A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Eight Up]

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Five Up]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:18 pm

Well, you definitely cranked up the drama to eleven for this chapter.
I think you overdid it a little though - having a potentially life-threatening accident directly after a fight is a bit very cliché...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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TheTealeaf
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Five Up]

Post by TheTealeaf » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:29 pm

-slow clap-

Bravo cloud.

Bravo.

I knew this was coming, we'd talked about but talk about a fucking gut punch dude.

All I have to say is well done on changing the tone so dramatically!
CloudGrain wrote:"Tell me."

Minako's jaw sets, and I know my answer before she says it.

"No."

"Then we're done."
That my good sir, was especially brutal.

So carry on my friend, looking hella forward to more!
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

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CloudGrain
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Five Up]

Post by CloudGrain » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:05 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, you definitely cranked up the drama to eleven for this chapter.
I think you overdid it a little though - having a potentially life-threatening accident directly after a fight is a bit very cliché...
Can't deny either of those bits, I suppose that it is certainly quite cliché... although I found that for my own intended purposes works quite exceptionally well! I feel as though, even as a cliché it works quite well in this scenario given the buildup, as well as a plot tool to continue things on in a somewhat different vein. Hopefully, I'll be able to avoid a few more of the resultant 'expected' clichés and continue without too much an issue of falling into a story that's already been told a million times.
TheTealeaf wrote:-slow clap-

Bravo cloud.

Bravo.

I knew this was coming, we'd talked about but talk about a fucking gut punch dude.

All I have to say is well done on changing the tone so dramatically!
CloudGrain wrote:"Tell me."

Minako's jaw sets, and I know my answer before she says it.

"No."

"Then we're done."
That my good sir, was especially brutal.

So carry on my friend, looking hella forward to more!
*Salutes*

Work is commencing on phase two as we speak. As I've said multiple times prior, I do hope that I'll be able to continue on with different tones and keeping the quality at the same level... if not doing my best to push it higher still. Hopefully, carrying on will only yield even better results! Cheers, mate!
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

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Re: Act Two, Scene Six*;

Post by CloudGrain » Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:41 pm

Act Two, Scene Six*;

Oh what tangled webs we weave;




There are plenty of times where you can sit back and hate almost everything and everybody in the world. For most people, it's when they don't get their way on something that they think is important. When they don't get something that they want, don't get something that they think that they think need. For me, it's when I actually have something for just a little while, a taste of things that I've wanted for my whole life and get it torn away from me. I got just another brief taste of what it was like to be normal, another teaser as to how my life could have been. I just got to pretend that I was normal for a little while before things failed so spectacularly that the whole school got to practically watch as everything exploded right back in my face.

I hate hospitals, hate, hate, hatehatehate.

Lifeless rooms, or even worse, ones that have a few little things in them to make them more 'welcoming' that've been around for twenty years and do nothing but make you wonder how many other people have hated them. Lifeless seeming people roamed the hallways and came to check up on you at regular intervals too, ensuring that you hadn't somehow managed to fuck up sitting still. The doctors all know your condition better than you do, of course, despite you being the one who's living with it. They'll always say, though not necessarily in so many words; 'Oh, but I've spent years reading textbooks and listening to professors and other more experienced doctors! Of course I know better than you do', accompanied by what equates to a pat on the had at your attempt to understand their magical ways of medicine. The nurses are barely any better, blindly following the doctor's orders. They've got just a tiny bit more time to devote towards you, but are usually just as happy to stick whatever needle in your arm, take whatever readings they need to and be on to the next patient anyways.

They'd just as soon all be happy to see me leave, just like I would. But of course they couldn't possibly let me off on my own to report if anything else went wrong. No, I couldn't be trusted with my own fucking body and well being after what'd happened. I'd have to lie around here for a week or so until they decided that I might just be okay. God forbid they just let me off on my own and realize that I might be able to live for a little while knowing my condition. I've got to be treated like I'm made out of glass.

I hate the hospital. I hate the doctors, I hate the nurses, I hate the orderlies. I hate the smells of disinfectant and fake 'good smells' that they try to use to cover up the disinfectant. I hate the shining surfaces everywhere, cold steel and white plastic.

But as much as I hate the whole hospital right now, it's only a place. The people here and only doing what they're doing because it's a job. The nurses, the doctors, the orderlies, they all punch out at the end of the day and have their job taken by another person so that they can go home and do god knows what. I think that I can only bring myself to hate them when they're actively doing their best to coddle me, handle me like I'm some sort of already broken object that could shatter at the slightest touch. When they leave and put me well out of their own minds, I can find it in myself to put them out of mine.

I feel sick at the thought of even going back to Yamaku. I can already more or less hear the voices of a few of the students somewhere in the back of my mind, whispering between one another. After all, after what'd happened yesterday, I'm sure that the rumor-mill is busy coming up with everything that it can about the whole situation.

"Did you hear about the whole thing that happened yesterday? Between Minami and the new transfer?"

"Oh yeah... I heard that Minami ended up in the hospital. What was it about?"

"Minami lied to the new transfer for like... weeks and weeks about stuff, then tried to run away and fell down the stairs. The transfer, Naki, I think started a whole screaming match over the thing before Minami ran away."

"What the hell kind of a way to react is that? For either of them."

"I know, right?"

The mental image of the gossip between two nameless faceless students in my mind wearing the school-uniform makes me feel sick to my stomach, scowling as I stare at the hospital room around me. While I can forgive all the hospital staff, who can forget about me for the most part without an issue. I can't forgive all my classmates, all the students and teachers and staff at Yamaku who are no doubt keeping my situation in mind. Everyone who's no doubt going to tell me that they were 'wishing me well' and decide that keeping an even closer eye on me in the future is absolutely necessary. If I'd thought that everyone tried to kill every little bit of joy in life before... well, I'm sure that I would be in for a wake-up call when I went back to school.

I'm sure that the Nurse back at school will enlist some 'little helpers' to ensure that I don't so much as breath wrong without his expert advice.

The frustration boils over for a second, and I can feel my eyes welling up with tears before I manage to stem the tide. I can't very well wipe them away, immobilized as I am by the wonderful array of medical instruments that're keeping track of my every vital statistic. The pulse oximeter, which is that little thing that they clip onto your finger, the IV drip, the heart monitor... I'm hooked up to enough wiring that moving seems to get me tangled up no matter how careful I am. I hate this place, I hate the idea of having to go back to Yamaku. I hate the medical professionals here, and I hate the ones at Yamaku, and I hate the ones at home.

