Chapter 1: Home
Why? Why am I looking at this red and black sky? Isn't...the sky blue? Ah, my head hurts.
What? Who said that?
Why do my arms burn? They're so hot... And my feet feel like they're on fire!
Satori? Who's that? Do I know this 'Satori'?
"Satori, get up!"
Is it...is it me that they're calling? Uh, I feel so sick and tired. I don't want to move...
"Did I teach you to be this damn lazy!? Get up!"
Suddenly, I felt my arm jolt upward. Someone had grabbed a hold of my hand, beckoning me to stand to my feet. Yet as much as he wanted me to, I couldn't. My feet still felt agonizingly painful, and there was no way I was getting back up again.
Even so, the man kept a firm grip on my hand. It told me he wouldn't let go, even if the world as I knew it ended.
It felt like ages, but I finally found the strength to push myself off the ground. The man encouraged me as I stood on my own two feet.
"There you go, son. Stay steady now." My heels wobbled back and forht, and the blood that should've been flowing was just now coming back. When I had balanced myself, I began to gather my bearings.
Through half-awake eyes, I saw bright red, all around me. At first I wondered what that deep, hot red was, but it soon registered in my mind. Fire; it was fire that I saw. Hints of greenery, and the grass underneath my feet told me it was a forest fire. Was it natural, or did someone cause this? And why was I in the middle of it all?
"Hey," the man started. With a light tap, he hit the side of my face, drawing my attention to him. "Did you hit your head on something on that fall?" Fall? Did I fall to the ground? I gazed at him wtih a look of confusion. He replied with the same.
Observing him quickly, I guessed that the man was perhaps in his early 30s. A stout mustache was protruding on his face, and dark-brown, unwavering eyes were staring straight ahead at me. His outfit was strange and peculiar; an ordinary soldier's attire, I think. But a gold badge hung on his breast, so perhaps he was a special soldier? The edge of his pants were burned, and his sleeves were torn in several places, showing me the cuts and nicks on his body. When I returned back to his face, I saw marks of dirt. I also saw an impatient frown.
"If you're done staring, I'd like to keep moving," he said with an air of annoyance.
"Moving?" I asked aloud. The man turned around so that I faced his back.
"Yeah. We've got to stop those damn terrorists before they invade us..." he mumbled.
"We?" I looked at myself for the first time since I had gained consciousness. I, too, was wearing a soldier's uniform. I also saw that I had burnt marks on my pants, just like the man. But I was burned from the knee-down. The woozy feeling was coming back, and I blacked out.
The next time I came to, I was being lifted up into the air. Two men, one on each side, were lifting me. I couldn't think straight, but I could still hear very clearly.
"Poor kid," one man voiced. "He's still only 16. Wasn't he suppose to start high school this year?"
"I heard that he was only there for the opening ceremony," the other man said in a low voice. "Then they took him out and sent him here."
"Can't be helped thought," the first man explained. With a heave, they placed me back down on the ground. I saw a part of the sky becoming white, and I figured that that white color was a ceiling. But I wasn't sure, and I felt sleep tug back at me. "He's the general's son, after all. The general made him come." They pushed me in further, and the whiteness soon took over the world.
So that's it. I was... Before I knew it, sleep took over my eyes. I don't remember dreaming anything special. Only the slow rumbling of a car, driving away.
I woke to a familiar scene. Morning light, shining on the side of my face. A warm blanket over my body as I lay sideways. Where have I felt this feeling before? I stirred slightly in the bed, as if it was routine. Was it? Suddenly, and without warning, the door to the room opened. I quickly turned to the other side, glancing across the room at the intruder.
At the foot of the door was a small, petite girl. Short brown hair covered her roundish head, and deep-green eyes were staring into my eyes.
"Oh!" she happily shouted. "Everyone, Onii-chan is awake!"
"Onii-chan?" I asked, sitting up. "What are you talking abo-?" Before I could finished the sentence, she ran over and embraced me.
"Don't you remember?" she asked me. "I call you Onii-chan because you're like a brother to me!"
"Like? So, I'm not your brother?" Other footsteps gathered at the door. I felt the stare of other people, but the girl in front of me wouldn't let my attention wander away.
"Geez, Onii-chan!" she whined. The girl released her grip and looked up at my face. "You're acting so weird today!"
"Oh my..." a new speaker said, concerned. "So they were right about you." The voice was tender and soft, like a lullaby right before a child's sleep. I glanced upward and saw a woman wearing an apron. In one hand was a spatula, and the other, a closed fist. My heart began to swell up inside, but the I wasn't sure why. I opened my mouth to speak, but again, someone hugged me before I could get a word in.
"It's so good to see you, Satori," the woman said, sniffling soon after.
"O...Okaa-san?" I asked uncertainly.
"Yes...!" she shouted joyfully before breaking down into a cry. "Yes, I'm your mother, Satori!" Her tears fell freely from her face, but they were tears of joy. I was speechless, however. If this was my mother, why couldn't I remember her? Immediately, a loose tear fell down my cheek. It traveled down to my chin, and then dully fell to the bed sheet. My body began shaking uncontrollably. Confused, I looked at my trembling hands, and suddenly another tear fell, landing on the palm of my hand.
"Okaa-san?" Even my voice was shaking. "Why...am I crying?" She came closer and grabbed the back of my head, gently patting my black hair.
"Everything's gonna be alright, Satori," she assured in her caring voice. "They told me it's only temporary. You'll get your memories back soon." She unwrapped her arms, and instead, held my shoulders and looked at me sternly. "First, we'll eat breakfast. And then we'll talk." Using me as a support, she stood up and wiped the tears away. "C'mon, Rin," she said to the little girl. "Let's go."
"Okay!" she shouted excitedly. The girl named Rin jumped off my bed and followed my mother's back. I watched quietly as they left the room...my room? I glanced around, surprised by some of things I saw, and somewhat nostalgic about others.
There was a broad, white desk lined up against the wall, and a closet was close by the desk and right beside the door. One side to the closet was open, revealing a rather dark-colored and plaid-ish wardrobe. I laughed to myself. At least the clothes looked like mine. Along the snow-white walls were crude drawings: some of them cute, petite girls, while others were really strong, masculine guys, all what you might see in anime, Japanese animation. I began to question myself. Was I an artist? Could I draw well? All of the evidence pointed to 'No', but I tried to form my hands as I was holding a pencil, and found that I could. I was accustomed to the feel, so I was at least familiar with drawing.
I began to wonder about many other things. If that woman was my mom, then who was that little girl? Rin, was it? What relationship does she have with me? Is she my...?