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Drinking Nights

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             Breathe in. Crash. Breathe out.

Breathe out. Breathe in. Crash.

                                           Crash . Breathe in. Breathe out.

He did nothing but watch the waves below waver and entice him. It calmed him as he imagined himself being swallowed up by those same waves. He wanted nothing more than to dance in the mouth of the sea and let them take his life. He believed that they deserved that much from a coward like him.

“I will finish my final act tonight and maybe you will too.”

He spoke to no one but himself because who else would listen? Surely not his brothers nor himself, but he knew his brothers deserves a more courageous and cool person as a brother, but that just couldn’t be him.

(Do you even know who you are to begin with?)

Watching the bystanders continue their daily routine of ignoring a person in need, he wants to dedicate his final act to those who watched him fall apart and entertained themselves while watching him do just that.

They deserve this. And even though he loved them, they deserved this.

He sacrifices his life to them knowing that they would never forgive him for the act he is about to commit. Even though he is sorry, he still loves them.

Breathe out.  Breathe in. Crash.

                                            Crash . Breathe in. Breathe out.

                        Breathe in. Crash.  Breathe out.

He takes a breath in and breathes it all out until there is no more air left in him. He picks up his head and looks straight as at the sea as he says his silent goodbyes. He begins to walk closer to the railing…

Closer…

Closer…

Closer…

AND—

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t my one-time-show-up visitor at the office.”

He looks to the side and realizes that he wasn’t talking to himself anymore. He notices a caramel skinned lady dressed in nothing but a blue dress and blue sparkling heels.

“Dr. Hikaru, such a glorious sight to behold as the moon enhances your lovely skin. Your beauty is nothing that I’ve ever seen in such a marvelous night like this. Whatever do I owe you for having the night bless me with such beauty?” He places back the mask many have seen but none have touched. He begins to hear sweet laughter from her mouth and finds himself looking at the big picture—her.

(She’s beautiful.)

“Why thank you, Mr. Matsuno. It’s certainly rare for me to see one of my patients outside from our usual visits but you wouldn’t know that since you only came one time.” She looks at him with her striking brown eyes and pierces him with her comment. He steadily laughs as he tries to find a way from talking about the sickness he doesn’t have.

“Well Dr. Hikaru, I’ve been busy looking at the moon and finding where it would lead me next which seems like the next destination is home—“

“Are you sure it’s leading you home or to another cliff?” He looks at her again and notices her eyes looking at the same sea that was meant to swallow him up.

“I—“ He doesn’t know how to reply to such a direct question seeing as how he’s played with and gone around every question that’s been asked about him.

(She knows that you’re sick. She knows about your sickness and she knows that it’s eating you right up.)

“I’m sorry. That was rude of me. I just couldn’t help but wonder what you were really going to do.” She looks up at him and smiles. She turns back to the sea and stares at it again.

He continues to stare at her.

(What did she mean by that?)

He analyzes her.

(He finds himself slowly giving into her. Slowly answering her undesired questions. Slowly being pulled into believing that maybe she could get him out of this mess.)

And then, he answers her.

 “I don’t really know where I want to go Dr. Hikaru—“

“Karako Matsuda.”

“What?” She walked up to him and smiled.

“My name is Karako Matsuda. I no longer want to have the last name Hikaru so Karako Matsuda is my name. Call me Karako.”

He nods as he takes her hand and returns her smile.

“Well Karako-san, you look too nice to be out this late so let’s head somewhere where it’s safe to be alone.”

“Are you trying to take me out on a date?” She chuckles as she looks at their hand.

(She likes the way her hand fits with his and he does too.)

“Not really but—“ using his free hand, he scratches the back of his neck in awkwardness and slowly tries to let go of her hand but she grips it and takes the other hand into hers.

“Then yes. Let’s go to the bar. My treat.” He nods and offers her an arm. She accepts and smiles again.

If she wasn’t his therapist, he wouldn’t mind falling in love with her at first sight but she knows too much about him and the last thing he needs is breaking down the mask he has worked so hard to build.

