After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

WORDS WORDS WORDS
Post Reply
User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by brythain » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:31 pm

This is the first part of Rin's arc in my post-Lilly-neutral-end mosaic, 'After the Dream'.
There is a sort of 'prequel' to it here, but you don't need to read that.
It has a companion in Miki's arc, which you can read after Rin's if you wish
There's also a short side-story set in 2012-2014, 'Letting Go'.

Completed main arcs:
Shizune | Lilly | Emi | Hanako | Rin | Misha

Completed secondary arcs:
Miki | Rika | Mutou | Akira | Hideaki

The Main Index contains the different parts in chronological order, along with other fragments.

Rin's arc consists of:

Rin 1 — Violation
(in this post, below)
Rin 2 — Indignation
Rin 3 — Blossoms
Rin 4 — Grendel
Rin 5 — Yarrow
Rin 6 — Tangerines
Rin 7 — Redress


Rin 1: Violation (T -16)

Ding-ding. That happens when Sae is sending someone up. Who now? Not my friends. They never come up. I’ve had no friends for almost a year.

I move to the door. I frame it in my head. I have painted the door green. People come through it that high, that tall. People with electric pink hair, maybe.

The atelier frames me. Sae tries to keep it warm. Is it warm if I’m cold? Can I be cold if it’s warm? I shudder. There is green paint, is paint the past perfect of pain, no, it’s the wrong green. I need Prussian Blue in it. Cyanide-taint.

I’m so cold and I can’t hug myself. So I have a large maroon shawl and I make it hug me. The painting, the brushes, the toes. The toes need cleaning. The brushes need soaking. I cannot touch the painting. My toes hurt, the nails are all wrong.

I wonder what it’s like to have long arms with fingers. I guess they’d be useful. Saw a picture once of a man with an imaginary hand. He was using it to smoke while typing. I’d use it to hold a glass of water so I wouldn’t have to take breaks. But I would have to take breaks because water flows.

Rin is lonely. If I were not lonely would I still be Rin? I wonder what it’s like to not be lonely. Would it be better than having fingers?

There’s a knock on the door. You need fingers to knock properly. I say, “Come in.”

The door opens. The fingers come in. They’re attached to a hand on an arm. It’s something you can paint. Like the stairs. I’m so cold, so cold.

So loud. It’s happened. Again. What’s happened. Loss. It comes with four words. Or something. Is it still me? What am I forgetting? Are there two of me?

There’s nobody here at all.

*****

I’ve had an exhibition, and the paintings were fabulous, great, wonderful, alarming, demonstrative of how everyday life can look from a hole in the sky, evocative, amazing, unusual, striking, melancholy; words, words, words, words. I had something, and the words took it away. I can’t breathe.

“The way I figure,” says the voice through the water, “you need help. Tezuka, get up! Come on, you can do it, you’ve got legs. Damn, don’t drag me into the drink. Aaaaah, careful there. Easy does it. Buddha’s balls, you’re bleeding!”

The voice is hard but also soft. It comes with at least one strong arm. It’s raining very heavily. I don’t know where I am, but it’s a bad place. I’m on the ground. I’m in the ground. My white cotton shift is clinging wetly to me and I’m not wearing anything else.

“Where do you live?”

I’m under an awning, and a dark figure is wiping water from my face with a big hard sponge or something. I mumble something, spitting water. The figure curses and tries to wipe my mouth.

“The art gallery place? That’s not too far. Shit, just lean into me, we’ll get there.”

It’s a long walk up to the atelier. The door. Where’s my key. Who’s this with me? It’s a woman with long dark hair, all wet too. Everything is black and grey, sable and ash. A flash of silver lightning splits the darkness. I’ve seen that face before.

“Miura?”

I automatically kick the spare key out from under the cat sculpture. She bends to pick it up and I have to not kick her in the head because it might kill her. She helps me open the door.

*****

We’re warmer and drier now. I feel warm because there’s someone in the room with me. I haven’t had a real person in here for a long time, I only have paint-people in here with me and they’re always not right.

