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By cranberry noises


Chapter 1

Being aware is your job, you make sure you know every single thing, you note down everything you hear, you could recite the entire train schedule, the names of every single child attending Raira High and you still remember over fifty ciphers of pi.

There’s a timetable in your brain – you don’t need diaries or schedules, the only thing you need is your own brain, writing down everything you see, hear, everything that happens, you know it you know you know-

(you saw it, you saw, you saw, your mother and your teacher on the desk they were sweaty it was the 14th of September and she said don’t-)

You remember everything and you remember too much sometimes and when you are drowning in your memories you can’t just choose to erase a part of your past because – what if it’s important, what if you need it later, what if one day you will have to know how many calories there are inside of your favorite cereal, which flavor of ice cream Shiki-san dislikes the most and then-

(you know that your mother loves you but you don’t want to touch her ever again ever again and the teacher tells you ‘don’t tell your mother, I’ll tell her you saw us and she will be angry’ and caressed your thighs as you sat and you smiled and you lifted your face as you said don’t-)

And when you remember everything sometimes you remember things that aren’t really there too – because you’re of course smart enough to figure out what’s real and what’s not and because of knowing everything, you know that sometimes things you remember shouldn’t be known because they didn’t happen and you never feel bad when you feel like that, because it just makes you special, your heartbeat silently judging you inside of your chest.

Your lungs fill with water for example – on Monday but Monday you spent on an important meeting with a school official and so you couldn’t have been drowning in a swarm of centipedes encircling your body, crawling into your ear forcing you to look at the dark dark sky – see, you’re so smart and aware, that’s what you are, that’s who you are.

Breathe, somebody tells you, but there’s too much to do and too little time and breathing takes up too many seconds so you decide to just speed it up or stop or you don’t know what, eating, drinking isn’t important, you just need to be on time because Tuesday morning means observing Kida and his gang finally meeting the Yakuza and because it’s fun, you don’t mind the occasional buzzing by your ear because you know that no insects are out at this time (winter it’s cold and their bodies shrivel up and die if they fly outside).
Going home and sleeping is wasting time but you calculate the amount of time you have to spend with your eyes closed and mind turned off to function, you calculate how much water and food is needed to survive and if you ever choose to ignore the darkness in your mirror it’s because you know that mirrors only reflect light.

Sleeping on the right side of bed belongs to Sundays and days run so fast you can’t count them but still you know the date and exact time, you count them in your mind, minutes passing are in your brain slowly tick tick ticking.

Saturday is Shizu-chan coming to your apartment but he’s not really there because right now he’s surely at home feeding stray cats as he always does.

“Izaaayaa. I came here just to beat you up you piece of trash! You’re not gonna run away this time, no. I’m going to fucking destroy you, annihilate you, kill, kill, kill, you leech you fucking planned all this didn’t you? Fucking asshole.”

Except Shizu-chan sounds very real and angry and his words are a string of slurs and accusations, slowly filling you with the meaning and you take them apart in your brain place them in a locked room and calculate how real they are and then you remember the time and count the distance – the last train arrived two minutes ago, the station is a minute away from your house and if Shizu-chan is really here then it means there’s something you’ve done. You’ve done something to piss him off and there’s over a hundred possibilities of what it could be.

“What’s it now Shizu-chan, did you forget how to count to ten and decide to blame me for it?”

You turn to him and expect a punch thrown your way – you don’t expect a kick though and as you duck you get hit in your chin with the shoe (disgusting, unwashed shoe) and stumble back. You catch yourself before falling and quickly reach to your pocket to take a knife – a knife to his throat but you miss, your aim’s bad when you’re surprised (you hate surprises, you hate them).

(you’re surprised when your mother comes home and you see her so happy, she’s coming from your school but when you see the teacher you’re never that happy and you wonder if that is an adult thing too, so maybe it’s something you should start to do, you will start to be happy when he touches you there, no more don’t-)

And Shizu-chan’s grinning and grinding his teeth and he seems to be winning and it’s eight fifteen when he throws you on the ground and steps on your hand saying “You disgusting, disgusting, disgusting man.”

“You disgusting, disgusting, disgusting monster,” you sneer and reply, whining in the process (just a bit, escaping your lips at last).

“I hate you more than anything else,” Shizu-chan says with a frown on his face.

“I know,” you say proudly – you remember that fact, it’s written down, written down in your brain. It has been said to you so many times, each time a bit different and each time is scribbled down on an imaginary piece of paper stuck in your head, rattling against your skull whenever you feel like there are eyes watching you, telling you that you’re disgusting.
He stares down at your grin as if he could be infected. His foot is still on one of your hands, pressing it down just enough for it to hurt the now surely broken bone.

And there’s the buzzing again next to your ear and you recollect all the insecticides you’ve sprayed around your apartment, you remember that there’s no way for a bug to be flying around your ear right now but the logic doesn’t make the buzzing look away. Shizu-chan doesn’t seem impressed with your thought process and straddles you, hand on your throat.

With the buzzing still in your ears you can only see Shizu-chan’s mouth opening and an angry (when is he not angry?) expression taking over his facial features. His hand grips your throat tightly, wrapping around it like a snake, you feel the scales rubbing against your skin, the air stuck in your lungs suffocating you slowly. Blood rushes to your face and you’re very hot suddenly and the buzz in your ears only intensifies and you hear it constantly a bzzzZZZZzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZ screaming at you.

Shizu-chan keeps shouting something angrily but the wasp in your ear is the only thing you can hear, his words not reaching you in the slightest. You know that a human being can last 22 minutes without air at maximum but an untrained person like you will probably only last a bit over a minute until passing out. The clock stuck in your earlobe ticks to accompany the buzz with a nice rhythm.

