“DRAMA OVERLOAD” are the words
to describe this fic.. ;(
..thankz for patiently waiting for my post,
reading and most esp. your warm comments *cried*
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been afraid of the dark. Because I imagined that, there were hideous looking creatures that would suddenly popped out in the darkness and abduct me or the worst— eat my flesh. Stupid you say, but that was how I visualized it.
“I wouldn’t go in there… I wouldn’t go in there…” I’d say to myself over and over again.
I really wouldn’t dare go into dark places nor stay alone inside my own bedroom when there were no lights turned on.
Yet, I never thought that, I’d experienced being drawn into the darkness in an immeasurable length of time, without any knowledge of how to escape it.
Today, everything around me was pitch black. The feeling that you already stretched your eyes open, yet still you felt that they were tightly closed because you couldn’t see anything aside from total blackness. Rather than feeling scared, I was feeling very tired, and it was all darkness creeping over the edge of my mind.
All I heard was jumble of noises, someone’s screaming and an increasing sound coming from a siren. I guess.
I felt too much pain in my head and in my back and I thought it’d be best to stay put. Movements increases the pain I felt in my body.
“Jurina! Jurina! Can you hear me?” I heard a familiar voice calling me.
I tried to retort back, but it seems I couldn’t find my voice. After that, I felt completely exhausted, and then my own body started to become numb. The noises and buzzing I heard in my ear or in my head, slowly starts to fade and within a couple of seconds everything became quiet.
Two souls were lying together on the grass and staring up at the stars, under the perfectly clear night sky. They were best friends since forever, as what Matsui Jurina would address to “the length of their friendship”. She and Rena lived next door to each other and spent just about every minute of every day together. Sometimes, they would lie together under the stars and even slept together. Jurina didn’t know for how many times. In all that time, she’d never looked at her as anything but a friend; except maybe as a sister.
There was a night of shooting stars forecast and the both of them wanted to witness it tonight. The atmosphere was freezing but they were toughing it, so as not to lose face with each other. Which made it all the colder, and the grass crunched beneath them as they positioned themselves under the protection of a grove of trees.
The first star streaked across the sky and they were both completely blown away. They’d never seen anything like it; anything so beautiful and suddenly the cold was worth it. Both girls were breathless.
“Quick, Rena-chan make a wish!” Jurina cried excitedly.
“I already have.” Rena whispered.
At some point Jurina realized Rena reached out her hand and laced their fingers together. Yet she hadn’t even noticed, as she was too intent with what was going on in the sky over their heads. It went on for ages and by the time it ended, Jurina’s teeth were chattering.
Jurina was surprised to find that Rena was still holding her hand but it didn’t bother her anyway. Nothing Rena did bothered her; they were that close.
Jurina turned her face to look at her friend. Rena’s eyes were brilliant, reflecting the dark sky and glittering stars. Jurina didn’t know what it was; maybe the way Rena was looking at her, but it suddenly struck her that they were beautiful. The thought surprised and puzzled her, but it still didn’t bother her. She remembered wondering why it had never occurred to her before to notice her BFF was beautiful.
For her, Rena was perfect. To be honest, Rena had been changing a lot and Jurina hadn’t noticed it; not until that night.
When they looked at each other, under the stars with their breaths misting between them, the changes Rena had been undergoing hit Jurina like a ton of bricks and she was puzzled about why— why she hadn’t noticed and why, at last, it bothered her.
Rena moved closer and raised herself on one elbow so she could look down at Jurina. She had the strangest look on her face that Jurina noticed for the first time.
“What?” Jurina asked somewhat sharply, because she was disturbed by the way her mind had been working.
“What’s wrong? You look….”
“I’ve been….” Rena shivered deeply and took a deep breath. “There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you about for a long time; a really long time.”
“But you can talk to me about anything; any time. At least I thought you could.”
Jurina frowned because there was something Rena couldn’t talk to her about. Did it mean that they were drifting apart? The fear of losing Rena’s friendship was far greater than whatever it might be. That was so bad Rena hadn’t felt able to discuss it with her.
“Don’t, Jurina. Don’t look at me like that, as if I’ve somehow let you down.”
“But I wasn’t. I know you’d never….”
“Jurina, please… Just— just let me speak. If I don’t do it now I never will and it’s been so hard. It hurts so much.” Rena really sounded as if she was in pain and Jurina was alarmed.
