My psychologist recommended that I begin a journal to record my thoughts and emotions. She stated it might help me relax more if I was able to express myself in writing. I will be keeping this private journal for myself. The date is exactly November 30, 2012.
The experience with Metatron and Hisaye was never disclosed to Lawrence. He returned a week later to a perfectly normal mother and daughter. The only problem was we were not normal, not anymore. I was the mother to a demonic child and Hisaye was forever doomed to live in fear of becoming a monster. That is enough to wear on any person.
Still, the return of Lawrence brought a sense of normalcy back to us. Lawrence, with his realistic perspective and rejection of anything mythological, was able to make us forget about that night. I remember the way Hisaye ran into his arms when he opened the door to the apartment. I never saw such happiness in my daughter’s eyes. Even I was feeling a sense of such excitement that I pulled Lawrence into an embrace and held him there. His presence and warmth filled me with such security that I almost burst into tears.
The onslaught of affection confused him. I remember the way his eyes widened when I hugged him. Such affection was rare if not nonexistent between us.
“Are you alright, Yoi?” Lawrence asked, placing his hands gingerly on my shoulders and pushing me back. He looked into my face as if searching for the source of my sudden affection. If only he could see that I have been in love with him for years now. “Everything went normally while I was away?”
I nodded and blinked back the emotion that threatened to spill down my face. Sebastian entered the home behind him, removing his hat and coat and hanging them up. He looked at me and smiled.
“Greetings,” He said.
“Welcome home,” I replied.
Lawrence took Hisaye to her bedroom. It was late when they came home. I heard him talking fondly to her of his travel as they went. Sebastian stayed behind with me.
“It was a long flight,” He said. I could see the dark circles under his eyes. “How is everything?”
“Well,” I replied. I was not about to disclose what happened to either of them. Lawrence wouldn’t believe it anyways. “For Hisaye’s birthday we bought a cake and watched old cartoons.”
“Oh?” Sebastian said.
I wondered if he didn’t believe me. I watched him, trying to gauge his thoughts. Unfortunately, I was nothing like Lawrence. Lawrence could easily read people. I could not. Sometimes I tried to be as astute and observant as him only to fall flat on my analysis. I felt prickles of anxiety and discomfort. I still wonder if Sebastian sensed that something happened between Hisaye and me. I wonder what he assumed and even feared his assumption.
“Yes,” I stuttered. “She wanted it to be a private, minimal affair. We watched Fox and the Hound. She gave me a rather in-depth observation on it, too.”
There was a sick feeling in my stomach by then. I gave Sebastian a forced smile and excused myself to Lawrence and I’s bedroom. I was surprised to find him there, actually dressed in dark grey pajamas. My eyes widened. Lawrence rarely slept and when he did, he more often than not passed out in his armchair.
“Lawrence?” I said. “I didn’t think you would be coming to bed.”
He looked up at me and gave me a smile. My heart fluttered and I felt my cheeks immediately turn a shade of red. His smiles always unsettled me in this way, probably because they were so rarely thrown in my direction.
“It was a long flight,” He replied, making his way to the bed and sitting. “I figured I would sleep tonight and take a break. I will continue my work tomorrow…” Lawrence paused. “But later in the evening. I promised Hisaye I would spend the day with her to make up for missing her birthday.”
I moved to the dresser and grabbed my pajamas—the same silk pajamas with apple designs that I’d worn the night I told Lawrence I was pregnant—and quickly proceeded to change. I could feel Lawrence’s eyes on me as I did. I saw him in the reflection of the wardrobe’s mirror. My cheeks grew hotter. The look in his eyes was not predatory or even sexual as I removed my shirt—back turned to him. His eyes laid on my back. There was a look of morbid curiosity in them.
My shirt was partway off, covering my chest, when he slipped from the bed and came closer. I knew what he was looking at. It was not often that I changed in front of him. In fact, I cannot think of a time before that moment. His dark eyes were centered on my back and the multitude of scars that remained. They were the byproducts of being whipped, sliced, smacked and bruised. They were my
punishments for my disobedience.
