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    Early in the morning, he went for a jog. The swirling array of bushes, trees and rock surrounded him and brought peace to him. It felt good to run, his legs pushing harder to keep with his pace. It had felt like forever since he’d last got a good run in. He planned to see Satou again later on in the day and needed to calm his nerves some. Turning a bend, he jogged past giant curved rocks, some sloped as if by a large hand. The sound and smell of the fresh water helped him jog harder. Inhaling the crisp air, he felt the sweat slide down his temple. Almost there. 



    “Hiroto?” He sat inside a room of his grandmother’s house, shoji closed. 

    “Honey I know you’re in there. When are you going to come home? It’s been a week. Don’t you want to graduate?” He buried his head between his knees, the material of his yukata growing moist with tears. 

    “Hiroto… you have to graduate.” 

    “Are you satisfied?” He hadn’t spoken in days. Only tears and cries… cries for her. He couldn’t see her but he could hear his mother through an open window. 

    “What are you talking about sweetie?”

    “Don’t bullshit me. You got what you wanted. What else do you want from me? I’ve given you everything. My life. My body. You sought after my heart too and now it’s yours. I have nothing left for you to take.” She was quiet for a while. 

    “Hiroto I only did what I had to. You don’t understand now but everything I’ve done has been for you and your future.”     

    “Leave me alone. Abandon me here like you did your mother.” The silence this time was longer. 

    “She was corrupting you Hiroto. You don’t see that?” If she could hear the words that came from her mouth, she would understand how crazy she sounded. He didn’t reply. She didn’t deserve one. After a while, she spoke again. 

    “Stay here if you’d like. But it shall only be for another day or so. Your father and I expect you to come home in time for your graduation.” With that, she left him. A couple more days he did stay and when he returned home, he came back empty. Inside his heart, the desire for vengeance burning strong. He had been determined to pay them back even if he spent the rest of his life doing so. 



    “Hello Mr. Iwase.” He nodded. 

    “Hello Dr. Satou.” 

    “Have you been well?” He licked his lips. 

    “As well as I can be. To be perfectly honest, all of this is scaring the shit out of me.” Time was going slow and fast at the same time. It seemed as if he had just got to Hocking Hills. Already, two weeks had passed. In that time, he had visited Satou, sometimes begrudgingly. Some sessions, he talked. Some, he didn’t. It impressed him how patient Satou was with it all. Not once did he force him to speak or tell him to be quiet. To be honest, he didn’t feel as though he was making any progress. 

    “I can only imagine. You are peeling back layers you have left untouched for years.” He sighed. 


    “How can I assist you?”

    “Honestly, the best thing you can do is just listen. I'm sure as we proceed with our meetings, advice will come. But right now, I just need to get it out.” Satou nodded. 

    “Understandable. I shall listen. The floor is yours Hiroto-kun.” 

    “I’m sure you’ve heard about me. I know I look perfect. Everything in my life seemingly jewels and gold. As someone once told me, life with a silver spoon. But that spoon if you looked close enough wasn’t silver. Instead it was bronze. I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I’m not proud of.” 




    “Well, well. Look what we have here. Little rich boy here thinks he wanna be one of us.” He stood against the wall, hands in his pockets. All around, smoke thick like fog drifted around the room. In the room, barely any light could come through. 

    “Did you get lost or somethin kid?” He gripped the inside of his pockets but looked ahead, his gaze strong. 

    “I came here for a reason.” The man who sat in the center of naked and semi-clothed women pulled the cigarette he was smoking out of his mouth. 

    “A pretty faced boy like you came here on purpose? For what I wonder?” 

    “Aren’t you that Iwase kid?” He turned to look at another guy who casually had his arm resting on the back of a low couch. His eyes drifted down. It wasn’t hard to guess what was going on. He stared hard at him, his fingers roughly grabbing the hair of a woman as she bobbed in between his legs. 

    “Well?” His eyes lifted. 

    “Surely this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of me.”  The man smirked. 