“…Rena-chan what’s wrong? What happened?” Jurina was horrified by Rena’s choked voice and the tears in her eyes. Jurina was scared that something really bad had happened.
“Nothing’s happened; at least, nothing new. It’s just… just I can’t keep it inside anymore. It’s been there for such a long time; years. I’ve wanted to tell you so many times, but I’ve been too scared.”
Now Rena started, the words tumbled over themselves and came pouring out. Jurina didn’t think she could have stopped if she had wanted to.
“I didn’t want you to hate me. You’re always so happy and sweet and bubbly and I didn’t want to see that change. I didn’t want you to be cold with me.”
Jurina opened her mouth to speak, to tell Rena that she was being stupid, that she will never be cold to her, but Rena pressed on before Jurina could say a word.
“You’ve no idea what it’s been like, being so close to you for so long. So close but… but not… not….” She took a deep breath, steadying herself.
By now, Jurina was so stunned and shocked. She didn’t know what to think let alone say.
“Then tonight you were lying there; so close. You were excited and bubbly like you always are and the starlight was reflecting in your eyes and they were so beautiful. They are beautiful— and when I held your hand and you didn’t….”
Suddenly, Rena seemed to collapse in on herself. “You’ve absolutely no idea what I’m talking about do you? I thought that when… when you didn’t— but you don’t know do you? Even now, after everything I’ve said, you’ve no idea what I’m talking about.”
Rena was right. Jurina shook her head completely mystified. All Jurina knew was that her best friend was in pain and it seemed to have something to do with her; and that was killing her.
“I’m sorry, Rena-chan. I don’t know what I’ve done, but whatever it is I’m sorry. I’m really sorry if I’ve hurt you.”
“Sorry? You done? Jurina you’re so… ugh. You haven’t done anything; nothing. You’ve always been so… always so…. You’re perfect. You’re bright and funny and sweet but sometimes you’re so… oblivious.”
“Oblivious? To what?” Jurina’s forehead creases.
Rena was glaring at her, and Jurina was starting to feel very uncomfortable. Rena was like a coiled spring and Jurina was scared what would happen when it sprung. Rena sighed and shook her head. Their eyes were locked with each other.
“Do you know what I wished for— on the star?”
Jurina was confused by the sudden changes of direction in their weird conversation and mesmerized by the strange tone in Rena’s voice that was so different to anything she’d ever heard before. Rena moved even closer and Jurina had to resist the temptation to move away.
“You.” Rena whispered and that just made Jurina even more confused.
“Me? But— I don’t understand.”
“God, you can be so stupid sometimes,” Rena spat out in frustration.
“I love you, Jurina. I have always loved you and I will always love you.” Rena was looking at her as if she was expecting the girl to say or do something.
“I know you do.” Jurina said, somewhat uncertainly, half expecting it to be the wrong thing to say.
“No! You don’t know. You don’t know anything. Sometimes you’re just not real.”
The next thing Jurina knew, Rena leaned closer to her then boldly kissed her. To say she was shocked was a huge understatement. Jurina was too shocked to react at all and, after a moment Rena pulled away with a strange cry.
“I’m sorry, Jurina. I’m really sorry. I never meant it to be like this. I’ve tried. God knows I’ve tried but you’re just so beautiful and… I….” She looked devastated, destroyed, but Jurina barely noticed.
“Oh God yes. And you’ve never been more beautiful than you are right now.” Rena looked hopeful then, like a puppy half expecting to be kicked but so, so hoping for a pat.
“I uhm… I… I don’t know what to… to say.”
“I don’t care. I don’t care what you say or what you do. Only… only please don’t hate me. Please don’t hurt me; don’t leave me.”
“What are you talking about You’re my best friend and you always will be. I don’t understand why you would think I’d hate you.” And she didn’t. Jurina really, really didn’t.
Running out of words to say, Jurina shut her mouth and lay flat on her back and stared up at the stars. How did she feel? What was she thinking? She had no idea. So many things were flying through her mind and there was no room for feelings. Jurina felt dizzy.
“What are you thinking?” Rena’s voice was anxious and Jurina couldn’t look at her; she just couldn’t.
“I… don’t know. Shocked, I suppose. I never thought…”
“You don’t hate me do you?”
Jurina turned to look at her and laughed. “Of course I don’t hate you. Why the hell would I hate you? You’re my best friend.”
