|Fun is Fun and Done is Done
Author: andyjay18 PM
How will Tsukasa cope with the loss of her sister? TsukasaxKonataRated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy/Hurt/Comfort - Tsukasa H. & Konata I. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,178 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 04-09-09 - Published: 03-19-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4935135
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Deliver me from reasons why
We said goodbye; I'd rather fly."
-The Doors, "The Crystal Ship"
"Tsukasa-chan? A-are you all right?" came the voice of her sister Inori.
Her surroundings gradually shifted from undefined blurs into solid shapes as she awoke. Mostly white. Firm yet soft. She was in a bed, but the sheets were stiff and starched, unlike her stuffed comforter at home. Noticing the metal bars at the sides of the bed, Tsukasa now realized she was in a hospital bed. She also noticed her sister's blotchy, red-rimmed eyes and moist cheeks.
"O-onee-chan?" Tsukasa murmured, trying to sit up. A wave of dizziness washed over her. "What happened?" Matsuri was standing behind Inori, and their parents were on chairs in the corner of the small room. All of them looked like they had been crying recently. "W-where's Kagami-onee-chan?" But as her senses returned and her brain began to reboot, things started to come back.
It had happened much too fast. Such things usually do.
The four girls were heading home from school, chatting about the upcoming "May Sickness" and plans for Golden Week. Konata of course was going on about her anticipation for Rumiko Takahashi's brand-new manga series and the anime version of Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan. As they passed down a crosswalk, a grouchy-sounding salaryman in a gray suit muttered into his cell phone about dire predictions for the Japanese economy at the end of the fiscal year. Further down the block a bunny-girl barker announced bargains on Borneo bananas, beef bullion, and Bintang beer through a bullhorn. Some small birds, pecking up crumbs outside a nearby cafe, uttered a call that sounded like "poo-tee-weet".
Tsukasa's memory couldn't help but add in those other insignificant details as if they had been footnotes, or part of the props and extras in a play or movie. Because the rest of the day, and some time afterward, would certainly feel like a movie.
The walking man symbol had been invitingly flashing for them, and the cars and other vehicles had obediently stopped to let the pedestrians cross. Tsukasa would never be completely sure why it had been her, since she had never been quite as sharp upstairs as her sister and two best friends, but on this day a lucky star must have shone on her. A very lucky one. Out of the corner of her eye appeared a large tanker truck which seemed to be going much too fast. Its horn blared.
"Oh my God! RUUUUUNNNNN!!!" she shrieked. Miyuki, at the front, broke into a run for the sidewalk, followed by Konata. The small athletic girl grabbed the hand of Tsukasa, right behind her. Tsukasa then reached behind her for Kagami. But she only felt Kagami's fingers in her palm for a split second before they disappeared. As Konata pulled her to the curb, Tsukasa looked behind her to see her sister lying sprawled on the pavement, groaning in pain. Her schoolbag and one of her shoes lay behind her in the middle of the street. "Nee-chan!" she cried, holding out her hand. "C'mon!"
"You get to the curb f…" began Kagami, struggling to her feet. But before she could finish the sentence, the blast of the truck's horn filled the world and made the air vibrate like the skin of a drum, as the truck sped just within two meters of Tsukasa and Konata.
Right where Kagami had been.
The truck went into a mad swerve as it entered the center of the adjacent street intersection, then jackknifed and toppled over with a roar like thunder. After skidding along for a few feet it lay there like a dying animal.
Tsukasa dropped her schoolbag at her feet and stood there. She could hear a piercing scream come from the direction of the bunny-girl, Konata shouting "KAGAMIIIIINNNNNN!!!!" at a much higher volume than she knew she was capable of, Miyuki starting to break into uncontrolled sobs, and a warren of voices gasping things like, "Oh my God!" "That girl got hit!" "Someone call the cops!" "That poor little thing… "Oh God, oh God, she never could've survived that…" "I hope they lynch that fucker!" Yet the cacophony seemed as if it were a recording. Yes, that must have been it.
And then she noticed Kagami's shoe still lying in the middle of the street, and her schoolbag lying where she had been.
Where she had been.
A deep, horrible dent was pressed down its middle and had nearly cut it in two. Some of her schoolbooks and papers protruded out like the contents of a bitten Choco Cornet.
All of a sudden the world's colors seemed too bright, and the world seemed to sway around her, while the noisy din seemed to be coming from underwater.
Tsukasa Hiiragi barely notice the hot, sour sensation in her throat and mouth as she vomited, and then the world faded to black around her.
It had all come back to her now.
"Tsukasa-nee-chan," Inori sniffed, tears flowing freely down her cheeks. "I-I don't know how to tell you this but…but…" She reached out and fully embraced her little sister, who was now sitting fully upright. "Kagami is…dead. That asshole truck driver got her."
Tsukasa felt as if a bomb had gone off in her head. The tears immediately started pooling in her eyes. "Nee-chan," she breathed. "Nee-chan…"
"Oh, Tsuka-chan!" sobbed Matsuri, starting to break down again as she too walked toward Tsukasa's bed, arms outstretched.
"Careful now," said a young nurse who had come by to check on things. "She is recovering from shock; that's why she's under observation now." Matsuri simply slapped her.
"Have you lost a family member today?" she exploded. "The only reason I'm not in here for shock treatment right now is because I was at school at the time! You don't know what this is like…" Her voice trailed off as she joined Inori in weeping.
"Matsuri-chan, Matsuri-chan, please," exclaimed Miki, their mother, jumping up and restraining her second-eldest daughter. "Nurses are trained for…these kinds of…situations…" She then wrapped her arms around her daughter and began crying again.
Seeing his family needed him again, Tadao, the father, came up and embraced his wife and second-eldest daughter. His priestly upbringing had given him a calm, placid Japanese stoicism which at first glance one might mistake for coldness or aloofness. But he felt that in such a trying time, such a demeanor would help soothe his stricken family. Inside he was as devastated as the rest. Brushing away his own tears, he turned to the nurse. "W-we're sorry about all this."
The nurse rubbed the red handprint on her cheek and gave a nervous smile. She fortunately hadn't lost any immediate family members, but she could indeed empathize with this family. She was new to the job, but had already had to stand by three times as her superiors had pronounced patients dead. Working in a hospital, she was already no stranger to grieving relatives. Just another day in the office. "It's okay, sir," she answered. "Your wife was right about us being…trained. I'll go tell the other staff to leave you all alone for a while."
Tsukasa hadn't had the horror of seeing her sister after the accident, but that single shoe and her crushed schoolbag…she just couldn't push them out of her mind, no matter how she tried. "Nee-chan," she said into the crook of Inori's neck, tears soaking into the fabric of her sister's sweater. "Nee-chan…Nee-chan…KAGAMI-NEE-CHAAAAAANNN!!!" she shrieked as she started to cry in harsh sobs.