Title: A Home Far Away
Author: Teki Yatsuda
Artist: Teki Yatsuda
Alan never feels more uncomfortable than he does when he is at home. His parents are intensely religious to the point that they are stunted into praying their lives away at home, blaming even the most slight inconvenience on sin and the devil. This would be bad enough, but Alan suffers from a chronic disease that his parents blame on some sin he has committed and believes that prayer and repentance will heal him. Alan’s life is suffocating, but he has nowhere else to go.
One evening, having stayed out past curfew, Alan refuses to go home, though he knows he will be punished when he gets home. Instead, he hangs out on the front steps of a restaurant. While sitting there, he’s approached by one of the workers, Hayden, who offers to let him out of the cold after his nose starts bleeding, which is a common symptom of his disease. The two share a deep conversation that continues daily, where Hayden reveals that he’s a drifter and will be moving on soon. Alan is heartbroken, but what can he do?
The day Hayden is set to leave, after a desperate and emotional confession from Alan, Hayden offers him a chance to escape with him. Of course, there’s a chance, even if they run, that Alan will never find happiness, but at least it would be his choice. So the two escape together, trying to find any small moments of joy they can cultivate for themselves while their dark pasts loom over them.