I was in my last days of the Japanese army services and we had a very important task near the Kyoto city in Japan. Actually, we had some leaks that there is going to be a drug deal in the outskirts of the city. The deal was worth millions of dollars and it involved major gangs of the region. As such, to stop this deal from happening a team from the Japenese army had been dispatched to help the local police as their was the danger of a major gang -war breaking out over the deal.
[ a policeman running up to her] “ Captain! Ayako, the area had been completely secured and there is strict checking going everywhere near the town”
“ Be a little careful Yamato! It should look like a police search or any raid operation! Keep it as simple as possible and don’t giveaway a slightest of hint that there is a drug search going out here!”
“ Yes! Captian. We are trying our best to make this mission successful!” saluting the captain, the officer marched off the from the van in which Ayako was sitting.
“ I think I should quit this job before my retirement! My body is getting weaker day by day”
“ Haha!Captain….you are one of the finest officers that our country has. Till now you have served this nation to the fullest and I know that you will never leave this agency in between”
“ Thank you for your words of motivation Sukito and I also hope that my body keeps up with me” keeping her cap down on the table, Ayako looked up to the monitor that was installed infront of her, on the side of the van.
[sound of the mobile phone ringing] “ yes! Officer. What’s the update from the scene” nodding his head in affirmation Sukito listened to what the officer had to say.
“ What! a child”[ with a pause between the two words]
“Yes! Sir and he is refusing to say anything to us. What are your orders on the situation” a voice came from the other side of the mobile phone as Sukito continued “Don’t do anything with that child! I am coming at the spot with the captain!”
“ As you command sir!” putting the cellphone at rest, Sukito looked up towards Ayako and said “Captain! A twelve-year-old child has been found inside a truck.”
“What! inside a truck”
“Yes! Ma’am and the team is asking for orders about the situation”
“ Come! We will go and have a look ourselves”
Picking up her cap, Ayako and Sukito both walked out of the van and moved straight towards the truck.
“Good evening Captain” saluting Ayako, a policeman stood in an attention position infront of her.
“Good evening officer! Where is the child about whom you were talking about”
[pointing towards the box] “ inside the box captain!. We are trying to bring him out but every time we ask him he refuses to come out and closes the box from above”
Boarding the truck, she moved towards the big brown box which was kept at the corner of the truck’s door. The truck was long and hollow and nothing was visible inside the dark back except for the brown box which was barely perceivable because of the red and blue lights that reflected upon the box.
Opening up the box very gently she saw a small child, around 12-13 years old sitting silently inside the box. He had small black hair, white skin and was wearing a white t-shirt with blue denim shaded shorts.
“Hello! Little Champ. I am Ayako Yukki, the leader here. May I know your name?”
“ Hello! Miss Ayako. I am Ken, Ken Koshi” [looking towards the dark wall of the cardboard box, he coldly answered]
“ Let’s have a talk! Would you mind coming out of this box”
“ I don’t like shiny and flashy lights and I don’t want to talk to anyone so kindly don’t waste your time on me”.
“ if you don’t like lights, then we will talk here only. But come out of the box first”
“ I don’t think that any other place is more darker than this”
“ Ok! fine. So Ken how old are you and where are you from?”
“ I am 12 years old and my home is in Osaka” .
“ So, what are you doing inside this box and where are your parents” a long pause followed as Ayako waited for the reply.
“Ken, where are your parents and what are you doing here” very politely, Ayako asked the same question but again she got no response from the kid as he rocked inside the box with his arms wrapped around his knees.
From such cold response, Ayako knew that something was wrong with this child as the dire and disturbing look on his face clearly told his situation.
“ I don’t think he’s coming out Sukito. Let him be inside this box but put this box inside our van! We will try to interact him there.”
“ Who was driving this truck. Have you interrogated him”
“We questioned the driver about the child but he said that he had no idea how this child sneaked into this box. “
“ Seeing the condition of the truck, I don’t think that this child was deliberately brought inside the truck. But anyways, take him into the custody and try to extract more details from him.”
The operation ended successfully as the gang members were caught and arrested successfully. But for me, the real operation had just started as trying to bring back a child from his past was really a tough task.
As Ayako sipped water from the bottle, all three of them gazed at her with still eyes in anticipation for what is to come. Closing the neck of the bottle she continued,
At first, we kept Ken at the local police station to at least stabilize his mind and bring him out of that box but days passed and he still refused to come outside the box. We gave him medication,food and water from time to time but every time he refused to even have a look towards the food.
Seeing his current situation, I couldn’t see anymore and took him with me and bought him into my house at the Nanao district in Ishikawa Prefecture.
“Hey! Ken. Remember me, I am Ayako. We met at the truck…….six to seven days back”.
“ Yes! I remember you, Miss. But why am I here in this big house? You should have left me there only. I was better off there only”
“Now you are really pissing me off! Listen brat, you are too small to talk about things like these. So bring yourself out here or else I will pull you out of that box” in a really pissed off manner I asked Ken to bring him out of that box.
As Ken brought him out of that small box, I took a sigh of relief as a small child living on literally nothing from 6-7 days had got me really worried.
