The Tree that once Bloomed

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The wind had always had something to do with my memory loss. 

It always made me think about the times which I cherished. 

I never knew what time had made me do. It had always not been on my side. Never failed to realise what wrongdoing I have done. I always thought of being an older sister. But Kumihino had replaced me. It was like I had been replaced and I was no longer needed. Mum loved Kumihino. Did she love me? Was she really a loving mother? I hated it all. It never made sense, why was the wind scolding me? I imagined the time where we were in a park and there were cherry blossoms. Mother and I had talked for the most time. Because it was the longest time talking with her, I always thought of her as a nice woman. I did not listen to her. I just looked at her. I wished the moment would not end. My most cherished memory was disappearing. I always thought of my mother, but would she think of me? Mother’s face had disappeared. It was all unclear. Who was she? Why had time chosen to kill me slowly? I would rather die painfully but, quickly. 

That tree was turning its head at me. No one cared. I was a nobody. Why was my sister somebody? Memories of her were limited. I felt like the world had blown me away like a useless plastic bag. We talked for what seemed like hours, it wasn’t clear but it seemed as if she looked dull and not herself. Did we talk about adoption? Giving someone away? I felt blithe and deaf.  The day after my mother and I had talked for a long time, I awoke to a man who I did not recognise. I had looked in my room and my clothes were still there. I immediately left my room to see my mother. Of course, nobody was there. I had packed my clothes in my suitcase and left. Of course, I had a lot of questions. 

Who was that man? Why was he the one who kicked me out of our house? Mother’s words soon became a little more clear. “Darling, I don’t want you, I want to leave you. No more questions” She whipped at my face. I was the foolish one for not listening.

The nights were cold, and they were busy. I never failed to realise how dumb and useless I was… I was left for my horrible traits and useless body. I had made everything upset me. It was all my fault. 

I had been crying in an alleyway, without food and water. People would walk by and stare at me and some would worry about me. Some even gave me food. Some people would kick me around and steal my jewellery. I only had a coin which said 1000 yen. It was enough to buy a small snack, but I wasn’t hungry. One old man approached and asked if I wanted some food, he was a very kind man who was single and lived alone. He soon was allowed to borrow his dead grandchildren’s clothes. I had tried some on and had found clothes which perfectly fit on. I found a warm pink jumper and a cute checkered skirt. I also found some round thin golden metal glasses as I did a self-checkup on my eye because mum didn’t care about my health. It felt weird to wear someone else’s clothes but it felt as if it was meant to be for me, it fit perfectly and was my style. He looked at me and smiled, his warm smile had filled my heart. It was different from my mother’s smile. I had never understood why he was helping me but, soon it became clear he was looking for a replacement for his dead grandchildren. He had looked after me so he did not feel lonely. He had gone to the shopping market to buy some food. I looked around his house and saw some pictures… 

I felt bad for him so I played along. He was deaf. When his grandchildren were in a fire he couldn’t hear the phone ring, no relatives would pay for such expensive surgery. He wouldn’t know he could have saved them. I helped with cooking and with the groceries. Sometimes he would teach me to play the keyboard. He could not hear it, which was good. I would combine my bad skills of singing and playing the piano, and soon I got better at playing and singing. He missed his grandchildren and I felt terrible. What had happened?

One day when I had come back from the grocery market I could not find him. He had to be somewhere. I drastically looked around the house to find him not breathing next to some spilled pills. “Dementia pills only take two pills with water to ease it slowly and smoothly down.” He could not die, not while I had a chance to save him. There was no phone in the house. I called out for help. I kneeled at everyone’s feet and begged to help.  

They would look at me crazy. “Go away! Scarm!” It was the words coming from an inhumane person. I rushed back to him. He was whispering into my ear “You can keep the house safe for me? Right?” No way was I just gonna give up. I dashed to the grocery lady, who I had become friends with. There was another lady who looked scary and strong. But, I couldn’t miss a chance to save him. He was like a father to me. 

I was looking at everyone, I knew none of the people there would help me but I would do anything for Hazuniko. He was the man who looked at me like I was actually somebody. I was kicked and stamped on. I had bruises all over, but it was not over. 

A young college student looked at me on the floor getting kicked. His face was a woman’s dream. However, the face was too familiar as if he was someone that must be important in my life. There are things in life like that just knowing you are destined. He looked emotionless and empty. He was soon leaving. I was crying and on the floor bruised. The police soon entered and arrested me. The people who had kicked me had looked innocent and walked away. The police asked the cash register lady if they had a camera in the shop. But, since it was only a small shop it did not make enough money to buy a camera. The people nearby were questioned and sent to the police station for hitting me. 

Hazuniko was dying. I needed help but everyone just continued to work, even the chief police who did not have work and pretended to talk to the other officers. 

I was in jail. Poor Hazuniko was left in his room dying. The police were continuing to question me. I asked one of the police officers why I was in jail, he answered with something so absurd. He said “You are the suspect for Hazuniko’s death” He stuttered but then continued to question me. I refused to eat the food there. Since I said nothing to the police they had no choice but to put the blame on me. I even had one of the cell numbers on my jail clothes. I was to blame for Hazuniko’s death so I didn’t say anything except “I killed Hazuniko”. I was in jail for 7 years. I had grown up to a skinny girl who had killed an innocent man. After a while I did eat the food, because I thought Hazuniko wanted me to stay healthy and keep the place safe. Only I knew the truth about the truth of Hazuniko’s death. Did someone stage me and pretend to the police they witnessed it all? 

But, it popped up in my head, what about the Sundaski University kid who had walked by? The one who witnessed the truth of how Hazuniko really died. The shirt, the black suit and an evil smile. He was in fact the kid that had kicked me! Why was he lying? What did he want from me? I looked out the window to find a small mammal with a key around its body, I tried to reach it but it just seemed impossible. I just looked at it, I was so close. Suddenly some person came walking near my fingers. I assumed it was a guard so I got a stick and pushed the animal away, but before I could put my hand away from it, it stepped on my hand. I had to be silent so they couldn’t hear my scream of pain. 

It hurt bad but all I could was hold the pain in. Hazuniko was dead and he was in more pain than me, the thought of his death pained my heart. I begin pouring my heart out and crying. Of course, the voice heard my cries. Then he speaks to me as if he knows me. “How dare a woman like you cry while my father has died from your fate?” I did not understand why he was yelling at me, why his feet looked familiar from somewhere. 

Judging by the way he was dressed, he was a guard. My whole life I have never known any guards. He sounded and looked familiar. His voice, his hair, his perfectly beautiful face. NO HE IS THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD I WILL HATE HIM EVEN WHEN THE PRESIDENT WILL LOVE HIM. WHY WOULD HE LIE? Why did destiny draw us together?

 

These stories were written in our Factory Feedback program, which was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.