Mendācium (Hanako) - Version 1.1.1

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Brogurt
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Mendācium (Hanako) - Version 1.1.1

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:33 pm

Pre Scriptum
Hello, friends and enemies.

This particular piece of fanfiction is quite different from my other works due to a couple things in particular that I'd like to address.

As you read through Mendācium, you'll find "Play" buttons interspersed with the text. Each of these contains a hyperlink to a YouTube page with the appropriate song for the section on repeat. You must right click and open in new tab/window or middle click these in order to avoid being redirected off the page. Due to the nature of getting videos to loop, the tab/window that opens will be the direct video url, so you will have to click the name of the video on the top right hand corner if you want to get to the "Watch" page for some reason.

Please be aware that it will take a bit of time for the videos to load after clicking the link.

You will also find "Stop" icons. Clicking these does nothing, but they do indicate that you should stop whatever track is currently playing.

Also, if it needs stating, no two songs are supposed to be played at the same time. When one song is currently playing and another shows up, stop the current (old) song and begin playing the new one.

Below are the "Play" and "Stop" icons that you'll be seeing. The play icon contains a hyperlink to "Mendacium: Track ∅" which is Jitter, from Hanako's Act 2 opening. If it successfully loops, then you should be good. My advice is to try middle-clicking the "Play" icon to see if it opens in a background tab, and then try middle-clicking the newly opened tab to see if it closes. Depending on your browser and mouse, this may not be possible (I believe that all mice with scroll wheels have a middle click function mapped to it when you compress the wheel by default, and I know that the middle-clicking functions work as described in Firefox). But if it does work, then that's as seamless as it gets.

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Now, without further ado, sit mendācium incipiunt.
Last edited by Brogurt on Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:05 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Mendācium Part 1: Prometheus

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Prometheus


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I casually shut the door behind me, watching the beams of sunlight shrink down to a mere sliver before vanishing entirely. I consider bidding them a formal farewell -for a second- but I decide against it. I’ll see them soon again when Hanako and I are out on the town.

I definitely am looking forward to our date today. Since she’s started spending nights out with the newspaper club, I haven’t been able to spend as much time with her as I’d like. When I found out that she had no plans for today, I gladly took advantage of the fact, and now here I am, standing just inside the girls’ dormitories, going to pick her up so we can head out.

Darn those newspaper club girls, stealing my girlfriend away from me! And to think I haven’t even been properly introduced to any of them. But that’s what Hanako insisted, for better or worse. While I had my reservations at first, I’m okay with the thought of her becoming more independent.

Anyway, what role shall I take once I meet up with her? I’m leaning towards playing the refined gentleman, forever grateful for finally having been given the opportunity to spend time with such a wonderful lady. Like something straight out of some cheesy romantic drama.

And following our date, a rigorous session of lovemaking. I sometimes feel like our sex life has been slipping… for a number of reasons, but I think I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve that might help rekindle that fire. We have been going strong for over a third of a year, and I’m not ready to give up just yet.

Brushing off my clothes, as if to prepare myself for the role, I parade myself towards Hanako’s room. As I approach her door, a note stuck to it catches my eye. After seeing that it’s addressed to me, I pull it from its resting place, and then prepare to read it more thoroughly. It is possible that she doesn’t want anyone else to see it, and that she put it up since she knew I was coming soon.

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Hisao,

I’d like to talk. Meet me on the school roof.

-Hanako


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I check the back side of the letter. I then hold it up to my nose, looking very closely. Is this some kind of prank, or trick? I look the note over several times more, each time hoping to see something saying “Just kidding. See you at the Shanghai.” But no such thing happens.

A sinking feeling arises in my stomach as I realize what this means. Something isn’t right. Something between us. God damn it. These problems should have been gone months ago. But now something has come up, and she wants me alone on the rooftop to tell me about it. The rooftop…

I shove the thoughts out of my mind as quickly as they entered. No. She’s not going to jump, or do anything stupid like that. She wants to talk. She wrote it right here. Right here. It says right here that she wants to talk about… whatever it is. That means that she’s willing to let it out instead of bottling it up. That’s good.

If she’s willing to talk, then I guess I am.



I pass by some familiar faces as I travel to the school’s rooftop. And I’m sure that not one of them goes without noticing the look of sadness on my own face. What would I say if they asked what was up? “Oh, I’m just going to be told some bad news by my girlfriend on a day that was supposed to be spent in town with her.” And then they would ask “What kind of news?” And I would say “I have no idea.”



I shove open the door to the rooftop, loudly enough to make my presence known. I scan my surroundings to find her sitting on the very edge of the roof, on the other side of the fence. She looks in my direction, and then averts her gaze when we make eye contact.

Were those… tears I saw in her eye? How did things go sour this quickly? We were just fine yesterday. Even this morning, I was bordering on being the most exuberant man in the world. And right now, in spite of all that, one kick off the wall could be the end for her.

“Hanako…”

The gravel crunches under my foot as I step toward her.

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“Don’t-! Don’t come any closer.”

“What’s going on? Why are you doing this?”

“Something… something h-happened last night.”

“…Yes?”

“Well, f-first I… I have to tell you everything.”

A silence entrenches itself between us. I dare not to break it, fearing that it may be some fatal mistake if I do. She begins speaking, quietly.

“Y-you know how much you’ve done for me, right? How I was a shy nervous wreck when you met me, and after that…?”

“Yes, I know that. Because I love you, remember?”

“W-well, since I had broken out of my shell, this new world was so much for me to t-take in. I-I was… suddenly c-confident and sure of myself, and s-so many opportunities opened up to me… I decided that I w-wanted to be more like a n-normal person, and do things like normal people do… Like g-go out and socialize even when you’re not h-holding my hand… So then I met s… someone. At the jazz club that you and I once went to. He… c-called himself T-Tenshi Kasai.”

She begins shaking in place and choking on her words as she mentions the name. My god, it hurts me dearly to see her like this. To see such a painful reminder of how fragile she is.

On top of that, I don’t like where this is going, but I want to help her through it. And yet I can’t. She has made her position clear. On the other side of the fence.

Ready to die at a moment’s notice.

“I s-swear… I didn’t p-plan on this. But he was so charming, and he had such an attractive personality…”

So, whatever she wants to talk about, she didn’t plan on it. Okay, that doesn’t mean anything bad. He could have just tried to seduce her, and she just feels guilty for it. Yeah, I know how timid she is. And how loyal she is. There’s no chance in hell she’d go all the way.

“At f-first, when you and I were t-together, I was okay with that… But I soon found myself… I mean… I wanted more. And he… he d-didn't have a heart c-condition.”

No.

No, no, no! She can’t be going there! I know I wasn’t always the best in bed when we really got into it. But that was just between us. And it was something that both of us learned to accept. It wasn’t all about the sex, anyway. The act itself wasn’t as important as what it meant.

“I… f-felt like I was too good for you. S-since my scars never physically s-stopped me from doing things, and you… I felt like you were h-holding me back. Since… since you had an actual d-disability.”

She chooses to extend the pause after her statement. Why, of all times, now?

As if she were suddenly sensitive to my frustration, Hanako grips the fence and turns around to face me. But just as we are about to make eye contact, she hesitates, and turns back away again.

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“So, m-me and Tenshi, w-we… we… we had… We h-had sex. I… I don’t know how it… h-happened at first… Maybe… maybe the alcohol g-got to me… But he c-could give me so much more than you could. And I… I loved it. He bought me g-gifts and presents too. I… I got all the benefits of l-living two lives, with none of… the costs.”

I feel my face flush with anger. My hand instinctively balls itself into a fist, my nails digging into my palm. My breathing becomes erratic, and my heart threatens to burst from its cage. I knew what it was when she brought up his name, said he was attractive, said she met him at the club. Deep down, I knew. But I couldn’t believe it.

Hearing her say those words, though… It feels like the weight of my world is crashing down on me.

Images flood into my mind of her meeting up with some devilishly handsome guy, breaking the ice, and being brought back to a hotel room where he undresses her, with her full consent, and they do the deed. He starts with the foreplay, getting the mood just right. He knows every detail and every method, and she is enraptured within seconds, begging for more. He thrusts into her relentlessly, her moans and gasps growing in intensity each time. The two are locked in the throes of passion, and she is loving every second of it. Soon, she is brought to orgasm, and so is he, both left completely satisfied, nearly passed out on the bed.

I don’t know what to say, what to do, or how to react. So I don’t.

