Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
ArtLucio
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:13 am

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by ArtLucio » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:34 am

I really love your story. The part that Hisao plays chess with Hanako was great. I do not speak English very well but google translate always helps.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:09 am

Drink Me

My parents took the idea of us staying for two extra days well. Rika rather was delighted by the idea. It seems almost like another way to rebel against her father. We could only stay for an hour, in order to catch the train back, but that was long enough.

The fence, the woods behind it, the familiar old 3 story squat building, I knew this place well. In front of the gate, a horde of students were pouring through, each in their familiar blue uniform. I stayed back, waiting until the appropriate time.

Rika sat beside me, observing the commotion. “I always had to stay back the first day, or else I’d be injured. I actually tried to enter the gate first thing. I got two meters in before… waking up in the hospital three days later. I was seven.”

I sigh and squeeze her hand. “You are not seven now, and they will finish soon in order to attend the ceremony. Once it begins we can slip into the observation area with the parents.”

She nods, then leans her head on my shoulder.

Then the music starts to play. “That is our cue.”

I stand up, then offer my hand, which Rika graciously accepts for pulling herself up. I re-open her parasol and we stroll through the gate and over to the observation area, standing to the back but with a good view of the activities.

Glancing over the crowd, I only see the back of people’s heads. That is the problem with being in the observation area. But, I know my old class is down there, somewhere.

The ceremony is only a half hour long, but it always felt like it stretched for eternity when I was in those chairs. I wonder if Yamaku has such an odd ceremony. Most schools, so I understand, only hold this in April at the start of the school year. My old school did one at the beginning of every trimester.

As soon as they were dismissed, most students would greet whichever parents attended, not many did for these ceremonies, and then head out to class. But that brief moment is all I needed.

“I see you are doing better Mr. Nakai,” comes a gravelly voice behind me. I turn slightly and look over.

“Principal Nissho, it is good to see you,” I tell him back.

He breaks out in a smile. “I still was sad to hear that you are attending elsewhere, but so long as you are healthy, that is all that matters.”

I nod. “I never had the chance to say goodbye properly before, so I thought to take a moment. Principal, thank you for your guidance over the years.”

I swear from the look on the short man’s face that I’d just informed him that he was heir to a royal fortune. Maybe that is what Mutou means when he talks about teaching being very rewarding.

“It’s about my time to speak, so I shan’t dally. What happened, it was a tragedy for all of us. I cannot deny that I wish things had been different.”

I tap my chest. “You and me both.”

He nods, then as his name is spoken up at the podium, strolls forward, a bounce in his step not fitting his 60 years of age.

And then it becomes clear that one row of classes among the third years did not have their eyes follow our principal as he walked past, but stayed glued to the spot he was in, the spot where I currently stood. Ignoring the stares, I listened in as my former principal gave a speech I swore he’s given a hundred times before. I could almost lip sync it at this point – he gives it every time we start a trimester.

As he finishes, the audience claps politely, then everyone has 10 minutes to make it to their classes. Enough time to greet any parents who attend, grab a drink, and so forth.

I could almost feel the small horde of feet as they stride in our direction. Rika leans on me a bit harder than usual. It feels good to have her there to support me.

Then the questions began flying, all on top of each other, as my former classmates surrounded the two of us. I could not even make out them individually, and gave simple responses when I could. When I saw Shin, I waved to get him over.

I could hear Mai’s voice over the crowd. “Give the man some room to breathe. Geesh, you guys are acting like he’s back from the dead.”

“Just wanted to say hi before we go back to school ourselves,” I tell everyone.

And then the questions flew again. I roll my eyes and look at Rika. She just stays leaning on me, chuckling to herself. “This was your idea, remember?”

By the time we finished, I felt pretty assured that whatever else happened in my old class, at least the rumors will be more accurate. Let them focus on the kid who didn’t die, went to a different school, and came back with a beautiful girlfriend instead.

It is a long train ride home. Rika sleeps most of the way, very deeply. I guess it’s all been too much for her. I couldn’t even get her to wake up for lunch.

As we’re pulling into the station, I finally force her awake.

“Tired?”

Rika stifles a yawn. “I don’t understand. I got plenty of sleep. Can we take a taxi back? My treat?”

I shrug. “Up to you.”

She nods, and pulls her phone out as we exit the train.

At least we made good time. The ride back to Yamaku took less than 20 minutes.

As ever, I am carrying the bags. Heading into the girls dorm first, we find a near ghost town. Well, we still have nearly a week before classes begin, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

We make it into her room, and she just collapses onto her bed.

“Comfy! Mine!” The muffled cries from the bed cross the room despite going through at least two pillows.

I just chuckle and put her suitcases down by her closet.

“Going to bed already?” I ask the limp form.

“Mine!”