Miura’s been looking around the atelier. Now she looks me up and down. “Gods, Tezuka, you’ve gone skinny. When was the last time you had a fucking meal?”

I don’t know. “I don’t know.”

She digs around under her raincoat and brings out a battered paper bag. “Well, lucky for us I went for sandwiches tonight. Here, you can have a bit of his and a bit of mine.”

She tears a chunk out of each of two large sandwiches, holding them down with her left arm. Then she looks for a clean surface and I feel sad that she won’t find one. I have some wax paper in a corner and I grab hold of some and pass it to her, sweeping my foot through a large arc and letting it fan out.

“Whoa, that’s skill!” she says as if she likes what she sees. “Thanks. Here you go!”

She bundles some food into two little half-open wax-paper packages for me. I smell and see thin-sliced beef and yellow mustard in the first one. I haven’t tasted either for a very long time. The other one looks like teriyaki chicken. There are sesame seeds, black and white, on the soft bread.

“Thank you.”

I don’t know what else to say. I feel like crying because somebody I hardly know, except that people call her ‘that Miura’, is giving me food and I can feel her warmth on my bread and it tastes good.

“You’ve been living here a long while, Tezuka?”

“Yess.”

I want to sketch her curves before I forget them. Charcoal and flesh.

“You’re still painting. Lots of pictures from what I can see. Pretty cool stuff too.”

“Yesh.”

I’m eating. I’m chewing. I’m not cold. I don’t want to be cold. Thank you.

“Well, the rain’s stopping and I’ve gotta get back. Will you be okay?”

I look up at her. “I don’t know. You could stay if the rain doesn’t stop. I’ve got lots of space.”

“Hey, that’s kind of you, but I’m living with someone and this is what’s left of our dinner. Come to think of it, you know him too. Used to go running with your friend Ibarazaki.”

I’m not cold. I’m very hot. Maybe it’s the mustard. Maybe she’s poisoned me.

*****

I wake up in a very small room. I can’t move. I’m not hot. I’m not cold. I’m all bundled up like maybe a hot dog in a bun. The ketchup oppresses me. But it tastes like dried blood in my very dry mouth.

Girl sits next to window. Thin shirt, running shorts. Sunlight almost passes through her. I see the butterflies around her, but I blink, they’re gone. Very long dark hair, right side toward me, can’t see her face.

“Mornin’, Tezuka.”

It’s Miura sitting on the window-sill in front of me. Why does it hurt to think?

“You fell into a drain, is what. In case you’re wondering. We armless people gotta stick together.”

“Handless. You’ve got one and a half arms. Are those fingers useful?”

“Damn. I save your life in a fucking thunderstorm, and that’s what I get. Anatomy lessons.”

Is she angry with me? Does it matter? I’m warm. Not cold. I wriggle in the comforting warmth, look around and sit up in one smooth, practiced movement. On my left is a curtained doorway. The light is all around us because of cream wallpaper and honey-tinted flooring. It would be nice on the feet.

The purple blanket falls around my lap. My belly is exposed because my shirt is not long enough. Why is it so short?

Miura stares at me. “We figured you cleaned up well, Tezuka, but those abs are really something else.”

We? Me and her, that’s a we. But it doesn’t seem right to be a we. So there’s somebody else. Who?

A door opens and then thuds shut. I tense up and free my legs unobtrusively. I hurt everywhere.

A half-familiar voice echoes through narrow wooden spaces. “Hey Miki! Got us some breakfast and groceries for the next few days. Is she awake yet?”

I hear feet on steps. And then arms with paper bags elbow themselves into the room. The face is familiar, but the context is wrong. It’s Nakai, the one with the… heart defect?

“Hello, Nakai. You have very pleasing light in this place,” I hear myself say.

Inside, I’m calculating angle and distance and everything that a door opening and shutting can trigger in a person with no arms and a healthy regard for continued life. That’s silly. I knew these people from Yamaku; they were from the same class down the corridor from mine.

