The Feeling Of Living: Chapter 4: The Feeling Of Living

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

w

a

l

k

e

d

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.

S                          C

R                          E

A                          M

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 what?”

“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.”

“Hina…”

“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.

The Feeling Of Living: Chapter 3: The Feeling Of Family

And we’re back with the second last piece of this four piece kind of mini-series I guess. At this point, if you are up to date, and you have read the last two pieces than you may have guessed that this series is inspired by Japan, more specifically anime and light novels. And that really is the kind of style that I’ve been more accustomed to writing, especially in my actual stories, like not my short stories but I actually do have larger stories that I’m working on that’s been under wraps and that I’ll eventually post as I do final edits and the likes, because I do like doing final edits. But anyway, the point is, and it may not seem like it, but my style is influenced by what our friends in the east are doing, and I try to fuse kind of western ideas with eastern ideas to get this really weird style. I mean at least I think my style is weird, but weird isn’t bad you know? But anyway, here we have it, and fun fact this chapter of this series is very heavily influenced by a very great anime film called “Summer Wars”. I love that movie and it was the base for this chapter, the chapter before we get to the really interesting stuff. The stuff that inspired me to relive this series because it had a certain writing gimmick to it. The type you might have read in my ” ” post. But enough formalities, here we go, or rather, here you go, “The Feeling Of Family.”

After my second year of middle school was a good long awaited break. A summer break. In fact it was one of the best summer breaks I’ve had in awhile, and one I’ll cherish. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Hiroshi summer without going to our summer home. After my school year was done, my parents were ecstatic about heading back into the country, and so was I. It was going to be a full year before we got to go back, and to be honest, I was starting to miss the country side air. It was a lot cleaner, I can say that for sure.

We packed lightly, and drove our car all the way to the country side. It was a long ride, but it wasn’t that bad. My mother kept me company, playing games with me and telling me about her work. In turn, I told her about my school year, which, thanks to Hina, was pretty good. As we finally arrived at our summer home; I felt a rush of exhilaration. There was no place like home, and the fresh country air sent chills up my back and put me at ease.

We had a pretty big family, and this year, my mother called up a bunch of our relatives to come over. Our summer home was pretty big, so space wasn’t a concern. Actually, letting our summer home not get crowded would be a waste. I’m glad my mom made the call, because without her, this summer break probably wouldn’t have been as good as I expected.

We were the first ones to arrive; so we decided to clean the place up. No one ever used this place after our family get-togethers, so it does get a little dusty. It was somewhere in the afternoon when our relatives started flooding in. My cousins, uncles, aunts, you name it. Soon enough, we had a full house.

To commemorate the summer, we did what we usually did; hold a huge feast. We sat lined up on each side of our dinner table; food in front of us and we all said our prayers in unison. As we finished, the house lit up with our eating and talking. I was at the shorter end of the table, and I was being bombarded with questions from my uncles and cousins, “Hey so what’s the city like?”

“I heard they have twenty-four hour shops there.”

“Did you see any girls in kimonos?”

“What does the food taste like? Don’t they have those really long chain restaurants?”

“Are the woman any good?” I leaned back, took a deep breath, and then in one go; answered all of their questions; turning towards each person as I say them, “It’s nothing like the country side at all.”

“Yes, I’ve seen the ones you’re talking about.”

“No, I haven’t been to any of the festivals or anything so I guess not.”

“The food tastes like food, what do you expect? And yes, long chain restaurants do exist.”

“How would I know?”

My uncles and cousins collectively took in my answers with awe-filled eyes. After we were done eating, we split off in our own ways. My mom and my aunts began cleaning the dishes, while the rest of us scattered throughout the house; some of us deciding to take a bath, and the rest of us just idly playing.

