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Chapter 6

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, October 30, 2016

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Pagbalik namin sa dorm ay agad na ikinuwento ni Akira ang nangyari kanina at ngayon ay ginamit niya pa ang inner voice para lang magkwento.

'Kanina, nakasalubong namin sina Hideo at Mitsuo. Tapos 'di ba parang laging aloof siya kay Naomi pero nagulat kami nung lumapit siya sa kanya. Tapos—'
'Stop it, Akira!' sigaw ko pero patuloy pa rin siyang nagkwento.
'Tapos—hahahaha! Sabi sa kanya ni Mitsuo, "please stop hitting me" tapos natulala lang si Naomi kanina at napasagot siya ng "okay" My gosh kung nakita mo lang 'yung itsura nila kanina! Nakakatawa talaga!'

I felt the embarrassment showing in my face so I immediately hid inside the bathroom. However, I can still hear Akira's voice and Akemi's laugh.

"Nakakatawa talaga! As in seryosong-seryoso 'yung expression ni Mitsuo eh. Ganito, oh. Please stop hitting me."

Umiling na lang ako at hinayaan siya sa pinaggagawa niya pero bigla kong naalala ang nakita ko sa isip ni Mitsuo. His image of killing people, smiling and covered with blood. I shuddered while remembering those thoughts.
Was that the real him? Was that the real him? The dark past he's trying to hide?
Hindi ko alam kung ilang minuto akong nagstay sa banyo pero paglabas ko ay nakatulog na agad si Akira. Even though she teased me nonstop a while ago, I smiled when I see her peaceful expression. Meeting with Koharu after a long time must have made her really happy.

"Hey," tawag ko kay Akemi at lumingon naman siya. "Do you know anything about Mitsuo before he became a student here?"
"Oh. You're interested," she said while smirking.
"A bit. He's . . . intriguing."

Naupo naman ako sa tabi niya at naghintay ako sa pwede niyang sabihin.

"Well, no'ng una ko siyang nakita ay galit kaagad ang expression niya. I think he doesn't want to be part of this school at first. Ayaw niya rin sa Atama family. Sa pagkakatanda ko, conceited ang ginamit niyang term. I think dahil lang yata sa Lolo or Lola niya kaya siya napilitang pumunta rito."

Napakunot naman ang noo ko sa narinig ko. I've seen one of his memories with an old man. That must be his grandfather. Sa pagkakatanda ko, hindi sila sa city nakatira dahil halos tuyo na ang lupa sa paligid at nag-iisang bahay lang ang nandoon. Hindi ko na maalala ang iba ko pang nakita dahil nakaramdam ako ng takot no'ng panahon na 'yon.
And a while ago, I saw another memory of him. Those piercing eyes and cold smile resembled Mitsuo's but I can't believe that that was him.
Napabuntong-hininga na lang ako at tuluyan nang humiga. Humugot ako ng libro sa drawer ko at napahinto ako no'ng nabasa ko ang title ng nakuha ko.

"An Emotion Called Love?" tanong ni Akemi na para bang nagtataka sa hawak kong libro.
"Ito ang nakuha ko sa drawer," sabay tingin ko sa lalagyanan ko ng mga libro. "Bought it last week."
"But why would you read that?"
"I don't know. Maybe to understand this complex thing?"
"Complex? Do you think love is a complex idea?"

I don't know if it's just me but I felt like there's a hint of judgement and anger in her tone.

"I still don't know. That's why I'm going to read it."
"You're just wasting your time," sabi niya at humiga na rin siya sa kama. "Love isn't something we need. It's just a hindrance."
"How about your family? I'm sure love is involved when it comes to family," mahina kong sabi at umikot siya para humarap sa akin.
"Especially with your family," sabay ngiti niya. "Family is just a responsibility. A duty that you will never escape. So don't mistake it with love."

Natahimik ako after that at tumalikod ulit siya sa akin. I hate to think about it, but I quite agree with her.
My parents died when I was young and I can't remember anything about them besides that dream that haunts me every night. I didn't experience nor remember the "parents' love" because the time we spent together was too short. Maybe the closest experience I could associate with love is my childhood, together with Hideo, Akira, Mayu and Michiko.
Bago pa ako tuluyang malunod sa mga iniisip ko ay binuksan ko na ang libro at nagsimulang magbasa.

***

"There are various neurochemicals that facilitate the factors involved in love, such as vasopressin, estrogen, testosterone, dopamine and oxytocin. These chemicals result to behavioral patterns of people who experience love like lust, attachment and attraction."

I was already on page 13 when I read that part and I was amazed because those chemicals can induce the emotion called love. The science part is interesting but I'm more excited to read the psychological interpretation of it.
Gusto ko pa sanang magbasa pero maaga pa ang klase namin bukas kaya naman sinara ko na ang libro at tuluyan nang natulog pero mababaw lang ang tulog ko dahil iniisip ko pa rin ang binasa ko. I'm not sure if that was part of my dream but I think Akemi sneaked out of our room again.