“Yoi,” Lawrence said, stopping directly behind me. I shivered at how close he was. He leaned closer to my back, his fingers hovering over the scars as if to trace them. I could feel my heart begin to beat faster and my breath quicken. I felt on the verge of a panic attack, yet at the same time excited to have him so close. “I have never been able to see the full extent of your scarring. Only the slashes down your wrists have been most noticeable, but never your back.”
I felt his hands on my shoulders, watched him place them there. I felt an urge to cry at the touch yet at the same time I always dreamed he’d touch my bare skin. My body, emotions, and mind were in constant conflict over what they wanted. While I was curious about his touch, my mind revolted without my consent and caused my body to panic. Even when I willingly laid a hand on Lawrence, I always experienced the flutters of anxiety in my chest. It was inescapable and another byproduct of my past.
“May I touch your back, Yoi?” Lawrence asked. He watched my eyes through the mirror. His own searched mine, asking for consent. “May I take a closer look at the scars?”
My lips trembled. I tried to whisper the word yes, but nothing would come out. I wanted him to do it. I wanted to allow him to explore me if only because he showed interest, but my body screamed no. My mind continued to rebel against my desires. So instead, I began to nod. I hoped it was firm enough to convey to him that yes, I wanted him to look. I wanted him to touch.
“Are you sure?” He pressed. He narrowed his eyes some. “I would prefer you say it, Yoi. I won’t touch you if you don’t want me to.”
“I-I…” My throat closed. I felt a lump raising in it. The throngs of anxiety made my eyes begin to water. I fought them back. I was holding back the shaking. I held back the memories that threatened to burst through the mental wall I had built long ago. I hated reliving the nightmare of the beatings, the rape, and the verbal abuse. I relived it every night in my dreams. I was not going to let it control my waking life. “Yes….Yes, I give you permission.”
I kept still while he explored my back. His fingertips lightly traced the scars one-by-one. I could hear him murmuring behind me, quietly reciting to himself the origin of each scar. Knife. Whip. Fire. Razors. Brass knuckles. Ice pick. Drill.
The list went on.
I tried to tune it out as to not trigger any memories of back then, but I could feel my body giving him. I was beginning to shake. My breathing was picking up so fast that my head was beginning to feel light. My eyes grew wet. His words. His touch. It became overwhelming until I broke.
A shuddered sob escaped my lips. I was unable to hold it back anymore. I burst into a raging fit of shaking and sobs. My breaths hitched. I could feel the world begin to spin as I spiraled into the abyss that is a panic attack.
Most of what happened is a blur to me, but I remember Lawrence drawing his hands away. Then I remember him turning me to face him. He was speaking to me, but his words fell on deaf ears. I felt like I was stuck in a bathtub and everything reaching me was forcing its way through the water. It made a memory come crashing back to me—a time when my head was held under water until I nearly drowned. Another punishment for my disobedience.
Lawrence took me in his arms and held me. I recall the way he stroked my hair, the way he murmured words to me. He held me there until I came down off my panic attack. I nearly passed out.
Once I began to breathe normally, Lawrence took my nightshirt. He gently slipped it over my head, pulling my other shirt away from me as he did. His gentleness touched me. For a moment, I was almost fooled into thinking he felt something akin to love for me after all. That moment of him soothing my panic attack is forever seared in my mind.
“Yoi, I apologize,” Lawrence said. “I feel like I pushed too far.”
There is always a numbness to Lawrence’s apologies. A formality that says he only apologizes because it is expected and appropriate. This time was no different and I know that Lawrence was pleased to have inspected my scars. Still, I nodded and accepted his apology. In reality, I’m not sure if Lawrence is capable of a true apology. I’m not sure he has the capacity to be sincere in things such as remorse. But he tries. And maybe, just maybe, I do, too. And maybe that’s why I always forgive him.
