Chapter 3: The Princess of the Washroom
The Princess of the Washroom
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? The perception of the word ‘fairest’ depends on the individual’s prototype of the word ‘fair’ that built the concept. Unlike others, I refused to allow the gender role to shape my gender identity. A tan woman with an indestructible appearance and dishevelled hair was reflected by the mirror. It was she that had the ‘fairest’ heart of them all. Her innocent eyes proved the fairest of her heart, chastity, and purity. Yet, her innocence was out of bounds. The community shut her innocent thoughts in a box filled with abhorrence, they prevented it from thriving. Despite her brawny appearance, her heart remained fragile and delicate, so delicate that it could be corrupted and torn into pieces anytime, no, my bad, actually, it had already been shattered in a million pieces. Scars in her heart were evidence of the injury that those malaperts’ swords caused, they can never be healed.
Clomp, click. Click, clomp. Footsteps were approaching me. I bet they were trying to fix their appearance last minute, like me. I guess people like me existed? Because the conversation with Michiko earlier gave me the courage to speak up, I pulled my attention away from the Mitsuki reflected in the mirror, turned around, and forced a, “Hello” out of my mouth.
Suddenly...Splash. I was covered with water. The best option to avoid punishment was to skip class and make up some silly excuses. Nothing’s worse than going to class sopping wet. I refused to face reality by keeping my eyes shut. Still, the unkind reality welcomes me.
“Serves you right. Ahaha. You are dull as always, Mitsuki. Anyways, nice meeting you here,” jeered one of the girls. If I were to be a little more courageous, I would tell her that she has no right to judge me. Has she even noticed that her grotesque face grosses people out? I was about to sob when I felt someone pushing against my back. The shortest girl with thick makeup suddenly started laughing wickedly. Lord Voldemort’s voice was starting to embrace and damage my eardrums. At that moment, I could feel a thousand blasphemous eyes glaring at me, the scent of their makeup’s ponder clouded my nostrils as they entered my lungs, I was about to vomit.
“Mi-tsu-ki, Say something! Nora, you think we should do her makeup for her?” The monstrous girl with enormous nostrils cackled. Her hoarse voice suited her appearance perfectly, I thought. Instead of panicking with fear, I was actually admiring my reflection in the mirror. Their sudden appearance provoked the ’Mitsuki with the other personality to take over me, still, I tried my best to lock my ‘other personality’ deep within my heart. I could never be happier.
By recalling Michiko’s smile, my heart will be overfilled with triumph, I convinced myself. “What do you want?” I forced out a smile, similar to what Michiko did earlier.
“Haha Are you dumb? Yea, maybe Nora and us should do you a favor and give you a makeover. Right, Nora?” The shorty with thick makeup taunted.
Nora, the tyrant of the persecutor gang decided to continue her “nice meeting you” speech, “My darling Mitsuki, it’s completely your fault that we are missing class, how will you repay us?” She chuckled.
I keep quiet in front of the three goblins. One, two, three. Everything will be fine. One, two, three. You can do it, Mitsuki, shut your feelings in the box. One two three. One, two, three...
“Ummm, sorry for bothering you guys. But, Nora, I really need to go,” I forced a smile. I felt like my impulsive nerves were dancing all over my skin.
“Mitsuki, do you think we’ll let you go this easily? It’s been a long time since we last met. C’on, it’s your pride to accompany us! Oh my gosh, Look at you! I really don’t understand how you’d become the top of our class, I mean, you are just a piece of discarded trash. Don’t you agree?” Nora hissed. Her stinky breath provoked the anger locked deep within my heart to take action. She should feel glad that I did not decide to punch her monstrous face or push her down the stairs. Still, the innocent good nice displayed on my physical appearance chose to remain undisturbed.
The girls standing beside Nora nodded and agreed to her words. My perception interpreted them as three muscular goblins with thick lipstick trying to consume me alive. I wasn’t trying to be dramatic but both the goblins’ physical and inner appearance were unsightly. I guess the community loved these unattractive goblins?
“Sorry, I do not understand what you are talking about,” I responded, trying to resolve the conflict by being nice yet, the outcome of the response turned out to be the exact opposite.
“So funny. Don’t play dumb Let me tell you this again: I really don’t like you. It’s common sense.” Nora snapped.
Duh. Of course it was common sense. Of course I was not dumb. And of course I did not enjoy her presence either. At least I wasn’t too dumb to try her my honest feelings. Patience, that was all I needed. This was the only time that I was glad my grandma forced me to meditate with her every Sunday. I now understand why she loves sitting on the cold floor doing nothing. It builds up patience, right? If only I agreed to meditate with her every day. One, two, three. Patience. One, two, three. It’s okay. One, two, three.
Nora and the others started playing with my hair. They grabbed my dishevelled hair as they wrapped it with tissue. At that point, the only thing I could think of was me being late to class and the punishments that I will receive later. I was trying to think of the best way to apologize to my teacher as the goblins were wrapping my hair with toilet paper. I kept repeating to myself that everything will be alright.