“It wasn't j-just the sex though. The feeling of being loved, being n-normal, being seen as an equal. I… I g-got addicted to it. I guess… if I’d just act like a n-normal person, I’d be t-treated like one. It was… l-like you always said… My s-scars don’t mean anything, and… they only hinder me if I l-let them…”

Does she think that’s going to change anything? Like I’m just going to complacently accept it just because her reasons aren’t entirely rooted in lust? She takes another frustratingly long pause after that statement, as if she’s having a hard time getting out her next words.

“Then, the next time… last night. I… started h-having second thoughts… I was… g-going to be okay with it… f-for just one more night. B-but then I told him what I thought, and then… he s-started saying some things… About me… So I tried to… to break it off, b-but then he got violent… He insisted that he h-have his way…”



“He w-wasn't there the next m-morning. All… all his stuff was gone too. And so were the things he g-gave me.”

I hear her words right away, but it takes a while for me to understand what they mean. When it registers, though, I snap.

“And that’s the only reason you decided to tell me about this?!”

“I… know that me s-saying this isn’t… isn’t going to change anything. M-maybe you don’t want to hear it r-right now. But I … I’m sorry, Hisao.”

“Sorry because you cheated on me, or sorry because you got what was coming to you?”



“And that’s the reason you’re sitting on that ledge, isn’t it? So you can take the easy way out if things don’t go your way!”

She remains still for a while after my outburst, then buries her face in her hands. I’m certain I can hear sobbing. Good. I have no reservations about calling this justice.

But as I realize something, my blood goes from boiling to freezing quicker than I thought was possible.

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She had just been raped.

She isn’t asking for my pity…

She didn’t even dwell on the point for long…

She just wants me to know the whole story…

She had just been raped, and she’s telling me that she’s sorry.

Because she caused it…

Even if it was because she did something she shouldn’t have…

Further complicating things for the two of us…

She had just been raped, and she telling me that she’s sorry, because it was her fault.

I’m certain the last thing she needs right now is for me to be angry with her. Even if I have to force myself to keep my cool.

I relax my hand a little, and upon doing so, feel a drop of liquid liberate itself from my skin. It feels far too warm to be sweat, so I raise my palm and turn it toward my eyes to inspect it.

Blood. Several trails, coming from several fissures in my skin. It’s smeared around the cuts, and still fresh from the wound. Deep red, opaque, disgusting.

I sigh and place my arm back at my side, letting it hang. I must have pierced the skin with my nails when I was holding my fist back there.

“Okay… Well, would you like to come back over here now?”

She squeaks out her response with a disturbing air of certainty.

“N-no.”

I sigh again.

“Why are you so determined to not let me help you?”

No response.

“Fine, be that way. Just don’t… Just don’t do anything irrational, alright?”

I rethink my statement. It would probably be for the best for me to make myself clear.

“I mean, please, don’t kill yourself.”

“O…okay…”

“…Promise?”

“I… I p… p-pro…m… mm…”

Her voice trails off. She begins crying again, just as hard as before. Her sobs sound foreign to me now, as if they no longer come from the throat of an angel; but rather, from the gullet of a wretch.

I think it would be best to leave her alone right now. I’m still fairly angry as it stands, and I think I made my point.

But even so, I don’t think I can let this part of me be a part of her anymore.
Last edited by Brogurt on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mendācium Part 2: Fallout

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Fallout


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I’d like to say that I know how many days it’s been. But I don’t. Time has been a blur ever since that cold afternoon when she admitted… those things. It’s still kind of hard to believe that Hanako, of all people, would cheat on me with another guy. I still don’t know what to think of it.

We’ve been distant since that day. Very distant. Honestly, how would I ever be able to trust her again after that? And she knows it.

It’s sad, too. We’ve made so much progress, then she overstepped her bounds, and now we're back to square one. But that doesn’t mean we’ve given up hope. Not entirely, at least.

She’s taken to locking herself up in her room once more. It kind of seems appropriate, given the way she was around her birthday, and the way she is now. I always make sure to visit her after class, though. We sometimes play chess together, and I’ve been bringing her all the classwork that she’s been missing as well. I’ve been reviewing the lessons with her, and we’ve been doing most of the homework together, which I would turn in for her the following class period.

It’s almost a pleasant routine to fall into. It reaffirms that each of us is still important, and that we are still laying the groundwork for our futures. I just hope she feels the same way about it.

Quite a few people have expressed some concern for her, though. I’ve told them that it’s just a virus, and that she’s fine, but needs to stay in her room. Some of the more inquisitive ones have been met with me telling them that I’ve been going through the lessons with her, and that when she’s ready to start coming to class again, she will, and everything will be back to normal. I don’t really believe that statement, but it gets them off my back for the time being.

I wish there was more I could do for her, though. I’ve contemplated giving Lilly a call to see what she has to say, but that would be a fruitless endeavor. There’s no way she’s coming back from Scotland at this point, and I know Hanako better than anyone on the planet right now, so taking care of her is my duty, whether I like it or not.

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I knock on the door. She cracks it open, sees that I’m here, and wordlessly lets me inside. The pale color of her skin, the gaunt contours of her body, the way she moves so mechanically, and at the same time, so fluidly… she reminds me of a ghost. We take seats on opposite sides of her bed, and I drop my binders and notebooks by my side.

There’s a kind of tenseness between us whenever I’m here, that much is certain. And to top it off, I’m beginning to get sick of the lack of progress in getting her up and running. I guess now’s as good a time as any…

“Are you ready to talk about it some more? You know, our… situation?”

“…Will… will you be mad…? I-if I do?”

“I won’t do anything to hurt you more. I know that you’re going through some tough times, and I can’t bear to make that any worse.”

“Okay… Is there a-anything you’d… l-like to know?”

There goes any hope I had of her taking the initiative. It doesn’t feel appropriate to push her to come up with something, but I guess if I have to…

“Alright, tell me about Tenshi.”

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She appears to grimace at the name. I immediately regret saying it, and I almost take it back, but she starts speaking before I get the chance.

“I saw… from the way he was with others… that he was a-aggressive, and he often g-got what he wanted. I guess… that was part of w… what attracted me to him.”

Type A personality, huh? I should have expected as much. Who better to usurp me from my throne than some kind of alpha male?

“He's p-probably halfway across the c-country by now. He always said he was… in t-trouble with the l… law.”

…Seriously? Did she just say that? He told her he was in trouble with the law, and she just ignored the red flags?

“I looked h-his name up in the phone book too, and… I f-found nothing. He t-told me he was twenty-five, b-but… I don't know what to believe a-anymore.”

I feel a rising urge to yell at her now. Why would she hang around someone like that? Is this how she acts when she’s not plagued by her shyness? Is this just like her episode with the wine on her birthday party, where she discarded her inhibitions and did what she wanted? Is that the kind of person she is?

“I… I don't know… w-what I was thinking. I… I guess I just wanted t-to validate myself… by telling myself that I was somehow ‘b-better’ if I could be… like that… with someone…”

Her explanation grinds to a screeching halt. She takes a deep breath, and what comes next is almost a whisper.

“Who had no disability.”

No disability…

“Where the hell do you think we are?! Yamaku High School. The goddamned holding cell for all of us undesirables. And that psyche of yours that makes you think it's okay to fuck some other guy if it’ll make you feel better is the exact reason you’re in here, instead of out there!”

I know that what I'm saying runs contrary to the school's message. But I don’t care. She went way too fucking far.

“I… I know.”

Silence takes hold of us, strangulating all our thoughts and sympathies so fiercely, so entirely, that it might well be Death itself that has seized us.

And to make matters worse, something within me breaks upon hearing her words. Something that has now been shattered mercilessly, without respite. She doesn’t even wish to contest this. She’s not even attempting to defend herself -or her actions- from my condemning eye. This doesn't seem at all like the Hanako that I knew mere weeks ago.

“For… what little it’s worth… I’m still sorry…”

And now, with how submissive and utterly dismal she’s become, I don’t think I bring myself to express my anger with her any further. It would be like attacking someone who can’t fight back.

…I still find myself struggling to unshackle my next question from my tongue.

“…H-how long had you been seeing him before… you decided to tell me?”

Her face takes on an incredibly morose look, even more depressed than her usual expression. She must be internally debating whether or not to actually tell me the whole truth.

“It was j-just that once… I mean, we… w-were going to do it once more… at first.”

Her words stab me through the chest like a spear. My lungs tighten up, and I have to force myself to breathe in and out.

“But then, he…”

She silences herself for a moment. I think I know exactly what she would be saying here, if she had the willpower to do so.

“…I probably wouldn’t h-have told you… if that didn’t happen.”

More spears. Impaling me in many different locations, angled and sharpened to cause as much trauma as possible.

“What made you choose him over me?”

“I didn’t-! …”

Perhaps realizing the futility of disputing the fact, she sighs, and resumes her exposition.

