Even So, We Are Living in the Present - Chapter 75
Chapter 75 – The Past and Scars
Kyosuke can neither rise up nor lift his head. His breathing grew sluggish and disorganized, and perspiration drenched his forehead and neck.
… I am afraid…
As Kyosuke fell to his knees helplessly, sitting motionless on the ground, the vision of his mother, who became the subject of his childhood fears, recurred in his mind, haunting the corner of his memory and never letting him go.
The image of his mother overlapped with his past.
Kyosuke could not bear being reminded of the memories dredged up, and forcefully kept his eyelids shut.
Kyosuke’s parents, Airi – her mother, met her then 20-year-old father – Masato at a matchmaking party when she was a freshman in university, and they got drunk and engaged in sexual intercourse as a result.
On the spur of the moment, Airi also took the initiative and voluntarily committed adultery with him.
Three months later, she discovered she was pregnant.
Once they sobered up, marriage ended with them becoming husband and wife on documents, despite the two not liking each other particularly much. There was no way the pair could be conveniently fond of each other.
Although she was elated to be showered with praise following the birth of Kyosuke, her freedom would be completely curtailed once it arose to the task of raising him. From that time on, Airi already aspired to blossom as a fashion designer, and it did not take long for Kyosuke, whom she could not tear her attention away from even for a moment, to become an obstacle on her path.
During the period of breastfeeding, Kyosuke would cry, but if she carried him in her arms or on her back, it was no hassle for her, and she felt good with all the hospitality and care she received from those around her. Nevertheless, beginning at the age of two, after Kyosuke learned to play by himself, his behavior shifted to being selfish and throwing a tantrum, which gradually became an obstacle to her existence.
“All you have to do is listen to what I say!”
When he was a little child, his mother habitually yelled these words at Kyosuke.
If he shook his head and said, “No,” she would slap him on the cheek. While there was no further ill-treatment, for the young Kyosuke, his mother’s yelling and the pain of the slaps were frightening.
He did not want to be yelled at.
He did not want to be slapped.
Therefore, he would shut up and listen to what she said. He no longer refuted or asked the reason ‘why should I do that?’
His father was constantly facing the computer screen and never offered any help. He fed him, bathed him, prepared bedding for him, and let him stay alive.
Kyosuke merely obeyed what his mother taught him. He had never been hugged or had his head stroked.
His first encounter with Yuu was after attending nursery school. Since his mother, who mistakenly believed that she had free time on her hands, started her designer career, it became more and more frequent for her to not return home from early in the morning until late at night, thus Kyosuke and Yuu accompanied each other to the nursery school, and it became a routine for Kyosuke to return to the Sonohara’s house together with Yuu.
Then, at night, his father would be there to pick him up. Kyosuke, who was often downcast, could scarcely remember his father’s face.
Eventually, once Kyosuke attended elementary school, his mother gained prominence as a designer, and her income rose. Thanks to this, the family grew to be regarded as a wealthy one, and the clothes Kyosuke wore gradually switched to costly products.
However, this development was not for Kyosuke’s sake.
It was nothing more than a way for his mother to present the facade of a “wonderful family.”
Even after that, Kyosuke continued to live his life as his mother ordered him to.
“Will you pay attention to me if I behave properly?”
Even though he could never say it out loud, he would invariably harbor such a hope in his heart. No matter how many times that hope was crushed, no matter how many times he was not complimented, he kept hoping that one day his mother would acknowledge him in her eyes.
“I need to behave properly.”
Nonetheless, that hope perished during his high school life.
Just preceding the summer vacation of his first year of high school, Kyosuke headed home from school after finishing club activities only to be confronted by the sight of an empty house with no more than his personal belongings packed away.
It was not simply the absence of his parents’ belongings.
Even his parents’ presence was nowhere to be felt.
Above his belongings lay a note.
It stated that they had “moved to the United States,” “rented an apartment,” “the address of the apartment,” and “transfer money to the bankbook monthly”. From that day on, Kyosuke was abruptly faced with the prospect of living on his own.
The news was so unexpected that he could not think of anything else. The only recollection he held was that he was in such a stupor that he had no memory of walking from his house, which used to be his home, to the apartment.
“So I have been cast aside…”
He felt a sense of emptiness, yet strangely enough, no sorrow washed over him.
If anything, it may have resembled a liberated sensation.
The feeling of ‘I can live by my own will without having to obey my parents’ demands’ was a major part of it.
Then, Kyosuke has been able to reside alone owing to the support of Yuu and his family. Each morning he would pick Kyosuke up from school, call him every night to check on his condition, and frequently drop by his apartment. And on the days off, he would invite Kyosuke to his home to spend time with his family.
He was thinking, ‘I don’t want Kyosuke to be lonely.”
While Kyosuke rarely expressed any complaint, Yuu was beginning to sense his feelings. Hence, he reached out his hand to him with no further words.
Until then, their time together lasted long and deep, making Kyosuke’s existence extremely significant and dear to Yuu. It was not only Kyosuke who was supported by Yuu. By the time they became high school students, Yuu, who had grown to be a rather contrary person, was also supported by Kyosuke, who accepted him for who he was.
They supported each other, needed each other, and felt mysteriously at ease when they were together.
At some point, Kyosuke and Yuu developed a deep bond.
Despite being bewildered by the sensations they were experiencing for the first time, the two were on the verge of grasping happiness.
No… they were already grasping it.
Kyosuke slowly opened his eyelids. The tender palms that support his shoulders as if to embrace him were very warm. Moving his gaze briefly, he was met by the person with whom he has shared his blissful life, glaring at his mother.
Kyosuke drew a deep breath silently and raised his gaze fearfully.
The cold glare only evoked childhood memories and instilled a sense of fear in him.
Even so, he had to confront them.
Don’t you dare run away and leave Yuu behind…
He was not alone.
Together, everything will be fine.
Once more, he lifted his face to convey his feelings.
“… My life would have been so much smoother if you hadn’t been born.”
He was not yelled at nor was he slapped.
The only thing he heard was an apathetic tone of voice that escaped with a sigh.
And yet, that was all.
Those words, as if denying his very existence, were more than brutal enough to gouge Kyosuke’s heart thoroughly.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 75"
Support Fan’s Translations
Note: Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.