by Ardi Sastrawan


Tomino was a weirdo. Everything that loved him was ended tragically. Even the grass which he stepped on would be withered and dead. This was the day when the world felt upside down. When the most adored things became the most hated things.

On the last five days, the rain always fell in Yamanashi Prefecture. It was early in the morning when Tomino was in hurry. He didn't have much time to prepare. Then, with untidy appearances he rode his bicycle on the rainy day. Pools were everywhere. It flooded the holes along the road. Suddenly, a car came from the back. It passed a pool near him. He was startled and fell from his bicycle. It made him wet. He was looking for his fallen glasses then checking up his bag. He didn't care of himself. When he knew that his letter was still in a good shape, he felt blessed. Afterward, he continued to go to school.

The bell was ringing. He arrived on time. As usual, he put the letter at Misaos locker before he entered the class. If it was not a letter that he wrote below the glow of the moon, maybe it was a himawari from neighbors garden, or a stolen chocolate because Tomino was the unfortunate one.

Tomino Kurayami was born without a father because his mother was a prostitute. Then, when he was five, he lost his mother in front of his eyes because of a suicide. He grew up with a policewoman, Hisui, that investigate his mothers case. She adopted him. But, at the age of eight, he lost her because of a shot from a bank robber.

Later, he grew up in an orphanage at Minamitsuru. He did not like to have a conversation with others. He preferred to lock down himself and looked out to a river from the windowsill rather than socialized with another kid. Looking at the dancing birds in the sky, noticing the tricky clouds tried to catch each other, and watching the rain kissed the grass were his favorite. Besides, he was great in completing crossword and scrabble. He knew that one day he had to leave that place and arranged his own life. Stand up for what he believes in, even if that means standing alone.

Currently, he was a bookworm of the third-year student at Fujikawaguchiko High School, one of an elite high school in Yamanashi. He didn't have friends because everyone assumed that he was weird from head to toes. But, he did not take much notice about it. The only one who cared about him was the principal. He was the one who gave Tomino a scholarship.

He had a great interest on Misao, a cheerleader with long black hair, oval face, and charming smile. Every moment, he stole a glance from the key-hole of her class. Sometimes, he peeked her when she practiced from the sport venues window. Or if he was lucky, he could see her reading from the book selves space. Those were more than enough for him.

These all were started from the 8th Festival of Hanabi event last year. At that time, the sky was full of beautiful fireworks. The sound of fireworks was thundering the night. People were wearing yukata and laughing while celebrating the event. But, it was not that good for Tomino. Every time he heard the explosion sound, it reminded him about his foster mother, Hisui. He was sitting below a big branch of a fragile tree. His body was trembling. He closed his ears while crying. But then, a girl noticed it and came closer to him. She was Misao. Her soft voice amazed him. It was the first time he felt self-composed when he heard a girls voice. He suddenly stopped crying.

After several minutes of little talk, she offered to take him back home. Tominos face was redden, but he refused it. Along the way home he was always smiling and laughing for what had happened. He could not sleep. Even when he turned off the lamp and hugged his favorite doll, his eyes still opened and glowed in the dark.

From that moment, Tomino always woke up early everyday just to make sure that Misao was not yet arrived. So, he could put gifts in her locker on the sly. Every time he opened her locker, his gifts was nothing left. He assumed that Misao liked it and she brought it home.

He was always thinking about her. Finding out what she like, her interest, and anything about her. He was always writing a letter, sending a flower, or putting chocolate in her locker. But, he never put his name on it. He knew that if he put his name, she would not bring the gifts from weird person to home.

He liked to follow Misao. To the garden, library, canteen, hall, and every place where he could steal a glance of her. When he looked at her face even though from a far spot, his face was turning red as if their first meeting. He was smiling and chuckling every time he saw her. That was why everyone assumed that he was weird and did not want to be around him.

