Miki: Fragments (Complete)

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FISCHERWMT
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by FISCHERWMT » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:56 pm

so glad that I had Veterans Day off so I could read this update.
Always look for your new stuff. Always good.

azumeow
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by azumeow » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:29 am

THAT.....went much differently than I expected.

A slow clap for you.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Gajzla
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:50 pm

FISCHERWMT wrote:so glad that I had Veterans Day off so I could read this update.
Always look for your new stuff. Always good.
Thanks! Happy to hear your enjoying the story! Even on your day off. :D
azumeow wrote:THAT.....went much differently than I expected.

A slow clap for you.
Is that a slow clap like: Shit son, you dun goofed. Or did you mean you were surprised in a nice way? :?

azumeow
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:04 am

Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by azumeow » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:56 pm

Gajzla wrote:
azumeow wrote:THAT.....went much differently than I expected.

A slow clap for you.
Is that a slow clap like: Shit son, you dun goofed. Or did you mean you were surprised in a nice way? :?
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... =slow+clap

There is your answer.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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AntonSlavik020
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:22 pm

I didn't get to this chapter until now since Fallout 4 has been taking up ALL of my free time. I'm really glad to see Miki and Hisao's mom make up. That scene was very well done. I feel a little bit bad for going after her so hard earlier. And yeah, Hisao does need to call his parents more often(which is to say, actually call them), so I'm glad Miki will encourage him to do so.
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Gajzla
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.32 Posted 11th November 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:27 pm

So with chapter 36 completed I think it’s about time I posted the first part of Miki’s adventure to Ikuno’s small summer retreat. As always feedback is greatly appreciated, thanks for being so patient with me.

Enjoy.


Sea Salt, Blackmail and a Horse Named Kuri

“Why, oh why, did Ikuno’s parents think this was a good idea?” I ask, stepping closer to Hisao and wrapping my arms around my chest in an effort to ward off the chill wind whipping between the tall buildings. The temperature is not helped by the fact that it’s not even sunrise yet.

It’s so early in fact, that Hisao and I had to say our goodbyes to his parents last night. At least I’m leaving on better terms than I arrived.

“Well, the traffic can be fairly chaotic in the mornings?” My boyfriend shrugs, wandering away from me and the bags to pace back and forth between the patches of orange light. Even at this hour a steady stream of traffic trundles by on the road in front of us, the sudden glare of their headlights replaced by the curious looks of their drivers. Though with malice or interest born of boredom I can’t be sure.

Either way their gaze makes me feel increasingly uncomfortable. This isn’t the rebellious night of my home town, where I could run free, protected by a knowledge of the streets and the silence that ruled there. Here, it’s different, here I don’t want to be alone.

“Hisao,” I say softly, keeping my voice level. I cannot let him know I’m unnerved.

He turns on the spot, his eyes darting expectantly to the road, before settling on me.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” I say holding out my hand for him to take, “Just cold and tired.”

“Me to,” he replies with a warm smile, locking his fingers with mine, “Your hand’s freezing,” he says in surprise.

I shrug stepping forward to rest my forehead against his shoulder. “So is the rest of me, that’s why I’ve got you, to keep me warm.”

“Good to hear I’m useful for something,” I feel his body reverberate as he laughs softly.

I close my eyes, content to leave Hisao on watch duty. My mind is half asleep, but my body feels restless. I’m torn between my comfortable position lent against my boyfriend and an insane fantasy, running off into the night until I feel right again. There’s only so much energy that can be burnt on a video game.

Hisao’s lips gently brush the hair on top of my head, causing a tingle to run down my frigid spine. It took him a long time to find his initiative, but it was worth the wait. I give his hand an appreciative squeeze.

“Chin up,” he says suddenly, “I think this is for us.”

Opening my eyes I look to the road, where a black limo is pulling up against the curb. This almost makes getting up super early worth it, almost.

Wordlessly the driver - a finely suited gentleman - unfolds himself from the car, before opening the back door for us. This is either excellent service or the most polite kidnapping in history. We move to pick up our bags, an action that finally spurs our chauffeur to break his professional silence.

“Please, make yourselves comfortable,” his voice is soft but clear. “I’ll see to your bags momentarily.”

“Um, okay, thanks.” Hisao says nervously.

I mumble my own thanks and, still holding Hisao’s hand, climb into the squishy leather interior of the limo. My mouth falls open as I take in my surroundings. Joining me on the sofa-like bench that runs the length of the car my boyfriend looks equally impressed. It’s a little like sitting in a mobile version of the up market shops Ikuno is so fond of - rich wood varnished to a mirror-shine is inlaid with intricate trails of blue, which shine through every gap and joint in the decor. Directly in front of us a small fridge sits below a work surface, the glass door revealing an astonishing collection of beverages.

“I was expecting a taxi,” Hisao says hoarsely, leaning back into his seat with an impressed look.

“She never does things by half.” I grin, my boyfriend in his slacks and black sweater looks very suited to this type of transport. Looking down at my simple t-shirt and ripped jeans I feel suddenly very scruffy.

The driver shuts the boot with a soft thud, and a few seconds later he is climbing back into the driver seat.

“No,” Hisao grimaces, “She can’t even arrange to have us picked up at a normal time.”

The driver turns in his seat to face us, his brilliant turquoise eyes falling curiously on me. “My apologies for the early hour. Young Miss Komaki seemed to think this was a rescue mission, needed in quite some urgency.”

My eyes meet his, and I realise he’s much younger than he looked under the shadowy streetlight - perhaps only a few years older than Hisao and I. Then again I suppose that’s why he’s on the graveyard shift.

“Really?” I ask, taken aback by his age and the frankness of his statement. For some reason I was expecting a more or less robotic response, conceived amongst the convoluted rules of etiquette - not that I know any of the rules, mind.

“Indeed, she and her father had quite the row over the arrangements. Had she had her way I believe you would have been picked up last night.” He finishes speaking with a grin, before his face morphs into a uniformed look of horror. “Would it possible, if it’s not to much trouble of course, to omit telling anyone I told you that? I fear I spoke out of turn”

His way of speaking reminds me of Ayumu. A depressing fact in of itself. But I get the impression this young man’s extended vocabulary comes with the job, rather than a desire to make himself sound smarter than everyone else.

Which probably wasn’t Ayumu’s reason either, but I find it hard to remember him with anything other than contempt. All those beautiful memories are tainted with the husky voice of my replacement.

“We won’t say anything,” Hisao says, an equally mischievous look slipping onto his face, “If you do something for us.”

I blink at him, mouth slightly open. What the hell is he planning?

“What did you have in mind?” The driver asks nervously

— — —

As it transpires what my ever thoughtful boyfriend was planning was a trip to a drive through fast food restaurant. Where we bought possibly the most unhealthy breakfast I’ve ever had. Processed egg, bacon and what was apparently supposed to be sausage all sandwiched in a greasy bun. If I had an excuse to run before I have even more of one now. The food is delicious though. And it’s acquisition via blackmail does nothing to take away from the taste.

“Thanks,” I call to the driver as we pull out of the car park. “Your secret’s safe with us,” I add as an afterthought.

“Appreciated,” he replies, “I will give you two some privacy.”

With a gentle whine a black panel slides up out seemingly nowhere, separating us from our talkative driver. I think he just wanted to get away from the smell of the food.

I lean back on the sofa, taking a competitive bite of my burger. Beside me Hisao does the same, and side by side we enjoy our breakfast as our luxurious transport glides easily through the traffic, under a sky caressed by the first hints of daybreak.

I think I could get used to this.

— — —

With a deafening crash Tatsuo’s truck rips through the last of the construction workers’ pedestrian defences. The tires roar on rough ground, suddenly the sound and vibrations cease, replaced by an all encompassing silence. We hurtle towards the dark water…

I wake with a jolt, monetary lost in time and space as the blue lights of the limo swim into view. My hand feels like I’m clutching a red hot cannon ball, which I’m unable to let go.

“Are you okay?” Hisao’s voice reminds me that I’m not alone.

Rolling onto my back I find myself staring up into his concerned face. I must have fallen asleep on him - again. Though quite how my head ended up resting on his lap like a strangely textured pillow is anyone's guess.

Nodding slowly in response, I push my stump into my stomach. I don’t want him to see me in pain. Unfortunately the phantom has other plans, and I wince as my imagined fingers twist and bend in unnatural agony.

Putting down his book he tentively moves his hand to my head. With the gentleness I’ve come to expect from his touch he runs his fingertips through my hair. The shivers racing down my body battle with the shocks being indiscriminately delivered by my disembodied hand.

The pain is visible on my face as I use my stump to push myself up. My boyfriend’s expression darkens with worry, but my lips find his before he can voice his concern. A distraction works where no pain killer will. Closing my eyes I explore his smooth cheek with my fingertips.

“I should let you fall asleep on me more.” He mumbles between hastily stolen kisses.

“Mmmm, you should.” I’m surprised - not to mention embarrassed - by how hungry my voice sounds. It would be lying to say I didn’t want more - and more intimate - physical contact between us. But he wouldn’t rush me, so I won’t rush him - even if it's surely tempting.

“I’m sorry for interrupting,” the driver calls. His clearly amused voice causes both of us to jump, and quickly return to our seats; redfaced and bashful. “But we are about ten minutes from our destination, if you wanted to make yourselves look…” He pauses to think, “presentable.”