Lawrence turned so I could finish dressing into my pajamas. Afterward he led me to the bed and laid down with me. A clap of his hands and the lights were out. We became enshrouded in darkness. I listened to his steady breathing for a time, feeling again the fluttering in my chest. It hurts to love someone as much as I love Lawrence, especially when the feeling is not mutual.
“Lawrence?” I whispered, wishing I was closer to him. Wishing I could snuggle up to him and be encased in his presence. “Are you awake?”
“Yes, Yoi. Is there something you need?” Lawrence responded after a few moments. “Does your head hurt?”
“No,” I hesitated. “Just, I wanted to talk to you some about Hisaye.”
I daringly scooted closer to him. It was appropriate to do so since I wanted to speak in a soft voice. Lawrence wouldn’t think anything of it. It was my chance to be close to him.
“I feel like Hisaye is…stuck…in here too much,” I began. “She’s so isolated. I’m worried about her. I know we are trying to protect her from being taken, but…She’s a little girl, Lawrence. She needs to go out into the world.” I bit my lip, rummaging over my words. I’m not sure why I worried so much at that point. I knew Lawrence would agree with me. “I think we should sign her up for some activities. Maybe she could do dancing. Martial arts? Some kind of extracurricular activity.”
In a way, I knew the real reason I was asking Lawrence to consider this. It wasn’t that I felt Hisaye was isolated. It was because of what happened on her birthday. I thought of Metatron’s words. Hisaye had to learn control. She had to control her emotions and keep herself from turning into a monster. It feels like such a burden on a young girl. Extracurriculars such as martial arts would let her release her energy and emotions without her being overwhelmed. I was trying to find an escape for my daughter.
Lawrence was quiet, as if deliberating over what I said. Then I heard him sigh and shift in the bed. “You are correct, Yoi. Hisaye is a young girl, and despite the dangers, we should let her flourish. An extracurricular activity is something we can monitor. It’s also something scheduled. I feel this is a good idea. We shall speak with her tomorrow and try to gauge her interest. How does that sound?”
I smiled. “That sounds wonderful.”
I dared to scoot closer to Lawrence. Suddenly, our bodies were close. I nudged myself into his arms and laid my head in the crook of his neck. Surprisingly, he wrapped his arms around me and held me. It was another moment where I thought…that maybe Lawrence did have some kind of hidden affection for me. Maybe, deep down, he loved me in his own way. On the other hand, maybe he humored me and my snuggling because of the panic attack he earlier incited.
I laid there in his arms, listening to him breathe. I began to again think about how I wished he would touch me. Despite my mind and body’s revulsion to the idea of sex, I was always curious of it with Lawrence. I wonder about consensual sex and its differences from my experiences. I yearn for Lawrence to press his lips against mine and desire me in such a manner so that I could experience it.
I wonder if Lawrence ever has sexual urges. He never makes any indications of being interested at all. It seems, to me, that Lawrence is just as asexual as I am. If only he were more sexual, then maybe it would be possible for us to attempt consensual sex. Even if I am sent into another flurry of panic, I want to try it. I want to know what it is like to be intimate with someone who you agreed to be intimate with. I want to feel the difference.
I remember hearing Lawrence’s breaths become more labored and deep. I remember the way I brushed his hair with my fingertips and ran them over his lips. I remember the urge I had to kiss him. Maybe if I kiss him, he will let me go further. Maybe he will humor me and show me the difference between rape and consensual sex.
But I didn’t kiss him. Instead, I closed my eyes and fell asleep in his arms, feeling the gaping hole in my heart that remained every time I was in his presence.
Hisaye has been enrolled in a few different activities. She chose to join a dojo for capoeira and a contemporary dance class. On top of that, she is learning meditation.
I’m happy that Lawrence agreed with me. I can see the light in her eyes while she participates with the outside world. Her boredom has been cured and now, aside from schooling, she has other things to focus on. I’m hopeful she will even make friends in her classes.
