“Well, what are you waiting for? Let's go already, I'm hungry!” the unknown person declares in a more demanding tone than before. So I get up and follow them. I am curious about what they want. But I don't have any friends. So who is this? Why are they nice to me? Let's follow them, then find out what they want afterward. Plus, I'm also hungry.
When we reach the enormous crowded lunchroom I ask them, “what do you want? No one is nice just because. So what is it?” I say with my most demanding voice, but I wonder if this person’s different from everyone else. Wait, what was I just considering. No, no way! I don't understand why I'd get my expectations up for something foolish. I don’t require friends and I never will…!
“You're right, I want something from you,” they answer, glancing at me with what looks like a blurred smile. Of course, they wanted something from me. Well, I suppose I could hear them out.
“What do you want?” I ordered, foreseeing something like ‘be my punching bag’ or ‘do my homework or else’, but what they suggest is something no one ever told me.
“I want to be your friend,” he states, then half of their face becomes unblurred and all I can see is them grinning like a lunatic. What is wrong with him? Who wants to be friends with me? The other kids definitely told him about me. So why? Why am I urged to respond with yes?
I've been fine all this time, so why is he trying to be friends with me? He certainly must be a fucking moron. He twiddled with his hands because I didn't realize I was studying him with a disturbed, bewildered expression on my face.
“W-why are you looking at me like I’m an idiot?” he stammered, avoiding eye contact. I groan, becoming agitated.
“That’s cause you are an idiot, dumbass,” I reply, grumbling the last part so he doesn't hear.
“I’m not an idiot! Anyway, what do you say? Let's be friends,” he responded, expecting me to say yes? How can someone be so foolish, honestly?
“No,” I retorted firmly to him, and he slouched a bit. I could see he’s saddened by my answer, but I don't care because no one could love me for who I am. I determined that right away in life.
“Well, in case you change your mind, my name’s Ryu. I hope you change your mind. You seem like a beautiful guy. Oh, I already know your name’s Kira. It’s a truly pretty name.” as soon as he mentioned that, I could see his face clearly. He looked so joyful. I was envious of that part of him because I realized I could never be that joyous and lively. His smile was so radiant I thought I was going to go blind. All I could consider was how can someone be so content, especially when they’re speaking to me.
His black messy hair, warm greyish blue eyes, even the band-aids on his face, shoulders, and hands… all caused me to want to rush into his arms and confess to him all my complicated feelings. But I knew if I did, he would undoubtedly leave me. I never want to get attached to someone that will evidently leave me in the end. I already have enough things I deal with by myself.
The scenery abruptly transformed to one of the massive training areas we have in this prison they claim our “home”. I was facing the polished wooden floor that I crashed down on countless times. Black sneakers are suddenly in front of me. I assume they’re talking to me, but I can’t understand them.
I'm still thinking about what happened at lunch. Is Ryu really a moron? Does he know if people found out they spoke to me voluntarily, he’d become an outcast? What, why am I worrying about him? He’s a dumbass and is overly loud. Why do I care so much-
Then my train of thought got cut off as I unexpectedly got shoved to the floor with a strong shove, so I finally glanced up to catch who it was. Uh-oh… Why does it have to be them? It’s Souta and Ren, my bullies.
Now that I think about it, they've been more violent lately. I infer they must not be able to free their resentment for anyone except me without getting into trouble. By now I’m used to it, but I want it would stop. Oh well, not like that will happen.
“Why the fuck are you ignoring us? Huh, or did you finally go mute and deaf, haha? That’d be awesome.” they both started snickering at Souta’s last comment. I just stare back down at the floor and mumble something they can’t pick up.
“The fuck did you say? Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. I was telling you to fight me,” Souta says and Ren chuckles. I’m not stupid. He truly was ordering me to let him beat me up. Sigh… Well, it doesn’t matter. This would happen sooner than later. Let’s just get this over with.
We walk up to the fighting zone, which is the only place we can’t use our powers. Not like I’d use mine, anyhow. We get into our fighting positions, but I make mine look more clumsy than my actual stance. He delivers the first blow. I don’t move because if I did, I would get even more beat up. He punches me in the face and stomach. Shit. This will leave bruises tomorrow. Can’t they go easy for one day? Fuck… this hurts.
“Aw, you look like you're in agony,” Souta says sarcastically with a smirk, and Ren looks like he craves to join in on beating me up. Well, what else is new? He constantly looks like he wants to beat me up the most. Why doesn’t he? Whatever. That makes it less unpleasant for me if he doesn’t join in on this.
This lasted for another thirty or forty minutes. I lost track of time because of the misery of being hit in the same spot countless times in a row. When he’s finally fulfilled, he just kicked in the abdomen and said
“Well, that is enough for now. My knuckles hurt. Haha, but you must be in a lot more pain, right Kira?” Souta says sarcastically, glowering at me when he says my name. I flinch back, even though I was expecting it. People always make fun of my name because it’s girly.