Okay, more physical contact, less company. I think that’s a plan I can work with.

— — —

“Miki!” Ikuno almost screams as I step out of the limo, sinking into the gravelled courtyard with a crunch. Before I’m even able to register the mountain of white wood before me I’m struck around the middle by a brown haired bullet.

“It’s so good to see you!” She says excitedly, her arms wrapped tightly around my chest.

“Mmm-hmm,” I manage to say as I exhale what very likely could be my last breath. At least she’s keen to see me.

After what feels like an extremely long time she pulls away, and I at last get a proper glimpse of her, or better of what she’s wearing. A pair of figure hugging black trousers, with a lining of tougher looking martial disappear under a black blazer much like we have at school, but clearly at a much greater cost.

I peer down at her high leather boots, and suddenly I can’t help but laugh. “So you do have a horse!”

“No! Well okay, but they are my mum’s really.”

Unbelievable.

“And you two get to ride them.” Ryouta’s announces gleefully. Standing behind his girlfriend I hadn’t noticed him. I half expected to see a matching riding outfit, but he seems to have gotten away with jeans and a t-shirt. Which might be just as well. I’m not sure I would have survived my fit of laughter.

“Ryouta!” Ikuno cries in exasperation. “I was going to tell them.”

I share a sideways glance with Hisao, who raises his eyebrows at me.

“Is that why you got us up super early?” I ask, “To ride a horse?”

“Not exactly, I just wanted to see you. You don’t mind do you?”

Looking up I notice Ryouta give his girlfriend a worried look. Well, that’s odd. I’m not sure I entirely believe her motives, but her excitement is infectious - if not a little overbearing.

“I suppose not, let us take our bags inside, and then we can come and see Sorbet and Lemon drop.”

A wide smile blooms across my best friends face, “That’s not their names! and don’t worry about the bags, we have people for that.”

Well, that was a little rude of her.


“Are you sure?”

“It’s what they are paid for, come on I can’t wait for you to meet them.” Without another word she hurries away, linking her arm and her boyfriend’s stump.

Hisao and I follow, at a more relaxed pace. I could argue with Ikuno, but it’s no use. Once her mind is set on something it’s almost tragic to disappoint her. Like stealing a saucer of milk from a kitten.

Without really thinking about it I take my boyfriend's warm hand, and together we stroll around the ‘beach house’, though it’s nothing like the small stilled structure that once belonged to my grandmother. In fact there's something distinctly out of place about the mansion, it’s definitely not built in any style native to Japan. Constructed primarily of white wooden planks and grey slate tiles it reminds me of an idealised American ranch, like something out of Ryouta’s movies.

“So,” I say elongating the vowel as I struggle to get my mind back on track, “Do you know how to ride a horse?”

“No, never really thought I would need to.”

“Do you think it will be a problem that all animals hate me?” I ask, only half in jest. I once engaged in a prolonged campaign of trying to get the neighbor's cat to like me, operating under the old adage that we would grow on each other. Despite my best efforts the only things that grew where the malevolent creatures malice and the latticework of scratches that covered my arms.

“Don’t know what you’re worried about, pets aren’t allowed in our apartment building.”

“Just, don’t let it eat my other hand.” I say, trying and failing to sound serious.

“Deal, as long as you stop it kicking me in the chest,” Hisao replies in equal mock sincerity, managing to keep up the act fractional longer than me, before bursting into laughter. I hadn’t thought about his heart. Ikuno and Ryouta don’t know about Hisao’s condition, as far as I know. Should I say something? It would be a great way to piss off my boyfriend, but at the same time I was silent about my dad. And look how that turned out.

“You okay?” Hisao asks as we pass a shallow yet wide pond, sunk into the courtyard that sits in the middle of the manor. How much did this place cost? More than I could ever even dream about probably. I stare intently at the ghostly shapes of Koi carp gliding effortlessly under the simmering water as I consider my response.

“Are you sure it’s safe for you to ride a horse?” I ask tentatively.

“Oh,” he falters, misstepping and tripping. I grab his arm to steady him. “I will be fine, how about you? Will you be able to hold on?” There’s a harshness to his voice that he seems to imminently regret, his eyes flashing dangerously before sinking to stare at the ground in the next moment.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-“ He starts, but I cut him off.

“Even if I fall off, I bounce, you know?” I explain as gently as I can. It’s not like I wasn’t expecting his reaction. I hate to be told I can’t do something, no reason Hisao would not be the same. Still, there's no getting around the fact that my boyfriend’s mistakes - however unfair it might be - have a higher price on them than mine.

“I promise to be careful.” He says, a smile returning to his lips.

“Extra careful,” I reply as we pass through yet another car sized gap in the behemoth sized building.

“Extra, extra careful.” He nods.

“And I want a kiss as soon as you’re done, to prove you’re alright.”

“Deal.”

— — —

“We’re going too fast!” I blurt in a hushed whisper, afraid anything louder might alarm Kuri, the chestnut mare that is currently saddled underneath me.

“We’re barely walking,” Ikuno says at a normal volume from the ground beside me, a stupid grin on her stupid face. How did I let her talk me into this?

“Shhhh,” I say desperately, “Her ears are moving!”

Ikuno’s giggles. If I somehow survive this encounter I’m going to kill her. “Anyway I thought you liked running fast?” She asks, her large eyes glinting.

“I do, when it’s my legs doing the running, I don’t trust this thing.”

“Awww, poor Kuri, you’re not a thing are you?” Losing all sight of reality my best friend begins to talk to the horse as if it were a child, a child moreover whose feelings I just hurt. Apparently satisfied that the horse has been adequately apologised to on my behalf Ikuno clicks her tongue - the only piece of communication in her entire tirade to register with the mare.

Almost at once we begin to move faster, so much so that Ikuno has to gently jog to keep up. Don’t fall off, don’t fall off. I desperately suppress a squeal as I’m bounced up and down in the saddle, feeling like I will be flung sideways at any moment.

“Ikuno,” I whimper, no longer able to keep up my facade.

My best friend finally catches on to how uncomfortable I am, and a few thoroughly unpleasant seconds later the horse begins to slow. Ikuno apologises unnecessarily as she leads Kuri back to the stables. I make a token effort at explain it’s not her fault, but I’m distracted by a burning desire to get back to solid ground.

I leap off of Kuri almost as soon as we reach the stables, ignoring the neatly dressed stable boy and his outstretched hand. The feeling of mud - or at least I hope it’s mud - under my feet is exquisite, as I stagger away from my mount. I take a few deep breaths, feeling foolish for my reaction.

“Are you okay?” Ikuno asks rather hopelessly; a sad defeat in her voice.

Closing my eyes I force my composure back onto my face before I turn to face her.

“Yeah, just not sure horse riding is my thing.” I smile weakly, strolling over to her and Kuri, who eyes me with mild interest. “Can I stroke her?” I ask.

Ikuno blinks at me, her eyes reigniting. “Sure, but I thought you didn’t like her?”

I tentatively reach out my hand, prepared for the pain that normally follows my attempts to bond with an animal. However Kuri seems to relish the attention and makes no move to stop me gently stroking her wide head.

“I like her, riding her freaks me out though.” I say, my heart rate slowing, along with the thundering in my ears. Somewhere in the paddock behind me Hisao and Ryouta are talking delightedly, apparently not at all put off by their equestrian partners. And somewhere the subtle sound of the sea rolling in and out. I had almost forgotten this was a beach house.

“Do you want me to stay with you?” Ikuno offers - though it’s easy to see she’s reluctant. It’s a mark of our friendship that she would skip out on something she loved to hang out with me.

“Nah, I’ll watch from over there.” I gesture to the grassy man made mound that runs along the length if the vast gardens - or at least as far as I can see, the open paddocks and fields fade into a thick forest with no signs of a boundary. I suppose being able to see the edge of your land from bedroom window is something reserved for the poor.

“Are you sure?”

“Very, go have fun!” I say, finally pulling my hand away from the horse. Who - and I might be imagining this - looks a little disappointed.

— — —

The mound turns out to be steeper than it append from ground level, and I almost slip while clambering to the top. However I retain my balance and reach the gently curved peak with dignity - and all other major appendages - intact.

Oh... Wow.

A strong breeze, infused with sea salt hits me as I look out over what has to be one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. From this vantage point it’s possible to see the entire beach, in all its curving white sanded majesty. It looks like the front cover of any number of travel brochures made real and enhanced far beyond what any photograph could ever show.

I sit down, letting the neatly trimmed grass tickle my palm, while allowing the chaotic sounds of the stables behind me fade to nothingness. Focused only on the sea, which seems to murmur rather than roar. Why the hell is this view obscured from the ground?

The question digs at me until I’m hit by a slightly stronger gust of wind, which flutters my hair back and plays at my neck and suddenly exposed ears. Is it for the horses benefit? That would make sense, I never felt any unexpected blusters while I was riding. Thank goodness. Still, I think I would rather have a cat and this view.

It’s hard to tell just how long I spend watching the surf rolling over itself on the shoreline. But my eyes start to feel increasingly heavy, despite having slept in the car. I guess I’m so used to constantly hurrying about that my body interprets any respite as an opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep - can’t say that I blame it.

I lay back in the grass, overcome by a sudden but complete sense of peace. Clouds drift lazily overhead, seeming to match my own lethargic state. The only thing that could make this better would be a warm Hisao to curl against. My cheeks warm at the thought, and the heat only becomes fiercer as I hear someone climbing the hill behind me.

