A Crimson Route [Act Two, Scene Eight Up]

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

Act Two, Scene Five;

Post by CloudGrain » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:47 pm

Act Two, Scene Five;

Boiling Point [Hisao]




Yesterday... yesterday felt like a dream. That's the simplest way to describe it.

Neither Minako or I had exactly confessed to one another, but I don't think that words were exactly necessary after Mina stole her first kiss from me. Sitting on the hill, knowing that Mina reciprocated the sort of feelings I'd been unable to even think about myself... it made the time that we were up there absolutely timeless. I've really got next to no idea about exactly how it all happened, just that somehow, some way, it managed to fall into place spectacularly. It's easy to say that, on my own end, there was relatively little that I felt like I'd done to make Mina feel the same way as I do. She'd been more than willing to sacrifice her own time and energy initially just to hang out with me. She'd been the one who was able to support me when my condition flared up due to my own oversight. She'd been the one who'd more or less always managed to set things in motion.

I'd say that I felt a little guilty for it, but I'd probably be lying if I tried to say that I didn't think that Mina is just as happy with everything as I am. And the mere fact that she's happy makes me happy.

Neither of us had really spent the effort to look at either of our watches last night. Somehow, we managed to slip back into the school-grounds without too much trouble. While I'm almost certain that at one point we'd been spotted by one of the night-time Nursing patrols, nobody called us out. I can't help but think that sometimes, the school's staff might just turn a blind eye to a few little escapades like these. After all, in a high-school there's bound to be students who decide that they're more or less right for one another.

I got to bed a little late, with Mina jokingly saying that she wanted to watch the sunrise with me too. Given her lack of apparently waking up too quickly in the mornings, it'd been something I'd dismissed pretty easily.

And it's the last thought on my mind as a hand clamps over my mouth to wake me up. "The invasion's begun, Hisao. Or at least the preliminary eliminations of high-value targets. I'm going to need your help to get out of this alive, the sniper missed with their cold-shot. You'll need to run interference." After a moment of legitimately being scared for my life, the hand comes off of my mouth at roughly the same moment that I realize who's speaking in my completely dark room. I almost growl out the name.

"Kenji."

The red light of my alarm clock glares off the thick glasses for a moment, proving me right as I vaguely detect some motion of his silhouette. "Yeah, dude. I'm gonna need you to run interference for the sniper. Trust me, things are about to go down. We're gonna need to stick together if you want to have any real chance of surviving the next forty-eight hours. We're gonna need to get out of strike-distance of the major-" Kenji's ranting begins, and I immediately find myself tuning him out as I realize that my heart's still in the process of slowing down from the scare he'd given me.

I can see why the hallway's otherwise deserted. If Kenji's pulled stunts like this before, he's probably lucky to not have been thrown out a window. Irritable at having been woken up from a pretty blissful sleep, I finally find my voice to cut him off.

"Kenji. What the hell are you talking about?"

I get the feeling that he's somehow believing that he's got the right to look at me judgmentally right now as he pauses. The red glare off of his glasses is more than a little disconcerting, and I'm really beginning to wonder just how safe I am with this near-psychopath living in the room right across from me. All of the locks that he's got on his door really should be reversed so that people only need to deal with him when they're well-prepared for the ordeal. "The feminist infiltration, man! The shit that I've been trying to tell you was gonna happen is happening! I woke up to a sniper trying to take me out with blind-fire into my room. I'm just lucky that I switched where the bed was, else I'd likely be laying in a pool of my own blood and brains right now. Mankind's best hope, gone!" He says, exasperated as I pinch the bridge of my nose, somehow doubting the fact. "I'm telling you, silenced feminist snipers!"

Something just sort of snaps inside me at that. As much as I'd rather avoid confrontation with Kenji, I suppose that it was inevitable.

"Kenji. There are no evil feminists out to kill you, you idiot." Kenji's rant stops suddenly at that. "I don't know what sick twisted reality you're living in, but I know that it sure as hell isn't this one. Go back to your room and go back to sleep." It's insane that I feel like I'm telling a three-year old to go back to bed after having a nightmare... even worse when Kenji's silence abruptly ends with him speaking again instead of leaving my room and even temporarily deciding to accept reality. It seems like my fuming at him didn't accomplish a single thing, or at least nothing beyond the moment's respite.

