Chapter 40 - Kikuchi Keichii
[Kurumi's POV/AFTER MEI'S DEATN/THE PAST]:
My first day of high school was coming. I felt anxious, because how will they accept me? And I no longer have anyone. Yet, grandpa doesn't want me to be home-schooled.
I inhaled and exhaled. It's hard to breathe, to get out of bed when I know Mei isn't with me. And that it's all my fault.
I trudged from my bed downstairs to the living room and there watched my bowl with cereal. Grandpa always made sure I have a meal on the table. In my condition, I couldn't thank him, though.
Shuffling the milk with a spoon, barely any food ended in my throat. Grandpa also accompanied me to the building, with me in silence and him constantly talking. It caused me a headache.
I gulped about entering school. The teacher forced me to introduce myself to the class, and I did it lifelessly. My eyes stared into space, not paying attention to anyone around me, because what would be the point?
The sakura trees outside bloomed, and leaves were falling on the grass. How's it like being a tree? You live for a long time and probably don't feel emotions, which makes everything easier.
I sighed in relief when no one spoke to me at the break. This continued for the whole week; I was usually ignored. If anyone attempted to talk to me, I twitched and wouldn't answer, or the person received a very shallow reply.
People soon labeled me as weird, and nobody paid much attention to me. I was the girl who never talks. The worst thing is that they have no idea what caused me to be this way. After all, why should they even care?
I couldn't make friends, being afraid, what happened to Mei will repeat. In every person, I saw her. And a strange idea hit me. What about a boyfriend or a guy friend? He'd care about me a similar way as Mei did. Perhaps then, my life would finally be complete.
And I actually developed a crush! On Kikuchi Keichii. A lot of girls seemed to like him. They considered him cute and handsome. Keichii was a famous kind of guy who does sports. People labeled him as a gentleman, and he would give everyone a lot of compliments, especially girls.
Sometimes we'd have classes together. Once a perfect opportunity for me arrived.
He sat in front of me in a way where I could see him nicely. I grabbed a pencil, sketching a portrait of him.
I became so focused that I didn't see him coming to me. The bell rang, and his deep voice spoke to me: "Is that me?"
My hand dropped the pencil, and I almost jumped from my chair. "Huh? O-oh, I mean, well... It's... I hope that... Sorry."
He laughed. "Damn, that's the longest sentence the girl who never talks said!"
"You're really talented." he winked at me, and I blushed. "T-Thank you."
"How long have you been drawing?"
"A few y-years." I stuttered shyly.
"That's amazing. Anyway, I'll be going now. Maybe we'll see each other again!" he left my desk. Some girls stared at me in envy yet wouldn't do anything to hurt me. I can't believe Keichii spoke to me out of all the people! I mean, he compliments everyone, but it still means a lot.
It's been a few days since our meeting, and I was looking forward to meeting him again. He was the one who made me feel different than usual. Barely knowing him, I still believed he is the one.
Then the following day we met again! I drew another portrait, and he laughed again. "You know, I've never seen anyone draw me. You're surely an interesting person. Would you maybe like to go somewhere with me?"
My eyes widened. No way! Did he just... Ask me out? It must be a dream. "I-I... Well... S-Sure."
"Great! I'll be waiting. We can see each other after school!"
"Yeah." I smiled.
"Don't forget about me! I'll be waiting."
I've been waiting the whole day, hoping he'll show up, and as if God heard my wish, he really stood there. "Hey!"
"Hi! Y-you're here early."
"No, you're late." he gazed at the watch on his wrist. "Yeah. For thirty seconds! What took you so long?"
"Taking my shoes."
"Suddenly talkative, aren't you? Don't worry, though; I'll take you to a nice place; I'm sure we'll enjoy it together!"
I only nodded with a smile. My dreams really are coming true. For a while, it's like I feel something... Similar to happiness.
Keichii brought me to a fancy restaurant. It seemed to be expensive; thus, I gazed at him worryingly. "Isn't it too expensive?"
"Don't worry; I'm paying. You can choose anything you want."
