Chapter 17 - Something's wrong
We moved into the living room, deciding to play sevens. Mai appeared downstairs with her hair messy. “Good morning,” she mumbled, rubbing her eyes with her hand.
“Good morning.” She noticed me and smiled. “It’s Ku! Hello!” she excitedly waved.
“Hi!” I greeted her again. She paced to the kitchen, pouring a box of cereal into a bowl carefully.
Out of the blue, I noticed one more person. On the opposite side sat a girl with long white hair and a forelock covering her left eye. Her eyes were blue like mine, except with pointy pupils. On each side of her face, instead of her ears, stick bat wings. The girl had a spiked collar and a chained collar with a paddock. The person’s tail, ending with a triangle lied between the space on the chair.
I froze, realizing who this person is – Shinshu.
Shinshu placed a finger on her lips, giving me an evil smile. “Don’t tell them I’m here. They wouldn’t believe you anyway.”
“You can sit,” Mizuki suggested. I opened my eyes wide before sitting on the chair, not putting the intruder out of my sight.
“Long time no see, my friend.”
A friend? No, you weren’t my friend, not after what you did to me.
“Why aren’t you responding? Didn’t you miss me?”
I shook my head. I didn’t miss you; I can’t answer. What will my friends think of me if I do so? They will think I’m talking with myself. You were my imaginary friend in the past, why are you here? Can you hear my thoughts?
“Boooooring! You’re boring. What happened with the speeches? I remember you being talkative all of the time. Well, not until...”
“Shut up,” I said, glaring at the devil. Mai shot me a hurt expression. “I believed you wanted to hear of my baking skills.”
Mizuki glared at me, making me realize I said it out loud. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it... I was just thinking.”
Mizuki looked hesitant, and her sister the same. Can’t you just leave me alone? Why did you return?
“Because I can, and I believed you’re alone and lonely.”
You can hear my mind... “Of course, I can. What do you think I am, you fool?”
Ignoring the devil will be hard, as always, I’m sure.
Mizuki got the idea to go to Aeon pet mall, as she thought it’s a beautiful place to visit. We waited before Pablo woke up until leaving the house.
“I heard you have been acting strange,” he said to me as we walked, the intruder following us.
“Don’t listen to him. He’s stupid. Do you have a thing for this guy? Holy Satan’s water.”
“Satan doesn’t have holy water. Only God does.”
“What?” Pablo stared at me uncomfortably, and I stared back at him. “What?”
“I have been telling you I heard you acted strangely... And now you respond with Satan’s holy water?”
“Oh, sorry. I must have told my thoughts out loud accidentally... Haha!”
“Alright, I guess...?,” he answered insecurely.
“What an idiot. What do you like about him? He looks like the biggest jerk.”
I never said I like him; how can you assume such things? You’re the only one who’s an idiot; shut up.
“And how have you been? Have you slept well?”
“I did,” my response came out as a mumble.
I wasn’t talkative as usual, seeming dead and quiet. Shinshu continued telling me things; I refused to respond to anything; however, the voice was driving me crazy. It became hard not to answer, as I wasn’t sure if the person is Shinshu or anybody else.
“Ku? I have been talking to you, and you still haven’t responded...”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I spaced out.”
Mai appeared to be unconvinced again. “You’re acting strange since today. Is everything alright?”
“Yes, everything is fine.” I pushed myself to smile, “so what will we do in the mall?”
“Really?” I asked Mai in surprise.
“Yeah! The kittens are adorable.”
“I talked about them this whole time! You weren’t listening?” she questioned, sounding hurt by me.
“I had a nightmare and barely slept. I’m tired.”
“Oh. I see. I’ll leave you for now.” Mai answered in disappointment, watching the nature around.
“You have to ruin everything, don’t you? Why did you come back?” I whispered.
“Ruin everything? You let me in your body! Fool. I never ruined anything. I only helped you. Or did you want to continue being made fun of?”
“I’d rather be than have you in my life.”
“The kids would ruin you. And you were alone.”