He has no plans to let anyone get close to him.

Not her.

Not his brothers.

Not his mother nor his father.

No one.

Not now or ever.


 

Walking down to the nearest bar around them, they entered the bar and was ushered to one of the empty booths. He lets her take her seat before he does and then smiles at her.

“I’ve never been to a bar like this before. It’s so classy and high maintenance.” She giggled as she watched him look around the bar.

“Yeah, this is where all the doctors and business people meet up to drink.” She answers while looking at the drinks menu set out for both of them.

“Oh.” He looked down at the menu and couldn’t help but look over at the prices. His eyes bulge out of their sockets as he notices some of the prices for the mixed alcohol.

Tequila Sunrise       ¥16,557

Angel Face             ¥21,953

Mai Tai                 ¥10,977

 B-52                   ¥27,442

Vampiro               ¥19,758

‘What in the fucking world?! Why the hell is it that much for one drink?!’ He thinks to himself while he’s still looking at the prices. She looks up and notices his nervousness while he’s looking at the drinks menu. She starts to laugh at his discomfort knowing that she couldn’t hold the laughter in any longer. He looks up and blushes at his embarrassment.

“I’m so sorry…,” Still laughing, she reaches over to grab his menu but he moves away from her playfully. “But, you are just too funny. Why are you even uncomfortable if I’m paying for it?” He smiles as he sets the menu down on the table.

“Cool guys don’t let beautiful angels pay for their drinks.” He says as he does a dramatic pose. She bursts out with laughter again as she looks at him.

“Okay cool guy, you got money to afford my drink then?” She asks as she puts her elbows on the table, folds her hands together, and looks at him in the eye. He blushes and turns away from her by looking at another booth across from them.

“Uhhh…no but fortunately for you, God created something magnificent known to mankind used to store unpaid dues to the society called tabs.” She looks at him in shock and then laughs harder than she ever did before. He slowly starts laughing at her after realizing what he just said.

You’re such a fool. It wasn’t even that funny.

He stops laughing.

“They’re back again.”

He hears the image’s voice condescending him.          

“I will make sure you’ll hear what I hear every single day.”

He sees the image laughing in his face while sitting next to Karako.

“Leave me alone.” He aggressively whispers to the image.

She’s just pitying you! She’s using you for her own satisfaction! She doesn’t even care about your own wellbeing!

“How does it feel to be the fool of the show? You can’t even control yourself at this point.”

He closes his eyes shut as he hears the voices get loud and stronger. He begins to close his ears and scowl at the words thrown at him.

“You know, the more you listen to them, the more they’ll keep attacking you.” He looked up at Karako who was looking at the menu. He moved his hands away from his ears and looked at her.

“Don’t listen to her! She’s lying!” The image yelled in Karamatsu’s ear.

“But I’m not listening to them…how did you even—“

“But you are listening. Covering your ears won’t stop them and not even growling will scare them. They won’t let you go because they know deep down you’re still listening so stop.” She said as she put the menu down and looked straight at him.

(STOP LOOKING AT ME!)

“Why are you staring at me? Stop trying to find something when there’s nothing even--”

(JUST STOP!)

“Hey Karamatsu, what’s your favorite color?” She abruptly asks.

(He knows she’s trying to pull him out but he never asked for any help.)

“My favorite color is blue.” He says. A light smile graces her face as she reaches out her hand across the table. He looks down at her hand and notices a blue marble.

“Take it.” He slowly starts to reach out for it until a voice stops him.

“She’s still pitying you, dumbass.”

He freezes up a little bit and tries to move his hand back but she catches it and he tenses up again.

“Stop doing that. Stop listening to yourself right now. Just listen and focus on me. Your date.” She gently holds his hand and folds their hand together.

He nods his head as he looks down at their hands.

‘This feels nice. It makes me feel wanted enough.’ He thinks to himself. He couldn’t help but smile at the simple gesture she gave him. She notices this and smiles back while he isn’t even focused enough on her.