“So Ken! Let’s take a bath and then we will have a tasty meal together”
“ I am very sorry but I don’t take bath with ladies”
“ But I love to take bath with naughty kids like you”, dragging him out of the box I somehow managed to dress him up neatly and present him as a decent kid.
That day I asked him numerous times about his family and his parents but Each time he made the same cold face and never answered me. So I decided to drop the question and try to open him up a bit by asking him more about his day to day activities.
Days passed as Ken and I started to live like a family and somehow Ken also started to come out of his slump. During the past days, the police force tried to locate Ken’s family but found no clue of them. They even searched through the complaints and FIR’s relating to missing children in his city but no complaints were made in regards to the matter.
Months passed by followed by years as time flew past us. I retired from the military and joined Japan’s army training faculty, giving training to young women who aspire to serve in the military. During that time, Ken used to accompany me to the facility. As young aspirants polished their skills, Ken observed them closely and tried to grasp as much as possible.
A time came when he stopped accompanying me and started to study at home on his own. Seeing his sudden interest in studies, I asked him one day
“ Hey! Ken, how come you are so keen about studies these days. Earlier when I asked you whether want to join a school, you bluntly declined saying that you are way past your age to complete your studies and nowadays you are completely into this thing.”
“Yes! Miss, I know that I had made a blunder by declining your proposal. So I am trying to cover up for that”
Within no time, he covered his basics and moved onto High school followed by his college at the age of 17.
He was a very brilliant student from the beginning itself and had excellent situation grasping abilities. He was always on top of his field and never scored less than 90% in his studies.
But one thing that impressed me the most was his dedication towards anything he did especially his love towards military and guns. During his free time in his high school and his college, he always used to visit me in the facility and there were times where he used to practice with the trainees itself. Everyone in the facility also was used to him since he was a child and they treated him like his own family.
After completing his college, he wasted no time and did what he liked the most. He joined the Japenese army and stayed away from home most of the time.
There were times when I felt that his presence was what had me going each day and night. I never realized that the stubborn brat who refused to came out of that stupid box will one day become my lifeline.
There were times when he returned home during his service break and shared all sorts of stories with me.
I guess a mother-child relationship always existed between us. There were times when we laughed together and cried together. But the only regret I have is that I couldn’t that cold, emotionless expression out of his face.
He devoted most of his time to whatever thing he does and always ran away from emotions of happiness, love, and friendship and so I realized that he needed to do something else in his life and during the second year of his service, I asked him to pull out of his service and I send him here to San Diego to work at my brother’s pizza store where he met you guys.
And I am happy that I made that decision at the correct time because Ken seems to be more lighten up than before.
With a smile on her old wrinkled face, Ayako finally ended her story as Ak, Ellie and Marvin still waited with eager eyes in anticipation for Ayako to speak more. But didn’t had much more to tell about Ken and hence she fell back on the chair and started to recall all the happy days which they both had spent together.
A silence fell into the room as the three didn’t even realize that Ayako had summed up Ken’s life in such a short time. Breaking the taciturn Ak asked, “ So Ayako-san, you never found out about his family in these past years ?”
“ He gave me the same cold look everytime I asked him about his family. There were times when he walked of the discussion and sat alone for hours in a corner. So eventually I decided to let the topic go.
But the closest I got to his family, was when I found a picture of a man in his pocket. It was badly crumbled and barely visible.”
“So Ayako, you earlier said that he used to be inside a box and after numerous efforts only you were able to bring him out of the box? So did you ever found out the cause of it?”
“Well honestly speaking, Initially I thought that like any normal child he was scared of the new world and was upset because he was separated from his parents………but after observing him for days, I knew that something was wrong with him. There were days when he used to shout with fear at night while sleeping and in the morning when he woke up he used to sit silently in a corner and never spoke to anyone in the house, not even with the servants who used to take care of him when I was out in the facility. But call it God’s grace that now he is not senile to his past and is making his own future ”
“ Oh!God. I never thought that he been through so much in his life. He was there for me during my bad times and he even paid my bills when I was there in the hospital.
I am really an idiot, Ayako-san! I don’t think that he deserves a person like me”. Keeping her head in her lap Ellie realized that, although she calls her Ken’s girlfriend yet she didn’t know anything about Ken.
“Don’t be upset, my child! Ken isn’t the type of person who exposes his past to anyone. He is more of an introvert but I am sure your friendship and the care of all these people around will surely bring out his true personality.”
“So Ayako-san what do you think that his NIXp is?”
“Well honestly! I don’t have the slightest of idea what his power is. But to give it a wide guess, I suggest that his NIXp is confidence”.
Suddenly a mobile phone ranged as Ayako picked up her cell and walked out of the room. Ellie, Ak, and Marvin all three fell down on their respective seats as it was hard for them to digest the fact that the expressionless, “stone” man whom they expected to be ruthless and insensitive was so worn out from inside and had something wrong in his past.
“!…………………..!” a sound came from the monitor as all three snapped out of their thoughts and looked up to the screen in anticipation for what was to come.