A young black haired man stood in the moonlight. Ahead of him was a normal concrete road. Behind him was a convenience store.
Young man wore a long black cloak and orange scarf around his neck.
Under the cloak black pants and a little of green shirt could be seen.
The man had a clear look of uncertainty in his mean-looking eyes.
He was pressed with a choice that he is in need to do and he had only 48 hours to make it.
But the choice was hard. More than that, he didn't know what to do. At all.
"What... Should I do?"
He asked himself.
At first glance, the answer was obvious. He should go to his parents. Meet them. Greet them. Reassure them that he is fine.
But for what? To only bring them pain as he would leave them again?
Or if he'll decide to stay here. What about others?
He knows the deal.
He didn't know by how much, but he will indeed be forced back at earlier save point.
And if he'll decide to stay here, what would happen to others?
The answer is obvious. They might die. All, that he hold dear in that new world. No, after more than a year that he spent there, it isn't new. It became his own world with people most precious to him.
But his old world still had his parents.
Young man didn't know what to do. His egoistic nature was asking him to come for them. Cling to warmth they can give him. Reassurance and inspiration that they'll provide.
But the same egoistic nature was asking him to not go. To not bring them more pain than he already did. To not give them hope, to only take it away. But who was he to decide what would be better for his parents? And if they knew that he is at least... Fine. Somewhat. Maybe that would lighten their burdens, their worry about him.
"Or not. What if it's just an excuse?"
He didn't know.
He didn't know.
He didn't know.
He didn't know.
He didn't know.
He didn't know.
In the end he decided to take a walk.
"48 hours isn't much, but maybe a walk can help me to decide what to do..."
In the dark kitchen sat a single figure.
A black haired man with glasses on his nose, was looking at the bottle in his hands.
He was sitting at the table with a bottle of cheap beer in his hand for a straight ten minutes already.
In the end he sighed and put the bottle back on the table.
He wasn't a drinker. Not at all.
Sometimes he has drunk with his friends, but that's it.
And here he is, almost tried to drown his sorrow in alcohol.
Suddenly light came on in the kitchen.
The man closed his eyes, protecting them from bright lights of lamps.
He heard a weak whisper.
The man turned his head to look at his wife.
Once proud and beautiful woman was now in such state.
Her pale skin wasn't looking healthy, her posture was looking weak. Her eyes were almost empty.
Even her usually "perfect in any situation" were a mess. Her eyes also were red from constant crying.
The man named Kenichi closed his eyes. He wasn't able to look much longer at one of the results of his failure. At what he did to her.
"Kenichi... You need to rest."
The woman said weakly.
"Rest, huh..." - Kenichi wasn't sure that he deserves it. Not until he'll make some progress.
"Naoko. I... I'll just go for a walk and rest later, okay?"
He said with a tired tone.
So tired, that he surprised even him.
"Kenichi, it was a month. You should get some rest. You need it."
"Not sure that you should be the one to talk about it... No, I shouldn't think like that, after all my cute Naoko just cares about me." - Kenichi thought, while sighing.
In all honesty he probably looked much worse than her at the moment.
"I promise you, Naoko. I only want to go for a walk before bed and definitely would rest after it."
Kenichi managed to put up a genuine smile, thanks to the care that he felt from Naoko.
"Just... Don't go for too long."
Kenichi stood up and come closer to his wife.
After a moment he grabbed her in a tight hug and kissed.
"It will not take long."
He said, smiling warmly.
Was it luck? Or was it a disaster?
Young man thought while his mean looking eyes were fixated at collapsed man before him.
His heart was in pain from seeing that man in such a weak state. They bumped at each other when turning around the corner.
And the one who fall was his father. His mighty, strong, always positive and just so perfect father. The best man he had known in all of his lifetime.
Or at least how that man was used to be.
Realisation of it hit young man harder than most of his deaths back in another world.
And he was considering not meeting them? Considered to not let them know that he is still fine?! Or he just feared them because of what they might say or do?!
"Enough. Whatever they'll say. Whatever they'll do. I'll accept. Doesn't matter how hard or easy it would be. I deserve everything for the pain I caused." - he thought when looking at his father slowly getting up.
He suggested a hand to him.
His father noticed it and grabbed, accepting the help to stand up faster.
"Thanks, and sorr..."
He wanted to thank and apologize before someone he bumped into, but got frozen mid-sentence. His eyes got fixated on the young face.
Such familiar face with black hair and mean looking eyes. Subaru. That was his Subaru.
"Don't be. I am the one who should apologize... For everything."
Kenichi wasn't sure. Was he dreaming? Maybe he actually decided to drink that bottle and now sleeping in the kitchen?
He noticed something strange and moved his gaze from his son's face.
His clothes were strange. Black cloak, a scarf, shirt, long boots... His clothes resembled such of as a traveler. It was a bit worn out and had clear signs of being repaired a few times.
Not a sign of his favorite tracksuit that was on him when he disappeared.
"I should be the one to... To..."
His son sobbed a bit. But then managed to finish.
"I should be the one to apologize for everything you and mum have gone through. For everything... I... I..."
Subaru started sobbing, desperately trying to hold it within.
Kenichi suddenly stood up and hit Subaru in the stomach.
Subaru wasn't ready for this and started to fall, but was caught the moment after he was hit.
Kenichi hugged Subaru in a bear hug.
Subaru already recovered from unexpected punch and hugged his father back. Tightly. As tight as he could. He felt his father's warmth. His strong, yet weakened hands and his trembling.
Tears started to flow from Subaru's eyes.
They both were staying before home's door.
Subaru hesitated. But then he finally managed to bring himself together and move to the door. Only to be shattered yet again.
Woman that he probably cherished the most all his life. And maybe even now, to this day. After all she was his mother. His dear mother.
And like his dad, she was greatly impacted.
He felt that father put a hand onto his shoulder.
That helped Subaru to not fall on his knees and even made his legs to tremble less.
Suddenly Naoko run up to him.
Subaru prepared. And not for nothing.
Loud slap was probably heard through all neighbourhood.
Even his vision got dark for a moment.
And yet again he was hugged.
"Subaru! Subaru, I was so worried!"
His mother was crying. Loudly. Without caring that someone might hear them. And he didn't care about that too.
Instead, Subaru hugged his mother back and started to cry too. A little after he felt that his father joined them.
No. He wasn't able to hold it back anymore.
He met his parents again. An impossible dream had come true. The one he tried so desperately to give up upon, but failed miserably.
It was one of his almost never ending nightmares - that he'll never meet his parents again. That he'll never be able to apologize for them. That they were probably suffering so much because of his disappearance and there's nothing he can do to ease their pain. But that is no more. He has an opportunity now. He has it. And he will use it!
He cried out loud with tears of happiness, guilt, sorrow and hope - all at the same time.