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By Louise Babyshampoo

Part Two - A New Meaning to Spring

      Aoi came just in time to catch Nami in his arms before she touched the floor. He winced and turned around at the sight of blood pooling around Nami's legs, feeling uneasy and scared at the same time. He tried to gain back his self composure, then examined every part of Nami's body for another signs of injury. His prediction was right. His wife was having a miscarriage!
      He heard someone sniffling, then lifted his face and found his son with a bandage around his head, rubbing his eyes with his grubby fingers, sticky from the blood. Aoi lowered his wife carefully on the ground and rushed to Ryo's side to check on him. He exhaled in relief when he found that the bleeding on his son's head had stopped altogether, thanks to Nami.
      "Ryo, can you wait for a while?" he told his son gently. "Papa has to attend Mama, 'kay? Mama is bleeding very badly. Be a good boy and stopped crying." He could hear his own voice shaking.
      Ryo lowered his hands and looked at his father with his big, innocent eyes, "Will Mama-chama be all right?"
      Aoi nodded firmly and rushed back to his wife's side. He was not too sure him self, but he should not make his son more confused. He had to make everything under control. He watched the blood soaking Nami's maternity dress slowly, then started working. Cold sweat dripped down his chin as he tried every ways he knew, but the bleeding just would not stop. The blood had soaked his hands as well, but it seemed that the bleeding was endless. His efforts were just no use.
      Stop! Stop! Stop! Please stop!
      He prayed and prayed and prayed, but nothing happened. Tears started to form in his eyes as he felt hopeless and vulnerable. He just could not do it anymore. The sight of his wife's pale face, the stench of blood, he just could not take it anymore.
      God, please help her...
      Nami smiled as her eyelids fluttered open at the sight of her husband crouching over her. She touched his eyebrow and called out his name softly, "Aoi." The man jerked his head up and looked at her with tears brimming on her eyes. "Aoi, welcome home... I'm glad you are here..."
      "Oh, Nami..." Aoi grabbed her hand and kissed it gently. "How could all of this happen to us?" His voice was like a touch of a feather to Nami's heart.
      "Doesn't matter... as long as you're here when I give birth to our girl..." Nami whispered softly to her self, half unconscious as a result of the loss of blood that she suffered.
      "But Nami...! You, you are..." Aoi could not contain his despair anymore, he burst into tears, sobbing softly as he caressed his wife's pale cheek, "you are having a miscarriage!"
      Nami's eyes widened slightly at this, but instead of crying, she smiled sadly and said, "I'm supposed to feel pains, but instead I only feel numb. It feels as if I am going to die. I love you. I believe in you... I know that you won't leave me in a time like this." She turned to Ryo and extended her hand to the little boy, gesturing for him to come nearer.
      "Ryo... does Mama's boy still hurt? Please, come here... Mama wants to hug you..."
      The dark haired boy nodded in confusion, but he did approach his mother, anyway. He rested his head on his mother's shoulder and hugged her silently. Nami kissed his forehead gently, then turned to Aoi and extended her other hand to him as well.
      Her husband only watched her slowly and he reached for the hand and squeezed it gently.

      "Nami!! It's me, Junko!! Doctor Togakushi is here!"
      Junko entered the house with the spare keys that Nami had given her in case of emergency together with a middle aged man in black. She met the doctor in her university hospital, and he agreed to check on her twin sister before he went back home.
      There was no answer. The lights were completely out.
      Strange, Junko thought, switching on the main light. It was almost dark, but no one bothered to switch on the lights. That was not like her sister. She must be playing with Ryo-chan too long and forgot to switch on the lights.
      Nami turned to the doctor and told him, smiling, "Forgive my sister, Togakushi Sensei. She must be in the nursery, playing with Ryo-chan. It really isn't like her at all."
      Togakushi waved it off and answered her in a cheerful tone, "Don't worry, Amamiya-san. Anyway, I really want to see Ryo-kun again. He was really cute when we met last time. A cheerful baby, he is."
      The younger woman nodded in agreement. "I must totally agree with that, Sensei. He is indeed a beautiful baby. Oh, this way..." She led the doctor to the nursery, not expecting the whole scene before her.
      The door was opened ajar and they could see Aoi hugging his wife and his son tightly with exhaustion and desperation clearly written on his face. Junko almost could not stand the sight of blood smearing the floor in front of her, turning her head away. Her heart screamed.
      Nami! Aoi!