I never really did get many toys. My parents never got me any, and to be honest; I never found myself wanting to play with them. Sure I would sometimes get jealous when I saw my other classmates playing with their hand held devices and talking about all sorts of contraptions; but It just never hit me hard enough. When I was bored; I just found my own ways to entertain myself. And it worked. Even on those lone rainy days where everything was gloomy; I found some way to have fun. Whether it was by reading my favorite books, turning on the T.V, or just listening to the calming sound of the rain hitting on my window; I never really did get any toys or games.

As I was playing with my nephew; with his toy cars, my uncle came around and crouched towards us. He put a finger on his mouth and then said quietly, “Hey, want to play something really fun?”

“Really fun?”

“Yeah, I bet you’ve never seen something like this before!” My uncle quickly took out a small mechanical device, which at the time; I had no idea what it was. My eyes widened with excitement and I remembered my heart racing. It was a new experience; it was a new endeavor. My uncle added, “This here is a Game Boy.”

“A…what?”

“A Game Boy, the entertainment of the future!” My uncle worked for an electronics company. He was a designer; and he took pride in everything he did. I took the Game Boy from his hand and inspected it. It was a foreign object to me; and I had every intention of finding out what this mystical device did.

After my uncle exclaimed to me that this object of entertainment played these alien concepts called “games” I asked him, “Do you have any games with you?”

“Yup, a bunch, take a look.” My uncle poured out small little cartridges from his bag; each had a picture on it along with some words. I stared at these small boxes with amazement. My uncle had a large smile on his face and replied to my amazement, “Try whatever you like. I’m sure you’ll find something enjoyable.” As I was sorting out the pile of games, my second nephew came by and sat down with us. He had short brown hair and his body type was really slim. He had sharp eyes and as he looked at the games he said, “You always carry these around?”

“Only when my company splurges.”

“When they do, they do it right. These are some pretty good games.”

“You’ve played them?”

“I’ve beaten all of them.” My nephew’s name was Sato. I remember him as being a very secluded person. Whenever I passed by his room, he would always be playing games; by himself. I never made the effort to talk to him because he didn’t exactly seem lonely, but, It surprised me that he came over. In a way; it made me happy. Sato pointed at one of the games and said, “That one. We should play that one. If we use a link cable, we can all play together. You have one right?” My uncle rummaged through his bag and pulled out another foreign object called a “Link cable”, these were used to connect our Game Boys so that we could all play together, or at least that’s what my uncle said. Sato took out his own Game Boy, and took one of the cartridges from the pile. He then inserted it into the hollow compartment under the device. I followed suit; and so did my uncle. After that, we took the cables and plugged it into the top of our Game Boys; and from then on; we began playing.

We were playing a game filled with mysticism, adventure, action, and a tad bit of romance. The game was called final fantasy and it was a huge epic that we played throughout the night. While we were absorbed into the game, my mother came barging into the room; saw that we were loathing around playing it and called us out. Apparently we were all supposed to take a bath; but since we were busy playing; we let the water cool. And of course none of us wanted a bath in cold water, but my mother was pretty angry and forced us all to take a bath anyway. I remember her standing tall with her hands crossed; looking down at us with angry eyes filled with the flames of hell; or at least that’s what I would have wanted, because at least that would have heated up the bath for us. She was giving us a death stare, but my uncle stood by it all with a nervous smile on his face while scratching his head and saying, “It’s summer, we should let them play.”

To all of our expectations; the bath was less than relaxing. After I was done; I decided to head in for the night. It was late enough as is; and I wanted to save my energy for tomorrow; since we were heading out on a serious mission; and I needed all the strength I needed. I walked down the long hallway, and, as I was turning the corner, I noticed a dim light still on. I turned towards it. It was at the opposite side of where I was standing. I was curious as to who could be up, and unfortunately at that time; and still now, I didn’t have the floor plan memorized. So I trudged my way through the garden that was splitting the two sections. I remember looking up at the night sky that time and seeing a plethora of stars dancing brightly as I made my way.

