Chapter 5: Past Part 1
Kagome walked into the living room holding Bankotsu’s plate. “I hope you like spaghetti and meatballs.”
She saw him close her phone and place it back on the table. “Who called?”
“You friend named Sango. She said to call her back ASAP, it’s urgent.” He took the plate from Kagome and set it down in front of him. Long, thin noodles were centered on the plate, four meatballs sitting on top coated with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of basil and parmigiano-reggiano. It looked and smelled delicious.
“mmMMmm,” Bankotsu commented with a month full of pasta. Kagome laughed at his expression, “I’m glad you like it. I’m going to call Sango back.” She picked up the phone that was hanging on the kitchen wall and dialled Sango’s number.
“Hi! Sorry I can’t pick up your call right now, please leave a message and I’ll call you back as soon as possible.” said Sango’s pre-recorded voicemail.
“Hey, you called before? What’s up? I’m at gramps right now; I think I’m going to stay here overnight. If you want, you can come sleepover and we’ll talk then. Okay? Call me back.” Kagome hung up and took her plate of spaghetti and went to sit beside Bankotsu. “Everything alright?” He asked with concern. “Yeah, I think so.”
He handed the remote control to her. “What do you want to watch?”
Sango tied the sash of her baby blue bathrobe together and wrapped her hair in a towel. She walked out of the steamy bathroom and closed her eyes with a content sigh. She opened one eye and peeked at the clock, 5:00 pm.
Sango began to unwrap her hair from the towel when a flashing light from her phone caught her attention.
Hmm... She flipped open her phone and listened to Kagome’s message. When it ended, she dialled Miroku’s number.
“Hey, can you do me a big favour? ...Meet me on campus in forty minutes?”
Inuyasha was strolled down the street, heading home for the day. He was still fuming from him encounter with Kagome. Didn’t remember me. Keh, bullshit I tell you. He walked towards his apartment when something caught his attention. There was long cardboard box against the front wall of the building. The open side facing the sidewalk. It wasn’t there the day before. His tilted his head to the side in confusion. There’s... something there. He jogged towards it and crouched down. Inuyasha lifted a flap and jumped back.
Inside was a little boy, maybe around the age of 8 or 9. There was a smaller sheet of cardboard covering part of his body. He was dressed in what looked like pyjamas, it was hard to tell because it was so dirty and worn out. Inuyasha must have woken him up, he watched as the little boy’s eyes slowly began to open.
Inuyasha was taken back by the amount of emotion- or lack of, in his eyes. The boy looked familiar, he reminded him of someone...
His attention focused on where the boy’s body was hidden by the cardboard. A small, boney hand timidly came out holding an empty pop can that looked like it had been ripped in half. The boy’s eyes pleading. Inuyasha looked at the can and at the exposed arm; it looked like it had been empty for a while. (an: okay... I cried a little when I was thinking about how to write this :( )
What was a little boy doing in this kind of environment. Inuyasha’s eyes softened.
He knew who the boy reminded him of now- himself, when he was younger. The little boy thought he wasn’t going to get anything and brought his hand back to its original spot under the cardboard, before his eyes closed.
“Hey there ... what’s your name?” Inuyasha asked softly. When he got no reply, he gently shook the boy’s shoulder. No response. His hearted pounded against his chest when he placed his finger under the boy’s nose. He let out a sigh of relief, still breathing.
Inuyasha gingerly removed the cardboard and picked up the boy. He couldn’t look down at the rest of his body.
Inuyasha kicked his bathroom door open with his feet and placed the boy in his small corner bathtub. He gently peeled the kid’s clothes off and waited for the warm water to fill the tub.
Sitting back on the balls of his feet, he took a good look at the child.
Burgundy shoulder length hair, he didn’t look like he was any taller than a foot, there wasn’t much to say other than that, but skin and bones. The once blue pj’s, now black with mud and dirt was thrown in the nearby garbage can.
Inuyasha cautiously washed the sleeping boy’s hair and body, he just looked so fragile. The tub water turned brown with dirt and twigs collecting at the bottom. He drained the water and repeated the process till the washroom smelled like lavender and berries.
Inuyasha dressed the boy in one of his t-shirts and tucked him in his bed. As he got up to leave, the little boy woke up. Golden eyes met hazel.
“Hey there sleepyhead ... you hungry?”
He slowly nodded.
“What’s your name?”
“Shippo,” he replied in quietly.
“Shippo... stay put. I’ll go make some food.” Inuyasha said gruffly as he stepped out of the room.
Shippo sat up when he heard the door click shut. He glanced around the room. There were boxes piled up to the ceiling that cover one wall. A desktop computer on a table in front of the bed, and wooden bookshelf filled with rows of thick books, beside it. A small closet was located beside the door. Shippo looked out the window beside the closet; the sky was stunning shades of purple, blue, and red. Streaks of yellow and orange can be seen far away in the horizon. The colors slowly faded into darkness as the sun set.
A shiny object reflected the lights, and gleamed in Shippo’s eyes. A metallic silver wrapped box was sitting on top of one of the boxes against the wall. He delicately set his feet on the ground and curiously walked towards the box. He flipped open the lid and looked inside. There were two pairs of shoes. One of them was ripped and torn, the fabric all worn out. There were remnants of dried glue where the logo previously was, and the shoelaces were covered with brown and black spots. The front of the shoe had protruding toe marks, and the rubber sole of the shoe had holes. It looked older than Shippo. The other shoe that was right beside it seemed newer. The outside was black, but the insides were white.
Shippo help the shoe up in his hand, the outside was hard and crusty, but the insides looked like it was never worn. He looked closely at the color, and realized it wasn’t real black. It was burnt black; it looked like it had been set on fire.