I run a finger up the bottom of her foot, making her jump!

“That tickles!”

I smile and dodge the pillow thrown at me.

Then something crosses my mind, and I put my hand on her foot again.

“Stop!”

I hold up my other hand. “Not going to tickle, checking something. Your foot’s cold.”

She sits up, now curious. I put my hand on hers. Her hand’s cold too.

“Rika. You feel this, right?”

She nods.

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt your hands and feet so cold, especially after wearing your gloves and socks all day. Normally they’re very warm after wearing those.”

“Probably nothing. Best check anyways.” She yawns, then points over to her desk. “Get the pressure cuff.”

She tries to take some deep breaths as I get her wrist cuff. Strange little thing, but is a quick way to check her pressure.

She closes her eyes as she repeats a process I’ve already seen more than enough times.

“Hisao, please write the numbers down.”

First number, 85, second, 53. I turn the pad of paper around to show her.

“I’m taking you to the nurse.”

She nods, and reaches out for my hand.

----------

I dimly hear the nurse getting on the phone. I am reasonably aware that a curtain was drawn around the infirmary bed which I’d spent several hours on myself. It did not matter. Before me, Rika looked… I could not even begin to describe it. Tired perhaps?

I dimly hear in the background the nurse on the phone. “No, yes sir… Yes, nothing in her file… I understand sir, but… Be that as it may… Not in a position to talk… Her boyfriend is here, stop yelling… I would advise against that… she needs the support… please do, without the form, policy is clear… I will wait for the fax, yes sir… Goodbye.” With the phone hung up, I’ve the nurse lets out a puff of breath. “Some parents are worse than the kids.” A moment later, he picks up the phone again. “Can you please come down at your earliest convenience? Thank you.”

Peeking behind the curtain, he nods to me. “She needs to go to the hospital. I’m sorry Nakai, she needs more help than we can do here.”

“What is it?”

He grimaces. “Anyone else, I would say patient confidentiality. But, Rika’s made an exception for you. I can’t say for certain, but if I were to guess, fluid buildup around the lungs. It’s happened before with her.”

I consider. “How would that make her blood pressure low?”

“Well, the fluid has to come from somewhere.”

Looking over, Rika’s sleeping comfortably, which is odd considering how uncomfortable the table is.

“And that makes her sleepy too I guess?”

The nurse smiles. “You are a smart one alright. Now her transport should be here soon. Can you stay here with Rika while I go to the rear door and watch for them?”

I nod.

“Oh, and if Mr. Katayama manages to send that fax over, set it on my desk. I mean really, who uses a fax machine anymore?”

Left alone with the sleeping Rika, I sit in the Nurses chair and look around. Nothing really changes in this room. Or any school nurse office come to think of it. The noise from a machine in the corner breaks me out of the monotony.

Guess that is the fax Nurse was talking about. Not going to bother getting out of the chair. Let’s wheel it over.

Ok, it looks cooler on TV. So, what is it that Rika’s father needed to send…

The form is titled: Restriction of visitor access during extended hospital stay

Glancing it over, he just banned anyone and everyone from the school visiting Rika while she recovers. A vague memory of what Rika said before. “I never had anyone visit me in the hospital but father.”

I can hear the nurses voice and some feet moving up the corridor. Thinking fast, I stuff the paper into my pocket, stand up and move the chair back into position as quickly as possible.

As the nurse entered, he waves the men coming with him to Rika. They’re carrying a portable gurney, which they unfold into position.

Nurse: Any fax?

I jump. “Uh no, no sir.”

He eyes me suspiciously, then breaks into a smile. “Those darn things never work right anyways, you know?” Then leaning in closer, “Just, uh, make sure to recycle off-campus, alright?” Standing up. “My shift is over in about a half hour. I can take you over to the hospital then. Rika should be checked in by that point.”

I nod, and watch the men help move the sleeping girl.

“Before we go, can you go pack up Rika’s travelling case?” he asks, looking down at me.

“Of course,” I tell him.

Visiting a hospital. Something’s been bothering me.

“Nurse, do hospitals keep visitors logs?”

He looks at me like I’d just sprouted a third eye.

“No, why ever would you think they would?”

I mentally note that down. “Someone mentioned them not too long ago, and I wondered if they were right.”
Last edited by Downix on Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5830
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:17 am

I wonder if Yamaku has such an odd ceremony. Most schools, so I understand, only hold this in April at the start of the school year. My old school did one at the beginning of every trimester.
Nice bit of lampshading here... It's still strange, though.
I could almost lip sync it at this point – he gives it every time we start a trimester.
Which makes it even stranger :-)
“No, why ever would you think they would?”
At this point I'm seriously starting to wonder about Rika's father having ESP powers... Please don't go there!
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:19 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:17 am
I wonder if Yamaku has such an odd ceremony. Most schools, so I understand, only hold this in April at the start of the school year. My old school did one at the beginning of every trimester.
Nice bit of lampshading here... It's still strange, though.
I could almost lip sync it at this point – he gives it every time we start a trimester.
Which makes it even stranger :-)
“No, why ever would you think they would?”
At this point I'm seriously starting to wonder about Rika's father having ESP powers... Please don't go there!
Ha! No, it's far more basic than that.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Fri May 11, 2018 6:21 pm

Bottom of the Well

Hiding until Mr. Katayama leaves the hospital takes a bit of effort. Especially with the company I’m keeping.