It’s a little risky to be so touchy feely, especially because I’ve not yet met Ikuno’s parents - still, we could have fun seeing how close to the line we can get without crossing it.

I’m cast in shadow, and with a mischievous grin on my face I look up and behind me.

“Ryouta?” I exclaim, sitting up so fast I feel momentarily dizzy and almost end up flat on my back again. Ryouta places a steadying hand on my shoulder, making sure I’m not going to pass out before slumping down beside me.

“You look half asleep, Hisao been keeping you up half the night?” He asks in his normal cheerful tone.

“Yep,” I yawn, thinking about our long talks on the balcony shared by our rooms at Hisao’s apartment.

“Really?” Ryouta’s face suddenly comes alive with a mixture of delight and curiosity. Like a little boy on christmas morning.

“No!” I say quickly, almost shouting as I catch up with his ridiculous double entendre. “I thought you were riding around with the others?” I ask, rubbing my eyes with my stump.

“It gets dull after awhile,” he shrugs, “It’s not really my thing.”

“Nor mine,” I smirk, “So you decided to come and annoy me instead?”

“I can go if you want.” His voice is suddenly cold, and he makes to get up. The hell?

Without thinking I grab his thin arm before he can stand up fully, pulling him back to the ground.

“Get off me!” He almost snarls, though his pudgy face betrays not anger but hurt.

“No!” I say, my voice breaking a little, “What the hell, I wasn’t being serious! How long have you known me?”

With a sigh Ryouta stops trying to pull away, and I feel confident enough to let go of his arm. Peering over my shoulder I check to see if our friends have noticed the confrontation on the top of the hill, but they are both still riding. Now cantering up and down one of the larger paddocks in a display that makes me feel instantly queasy. I turn back to my plump friend, only to find him staring forlornly into the distance. I haven’t seen him this upset since…

“Has something happened between you and Ikuno?” I ask, remembering the look he gave us when we first arrived.

“No, not, exactly.”

“What does that mean?” I ask.

“It’s just, well, you’ve seen this place?”

“Parts of it, yeah?”

“I could never afford to live in a place like this.” He sighs.

“Neither can ninety nine percent of the population, what's your point?”

Bloody boy is only ever this cryptic with things that upset him, everything else goes from brain to mouth without a second thought.


“My point is that Ikuno is used to living like this, she’s used to ordering the staff around and never having to worry about the cost of anything.”

“I had noticed that about her,” I say, “But I still don’t really understand what you're getting at.”

“I can’t give Ikuno the life she’s used to.” he replies mournfully, pulling blades of grass from the ground one by one.

“About the only person on her pay scale is a prince.” I shrug, still not all that clear on what's upsetting him so much.

“She should be with a prince.”

How on earth has he managed to get himself so down? We’re on holiday.

“What? A spoiled brat that has had everything he ever desired handed over straight away and has never had to struggle a day in his life? No, Ikuno doesn’t need that. What she needs is someone to keep her grounded, to make her feel safe, and most importantly, she needs someone to make her smile.” I smile a little at the shocked look on Ryouta’s face. “She loves you, no amount of money will ever change that.”

He goes to say something, but stops himself, staring rather sheepishly at his shoes instead. Most people don’t realise that Ryouta’s carefree confident attitude is a mask for a whole boatload of self doubt - I didn’t, not for a long time. I turn my attention back to the crashing waves, far off in the distance.

“Thanks, Miki.”

“You’re welcome, I suppose I should be the one to make you smile once in awhile, huh?” I say with a smirk.

“I knew I was letting you hang around with us for something.” His tone is serious, but he can’t keep the grin from his round face.

“So, what do your parents think of all this?” I gesture vaguely in the direction of the house, as if it wasn’t clear.

“Oh, hmm, I think they were a bit overwhelmed to start with.” He shrugs, “But they seem to get on well with the Komaki’s and my little sister adores Ikuno, she’ll probably like you as well.”

If children are anything like cats she won’t.

“Never really had much experience with little kids,” I mumble.

“Nah, you two have a lot in common, you both run fast and throw massive tantrums when you don’t get your own way!”

Ryouta rolls onto his knees to avoid my punch, laughing his head off as he does so.

“Too slow, anyway, I’m going to go see the others, wanna come?”

I consider his offer. If for no other reason than to deliver the missed punch. But I’m in no hurry to get back to the horses, and anyway it’s comfortable here.

“Nah, I’m good. Have fun.”

“You sure?”

I nod. I try not to be actively antisocial, but sometimes it’s nice to treat myself. Breathing in deeply, as if the sea air were a fine wine to be drunk before it spoiled I listen to Ryouta’s descent down the hill. I half expect to hear him slip and fall over, and I find myself tensing, preparing to run to his aid. However the sounds of shoes against gravel indicate he has arrived safely.

After his footfalls have faded I once again allow myself to sink onto my back, before stretching my arms out above my head. The breeze and feel of ticking grass the only sensations that seem to matter. If I could just lie here, like this, until the end of time that would be just lovely.

Unfortunately that wish is interrupted by yet another person climbing the mound. I really hope it’s Hisao this time.

“Hey,” Ikuno says, “Could we talk?”

I feel like signing, but instead sit up smiling at my best friend. Who looks just as downhearted as Ryouta did. The thought of turning her away crosses my mind, after all I’m hardly in the best position to be doling out life advice. But what kind of friend would I be if I did that?

So I gesture for her to continue, finally understanding why she was so adamant for me to arrive.

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Last edited by Gajzla on Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rimvydasm
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.33 Posted 28th November 2015)

Post by rimvydasm » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:04 pm

interesting chapter,i really like Miki and Hisao as a couple,also really like Ikuno and Ryouta ,and once again i can't wait for the next update,keep up the good work! :)
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Gajzla
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.33 Posted 28th November 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:20 pm

rimvydasm wrote:interesting chapter,i really like Miki and Hisao as a couple,also really like Ikuno and Ryouta ,and once again i can't wait for the next update,keep up the good work! :)
Thanks! :D

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.33 Posted 28th November 2015)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:02 pm

I probably got more enjoyment out of Miki being terrified on the horse than I should have, but I couldn't help it. It was hilarious.

On a more serious note, I really liked the talk their at the end. His fear makes sense, even if it's unfounded. Looking forward to Miki's talk with Ikuno.
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Gajzla
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.33 Posted 28th November 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:03 pm

Merry Christmas everyone. Sorry for the long delay but hopefully this chapter will make up for it, it’s one of my recent favourites. As always a big thank you to Mirage_GSM for his proofreading and I hope you all enjoy!

Wine, Scandalous Advice and Moonlight

Ikuno settles herself uncomfortably in the grass beside me. Her sapphire eyes staring fixedly at the vast expanse of ocean before us - a feature of her wealthy parents’ beach house. Though manor would be a more accurate description.

Her mouth opens and closes a few times, as if she were building herself up to say something only to find she doesn’t have the words. That’s worrying. Ikuno has never been one to shy away from talking about her boyfriend. Unless my guess about what’s bothering her is wrong.

“Hey,” I say as softly as I can, unsure what reaction I will get.

She looks at me, a worried frown creasing her round face.

“Hi,” she replies at last. “Can I talk to you about something?”

“Always,” I answer, an uneasy feeling settling in my stomach. Since when is she this cryptic?

“You have to promise not to hate me, okay?”

“Why would I hate you?”

She shrugs, “I just think you will.”

“Well, I promise not to. Now what’s going on?” I pause, racking my brain for any clue to her sudden distress. “Is this why you got me out of bed at ridiculous o’clock in the morning?”

Nodding very slowly she curls her legs up to her chest, resting her chin against her knee. “I’ve wanted to talk about it for ages, but, well it never seemed like the right time.”

“Right?”

She swallows hard. “Miki, do you think I have a perfect life?”

It’s hard not to laugh, but one look of her desperate face keeps my lips tightly sealed. What the hell is going on?

“Well,” I say slowly, considering what I say next, “No? I don’t know, I don’t think anyone has a perfect life. Why?”

With a heavy sigh she looks down at her feet, before starting to speak again more slowly this time. “I… I think I might be jealous of Ryouta and… You.”

Okay, what am I missing?

“I can absolutely assure you a missing hand is nothing to be jealous of,” I say with a smile, hoping to lighten her mood a bit. She looks like she’s about to cry.

Unfortunately my words are met with a small shocked sound, like a kitten stepping on an ice cube.

“I didn’t mean like that,” she says quickly, the words chasing each other out of her mouth. “I mean - oh Miki this is going to sound horrible I’m really sorry.”

I nod at her to continue.

“I’m jealous of your lives and families and, you know, everything.”

Right. Admittedly it was a while ago but I’m fairly sure I told her about my alcoholic mother and absent father, and she’s been waiting ages to tell me this? She waited until we were sitting outside her mansion to say she’s not entirely happy with her lot in life?

My phantom hand tingles excitedly, ready for a fight. As I try not to let the resentment and anger brewing in my gut slip onto my face. Don’t shout at her, not yet. I tell myself forcibly.

“Miki, you’re not saying anything,” she says timidly.

“I know,” I reply flatly, “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.”

“It’s like, everyone thinks I have this amazing life. And I do, I know I’m really lucky. But I just sometimes wish I could be normal.”

