Preface of the end

The cold morning wind swung the barred gate from side to side.

The Nakano house was the only one with that noisy little gate. Not by choice, a bigger gate cost too much, and at the moment, the Nakano family was in a difficult situation.

- See you later, brother! - The girl nodded with a smile. 

- Take care! - The other, a few centimeters taller, also nodded.

- Go carefully, not that I mind... Stop looking at me like that! - The last one, the smallest of the three, tried to wave, but blushed immediately, lowered her hand and ran into the house.

- No need to worry, big brother here can take care of himself!

The boy, who returned the nods energetically, was Kurone Nakano, an ordinary young Japanese medical school student who was about six blocks from the house with a cheap gate.

Because he had an absent father, Kurone had to take on the role of helping his mother care for his three younger sisters, who currently had the ages, by descending scale of: 13, 12 and 11 years old.

Despite the difficulties, he was always overprotective and never stopped taking care of his sisters, even going so far as to fight three bullies who made Raika, the eldest, cry while playing in the park.

Even though he was beaten like a punching bag, he fought the trio of offenders until one of the neighbors helped him. At no time, the thirteen-year-old never let go of his sister's hand - not even caring about his nose, which had been destroyed and was gushing blood incessantly.

These memories, from when he was younger, replayed in the boy's mind as he walked to college.

He never forgave those delinquents, even now, seven years after the incident.

Birds flew back and forth, warming themselves in the lighthouse that constantly alternated between red, yellow and green. It was a week into winter and snow clusters could still be seen on the street.

"I wonder what happened to those three..."

As usual, Kurone was crossing the street without the slightest concern to look both ways. He was lost in thought. He only realized what he had done minutes later, when he was halfway across the crosswalk.

It was too late to turn back. The light was red even before he crossed the street. Nostalgic thoughts blinded him and he didn't see the approaching truck.

A honk of the horn amidst the silence made cold sweat run down Kurone Nakano's spine. He had no reaction. He didn't even try to swerve; his body knew it was useless and refused to move. It was close. So close that any attempt would be in vain...

If only he had realized minutes earlier, he could still dodge the vehicle.

The brain refused to see the accident through to the end: it did not want to receive into the nervous system the pain of having the bones of the body break one after the other on impact.

The inattentive young man blacked out seconds before he was hit by a car. When he regained consciousness again, he was on the cold ground, seeing red liquid pouring out of his body in abundance.

He tried to scream, but his vocal cords would not obey.

At that moment, only his spirit refused to give up, his body had no more warmth - the cold post-winter floor had robbed him of it. 

All the connection he still had with this world was his hearing picking up an unbearable noise and the blurred vision gradually fading. He lost his sense of touch. He could no longer feel the icy ground that was slowly warming with his blood. He also could no longer smell the unpleasant smell of iron coming from the blood that flooded the floor.

His hearing buzzed unrelentingly. He could hear the heavy footsteps of the paramedics and the curious neighbors approaching the cold body of the student who refused to give up his life.

He didn't want to abandon them like his father did.

Kurone knew that if he went now, they would cry. His three sisters, Raika, Rim and Eriko, who saw him as a father figure, could not bear to know that their precious brother had left them forever because of his own lack of attention.

Yes, he was aware of this. This only happened because of his carelessness, even after telling his sisters that he knew how to take care of himself just a short time ago. Even after promising Miss Kanade that he would be more attentive.

"Please... I promise to be more careful... Next time..." 

She needed to survive. Her mother alone could not raise the three of them alone, she needed Kurone's help, and he, his sisters.

He wanted to see them grow up. He wanted to see them graduate. He wanted to be a caring uncle to his nephews - as much as he disliked the idea of seeing his sisters married.

Of course, he would not allow anyone to get close to his dear sisters. He wished to stay alive to watch his sisters grow and help them when necessary. He longed for a future in which everyone would be happy together. He could even see his father - that rascal - sitting in the chair that was usually empty at the family dinner on Sunday night.

"It's no use. You are already dead. If you continue to resist your soul will be trapped forever on this plane."

A voice echoed in the young man's head, causing his last strength to go.

At that moment, Kurone Nakano was definitely dead.

Previous Chapter
Next Chapter