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Saturday, 18 August 2007

Ikumi


This is a true story I heard from my friend N; a very sad and painful story of what happened to Ikumi (pseudonym), whom N had been friends with since primary school.

Ikumi lost her father before she entered primary school and her mother brought her up alone, working hard day and night without rest, sacrificing everything to get her daugther into high school, even university. It wasn’t long before all that hard work started taking its toll on her and she collapsed. But as soon as she got a little better, she started working again, only to collapse soon after… the same pattern repeated itself again and again, until the day came when she couldn’t get up at all.

The mother realized that she had not long to live and gave Ikumi an amulet (NB: you usually get an amulet from a shrine and it is a little sachet with some sacred object inside) saying; “I am sorry, Ikumi. From now on you will have to survive on your own. But if one day you found life really hard and thought you couldn't go on anymore – please open this amulet.” Very soon after that the mother passed away.

Ikumi cherished the amulet and never parted with it except when she took a bath. One day Ikumi and her friends (including N) went to a public swimming pool and when they were getting ready in the changing room their talk turned to Ikumi’s amulet. Her friends got very curious and begged Ikumi to show the content of the amulet. Ikumi at first refused, but thinking it had been a long time since her mother passed away and maybe it was alright to take a little peek, she decided to open it. Inside the amulet, there was a small folded paper. What? Is this all? Ikumi couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. She took out the paper and unfolded it. On there it said - in shaky handwriting- “Ikumi, die.”

*The picture above shows omamori, the Japanese amulet (wikipedia)
You wear omamori for good luck and protection from evil.

22 comments:

Bryan said...

I really liked this story. One of the few internet stories that although not scary, made me feel sad and sent chills down my spine. Like when I finished it, I paused and thought about it... it's pretty powerful. Very good!

Anonymous said...

The mother is so bad!

Sugar said...

Ikumi,you have a cruel, cruel mother

Teyaya said...

Maybe it's just me, but I find the mother tragic, rather than bad or cruel. She just wants to be with her daughter.

Anonymous said...

So wait...the mother raises her all by herself, breaking both sweat and bone to provide for her and the one last thing that she wills upon her is death? Well... now that makes perfect sense.

Shan. said...

Umm, the mother isn't being bad or cruel...

I think you guys misinterpreted the story.

Anonymous said...

Explain please?

Anonymous said...

The clue in the story is the fact the mother mentions that she should only open it when she feels that thereis nothing else.

It's more that the mother was supporting suicide in the event that nothing would let the daughter leave what ever rutt she was stuck in at the time. Also, the mother obviously had a fond attachment to the daughter. As such, likely wished to see her in the after life when the daughter's time came. Perferably earlier.

Anonymous said...

adding to wat he or she said
ikumi had a hard life having her died and having her mother working day in and day out for her school funds. so ikumi gave her that amulet so that if she feels like their is no hope in her life and that she is miserable she should only open the amulet to suicide. but i really want to know wat happened after a couple of days after she opened it.?

Bernard said...

what a spiteful thing to do, well she isn't winning mother of the year award.

Anonymous said...

how about believe in me that believes in you that believes in yourself? Apparently the mother never watched Gurren Lagann.

chris said...

i think what the mother meant by it was that if Ikumi found that life was too hard, she could die(kill herself i guess) and then she could be where her mother could look after/be with her again

Claudia said...

I think that the note was not the original object that Ikumi's mother put inside the amulet. Because Ikumi opened the amulet when she didn't need to, the object changed to a note, saying "ikumi, die". Her mother must have come back as a ghost and switched the note with the object because she felt betrayed by her daughter.

Anqeni said...

I think Claudia is right. It was supposed to be an amulet inside there. but ikumi only opened it because of peer pressure and curiosity. the mother got angry and turned it into a letter for betraying her trust. Who knows,,,the amulet could have turned her from rags to riches! The point is....Don't be a fool to peer pressure. Do as you are told, not what you want to do.

Hana Maehata said...

You know, maybe the reason the amulet said "Ikumi, Die" was because Ikumi didn't open it when she was in hard times. She just opened it randomly. It's like opening your presents before Christmas without your mom knowing.

They find out somehow eventually, as mothers usually do.

Yoku said...

Well, I guess this makes alot of sense.
The mother still wants to be with her daughter,even after death.
Plus, it would be a soulution of what she could do, even though it is a bad one.

yukari said...

my guess is that: rmb when her mother fell sick and got better, and fell sick and better and sick again? probably at that point of time there is a curse or somethng. then mayb when her mother died, the curse is then passed on to her. thus her mother give her a "hint" to commit suicide so as to stop th curse and that she wont have to suffer. plus she said when she have no other choice.

but my other guess is that, probably like what Hana Maehata said, probably her mother's spirit is still around or that her mother has some powers, which i doubt so.

but im kinda curious what happened in the end, because it just ended there. D:
but nice story! thanks saya!

Kitsune said...

why in shaked handwriting?

Maxine Ride said...

IDK....i think it was wrong for the mother to leave such a thing inside.....i mean...shouldnt she have a little more faith in that her daughter would be okay on earth???? i mean....the mother loves her daughter i get it but she should have never left something so negative for her daughter. i know i would never do such a thing to my daughter if i had one....

FallingBlackCat said...

Just my own two cents: based on the handwriting, the mother must have had a hard time writing the note. She probably didn't want her daughter to be all alone and holding onto nothing. A short sentence such as "Ikumi, die" shows her intetion to end Ikumi's misery quickly. Despite that, the handwriting came out shaky because it was a struggle for her.

Perhaps it's just because I've been watching "Criminal Minds" one too many times, but who knows.

Anonymous said...

Look. The mother worked so hard and im guessing she "found [her] life really hard and thought [she] couldn't go on anymore" multiple times. Im thinking that the mother regretted literally working herself to death and that it would have been easier for her to just kill herself early on. Therefore the mother didnt want her daughter to go through unnecessary hardships and let them mentally rot in her daughter's mind for the rest of her life and for her to kill herself in order to spare that pain.

...Just my interpretation of course. Reminds me of "The Pillowman."

Anonymous said...

Having had some time to think about it, I wonder if the message was actually the mother’s way of expressing the profound disappointment she would feel if the daughter she sacrificed so much for ever gave up, rather than an actual suggestion of suicide. And the shaky handwriting would simply be her illness.