It is mostly Sebastian and I that take Hisaye to her classes. Lawrence is back to his busy schedule, though sometimes Hisaye manages to coax him into attending a lesson. It makes her happy to show off her new skills to him, I know. I can tell she wants nothing more than for Lawrence to be proud of her. I’m sure he is.
Leaving the isolation of the apartment is something new for me, too. I sit and watch her classes along with other mothers. I notice the way they look at me sometimes. They can tell I am not one of them. They know that, somehow, I am different. It makes me uncomfortable. In addition, upon first meeting them, they threw an off-color comment on how young I am. They inquired about my age, and I was unable to truly answer them.
According to my documents, I am nearing 27. In reality, I believe I may actually be closer to 25. When I was rescued, I estimated my age anywhere from 16 to 18. Lawrence had me stand firm at 18 so that we could marry. However, I believe I was 16 at the time of our marriage and 17 when Hisaye was born. I realize in Japan that birthing a child so young is taboo and I understand their looks of disdain. It has made it very difficult to communicate with anyone other than Sebastian.
I notice that Hisaye is better at things than other kids are. In the dojo, she is quicker and stronger. Her accuracy is impeccable. In dance, her moves are tight and well executed. She has more balance. Even when it comes to knowledge, Hisaye picks it up faster and retains it better. The comparison is amazing and I think the other mothers feel jealousy over my daughter’s success. If only they knew why Hisaye was better. However, I believe it would be a bad idea for anyone to ever know what Hisaye is. Therefore, the secret shall remain and I will take a quiet satisfaction in my daughter’s achievements over other children.
If I am to be honest, I believe Hisaye would excel at these activities over those children even if she wasn’t a Cambion. I’m confident about that.
My daughter can do anything she sets her mind to.
The date is October 12, 2016.
On October 10th, I received a phone call that could only be described as devastating. It felt as if the Earth was falling from under my feet. No amount of trauma in my past prepared me for this call. I was floored.
The call came from a hospital. They told me it was Lawrence. He was in the hospital after a mysterious attacker brutally attacked him.
I’ve been staying with him since that call. Hisaye is at home with Sebastian. I told Sebastian where I was going, but not a word was said to Hisaye. Somehow, I feel like she knew. The way she looked at me as I left indicated to me that she sensed the situation. I wondered if it was because she was a Cambion.
The doctors managed to stabilize him, but they keep telling me to prepare for the worst. They don’t expect Lawrence to survive his injuries. I admit I almost was unable to walk in the room. When I saw him, I almost ran out.
Lawrence already looked dead. He was unconscious, his skin was pale and clammy, and bandages covered him from head to toe. One covered his eye. I’m told whoever attacked him cut it out. A sickening feeling settles in my stomach whenever I think about it.
I felt helpless. All I could do was sit there and stare at him. There was no expectation that he was going to wake up. The doctors thought he was going to pass on in his sleep. That was for the best, they told me. At least if he is asleep he will never wake up to the pain. Lawrence would go peacefully. Still, I was unwilling to accept that Lawrence was going to die. Strong, confident Lawrence who always felt invincible to me. Nothing could overtake Lawrence, not even death. I sat there with the feeble hope that he would wake up and everything would be okay.
Lawrence didn’t wake up that day.
The next day I sat there with his hand in mine. Everyone was surprised he survived the night. It only made me more hopeful. I squeezed his hand. It felt so cold to touch. It reminded me of when Hisaye was a baby and how her body refused to warm up. I thought about calling Sebastian and having him bring Hisaye. If Lawrence was going to die, then it was only right that he and Hisaye have their final words. Nevertheless, I didn’t. I still believed he was going to pull through in the end.
“Lawrence,” I whispered, my lips trembling. I managed to hold back the tears the day before, but now I was finding it harder and harder to keep them at bay. “Lawrence, please.”
