Disclaimer: I own nothing

A/N: Reviews for this would be greatly appreciated. Because I'm not entirely sure whether I managed to do the Mamimi-speak justice here or not.

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Beyond What Was Real

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Where do dreams end and reality begin? Video games, I suppose.
-FLCL, the manga version

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I like trains. I like sitting by the window looking at the world flying by. Sometimes I raise my camera and take a picture of the landscape through the window.

The pictures usually don't turn out well. They're blurry, you can see the glass of the window and my reflection and on it. Or maybe they turn out good. It all depends on how you look at it, I guess. I don't know for sure.

Sometimes I wish they still had the kind of trains you see in old movies, the kinds that spit out smoke and make rhythmic noises as they move. I'd think along with the rhythm. Gone-gone-gone, I'd think, no more Mabase for Mamimi. Sometimes I write that on my cigarette and watch the words disappear. They're gone, gone, gone. Then, I jump on the next train or bus and continue towards some unknown horizon.

I think I might be chasing the horizon. I'm not sure why. Maybe I want to take a picture when I get there.

I don't smoke much anymore. Cigarettes cost money, and so do train tickets and food and living in the world. Sometimes when I don't have money, I'll walk. That's usually when I have cigarettes to smoke.

Gone-gone-gone.

I like cities at night. They are so quiet and beautiful and ugly and if you are Samejima Mamimi, you are never really sure if it's all real or not. Strangely enough, things seem to get more and more real the further away from Mabase I get. I've chased the horizon over the sea a few times, and gone through strange cities and sat in strange trains surrounded by strange languages and people and never felt so real before. I keep snapping pictures to prove it to myself. I think I always did.

Sometimes I wonder if Mabase was just a dream. I think it could be.

But then, I have these pictures that say it wasn't, so I can't be sure.

I haven't gone to see Tasuku. I haven't gone to America at all. I don't know why. I haven't thought about it too much. Maybe I've been to busy thinking of me. Of other things. Sometimes, though, I think about Takkun, wondering if I should send him some pictures so that maybe he would know what is real and what isn't too. But then I think maybe he already knows better than me, or if he doesn't, maybe he doesn't want to. You shouldn't tell people where to look for things they need to realise where to look for by themselves. Especially if you're not sure yourself. Besides, he can see my pictures in newspapers if he wants to. Or magazines. Different magazines and newspapers every time, of course, and it's not like he'd know where anything will appear, and I don't know if you can get them in Mabase. But still, he could get them, somehow.

I still play Fire Starter sometimes, usually on the same days or nights that I smoke cigarettes and watch them disappear and turn into smoke and ashes. It makes me wonder if maybe Lord Cantide will come for me after all. But then I put away the game and the cigarette is gone and I forget about it for ages - I use the word ages because I can't tell for exactly how long in words other people would understand, since days and night and weeks and months tend to blur and blend and melt together in my mind for me so that I can't separate them anymore. It's not that important anyway when you're chasing the horizon and don't have to go to school tomorrow.

I don't think I will ever find it but that's not very important either.

Sometimes I wonder if some day long ago in Mabase, a girl named Mamimi overflowed and never stopped overflowing.

There are pictures of my face, taken by me while holding out my camera in front of me, or by random people I've stopped on some random street to take them. I look at them and wonder why pictures where I'm only a reflection with a camera hiding her face on the window of a train seem more real.

Someday maybe if I look hard enough I might figure it all out. In the meantime Mamimi is gone gone gone, always gone from somewhere. Wondering if there are enough pictures in the world.