You start gasping for air, you realize, after nearly 20 seconds have passed, trying to get oxygen inside of your lungs again but instead your lungs feel like they’re being filled with water (once again, once again) and the buzz in your ears turns to a high-pitched wheeze.

There are exactly 4 excruciatingly long seconds of you gasping for breath before Shizu-chan lets go of you. Your vision is spotty, glitchy (but it must be, you deduce, just a result of the lack of oxygen in your brain), but you still catch the look of alarm, confusion on Shizu-chan’s face. He waves his hand in front of your face, you note that his hands have bloodied knuckles (why? you didn’t send any gangs after him today and all his potential enemies should have stayed out of his way today, why isn’t it going according to plan, damnit?).

You feel Shizu-chan’s hands (too warm, too hot) under your legs and your neck as he lifts you up as if you weigh nothing and carries you to the bathroom, the high note in your ears threatening to tear through your brain. You’re still smiling you realize, because you don’t want to lose of course, you’ll win at whatever game you’re playing right now because you’re just as good as everyone else – no, you’re even better.

Water hits your face and it’s cold and you try to get away as you suddenly hear nothing but a faint sound of someone talking.

“---ly fuck did –ou even take ----cation,” you hear.

“Shizu-chan, leave me alone,” is what you try to say but you stumble upon your own words and find yourself unable to properly voice your thoughts. Shizu-chan’s looking at you in a weird way, like you pissed him off again (when aren’t you pissing him off though?) but this time it’s not a murderous sort of anger, just exhaustion and disappointment.

“Be grateful that I’m doing this, I’m such a nice person,” you can finally recognize him saying and there’s a sigh in his voice. You’re still in his arms, well, in one of his arms and the rest of your body held up by his bent knee as he keeps splashing you with water.

“Shizu-chan, stop that,” you slur slowly but comprehensibly.

“I wouldn’t have to be doing this if you’d been taking your fucking medication, flea,” he growls but you can feel him lift you up again and this time he just heads to your bedroom and throws you on the mattress.

“I don’t need medication, my brain is fine, I had a brain scan, see?” you gesticulate with your healthy arm, the other one pounding painfully.

“Yea well Yagiri sure as fuck doesn’t think so. And she’s a doctor, unlike you.”

“Namie just wants to poison me,” you chirp because you have surely heard her thoughts about wanting you dead, dead, dead, so you know she’s going to – dead. Dead.

Instead of a civilized conversation (it’s the monster, what did you expect?), you get a bottle of pills thrown at your head.

“Take two, or I’m gonna call Shinra and he’s gonna get you locked up somewhere again,” Shizu-chan threatens with an undertone of irritation.

Your hand is trembling as you remember all the times Namie said she would kill you and then all the times Shizu-chan said he would kill you and also that your brain scan was okay, you’re healthy, nothing wrong with you, no abnormalities, the illusions cause you no problems because you’re aware of them being fake, so why should you bother?

A bigger hand covers yours and shoves the pills in your mouth unceremoniously, with no tact whatsoever. You whine a bit as you feel the bitterness on your tongue and there are definitely no tears in your eyes as they’re trying to poison you, you know it, and Shizu-chan just stands still and gives you a glass of water that you don’t know where it came from.

You swallow.

And okay there are tears and you’re shaking a little bit and you’re really cold all of a sudden and your hands are cold and you feel all the unused adrenaline travelling to your stomach and coiling inside it to make you sick (because they’re trying to kill you, poison you, change you, they hate you, they want you to die, that’s why they’re doing it) and you try to push Shizu-chan away but he’s there unrelenting, sitting on the edge of your bed, covering you with a blanket and telling you to ‘just go to sleep’ but how can you sleep when they’re trying to kill you?

And you’re sweating and shaking a lot and you want to run away because they’re forcing you to be someone you’re not, you don’t need any medication damn it, you don’t need any chemicals to help your brain to work, thank you very much, you’re very capable yourself haha thank you.

Choking and swallowing your sobs doesn’t help much and Shizu-chan has that look again – the sorry sympathy and slight disgust, you’re sure of it because it’s the look he has every time when you are not strong and when you don’t fight and why the hell did he even show up, everything was going so nicely, but no, the monster has to come and ruin everything – and you sob again as you feel the poison slowly making you drowsy, you’re sure it’s the poison sending you to die and Shizu-chan simply watches you with an empty stare as he comes closer and holds you, despite your attempts at shoving him off and punching him and making him hurt because you don’t want to…

…you don’t want to….

…you don’t want to die.

(the teacher is found guilty for harassing a young girl and your mother comes home crying and says that the teacher was a very bad man and you smile and reassure her it’s fine, it’s fine, you don’t-)

The next morning you wake up with a headache and there’s Shizuo next to you. Your pillow is still slightly wet and every moment is in your brain, not a moment forgotten, every detail there in your memory and you feel cold disgust creeping down your spine. While Shizuo is snoring off, you get up and make yourself breakfast – there are still some eggs in the fridge so scrambled eggs it is. Two pills slide down your throat along with the bitter taste of coffee.

Your hand is not even broken – you notice that it’s slightly swollen but there’s no significant pain or trouble moving it.

Shizuo wakes up ten minutes later, as you start poking at him with your pinky, trying to gouge a reaction. Finally he swats you off with his hand (nearly sends you flying into the wall that is) and when he realizes where he is, he stands up and gets out in a matter of a few minutes.

As he heads out the door, he just says: “Take your meds. And don’t come to Ikebukuro asshole,” and turns around before he can see your tongue stuck out at him (which is maybe for the best because you really don’t want a broken bone first thing in the morning.

The door closes.

You count the minutes as they pass you by.

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