Chapter 8: When I Need You Most

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Today is Wednesday. Today I graduate. I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of my life but I'm sure I can find out along the way.  

I had to be there hours earlier since they wanted to describe to us how everything was going to happen later. My parents were frantic; my mom hasn't gotten out the camera in years, now she wants to take all these pictures of me so she can send them to her family. My dad just quietly stood behind her and told me how he's been waiting for this day.

I was happy. This is it. The end of torture and suffering. No longer will I deal with eight hour days for five days a week. I am free.

I wanted to know if Akaashi was coming with me today but I got a very concerning phone call from his mom before I could even think about calling him. It was one of those days again, and honestly it wasn't surprising. Today was nerve wracking; its all emotional and what not and Akaashi can't handle that kind of stress.

I went to his house and quietly walked around in his room as I heard the shower water running. I know he isn't showering, especially when he's been in there for an hour.

Akaashi just sits in the tub sometimes. He finds it humiliating to lay in bed so when he feels sadder than what he's used to, he crawls into the tub. That's what I expected today. The water running wasn't enough to stop him.

He was sitting there, his knees pulled up to his chest and his arms wrapping around them. The water was hot but he didn't seem to care. The steam was rising from the hot water, fogging up the mirror and making the air humid. He didn't have clothes on; he let the water pour down over him as he stared plainly at the wall.

I wouldn't be able to tell if he was crying or not. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. He was staring at the wall, and when I didn't walk away, he looked up at me with those sad gloomy eyes. My heart tugged in my chest; it hurt to see him look at me so sadly.

He was miserable.

I undid the cuffs to the sleeves of my white collar shirt, rolling them up to my arms. Slowly, I reached down to him, and my hands gripped his arms lightly; I pulled him up and helped him out of the tub. Before I walked him out of his bathroom, I took a towel with me so I could dry him. Akaashi just let me push him around and that's not a good sign.

Today must be one of the worst days, and I get it because all this stuff is happening and there's only so much a person can handle.

I rubbed his hair with the white towel and made my way down to his face and lower to his neck; I dried his body and he didn't move at all as I did it. He wasn't in a good mood today. Looking at his face, I thought he might start crying but he didn't. He stood there plainly and kept his eyes on the ground to avoid me looking at him.

What is he thinking about? Does it hurt that badly? Would he ever talk to me about it? I know being here for Akaashi is good but I want to know how he thinks, what's making him this bitter, how come he's letting it get the best of him. I want him to talk to me so I can help. Right now is not the time though.

I went and found formal clothes in his closet. I lifted the white collar shirt from its hanger and took the black dress pants from on top of the shelf. I had to get underwear too. He didn't fight me when I tried to dress him. There were tears streaming down his face; I saw how hard he tried not to cry but it wasn't working for him. He bit his lip hard but the tears flowed anyway.

I would have told him that he didn't have to cry but what would that do for him? He's had enough of all this anyway. I felt terrible to see him cry but I didn't draw attention to it. I fixed his clothes on and pretended not to notice.

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