Are they a couple? I wouldn’t have guessed it. They’re sharing an apartment, but as far as I could tell, they were never that kind of friends in school. The atmosphere is relaxed, the place is small but comfortable. I shouldn’t feel afraid.

“Yep. Clearly awake. Probably thinking she’s been kidnapped.”

“Is that your stuff she’s wearing?”

“Yeah. I don’t do long sleeves, and we’re about the same size elsewhere, very roughly, so yeah.”

Yesss. Not a couple. Or he would know her clothes. I sigh in satisfaction. It’s nice to know you can be right.

“Rin, do you remember what happened?” Nakai asks. He sounds serious, though he and Miura sound as if they remember more than I do.

“Wet. Raining everywhere. There was water up my nose, and I didn’t like that very much. I liked the food. Where’s the food?” I squint, trying to remember anything else. It is hard when what you see and what you remember and what you think are always together in one big painting that is always shifting around in your head, and you cannot see all of it.

“You’ve had a fever and after Miki got you back to Sae’s place, you collapsed. She called me and I came over and got you in a taxi. It’s been a couple of days.”

They have such beautiful light here. Now that I’ve looked, it suits Nakai’s chestnut brown hair and Miura’s tan skin so well. Or maybe those are just the colours the light makes on them. I want to paint them.

“Are we friends?” I ask, looking at Nakai. It seems important to ask this question. “She didn’t say we were.”

He frowns a little, as if he’s also trying to remember something difficult. “I don’t think I spent much time with you in school. There was once I was with…” he pauses, and then continues, “… someone and we walked with you back to school, though. And you’re one of Emi’s friends, and I know Emi somewhat.”

Miura gives a loud snort and looks out of the window.

Emi. That is a name which I remember. Emi Ibarazaki with no legs who was my closest friend in school. We used to have lunch together a lot. I wonder where she is now. I am quite certain I have not seen her for a very long time. I feel a terrible burst of flowers in my chest as if I am turning into a cemetery garden. Everything is in the wrong colours now, and I do not know what the right colours are because the air seems to be causing the light to blur around me.

Nakai catches me as I begin to topple off the bed. Of course it is Nakai, because Miura only has one arm and she would fall down if she tried to catch me now from where she is. And also she was looking the wrong way and only just looked this way. I catch sight of the mat on the floor, where she probably slept last night if I was on the bed. I think that perhaps this time I have new friends, but I do not know if they want to be my friends or not.

Then it is all dark and warm.

*****

It is mid-day a few days after I fell asleep while falling off a bed. I am being stuffed full of food and facts, all mixed up. Nakai wants me to call him Hisao. Miura says Miki is fine for her. That works better for me too. I am always Rin not Tezuka except to older people who like Tezuka because they do not like using their own names. People hide in families but this is not so common for people our age. Food is a fact.

I know what they are. The bento lunch is delicious like the ones Emi used to make. They’re friends by accident. It happens. Hisao is waiting to go to school. Miki doesn’t know whether to go to school. This is Hisao’s apartment, near the library. That’s a good miso soup, I think.

They have told me how Miki got drunk one night weeks ago. Hisao brought her home. Now she lives here and she gets the loft. I do too now. He sleeps in the small room downstairs. They helped me bring some clothes and stuff over from the atelier a few days ago.

I can tell that they are friends without benefits because of the way they look at each other. Friends without benefits, that’s what Emi used to say. Or maybe they only have no benefits because I am living here. Maybe I should move out. Maybe Rin is more Rin like that.

“Hell-o. Miki. Hisao.” That gets their attention. They are talking about this year’s Olympics. When I watch the Olympics, I think of painting the idea of Emi-ness.

“I should move out. Yes. I still have many things at the gallery, so it will take very little effort. You cannot continue being friends without benefits just because of me. It feels as if this place is a garden without butterflies. Or bees. The light is nice but the flowers are dying.”

I don’t know what I’m saying. They look at each other. I think I see shyness and then I see Miki go wicked and Hisao go confused. As usual, Miki goes first.