“I think almost everyone at Yamaku feels that way,” I say with a raised eyebrow.

“I know, I know. It’s just stupid things, like my bedroom, I’ve never had a bedroom that felt like mine until I went to middle school, I’ve felt more at home away from my family than with them.”

Fucking really? I’ve had the same bedroom since I was a toddler, but it didn’t feel particularly homely when it’s freezing cold and you're drunk mother has passed out without turning on the heating.

Stop it. I push my stump into my stomach, the tingling pain creeping up my arm. Ikuno has fallen deathly silent. Just stop it. Being angry her for this is both horrible and stupid, she can’t help being born rich, anymore than I could have prevented my father going to prison.

It’s hard to accept but her wealth in lots of ways has trapped her. Trapped her in a world where her life must appear perfect for the benefit of people who perceive it that way. Like me. The gnawing feeling of rage in my stomach starts to fade, replaced by an embarrassed guilt that makes me look away. I nearly lost it with her.

“This has really been eating at you huh?” I ask, watching as two fat tears cut their way down her face, leaving glistening tracks in their wake.

She nods, wiping her cheeks on the back of her hand.

“But I don’t get it,” I say slowly, “This morning you seemed so happy, what suddenly brought this on?”

“I’m good at hiding how I feel I guess,” she sniffs, “I just wanted, one last good memory with you, before I told you. in case…” Her voice seems to die in her throat.

“In case I hated you?” I finish her sentence for her.

With pale cheeks she nods, yet more tears falling from her puffy eyes.

Sighing I wrap my arm around her shoulders, pulling her towards me. For a moment it seems like she might pull away, but she relents and leans against me.

“Why tell me now though?” I ask, “We’ve known each other for years, we shared everything, Ayumu, your screw ups with Ryouta, you never said?”

I don’t know what's worse. The fact that my best friend was preparing to lose me, or that - despite everything - I don’t know her nearly as well as I thought I did.


“It’s Ryouta.”

At least we are back to familiar territory.

“It’s like I’m lying to him. He’s spent ages telling me about feeling pushed aside for his little sister, and I get that. But I feel like he would just be really mad at me if I told him my parents forgot about my tenth birthday.” She sighs.

“They forgot your birthday?” I ask, astounded. Does anyone have a family that’s just normal? Even my mother managed - on occasion - to remember my birthday, usually a few days late with a halfhearted promise to do something to celebrate. We never did.

“I guess so, or they were distracted.” She shrugs, “My family is all about the achievements Miki, getting the deal through, getting into the best university, getting the top grade, that’s the only time they really pay attention to you.”

She seems more confident now, as if glad to finally be getting these things off of her chest.

“That’s why you worry so much about results?”

I would not do well as a Komaki.

My best friend nods into my chest, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand.

“Well, Ryouta loves you,” I say slowly, before she can swerve to far off topic, “He wouldn’t be mad at you for being upset your parents missed your birthday, he’s not like that.”

“I just don’t want to risk losing him…” She wiggles out of my arms, shifting a little to sit facing me. “But we can’t carry on like that, can we? One of us living a massive lie.”

Oh I don’t know, seems to be working out for me and Hisao, at least for the moment.

“All you can do is tell him the truth. But, to be honest I think you're being a little melodramatic about all of this, people who don’t know you might think you're able to spend your way out of shit that upsets you. But we know you, we love you, that’s all you have to remember.”

All you can do is tell the truth - easier said than done
.

Ikuno face turns dark at my words. I suppose no one likes being told their problems are melodramatic. Well her problems aren’t, but the idea that all her friends are going to abandon her for sharing them is ridiculous. I brace myself in case she decides to slap me, but after a few moments she seems to regain her focus, and she nods at me.

“I guess, you might be right.” She says, her eyes locked with mine. Though her face is far from certain she offers a resolute smile.

It’s been an odd kind of day this one - and it’s not even lunchtime.

“Well, enough about me.” She beams and it’s terrifying just how quickly she can slip back into her happy go lucky mask. It must mean something that Ryouta is the only person who seems to be able to make that illusion slip. Oh sure, she cried and fallen apart in front of me, but her boyfriend was always the catalyst. In fact the only time she’s really let anything slide is when I questioned just how in control she really was.

“How were the Nakai’s, what did you two do? Tell me Everything.”

I’m not sure if we should be moving the subject on. I can’t help but feel she’s not telling me something important, something she wanted to say but didn’t have the courage to. Now it seems whatever it was is safely hidden behind sparkling eyes and a warm smile.

Distractedly I tell her about my week at the Nakais’, a sense of deep appreciation for her outrage on my behalf as I recall the entire Hisao’s mum debacle from start to finish. Though in the end we found more or less neutral ground, her near friendliness while baking soon replaced with a kind of soft indifference.

I neglect to mention Hisao’s ex-girlfriend. It hardly seems worth it, given the relationship lasted about ten seconds and ended in a heart attack. Though perhaps I should give his heart credit, as far as I know he is still galloping around the paddock.

“It must have been hard,” Ikuno says consolingly, “Not having time alone with each other.”

“Well, wasn’t so bad, they seemed to leave us alone if we were playing video games.” I say with a shrug.

“I didn’t mean that type of alone.” She smirks.

Huh…? Oh…

I feel my cheeks start to warm. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in pursuing a more intimate dimension of the whole boyfriend girlfriend thing. After all, Ayumu and I shared a bed on the first date. Not that it’s fair to compare the boys. I'd always just assumed that Hisao would make a move in good time, however now, with the end of our time at Yamaku approaching faster than I could have ever imagined two years ago, I can’t help but feel time is running out.

“We’ve not really spoken about... that.” I say awkwardly, “I don’t even know how I would tell him I’m interested. At least, not without being massively embarrassed.”

“You could try standing in front of him in your underwear, see what happens?” She smirks.

“Come on, I’m being serious.”

“I am.” She laughs, “Did you never,” a blush catches at her cheeks, “You know, with Ayumu?”

“No,” I say, and I can feel my own cheeks burning, “Not that far anyway. Have you, you know, with Ryouta?”

I’m not sure I really want to know this, but morbid curiosity has gotten the better of me.

She nods, raising her hands to cover her mouth and fluorescent cheeks.

Wow. It should not be all that surprising, after all they were spending nights in each other's rooms all the way back to last year. Still, I always kind of thought I would be the first to have that particular life experience, rather than sweet innocent Ikuno.

“I… Hmmm, so… underwear right?” I mumble, still shaken by her revelation. I can’t believe it. After everything, all the money and success at school, it’s sex that has me feeling jealous of my best friend. I don’t begrudge her, not really, but it feels like a step up in maturity that I thought I was closer to.

“You don’t have to, I just think boys are rubbish with subtle signs. So you have to give them a big one,” she giggles, her cheeks still bright red.

“Right.” I say, desperately rummaging through my suitcase in my head, trying to work out if I have anything that would be suitable to show Hisao I’m interested in taking the next step in our relationship. Though, if push comes to shove I suppose I always have the option of going naked. Or at least nearly naked, my mutilated stump is staying safely hidden.

“Are you on the pill?” she asks, seeming to regain her composure and suddenly sounding a lot more business like.

I shake my head. The nurse in fairness did offer me some of the small white contraceptives, but I politely declined. At the time sex seemed so unlikely that it didn’t seem worth the effort. A decision I’m quickly regretting. I’m definitely not ready to bring any little track stars with heart conditions into the world.

That's something I actually hadn’t thought of. Is Hisao’s heart thing genetic? How on earth would we deal with that?

“Don’t worry, I can lend you a...” She makes a gesture, that to my mind at least, is far more obscene than the word ‘condom’.

“Um, thanks,” I say awkwardly, “But I think I might be getting a little ahead of myself, I don’t know if he even wants to do... that.”

Hell I’m not completely sure I’m completely ready either - what if I’m awful at it?

Luckily before my insecure thoughts or Ikuno’s knowing smile can get the best of me a stable boy pokes his head over the crest of the hill, telling us that lunch will soon be served. His face is unreadable and his voice level. So I can only guess as to what he thinks the two of us, sitting closely together with crimson cheeks were doing.

With a certain amount of reluctance I get to my feet, before helping my best friend to hers. I still don’t entirely know where we stand. But the mask is back in place, and for better or worse we’ve started to head down the steep hill.

I just hope lunch goes better at the Komaki’s than it did at the Nakai’s.

— — —

Our glasses clink in the moonlight, as we make another toast to always being friends - the latest of a number of similar pledges so far tonight. Not that I’m too fazed, Ikuno surprised us with bottles of wine as the sun started to dip below the horizon. Although it might not have been her best move, given the alcohol has affected her far more than any of us, as we finished off two bottles sitting around a table on a hitherto unseen balcony, enjoying some unseasonably warm night air.

I reach for the third bottle, swaying a little as I shift forward in my seat. Wine has been a new - and thoroughly enjoyable - experience for me, the sweet dry flavours are a stark contrast to the whisky that's best swigged like medicine. Filling my own glass I offer up the bottle to Hisao, who nods eagerly. His cheeks are the same warm rosy colour as the wine.

“This is so unfair!” Ikuno slurs, pointing an accusatory finger vaguely in my direction. “This stuff has hardly affected, effected… Affl…” She pauses her nose scrunched up in concentration. “You’re not drunk!” She moans at last.

