Remembrance [Hanako POV]

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Thor Odinsson
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Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Thor Odinsson » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:53 pm

First actual post here. figured I'd put up one of my better fics, idk.

Feedback is definitely appreciated.

If this work is similar in any way to anyone else's, I retain that it is purely coincidental.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


I grimace as the tannoy system relays it's tinny message across the station, making its way into the small café where I'm seated and proudly announcing that my train's been delayed by a further twenty minutes. Sighing into my coffee, I rifle through my bag for the laptop I brought with me and make a start on my English assignment; a small essay about the uses of colloquialisms in the English language. A few paragraphs in I hear the sound of my train drawing into the station and I hurry over to it, leaving behind a decent tip.


The early morning commuters jostle and shove but nobody pays me much attention, for which I'm glad. Of course, I still get a few odd looks from passers-by and I instinctively draw my hat further across my face, hiding my scars.


While I've gotten more comfortable around people since leaving Yamaku, the stares still get to me.


I mostly stay tucked away into my laptop for the first leg of my journey but the only person who takes any notice of me is a kind, elderly lady pushing the refreshment cart, who smiles and asks me about my day. I'm not in much of a mood to talk but I smile politely and make an offhand comment about getting up early before she leaves to take care of the other passengers.


I can hardly concentrate on the essay. I keep thinking back to the decision I made over the previous weeks, a decision that spurred me on to do something I'd been too afraid to do until now. I start to wonder whether this is really such a good idea...


No. Don't think like that, Hanako. You have to do this. You'll never be able to If you start doubting yourself now.


But I still can't stop thinking that this won’t help, that it'll just be another traumatic experience I have to forget. People say that facing your fears is healthy but maybe this fear is just too big to be faced down. Even when I'm not actively trying to remember it, it feels like some dark, terrifying monstrosity lurking at the edge of my vision, ready to swallow me at any moment.


And then the nightmares; waking up in a cold sweat, tears streaming down my face and the echoes of their screams still ringing in my head.


Can I even hope to beat something that huge, that powerful?





I can try.


Besides, I've made up my mind already. I won’t turn back.


I return to my neglected essay, hoping to force out a few more paragraphs before changing trains at Hakodate and heading on towards the mainland.

___________________________________________________________________________________


The rest of my trip passes entirely without incident. After the change for the Seikan tunnel I board a train on one of the lesser lines, it's virtually empty save for a tall man seated in one corner of my carriage. This line takes me past a few coastal towns before stopping a little further inland at my intended destination. A rather large, semi-rural town whose most notable feature is a small museum devoted to marine life.


Other than that, it's just your average place, albeit with more cafes and restaurants than you'd expect.


But I show no interest in any of these attractions, instead making a detour from the main plaza into the smaller, more rural areas and turning off into a neat residential area, the box hedges around most of the gardens hinting at a kind of suburbia.


I slowly make my way down the empty street, absentmindedly brushing the leaves as I go. The lack of people makes me feel anxious, but that might just be my nerves. The growing sense of dread in the pit of my stomach seems overwhelming, however and the simple thought of what I'm doing sends unwanted chills down my spine.


It makes me wish that Hisao was here. That this wasn't something I have to do alone.


Hisao…


You're the reason I'm doing this Hisao, you're the one who showed me I could be strong. I want to be strong for you. I've gotten much happier over the years, much more comfortable around people and it's all because of the caring and love that you and Lilly showed me, are still showing me.


The day you told me you loved me was the happiest day of my life. When you accepted me for everything I was, with all my flaws, I was overcome with joy. But I was still that timid girl for years after. I guess I still am in some respects.


You've given me so much since I met you, and now I want to give something back. I want to prove to you, and to myself, that I can become stronger; that I can get over my past after so long and start to move on.


That's why I have to do this; I have to take this step.


I round the corner at little more than a slow walk. I don't feel like moving much faster.


While I'm lost I thought, I'm jostled by a businessman, he nearly bowls me over but I instinctively stammer out an apology anyway.


Damn it, Hanako. Pull yourself together.


I'm not far from where I'm headed but I take a quick break anyway. Seating myself on a low wall, I let myself enjoy the cool breeze ruffling my bangs. For a while I just sit here, not wanting to go on but knowing I can't go back. Not now. The chirping of the birds and the relief of the breeze from the midday sun make for a peaceful scene, a stark contrast to what's going on in my head. I take a moment to collect my thoughts, breathing steadily.


I sigh; I guess there's no time like the present, right?


I take the last turn of my journey at a surprising speed, preventing any second thoughts. Moving forward feels good, regardless of my destination. As I round the corner I can instantly see the unassuming sign above the gates. The writing on it has been worn down so much it's almost illegible but, if the scenery doesn't give it away then the last readable word will.


Cemetery.


The word gives of an intimidating feeling; just looking at it makes me feel weighed down. It's presence elicits the more morbid thoughts in my head.