“Oh gods no! We’re not fuckbuddies, Rin. Hisao’s just kind enough to let me live here for a while before I go somewhere else. If I go. Sometimes he does make me feel horny, but not enough…” she grins at him and this pretty colour, like the part of the strawberry between the stem and the fruit, a kind of greenish pink, spreads across his face.

I’m still Rin. Less-lonely Rin is still Rin. I look at what Miki just did to Hisao. I wish I had that effect on someone. But I have nobody. I don’t know when I lost everything except me.

=====

top | next
Last edited by brythain on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:46 pm, edited 35 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

inthewind
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 11:08 am

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by inthewind » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:53 pm

brythain wrote:Saw a picture once of a man with an imaginary hand. He was using it to smoke while typing.
She never asked for this.

I've been enjoying the series thus far, thanks for the work. I like the scattered timeline, but especially the wide-ranging... veracity? of the narrators in use. The wider spectrum of 'voices' to hear from makes the arc a lot deeper. Those don't seem like quite the correct words, but I'm sticking with them.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:24 am

inthewind wrote:
brythain wrote:Saw a picture once of a man with an imaginary hand. He was using it to smoke while typing.
She never asked for this.

I've been enjoying the series thus far, thanks for the work. I like the scattered timeline, but especially the wide-ranging... veracity? of the narrators in use. The wider spectrum of 'voices' to hear from makes the arc a lot deeper. Those don't seem like quite the correct words, but I'm sticking with them.
Thank you for being so appreciative! I'm doing the best I can, but every time people tell me the good points and bad points of what I'm writing, I learn how to do better. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by forgetmenot » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:46 am

Ah, and so Rin's arc begins. Looking forward to what you have in store.

One small stylistic thing I'd like to comment on, if I may:
brythain wrote:When was the last time you had a f—ing meal?
See, I'm not sure what Miki is actually saying when you write her dialogue as such. It comes off one of two ways: either she's actually saying the word "fucking", and for some reason you decided to self-censor on a forum for a game that contains cripple porn, or, phonetically, she's saying "effing". The first option I can offer no help with, except to implore you to sort your goddamn priorities out, but if it's the second, I think the way you write it could be improved.

My suggestion would be to change it to: "When was the last time you had an effing meal?" It's phonetically correct while still maintaining Miki's slang-ism. It's also grammatically correct, as "effing" (word that starts with vowel sound) is preceded by "an" (instead of "a", which would be wrong). If you would like to keep your hyphen, then at least change "a" to "an", as "f—ing" still begins with a vowel sound, even though "f" is not a vowel. English is a stupid language.

I think that's more than enough nitpicking. I probably wouldn't have mentioned this but it happens a few times in the chapter and it bothered me. Other than that, it's a good start! I get the feeling Rin's story will be the saddest of them all for some reason.

User avatar
Helbereth
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:44 pm
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by Helbereth » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:10 am

I catch sight of the mat on the floor where she probably slept last night if I was on the bed and I think that perhaps this time I have new friends but I do not know if they want to be my friends or not.
Having Rin's scatterbrained internal monologue come through in the writing style is fine, but this really just reads like a run-on sentence; it needs a comma or two, I think.

How has it never been mentioned in any of the other arcs that Hisao lived with Miki for a short while? One would think Emi might mention it in her thought process, considering their rivalry. She has the presence of mind to wonder what kind of relationship Hisao shared with Shizune at college, and by all accounts the two of them only met sporadically while at Yamaku, meanwhile she and Miki actively avoided each other.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:34 am

Helbereth wrote:
I catch sight of the mat on the floor where she probably slept last night if I was on the bed and I think that perhaps this time I have new friends but I do not know if they want to be my friends or not.
Having Rin's scatterbrained internal monologue come through in the writing style is fine, but this really just reads like a run-on sentence; it needs a comma or two, I think.