“He… had so much more s-stamina than you did. And he was… r-really experienced. And I… like I told you… I felt like I d-deserved someone who w-would treat me as an equal… W-without having a heart c-condition… I’m sorry, Hisao… I’m... r-really sorry…”

She turns away, probably aware of what those words mean to me.

I know I look angry.

How could I not be?

I opened up to someone for the first time since my incident and the hospital, and she went and threw it all away to sleep with another guy because I have a heart ailment and she has no self-restraint.

I remember when I’d always tell her that she doesn't have to settle for someone with a broken heart, and she'd always say that she's with me and only me because she loves me. Was that just hollow sweet talk?

…I’ve heard stories like this before. Guy finds shy, insecure girl. They go out, and he inspires confidence in her. She decides that she can do better than him, and what happens from there is anything but pretty.

Maybe I thought she was way too shy for that to happen. Maybe I thought she would never jeopardize our relationship. Maybe I underestimated how close she was to that line, where she'd decide to go and screw some other guy.

Was it wrong of me to think that she wouldn't have it in her? Wrong of me to think that I could get in a relationship with her, and stay with her, just like that?

Did I assume that her desires would never conflict with mine, as if she were my subordinate?



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Maybe I should be thankful that I’m here, at the very least. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, though. I can’t just tell her that I still love her and that it doesn’t matter that she took advantage of my trust, because it would be utter bullshit. And if I were to just ignore her, I don’t want to think of what might happen to her.

And now that I think about it, it's unsettling to think that she'd be so forthcoming in telling me these things. Even back on the rooftop, she didn't exactly pull her punches in letting me know the truth. This isn't the same Hanako from before, and even despite this, it seems like a desperate cry for help.

It’s been a while since either of us has spoken. Hoping to dispatch the awkward silence, I bring up another topic.

“What would you like to tell me about that one day? When-”

I am struck by her expression immediately morphing into one of sheer terror. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this scared in my life… and I think I know why. I sputter for a moment before amending my question.

“I-I mean, when you told me to meet you on the roof. Not…”

I leave my sentence unfinished. After seeing her react like that, even to a misunderstanding, there's no way I can bring myself to mention her being raped anymore.

“O-okay.”

She seems a bit relieved.

“W-well, I decided I’d leave the… note for you, since I knew that you’d… be coming for o-our date that day. You… never showed up too early or t-too late for our dates, so I knew w-when to expect you. And then I went up… to the roof, to th-think things over for a while u-until you showed up.”

“And once I got up there? Was I right about why you were on the other side of the fence?”

“I p-put the fence between us… because I thought y-you’d hurt me… since I overstayed m-my welcome, and you… wouldn’t want me around a-a-anymore.”

“Hey, I’d…”

…She’s right.

If the fence was not there, I probably would have considered physically hitting her. I look to my palm. Small, quarter-moon scabs, where my nails broke the skin, from when I made my hand into a fist upon hearing her confession of cheating. That’s all the proof I need.

It hurts to see her think of me like this. It hurts badly, to hear that she can’t even trust me. I wonder if this is because of how she was treated by Tenshi… But she knows what she did was wrong. That’s… kind of a step in the right direction.

“I shouldn’t have d-done that… it would have been r-right for you to hit me…”

“Hanako!”

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I turn my attention directly toward her.

“I… I wronged you badly, Hisao. I shouldn’t have d-denied you justice.”

Does she actually believe what she’s saying? Her conscience must be destroyed, if this is the case.

“A-and you were right when you a-asked why I was over there, too… I f-figured, if you didn’t show any sign of possibly a… accepting me, then I’d end it, since… since I’d have nothing left to live for. But since you c-cared at least a little bit, I didn’t jump.”

“I was mad at you, Hanako. And I think I had every right to be. But I never wanted you dead…”

“…I’m sorry, but… I j-just couldn't live with myself anymore. I had b-been living a life of hedonism… with no c-concern for your feelings, just because it felt so good, and… then only… w-when I was hurt d-did I regret it.”



“I… I’m… I’m a terrible human being! What- what would my p-parents say, if they knew that… th-this is what I was d-doing with my life? My… my mom died for my sake, j-just so that I could cheat on my first and only boyfriend, who… g-genuinely loved me and cared for me. How…? How is that fair?!”

She repeats her last sentence once more.

“How is that fair…?”

Then again, but more quietly.

“How is that fair…?”

And again, even more quietly.

“How is that fair…?”

Those four words emanate from her mouth.

“How is that fair…?”

Over and over.

“How is that fair…?”

Ad nauseum.

Soon, her words have all but disappeared, and what remains is her silently mouthing them, staring blankly ahead.

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I want to scream. I want to scream to the heavens above, to curse my fate, to curse her for doing this to me, to curse the devil who did this to her. I'm only able to restrain myself through knowing that it won't do any good.

I feel so helpless. Unable to give her what she wants. Like all my usefulness has been exhausted, and what remains is an empty husk.

I look back over to her, and notice that she’s stopped moving, except…

She’s now shaking.

Violently.

“Hanako?”

No response.

“Hanako!”

She shuts her eyes and starts swaying slightly.

Soon, her balance begins to fail, and she falls to her side.

She impacts the bed with a soft thud, and as soon as I realize what’s happened, I scramble to her side to see if she’s alright. First thing I know, I’m pushing two fingers into her neck to see if I can catch her heartbeat.

*Thump-thump* *Thump-thump* *Thump-thump*

It appears stable, if a bit quick. I think I can feel it dropping subtly, probably a good sign. She must have gone into shock, possibly as a result of recalling all these painful memories. Everything from our fight on the roof, to what happened between her and Tenshi, to memories of her parents, and what they did to save her.

This whole ordeal can’t be easy on her. To think that she might have some kind of anxiety attack even when she’s not under the scrutiny of a near-score of students… it’s almost unreal. I didn’t think it was nearly this bad. But I guess this is all new territory.

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Should I bring her to nurse…? No, I don’t want her to have to deal with the stress of contacting and communicating with anyone besides me right now. She probably doesn’t want to either. I think she’d probably have a hard time trusting anyone after that incident.

I guess the best thing to do now would be to tuck her into bed…

I make sure to handle her body delicately as I move her body under the covers, pulling them up to her neckline.

I notice a book in the corner of my eye while doing so, and take it off her nightstand. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. I open it up to the bookmark, to see her page number.

225.

Some time back before the incident, I saw her reading that same book and asked what page she was on, with hopes that I could try it when she was done. She was on page 225 at the time.

Has she really stopped reading? I imagine that, prior to that fateful night, she’d rather be out socializing and… going out with Tenshi. And then afterwards, she’s found herself unable to even use books for escapism, like how she used to. The damage must run deeper than I thought…

She’s changed, hasn’t she? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to see her in the same light again.

I turn to exit the room. Before I can take one step, realization strikes me.

No.

When she wakes up, she won’t be alone and scared. Not this time. I’ll be here to watch over her.

I give her a delicate kiss on the forehead, and then grab a chair from her desk and slide it beside the already closed window, then sit back and seal my eyes.

It would probably be more comfortable to get into bed with her, but I don’t want to get any ideas. And besides, I don’t feel like I can anyway, after what’s happened to her.

I really should leave. I really should put this in the past and move on with my own life. I should leave her, to suffer the fate she brought on herself. But I can't. I can't pull this plug on her. She can still be salvaged.



It can’t be that late right now. I mean, I haven't even had supper today. And I probably won't. But still, after this emotionally exhausting day, it doesn’t take long for sleep to finally conquer my body and carry it into the night.

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I awake to the sound of rustling bedsheets. I think I knew that staying asleep tonight wasn’t going to be easy.

I open my eyes and look around. The dark of the night makes it hard to see, but I think I can discern an eye looking at me from just above the covers. I take a long, thorough blink, and when my vision comes into focus, I see that the offending eye has vanished, and the covers have been pulled upward noticeably. God, I hope she’s alright.

To the ashes once more, little phoenix. But don't think that you won't rise again someday.
Last edited by Brogurt on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Mendācium Part 3: Incense of Lavender

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Incense of Lavender


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Nothing’s changed.

I’m sitting here in Hanako’s room once more, playing chess, just like we used to, and we’re just as distant now as we were in the days following her grave confession. She still hasn’t gone outside to my knowledge, and she still hasn’t shown any signs of improvement.

“Checkmate.”

We clear the board and start again. I hope to myself that she might step it up for this game, but -like the previous ones- she doesn’t seem interested. It’s likely that there are other things on her mind, and this is just a distraction that she can’t quite get into.

Her moves are conducted haphazardly, and I’m having a hard time getting into it as well. I don’t feel like I should put in so much effort if she’s not going to.