"Hisao. There are snipers outside ready to give me a lethal dose of impromptu high-speed lead poisoning to the head if they notice any movement now."

With a few choice words, I decide that the best way to deal with this might well be to treat it exactly like a toddler's nightmare. I get up, pushing past Kenji towards his room, shaking him off as he tries to 'warn me against going back for the documents'. Luckily, his doorway is now apparently some sort of a ward against demons of insanity and he stops short of entering with me. I'm more than glad, based on the mostly-shadowed objects of the room that the lights are off. I feel like the contents would definitely reflect Kenji's absolutely insane theories. Stepping over, and on, several odd objects and happy that none of them trigger a booby-trap of some sort, I reach the heavy curtains and tear them down.

The glass is completely fine, rather than shattered by a stray bullet.

"See, Kenji? All of this is-"

I'm interrupted by a 'ping' behind me from the glass as something strikes it. I'm almost, for a full few seconds, willing to entertain the thought that Kenji might not be so wrong after all before I witness the cause of the sounds as it's repeated. A white pebble, maybe the size of my thumbnail gently coming in an arc and rattling against the window before falling down. Tracing the arc back down, I see a certain red scarf that makes the whole situation just a little more bearable, if confusing.

Breaking into a grin, I turn on my feet and head towards my room, intent on changing into some casual clothes quickly and grabbing a jacket to go outside. The first thought that comes to mind is that Mina probably decided that she really did want to see the sunrise with me, and thought that she was hitting my window with the pebbles. Being right at an odd 'corner' of the dormitory building, with Kenji's being the opposite and only the one time she'd come up to my room to go off of, it'd be unsurprising. Of course, in the hallway, apparently continuing to freak out over the whole incident, Kenji's got no idea about why I've just apparently woken up and decided to get prepared to go outside.

In an already significantly better mood, I decide to somewhat humor Kenji for the moment.

"Don't think it's as bad as you thought. Dealt with this situation before, I should be back in an hour or two, right before classes start." My eyes more adjusted to the light, I can see that Kenji looks downright taken aback by my change in attitude.

"You're sure?" He asks, his voice wavering slightly.

"Positive, I've ran the numbers half a dozen times." Where pointing out logical facts failed miserably... spouting the exact same vaguely insane conspiracy nonsense seems to loosen Kenji up like a charm. "Wait about ten, fifteen minutes, and you should be good to resume operations. Alright?" I ask, clapping him on the shoulder once as I go to leave. I turn around to make sure that Kenji's more or less got the plan when I get halfway down the hallway, to see him smartly saluting me with a grave expression on his face. I give him one of my own as I walk backwards a few steps before turning and continuing on my way out, resolving to put in for a room transfer.

It doesn't take me more than a few minutes to make my way out of the building and out to the corner of the building where Mina's tossing an occasional pebble with an adorably annoyed expression, presumably because I'm taking just a little too long for her liking. Managing to sneak up on her, I actually manage to scare her just a tiny bit when I get close enough to speak without her noticing me.

"You know, that's the wrong window." She's startled for a fraction of a moment as she turns to face me, then replaces the expression with a wide grin that makes my heart leap in my chest for a moment. The same simple rightness of yesterday seems to come back without a problem as Mina tosses the pebble in her hand at me, sticking her tongue out before closing the distance between us and embracing me. She gives me a quick peck on the lips to make up for tossing the pebble at me, getting a wide smile from me. Returning the hug, I continue speaking. "And you managed to get Kenji to think that he'd just avoided being assassinated. Not my favorite way to wake up." I admit, getting Minako to pull back for a second with an expression and a single word that pretty much perfectly sums up my own mind when dealing with Kenji.

"What...?"