“Hicchan, why are we sitting over here watching the hospital doors anyways?”

Glancing over at my co-conspirators, I am grateful that at least Shizune has kept her binoculars up. Still was surprised to learn that she had a pair. Maybe she likes bird watching?

I tell Misha, “Because Rika’s father doesn’t know what I did, and I don’t want him to. She deserves better than weeks of isolation.”

“I’m sure if you just explain…”

I shake my head. “You’ve never met the man. He’s obsessed with control. This is something out of his control. He would take it very badly.”

“How does preventing Rika from having visitors give him control,” Misha asks.

Shizune, having looked away from the binoculars, signs a response.

“Because then he becomes her whole lifeline to the world and he can control everything she interacts with? That’s just mean Shicchan.”

I nod to Shizune. She returns the nod, and goes back to the binoculars.

“He even prevents her mother from visiting,” I tell Misha.

Shizune then holds up one hand, to make us stop talking. I see her head track, and following the gaze I can make out the figure of Rika’s father leaving. Checking my watch, I see that there are several hours left for visitors.

As soon as he is completely out of sight, Shizune stands up and starts to collect her bags. Misha and I follow suit, finding ourselves rushing to catch up with her.

I swear, the way she is moving, hiding from even he potential line of sight of the direction he went, I wonder if Shizune is making this all some kind of game. I could easily imagine some cheesy 70’s spy movie theme playing in the background as she moves anyways.

I muse to myself as I watch. She really does turn everything into a game or contest, doesn’t she? She is taking Takeshi as a challenge to overcome. She may drive everyone nuts, but she really does care about our fellow schoolmates. Kind of admirable, really.

Reaching her room, Shizune takes a pose next to the door and peeks around the corner to look in, holding up a hand so we hold still. Satisfied with there being nobody in there, she stands up, straightens out her outfit and leads us into the room.

“Hi Rika,” I say as we enter the room.

There she is, somehow looking cheerful despite being all plugged up to the equipment.

“You came,” she says, her eyes getting moist. “Father said…”

I tell her. “Yeah, don’t worry about what he said. We’re here.”

She looks over to Shizune and Misha behind me. Shizune signs something to her.

Misha translates. “It is part of our duties on the student council to check up on any and all hospitalizations. Typically this would include schoolwork, but as we are still on break, it is just a social visit.”

“Any idea how long you’ll be here,” I ask her.

“The doctors say since we caught it early enough, I should be back by the end of the week, so in time for school to start,” she says in a matter of fact tone.

She looks down at the tube I see coming out from under her shirt and running to a machine off to the side.

“Still, I don’t like being plugged up like this,” she tells us.

Misha smiles. “I know how you feel. Shicchan was wondering if we could stay for lunch.”

Rika nods. “Well, sure. I would enjoy the company.”

Shizune looks around, then gets a confused look on her face.

Misha translates as ever. “Where is the menu?”

Rika looks at Misha like she just spoke in some alien tongue. “Menu?”

I answer. “Yes, the hospital menu, so you can pick your meals out. I know my parents ordered a few times off of it when they visited as well.”

“I… no idea. I didn’t know there was one.”

Shizune ponders this. “Then how do you order your meals,” Misha says for her.

“They just bring them, father always said that the doctors determined what I ate and that I should be grateful for the attention being given.”

“Er, that’s not how hospitals work Ricchan,” Misha says.

Both Rika and I look at Misha.

“Ricchan?” Rika says, confused.

Misha puts on her hugest smile. “Yup! Since you’re with Hicchan so much, it fits doesn’t it?”

I gesture to Rika to just let it slide. My mother and Misha both now.

At this point, Shizune reaches behind the desk along the wall and pulls out a menu.

“Oh, there it is. Why was it behind the desk?” Misha sounds very confused.

I fear I know why.

Shizune looks through it, hands it to Misha, who then sets it on Rika’s little side table. She picks it up and looks at it, curious.

“I brought cards if you’d like to play,” I tell Rika.

She beams up at me.

Shizune gets a competitive look in her eyes as well.

At that moment, a cough alerts us to someone at the door. Looking over, a frumpy nurse stands there.

“Miss. Katayama, are these people bothering you?”

