Disclaimer: I do not own Pretear.

Rated for: later chapters


Quit Playing Games

I'm a small, sea color eyed, ice blue haired thirteen year old. Yeah, hi, my name is Mannen, and I hate my appearance.

Many tell me that I a pretty, cute, beautiful, adorable, cute…kid. Yes, a kid. Since Leafe Knights are pretty much immortal, they can't grow old, their appearances never change since the time they go through the Grand Leafe Transformation, and they can't die unless their souls are banished by Leafe. Well, my Leafe Transformation unfortunately came a bit too early.

Why am I always the unlucky one! Since Hajime and Shin are still growing, they have nothing to worry about. They are actually turning out to be quite handsome, both tall and even a bit muscular. But boy, just look at me! And I don't think that you'd even want to.

I am currently standing in front of a high wall mirror checking out my same old, slender, womanly figure. I know I act like a girl just by looking at myself all the time, but I can't help it. I guess that it makes me wish that one day, even if it's just for a short while, I'll wake up strong, tall, and gorgeous. I am so pathetic! Why can't I be like all the others?

I look at my mirror reflection again. I bet if the mirror could talk, it would say just how inadequate and silly I look for a thirteen year old. Basically I got stuck in a body of a short, immature, goofy child who likes nothing better than to play with toys and other little children.

But the fact is that I have a quite mature personality even for a thirteen year old. I am pretty smart, I learn from my experiences, and I read the books that Kei supplies me with sometimes. Although, I must say, whenever he gives me books to read, he gives me this funny look as if not believing that I'm actually going to read them, as if I'm just going to look through the pictures.

No one ever takes me seriously, absolutely no one. In their eyes, I'm still that puny stupid kid, who annoys the hell out of them. But I shall prove myself to them even if takes a lifetime!

I snap out of my thoughts as I feel someone tapping on my shoulder gently, trying to get my attention. I turn around to face Shin and Hajime staring at me with curiosity, trying to read my confused expressions. We stare at each other dumbly for a few moments until Hajime takes the initiative and asks "What's wrong, Mannen? You looked like you were talking to yourself."

As I hear Shin snicker audibly, I feel my face burning with new anger and I say to Hajime "It's none of your business what I was doing, now beat it!"

I can't stand to look at both of them lately without feeling a spark of jealousy. They're both doing far better in the looks department than I am. No wonder Goh spends so much time with them. Goh…I probably write that word three hundred times a day in my blue colored notebook that I keep secretly hidden under my bed. I curve every letter of that name in every possible way I can find. Since I am not a particularly good artist, I can't draw his face nor his body with the fear that I'll ruin his flawless features.

I drift back to reality for the millionth time that day as I hear Shin's words full of hurt and bafflement "What's wrong, Mannen? Did we do something to make you angry?" His voice full of innocence makes me even angrier. They'll never understand what disappointment I am going though right now, and them trying to understand makes it even worse.

Why can't the world just leave me alone? Why can't they leave me here to deal with my grief by myself?

It's ironic, isn't it? When you need someone the most, they are never there. Yet, when you want them to leave you be, that's when they all, like by some evil conspiracy, decide to flood in.

Just like Hayate did this morning. The guy rarely talked o anyone, especially me, and all of a sudden he show up and asks me where Kei is? How would I know? Honestly, I am starting to believe that the two of them are having an affair. Not the kind of affair, as in cheating, but the kind where they are afraid to tell us about their 'special relationship'.

They were both recently unattached, due to Hayate's break up with Himeno. It really was not so unpredictable, since it was pretty much going downhill anyways. Hayate decided to leave Himeno, and she fled the county with some other guy that she found 'unexpectedly' right after they split. Well, who cares, I never liked her anyways just pretended to for the sake of our lives.

I think Kei and Hayate are great together. They share common interests and they are both highly intelligent and attractive. Well, good luck to them. Don't know why they hide it though, since it's already so obvious. Well, at least to me it is.

I look back at Shin who seems to notice how I lost myself again and averted my gaze back to an upset and worried Hajime. He always worried too much about others; it seems that even more than about himself.

"Mannen, please, we're your friends. Tell us what's wrong. You could always tell us anything.' Hajime pleaded. Yeah, anything is right, I thought. Well, my dearest Hajime, how about if I do tell you the truth you so highly desire to find out. How about I'll tell you that I have been attracted to men all this time, and women seem more like friends to me? How about I about I feed your curiosity with the knowledge that the one and only man I ever loved seems to be hopelessly attracted to girls, or so it seems since he is always after the busty blondes. What next? Will you hate me? Will you despise my very presence? Because right now it doesn't quite feel like you're going to throw your arms around me, hug me, and say that I have yours and Shin's acceptance and that everything is going to be all right. It doesn't work that way. In dreams maybe, but not in reality. Somehow, I think that hugging me is not the first think that'll come to your mind after experiencing the aftershock of my truthfulness.

I sigh sadly after my gloomy contemplations and Hajime's face turns even more concerned.

"It's nothing, Hajime. I'm sorry I yelled at you two. Just forget about it." I say comfortingly, not wanting to hurt my two best friends, but the looks on their faces tell me that they obviously aren't buying it.

"But Mannen, what are you saying? What do you mean 'forget about it'? We want to know what's going on in that brain of yours and we want to know right now!" The fool just won't let it go, will he? He could have just walked away from it all, he could just leave me be, but nooo he just had to be so persisting. I get mere and more furious by each passing second. The built up tension if forcing me to relieve it and just tell them, but I try to push it back without success.

I feared the worst, as felt the four doomed words slip involuntarily out of my mouth. This is it.

"I AM GAY, OKAY? HAPPY NOW? YOU WANTED TO KNOW SO THERE IT IS!" I shouted loudly not even giving them a chance to speak as I stormed out of the room, not bothering to look back.

Unfortunately, there was one more person I did not notice listening to my last words. I was running down the hall, tears running down my face freely, still completely unaware of the other shadowy figure that now shared my secret among my other two best friends.

/to be continued … /

UUUU…. Who do you think the other person might be? Write dome reviews and share your thoughts.

Until next time.



! ahn nyung hee ka se yo !