A Mundane History (A Rin's Prologue One-Shot)

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Tetrax333
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A Mundane History (A Rin's Prologue One-Shot)

Post by Tetrax333 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:35 pm

First of all, I want to give my thanks and gratitude to Mirage_GSM for proofreading and beta reading this story, thank you so much for that, you have really helped me write better.

About this story; Have you ever wondered what Rin was like when she first attended Yamaku? About her parents? Maybe her parents were someone special, maybe there's a really sad story about why Rin behaves the way she does, or maybe... She and her family are pretty normal, some may even call it, mundane.

This is my personal take on Rin's backstory, it's a short story but I covered what I want to cover. This story is inspired by a multitude of things, from my personal experiences and listening to others. Namely, it's the fact that you can have a perfectly normal life and still have mental or emotional problems down the road.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A Mundane History

I wake up from a sudden loud and annoying sound while I'm sleeping. I don’t like that sound one bit because it means I have to wake up for school. I like school, but I don’t like waking up early in the morning. It’s quite the conundrum.

I turn off the alarm clock with my foot and rise up from the bed as the morning sun shines through my window. I sit motionless on the bed as I realize something.

“Right, no school, I just graduated.”

A sense of relief rushes through me as I lie down on my bed again, wanting to go back to sleep.

This bed is soft and comfortable, I like it a lot.

I remember the first time I got my own room. It was when I started elementary school. Mom took me to go shopping for a bed, and we wandered to a big furniture store with a room full of beds. I tried sleeping on one but one of the employees got angry at me.

But why can’t I sleep in a room that’s just full of beds? Seems like a waste.

After wandering for a while, Mom asked me which bed I liked the most. She thought I would like a really colorful one since it’s apparently what an artistic person would like. I don’t get what she meant but I picked this bed.

Mom was surprised since it’s really plain-looking, and it is just a normal bed with a black frame and white mattress and sheets. But I like this bed, it was the comfiest to sit on so I picked it.
“Rin, honey, are you up?” I hear Mom knocking on my door.

I sit back up on my bed before answering her, “Yeah.”

“Well, breakfast is almost ready, so come down when you’re ready, oh and do you need help getting dressed honey?”

“No, I'm okay.”

“Okay then.”

I hear her faint footsteps going down the stairs, and as she does so I get up and walk out of my room.

I’m still in my pajamas, but Mom and Dad shouldn’t mind, it’s kind of a pain to change my clothes anyway.

When I get out of my room, I smell the distinct smell of Mom’s curry. It’s probably leftovers from dinner, but I like Mom’s cooking so it’s fine. Her curry is especially good, but all her cooking is really good. In general, Mom is really good.

Dad is good too. He works a lot, but he liked telling me stories at night when I was younger. He doesn’t do it too often nowadays, but he’s still around in the morning, and we talk about stuff, so that’s good. Mom said that I’m a lot like my dad because he’s pretty quiet, and we have similar hair.

When I get down to the kitchen, I see Mom and Dad setting up three plates of curry on the table.

Dad notices me as I walk down the stairs. “Hey Rin, you sleep okay?”

I nod at Dad’s question before noticing a new painting on the wall near the foot of the stairs. Well, it isn’t new actually. I finished painting it yesterday, and mom probably hung it up while I was sleeping.

“Yeah, I really like the colors on that one, so I wanted to hang it up asap, but come on and sit down before the curry gets cold,” Mom says as she beckons me to eat.

I nod again, sit down at my usual chair and pick up the spoon with my feet. I put a spoonful of curry in my mouth, and the familiar taste of Mom’s cooking makes me feel quite wonderful. Mom really is a great cook, I want to try and learn how to cook like her at some point, but it could be troublesome without hands.

Aside from the sounds of eating, the table is quiet. Quiet is good, that means everyone is enjoying the food. But as soon as I think that, Dad suddenly starts speaking.

“So Rin, are you really okay with going to Yamaku?”

I nod quietly because I'm still eating. Dad already asked me this question before, several times in fact, and every time I always say that I don’t mind. It’s getting pretty annoying.

Mom sighs, she’s probably getting annoyed at Dad’s question, too. “Dear, we already talked about this, Yamaku has an excellent talent development program, it’ll be great for Rin.”

“Yes, I know Shinobu, but...Yamaku is...well...” Dad takes a deep breath before continuing, “I mean Rin is more than capable to just go to a normal High School.”

“Yamaku isn’t normal?” I ask while putting down my spoon to drink the water Mom set up for me.

