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Auntie Kamiya

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When I was in Junior high, there was a famous woman in our town called “ Auntie Kamiya ”. She was the mother of my classmate, Kamiya. So we called her auntie Kamiya.

She was well-known in the whole neighborhood, let alone the whole school. She was just an ordinary woman from the outside. But inside she had an extraordinary communication skills and charisma that made the most troubled kids in town stop misbehaving.

She was like everyone’s mother. She would listen attentively to our tedious teenage problems  and gave us advice from her heart. We could talk to her about anything, even the things we wouldn’t share to other adults like teachers and our parents.

She also had a reputation for her scary stories. Her excellent presentation would make any story sound very scary. But this episode isn’t one of her fictions. This is about the time that Auntie Kamiya made us believe that she actually had legitimate sixth-sense.

It was my second year in Junior High, we had a transfer student in our classroom.

His name was Akiyama, if I remember it correctly. Being a small town, welcoming a transfer student was a very rare event. So he got a lot of attention from us at first. My first impression of Akiyama was a pretty boy. He was tall with a handsome face. I thought he would be popular with girls in no time.  Lots of people talked to him and tried to befriend him in the beginning.

But as the days went by, people started avoiding him. Rumors of him had started swirling around the school like,

 I saw him throwing rocks at a dog. He didn’t stop when it was injured.

or

I saw him kicking a cat really hard. The cat was too scared to move. It just froze on the spot. And then he stomped on it.

Eventually these rumors got into teachers ears and he was called into the principal’s office.

Shortly after that, his mother came storming into the teachers office. It turned out Akiyama’s mother was what we would call a “ monster parent ” these days. She had made quite a scene there on that day screaming at the teachers in rage,

He didn’t do anything inside this school, did he??  His academic performance is great!! What’s wrong with doing things to small animals?! It shouldn’t matter to you what he does outside the school as long as his academic performance is good!!

My classroom teacher wasn’t having any of Akiyama’s mother’s claims. He yelled back at her

Your son needs to learn to respect the lives of other living things. Education is not just about academic things. You must teach him how to care for others!

Later I found out that Akiyama had caused similar problems in the previous school and got expelled. At that time, his mother reacted in the same way. It led to the divorce of his parents. And his mother moved back into her parents’ house in this town with Akiyama.

Akiyama scared all of us. It wasn’t the type of scary you’d feel from bad kids or bullies.

But it was the kind of scary that you’d feel when you look into the deep darkness, when you are facing something dark and evil, something you have no idea what it is.

One day, I was hanging out with Kamiya in his house. Auntie Kamiya was leaving for grocery shopping. She told us she had lots of things to buy, so we offered to go with her and help carry the bags.

We walked to the nearby grocery store. As soon as I walked in, I saw Akiyama standing alone at one of the shelves. Akiyama’s house was very far from there. Being a high school student with no car, it seemed inconvenient for him to come all the way to this grocery shop.

I poked Kamiya “ Hey. Look who’s here. What’s he doing here?

Kamiya said “ I have no idea..

Auntie Kamiya noticed us whispering to each other,  she said

Is that the boy you were talking about? Akiyama is it?

We said in sync “ How did you know?

She glanced at him once and said “ That’s bad. Just don’t go near him. That’s the only way.

Then she went back to pick up groceries

.

.

As far as we knew, Auntie Kamiya was the last person to give up on anyone. No matter how “ bad ” the kid was, she would never lose hope and always encourage them to change.

Kamiya said in a shock “ I can’t believe my mother would talk like that.

A while after this incident,  Akiyama stopped coming to school.

Nobody worried about him. Everybody was kind of hoping that he would stay that way.

His mother stormed into school several times and accused the class of bullying him and causing him a mental breakdown. While there was no bullying, it was true that he was always alone in the class.

Then his mother started coming to the classmate’s house.

When she came to my house, my parents politely asked her to leave.

But then she proceeded to say things like ,

Your son must be the one that bullied my son

Your son must have been jealous because my son did better than him

Your son must be good-for-nothing. It should have been your son that went insane, instead of mine

It pissesed off my parents and the rest of the conversation got pretty heated up and ugly.