I hate the students at Yamaku. I hate the teachers, the staff. I hate the uniforms, the rules, the ways that they remind you constantly that you're not normal. But most of all right now, as I lie in a hospital bed, hating everything and everyone, I hate one person in particular more than anyone else, even if it hurts most of all to hate him.

I hate Hisao Nakai; the one person to treat me like any other person in the world. The one person who'd been my friend for more than a few days before somehow finding out about my condition and feeling the need to treat me like some sort of fragile, broken person. The person who I'd been able to escape with, at least for a little while, from the crushing reality that we weren't normal. My first boyfriend for a whole day, who I'd thought was just so perfect in so many little ways. Gentle just because he was a gentle person instead of because he knew about my condition. Fun to be around, able to put up with my constant little jokes and jabs at him and serving them right back at me in return.

Now, I hate him for every little bit of that. For having given me a taste of just how liberating it was to not be constantly monitored, constantly told what I couldn't do because of my condition. I hate him for having been my friend for a few weeks, for having been more than happy to let me do things that I wanted to do. For just going along with the little things, going to town, going into the forest, climbing a tree, playing soccer... all the things that nobody else would have ever done with me when they knew my condition. I hate him for having been there for me when I wanted him there, for having that stupid bit of hair that I always wanted to pat down. For having kissed me back after I'd stolen a brief kiss from him that night.

I hate the fact that he'd cared enough to try and find out what was wrong with me. That he'd confronted me. That because of the confrontation I'd run into someone on the stairwell and fallen to the next landing. I hate him for the fact that he'd almost immediately been at my side anyways after I'd fallen. After there was a sharp pain in my wrist, a few nice bruises already welling up on my arms and legs, and blood pouring out of my nose from running into someone.

He'd seen me at my best for so long, and then he got to see me as the mess that I was.

The rage builds up as I go over the thought yet again, and I have to screw my eyes shut so that I don't let any of the tears escape. There's a heavy splint over my left wrist, they think that I managed to fracture it in the fall, just a hairline fracture. My nose is a mess... not broken, but basically one big bruise right now. They'd thought that I might've had a concussion, but managed to get me a quick scan on some machine or the other that allayed the fear. I've got a few nice, purple bruises on both arms from falling down the stairs... and both my knees are nicely swollen. My hip hurts on the right side with a nice purply-blue bruise that extends to the small of my back.

That's the joy of being a severe hemophiliac for you... falling down the stairs relatively gently goes from only being dangerous if you hit your head to being outright deadly-seeming. Since I already bruise easily enough, with internal hemorrhaging being just a step away form severe bruising, if I'd gotten a serious enough 'hit' from the edge of a stair in my stomach or chest, or even in my side, it could've been the end. Have some blood vessel deep inside of me break open and leak until I'd bled out internally. A fact that I, despite having been told since I was able to stand up on my own two feet, was reminded of time and time again by these fucking doctors.

"You're lucky, young lady. You seem to be fine. But... we'll need to hold you for the next few days to just make sure. Especially with... well... the less unusual blood-loss." The memory of the doctor this morning makes me shudder slightly. After being rushed to the hospital to ensure that I wasn't bleeding out internally, I got the ritualistic series of injections and transfusions so that I could clot blood like a normal human being. Of course, within just an incredibly short while after having the tests administered and being put in observation, a certain familiar and hated monthly cramp kicked in.

Aunt Flow, who was tenacious and fairly cruel at the best of times decided that now was an absolutely opportune time to brighten my week.

So now, I get to sit back in the hospital for the next few days while my body decides to bitch at me for deciding not to have a baby at seventeen years old. All in all, bleeding some more and more or less rendering a few of the earlier injections less-useful, going through the usual cramps and lovely mood-swings and generally feeling even shittier than I had before is just the icing on the cake at this point. I've got absolutely no idea why God decided that my life's some cruel joke, something to toss misery into at regular intervals just to get some sort of a sick thrill out of it... but I'm sure that he's up there laughing right now. Probably in fucking stitches over managing to get me enthusiastic and optimistic for the past few weeks while leading up to this.

As I begin to grind my teeth, continue to hate, rue, lament, and otherwise just feel like a sad sorry shell of a person, and orderly makes was into my room holding a telephone.

"Minami Minako?"

"Yes." I say simply, and the orderly holds the phone out to me. I take it gingerly in my left hand, holding it more than a little awkwardly thanks to the twinge in my wrist, bringing it to the side of my head carefully. I'd sigh a bit in defeat, already suspecting who it is, but it wouldn't do me any good if she heard me. "Hello?"

"Mina? Thank god you're alright!" I roll my eyes somewhat at my mother's voice. I don't think that god had anything to do with me being alright. "Having the hospital calling me last night was not exactly the welcome home that I wanted. Especially with Fumiko being in the middle of trying to set the kitchen on fire once again." Despite the black anger that I've been indulging myself in, I can't help but crack an involuntary grin at the image. Fumiko's notorious for not being a stellar chef... more often than not, she ends up burning things to a crisp.

"Didn't exactly mean to fall down the stairs." I admit, my voice a little rough. I can hear my mom sighing on the other side of the line, and can practically picture her biting the inside of her cheek.

"I suppose you're right. Accidents happen... I just wish that you were more careful sometimes, Mina. You know how it scares me." I can't help it as my jaw works itself at that. I know that mom's one of those people who worries about just about everything. Even when things haven't happened, or seem like they wouldn't happen, she worries about them. It's just in her nature, and if the past seventeen years haven't changed it, I doubt that one more conversation over the phone will. She continues after a moment's uncomfortable silence, each of us knowing that the other's personality isn't exactly meshing with our own right now. "But... the way that the doctor said it, it sounds like you're stuck there for the next few days."

"Yeah." I admit again, this time my voice actually cracking a little, I clear my throat. "It's ah... shark week, so... you know how that can go when things are already off." There's a noise of sympathy on the other end of the line. She knows just how much I hate the hospital, having been by my side during more than a few visits after scares every now and again, and having been the one to take me to most of my appointments. "But... probably a whole week or so. You know how they always want to 'be sure that I'm alright'." I'm sure that I inject just a bit too much of my anger into the little half-quoted statement I'd heard from so many doctors before.