We entered the door and sat at a table. The menu already lay here. I ordered the least expensive food and drank on the list. I didn't eat much, but I forced myself to finish as much as possible. It's too expensive to go to waste.
He made me open up a bit and asked me why I never talk. My response was that I don't see a reason to.
We've had a good time together. We exited the restaurant when I freaked out, saying I should be home soon. Keichii convinced me to stay a bit longer, yet, I've still had to go after a little while.
We exited the building, and the temperature changed. I found myself shaking a little, and Keichii hugged me. He was just so nice! No wonder all the girls liked him.
We walked together, holding hands. Keichii accompanied me to my house. In front of it, he smiled at me, asking to meet again. After a week because he's busy. I nodded happily. Then he left, and I watched him go. I opened the door as he disappeared from my sights.
Something changed the following day. We've had classes together, yet he didn't talk with me. The whole week for him, I was air. He's with his friends, so I guess that's why? He doesn't wish for them to know.
It did feel lonely and hurt me, though. Did our date mean nothing? Why is he distant?
On Friday, he did come to me as if nothing happened. "Hey, I missed you!"
I only stared at him in silence. How can he act as if everything is okay? And Keichii did realize that, as his smile slowly disappeared.
"Hey, I'm sorry, okay? I was busy for the whole week! A lot of things to study. Besides, I wasn't in the mood to interact."
And yet, you hang out with other people, I thought to myself and turned around.
"Come on! We could go somewhere again. I have a lot of friends and haven't spent time with some of them, that's why. Besides, there's something for you."
Keichii handed me a small, wrapped box. In it was a ring. "Wow... T-Thank you."
"No problem! Glad you like it." he grinned. "Anyway, there's another place I can show you."
I couldn't believe how sweet Keichii is. It made me love him even more. Little did I know it was all just an act. He felt nothing towards me. I've realized this a couple of weeks later...
When we exited the cinema or park, we would be kissing or cuddling. I was happy, and everything looked perfect. We became an actual couple! But that didn't last long.
One day as we left another restaurant he brought me to, he'd ask me to visit his place. I've agreed which I regret now. It was all a big nightmare.
At first, Keichii showed me everything in the room; then, we sat on the bed. And that when he suddenly kissed me and pushed me down. I gasped in surprise. "Huh?"
"Don't you think it's time?"
"For w-what? Hey, I disagreed –"
"We've been dating for a while."
"I don't want to."
"What do you mean?" Keichii frowned. "We've spent enough time together! I don't understand what's wrong with you. I've been doing so many nice things for you – buying you gifts, taking you to restaurants and nice places. And when this is the only thing I desire in return, you refuse!"
"You did it because you wanted to." I tried to sit up, yet he wouldn't let me. "I'm not going to do something I refuse to do!"
"Oh, is that so? It seems that I'm the only interested at this point! You can't even pay me back. I'm doing it for you!"
I closed my eyes. "I refuse. Please respect my decision."
"No way! You know, I really thought you're different than other girls. Nevertheless, you're just like everyone else! Never appreciating anything I do."
"It's not that! I could pay you, but anything else than this!"
"No! This is the only thing I want from you."
"Thanks for letting me know... You never even cared about me." I whispered.
"What! Of course, I care! Why else do you think I'd do all of these things?"
"For your greed."
"Well... I do anything I wish. And if not this way, then with force."
I realized I'm unable to move and gulped. "THIS IS ILLEGAL!"
"I deserve to get back what I gave!" Keichii yelled.
Startled, I opened my eyes wide and began struggling wildly. He placed a hand on my mouth. An idea struck me, and I bit his hand as wildly and as hard as possible. Keichii yelled and immediately placed it back. In the meanwhile, I got up and slapped him, then kicked him in his weak spot.
I ran away from the room and house, crying. Thinking I finally found someone who's nice, and this happens.
This week was stressful. I looked sick, and grandpa let me be home. Going to school again felt awful. Still, fortunately, Keichii and I did not talk at all. I can't believe he deceived me the whole time. Who's capable of doing such a thing?!