***

After ng class namin kay Sir Kyo ay dumiretso kami sa dorm. Pagkapasok namin sa room ay may kinuha si Akemi sa closet niya. Nagtinginan lang kami ni Akira no'ng nilabas niya ang dalawang libro na nakabalot sa itim na cloak at sinabi niyang kinuha niya 'yon sa restricted section. Halos manlaki naman ang mga mata ko sa narinig ko pero imbes na tulungan ako ni Akira ay sinuportahan niya pa ang ginawa ni Akemi. God, these girls can't even follow a single rule!
Dahil nakapag-decode na kami before ay mabilis naming nabasa ang first parts ng libro, pero hindi ko akalaing may malalaman kami roon.
Seventh Sense, huh? I didn't know that a skill like that exists and can be pulled off by a group of people. In addition, you can read the minds of people connected to you . . . without any restrictions. Somehow, it's a bit similar to my sixth sense, but of a higher degree.
Naudlot naman ang pagdedecode namin dahil sa isang case at no'ng nakasakay na kami kay Miyu ay kinuwento ni Akemi ang ginawa niya at ang pagkuha niya sa libro.

"Seventh sense, huh?" sabi ni Mitsuo. Napatingin naman ako sa kanya dahil magkatabi kami pero agad akong napaiwas no'ng tumingin din siya. When I saw his face, that scenario flashed inside my head. I calmed myself to avoid unneccessary attention and I don't want that guy to notice my restlessness.
'What's wrong?' Crap. He noticed it. That's Hideo for you.
'Nothing,' sabi ko naman. 'Kulang lang ako sa tulog.'
'Are you sure? Something's not—'
'I am. And how about you? You have terrible bags under your eyes.' Saglit siyang natahimik.
'I was monitoring someone.'
'Akemi, isn't it?' I asked.
'Yeah. That girl keeps on going out when no one's around. She's up to something.'
'I noticed that, too. I'm also observing her but it seems like she can stay awake far longer than me.'

Napatingin ako kay Akemi at nakatingin naman siya sa labas, na nakaproject sa gilid ni Miyu. Nang makarating kami sa crime scene ay agad kaming lumabas at nangalap ng clues.
After some time ay dumating ang suspects at isa-isa naming nasolve ang nangyari. The victim was found dead in her bathtub and her relationship with the suspects complicated things. But when we solved the crime, I suddenly felt sad.
Catherine, the victim loved one of the suspects, Francis. However, Catherine's sister, Carla who was also a suspect, was Francis' girlfriend. After reading that book yesterday, I can somehow understand their point of views.

"She killed herself . . . maybe because she can't take the pain anymore," sabi ko pagkatapos sabihin ni Akemi ang nangyari. "She wants to frame you," sabay tingin ko kay Carla, "siguro dahil kay Francis. Mas una silang nagkakilala pero ikaw ang minahal niya. Alam mong mahal siya ng kapatid mo dati pa pero kayo pa rin ang nagkatuluyan."

Natahimik sila pagkatapos kong sabihin 'yon at tuluyan nang umiyak si Carla. Hindi ko rin akalaing lalabas sa bibig ko ang mga salitang 'yon.
Almost all the cases we solved were caused by the murderer's anger, revenge or grief. Maybe I just didn't understand love before and underestimated it as a motive for a crime. Maybe the anger felt by the killer was triggered by his or her love for someone or something. Bigla kong naalala ang isang linya sa librong binasa ko kagabi.

"Love is dangerous, and is just next door to death."

Pagkatapos ng case na 'yon ay balak ko sanang ipagpatuloy ang librong binabasa ko pero biglang may nangyaring hindi inaasahan.

"Three Shinigamis, One Custos, detected."

Pinaubaya namin sa Senshin Police ang case at agad kaming pumunta sa tinurong lugar ni Miyu. Naghiwa-hiwalay kami para mapalibutan namin sila at sa hindi inaasahang pagkakataon ay napunta kami sa iisang lugar ni Mitsuo. Pagtingin ko sa kanya ay seryoso siyang nakatingin sa paligid habang hawak ang dalawang baril. I, too, readied my fan in case attacks came to us.

"Be careful. Shinigamis are not easy to deal with," sabi ko dahil hindi ko alam kung naka-encounter na ba siya ng Shinigamis.
"I know. I've met some before. But you know what? Sinful Senshins are harder to handle than them." Kumunot ang noo ko sa narinig ko sa kanya.
"What do you mean!" Hindi ko na natapos ang tanong ko dahil bigla niya akong hinatak palapit sa kanya. Doon ko lang narealize na nagbabagsakan na pala ang debris ng building sa harapan namin dahil mukhang doon galing ang Shinigamis at Custos.

His face was too close to mine and I froze when he smirked.

"Seems like you're the one who isn't careful," he said and my hand landed on his left cheek.

Binitiwan niya ako at agad akong lumayo sa kanya. Bigla naman akong na-guilty dahil sa lakas ng sampal ko pero nawala 'yon no'ng tumingin siya sa akin habang nakangiti.

"You said you will stop hitting me. You broke a promise."
"I didn't promise anything. I just said okay."

Pagkatapos no'n ay nagkaroon ng tension sa pagitan naming dalawa pero isinantabi ko 'yon nang may maramdaman akong presence sa paligid. Two of them, and they are strong.

"They're here," he said while looking above.
"I know."

As if on cue, two persons wearing black capes jumped off the collapsing building, their weapons aimed at us.

"It's been a long time since I fought seriously," mahinang sabi ni Mitsuo. "Time to devour the enemies."

Suddenly, Mitsuo's expression changed and pointed his guns at those Shinigamis. With his sinister smile and malicious eyes, he started to attack.


***