Chapter 13: Yūkan

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In a family with an ancestry of chaos, he was born. The perfect addition to the family line. It was up to his parents whether they'd teach him or not. His family were always there from the start. They watched him take his first steps, say his first words, or even learn new things. However, there was one person he loved and cared for the most. His cousin Juno. Juno always babysat him from a young age. He enjoyed spending time together with her. She made him happy as he made her happy. They could talk about anything without having to fear betrayal. He would only hang out with Juno. He didn't like anyone else. Everyone else were terrifying shapeless blobs in his vision while he saw her as an older sister, a sibling he never had. He didn't know that his parents tried giving him a sibling. Though, it was another lost soul. A soul to be forgotten and never brought up again.

Although he was shy, growing up made him mature quicker than other children. His parents taught him about their ancestry and many other things. He knew things kids his age didn't know of. They didn't know how to clean, take care of themselves, take care of others, or anything else. But Yasu has been a gifted child since birth. Well, that's how everyone saw Yasu. They were jealous of his good looks, his calmness, and even his family. Eventually, all of that jealousy went away once Juno went missing. Yasu woke up to a heavenly morning. He was greeted by the sunshine along with the many birds chirping in the distance. Quietly getting out of bed, he shuffled downstairs to get food from the kitchen. The phone had started ringing as he began heating up spicy noodles. Riiing, riiiiiiing, ring. The phone rang in a constant loop. It irritated the hell out of Yasu, yet he patiently answered the phone. 

"Welcome to McDonald's how can I help you?" He was hoping it to be Juno on the other line. An unfamiliar voice from the other line asked, "Is this the Masashige residence?" Yasu shuddered as he gulped. "Yes, this is Yasu Masashige. May I ask why you are calling?" The voice heavily sighed, "Look kid, I know you may not be expecting this, assuming with how close you are to Miss Juno." "Get to the point. What happened to my cousin? Is she okay? Can I speak with her?" The voice rolled his eyes as they casually spoke the next words. "She's missing." Yasu dropped the phone immediately. He couldn't believe it. His smart, careful, strong, amazing cousin Juno was now missing. Someone whom he had lost. Someone he loved as an older sister. Yasu slowly picked the phone up while shaking more. "I understand.. Thank you for notifying me sir.. Good day." He hung up. Collapsed on the ground, he began to weep. "Juno, where are you... please come back home... I miss you...," yelled Yasu as he curled himself into a ball of emotions. He felt anger, depression, and anxiety. 

Morning eventually turned into the evening. Yasu shivered as he was curled up on the cold floor. His parents came into the room. "Yasu? We're home dear!" exclaimed Keiko. Yasu could tell by the sound of her voice, she didn't know what happened to Juno yet. They found him on the ground, hiccupping while crying still. Keiko ran to embrace her son with warm hugs. "My dear son.. what is wrong? I'm here. You can talk to me dear." She stroked his hair as he cried into her shoulder. His father hugged Yasu as well. Yasu stuttered as he shook during every word, "S-s-she... J-J-Juno is... m-missing.."

August 13. Yasu lit the lantern for Toro Nagashi. He calmly let go of it. The river slowly traveled the lantern downstream. He smiled happily knowing that Juno was resting peacefully. However, what he didn't know.. were the things happening out of his sight. 

Yasu gazed at himself in the mirror. He didn't want to believe she was gone entirely. However, everyone told him she was dead. They always said if someone disappeared longer than a day, they were dead. Yasu didn't believe that. Somewhere within his heart and mind, he knew Juno had to be out there. Six people decided to become Yasu's friends after the disappearance of Juno. Yasu knew they didn't care about him until he got hurt. They only became his friends to make him "feel better", but he never felt better. He felt worse. Every day he had to exist without Juno. He knew she wasn't dead just missing. He searched several newspapers, put up missing posters, and made a map to pinpoint where Juno could have gone. The police quit trying to look for Juno two years ago. Yasu kept searching for Juno. He lastly knew she went on a hike, but where? There were a few places with forests nearby. The boarding school Juno had an old life in or the juvenile detention center around the other side.

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