The turns fly by. Neither of us speaks a word.

Why are we even doing this? It feels like we’re just going through the motions, with no meaning to our interactions…

Luckily, I notice an opening that had been present for several turns and capitalize on it, bringing our game to a close prematurely. I give the usual formality after we finish.

“Checkmate. Good game.”

…And after saying that, I feel somewhat saddened. Do I actually mean what I’m saying, or is this just what I think she wants to hear?

Instead of responding, she silently surveys me with her eyes. I get the feeling that she might be gauging my own feelings right now. She doesn’t stop even when I lock eyes with her.

“Hisao…”

“Yeah?”

She diverts her attention from me to the chess board, which she packs up and neatly puts away. I don’t necessarily disagree with that action; I was getting tired of chess too.

She begins walking toward the door. “I… I know you've been missing this…” She turns the lock. “And I… I think I’d like it too, now.” She begins undoing the tie on her nightgown.

The silence is nerve-wracking. I know what’s coming next. I know it, and I feel that if I were to do anything to disturb this quantum state we’re in, the results could be disastrous.

“Will you still a-accept these… these u-used goods?” She disrobes entirely. Her bared body stands before me. It seems cold, almost lifeless.

Sadness hits me like a freight train. To see her reduced to this… by such a horrendous act… it's almost unbearable.

I'd like to say that it doesn't matter that she's been with another guy. But it does. I can't say with absolute certainty that things will ever be the same again.

I’m conflicted. She’s been damaged by everything that’s happened to her, and I don’t know if this is right.

Because the fact is… whether or not we do this now is entirely up to me.

I feel like she's at the breaking point right now, though. If I were to reject her advances, what message would it send? She may not even be interested in talking the next time she’s up on the roof.

I know how I must look right now, pondering if I actually want to participate in an intimate bonding act with a person who I was once irrevocably in love with.

But if this will help us get our lives back on track, or give us a sense of normalcy once more, I don’t see why we shouldn’t pursue it. I mean, if we can make strides like this, then there should be nothing stopping her from making a full recovery.

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Therapeutic.

That’s what this could be.

And as long as I don't get too emotionally invested, I can keep myself safe from restarting any sort of toxic relationship with her, and it can be a good thing for the both of us. I could help her on her feet and send her on her way.

Besides, she’s right. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to slake my more carnal desires.

I nod solemnly in assent.

“Okay. Let’s do this, I guess.”

██████████████████████████████████████████████ BEGIN H-CONTENT ██████████████████████████████████████████████

I begin removing my clothes, one by one, tossing them to the side. I think, out of the corner of me eye, I can see her smiling, ever so slightly. It dawns on me that that’s not something I’ve seen her do ever since I met her on the rooftop.

Fully unclothed, I approach her one step at a time, and she mirrors my movements, with us meeting halfway, accompanied by an embrace and a kiss. My hands work their way around her body, taking in every physical detail they can. The friction of her scarring is an odd sensation, yet one that I’ve come to enjoy. The way it further accentuates the feminine smoothness of her unscarred portion is more than a little pleasing.

Locked in a kiss of sheer contradiction, we blindly stumble towards her bed. Upon reaching it, we fall, holding each other tightly, and land side by side on the mattress.

I position myself above her, my elbows at her sides, leaving my hands free to explore her freely. I start by running my hands down her sides, physically appreciating her figure. I find myself soon moving on to her supple breasts, running a thumb over each nipple, causing them to perk up in attention.

Before going any further, I pause so that I may examine her face and see how well she’s doing. My neck cranes upwards to catch a glimpse of her looking down at me, a look of ease on her face. I guess she’s taking things well, knowing that I still accepted her and all. She’s probably also a bit happier with how slow and steady we’re going, compared to-

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No! Nothing like that! Okay, just concentrate on the present. Those events don’t have to change anything.

I take a deep breath, before going further down her body, tracing her contours with my hands. I travel down her waist, her hips, her thighs, and soon, my face is mere inches from her lower lips. I suppose I had been steeling myself for this moment, preparing myself for the worst, to see a part of her ravaged by her relationship with Tenshi, but in reality, it doesn’t look too different now from what it was like… earlier.

By now, we both seem to be sufficiently aroused, this made evident by the throbbing in my chest and between my legs, and the sleek liquid gloss collecting between hers. I think we’ll be ready after I make one last preparation.

I reach into the nightstand by her bed and open the top drawer, pulling from it a single square piece of foil. As I am about to break it, she speaks.

“I’m… still on the pill.”

I wordlessly continue, daring not to speak in response. I’d rather not even consider what would happen if I were to explain myself.

Thankfully, she seems to accept this, instead of contesting the issue.

Now that we’re prepared, I lower myself, pushing delicately into her. A warm feeling sparks at the point of contact, then courses through my whole body as I go further in. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced the pleasure of penetration.

She remains eerily silent throughout, however, failing so much as a gasp or sigh. Her cold demeanor could easily betray the warmth of her interior. Soon, my face is nearly touching hers, and I realize that she had been avoiding eye-contact for a while now, instead opting to look down and away from me. I free one of my hands and place it below her chin, nudging it upward.

After we establish eye-contact, I deliver unto her what I think is the only acceptable action right now. A deep, passionate kiss, a silent reminder that it’s me she’s with. I use this opportunity to set a rhythm to the gentle swaying of our hips.

Minutes later, our tongues break, and I open my eyes to witness the effects of my decision. She appears to be visibly cheered up, which makes me more than a little glad. This must have been a nice change of pace from the treatment she received from her paramour…

God damn it. Why must I remind myself again of the reason why this is happening in the first place? I try to push the thought of the lies she made and the misfortunes she’s endured as far away as possible, but it’s no use.

I feel a sudden urge to ask her how she’s doing right now. It won’t be easy on my conscience if this isn’t to her liking.

“You feeling alright?”

“Y-yeah…”

“Alright.”

I sigh immediately after, with startling volume. Here I am once more, taking the lead. And I can’t help but think that she knows it too.

We really are back to square one, aren’t we? It’s as if the only thing that changed is that we are sort of in a romantic relationship. And it’s hard to say if that’s still the case or not.

I can’t shake the feeling that she has regressed so far into her insecurities that we shouldn’t be doing this. But we’ve waded this far into the river of blood, that to turn back would be as arduous as to continue.

The minutes that follow pass uneventfully. In fact, I find myself struggling to stay fully erect. My body is fighting a war with my mind, one trying to suck every last bit of carnal pleasure from the act, the other continually reminding me that I’m no longer the only man to have shared this pleasure with her.

That’s right… No longer can I say that she’s been as faithful to me as I’ve been to her. No longer can I say we’ve been on equal footing with each other. But that’s why we’re doing this. Because it’s… therapeutic.

Images again invade my mind; images of some total Adonis making her into his plaything for the night. Ravishing every bit of her body with every bit of his. Each thrust making her scream in ecstasy. Unrelenting. Unyielding.

And then, one night, the pleasure is not hers. She says no, but he insists. She makes a break for the door, but he cuts her off. He grabs her by one arm, then the other, and pins her to the bed.

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A hand lightly brushes the side of my face. Hanako appears to be looking at me, forcing the biggest smile she can muster onto her face. Which admittedly isn’t much. She must have noticed how distant I looked back there, just absentmindedly thrusting in and out of her.

We lock eyes, for just a moment in time. And, for that split-second, it seems that her and I are the only ones in the world. But even despite this… it doesn’t feel right. At all.

I can’t take this. I wince and turn my head away from hers. She appears to mirror my movement, a sullen look of dejection on her face. I can’t describe this feeling as anything but guilt. And I can’t say why it’s so distinct either.

It seems like speeding up is the only option to jumpstart the mood, but the nagging in the back of my head says that doing that would make our encounter here overlap with the ones she’s had with Tenshi. And on top of that is the reason we’ve never gone that far prior to her affair. My own insufficient heart.



The only scents are those of our bodies locked in this heat.

The only sounds are those of our grunts and moans.

The only motions are those of our heaving chests and rocking pelvises.

If only we had something to make this easier on us. Candles, music, even simple words. But neither of us knows what to say or how to say it. But for that matter, how much would those things even help? It’s not like they could fix the fundamental problems in our relationship.

It feels like we’ve made no progress in our union tonight since we started. I don’t think I’m any closer to the edge, and I don’t think she is either. Part of me just wants to feel the rush of the climax so we can be finished.

“…Want to kick it up a notch?”

She nods in response, but the look in her eye doesn’t reveal if that’s what she really desires. I guess it would make sense if she wanted to, so she could get her release as well. That’s something I’m more than willing to comply with.

