Childhood dreams /kouzaburo-toumato/
When he was younger, when his mother was still in the picture… she used to read for him. It was a French story called The little prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). He could recall a particular part from it that would fit into the picture of what his life looked like now by the age of eleven.
'Where are the people?' resumed the little prince at last. 'It's a little lonely in the desert…' 'It is lonely when you're among people, too,' said the snake.
Indeed, despite being surrounded by these strangers… he felt so alone. Especially knowing that he had his sister, and he loved her deeply- … he had no friends. He could only vent his anger through other ways; one was throwing rocks at the lake, watching it bounce on the surface, creating those little rings that seemed to echo the sound of it whipping against water.
Sometimes he would just quietly sit there, play with cigarette butts that adults had left behind, building his own little nest behind some pile of garbage with piles of things he had found which would be perhaps in a way called his treasures. Used bottle caps, shiny rocks, dried flowers and candy wrappers.
The other kids won’t pay attention to him, they knew he was a freak and abused by his father. Sasayama always had some sort of band-aid or bandages on him from those bruises, and once a new kid tried to pick a fight with him, thinking he would be one of those weak little pathetic victims… but he was wrong. Sasayama could stand up for himself, at least against kids his own size.
No one messed with him after he sent that kid to the hospital, yet no one really had the nerve to become his friend either. He was still alone, and in a way it was worse. He felt like he was invisible.
It was a sunny thursday afternoon, his father had fallen asleep after another round of abuse… luckily his sister wasn’t home and he didn’t have to endure watching and being unable to do anything.
Just as he thought about heading towards the lake, he heard a soft and shaky voice, a small dirty ball curled up and surrounded by three bigger kids. They were the ‘bullies’ of this neighbourhood, he knew them well and made sure they stayed away from him. Normally he wouldn’t butt into their business, but when they attacked girls….
"Oi. Leave her alone!"
He didn’t give them much of a warning and tossed two rocks at the boys to the left and right, ramming his head against the one in the center. Those little fists were raised, shielding his face in a boxing pose and his amber eyes were narrowed, glaring from one to the other, daring them to make a move.
Minutes passed by and none of them made a move despite being extremely pissed off from Sasayama’s interference… perhaps they were truly scared of being sent to the hospital by someone smaller, besides, they would be lucky if they would be sent to the hospital.. they might just die out here from their own untreated injuries.
They yelled something about we’ll remember this! and disappeared around a corner. Sasayama waited a while, breathing loudly in relief and hovered over that ball… it was a girl his own age. Poor thing must be terrified.
"Hey… they’re gone now.” He was the brave knight chasing away the monsters to defend the princess’ honor.