I chuckle as I begin to explain the whole situation, mindlessly beginning to walk with Mina, hand in hand in as light starts to come over the horizon. Mina's own laughter quickly manages to come forth as well as she shakes her head in disbelief. I think that Kenji's one of those cases that reality is actually stranger than a lot of the more crazy stuff that I could come up with on my own. We end up more or less wandering over to the track and sitting on the bleachers as we realize that the sun's coming up from almost a perfect angle to watch from there. The seats are just a little bit less comfortable than sitting on top of the hill had been last night, but with Mina back to leaning on my shoulder in exactly the same way as yesterday... I don't think that I could bring myself to complain.

Strange as it seems, watching the sunrise in complete silence with Mina is just as comfortable as all the times that we've talked about absolutely nothing of importance. I'm pretty sure that I'm still wearing the same wide grin that I think has been plastered to my face since last night, save a few minutes when I was dealing with Kenji. I barely think that I need the jacket today... it's brisk, but otherwise promising to be a near-perfect day. The sunrise is pretty, although a little less spectacular than yesterday's sunset if I'm honest. Still, with Mina leaning up against me and an arm around her, I can't exactly say that I'm unhappy to have missed another hour or two of sleep for it.

I feel Mina shifting against me for a minute, and hear a slight discontent mumbling from her as she apparently checks her watch.

"Sorry. I've still got some homework I forgot last night, and need to get ready for classes... I should probably head out" She says, screwing up her face a little to show her distaste for it all. I can't help but grin, both sympathetically wishing that she could stick around for a while longer and at the fact that I poke her in the side to get her going. Mina yelps just a little bit at the poke, and shoots me a slightly evil look for a moment before rolling her eyes and grinning.

"Best get going then. Can't have you failing classes on my account. That'd probably make me a bad boyfriend, or something. I think I'll wait around here for a little while, wait out Kenji." Mina snorts at that, but looks pretty happy nonetheless as she leans over for a quick kiss goodbye. I oblige without a second thought, getting a bit of a blush out of a more-than content Minako as she stands up and begins to head off the bleachers. I can't help but wonder when we'll be able to hang out again, and feel like now might be a decent time to ask the question. "Mina, free after classes today?" I ask, just loudly enough for my voice to carry to her. She turns around, grinning in the way that she does.

"Yep! Come on over to my room like twenty minutes after classes, alright?" I grin, giving her a thumbs up, more than pleased with the arrangement.

Comfortable, I sit back in the bleachers and close my eyes... suddenly coming to the realization that I'm still missing out a few hours of precious sleep. Within just a moment or two, I find myself dozing ever-so-slightly, simply and pretty perfectly content. Of course, by the time that I've just barely managed to begin to really doze off, I'm woken up by something a little unexpected.

"Is that Hisao?" I crack open an eye, looking for the source of the voice. I'm just barely surprised to see Emi, her running legs on, standing off to the side of the track with a somewhat confused expression that changes to a bit of a grin as I push myself a little more upright. "It is! But you're not dressed to run, which is no good. I didn't think you were the type to get up early at all though." She says it all cheerfully enough, poking just a little bit of fun at me for not running. I rub the back of my neck, aware once again of Emi trying to rope me into being a little more active... she's probably right, after my latest 'incident'. Although, I've still got my doubts about running as being the sport for me.

"Normally I'm not." I admit as Emi stretches and apparently gets herself ready to hit the track at this ungodly hour. "But I ah... woke up a bit early to watch the sunrise." I say simply, remembering somewhere in the back of my mind that Emi's a part of Mina's class, and that Emi's not exactly the close-mouthed sort of person. I don't think that it'd be the best thing in the world for my relationship with Mina if I were to tell Emi about it before she'd even had a chance to talk to any of her friends about it. Emi suddenly looks at me a little suspiciously for a moment, she stops stretching as she cocks her head and seems to examine me for a moment. If I'm not completely wrong, there's a bit of concern in her eyes.

"Was there a girl out here too when the sun was coming up? Probably wearing a red scarf?" I blink once or twice, confused at the bit of concern added to the question.

"Er... yeah, Mina was out here too." Emi seems to relax just a little bit at that.

"Oh! Good, she even introduced herself." Emi says, smiling just a bit before seeming to pick up a little bit of my confusion. "She's ah... it's usually best if there are people around, just in case something happens." She says simply, getting me to furrow my brow even more deeply. "What's wrong?" She asks, looking a little more concerned at the explanation not clearing things up.

