InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Ours ❯ Kohaku ( Chapter 6 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Much to my sister's surprise, the first person I went to see after Kanna's death was Kagura. She was alone now. Not that she had much of a bond with Kanna, but Kanna was the only person besides Naraku that had known her since birth. Kagura had to feel some sort of security with her.

"Are you happy?" she had asked me. I didn't know how to answer that at first.

I had been freed from Naraku, only to be rewarded with death. So had she. Kagura kept saying that she felt robbed; that if she was just gonna die soon after, there was no point in having this freedom in the first place.

Not so with me.

The moment we were made aware of our situation, I suddenly felt better than I had ever before. Like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. Everything seemed brighter now; so much clearer.

I no longer have a tomorrow to worry about.

"You're smiling more, Kohaku." Sango noted at lunch. I lifted my head and nodded. It feels so good to be able to talk to her like this. Without any worries or guilt. My state of being seems to put her at ease too; which made everyone around us even happier.

Ever since the day I killed my father, I spent my days trying to find atonement. That was all there was to my existance; trying to make up for my sins, trying to somehow undo my mistakes, trying to find a way to go back in time.

But we all know there is no way to go back in time. Time never runs backwards. It only runs forwards. There's no way to run from pain; you can only go towards it.

Life is a cycle. What goes up must come down, only to somehow come back up again. Once you solve one problem, life will always present you with a new one.

That is the reason we can feel. The only reason we can call something "happiness" is because we have experienced "sadness" to compare it to and vice versa. We would not be able to appreciate sunshine if we had never experienced the darkness of a cloudy day.

I would not be able to feel so good about my sister's smile if I had never felt the pain of seeing her cry.

Unfortunately, that goes the other way too. We would not be able to feel loss if we had nothing to begin with. Pain wouldn't hurt so much if we weren't comparing it with pleasure.

It would be nice if pain only served to make us stronger and give us more appreciation for the better things in life; however, joy also serves to break us down so that the tough times hurt that much more.

If you're in a bad situation, things can get better. Unfortunately, they will inevitably get worse once they get better. What goes up must come down...and the higher you go up, the harder you fall. The greater your joy is now, the more you'll hurt when it eventually comes to an end.

We just keep going up and down, and up and down, and up and down...quite frankly, I don't want to do that anymore.

"Sango?" I called. "I'll clean up after everyone."

She just tilted her head before leaving me alone; she knew she couldn't argue with me. I'm always taking responsibility, always being the better person. It's a habit I picked up from endlessly trying to redeem myself from my past.

Somehow, I know it's all in my head. I know that I'm the only one who can decide whether I've been "redeemed". I know that it's better for the future if I live in the present and not the past.

But I can't, because I'm scared of the future. I don't want it. I don't want to be carried up high just so I can be dropped again. And again. And again. And again.

Right now, I'm at the "high point". I've gone up, and I don't wanna go back down. I've been given a chance to make sure of that, and whoever gave me that chance-if there is someone-thank you. Thank you.

Everyone's cycle ends eventually, and we have no choice where to end it-at a "high" point or a "low" point-or how many cycles is enough. I know I don't want another cycle, and I get to end at a high point. On top of that, I am sacrificing my life to save others; I think it just might be enough to make me forgive myself.

I'm coming, father.

It took me nearly two hours to finish cleaning up. Inuyasha and Shippo alone ate enough for ten people; cleaning up behind Kagome, Miroku, Sango and Kirara on top of that was exhausting.

Afterwards, I headed back to Kaede's hut to rest. To my surprise, Sango was there, sitting on the futon I usually slept on.

"You ready to go?" she smiled at me.

I blinked cluelessly. "Go where?"

We rode Kirara to the flower garden we used to play in when we were younger; the one near our village. The one where Kagura once snuck me out to, and I almost ran into Sango at...but I hid from her.

After praying for our deceased family members, we lit a campfire in the center of the village. Well, where the village used to be. Sango cooked enough for ten people to eat, just like she used to back in the day.

I watched her solemnly as she set a place for father at the exact spot where he used to sit. Then, she sat next to me and started clapping her hands.

That beat...I recognize it. It's the same one the neighbor used to play when we used to eat together. Back then, the whole village would gather around and dance by the fire.

But this time, we were alone. And yet Sango was still clapping like nothing had changed.

I couldn't eat. I couldn't act. I just sat there and watched, trying to decide whether my sister was admirable or delusional.

At that moment, it seems Kirara found watching my sister do this alone too heartbreaking; she jumped out and hopped around the fire, just like she used to do when dancing with the villagers and trying to avoid their feet.

"Look, Kirara is dancing!" Sango beamed. "Come on, father, let's dance!"

She held out her hand to our "father" and "led" him out to the fire. "Come on, Kohaku!" she waved at me. "Join us!"

A part of me wanted to shake her and tell her to stop acting crazy and that our father was dead. Our whole village was dead; I had killed them. She was crazy.

My feet had plans of their own. I found myself putting on a huge grin, and joining hands with her and "father" to repeat the steps we used to dance with. If this bothered Sango at any time, she certainly didn't show it. In fact, having her act like this, like she definitely believed we were back in our childhood days fueled a change in me.

That night, just for that moment, I could've sworn I heard father's voice again. I could've sworn I felt his hand holding mine; and that I saw everyone dancing the night away happily.

After dinner, we bid "father" goodbye, and retired to the hut we used to live in. Sango had brought futons, and she laid them out in the room we used to share together, and we went to bed the same way we used to when we were younger.

"Kohaku?" she called from her futon. I turned my head in acknowledgement.

"What really bothered me was that you'd always be so overtly responsible." she continued. "It's alright to be imperfect, you know? As long as you do what you need to do. And...if someone still has a problem with you, something's wrong with them. It means they care more about how things appear than how they really are."

I stayed silent. I expected her to notice that I always tried hard to be "good", but I didn't expect her to say it out loud.

"...It's better to be a good person reedeming their past than to be someone with a great past abusing the present, Kohaku."



"Thank you for today. It really healed something in me."

"Go to sleep."

We woke up pretty early next morning; and we continued where we left off last night with our pretending. Until I finished doing the dishes and looked to my right and saw a giant white being.

It's time.