I continued to stare down at him. There wasn’t any response or even a hint that he heard me. I bit my lower lip and slowly lowered my head onto his chest. The tears began to flow and I let out a soft, desperate sob. “Lawrence. Lawrence, please wake up. Please. You don’t understand. You never did. I need you, Lawrence. I need you.”
To my amazement, I felt cold fingertips press against my forehead. I lifted my head with a gasp. My eyes met his. Lawrence’s uncovered eye was open. It was glossy. There was a small, weak smile on his face.
“Lawrence!” I cried. I couldn’t believe his eye was open. I couldn’t believe he was smiling at me. Me. The girl he hardly ever smiled at.
“Yoi,” He whispered, voice coming out barely in a croak. “Yoi…I was so close. So close.”
“Sh, Lawrence…don’t talk,” I said, placing my fingers gently against his lips. I sniffled. My stutter was getting worse the more I spoke, “You have to save your strength.”
I still cannot imagine the amount of pain he must have been in. I cannot admire his strength enough for forcing himself into consciousness to speak with me. The amount of willpower it must have taken. Lawrence must have cared about me to some extent to come back from death just to speak with me. He must have.
“I was so close,” He whispered against my fingers. “I’m sorry.”
“What are you talking about?” I cried. “You’re going to be fine. You’re awake. Just stay with me, Lawrence. Please. Stay with me.”
I leaned onto him again, burying my head into him. I gripped his hand tighter. I was afraid letting go meant losing him. I refused to let him go.
“Lawrence,” I whined. It finally came out. After all those years of keeping it inside, of keeping my gaping hole open, I finally let it out. “I love you.”
After that, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. My tears came out faster and harder. My emotions spilled out onto him and I found I couldn’t stop babbling.
“I love you, Lawrence. I love you so much. I’ve always loved you. Please don’t die. Please don’t leave me. Please. Please. Please. Lawrence…I can’t do it without you. I need you, Lawrence. I need you. Please…”
I am not sure whether Lawrence heard my pleas or not. I am not even sure he heard my confession. His smile vanished and his eye began to close. The last thing he ever said was:
“I’m sorry, Yoi. Forgive me.”
“Lawrence…” I whimpered. “Lawrence!” I closed my eyes, leaned forward and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips. It was the only kiss, save for the one we exchanged for our marriage, I ever shared with him.
Lawrence never woke up again. He died the next day. And all I could do was sit here and write this down as they wheeled him away.
Lawrence’s funeral was small and private. The only people there were the people who were with him all along— Sebastian, Hisaye, and me. We buried him in a small cemetery. Apparently, Lawrence never planned for what he wanted done to him after death. Perhaps he didn’t are or perhaps he never expected to die so young. The same thing applied to his will.
Lawrence wrote a will. I learned about this after the funeral. The problem was Lawrence wrote the will once he started his career as a private detective. This meant Hisaye and I were not on it. Everything of Lawrence’s was willed to Sebastian. Sebastian was apologetic. He kept repeating that Lawrence meant to change it and will everything to Hisaye. He even insisted everything rightly belonged to us and he would give it to us.
I only smiled and said, “No. If Lawrence gave it to you, then it is yours. You’re older now, Sebastian. You need money to retire and live at peace. Hisaye and I are still young. We will make it.”
Sebastian wouldn’t accept it. In the end, he agreed to give us enough money to put Hisaye through the rest of her education, including university, and enough to keep us afloat until I found a job. I agreed because it was for Hisaye.
We said our farewells to Sebastian the following week. I felt terrible for Hisaye. She, out of all of us, was taking things the hardest. I knew this by the way she isolated herself from us. She spent countless hours in her room, meditating. It was all she could do. Hisaye’s restriction of emotions kept her from mourning in the same way as Sebastian and I.