“Still?” Rena was anxious, even though Jurina thought she’d made herself perfectly clear.
It didn’t occur to Jurina then, not until much later. The risk Rena had been taken in telling her like that. It seemed so natural; so unimportant to ‘them’ that it came as a huge shock when Jurina later found out that it didn’t always happen like this, that sometimes even good friends walk away. Even if things hadn’t progressed as they did, Jurina would never have turned her back on Rena; not for that.
“So… what…? Where does this leave us should we pretend that nothing happened; just carry on as if nothing’s changed?”
“Changed? Of course it’s changed. Everything’s changed.”
“Then what…?” Rena looked scared.
“I don’t know. I need to think, Rena. I don’t know how to feel; what to do. I need to think.”
“Fair enough. Do you want to go home?”
Jurina thought about it and nodded. “Yes.”
Then the girls collected their things in silence and trudged back. Jurina knew Rena was sneaking glances at her but she couldn’t look at her in return. She didn’t know why. Jurina didn’t realize at the time that she might have thought it was because she had a problem with her; Rena confessed to her. Jurina was stupid and thoughtless but that’s the way she was. It wasn’t deliberate. That’s not the way it was; not at all.
Neither of the girls slept that night and Jurina’s parents thought she’d come back because it was so cold and Jurina wasn’t about to disillusion them; not right then.
Jurina lay in bed, warm and tired but unable to sleep. Her mind roved back and forth over the previous years, and she began to slot all sorts of pieces into place. Jurina laughed out loud. Jurina cried almost hysterically. She was scared, uncertain, confused and even angry, but not with Rena. She tossed and turned. She got feverish, almost delirious, but by morning Jurina knew.
The conclusion of her hours of torment came with the dawn and finally brought her peace and rest.
Jurina woke up late and stood in the window, stretching and yawning, soaking up the cold winter sun. Something caught her eye and she noticed Rena in their garden, sitting with her back against the tree, hugging her drawn up knees. She looked so— sad.
Jurina dressed quickly and grabbed a piece of toast before saying she was going out with Rena and ran from the house. She didn’t bother knocking, and went straight inside. Letting herself in at the side gate, and ran around
Rena looked up when Jurina came striding across the grass. She didn’t know what Rena saw on her face because she looked scared, really scared. But Jurina was on a mission and she wasn’t going to let something like fear get in the way.
When Jurina got to her, she pulled Rena by the arm and yanked her to her feet without a word and towed her by the hand out of their back gate, along the bank of the river, through the hedge and into their special hiding place. They’d been going there ever since they were children. It was their place; the place where no one else came, where no one bothered them or threatened them— where they were safe. But Rena wasn’t feeling safe; Jurina could feel it and she didn’t care.
As soon as they reached there, still without saying a word, Jurina backed Rena against a tree quite roughly; in fact Jurina hadn’t been gentle since the first moment; and demanded.
“Did you mean it?”
“What” Rena looked scared to death.
“Last night; those things you said. Did you mean them?”
“Yes,” Rena whispered, looking away.
“You love me? I mean really love me… like… in love with me?”
“Yes,” She whispered again and Jurina could almost taste the fear in her voice.
Jurina pulled Rena’s already tear-streaked face up and made her friend looked at her.
“And you really think I’m beautiful?” Jurina asked quietly.
At the change in the tone of her friend’s voice, Rena’s eyes widened and her voice was filled with a kind of desperate hope.
“I love you too, cry baby Rena.” Jurina laughed, and then lovingly kissed her.
Since that day the best friends became officially lovers, nothing much has changed. They still everything together, went to school hand in hand and eat together like they always did. Except that they were more intimate than before.
“Jurina. Can you hear me?”
The voice was calling my name again. Well of course I could hear it. She was right there and I wasn’t deaf. It was just… just… well my hearing was okay but it didn’t seem as if my eyes and voice were doing so well. I tried to focus on her but my eyes seemed to keep sliding away and when I tried to tell her that I could hear her and could she please help me up because it was getting uncomfortable on where I was lying right now, all that came out was a kind of strangled croak.
“It’s alright. Just lie still for a moment. Help is on its way. We’ve called your mom.”
I got a bit scared then; not because of what had happened or the fact that there was definitely pain in my— well all over really— by now. No. It was those dreaded words. ‘We’ve called your mom.’ That was never good. That meant that in one way or another I was in deep trouble and I couldn’t for the life of me work out why. What had I done?
