My thoughts and I
Most of the cherry blossom petals have fallen and have been trampled, deformed and soiled. The ones that left on the branches limped sadly when the wind blew past by. More and more of them tried to linger but at the end, they fell.
It was the end of April and the trees were bare and ugly. Like young women turning old and bitter, the twisted limbs spoke of stories of betrayal and abandonment.
I stared outside of the window on the bed that I had chosen to lie down. The nurse wasn’t in and I needed to get some rest to sort my head out.
My mind went blank for a moment; then the scene where I was almost raped came back to me.
Tears overflowed uncontrollably and I sobbed bitterly.
I noticed that my gym shirt was permanently stretched. I would have to buy a new shirt.
Outside the window, the last petal fell.
Inside, my tears trickled down my face.
I hated the world then.
What did I do to deserve the way I’ve been treated up to now?
The faces of my classmates came back to me as I tried very hard to squeeze my eyes to shut their images out of my head.
It was true that the boys told me that I had the deepest eyes that they had ever seen. However, most of them were never interested in me as a person. As for the girls…
I longed to befriend them but they bored me with their conversations. In the past, every day, I would approach a different group of girls giggling about something, and every time, I would stop short of getting near them distance-wise, and I would retreat back to my desk. After that, I would stare outside the window. It was funny how none of them ever noticed me approaching them, no matter how close I got.
Maybe I wasn’t bored with their talks.
I wish I knew what it was that made me approach them; I wished even more to know what it was that made me withdraw from them.
Keiko and Keita were the only two people that really noticed me and tried to strike conversations with me. That was after I entered high school.
Before them, it was Mari who I could talk to and hang out with. That was in elementary school.
I thought listlessly and a powerful fatigue overtook me. It was funny how fatigue was one of the most powerful things in my life. Fatigue often motivated me to go to sleep. Fortunately for me, academics were a joke and I could practically sleep through an entire advanced class in my first or second year and still managed to get an A+. It was the same for all my classes.
My train of thoughts kept going and going as I fidgeted a little in the bed. I rolled over and held my head with my hands while simultaneously curling up into a fetal position.
I was surprised when I realized that my tears never stopped flowing since I got into the bed. I shrank into myself further and started to shake. My body didn’t belong to me. It just trembled on its own and I couldn’t stop shaking.
The sound of a dog howling in the distance made me duck into the cover.
My god, my god, what is wrong with me?
Everything was fine this morning…Wasn’t it?
Why are you so popular in school?
Why is it that I never noticed that?
What happened to you between elementary school and now?
Where were you when I needed you?
Where are you now?
Why did you unbutton my jammie this morning?
I tried to blank out but more thoughts kept crawling out of the depth of my mind, refusing my attempts to control them. It was their field day and they ran wild. I shut my eyes and gritted my teeth. I guess my mind was too tired and my body just decided to shutdown. I passed out immediately after that.
Much sweat came out of my pores and I ran as hard as I could. I’ve been on the run for as long as I could remember. There were days when I would lose track of the time that I spent on trying to get away from the thing.
It was dark and menacing. Its edge was jagged and sharp. It had no eyes, just teeth. Each tooth was shaped like a two-edged sword. Light glinted off each blade and the glare blinded my eyes whenever I turned to see if it caught up with me.
I kept running. From time to time, I looked back and the thing seemed to shift from shape to shape. Sometimes, it looked like a group of men and other times, it looked like a large beast with blades sticking out its body.
It tore the ground as it pounded it with its heavy steps.
It came after me relentlessly.
How I managed to run continually without collapsing with the amount of fatigue accumulated I didn’t know. I did know that I didn’t want to stay around and fight that thing.
I blinked again and cursed myself for that.
It stood in front me. I didn’t see it coming. As I screamed in terror, it split into several figures, each wearing the uniform of my school. Between the legs of each figure, a long and sharp object began to grow longer.
Accompanying their ugly laugh, they pointed their weapons at my face and my body.
My legs wobbled and I fell. Putting up my arms, I clumsily swung my hands trying to swipe them away, but the thought of my skin contacting them made me sick.
“Awake! Awake now!”
“Leave her, demon!”
I think I just heard that voice not too long ago.
My eyelids retracted quickly and I was awake. I turned my head toward the direction of the voice.
Fubuki was sitting at my bedside. Her face was as red as an apple. “You…you’re finally awake.” She said. “Now if you would please…”
“What?” I could barely hear her. “What’s going on?”
She looked aside for a moment. “You were having an incubus attack.”
I looked at her serious face and laughed. “You sound like an ‘incubus attack’ is a real creature.” I shook my head, paused, and realized my left hand was grabbing something soft.
I quickly retracted as I realized where I was grabbing.
Fubuki quickly covered her chest and lowered her head.
“Oh my god, I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!” I said.
I couldn’t remember the last time that I talked that fast. I sat up quickly but fell back into bed. My head was spinning and I couldn’t think straight.
She quickly put her right hand on my forehead. “Don’t worry about it.” Smiling, she turned her head toward the door of the nurse’s office. “I think she’ll be here soon.”
She looked back at me quietly. “Miss Kanazuki.” She said.
I blinked a few times before opening my mouth. “You…talked to her?”
“You told me that Miss Kanazuki was your best friend, right? So I ran around the school trying to find her. As soon as I did and told her about your condition, she made a phone call right in the middle of her class, then told me to stay by your side and wait for her.” Fubuki paused. “She said she was arranging a few things.”
Before I could respond, the door to the nurse’s office slid open. After that, a winged- goddess flew in and quickly landed at my side.