Tomino wanted to talk with her, but he was too timid to do it. He knew who he was. He just a boy of a broken family, a poor kid, and a bookworm, a weirdo. Different from her who was an idol and a great dancer. But, he was grateful with that condition. Loving in silence. Besides, he knew that Misao already had a boyfriend, Tobu. But, he did not care about it. He just cared with her. He just wanted to see her in smile. Like the first time they met.

One day, Tobu knew what he had done. He was looking for Tomino with his gang around the school, but he found nothing. He blew ones top. Unexpectedly, he met with him at the school garden. He was sitting on the bench while looking at the clouds. His eyes redden and immediately carried a broom stick next to him. He approached him hurriedly. Hardly smashed, the broom stick knocked him right on the left-arm. His gang was punching him continuously. His t-shirt was torn. His eye-glasses was crannied. His book was lacerated. Blood streamed out from his nose. He was lying on the ground sub-consciously while groaning.

The students near him were hysterical. They were boisterous. Then, the news was heard by Misao. She was looking for him hastily. He approached a large crowd of students at the garden. He found Tomino was treated by the principal. His face was black and blue. She was really sorry for that and promised that she would force him to do apologize. She was swimming in tears. Her palm was holding him for a while and then leaving him.

His day was turning from dark to light, from cloudy to sunny, from withered to bloomy. His heart was beating fast and his hand was trembling. He could not believe what just happened. He was grateful for her boyfriends anger because he could feel the tender of her hand. Then, he suddenly unconscious.

Three days later, the Farewell party was coming. Every student was invited to join it. Tomino was confused. He knew that it would be full of people, but on the other side, Misao would be in a good-looking when attended it. Just for this moment, he would try to be brave enough to come and talk to her. This would be an unforgettable day for him.

Then, he wore his best fashion, not very well, but enough for him. Just for this time, he did not use his glasses. He was well-dressed. To make her fascinated, he broke his moneybox and used it to buy a well-bouquet of himawari. The time was coming. He entered the hall, but then he stopped for a moment. He changed his mind and decided to go to the backstage because he knew that Misao was there preparing herself for a dance performance.

When he peeked from the curtains hollow, he saw her talking with someone. He was not surprised because he was talking with Tobu. They looked like talking a serious thing. She looked like holding a familiar thing while explaining. It looked like Tominos sweet letter. Then, he was overheard about something he should not know.

Misao explained about the gifts which always existed inside her locker. She explained that she did not know the sender. She also explained that she never kept it and always threw them to the trash bag. None of them were precious for her. Then, they were hugging each other.

Tomino did not believe what he was heard and saw. The world felt upside down. He got a headache accidentally. He dropped his bouquet and went to the rest room. The curtain was moved as though summoned by waving the hand to him who was resentful.

He locked down himself in the rest room. People was knocking the door, but then they left it because the door was locked up and no sound was coming out. Tomino still could not believe it. It was out of his expectation. Her soft voice and tender hand were momentarily to be the most hated things. He thought that Misao just pretended to be good to him.

He was sobbing. He could not stop the tears falling. But then, abruptly he smiled. His eyes were wide open and redden. They moved quickly, randomly to everywhere. He was smiling and chuckling. He scratched his neck and forehead. The blood was coming out from the scratch. It was not itchy, but it was the blood of poignancy. Later, he came out slowly while using a mask which he bought on the 8th Festival of Hanabi event.

There was an emergency axe hanging on the wall. He took it and hid it behind his back. He was still chuckling while passing the corridor. Thereafter, he turned off the power supply. The entire school became dark. One of the Tobus friend, Tenma, notice it and held him up. Tomino was chuckling. Then, he said, Farewell my friend. The axe was strongly swung to Tenma. The Farewell party had just begun.

He entered the hall. Students were confused for what just happened. Everyone became blind, no one could see. Only the darkness could see them. The teachers were going to the power supply, but the door was locked. Tomino was whistling. Everyone kept quiet for a moment. He revealed from the dark. When the moon gleamed on him, everyone saw him with the axe. He swung the axe while whistling. Many students were stricken. Blood was streamed and splattered. The floors became slippery. The situation was messy. Students were screaming out loud. They were hysterical. No one could get out. The axe licked the blood abusively.