That was just the beginning. I couldn't help it, crying and feeling like my whole world broke. Then, I became angry when I saw Keichii getting away with it. I began thinking about revenge for what he's done.
I've strolled in the park, lost in my thoughts when I suddenly froze. There he was – Keichii kissing another girl. I got so mad, I thought of going there and punching him; nevertheless, I received a better idea.
Reaching for my phone, I grabbed it from my legs' pocket and took pictures, also recording a video. The next days I'd also visit the park and saw him kissing with even more girls! Most of them attended the same school.
Thus, I sent the ones I knew the videos. They couldn't believe it, but got so mad! And the best thing he didn't know who's doing it! Until somebody snitched on me. That day I was casually pacing through the school hallway when angry Keichii stopped in front of me. "YOU!"
"Hmm, what?" I questioned angrily. "Shouldn't have messed with me."
"Oh yeah? I gave you everything you could want. Tons of gifts took you for dates, and you refused even to pay me back. And when I try more times hoping at least someone will appreciate it, you have to ruin everything!"
"Oh, me? You're the one who ruined everything! You almost RAPED ME!"
Everyone in the hallway gasped or stared at us in a mix of fear and surprise. "That's right. You pretend you're someone who you're not. You hide it with insincere compliments, and everyone thinks how amazing you are! Although in reality, this guy here cheats on multiple girls, and all he cares about is fucking girls. He tries to get it by manipulating them and being very nice in the beginning. But then the 'fun' starts..."
He stared at me in shock before his expression turned aggressive. "I really thought you're different than other girls. I'm a nice guy here, and you have the audacity to tell such awful lies?"
"Not lies. Everyone saw these videos. Your time is over."
"No. Yours is." Keichii's face darkened even more, and to my surprise, he reached his hand and... Punched me. He couldn't just slap me, of course! People stared at him in disbelief. I felt pain in my face; it hurt so bad.
"You. Shouldn't. Have. Messed with me." he reached his hand to hit me again, but I was prepared this time.
"NO. YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE!" I yelled and now punched him, which he really didn't expect. I did it again, harder, and then kicked him. "YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE DECEIVED ME THE WHOLE TIME!"
Suddenly, Shinshu appeared beside me. "You're doing a good job. Repeat. He deserves it. Release your rage. Don't hide it. Look what your mom did, what happened to Mei. Somebody must pay for your pain. You'll feel better. And I can help."
I'm not sure what happened afterward. However, anger got the best of me. I remember yelling and punching, scratching, kicking Keichii. Red covered my vision; I felt unbearable anger with pain. Like if he was my life, and those who hurt me, it felt like I must kill him. It's too much. It's too much!
"He deserves it."
"Look how much he hurt you."
"You can do it."
"Don't stop. You can't."
The voices were right. In the end, I couldn't stop. Someone in the background started yelling, and a few people tried to push us away. Through my vision, I attacked them too, like possessed. Maybe I was.
Then, more people rushed through the door, and someone pushed my head to the ground. I felt disoriented, wildly struggling, trying to escape. The person pushed a gun to my head, yelling something. That caused me to stop. Then, they grabbed my hands and handcuffed them.
I wasn't myself at this time. The policeman forced me to stand up, and I looked through my shoulder. Keichii bleeding with a few badly broken bones, more people injured. Teachers standing in front of the students, gazing at me with fear.
Everything blends, even now. I think I went to court, but they released me. Maybe because of my past and medical condition. I spent some time in a strange place; I don't know anymore. They were giving me some pills; that's why my memories became a blur.
People in the town hated me, wishing I'd be sent to jail and viewing me as some kind of a monster. Some humans would even throw rocks at me. I knew I'm not welcome anymore.
My grandpa's condition continued worsening. Then one day, he collapsed in my arms. I cried, apologizing for everything. He handed me a weapon – a blue, glowing gun. "You'll need this one day." Were his last words. He wanted to add something but died before he could.