Memory 04 - I Don't Understand
by Midori Kou
It's such a mystery to me...
Takeru, the judge of innocence and evil...
And I, the once twisted, now spiritually lost...
We are the same?
Is it true? Is he like me?
I've never seen his behavior like mine.
Maybe I'm not seeing things clearly.
Maybe because I don't understand myself...
Does that mean he has similar issues as me?
Ken's body suddenly felt incredibly stiff by the notion of the thought. He could not believe it, maybe because to him, it does not feel correct. The feeling that his reality was off-kilter to begin with flustered him. What lies had he created for himself in order to continue to live? To withstand the fact there are people out there who hates him? To feel strong about himself...? Was it all out of instinct or fear? Shivering, he did not know what to expect from himself but utter vulnerability.
Here he was, present at this party for the blond teenager and yet, even among these people, he could not recognize anyone not even his friends... That's how pathetic he was. He no longer knew these people around him. They had grown up without his knowing and yet he remained the same, trying to win his parents' love by not failing them. That was all in the past. So why...? Why does he torture himself to go through this cycle one again? Why can he not move on and live without concerning himself based on other people's perspectives? Was it because it would lead him into a spirally vortex of solitude?
He did not want to suffer anymore, but it is he who was causing it. Only he was thinking this as Daisuke said. His best friend did advise him about this, but he did also say his heart was stronger than anything that can be told to him. It was true. He cannot fight the feelings drifting in his heart. They continued to devour him as he stayed longer in the Ishida residence. His nerves felt twisted and severed. He did not know what he was feeling. If only he could tell someone how he felt, but he did not know how to word them. Was he in pain? Was he happy? Was he severely depressed? For all he knew, he was simply confused.
Sighing, he stared at the soda bubbles fizzing out of his cup, each one disappearing as the coke gradually became flat. He felt senseless. Telling himself to forget these feelings did not control the situation but worsened it. These feelings roared in his body and soul, but he did not know how to satisfy them. He could only think about different scenarios and not one act upon. What a coward I am...
"Ichijouji-kun... Are you sure you're alright?" Hikari asked him, staring at his blank expression.
His body reacted to her sincere voice as his head shifted to look back at the brunette girl. Softly, he took in a deep breath, close his eyes to release his tenseness. Massaging his own shoulder, his amethyst eyes returned its focus back at the Styrofoam cup. "Please, Hikari-chan. I appreciate your concern, but I rather keep this to myself for the time."
His eyes twitched for her calm accepting response. Staring at her with curiosity, he questioned her use of words. "You do?"
"Of course, I do. Takeru-kun says the same thing from time to time when there's a lot of pressure on him, but he's too stubborn to tell anyone. He would say, 'It's nothing'..." Hikari mimicked the blond teenager's voice. "...And leave it at that. Even though I always leave him alone after he refuses to say anything, I personally can see he's going through much of his own problems. He's always helping others, but ignores the fact he needs help as well."
"So what Takeru-kun told me earlier was a lie...," he told himself aloud.
"What do you mean?" The brunette hair girl wondered. "What did he lied about?"
Taking another sip of coke, Ken blankly stared at the dining table, his eyes lowered. "He told me he wasn't stressed," Ken simply replied. "I wasn't sure that was true or not. If Daisuke can be stressed, I would have thought Takeru-kun could be too. But then again, his answer was too convincing since he is always happy."
"He's not..." The Bearer of Light calmly blurted out as she leaned her head onto her hand. "I believe he's not happy at all..."
Appalled, the dark hair boy felt like his soul backed away from her as he sat there with a surprise expression across his face. Her serious face made him fear what others possibly knew about him. If Takeru could be read like an open book, what chances others could do the same to him? Was the Bearer of Hope that obvious about his pain than he thought? If this girl before him could have seen it coming, why can't he? Why can't he see other people's suffering? Was he that blind about everyone because he is more concern about himself? It surprised him when he hear Daisuke explaining that he would not be able to survive on his own under such conditions. But then again, he had Hikari to help him endure the troubles of the world. The spiky hair boy had someone to rely on. Someone close to his heart... Someone who can understand him... Someone who knows how it feels...
