Upon hearing his voice, people often say he sings like an angel. And it’s true; Tegoshi Yuuya has an absolutely beautiful yet powerful voice. Fewer people know though that like an angel, he has saved a life. His singing brought his sister back from a very near grave once.
His mother is not a very fertile woman, but she was blessed with him. Chikako had always wanted a daughter however so she kept trying and finally became pregnant with a baby girl. The pregnancy was even more difficult than the first, and she was advised several times to abort the fetus. She refused. “You said I should do the same with Yuuya. and look how beautiful and perfect he turned out!”
She worried about his possible reaction to the baby; the boy was a rather self-centered child, and she didn’t know how he’d handle a younger sibling. When she was far enough along, she told her son about the baby growing inside of her and then about it being a girl. “Yuuya,” she started, “you’re going to have a little sister! Isn’t that wonderful?”
The little four-year-old looked up at her and frowned. Then he seemed to come to a sad revelation. “Just like you always wanted, huh?” His shoulders slumped.
“Yes, Yuuya, just like I always wanted.” She smiled in euphoria. “I’m so happy!”
He was not as thrilled. His whole life, he had heard how his mother wanted a girl and how she wished he was one. “Are you going to give me away now, mama? You won’t want me anymore, right?”
“Oh, no, sweetie. You’re a perfect little boy, and I’m so happy that I have you. I’m just really excited for my girl! Won’t you be happy with me?”
Yuuya suddenly grinned. “I’ll be happy if it means I can cut my hair now and not wear skirts anymore!”
Toshiro sighed in relief. “Yes, Yuuya, you can finally be my son again!” he said with a mock-glare at his wife.
“Yosh!” Yuuya cheered.
When the pains got bad, Chikako asked her son to come lay next to her in bed and sing. “Angel, come sing for your sister, so she doesn’t give mama such a hard time.”
With his pure, child’s voice, he complied. He always loved singing for his mother to cheer her up; maybe his sister would enjoy his songs too.
As his mother’s tummy grew bigger and bigger, his excitement grew with it. He started talking to his sister all the time. He would put his ear to Chikako’s belly button and say things like, “Hi, baby! It’s Yuuya! I’m your big brother! I’m gonna be the best big brother ever! I’ll always take good care of you and always protect you! But, don’t be mean to mama, okay? She really, really loves you, and you’re hurting her. I don’t like that. How about I sing for you? Stay still and listen, okay?” and he’d sing.
The difficult pregnancy gave way to an even more difficult birth.
It took more than an entire day for the baby to come out after labor started but even so, she was named Nyoko, “treasure”. Her troubles became more apparent during her neonatal assessments; it was not thought that she would survive the week.
The family that had been all set to celebrate began to plan a funeral. Yuuya’s paternal grandmother, who had come to briefly take care of him during his sister’s delivery stayed with him full-time for much longer than anticipated.
Days dragged on, and the baby girl’s condition remained unchanged if not worsening.
Chikako was devastated to say the least, and Toshiro tried to distance himself from it all. Unexpectedly, Yuuya was wracked with guilt. “I’m sorry!” he cried out after yet another night of his grandmother tucking him in rather than his mother. “I’m sorry, baa-chan. I didn’t want the baby to be born. Mama has been telling me how she and papa might not have much time for me anymore after the baby’s born. They were gonna spend all their time with her and not care about me anymore! I was just being selfish and wished it when they went to the hospital! But I don’t want her to die! I’m sorry!”
Yuuya’s grandmother tried to reassure him that it wasn’t his fault. “Yuuya, that was a selfish wish, but you’re just a little boy. You can’t make these kinds of things happen. This isn’t your fault, precious. It’s really not.”
His mother, crazed with grief, did not agree once she heard what he had done. “Yuuya! How could you wish such a terrible thing?! You know how your wishes come true sometimes! How could you?!” She reached out and grabbed his shoulders, shaking him roughly. “What is WRONG with you?!”
Yuuya sobbed. “I’m sorry, mama! I’m sorry! I didn’t really mean it! I just wished it suddenly without thinking! I didn’t mean it!”
“Go away, Yuuya! Leave me alone!” With that, she shoved him away.
Toshiro remained more calm in his grief, almost stoic. He knew it was not his son’s fault. He picked up his now five-year-old boy and walked away. “Come, Yuuya. You must say good bye to your sister before it’s too late,” he said, his voice devoid of emotion.
All the way to the hospital, neither spoke. Through his tears, Yuuya sniffled and asked, “Can I tell her I’m sorry, Papa?” once they had arrived.
Toshiro’s heart shattered into finer pieces. He made a noble effort to control his face and voice. “Of course, son.”
A nurse saw the two walking towards the ICU and told them they could not go in. Well children were not allowed in that part of the hospital. Powerful anger flared up in the man, and he tersely told her that his son wanted to see his sister. “This might be the only time he ever sees her alive!”
No one had ever refused Yuuya’s pleading face, so he looked up at the woman and implored her. “Please?” His voice broke.
They were let through, and he immediately ran up to the machine Nyoko was in. His father lifted him as he pressed his little hands to the glass and brought his face very close to it. “I’m sorry, baby sister,” he told her. “Don’t die, please don’t die.” He lightly hit the glass with his palms a couple of times as if trying to get her attention and tried to open one of the circles in the glass. “Can I hold her hand, papa? Please?”
The nurse spoke for the boy’s father. “I’m sorry. That machine she’s in is very, very clean. You can’t touch her because you might have germs, and those could make her even sicker.”
“But I’m not dirty!” he cried. “Really, I’m not! I promise!”
Both adults solemnly shook their heads. “Yu-“ his father started.
Yuuya interrupted. “Can I open it just so she could hear me, then? I wanna sing to her. Maybe it’ll make her feel better like it made mama feel better. I won’t touch her,” he pleaded, almost whining at the end.
And so he was allowed to do as he asked. He sung to her, telling her how much he loved her and how much he wished she would wake up. He sung her peaceful lullabies, even parts of the few love songs he knew. He just wanted to sing to her. It actually seemed to help. Her erratic heartbeat calmed down little by little. Her tiny chest, which had been rising and falling rapidly, too slowed to a more relaxed rate.
Yuuya was overjoyed. “Papa! Is she getting better? Is Nyoko going to be okay?”
His shocked father honestly had no idea. “I… I don’t know, son.” His voice was a whisper, struck by disbelief. “Keep singing to her, Yuuya, keep going. Don’t stop, okay?” While the little boy happily complied, Toshiro asked the nurse, “Can you stay with him? I… I have to tell his… their mother.” He smiled. “Yes, their mother needs to know what’s happening.”
The two women rushed to the hospital. With his family surrounding him, Yuuya sang. Just as quickly as they had fallen apart, they came back together. Nyoko became stable. As long as her brother was there to sing to her, she became stronger. Within a few days, she was home.