“Hey dumpling face, you look so stiff. Ahahaha.” Nora bantered. She then started to pull my lips upward while saying, “Smile, dumpling face.”
“Gosh. You look like a granny. Ahahaha, gosh! Ahahaha,” Nora’s disgusting laughter was a masterpiece.
“I wonder if your granny looks this ugly too? I mean she’s a dumpling face’s granny, how wise can she be? She’s just a dumb dumb sick uncivil person? Ahahaha, oh my gosh, I can’t... Ahahaha.”
That was it. I could not take the insults of my family any further. Before realizing it, I grabbed Nora’s hair with my big-knuckle hands. Mitsuki, c’on, you have always been the good girl, now, let go, c’on, be the good girl.
“Where did your nerves come from, dumpling face? You sure you want to do this?” Nora smirked. Too bad that my self-control was not developed, I was far from being mature.
“Answer Nora’s question, huh, say something.” The muscular girl with gigantic nostrils nagged as the gruesome midget standing beside Nora nodded.
Grandma once told me that if I were to respond to foolish people’s words, then I would be considered foolish, just like those stupid people. I really must have hit the rock bottom.
“Nora, I’ll make sure you regret your decision,” I grinned. That was it. My limit was reached. “How dare you. I think you should look at yourself in the mirror before talking about others. My grandma is one of the most beautiful people you’ll ever meet. You guys are just too different from her,” I continued, knowing that they did not understand a word. Despite all I had been through trying to control my emotions, the forbidden emotions had been unlocked from deep within my heart. “It’s never too late to turn back” was my grandma’s words; yet, unlike her, I was immature.
I pushed Nora’s back towards the unwashed toilet seat without saying a word. The roots of her rough hair were touching the liquid as she started pulling my hair. I wouldn’t exactly classify the liquid in the toilet bowl as toilet water since ‘water’ has been defined as a primary stimulus and a survival impulse for us; on the other hand, the liquid that was present in the toilet bowl has evolved into a completely different stage together with the mutation of germs and bacteria. The fact that most people classify ‘toilet water’ and ‘water’ in the same category scares me. On that occasion, one-half of Nora’s hair, a woman’s pride, made contact with evolved liquid. It surprised me that the two other goblins didn’t care to waste time to save her, instead, they ran away with their tail sandwiched between their legs, it was quite an amazing scenery. The fact that Nora’s companion was not loyal enough to accompany her till the end makes her pathetic. I know for a fact that being left behind or abandoned is a sign of the beginning of a blue world, a world that has been kept in solitude, a world that was unloved, a world where losers punch their own ticket. I understood Nora’s emotions of despair at that point. Now, Now, Now, what should I do with the leftover goblin? I know in my mind that pitying the loser makes me weak, the one with the most sympathy always loses in this community.
Nora’s glorified pride has been washed away as the liquid of despair introduces the blue world to her. Her fallen pride, and reputation, all lies in my hand, one move, and it was checkmate for her.
“Nora...the game is over.” I smiled, this time, the smile displayed on my face was real, it was made out of true gratification and triumph. I have never felt this good before. Nora was trembling. Her legs were shaking and teardrops were sparking around her eyes, staining her face with the colour of fear. I reached out my hands and placed it around her obnoxious face, “Nora, Stop faking drama.”
The words came out of my mouth despite knowing nothing was faked. She was still quivering in terror. It was a perfect opportunity for revenge; her hair, the strains of pride, was stained by filthy disrelish. I couldn’t help putting a smirk on my face, I must have gone off the deep end.
I instantly pulled back my hands from Nora’s face when a strange bawl outside the washroom hit my eardrums, “Uwuuuuu, to-i-i-let. Uwuwu, uuu,wuuu...” I wonder who that was?
It didn’t surprise me when a dork with bright red face stomped in the washroom. It was one of the dorks that disturbed my privileged time, servers it right. It was then when I completely forgot about the scenery that Nora and I caused. The dork screamed with a high pitched voice that damaged my eardrums.
“What! Will you please shut up?” I commanded. These words were the words of the drama that I was watching. Unwittingly, the words of the dictator were mimicked by the coward, I guess I wasn’t being myself today.
“Hey kid, if you complain about me, you might not live until tomorrow,” I added. Once again, the dork pushed the washroom door and dashed out of the place with her tail between her legs, it was quite a scene. This time, I was really in trouble. It was a matter of time before a teacher entered the washroom and disciplined the sinner.
“You too Nora. You’d better keep your mouth shut, or I don’t know what might happen to you,” I continued.
“Yeah, Yeah, sure. I never knew that you are this cocky, dumpling head. Ya know, rumours spread,” replied Nora.
