Fuyuki woke up late that day. The sun was already high in the sky when he emerged from the dark waters of dreams. He felt dizzy; his head was heavy and he had a foul taste in his mouth. The worst of it was, that despite all efforts, he couldn’t remember anything of the previous evening.
He decided to chill and to take things slowly so the first thing was to carefully descend from bed. Oddly enough, his whole body was aching. For a moment, he almost fell to his knees. He felt feverish on the inside and the strong daylight pained his senses. He stopped for a moment, took a deep breath, then made his way to the shower.
The steady flow of water eased his pains and helped him regain control over his body. He made some disturbing discoveries in the shower; there was a pink, sore spot on his left upper arm and a purplish larger spot on his neck, right under his earlobe. Yet, his memory was blocked, like somebody has hit the “delete” button.
Yoshiasu was due to come home only Friday and today was/ probably/ Wednesday. Fuyuki left the shower and dressed up. He went to the kitchen and took some salad from the refrigerator, made some toast and a strong, hot coffee to clear his mind. He wasn’t at ease at all; he felt sick and he was alone. He pushed the button on the TV set and let the noise fill the surroundings. He took his cell phone and left a message for Yoshiasu. He was missing him.
Fuyuki eat a little although the food tasted like cardboard in his mouth; he took the mug of coffee and sat on the top of a high chair hoping to clear his mind. Nothing useful came to him so he decided to look into his clothes from the previous day. He found his organizer and remembered that till half past eight he had been at the exhibition hall along with the other four artists. He also found his car keys but he couldn’t remember driving home. As he was trying to fill in the missing moments the doorbell rang and a male voice announced that he had a delivery. Fuyuki opened the door and let the young man in. He was close to his age and was carrying a middle sized box wrapped up in expensive paper.
The name of the sender was unfamiliar but he took the parcel anyway; he didn’t want to create problems for the young guy. He signed for it and gave a generous tip. On a spur of a moment Fuyuki asked the guy if he would like to have a coffee until he looks into the package. Fuyuki felt the need of a living soul next to him; probably the delivery guy sensed something or it was just the shade of fatigue showing in Fuyuki’s violet-blue eyes, but he decided to take the offer. They both sat around the table and Fuyuki unwrapped the parcel: it contained a bottle of very expensive champagne, an equally expensive box of chocolate and an unmarked envelope. Fuyuki took out the envelope and his heart sank; he had a bad feeling about its content.
Giving a small smile to his guest, he stood up and went to the window to look to the content; there were only two items inside- a photo and a white card with only a few words in handwriting: “ You are even more beautiful at a closer look. Thank you.”
Fuyuki felt sick; he didn’t have to look at the photo; he knew exactly what it was. He stood up pale like a sheet of paper and shaking from inside. He took a deep breath and handed the box to the young man.
-Take it, please; it’s yours- he said in a coarse voice.
The delivery guy looked up in surprise.
-But Mr. Tanaka…I can’t…this is very expensive.
-Please…-whispered Fuyuki. Do me this favor. Thank you.
He let the man out; the guy turned to him and asked in a worried voice:
-Are you OK? Do you want me to call a doctor? You’re very pale…
-No, thanks; I can manage-said Fuyuki.
As the puzzled man left with the expensive gift, Fuyuki sat on the bed. He took out his phone and left another message to Yoshiasu. This time it was an urging one: “Come home, please!”