I eventually arrived at the source of the light; which was protruding from a door. I carefully and quietly slid the door open slightly and peeked inside. It was a room; of course, filled with furniture, and well, it was just a room. I slid the door open completely and peeked a little more inside to see if anyone was there. And there was. It was my grandmother. She looked at me with the same look she always used; a look of patience, and wisdom. I stepped inside, and said, “Sorry, I just noticed that the light was on and wanted to check it.”

“Don’t tell me you forgot this was my room?”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“Well, no matter, have a seat. I’ll make you some tea.” I slid the door behind me and stepped in towards her. She was sitting on one side of a medium sized table that split the room. I sat on the opposite side, and as I did, she poured me a cup of tea. Steam was rising from the cup, and as I picked it up, I began blowing into it. After a few seconds I took a sip; bitter, but it was a nice relaxing taste nonetheless. When I put my cup down, my grandmother asked me a question, “Want to play?” She placed a deck of cards on the table. I looked up at her, and she had a small smile on her face, “Just like we used to.” I picked up the cards and began shuffling them. I dealt both of us thirteen cards and set the deck back on the table. The game began with no further dialogue.

We played for a while; throwing down cards, looking at our hands, predicting what our opponent would do. Then I would shuffle the cards back and re-deal them. We followed this rhythm until my grandmother began a conversation, “So how is it?”

“You mean the city?” My grandmother didn’t give me a reply, but I knew that meant a yes.

“It’s loud there, that’s for sure. The people are different, the stores are different, the atmosphere is different. But I think I like it there. It’s a change of pace, that’s for sure, and sometimes that’s not always a bad thing.”

“I see.”

“The country side is great and all, but the city is just so large. It’s so extravagant that I could almost puke, but at the same time; it’s also warming.”

“I can feel a sense of hesitation in you.” She was right. But it wasn’t because I didn’t think the city was great, or because I didn’t think the country was great. It was because, I realized that I left a lot of people at the country side. She continued, “It’s because you’re worried about us. Worried about the people you left, worried about your friends here.”

“Yeah.”

“Whether you like it there or not, or whether you like it here or not, the people you have, and the people you leave, are all part of it. Where there is change, there’s bound to be consequences, but at the same time, there is also rewards.” I stayed silent and looked at the cards in my hand. It didn’t look too great. I played my turn and when it was hers she continued, “Sometimes a little change is all we need. Even if it may not have the best results, or even if getting to that change would cost us something. Sometimes it’s necessary.” She placed her cards on her table and then said, “Let’s make this our last game.”

“Sure.”

“Friends and family are precious. You should cherish them for the rest of your life. Whether you’re with them or not, you shouldn’t forget them. No matter what happens, just remember, there’s always someone there for you.” She looked at me with a serene smile on her face and at that moment I realized that she saw right through me. All of my worries were slowly fading, and at that time, I felt warmth. My grandmother had the right words at the right time. And, thinking back now, cherishing my friends for the rest of my life, is something I’m going to do. I don’t know if she knew or not, but, she just had the best timing. It raised my spirits, and it made me feel better.

My grandmother played her hand, and at that instant, I had lost. She said to me, “You’re coming again next year, right?”

“Yeah. Definitely.”

“Let’s play again then, when you’re back.”

“Sure.” I got up and began walking back towards my room. The giant feast with my relatives, playing games with my uncle and nephew, having a serious conversation with my grandmother. All of them combined made that summer really great. It was really fun and no matter what, I’ll cherish them all. I’ll cherish the memories I made, the words they said, and the feelings I got. I think, for once in my life, I really felt something that I never thought I would cherish this much. I felt, the feeling of family.

The Feeling Of Living: Chapter 2: The Feeling of Friendship

Here it is, the next part of this four part series. You know what? As I read this again, I notice that my old self really likes to abuse the semi-colon. Like, I abused it a lot. So much so that I could go to jail. Like even now actually, the semi-colon is probably one of my favorite punctuation tools. I’m pretty sure that I even tried to create situations where I could abuse the semi-colon just because of how much I love it. Either way, that’s beside the point. What is the point is that now we are getting a glimpse into our protagonists life now. As his life thins, his past life thickens, strange isn’t it? But, nevertheless here you go, “The Feeling of Friendship”. 