Our pace speeds up. I try to shut out all of the thoughts infecting my conscience. Just focus on the physical sensations. Nothing else matters except that, right now, me and Hanako are having sex.

Her breasts bounce with every plunge, back and forth. Our skins rub together, coated with a layer of perspiration, drawn out by the heat. She wraps her arms around me, pulling me closer. Tighter.

She’s attractive. Really, really attractive. It’s terrible that she’d throw that beauty of hers around like that to sleep with another guy. Especially since she’s now an adult, and her scars don’t matter in the slightest.

My teeth clench. I go faster still, as if to discipline her. As if to rectify her. As if to rectify us. As if to prove that I can be good enough for her. An act of defiance against my heart, who wants me to stay down. But I won’t give it that satisfaction.

Hanako’s nails begin digging into my back. Her legs wrap around my abdomen, pushing me deeper into her. Her inner walls tighten around me. This… is it.

“Aaahhhhn!”

A cry escapes her mouth, accompanied by a sudden break in her pace. She begins moving up and down me more quickly, on her own accord, shuddering with each pulse. The sensation is incredible, making her react like this, and combined with how it feels to me… I can’t hold on much longer either.

“Ah- aaghhh!”

One final groan escapes from me, as climax overtakes my body as well. That familiar and oh-so-sweet surge of heat explodes through my body. My senses begin shutting down, I begin to buck my hips indiscriminately, my eyes bolt shut, and any sound she makes is drowned out by the ringing in my ears. The feeling is unlike any other, and has never been this powerful before. The sensation of her riding up and down on me this hard is unreal. Almost like… in order to make her respond this intensely… who I am is somehow stronger than who I was.

██████████████████████████████████████████████ END H-CONTENT ██████████████████████████████████████████████

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The feeling subsides in due time, and I feel drained, as if I might turn to dust at any moment.

*Thump thump**Thump thump* *Thump thump*

Only seconds later do I realize that my heart is beating much faster than it should. Shit. I guess all the time we spent without sex made me forget about how dangerous it is.

Okay, just stick to the procedure. How did it go? …Alright. Deep breaths. In through the nose, let the stomach push out, release through the mouth. Nose, stomach, mouth. Nose, stomach, mouth.

*Thump thump**Thump thump* *Thump thump*

Try as I might, I’m not feeling any less exhausted, and my heartbeat isn’t slowing down any. I throw myself onto the bed to try and relax myself, for what little good it may do. I shut out everything else, all the sights, sounds, and sensations that are invading me. Just focus… on breathing.

In… Out… In… Out…

I don’t know if my heart has ever acted up this bad before, short of an attack.

In… Out… In… Out…

Shit. Shit. Shit. Why the hell did I have to go and do that? Going above and beyond my limit like that… was anything but the best idea. But I didn’t… want to feel inadequate. Not because of my condition, and not because of the thoughts that were draining me at the time, physically and emotionally.

In… Out… In… Out…

While I struggle to regain my composure, my mind seems to want to wander towards other things. Namely, what happened at the end there.

It feels incredible, that’s for sure. I’ve never made her climax that strongly before, and I must have set a new milestone for the intensity of my own.

On top of that, it’s a sort of reassurance that we still can do the things we used to do, and that we will make it through this.

And yet I can’t shake the feeling that it’s somewhat empty now that we lay here in bed afterwards. I was willing to forego that she wasn’t very vocal during the act, but the silence right now hurts.

Why? Was I still not good enough? Was her other boyfriend that much better than me? Or did I remind her too much of him?

It appears that my heartbeat is returning to a more stable rhythm. I guess that’s good. But still, I feel like I’d better make something out of this, instead of it just being a quick fuck.

“Hey, Hanako… Was that… to your liking?”

“Y-yeah…”

She puts on a smile with such speed that it reeks of falseness.

“I know that Tenshi-”

Her smile vanishes, and she turns her body away from mine immediately.

“Shut up about him.”

A shocking rebuttal. Normally, any kind of talking meant that we were coming to understand each other. The walls are up now, and she doesn't want to demolish them. The rape really did break her.

She even didn't enjoy it, did she? If she's at the point where even an experience like that won't make her feel better, I don't know what I can do. This was supposed to be therapeutic.

Powerless. That’s what I am.

And that's what she is too.

It’s as if, in one fell swoop, each of us was stripped of our power to improve ourselves and our situation.

I scoot up to her and wrap my arms around her abdomen. She offers no resistance.

We stay in this spooning position for a while, neither finding the courage to say anything. And yet, her dissonance is starting to irritate me, and I think I’d like to get my clothes back on to keep the cold away. I get out of bed and approach them, still piled in the corner. As I first grasp my shirt, Hanako speaks.

“Could you please… go b-back to your room? I… n-need some time alone.”

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…Is she serious? I turn back to her, shirt in hand, and see that she’s still avoiding eye contact.

“Hanako…”

“Please, Hisao. I just… want to… b-be alone right now.”

“Hanako, I want to be here for you. You mean a lot to me, and you know that. Why do you want me gone?”

“I… I c-can’t explain right now.”

“Why not?”

“I just… can’t…”

“You’re going to have to.”

“Hisao…”

“I’m not-”

“Just go already!”

She sits upright almost instantly, focused on me. The look in her eye burns with a fierceness alien to me. Her words come out shakily, with breaths in between.

“Hisao… please… I want… you… to leave.”

She seems startlingly adamant on this. Still, I don't like the idea of being separated from her after our first intimate moment in a long time. Maybe… we can make a compromise.

“Is this… something we can talk about later?”

No response. Maybe I need to be more specific.

“Tomorrow morning, maybe?”

Again, she stays still. I’m about to speak again when she nods meekly.

“So, first thing next morning, I’ll be back, and we can go over this, right?”

The same meek nod.

“Okay, then.”

Desperation wells up inside me as I redress and walk to the door.

I want to do something more right now, though. A plea- no, a prayer of repentance escapes my mouth. Something I never thought I’d hear myself saying.

“I love you.”

It sounds weak, pathetic. Starting off too quiet, cracking in the middle, and ending abruptly.

“…I love you too…”

Barely audible. Did she even mean it? Did I even mean it? But it’s probably the best that I’m going to get out of her tonight.

The door shuts behind me with a dreadful click, making me recoil ever so slightly. It feels like I’m walking away from something important, something more than just cuddling after sex, but I can’t say what.

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The walk back to my room is borderline paradoxical. Me and Hanako just had sex for the first time since she admitted her affair, but I still feel empty.

The sunset is impressive, smearing the sky with a golden-orange color, and students scuttle about to and fro, wherever their journey takes them; wherever their destination may be.

Some appear to be couples, holding hands, watching the sunset together, at complete and utter peace with the world. Some are with groups of friends, making a ruckus that -while annoying- seems to fit the scenery. Their laughing and joking tones contrast with the serenity of the romantics, but not harshly enough to damage the picture perfect evening.

And then there’s me.

Walking by myself.

With nobody by my side.

Away from my broken girlfriend.

Who cheated on me with another guy.

And paid the price.

I have to fight to hold back the tears. Not now, Hisao. Not right now.

I quicken my pace. Maybe it would be acceptable for me to break down right now if she was here. But if she was, I wouldn’t have to.

I guess this is weakness, isn’t it? Not just “my arms are tired” weakness, or “my heart is broken” weakness. But instead, genuine, “I can’t do this” weakness. The kind that eats away at every string holding me together, every bit of rebar and concrete giving me form, every electrical circuit giving me function.

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The door flies open. Nobody’s in the lobby, thankfully.

I make a break for my room.

Nothing impedes me; another blessing.

I open the door, throw myself inside, and slam it closed.

I quickly dispose of the condom from before, then sit on the side of my bed and bury my head in my hands. I try my hardest to cry, believing it to be some emotional catharsis if I do. But now that I want to, no such relief comes. I feel even more tense and strung-out than I was outside, watching the rest of the world enjoy its easy life.

The rest of the fucking lucky world around me. Those who didn’t get stuck with a broken heart, an unfaithful lover, and the lack of resolve to make things better. I relapse into a coping mechanism to try and ease the pain. Examining the causes of the situation. Did I do something to deserve this? Is this some kind of karmic justice? Where do the roots lie?

A startling realization hits me.

I am the reason this happened.

If I had never existed, then I’d have never met her, and we’d have never begun our romantic relationship. As a result, she’d never have gotten the courage to go to the jazz club and meet that devil named Tenshi.

Or, if someone else had picked her up off the ground, she might have been happy and content with him.

I wonder what she’d think if I told her about what I’m feeling right now-



Oh my god.

This… feeling of guilt.

This is how she felt after the fire took her parents.