"Are you alright, honey?"

My throat tightens just a bit at the question, and I consider telling her about the pain that hurts a whole hell of a lot more than the physical discomfort. But just as quickly, I dismiss it, not wanting to make myself feel even worse by talking about it. So I settle for the somewhat safer route, just admitting that I'm 'pretty okay'. "Besides bruises, a fractured or badly sprained wrist, and looking like I took a fastball to the face... doing alright." I admit, my voice wavering slightly before I sigh into the phone. I don't think that I put quite enough of my usual sarcasm and joking tone into it, based on the silence, so I can't help but add in some more to try and get a somewhat positive reaction from my mother. "I mean, bruised my hip and ass up pretty well falling down on it and sliding down some stairs. So even sitting's kinda uncomfortable right now." I finally hear my mother snort a little at that, a little relieved.

"Well, it's a good thing you just used the bit of cushioning, right?" I'm more than a little glad that we're speaking over the phone without anyone else privy to the conversation. All too often, I feel like my mom would embarrass the living hell out of me in front of anyone I wanted to make a decent impression on. I practically mirror the sharp intake that qualifies for slight amusement over the phone, apparently serving just to drive my mother on even further. "I mean... I assume it'd be a shame for any boyfriend you're keeping secret from me. But otherwise, it's better than falling and really hurting yourself."

Normally, the response would have drawn an immediate reaction from me as I recoiled in just a bit of horror at what my mother said. If she'd been her in person, it probably would have earned her a swat on the arm, or shoulder as I tried to get her to stop embarrassing me. Right now though... it makes the gut-churning feeling that the conversation had been slowly driving out come back with a sickening vengeance. Of course, the longer that the silence drags on as I try to set my mind in motion, the more awkward the silence becomes.

"Mina? Are you there?"

Finally, I manage to stammer out a few words. "Yeah... s-sorry. Something just happened out in the hallway." I say, my mind leaping right to a plausible excuse.

"Ah." My mother doesn't seem terribly satisfied with the excuse, but seems to take it in stride after a moment's thought. "You said that you're probably going to be stuck in the hospital for the next few days?" She asks suddenly, coming full circle in the conversation. I find myself nodding, despite the uselessness of it over the phone.

"Yeah. For at least five or six days, probably an extra day after that just to make sure that all my levels are okay. I think that they'll do another battery of injections or transfusions before they'll send me back to school. Probably just injections this time, I got transfusions when I came in." I can practically feel the sympathetic expression via my mom's silence for a moment. Injections of the missing 'prothrombin complex concentrates' are basically what let me clot at all. At semi-regular intervals, I need to have my blood tested to ensure that I'll be able to clot at least minimally... and when the levels run a little lower, I get a few shots of the stuff to bolster me back up for a while. Transfusions are less-concentrated, take plenty more time, and are something that I hate a whole lot more. But they're supposedly much better for me after an accident. I'd rather weather a dozen injections than go through a single damned transfusion, and of course, my mom knows this.

"I'm sorry honey. I was actually thinking of taking a few days off work and bringing Fumiko and Hitomi down to visit for a few days. So long as we've got you as a captive audience for a little while. We've all been planning on it sometime soon, but there's no time like the present, is there?"

That's a welcome surprise. The house is just far enough away from Yamaku that I only get to really head back on real 'vacations' rather than every-time there's a long weekend. Similarly, between Fumiko and Hitomi's extracurricular activities it wasn't easy for the three of them to just swing by for a casual visit. I could definitely use a bit of company that didn't come from the school. I haven't really had much of an opportunity to talk to either of my sisters in a while, and I'm even missing Fumiko a bit.

"Would that be acceptable?" Mom's voice breaks my momentary reverie, tone just lightly teasing as she's obviously trying to simply get an answer out of me.

"That'd be nice." I admit, actually managing to eek out the first smile of today at the thought of seeing my family for the first time in what feels like far too long. "When do you think you could get here?"

"Oh... probably mid-day tomorrow if I can convince your sisters to pack quickly. I know that there's a morning train that stops at the nearby station by just a little after noon." I let out just a little sigh of relief... happy that I might get some time away from thinking about Yamaku, about the hospital, and most of all about Hisao by tomorrow. "So just soldier on for another day, missy. We'll stay down there for a little while, make a mini-vacation out of it. You'll be able to introduce us all to your friends when you get back to school."

The bit of a smile that I'd finally broken out into in relief finds itself feeling like a fake mask.

I may or may not sometimes somewhat... exaggerate things at Yamaku to make my mother feel just a little bit better. She certainly doesn't think that I more or less keep to myself; has no real idea about why I'm in the hospital beyond falling down the stairs, and probably has some expectations that won't exactly be met if she looks too much into things here. I get a feeling that if she knew everything about everything, all she'd do is feel bad and worry even more about me than she does already. My gut is sinking right back to the same sucky place it'd been just a few minutes before the phone-call.

"Sure thing, mom." I find myself saying automatically, my mouth working faster than my mind by putting off the inevitable and just hoping that it wouldn't come to be.

"Alright, hang in there, Mina. We love you!" The phone goes dead as I mumble a reply in kind, letting my arm drop to the pillow.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, something will come up with my mother's work and they'll need to go back a little early. Or Fumiko or Hitomi will remember some big thing or the other that's happening at school and pressure her to leave early. Maybe, just maybe it'll all manage to turn out alright.

Yeah... right; just like everything else always does, right Mina?

The anger hits a boiling point for a moment, and I find myself slinging the wireless phone across the room, putting a nice dent in the wall even as my wrist screams in protest. I turn in bed and plant my face in the pillow, ignoring all the wires that pull against my moving. I really can't bother myself to give a shit if I mess up the instrument's readings for a moment as I almost soundlessly scream all of my frustration into the pillow. Even if nobody but me can hear the words, muffled by the pillow, at least it's a way to vent the frustration.

Fuck. My. LIFE!
Last edited by CloudGrain on Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

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Oscar Wildecat
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:07 pm

I hate Hisao Nakai; the one person to treat me like any other person in the world. The one person who'd been my friend for more than a few days before somehow finding out about my condition and feeling the need to treat me like some sort of fragile, broken person.
The irony here is that if she were upfront with him about her condition, none of this would probably have ever had happened -- and she would have had gotten everything she wanted from Hisao that she lost with her deception. (I would imagine this fact plays into your act/scene titles...)