    “Oh no. Everyone here has heard about you kiddo. You’re the legendary Iwase Hiroto. Every woman round these parts know about you.” 

    “I’m sure.”

    “So, did you come to get some? We’ve got a nicely stored virgin in the back if you prefer.” 

    “Hey.” The man in the very middle, the lead of the pack, spoke loudly, shoving one of the multiple faces near him away. He stood up and slowly walked over to him. 

    “Did Mommy and Daddy send you here? What kind of parents sends their kid to the underworld I wonder.” He stood still and firm as the man reached up and gently grabbed his hair. 

    “Whatever you want, you’re going to have to show what you got kid. This ain’t no playground.” He sighed, the bravado of the man starting to annoy him. 

    “Look, I don’t have any time for your inflated attitude. Let me do my thing so we can move on with business.” The man smirked and let go of his hair. 

    “Izakawa. Go bring that pretty young thing here wouldja?” Soon, a struggling swinging girl was brought into the room. 

    “Let go! Don’t touch me!” The men cackled. 

    “She’s a fiesty one huh? Always a treat.” 

    “Iwase.” He found the man’s eyes again. 

    “Fuck her.” The girl looked up at him, her face already littered with bruises. 


    “If you do it good, we’ll give you what you want.” The man said pulling back. He took his seat and sat back. He clenched his fists and looked down at the girl who curled up on the floor. 


    “Must it be in front of you all?” A few men chuckled. 

    “You are our entertainment after all.” 

    “That’s how we like it…” The girl shook her head. 

    “No….no please…I’m…I’m a virgin… please don’t.” His heart twisted and his hands began to tremble. He tightened them to keep them still. 

    “Do it.” The man barked, making several of the girls around him jump. He slowly got on his knees and reached out his hand. The girl looked at it, tears streaming down her face. This time, for the second time in his life…he wouldn’t be harsh. This girl was too much like him. Maybe she too needed tenderness. 

    “I won’t hurt you.” 

    “No… you’re lying…” He grabbed her gently, taking her breath away. Pulling her close to him, he felt her grow still. 

    “I’m sorry…I’m sorry you found yourself here. I know we’ve just met. But, I vow that I won’t hurt you. Take a deep breath.” He whispered quietly into her ear. She reached up to grip his shirt. 

    “I’m scared…” He swallowed thickly. 

    “Me too.” She pressed her face against his neck. 

    “Will they kill me if I refuse?” He nodded. 

    “You’d be dead before morning.” 

    “…..Don’t… don’t hurt me…please…” 

    “What are you doing?” She jumped at the man’s voice and he slowly pulled back to look into her eyes. 

    “Focus on me hm? Don’t look away.” He reached up to wipe tears from her eyes. Slowly, he laid her back against the ground and slowly removed her clothing. He took his time with her, making sure that she felt as relaxed as she could. She squeezed her eyes shut and when his bare skin touched hers, she bit her lip and wrapped her arms around him tightly. 

    “Take a deep breath.” And like that, they were intertwined. 



    It was quiet. But the tears that fell down his cheeks screamed in pain. 

    “They watched us roll around on the floor like dogs. To them, we were nothing more than a show. To them, she was nothing more than a conquest. Soon, naturally, she found the rhythm and let the pleasure take over. I tried to make her forget them… their eyes.” Satou was silent, listening for his next word. 

    “When it was over, they grabbed her and pulled her away from me. I had blood on me. Precious blood. They laughed and tossed stacks of money at me like I was a cheap whore. My job was done. Another job well done.” 


    “She was just one of many. So many. Since I was a little child… First her…the woman who took everything from me. Life as I knew it. Love as I tried to understand it. From that woman the cycle started. And it never stopped.” 



    The stench of body odor and release clogged up the air. He laid on his side, eyes empty and staring. Tears fell down his cheeks but he didn’t feel them. How many was it this time? Four? Five? All in one go. Like a machine, he produced and performed until he ran out of steam. Until his back ached with the multiple lines of scratches, all red, some bloody. The girls giggled as they lay still. Some had hands between their legs, eager for more. 