All of a sudden the door opened and Inuyasha stepped in holding two bowls of ramen.
“Sorry, this is all I have right –” He froze when he saw Shippo.
“I never said you could touch my stuff, you little brat!” He yelled harsher than he wanted.
Shippo jumped and dropped the box as he scrambled under the bed.
Inuyasha placed the bowls on the nightstand beside the bed before jumping over the bed to the shoebox. He placed it on his lap as he sat down on the bed. “Shippo, come out.” Inuyasha called out with exasperation. Shippo peeked out from under with fear in his eyes; but he made no move to come out. He sighed.
“Mom! I’m off to school!” cried out an eight year old Inuyasha as he put on his backpack.
An older woman slowly walked into the room, bracing herself against the wall. She had long black hair, and deep violet eyes. The black tracksuit she wore contrasting her pale white skin. Her messy bangs covering part of her droopy eyes. She was exhausted, it hurt to even stand, but she gave Inuyasha an encouraging smile, “You excited for your first day of school?”
She watched him warily as he stuffed his feet into his obviously too small running shoes. Izayoi let out a sigh. Her little boy is growing up fast.
“Ya-huh,” replied Inuyasha, ignoring the dull pain in his feet. Izayoi walked over to Inuyasha and pulled on his collared shirt and shifted his backpack, like every mother does to their child. “Have a good day love,” she wished him, running her fingers through his hair.
“You too mom,” Inuyasha hugged her quickly before dashing out the door. He was eight; of course he was excited for the first day of school.
Izayoi sighed as she slowly walked back into their room. They could only afford renting one bedroom, the kindly landlord agreed to let them use their living room and kitchen when they heard about their background. They didn’t have furniture or anything as a matter of fact. Their bedroom could only fit a bed and some walking space. They couldn’t afford any type of luxury, so there were only a few sets of clothes. Inuyasha even had to wash his own, but the landlord’s wife offered to wash Izayoi’s because she’s a woman.
Izayoi only had around ten thousand dollars left in her bank account. Their rent alone was $550, and Inuyasha was still so young. He would try and help out by getting a couple of dollars when he’d mow lawns and shovel snow for neighbourhood, but she didn’t know how long they could last. Inuyasha’s father left them a long time ago and left her with nothing. Now her illness prevented her from working, everything was uncertain.
Inuyasha walked with a bounce in his step as he headed to his class. He was wearing his brand new t-shirt and jeans that he got at a thrift store a week ago, he didn’t mind.
Inuyasha took off his shoes and placed them in a cubby before sliding the classroom door open. He frowned when he saw all the students turn and give him a weird look. He walked around the desks to the back before taking a seat. All the students looked very high class. The boys were all wearing dress pants with clean white shirts, while the girls wore bright colour dresses with their hair up in some fancy updo’s. Inuyasha picked at his shirt as the students continued to look at him.
He sighed in relief when the teacher entered the class room and everyone turned away.
The class filed out when it was time for recess. Inuyasha walked to his cubby and put on his shoes. He looked up to see a group of boys looking in his direction, snickering and pointing. Inuyasha ignored them and walked out into the sunshine.
In the field, he saw a couple of boys and girls playing catch with a tennis ball. He smile as he jogged up to them, “Hey, can I play?” he asked shyly. Nobody answered him as he stood there. Finally a little girl with two french braids, dressed in a yellow sundress walked up to him, “Go away, we don’t want to play with people like you,” she said as her friends followed with a “mmhmm.” He watched as she looked him up and down dramatically with "tsk"s of disapproval.
Inuyasha’s shoulders slumped as he sat against a wall, watching everyone else run around with laughter. . .
“Mom, I’m home.” Inuyasha called out softly as he pushed open their bedroom door.
“How was your day dear?” she asked, turning to face him.
“It was fine.”
“Did you make any new friends?”
“Yeah,” he lied.
Izayoi knew he was lying. She knew exactly what goes on in schools and why.
With a sigh, she reached under the bed and held out a silver box.
“Here honey.. I thought about giving you this on your birthday, but you’re a big boy now. You need it to run around with your friends, it’ll make you faster,” she said promisingly.
Izayoi knew she had used up the money she planned on using for the week, but that didn’t matter.
Immediately, Inuyasha’s face lit up. He jumped on the bed and flipped open the box. Inside was a brand new pair of shoes. It was perfect white and smelled of leather.
“Thanks mom, I love it!” cried Inuyasha as he launched himself into her lap.
The next day at school, Inuyasha walked proudly through the halls, showing off his new shoes. He smiled widely when his classmates looked at him and then down at his feet.
“I like your shoes,” called out one boy, then everyone followed. He sat the front that day and even got in trouble for talking in class. During recess, he got invited to play catch, much to a little girl’s displeasure.
Inuyasha waved goodbye to his friends as school ended. He walked to his cubby to put on his shoes when he realized they were gone. He panicked as he looked through every other cubby. He ran barefoot to the back of the school, hoping someone took his by mistake and left it outside. Frenziedly, he ran around, until he saw smoke coming from near the playground.
His eyes widened when he saw his shoes in the fire.
Inuyasha’s filled with tears as he frantically flapped his shirt around and on the fire, and covering it with sand to put it out. He saw a girl sneer, “Don’t think cause you spent all your money on a pair of shoes we’ll play with you.”
Inuyasha grabbed the black shoes in his arms and he looked at the raven haired girl, “I hate you,” and he ran the rest of the way home.
Izayoi was shocked when her baby came home barefoot, holding his shoes in his arms.
“I’m sorry mommy,” he sniffed.
She softened in understanding, “it’s alright, mommy’s not mad,” she said as she gathered Inuyasha in her arms.