Good chapter, BTW.

Oh yeah...
it could'v been
should be
it could've been
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by CloudGrain » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:14 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:
I hate Hisao Nakai; the one person to treat me like any other person in the world. The one person who'd been my friend for more than a few days before somehow finding out about my condition and feeling the need to treat me like some sort of fragile, broken person.
The irony here is that if she were upfront with him about her condition, none of this would probably have ever had happened -- and she would have had gotten everything she wanted from Hisao that she lost with her deception. (I would imagine this fact plays into your act/scene titles...)

Good chapter, BTW.

Oh yeah...
it could'v been
should be
it could've been
Indeed, you're pretty close to correct on that fact. If she'd been just a tiny bit more honest, things probably wouldn't have come crashing down quite so spectacularly all around her. I'd still argue that things might have come to a certain head, especially over the fact that her condition still isn't exactly something small. But quite a bit less of an explosion.

Fixed the issue, thanks kindly for spotting it out for me! For some odd reason, chrome counts the first as proper and the second as 'improper', so I probably neglected the correct spelling and didn't notice the incorrect one because of the lack of red-lines... God, I'm spoiled rotten by technology. :P
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by TheTealeaf » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:27 pm

-whistles-

Daymn Cloud.

The bitterness from Mina is practically oozing from the screen as I read, even though she really has only herself to blame..

It's beautiful in it's own twisted way.
CloudGrain wrote:I hate the fact that he'd cared enough to try and find out what was wrong with me.
Ohhh mina, mina, mina you've only really got yourself to blame my dear.

Excellent update.
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:28 pm

Yeah, like other people have said, she only has herself to blame. I really hope she realizes that soon, because I don't personally enjoy bitterness all that much. The fact that she's mad at Hisao over something that's mostly her fault kinda annoys me. I understand this stuff has it's place, but the sooner Mina is able to realize she was wrong, the better.
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:32 pm

CloudGrain wrote: Indeed, you're pretty close to correct on that fact. If she'd been just a tiny bit more honest, things probably wouldn't have come crashing down quite so spectacularly all around her. I'd still argue that things might have come to a certain head, especially over the fact that her condition still isn't exactly something small. But quite a bit less of an explosion.
I would imagine it would have been something like when she found out about Hisao's arrhythmia -- a short burst of candy-coated drama followed by a quick return to normalcy.
CloudGrain wrote: Fixed the issue, thanks kindly for spotting it out for me! For some odd reason, chrome counts the first as proper and the second as 'improper', so I probably neglected the correct spelling and didn't notice the incorrect one because of the lack of red-lines... God, I'm spoiled rotten by technology. :P
I wish I could be spoiled rotten by technology. For some reason, technology seems to love to bully me around... :?
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.” - Winston Churchill
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by CloudGrain » Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:40 pm

TheTealeaf wrote:-whistles-

Daymn Cloud.

The bitterness from Mina is practically oozing from the screen as I read, even though she really has only herself to blame..

It's beautiful in it's own twisted way.
CloudGrain wrote:I hate the fact that he'd cared enough to try and find out what was wrong with me.
Ohhh mina, mina, mina you've only really got yourself to blame my dear.

Excellent update.
Indeed, it's all quite her own fault. Still, after countless encounters with far too many bitter people, I've found that precious few of them can see what's six inches in front of them as they bitch about it all. Alas, it's quite rude to pull out a mirror in the middle of a conversation to allow them to talk to themselves and see just how ridiculous they look.

Looking forwards to your own hopeful update tomorrow mate!
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Yeah, like other people have said, she only has herself to blame. I really hope she realizes that soon, because I don't personally enjoy bitterness all that much. The fact that she's mad at Hisao over something that's mostly her fault kinda annoys me. I understand this stuff has it's place, but the sooner Mina is able to realize she was wrong, the better.
You're certainly not wrong that she's got herself to blame. On the bitterness part... well, unfortunately in this case it's simply how Mina's coping with it all. It'll probably be not the most engaging reading if you're not a huge fan of the bitterness and anger, but there ought to be a few nuggets in there that're still quite worthwhile. (Or at least, based on the plans I've got in mind, I truly hope that there will be!) Nice though it would be to just bludgeon a bit of sense into Mina, it'd sort of go against the character that I've built her up to be. Impulsive, yet, but also stubborn when she gets her mind set on some little idea. She could've stopped lying at any time, but decided not to because it was easier that way. Now that she's in a heap of trouble, she'll be a bit of a pain in the ass until I can give her the necessary kick in the ass to admit that she's wrong.

Shouldn't be terribly terribly long a wait. :D
Oscar Wildecat wrote:
CloudGrain wrote: Indeed, you're pretty close to correct on that fact. If she'd been just a tiny bit more honest, things probably wouldn't have come crashing down quite so spectacularly all around her. I'd still argue that things might have come to a certain head, especially over the fact that her condition still isn't exactly something small. But quite a bit less of an explosion.
I would imagine it would have been something like when she found out about Hisao's arrhythmia -- a short burst of candy-coated drama followed by a quick return to normalcy.
CloudGrain wrote: Fixed the issue, thanks kindly for spotting it out for me! For some odd reason, chrome counts the first as proper and the second as 'improper', so I probably neglected the correct spelling and didn't notice the incorrect one because of the lack of red-lines... God, I'm spoiled rotten by technology. :P
I wish I could be spoiled rotten by technology. For some reason, technology seems to love to bully me around... :?
To the first bit, it certainly could have been as simple as that. As a hypothetical situation, hell, I'd even sort of considered her condition being the one that was a little more suddenly found out with Hisao being the stubborn idiot. But this allows for a certain little bit of... fluidity wouldn't be quite the right way to describe it, but close enough. Maybe malleability. It allows for a certain malleability of the story, for a departure from Yamaku that puts things into a sort of limbo where I can toss in a few nice little tidbits that'd otherwise just be details lost in the mix.