      "Sanada-san, please move your wife to the couch over there." The doctor acted very quickly, "Make sure that she's warm enough. Add some blankets and turn on the heater."
      Sanada Aoi jerked up his head and did as he was told. He was very relieved to know of the doctor's presence. He really did not know what to do more since he had tried everything that he could do to stop the bleeding.
      Togakushi put off his black coat and rolled up the sleeves of his shirt, barking orders to Junko as well, "Amamiya-san ! Please check on Ryo-kun and make sure that everything's all right." He sighed when he saw that Junko was only staring at her feet, unable to think. He approached her and shook her shoulders abruptly, awakening her from her state of shock. Junko focused her eyes back and gazed into the doctor's eyes askance.
      "Please check on Ryo-kun. I think he needs your help. And please boil hot water after you're sure that everything's all right. You should know how! You're a future doctor, anyway. CALM DOWN, Amamiya-san!"
      Junko nodded abruptly and moved the struggling Ryo from the room as he refused to let go of his mother. "Come, Ryo-chan. I've got something for you..."
      "But I want my MOMMY!!" the little boy wailed.
      "RYO!" she snapped at him, causing him to seal his lips in fear. Actually she did not want to snap, and she knew that her sister almost never snapped at him, but in a situation like that... she shook her head and decided to give him a glass of water to calm him down.
      Togakushi approached Nami and eyed her and her husband pitifully. He remembered how much she had rejoiced when she first learned that she was going to have a daughter. And now... she was going to lose it. He promised to himself that he would do anything to save his patient's life... and her baby, if he could. It was almost impossible.
      "Okay, Nami-san..." he sighed, "take a deep breath, then do as I told you. I know you're going through hell, but I'll do my best to save you and the baby."
      "Save the baby..." Nami said, gritting her teeth. She tried to bite back her screams.
      The doctor laid his hand gently on her shoulder and said firmly, "Don't try not to scream, Nami-san. Just go with the flow."
      A minute later, a painful scream could be heard throughout the house.

      Her baby was gone.
      Her life force was gone.
      She was not sure how to explain it, but she could feel it. She was getting weaker and weaker after the birth. The baby herself only enjoyed the world for a few minutes before her soul left its shell forever. She could feel her baby slip further and further away from her as she hugged her tightly.
      She was a pretty baby girl with a mop of thick chestnut hair and small, cherry lips. She supposed to become the family's little jewel, the family's pride, but fate had decided to take her life back. And Nami also could feel the little girl, calling for her mother to leave the world behind and go to a place called Heaven together.
      To leave her family. To leave Aoi and Ryo.
      They had tried to persuade her to stay in the hospital, but she refused, knowing that her time in the world would not be long. She smiled sadly and sighed to her self. Her baby girl was very naughty. She just would not give enough time for her mother to say her goodbyes to every body. She just spared enough time for her father and her brother.
      Nami's eyes darted to the door when she heard some one knocking on it. Must be Aoi. She smiled weakly as the door was opened. Aoi was standing there, holding a tray with a bowl of chicken broth and a glass of water on top of it. Little Ryo was hiding behind his father's legs; he did not dare to look at her straight in the eye.
      "Your lunch is ready, Mrs. Sanada." Then he gestured to Ryo with his chin, saying playfully, "There is a prince who insisted on meeting Mama-chama." He winked at me, then proceeded to put the tray on the bed side table with Ryo still tagging along him. He sat on the side of the bed, gazing lovingly into his wife's eyes, asking, "How's your condition today, Nami? Just tell me if you need something."
      Nami only nodded, then extended her arms and reached out for Ryo, "Come here, little Ryo," she cooed him gently, "Don't you miss Mama? I miss you verrryyy much."
      Aoi sighed, then lifted his hiding son up and put him gently on the mattress. "Go on, mama is waiting."
      A pair of dark eyes eyed her guiltily, "Mama-chama not angry with Ryo? I'm a baddd boy, causing mama hurt."
      "Mama forget already," Nami answered weakly. "Ryo is never a bad boy. Ryo is mama's boy, right?"
      Finally Ryo gave into his instinct and nuzzled his way up to his mother's side, hugging her tightly. Nami returned his hug and smothered her son's wild black hair, saying softly, "Ryo, Mama loves you very much."
      "Mama-chama, I miss you very much. Please don't leave me."
      Nami could only sighed heavily as she detached herself from her son and held his upper arms firmly. "Ryo-chan, whatever happens to me, promise me this; be strong for everybody! Protect the ones you love with all your might. Okay?"
      The little boy did not really understand what his mother meant, but he nodded anyway. Nami nodded back in satisfaction, then turned around to face her husband. "Aoi? I'm hungry. Can I have a taste of your broth?"
      Aoi, overwhelmed with the situation, almost did not hear his wife's words. "Oh, yeah! The broth!" he spoke back awkwardly, helping Nami to sitting position as he propped some pillows behind Nami's back to support her. Nami's eyes never left her husband's face as he fed her carefully.
      I love him.
      I love him very much!
      True that he is not the best of husbands, but I can understand him. I know that in return he loved me back and he would never love another, so I would not regret anything. He was my one and only true love.

