That name will always mean the world to me. She never knew about my feelings for her until it was too late, but even then she didn't feel the same. Yuuko was my best friend and I somehow grew to love her during my short life.
We had one other best friend named Mai. We were just three girls without a care in the world until relationships slowly tore our friendship apart. It started with Mai and I competing for Yuuko's attention and it gradually became worse eventually it got to the point where we made her chose between us almost every time we were around each other. Mai and Yuuko were always closer to each other than me. I was always the odd one out.
I always felt different about Yuuko than others… I just didn't know what it was for many years. I still remember what I said to I still remember what I said to Yuuko when I sat next to her for the first time. "Hi my name is Mio Naganohara! I'm ten years old and I live with my mom and big sister! What about you?"
"Hello I'm Yuuko Aioi. I'm ten too and I live with my mom and my da- just my mom."
"What happened to your dad?" I retaliated my question almost immediately not know that she was overwhelmed with what had happening at home since her dad left.
Later on I would learn that her dad had left them for a 20 year old girl that worked at the strip club and then told them that he left over text after being missing for 36 hours. Not long after they found out about Yuuko's dad leaving them her mom started drinking and beating Yuuko as a way to get rid of some of her anger about what had happened. Her mom never stopped.
I remember the first time she came to my house in the middle of the night. She was sobbing her eyes out and was covered in bruises and blood. We were only 13. I can remember looking outside and seeing that the sun was coming up. I had dressed her wounds and I held her in my arms all night and just listened to her tell me what had happened.
She never stopped coming to my house when it got really bad at home but after she became closer to Mai she started to come to me for help less and less. One of the last times she came to me was when her mother nearly beat her to death. She needed to go to the hospital but she was so scared to go. She had been told that if she went to the police of hospital that her mother would kill her. After too much persuasion she let me take her to the hospital and I wasn't able to see her for hours.
I had called Mai to tell her what happened and she got there within minutes of hanging up. We were both so worried about her and wanted her to be as far from her mother as possible but being the stubborn girl she is she wouldn't tell any of the staff or police who did it and was later sent home to her mother. While she was in the hospital I realized that she definitely did not love me back. I was so jealous of all the time she spent with Mai and the fact that Mai was closer to her than I was crushed me.
When Yuuko came back to school she seemed happier than before the incident. When I asked her why she told me that the person she liked had agreed to go out with her and I didn't think I could take it. She then told me who the lucky person was and it felt like I had been stabbed with a thousand knives. I couldn't believe that Mai had done this to me she was the only person who I told about my feelings for Yuuko and then she turned around and betrayed me. I wanted to run away and never stop running but I couldn't do that now. For the rest of the day I was constantly telling myself that I would get to go home soon and I could cry all I wanted.
Eventually the bell rang to go home and I grabbed my stuff and got out of the school as fast as I could. When I got home I lost it. All of my emotions came pouring out and I had no idea what to do. I cried for hours and hours and by the time I stopped it was well past sun down and I looked like a mess. Even though I was ready to continue crying into my pillow for the rest of eternity I dragged myself out of bed. Once I had conquered getting out of bed I attempted to make myself look somewhat presentable and make myself some dinner. I brushed out the knots out of my hair which I spent more time doing than necessary considering my hair doesn't even reach my shoulders. I then took off my uniform and put on the first thing I saw. When I finished I realised that hadn't eaten since that morning and found something in the pantry that I could eat.
When I finished my meal I retreated back to my room. The whole time I had been thinking about how angry I was. It was all Mai's fault that Yuuko wasn't mine. I had trusted Mai and then she turned around and ruined what we had. She was one of my best friends and I thought that I could trust her with my secrets but I guess I was wrong. Everything was so simple between Yuuko and me before Mai came in to the picture. She would have been mine by now if it wasn't for Mai.
I only remembered that my sister, Yoshino, had gone out when I heard her opening the door. I expected her to be by herself but when she barged into my room I saw a guy with her. "Why are you still awake? Go to bed Mio." was the first thing she said to me when she came into my room.
"And why should I do that when you're the one who just got home at... 3:42 am?" was my reply.
"Shut up Mio. I'm an adult and I can do what ever the hell I want. Why are you even up this late?"
"If you weren't such an imbecile you would take notice of how I am crying and have been since I got home!"