"Emi. I've been hanging out with Mina pretty much since I've started here at Yamaku."

Emi looks a bit shocked at that. "Really?" She asks, the question making me realize that as this conversation goes on, more and more of the happy, calm, content feeling is fading away with a startling speed. I give a curt nod, finding myself on my feet and heading down to the bottom of the bleachers, wide awake. "I just... I dunno. Nobody really seemed to notice, I guess. Minami's always been pretty hard to follow." Emi frowns at that, fairly intently, apparently disapproving of it. "Even if it's better for her not to be."

The strange new perspective isn't helping me at all as I find myself steadying my breath. The way that Emi's talking is... not at all good, and contributing to an unwelcome feeling somewhere in the pit of my stomach. Replacing contentedness with some sort of combination of fear, anxiety, and doubt in the idea of even being content. "Emi, why would it be concerning that she would be out here by herself?" Emi's eyes pop open in just a little bit of actual shock at the question.

"She didn't tell you?!" Emi immediately looks almost angry, before suddenly seeming to register that she'd stepped over some boundary. It's impossible to ignore some little bits of etiquette in this school... and the number one rule, the one I'd known without asking, innately was not to ask about why a person was here. Even in a case like Emi's, there probably was some sort of a story behind the obvious reason that she didn't want to relive on a daily basis. And true to that single unspoken rule, Emi clamps her jaw shut as soon as it's evident that she's gone a bit too far. Concerned or not... I doubt I'd get a single word out of her. Even for Minako's own well-being. I find myself clenching my jaw shut, not out of fear of talking, but at the tiny seed of anger that's been planted somewhere in my stomach.

Emi had been concerned about Mina being even just out along. That makes me concerned about just what in the hell Emi's was concerned about... and feel somewhat like I've somehow missed, or simply not told some crucial detail. Something that would concern Emi, being just in the same class as Mina, not even as a friend should be something that concerns me. It should be something that I should probably know, since I've been around her so much. It should be something that hasn't been kept somewhat of a secret from me. It's not exactly a high-note to leave a conversation, but since pressing Emi won't help, I figure that I might as well head out and try to get some idea of what's going on.

"Yeah. Alright. Thanks Emi." I say, struggling just a little bit to try and keep my tone at least flat as I turn on my heels and walk back to my dorm-room.

Kenji's nowhere to be found, and I can't say that I particularly care.

I take a long, hot shower as I try to put my mind off the brief conversation that I'd had with Emi.

Maybe Emi was exaggerating things.

Maybe Mina had just somehow really managed to have the whole thing slip her mind, or had thought she'd explained it to me at some point.

Maybe I'm over-reacting, and everything's not nearly as bad as the pit in my stomach tells me it is.

All of the thoughts that I find myself thinking, wishing that I could believe in, are pretty easy to dismiss.

Emi... I don't think she would be genuinely concerned if something wasn't genuinely concerning.

Mina... she's impulsive, sure, but she's still a pretty smart person. She can remember all of the jokes between us, little facts I barely remember telling her, manage to put two and two together pretty often. It's not like she would just 'forget' to tell me something that was apparently so important.

And me... I'm probably justified in this sickening feeling in my gut.

I go through the motions of my morning routine with rigid, mechanical motions as I try to keep all of the angry and fearful thoughts locked up. There should be a few opportunities for me to find out, if not the actual full facts at least some part of whatever Mina's been hiding from me over the course of the day. It doesn't take too long to convince myself, at least at some superficial level that I might hear something to contradict my earlier thoughts in the shower, taking my own medication. Maybe, just maybe, Emi was concerned about something not unlike my own condition that could be managed by pills. Maybe she'd just thought that Mina being out and doing things early in the mornings meant that she might have forgotten them. I push the memory of her room, of the lack of prescription bottles anywhere out of my mind with a reminder of all the drawers they could be in. After all, she'd presumably had some time to prepare the room a little bit before I went over.

With a few deep breaths and steadying thoughts, I finally finish my preparations for classes, grabbing my bag and heading towards the main building... it hardly matters that I'll be about forty minutes early.