Rika blinks. “No, why would they?”

“Your father left instructions saying that you’d asked not to be disturbed,” She says.

“I left no such instructions. He must have been mistaken.”

The nurse considers, then nods before smiling. “Oh, I see. Well, in any case, am I to guess that his other instruction may have been mistaken?”

“Other instruction?” Rika asks, looking quite confused.

“He handed in your meal cards for the rest of your stay. I was about to bring them down to the kitchen when I heard you talking.” The nurse at least seems friendly.

Rika shakes her head. “I never saw… I changed my mind. Can I redo them?”

“Certainly, I’ll leave these with you, and here is a new one. I can pick it up in about 5 minutes. Are you three also staying?”

Misha pipes up with “Yes! We’ll send Misha down to get lunch when it’s time. Hey, why do I have to do it?” She glares at Shizune, who just smiles and pretends to be admiring her nails.

The nurse smiles and nods. “I will leave you to it then. Lunch is in an hour.”

Rika looks over the form. “I didn’t know… Thank you… wait, could I talk to a doctor?”

“Your primary care doctor left for the day,” the nurse informs her.

“No, not him. Someone else. Someone I’ve never spoken to before. I’ve… found something in my medical record a few weeks ago, and I need someone to review my history in case there is something else that was overlooked.”

She nods. “Certainly. I can get the floor physician for you.”

“Um…” Rika says, looking like she’s nervous, glancing to her rolling bag.

“Yes dear? Is there something more you need?” the nurse asks, looking more concerned than annoyed.

“Is… is there some kind of book that I could use to check on my prescriptions? So I can go over them with the doctor?” Rika asks, looking very uncomfortable.

The nurse nods. “Of course. One can be found in your side table drawer in fact. Drug safety is important, after all.”

“And, can you call my mother?” Rika seems to have something in mind, I know that look.

“Your… from the way your father was talking, it sounded like… nevermind. Yes, we can do that. Anything you want us to tell her?”

“Just… to come. I need to see her.”

The nurse smiles at that. “Of course. I’ll be back in 5 minutes.”

As the nurse leaves, Rika turns to us and says. “You know, this reminds me. You three are the first people from school to visit me while I’m in the hospital. Is there… anything I should know?”

“Yeah, I was trying to figure out when to…” I tell her. I take out the fax, and set it down on her table. “Take a read of this.”

She picks up the fax, and reads it slowly. “This… this can’t be right.”

Misha pipes up, “I’m afraid it is. Checking the student council records, he has submitted the same form every time you’ve gone to the hospital.”

She shakes her head. “No. I can’t believe it. I won’t. He… he always said…”

Looking between the fax, and the menu forms, to the menu, I can tell that the same dark thoughts on my own mind are settling into hers. Then her eyes lock onto her traveling case.

“Hisao? Can you get my emergency pills for me?”

She is opening the table, and pulling out one of the three books found in there, opening it. The title is simply “Drug Information.” Simple and effective.

Silently, she begins cross-referencing her pill bottles against the information in the book, using her notebook to take down notes. I just watch, curious. Glancing up, I see that Shizune is similarly inquisitive as to what’s going on.

About halfway through, the nurse comes back. “Is your menu ready?”

Rika looks up, then quickly takes the bank menu form, fills it out, and hands it to the nurse. “Sorry, was distracted.”

“Never you mind dear,” the nurse says with a smile, taking the form and heading out the door.

Rika returns to the book. Minutes pass, and, apparently finished, she closes the book along with her eyes.

“Hisao? I… I may need you to do something for me,” she says, keeping her eyes closed. “I can’t bring myself to face him.”

“Of course,” I answer, not even hesitating. “What’s up?”

She reopens the book to one page, and points to it.

I turn my head to read it, then look back at her. “What about it?”

“Read what it’s for,” she tells me.

I pick up the book and start reading, quickly realizing what she found.

“I… I may need you to do something for me,” she says when I set the book down , keeping her eyes closed. “I can’t look up anything while I’m in here.”

I nod slowly. “Okay. When your mother gets here?”

“No, once I know the dates, then go check, please,” She tells me. “There’s… a computer station off the main lobby you can use, I recall.”

Pausing, Rika then runs a finger over the pill from her emergency kit, flipping it over, and over again, as if considering something.

“Misha,” Rika finally says, still not looking at anyone. “I think… I know I need to ask the student council… Shizune, for help with this.”

“Um… okay Ricchan…”
Last edited by Downix on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Sat May 12, 2018 12:04 am

The Mirror Cracked

Looking up at the doorway up the next flight of stairs, I hesitate. Is this the right thing to do? Or worse, can I do it?

I have to do it. Rika asked me to do it for her. And she’s right, I’m the only person who can do it for her.