At our goodbye, Hisaye held on to Sebastian tight. She was losing two people within a short period. Two people whom she cared deeply for. My heart ached as well. The loss of Lawrence and Sebastian both was hard on me, too. They were the only other two people I ever really knew. Now we were leaving Sebastian to retirement and Lawrence was gone. It was too sudden for me.
“Farwell, Yoi-san,” Sebastian said with a gentle smile. “May you and your daughter find peace in the world.”
“Goodbye Sebastian,” I replied tearfully as I embraced him. He felt so fragile under my arms that I was afraid of breaking him. We had been together for 12 years and it was only now I realized how much he had aged. The mortality of it struck me.
We were never going to see Sebastian again.
I found the file while I was cleaning out the apartment. The file was rose-colored and marked “MIZUNO.” Usually I would not dare look through Lawrence’s work, but something about the file drew me to it. I sat at the kitchen table and opened it. I was shocked at what I found.
There was a photo of me and some documents paper clipped together. What really caught my attention was a newspaper clip written in Japanese marked for December 8, 1987. The headline read:
“DEAD WOMAN FOUND IN HIDDEN CABIN IN HIDA-TAKAYAMA CONFIRMED TO BE EMI MIZUNO.”
The authorities have confirmed the body of a dead woman found in a cabin hidden in Hida-Takayama is the body of Mizuno, Emi, daughter of prominent businessman Mizuno, Hayato.
Mizuno, Emi has been missing since her disappearance on December 3. Her body was discovered two days later when an anonymous tip led police to the scene. Miss Emi was 9 months pregnant upon her disappearance. Her lover, Izumi, Akumu, is suspected of kidnapping her on the night of her due date. The cause of death is determined to be childbirth. The child was not found on the scene.
Izumi, Akumu and the child are still at large. If anyone has any tips on the whereabouts of Izumi, Akumu or Mizuno, Emi’s child, please submit them to your local authorities.
It didn’t take an expert to put the pieces together. I sat staring at the newspaper clip for a long time. I was not sure how to feel. I could not decipher my own emotions.
All this time, Chichi-ue had been my real father. My tormentor was my biological father. He carelessly sold me off to men, beat me, and manipulated me for years and never gave any indication of being my blood. I can understand why Lawrence chose to hide this information from me. I almost wish I’d never found the file.
I lowered my head and cried.
After I exhausted myself of tears, I returned to the documents in the file. There was the birth certificate of Emi Mizuno, her school transcripts, and notes from Lawrence requesting these things. He stated he needed them for research purposes. There were requests of the same thing for Akumu Izumi, but the replies were apologetic that such a person did not exist in any records. The last thing was a photo of the two.
I stared at the photograph. The two were happily in each other’s arms, Emi heavy with child. Chichi-ue looked the exact same as I always remembered him. I concentrated on Emi Mizuno the most.
“Mom,” I whispered. I felt myself shiver. Emi Mizuno was beautiful. She had long, flowing brown hair and large, red eyes. I could see my soft features in hers. She smiled happily and elegantly at the photo as she held her large tummy. She looked like a strong woman filled with life and confidence. I was ashamed that her daughter was nothing like her.
The back of the photo stated, in Lawrence’s handwriting, that it was the last photo ever taken of the two before her disappearance. I placed it back into the file with the documents and newspaper clip and shut it. My past was finally revealed to me. I know who I was supposed to be. I was to be Yoi Mizuno, daughter of Emi Mizuno and child of a wealthy, well-known family. But none of that matters now, because I am Yoi Lawson—survivor, mother, and wife.
That is who I want to be.
Life has been difficult since Lawrence has gone.
Hisaye and I now live in a smaller apartment. I found a job as a waitress, but I lost it after a while. There are days I wake up and I’m unable to get out of bed. I lay in bed and close my eyes, thinking about all the miseries in my life. A dark cloud hangs over me and overwhelms me. This can go on for days at a time, or even weeks. It has made it difficult to hold down a steady job.
My psychologist told me I am depressed. She made a recommendation to see a psychiatrist and explore the possibility of medication. That was the last time I saw her.
