Chapter Twenty-Two: Piggy:
March 19th, 1968.
A whole year had passed. Fourteen-year-old Yasuo gritted his teeth. Four useless kids, three boys and one infant girl. Their parents left him in charge of them last year. Shichiro could take care of himself now. Nobu, Daisuke, and Yumiko were still little kids and needy little brats at that. They always cried for food or attention. Top that with his kitsune manifesting at that age, he gave it his all not to kill them by now. A knock came on the bathroom door. Yasuo gritted his teeth.
"What?!" he snapped.
"Nii-chan!" little Daisuke called as he pounded on the door. "Nii-chan! I have to potty!"
"Go away!" Yasuo yelled.
"I have to potty!" the little boy yelled.
Yasuo gritted his teeth and ripped open the door. The little boy backed away in fear. His brother breathed harder.
"I said go away!" he snapped. Yasuo happened to look down on the tatami mats. The fresh scent made his nose burn. "You peed on the floor?! You peed on the floor?!" Daisuke trembled in his puddle.
"I'm sorry!" he cried over and over again. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
"You!" Yasuo shouted. Little Daisuke took off running. His brother gave chase.
"Get back here!" he yelled. He grabbed the kid by the shoulder. Daisuke yelped aloud.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" he sobbed out. Yasuo growled at him.
"Not as sorry as you're going to be!" he barked. He threw the kid straight down to the floor. Daisuke cried out in pain. He tried to get back up, but Yasuo stepped on his back. The little boy whimpered. Yasuo sneered at him.
"Pathetic," he muttered. The three-year-old's screaming could be heard from outside.
A few minutes later, seven-year-old Nobu wandered into the living room. He found his younger brother lying on the floor. The color drained from his face as he raced over to him.
"Dai-kun!" he cried. "Dai-kun! What happened? What did Yasuo do now?" The little boy whimpered. Nobu picked up his brother. Daisuke forehead bled profusely under his blackish-brown hair. Nobu wiped the wound.
"Ooo," he said. "That's not good." Daisuke's tears grew heavier.
"Hurt!" he yelped. "Hurtï¿½" Nobu shushed him as he patted him on the head.
"It's okay. I'm here now," he whispered. "I'm here now. I'm here now." The boy cradled his younger brother. He rested his chin on his head. Daisuke slowly went quiet. He clung to his brother's shirt. Nobu shushed him once more.
"Good, good," he whispered. "Goodï¿½" Nobu carried him to the bathroom. Daisuke watched his brother gather up the medical supplies from the cabinet as he sat on the counter. Nobu shook his head to himself.
"I say," he murmured. "He didn't have to go all out. Meany." He got out the band aids and peroxide. He knelt down to the boy.
"Keep still now," Nobu whispered. He dampened a small washcloth with the peroxide and dabbed it on Daisuke's wound. The boy winced a bit. A soft whimper escaped his lips.
"Why?" he asked. Nobu paused and glanced at him.
"Why what?" he asked. Daisuke's big brown eyes welled up with tears.
"Why does Nii-chan hate me?" he asked. Nobu gave him a look of sympathy.
"He doesn't hate youï¿½" he said in a low voice. Daisuke looked desperate. The older boy dropped his shoulders. Why bother lying? Yasuo always took out his frustrations on the younger boys. Daisuke took the most of the abuse. He didn't understand why. Nobu patted him on the head.
"Dai-kunï¿½" he said. Nobu looked him in the eye.
"I don't understand it myself," he said. "But, I don't hate you." Daisuke looked at him with teary eyes.
"You don't?" he asked. His brother shook his head.
"No," he said. "I love you so much."
Nobu nodded. "I always will." He placed a band aid on Daisuke's forehead. He smoothed the boy's hair over it.
"There," he said. "Good as new." Daisuke finally began to smile again. Nobu patted him on the head.
"There's that smile!" he cheered. The little boy chuckled. Once he finished treating Daisuke's wounds, he dressed the boy in his pajamas and put him to bed. Around seven o'clock, Daisuke awoke to something brushing against his cheek. The little boy awoke to a stuffed bear in his face.
"Hm?" the kid asked. He looked and saw Yumiko holding up her bear. Daisuke sat up with a blank stare.
"For me?" he whispered. The child stared on silently.
"Are you trying to cheer me up?" her brother asked. He slowly took the bear. Between Nobu's care and Yumiko's attempt to cheer him up, Daisuke did have love after all.