As far as Ken knew, the only person out there who had gone through similar situations like himself was Takeru Takaishi, if the brunette girl's presumption was correct. If it was all out of spectral evidence, then there is no one. They could listen all they want, but they had not felt that his agony. They can never help him if they did not feel it once in their lifetime. To be looked upon as an ideal student... To become popular because your abilities were exposed... To be recognized because everyone created the false you... To have lived a lie that you and others had created... They can never see what it's like.
Wait a sec! Ken's mind cried out. I have been doing the same thing to Takeru-kun. I have only seen him as the carefree person others believe he is. But he's not like that! I have seen the other Takeru... The cold-hearted, yet tormented Takeru. Does Takeru-kun act happy for the same reasons I do? But what could he have been through to create a dark version of himself, more evil than my other identity - The Digimon Kaiser?
The Bearer of Kindness bit his lower lip as he continued to ponder deeply about the mysterious two-sided Takeru Takaishi. Why could someone of hope could be also of darkness? Is there a wrong that exists in one's faith? Sighing, Ken pushed his seat away from the table, grabbing Hikari's attention.
"The only way I can figure this all out is to talk to someone who had experience the same pain I had. Personally, I wouldn't have seen it, but now I'm starting to think it's all true - how we both suffer the same. I would have needed to talk to Takeru-kun for my answers..."
Takeru felt like he was suffocating by the spiky hair boy's presence. These questions... How they were pestering him and caused him to feel awfully barricaded. Why can't he run away from this? Why can't he be left alone? Why can't they stop worrying about him altogether? Nothing's wrong with me! His conscious screamed.
This was how he feels around one person. Imagine a crowd. Do they care? Do they truly look at him the same way he looks at himself? They call to him, but it does not mean anything. No, because they never knew him to begin with. They believe that they do, but in the end, they are really seeing a stranger among them. These feelings... He wished he could strip their essences out his soul and release his angst. Why does he allow himself to feel this way? Why does he force himself into a deeper lie? What reasons drove him to become this person falling into loneliness? The only thing he knew was that he could no longer comprehend his emotions anymore. If he can't understand them, why should he worry? Should he abandon his humanity to be free from his heart's mind games? If only it was that easy...
"Takaishi, what was that, just then?" a voice broke his train of thought. Realizing Daisuke was still in the room, his mind drifted back into reality.
"What do you mean?" he innocently asked.
The goggle boy's pupils dilated as his eyes grew furious with the blond teen's attempt of denying the existence of what he saw. His teeth clinched tightly as his fingers curled into fists. Does he think I'm that stupid to not see it? Did he convince himself that I can be easily fooled? Obviously, Takeru Takaishi... You have lost touch of the world. I'm more mature than you think!
Frustrated, he wished he could seriously knock some sense into him, even if he had to punch him senselessly. But he had to resist; it would haven't proven a point after all. Physical pain from a person like himself would not have a strong effect on his mind and heart. It had to come from someone close to him, a person he was not. Taking a deep breath, his shoulders lost their stiffness and became relaxed. Trying to remain calm, he focused his mind on the situation he wanted to complete.
"Takaishi, do you honestly think you can talk your way out of this? You pretty know damn well what I'm talking about," Daisuke swore.
"Stop playing around!" he voice rose. "What's up with the medicine?"
"I told you it's nothing."
"It's nothing... It's nothing...! It's nothing!" The spiky hair boy mocked. "Do you think I accept that kind of shit as an answer? It is something! If it wasn't, then you wouldn't be taking the stuff, now would you?"
The Bearer of Hope held his breath. Daisuke was clever to corner him with a question that had no scapegoat. It's true. If it was insignificant, he wouldn't need this medication. But he was taking it. There's no denying that. For what reason, the goggle boy did not know. The golden haired teen wanted to leave it that. He did not want to release anymore information about his life and his condition. But that was not the case. He perfectly knew that the hot-headed, goggle boy would investigate into him further. If only he could stop him... He did not need this type of treatment today. Not today... It was already bad enough.
"Look," Takeru finally said. "If you respect my privacy, then you would stop poking your head into places where it doesn't belong."
"Just leave me alone, alright?"