“However, for a depressed patient, you’re really cute.” He stops smiling and she realizes that he heard her. She pulls away from him and starts to distract herself. Sure, she’s confident in her thoughts and has no problem saying them out loud, but she’s going a little too far and doing a little too much with someone that is her patient.

‘Shit! I can’t believe I said that out loud!’ She thinks while she’s fake searching through her purse. At this moment, she wishes she was drunk, intoxicated, high and all the above. While still distracting herself, she realizes that the person she even complimented or insulted hasn’t even said a word. She stops fumbling with her purse and looks up only to discover him blushing at her comment. She starts to fume over the fact that he hasn’t said a word.

“SAY SOMETHING!” She slams the table with her fist and he abruptly looks up at her. He looks flustered and she looks embarrassed to the point where they both start to laugh.

“I’m so sorry. That came out totally wrong.” She says while laughing at her embarrassment.

“I’m sorry too. It’s just that, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone call me cute that I didn’t know what to say back. And if I might add, you look beautiful too, my wondrous night angel. I wish the day could see your loving beauty as the night does.” He says smiling at her. She calms down and smiles back.

“Thank you.”

‘To think that someone really thinks I’m beautiful…’ She thinks sadly to herself as she remembers the real reason to why she’s here.

A noise states to beep on the wall and she clicks the button that rings the waiter. A male waiter shows up with two tablets in his hand.

“Hey, Karako-chan!” He says while putting the two tablets down in front of them.

“What’s up Seiji-kun? It’s rare for you to take my orders these days.” She laughs and puts in the drink she wants on the tablet.

“Well, obviously there are more pretty ladies than you here tonight, not that I’m saying you’re not number one compared to them, which love to see me. And, you brought this nice looking man that looks like he belongs on the streets so I had to wonder where your husband was in all of this?” She tenses up as she notices his small little smirk.

“Um…Seiji-san is it? Look, it isn’t right to persecute a woman on her reasons for being here. That’s her business and its best that you just stay out of it, okay?” Karamatsu says while turning in his tablet. She begins to relax realizing that he just stood up for her.

“Yeah, Seiji-kun. My date’s right. And before you start accusing me of anything, I just want to say that I don’t recall ever getting married and if you have a person that does remember that occasion ever happening, make sure you tell them that I don’t sleep with pigs or dogs that belong in an animal farm, okay? Thank you Seiji-kun!” She winks and turns in her tablet to him as well. He scowls and begins to walk away. She turns back to Karamatsu and she realizes he’s staring at her.

“What’s wrong? Is there something on my face?” She reaches for her purse again only to be stopped when he reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder. He catches her attention and she looks back at him.

“I know it’s not my business to know why you’re actually here and I won’t bother you if you won’t tell me why either, but why am I here? It sounds like it’s rare for you to come here without your husband nonetheless, another man, so why me?”

“Aren’t you being a little hypocritical here? You won’t ask me but you, too, want to know what’s really going on, so you’d use yourself to get me to answer the real question you won’t ask. And here I thought I knew you better than you knew yourself…” His eyes widen at her last statement.

“What do you mean by that?” He inquires but she ignores him. They sit back in silence for a brief moment until the drinks arrive. As soon as her drink is placed, she takes a sip of it and starts back up the previous conversation.

“Sorry, but I couldn’t answer your question before, not when I’m too sober. But don’t worry, I have a medium tolerance level, so I’m ready to answer all the questions you have, but you got to ask the right questions if you want the right answers, got it?” She says as she takes another sip of her drink. He nods and takes a sip of his drink as well. She lets out a big sigh of relief as she feels the alcohol hitting her system.

“I’m gonna let you know one thing; what I’m drinking is Vodquila so 10 out of 10, I’m gonna be highly shit-faced, so could you order me an uber or a taxi to get home? Thanks!” He nods as he watches her drown her drink down her system. He notices a little blush appear on her cheeks and he slowly begins to acknowledge the fact that she’s getting tipsy drink by drink. He jumps as she slams another glass of Vodquila on the table.