Someone was holding my hand and I was pretty sure who it was.
“R-Rena..?” My voice worked that time but it was very soft and I didn’t think she would have heard, but I hoped she had.
“I’m here. I’m here, Jurina. Oh God. Oh God why did this happen? Oh God, I love you, Jurina. Please, please be okay.
I wondered vaguely whether maybe she shouldn’t be saying those things; here where people would hear, but hey— if she was cool with it then so was I.
I meant to say. ‘I love you too. Don’t worry I’m fine, it’ll be okay.’
But it came out as “Love… love you… okay.”
And I was surprised that it seemed to make Rena even more upset. I squeezed her hand and tried to smile but by then the darkness, which was still no more than an irritation, was coming in fast and the world contracted to Rena’s face and then winked out.
I roused briefly to hear my mother’s voice shouting at someone; clearly very upset and I obviously assumed that she must have been upset with me.
I managed to mumble, “Sorry.” But then the anger turned soft and she leaned closer, trying to smile. I tried to smile back but I was really just raising my head above the surface and almost immediately sank again.
After that there were brief impressions of voices and movement, which was really waking up the pain, before I let myself sink completely into the darkness, which at that time seemed like a friend.
The next time I was really aware of anything, I was lying on something hard; curled on my side with cool cotton under my cheek and the smell of plastic. I felt someone was gently stroking my hair. At first, it felt really nice and I just wanted to lie there and float in the sensation of the stroking.
The darkness was still lurking at the corners of my mind, but I really didn’t care. It was soft and I wasn’t afraid of it at all.
Someone was calling me. It seemed like they were a long way away, distorted somehow.
“Jurina. Jurina sweetheart, can you hear me?” I didn’t recognize the voice so I ignored it.
“Come on sweetheart, open your eyes for me.” I sighed and started to slide back towards sleep.
Someone took my hand and a shadow fell across my face.
“Jurina. Please wake up. I’m scared. Please…” That voice, I did recognize although there was a strange note in it that bothered me. Rena was upset. Why was she upset?
With considerable effort I managed to open my eyes to be presented with a world of blurred shapes and colors.
“Jurina; oh God Jurina; I thought you were dead. Are you alright?”
“Easy now.” The first voice said again, gently. “Let’s give her a chance to come round a bit.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just…” It was Rena, her voiced gargled as she was speaking.
“I know honey, I know.”
The hand started stroking my head again very gently.
“There we go,” the voice said softly. “Take it easy now. Just try to take some nice deep breaths until things settle down a bit.”
I tried to do as she said but it was not a pleasant experience. For one thing it sent a stab of pain shooting through my chest and side which was not unbearable but still made me gasp. For another I realized that there was something covering my face and I panicked.
I tried to raise my hand to free myself, but it wasn’t happening. It took enormous effort to raise it a couple of inches. Instead I decided to turn my head to dislodge whatever it was that had made me feel so claustrophobic. I had a bit of a problem with that generally, and in my confused state it was really notching up the panic by the moment.
“Sssh… It’s alright sweetheart. I know it hurts but it’ll be alright. Lie still now.”
I whispered and shook my head, my panic making me pant which hurt my chest, blurred my eyes and made me feel even more claustrophobic. I heard the voices speak again, but I didn’t know what they were saying because I was too focused on the panic and the pain. And then suddenly I was free and Rena’s face was right in front of me.
“Steady, Jurina. Chill. Listen to me. Listen.”
Okay, I thought. Seems okay now. No more suffocation, No more… well okay, the pain was still there; in fact the pain was really bad, but I could handle it. I could handle anything if Rena was there. I felt a cool hand on my face, the thumb stroking my cheek. I closed my eyes and smiled, turning my head slightly into the touch.
She sounded scared; so scared. I opened my eyes again; I wanted to witness her face right now. It must have been something bad. Was it hurting her? Is that what was hurting me?
When I looked at her she was smiling and that made me really confused. Was she scared or not? She looked scared still, but she was smiling.
“It’s okay, Jurina. You scared me; that’s all.”
I scared her? What did I do?
“Jurina, you need to listen to me. You’re in hospital now, you’ll be alright.
Well that explains a lot. So maybe I wasn’t in trouble after all.
“You’re going to be alright, but you have some broken ribs.”