Dad goes quiet for a while before answering my question, “We already explained it to you Rin, Yamaku is a school meant to cater towards people with… special needs, people who needs… constant help.”

Mom sighs again. “I understand your concern Makoto, but Yamaku will be a great opportunity for Rin to develop her skills and meet new people she can relate with.”

That word again. I don’t understand what she means by “relate”, but I'm assuming it’s about my lack of arms. I get that Yamaku is a school meant for people with disabilities, but I don’t see why I need to have people I can “relate” with on that end since I don’t really want to go to Yamaku for that reason anyway.

“Mom, Dad,” I interrupt the argument, “It’s okay, I'll go. You two really like my paintings, and Mom said I can become a better artist if I go there, so I'll go.”

It was obvious really. I like Mom, and I like Dad, and they always like whenever I paint. Even when I was a small child Mom would constantly take pictures of me painting. And if going to Yamaku can make me better and make them happy, then I should be happy too.

Even if they don’t understand any of my paintings. As long as they’re happy, I should be happy, right?

“There, Rin wants to go to make you proud Dear, that’s wonderful, right?” Mom says with a big smile.

This time Dad sighs. “But… I, uh, we... We won’t… see Rin for three whole years.”
“PffttHahahaha, oh Makoto, you are such a gem aren’t you,” Mom suddenly grabs Dad by the shoulders and rocks him back and forth. “Rin, your Dad here is just worried he won’t get to see his precious little baby girl for a while. It’s okay Dear, you can always visit and you still have me around.”

Dad groans at Mom’s words. He looks embarrassed which makes me feel bad, but Mom's antics make me smile. They’re good for each other, I guess that’s why they’re married.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“And there it is, Yamaku Academy,” Mom says as she pulls down the window of the car.
I look outside and see a large school building, bigger than most schools I've seen. It also looks weird - not in a bad way, but in a foreign way.

Dad drives past the school gate and into a parking lot beside the main campus. There are a lot of cars and people already there, and Dad’s worried for a second that we won’t find a parking space, but we find an empty one… eventually.

I open the car door and step outside to immediately stretch my legs and back. Staying in the car for 5 hours straight isn’t very fun, I don’t want to do it again.

I look at Dad who also gets out of the car. After that, he pulls out a brochure from his pocket and looks back and forth between the brochure and the school building.

“It’s a lot bigger than I thought.”

Mom nods. “That’s probably why the tuition is so damn expensive. Anyway, where’s the admin building? We should head there first.”

Dad looks at the brochure again, probably looking at a map. “Main school building, which is… this one? And turn right on the first turn... I think.”

“Well it’s an adventure then, let’s go Rin, you need to get used to the place anyway.” After she says that, Mom opens the car’s trunk and takes out a suitcase and duffel bag that has my clothes and stuff in it.

She wraps the straps of the bag to my shoulder so I can carry it. My shoulders slump a little from the weight since it’s heavy, but not too heavy thankfully.

I never knew clothes can be this heavy.

“Is it too heavy dear?” Mom asks.

I nod to Mom, “yeah, but I'll be fine.”

Mom nods back and starts walking to the building, I start following her, but Dad is lagging behind, still looking at the brochure while he’s walking. I hope he won’t bump into anything.

Mom and Dad walk around with me for quite a while, going from office to office, talking about medical records, dorm assignments, things I need, and all sorts of things. They’re pretty boring, but they are important. It really sucks how often those two things seem to align, like homework for example.

After some more walking and meeting with some of the teachers and staff about… The facilities here? We head to the dorm room I was assigned to. But Dad has to stay behind, one of the staff was asking him to fill out a form about some “special equipment” I'll need when I live here.

When we finally go inside the room I start looking around. It’s bland, there’s only a bed, a wardrobe, and a study desk. I miss my old room already. The window is nice and large though, so that’s good.

Mom grabs my shoulder and sighs. “Well here it is, the place you’ll be staying for the next three years, what do you think Rin? This place is nice right?”

I shrug. I’ve only been here for a few hours, I don’t know if I'll like it or not.

Mom smiles at my response before grabbing the duffel bag I'm carrying and throwing it on to the bed.

That’s good, it was getting really heavy.

“You know Rin, I was surprised that you didn’t want to bring any of your paintings, they will make this room a lot brighter you know?”

“This room is already bright though.”

“Well...yes, but I mean, it will make this room a lot more lively, more personal.”

Oh, that’s what she meant.

“I can always paint more, and you really like my paintings so you should keep them.”

Mom looks at me and smiles again, “Well that’s very thoughtful of you Rin.”