“He doesn’t love me! I knew that but….I loved him.” He sees a tear sitting at the edge of her eye as she goes back to drink again.

“Who doesn’t love you?”

“The man I called my husband.” He sips his drink in silence. As beautiful as she is, he could never understand why someone could give up a diamond for coal.

“So that’s the reason why I’m here.” He looks at her and watches a tear cascades down on the side of her face. It was almost heartbreaking compared to the way his own brothers treated him. She wipes the fallen tear away and tries to smile. His heart was still breaking just watching her do just that.

“I’m sorry. You shouldn’t even be here, and yet, I dragged you here to make you watch me make a fool of myself. God, I’m such an idiot.” She says trying to laugh, but the sadness gets the best of her, and she begins to cry silently. He watches her for a moment but then stands up. He walks over to her side and reaches for her hand. She stops crying and looks up at him.

“What are you doing?”

“Taking you home. You’re a little out of it right now.” He says as he watches her stand and grabs her purse. They both walk out of the bar and just walk. She takes a look at him and sees a mellow smile on his face.

“Why did you lie?” He stops walking and looks back at her.

“What?”

“You said I was drunk and I know I’m not. I have an unneeded high tolerance for drinking and—”He takes her hand and begins to walk again.
“I never said you were drunk; I just said you were out of it, and I thought you said you had a middle tolerance level.”

“Then, I guess, I lied.” She says in a low voice. He looks at her again and decides to say nothing else. They continued to walk in silence until she found the courage to ask him the question—the real question that she tried to find an answer to from his file.

“Why didn’t you come to the last session?” He stops walking and let’s go of her hand. He doesn’t look at her but he knows that she’s staring at him. He lets out a sigh and starts to take a step forward, but is immediately held back.

“Tell her why Karamatsu. She deserves to know the truth. At least, from you.”

He tenses up and pulls away from her. She puts her hand by her side but still waits for an answer.

“Because…I’m not sick and I don’t you or anybody else thinking that I am. I’m fine!” She tensed at the stressed tone he yelled at her with. She remained quiet but still watched every movement he made after his statement.

“Liar, liar, liar. History sure has a way of repeating itself, doesn’t it, Karamatsu?”

“Shut up!”

“I won’t and neither will those voices if you don’t let me help you.” She tells him as she watches him yell at himself.

“Shut up! You and everyone else just need to shut up! You don’t know me, and neither do they!”

She tries to grab his hand but fails again as he steps back away from her.

“You’re right. I don’t know you, but what I do know is that you need help—my help. I don’t like seeing you suffer like this.”

“No! I don’t want to say it!” She stops her attempts and just stares at him.

“Say what?”

“Say that I’m…nothing. It’s nothing. Look, it’s getting late and I need to go home. I’m sure you need to go home too.” He looks at her and she smiles.

“Ok, then let’s go home.” She says and he nods. She calls a taxi and puts him inside the car first. She gets in after him and tips the driver.

“So where are you both going to, ma’am?” The driver asks as he looks at her.

“I’m going home. I’ll tell you the way.” He tells the driver and they drive off. Reaching his destination, he gets out the car and smiles at her. She steps out of the car but just stands next to the open door. She smiles at him and gives him a little peck on his cheek. He blushes and smiles.

“Thank you for tonight.” She says and he nods again. She watches him reach is doorstep and gets inside the car. He turns around and waves back at her and she smiles. The driver then drives off and he stands in front of the door. He reaches towards the handle but stops as he remembers what went down before he left.

“Hey Karamatsu, do you hate it when we call you Kusomatsu?”

 “Um…no, I cherish all the nicknames we share with each other!” He said with a big bright smile on his face. He refused to lose character.

 “Liar.” Jyushimatsu quietly said. Everyone turned to Jyushimatsu then looked at him.

(Stop looking me!)

“Stop looking at me!” He shouted. He didn’t realize he said his own thought out loud until he looked at Jyushimatsu eyes.

Jyushimatsu looked at him in fear…

“I’m not going home. Not tonight. Not…tonight.” He says as he goes a different route to a different direction apart from himself.