Agoraphobia [Mutou]

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Doomish » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:13 am

Exbando wrote: I am enjoying this story so far. Please don't make it sad, I've had enough of the sad endings to stories.
So have I.


Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Guest » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:37 am

Brogurt wrote:You should make the flashbacks in italics or something so I don't have to read them

Also I think I mentioned this before, and it is largely irrelevant, but here it is with a bit more permanence. If someone is impaled by something, pulling it out is a great way to make them bleed out. Take it from someone who knows someone who worked as a paramedic for a number of years. A teacher -for a school that has people with disabilities like haemophilia, no less- should be trained better. Or does Mutou just hate Misha?
I've been stabbed with a pencil before (I still have the scar three years later) and unless she stabbed Misha in the jugular I doubt there'd be any risk of her bleeding out. That kind of advice is for actual severe stab wounds where the person will probably die without medical attention whether the object is removed or not, and leaving it in buys the paramedics more time, since the physical blockage reduces the rate at which they lose blood. I think there may be another factor about disturbing the wound, but it is again only a case of it being removed causing faster blood loss.

Even if she was a haemophiliac it would be unlikely to affect it. Haemophilia generally just means a deficiency of factor VIII or factor IX (both used in the clotting process), not a complete lack of ability to produce those proteins. The condition doesn't cause them to lose blood faster, only for the blood loss to continue well beyond the point where other people would have healed. While minor injuries can be dangerous for haemophiliacs, it's not as if any loss of blood is a death sentence without injection of the deficient protein. If that was the case, people like Anastasia or other royal haemophiliacs would never have made it to maturity before the advent of modern medicine.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Brogurt » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:15 pm

I know that Misha doesn't have haemophilia; she doesn't have any disability; she's just there to learn to teach in sign; etc. I was just saying that it should be part of Mutou's general first-aid training. For the record, and I guess I should have made this more clear, there was obviously little risk of her actually bleeding out, but removing the pencil is much more likely to make a mess with blood spillage everywhere.

And pencil lead isn't strictly graphite, since there's also clay in there.
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Mahorfeus wrote:If that's the most of your worries, then I think you're golden.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Forgetful » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:37 pm

Removing it is a choice decision. On the one side, the spurt could be bad. On the other, the risk of jamming it in further after hitting something is just as bad.
Either way they were close enough to the Nurse's office that either way doesn't really matter.

I noticed an error, but it seems to be gone. Wasn't anything big enough to notice on a second read-through or you fixed it.

I find myself being as interested in the New Hanako as I am in Mutou and his Wife. It's not something I really expected.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by stanman237 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:41 pm

Minor Nitpick:

It's lamer not more lame

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by zanger » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:44 pm

Minor nitpick: Asians don't name their children after themselves, or any older family members for that matter. It's disrespectful
the world would be a different place without you or me but who else would realize it?

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Guestimate » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:43 pm

I just wonder if he is somehow going to include Hisao and Hanako in his efforts to help his wife.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Brogurt » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:16 pm

Guestimate wrote:I just wonder if he is somehow going to include Hisao and Hanako in his efforts to help his wife.
Here on the internet, we call that an orgy.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Triscuitable » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:40 pm

Brogurt wrote:
Guestimate wrote:I just wonder if he is somehow going to include Hisao and Hanako in his efforts to help his wife.
Here on the internet, we call that an orgy.
*Chokes a bit* :shock:

Nice sploiler. Better typo, on my part. Intentional typo.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Roamin12 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:21 pm

Man, I love your writing style! I've been reading your FFs for the past few days and they are all great, this one included of course.
And also on the "pencil in Misha should have left it in or not thing", it really didn't matter either way as they are pretty close to the nurse, as already stated in a previous post.
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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Doomish » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:02 am

Chapter Three

After a little bit of toiling with the thing, I'd finally gotten it set up again, just in time for the sun to go down. In a few hours' time, I'd be back out on the deck and presumably watching the stars go by. I admired my work for a moment, taking a step back and setting aside the few tools I'd needed to disassemble the thing. Now I'd be able to 'zoom in' farther than ever before, so to speak; it was certainly going to be an experience.