She looked irritated and took a deep breath before asking me "Why have you been crying Mio?"
"The person I like doesn't like me."
"Oh my god! All this over a little crush! You're wasting my time!"
That's when I lost it...
"You have no idea how I feel about her! She means so much to me and I have to pretend like I don't have any feelings for her! It hurts so much having to pretend like I'm happy for her and Mai! I feel like I'm rotting on the inside! I hate these feelings!"
"Get over it Mio. Its just a girl."
"If you're not going to do anything that will make me feel better just go away! You're such a useless piece of trash! You don't even care about my feelings! you are the worst sister that anyone could have!"
"You know what, I will go away. Stop acting like a child and learn to deal with your own problems." then she left my room with her "friend".
I needed to get out of the house, even if it was for just a few hours. I grabbed my keys and walked out of the house.
I wasn't thinking about where I was going until I realised that I was at the little hill by the river that Yuuko and I would always sit at after school. We found it when we were kids and acted like it was our own kingdom. We would go there and forget about all the bad things that were happening.
I sat down by the water and thought about what had happened that day. I couldn't shake the feeling that someone was watching me the whole time I was there.
"Hey Naganohara! I have to tell you something." when I heard Mai's voice I knew that I was in trouble.
"Not in the mood, Minakami."
"I don't care if you're in the mood or not. You need to back off. Yuuko isn't interested in you and she never will be."
"How do you know that she isn't just using you?"
"Well, if you really want to know, she has proved herself to me many times over and that's just today. I can assure you that she does not feel the same about you."
"Why are you going through all the trouble to tell me this? It won't stop me. I'm not scared of you. I know that you won't do anything anyways."
She grabbed my wrist and leant down to whisper in my ear "Get back on your level, Mio. No one is going to get in between Yuuko and me. You better get out of her life if you know what's good for you."
"Get away from me! You have no right to tell me what I can and can't do! I don't care who the hell you are!"
She let go of me and walked away. I sat there for a few minutes trying to process what had happened. Eventually I decided to go home. On the way back I passed an alley way and heard what sounded like crying but what really surprised me was when I heard what sounded like someone saying "When did everything go wrong? I wish we could all just be normal friends." I couldn't help myself and looked around the side of the wall to see who was crying and saw that the crying person was Mai.
I decided that it was best to not interfere and continued on my way home. Once I got inside I made sure that I was being as loud as possible so that Yoshino would notice that I'm home and stop whatever sinful act she was doing with that guy she brought home earlier.
I tried to go to sleep but I just couldn't so I decided to make myself some breakfast. Soon after I started cooking Yoshino came downstairs with the guy she brought home a few hours earlier.
"I'm glad to see you survived. I've never seen someone come out of there alive." was what I said to the guy that came downstairs with Yoshino.
"Well, I've come out of there quite a few times so it isn't really much of an achievement."
"I really did not want to hear that but good for you..."
I continued making my breakfast then right before I sat down to eat Yoshino said "Where's ours?"
"I don't know. Maybe you will find it when you get off your ass and make it yourself. I'm not going to cook for you especially after what you said to me."
"No need to be rude about it. Oh wait your always rude..."
"Like you can talk! you're worse than me! If I'm rude then what are you Yoshino?! You are so horrible! I don't know what I did to deserve someone like you as a sister! you don't even care about me! All you do is go out with your "friends", go to kendo training and make my life a living hell! You're supposed to be there for me when I go through tough times but you don't even notice if something's wrong! I bet you didn't even notice that I left the house in the middle of the night and only got home about forty five minutes ago!" I didn't really think about what I was saying. It kind of just all flooded out.
I really wish that I hadn't said all that stuff about her but you can't change the past. The look on her face snapped me back into reality and I only realised just the what I had said to her.
"You don't really mean all that stuff, do you? I try so hard to help you but when I try to say something I just can't. I'm sorry."
"Then act like it. I'm pretty sure that what I'm going through is a lot worse than what's wrong with you." I decided that if she can't even talk to me then she doesn't deserve me.
Yoshino didn't reply to what I said so I finished my breakfast and went to get ready for school. On my way there I stopped at the coffee shop to get something to keep me semi awake throughout the school day. When I got into the classroom I was surprised that Yuuko didn't come up to me and start talking to me like she usually does. I noticed that she was talking to Mai over by where we sit. I walked over to her and greeted her but she didn't respond. I was so confused. She was my best friend, she never ignored me. I decided to just sit down and get ready for class to start.