Before I even move to climb the stairs, the door above opens and I find myself facing Takeshi Katayama, who clearly was not expecting me.

“Hisao, uh, what are you…?”

Good, for this to work, he needs to be off balance. I keep repeating in my head the script Shizune wrote for me.

“Update. With Rika in the hospital, she thought I should to come to you. I hope you don’t mind.”

“But, we met last week?” He seems hesitant, but interested as well.

“And next week Rika will be recovering, so travel will not be an option.” I put on my best smile.

“I… yes, yes, of course. Won’t you come in?”

Damn, hanging around him is a bad influence on me. Focus on the script. Looking in the folder quick, I see the notes on the inside cover. Follow the bullet points.

Looking around their home, I see exactly what Rika told me about, and hone in on it. “Oh, you make dioramas? That looks fascinating.” I look to what appears to be some kind of samurai battle in miniature, little figurines in perfect poses.

He looks back. “Oh, that? Yes. Do you recognize it?”

“I’m afraid not. History was never my best subject,” I admit the truth.

Walking up, the look of pride on his face was evident. “This is a moment from the Seige of Chihaya. Samurai loyal to the Emperor held up in Chihaya castle, on the slopes of Mount Kongo. They held out, and eventually those trying to defeat them were forced off. This scene is from when the two leaders opposing the emperor challenged each other to a duel. The morale of the Shogun’s soldiers had begun to fail, following their repeated failures to take the castle. Both leaders, the lay monk of Totomi and Hyogo-no suke, had been drinking and enjoying corteseans when they fell into a dispute over a game of backgammon. During the dispute, one of them drew their sword, the records are unclear who, but before the hour was out, both men lay dead.”

He points to the two small figures, the women laying nearby, the game table overturned. Around them, the collected soldiers stood in silent tribute to the event, from centuries before.

“Do you play?” I ask him.

“Backgammon? No. I’ve never been a fan of games which rely upon luck. Like Go,” He gestures to a go board built into a corner table. “Why? Do you fancy a game?”

“Sure.”

He nods, and smiles. “I’ll get the stones.”

I don’t get this game, so I already know how it is going to go. Why does this have to be me?

I know why. Because, you’re the guy he thinks is under his thumb. Anyone else and he can run away. But because he views me as a puppet, I am on a string.

So what happens when the marionette pulls back?

“So, Hisao, what do you have to report this week?” He starts off.

“I’ve been doing my homework,” I tell him in a matter of fact way.

“Oh? Oh your condition? I would have expected you to have done that already.”

I shake my head. “Not mine, on Rika’s.”

“How interesting. What did you learn?”

“A lot of things. Her medication, for example.” He is very good at this game. A lot better than I am, certainly.

He nods for me to continue.

“When we met, she mentioned taking Warfarin. Now, I have to take it to prevent a clot. In looking things over, I noticed she was also taking Cyclosprine, something I don’t take.”

“I am certain if her doctor prescribed it, that it is perfectly fine for her.” I watch his hand, now shaking slightly, put down the next stone.

I smile thinking about what I learned. “Yeah. It’s just interesting to learn about, you know? Chemistry is one of my favorite subjects.

“Did you know that one of the first things Rika and I did was compare chest scars? Hers is nearly twice as long as mine, it’s astounding.” I don’t look at him, focusing instead on the board.

“What saddens me is knowing that Rika can’t live for much longer. She told me that those who have just the surgery have a short life expectancy, with most dying before they reach 20. The oldest person with it is only 35.”

He sits back. “Well, I’m certain that something can be done.”

“Reading, I found that the preferred treatment for someone like Rika is a heart transplant. As an albino, it would have been nothing more than a miracle for a compatible donor to appear.”

He nods. “I know. Still, I hold out hope.”

I take out a piece of paper from the folder I brought. I slide it over to him.

“She should not be taking Warfarin, or Cyclosporine. Not if she had the surgery you told us she had. The combination would cause her replacement valves to leak, killing her.” I point to the paper.

I hate this. I’m doing everything I can think of to not panic here.

“Oh? Well, I’m certain her doctor knows what’s best. Plus, she’s been on her current prescriptions for years.”

Without taking my eyes off the board, I pull out a newspaper clip I’d printed out from the folder, setting it on the table off to the side.

“What is this?” he says as he inhales quickly in surprise.

“A tragic story of a 2 year old boy. Severe allergic reaction to a jellyfish sting. Just a few years after the same thing happened to Riko.”

“Why are you showing this to me?” His poker face is horrible, I think to myself.

“Don’t you recognize the story? His mother worked for the same company you used to. And, like Rika, he too was albino.”
Keep calm. You have to do this.

As he sits there, looking at it, I pull out another sheet from the folder, and set it down.

“Here's something else interesting. According to Rika’s medical records, she had surgery not even 12 hours after this tragedy. Her last major surgery.”