As I re-entered the house, I caught Kiyoko's face in one of the upstairs windows. Evidently she'd been watching me put it back together, and I furrowed my brow. I didn't like making waves in our relationship, and I told myself that every day, but the deck wasn't that far of a stretch, was it? As the years went on, her reclusive nature had been getting worse and worse; now even stepping out onto the porch made her uneasy. Her safe zone was shrinking permanently, and I wasn't sure if there was even anything I could do about it.

I found her walking down the hallway, pretending she hadn't been looking. Her smile was false, saccharine. It made me feel awful inside. On a normal day I wouldn't have even noticed how off it was, but all this business with Hisao and his girlfriend had upset my mental balance, so to speak.

"Finished with your telescope?" She mused.

I nodded. "Uh-huh. I was headed to the bathroom to shower off real quick..." I paused as if to lead on that I was thinking, though I already knew what I was going to say next. "Say, after I'm done, would you like to come out and see what I've done to it?"

Her back stiffened ever so slightly. It was a practically unnoticeable gesture, but I always liked to claim I paid attention to detail.

Regardless, she still retained her smile. "No, thank you, dear. I'm not really feeling it today." When I brought up going outside with her, she always tried to avoid the subject, either by distracting me or dismissing it before giving it any thought.

I took her by the hand, gently. "Really, I insist. It'll only take a second." She looked from my face to her hand, wound in mine, concerned, as I hadn't made myself clean- though I suppose 'detoxed' is a better word for it -yet. She was occupying the bathroom when I'd come home, after all.

"Akio, please, I'm not sure I want to go out there right now." Her protest had fallen on deaf ears, however, and I started to lead her toward the door. If she had any aversions to our back yard on that particular day, she certainly wasn't showing it physically.

"Come on, honey, everyone needs some fresh air every now and then." I smiled back at her through my unshaven face.

Her expression was hurt. "I'd really rather stay indoors."

"But how are you going to see the stars if you're cooped up in the house all night?" If I could reach back into the past and slap myself, I think I'd do it right about at this point in the conversation.

Now she understood what was going on. "Akio, are you trying to force me into the open?" She saw it as a test of loyalty, to see if I would respect her wishes and stop trying to make her leave.

"Yes." I shrugged. I wasn't going to lie to her, that was for sure.

She furrowed her brow in anger now, laying her feet down and stopping us in our tracks. "Why? So you can kill me off and find someone else?" She was angry, but not actually upset. She only thought she was angry.

Allow me to explain. Agorpahobics will get quickly frustrated with either your or their own attempts to get outside if they have enough drive to even try, and will abandon the thought quickly. Something in their mind tells them that it's not safe, and they get angry at how irrational it all is. Kiyoko was not mad at me; I sincerely doubt that's even possible. She was, more or less, mad at herself.

But her sudden harshness bewildered me. "What? No, I'd never!" As soon as I let go of her hand and took a step back, her expression turned to one filled with pain. She turned away from me and walked off to do something else without another word, and I put my arms down. I felt like an idiot.

We didn't say anything to one another until around dinner time. She placed my food in front of me and then sat across the table with her own meal. I even made a pot of coffee for myself, and she said nary a word about the smell. I could feel her disgruntled eyes on me the whole time, but I'm a patient man. I was perfectly willing to wait for her to speak first. I've learned that, as a man, it's proper procedure to let your woman work out her anger instead of confronting her about it regardless of what culture dictates.

I gave her cursory glances while I was digging in, and she had hardly touched her food. In fact, she was barely poking at it as is; the hurt expression hadn't left her face. I was used to this to be honest. Whenever Kiyoko got upset, her silence would speak volumes. It didn't happen very often and it was never toward me specifically, but I could see it in her eyes.

And it only got worse as our dinner went on. When I looked up again, I noticed her sitting her silverware next to her plate. She stood, gave me a sorrowful look, and sighed.

"I'm going to bed a little early tonight if you don't mind. Sorry, Akio." Her bow was curt and quick, and then she was shuffling out of the dining room.

I nodded, though she'd already turned her back. "Okay, if that's what you want, dear." I frowned as I watched her leave. "I love you!" I called out, but she said nothing in response.

I gave my food another look, then left it as it was. I'd make sure to do the dishes later. It was strange to me how something so simple could set her off like that. In all the time I'd known her, I still wasn't used to the few times she got angry with me. It was just something that didn't happen. I sat down on the couch for only a few minutes, to clear my head.