“I am,” I laugh, “Just not as much as you!” Which is perfectly true - I can feel the familiar buzz inside my own head. Again, a pleasant change to the world bending haziness I aim for. I haven’t felt this way since before Yamaku.

“Nah-huh.” She says, overextending her pointing finger and falling forward.

I manage to catch her just in time. An impressive feet with one hand and a wobbly head. “Right missy, perhaps it would be best if your boyfriend took you safely to bed, hmm?”

“But, there's still wine left.” She replies in a voice I’m sure is normally reserved for her mother.

Do her parents know about this? Or did she persuade one of her numerous staff to arrange things? I suppose the possibility remains that she took the wine from her parents without them knowing - though that wouldn’t be very Ikuno-like.

When I met them at lunch her mum and dad seemed nice enough. Not exactly distant, but definitely hands off. I get the feeling that a nanny featured heavily in young Ikuno’s life. It would be hard to picture Mrs Komaki - resplendent in her jewels and fancy dress - ever dealing with a young child. Unlike her daughter, who spent nearly the entire meal entertaining Ryouta’s baby sister.

“Miki wants to get us into bed together.” Ryouta sniggers, drifting into the conversation like a cloud.

“That’s scandalous!” Ikuno says, falling haphazardly against Ryouta. Who rights her lazily.

“Any help here?” I ask Hisao, who has been watching the spectacle with amusement.

“They’re your kids,” he comments reasonably, “Though I think I’m going to bed myself.”

“Oh, might be time for us to go as well then,” Ryouta says, placing a hand on his girlfriend's shoulder.

“Yeah,” she replies.

“Wait, wait, wait!” I say rapidly, my ability to keep up with this conversation sadly diminished. “You didn’t want to go anywhere when I said, but Hisao mentions he’s going and you're all for it.”

“He’s the smart one,” Ryouta annonces.

“Can’t argue with that,” mumbles Ikuno.

Unfortunately either my intoxication or theirs has rendered my glower completely ineffective. I will get my revenge for this, in cold blood if needs be - but only after I know my friends are safe.

After much fussing over clearing the table I manage to duck under Ikuno’s arm, and gently help her down the corridor, following her boyfriend to one of the two rooms they are meant to be using. It was a master stroke for her to have rooms up on the top floor of the house, where no one would disturb any illicit sleepovers.

Ryouta almost falls into the room with his normal levels of grace, and heads straight for the bed, not looking back. Ikuno on the other hand holds onto me tightly, swaying gently in my arms.

“Thanks for bringing me home,” she says in a sing song voice, “You’re the best friend ever, ever, like, ever.”

Note to self: Wine and Ikuno don’t mix.

“You’re welcome, now go to bed. You’re going to feel lovely in the morning.”

“Miki,” she says in a hushed whisper.

“Yes?” I whisper back, unsure about the sudden need for secrecy.

“Wear really cute undies!” She nods to herself, as if she had just imparted upon me one of the great revelations of the age. Before turning haphazardly on her heel and walking into the room. Her hand waving over her head in farewell. I close the door behind her, not able to keep the smile off my face.

Turning around I come face to face with Hisao who is watching me from his own doorway.

“Hi,” I say softly, walking towards him with only the smallest sway in my step.

“He-.” His greeting is cut off as my lips find his. To my surprise his hands come to rest on my hips, pulling our bodies closer together. His mouth tastes like wine, but I don’t mind. I must taste similar. After what feels like a long time, but in reality is only a few seconds I break away, my arms wrapped around his neck. “Are you going to sleep? Because I have a surprise for you.”

“Oh,” he replies, his cheeks flushed from the kiss - or perhaps from the wine. “Will I like it?”

“I hope so,” I try to sound confident, but the uncertainty in my voice is clear. “Go get into bed, I will be in soon.”

“O... Okay,” he sounds half excited and half terrified. Which isn’t too far away from how I feel.

He slips into his room, eyes not leaving mine for a moment. Right, you can do this, move. I glide to my own bedroom, hardly noticing anything. My head is so overtaken by the thoughts of what is about to happen I reach for the handle with the wrong hand, punching the metal uselessly with my stump. Ow, fuck, not done that in awhile. Taking a deep breath I try and refocus, opening the door and slipping into the dark room.

“Right,” I say to myself, flicking on the light, “Cute… Right.”

Quickly I unfasten my jeans, letting them slip down my legs, while at the same time kicking off my shoes and bending over to tear off my socks. My over-exuberant removal of clothes does not mix well with the wine however, and I almost fall over. Luckily I catch myself on my suitcase, which I quickly dig through, pulling out a small black, and disturbingly lacy wad of fabric. I can’t believe Ikuno talked me into buying these.

I quickly lose the rest of my clothes, and slide into the underwear. In terms of area covered to yen spent this is probably the most expensive piece of clothing I own. But catching my reflection in the mirror they seem totally worth it. I look good, hell, I look better than good. I pause reaching for the matching Bra, and instead grab an old baggy t-shirt. Better to have something to hide in, just in case Hisao laughs me out of the room.

Before I step back into the corridor I pull one of the small foil covered packages from the box of condoms that Ikuno left for me, tucking it into my waistband. Well, here goes nothing. I flick off the light and cross to Hisao’s door in two heartbeats, absolutely sure that there will be a maid on hand to spot me and drop her tray of silverware with a deafening clang.

Rushing into the room - which is a mirror image of my own stately guest bedroom - I close the door quickly behind me. Hisao - still fully dressed - sits up a little straighter in bed, his eyes fixed on me; large and alarmed. Should I say something? Or just show? Deciding that any action is better than none I stride into a square of moonlight, cast by the large sea-facing windows. How come he gets a better view?

“Miki?” He says nervously, his ruby eyes fixed on my legs.

“Hi,” I say softly, trying to sound sultry but sounding like an old fishwife. “I wondered if you wanted some company?”

Wait. That’s what hookers say isn’t it? Oh fucking hell.

“I always want your company,” he replies, seemingly not noticing my ill thought-out turn of phrase. “You said something about a surprise?”

“I did…” Slowly I raise my arms above my head, pretending to stretch, causing my shirt to ride up to my midriff. My moonlit body has the effect I was hoping for, he looks at me the same way he looked at the mist covered isles on our magical cruise. “May I join you?” I ask, moving my arms to gesture to the bed.

He nods, rubbing his chest. He’s not having a heart attack, that's just what he does when he’s nervous - I hope.


I straddle his legs awkwardly, leaning forward to kiss him. Thankfully he melts against me, and our position goes from uncomfortable to perfectly natural. Why did no one ever explain to me the exact procedure for this? Do I just start ripping off clothes at random or what? I shiver a little as his hands meet the bare flesh of my waist.

That’s a good sign right?

In response to his touch I slide my own hand down to his belt. Supporting myself on my stump I gently slide my hand under his shirt, feeling the warm softness of his stomach. As if we were playing a game of chess Hisao makes his own move, moving his hand up under my shirt to rest on my back. I guess taking turns makes sense to me. I walk my fingertips up his torso, to the chest he is always rubbing.

He breathes in sharply, and to my great surprise pushes me away.

“I’m sorry,” I say quickly. Sitting up on his legs and wondering what on earth I did.

“No, don’t be,” he looks disgusted with himself, “I, I should have told you sooner.”

I don’t feel the same way - this whole thing was a mistake.

“I have a scar,” he finishes at last.

“A scar?” I ask, confused.

“From the surgery, it’s, I.. I’ve never shown anyone before.”

Oh.

“I… I’ve never shown anyone my…” Is scar the right word for the mutilated flesh at the end of my stump? “Well, were my hand used to be.” I can feel my voice shake. This wasn’t how I pictured my first time.

He doesn’t say anything, and I notice that I’ve been staring at my stump. Head in front of my face, the unnecessary bandages glowing silver in the moonlight. Slowly, very slowly, with more care than perhaps I’ve ever done anything, I start to unwind the white cotton from my arm.

“You don’t have to do that,” he says quickly.

“I want to,” I reply, watching the bandage curl into a loose pile on the bedsheets, “I don’t want to keep things from you.”

He nods, and with the same care that I’m taking with my bandages starts to pull up the hem of his shirt.

“You don’t have to do that,” I protest at once. It’s not a competition.

“No secrets huh?” he says, the smallest of smiles slipping onto his face.

“No,” I agree, sliding off of his legs, “No secrets.”

Except one.

The last of my bandages falls away from my arm; at the same moment he pulls his shirt over his head. We meet each other's eyes for a fraction of a second, before refocusing on each other’s scars. His runs down the centre of his chest, and I’m uncomfortably reminded of a cadaver after an autopsy. However looking closer I realize that the flesh is not cold and dead, but raised layers of pink and white.

“Can I touch it?” I ask, resting the flat of my palm against his firm chest. Purposely not looking at my stump, but stoically holding it in place for Hisao to see.

“I.. if you want..”

Gently I trace the outline of the wound with my fingertips. It might be my imagination, but I seem to be able to feel the small dents in his skin where the stitches must have been. Get the idea of a Y shaped scar out of your head right now. A strange feeling around my arm causes me to look over at Hisao, and I jump in shock.

Oh... Fuck…

My boyfriend’s pale white fingertips are tracing around the S shaped scar at the end of my wrist. The skin there is numb, but I can feel the ghostly shivers of his touch slither down my arm, like cold water. Isn’t he disgusted? All at once it feels strangely electrifying but deeply wrong, as if he were touching a deeply personal part of me. Hell, I think it would be less confusing had he stuck his hand into my underwear.