As the blond stood up, he flattened out the creases in the sheets, fixing Yamato's bed. Coldly, he walked passed the spiky hair boy and reached for the doorknob to make his escape. As he swung opened the door, there before him stood a short-hair boy with amethyst eyes returning his gaze. "Ichijouji-kun..." he uttered under his breath.
Blinking out of astonishment, Ken stood there, unable to move. His mind commanded him to step aside but his body did not process it. In the corner of his eyes, he noticed Daisuke was also in the room as stated by Hikari before he left. The Bearer of Light told him they were trying to unravel the pain they were hiding away from them. It was understandable why they would. Their suspensions gave them the right to. They were friends after all... Something truly evident today. They were trying so hard, and yet Hope and Kindness were both stubborn. Still, why would this boy hide away when they are here for him? He's here... Here away from everyone else... Ken thought. How come?
Clearing his throat, Daisuke gave a cheerful grin towards his best friend as he stood up, returning the chair back to its original location. Subtly chuckling, he excused himself and left the room. As he passed by the dark haired teenager, Daisuke told him "I'm leaving Takeru to you to find out what's going on with him... For Hikari's sake."
The Bearer of Kindness glanced it him by his sudden request, but at the moment, the spiky hair boy had left his side. His violet eyes followed the boy as he rejoined his love. The expression on his face... How it smiles and laughs... If only he could feel that way...
Returning his attention to the Bearer of Hope, Ken did not know how to react to him. It was the same feeling he had before they came to the party. His stomach was in knots and his throat felt like it lost all its moisture. He felt like he was going to cough or choke. It was a strange feeling. So many things were occurring to his body, but what did it all mean?
"Are you just going to stand there?" Takeru asked, shattering his concentration. He rested his right arm onto the doorway, leaning his head onto his hand. "You obviously were going to come in, weren't you?"
The short hair boy's eyes stared at the floor, resenting making any eye contact with him. Every time he does, the elusive feelings return. "Well, can I come in then?" he innocently wondered. Giving a restless sigh, the blond teenager nodded and they went into the bedroom together.
Takeru returned back to lying on the bed as the Bearer of Kindness sat on the other side. The sheets tucked under his legs as his back faced the golden haired teen. His hands gripped the sheets tightly as his nervousness increased as the silence grew. Finally, he was calmed as the Child of Hope finally uttered, "What's on your mind?"
The dark haired boy eyed him unconsciously, his heart throbbing hard under his chest. "Many things," he answered.
"Such as?" Takeru questioned as he rubbed his index finger over his eyes.
"Like..." His voice dragged. "Everything..."
"How can everything be troubling you?" The blond replied. "Surely you can't believe that."
Takeru's sapphire eyes widen to his response. He noticed his face grew pale once again as his expression felt lost and uncertain. The short haired boy's eyes felt lonely and distant. The blond breathed in deeply as he consumed his longing face. He wanted answers to his problems but had yet to find them very much like himself. Everything is troubling you, is it? I think you have it a lot better than some people. Like me...
"I'm sure Daisuke told you about my problems," Ken noted.
"Yeah... You believe that you're not capable to do anything because you're not strong enough. Is that right?" The Bearer of Hope muttered as he raised a brow.
"Do you truly believe that you are?" he asked with a concern tone.
"I do. I know I shouldn't, but I've been feeling like this for who knows how long!" Ken exclaimed as he shut his eyes, unable to tolerate the unknown.
"I think...," Takeru interrupted softly as his eyes lowered. "...it's not that you believe that you're not strong enough, but you are not sure of yourself. Your decisions... Your actions... And how people react to them... I think that is the reason why..."
Ken turned around, staring at the golden haired teen. His answer... It was not like what Daisuke or Hikari would tell him. It felt close to him, close to his life... Did he experience the same pain as him, exactly how the Bearer of Light told him? Did their lives share a strong connection after all? Do you know how I feel? Do you understand what I have been through? Tell me, Takeru... Tell me...
"Tell me something, Takeru-kun...," the dark haired male teenager replied.
"Why do you believe that may relate to me?" he subtly asked.
"You're definitely not weak, Ichijouji-kun," Takeru admitted. "But I certainly know that you doubted yourself in the past. You probably still do."