Somehow I knew I shouldn't have had to make it up to her. I did nothing wrong, but I hated seeing her upset. She was the light of my life, really the only thing I had to look forward to anymore, and the thought of her being miserable made my chest wind up and tighten. So, I decided I would do something she liked to do, to hopefully make her feel better.

As I walked past the bedroom, I stopped to see if I could hear anything. Without me stalking around, the place was eerily quiet as it had been when I'd come home from work. I peeked through the crack in the door, and sure enough, she'd kept true to her promise and was in bed already. Good, that meant there would be no interruptions as I prepared.

I climbed the small staircase that wound around to the attic, pulling the cord that would light the place up as I went. It was warm and dusty, full of cobwebs and murk as usual. This was where I kept all of my childhood possessions, photo albums and the like. They sat in rows and boxes in the corner, against the sharp curve of our roof. It was almost like an indoor yard sale, as I was practically tripping over miscellaneous junk from the past. My past.

Kiyoko, I learned early on in our marriage, did not have a past. I mean that literally, as a matter of fact. Her parents barely kept any photo albums or things to remember her by as they assumed she'd be around them her whole life. They were borderline amazed when I was able to carry her, kicking and screaming, out of the house that day. It was something they simply did not have the mental prowess nor the encouragement to do. The attic was my place, my museum. When Kiyoko left her parents' house so many years ago, she never took a single thing with her. Or, rather, she never asked me to go back for anything. Perhaps I'd work up the courage to talk to her about it after I apologized.

In the center of the attic, however, stood an old, old phonograph. One of the ones you need to crank to get going properly. It was just as dusty as anything else, though the polished wood still stood out among the clutter. It sat on its own little corner table, crank sticking out of the side, waiting for someone to come along and use it to produce some sweet, sweet sound. I knew this thing well, though I couldn't remember where I'd obtained it or how. All I could recall was that I'd seen it, thought back to the records stashed in our attic, and snatched it posthaste. It had a lot of history between Kiyoko and I, and this was its final resting place when we finally decided it didn't look right in the living room anymore. It was very, very special to me.

Kiyoko was always a fan of jazz music. I think, at their core, everyone loves those sweet, low blues tones. It's hard not to appreciate a good saxophone solo. When we had nothing better to do, we'd hop on the computer and look for more jazz music to burn to CDs and listen to later. Whenever it rained, we threw on some jazz.

But I knew this machine and I knew it well. It was loud enough to weave its music through the whole house, top to bottom. Here in the attic it would only be amplified even more. I knelt by the large box I had, full of old records and movie soundtracks I'd collected over the years, and plucked out one I knew would be- if you'll excuse the awful pun -music to our ears. I moved aside the needle and set it down in place, but did not turn the crank just yet. I had more preparing to do.

Back in the living room, I reached into a drawer beneath our entertainment center, glad to find the dozen or so ambient candles still in place as they ever were. They were supposed to be for lighting when the power was out, but it hadn't happened in a long while anyway. I sat them all down on the coffee table and lit one, spreading the little flickering flame from wick to wick. With meticulous attention to detail, I spread them throughout the living room, setting them anywhere there was available space. The unmistakable cherry scent wafted from room to room as I made further preparations by turning down all of the lights. It was Kiyoko's favorite, aside from roasted coffee, of course. I took a deep whiff, and then smiled. This would work nicely.

But my smile turned sour immediately as I realized I was going to have to move some of the furniture. I groaned out loud like a teenager about to be punished, and gave my back an ample stretch. I leaned over the sofa, and, with a grunt, shoved it all the way to the back wall. The coffee table came next, ending up right on the seat of the couch given I had no other space to put it aside. The two chairs on either side of the couch went easily enough; we never had company over, which made me wonder why we had so much damn furniture in the living room. I'm not quite a crotchety old man yet, honest, but moving it all at once really takes it out of you.

Regardless, I took a look at my handiwork and sighed. What happened next was completely up to Kiyoko, depending on if I could rouse her or not. I passed by the bedroom once more, stepped up to the phonograph, and gave it a pat on the top of the horn. It had served me well throughout the years, and I could only pray it would go just as well now. With a grunt, I turned the crank round and round and it slowly came to life. The house was suddenly full of quiet blues, slow-tempoed and toe-tapping. I heard the bed squeak as I passed by the bedroom, and I snapped in time to the music with a grin. I pushed the door open with my shoulder, closing my eyes and getting momentarily lost in the music.