I lived away from the city for a good portion of my life. The only memories I have of my childhood were from the country. So, when my parents said that I would be moving into the city for my second year of middle school, I felt both excited and nervous. It was a new experience for me, going into the city. The streetlights, the noise, the people; everything about it had my eyes gawking. The city seemed like only a dream, and in a single day, I began living in a fantasy.

But this fantasy wasn’t all fun and games. Heading into my second year of middle school; I had no friends. I was enrolled at a local school in my city and of course I knew no one in my class. I figured that it was going to be hard enough since I was the new kid; but there was also the fact that everyone in my class probably knew each other already. I mean, unless they were all transfer students, at least one or two of them were probably friends last year. Trying to break into the mold so suddenly wasn’t going to be easy, and it really wasn’t.

For the first month of school, I was dwindling on a thin line. I had no friends, and I only really made miscellaneous talk to my other classmates. In a way, I kind of felt like I was being attacked. Like I was some outsider country boy that had no place in a city school. I felt like a complete outcast and I felt really isolated. I didn’t particularly have any problems with any of my classmates, and it didn’t seem like they had any against me. It just never worked out. It was either too awkward, or I was just simply too out of place. I mean, a country boy like me sitting with city folk. There was never more a weirder scene then that I’d imagine.

My appearance didn’t help as well. Coming into the city with an old fashioned country feel and aura exuding around me wasn’t the best way to go. My accent was something that I couldn’t help. But I had this really weird spiky brown hair going on that just screamed out of place. I had different interests, and when I talked about the country and what we used to do back there; everyone suddenly backed off. I figured it was just the city folk being xenophobic, but when I think back on it; country work really was different from what city people did.

Luckily, I didn’t experience what most kids would call bullying or depression. I wasn’t exactly sad or anything, I just felt a little empty without any friends. I wouldn’t call it being lonely, but I just felt like my classmates weren’t really up for opening up to me. I don’t know what I would have done if I was in their position, but I can see why they would choose to distance themselves from me.

When one of my classmates talked to me, it was because they had something they wanted to know; rather than wanting to strike a conversation. No one really made a push to be my friend, and I guess me having no friends for the first month was partly my fault as well. I never really made a push to get friends either. I didn’t think badly of my fellow classmates, but I just felt like if they weren’t pushing, then why should I? It was a stupid thought now that I think about it, but there’s nothing I can do now. For some odd reason I actually felt content with the way things were during that first month. Things felt peaceful, and “peaceful” wasn’t exactly the best way to describe things in the country; no matter what anyone says.

One day, during lunch time, I decided to go out for once. It was a nice sunny day and the wind gave off a nice gentle breeze every once in a while. I made my way around the school and to the back where a set of tables were stationed from the ground. I went over, sat down and began eating my lunch. No one else was here, and this was one of many places where I found sanctum. A place where I can just relax and unwind without anyone else around me. A place all for myself. Looking back, that probably didn’t mean very good things if I wanted to find a place like that. But it did give me a peace of mind.

It happened just when I was finished with my lunch. I ate quite quickly so I still had plenty of free time. As I got up, I noticed that a group of people were walking by. I tried to find a place to hide, but it was too late. Luckily for me, they were a bunch of people from my class, so it wouldn’t be that bad if they noticed me. I took a deep breath, and proceeded walking back towards the front of the school. It wasn’t as if I wanted them to notice me, but I didn’t really want them to ignore me either. Weird, I know.

As I was just out of sight, a girl called out to me from the group. I was shocked, and as I turned around; she began running towards me. As she stood in front of me; I grew nervous. She had long flowing black hair that reached towards her waists. Her eyes were a bright blue that stole my gaze and her red lips, which were close to my face made me blush. She leaned in; while I leaned back and said with excitement, “Do you want to play?”

“Play?”

“Yeah, team tag!”

“Team…. tag?”