"Oh, is that so?" His amethyst eyes were shifty, trying to analyze his words.
"Yeah, that's it. What's with all the questions suddenly?" The blond wondered.
"It's nothing," Ken answered with a forced smile. The Bearer of Hope stared at his curved lips and how his eyebrows were scrunched, expressing an unsettling feeling. It was not right, he perfectly could see that. But he felt somewhat fearful to see this. It was like he was staring into his own reflection. That fake smile... He knew it very much. It was quite strange to see it before him.
"You're wrong...," he finally said in a stern voice as he sat up. "It is something. Why...? Why are you forcing yourself to not say anything? Don't you want to find a way out of your problems instead of living them?"
"I could ask you the same thing, Takeru Takaishi," Ken shot back, his face full of anger.
"You don't tell anybody about your problems as well!"
"This isn't about me right now...!"
"It is about you!"
Takeru held his breath. Apparently, it wasn't his day. Questions and accusations... Questions and accusations... They keep following him wherever he goes, no matter how much he wished to run away from it all. Did he have no privacy? Did others were so focus to find his flaws? Why can't they leave him alone and leave him be?
"Look, you're missing the point," the blond said.
"I'm not. As much as you want to ignore your issues, you do have them hanging over your head everyday as far as I know."
"What do you know?"
"Well, I perfectly know that you're not the happy-go-lucky boy that you're all cracked up to be."
The Bearer of Hope looked away, releasing an exhausted sigh. It was pointless to keep this up. He would deny it, then Ken would deny about his. The endless cycle that exists in their lives... Is there no end to it? "Believe what you want, Ichijouji but you are mistaken."
"Is that how it is? How can I expect you to help me or anyone else when they hide away themselves from me? Is everyone like this...? And to think...Yagami-chan told me that you and I were alike. What a joke...!" Ken's voice began to sound distorted as his throat tightened. His emotional battle for answers just gave him nothing to hope for. Was he alone in this after all? Was there nobody to help him through this? He wanted someone to be there, to listen and understand completely, not out of theories and faith.
He knew for a fact that his other friends had no business to give him advice. They hadn't experienced it. No, they only know about it and that's all. His level of suffering was beyond theirs. And there was Takeru Takaishi. To be fooled that he, of all people, know how it is... To know how cynical the world is... He could not understand.
His eyes began to be filled with tears, tears which he wanted to hold back. He couldn't control how he was feeling at the moment. The Bearer of Kindness felt as if an arrow pierced his heart and his essence was escaping out of him. Everything about him was all being blurted out to this boy beside him. "Why does everyone expect that I can do everything? I can't! I CAN'T!!!" his scornful voice screamed. "I'm no longer that prodigy from my past! Why can't they see that!?"
The dark haired boy tried to calm himself down, but he just wanted to release all his pain that he had held for years. Trembling, he just wanted to stop crying and leave the room immediately. He couldn't stand it. Why now? Why just he feel this way in front of Takeru?
Suddenly, he felt a shot of warmth wrapped over his hand. This warm touch made him feel relaxed, but he was shocked to see it was the Bearer of Hope who was doing so. His midnight blue eyes gazed back at him with concern. They had saw his sorrow and somewhat felt it as well. Ken's tears continued to fall but his voice could not cry out anymore.
At that moment, Takeru's arms wrapped around his body, softening his tenseness. His chest was against his back, reverse from before. He could feel his light breathing over his bare neck. It was nostalgic. The dark hair boy stared at him at the corner of his eyes as the angel's hand gently touched his chin. Leaning down, the blond kissed his tears, soothing his anguish soul. And the boy whispered to him: "I don't understand why either..."
END OF CHAPTER FOUR
Questions, questions and questions! Boy I really dragged this chapter. XD Anybody surprised about the last scene? ^o^ I had to throw that in to start moving the story along. (I mean after 4 chapters, it's still ONE day!) Damn soap operas killing my writing style. XD But is that a bad thing? ^^; Anyhoo I have much to talk about this chapter... Except that next chapter, Ken's questions about Angel-Boy's actions kicks in, which really troubles Takeru. XD Until next chapter, and remember to R & R.