How has it never been mentioned in any of the other arcs that Hisao lived with Miki for a short while? One would think Emi might mention it in her thought process, considering their rivalry. She has the presence of mind to wonder what kind of relationship Hisao shared with Shizune at college, and by all accounts the two of them only met sporadically while at Yamaku, meanwhile she and Miki actively avoided each other.
I think it's because Miki lived at the apartment for a few weeks and then went off somewhere far away, whereas Hanako and Shizune were at college (Todai) with Hisao for four years... But Miki did turn up at the wedding, so there's another bit of story there... :) Will think about the editing. Good point. I do make that mistake every now and then.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:56 am

forgetmenot wrote:Ah, and so Rin's arc begins. Looking forward to what you have in store.

One small stylistic thing I'd like to comment on, if I may:
brythain wrote:When was the last time you had a f—ing meal?
See, I'm not sure what Miki is actually saying when you write her dialogue as such. It comes off one of two ways: either she's actually saying the word "fucking", and for some reason you decided to self-censor on a forum for a game that contains cripple porn, or, phonetically, she's saying "effing". The first option I can offer no help with, except to implore you to sort your goddamn priorities out, but if it's the second, I think the way you write it could be improved.

My suggestion would be to change it to: "When was the last time you had an effing meal?" It's phonetically correct while still maintaining Miki's slang-ism. It's also grammatically correct, as "effing" (word that starts with vowel sound) is preceded by "an" (instead of "a", which would be wrong). If you would like to keep your hyphen, then at least change "a" to "an", as "f—ing" still begins with a vowel sound, even though "f" is not a vowel. English is a stupid language.

I think that's more than enough nitpicking. I probably wouldn't have mentioned this but it happens a few times in the chapter and it bothered me. Other than that, it's a good start! I get the feeling Rin's story will be the saddest of them all for some reason.
Hmmm. Thank you for that suggestion; yes, I have that annoying habit from years of working in an environment where it was appropriate to self-censor. Will think of how to improve on it. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

bhtooefr
Posts: 1353
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:20 pm
Location: Newark, OH
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by bhtooefr » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:14 am

For what it's worth, it's just Sae, not Saé.
bhtooefr's one-shot and drabble thread
Enjoy The Silence - Sequel to All I Have (complete)
Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking zombies on this motherfucking forum!

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:24 am

bhtooefr wrote:For what it's worth, it's just Sae, not Saé.
Yes. I don't know why I have problems with that vowel combination. I hear it in my head and I can't get it on paper without some kind of accent mark. Sigh.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Helbereth
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:44 pm
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by Helbereth » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:02 am

brythain wrote:
bhtooefr wrote:For what it's worth, it's just Sae, not Saé.
Yes. I don't know why I have problems with that vowel combination. I hear it in my head and I can't get it on paper without some kind of accent mark. Sigh.
Just imagine it's a "y".

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 1 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:36 am

Helbereth wrote:
brythain wrote:
bhtooefr wrote:For what it's worth, it's just Sae, not Saé.
Yes. I don't know why I have problems with that vowel combination. I hear it in my head and I can't get it on paper without some kind of accent mark. Sigh.
Just imagine it's a "y".
Actually it's more like Saè. Gah. Never mind, I've used the straight 'e', because that's established usage and I've been a bit of an idiot.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

AtD—Rin's Arc (Part 2 up 20140331)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:39 am

This is the second part of Rin's arc in 'After the Dream', my post-Lilly-neutral-end mosaic.
If you should ever want to know how Sae and Nomiya's story ends, you can find that diversion here instead.



Rin 2: Indignation (T -12)

Who is this person 'Rin'? Her name is everywhere on the boards downstairs. Her art was in my head, and then it got out, and my head is empty and I want to fill it but now there really is nothing to fill it with. Sae sold Rin’s paintings, and Rin is now warm and she doesn’t mind living in the atelier anymore. But Rin is all alone.

Every day I wait for the bell to ring, but there is nobody. Sometimes Sae comes up to talk to me, but she looks unhappy and I can’t tell what is behind her eyes when she says things to me. I used to be able to tell what was behind people’s eyes but now I can’t tell what’s behind Rin’s eyes. That is very disturbing. The colours are all wrong now.