Classes... hardly make things any better. If anything, I'd have to admit that they make the anxiety and fear, the feelings of betrayal and being lied to worse.

My usual partners for group-work, Lezard and Akio dance around the subject even more lightly than Emi had.

"You guys know a Minako Minami who goes here?"

"Minami? Yeah, I've met her a few times. Nice enough girl, yeah... but... y'know..." Lezard twirls his pen between his fingers, biting the inside of his cheek. "I'd probably put her on the same list as Akio for people I don't envy. No offence, Akio." Lezard admits, looking a little nervously over to Akio across their desks. From what I've gathered... whatever Lezard's reason for being in Yamaku was, it wasn't an immediate 'threat' to his well-being. Or if it was, it was something that was pretty well managed. He's fairly active within the literature club, and seems to hang out with most of the members of the club pretty often outside of the club-meetings. Akio... on the other hand. He'd admitted very casually his own condition when I'd finally asked about the cane a week or so ago. Osteoporosis, a disease that causes his bones to be exceptionally fragile.

If I were to knock him out of his seat right now, he'd probably suffer half a dozen fractures. If he were to just fall, even catching himself fairly well, he'd still likely suffer some fractures. The cane is very simply a tool for him to ensure that accidents like that didn't happen. Since I've met him, he's always been just a generally careful person. Extraordinarily precise and careful with his movements, as well as his speech and homework assignments. On the majority of the Japanese or English groupwork that the class is given, he really manages to lead the way for our group.

"No offence taken. I believe that you're right though, Lezard." Akio says slowly, closing his eyes as he looks as though he's mulling over a somewhat amusing thought. I've learned that Akio's sense of humor is sometimes a little... morbid and strange. He's stated several times that it helps him to 'cope' just a little bit, saying that if you couldn't poke fun at everything, you probably shouldn't poke fun at anything at all. He's a brutally logical machine most of the time, but sometimes, in a few things it feels just a bit like the logic might just be the tiniest bit off. Still, I can't help myself from asking the question most times anyways, and with potential to get a tiny bit of insight into Mina's own reason for being here it's all the more reason to ask.

"Penny for your thought?"

"I remember once, in the first year when I was in the same class as her being told that if the two of us were thrown together as one person that as soon as the resulting hybrid tripped, it'd be the biggest mess imaginable." Akio says very simply, snorting at the thought. Lezard gives a very slightly uncomfortable grin at that, while I just shake my head at how useless the statement is to me. "Why, Hisao? Not interested in going after her, are you? Might as well try to woo me while you're at it." Lezard snorts at that one a little more comfortably, and I just roll my eyes and shake my head, somehow managing to keep myself from being caught in a lie. We get back to the work without too much of an issue.

After lunch, I decide to do the science group-work with Misha and Shizune, to Akio and Lezard's indifference, barking up the same tree. The pair look surprised at my roundabout question, with Shizune apparently seeing through my nonchalant question, and Misha translating the conversation at an uncharacteristically low tone. "Hicchan, are you asking about her because you think you might'v accidentally hurt Minami?" Misha's expression is serious... or at least, as serious as anyone's face can be when they've got two massive pink drills framing their head.

"No." I admit, my gut sinking slightly as the fact that it was their first conclusion makes my one hope, that perhaps somehow the situation seemed exaggerated, die a small death. "I'm asking because..." I sigh, conceding defeat, deciding to be honest. "I've hung out with her for a while now, and the topic's never come up. I mean, we went into town, the forest all sorts of-"

Shizune gets as close to blowing up as I think is possible as Misha is translating, signing hot and heavy for Misha to translate. Misha looks appropriately flustered, at a loss as Shizune continues on signing with just a tiny bit more control as Mutou casts a glance over at our group for a moment. I think that a few questions and answers go back and forth between the pair while I sit back, slouching in my chair, feeling drained, as though I've done something wrong and am waiting to be chewed out by a parent.