The last time I visited my parents’ grave was shortly after I was released from hospital, the only thing I can remember is that I cried. A lot. I remember sobbing into the ground about how they were going to take me away to a scary place, but the rest is a blur.


I never came back after that. Over the years since, I'd even forgotten the place. So, a few weeks ago, I went back to the orphanage where I spent the greater part of my childhood to do some research. Only one person that I remembered still worked there; the Matron, who kindly gave me a copy of my file to look through. It was very comprehensive, so much so that it even named the funeral company my parents used.


It also went into great detail about... The Incident.


Three pages littered with eye-witness accounts, details about the house, even medical details provided by the hospital. I was surprised to find that I'd forgotten a lot of what was mentioned. After reading the more gruesome notes, I didn't want to stick around much longer. I simply thanked the matron and left. I cried myself to sleep that night, for the first time in a long while.


As I move closer to the entrance, the feeling of dread intensifies. The butterflies in my stomach threaten to burst out of my mouth as soon as I push aside the wrought iron gate, the cold metal chilling me to the bone.


Walking past the threshold I'm instantly hit with a nauseating aura of death. The proximity of so many loved ones lost to the world makes me feel sick to my stomach. I keep my head down as I make my way through the bleak forest of stone. The Matron of the orphanage was very helpful, providing me with rather precise directions for when I came here.


As per her instructions, I follow the weathered path to one of the far corners of the cemetery; the multitude of gravestones thins out a little, making it easier to walk without accidentally catching a glimpse of another lost soul's name.


After what seems like an eternity, I find myself only feet away from the very reason I came out all this way. My legs feel like lead as I close the gap between myself and the knee-high pillars of white stone that mark the final resting place of my parents. Kneeling on the well-trimmed grass, I can already feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I force them back; I won't allow myself to break down now.


“Mom, Dad. I-it's me, Hanako.” I try to keep my voice casual but it still comes out choked and hoarse. I take a deep breath and force myself to go on.


“I'm sorry I haven't visited in a w-while. I... I moved up north when the orphanage s-sent me to Yamaku, a special school f-for people like me.”


My false smile wavers as I speak; my stomach churns as my mind starts to replay the accident that caused all this. I try to turn my thoughts away from it while I start to talk. Mundane things like how I'm doing and how the weather's been. It just feels outright stupid.


Soon, I move one to my time at Yamaku, when I was sent there, where it is, et cetera. I imagine that, to anyone passing by, I'd sound like a little girl, trying to explain something and getting flustered when I can't get it right


“I Met a blind g-girl called Lilly shortly after I got there. She kind of t-took me under her wing and she... she was my only friend for quite s-some time.”


I'm so happy that I met Lilly. She's always been a really good friend to me. Back then, it was great to have someone who could be there for me. I never had that before Yamaku, not since my parents died.


“F-for a while I had r-really bad... N-nightmares and... And...”


The memories come back full force, my scars start to itch and my skin feels like it's on fire. I'm paralysed, tears rolling down my face, mouth hanging ajar as I begin to cry uncontrollably, starting slow but building up into great wracking sobs


I try to swallow the tears, taking deep breaths. My stammer becomes much more pronounced as I struggle to keep talking.


Even though I'm trying, I can't seem to stop the tears from flowing.


“S-she was always r-really kind w-when it happened and she w-was always there t-to calm m-me down when I w-woke up crying.”


I remember all the times I woke up crying or screaming in the night; rushing next door to find Lilly, perched on the edge of her bed. Without so much as a word spoken, I'd curl up next to her until the tears stopped.


“She w-was always there for me when I needed h-her the most. I can't tell you h-how much I appreciated that.”


Slowly, my breathing starts to even out and the burning in my skin settles to a dull crawl as I tell my parents about everything Lilly and I did together, the tea parties and karaoke, the occasional visits from her sister Akira.


Even though I'm just talking into thin air that one, simple act is cathartic.


“... then a few weeks after t-that, my class got a new transfer student. He was r-really awkward to start with and, to be honest, he was kind of d-dense. But he was always really kind and thoughtful and I... I guess I fell in l-love with him.”


I hesitate as I try to think of the appropriate words, strangely, I want to give my parents a good impression of Hisao.


“He was... one of the few p-people who treated me like anyone else. He never shied away from me because of my scars and h-he never acted like I was some kind of doll, fragile and w-weak...”


Well, most of the time, anyway.


“He was the first person other than Lilly who n-never looked at me like I was any different, even though I w-was so badly scarred, and he always gets really angry when p-people treat me like I'm n-not normal.”


He's always had a habit of getting offended on my behalf, even when I don't see the situation as much of a problem. I guess he still hasn't grown out of wanting to protect me, but I don't really mind; even if he does make a scene occasionally.


It's hard to tell how much time passes as I recount my life to the people who died to protect it. I don't spare a single detail, an endless flow of words describing every little thing. The day Hisao confessed to me, my graduation from Yamaku, mine and Hisao's move into the summer house up in Hokkaido, Lilly's return to Scotland. All of this pours out of me as the sun slowly starts to set.


