A letter from Sawada
The next 12 months, I visited Sawada every month as I promised.
The 2nd year, I visited every 3 months.
Since the day we made up, Takeshi would often come over to see how I was doing.
Especially after I returned from Sawada, he would make sure to check on me.
After 2 years had passed since I came home, Sawada told me;
Sawada: ” I don’t think you have to worry about it anymore. Kota, you don’t have to come back every 3 months from now. Just come visit me sometime when you feel like it.
But don’t put off your guard and don’t do anything bad. OK? ”
I didn’t know if it was over. There’s no way to tell.
3 months later from that, Sawada passed away.
I wished I had had more time with her. There were many things I still wanted to learn from her.
And about “it”… who would I go to if it’s not over yet?
Since Sawada was gone..I decided I must think that it’s over.
2 months after Sawada’s funeral, I was slowly getting over the pain of losing her and returning to my normal life.
I had started a new job and it was keeping me busy.
There were moments that I randomly remembered what had happened to me.
But those memories seemed so far off from reality, I would wonder if it had really happened.
I never talked about it to my new colleagues or friends.
I was just taking my life by the day, and thought of this dark phase in my life less and less.
It was then that I received a letter from my grandmother.
Inside the envelope had 2 separate letters.
One was from my grandmother. It said:
“Ms.Sawada left you a letter. She asked me to give it to you after her 49 days ceremony.”
Another one was from Sawada.
Long time no talk. How are you?
It’s been a long time since you came to my temple.
I hope you’re not experiencing anything scary anymore.
Well. I tend to beat around the bush when I’m old.
So I will get to my point.
I am writing this letter because I wanted to apologize to you.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have any intention to wrong you.
But truthfully, I had no choice at that time.
Nevertheless, I am sorry.
The first day you came to the temple, I was actually very scared.
The thing that came with you that day, it was way beyond what I could possibly handle.
But you were so afraid.
I told myself that I had to hold it together, that I couldn’t show you that I was afraid.
So I put myself together and stayed strong.
To tell the truth,
there are so many times when you try to reach out to these things,
yet anything you do ends up completely ineffective.
We really got lucky that day.
Kota, how was the life in the temple? Did it help you feel better?
Almost every time I saw you, I told you to stay longer.
I want you to know that it wasn’t really like I wanted you to stay.
I knew for a young man like you, you’d have wanted to go back to your friends and family.
Life at the temple must have been boring for you.
But I had to make you stay.
Kota, I was praying for you every day while you were at the temple.
But it wouldn’t leave.
Days after days, I tried to convince it to leave you. But it didn’t work.
I knew your life would have been a hell if you had returned home at that time.
I hope you understand why I made you stay there for so long.
But don’t worry, it should be fine now.
I don’t feel its presence near you anymore.
But if you ever had any problem again, do not hesitate to go to the head temple.
This is what temple does to you, and the reason you stayed there so long.
While you are at the temple,
your power can be stronger than it so it cannot harm you easily.
In the end, there’s something I have to tell you.
From now on, if your life gets too hard, you might want to consider giving up on your life to be with Buddha. ***The implication here is suicide
When your life becomes nothing but pain.
You must make up your mind.
It’s not like I want to decide the course of your life.
But if this is not over.. It means your life will only get harder and harder.
Sometimes giving up could be the best thing you can do for yourself..
I’m sure you saw many people at the head temple.
The victims of the evil. As you might have noticed,
the truly evil takes time to torture you all through your life.
They enjoy making you suffer slowly.
They never let you be done with it. It lasts a life-time.
It pains me to see people like this.
As much as I want to save them… even our best team, oftentimes, can be no help.
There are so many cases where there’s nothing we can do but just watch them suffer.
Those things are just too strong for us humans.
I don’t want you to die, Kota.
I was determined to save you and I did every little thing I could.
But I’m not sure. I can’t be confident it’s gone.
Like I said, I don’t feel its presence near you and I think it’s over.
But never feel relieved. Never feel safe.
It might just be hiding till you’re convinced it’s over, till you let your guard off, till you start living happily again..
Just to give you a bigger hell when your life gets upside down again.
Just to see you that much more devastated.
Just for the fun of it.
We never know.
That’s why I’m repeating this to you Kota,
Never take off your guard. Never feel safe.
Always be careful. Stay away from dangerous places.
Stay away from trouble. Trust me. Ok?
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all the truths before.
I might be selfish to ask you to believe me now.
But at least, please know that I prayed for you everyday, till my last day.
And I keep praying that you live a healthy life.
My hands were sweaty.
I was so nervous. I felt like tiny needles piercing my skin everywhere.
I felt cold sweat dripping down my back and my heart was racing.
What should I do?
It’s not over??
I started feeling like it’s staring at me from somewhere.
The letter almost confirmed that I could never escape from it.
It could re-appear in front of me whenever it wants.
I don’t know what to believe..
Sawada said she had lied to me because she didn’t want me to worry.
But if she had any hope in the beginning, she would have told me it’d be fine.
So she knew it was going to end bad, that I had to worry?
Is that why she kept praying till the end?
Did it attack Sawada…? Was she tortured by it?
Is that why she left me this letter?
Is what why she’s dead??? Did it kill her?
Was Hayashi followed by it?
What did it whisper to him?
Did it say something that pushed him over the edge and completely broke his mind?
So in the end.. Nothing changed?
I’m still at the same place from where I started?
This is all I know about this story.
Like I said, 2 and a half years have passed, and I still don’t know where I stand.
To this day, I never found out how this happened.
Unlike movies, the character who can make sense to you how your tragedy happened, or guide you through your problem to solve it never really appears in real life.
The best explanation I got is it was just bad luck.
Who knew the result of bad luck could be this cruel?
What kind of crime I didn’t commit would cost me this much bad luck?
Life is unfair.
All I can tell you is it is no joke when something possesses you, like I said in the beginning.
I have to apologize to you readers.
I faked some little details in this story.
It was both to hide identities and make the story easier to understand.
There were also some details I wasn’t sure about.
I hope you understand.
If some part of this story was confusing to read. I’m sorry about that.
I’m not used to writing. I’m sure some of you would have written it in a better way.
But that’s not what I want to really apologize about.
I lied to you guys about something related to the very core of this story.
I tried my best to not let you notice it because I thought the story-telling wouldn’t be as good otherwise.
I’m scared to disappoint you now.
Please understand that I just wanted someone to know that this happened.
I can’t regret enough about what happened to Kota.
End of the story