It is cold without Miki. She was warm, and Rin misses Miki’s hand, because you can do things with a hand that you can’t do without one. But Miki is in Nagasaki now, and I have no family here because Hisao wanted me to explain things about Rin and I couldn’t and we both got angry and Rin told him to go away and not come back. But it was his apartment, so Rin went away and didn’t go back. If we were a family, things would be so much easier. But that was years ago.

Ding-ding. It’s the bell. It means somebody is coming up. Maybe it's the person who tells me to forget things. I watch the door. It will open soon.

*****

Sae has a disease. And now Sae can’t afford the rental anymore and the gallery is closing down. Nomiya says Rin is ungrateful. But Rin is very grateful for having somewhere to live for so many years. Nomiya doesn’t understand. So Sae will live with Nomiya and Rin has nowhere to go. I am lonely. Rin is lonely. Maybe if we fall into a drain someone will rescue us again.

Nomiya is calling Rin’s parents. He regrets that our career has not grown as much as it might have. My parents don’t understand. It has been a long time since they came here. Sae says they will pay for my formal education if necessary. But we don’t want any more of that.

Our green door is not my door anymore. I don’t feel anything as we open it and walk down the stairs into the drizzle. Everything is in shades of grey. We think Rin will just walk until something happens.

Something happens. To Rin.

*****

The two walls I can see are beige. There’s a pattern on them, little flower-shapes. There’s a periwinkle blue curtain on two sides of the little space I am in. Everything smells clean but it’s a bit cold here and it doesn’t smell of flowers. We cannot wriggle our toes freely. They are pinned down by some soft heavy material and they need to start a guerilla action against it. Stealthily they feel their way around. I wonder if they know that I am controlling them.

“Thank you for coming. It is fortunate that she was still carrying that old piece of paper in her pouch, so we have at least one contact person. However, you have no legal rights, since you are not a family member. We need to establish if the patient can identify you.”

That would mean that if somebody were impatient, they would not be able to identify you. We are pleased with this thought because it means nothing is wrong with our brain. But my toes are doing their own thing, such independent toes I have.

“I understand, doctor. I just want to know that she is all right. I appreciate the opportunity very much.”

“She is stable and her injuries are minor. It is fortunate that the vehicle was travelling slowly. We can disclose more information if it becomes appropriate. Please, come this way.”

Footsteps. The curtain is drawn back. We shut our eyes. Injuries. We are injured.

“Rin?”

That’s a familiar voice. It makes me feel warm and cool at the same time. I choose to not move at all.

“Do you recognize the patient?”

“Yes, Rin Tezuka. She was with me at Yamaku Academy. They will have other records on her if you need them. Their head nurse is a gentleman named Kaneshiro. Respectfully, doctor, would it be okay if I waited here until she woke up?”

“No, I am afraid the regulations do not permit it. But I can allow you to wait outside in the visitors’ area until we have contacted Yamaku. Perhaps they can tell us who her next of kin are and whether she has any legal relatives resident in the Tokyo area.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

“No, no. Your information will be of great use to us. Please, let me escort you to the visitors’ lounge.”

*****

I like living in the small apartment again. I have my own atelier now, because Hisao converted the small loft room into a place where I could paint in the beautiful light that I loved when I first lived here. The space underneath is where I sleep, and when I feel cold, I can always ask him to keep me warm.

I like that he doesn’t touch me without my permission, and he doesn’t get angry when I touch him. Hisao is actually quite a mature person these days, and he has been looking after me as if we are family. I think I’m getting better, because I now understand that I’m not the same as before, but I’m still Rin. I have forgotten a lot of things, but what’s left seems right.

We have dinner at home together. He is amazed that I can use a kitchen. He is amazed that I can cook. At times I think his problem is in his brain and not his heart. Or his tackle. We talk in small amounts and it helps us to understand each other better than when we used to talk in large amounts.

“Hisao, is Miki coming back to live here?”

He coughs while eating his udon. I patiently wait for him to recover. It would be nice to have Miki back, except that she might find it uncomfortable sleeping in my atelier.