I was about to bash Nora’s face when I heard a voice whispering in my head. ミミがどんな姿になっても、婆ちゃんはずっとミミを信じてる。“No matter what happened, I will always believe in Mimi.” At least one person in this lonely world understood my feelings. でも、婆ちゃんはミミを信じでる。’But, I still believe in you.” These words struck my head and prevented me from giving Nora a メガトンパンチ. Grandma had the purest heart of all, she was the ideal model for justice and impartiality. I still remember the times when I would visit her and talk to her all day in her backyard. She would tell me amusing stories about her childhood and hometown. One of the most remarkable stories that she told me included the Legend of the Bamboo Cutter and the Princess of the Moon, in other words, the Taketori Monogatari. I still remember grandma’s soft whispers when she tells a story, “In bygone days, a humble old man survived the days by cutting and selling bamboo. His occupation was tedious and tiring until that night when he spotted a sparkling log of bamboo, it was glowing so bright as if a spell had been cast by the moonlight. Due to his curiosity, he gradually reached out his hands and placed them on the gleaming piece of bamboo, all of a sudden...”
“Wait. Isn’t it weird? How in the world does a bamboo ‘sparkle’ and why must the man work during the night?” I interrupted grandma.
“Just listen. You have to embrace the words Mitsuki,” grandma snapped. Then, she continued, “Puff! A tiny fragile little girl was sitting inside the bamboo piece. She was so delicate and tiny that she could fit in my palm...”
“Grandma, that’s fake. Bamboos do not give birth to humans, that’s just weird,” I interrupted again.
“Mitsuki. Enough,” grandma sneered, this time, annoyed. Still, she continued her eerie storytelling, “Because the man was not on good terms with his wife and did not have any child, he decided to bring the girl home. The couple took care of the girl as if she was their daughter, she was loved. They even named her 輝夜 (Kaguya, Princess Moonlight). Before long, she grew into a standard size, fine young woman. The bamboo that she was present in started producing goods such as minerals and gold that granted the family fortune,” grandma cheered, with her high pitched voice.
“Good for them. Good for her. Good for you.” I yawned from boredom.
“No, No, No, Mitsuki. That’s not the end of the story yet. Kaguya became prettier and prettier each day. Kaguya was one gorgeous and attractive young woman, the type that other female villagers were jealous of and the type that made all men go crazy for her. Because her existence was so magnificent, she was unable to hide it from the community. As the emperor noticed her existence, he came to visit her. He then fell madly in love with Kaguya. Even so, she rejected all the marriage proposals since she was fond of the old man and his wife. But peace and happiness never last, right?” Grandma questioned.
“Of course. Nothing lasts forever.”
Grandma’s soft and delicate whisper continued echoing, “Each night, Kaguya would gaze at the moon with melancholy. All questions could be answered by the sparks of tears escaping her eyes. It was almost time, the time that the princess must return to the palace. But, Mitsuki, you know, we humans are social creatures that are very selfish. Due to this, the emperor, the old man, and his wife locked Kaguya in the house and guarded the house twenty-four-seven. Be that as it may, the day of separation could not be avoided. One night, a carriage departed from the moon arrived in front of the old man’s house in order to welcome the princess back home. Puff! Paralyzing radiation froze every single creature living on Earth, including Time himself. When the radiation stopped, both the carriage and the princess were nowhere to be found. The only thing leftover was a letter written by the Princess for the emperor and the family. However, because the emperor and the family were in despair due to the sudden disappearance of Kaguya, they burned the letter on the Mount. Fuji’s summit.”
“Sweet story, isn’t it. Just like Kaguya, your name, Mitsuki (美月）, has a powerful definition related to the legend,” Grandma added.
美月 (美：beautiful, gorgeous; 月：moon)
“But why, grandma? I don’t think I’ll ever want to be forced to separate from you and mommy,” I grumbled. I was still a clueless child to be aware of the hidden significance of the folktale.
“Oh my dear Mitsuki, the moon is a glorious place, to begin with. The moon is a celestial destination for sprites, and maidens like you, Mitsuki. But my dear, one of the main purposes of your life is to discover the beauty behind your name, Mitsuki. This, I cannot help you with.” I could see the disappointment in grandma’s eyes as she answered my question.
“Yes, grandma,” I responded, without understanding a word she was saying. Perhaps, one day, I will.
There comes the climax, “ミミがどんな姿になっても、婆ちゃんはずっとミミを信じてる.”
The words that hit me the hardest were お前を信じてる. I did not understand why someone would want to believe in someone like me. Even though grandma’s words were encouraging, she was wrong about one thing: I wasn’t loved by society, and will never be.
The sound that Nora was making as she started packing up her belongings and makeup (despite most of her belongings being stained by the liquid) woke me from my daydream. She then gave me a little wave before leaving the washroom. That leaves me with the awkward atmosphere created in the washroom. I wouldn’t be surprised if rumours about my love for the washroom being spread by Nora and the dork tomorrow. Because I need some time to sort out the events that happened a few minutes ago, I decided to skip the last block. It took me quite a moment to convince myself that the decisions I made were wise. As a matter of fact, being all depressed with the shrivelled up emotions during practice would lower my reputation as a teammate. Still, the other Mitsuki, the Mitsuki that took revenge, the Mitsuki that everyone feared, the Mitsuki that was abandoned by society, was unknown to everyone, including me, until today.