In a quiet little bar, Iwanako Daidouji sits alone, having emptied a few bottles of Lipovitan which lay scattered about on the countertop.
The speakers are playing some easy listening; Michael Bublé yearns go go home... Iwanako listens halfheartedly, while idly watching the tv fixed above the corner; George Clooney and Brad Pitt, talking... in a re-run of some old heist movie.
"The first Ocean's was still the best," someone said. Someone with a voice remarkably similar to Iwanako's, but she doesn't flinch when spoken to; she just continues sitting with her chin resting in her folded arms on the countertop, twirling a tiny pink umbrella between her lips.
A girl, who looks like a doppelganger of Daidouji, comes up and takes a seat beside her, cool and casual. "Wouldn't you agree, Miss Daidouji? My mei mei from another mother."
Daidouji doesn't react.
The doppelganger gives a subdued smile. "So," she says, while picking up an empty bottle of Lipovitan, "they're discussing your story now on the forums? The 'Yamaku Book Club' topic?"
Daidouji continues twirling the little pink umbrella between her pale lips, spinning it slowly from one corner to the other.
"Seems like you already have all the praise and attention you could want," the doppelganger says and sets down the empty bottle. She looks at Daidouji. Even with her head resting in her folded arms, so unladylike, and with that tiny pink umbrella, Daidouji still manages to be striking: the front fringe of her hair dyed blonde, moonstone earrings sparkling, bracelet and Irish ring twinkling on her wrist and finger, all of which the doppelganger lacks.
Daidouji manages another lazy circuit of her umbrella.
"Well," the doppelganger says and looks away, pretending to watch the tv, "there wouldn't be much for me to add to the discussion, but if there were... I might say that you have adopted quite a Western mentality. Almost as if you've become a different person entirely. Perhaps not too noticeable over a few years' time, but certainly noticeable if one were to compare your early soft-spoken timidity, immediately with your later bitter toxicity."
Daidouji registers no subtle movements of shock or indignation whatsoever, her eyes remain calm and fixed on the heist movie.
The doppelganger continues, "While your inner monologue is rife with advanced vocabularies, it seems your exterior mannerisms lend you to being compared to a stubborn and troubled youth; although a "Yankee" would be too inappropriate a label, the (practically-irrelevant) American connotations might apply to your sharp tongue and self-righteous attitudes."
The doppelganger looks back at Daidouji, who remains perfectly calm and indifferent. Then, the doppelganger simply looks ahead blankly, pondering what's left worth mentioning.
Matt Damon joins in the heist.
The doppelganger absentmindedly arranges some of the empty Lipovitan bottles, introducing a false sense of order to the mess.
With a slight penitent smile, she says, "Maybe that is too harsh a judgement on your character."
Daidouji blinks. Indifferently.
"The quality and effort of your story's writing should not be discounted lightly. The sincerity and heart is self-evident, and I remain interested in your character to see how you will continue to grow and change in the coming days. I also find your elocution and wit to be quite agreeable, and I believe they are your strongest traits."
Daidouji doesn't answer... But in the reflection of an empty bottle, the doppelganger catches a ghost of a smile.
The doppelganger quietly smiles.
"I think that is all that needs to be said," the doppelganger says amicably.
Then, a sudden mischievous look is in the doppelganger's eyes. She grins, and says, "Every time I touch myself, I think about you."
Daidouji spits out the pink umbrella, her eyes wide open with shock.