“It’s like tag, but when you’re caught, you become it as well and you work together to catch everyone.”

“Oh.” I remember thinking about it. I was nervous, I didn’t know whether I should accept or not. I didn’t want to ruin their little group they had. I didn’t want to feel like I was doing something wrong again. But at the same time, I was glad, and at the same time, I wanted to. She leaned in closer again and said, “So? How about it?” I remember looking away and with a nervous sweat, I gave in and said, “Sure.”

“Great, come on!” She suddenly began running back, and when she noticed that I wasn’t walking, she came back, grabbed my hands and dragged me over. It was the first time I touched a girl’s hand like this. Her hand felt warm. It was calming.

After we decided who would initially be it we began spreading out. Coincidentally, I hid in some bushes nearby, and the girl who invited me was also nearby. She noticed and came over. She had a smile on her face, but she quickly put a finger over her mouth to tell me to stay quiet. As the designated it finished counting, he began searching for us. We peeked out through small holes that didn’t give away our position, and when we confirmed that he had gone elsewhere, she began talking to me again. This time, it wasn’t the type of feeling I got when I was talking with my classmates. It wasn’t the “I want some information from you” it was more like a “I want to be friends with you” type of tone that she was using. I knew that she was in my class, but I never really did talk with any of the girls. In short, I never noticed her.

“Hey, you’re in my class right?”

“Yeah, my name is Takashi Hiroshi.”

“And I’m Hina Hasagawa.” For the duration of the game, we were pretty much un-catchable. They had moved to and from our general position, but we always remained hidden. It was boring almost; to see this happen. But the warmth and presence of Hina, made it alright. Lunch was almost over, and we were still hidden. From the looks of it, we would be the winners. The rest of the people were growing tired, and just when one of them looked like they were about to say “We give up” Hina got up right from the bushes; dragging me up as well, and said, “Hey, come and catch us if you can!” She then tightly held my hands and began running. I looked behind us to see our classmates chasing us frantically, trying to catch us. I then looked ahead, and towards Hina. She had a huge smile on her face as we were running, and I could feel something swelling up from inside me.

Later that day after school, as I was walking back home; alone as usual, I bumped into Hina. She had a cheery smile on her face and she said as she patted my back, “That was a nice game today, partner.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“Say, want to walk home together?”

“Huh?”

“My home is on the same way as yours. I’ve seen you walk home plenty of times, I was always behind you, and I was always curious about you.”

“Oh.”

“I never got the chance to talk to you, and you seemed so lonely. I thought maybe, you didn’t want any friends, and I heard rumors about you being one of those lone wolf type of people.”

“That’s not the case, I can tell you that.”

“Right, and, I feel bad for not trying to talk to you all this time. To be honest, I felt shy at first. I don’t know if you’ll believe me, but I was scared.” I was shocked as she said those words. Hina seemed like a person who would go around making friends without a hitch. As I looked over, I could see her eyes filled with sorrow, and when she finally looked back up she said, “So, how about it?”

“Sure.” As we walked slowly down the road, she continued on from the topic before, “To tell you the truth, I was never good around boys.” I gave her a weird look, since that statement didn’t seem that true considering she came barging into my sanctuary with a group full of them. She noticed my look and responded, “Hey, what’s with that weird look? It’s the truth. The only reason why I can hang out with those guys are because I knew them from when I was a kid. You wouldn’t know but a lot of us grew up in this area. We grew up here, were raised here, and in turn we all formed a tight knit group with each other. They’re more like family than anything.” My eyes grew wide for a second. I was honestly surprised when she said that. It almost felt like, the country side. I was ignorant, and I was a little arrogant at the same time.

“When I first heard that a transfer student would be coming, my heart raced a little. For the longest time, the only new students we got were also people from the city. It was boring, to be honest. But when I heard you were from the country, it made me happy.”

“Made you happy?”

“It might be me being selfish, but don’t you ever want to meet someone new, someone from another place? It gives me a feeling of exhilaration. Sure the city people are nice and all, but you don’t get to meet a country person that often out here. I guess what I’m trying to say is my curiosity got over me.”