As to the second; there's still always something that goes wrong! I still suck at something like ninety-nine percent of technology, despite being able to navigate the nets pretty easy. I'm the only person in my trouble who has serious difficulty when trying to use our family-room's television. Since I've got everything at my disposal from my computer anyway, I only bother attempting about once every few months. Gotta beat your head against a wall for some things to work sometimes.
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by Solistor » Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:42 am

Is it weird that I enjoyed this chapter? Maybe not so much the seething bitterness but more the fact that we finally got a look into Mina's inner workings and found out that things aren't as fluffy and cute as they are on the outside. The fact that we now have a sense of her struggles and her internal bleeding conflict. The fact that IT WAS HEMOPHILIA I FUCKING CALLED IT

At any rate, still very much invested in this story and now that Mina's condition and her feelings about it have finally surfaced, I'm anticipating your plans for how Hisao is going to handle it. All "Master of Romance" jokes aside, a lot of his thoughts about their relationship seem to mirror Mina's thoughts quite closely. All those seemingly-odd mentions of "returning to normalcy" seem to be foreshadowing an important theme that I may or may not have also called.

Looking forward to your next update, as always! We'll see if I'm two for two down the line, eh? :twisted:
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by brythain » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:46 am

And that is why I was thinking... heh, cerebral haemorrhage... and then I realised it was supposed to be a full route and not a tragedy.

This reminds me somewhat of a certain Rika route, the depths of bitterness plumbed. Eeeeeeh.
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.
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:57 am

So after all this build-up she's "just" a haemophiliac?
I have to admit I expected something a bit more... severe after all the reactions of Emi, Shizune etc.
Haemophilia is certainly not something that preculdes sufferes from going on walks on their own or playing soccer^^°
As opposed to 50 years ago it's not even life-threatening if treated correctly.

Also, there's another heamophiliac in their class (Haruhiko) who doesn't seem to be getting the same eggshell-treatment.
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Re: A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Six Up]

Post by CloudGrain » Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:48 am

Solistor wrote:Is it weird that I enjoyed this chapter? Maybe not so much the seething bitterness but more the fact that we finally got a look into Mina's inner workings and found out that things aren't as fluffy and cute as they are on the outside. The fact that we now have a sense of her struggles and her internal bleeding conflict. The fact that IT WAS HEMOPHILIA I FUCKING CALLED IT

At any rate, still very much invested in this story and now that Mina's condition and her feelings about it have finally surfaced, I'm anticipating your plans for how Hisao is going to handle it. All "Master of Romance" jokes aside, a lot of his thoughts about their relationship seem to mirror Mina's thoughts quite closely. All those seemingly-odd mentions of "returning to normalcy" seem to be foreshadowing an important theme that I may or may not have also called.

Looking forward to your next update, as always! We'll see if I'm two for two down the line, eh? :twisted:
Maybe just a bit weird, but certainly better than if you'd loathed it at all levels. :lol: It's more or less meant to do exactly that though, explore Minako as a person just as we've all explored Hisao as a person through all of his routes and all the stories from his point of view. I feel as though admitting your 'rightness' in regards to the thoughts of normalcy. This route focuses heavily upon the idea of both of the pair coming, more or less, to terms with their conditions. You can ignore something, hide something, deny something all you want. But in the end, it'll still be there, ready to jump out whenever you give it the opportunity.

Very glad you're enjoying the story thus far! Glad to be able to keep more than a few people at least interested in it. :D
brythain wrote:And that is why I was thinking... heh, cerebral haemorrhage... and then I realised it was supposed to be a full route and not a tragedy.

This reminds me somewhat of a certain Rika route, the depths of bitterness plumbed. Eeeeeeh.
Oof. Now you're making me feel a bit guilty for not having necessarily done a vast majority of the reading that the site has to offer. I've hardly scratched the surface on even some of those fiction pieces that're referenced almost everywhere and seemingly half built into the community itself... worst bit is absolutely knowing that seeing a lot of the common themes would no doubt be helpful to my own writing. *Discreetly adds doing exactly this to a to-do list* But to the other bit, a cerebral hemorrhage would probably be just a tad harder to recover from. Dunno if I could quite bring myself to go the 'ol George R.R. Martin route with characters and just kill them off constantly to keep things moving along. I might be being a bit cruel right now by having Mina being all sorts of bitter with only herself to blame, but I dunno if I could make her just fall over dead without feeling just abysmal.
Mirage_GSM wrote:So after all this build-up she's "just" a haemophiliac?
I have to admit I expected something a bit more... severe after all the reactions of Emi, Shizune etc.
Haemophilia is certainly not something that preculdes sufferes from going on walks on their own or playing soccer^^°
As opposed to 50 years ago it's not even life-threatening if treated correctly.

Also, there's another heamophiliac in their class (Haruhiko) who doesn't seem to be getting the same eggshell-treatment.
There are incredibly varied levels of hemophilia.

Minako, as is alluded to, is a fairly severe hemophiliac who requires relatively frequent injections of the missing precursor for the clotting factor she's missing. Not only does this mean that her body natively is missing this important clotting factor (due to missing the precursor), it means that even after receiving the injection her body still has to produce the clotting factor. I've based her own 'specific' hemophilia off of a missing Factor II (Prothrombin) deficiency, most specifically hypoprothrombinemia, a lower production of prothrombin rather than a deformity in produced prothrombrin. Factor II deficiency based hemophilia is regarded as anything below fifty percent 'effective' prothrombin levels, but can drop all the way to a mere two percent. This means that while a 'mild' sufferer would rarely, if ever need injections or transfusions to raise their effective prothrombin levels to a point where they can clot semi-normally, a 'severe' sufferer would need them at regular or semi-regular intervals. It's widely agreed upon that at the simplest level, the less of the clotting agent in any factor contributing to hemophilia, the more severe the hemophiliac.

To take a quote from a very brief article on the disorder;

"What Is the Long-Term Outlook for Factor II Deficiency?
With proper control, you can lead a normal and healthy life with mild to moderate factor II deficiency. If your deficiency is severe, you will need to work closely with a hematologist throughout your life to reduce bleeding risks and control bleeding episodes."