      "Nami?" Aoi felt her eyes on him and lifted his face, his eyebrows met in worry as he saw tears started to form its way on Nami's eyes, "Why are you crying?"
      "Nothing," anwered Nami, her voice breaking. "The broth is nice."
      She could see little Ryo beam with pride as he told his mother, "See? I and Papa cook it together!"
      "Really?" Nami laughed, patting Ryo's head, a gesture which Ryo enjoyed very much. "Good boy." Then she turned around to Aoi and said, "I'm thirsty."
      Aoi extended his hand to reach for the glass, but Nami stopped him.
      "No," she said firmly. "I'd like the water to 'flow' from you."
      Aoi frowned in confusion, but then he understood. He was just about to send Ryo out when Nami stopped him again. "No, I want him to be together with us."
      At first he cast a disapproving look to his wife. However, the pleading look Nami had on her face made him so that he could not refuse. So he sighed to himself, then stored the water in his mouth before he bent down to kiss his wife.
      Nami circled her arms around his neck and surprised him when she deepened the kiss all of sudden. The kiss itself was not like any other kisses they had shared before. It was long and lasting and... tasted sweet. It tasted sweet with memories, and kindness, and gentleness. He knew that Nami had always been gentle, but he really did not expect this. It was... something more, something more intense. There was emotions that Nami tranferred to him through the kiss.
      "Nami, you..." Aoi's blue eyes never left his wife's as the kiss ended. He felt an emotion that he could not describe. So sad... yet so happy.
      "I love you, Aoi. Never ever forget that..." she whispered to his ear, her breath brushing his skin like a touch of a feather.
      "Mama and Papa are like prince and princess..." Little Ryo clapped happily as he witnessed his parents kissing.
      His mother only giggled happily as she pulled him closer and asked his playfully, "And what about Ryo-chama? Do you want a kiss too?" She grinned ever wider as her son nodded in a cute way of his.
      Aoi only smiled to himself and shook his head in amazement. She is sure getting better, he told himself. She seems so happy, today. He eyed the still full bowl, then decided to taste it a bit. He cooked it without tasting it, anyway. Was it really good?
      His brows met when the broth met his tongue. It tasted awful. He turned around and scolded her jokingly, saying, "Why don't you just tell me that it's not nice?! Are you afraid of me or what? Hey, Nami..."
      There was no answer.
      His wife slept peacefully with a smile on her face.
      Aoi shook her shoulders in fear, feeling very cold all of sudden, "Hey, Nami... please, open your eyes..."
      There was still no answer. And there was no breath left in his wife's body.
      "Nami!" He choked back his tears as he hugged his wife's dead body, feeling very lost. He knew that this would happen one of these days, but he did not expect it to be that soon. It was only two days since the accident.
      Ryo put his little hands on his father's shoulder, feeling very confused. He did not understand the whole situation. "Papa, why are you crying?"
      Aoi lifted his face, then told his son gently, "Mama... is leaving us forever."
      Without further explanation, he understood and sobbed quietly in his father's arms.
      12:30 pm, 24th of April 1977, Spring.
      Sanada Nami was leaving the world forever, bringing a new meaning of spring to the Sanada family.
      A season of sadness, a season of mourning.

      Japanese words :
      Sensei : basically means teacher, but Japanese usually call doctors Sensei, too.
      Info : We could know how close the relationship a Japanese has with the others by noting the way he/she calls the other's name. If they're not very close, they usually call each other with family names. Only family and people with close relationship with them could call their first names. (That's basically what I know... :P sorry if there was any mistakes. It was difficult to explain it in English, you know.)