“I…” My voice catches in my throat.

Hisao pulls his hand away at once, as if scalded. “I’m sorry,” he says quickly, “I didn’t mean… I didn’t think...”

“It’s okay,” I reply just as fast, feeling blood rush to my cheeks. “Just, well, I didn’t expect you to touch it. It’s so ugly.”

“No uglier than mine.”

I breathe heavily, gently shifting my weight so my head ends up resting against his shoulder. His flesh is hot against my cheek, and from this angle his scar is invisible, only the outline of his supple chest and the curve of his cheek. I’m suddenly reminded why I came here in the first place. Resting my stump next to his sternum, in line with the scar I kiss his neck hungrily.

“Hisao,” I breathe against his skin, delighting in the feeling of his hand against my hip, “I don’t want to think about scars anymore.”

“Mmmhmmm,” he agrees, “Me neither - What can I do to help?”

I can think of a few things.

Careful not to put any pressure on his chest I shift my body once again, assuming my straddling position over his legs. I can’t help but grin as, in one motion, I slip off my T-shirt, throwing it over the side of the bed. With my arms by my side I let Hisao’s eyes grow wide as he takes in the moonlit sight in front of him.

And I thought he didn’t want me…

I pull the small silver packet from my waistband, the condom is warm from being pressed against my body. It shines as I hold it in front of me, Hisao looking momentarily confused before the full understanding of my intentions hits him.

“Distract me?” I ask softly.

— — —

Two things strike me when I wake to a room lit by golden sunlight the next morning. Firstly I don’t appear to be wearing anything. And secondly - perhaps more importantly - I’m not alone in bed. I turn over, coming face to face with a sleeping Hisao, a warm blush spreading over my cheeks as I remember what we did last night.

I don’t think I could have asked for a more perfect first time.

I feel a kind of nervous energy that I haven’t felt in weeks. As carefully as I can I slide out from under the covers, stretching as I walk over to the window. Staying in bed is tempting, but I’m too awake to lie still, regardless of how comfortable it is. The mattress rustles behind me as I extend my arms as far above my head as I can manage.

“It’s rude to stare,” I say softly, looking over my shoulder to grin at my wide-eyed boyfriend.

“Can’t help it, too beautiful,” he replies sleepily, “Where are you going?”

“I’ve not run in ages, my body is cross at me.”

Finding my underwear amongst the scattering of discarded clothes is proving to be difficult.

“Here,” Hisao says, reaching down between the wall and bed and retrieving the black wad of fabric.

“Thanks,” I reply, snatching them with a burning face and quickly slipping them on.

“Would you like me to join you?” He asks, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“No.”Placing one knee on the bed I lean over, kissing his lips softly. “You go back to sleep, I’ll catch up later okay?”

He looks like he wants to argue, but a yawn catches him off guard.

I take the opportunity to gently kiss his forehead. “I’ll be back, I promise.”

I feel a little guilty leaving him. This wasn’t a one night stand after all. But I can tell he’s shattered, and a few more hours sleep will do him good. Plus, I would be lying if I said I didn’t relish the idea of running without politeness to my boyfriend holding me back.

Turning from the bed I scoop my T-shirt from the floor, slipping it over my head as I make my way to the door - where I pause, a smile crossing my lips when I see Hisao is already asleep.

— — —

My running kit feels like an old friend as I step into the dark musty room. I have to cover my mouth to stop myself from laughing when I see that not only are Ikuno and Ryouta fully dressed draped over each other on top of the bedclothes, but they are both snoring in perfect unison. Bless them, I almost feel cruel.

I wrench open the curtains, bathing the room in sunlight.

Ikuno is the first to stir, and she instinctively covers her eyes, squirming on the bed. “W… Why?” She asks with a melodramatic groan of pain.

“Who’s the smart one now?” I ask, leaving the room with a giggle.

Running and revenge, the perfect way to start a day.


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Last edited by Gajzla on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gajzla
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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.33 Posted 28th November 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:14 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:I probably got more enjoyment out of Miki being terrified on the horse than I should have, but I couldn't help it. It was hilarious.

Hehe, yeah that was lots of fun to write. I think Miki will be sticking to less lively forms of transport for the foreseeable future. :D
AntonSlavik020 wrote:On a more serious note, I really liked the talk their at the end. His fear makes sense, even if it's unfounded. Looking forward to Miki's talk with Ikuno.
Thanks! Though, i’m afraid you might need to wait a little longer for outcome of that little chat. :P

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.34 Posted 23rd December 2015)

Post by freddy753 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:10 pm

Gajzla wrote: It would be hard to picture Mrs Komaki - respondent in her jewels and fancy dress
I think you meant "resplendent." There's some other mistakes too, but this one was the most glaring to me for some reason.

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.34 Posted 23rd December 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:53 pm

freddy753 wrote:
Gajzla wrote: It would be hard to picture Mrs Komaki - respondent in her jewels and fancy dress
I think you meant "resplendent." There's some other mistakes too, but this one was the most glaring to me for some reason.
Fixed, thanks for pointing out. I will have another read see if I can see any more mistakes. (I tend to make lots - Mirage must have the patience of a saint.) :D

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.34 Posted 23rd December 2015)

Post by Gajzla » Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:36 pm

Happy New Years everyone!

Glossy Brochures

A puddle explodes around my shoe as I sprint through the torrential rain. The lights of the boys’ dormitories glow invitingly through the haze and twilight - a distant sanctuary from the first storm of autumn.

I pull my coat tighter around me as I run, keeping my head down to gain whatever meagre protection the thin hood can offer and regretting more and more with each step not wearing one of Miss Kita’s handmade wooly hats. Still, if it hadn’t been for weather like this I may never have ended up with Hisao as a running partner. Just imagine if Emi had gotten him first. He wouldn’t have lasted a week.

The end of the summer holidays brought with it a radical change in the weather, that seemed to reflect my mood. Replacing the cool but clear skies with overcast greys and the constant threat of rain. I’m still, in a way, struggling to come to grips with how little time I have left at Yamaku. The high school experience, which at my old school felt like it would last forever has come and gone faster than I could ever have imagined.

Taking the steps two at a time I burst through the heavy glass dormitory door, the sudden almost overwhelming heat hitting me like a concrete wall. Shaking off the hood I begin to unbutton my coat, content to let it drip dry on the wooden floors of the lobby, rather than Hisao’s soft carpet.

Along with the weather came the results of our final exams. Surprisingly I didn’t do too badly... Not as well as Hisao and Ikuno who more or less aced them, but well enough to get into most universities. That’s what Hisao says anyway.

As if that were an option.

My confession - or lack thereof - has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m running low on excuses now. Even my wish to be intimate with Hisao has been granted. Repeatedly. Though instead of ticking off an item on the bucket list, it’s simply another thing I’m going to have to sacrifice.

I take a moment to assess the rain’s damage. My shoes and the bottom of my jeans look like I’ve waded through a marsh, but everything else is pleasantly dry. Using the glass of the door - reflective against the backdrop of the storm - I fix my hair as best I can, thankful that I don’t have to venture back outside tonight if I don’t want to. Though, it may pay to collect my coat before too many people put two and two together.

The heat makes my cold skin prickle uncomfortably as I slowly climb the stairs to Hisao’s floor. The building is quiet tonight, even with the darkness it is not so late, and I would have expected some of the boys to brave the rain for their clubs or social commitments. Then again, I feel like I’m on the verge of trench foot, so perhaps they have the right idea.

I don’t want to spend any more time alone though. Since I got back to school I’ve been spending more and more time sitting in my room, waiting for Hisao and Ikuno to get back from their student council commitments. Apparently they are super busy preparing for Shizune’s handover to a new, and hopefully less tyrannical, president. Bloody weather. None of this would be so bad if I could at least lose myself on the track without getting pneumonia or breaking my neck.

The temptation to return to my dorm and crack open the bottle of whisky that - though hidden safely in my wardrobe - seems to fill the room omnipresently is overwhelming. Thus far I’ve managed to cope with the dreams and phantom pain, but it’s only a matter of time before I give in to my own weakness. Distracted I almost walk into somebody at the top of the stairs - a scarf wearing, bespectacled somebody. Great, if there's anyone likely to drive me to drink it’s Kenji.

“Sorr-“ I start to say, but my apology is cut off almost immediately.

“Waaaargh!” He shouts, the sound echoing all the way down the stairwell. “Aha, thought you could sneak up on me?”

“No, I-“

“Well bad luck, my senses are finely honed and my vision is sharp! You stop right there feminist scum!” He points a finger vaguely in my direction, a look of immense pride on his normally paranoid face.

“It’s Miki!” I say desperately, “Hisao’s girlfriend, you remember?” I pause, continuing in a much quiet voice, “You added me to the vetted list.”

One of the few times Hisao and I have had a strong disagreement was over Kenji’s approved female list. But to my mind, If it makes him more comfortable with me being around then it’s worth it. I mean, he’s clearly not all there mentally. As demonstrated by the elaborate, confusing and sometimes highly personal questions he asked me as part of the application process.

“That’s just what the feminist inflater that murdered my best friends girlfriend and took her place would say!” He replies knowingly.

Of course, there is only so much kindness one soul is capable off.