    “You did well.”

    “Such promise for such a young boy.” 

    “He makes me crazy. I want more.” He felt hands slide across his hips and grab the most private place on him. His skin crawled. 

    “Don’t touch me.” He reached down to tightly grip the wrist. 

    “Just one more time. Even you want it one more time… look how you rise to attention…” He pushed the hand away from him and slowly stood up. All eyes rested below his waist. 


    “He’s incredible…” 

    “Don’t leave us so soon Hiro-kun…” He pushed past the hands to hastily pull his clothes on. 

    “Thank you parents for us hm? They truly have a great heir.” 

    “Shut up!” He felt anger thread through his veins and slipped out into the cool night, his body aching. 



    “When I met Rae… everything changed. I was scared that what I was taught would get in the way but somehow… she made me think I was worthy… that I wasn’t dirt.” He sighed, the tears still flowing. 

    “I’ve been with a lot of women in my life. More than I can count or remember.” He grew quiet for a while. Satou sat still, his expression one of deep thoughtfulness. 

    “Miyamae Noa was the girl promised to me. Her family sold her to mine and we were just casualities of war.” 

    “That is quite a different name for a Japanese.” 

    “Yes. Very much so. But, unlike Rae, Noa wanted to be like everyone else. She wanted to be accepted and the same as the next girl.” 

    “Are you still with Noa?” 

    “Our relationship was nothing but a false hope from the beginning. I thought that I could finally get back at my parents by taking her hand in marriage. I wanted to make her suffer as well for agreeing to go along with this. But now, I am just a man who wants his hands clean of her. I’ve tried Satou… I’ve tried to give her a chance. I’ve tried to let her discover her own freedom. Time and time again, she does not see it. She is hellbent on staying with me.” 


    “If things were different, I would happily call her my little sister. She is three years younger than me. Perhaps I have been trying to fix something that does not want to be fixed. I do not hate her any longer, however, she tip taps on my nerves more times than I’d like.” 

    “In the way younger siblings do I’m sure.” Satou said with a small grin. 

    “Noa is just like the others. My reputation as an Iwase got to her and she couldn’t handle the hunger that rose up within her. My trust shattered when she touched me.” 

    “Touched you?”

    “I had been sleeping. Dreaming of Rae. She had decided to remove her clothing and violate me while I laid there. Ever since then, I haven’t wanted to be in the same room with her for too long.” 

    “I see.” 

    “I must have talked over our time. I apologize for that.” Satou glanced at his watch. 

    “It’s quite alright. I hadn’t noticed.” 


    “Today was good. How do you feel?” 

    “I feel much better now that it’s out.”

    “I have something I want you to do until our next meeting Hiroto.” 

    “What is it?”

    “We’re surrounded by beautiful nature yes? On your next outing, I want to you to write letters. For each of the women you were with, whether by force or consent. Write a letter to Rae. Your parents. And to yourself.” He blinked, balled up his lips. 


    “Good. Before we conclude, I want to say this: I am proud of you. I have hope in you. And I believe you will make it.” 




To whom it may concern, 

    Firstly, you may or may not remember me. But I feel compelled to apologize. I want first and foremost to apologize. I am sorry. I cannot imagine the lives you’ve all lived until now. Back then, it seemed fun. It seemed like a passing moment that would never resurface. But, wounds were inflicted, deep jagged scars that imprinted themselves on our minds. Such young children we were. What did we know of love? Of true intimacy? Of life? Not knowing of the consequences beyond the erect organs and moist flesh, we indulged. 

    I hope it is not entirely too personal what I am about to do. But, I feel for the sake of my healing and for yours that it must be done. While I can’t do this for everyone, I will try for as many as I can. You deserve it. 

    Takawa Rinko: 

    If I am honest, I hated you. The rage I felt has not quite disappeared. For you, a grown woman to partake in something as sick and disgusting as raping a young child is unfathomable. You were the one responsible for the beginning of it all. You thrust me into a world a child has no place. You took from me the most precious thing, something that cannot be replaced. Perhaps you would enjoy knowing what you did to me had such a significant impact. But, I shall let you know that one day very soon, I shall snip the cord of power you have held over me for most of my life. Most of all, I hope you are repaid just what you dealt out. 