She sits down on the bed and asks me to come and sit with her. When I sit down, I can feel the texture of the bed, and it is surprisingly comfortable. Not as fluffy and nice as the one in my room, but it’s good in its own way.

“You know Rin, I think it’s about time I tell you this,” She takes a deep breath, “You’re a big girl now, you deserve to know.”

Her tone and her choice of words makes me nervous. It’s the tone they use in movies whenever they reveal a big plot twist. I don’t like it.

Mom looks surprised, maybe because I'm suddenly frowning, “Oh don’t worry it’s nothing serious, it’s just… When you were born, and I saw you for the first time and the doctors were telling me that you… you don’t have arms, I… I didn’t know what to do.”
I don’t respond. I don’t know the appropriate response to that, so I stay quiet.
“I was a mess, a real mess, I was both happy, sad... frustrated, anything really. I just didn’t know what to do with myself, or with you. Your Dad kept trying to say that everything will be fine, that I'll be fine, and you’ll grow up like any other kid, but I think we both knew that that wasn’t going to be the case. Sometimes I even thought about… leaving.”

I look at Mom, she seems in pain. I don’t like seeing her like this, but I still don’t know what to do right now, so I stay quiet.

“When you were a baby it was easy to not think about it since I was so preoccupied with just taking care of you. I almost just forgot that you had no arms, but you grew older and older. Then we had to teach you how to grab things with your feet, then you started walking, then talking, and before long you were 4 years old already. And I was so worried about kindergarten, worried about how the teacher and the other kids would treat you.”

Mom laughs, I don’t know why though, it doesn’t seem like a funny story.

“Turns out, I was worrying too much. Do you remember kindergarten?”

I shake my head, “Not really.”

“Well it was really something, the teachers told me that other kids avoided you at first, but they were curious about you, about how you did things with your feet. Soon you started drawing attention, and eventually they got used to it. Then you started painting, and that’s when I knew everything was going to be just fine.”

“Really?”

Mom laughs again before continuing. “The teachers told me you really liked painting, so much so in fact that it was hard to separate you from the crayons even though the other kids wanted to use them, too. Even when I bought you a full set of crayons you went through them so fast it was hard to keep up. Of course, you got better and better at it, then crayons turned to paint and brushes, and the rest is history.”

I look at Mom, confused as to why she’s telling me this now. I don’t remember much about kindergarten, but I do remember getting my first painting set. It was a small canvas, a palette, and a full set of paint.

“I think I remember that part, I remember being really happy about it.”

“Oh you were ecstatic, I'd never seen you that excited before, since you were really quiet even when you were a baby. In any case, when I saw you painting so happily, I realized something, Rin.”

Before finishing, Mom softly grabs me by the cheeks and places her forehead against mine. Mom feels warm and nice, even if she’s a bit too close.

“You aren’t normal Rin, your arms and even how you behave isn’t like most people. And that’s perfectly fine, at that moment I realized that no matter what, you’re still my beloved daughter, and no amount of hardships and setbacks you and I have to deal with, I will do my absolute best to make it work.”

Mom kisses me on the forehead before backing away. She kisses me a lot, but this one feels different, I don’t know why though. It’s like… there’s a weird feeling in my chest like I'm both sad and happy at the same time.

I thought sadness and happiness can’t mix, like grilled squid and peanut butter. How can I be sad and happy at the same time? Is there a word to describe that?

“All I really want to say, Rin, is that I'm really sorry if I have ever been a… bad parent to you. I want to send you to Yamaku because I really do feel that this environment will help you in the future, that you’ll make more friends here and maybe it’ll help you find a career in art.”

She looks sad and in pain again. I really don’t like seeing her like that, but I really don’t know what to do or say to her. But I think...I should say something to her, just whatever comes to my head should be alright.

I think for a while, then I take a deep breath before speaking, “I think you’re a great parent Mom. You bought me art supplies, your food is good, and you always take care of me when I have problems. Dad is a good parent too, his stories are really fun, and he likes talking to me. I don’t think it’s fair for you to judge yourself based on an emotional thought you had when you were stressed, and I think you should judge yourself based on what you have done for me and Dad throughout all my life. I don’t really know if that’s what being a good parent is, but… I think that’s what makes you and Dad great to me.”

Mom looks surprised. I did talk a lot just now - and really fast, too. I don’t remember ever talking like that to Mom before, but I feel as if she should know about my feelings as clearly as possible.

She doesn’t respond for a good while, then she suddenly gives me a big smile, “Thank you for saying that, Rin. I’ll really miss you.”