“I…. I guess I never really looked at it in that way. I always thought that when I came here, that I would be too weird to fit in. That I would always be the country outcast, that I wasn’t cut out to be here. But I never thought, that someone like you; someone who actually wants to meet people from outside their bubble existed.

“Trust me, in due time, you’ll make plenty of friends. The first month or so is always rough, but I promise you that it’ll get better. And if not; then you still have me.” I looked over in surprise, and she noticed that she had said something quite embarrassing. She looked down with a blush on her face, and that made me a little happy. As we came to a fork in the road, she stopped and said, “I’m going the other way.”

“Oh, alright then.”

“I’m glad, I got to talk to you.”

“Me too.”

After that, Hina and I started hanging out frequently. We had a lot to talk about, and we always used to go to these quiet places where no one else was around. She said that she liked being isolated every once in a while. She said that it made her relaxed. Soon, I started making friends with other people in the class as well. I was finally able to make friends, and it was all thanks to Hina. Unfortunately, her father had a sudden lay off, and they were forced to move away from this area for her father’s new job. That, was about two weeks after I met her. The very first friend I made in the city, the very first friend I made in my second year of middle school, left me in fourteen days. Of course, I can’t blame her, and I don’t blame her. But, thinking back on it, those fourteen days, were probably the best days I had in a long time. Those short two weeks are something that I would never replace, and those two weeks are something that I’m going to cherish, for the remainder of my short life. Hopefully, Hina won’t get too sad over my death, I mean, with her leaving, I don’t think she knows about it yet. We never did share contact information or anything. But thinking about that just makes me more sad.

I’m glad that I met her, and I’m glad that she made a push to talk to me. But, unfortunately, the only thing I could do for her, is keep her in my memories. I won’t forget her, even in death, I’ll hold onto the feeling she gave me that day; the feeling of friendship.

The Feeling Of Living: Chapter 1: The Feeling of Nostalgia

Hello, so after realizing that the post I made yesterday, “”, was a piece that explored many things, but most of all had some interesting writing styles, hopefully if you have read it till the end you will notice those decisions i decided to make. And that whole fiasco made me think “Wait, haven’t I done this before?” And I did, actually. In a 4 part series titled “The Feeling Of Living.” It’s a short story collection? Well, I wouldn’t call it a novella just yet, but it’s four pieces compromising of one over arching plot and it’s basically about a boy who’s on his death bed (No spoilers here, it’s in the first paragraph, really, give it a go.) And yeah, so I’m now going back to do some edits here and there but I guess it might be fun to share since this was one of my earlier I guess short story compilations? I don’t know what to call it. I wouldn’t novella-classify it just yet because of it’s length though. Anyway, here we go, the first chapter of this series I guess, “The Feeling of Nostalgia.”

Sometimes; you just have to wonder; why does disease exist? In a way, I guess you could say it’s to prevent us from growing too much. But if you put it like that, it turns into a really sad notion. So, why does disease exist? Some people might say, it’s to show us how much our mistakes can affect us, and so that we would be more careful in the future. That notion makes sense. If we don’t straighten up our act, disease is the least of the things we have to worry about. Human beings in of themselves are designed to be flawed. I can’t say I’m not. But, sitting here on my deathbed, I just have to wonder; why does disease exist?

It may be a little sad to say, but, I’ve recently figured out, or rather, I’ve recently been diagnosed with a rare disease. They say that I won’t be waking up to see another day. Or in short, I’m destined to die. How long? Well, sitting here, and looking up at the clock, I’d have to say, twelve hours. Sitting here on my deathbed; seven o’clock in the morning; I have twelve more hours to live.

