The flat was spacious and comfortable. The modern, almost minimalist furniture allowed enough free space and the rising sun always lit up well the entire house.
Yoshiasu undressed, showered and quickly cooked something for the evening. He ate and washed the dishes, then took a beer from the fridge and sat at the window. The city was twinkling and buzzing in the night. The young analyst took a sip from the beer and watched thoughtfully the endless swarming of the city below. His mind was wandering as usual; just this time it wasn’t something leisurely done. He was back at the hospital, running over again and again all that has happened or it has been said.
“ Why? Why are you helping me?” Fuyuki’s question hung in the air and Yoshiasu still wasn’t able to find a logical explanation for his deep commitment towards the young stranger.
It was like some obscure force pushing him from behind towards an unforeseen future. He came to the sudden realization that he didn’t know everything about himself. He’s been always a well balanced, logical person, keeping his life in order. His parents died long time before and he took care for himself. He was intelligent and handy so he managed well in life. Good humored and considerate, he was liked at work and in society.
He had a small but close circle of friends, men and women mainly his age. He even dated a few girls but very soon he discovered that he didn’t feel compelled to go further into the relationships. He just shrugged and let the topic die out. He was never bored or lonely.
But ever since he stumbled upon Fuyuki his feelings stormed out and took over any logic. He wasn’t going to let the young man to fade out in an asylum; he was determined to take him in his care, even at the cost of turning his own life upside down. There was no logical explanation for the way he felt but he knew for sure that he would’ve died of heartbreak if he would’ve give up on Fuyuki. Those desperate violet-blue eyes, the eerie beauty of that face, the warm, slender body trembling under his touch were haunting him.
Yoshiasu shook his head; he felt drained, exhausted. He turned off the light and went to sleep. The night was short and restless. Fuyuki’s eyes filled his dreams…Yoshiasu showered, dressed up and cooked some eggs and vegetables for the breakfast. He was in a hurry; he had an appointment with detective Harrows at the police station. He took a cab and left.
John Harrows was a mild tempered person, a patient one but this particular case was getting on his nerves. Despite his best efforts he had only a scrap of clues. The victim was a total mess so his only hope was the relationship that build up between the young analyst and the victim. He hoped that it would help the latter to open up and give some tangible information about himself. So now, the detective eagerly waited to meet with Mr. Tanaka.
Yoshiasu arrived in time and the two men shook hands; they grabbed a coffee and sat down to talk over the data.
-I visited him yesterday and we talked a bit-said Yoshiasu. His name is Fuyuki and I’m very sure that he has close relatives somewhere. I’ve asked him about them but he reacted badly so I assume that they weren’t on good terms. I know this isn’t much but he is still very troubled and I don’t want to push him over the edge.
-Mr. Tanaka, you are most helpful. I can see that you are deeply involved in this. Mind you, this might become a heavy burden for you on long term…But getting back to Mr. Fuyuki, I have all the reasons to believe that his family sold him as a male prostitute to one of the wealthy…collectors. When the latter got bored, gave him away to a gang and finally he was dumped and let to die. He probably didn’t want to comply with all their requests. If we find his family, we might have a starting point. Until then, I’ll keep on looking into the branch of prostitution.
-I’ll do my best to help you but it will take time.
-Thank you for coming, Mr. Tanaka. We’ll keep in touch anyway.
The two men parted in good terms. Detective Harrows had a feeling that this case will cause a lot of commotion in the future. He wondered for a moment about the strange bond between Tanaka and Fuyuki; well, who knows what might come out of that? He sat to his desk and started the computer.
Yoshiasu headed to the hospital and looked again for Fuyuki’s doctor. Fortunately he was available and helpful as ever. They went to his room and sat to talk.
-Doctor, how long will Fuyuki stay in your care?-asked Yoshiasu directly.
The doctor fumbled through his papers for a moment than turned to him.
-I expect to release him at the end of this week. He is getting stronger and his bruises are fading and healing. Why do you ask?
-I want to take him in my care. I don’t want him to end up alone in an asylum. I take full responsibility for him and it looks like detective Harrows is supporting me in this. He hopes for some data due to our mutual trust. Can you help me with the papers?
The doctor was stunned; he didn’t expected this..
-Are you sure you’re willing to dedicate your future to the care of such a scarred and troubled person? This might prove to be very tricky!
Yoshiasu shook his head.
-My mind is set and I can manage with him. Please, don’t make me move with him to the asylum. I’m not superstitious, I’m quite level-headed but I have a feeling that it was meant for me to stumble upon him. So would you help us?
The doctor shrugged.
-It is most unusual but somehow I agree that it is in the best interest of the patient. I’ll talk to the Social Services and by the end of the week you’ll have both Fuyuki and the papers.
Fuyuki was awake and dressed up. He was sitting at the window, watching the clouds running wild over the strong-blue October sky. Outside, the turbulent wind was scattering golden leaves all over the place and was pushing dark-grey cloud shreds in front of the sun. The youth was fumbling with an orange, trying to peel it. He saw Yoshiasu coming and his whole person lit up.
-Yoshiasu…-he whispered. Help me with this-he laughed softly, handing the orange to him.
-I’m glad you like it-laughed Yoshiasu and quickly finished the task. He gave the fruit to Fuyuki but he handed half of it back.
-You too-he said and smiled.
Yoshiasu took his share of orange and sat next to Fuyuki. He watched him silently for a moment; he pushed a strand of hair from his face and rested a hand on his shoulder. Fuyuki looked up, eyes filled with unspoken questions. They stood there looking intently in each- other’s eyes, like trying to read the other one’s mind; then Yoshiasu broke the silence.
-Fuyuki, would you like to stay with me? You’re leaving the hospital by the end of this week and I have plenty of place for both of us…You can stay as much as you want.
There was a moment of deep silence then came a trembling “Yes.”
-But why?! Why are you doing this for me?!-cried out suddenly Fuyuki. He jumped to his feet, turning up the chair and buried his face into his hands. Tears were running down his face as he shouted:
-I am nothing!!! I am damaged goods! Why?! Why would you do so much for me?!
Yoshiasu was taken aback by the amount of pain and angst pouring from the young man. He embraced him, holding him close and whispered:
-I’ve told you before: I don’t know, but you can help me find out. But I’m sure like hell that I don’t want to leave you alone.
Slowly Fuyuki’s hands held to Yoshiasu’s arms encircling his shoulders. They stood there embraced, watching the autumn unleash its horses of rain over the streets.