I stare down at the ground. Wondering when this will stop. Then Ryu’s face suddenly pops into my head and all I can think about is his invitation to “become friends” and how he expressed my name was lovely. He didn’t sound sarcastic at all either, which has never happened.
Once when I was younger, one kid asked me to become their friend. They were obviously joking when they suggested that. It thrilled me to have a friend. I just blurted out yes. Right after I said yes, I felt it was a mistake because everyone made disgusted looks, and the person who said that to me slapped me. It hurt not just physically but mentally, too.
Back then, the bullying was at a minimum, but after that scene, people started harassing me more and if they weren’t bullying me, they made disgusted expressions. I understood trusting no one that day as a result. That’s why I can’t trust what Ryu’s saying. I suddenly notice my heartthrob.
What is this feeling? It hurts so much when I think of not being able to depend on him. It feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest, but more painfully somehow. Shit… I feel like I’m going to cry. I shift my head away because I feel tears swelling up in my eyes. There are people in the fighting area that would make fun of me if I cried. I only ever cried in front of them when my “gift” went out of control and I almost killed someone I was close to. I pressed my tears down and peered up.
As I look up, I’m in a dim room and all I can see are the eyes of people that I’m most fearful of. I tremble as the eyes stare at me with distaste. W-what is this? Why are they looking at me with those eyes?
I feel a hand tightly wrapped around my arm. I feel too petrified to turn around and see who it is, so I just stand there, horrified. The hand jerks my body, spinning me around. My head is facing the ground with my hair dangling down, sheltering my frightened face. I feel my face become sweaty and soon sweat drops from my face.
I bite my lip, weakening as the person who has their hand wrapped around my arm tightens their grip, making me flinch, trying to get away. Then my head was abruptly pulled up in one rapid movement and I saw Ryu. I loosened up a little, assuming he was there to save me. After all, he declared he wanted to be friends and treated me like an actual human.
I was wrong… the more I study his face; I acknowledge he looks like he’s disgusted too? W-what… Ryu, why are you staring at me like that? I thought you chose to be friends with me. I-I hoped you were different. Please stop looking at me like that. You're the one person I never wanted you to look at me like that.
“R-Ryu?” I stutter, wanting them to answer with something like “I’m not Ryu”, but I knew that would not happen.
He didn’t respond, he just looked at me with a look that expressed ‘why are you seeking to talk to me.’ There seemed to be an enormous lump in my throat that wouldn’t go away. It almost seemed like it was becoming bigger than Ryu just stood there, clutching my arm. My arm felt like there was going to be a bruise in the shape of his hand from the pain. He was consistently one of the strongest… haha, I think, forcing the laugh at the end.
Even though today was the first time we spoke, I noticed him while we were training before and during lunch. He had a lot of friends, unlike me, and he also seemed thrilled while being with them. I constantly envied him for all his friends and the fact he was happy. Never have I felt loved or happy. I suppose you could say he was the complete opposite of me. As I got absorbed in thought, Ryu slowly opened his mouth. I notice this as he states something that plagues me.
“I. Hate. You. Your. A. Monster.” Ryu says, staring at me with malice. Plus, his voice is full of despise. I feel myself breakdown as I sink to the ground with the tears I never wanted to show rolled down my face. I’m gasping for air as all the tears I’ve been suppressing for years drop out to the ground as I collapse and sway with hopelessness.
“I-I’m sorry! I’m very sorry… Why do those words hurt so much? Please. I-I don’t,” I express through hiccups and cries with snot dripping from my nose, struggling to clean it off. My entire world feels like it fell apart.
Ryu stares down at me with a stare of pity in his eyes. He then turns around and strolls away with his regular stride. I watch in dismay. Not just that he was walking away from me, but also how pained and pathetic I could be. What’s wrong with me? I never cared so much for someone. Just let him leave. When did I ever get so connected to him?
As soon as he’s out of sight, I spin back, meeting all the judging eyes again. They reveal things all at once, but I can’t figure out any of them. They’re probably trying to make me appear like a nuisance, which I am. I should just disappear, whatever. My eyes are lifeless and flat. I feel just as dead inside.
The voices and darkness swallow me whole as I just remain there, wondering what my purpose for existence is. All my memories flash before my eyes. All the years I got bullied, used, and abused. I stand up, trying to walk away from all the terrible memories. I find the memories with Ryu and I stare at them with a troubled smile on my face. Tears are brimming in my eyes as my phony smile disappears. I struggle to put it back on, almost like it’s my last line of defense against the depression I feel so often every day.
I wake up with tears spilling from my eyes. I wipe them off, as more drop as I cry silently, trying to ignore my dream that I have had every night for a while now.
Every night I have a dream about my past with Ryu, then me getting bullied or manipulated and lastly I imagine Ryu saying he despises me. It truly isn’t a dream, it’s a nightmare. This nightmare has been haunting me every day. No matter what I try, I always end up thinking about it. The age I am in the dream is eight, now I’m sixteen. It’s pitiful that I’m still bothered by something that took place when I was eight.