And that explains the pain.
“You can’t breathe properly right now because of your ribs. You can’t breathe in all the way because it hurts too much, so you have to have oxygen to help you. I know you don’t like it but you have to wear the mask, okay.”
Hmm. Pretty much everything was explained now, but there are still a few things I needed to get straight.
“No…. Talk….” That was weird.
Speaking whole sentences but having only a few words actually come out was seriously strange. My mouth, I realized was really dry; my tongue practically sticking to the roof and feeling about five times too big. I tried to moisten it but all that happened was that it made me gag.
“Is your mouth dry sweetheart?” The nurse; at least by then I was assuming it was a nurse; said.
“Hold on I’ll just go and get you a sip of water.”
“M… Mom…” I wasn’t going to let a dry mouth hold me back though.
It was practically just a twitch of the lips, but Rena understood. I never realized Rena had mind reading powers until then.
“Don’t worry, Jurina. She’s just worried because you were hurt. At first you were right out of it and we didn’t know… we didn’t know if you were going to be okay.”
“Oh.” I nodded and smiled, relieved.
“She’s fine now we know you’re going to be alright. She’s just gone for a walk. We’ve been here for ages. They’re waiting to take you for some X-rays and scans and then you’ll get a proper bed and you can rest.”
What the hell else had I been doing? Yet I nodded anyway. Then I groaned because the pain in my side seemed to be spreading to my stomach.
“Are you in pain?” Rena asked. I felt her hand gently placed on my left shoulder.
That had to be in the running for the stupidest question in the universe. I nodded and she kissed me on the forehead.
I shook my head and she looked alarmed for a moment, but then she saw my smile and lit up. She kissed me again, on the nose.
“How about now?”
I shook my head again and then she kissed me properly. By this time I was able to raise my hand to stroke her face and hair. She raised her head and looked at me. I was starting to feel a bit strange. My chest was burning and there was a strange, metallic taste in my mouth. I was getting quite hard to breathe, so I figured it was time to put the mask on.
“Hard… to… breathe.” I managed to gasp out and Rena smiled.
“Well, if you hadn’t been so stubborn about wearing the mask in the first place you wouldn’t be suffering for it now would you?”
At first the oxygen helped but it didn’t take away the weird pressure in my stomach and chest. At first it had only been on one side, but by then it was all over and felt like someone was squeezing me from the inside. I was definitely feeling weird and the pressure was getting very uncomfortable. The more difficult it got to breathe; the more my chest heaved and the more the pressure and pain grew.
“Here you are sweetheart.” The pleasant voice said close by. But then the tone suddenly changed.
“Jurina? Are you alright? Jurina?”
“What’s wrong?” Rena asked, sounding alarmed.
“How long has she been like this?”
“Jurina, are you with us sweetheart?”
I can’t honestly say that I was at that point. I tried to say something, but there was a really weird feeling in my chest and throat and it made me cough. Boy did that hurt. Everything was starting to feel as if it was rushing backwards; the whole world disappearing into the distance.
I heard the nurse calling me but it was far away. I coughed again and was shocked when my mouth filled with water. Where did that come from? Had the nurse given me a drink after all? I didn’t like it; not at all because it made me start to choke and that made me panic.
“No. Jurina don’t. Please don’t. Don’t die. Please Jurina don’t die.”
Was I dying!? It didn’t make sense. Why? How? It’s strange, the thoughts that go through your mind when you’re dying; and I think, now, that at that point I was. It certainly wasn’t the case that my whole life flashed in front of my eyes.
Much later, I heard them talking and found out that what had happened was that one of my broken ribs had actually splintered. It hadn’t shown up on the preliminary X-rays because it had splintered inwards. When I did my panicking freak out I’d managed to drive the rib into my lungs which had proceeded to fill with blood. That’s what caused the pressure in my chest. It was blood I’d coughed up before I passed out.
Apparently, it was quite dramatic when the face mask filled with blood. And then I coughed again and it went all over Rena when she got too close as the nurse took the mask off. I was told she fainted, but she vehemently denies it.
I forgot to mention that the whole situation was made a whole lot worse by the fact that I’d been bleeding into my abdomen the whole time. Yep, I think that at that point I was pretty much dead and the only thing I could think of— was Rena. I think the thoughts must have carried on after I passed out because I had some pretty vivid dreams.
To Be Continued…