Katawa Shoujo: Bloodline
- Act 0: The Lives we Lost
Chapter One: Adventure (This post)
Chapter Two: Fragments (This post)
Act 1: The Paths we Follow
Chapter One: First Impressions
Chapter Two: Take Your Lessons to Heart
Chapter Three: Draft Dodging
Chapter Four: Snake in the Grass
Chapter Five: One Step at a Time
Chapter Six: Group Speak
Chapter Seven: Lost or Found
Chapter Eight: Agree to Disagree
Chapter Nine: Watch Your Step
Chapter Ten: Life Gamble
Chapter Eleven: Out and About
Chapter Twelve: Family Bonds
Act 2: The Bonds we Create
Chapter One: This is What You Call Logic
Chapter Two: New Light
Chapter Three: Unspoken Promises
Act 0: The Lives we Lost
Chapter One: Adventure
I don't normally have a problem going to sleep at night. Usually, after a tiring day, I'm able to just rest my head on my pillow and easily fall asleep. There are only a few things that can make me just lay here with nothing to do: anxiety, anticipation, apprehension, and confusion. I guess all of those things are here tonight, I just can't stop thinking about what is left of my life. I can't predict the future but I can remember what lead me to this point.
I was just a average person, nothing special about me. I didn't have many friends, mainly because I didn't like the company of others. There wasn't anything wrong with the people I met, some of them were kind, gentle souls, but I didn't feel the need to make any connection more than just knowing their names.
Of course, that doesn't mean that I spent all of my time alone in my room, I actually went out pretty often. I would do anything to just get out of the house and find something to do. Those were my little adventures. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, I just did whatever I found interesting until it ran its course. My parents didn't mind my adventures, in fact they encouraged them, as long as they didn't interfere with my school work.
One such adventure lead me to join a local track club. I had a few acquaintances in the club who were my classmates. They had noticed me running across my school's campus in order to make it to my class on time and thought that I had a lot of potential. I didn't think much of these people, due to the fact that they would consistently ditch class and do poorly on exams. At first I declined their offer, but after they showed a great effort into trying to get me to join, I accepted and started on my new adventure.
It was fun to say the least, albeit time consuming and tiring, but it was fun. I quickly found myself engrossed in this adventure and became dedicated in developing my form and controlling my breathing. I rose up the ranks on the team at a surprising rate, I even surpassed the very same acquaintances that convinced me to join. The coaches felt that I was to become a great asset to team and focused a lot of their time into preparing me to become the anchor of the mile relay.
It was the last track meet of the season when it happened. It was the final event, the mile relay. It wasn't my first time being the anchor, but it had never be this important. We needed this win, not second, not third, but first and nothing else. When the starting pistol went off, the first runner from my school took the early lead. The second runner, though not our fastest, kept the lead without losing the buffer created from the first lap. The third runner increased our buffer, it was almost certain that we had it. I was waiting at the finish line, prepared to take the baton and finish the last lap of the relay. The third runner put the last of his strength into sprinting the last 100 meters and handed the baton perfectly into my left hand.
I took a step with my left foot, then my right.
I switched the baton into my right hand.
Stepped with my left foot.
I began to pick up speed and to pump my arms rhythmically.
Stepped with my right foot.
The crowd screamed and shouted as I started on the first curve.
Stepped with my left fo-
Suddenly, everything in my immediate vision started to move upward.
Tried to step with my right.
All of my forward momentum came to a shrieking halt and quickly got pulled down by gravity. The next thing I knew, the track was the only thing in my line of sight, followed by the immediate impact of my body hitting it.
I tripped, I fell, but the baton was still in my hand and it didn't touch the ground so I wasn't disqualified yet. I pushed my weight onto my right arm as I tried to lever myself up. I moved my left arm in front of me to keep me from falling over as I tried to push myself off the ground with my legs and resume my sprint.
When I pushed forward, I fell straight back to the ground. When I felt that I had fallen over again, I quickly realized why it happened: my left arm wasn't where it needed to be. In my mind, I saw my left arm move in front of me; in reality, it was just hanging limply by my side the whole time.
"Damnit, no!" I growled, with my face buried into the ground, as the other runners overtook me. They were too focused on the race, or felt too much animosity towards their rival, to notice me on the ground struggling to get up.
I tried to improvise a different way to get back on my feet without using my left arm. I'd finally managed to get off the ground and started to move forward, when I noticed one of my coaches in a panic yelling at me, "Keep moving, we're still in this!"
Stepped with my right foot.
I was moving! I could still make it!
Fell with my left foot.