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She felt she was responsible, since if she hadn’t been there, her parents would not have lost their lives protecting her. And likewise, if I had never come into her life, she would never have needed to go through the pain she’s been put through.

I’ve always told her not to blame herself for the deaths of her parents. Maybe it’s time I start taking my own advice.

…This is absurd.

I’ve been angry at her for cheating on me, I’ve been wanting to shield her again, like how I used to, and to top it off, I’ve been subconsciously blaming myself for everything that’s happened to her lately.

My feelings this whole time have been a tumultuous whirlwind of anger, frustration, guilt, and denial… and I still think that I care about her… and understand her a little better, now.

Now, I can't pretend that I know exactly what she's been through. I haven't had my parents, my home, and my childhood ripped from my hands and incinerated. I haven't been emotionally mutilated by years of torment from my peers. I have never had people crowding around me, the unwanted freak, telling me through both smiles and grimaces that I was useless and that I would never belong.

But I have known that same desire as her to be free of this “cripple” stigma. I have known what it's like to not have anyone to confide in, or to open up to. And now I have going through my own existential crisis as well.

I look at my hand once more. The same quarter-moon wounds from before, now glazed over by scar tissue. I thought they were a sign that I was better than her, and that they were born from disdain. I thought it meant that I hated her.

But that’s not true. It was a sizable reaction to someone who's important to me making a mistake. It was a sizable reaction to the fact that I had to come face to face with my own shortcomings. It doesn’t make it okay that she cheated on me. Not at all. But we’re not going to put this behind us until we both accept that it’s not okay.

Alright, tomorrow morning, I’ll tell her. I’ll tell her everything. And with any luck, she’ll do the same. We’re not going to move past this unless we can face it together. We’re not going to demolish these walls without some effort on both our parts. I was wrong to think that she’s the only one that’s been broken by the events that transpired that night. This entire time, I’ve been feeling the effects too, even if I hadn’t realized it, and when it comes down to it…

The two of us aren’t that different.
Last edited by Brogurt on Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Mendācium Part 4: Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:35 pm

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down


A shiver takes hold of my body, making it wrack and contort violently. I try to bundle myself up more tightly in my bed, but it’s no use. Is this how easily triumph is won over me?

I grasp the sheets tighter to bask in their warmth, but the closer I bring them to me, the colder they feel. I guess this is because I awoke alone this morning…

Well, I’m not getting back to sleep now; that’s for sure. I rub the crust from my eyes and glance at the clock. It seems awfully late…

That's right- I hadn't gotten to sleep until late in the night. I had also promised myself that I'd go see Hanako as soon as possible. Shit. What a way to start things off.

Thoughts of that night still weighing on my conscience and stepping on my toes, I try to dress myself as soon as possible. But sheer drowsiness makes this quite a bit harder than it should be.

It’s kind of hard to believe that it happened all over. I, once again, started treating her more like a broken person rather than a human being. Even back there in her room, my biggest reason for accepting her offer was because I wanted to repair her, not because I wanted to love her. Gratifying myself was a just bonus.

I can’t help but feel that I was a little justified though. It's not like I have experience with adultery and abuse, and I don’t know how else I could even have responded to this. But that doesn’t excuse it. That treatment is not what she wants. I just pushed her farther back into her insecurities.

The only thing for me to do now is look straight into the mirror, and then give myself a quick once-over before I leave. I hesitate at first, but eventually turn my gaze up toward the atrocity on the other side. Bloodshot eyes. Dark circles beneath them. An expression devoid of any emotion. A statue that won’t budge. I look miserable. Unsurprisingly.

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I put on a smile to test out the look. It’s alright, I guess, but I’ll have to take what I can get. Today’s a new day, so any little charm is welcome.

Once I'm in a somewhat presentable state, I set off toward her room. Wasting time is not on the agenda.

Upon opening the door outside, I am greeted by a blast of chilling air and blinding sunlight, making me raise my arm in front of my eyes in defense. It doesn't seem right for how late it is in the day. But it's alright. It won't be around for long.

My vision returns before I know it, and I step into the light. The sun shines overhead, a strong competitor to the cold. The sound of chirping birds fills my ears to the very brim. Calls of competition, courtship, and mating all melt into one ballad, a proclamation of nature’s grace.

Nature, the very mistress that helps us all… and haunts us all. And yet, it does not define us. Not in the slightest. We aren’t defined by the trials we face, but by how we face them. How we triumph over them… or fail to do so.

Opening the door to the girls' dorms seems to actually raise my body temperature slightly. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever realized how nice it smells until now, sort of like… a halfway point between gingerbread and vanilla. As much as I’d like to stick around and admire the scent, I should be going to Hanako’s room as soon as possible.

It’ll probably hurt at first. Having to share my own weaknesses with her, reopening myself back up to her, especially after something as jarring as all this… But that’s acceptable. It's time for the walls to come down. They’ve been brought back up again, and they've long overstayed their welcome.

Three knocks ring out on the wood, but they go unanswered, so I invite myself in. I scour the room looking for a sign of her, but I am not met with much luck. What I do notice is an out-of-place-looking letter on her desk, surprisingly large in size.

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This doesn’t bode well.

My trembling hand reaches out to the letter and takes it gingerly, opening it up so I may see what’s inside.

Dear Hisao,

I’m sorry that it has come to this. I truly am. But it doesn’t seem that there’s any other way for this to happen.

I remember way back, when I wanted to prove to you that I wasn’t a broken, useless failure. I suppose part of that involved wanting to prove it to myself as well.

Eventually I did, and the days that followed were some of the best of my life. Lilly came back from Scotland, my grades started improving, I started making more friends, I had you, of course, and I really grew stronger as a result.

When Lilly left again for Scotland, more permanently this time, I genuinely thought I’d be alright. But look where I am now. Is this what I’ve become now that I’m on my own, without her guidance?

All I’ve been doing lately is dragging you down. All I’ve ever done in the long run is cause problems, even when I thought I was getting better. You’ve been shouldering my burdens for far too long.

I thought that maybe, last night, if we could return to our old ways of doing the things we used to, maybe I could convince you to accept me, and then I could get better. But that's not true at all, is it? All I am is a whore. A worthless whore.

Even then, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about Tenshi, and the things we all did. Like what I did to you. And what he did to me. And then, to make it worse, I screamed at you to get out. I apologize, and I know you don’t want to hear this, but I’m beyond repair.

That night made me wonder if I’m even someone you could love anymore. Obviously not. But that's okay. I don’t blame you. I shouldn't have expected you to love me after the things I did. And I suppose I lost the right to love you long ago.

It seems that now, things can never be the same. Not between me and you, not between me and anybody, and as long as I’m around, not between you and anybody. You deserve a girl better than me, but as long as I’m still around, that can’t happen.

Whenever I look outside the window, I see people living their normal lives, which I know I’ll never be able to achieve. Every so often, I think I see one of them look at me, and I’ll shriek and pull the blinds closed, shutting them out.

I’ve been jumping at mere shadows in my room. Abrupt sounds make me flinch and recoil. Even my stuttering has come back, worse than I ever remember it being. I’ve spent days in silence ruminating everything in my life up to this point, and how it has all affected me.

I’m not fit to walk this earth, and the only one who can rid the world of me is myself.

If I see Mom and Dad on the other side, I'll make sure to tell them how good you've been to me.

Goodbye.

-Hanako Ikezawa


Image

No, this can't be. A suicide note. She wrote me a suicide note. She's going to kill herself- if she hasn't already. My breathing becomes weak as I consider the possibilities. My heart starts throwing itself against my chest over and over, beating on its cage, screaming to be let out. My mind starts shooting blanks. Time grinds to a halt.

I inspect the letter more closely, making sure that it says what I think it says. Once again, there’s nothing in fine print, on the back, or between the lines. From the look of it, she’s serious.

As I begin nervously thumbing the letter in my hand, I notice something. The paper is splotched with teardrops around the borders- and they're still wet. They must be recent… so there's still a chance. I can still catch her!

Okay, so she must be on the rooftop again. That's where she was the first time, and she said that she chose the location so she could jump if she had to. There's no time to waste.

…But there's one thing I've got in mind first.

I look over to where she keeps her dolls. I grab one of the presents that me and Lilly picked out for her birthday. A porcelain doll, with a green dress and blonde hair. Maybe I can win her over with sentiment.

With the doll tucked under my arm, I take off toward the school rooftop.

*Thump thump* *Thump thump*

I can already feel the stress. I’ve just started running, and my mind is racing, sorting all the possibilities of what could happen next through my head. My heartbeat has already crashed through the ceiling, and is now sitting high above my safe limit.