When I first learned that I had such a deadly disease in me, I felt mortified. My mind went blank, and I couldn’t do anything or think of anything. I was simply at awe, and I felt like an invisible force was pulling my body away from the earth. I felt like my body was being ripped to shreds and; in that room, where they diagnosed me, I screamed. I screamed at the top of my lungs, I screamed and screamed, until my voice gave in. It was a scary experience, and I couldn’t handle it. I wanted it to be a dream, but the day after, the papers were still on my desk, and the only thing I could do was punch the wall. It wasn’t a dream.

That was a week ago. A week; before my third year of middle school. A week, before my final year of middle school. A week, of my last days on earth. Thinking back, I could remember that one of the things I said I wanted to be, was an adult. Looking back at that notion, gives me a smile on my face. It was stupid, but I’m sure we’ve all said it at one point. “I want to be an adult.” Well, even if it was just a stupid childish dream, ironically, I can’t fulfill it; even if I wanted to. I guess now I can call it; a wistful dream.

All it took was a few words from the doctor, and my life was completely turned upside down. One week felt so short. It flew by before I knew it, and it flew by before I could even enjoy it. “Now going into my third year of middle school; Takashi Hiroshi.” Those words are something that, I stupidly admit; practiced in the mirror. I was excited by the fact that I was heading into my last year, but I didn’t think that my second year of middle school was just one of two things that were ending. “Now about to die as a third year middle school student; Takashi Hiroshi.” I learned that since I never finished middle school; technically, my highest level of education would be grade school. Just like if you don’t finish high school, some people are marked only as finishing middle school. That really hurts.

I asked something to my doctors when I acquired the disease. And they just had to spoil the remaining pitiful days of my life even more. They said I was born with it. They said that this disease was with me all along. Why they didn’t take any action earlier was because of its maturing period. Apparently my parents knew all about this disease. They said that the chances of it actually doing anything was very, very slim. I guess I was just really fat.

My parents grieved for days. They couldn’t stop crying, and whenever I walked past them, I could see sadness oozing from their eyes. It was scary. The blank and dark expressions they gave me sent chills up my back and I could never sleep seeing their faces. They were utterly mortified and I….. I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t do anything about it. I, couldn’t do anything about it. I; could do anything about it. I, couldn’t, do, anything, about, it.

I felt tears streaming from my face, and I wiped them casually.

My parents, couldn’t stop crying either. They just wept throughout the night, and in turn it kept me up. Days after days of restless nights. Days after days of lost time. I really wish I had spent more time with my parents. But then again, it would only cause them more pain. I don’t know what will happen from this day on, but I really do hope that they can endure through their pain, and live on without me. Because, that’s the only thing I’m asking them to do. Live on.

My life, up till this point hasn’t been that bad, actually. It was full of ups and downs of course, but, I guess I enjoyed it. I have twelve hours to live, and, being stuck in this hospital room isn’t exactly my way to go. I stepped out and into the lounge area, where patients were free to roam. Except on this day, I was the only one here. It was quiet, full of nothingness, and usually, I would enjoy this kind of silence. I still do, but today, I’m just not in the mood. I sat down near the windows and looked outside. The flowers swayed against the wind, creating a floral dance that stimulated my eyes.

I sighed and wondered how much people I would be hurting. My parents, my relatives, my friends. Myself. Unfortunately, this was the kind of pain that I had no control over. No matter how much I beg, no matter how much I pray; there’s no stopping the inevitable.

I could feel myself tearing up again, but I tried my best to hold it in. There was no tissues nearby, and I didn’t feel like getting up.

The wind blew again, and the flowers swayed. How much time, have I spent sitting here and watching the flowers was a mystery, but in a way this has become my new home. This quietness that some people may see as painstaking, has; over the past week; been my relief. Of course, sometimes, that’s not always the case. And, since I don’t feel like watching T.V, the only way to get away from my quietness, is with myself. I never really thought about it, and I guess it’s now or never, but, It’s time to re-count my life. It sounds cheesy, but a little reflection and a little stroll down memory lane is the only thing I can do at this point. It’s the only thing I can do to reassure myself that I had some meaning in this life. In this desolate life.

It’s time to experience, the feeling of nostalgia.