I was back on the ground. That time my left leg failed to move as I had envisioned. It was strange, I didn't know what was happening. My body wasn't moving like I wanted it to and slowly the rest of my body was shutting down. My vision began to blur, my mind was losing focus, I couldn't feel, I couldn't hear, everything was fading to black. The last thing I remember seeing on that day, was the baton slowly rolling away from me. The most important race that season, my last great adventure, everything ended that day because my body failed me.
I failed everyone that day.
Chapter Two: Fragments
All I can do now is just stare up at my ceiling. It's colored white as are the rest of the walls, but when devoid of any light, everything just look grey and formless to me. My memories of that day are painful to recall. It hurts just to think about them, about the disappointment and the failure. My eyes begin to water as I see the baton just roll away from me and my inability to reach out and grab it.
"Why did things turn out this way?" I ask aloud in this dark, foreign room. I'm the only one here, as it should be. No one would want to see me, in fact, no one ever did.
It becomes harder to remember those times. It might be because I was pumped full of so many drugs that I couldn't focus even if I wanted to. The more I think about it though, the more I realize that isn't the case. I can't remember much from the time I was in the hospital simply because I'm unable to.
My memories, as of late, are like a broken puzzle. They're all there but I can't make any sense of them until they're put in the correct order. Whenever I try to remember something, it appears in bits and pieces of something even larger.
Only memories that have had a huge impact on my life remained intact. I can remember a few of my early birthdays, the time I got my puppy, the time I confessed to a girl I had a crush on and how she rejected me right after. I still have most of the useless knowledge I learned in school.
I guess my teachers would be proud to hear that even after my life changing event I still remember how in 2021 the personal jetpack was released to the consumer market and recalled a month later.
I can remember my name, age and most of who I am without the aid of anyone else telling me. I can remember the important people in my life, namely my parents and older brother. Most of all, I can remember the accident that lead me where I am now. Everything else is just fragmented.
My hospital stay after my stroke is an example of my fragmented memory, I'm glad that memory is broken. From what I can recall, it was just a miserable affair that left me feeling bitter and depressed. I can't remember anything clearly but I can still put most of it together through random bits and pieces, unfortunately none of them good.
I remember waking up lost, confused, and being unable to move or even talk.
I remember seeing my mother in tears and my father completely silent.
I remember the doctor telling my family that I had just had a stroke and that it was unclear how bad the damage was.
I remember my brother looking down on me can calling me "worthless."
I remember being restrained, tied down in my bed because I was considered a threat to myself and others.
I remember the physical therapy, the speech lessons, and the doctor giving my parents a brochure to a school for the disabled, Yamaku.
I remember my mother breaking down saying "I'm sorry you were born."
I remember my father not being able to look at me and calling me a cripple.
I hate those memories and I hate the fact that those are the only things I can remember from that time.
It took almost a year, but I was back to normal, or normal enough so that my parents could get rid of me. Luckily, my stroke wasn't as bad as doctors initially thought. Through the physical therapy I was able to regain control over my body, with the exception of my left arm. It can still function normally but I can't do any precision work with it, not that I ever needed it. My speech is normal, though I do have the occasional stutter. My mental capabilities are another matter though.
While my thought processes have remained intact, my long-term memory seems to have suffered some damage. Put simply, the stroke jumbled all of my old memories. Everything before my leave from the hospital is left in a mess. The good news is that this shouldn't affect any new memories that I create afterwards. Through therapy and lots of time, my old memories should eventually return.
When I got out of the hospital, my parents had already had everything prepared for me to go to Yamaku. I was in the first few months of my second year in high school when I had my accident. My speech therapist thought it was a good idea to practice my speaking skills with the material that I was suppose to be learning in school at the time. It worked and kept me from falling behind and it also kept me from thinking about my miserable state.
Before I could begin my enrollment, the officials at the school had to make sure that my stroke hadn't left me mentally impaired. Apparently Yamaku doesn't accept students with mental disabilities. After a series of tests, the officials deemed me worthy of enrollment and I was to start a few weeks after the year started. I arrived on a Sunday morning, where I spent most of my time unpacking my stuff and keeping to myself in my dorm.
I've tried closing my eyes, but every time I do I keep seeing that damn baton roll away from me. I'm here at Yamaku and tomorrow is my first day, I can't sleep and all I see is just formless grey.
Nothing but formless grey.
I'll be updating periodically.I have a basic structure of how I want this story to pan out, it's just a matter of filling in the details. I'll add new chapters as soon as I have them ready. And of course criticism is welcomed.