There are days I think back to when I was in that small cabin. I think of the times I tried to take my life, and I think about what would happen if I tried again. There was no one to cut down the drop this time and no one to sew my wrists back together. The only thing stopping me was my daughter. Hisaye had no one else except for me now. It was up to me to raise her and help her succeed at life.
I push on for my daughter.
We became closer after Lawrence’s death. Our connection is now stronger than ever. I only regret that my episodes of darkness cause Hisaye the burden of keeping the apartment together. It should not be her job to take care of me. It is my job to take care of her. Yet, there are times she comes into the bedroom with my breakfast and encourages me to eat. She cleans up the apartment, handles the mail, and makes sure bills are paid on time.
“It’s okay, mom,” She says. “I don’t mind. You stay in bed and feel better.”
I can see it in her eyes. I am making Hisaye grow up too fast. My misery is affecting us both, but there’s nothing I can do. When the dark cloud comes, I am unable to control myself. As much as I wished to get up and be the mother I’m supposed to, the cloud weighs me down. It suffocates me. Life begins to feel hopeless.
I feel others who do not experience the darkness would judge me. No one can understand how it feels to feel this way unless it happens to them, too. It’s a horrible feeling. It eats you up inside, and you can only scratch at the walls in hopes of finding a nook to climb out. If only normal people could understand, but I have learned from Lawrence that humans significantly lack empathy. He showed and told me things about his cases that I will never forget. It makes sense to me why Lawrence could be so distant—he saw the worst in people and the worst of people every day.
Working in the real world, I’ve begun to see the worst in people, too. Unlike Lawrence, though, I try to find the good. I want to believe that people are inherently good. I want to believe that I escaped my confinement and found freedom in a world worth living in.
If only the darkness would stay away.
Yoi stared at the journal in her hands. She used to write in it every night, but over the years, she wrote less and less. Eventually she put it in the drawer of her nightstand and forgot about it. Now she read the pages and allowed the memories to sweep her away. A deep-set nostalgia set in threatening to bring her down into the watery depths of depression.
There were so many feelings in the pages she wished to forget. If only it was as easy as burning the journal so that her memories would fade away. Yet, even without the journal, they remained vivid in her mind. Her memories were inescapable, seared forever into her damaged soul.
Yoi set the journal back on the nightstand and sighed. Her eyes closed. She felt the tears creeping in. It felt like someone took the sutures in her heart and ripped them out, reopening the gaping hole. Her body shivered. She held herself and let out a weak sob.
So much had changed since Lawrence and Sebastian. In the six years since, the two girls struggled through life with each other. Mother and daughter. A mother and a daughter who never really understood each other, yet they lived together. They loved each other, despite a void between them that separated them. Sometimes Yoi looked at her daughter and wondered who she was. Sometimes, she did not see herself in her daughter, despite having birthed her.
Hisaye had grown. The once small child now was a tall, willow-y girl with a small chest and a pointed chin. Her face was narrow as well as her nose. Her face was so unlike Yoi’s. Her eyes were wider and haunted by insomnia. Her skin was considerably pale. Her hair was dark and long. It was about the only “feminine” thing about her. It was amazing how much she looked like Lawrence despite him not fathering her, and her mannerisms followed along his lines.
Her daughter was successful. She graduated home schooling early and moved on to university for a degree in Criminal Justice. She scored first on the entrance exam and was considered top of her class. Hisaye truly followed in the steps of Lawrence, though Yoi was unsure whether Lawrence ever achieved a degree.
Yoi wiped her eyes of her tears. She was about to get up when a sudden sense of being watched came over her. Yoi paused. She felt a shiver run down her spine. A sudden familiarity filled her. It was the same dark feeling she felt all those years ago as she watched her father speak to the man. The man who later raped her and made Hisaye. His presence filled the air. It was almost suffocating. Yoi never wanted to feel such evil again, but she knew this day was coming. Ever since Lawrence died, she knew that he would be back.