“What an interesting coincidence,” He says. His go game is getting very bad at this point.

I sigh. This is going to hurt him. I point to one line on the record sheet. “Immediately after her last surgery she was prescribed the Cyclosprine. Doing my homework, I discovered that it is an anti-rejection medication used following an organ transplant. What are the chances for a compatible donor with albinism to become available? Not just that, but living in the same city too?”

I look up into his face. He is not looking in my direction.

“Based on his birthday, his mother would have been about a month pregnant when you had your accident.” When he fails to respond, I continue with the script Shizune hammered into my head. “He was your son, wasn’t he?”

He pauses, and seems debating on if to answer. When he finally does respond, it is with a very quiet voice. “Kyuso, named after her husband’s father.”

For one moment, I regret being right. I swear Shizune must read murder mysteries, because this next part is completely over the top. I hold up the folder to read what she’s written. “This is what I think happened. To hide Rika’s surgery from your wife, which would have revealed that you had fathered a child with a married woman, you took charge of her care. To prevent any questions, you began pushing your wife into the arms of other men, which helped soothe your own guilty conscience.”

The surprise on his face was evident.

“You then also panicked over Rika’s own care, for you had not one, but two children with severe allergies die as a result of them.”

I pull out the next sheet of paper and set it down. Shizune said to keep hitting him with them, fast, so he can’t regain his balance. From the look on his face, she certainly knows what she's doing. Remind me never to get on her bad side.

“What’s this?”

“Rika’s allergen test. She had it done about a month ago. She has no allergies, at all,” I tell him.

“But, the hospitalizations.?”

I sigh. “She’s still taking the same medication that she was after surgery. By now, she should be taking a lot less medication. Here.”

I pull out the last sheet I have with me.

“Her current hospitalization is due to fluid buildup in the chest cavity, caused by the extended use of blood thinners. Her new doctor is now performing the long overdue medication adjustment. She should be down to a handful of medications by Friday.”

“New Doctor…?”

I nod. “Yes. Your college roommate is no longer going to be overseeing her treatment.”

“Without my authorization she…”

I cut him off, “Has the authorization of your wife, who is now the point of contact for her medical care. She dropped me off here today as a matter of fact, after spending the past several hours at the hospital reviewing Rika’s medical records.”

I sigh. “You’ve been living under a lot of guilt for a long time, and have been doing everything you can to run away from what you did from those who matter the most for you. I know because I was doing the same thing. For months after my heart attack, that’s all I was doing, running away.

“What Rika showed me is that I needed to stop running, focus on my pain, and try to repair what I’d so casually thrown away.”

I look over the board. “It seems you have won this game, Mister Katayama. I hope to see you again in two weeks.”

He looks at me, puzzled. “But… why would you…”

“You made a mistake. A big mistake, but still a mistake. What happened will not stop a daughters love for her father. Just, spend time rebuilding the trust you’ve broken.

“I’m taking the bus back to the hospital now. Goodbye.”

Stepping outside, I finally let out the breath I’ve been holding onto. I did it.
Last edited by Downix on Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
VampireSurfer
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by VampireSurfer » Sun May 13, 2018 11:34 am

You see, i didn´t like this chapter too much.Because you gotta remember that Hisao is an eighteen year old boy who is too dense for his own good, and now he came off witty and acertive af talking to Rika´s father, and i was like "wait who is this guy".
Rin is best girl, period

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Sun May 13, 2018 2:54 pm

VampireSurfer wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 11:34 am
You see, i didn´t like this chapter too much.Because you gotta remember that Hisao is an eighteen year old boy who is too dense for his own good, and now he came off witty and acertive af talking to Rika´s father, and i was like "wait who is this guy".
Yeah, re-read it yesterday and I was thinking the same thing. Was reworking it.

Always the problem when writing multiple things at the same time, voice-bleedthrough.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5830
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon May 14, 2018 10:40 am

You know... Albinism doesn't really play into compatibility regarding organ transplants. In fact in some countries organs of albinos are much sought after becaute of the (irrational) belief that they can cure HIV...

Also you have this sentence in there twice:
I pull out the next sheet of paper and set it down. Shizune said to keep hitting him with them, fast, so he can’t regain his balance. From the look on his face, she certainly knows what she's doing. Remind me never to get on her bad side.
I wasn't as put off with Hisao's duping skills. You mad it pretty clear that he was just repeating what Shizune had drilled into him - though now I want to read a scene where it's Misha who is doing this talk in Hisao's place :lol:

What baffled me more was that he really managed to keep a heart transplant secret... and that that doctor friend of his never bothered to adjust the dosage of the medication for more than a freaking decade. Both of them have to have broken more than a dozen laws to get to this point...

And that still does not explain how he got his hands on the list of people visiting Hisao in the hospital...

