Dawn of the Loser


I don’t know why anyone would want to try and expose my secrets. I have always been careful not to cross the wrong person in my life. Oh dear, I think I’ve made things worse so far. I looked over at my friends in the lobby of the angels’ apartment during the storm. I hated to drag them further into my problems. It wouldn’t have to have happened if I had just kept my mouth shut. It could’ve all been avoided. I pulled my knees to my chest.

But I opened my mouth, anyway. And Ben happened to hear me.

“What did you say?” he asked. I jerked my head upwards. It didn’t help that they all had their eyes on me. I quickly shook my head.

“Nothing!” I said. “Just forget it!” Jules turned her body and put her feet on the ground.

“No,” she said. “Tell us what’s wrong. You’ve been avoiding for the past few weeks. You were the one who had to reunite us. What are you hiding from us?” I dropped my head onto my knees.

“Please,” I begged. “I don’t want to talk about it.” I prayed that it would end there. But, Jules had to get up and walk over to me. Oh no. Please don’t look at me like that. You don’t know how much worse you could make it if you pry any further.

-Tokyo, Winter 1992-

It snowed that morning.

I didn’t want to go, but my dad made me go anyway. I think there was a falling out of some sort, but I don’t remember. Mom wasn’t talking to Dad and I don’t even think she was in the house that morning. All I know was I had claimed I was sick, but he wouldn’t hear it.

I don’t remember much of the events before the school fire. I know Kris was the one who was home sick that day. Our teacher wound up late that morning. So another teacher had to watch over the class. You see, I was a strange kid back then. When I was angry, I would slip away to the classroom closet. Now, this particular closet lid to some pipes and a room that could be considered a maze. None of us ever tried to go down there and see where it led.

That day, I felt like seeing for myself what was down there.

I mean, my classmates at the time were busy playing with the toys in the classroom. The teacher was too busy keeping her eye on the other students in the room. My little mind at the time thought that I would make it back in time for class after taking a look in the basement. When the teacher had her back turned to the closet, I stood on my tip-toes and opened the door. I looked around really quick and slipped inside, closing the door behind me.

I forget that the door locked from the inside after you closed it.

-Present Day-

I felt a hand on my head. I looked up to see Ben standing over me, smiling.

“It’s okay,” he said. “You can tell us when you are ready.” I didn’t want to, I couldn’t. It would drag them further down into this mess that followed me back to Suiten. It wasn’t the school fire either. We all had secrets that we didn’t want to share. Secrets that could destroy us all if they got out. It should’ve ended then and there. But once again, I just had to open my mouth.

“It was me,” I whispered.

“What?” Ben asked. It was too late. The truth that I kept hidden for so long just tumbled out of my mouth.

“I started that fire in our school in Tokyo in ’92,” I confessed with a shaking voice. Ben looked at me, stunned.

“What?” he asked.