Pairing : Ryo x Uchi
Genre : Emo Angst I guess.
Rating : PG-13
Summary : Uchi would never have been in Ryo's life if Ryo had not slammed his car into him that fateful day. No amount of apology would bring back the life he formerly had and nothing quite prepared him for liking this man who took away his chance at happiness in such a brutal, abrupt way.
A/N : Frankly I think this chapter sucked. XDDD And yeah I am lazy because this chapter is pretty short.
In life, everyone had to make choices, and in making a choice, you forsake something for another. And this time, Ryo realized he had unconsciously made one. Just like how Uchi chose to keep silent and give him up. Ryo had believed that life was made up of moments, defining moments which decided whether your life would veer off-course. Two years ago, he took away someone’s future and with all his heart, he tried to make up for it. He just hadn’t anticipated falling in love with the one person whom he had seen as a victim in the first place, as someone worthy of sympathy.
The streetlights and outlines of buildings with the neon signs pass him by like flitting memories with no notable significance. And with each second, he was driving further and further away from the place he wanted to be, the person he wanted to stay beside.
Uchi pushed the button on the steering pad and he looked up slightly befuddled and amazed at seeing the cloak of darkness above him. The blanket of sky sprinkled with stars looking down at him. He wasn’t looking behind a pane of glass. It felt as though he could literally touch them, by just extending his hand. And somehow, his heart felt close to bursting with joy. It was these things he lost that robbed him of his ability to feel, and now he felt like he was picking up fragments of himself he lost along the way. Gradually finding a semblance of his old life, except that now he had gained an appreciation for all the things he didn’t notice last time.
Like the uneven pavement beneath the wheels of his wheelchair, the wind brushing against his face and ruffling his hair and the distinctive smell of smog with a faint trace of wintry air. Everything was beautiful and for a moment, he stopped hating, he stopped questioning. It might be a cliché but he knew how it was to love someone, to love someone so much that his happiness hinged on is appearance. The only regret he had was that Ryo never knew him when he was capable of walking and running, that in Ryo’s mind, he was forever stranded in a wheelchair, confined to it.
He wanted to go to the park. The park where Ryo would often bring him when he was free. Just to watch the boys play baseball and Uchi would watch with rapt attention. For a long time, Uchi thought Ryo was a baseball fan. When he was bedridden and hovered between consciousness and sleep, he remembered Ryo coming to visit him, sitting at his bedside. And he could hear Ryo telling him about the baseball matches he missed, about the team he supported, the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.
Back then, Uchi had been secretly amused at how Ryo would report the matches to him like a seasoned sports commentator and he had thought Ryo shared the common passion as him. Until his mother had told him that Ryo had asked her what Uchi had liked and his mother had clasped Uchi’s hand in hers, gently patting and her eyes brimming with tears.
And strangely it seemed that Uchi’s likes became Ryo’s. His sadness, his despair, all of them were shared by Ryo in some way and he never had to shoulder the full burden of the pain. Sometimes, he wanted to tell Ryo to stop being so nice to him, to stop fostering dependence on him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like it. He did, just that he wouldn't build his entire world on Ryo because Ryo was only a passer-by, no matter how much he loved him. And ironically Uchi realized that he had just given Ryo the silent permission to walk away and gradually distant his life from his.
Uchi was navigating the wheelchair to the park when he saw an underpass. And he stopped, staring at the underpass, and the light from below. It was as though something was calling out to him and he balled his hand into a fist, pricking the flesh of his palm with his nails. Staircases had always been the obstacle to deal the killing blow to him because he knew there were some things he couldn’t do, no matter how hard he tried. And ascending or descending a flight of stairs was one of them.
Slowly he wheeled himself to the front of the steps, looking down and feeling slight fear grip him. It was scary to know that all he had to do with press lightly on the button and the wheelchair would topple over the edge. Right now, life and death was only separated by a 8cm gap and it was so easy to bridge that gap, to fall into the bottomless pit, knowing that this time, he wouldn’t come back. The only thing that made him hesitate was the thought that Ryo needed him to stay alive, because if he died, Ryo would never have a chance at building a life for his own self.
Suddenly he heard the jarring tone of his cell ringing and he didn’t need to look at it to know it was Ryo. It was odd that Ryo always seemed to call when he was despondent, almost as though he could feel his sadness. Uchi held the cell in his hands, his fingers gliding over the smooth surface and his gaze lingered on the screen that blinked with Ryo’s name. Then he pressed a button and his world went silent on him like the vacuum it would become.
Ryo stared at his phone for a moment before he pressed the ‘dial’ button again. His brows furrowed with anxiety and he felt a hand touch him softly on his arm. He raised his head and smiled at Michiyo. Michiyo had been his subordinate for years and they had established a good working relationship. Michiyo understood him, understood his habits and when she had asked him out, he didn’t really have any excuse to refuse. Except that right now, his heart was plagued with worry as he listened to the dead tone droning in his ears.
“The movie has started. Let’s go in?” He heard Michiyo ask expectantly. He nodded absent-mindedly, his cell cradled in one hand. He was walking slightly ahead in front of Michiyo when he saw her slightly losing balance when she tripped in her heels. On reflex, he reached out and gripped her hand in his. There was a look of surprise on Michiyo’s face before she lowered her head a little bashfully. But it wasn’t Michiyo whose hand he was holding, it was Uchi’s. He had been so accustomed, so conditioned to knowing when Uchi would stumble and fall, that before he realized it, his hand had reached out of its own volition.
Right now when he was holding someone else’s hand in his, who was going to hold Uchi when he fell? And that single thought gave him the rude awakening he needed as he stopped in his tracks, causing Michiyo to bump into his back.
“Michiyo. What if I tell you this date was a mistake?” He turned back and released Michiyo’s hand gently. And he could see that little flare of intelligence in those eyes, as she inspected Ryo’s face. She hid her disappointment and sadness well.
“Ryo, it’s okay. I’ve worked under you for so long and you always have somewhere you need to rush to after work. It’s not a place is it? It’s a person.” Michiyo smiled gamely, and Ryo knew that if there was no Uchi, it would have been easy to like her plucky spirit. Except that his heart was already consumed by the smiles and tears of Uchi, of those eyes biding him a silent goodbye. And he knew he shouldn’t have left. He had told himself that what Uchi couldn’t do, he would do it for him. If Uchi found it hard to express the feelings inside because of the fortress he had built around himself, he would be the one to say the words.
Uchi stared down at the stairs that descended into nothingness. Every day, he chose whether to move forward or to simply give up. It had always been easier to succumb to weakness, no one had ever said it was easy to be strong. And that if he had been courageous, it had been because of Ryo. Now, he could either cave in to the darkness blooming inside him or to move forward with faith, embracing his new path. Uchi hated making decisions but at least he could tell himself that this time, it might be the last one he had to make.