I can’t explain we’re in this mess either. It just happened. My story is odd. Or rather it is now.

I came here to Japan with my girlfriend. She has health problems. She’s been sick since she was a little girl. I decided to come to Japan to find a cure. She currently is in the hospital. I am working many jobs to pay the bill. (The student visa paperwork for the health insurance hasn’t come in yet.) That’s it on the background part for now. Back to the situation at hand.

My girlfriend and I were dragged into this mess one night in July. The details are still a bit hazy to me. But, I will try. I remember visiting my girlfriend in the hospital. I took the homework assignment to her like I normally. We stayed and talked until visitor hours were over. Nothing special. Then as I walked out to my car, my head began to ache violently. It was like the ones that my girlfriend gets. I could feel the blood rushing in my brain. I thought I was going to die.

Oh god, help me!” I thought over and over again. My vision became blurred. I found myself sinking to my knees. It felt like the air was being sucked out of my lungs. I thought I was going to die. Then, the big black screen came down and blocked out everything.

“Sir?” I heard someone ask. “Sir, are you okay?” I opened my eyes and looked up. A nurse stood over me. I blinked at her, confused.

“I guess,” I said. “What happened to me?”

“You were passed out,” she said. It took a while for her words to hit home. I nodded at first. Then, a sharp, burning pain stuck me in the back of my right shoulder. The nurse began to panic.

“Sir!” she cried. “Sir, are you okay?”

“No!” I screamed. She tried to see what was wrong with me. I pushed off her hand.

“Don’t touch me!” I barked. I tried to get up and push myself towards the hospital.

“Sir! You need to sit down. You’re in no condition to move!” the nurse yelled.

“Shut up!” I yelled. “Just shut up!” I kept forcing myself to walk. I made it to the front door before sinking to my knees. I gasped hard for breath. I couldn’t understand what was going on with me.

Suddenly, my fingers traced along the burn. My eyes widened as my head tried to grasp what I was touching. Now, I’m still learning Japanese, but I know the numbers in Kanji rather well. I believed I was touching the number fifteen on the back of my right shoulder. Not only that, but I heard a voice telling me, “You and your girlfriend will die next year on the Fire Festival.” Then, it went silent. My eyes opened in panic. I had no time for questions. I got up and raced into the hospital to see my girlfriend again.

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