I get up out of my small bed that has white bedding, trying to block my eyes from tearing up again. Everything in this place is so clean it reminds me of a hospital that has the purpose of prison. I wander over to my dresser that is again white and draw a pair of clothes out, and walk into my extremely clean bathroom, forcing my way to the shower.
Taking off my shirt to reveal bluish purple bruises and minor cuts all across my body with the occasional scares from many designs. I next take off my pants and underwear and it presented the same situation. The water in the shower starts after I turn the knob a little higher on the warmer side.
Walking into the shower, I wash my hair first, then my body, flinching after accidentally touching a considerable bruise on my thigh. It stings, of course, it does. They kicked me there numerous times yesterday, whatever.
I continue washing the rest of my body, singing one of my favorite songs, happiest year by Jaymes Young. It reminded me of Ryu and how pleased I was with him. I genuinely expected that was going to last. What was I expecting? Of course, it would not last. Nothing lasts… not even my desire to live. That left when Ryu left without a word or even a letter.
I scoff at myself as tears prickle the back of my eyes for thinking about him further, especially after that dream I had last night. Why can’t I forget about him after all these years? He’s the one who abandoned me..! But he was also the one who showed me how to be friends. I assumed he loved me too and we could be together eternally.
By now, the tears in my eyes have streamed out into lengthy, bitter sobs. I. Hate. Him. As I reflect, my knees give out and I plummet to the pouring floor. The warm water mixes in with my tears that won’t quit running out.
W-wait I can’t breathe. My head’s reeling and I can’t think straight. I seek to take deep breaths, but they shift into brief, uneven, harsh breaths. What’s going on? It feels like I’m dying.
“No, no-no-no. Please make it end,” I declare, pleading in a quiet, urgent voice, gasping for air as I try to get up from the floor. While I was struggling to get up, I stumbled and slipped back down onto the wet shower floor. When I was falling, I hit my head on the side of the wall of the shower, really hard. S-shit, why do I even remember him?
I’m bawling my eyes out while shaking, twisted up in a ball as water remains to drop on me. I remember the song I was singing, and that makes me want to die. Why were you the one that got to escape? I was experiencing a harsher time than you. You saw that too. B-but what did you do? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing.
“Shit, after all that, why can’t I despise you?” I sob out in great-dragging cries. My mind feels like it’s going a mile a minute, yet I don’t want to think about anything. What is the point of all this? Why do they shun me so exceptionally? I couldn’t consider anything except those questions that will never have answers.
I hated everything about this place and me. The sole time I appreciated everything was when Ryu was here. Why did he leave without a goodbye? Did he hate being with me that much? Of course, he did. He’s just like everyone else. I can’t believe I expected he was different. I’m just so senseless!
I spent an hour in the shower thinking about everything while swaying and mumbling horrible things about myself to myself. Eventually, it all stopped somehow, but my eyes were all puffy and red because of all the crying.
I got out of the shower with dull, exhausted eyes all crimson. I snatched my towel and wrapped it around myself as I stood staring in the mirror.
Wow, I look like shit. Why’d I have to have that dream? I can’t let anyone see me like this. So embarrassing.
I brush my hair and teeth with a dull mind. Then I get my clothes that are also in the bathroom and change into them. They’re just a white button-up shirt and baggy pants that are again white. We only dress up in regular clothes when people come over, but they rarely ever do. It certainly feels like a prison…
I shuffle out of the bathroom and I lay back on my bed. At least I get my own room. With my luck, they have picked me to split a room. I mean, only my bullies would have split a room with me just to harm me more.
Every time someone comes here, we have a raffle of sorts. We all draw a piece of paper from a miniature white box. If you receive a piece that has a bed brawn on it, give up your room to the new person no matter what. Then the person who provided their room has to choose a person to share a room with.
I slowly closed my eyes. However, someone knocking on my door extremely loudly interrupted me. Who could it be and what do they need?
I just ignore it, but the individual wouldn’t stop and I was growing displeased at this situation. What? The? FUCK DO THEY WANT?!!! I get out of my bed, flinging my blankets onto my bed in one grand swoop.
Stomping to the door, I whirl it open and holler, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” panting from yelling, I stare up to discover who it is. It’s the one person I never wanted to meet again in my life.
“W-why…? What are you?” scarcely went out of my mouth in small whispers. I back up, knocking into a wall, slumping down. Tears came to my eyes gradually. As I lay my face down so they can’t see my eyes, they seize me. I struggle out of their firm grasp. Then they take a cloth out of their pocket.
No, no-no-no. Why now what do they want? Please getaway. Tears are now rolling down my face. They glance at me with sorrow on their faces.
I mumble, and that mumbling turns into screaming. They panic, but I don’t notice because I’m already in panic mode, trying to get away. Something is now blocking my mouth as I watch to know what it is. I see a piece of material they have pushed on my mouth and nose.
I can feel myself losing consciousness. I have just enough to convey two more words which are “please stop”.
Thank you for reading!
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