“No, I don’t think so, Rin. She seems to be happy in Nagasaki. Why do you ask?”

“Because Miki is warm to have in bed, and you don’t let me spend the night in your bed.”

I watch with great interest as his face changes colour. Maybe if his face were less pale, this would be harder to see.

He sighs, as if tired. Then he puts his chopsticks down and looks at me. I don’t think I’ve seen quite that look before. He sits up as if about to tell me something, then closes his mouth just after opening it.

“You can talk to me. I won’t tell anyone else,” I say to him. We’re friends, and friends keep each other’s words as well as their own.

He smiles. Somehow, I think he looks more relaxed now.

“Do you remember Lilly Satou?”

“Yesss.”

Indeed I do. Emi told me she was the main reason why Hisao was not keeping up with his exercise routine. Emi would like it that he runs every morning because of her. When I asked him about Emi, he just said, “It’s complicated.” It probably is. That is why I don’t say all of this. I just wait for him to talk. It’s easier that way.

“Well, I was in love with her, and it’s hard to be in love and love anyone else.”

“Are you still in love with her?”

“I don’t know. I sometimes hope I’m not. But I wake up and I still am. Sometimes I hope I am.”

“That’s complicated. I feel the same way too.”

“Errm. I’m not sure I understand you, Rin.”

“I am sure you do not understand me. It’s less complicated if we do not have that conversation again.”

“Right.”

“You spent time with Hanako and Shizune at Todai.”

“Yes?”

“Were you in love with them too? Is it a group thing or an individual thing?”

“Oh, Rin…” he trails off, looking unfinished. I nod, to help him along, and he continues.

“After Lilly, I still had friends who were girls. Hanako was patient with me. Misha and Shizune pushed me to work harder. Emi taught me to run.”

“Am I teaching you anything?”

He looks worried. Or anxious. As if something isn’t quite the right colour. He thinks about saying something, and then he says something.

“Rin, you’re teaching me how hard it is to understand somebody even when you want to and you care for them. I live with you, and you’re my friend, and if anything bad happened to you, I’d be very unhappy. But I don’t love you the way I loved Lilly.”

“Do you love me not in the way you loved Lilly?”

It seems a logical question to me. But it makes him sad. I can read it in the lines and colours of his face. I want to paint him so badly now.

“I don’t think what we have is like what was between Lilly and me. Rin, you’re important to me. I want to let you be you, but also to let you be you safely. Damn, I always end up talking like you when talking to you.”

He doesn’t sound like me at all. It’s as if he is trying to let me know that I can be me. But of course I can be me. Maybe he is worried that I will not be me if he doesn’t let me be me. But that almost doesn’t make sense at all. I try to help him to make sense.

“You love Emi most of all. I see it when you talk about her. Your colours change. You feel brighter and you smile a lot more. And you hug me less tightly.”

“Ah. I’m sorry about that, Rin. I guess you’re right. I do love Emi a lot. But we’ve only been dating a while, and it’s not been easy. Every now and then we fight, you know.”

Yes. I do know. Emi can be very loud and Hisao will try to make her softer and sometimes it works and sometimes she just gets louder. Emi gets angry when Hisao talks about death and bad things, and sometimes even when he talks about books. She worries about whether Hisao loves other people too, but she doesn’t say it.

“It’s okay, Hisao. You can hug me less tightly if it makes Emi happy. I can always remember you being warm although feeling you being warm is better. I don’t need benefits. I just need to not be alone all the time.”

I smile at him, although I do not think I am feeling all happy. Some part of me is a little sad. So I try to tell him what I think.

“I am okay that we have never been ‘friends with benefits’, but also a little sad because sometimes the world feels like we should have more than just hugs. But I am happy that you have been keeping me company and helping me buy stuff and letting me live in this place and giving me my own room.”

I know that Hisao knows what ‘benefits’ means because I once told him, in front of Emi, what Emi told me once. Then Emi blushed almost like two baby tomatoes were hiding in her cheeks and she was awfully embarrassed even though she uses worse language than I do. He said he knew what that meant, and he laughed.