He stood in the darkness of the corner. His eyes were greenish-gold slits, almost cat-like in nature. He smiled at her, a smile revealing a mouthful of fangs.
“Hello, beautiful,” He cooed, stepping from the shadows. His appearance hadn’t changed. He was averaged-sized, pale, and with a froggish face. His hair was cut short and black. He was dressed in a suit just like the day she’d met him. In all honesty, he could have been American. It was his accent that made Yoi assume he spent most of his time in England. “Do you remember me?”
“You’re Mammon,” Yoi murmured. “You’re a demon.”
He laughed, “Oh? You know my name? It must have been that pesky Metatron that told you that, right? Chickens with wings. By the way, sweetie, it’s daemon. Demons are different.” Mammon glanced behind her. His smile grew broader. “It appears Metatron isn’t with you anymore. He’s not been with you for a while.”
Yoi’s heart fluttered with fear. She stood up from the bed as Mammon approached, only for him to push her back down on it. He held her there, hands on her shoulders, leaning his face closer to her. Yoi’s breath quickened. She felt herself beginning to panic.
“Oh, sh, sh, sh, my love,” Mammon whispered. He stroked her cheek. “It’s been a while. You have certainly developed since I last saw you. Unfortunately, I’m not here for you. I’m after what’s rightfully mine.”
“Hisaye isn’t here,” Yoi said. She tried to make her voice strong, but it cracked. Her stutter picked up. It only brought amusement to the eyes of Mammon. She forced out, “And she isn’t yours.”
Mammon snorted. He tightened his grip on Yoi’s shoulders, digging his claws in. It made her wince. Her pain brought him satisfaction. “Isn’t mine, you say? Oh, I would beg to differ, my dear. That Cambion is definitely mine and she will definitely be coming with me. I’ve let her run along and play with mummy long enough. Time to come home and do what she was created to do.”
The sound of the apartment door opening made the two go quiet.
“Mom?” A voice echoed. “Mom? Are you awake?”
Yoi tensed under Mammon’s grip. Mammon smirked.
“Oh? Look who’s home,” Mammon chuckled. He forced Yoi from the bed. “Let’s greet her, shall we?”
“No,” Yoi whined quietly, but Mammon wrapped his hand around her neck and squeezed, nearly closing off her windpipe.
The rustle drew Hisaye to the bedroom.
Her daughter entered the room. She stood there for a moment, perplexed, but she quickly realized what was happening. Yoi grabbed Mammon’s hand and tried to pry it off. She writhed in his grasp.
“Hisaye,” Yoi croaked. “Hisaye, get out of here. Get out of here, now.” She threw a hand out, hoping her daughter would flee. But she didn’t.
“What’s going on?” Hisaye asked. She looked between the two. Yoi could see anger in her daughter’s eyes. “Let her go.”
No…No! This is exactly what he wants! Yoi thought. She had to stop this. “Hisaye!”
Mammon tightened his grip on her, this time closing off her windpipe. Yoi gasped and grabbed his hand with both of hers, desperately trying to pry it off. There was an exchange between the two. Yoi dug her nails into Mammon’s hand, but to no avail. It was as if he didn’t feel any of her attempts to break free.
Hisaye’s anger was boiling over. Yoi could see her daughter changing. She saw her red eyes become a solid white, pupil and all. Her nail grew into claws and her teeth slowly became fangs. Her voice grew darker and more demonic.
She finally felt his grip loosen. Yoi gasped in air and sputtered. The loosening of his grip was momentary, Mammon soon tightened again. Only this time he dug his claws into her neck, drawing a cry of pain from Yoi.
This set off Hisaye. Yoi heard her daughter give an inhuman growl. It was enough to send shivers down her spine. Her daughter closed in on the two. Yoi writhed in Mammon’s grip, kicking at him and screaming.
“Hisaye! Hisaye..! Hisaye!”