“You asked for my bra size three times while I was getting on your stupid list! You kept me in your stinking room for nearly an hour asking me question after stupid question! And now that I’m on the list you don’t believe I am who I am anyway?” I’m surprised to find myself shouting, all the frustration and dark thoughts of the last few days finally bubbling to the surface.

Kenji takes a step back, mouth slightly open. Before composing himself and replying as casually as if my outburst had never happened. “No need to be so sensitive, security comes first. I’m on the brink of exposing a major feminist conspiracy here.”

It better not have anything to do with my bra size.

“Yeah?” I say, I know I shouldn’t, but my curiosity gets the better of me.

“Oh yes, this is the big one! The most evil diabolical scheme mankind has ever faced: Equality.”

“You mean, like women getting the vote?” I ask with a raised eyebrow. Though, I suppose the expression is rather wasted on him.

“No, no,” He replies in a tone as if I were a complete idiot. “That was brought about to get high ranking feminist operatives into positions of power, everyone knows that!”

“Fine, then what's the problem with equality?”

“Missiles.”

“Excuse me?” I should have been prepared for something completely insane, but that doesn’t even make sense.

“Time was you would have two brave and manly men in charge of launching the nuke. Then along comes feminists saying everything should be equal, so they let a man and a women sit behind the big red button.” He pauses, looking around suspiciously. “Then they take it a step further, they say that if it’s okay for two men to sit behind the desk, then it must be okay for two women.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah! Then boom!” He claps his hands suddenly, making me jump. “Every bar and bowling alley in mainland Japan removed from existence! It’s evil, pure evil - and I seem to be the only one who realises it.” He finishes his remarkable sentence a little sadly.

“Well, I know now, so I will keep a look out for you.” I say consolingly, but it’s hard to keep the smile off of my face. If you had to say something positive about Kenji, it would be that he has one hell of an imagination.

“Ah! So you have considered my proposal?” He asks with renewed interest.

“I’m not bugging the girls’ changing rooms!” I pause, “Or any other room for that matter.”

“Fine, fine! Not all of us are brave enough to step up and do what has to be done!” He sighs dramatically, “I don’t blame you though dude, it’s a scary world out there.”

He’s not wrong.

“It’s a wet world out there at the moment, where are you going without a raincoat?”

“That information is top secret.” He says stubbornly.

“So the Aura Mart then?”

“Waaahhh, who told you that?” He takes an alarmed step back, his hands raised in weak imitation of a kung fu master.

I sigh. I wonder if this is what being a mother is like.

“Just a good guess, anyway you can’t go out there without a raincoat. You’ll get a cold.”

“Impossible, my immune system is too rugged and manly. Besides this is the perfect weather for covert operations, I shall venture where no feminist dares to tread.”

“Unless the feminists are counting on your manliness and so know this is the perfect time to strike?” I offer as a counterpoint.

It probably isn’t the best idea to feed his delusions, but I’m not about to let him make himself sick.

Kenji stands frozen, speechless for the first time I can recall. Slowly he lowers his hands, his gaze resting more or less on me. “You may well have saved my life tonight.” He nods sagely at me. “I must plan! But know when the history of the great feminist war is written you will receive an entire chapter!”

Before I can reply he turns on the spot, returning to his room faster than is probably advisable for someone with such limited vision. It takes me a little time to recover from my shock encounter and remember why I came all this way in the pouring rain.

I can still hear the sound of Kenji securing his many locks behind me as I knock on HIsao’s door. Hisao opens it a few moments later, a smile dimpling his perfect face. However much of a pain Kenji is, dealing with him is worth it to see those dimples.

“Hi,” I say softly, “Awful night for it.”

“I wasn’t sure you would come,” he replies. Though is clear from his grin that he’s glad I did.

Stepping through the doorway I find his lips, as if they were a single star in an empty sky. Closing his door with my heel I pull him closer, fully intending to skip the formalities. I think I’ve done enough talking for one night.

However Hisao seems to have other ideas and pulls away gently, keeping me at arm's length. “Another load of university brooches arrived.” Taking a hand from my hip he gestures to a massive pile of glossy books on his bed, “I was just reading them when you knocked,” He finishes apologetically.

Oh… This again.

Ever since we have gotten back - once the celebrations or in some cases, commiserations of the exam results had settled - the entirety of the third year seemed to have shifted into a kind of university hysteria. People walk to and from class with their heads buried in idealised propaganda about their futures. I can understand why. After all the selection process for higher education has a marked effect on the rest of your life. But for me, with my future holding nothing but concrete walls, the excitement makes me feel sick.

Unfortunately my friends all fall into the former camp, and because I’m unable to tell them why I might feel differently I’m forced to play along the best I can. I had hoped Ryouta might share some of my disinterest - after all, he’s never shown any great enthusiasm for academia - but he’s just as hooked as his girlfriend. Possibly because she’s so hooked. It seems to a foregone conclusion that they will be attending the same uni.

Hisao also seems to be thinking along similar lines.
I must have let slip at some point I had a vague interest in being a physical therapist, because he has spent almost every waking moment since trying to find a university somewhere in Japan that suits both our ambitions.

Of course I wish he wouldn’t, I have quite enough guilt already. Without him choosing a uni he might not necessarily like under the illusion that I will be joining him. I should tell him, I know I should tell him. I had planned to in fact, the last time we were in this situation, but somehow we ended up in bed, everything other than each other banished from our minds.

“I’m not disturbing you am I?” I ask, knowing the answer but compelled by manners.

“Of course not,” he pauses, a tinge of crimson warming his cheeks, “I had been hoping you would come over.”

I feel my own cheeks redden at his words, and swiftly bending down to undo my sodden shoelaces. “Well my presence comes at a cost,” I smirk, “Do you mind if I dry my socks on your radiator?”

Perhaps not my most ladylike moment - but screw getting trench-foot for the sake of appearances.

“Your jeans are wet as well,” he comments offhandedly.

“Well someone's keen to get me out of my clothes.” I reply with a raised eyebrow. I would have preferred to take my jeans off under more romantic circumstances.

“No,” Hisao says quickly, his cheeks now positively glowing, “I mean, I want to do that, just not yet.”

“Sure, sure, I was joking really,” I lie, “What do you wanna do?”

As if I needed to ask. His ruby eyes flicker to the mountain of paper on the bed.

“Can we just look at this stuff together? Ikuno and Ryouta are constantly talking about it, but for us it feels like I’m doing this alone.” There's a definite undercurrent of frustration in his voice which takes me aback.

“Oh, yeah, sure.” I say disjointedly, a little thrown by my boyfriend. It’s not like I’ve not seen him frustrated or even angry before, but me being the target of his temper - no matter how subtly - is a new experience, one I could have lived without. “Sorry,” I continue, feeling the urge to explain myself, “It just seems like the end of school is so far away, I didn’t want to get all caught up in something that's not happening for ages.”

I’ve never noticed before just how naturally lying to my boyfriend comes to me - it’s a little disturbing. Then again who haven’t I lied to over the past year? Not even I make that list.

“I get that,” he says, his voice returning to its normal softness, “but if we decide now we can get a head start on the entrance exams.”

“Okay! Where do we start?” I reply with all the false cheerfulness I can muster.

— — —

As it turns out I’m so far behind Hisao in his research that I don’t even qualify for the bed books, instead Hisao started me off with a pile of brochures retrieved from his wardrobe. I can tell they have been read before by the multitude of post-it notes poking from between the pages, each with a neat handwritten note detailing something of importance on an easily forgotten page.

Now I sit on the floor with my back to Hisao’s bed, surrounded on all sides by glossy paper and an earnest wish to never see another smiling freshman as long as I live. The book open on my knees is simply page after page of photographs that were obviously posed for, but are supposed to look spontaneous.

Focus, you can read a book - even a book that feels like a slap in the face - without getting distracted by the pictures.

“Find anything you like?” Hisao asks from the bed behind me.

“Well,” What the hell do I say? “Not really, how about you?”

“One or two, some have tracks but don’t offer the courses we want. Others have courses that look good but are in awful locations.”

“Hisao?”

“Yeah?” He replies, sliding off the bed to sit beside me, kicking brochures out of the way in the process.

“If… Well, if we can’t find a university that suits us both, will you promise you will go to the perfect one for you… Without me?”

He won’t understand, but I can’t let him be dragged down by me. Even if it hurts us.

“What? Don’t you want to go together?”

“I do, of course I do.” I say quickly, “But I don’t know if university is really for me.”

“What? Thats ridiculous, why?”

My dry lips are unable to form the words, so I simply shrug. That won’t be a good enough answer for him, but the truth would be even worse.

He rubs his palm against his head, momentarily closing his eyes. “Miki, you need to stop doubting yourself. Your exam results prove that university is absolutely for you.”

“I’m not doubting myself.” I reply. That I deserve to be behind bars is one of the few things in my life I am certain of. “I just don’t think I will do well there…” Could I have given a much more pathetic answer?

My boyfriend is silent beside me, and I can feel his eyes burning into the side of my head. He’s not going to drop this.

Finally, he speaks up. “Look, I know it won’t be like Yamaku. And I totally understand how much it must suck to have people stare at..” He gestures to my stump, resting across the book in my lap. “But you can’t let that stop you getting the most out of your life.”

I blink confusedly at him. My hand? He thinks all this is about my hand?

“It’s not that.” I drag my fingertips down my face, frustrated at not being able to say what I really want to say. “Can we please just drop this?”