Throughout the first half of the day Yuuko didn't even acknowledge that I was there. I tried to talk to her again during the break but she just would nit respond to me. It was like I was invisible. I went over to our other friend and asked her if she knew what was up with Yuuko but she just acted like Yuuko was. I asked a few more people but no one would notice me.
Eventually I gave up and finished eating then got ready for the rest of my classes. I was so confused, why was everyone ignoring me? It continued for the rest of the day.
When I got home I didn't really have motivation to do anything so I just did my homework and laid in bed for the rest of the night. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up in the morning when my alarm went off. I got ready for school and made my breakfast, without Yoshino bothering me. I felt like it would be a better day than the one before but when I got there it was exactly the same. This continued for two weeks. Everyone was ignoring me. They wouldn't even read my texts. I felt horrible and had no idea why everyone was doing this to me. On the Thursday of the second week I was pushed over the edge. I made the biggest mistake of my life. I hurt so many people. I really should have remembered that you can't change the past.
I got home and asked Yuuko and Mai if they wanted to do anything on Friday night or the weekend but of course they didn't reply, I mean why would they everyone hated me. I waited for about an hour but they still didn't reply. I gave up and made the video.
"Hey guys. I guess this is the end. We all used to get along pretty well but then you stared ignoring me and haven't stopped. I've come to the conclusion that everyone hates me and the world would be a better place without me. You're finally getting what you want, I hope you're happy. I don't even know why I'm doing this to be honest, no one is going to care. Even my own sister hates me. This probable won't even work and people are probably going to hate me even more but if it does I want you all to know that it's your fault. All of the people who neglected me. You could all tell that I'm unhappy and that I've been close to doing this. If anyone says that if they had know they would have done something know that they are lying. I tried to reach out to everyone I know and no one even looked at me. I hope you all die and burn in hell. I've written three letters. The letters will be on my bed. They are for Yuuko Aioi, Mai Minakami and my sister Yoshino Naganohara. It is very important that no one besides them read the letters. Goodbye cruel world." When I stopped recording I posted the video on all of my social media accounts.
I wanted everyone who was the cause of what happened to see it. In under a minute there was a comment on the video, It said "You're such an attention whore Mio. Everyone knows that you are too scared to do it. Stop faking. You should actually kill yourself if you're going to post things like this. This is insanely rude to people who are actually suicidal."
After I read the comment I did it. I went into the medicine cabinet and grabbed Yoshino's sleeping pills. I grabbed all of the pills that were left and popped them into my mouth. I tried to swallow them without anything but they just wouldn't go down. the taste and feeling made me want to vomit. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed my water bottle then chugged the whole thing. There was no going back now.
The pills took affect a lot quicker than I expected. my vision became blurry then I became extremely dizzy. I grabbed onto the counter to try and keep myself up. My throat started to burn, I wasn't able to breathe. I fell onto the ground but all of my senses were dulled. I didn't feel anything. In my last few moments of being able to see I saw a figure coming towards me. They started leaning over me. I think that It was Yoshino but I wasn't able to tell. I heard indistinguishable words and ringing in my ears. I was barely able to hear but I could tell that it was Yoshino's voice. Out of the few words that I heard I could tell that she was telling mw to stay awake and stay with her. Yoshino was sobbing. I heard her scream something then it was followed by "ambulance". After that everything went black
and I wasn't able to hear anymore. I couldn't feel anything. Everything was gone. It was just my thoughts.
I woke up. I was still on the floor and it was dark outside. No one was in the house. I looked at the clock and it said that it was about 3:30 am. I was still in my school and I wasn't tired or hungry. I was so confused. I went into my room and the letters were gone. I had no idea what was happening
I continued doing similar things until about 7 am then I realised that I had school. I left the house and started on my way to school. When I got into the class room I just sat down at my desk but not before I noticed that Yuuko and Mai weren't there. A few minuted before the first bell was supposed to go there was an announcement on the PA system that there was going to be an assembly that would go for three hours then we would all be allowed to go home.