When I was hearing her words though, it made me feel kind of sad.

It seemed to me that his mother was also going through a breakdown and suffering inside.

Fast forward to the end of the year, I was in Kamiya’s house to hang out again.

We were talking with auntie Kamiya about school, when one of us mentioned Akiyama.

He never returned to school afterwards.

The rumor said that he had been hospitalized due to insanity.

His mother was also admitted to another mental hospital far from his.

His grandparents refused to get involved in their lives.

His grandfather allegedly said “Those psychos have nothing to do with us. They are not even my family. Lock them up and keep them away from us until they die.

I had been curious about auntie Kamiya’s reaction to Akiyama at the grocery store for a long time. So I asked

What was wrong with Akiyama, after all? Why did you tell us like that at the grocery store?

Auntie Kamiya paused to think for a while, then she said,

He wasn’t a human

I could see it when I looked at him for the first time. He was no longer human

I’m sure he was at first, when he was a little boy. But it kept eating him up inside until finally the real Akiyama was gone.

Now, he might still look like human on the outside but, inside his skin, it is just…layers of tangled grudges and hatred forming the shape of a human.

.

.

We didn’t know how to react. This was the first time she said something that sounded like a real psychic.

I said “What does that even mean? Akiyama was eaten up..? ..by what?

She continued:  “Karma from his family

In his family, his grandfather had many people dead.

He did not physically kill them, but many people had died because of him. He was a greedy Shylock, he loaned money at high interest rate and did many dirty things to get the money back. He caused many people suffering and, in the end, suicide.

That’s why Akiyama’s mother, the daughter of this man, got so twisted inside.

But it wasn’t enough to pay back for the karma he created, so the bill went to Akiyama too.

The grudges and curses from his victims called the very evil things, and Akiyama was eaten up by it. Poor boy…

Kamiya said to his mother “That’s not fair! He didn’t do anything wrong.

His mother responded “That’s how karma works with grudge… It doesn’t always hit you back  directly…but it hits you by harming those who are related to you or close to you…it haunts your bloodline and your bond. You guys should remember this. These things don’t care about human logic or morals.

Watch what happens to his grandfather soon..he also will not get away for free.

Then she stood up and left to the kitchen to prepare dinner. We were left shocked. What’s the point of being a good person, when you could be punished for the sins that your family/friend/loved ones had committed?

This is what happened to Akiyama’s family afterwards.

Akiyama’s grandfather got sick. His whole body was paralyzed and he was forced to lie in bed all day. His grandmother died of exhaustion from caring for her sick husband.  Then the grandfather was sent to the nursing home.

My mother’s friend was a nurse at the nursing home. According to her,

“Akiyama’s grandfather couldn’t even sit on the chair because his whole body was so stiff. And even though his whole body was paralyzed, he senses were intact and he could feel pain like a normal person.

He was in constant pain from bedsores, which also caused him various infections and diseases. But none of these conditions was deadly enough to kill him. Through all this, he couldn’t die. Life like that truly seemed like a living hell.”

20 years had passed since then. For the past 20 years, I kept this story to myself because I didn’t want anyone who knew auntie Kamiya to think that she was some kind of freak for saying these spiritual things.

I decided to share this story now since today was the 10th anniversary of auntie Kamiya’s death. I figured enough time had passed for me to publish this story.  And also because I heard that Akiyama’s grandfather had recently passed away, after 20 years of living in that condition.

It shocked me that he suffered like that for 20 years. It made me think about what auntie Kamiya said back then. As for Akiyama and his mother, I never heard what happened to them afterwards. I don’t even know if they are still alive.

I don’t know if there was any truth to what auntie Kamiya said. All of this could just be a coincidental match to what she said. His grandfather might have just caught a unfortunate disease by chance.

Akiyama and his mother might have had mental problems without any spiritual causes, just like any one of us could. After all, there are many people in the world who fall into misfortunes for no reason everyday.

But.

I made it a habit to appreciate my ancestors since then. Thanks to them and their good behaviors in the past, my life has been well. At least that’s what I would say when I pray.

About auntie Kamiya, there are more episodes of her with psychic events. I will share about them some other times.

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Kotoribako – Part 2

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The Sleep Over