Oh well, it was a fun chapter :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Mon May 14, 2018 11:23 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 10:40 am
You know... Albinism doesn't really play into compatibility regarding organ transplants. In fact in some countries organs of albinos are much sought after becaute of the (irrational) belief that they can cure HIV...
Albinism lacks certain enzymes, particularly several forms common in Asia. Makes them similar to Type O blood. They can donate organs to anyone, but can't receive. The

Interesting bit, the organs for people with these forms of albinism are different colors as well, the kidney being black, for example. Also they have platelet issues and can produce fat types not found in other people, and it's this last part which is the key in this case.
Also you have this sentence in there twice:


I wasn't as put off with Hisao's duping skills. You mad it pretty clear that he was just repeating what Shizune had drilled into him - though now I want to read a scene where it's Misha who is doing this talk in Hisao's place :lol:

What baffled me more was that he really managed to keep a heart transplant secret... and that that doctor friend of his never bothered to adjust the dosage of the medication for more than a freaking decade. Both of them have to have broken more than a dozen laws to get to this point...

And that still does not explain how he got his hands on the list of people visiting Hisao in the hospital...

Oh well, it was a fun chapter :-)
Behind the scenes, he didn't get ahold of anything. He used an old "sideshow psychic" trick for it. Hisao actually told him about it during their first meeting, if you read back.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Mon May 14, 2018 10:08 pm

The Pool of Tears

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I ask her.

Rika nods. “I didn’t know he existed, but I’m alive thanks to him. I have to do something.”

Around us, the silence of the cemetery stretched into eternity. Not being a typical day of mourning, the place was relatively empty. Armed with an address, and a name, it was a hunt.

Looking over the graves I muse when I see a familiar name. I wonder if that’s a relative of Emi’s. Anyways, not who we are looking for.

Rika finally stops, and waves me over. Her parasol stands out among the stones, so it’s not like I couldn’t find her anyways.

Strolling up, I see the name, Tomatsu. Along one side, Kyuso.

I take Rika’s parasol for her as she then kneels down before it, and begins the care. I’ve seen my parents do this dozens of times at our families visits, so I know the routine. New flowers at the ready, she begins the ritual to clean the stone. Fresh water to ladle, incense to burn, and prayers to offer.

I don’t like visiting cemeteries. It always feels very creepy to me, knowing that within each of these markers are those no longer with us. Had things happened differently back in February, I may have found myself in just such a place, at my families gravestone down in Shibuya placed alongside my grandparents.

Who were these people? Did they die old? Young? Happy? In pain? This place, all cemeteries, frighten me to the core. The shadow of what happened to me this year hangs overhead, reminding me that but for happenstance, someone would be cleaning my gravestone before offering incense.

As I watch Rika work, I note how careful she is. This matters a lot to her.

Quietly she starts to pray. “Kyuso, I know you don’t know me, but I am Katayama Rika, and I have your heart. Thank you for my life.”

I turn away, rather than intrude on this moment between siblings. Still, I can hear her as she talks.

“Our father kept you a secret from me, and kept it a secret that I had a heart transplant. He did not want me to live with the shame of being unclean.

“I don’t feel unclean. Instead, I feel sad. I wish I could have known you, just like how I wish I could have known our older brother. But if I could, then I would likely not be alive today. I don’t know how to feel about it.”

Then she lowers her voice to the point I can no longer hear. It doesn’t matter, I don’t need to hear. The quiet afternoon, the trees above, the entire scene is beautiful. And beside me, the most wonderful creature of all.

Glancing about, a few other people are doing the same thing we are. I recall that Rika’s other brother is here as well.

Stepping away, I turn around and see the name Katayama, carved into a stone directly across from where we were standing. Looking between the two stones, they are facing each other. This had to be on purpose.

“Graves exist for the living. The dead are beyond caring,” I muse to myself.

The rituals, the ceremonies, the rational mind knows that all of these do not help the dead. But what they do is to help the living remember those we have lost.

For so long as we remember our loved ones, they live on within us.

“Hisao,” Rika saying my name brings me back to where I am. “I think it’s time to go.”

Outside, the sunshine pours down, but I keep Rika under the shade of her parasol. At one time, the looks we got would have bothered me, but now, I just ignore them.

Rika leans into me as we walk. “You know what this means, right?”

I look down at her, curious what she’s thinking.

“It means I’m not going to die on you.”

I smile. “Well, that will be good for our four children I suppose.”

She laughs, a beautiful sound.

“It means we’re not as alike as we thought,” she says after a moment.

“So?”

She looks at me. “Do you regret that?”

I chuckle a bit. “Do I regret having a girlfriend who isn’t going to die on me before she’s even 30? No way. Do you regret attaching yourself to a guy with a broken heart when yours turns out to be fine?”

