"Get out! Get out! Die, won't you? Die—leave—don't look—don't look at me—his eyes—they're his—" the woman gasped in between cries and sobbed more incoherent phrases out, some inaudible and others going from one ear out Chiyuki's other.
This woman was dressed in a pretty white afternoon gown, with frills at the hems and no sleeves to veil her unblemished, perfect skin. It was perhaps her face that was the ugliest thing about her, all wrinkled from the frowns and the tears and all. Maybe to others her small curves and tiny eyes and other Midian features were still appealing despite the wrinkling—but Chiyuki found it somewhat gross. He found it gross but he still longed to look at it—nowadays he was too anxious to exchange glances with his mother when she didn't tuck her head into her hands to cry or were ever present at all. Sometimes she was out prostituting and wouldn't come home for days but when she did she'd always come home dressed in more expensive garments than before, and jewelry that was so shiny that even their dim old kitchen light beamed onto it and made it glimmer. She'd always come home prettier than before—and happier. It was short-lived, however. She'd somehow but almost always would return to a state like this.
Motor City wasn't the best place to raise a family but it was the only home Chiyuki ever knew. He and his mother lived in an obscure place—and though all of Motor City was obscure, this was especially hidden and out-of-the-way than most places. The streets felt more homely than any space shared with his mother, so when a metal pail flew into the air and struck him on his temple, transforming it red and bloody, Chiyuki felt completely compelled to go home. I should leave, he'd think, I'll die if I stay here. I'll die. She'll kill me. I'll die, maybe. The pail first, and then a glass bowl that would only harmlessly bounce off his chest and only the floorboards, shattering it. Chiyuki never exchanged glances with his mother at that time and reckoned that she sure did, but with a gaze full of contempt and hatred. For either him, his father, herself or all three.
The redheaded boy with loose shoelaces walked from his mother's side to the exit as if items weren't being barraged at him, but once the door slid shut and the distant wailings and shattering glass against that door became mute in the Motor City downpour, his small steps quickly became the dashing sprint of an animal. Thick streams of tears rolled down his face and fell off his cheeks and he ran through the downpour. Motor City streets were uncomfortable—he didn't have any other pairs of shoes besides these busted boots, so the rancid, dirty water always made his toenails dirty and feet stink—and the streets were so narrow that he felt suffocated. The buildings were so dark and desolate that you wouldn't know that there were any others living there besides the cranking of a wrench on a motorcycle or the banging of beer mugs against one another in somewhat jolly toasts. "Here's to the grease monkeys!" they said! "Here's to them bolts and them screws!" Here's to those things, they'd say! To the bolts, the screws, the women they'd pick up off the streets—the boy wondered if his neighbors had some sort of contact with his Mother these days! But again, he only wondered about it. His heart wouldn't beat any faster or any slower when his mother's occupation or lifestyle came to mind of a conversation, and he'd willingly deliver messages to her from some of her "clients." Truthfully, he cared little for what she did. At the time, it was normal for him. An honest living.
Chiyuki ran and continued to run until he'd arrive at a rather small building with a large, electronic sign reading "Ben's Sandwich Shop" flickered in the downpour. He didn't stop to look at the building and knocked on the doors. It wasn't locked, and an older man standing behind a counter was clearly there. But he knocked anyway.
Tap tap tap! His little knuckles knocked against the metal, and soon after much bigger ones were there to greet him with the push of the door—Ben Matthew looked down with a disappointed look. The kind of look that said "Again? So soon?" Chiyuki only looked at his leather shoes, still in the rain, tear wetting his cheeks no more than the rain would.
There was a moment of silence between them as Ben sighed, beholding the weeping Chiyuki, before opening the door a little wider, "Don't stand there all sad-like," he'd say, the door opened wider now, "come on in, boy."