Disclaimer: I have come to an Earth shattering conclusion: I own Inuyasha! Wait… sorry. Let me rephrase that. I don't own Inuyasha!
Most all words are Kagome's thoughts
"…" - speech
A Life Left Behind
I went to school today.
It was the first time in weeks I had returned to the modern era, since the previous shard hunt had spread out a lot further than we had expected. We'd chased rumour after rumour, hoping to retrieve a shard. However, once we had reached the final village that supposedly had the rumoured shard, we had discovered that Naraku had played us for fools.
Of course, Inuyasha had fumed, cursed, and insisted on searching some more before finally admitting defeat. Needless to say, our return to the Musashi region hadn't been a very cheerful one. He'd been against the return home, but I had to beat him down with a couple of 'sit' spells.
After all, I had to restock on supplies.
We were running out of bandages and food at an alarming rate because of the number of fights we were getting into. It seems that every time I go back the past, and we start on another journey, the fights become more numerous and more dangerous.
Each time I say good-bye to my family, I don't know when I'll see them again.
Or even if I'll ever come back.
I hadn't been to school in three weeks due to severe 'leukaemia'. When my friends asked me what happened to my 'disease', I'd had to told them it'd mysteriously disappeared.
They didn't buy it.
I can't really blame Ojii-chan, though. I suppose he must have run out of quickly curable diseases.
Who would blame them? After all, Over the past two years, I've attended school how many times? In fact, the longest I've ever stayed in the modern era these past months is a measly three days.
Three days before Inuyasha comes through the well to drag me back.
Back to the past for who knew how long.
I've only barely been able to keep my grades from dropping past the fail line. From all the information I've been missing, it's a miracle I'm passing anything. My teachers are amazed that I've dropped from being an honour student to this. The principal is a little too curious about my supposed conditions, and I'm bound to be found out sooner or later.
It's just so hard to keep up a regular life these days.
Ever since I fell through the bone-eater's well, my life has been anything other than ordinary.
Throughout today's entire day of school, whispers seemed to follow me everywhere. Even my three closest friends seemed to be less than amicable.
Eri, Ayumi, and Yuka.
They had been my best friends since the first grade, yet they too had wandered away from me more than once. Even their looks are becoming suspicious and edgy. They ask what's wrong, and I can see the worry in their eyes.
And when I tell them the lies I tell everybody, I can tell they don't believe me.
I can see it in their eyes, and I know it hurts them.
I know that they don't trust me anymore.
And I don't blame them, either.
Truly, they are good friends, but there is only so much friendship can take before friends too, drift apart.
And it's been far too long.
Too many lies have separated us.
I feel so alone; so isolated.
Today, the only person who didn't seem to be suspicious of me was Houjo-kun. What a poor, dense boy. Honestly, he was nice, but he couldn't protect me from the rumours in the school.
I could hear them talking. I do have ears, after all.
They said a lot of things. Some comments were so nasty that I have hesitation to repeat them; that even Inuyasha would wince at the content.
No… actually, if I told Inuyasha, he'd probably rampage through my school and rip all my schoolmates to shreds. So there is no way I'm telling him.
But it's so hard. Keeping all this bottled up inside me, I mean.
I want to tell somebody everything, but who is there to tell?
Some people say kids are cruel.
Well, teenagers are a lot crueller.
Don't they know how hurtful their words can be?
I failed yet another test.
As the shard hunt drags on, I can no longer study for my exams and quizzes. There is too much to be done and too much to carry, to bring my textbooks to Sengoku Jidai. My bag's now normally too full with first aid supplies, food, and other necessities to even consider bringing my schoolwork.
And when I can't study, I can't pass my tests. Half of the work my classmates are doing is based on information I do not know. It's only through luck that I can continue to sit among them and not look like a complete idiot.
Lately, I have begun to wonder why I still come to this place.
Is it really because I belong here?
I have to be true to myself.
I stopped believing that a long time ago.