Minako's a pretty impulsive individual, this is more or less counter-indicated by all the advice that she would receive from any medical professional for a severe hemophiliac. She has, over the course of her life given plenty of reason for people to be concerned about her well-being. I'll be going just a little more into the 'why' people are already so concerned about her of course, but from a purely medical standpoint, I figured that this explanation isn't entirely out of place!
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Act Two, Scene Seven*;

Post by CloudGrain » Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:24 pm

Act Two, Scene Seven*;

When first we practice to deceive




Yesterday had proven to be somewhat exhausting after getting the phone call from my mom. Up until that point, I'd been able to occupy all the time of my day with alternating merely between hating everything and being bored. In a hospital that's only got basic cable, the second was just an inevitable byproduct of being stuck in a bed for the entire day, with the prospect of another few days before I'd be allowed up for more than the occasional supervised bathroom break. But after the call... well, I had the joy of trying to juggle a few more feelings right off the bat. Anticipation, both good and bad; good because I'll get to see my family for a little while, bad because they just might manage to make me feel even worse . It'd take just a few little things to have their visit shifting from being a welcome reprieve from reality to making things just a little bit worse than they already were.

Fumiko would just need to make a few jokes too many at my expense, to casually mention a few too many things she'd done. Mom just needed to ask a few too many eager questions, want to meet a few too many people, otherwise be her sociable self. She'd just need to baby me around a little too much, to just forget how much I hate her voicing how much she worries about me. Or worse, find out entirely new reasons and ways to worry about me. And Hitomi... even Hitomi... well, she'd just need to ask a few questions. I've never really been able to lie to my youngest sister, as if it'd matter, since she's got an uncanny ability to see right through them regardless.

Trying to shift between a combination of anticipation apprehension, hating everything, and being bored really didn't come all that easily. In the end, it actually made me just go to bed a lot earlier than I'd anticipated. This morning, I tried the same thing and found myself tiring right out. I'd more or less relegated to settling into just the anticipation, boredom, and a much easier to maintain grumpiness about the whole situation rather than a complete and utter loathing of it. Keeping my mind off school, and turned more towards the upcoming meeting with my family made it easy enough to ignore what lay in the slightly more distant future of going back to school.

It's easiest to focus on the present though, the boredom and bit of grumpiness.

The TV has all of forty channels, with nothing to really watch. At best, it's more or less some background noise rather than the sounds of the hospital itself. Since I've woken up late in the morning, all I've really managed to accomplish was flickering through the channels boredly and having a light bland lunch. Much as I would hate to be the one to admit it after just about two days in the hospital, I'm actually somewhat missing Yamaku's schoolwork. I'm not even all that good a student, performing just well enough to get by without too much ceremony most of the time. Usually, I'm actually the first one to complain about an overly long assignment... yet here I am, almost wishing that any of the teachers would have brought me something.

Maybe I just want to have it so that by avoiding it I could pretend that whatever else I was doing was a little more interesting than the work...

Bored, surfing through the channels for the umpteenth time trying to find whatever's least boring, I finally and at long last hear the words that I've been anticipating since waking up today.

"Hey Mina! We're here!" It's announced by Fumiko, leading the little group boldly with a wide smile. She looks just a tiny bit taken aback seeing me... I know that I'm a bit of a sight for sore eyes right now. My nose is pretty much all an ugly mottled purple, as well as just a bit of the skin around it reaching out towards my eyes. Both arms have a nice collection of bruises, and I'm pretty well tangled in all the damn wires and tubes. It just takes me giving her a grin to get one back out of her though as she makes her way out of the doorway to let in Hitomi and Mom.

Fumiko and me have always been told that we could practically pass for twins by people who don't know us too well. Just a year apart; both of us inheriting Mom's looks, as well as her hair, and barely deviating more than a few centimeters since we were about ten or eleven... it's always been a somewhat infuriating comparison for me. Her hair's a bit curlier than mine, her eyes are grey-blue instead of my dark-brown, she's got a somewhat more athletic tone to her than I do thanks to all the sports, the list of minor differences goes on and on. Worse still is the fact that everyone always seems to say that we acted the same; even Hisao had grinned and pointed out the fact when I was describing her to him a while back.

Following Fumiko is my mother, smiling as well. I look just a little bit more like her than Fumiko does, despite what everyone else seems to think. She's got the same brown eyes as me, although she keeps her hair cut just a little shorter which doesn't allow it to have too much of a wave to it. As seems to be far too standard, her smile is colored by just a little bit of worry for me, despite her trying to hide it. While it cuts a little bit, it's so standard that it definitely doesn't cut all too deep. I'm just a little bit happier to see her and my sisters, shoving the apprehension of the future aside, than I'm put off by the reactions thus far.

And, of course at the back of the little line is my youngest sister Hitomi. She's the only one of us to have gotten dad's hair, black and straight, and icy blue eyes instead of Fumiko's grey-blue. It's funny, every time I see her she looks just a bit less and less like the kid that I always remember when I think of her. Just last year, she'd gotten rid of the glasses she'd worn for so long in favor of contact-lenses, and just a few months ago she decided to let her hair grow a little longer. Now, it's already a little bit past her shoulders, well past where I customarily think it is. On top of it all, she's definitely grown another few centimeters, creeping up on the rest of us in adolescence. Despite all the changes though, the shy smile she greets me with is still the same as it's been since she was all of two or three years old.

"Mina, you should know that stairs aren't for throwing yourself down by now. I've even demonstrated the fact for you once." Fumiko starts up jokingly, coming close to give me a quick hug, still leading the group. I screw up my face a little, a few years ago Fumiko had done exactly that, twisting an ankle and getting all of two bruises from falling down an even longer flight of stairs. The whole incident ended in nothing more than a cold-pack Fumiko missing a single soccer game. Meanwhile I get stuck in the fucking hospital for a week.

"Well, nothing quite like firsthand experience. Gotta make sure my skull's as thick as yours, right?" Fumiko snorts, pulling back and rolling her eyes.

"Yeah, well... think you're safe on that account." Both of us can hear mom and Hitomi sigh in sync, and pull off appropriately contrite expressions as we lay off one another with just a bit of a nervous laugh. We'll both be the very first to admit that we tend to be just a little harsh with one another.

Mom, next in line embraces me as Fumiko steps aside, only just barely managing to look contrite. "Good to see you, honey. You're doing okay?"

"As okay as I can be, all things considered." I say, figuring that the statement really isn't too far from the truth. I can feel my mother nodding somewhat in the embrace as she pats my back lightly. "Probably better since I get to see you all for a little while." She pulls away and gives me a wide smile at that.