She considers a moment. “I think I can live with it.”

Pulling away a bit, she then looks down at the ground before talking again. “Hisao? For all of my life, my heart’s defined who and what I am almost as much as my skin and hair have. Now, I feel like I don’t know who I am anymore.”

I brush away the hair from in front of her face. “After my heart attack, I was in the same boat. Everything I knew about myself was gone. I felt like a stranger to myself. But then I had this cute 2nd year show up, and help me find myself again. I would not be much of a boyfriend if I didn’t do the same for you in return.

She shrugs, not taking her eyes off of the ground. “I was never allowed to play anything physical. I was given card games, while the other kids were playing hide and seek or tag. While they were playing kickball, I was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch. I feel like I’ve missed out on so much.”

I put a hand on her shoulder. “You have a lifetime to catch up. Just don’t try and stuff it all into 24 hours like last time.”

Still looking down, a slight smile crosses her face and she gets a mischievous look. “So, Hisao?”

“Yes Rika?”

She slowly leans in, and puts her lips right next to my ear before whispering, “Tag, you’re it!”

And with that she bolts off running down the street laughing.
Last edited by Downix on Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Downix
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Downix » Mon May 14, 2018 10:10 pm

Author Notes:,

For Rika’s condition, I selected Hermansky–Pudlak Syndrome. HPS can cause such things as albinism, hemophilia, organs failing to develop properly (including hypoplastic left heart syndrome), kidney issues, and respiratory failure. I can point to the incomplete Rika fanfic "Flutter" by Sharp-O for pointing me in this direction.

Her father also has HPS, but hides it. Uses medication he claims is for high blood pressure and has shaved his head since he was a teenager to hide the fact that his hair is white. Wears very thick glasses and colored contact lenses due to the occular albinism.

I decided on adding two siblings, an older brother and a younger half-brother, both dead. Older brother did not express the albinism beyond his eyes, and due to his young age it was not obvious. Younger was obviously albino. Both died due to respiratory failure, which was mistaken as anaphylaxis. (common misdiagnosis before 1998)

People with HPS cannot receive an organ transplant except from another HPS, due to the heavy levels of ceroid fats in the tissue. Fun fact - Organs from HPS patients typically are brown or black in color due to these high levels of ceroid fats.

Japan had a ban on organ donation in place until 1999. Due to her heart, Rika needed a heart transplant to have any hope of long term survival. When her younger half-brother died, her father paid for an illegal organ transplant, putting the half-brother’s heart into Rika.

Japan has a heavy stigma on organ transplants, considering them unclean spiritually. Even doctors who perform legal organ transplants can and will hide this fact from everyone unless given the patients express permission. This is how Rika’s father was able to hide her transplant from everyone, including herself.

When Hisao confronts Rika’s father, makes several gross errors in his motivations, assuming that he was hiding the half-sibling from his wife and daughter, when in fact was hiding the surgery itself due to the social stigma and illicit nature. This however works for Rika’s father, who then feels he still controls Hisao despite the confrontation due to Hisao’s acceptance of the false narrative.

Rika’s father is quite skilled on cold reading people, and uses this to gain leverage over those he considers weaker than himself. He wants to ferment a view that he is far more capable than he truly is.

Rika’s father’s accident was not an attempt at suicide, but was truly an accident. Stress from the loss of his son + finding out his lover was pregnant distracted him while working, resulting in him being burned from a chemical fire which resulted from a forklift driver trying to avoid hitting the distracted man in the middle of the walkway and tipping over.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5830
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue May 15, 2018 3:27 am

Congratulations on finishing the story!

It's been a while since we've actually seen a complete route finished. Writing and pacing were very good overall; same with the effort put into researching medical backgrounds as far as I can tell.

I'm still not quite sold on being able to keep a heart transplant secret - especially when she so obviously takes medication specifically for it that should be obvious for any medical professional handing out said medication - in this case nurse for example.

Still I'm willing to overlook that since it nicely closed up the narrative arc.

Any plans on what you write next? :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
sloth4
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:04 am
Contact:

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by sloth4 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:55 am

Looking over the graves I muse when I see a familiar name. I wonder if that’s a relative of Emi’s. Anyways, not who we are looking for.
That's a clever little shout-out.

------

I really enjoyed this and I'm glad you got to the end with it, extra kudos for doing it so quickly. It was the first non-nihilist Rika I've read and it was great. :D

AJT135
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:43 pm

Re: Within a Looking Glass – A Rika pseudo-route

Post by AJT135 » Thu May 17, 2018 6:12 am

I think this must be one of the fastest completed pseudo-routes on this forum. Nice work! I really enjoyed this fanfic and I look forward to whatever you write next (if you write anything next. We can't exactly force you :) ).

Post Reply