She kisses me on the forehead again, but for a brief moment, I also see a tear trickle from her eyes. I guess Mom must be feeling the same way I do, sad and happy at the same time.

Before long, I hear a knock on the door. When I look, I see Dad carrying a stack of papers.

“You will not believe how many people were in line over there, I was lucky that I got in first, but with this document, this room is now officially yours Rin.”

Mom stands up from the bed, and I follow suit.

“Just in time, help me unpack Rin’s stuff, Makoto. There’s some heavy stuff here.”

Dad shoots Mom a glare. “You weren’t unpacking while I was out?”

Mom laughs, but not in a weird and sad way like while we’re talking, instead she laughs like she always does, bright and happy.

“Nope, Rin and I had some special Mother-Daughter talk, you know the usual, like what she should do if she finds a boyfriend.” Mom gives a wink, most likely to Dad.

Dad sighs. “Please don’t make me even more stressed out about that than I already am.”

I don’t know what she’s talking about since that wasn’t what we’re talking about. But Dad is making a funny face right now, so I guess I’ll stay quiet about it.

After that, we unpack all my stuff and place them around my room. Mom mentioned that someone will install a dressing hook in my room, which is good since I was starting to worry I might not get one, and apparently I’ll be wearing the boys’ uniforms instead of the girls’.

I don’t mind, pants are more convenient and wearing the boys’ shirt is apparently easier than wearing the girls’ uniform for some reason.

Then, after all of that, it’s time for Mom and Dad to leave.

I walk together with them all the way to the parking lot, because I want to spend more time with them. But the trip is a lot shorter than I anticipated, which makes me a little sad.

“Well, this is it, huh? We’ll come visit during the holidays, okay? And if you want to go back home, you can just take the train and make a call first so we can pick you up at the station, okay?”

I nod at Mom’s question, and she and Dad nod back. I did remember about the custom phone Dad bought me, it has really big buttons that I can press with my toes. I rarely use it so I just forget that I have it sometimes.

“Mom, Dad, before you leave, there’s something else.”

As I say that, I stretch my arms, or what’s there anyway and press my body to Mom’s.

“Rin… Honey, what… are you doing?”

“Hugging you.”

“Oh… OH! Ah… hahaha, Rin you’re just so… Makoto, come here!”

Dad, taken aback, steps out of the car and looks at me and Mom, “Is she… hugging you?”

“Yes, so come here and hug her too!”

After that, I can feel Mom hugging me back, and Dad hugs me from behind afterward. This feels nice, I wonder if this is what being a sandwich feels like.

“I love you Mom, Dad.”

“We love you, too, Rin,” Mom says as she tightens her hug.

Soon after, Dad does the same. “Be a good girl, okay?”

“I will.”

We let go of each other after a while. I usually don’t enjoy hugs, but that one felt really nice and warm. I should’ve let them hug me more.

Mom and Dad step inside the car, getting ready to leave. Soon after the car starts moving. Mom pulls down the car window and waves at me while saying one final goodbye.

I can’t wave back, so I just smile at her as they finally drive away.

For the first time, I feel pretty sad that I don’t have arms, since I can’t wave them goodbye.

It’s a weird feeling. It’s like I’m sad but not fully sad. Half sad.

“Mom said that she wants me to be better… I guess the first thing will be finding friends?”

I look around but see very few students walking around. I remember one of the faculty members saying that school hasn’t started yet, so the students are mostly still away, and those who do are probably in the dorms. Shame.

After deciding to go back to my room, I hear a person shouting at me. “Excuse me, coming through!”

I step back, and a girl with blonde hair and twintails runs past me. I look after her, and I just happen to see that the girl is wearing a pair of prosthetic legs.

I’ve never seen a person with no legs before, so I decide to keep watching her. Her running speed is really fast and impressive, but then she stumbles on a rock and falls down on the grass.

“Damnit!” The girl curses as she stands back up and starts running again until I can’t see her anymore.

I think I'm going to avoid her for now, I don’t think we’ll get along very well.

“I think I’ll paint something.”

I walk back to my dorm room after deciding that. But as I’m walking, I remember what Mom said in my dorm room, about wanting me to improve and be better while I’m here.

“Mom, Dad… I promise I’ll be better and… I’ll make you even happier, I just...” I bite my lip, trying to suppress this feeling I really hate welling up inside me. “I… still don’t know what I should improve, I’m sorry but… I… still… don’t know who I even am.”

I sigh as I mutter to myself the words I can’t possibly say to them.

I don’t like seeing them sad.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I open my eyes.