“No.” He replies sharply, “I want to know why you don’t want to get to university with me.” Though subtle, there is real anger in his words now.

“I do!” I protest, “But it’s complicated.”

“So it’s a secret then? That's what complicated means here, right?”

I turn my face away, not brave enough to look at him.

“Are you seeing someone else?” He asks grimly.

What?

“No! Of course not.”

“Then what’s going on?”

“I can’t tell you,” I say, my voice shaking. “But it’s not that, I promise there's no one else.”

Getting to my feet I risk a glance in my boyfriends direction. As I had feared his face is red, and his eyes - which are normally so warm - are practically blazing with intensity. How the fuck do I make this right?

“I think I should go,” I mumble, looking away again.

“Wait.” He says, and I can hear the bed creak as he uses it to hoist himself to his feet. “I thought we shared everything? When we were at my parents’ house I told you everything about myself.” His words, normally so measured. Pour from his mouth, getting progressively louder with each syllable.

“I told you everything I could about myself, I’ve shared more with you than anyone else!” I retort, the heart of my own anger touching at my face. “But there are things you cannot know.”

“And you expect me just to accept that? That despite everything you still don’t trust me?” His voice is still sharp - and loud - but now his tone is one of disappointment. If anything, it’s worse than the anger.

“I do trust you!” I say desperately, “Hisao I-“

He cuts me off mid sentence, “You're right,” he says, pale knuckles visible on his curled firsts. “You should go.”

“Hisao!” I protest.

“No, I can’t do this,” he gestures to me, “Whatever this is. Come back when you feel like being honest.”

All the fight I have left, the determination that I can save this situation is dashed with one dark look from the boy I love. And I do love him, fuck! My feet carry me out of his room, my body numb with shock. By time I reach the stairs I’m sprinting, taking two at a time my vision blurred by tears.

The darkened stairwell feels like a void, or rather a drain, pulling me away from Hisao and into some grim unknown. Get a grip. I’ve known this was coming, I’ve known from the second we agreed to go out. But I hadn’t counted on it hurting so much, it feels like waking up in a hospital bed all over again, part of me is missing, and my future holds nothing but pain and misery.

Reaching the ground floor I almost send a pair of first year boys - twins, wearing matching pajamas - flying as as I shove them out of the way. Any protest is lost under the sound of my feet slapping against the tiled floor, and I don’t bother to look back. Heaving open the heavy glass door, I splash out into the rain.

Gah.

My shoes and socks are up in Hisao’s room. But fuck it, being barefoot in the rain is hardly the worst thing that happened tonight. The rough pavement digs into my feet, and I contemplate hopping onto the grass - before realising that will just end up with me flat on my back covered in sloppy mud. The rain hasn’t let up at all, and my shirt and the rest of my jeans are soaked, my coat still hanging by the confused boys in the lobby.

— — —

It’s something of a miracle that I don’t meet anyone on my way up to my room. That would not have ended well. One smirk, or smart assed comment would probably have earned the culprit a black eye at best. A charge of assault would round off my manslaughter charges nicely.

With the soft patter of water dripping onto the carpet I stare at myself in the mirror that replaces one of the doors on my wardrobe. My reflection is disturbingly pathetic, barefooted and windswept I look like the type of vagabond that would hang around the worst parts of town.

And then the pain begins. Slowly at first - as if relishing the task - the phantom creeps into the infinite space at the end of my stump. Twisting and bending cruelly at the rough approximation of a hand that exists there.

It’s as if something inside me snaps, whatever cable was holding up the weight of my sanity gives and in one fast, almost practiced motion I lash out at the girl reflected before me. My stump connects with the glass with a satisfying crack, a spider web of fractures resonating out in all directions.

Fragments of my reflection slide the floor, piled before me. Ayumu would describe that as an apt metaphor for my life. I feel a kind of sadistic delight as I watch the blood spread under the white bandages on my arm. A small part of my mind tells me how stupid I’m being, how irresponsible. But I push it aside. Have I not earned this? I have, I’ve used up everything I have. Now all that’s left is the uncontrollable rage that comes from knowing you’ve lost the war.

Stepping past the broken glass I pull open the wardrobe door. Oh sure, I won a few battles. I tell whichever part of myself I still feel I have to justify my actions to. It might even have seemed at times that I had won some crushing victories. Throwing aside old clothes my fingertips brush the frosty neck of a glass bottle. But it was all an illusion, I lost before I even fired my first shot.

— — —

The knock on my bedroom door seems to thunder through the otherwise silent room. I sit up, instantly roused from the whisky filled haze that’s held me for the last few hours - though it feels like it could have been days. Swaying slightly as my body desperately tries to sort vertical from horizontal I check the time. Hmmm. Not as late as I thought.

There’s another, more tentative knock and I sigh. That will be Ikuno, probably checking to see if I decided to sleep over with Hisao. Thoughts of rolling back into bed rattle around in my head, the cold air feels like sandpaper on my bare legs - apparently I took my soaked jeans off at some point, but I don’t remember and there is a dull ache in my stump - I’m disturbingly happy to be able to trace the pain to my physical flesh, rather than the ghost who inhabits it.

Getting to my feet I’m hit by a sudden dizzy spell, and my foot hovers dangerously above the pile of broken glass, before I manage to shift my weight and amble zombie-like to the door. Letting her see me this is probably a bad idea, but… I don’t want to be alone. Feeling unnaturally cold the door handle turns easily.

The dim lights in the corridors can hardly be described as intense, however they are a hell of a lot brighter than my bedroom. I barely register the outline of a person walking away down the corridor, before I instinctively slap my hand over my eyes. Gah, it’s like starting the hangover early.

“Miki?”

The voice is shocking on two counts. Firstly, because I had been expecting Ikuno’s. And secondly, because Hisao was the last person I was expecting. Yet here he is. Vision still blurry I force myself to look out into the corridor, were my boyfriend - or possibly ex-boyfriend - is watching me intently, a folded bundle in his arms.

“I was just returning your coat and…” He pauses, “What on earth happened to you?” He finishes in clear bewilderment.

I don’t look that bad do I? Had I know he was coming, been a little more sober and not smashed my own mirror, I would have checked.

“I…” What do I say?

“Your arm? It’s bleeding.” He says taking a step closer.

I check the dark skin on my right arm in some alarm, before realising he meant my stump. Ok, perhaps this isn’t the best state of mind to be discussing important things.

“Ah, yeah, had an accident with the mirror.” I shrug, “It’s no big deal.”

“It looks like a big deal from here.” He replies sternly. “Can I come in?”

Are you an idiot, of course he can’t.

Ignoring my sense of self-preservation I take a step back, inviting him into the room.

“Be careful of the glass,” I warn, before letting myself fall back onto the bed. I can’t fall down and look like even more of an idiot if I’m sitting.

Hisao wrinkles his nose as he enters the room. This place must stink. A combination of wet clothes, sweat and whiskey hang in the air. Again I’m hit with the frustration of not knowing he was going to pay me a visit. I could have at least opened the window.

“What the hell happened in here?” He asks, his voice a mixture of wonder and concern.

I shrug, unsure exactly how to answer that question.

“Is that alcohol?” He points at the bottle sitting on my bedside table. “Were you drinking?”

“It’s not a big deal. I say again, pinching the bridge of my nose.

“Miki, what the fuck?” It’s the first time I’ve heard him swear, and the word sounds all the dirtier for it. “I don’t understand, is this all to do with whatever secret your keeping?”

I nod slowly, realising that it’s stupid - not to mention insulting - to keep insisting that nothing is wrong. He deserves better.

“Look, whatever it is-“

“I killed somebody,” I say in barely a whisper, cutting him off mid sentence.

I’m glad he was here when the end came. No one would be happy about condemning themselves - even if it was justly deserved - but being able to confess to someone I love, well I would take that any day of the week.

“What?” he takes a stunned step back, fragments of the broken mirror crunching under his shoe.

I look into his stunned eyes, a sudden wave of dizzy euphoria spreading over me. There’s nothing left to lose now, nothing to fight for - it’s strangely liberating.

“In the car crash where I lost my hand, somebody died, and it was my fault.” I say simply.

“Did you mean to kill them?”

“No, of course not!” I protest, tapping into a previously undiscovered well of difference. Whatever else he thinks of me, I won’t let him say I’m a cold blooded murderer.

My crime is manslaughter, not exactly a badge of honour, but a whole lot better than murder.


“Okay.”

To my surprise he sits down beside me on the edge of the bed. What the hell? He tentatively takes my stump in his hands, holding it up to the flood of soft light from the hallway, it feels strange but I’m too stunned to protest.

“I think you need to see the nurse, this cut is pretty deep.” He says softly, a frown crossing his perfect face.

The feeling of euphoria fades in a moment. This isn’t how this was supposed to go. Uncontrollable tears roll down my cheeks. He was supposed to look at me with disgust and walk away, freeing me to phone the police and hand myself in, but now… I don’t understand.

“Why are you still here?” I ask, wiping my eyes on the back of my hand.

He looks at me for a long moment, before shaking his head slowly, the smallest of smiles touching at his lips.

“Because I love you.”

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Last edited by Gajzla on Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Miki: Fragments (Ch.35 Posted 18th January 2016)

Post by Serbian Gamer » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:31 am

This was a good chapter, alot escalated, aye?
Good to know you're still updating! ^-^
"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things. But vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."

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