Everyone made their way to the assembly area. Most of the people looked confused. I was one of those people. When I got to were I was supposed to be I noticed that Yuuko, Mai and Yoshino were up on the stage. They were crying. I wasn't able to think about that much because the principal started talking.
"As some of you may know one of our students in class 1-Q passed away last night." everyone started talking. "Quiet! I know this may come as a shock to those of you who didn't know about this incident. She left a video and the faculty and her family believe that we should show it." they played the video. "Mio Naganohara was rushed to the hospital at 6 pm and was confirmed dead at 3:27 am. We all hope that she rests in peace. Now her sister will come and give a eulogy." Yoshino walked up and started talking.
"Mio was my sister and I loved her dearly. Our parents haven't been around for years so its been just us. I was a horrible sister and I didn't try hard enough to make sure she was happy. When I saw the video last night I rushed home but it was too late, the people at the hospital told me that she was too far gone to be saved. Excuse me I need a minute." she turned around and let out a few sobs and took a few breaths before continuing. "I hope she is happy where ever she is now. I can't even put how distraught I am into words. I just lost the only person I had left and the rest of the world lost an amazing person. She was too young to take her life. I would do anything to have her back. I don't think that I can say anything else right now but thank you for listening." Then it was Yuuko's turn to talk. Yoshino was good at hiding her pain but Yuuko wasn't.
"Mio was my best friend... I never intended for this to happen. Someone told me that it would be funny if we pretended like she wasn't there for two weeks. The whole class got involved. I was so stupid to think that it would be funny. Now she's dead. I'm never going to get over it." the rest of her speech was unintelligible. I'm really going to miss her. Next it was Mai's turn to speak. It was short but you got the feeling that she didn't want to say much more.
After the service was over everyone was talking about what happened. They were quiet though. A few people were crying. My class was silent. Eventually the students and teachers cleared out of the school. Yuuko was soon the only person left. I made my way over to where she was but the second I stopped next to her she started running. I followed her.
When Yuuko stopped I realised that we were at the hill by the river. She sat down and started talking. I sat next to her listening to what she was saying. She was talking to me. "Hey Mio. I can't
believe that you're really gone. It kinda feels like you're sitting right next to me. I really wish you were still here. I read your letter last night. I'm sorry but I only ever saw you as a friend. You were my best friend though. I'll never meet someone as perfect as you ever again. I really don't want to either. You helped me through so much and when you needed help I wasn't there for you. you were alone and I will never forgive myself for it. If it wasn't for me you would still be alive and it would have been a normal school day. I would have asked to copy your homework and you would give me a lecture on doing it myself but then you would give in and let me copy. We would have had a quiz and Mai would have done some crazy things causing me to not get anything answered. I usually hate it when those things happen but that would have been a better day than today. Basically anything would have been a better day. Now we're never going to have a day like that again because you won't be there. It just wont be the same. I'm so sorry. This is al my fault. If I hadn't completely ignored you it would still be the same. You were truly a one of a kind person. You were so smart and had so many talents. I've never seen someone who can draw like you or fight like you. You could have become a famous artist or boxer. I was told by one of our teachers that there had been some people who own really big gyms trying to recruit you. You could have been a champion. You would win everything. I bet you would even win world championships. Imagine if you became famous for you art. You would win awards left and right. Your artwork would have been put in museums. People would have remembered you forever. I bet you would have been one of the most famous artists of all time. We'll meet again, Mio Naganohara. It might be a while but I'll never forget you. When I join you up in heaven we will finally be able to see each other again. Your funeral is tomorrow. Everyone will have a final good bye but I don't really want to have one. I don't want to accept the fact that you dead but I kinda have to... Everyone is probably getting worried about where I am. I should go." when she finished talking she just stood there crying. I hugged her. I knew that she wouldn't notice me but it was so hard to stand there and watch her like this.
When she walked away I saw what was happening to me. I was disappearing. I was fading away from everything. My life truly was over. As I went away The darkness from when I died started to come back. It didn't take long for it to be everywhere. Then it was like I was watching a movie.
I was watching my life go by. Some parts blurred past and others played in normal time. As it got into the last few months of my life it stayed the same pace until the end. I didn't realize that I was crying until my life story went away and I was left all alone in the darkness once again. I didn't know how long I was there like that. Time was no longer relevant. I was stuck like this for the rest of eternity. I don't know how long I waited but one day two people joined me in the darkness.