    Yamada Masaki:

    Hello. Are you well? I remember you. If you remember me is not quite as important. Of the night we shared, I remember most the tenderness you had in your heart. Of all of them, you were one of the only women I actually felt normal with. Aside from the fact that our families agreed to use our young bodies as collateral, I hope you are doing well. You reminded me so much of myself…then. Are you happy? I hope you will live your life to the fullest. I hope that the deep dark despair that gripped your body no longer dwells within. I would like to think that now, you can smile and show your true face. 

    Okada Fumi: 

    Are you well? It’s Hiroto. I know I didn’t treat you well the last time we were together. That time, I remember your tears. I know I hurt you. I was angry. I took it out on you and your body. I’m sorry Fumi-chan. If you find it within yourself, please try to forgive me. You didn’t deserve that. Please take care of yourself ne? 

    Hashimoto Aoi: 

    To think we spent nights doing things we shouldn’t have fills me with regret. I feel as though I destroyed your chances of finding a nice man. You wanted to be with me so much. But I was trying only to escape. I think we both were in our own ways. Be well Aoi-chan.

    Hotane Mizu:

    What you did to Rae that day… I have never forgotten. You pissed me off. You felt entitled didn’t you? Because we had had sex a few times you thought I belonged to you. Even still, in the end what you had planned backfired. Your action didn’t frighten either one of us off from each other. Instead, it drew us closer. 

    Takahata Sakura:

    Though the guilt has never left me, I still feel as though out of every woman who has crossed my path, you deserve the greatest apology. Saku-chan, it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that I was forced to choose between your life or your virginity. How cruel of a fate…I wouldn’t let them kill you. I couldn’t. You were so frightened…I won’t forget how you held on to me, softly crying. I was relieved when you started to feel good… I was glad that at least… for one temporary moment… you could feel happiness. You could forget what was happening and just fly. You don’t know how much it has eaten me up inside… all these years later. I have wondered the most about you. Where you are. What you are doing. How you have been. Do you resent me? Do you feel anger towards me? I understand if you do. I wish I could go back…I wish I could have rescued you…Please…live freely…away from any hurt or harm.



    Kuribahara Emi: 

    My my, look how the tables have turned. How’s jail? Is it as fun as it looks? I hope you haven’t been getting yourself into too much trouble Emi. You still have quite some years to go don’t you? Tell me, was it worth it? Was going after Rae worth spending your life in jail? I didn’t think so. But, as they say… you live and you learn. The nights spent with you were the most repulsive times of my life. How I hated you. The thought of your name still makes me want to vomit. Ah, be expecting an invitation someday soon. You’ll know exactly what I’ll be talking about when you receive it. Until then, take care hm? 

Chapter End Notes:


A/N: Woo, kay I'm startin to feel the juices goin lol. Can't believe break is almost over. MAN. I really coulda used this Monday through yesterday (Thurs) lol. Oh well. lol. I LOVE THIS CHAPTER simply for the end lol. The rest was very hard to write. I had a hard time. I had to stop and take was just too real y'all. I was like man...I think writing letters is a wonderful way to promote healing. Being that I am a writer, it only made sense to have some element of writing take place for both Rae and Roto haha. ;D I also love the varying degrees to which Hiroto addresses some of the women. You can feel his regret, curiousity, sadness, hope, anger, etc. Love it. Specially that last letter lol. Okay, next to last chapter will be up hopefully soon. :) Hopin this burst of creative lasts through the weekend. Workin on it now :D Can you feel the reunion between Rae and Roto? I know I can. And I'm excited. <3 <3 <3 God bless you all! Take care! Have a wonderful Friday evenin! See you soon! <3 

Shine into the sky, bright and yellow! 

Be set free by the renewing of your mind! 


D&L <3

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.