"Well, of course! Like I said yesterday, we've been planning on coming down to visit, or seeing if we couldn't get you away from school for a while to do something together as a family." She gives a half-apologetic, half-guilty smile. "It's just unfortunate that there's always so much going on that something like this is an opportunity for us to all get together as a family." I can't help but grimace a bit myself at that. Between Fumiko's sports, Hitomi's various club-activities, and Mom working full-time, it really isn't easy for them to find any sort of time. Generally, the house is in a state of just-barely contained organized chaos, which is none-too conducive to adding extra things into the mix. "But! At least things worked out this time." She returns to her usual optimism after that slight hitch, getting a bit of a smile out of me.

Finally, Hitomi comes up and gives me a light hug. She's still positively skin and bones, and with the fact that she's growing seems to be just a tiny bit awkward. "Miss me?"

That gets a grin out of her. "Miss breaking up you and Fumiko's fights? As always, yes." I laugh just a little bit at that, and I can see Fumiko grinning out of the corner of my eye as well. None of the three of us can even really remember why me and Fumiko seemed happier to let Hitomi break up our arguments, just that it's always sort of been that way. I can still remember more than a few occasions that seem pretty ridiculous now where we'd deferred to our youngest sister on issues of all sorts. Mom's never really managed to understand the dynamic either, but since it seems to work has just gone with it as well. "But for right now, no fighting. I've just been on the train for way too long, in the car for too long before that, and helping Fumiko pack before even that. So I'm in no mood for it today. Maybe tomorrow though, if you're good." The haughty voice she puts on, all-too-much like one I could almost expect from Mom gets a grin from me at first, and when Fumiko and Mom both start laughing I can't help but join in.

Hitomi's usually pretty quiet, but occasionally breaks out into much the same attitude that the rest of us have. Maybe with just a little bit better taste and timing though. "Fair enough. Wouldn't want to upset you, after all." Hitomi smiles at that, giving me another quick embrace before taking the nearby seat for herself.

"So... settled in alright here, Mina?" Mom asks, looking around the hospital room. I shrug, not really too keen on the question. It's not like I can bring much with me when I'm spirited away on an ambulance, and the hospital gown is pretty much all I exactly get beyond the TV and bed. The whole room's pretty lifeless.

"I suppose. Not like they'd be happy if I started redecorating it anyways. Especially since I'm supposed to keep connected to all the wires for at least another day." I say, trying to force a grin. It doesn't really work terribly well, with both Fumiko and Mom looking sympathetic and Hitomi only managing a similarly forced smile herself. "But, I suppose there's not too much I can do about it today. Maybe tomorrow we can try." That gets just a little bit of relief out of the rest of them, that I'm not taking being in the hospital all too hard. They all know that I loath hospitals on premise, and have witnessed a few impressive tirades on the subject.

"Replace the dinky little TV with a nice movie projector just for you? Get a popcorn stand and stuff in here, and a nice DVD player?" Fumiko quips, more than happy to break the silence. I'm more than glad to start chiming right in myself, building off the concept.

"Maybe replace the bed and the chairs with some really, really nice armchairs? Bother a few celebrities to get early releases of movies well before everyone else?" It doesn't take much for all four of us to latch onto the conversation happily enough, describing how to renovate the room to make it into an absolutely astoundingly comfortable place to spend the next few days I'd be stuck here. Fumiko going into replacing all of the lighting with atmospheric lighting, as well as a built in sound-system. Mom going into all the little things that we glossed over, the little amenities that'd make it more convenient and enjoyable, even if they were only used one time in particular. Hitomi, on the other hand seems to be the one to point out when things would seem to overlap or be unnecessary, or occasionally make that rare universally better idea than something the rest of us have come up with.

It's incredible how much faster time goes by with just a little bit of amusement, a little bit of interaction. Fumiko more or less bounding around to point out places that things would go, expressing with her arms the shapes of things. Mom does it a little less energetically, more pointing as she thinks about things. Hitomi seems content to watch for the most part, but always seems best able to describe things the most perfectly out of us all with smaller less grandiose movements. I, confined to the bed, can't quite make the impact that I wish I could with some of my statements... but it's still far better than sitting around doing nothing. It's amazing when I look at the clock and see that a few long hours have already gone by, light beginning to fade as the sun sets through the single window in the room.

Mom's always been an early-riser, but always early to bed too, so it's hardly a surprise when she admits that she's been up since much earlier than my sisters and is intent on turning in for the night. They've all apparently managed to rent a hotel room within easy walking distance of the hospital, all of two or three blocks away. Fumiko and Hitomi both pout just a little bit at the prospect of turning in quite so early, and manage to wriggle out of going back with her right now so long as they'll be careful walking back in just another hour or so. Still, with Mom leaving the conversation quickly seems to peter out and wander.

Of course, it doesn't take long at all for things to wander in exactly the direction that I'm uncomfortable with.

"I really can't believe that you fell down some stairs, Mina." Fumiko says with an odd expression of distaste at the fact, almost scrunching up her face a little at the prospect. I make a neutral sound at it, hoping to gloss over the subject even as my splinted arm moves up to try an play with the scarf that's not present. It's a habit that I know I've got when I'm trying to avoid a subject or... embellishing slightly on the details of it. One that I'm sure neither Fumiko or Hitomi have forgotten as they seem to go from just a little bored to locking right onto me.

"Mina?" Hitomi asks simply, managing to get me to look just past her in an approximation of looking at her a little uncomfortably, wishing that I could wiggle out of the situation that I was definitely stuck in now. So, of course, quite naturally the first thing that I find myself doing is exactly that.

"Yeah?" I ask, knowing full what Hitomi's asking about. I get a look of disapproval from both my sisters, Fumiko crossing her arms across her chest and leaning back while Hitomi leans forwards with an eerily similar expression. Maintaining an expression of innocent not understanding is pretty close to impossible, and within just a few seconds I feel the expression breaking into a grimace. I'm almost certain that my expression of distaste, for once, might actually pretty close to mirror Fumiko's as the pair exchange a look before looking at me expectantly. "I did though." I admit, looking down towards my hospital gown intently, grimacing.

I can feel my sisters' eyes boring down on me even now, and bite the inside of my cheek for a moment before Fumiko finally speaks up. "Mina, if someone pushed you or something... I'll be more than happy to be the one to push them down a few much longer flights of stairs."

