Troubled Memories

 

 

 

 

Omi tossed and turned for the umpteenth time on his bed. He is just unable to sleep no matter how hard he tried. Vivid pictures came to light the moment he closed his eyes. Vivid memories which were once sealed within the depths of his heart. But somehow, they no longer wanted to hide. Memory after memory danced in his head, small at first, then became more vibrant as more and more awoke and danced without pity into the depths of a confused brain.

Omi struggled in a futile attempt, resisting the strong urge to scream. He finally gave up, tossing his covers off him. he sat up on the bed cross-legged and stared at the computer in front of him. It was a full moon, and pale moonlight shone into his bedroom through the window, casting eerie shadows upon his bed. He then turned to stare at the shadows beneath his bed.

The messenger hypnotized me. How did she manage to do that?

How did I fall for it?

Why did those memories surface? Why?

I had put them away in my mind… I never wanted to be reminded of them… never ever…

Never?

But… What should I do now?

What can I do now?

Wakaranai…

Wakaranai yo… …

Omi buried his head into his hands as he feels the memories racing through his head, almost as if he is going to explode. Unable to take it, he walked over to the wall and launched a mighty punch towards it, taking along with it all his frustrations. This resulted in a dent in the wall, as well as a few bruises on Omi's hand.

This is no good! I must stop this before I go berserk! But what can I do?

I need help… who can I go to?

The images of the other florists raced in his head. But suddenly, the image of Kawamoto appeared.

Yes, Sensei… He's been hypnotized before too…

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Omi dragged his feet down to the flower shop the next morning. When he stepped into the flower shop, the rest of the florists were shocked to see the bloodshot eyes and black eye rings that not even a thick layer of powder could hide.

Omi dragged himself to his usual seat, pulled the chair out and slumped into it. He did not even bother to say 'Ohayou', which was very strange indeed.

Ken put down the potted plant he was carrying and went over, placing his hand on Omi's shoulder.

"Daijoubu ka? You don't look good." He asked with a high level of concern in his voice.

"hmm…" Omi managed. He did not even bother to look at Ken. He was too busy concentrating on keeping his eyes open.

Youji stopped what he was doing and walked over.

"Oi! Don't tell me you were up all night looking for cyber-girlfriends?" He teased a little. However, his face expression changed when Omi did not even attempt to defend himself. "Oi…"

"Gomen… could not sleep a wink last night…" Omi muttered, attempting to raise his head and looked at them through a half-lidded eye.

"Huh?! Then what the heck do you think you're doing here!" Youji shook Omi's shoulders and chided.

A little puzzled, Omi stirred a little. "What's 'what'? I came down for work, what else?"

"Are you nuts?" Youji asked in an exasperated tone. "YOU - " he pulls Omi out of the chair and stands him up, "should be ON your bed." He says, pushing Omi back towards the door.

"But I have no rest day today - " Omi started, looking at Aya, who was watering the flowers and had not cast Omi a glance ever since he stepped into the flower shop. Youji stopped too, looking at Aya. Ken too stopped and stared at Aya.

After a little while Aya spoke. "I don't want the customers to be served by a panda. Your pay will be deducted, don't say I didn't inform you."

"Heard that?" Youji said, pushing the dazed Omi back.

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The next few days went on as ordinarily as could be. Omi was taken out of the investigation temporarily because Kawamoto was worried that the female messenger that approached Omi might recognise him and poison him a second time round.

During this period of time, the killings committed by Gift went on, killing 10 people in their respective pubs everyday. Weiß was totally baffled by their actions and had no idea what they intend to do next.

At the same time too, there were 2 people that found themselves embroiled into the depths of their memories and are struggling within themselves to break free.

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Yuri…

Kawamoto took out the photo in his wallet and sat idly, admiring the picture of his wife.

O tanjobi omedetou… Yuri… it was times like this when Kawamoto missed his wife even more. Where are you? Stop hiding!

He slowly raised a finger to touch the image of the face in the photo. Haunting memories returned.

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A woman walked along the pub slowly, carefully skimming the faces of the youths outside before stepping foot into the pub. She watched in distaste at the youths who squandered their time away.

"A bunch of useless fools…" she muttered to herself before turning her back disdainfully and walked out of the pub.

As she was about to turn into an alley, a voice suddenly called in her direction.

"Oi! Matte kure!"

She turned in surprise, watching the man who was running in her direction. The man caught up within a few seconds and watched her as he panted a little. The woman did not make a sound and watched him pant.

The man grabbed hold of the woman's hands and asked in a trembling voice, "Yuri! You're Yuri, aren't you?"

The woman looked at the man with the sweetest expression she could afford before saying," Sorry Mister, you've got the wrong person…"

On hearing her reply, the man looked crestfallen. "Oh…" he then dropped the woman's hand and leaned against the wall, slowly sliding his back downwards until he is in a slumped position on the floor.

The woman bent down too and looked at the man. He had his head buried into his hands. She gently pried open his hands and whispered in the most gentle voice. " Mister, you're suffering needlessly… why do you have to suffer so much… I can help you…"

The man looked up at the woman, half-shocked at what she said, but was immediately lost within the depths of the woman's beautiful eyes.

A slight curve appeared on the woman's mouth, and she continued. "Yes, you don't have to suffer so much… I'll give you relief." With a pill in her hand, she proceeded to feed him.

However, before she could slide it into his half-open mouth, his lips moved and out came the words, " Then bring me to her… I need her… Yuri…" in his half delirious state he hummed a few lines of " Love Me Tender". The woman stopped what she was doing and stood up. She then took a few steps back, her eyes never leaving the lips of the man. The man then opened his mouth and muttered a few near incoherent lyrics...


"Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams, fulfill

For my darling, I love you and I always will…"

The woman drops the pill onto the ground and took a few more steps backward. Then, her steps widened as she turned and ran out of the alley.

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"Love me tender… … love me sweet… … never let me go…"

Kawamoto caressed the picture in his hands lovingly and turned to place the photo back into his wallet. It was then when he observed from the tip of his eye that someone was watching him from his room door. He raised his head and found Omi staring at him.

Omi entered hesitantly. "Sensei…" he begun, looking at the photo in Kawamoto's hands.

Kawamoto looks down at the photo for a few seconds before looking up. "Yes, that's Yuri. Today is her birthday. I always sang this song for her. She liked this song a lot."

Omi looked at the photo and looked up until his eyes pierced right into his teacher's. "Sensei, that was why, wasn't it? I mean…"

Kawamoto nodded, fully understanding what he is saying. "Yes Omi, that was why I was hypnotized like you…" He replies, his eyes filled with mixed emotions of sadness and loneliness and even a little bit of fear.

 

 

~~ END OF CHAPTER ~~