Tomino swung the axe while calling Misao. He heard her soft voice in fear. He knew where she was. He was going to the backstage and gotcha! She was trembling while screaming at the corner of make up room. He suddenly took a plastic bag and covered her head with it. He kidnapped her and went out from the back window.

She was screaming, but no one heard. He carried her far away from the school. He carried her to the cottage at the Aokigahara forest. It was Tominos favorite place. He took her inside the cottage and locked her in a room.

She was still screaming and crying. He turned on the nebulous lamp. She did not have much energy to scream aloud anymore. He tied her hands to a table with a shabby rope. She was begging. Then, he opened the plastic bag.

She was really surprised to see a lot of her photographs hanging on the wall with the handwriting of love words. She realized that this all were the lost photos from her locker. She was frightened and confused at the same time. She did not understand. Her body was covered by scratch and her dress was torn because of branches.

Tomino told how much he was loving her while putting his axe. He explained that she was the only one who could make him blithe. But, Misao was too frightened to understand it and still begging. He became indignant and throw away a chair. She was quiet suddenly.

He started to tell the story of the Hanabi event last year. Told about the sky which full of beautiful fireworks. Told about the sound of fireworks which was thundering the night and people which were wearing yukata. He told how trembling his body at that night. Told that a girl made him calm from tears by her soft voice.

Then, he started to tell the day when he was black and blue. Told that a girl was swimming in tears because of him. Told about a tender palm which was holding him for a while. He told those all unforgettable moments. But, in this day, the same person ruined them all. Just for a moment, everything changed. Everything annihilated.

Misao than remembered something, but she was still unsure about it. She asked him to open the mask, but he refused. Out of the blue, he cut the rope and let her hands free. He was bowed. He let her leave the cottage. He did apologize for what he had done.

Misao was still curious with him. He told that he had a broken life. He felt that he was not supposed to be here, in this world. Every person, everything that loved him was ended tragically. Even the grass which he stepped on would be withered and dead. Misao kept coming closer to him while hearing his story. Her hand tried to reach his mask slowly.

He held her hand suddenly. She was startled, but then he freed it and let her do it. How shocked she was when she knew that the man behind the mask was Tomino. She could not believe it. She stood still like a statue for a moment while trying to figure out what was happened. Afterward, she realized something. Everything made sense. He knew that the gifts which were always existed inside her locker were from him.

Tomino started out to cry. He cried like a kid. Misao hugged him to calm him. He told that this day was the same day when they met for the first time. The day when these all started. The day when he felt the first love.

Out of the blue, Tomino changed his mind. He held Misaos hands. She was shocked and tried to escape, but she could not. He tied her hands and dragged her out of the cottage. She was screaming out loud, but nobody heard. He tied her body on a stem and looked for another rope. He set the rope and a tree. It looked like a gallows tree. She screamed louder than before.

When he finished it, he took Misao and put her head into the gallows. Tomino explained that this forest was the best place to take a rest from this cruel world. He did not want anyone bothering or disturbing them. Tonight, peace would be come to them. He told that he belonged to her and she belonged to him. She was his only love. The first and the last. She would not die alone. Therefore, Tomino also put his head into another gallows.

Misao tried to tell him to stop these all, but Tomino did not care. He told that the time would be at midnight shortly and the Hanabi event would be started. Misao gave in. He held her hand tightly. They closed their eyes. From the distance, the curfew of cop cars was heard. It came closer.

Thereafter, the time showed that it was already midnight. The Hanabi event was started. The sound of fireworks was heard as long as the cops arrived at the cottage. But, they were late. Tomino and Misao were hanging and swinging by the cruel life of love. The cops discovered something. Below their body, there was a last letter which Tomino wrote when he was in the rest room.

Love may not guarantee happiness ever after

Even if you may not read this

I have to recognize that you are the first one to make me see life in different colors

-Tomino Kurayami-

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