Depth of Heart

Tsuyu and Hato
Tsuyu saves Hato from freezing to death - an important turning point of the story. (An old illustration from 2008).

The sky was colored in a deep shade of hazy gray and the heavens cried. A shadow rested underneath a tree and in his hands he held the latest newspaper – the headline was written in bold letters: ‘Son still missing – the police doubts  he’s still alive’.
His eyes glanced at the title once more while his lips formed a faint smile.
“It’s their own fault...” He thought and discarded the newspaper before he rose to his feet.Slowly he walked along the meager ground of stone, adorned with puddles, akin to thousands of tiny lakes, until, far ahead of him, he saw the train station’s dim light. This was where he was heading for. 

He had saved his money for a while already – for quite a while he had been planning to do what he was about to do now:  to travel alone, to leave - to go far away from here, away from this city he never had cherished. Away from familiar sights, towards new lands, yet unknown to him. Just like the heros of the tales he had loved as a young boy, setting out on an adventure, to find his own 'happily ever after' - that is, if things like this existed in real life."

This is how Hato’s story begins – and though the title of the story may seem a bit cheesy (I still wonder what made me call it like this back then *laughs*), the story is anything but...Well, anything but happy. It’s actually quite the sad story, about a boy who’s been given away by his parents and though his new parents were kind to him, they eventually passed on and he set out on a lonesome journey. As he travels though, he’s overcome by despair and nearly dies as he falls asleep in the snow – the sensation of not having to think anymore, of just feeling the cold and nothing else, all too welcome to him. Eventually he’s saved though, by Tsuyu, a more or less successul artist.
Tsuyu just suffered a terrible stroke of fate, finding out his hometown had been destroyed by war and having lost all contact to his relatives there, he wanted to start over and thus set out on a journey of his own, only to find the young boy in the snow.
Soon they become friends – or rather, something like companions in misfortune, both carrying their past as their secrets. But as they travel together, they soon find themselves in a strange world where nothing is as it seems... And they find out things about themselves neither one ever expected.

Depth of Heart is a story I began writing many years ago – I don’t exactly remember what event it was that triggered it, but I do remember that I felt quite miserable... So this story was a way for myself to deal with my situation – I hoped that when I write this story, I can change what’s going on.. That’s also why the subheadline of the first chapter is:
“Sometimes the world changes... And you’re the reason.”

Maybe this is true, hm...? Maybe one person can change the world. Hato certainly does, later on, in the story...