But I didn’t say it. Because I was too happy about the situation. I was, actually happy. I never thought I would see the day. Or any day for that matter. I am going to be dead of course. The party started without a hitch though. They brought food, drinks, you name it.
I was defeated quite easily by my grandmother. I could never win against her. After she played her last hand she said, “Play cards against god.” And that was the only words she said to me, no words of goodbye or anything. She simply got up and went to my other relatives; who were grieving and eating. It was an obscure scene but I was glad I got to play her one last time.
My nephew; Sato came over, and with his Game Boy in hand he said, “Let’s play a round.” He handed me the Game Boy I used over at the summer home and when I checked what game was in it, I couldn’t help but smile.
We played a quick mission and when we were done, I saw something I never thought I would see from Sato. Tears began streaming from his face and he had a dejected look on. He lifted his hands to wipe his eyes and, when he was done he said, “Maybe, we can have another adventure, one day. It was fun, playing with you.”
“Yeah. I had a lot of fun too. Thank you, for playing with me as well.” I smiled and patted him on the head.
From then on, the party went on and, time flew by.
Time flew by before I knew it and it was already almost seven. I had a lot of fun today, and I don’t think I could have gotten anything better for my last day on earth. It was, fun. Everything was fun. And now, I think it’s about time to, head on.
I headed up back into my room.
As I entered it, I saw someone sitting on a chair near my bed. I gave them a questioning look and then said, “Hello?” They turned around, and in that instant, I was completely taken back. In my room, in front of my eyes was, Hina. She was sitting there, looking back at me with eyes filled with worry, sadness, and a little bit of agony. I asked her, “What’re you doing here?”
“I heard from your mom.”
“From my mom?”
“Yeah. I came back to visit for the summer, and I bumped into your mom the other day. She said, that today was your last day.”
“It is, but you really didn’t have to come here.”
“Maybe not, but, I just couldn’t leave without seeing you again. Especially since, you won’t be here anymore.” I didn’t have a response. We just simply looked at each other, and for me; time had stopped. The world had came to a halt, and the only thing that I could interpret was the scene I was in. Hina, and I were both looking at each other, in this dimly lit room by the setting sun, as I was about to die. The girl who saved me in my second year of middle school. The girl who left me abruptly. And the girl who gave me something that I’ll cherish forever.
She broke me out of my trance by continuing, “I’m sorry.”
“For leaving you that day. For leaving everybody.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I know, but….. even if I know it, I can’t help but apologize.”
“I wish, I could have been here earlier. I wish, we could have spent more time. I really did have fun…”
“I did too. And I’m really happy you did what you did. I’m really happy you called out to me. I’m really happy, that you decided to be my friend.” She didn’t respond, but rather, she cried. She cried, and she cried. I looked down, and I felt, heartbroken. I felt, sad. I felt, pathetic.
I swallowed my pathetic feeling, and went up to her. I leaned down and hugged her. I gave her a shoulder to cry over. And she used it. She cried and cried and; even I began getting teary eyed. I could feel my eyes swelling up with water, and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I began crying un-controllably. I couldn’t stop the tears and while I was crying I could feel everything else pouring out. All my emotions spilled and I could feel a void in my chest. I kept crying and crying and in the middle of it, Hina whispered in my ear, “It seems like, you haven’t cried in a while.”
“That’s not true.”
“It is. I can tell, when you’re crying for real, or not.”
“There’s a difference?”
“Of course there is.”
When I was done, I got up and stretched. Hina said playfully, “Your eyes are so red, crybaby.”
“I could say the same for you.” I gave her a small chuckle.
Suddenly, as I was lowering my arms, I felt a sharp pain in my head. I ignored it at first, but when another attack happened, I realized what was going on. Shoot. I forgot the time. It looks like it’s the end of the line. My voice stopped working, and even if I wanted to write her my final message, it was too late. My body stopped working completely. And my mind was slowly blanking out. I’m sorry, that I couldn’t properly say goodbye to you Hina.
As my vision started blurring out, I gave in one last push to maintain my living for just a second longer to look at Hina one last time, but as I was focusing on her figure, I noticed something extremely frightening.
I couldn’t see her clothes. I couldn’t see her face or her hair. In fact, her entire figure was just shaded in black. I saw the outline of her body and of her head and of her arms and legs but everything was colored black. It was as if a being made of complete darkness was sitting there, imitating Hina. In short, I couldn’t make out an actual person sitting there, instead it was just a being of complete darkness. I wanted to scream, but my mind was blanking out and my voice had stopped. Just as my vision was finally giving in, and just as I felt my mind finally shutting down. I saw one last glimpse of that figure. That dark figure.
It reached out towards me, and it looked like it wanted to choke me. It wasn’t a grab to hold me because I was losing balance. It was the grab of a person who wanted me to suffocate. And the dark wide smile on that figure’s face confirmed it.