I find myself dancing around some bystanders and pushing through others. I know they’re not trying to keep me away from Hanako right now, but I find myself growing frustrated with them nonetheless.

What will I say when I find her? “This is the doll that Lilly and I bought for the sweet beautiful virgin Hanako who would never purposely hurt anyone. I know that Hanako still exists, even if the virgin part has changed. But at least that changed with me, right?”

*Thump thump**Thump thump* *Thump thump*

Inside the school, finally. But there’s still no sign of Hanako. This can’t be healthy, but I guess I’ll need to pick up the pace, no matter how much it hurts.

I know that things will never be exactly like they were back then, when we could trust each other fully. But I'll lie if I have to. I’ll tell her that everything will be alright, even if it won’t. I’ll tell her that this changes nothing in the long run, even if it does. I don't care. I can't live with her blood on my hands.

*Thump thump**Thump thump* *Thump thump* *Thump thump*

…!

God damn it!

A sharp pain phases in and out of my chest, stopping me in my tracks. A scowl wrestles itself onto my face as I shut my eyes and grab for the nearest support, a railing on one of the walls. It’s cold. Unbearably cold. And now it’s slicked over due to my sweat. As I put my weight on it so that I can rest, my hand nearly slips off, but I manage to rebalance myself in time.

No… I can’t stop now. I won’t stop now. Anytime but now. If she loses her life because I wasn’t strong enough, fast enough, or good enough… I won’t be able to forgive myself.

I lurch forward, trying to get myself back up to speed. No way in hell am I going to push my body to anything but the limit.

*Thump thump**Thump thump* *Thump thump* *Thump thump* *Thump thump*

The stairs to the rooftop. The final hurdle. I can only hope now that it's not too late.

I dash up the stairs as quickly as my feet will carry me, for the few seconds that I can last.

Soon, I find myself slowing to a crawl. My vision blurs. I double over again, paralyzed, in pain.

I am forced to clutch the hand rail again to stabilize myself.

My legs feel like they're made of lead. My chest is pounding. I’m almost certain my heart will give out. But I won't let it.

I begin taking steps once more.

Three steps to go.
I’m so close, but I get the tinge of feeling that this might be in vain.

Two steps.

But there are no second chances if I fail here. Not for me, and certainly not for her.

One more.

Faster! Faster! I can't afford to falter here. Anytime but now!

The ringing in my ears deafens me. I can no longer hear my own breathing.

My vision fades to black.

Is this… it?



No. I’ll keep going. I’ll keep going if it kills me.

I place my foot at the top of the stairwell.

I turn the handle, and then throw my body against the door. It gives in, and my speed carries me outside. I stumble as I try to avoid falling over.

Alright, I’m here… I take a breath of fresh air, a quick one, since time isn’t a luxury.

Bit by bit, my senses return to me, and my body freezes over at what I see before me.

Image

There's no sign of her.

My breathing goes shallow.

No, there's no way… I can't be too late. I can’t be. I ran as fast as I could, despite… despite everything!

Panic sets in. My body starts shivering. Beads of sweat condense on my forehead. I can hear very clearly now the sound of my own panting.

My eyes dart around, pleading for a sign of her. Her dark flowing hair, her smooth pale skin, her distinct jagged scars. Something, anything.

I scramble around the bleak rooftop, circling it several times. No. No, she's not up here.

A terrible feeling wells up inside me. A nauseating one, as if I’m undeniably about to throw up. But it’s not just that; it’s also a mental sickness. I know, deep inside my heart, that I couldn’t be there for her when she needed me most.

And now she's not here when I need her most.

…I'm too late.

She took the fall.

She’s gone.

It’s over.

I can't bear it. I can't bear the thought of looking down off the roof. Down upon that which ceases to draw breath. Down upon Hanako Ikezawa.

My legs go weak, and I collapse to my knees, clutching the doll in my arms, squeezing it as tightly to my chest as possible. I focus all my strength into trying to break the porcelain with my embrace, as if it doing so would serve as some sick distraction from the reality of what happened here.

I grit my teeth and shut my eyes.

The tears flow freely to the ground.

Why? Why am I crying? Why do I care so much? This should be a new beginning for me. I could start over, just like she said. I wouldn't have to be responsible for her anymore; I could discard this compromised relationship and be clean for once.

And yet, none of that's true. None of that's worth it. She was an irrevocable part of me, my life, and who I became. Trading her life for this "opportunity" is something I could never do.

...

Is this what it feels like to put my faith in her? To believe that she could have actually been there for me? To actually love her? It's a feeling I haven't recognized for so long...

Image

But it doesn't matter now.

I'm barely even moving. My heart rate should be slowing down. But it's not. The beating in my chest comes from the same war drum that gave rise to it long ago. The moment I read her last “Goodbye.”

What was the beginning of that goodbye? I think back on all the encounters we’ve had, and how they’ve molded and shaped us into who we became, propelling us towards a hellish abyss.

The moment I walked into Class 3-3 and saw a girl seated in the back. Half of her face was burnt, and hidden behind a veil of raven hair and a similarly burnt hand.

The time I took a wrong turn, and found myself in the “tea room”. The person who greeted me was blonde, blind, and had an air of refinement about her, and she happened to be the only friend of the shy, dark haired girl I saw earlier.

When I joined the shy one on the day of the festival and learned that she liked playing chess. We spent a lot of time fighting our hardest, and -following our games- I felt a bit closer to her. Then we went down to the Shanghai and enjoyed the fireworks, bringing an end to that fateful day.

The day that the two of us were reading in the library, and she felt the need to tell me about her past. She was trying to get closer to me, but I rejected the possibility, believing that she might be hurt if I were to allow her to continue.

Soon came her birthday party. I saw how she acted when uninhibited, with the help of alcohol. She had even wanted to express her affection toward me, but I, once again, rejected her advances.

The time we went on an excursion to a jazz club. Me and the same raven haired girl played a few rounds of pool, and she exposed more of her past to me. All the pain she’s been through, and the trials she’s endured. And I ended it with a pat on the head and a promise that me and her other friend would continue to protect her.

Days later, her actual birthday came around, and she locked herself in her room. I phoned our blind friend -who had temporarily left for Scotland- for advice, and decided that giving the shy one some space instead of some pity would be best for her. And the best for both of us, as I had been neglecting my own life to "take care of" her.

Some days later, she brought me to her room to show me her own scars. What happened there was a defeat… and a victory. I hurt her in more ways than I could imagine, but what came afterwards established not just me, and not just her, but something more than that. It established us.

Then came the aftermath. A positive aftermath. We were equals, for the first time. Our friend returned from Scotland. Me and my burn-scarred girlfriend were now official. We conquered our problems together, as I learned to respect her, and to put my faith in her. We had our real first time. We went on vacation to Hokkaido. We studied together, and we aced whatever exams came our way. Each of us could lean on the other for support, and the other would happily oblige.

Because we knew, we understood, and we experienced love.

And then it fell apart. And then I started distancing myself from her, finding solace in the thought that I could help her without getting close to her. And then… and then she jumped.

I think back to…our last verbal exchange. The last time I saw her.

“I love you.” and “I love you too.”

Is that how it ended between us? Were those our final words? Is that the note on which the curtain was pulled?

Our ties were completely severed, and each of us was just trying to pretend that it was going to be alright. Saying the things we thought we should say.

And yet, by the time I finally found it in me to make us better, to actually make us better… it was too late. I was too late

Too slow…

Too weak…

If only I could have-

Image











I suddenly become conscious of the fact that I’m alive.

…Where am I?

My body is numb, and bitterly cold. I crack my eyes open. The task is difficult on its own, made even harder by what I can assume to be dried tears.

Gravel.

So I'm still here on top of the roof, on my knees, clutching a porcelain doll to my chest.

Not my bed.

Not Hanako's bed.

Not a hospital bed.

Not something that’s nice or comfortable.

Just me and the hard, dead, floor.

I finally register something weighing me down, overwhelming my back. Probably a result of me staying curled up in this position for… however long it’s been.

Since I'm alive, it must not have been a full heart attack that afflicted me. Maybe it was a flutter, brought on by fatigue.

I am alive, right?



My whole body feels like some ancient machine restarting. The gears are snagging, the dust is dispersing, and yet, it awakes not with high hopes or dreams, but because it is told to.

Fortunately, something catches my eye.

Something near the bottom of my field of vision.

Two slender arms draped around my neck, the hands near my sternum, clasped together.

As my senses return to me, I notice a soft sensation on my back, like a cushion. So, someone must be putting their weight on me.

The hand on the left is small and dainty, the one on the right is identical, except for some reddish discoloration by the wrist.

Upon closer examination, the skin looks rough, maybe even warped a little.