“Not before you came. Then everyone hated me for the things you made me do. And that’s what I want... him ... To not know.” I defended myself.
“Just remember what the children did... Remember...”
And I refused, but the moment came back from my imagination. I couldn’t push that memory deep down.
“Look! She has white hair!” Someone shouted and pulled my hair while I was on my way to class. I sharply faced the boy. “Don’t pull my hair! It hurts!”
The boy looked shocked. “Why do your eyes look purple? Shouldn’t they be blue? Monster!”
“I’m not!” I shouted. The boy took a step backward and ran away. I continued walking to my class and sat on my seat, suddenly quiet. In class, I asked a lot of questions, now remaining quiet.
“She has white hair! That isn’t normal!”
“What? Is she that old?” A girl laughed.
“She is weird. Silver hair? What?!”
“It can be just very light blonde hair.”
“No, it’s hair as white as snow.”
“My friend said her eyes turned purple.”
“I’ve heard that they turned a bit red...”
“Why is she this pale? Is she sick?”
I decided to ignore them. Something hit me in the head from behind at our lessons, and I gazed behind myself, seeing a ball made from paper. I reached for it.
“You’re weird. Silver hair?” I only turned around and threw the ball. It hit a person in the head, making me smirk. What was great became the fact that today I received an excellent grade in math. I believed my classes would cheer up my mother’s mood. At least something beautiful this day. Why did my classmates start being mean? What’s happening?
The next day at school, I didn’t have anything to drink; meanwhile, other children had it; I was thirsty. I begged someone for a bit of water. “Hey, I don’t have anything to drink... Can you give me anything?”
“What? Are you bragging, weirdo?”
“That’s your problem.”
I couldn’t continue, even remembering this little piece of her past made me sick.
“And you think he’d hate you? Of course. A murderer, aggressor, and... Haven’t you showed him a bit of that part already? And you think you’re hiding it away from him?”
“I was sure I’d get rid of you if I swallowed those pills...”
“Wrong pills, it seems,” My imaginary devil friend smirked. “Don’t you know there were two jars?”
I gulped. Of course, I must have picked the wrong pill and jar...
“You are answering weird things again,” Pablo told her. “You keep ignoring my questions or answering some nonsense. Is everything really okay?”
“Huh?” I gazed at him. “I had a nightmare, and... felt upset before I made myself some tea. Now I remember putting Sugar into it. Perhaps I mistook...”
“Sugar into it? Mistook? You put weed in your tea?” he questioned in disbelief. “Where would you...?”
“No! No! You don’t get it...” This isn't good. This isn't nice. How can I keep this side of me from him? No... No...
“What’s wrong? I can feel something’s not right.” She wouldn’t act this way for no reason, but what bothered her?
“Hey, can I ask you a question?” my best friend wondered.
“You just did.”
“Why, when I first came to this school, you kept being so rude?”
“I...” her question left me speechless. “Well, um, uhh... You see... That’s... Fine. It’s not, but... I got annoyed by how you continued bothering me. I wanted to isolate myself and be alone. I believed you’re just bothering, not wanting actually to help me like everyone else. I took antidepressants; they gave me extreme mood swings. And, I didn’t desire anyone to help me because I thought they’d get hurt. That’s why I acted rude, wanting you to get away from me because then you would be safe from these... monsters. If I acted rude enough, I knew you’d eventually leave me alone. For your good.”
“You wanted to protect me?”
“To protect everyone.” I corrected her. “Besides, I knew nobody wants to be friends with me anyway. It didn’t matter; at the time, I felt nothing matters, only Feeling shame, fear, guilt, and emptiness. I couldn’t trust people, wanting to... kill myself.”
I twitched. Kill me... we have this in common. Something he doesn’t know of and shouldn’t.
Pablo continued, “I hate bullies. I think it’s bullies who should kill themselves, because of the damage they do. It’s them who should die. Even if they’re not bullying others anymore.” his voice was filled with hatred.
“The person who should die is you. And you very well know why. And he’s right that all bullies should die. Even the ones who don’t bully others anymore. Which means... you.”