I snort a little at the offer. Fumiko's always gotten to play the 'big sister' in the regard of dealing with people a little more physically. A few times, I can remember the same types of offers being made to beat people up on my behalf, since I'd likely hurt myself doing it. In pretty much every other regard, she still had to admit that I was the older and tiny bit more experienced of the pair of us. But the familiar offer, made so seriously with Fumiko having so obviously forgotten that she might very well be pushing someone without legs down the stairs, is at least a little amusing while I'm stuck with the inquisition.

"No. Nobody pushed me. I just ran down them like an idiot." I sigh, wincing a little bit as the memory of the whole incident is brought painfully close to the forefront of my mind. Of course, and probably with good reason given my avoidance of the subject it doesn't seem like the explanation is nearly good enough for my sisters. "I got into... a pretty big argument with a friend." I say, the words tumbling out easily enough given the fact that they hurt so much.

Fumiko looks just a little bit relieved, but Hitomi goes from an inquisitor's glare to a simple uneasiness. Her misgivings are easy to read, and even Fumiko seems to pick up on them after a few seconds of apparent relief. Of the three of us Hitomi's always had an uncanny ability to see through whatever things we'd make up, or to come up with the best lies for the misadventure's we'd gotten into as kids. It seems like over the past few years, even with seeing precious little of her, that she's managed to keep up on that. Just like I know that I'd defer to her, Fumiko does the same as her own relief seems to evaporate while the uncomfortable silence pervades. Hitomi's icy blue eyes seem to be searching me for any other explanation, and even though I know that the only real way that she'll figure out what I don't want to tell her would be by telling her, and impossible seeming though it is, I find my own resolve pretty rapidly breaking down.

"My... probably my best friend at the school. In front of a lot of other people." I admit, finding my voice cracking just a little bit as I tell something a lot closer to the truth. I find myself wiping a tear out of the corner of my eye, resolving not to look too pathetic in front of my younger siblings. I probably haven't set the greatest examples for them in everything, but I'd definitely prefer them not to see me being totally pathetic. Both of them are looking at me intently again, willing me to go on with more sympathetic expressions now that I'm opening up a little more to their liking.

"It was... bad." I admit, keeping my voice low to keep it from wavering too much. "We screamed at each other, basically, right in the middle of the hallway with just about everyone in our year watching." I'm forcing the worlds past a lump in my throat now, but feel almost obligated to go on. "It... basically ended with us knowing that we weren't going to be friends anymore." Forcing the words out gets harder and harder, and by the end I'm screwing my eyes shut to try and stem the tide of angry-sad tears that I can feel threatening to overflow. I can hear one of them getting up, and within just a second feel Hitomi pressing me into a close hug. I use the opportunity, more than a little to my shame, to sob into her for just a moment. Letting the floodgates loose, even for a moment, sets me up to make the poor judgement call to continue for just a few more words. "He said that we were done."

While Hitomi continues embracing me, I make the mistake of opening an eye to look over her shoulder at Fumiko. She looks surprised for just a fraction of a second at the new information before giving an unsure but still half-cocky smile. I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as she opens her mouth, making some remark I can't remember even a second after she says it, trying to defuse the whole thing with a tiny bit of humor.

I glare at her, and the smile dies within just a few short seconds. I continue to glare at her, and she looks more than a little uncomfortable... within just a moment or so, she's apologizing and making her way out of the room awkwardly, realizing the apparent gravity of her mistake and admitting defeat by waiting outside for Hitomi to catch up a few minutes. I feel more than a little bad as soon as she's actually out of sight, and realize that I've been half-crushing Hitomi the whole time that I was staring lasers at Fumiko. I grimace as I let go of her, feeling utterly terrible all-around again as the memory of the event is at the forefront of my mind.

"Why did you get into an argument with your friend?" Hitomi asks gently, smoothing out her shirt a little.

"Because I didn't tell him about my hemophilia." I admit, brushing away a few stray tears. Hitomi raises an eyebrow over that, almost back into the realm of denying the validity of what I was saying, but giving me a little bit of the benefit of the doubt. "He was a new transfer... I actually got to hang out with him like a normal person for a few weeks. I figured if he'd figured out he'd treat me like everyone always seems to." I say miserably, Hitomi crossing her arms across her chest and listening as I gloss over almost all of the things that we'd done, leaving off the past few days of the summary. Even with her usual ability to see through the little bits of misdirection, she doesn't seem to notice that last little bit, and when it's clear that I'm done she rolls her eyes at me.

My youngest sister, who I've jokingly called not much more than skin and bone a million times before, punches me in the shoulder with enough force than I'm absolutely certain it'll add to my collection of bruises. "Idiot. He just didn't want you to get hurt or anything." She says simply, shaking her head and giving me another hug to make up for the look I shoot her over punching me. "He'd probably be really, really lost if you got hurt when you guys were doing something. He got angry that you couldn't trust him with something like that, which is pretty important. Look where you ended up just falling down a few steps, Mina."

I grunt, unwilling to accept Hitomi's logic fully, but unable to exactly refute it either. I grind my teeth just a little bit at even the thought of Hisao, and give my sister a noncommittal grunt. Hitomi goes on, somewhat surprisingly, with a bit of optimism. "I think that it'll all turn out okay, Mina." She says it with a wide smile, obviously having conviction in her own analysis of the fact. "Buuut, for tonight, I think that Fumiko's been waiting outside for too long. She might get herself into trouble if we don't head to the hotel soon." She looks just a little perturbed with me again for a minute. "You should be nicer to her." I give another noncommittal grunt, a little bit more lightheartedly, and get a much lighter punch to the other shoulder and a briefer hug to match her action earlier.

"See you, Hitomi. Be safe walking to the hotel... tell Fumiko I'm a little sorry." I say as she turns to head out, she turns, smiling with a single quick nod as she reaches the doorway, heading out.

I sink into my bed, checking the time and wondering what'll happen tomorrow... feeling quite a bit better as I've got Hitomi's optimistic statements to end a much better day on. Tomorrow, I just might get some of the medical wiring and tubing taken away from me. I might be allowed just a tiny bit more freedom, a tiny bit more breathing room. Tomorrow would be a new day, where things definitely could turn out alright.

It takes a little doing, but as the rest of the night begins to drag on, I think that I manage to actually convince myself that it just might be a little bit true. Things might just turn out okay.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

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