Maybe it’s some sort of scarring-

Scarring?!

I turn my head to get a better look at the body embracing mine.

“Hanako.”

Image

Hanako is up here, on the roof, with her arms wrapped around me.

I release the doll from my arms and spin around, then tackle her with equal parts love, anger and disbelief.

Our bodies impact the ground and she squeezes me tighter in response.

This… isn't a dream or an illusion.

She really is here.

The tears return in full force, on both my end and hers. I don't even know what she's thinking right now. But it doesn't matter. She's here now, with me, by choice. I’m close to her, and she’s close to me, and whatever’s going on, we’re helping each other through it.

For a while, we just lay together on the rooftop, sobbing, quaking, holding each other tightly, as if one of us might dissipate if our hold wasn't strong enough



Eventually, we right ourselves and sit down on one of the benches.

The silence that follows is odd. Not awkward or uncomfortable, like how things have been ever since the incident. It just feels… right, for once.

Each of us is smiling, blinking away the tears in our eyes, happy to know that the other is alright.

I decide to speak first.

“So… you're here.”

She nods to affirm my observation.

“Yes. I… I guess I’d better explain myself”

I raise no objection.

“I figured that since you talked with me last time… on the rooftop, you'd expect me to go there again. So I went to the bathroom… shortly after I left the note... I tried to find some of my anxiety pills from my… my old days, like if I had some that I forgot about… but there were none left. I… must have disposed of them a while ago. I couldn't find any painkillers or anything like that, either…”

“So you were…”

She nods again.

“I was planning to overdose. I really… wanted to die.”

My gaze falls toward the ground. The thought of her being that serious about suicide weighs heavily on me.

But before my face can fall too far, she places a hand under my chin and pushes me upward, bringing me eye to eye with her.

“Come on, Hisao. I don't want to see you unhappy like this.”

I can’t help but smile at the incident.

“Okay.”

She resumes.

“So, after I failed at finding something to end my life in the bathroom, I decided I’d come up here to jump, as a Plan B. I didn’t… expect you to still be here... When I saw you crumpled over, dried tears on your cheeks, barely breathing, clutching the doll you gave me to your chest as if it were some... kind of... last memento… my heart came to a standstill. I didn't want to do this to you anymore. I realized what a mistake I was making. Throwing myself off that ledge wasn’t going to help you any more than it was going to help me…”

Tears again well up in her eyes.

“Because when I saw you, it reminded me of myself… Broken and failing. I wanted to make your pain go away, even though it felt so wrong… knowing that I only wanted to be with you for that reason. I then realized that it's just as hard for you to care for me, but you still do.”

I weakly raise an objection.

“That’s only due to your circumstances, not your character.”

“But I’m a bad person too! I went and cheated on you.”

“You yourself said that you were planning on ending it. Please, Hanako, don’t doubt yourself… Besides, if you held every mistake I made against me, I’m sure that we wouldn't have gotten this far.”

“…This far…”

She mirrors my saying almost exactly, giving it the same earnestness that I imparted to the words just seconds before. I draw on the silence that follows to elaborate.

“Taking a look at the big picture, I’ve noticed that I’ve been trying to handle my own problems -my self esteem issues with my heart and my inadequacy- as well as your problems -your trust issues and anxiety- at the same time. It took last night to make me realize that, because that’s exactly what happened back there… But I’m not Superman. I can’t do that.”

Instead of asking what it is I’m talking about, she takes a shot at guessing my motives.

“So… you want to help me through this… as long as I help you through it as well.”

A small chuckle slips out my mouth.

“Yeah. You got it.”

She remains silent. Her eyes drift towards the sky, and it looks like something is on her mind. I continue speaking, in hope of pulling her out of her spell.

“You’ve already helped me a lot, Hanako. In more ways than I can count. If I could ask this one favor of you…”

She immediately turns and gives me the most sincere smile that I have ever seen. And not by any small margin, either.

“Only one?”

We both share a weak laugh. And yet, it’s not weak because it doesn’t belong. It’s weak because… we’re content.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Not a moment later, she raises another question.

"Do you still want to pursue this relationship?"

"I don't know."

She closes her eyes and nods.

"That's alright... It's probably better that I earn back what I lost, so that I can... prove that I deserve it. That way, it's fair... to both of us..."

Image

So... I’ll help her with the problems she’s facing. And she’ll help me with the problems I’m facing. Neither of us is fully liberated from this hell we’ve found ourselves in. I think we need each other now more than ever. Maybe we could get reacquainted with her therapist too, as part of the process.

Part of me thinks that we’d never be able to recover from what’s happened to us. She cheated on me, she got taken advantage of, she began isolating herself again, I got cheated on, I lashed out at her, and I reverted to my old ways as well.

I want to tell myself that there should be no chance of us staying together. It should be over between us, and we should both be beyond the point of mending. But as I sit here with her, I can’t help but believe…

That’s.

Not.

The.

Truth.

Image
Last edited by Brogurt on Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Brogurt » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:35 pm

Post Scriptum


Image

Mendācium has a number of meanings in Latin. Among them are lie, untruth, fabrication, story, and fiction. My chosen translation would be Falsehood, but all of them are pretty applicable. Mendācium is, as you may already know a work of fanfiction, and is only very loosely rooted in truth. I do not believe that Hanako actually would commit adultery, and this story was a very big "what if?" Much more likely is the prospect that Hisao has a heart attack and dies during a morning jog. I think that's how farfetched this schenario is, but I wanted to write it nonetheless.

As I said previously, Falsehood is the "real" English title of these four writings. This alludes to Adulthood, the name of the final scene in Hanako's Act 4. With this in mind, I kind of wrote the four stories as a "reiterated and condensed" version of what happened in her route in Katawa Shoujo. You may notice patterns in Hisao's thinking patterns in regards to Hanako's wellbeing reflect what he thought in Katawa Shoujo, to some extent.

Anyway, a big concern of mine is if I made this believable. I pretty much made Hanako do a 180 from being a shy moeblob to some kind of hedonist. And I'm not sure if the "no more inhibitions" justification is enough. I know I said that this wouldn't actually happen, but I think I did a shitty job if I didn't make you think it was possible.

-

Prometheus was one of the titans in Greek mythology, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind, and was punished. Prometheus was an enabler, almost a martyr. With the power of fire, mankind was capable of much more than they were without it. They could create things; they could change things. They could also destroy things, namely themselves. Is is possible that mankind would be better off if it had not been given fire?

Just because the bombs have bathed the world in nuclear fire, you shouldn't assume that it's a smooth road to recovery. In some cases, things may get worse as fallout sets in. You better have some RadAway. I just want to spark~… A flame in your heart~…

So, everything's now shot to hell. Did you really think that lighting an incense jar would fix things? No, not on its own. But maybe doing so will lead to the slap in the face you need in order to clear your mind and recognize that this is not how you improve this kind of situation.

Of course, what better way to end things than with what is left behind by the blazes anyway? And technically, both Hisao and Hanako fell to the ground in this chapter, so that's that. Red herrings are a joy to write, by the way. *Ahem* Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Last edited by Brogurt on Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Suox
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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Suox » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:52 pm

.
Last edited by Suox on Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Doomish
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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Doomish » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:54 pm

I literally cannot wait for the next part of this.

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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by trickeyflame » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:58 pm

I have to admit, I did not think someone could make a story that would make me angry with Hanako, but you sir have managed to do so.
Congratulations, I'm going to go punch something now.

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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by BobBobberson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:11 pm

Woohoo, an unfaithful Hanako story! This I gotta see. If someone could draw everything, this would totally be some cool epilogue or DLC route.
I actually got mad with Hanako reading this D: and she's my favorite girl too.

Oh, and kudos to Hisao for not straight-up leaving after hearing the whole cheating bit. Damn.

Guest90206

Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Guest90206 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:15 pm

Nigga, what.



NIGGA



WHAT

Goddammit, man, you just HAD to go and ruin my entire fucking evening, didn't you.

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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Mahorfeus » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:21 pm

Here we go.
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

Guest

Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Guest » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:31 pm

Wow, shocking start. Didn't expect her to be cheating. I can't wait to read part 2.

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Hacksorus
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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by Hacksorus » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:47 pm

Congratulations, you've managed to make a Hanako fanboy angry at Hanako.
Well written, I can't wait to see the rest of it.

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advicefrog
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Re: Mendācium (A Hanako Story)

Post by advicefrog » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:03 pm

I feel like this is going to become the greatest story ever told or the best bait and switch ever.

either way I'm going to monitor this thread.

ps. i like the music system.
I don't have a favorite girl, they're all great.
Rika===Saki===Shizune=Lilly=Hanako=Rin=Emi
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