"Akio?" Kiyoko rubbed her eyes. She'd only been sleeping for a half hour at most, but from the way she looked, she might as well have been Rip Van Winkle. I offered her my hand and helped her out of bed. She wobbled to her feet, her plain nightgown ruffling as she stumbled into my chest. She was still asleep for the most part, and I beamed at her. Keeping her fingers locked tight in mine, I led her through the dark house and down the stairs, into the living room.

She took a look at all the candles and frowned. "What's all this?" She asked, voice inquisitive as ever. The way the lights reflected off of her eyes warmed my heart like I was deeply involved in a romance novel.

I took her other hand in mine, raising it up to place it on my shoulder. "Dance with me." I smirked. My words were music to her ears. My naturally deep tone of voice was one of the reasons I was so good at calming people down.

And so we did. She and I swayed back and forth together for quite a while. It wasn't at a fancy restaurant, and we hadn't had the most expensive of dinners to go along with it, but it did us well enough. She laid her head on my shoulder as we moved through the would-be dance floor I'd created, bobbing and weaving and entwining with one another. We weren't the best dancers in the world; our skills didn't matter in the privacy of our own home. This was Kiyoko's whole life, this two-story house in the suburbs, and I wasn't about to let it go to waste. She pressed her body against me, arms moving from my shoulders around my back in a tight embrace. My hands struggled to stay on her hips as she leaned into me, and eventually they curved around her to return the hug. Her head found its place on my chest, and I lightly rested my chin atop her scalp, closing my eyes to savor the moment. As the song ended and the record skipped lightly, moving right along to the next, she shivered.

"I'm sorry." I murmured into her scalp, and she craned her neck to look at me, refusing to release me from her grasp just yet. The expression on her face was somewhere between awe and anguish, and her eyes were noticeably wet. She blinked a few times, and the tears started rolling down her cheeks.

"You're... apologizing... to me?" She whispered, her voice hoarse and broken all of a sudden. "But why?"

"I know I hurt you, you don't have to deny it." My hand gently traced the curve of her back, heedless of her gaze still locked tight to mine. "I'm here for you, because I love you." I told her, and I'll be damned if I didn't mean it.

She stood on her tip-toes and kissed me, her mouth dragging on my lower lip as she moved back into place. We held each other there, in the middle of the living room, all through the next song. It was somber, full of long, trailing sax notes; it matched the situation surprisingly well.

When I dislodged from her embrace, her hands hung in the air for a moment as if she were longing for more of me. I moved the coffee table so we could sit down on the couch, but she wasn't looking at me any longer. Her gaze was out the back window of the kitchen, toward the deck. I'm not going to lie, I don't believe in fate. I am the creator of my own destiny and science hasn't proven me wrong so far. But that night, something magical happened, and I don't trust my own ingenuity enough to know if it was my doing or not.

"Tell me you love me again." Kiyoko's voice was mystified as she took the first step toward the back door. "Please."

I raised an eyebrow. "I love you."

"Again." She walked slowly, calmly. In the reflection of the glass of the windows I could see her face was absolutely panicked, but her voice wasn't showing it any.

"I love you." Another step.

"Keep going." But was she talking to herself or me?

I stood from the couch, trailing behind her. "I love you. I love you more than anything else in the world."

Her hand trembled as it reached for the handle on the sliding door to the back yard. It hovered in the air above it, and her breathing was thin and raspy. "Just keep talking." She breathed, and her eyelid twitched in an attempt to keep from blinking.

"I love you more than the stars in the sky, more than I love teaching and my students and my family. You are my life, and I'd be perfectly content to sit on the couch and listen to our music with you forever." Her hand was on the handle now. "I would give up winning the lottery for you; Hell, I'd give an arm and a leg for you. I'd give you anything if it'd mean you'd stay with me until we're both old and gray."

The door slid open and locked in place with a click, instantly silencing me. Kiyoko looked like she was going to vomit, and I hovered over her like a parent to his first-day kindergartener. Should she decide to faint, I'd be there to catch her. Every word of what I had said was true, despite the obviously stress-based melodramatics of it.