I meant to say that Mari ran to my side as quickly as I had ever seen her. “I…” she stuttered. Tear welled out of her eyes and she cradled my head to her chest. The sensation of her soft breast flesh was pleasurable even through fabric. I think she wasn’t wearing a bra underneath.
I blushed. This was supposed to be a serious occasion! “I…uh…” I said.
“Shh.” Mari put a finger to my lips. “Are you all right, hon?” She said. “God, I couldn’t believe what I heard…”
With that, she broke down and sobbed. My eyes grew wide as she began to weep.
Why…why does it sound so familiar…
I could swear I had never heard her weep before. She had always been so strong.
Some images flashed in my head but I couldn’t grasp any of them. Before I could react, Mari held me in her arms and to my wide-eyed surprise, kissed me deeply.
My being began to melt and her being slowly seeped into mine through my mouth. I could taste her lips and her fluid, which slowly and steadily trickled into my oral cavity and slid down my throat. I froze.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Fubuki’s body stiffen. Her face was red as if she had just finished a round of kendo with a tough opponent. Biting her lower lip, she made a slight movement as if she wanted to leave, but for some reason, she didn’t. Her eyes stayed on both of us; she did survey Mari’s body and face more than she surveyed mine. But when she did survey mine, her eyes tried harder to catch my gaze.
It seemed forever, but my muscles loosened and my mind became hazier and hazier. I embraced Mari back with my trembling hands and my lips began to return the kiss. I closed my eyes.
I hear footsteps hurrying away from us and the door to the nurse’s office slid open and then shut quickly. I may even have heard a quiet sob.
Why was Fubuki looking at me? I thought she wanted to get to know Mari better.
We continued our kiss for a moment before parting our lips unwillingly. “Mari…That…” I managed.
Mari shook her head.
“We need to talk, hon.” She said.
The lines on Mari’s face tightened. She breathed in deeply and let it out slowly. “I’m so sorry for what happened to you, SayoSayo.”
I opened my mouth but she continued. “This…the next few days and even weeks are going to be difficult. Thank goodness you were not harmed physically in anyway, but it’ll take some time…” she seemed to brace herself. “It’ll take some time to heal.”
“OK.” I nodded, not fully knowing what to say or how to react. I wasn’t really soiled, thank God, but I still shivered thinking back about my experience. I supposed that I was lucky. “Sigh…I dunno.” I managed a response. I looked at my feet. I still had my workout sneakers on and they were somewhat off-white in color because I had been wearing them for gym classes for a long time. The toes were somewhat worn and the laces were slightly frayed.
I was tired. So tired…
I felt a gentle tug on my arm. “Hey.” Mari said. “Are you listening to me?”
I shook my head to snap myself out of it. “Yeah.” I said.
“I wish I could be less blunt but we have to figure out who was behind it and you need to move on.” She said. I tried to resonate with the strength in her voice but I was shaking inside.
Honestly, I just want it all to go away. I want to forget about it.
“I dunno.” I said.
Mari sighed. “Well, I’ve been asking around the school and did some research on my own.” She shot her gaze to the side. “I haven’t found any suspect yet, but…”
“You know, couldn’t we just…” I managed.
Mari’s gaze landed on my face and the looks on her face made me feel quite uncomfortable. A shadow crossed her face and her eyes narrowed.
I stuttered. “I…uh....I…um…”
I had to look away. She continued to survey my face and eyes for a while longer. Finally, she sighed. “Look, hon, it would be nice if we could just let it go, but…” She gritted her teeth. Her words seethed through them. “If we don’t catch this person she will try a similar stunt on you again.” She sighed. “I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”
I bit my lower lip and said nothing.
Mari reached out with her right hand and gently stroked my face. “Please hon, try to understand that I’m just trying to protect you.” She took my hands. She had dainty hands but at that moment, my hands felt so small and weak in her grasp. “Please, at least let me help you.”
I closed my eyes for a moment then nodded. I opened my eyes to see Mari’s facial lines harden. “Good.” She said. “Now let’s me send you back to your place. My family limo is waiting outside the school gate.”
“No but’s, just do as I say.” Mari said.
“You know, I…”
“Let me take you to the front gate, now.”
Her voice was firm and regal and I couldn’t say no. Sighing, I followed her out of the nurse’s office. We passed some classrooms and a lot of girls were looking at us – or specifically, at Mari, with enamored eyes. Some stared at me with disdain.
I looked outside. The sky was dusty gray.
Is my life not going to be the same ever again?
* * *
My body was there, but myself wasn’t. I watched helplessly as I tore my life apart. Yet, my being wasn’t doing all that; it wasn’t really me that was doing it. After all, there was another “me” and she also lived in my brain. The trouble was that most of the time, what the other me did was out of my control. To put it precisely, my being wished for happiness and joy and I longed to relate to others, but the other me always managed to do something to tear everything that I had built apart. The worst part was that whatever I could build was too fragile to sustain itself anyway. As much as I wished and even prayed sometimes, no one could help me or deliver me from it all. What I did never held up and everything would crumble anyway. It didn’t matter how many tears that I shed; there was no one to fight against and everything that I could push me to do were never effective against the other me and life itself anyway.
And the saddest part was I was emotionally caressing both versions of me. I even adored these me’s. The sick and yet comforting sense that I was like the tortured artist stereotype even though I was good at academics but couldn’t create anything worthwhile lingered. Yes, I was unique but god, or whatever is out there, if anything is out there…
My uniqueness was killing me little by little and day by day.
* * *
I went home in Mari’s limo alone.