Misha finally looks like she understands what she's supposed to say, flashing a grin of triumph at having gotten things down and a last sign to Shizune before turning to me with a suddenly serious expression. "Hicchan. Shicchan says that it was irresponsible of both of you to go out so far from the school, but that at least Minami brought someone with her. Minami's probably just as stubborn as Shicchan about a few things-" The last bit is said with a smile, I've got a feeling it's an embellishment. "-but..." Misha's expression gets somewhat downcast. "there are some things that she should definitely tell you." She winces, actually winces at the last few words. The simple movement cuts through me somewhere deep in my gut, that apparently the topic is just that taboo. "There are reasons that she wasn't allowed to work at the stalls or anything during the festival; and reasons why she's not supposed to be doing too much outside of the school either."

I find my jaw clenching shut as I give a very simply nod of understanding rather than pursuing the topic any further. Minako had told me that she'd been working, not just one, but several stalls during the festival. And there'd never been a single word about the fact that she shouldn't be wandering around. I get the feeling that whatever her condition is... it's serious enough that not having the proper supervision is a real danger to her health. And for whatever reason, she'd apparently never found fit to share any single word of that with me.

I feel sick.

I plow on through the rest of class, wishing that it was over sooner so that I could confront the issue. When they're over, I find myself going with the flow of students mindlessly.

That's when I see the familiar flash of red, just a matter of down the hallway. As much as I know that this whole thing could wait until just a little bit later, some urge to get this feeling out of my gut. To have Mina admit something, have her tell me that it wasn't at all as bad as it seemed takes over. Twenty more minutes of my life without the doubt that Minako had lied to me over and over on purpose for some unknown reason would be well-worth whatever awkwardness was caused by me barging through a few people.

"Mina!"

Mina turns towards me, looking just a little confused, but managing a smile. "Uh, hey, Hisao?" She says simply, looking more than a bit confused now. "You alright?"

"No. We need to talk." I say simply, stone-faced. Minako's own expression falls, suddenly getting all too serious. It almost looks like she's got some idea about what I'm talking about before I even say it. "Why am I hearing all about the fact that 'Mina should be more careful' when I mention your name. And why do I get people looking at me like I'm crazy when I say that you and me went out to town, or into the forest? Why am I getting told that you've been lying to me." My voice is startlingly low, almost a growl as Mina stares at the ground. People in the hallway are starting to look at us, more than a little confused at the occurrence. Why shouldn't they be? After all, apparently, somehow, Minako's managed to make it so that the pair of us are never seen together. My eyes feels like it twitches as that small fact seems to come to mind as well, another damning bit of evidence.

"Can we talk somewhere else?" Her voice wavers as she refuses to make eye-contact with me.

"No!" Minako flinches at the word, as well as a few other students all around us. Every bit of concern that I have is being channeled into exactly the same voice that every bit of my anger at being lied to is, with Mina's apparent half-admission to the lies. It's no wonder that the word comes out so forcefully. I manage to get out one more word, practically chewing it out. "Why?"

Her posture is one of complete and utter defeat as she refuses to look up at me. "Because..." She starts, then stops, shaking her head as a sob racks her frame. Much as I might feel terrible for doing this to her, much as I might feel like a horrible human being for confronting her like this in the middle of so many people, I need an answer. I don't think that I can even back down now... if she didn't look so guilty as soon as I told her that we'd needed to talk. If she hadn't tried to somewhat avoid the whole thing just by asking to talk somewhere else... this would all be so much easier.

"Mina. Why?" I ask, a little less forcefully this time. Minako lets another sob rack her frame, finally looking up at me. I'm more than a little surprised at the emotion I see... it's not the same guilt, the same feeling of defeat that'd been in her posture just a second ago. As she takes a deep breath, I see her drawing up from some reserve deep down, her expression more or less reflects the same anger that I feel somewhere deep inside me.

"Because it shouldn't matter!" She snarls at me, voice incredibly quiet. The whole hallway's gone silent as the grave by now, students frozen as they watch the scene unfold. I've got no doubt that soon some teachers are going to be out, ensuring that something terrible hasn't happened. "Because it shouldn't matter, Hisao!" She repeats, gaining just a little bit of volume. "Because every time that someone knows, they'll treat me like a fucking doll, and I didn't want you to! Because when you dropped on the ground the other day, I didn't feel the need to tell anyone!" By now, she's nearly shouting it in my face, tears streaming down her face. She tries to collapse into my chest, but I find myself stepping back, somehow unable to make myself take her in my arms as she breaks down again.