I come here to see my family. Education is no longer the number one priority in my life. Mama, Ojii-chan, and Souta are the main reasons why I come to this era.
That, and the modern first aid equipment.
But my ideas of family are changing.
Heck, my family itself is changing.
Souta had grown two inches without me knowing. His team had won the soccer championships, and he'd scored the winning goal. He had grown up in the past two years without me. Mama had quit her job, and was looking for a new one. Grandpa was selling charms that actually generated business.
My family is changing before my very eyes, and yet I cannot watch them. I cannot take part in the process. I'm absent far too much to be able to really know my household.
However, I have another family back in the feudal era. And somehow, that family has become so much more important to me. Somehow, I feel closer to them than I do to my own flesh and blood.
I don't belong here. In this strange world of concrete.
I had stopped belonging ever since my first kill. Ever since my first abduction.
During lunch today, I'd taken a look around the cafeteria. I had seen smiling faces, joking faces, scorning faces. I would be willing to bet all of our Shikon shards that none of the students had ever been through what I had. In fact, most of them have never experienced true danger.
They live in world where most everything is sugar-coated, and everybody is protected.
Most never have to worry about their constant survival and the lives of their friends. Their survival does not depend on who can kill who faster. They don't have to worry about killing their next meal, or knowing how to keep their family alive. The don't have to worry about keeping the rice fields healthy.
Heck, if my schoolmates lived in the feudal era, over half of them would already have families of their own, and the other half would be planning for children.
Yes, I'll admit it: there are risks here.
But they never have to consistently be on guard.
And I wish they never do. I hope they never have to experience the terror I feel almost every day now.
I can no longer relate to my peers.
I'm sitting on my bed. When was the last time I had slept here for a full night?
I look over at my desk. When was the last time I had worked there without having to cram for some test?
My fingers trace over my stereo. It's dusty. When was the last time I had listened to the radio?
When was the last time I had taken a shower without any worries? Gone shopping for things other than first aid supplies? Talked and laughed with friends about trivial things like boys and make up?
It's been far too long.
My room is foreign to me; my world is foreign to me.
I look into the mirror on the pink wall across from me. My eyes are so much older. So much wiser. They contain so much more pain and emotion than two years ago. When I was fifteen.
I don't belong here anymore.
There's a tap at the window.
My necessities have steadily been moved to the feudal era. Everytime I bring something there, it rarely comes back.
The same has become true for my heart.
My heart now belongs there. With Sango-chan, Miroku-sama, Shippou-chan, Kaede-baa-chan, Inuyasha; all my friends. I belong in a world where fairytale creatures exist, and where travel in space is unheard of.
School seems almost superficial compared to the history changing events that I am a part of in the past. I can't let Naraku get his hands on the Shikon no Tama.
I continue to fight to preserve a world of the future; a world that is far out of my reach.
But strangely enough, that doesn't disturb me.
My home is in the past, not in this world. I will continue to visit this place. But it will only be an obligation. I don't belong here. Not any more.
"Hey, wench, hurry it up!"
A true smile lights me face. "I'm coming!"
I grab my backpack, which is now fully stocked, and hand it over to him.
I throw a leg over the windsill, and feel his hand steadying me.
My eyes stray to the large pill of homework on my desk.
"Kagome?" His tone is worried. "What is it?"
My hand reaches out for the homework, and a part of me yearns for the life I once had.
But my decision is clear and made.
I will never be the same again.
"Nothing." I turn back, a smile on a face, and it feels as though a great weight has been lifted off my chest. "I'm fine." I hop onto his back and prepare to leave. "Let's go."
And as we go flying into the air, I give one last look into my room.
The papers on my desk have been blown to the ground, scattering around the floor.
I'm leaving my old life behind.
But my new one continues to unfold.
Musashi Region - The area where Kaede's village is located with InuYasha's forest and the well
Sengoku Jidai - Warring States Period
Ojii-chan - grandfather (affectionate)
Edit: 11.29.04: I've made several important additions to the story, as you probably could tell. I like it a lot better than I had before.
Till next time…