Pride

Okita stood still as he glanced to the ocean waiting for his so called customer. It was already midnight and the coldness of autumn sea breeze made him shivered a little bit. Somehow, he has a bad feeling that tonight something unexpected will take place. His two loyal guardians who seemed to have detected his uneasiness did not talk much.

"So, you are the hell boy. Aren't you?" a young man showed up from his left side.

"Yes, indeed." Okita answered coldly.

To be honest the young man look really familiar to him but, he did not remember if they had met before.

"I'm Kaoru and I want you to send my twin sister to hell right away."

Okita could tell from the way Kaoru spoke that he was full of anger since he was also clenching his hands.

"Shinpachi, hand him the thing." Okita ordered.

"My pleasure, boss." Shinpachi moved forward then handed Kaoru the voodoo doll.

"Could you tell us why you want to send your twin sister to hell? My understanding is that twins mostly have stronger bond than ordinary siblings" Heisuke questioned curiously.

"Well, unfortunately that strong bond has turned into a strong grudge for my case as twins with different gender are considered as bad luck in our family. I don't think you need any further information when you look at these." Kaoru loosed the front part of his black kimono showing old bruises around his chest.

"Evil is as evil does. If you are absolutely sure, then just remove the red ribbon and I will accomplish your grudge but in return, your soul will be sent to the deepest hell after you die." Okita explained quickly to prevent Heisuke from asking more callous questions.

"I have tasted what is called living hell during my childhood and lose my pride as a man during that time. On the other hand my twin sister was taken care with love. It is not just unfair so, I came into the conclusion that as twins she must experience the sufferings and understand my pain!" Kaoru cried out as he untied the red ribbon of the voodoo doll.

"Souji-san?"

Okita froze when he saw the person who was supposed to be his target. Chizuru who sat inside the wooden boat was trembling in fear knowing that she was suddenly being sent into an unfamiliar place.

"This is not the place for you. Follow me!" Okita took her hand instantly and move out from the boat. He finally realized that uneasiness when he met Kaoru. That young man was Chizuru's twin brother and they really look like each other.

"Boss!" Heisuke jumped out from his post and was about to chase Okita when Shinpachi stopped him.

"Let him go, Heisuke. There is nothing we can do now since he is heading for the place where people re-incarnate. That is the only way to save his beloved from being tortured in hell."

"Did you forget what Hijikata told us? If hell guardians go to that place, they will gain the memory of their past, suffer from the same pain and their soul will be locked in hell for eternity before they reach the place!"

"Calm down, Heisuke! Do you think that our boss will be happy if we chase him and ended up being locked together with him in hell? Come with me I have a better solution for that." Shinpachi dragged Heisuke back to the wooden boat and row it to the East direction.

Okita mourned painfully and had no other choice than to kneel down when he felt pain over his chest. The pain was so extreme that he could barely breathe properly. He coughed hard and his right hand was stained with blood as the result.

"Souji-san, please don't force yourself. It was my fault that Kaoru was mad at me so, I deserve to be punished." Chizuru took a handkerchief from her kimono pocket than wiped Okita's right hand gently.

"Listen to me Chizuru, you must run straight forward and never look back. When you get through the gate you will re-incarnate and live a better future life." Okita said weakly.

"I'm not going without you!" Chizuru insisted, her cheeks were wet by tears.

"I'll catch you up soon. I promise!" Okita hugged her lovingly before he pushed her forward.

"Souji-san!" Chizuru's voice faded out and disappeared at the time she reached the gate.

Okita gave a relief sigh before he crawled forward and stretched his hand to reach the gate. His memory of the past flashed back into his mind. Those times he spent as Shinsengumi troopers before he was defeated to death by a lung disease.

"You really don't know when the time to give up is, do you?"

Okita looked up and found Hijikata's grumpy face staring straight at him. He could see Hijikata was holding a lantern with two of glowing blue flames.

"Could they be…"

"Those morons begged me to let your soul being reincarnated by offering their souls. As the compensation, their souls will be locked forever in hell and they will not be re-incarnated unless…"

"Unless?"

"Unless there is someone who is willing to pray for them every year during the obon season." Hijikata replied recklessly.

"My pleasure, Hijikata-san." Okita smiled gracefully.

"Learn from your past, Souji. This is your last chance so, don't spoil it." Hijikata explained before he placed the lantern he has been holding in front of Okita.

"Chizuru, hurry up! You don't wanna be late for school, do you? Our summer vacation is next week!" Kaoru grabbed his school bag from the sofa and roughly pushed his twin sister who has just finished her breakfast.

"You are the one who turned off the alarm clock and forgot to set it back again." Chizuru complained as she tied her hair neatly.

"Stop blaming me for that! Anyway, our new neighbor said they will drive us to school since their son is going to the same school. They said that their son has a memory of his past life just like you so I think you and him can understand each other well. " Kaoru locked the front door before he walked to a car parked nearby.

"Well, I hope so." Chizuru mumbled.

She does not think that having a memory of the past life is a good thing especially when love relationship shares most of the percentage in it.

"Let me introduce my twin sister. Chizuru, this is Souji Okita. He is a year older than us."

Chizuru could not believe her ears when she heard Kaorus's words. She speedily moved her gaze to the tall young man dressed in the same blue school uniform in front of her.

"Chizuru, sorry to have kept you waiting for such a long time." Souji spoke gently and smiled at her.

Chizuru burst into tears of happiness as she realized that she has found her long lost love.

The end