Gradually, I start to notice just how long I've been kneeling here, telling the story of my life. My legs are starting to hurt and my throat feels dry. I realise that I've pretty much mentioned everything that happened since I was sent to Yamaku. My mind feels a lot clearer, like it was somehow mired in fog and I've finally broken free.


I breathe a sigh of relief. This didn't turn out quite so bad after all.

Not wanting to drag this out any longer, I quickly say my goodbyes and start to make my way back to the station.


___________________________________________________________________________________



Its pitch dark by the time I walk up the gravel path to our little house in Hokkaido, My fingers are starting to go numb from the cold and I fumble with the key a couple of times before successfully gaining entry.


I hang my bag on its customary hook and stagger into the living room, exhausted from the long journey home. Hisao's waiting for me in there, shifting uncomfortably on the sofa. He casts an anxious glance in my direction as I enter, noticing my worn down features.


“How'd it go?”


I walk slowly over to him and pull him into a kiss, enjoying the feel of his coarse lips on mine before replying.


“Better than expected.”


He smiles warmly, leaning in for another kiss before taking my hand and leading me upstairs.


We snuggle up together for a while as I tell him all about what happened, running through the events of the day. He makes no motion to interrupt me or ask me questions, He simply lies next to me, listening; idly running his fingers through my hair.


Soon, I trail of, my voice growing hoarse from all the talking I've done today. Strangely enough, I feel a sense of fulfillment now that I’m telling someone else. I feel like I've made a change for the better; maybe now the nightmares won’t hurt so much. Maybe I can start to move on.

Letting out an impressive yawn, I huddle closer to the man beside me.

Hisao’s warmth against my body and the steady rocking of his breaths are soothing, and I soon find myself drifting off in his arms. His voice is the last thing I hear before my exhaustion catches up with me.

“I'm proud of you, Hanako…”
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Negativedarke
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Negativedarke » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:02 pm

Interesting little fic. Hanako going to visit her parents grave. I would have figured it'd had her take Hisao, but it definitly worked to have Hanako do it alone.

Although If I remember correctly Japan's rail service is very punctual. From what I understand the trains being two minutes late is highly unusual, to say nothing of twenty.
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Oscar Wildecat
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:10 pm

Negativedarke wrote:Interesting little fic. Hanako going to visit her parents grave. I would have figured it'd had her take Hisao, but it definitly worked to have Hanako do it alone.

Although If I remember correctly Japan's rail service is very punctual. From what I understand the trains being two minutes late is highly unusual, to say nothing of twenty.
Well, having working with the railroad [all the livelong day] system before, albeit in the United States, even the best systems can have downtime ... although usually it costs somebody their job when it happens.

Anyway, given her past issues, I think it's probably fitting that she make the visit by herself, at least at first. There'll be time enough to take Hisao in the future. :wink:
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Sea
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Sea » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:02 am

Welp, those are my feels for the day
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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:19 am

Well, having working with the railroad [all the livelong day] system before, albeit in the United States, even the best systems can have downtime ... although usually it costs somebody their job when it happens.
In Japan, someone'd probably have to commit seppuku for a twenty minute delay :-)
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Thor Odinsson
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Thor Odinsson » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:23 am

Negativedarke wrote:Interesting little fic. Hanako going to visit her parents grave. I would have figured it'd had her take Hisao, but it definitly worked to have Hanako do it alone.

Although If I remember correctly Japan's rail service is very punctual. From what I understand the trains being two minutes late is highly unusual, to say nothing of twenty.

I honestly have no idea how the train system works in japan. I just looked up the stations ;___; Thanks for the heads-up, though.
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Thor Odinsson
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Thor Odinsson » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:25 am

Sea wrote:Welp, those are my feels for the day

Glad I could oblige.
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Negativedarke
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Negativedarke » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:39 pm

It was a feels. A sad one when she was at the grave, and a happy one when she talks to Hisao. Him just listening.
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Endofone
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Endofone » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:04 pm

This is a nice little fic. Was expecting an epilogue or a piece of the original route in her eyes. But I've always wondered what would happen if she went back to her old house, or to her parent's graves. It's nice to see your take on what would happen.

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Thor Odinsson
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by Thor Odinsson » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:52 pm

Endofone wrote:This is a nice little fic. Was expecting an epilogue or a piece of the original route in her eyes. But I've always wondered what would happen if she went back to her old house, or to her parent's graves. It's nice to see your take on what would happen.
Glad you enjoyed it. Not sure how well I'd handle an epilogue, to be honest; I'll have to try it someday, maybe.

This was one of the only ideas that popped up that I was able to properly expand upon, so I appreciate knowing I did at least a semi-decent job. Especially as I can't write for toffee recently.
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TARDISman85
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Re: Remembrance [Hanako POV]

Post by TARDISman85 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:44 pm

Not gonna lie, I fully expected her to visit Hisao's grave at some point during the story. It feels like way too many authors run to kill off Hisao to make a good dramatic story. Good job on keeping me guessing!

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