Now he is about to laugh, but he is not laughing yet. Actually, he looks like he is going to be sad. I wonder why.

“Rin,” he begins, then stops. He clears his throat. “Rin, I may be moving out of this apartment soon. I’m finishing earlier than expected at Gakudai, and I’m probably going back to Yamaku as a science teacher. I’ve been asked if I can move into the Yamaku staff quarters by September. But I’m not sure if you’ll be allowed to join me, because those are bachelor apartments.”

The evening is normally purple and gold when it is not raining. But it feels cold and blue now. Like what Americans call ‘indignation’. Rin could be homeless again. Is that what Hisao is trying to say? Is that what he is trying to do to me? I feel wrong again. But there’s an escape by logic. I think.

“Then you won’t be able to live with Emi either,” I say, pleased that this is the main point that will make it right for everybody. “So you should get a bigger apartment.”

“That’s true. But I’m not going to live with Emi. She’s going to complete her courses at Gakudai only next year. I’ll have to come down on weekends to visit her.”

“And me. I can live here in this apartment by myself. I can see you on weekends if you wish.”

“My parents will probably not continue paying the rent on this apartment,” he says softly, looking away from me. Maybe he thinks this is a bad thing.

“That’s okay, Hisao,” I say. It really is. This is not a problem. “I have lots of money in the bank. I don’t spend much of it. Every month my parents send money from Tsushima. They’re good at doing that, but they don’t like leaving home because they’re old and they think Tokyo is too far away. Besides, they’re Korean.”

I watch Hisao do his changing-colour thing. He is like a chameleon, except that chameleons do it to blend in and he does it to blend out. He thinks of saying one thing and then he says a different thing.

“They’re Korean? Oh. I didn’t know that,” he says uncertainly.

I once told this to Nomiya and he said, “Oh, Tezuka, I am so sorry to hear that!” as if being Korean was some kind of disease, even though he knows who my parents are. I think Hisao is better than that.

“Yesss. During her holidays, Miki visits them and lets me know how they are. It’s about seven hours to their house by ferry. They don’t use computers and they send me packages a few times a year. They keep cats. Tsushima cats have long thick tails and interesting markings. I like drawing them.”

It makes me feel better that someone else knows about my parents. Hisao is the only friend besides Miki whom I have told. If he marries Emi, I’ll tell her too. I decide to make him feel better.

“I’ll pay the rental. You can tell your parents it’s my apartment now.”

He looks awkward, as if he’s been keeping secrets. Bad Hisao. Friends don’t keep secrets. It’s okay to not tell if not relevant, though. But he tells me anyway.

“Errm, speaking of parents: my parents are coming down tomorrow. They said they would very much like to meet you.”

Now it is my turn to feel mixed up, like a colour that isn’t turning out right. Or maybe, like a colour that's wrong and yet becomes the right colour. So I say the wrong thing. Maybe it will be right.

“I’m not Emi.”

“No, you’re not. But I told them you’re a good friend and I think they might have been thinking of extending the rental to the end of the year just for you.”

Just for you, he said. For me. I have always liked this apartment. It will be sad that Hisao’s not in it, though. But he might drop by on weekends. And then I remember the name of the evening colour that’s between purple and blue. It’s not ‘indignation’. It’s something much more beautiful.

=====
prev| next
Last edited by brythain on Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:48 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
Helbereth
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:44 pm
Location: Massachusetts, USA

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 2 up 20140331)

Post by Helbereth » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:29 am

Indigo in the spaces between, the color of night and mystery, my hand moves through the sky gathering stardust and dreams, depositing them on canvas for display in lighted rooms and fairer company.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3497
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

AtD—Rin's Arc (Redacted 'Part 3')

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:29 pm

Apologies. Don't know how this confidential material got into the main plot line. :)

Rin: Tetrad

REDACTED
Last edited by brythain on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc (Part 3 up 20140401)

Post by forgetmenot » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:22 pm

Whaaaaaaaaat.

Please tell me these are just the machinations of Rin's overactive imagination.

Post Reply