She lied to me.

She lied to me, because she wanted me to treat her differently.

She lied to me, because she wanted me to treat her differently, because the way that everyone else treated her... was because of something for her own well-being. Because they wanted to be able to keep her out of some sort of harm's way. But me? I apparently wasn't worthy to know what it was that I should be aware of doing when around her. When I was a stranger, that was acceptable. But when I'd become an acquaintance? A friend? Would she have even bothered to tell me now that we're together? What would've happened somewhere down the line when I managed to hurt her...? By the way everyone else had spoken about her, it definitely wasn't an 'if' question, it was a when. How would I be able to deal with it?

There's a sour taste in my mouth as I say the one thing that I think just might somehow be able to set things right. I can only do my part though, and I've got a feeling I know the answer.

"Tell me."

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

"No."

"Then we're done."

Minako's jaw loosens just as suddenly as it'd set, and she screws her eyes shut with a look of complete and utter defeat, taking off in the vague direction of the stairway. I feel dead inside, and begin to walk in the same direction that Mina had taken off in, trying to ignore the stares of everyone around me. They part in front of me, as if making a path so that they can witness my misery for as long as possible. I think that I even spot a few teachers somewhere in the audience, shame and self-loathing are quick to replace the non-feeling in my chest. The whole school seems just about silent, as if everyone in the whole school had been listening in on the conversation. Based on the shouting match that it'd become... I wouldn't be surprised if they had.

Heading down the stairs, I suddenly hear sounds and shouts from down the staircase... where even more students seem to be frozen, staring down the way that Mina had gone before me. There's only one the sounds of one person moving quickly down the stairs... for a brief moment. The ensuing noises manage to add to the feelings of shame and self-loathing a few even more gut-wrenching feelings. Fear, and guilt. A short shout of surprise that sounds like Minako, cut off abruptly and followed by dull thuds that I can practically feel. There are some mumbled curses, presumably be anyone who'd been impacted by it, before a sudden collective gasp from several onlookers. Casting a glance down the middle of the stairwell, I can see a crimson scarf on the floor of one of the landings.

"Shit! Don't just stand around, someone call an ambulance for her, NOW! Shit, shit, shit!"

Before, or after my heart-attack doesn't matter... I don't think that I've moved any faster in my life as I bolt down the stairs.
Last edited by CloudGrain on Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

User avatar
Minion of Chaos
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: Act Two, Scene Five;

Post by Minion of Chaos » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:27 pm

Welp, there goes the neighborhood....

Interested in seeing how things will be mended. My only critique would be that there are a few instances of "sunset" where I think you meant to put "sunrise"

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Post by CloudGrain » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:29 pm

Minion of Chaos wrote:Welp, there goes the neighborhood....

Interested in seeing how things will be mended. My only critique would be that there are a few instances of "sunset" where I think you meant to put "sunrise"
Indeed, up in ashes.

Great catch on the sunrise/sunset thing, thanks kindly! Pounded out the majority of this all in one sitting, so unsurprised by a brain fart like that happening.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

azumeow
Posts: 409
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:04 am

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

Post by azumeow » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:40 pm

MASTER OF FUCKING ROMANCE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

Good chapter. Just realized what it was halfway through. When Akio mentioned how bad of a mes it'd be if the Minakio fusion tripped.

Still, must be majorly bad if the whole school is as worried about her situation as they seem.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Post by CloudGrain » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:48 pm

azumeow wrote:MASTER OF FUCKING ROMANCE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

Good chapter. Just realized what it was halfway through. When Akio mentioned how bad of a mes it'd be if the Minakio fusion tripped.

Still, must be majorly bad if the whole school is as worried about her situation as they seem.
Thanks kindly for the review.