I see a sudden bright light, which is most likely the sun. I smell the crisp and familiar air I’m so used to at this point. We’re at Yamaku’s rooftop.

I must have fallen asleep, and this pillow is really uncomfortable.

“Morning sleepyhead, you seem like you had a good sleep.”

I turn my head to the source of the voice. It’s Hisao.

“Your lap is too hard, it’s not comfortable at all.”

“Blame Emi, she’s been pretty much whipping me into shape these days, especially after she found out about our relationship.”

“But Emi’s back at her home. You’ve been running without her?”

“Yeah, pretty much. I mean it’s good for me, so I decided that I should make it a habit.”
I turn my head to look at the clouds. But the sky is clear so there’s none that I can see. Shame.

“I had a good dream while I’m sleeping.”

“Yeah, you were smiling a lot.”

I give Hisao a sly look. “You really do like watching girls sleeping, don’t you?”

He rolls his eyes. “Well, I don’t know about girls, but I like watching you sleeping at least.”

I turn my head to look at the sky again. Hisao really is strange. He and I messed up before, but he just kept coming back. Even when he and I pushed each other away, we still somehow got together in the end. I don’t understand why he does it, and he admits that he also doesn’t understand me.

So why are we together?

It’s not normal. Our relationship isn’t normal. But… I think that’s fine. Because in the end, we’re together. The only thing that matters is that I love him, and he loves me, and even if there are a lot of hurdles and obstacles that we have to face, we’ll make it work.

I didn’t understand what Mom meant when she said that three years ago, but I think I do now. It’s actually pretty simple when I think about it, I feel kind of stupid that it took me this long to understand it, like the one time I was wondering about how a water tap works.

Wait...

I suddenly rise up from my sleeping position, so that I’m sitting next to Hisao.

“What’s wrong?”

“I forgot that I haven’t told my parents about you.”

Hisao gives me a disappointed look. “Rin, didn’t you say you’d tell them after we sealed the deal?”

I shrug. “I forgot, I rarely use my phone so I just forget that I have it.”

“Well, you should tell them then, it’s better for them to know sooner rather than later.”

“We can just visit them.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah, for the holiday.”

“Well, I mean...” Hisao scratches his head, “Do you think they’ll like me?”

“Yeah, Mom will like you a lot… probably. She talks a lot, just like you.”

“Is that a compliment?”

I close my eyes to think for a moment before answering. “...Yes.”

“I suppose that’s fine then. We should probably book a ticket so it’ll be cheaper.”

“Okay.”

Hisao and my parents meeting together. I wonder how that will go.

What sorts of things should I tell Mom and Dad? I haven’t seen them for a year and a half. I can tell them all sorts of things.

I didn’t like the exhibition, but Mom and Dad will probably be happy that I got to have my own exhibition, so I guess I can tell them about that.

And then there’s so much I can say about Hisao, but I don’t really know what or how to tell it. I guess I can just wing it. I think I’ll leave out the fact that we had sex though, I don’t think Dad will take that well.

I rest my head on Hisao’s lap again. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s Hisao, so it’s still nice in its own way. Like when I accidentally drank soy milk instead of regular milk, It was weird and didn’t taste as good, but I kinda liked it.

I look at the sky again, and I see a lone cloud drifting in the blue sky. It’s alone, with none of its kin around to be with it, but I’m glad that I get to see at least one cloud today.

A feeling that I haven’t felt for a long while suddenly wells up inside me. A feeling I have not yet given a name.

“Hey, Hisao...”

“Yeah?”

“What’s the word when you feel like you’re sad and happy at the same time?”
Late to the party. But having fun in it.
Ongoing Project Falling Up and Down

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Oddball
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Re: A Mundane History (A Rin's Prologue One-Shot)

Post by Oddball » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:24 pm

This is a real nice story.

Rin can be a hard character to write. Often time people tend to make her either to weird or too plain. I think you're Rin is a bit closer to the "plain" side, but not horribly so. Slightly eccentric, but understandably so.

The parents though, they come as slightly too plain. It would have been nice to have a bit more personality there.

The parts with Hisao are suitably sweet.
Not Dead Yet

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Tetrax333
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:34 am

Re: A Mundane History (A Rin's Prologue One-Shot)

Post by Tetrax333 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:01 pm

Yeah, kinda realized that too at some point. I'll leave the story for what it is and hopefully develop the parents a lot more in Falling Up and Down. Thank you for the feedback.
Late to the party. But having fun in it.
Ongoing Project Falling Up and Down

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