Kiyoko took the first step onto the deck, her bare foot making a small slapping sound as it touched the wood. It creaked under our weight as we moved, inches away from each other, toward the center. That was another thing I learned: Kiyoko didn't like to be touched when she was in her trances, and I was having a mental breakdown of my own at the moment, so it sort of worked out.

When she reached the edge of the deck, she put her still shaking hands on the railing to steady herself. Her eyes were wide and her face was pale; her head whipped about at every small noise, from the chirping birds in the trees to the white noise that filled the air. It was full-on night time now, and the edge of the deck was bathed in darkness save for one repeating cluster of flashes that caught Kiyoko's eye again and again.

"Fireflies." She whispered, nodding to them. They danced lazily through the air, their tiny lights like beacons in the grass. The way the word was forced out of her worried me; I knew she was doing this because she felt bad for earlier, and it was taking its toll on her. I could bear to stand at arm's length no longer, as she looked as if she were in physical pain just from the way she was leaning on the railing for support.

I stood beside her, putting my hand around her midsection. My heart was pounding in my ears, and I looked upon her with the utmost concern. But, at my touch, her eyes fell a little. Her breathing equalized. Her thin, slender fingers clutched at my sleeve as she raised her head to look up. The sky was absolutely dazzling, filled with different colored dots backed by the deep black expanse of space. She wobbled a little, and I felt very small standing next to her. She stopped biting her lower lip, and her mouth curled up into a very thin, tiny smile. I released her as soon as I was sure she wouldn't fall over, and she stood there in pure silence, watching the stars drift by us. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cigarettes; Kiyoko loved when I smoked around her. I always told her it was bad for both of us, and I usually went outside when I did it; I knew she wouldn't appreciate me stinking up the house anyway. It was just another addiction of mine.

"It'll look better through the telescope, you know." I said after lighting it and taking the first puff.

She looked as if I was just speaking to her for the first time. "Huh?" She glanced to the side, and there it was, pointed up and ready for her to peer into it. "O-oh, right." It'd been there the whole time, of course, but the childlike innocence lining her eyes made me want to laugh.

And so it went. I listened to the faint jazz still playing in the attic as Kiyoko took a tense look through the telescope. Her "wow" in response to the enhanced view was all I needed to hear. I watched her shoulders sag as she relaxed a little. She still looked nervous as all get out, and I had no idea what the repercussions of this night of adventure would be come morning, but for the moment, our little world was perfect. I got to look at the stars, and she got to prove to me that she was willing to face her fears.

And I was still only getting started.
Last edited by Doomish on Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:19 am

>No mention of Hanako and Hisao
Come on man you're excluding the one thing that makes me give a shit about this fic.
Hell, even my suggestion for the name implied that we'd be seeing both parties in equal volume, and you were at least warmly receptive to it, even if it didn't make the cut. So I was expecting that you at least planned on focusing on that a little more.

Another thing I don't particularly like is mutou's insistence on talking to you (himself?).
Mutou wrote:Allow me to explain.
It looks like you already established that this is a definite part of the fic with the previous chapters, and you said before that your first draft is your final draft because you're lazy because you think that rewriting part of a scene kills the original feeling and intent, so I don't expect it to change, but a bit more subtlety might be nice. The way it stands right now, it appears to switch between first and second person (even though I think you're intending for the whole thing to be second person) which is quite uncool

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:39 am

I disagree. I'm not a bog fan of directly adressing the reader either, but in this case it's subtle enough not to detract from the story.
And Doomish said this was a story about Mutou and his wife from the start, so why should Hisao and Hanako feature in every single chapter?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by Mahorfeus » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:45 am

Frankly, I'm more interested in how Mutou polishes his marriage than in how he's going to play fairy godfather to Hisao and Hanako. Not to say that isn't part of it, of course.
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Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Re: Agoraphobia [Mutou]

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:02 am

Doomish wrote:Chapter Three - Gauze and Bandages
"Tell me you love me again." Kiyoko's voice was mystified as she took the first step toward the back door. "Please."
"I would give up winning the lottery for you; Hell, I'd give an arm and a leg for you. I'd give you anything if it'd mean you'd stay with me until we're both old and gray."
This section is beautiful. Kudos to you. There is nothing else for me to say.
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