I'd like to point out a major reason that everyone Hisao's talked to is concerned about her condition though. Minako and most of the other students at Yamaku have been part of a community for just over two years at this point. This means that for certain things, even generally non-visible things, there's probably going to be some incident that happens in front of someone somewhere that makes it obvious. And it only really takes one incident to really freak people out sometimes... But I will admit that in many aspects, yes, Minako probably deserves the concern about her situation and condition. However, that certainly doesn't mean a thing as to whether or not she wants the attention due to it.

Would love to see your thoughts on her condition, if you wanted to PM me your theory.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3507
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

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

Post by brythain » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:27 pm

Maybe Minako had a brain fart cerebral haemorrhage. :(
But whatever it is, it would be black comedy indeed if Hisao bolted down the stairs, tripped, and wound up in a wheelchair himself. Or a morgue.
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
HazelKim
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:31 pm

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

Post by HazelKim » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:05 am

Good chapter, Shadow of the Truth coming on near the end for me made it doubly dramatic. I'm less informed on disabilities, so I'm not sure what it could be.

One thing to note, it could have done with some more proofreading, as there were some small errors in there. But they weren't so much that they detracted from the reading. Good job again, :)
Longtime Lurker Converted --- Trash Minor --- Coffee-senpai is best horse --- Not Enough Rin

User avatar
AntonSlavik020
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

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

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:34 am

Jesus Christ what a chapter. Talk about a tone-shift. My hands were actually shaking when I started typing I had so much tension. And that has to be one of the best cliffhangers I have read in a long while.(Right up there with Emi giving Iwanako a heart attack in Mean Time to Breakdown)
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

User avatar
Solistor
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:06 pm
Location: Somewhere between order and chaos.

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

Post by Solistor » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:51 am

I only have two words:

God
DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Post by CloudGrain » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:44 am

brythain wrote:Maybe Minako had a brain fart cerebral haemorrhage. :(
But whatever it is, it would be black comedy indeed if Hisao bolted down the stairs, tripped, and wound up in a wheelchair himself. Or a morgue.
Bah, I don't think that I'm that cruel! -briefly does another scan of the chapter, feeling the same bits of horror in myself clawing at my gut as I realized I'd been planning this for a long while- Well... not intentionally... it just happens sometimes, alright? But, on a somewhat positive note, I can confirm that there won't be too much black comedy here!
HazelKim wrote:Good chapter, Shadow of the Truth coming on near the end for me made it doubly dramatic. I'm less informed on disabilities, so I'm not sure what it could be.

One thing to note, it could have done with some more proofreading, as there were some small errors in there. But they weren't so much that they detracted from the reading. Good job again, :)
No worries on not being able to discern Minako's disability, already had a few wrong, and a single right guess on it. Several of the indications are pretty hard to think out if you're unfamiliar with a few of the less-common conditions. But, even more 'less-worrisome' the truth should be coming out pretty soon, from Minako's own perspective nonetheless!

As to proofreading, I'll be doing so shortly to hopefully hammer out a few of the dents. Got the majority of it all out in a single sitting, and was pretty glad with just quickly glancing it over rather than doing a longer proof. Thanks very much for the heads up, I'll certainly spend some time today doing that! :D
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Jesus Christ what a chapter. Talk about a tone-shift. My hands were actually shaking when I started typing I had so much tension. And that has to be one of the best cliffhangers I have read in a long while.(Right up there with Emi giving Iwanako a heart attack in Mean Time to Breakdown)
Thank you. I'll have to admit that the whole latter... half... two-thirds of this piece were a damn demon for me to write. I was definitely concerned about quality given the tone-shift, there's a huge difference between writing the happy-contentedness of before and this new gut-wrenching stuff. Gonna be working hard to keep the quality up as things continue to shift around quite a bit... I don't think I've got any more cliffhangers of the same magnitude planned for a while though!
Solistor wrote:I only have two words:

God
DAAAAAAAAAAAAMN
This was the intended reaction. :mrgreen:
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 6024
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

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
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
TheTealeaf
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:43 pm
Location: England

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

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

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.

User avatar
CloudGrain
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:40 pm

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.

User avatar
Oscar Wildecat
Posts: 477
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:28 pm
Location: A short drive west of Kingdom Come.

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
“Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions.” - Winston Churchill
Checkout SordidEuphemism's Logo Thread.

Post Reply