“ He’s right in here, Mr. Tachibana.”
Makoto entered the bright hospital room that the nurse had so kindly directed him to. Makoto thanked the woman; ‘thank you’ being the easiest thing he has had to say this entire trip considering his English skills were subpar at best.
Makoto had received a phone call from Rin, who told him that Haru had been in a terrible accident and was in the hospital. Upon hearing the news, Makoto dropped everything and got on the first flight to Australia. Once he arrived, Rin told him that he would meet him at the hospital after practice. However, when Makoto got to the hospital, he was nowhere near prepared to be led to the coma ward.
“I came to visit, Haru-chan,” Makoto said as he slowly and cautiously walked toward the bed his best friend lie in. He was waiting for Haru to tell him to ‘drop the –chan’, but was left with silence. Makoto looked down at Haru’s unconscious figure, his lips forming into a soft smile. “You never were big on talking,” he said.
And as he expected, Haru did not reply.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to get here,” Makoto apologized. “It’s a lot harder to get a last minute flight than I thought.”
Makoto continued to smile even though he received no response from Haru.
“Tokyo has been great, but you probably wouldn’t like it. Too many people,” Makoto continued. “University is hard, but I’m managing.”
“Rin said he’d be by to visit after practice. I’m going to be staying with him until you get better.”
“You’ll probably scold me for hugging you and calling you Haru-chan when you wake up,” Makoto said with a light-hearted laugh.
“But I won’t be able to help it like that one time in middle school.”
“Speaking of which, Ren and Ran are almost finished middle school.”
“They are going to be starting high school soon. They’re going to the same school we went to. They’re excited. They want to join the swim team like we did.”
“They miss you a lot. They can’t wait for you to come home to Japan to see them.”
“I’ve missed you a lot too.”
“I still miss you a lot… Even with you lying right in front of me…”
“You know, I once read somewhere that coma patients can hear what people are saying to them. Is that true? Can you hear me?”
Finally, Makoto’s smile disappeared. He sat down in the chair next to the bed and sunk his head into his palms. “Who am I kidding?” he said in defeat.
Small puddles began forming in the palms of Makoto’s hands and overflowing tears trickled down his arms. Makoto sat in the chair beside the bed crying for somewhere close to an hour, even though he felt as if time stopped.
Finally, he pulled himself together enough to speak again. “Please Haru…” Makoto said in between sniffles. “You need to wake up.”
“I need you to wake up.”
“I need you.”
“You can’t leave me now. There’s still so much I need to tell you. Things I should have said a long time ago.”
“I was too afraid to tell you before, but now you might never hear it,” Makoto said with a sob.
“I love you, Haru-chan. I’ve loved you for so long, but I was never brave enough to tell you.”
“I love you so much and now you’ll never know the truth.”
“And I’ll never know if you loved me.”
“If you wake up, I’ll tell you and I’ll stay here with you. Or you can come live with me in Tokyo.”
“I can’t lose you too…”
Makoto entire body jumped when he felt a hand placed on his shoulder. He turned around to see Rin, tears streaming down his face.
“Rin… how long were you…?” Makoto asked.
“He knew,” Rin replied with a sniffle.
“Haru knew you loved him,” Rin clarified.
Makoto covered his mouth and sniffled as he looked at Haru again.
“And he loved you too,” Rin added.
Makoto look back up a Rin with wide eyes. “What?”
“He always rejected dates and told people he loved someone back at home,” Rin explained. “He would tell me how much he missed you.”
Seeing Makoto’s expression made Rin’s heart break. It was not a look of happiness upon learning that the man he loves loved him back, but rather a look of regret for not confessing said love sooner.
“He wanted to go home to see you again,” Rin continued. “He wanted to go to Tokyo with you.”
Rin’s words made Makoto cry again, but Rin gave him his time. After Makoto settled down again, Rin put a hand on each of Makoto’s shoulders.
“Come on,” Rin said. “Let’s go get dinner. We’ll visit again later.”
“But what if he wakes up?” Makoto asked.
“Don’t worry. The hospital will call me when he does,” Rin assured.
Makoto stood and told Haru he would see him later. However, Rin knew that there was most likely not going to be a later. Before Rin entered the room, he had been told that the chances of Haru waking up again were slim, but he did not have the heart to tell Makoto that; not yet. Once he was sure Makoto was out of the room, Rin spoke a brief goodbye.
“Rest easy, Haru.”