Disclaimer: I do not own Cardcaptor Sakura.
Tomoyo was odd, she insisted she was straight, but the 'games' she played with me were becoming sexual as she aged. She would force me to show things I didn't want to show, and do things I didn't want to do. It would come in forms of dares I wasn't allowed to say 'No' to. The only game I can vividly remember was one she called, "Mommy, what's that?" Which I'm sure you can figure out what that meant. There was a time when she forced me to insert a finger inside a private area. I told her it hurt, and she let me stop, but her sex games didn't end until grade eight began.
Over the years I had become unacceptably dependable. I was so used to being controlled and told what to do I didn't have many opinions. I was constantly looking to someone else to tell me if it was okay to like something. I was so unsure of my actions it was sickening. I always asked permission for everything, for fear that the person might dislike what I was doing.
I learned helplessness. I was treated so cruelly that I couldn't see I could leave any time. But the thing was, I couldn't. Tomoyo was all I had left. Things would go back to grade six, where all she did was hit me with hands and words. That hurt so much more than what she was doing now.
My head just tore apart every time she called me a name, which was every moment I was with her. There's a difference when a stranger says something bad about you than when a best friend does it.
Best friends never lie.
For all the times Tomoyo insulted me, I wished she had hit me ten times instead. Physical pain bruised and faded. Emotional pain hid in the back of your head and molded your personality. You couldn't heal unless you could forget.
Grade eight was an odd year. We lost many friends, but our new group consisted of girls from my class. Tomoyo couldn't pretend that they were only her friends anymore, and I was just there because of her. I had, although only a drop, of control. Events like the ones in grade six didn't bother me anymore, so I never savored their memory. Insults came day by day, the amount of control was still high, but I was so numb and used to the routine that it didn't affect me like it used to. It wasn't as bad as grade six, I had friends this time, but the amount of insults and control was the same. It just didn't bother me as much; things can only seem as bad as you allow it to be.
"You can't put my fire bellied newts, my African albino clawed frogs, my goldfish, and my salamander in one tank." I said to Tomoyo. This was regular discussion whenever she was in my room.
"But why?" She asked. A girl we were friends with sat on my bed, giggling like an airhead.
"Okay, my frogs are blind. They eat anything that touches them. My newts are poisonous. If anything bites them they will release a poison from their glands and kill the animal. If you put them in there, my frogs are going to bite my newts and they will die" I explained.
"Okay fine I promise I won't do it if you are going to be such a bitch about it" Tomoyo said, satisfied that the other girl was giggling. I frowned, and left to go to the bathroom. I tried to be quick; I knew I couldn't trust Tomoyo. I never could before, so I certainly wouldn't start.
I heard laughing, then a high-pitched yell.
"Sakura! Help! He's eating them!" I heard Tomoyo yell. I raced out of the bathroom and into my room. All of my aquatic animals were together, and both frogs had newts in their mouths.
My hand flew into the tank and grabbed my fattest frog, Suppi. I pulled the newt out of his mouth and threw him into his own tank. My hand reached for my smaller frog Kero. I took the newt out of his mouth, but his mouth didn't clamp shut like Suppi's did. There was a bit of white foam on his lips, which I wiped off with my fingers. I put him in his tank and tended to the rest of the animals. I knew the newts would be fine; I had raised them to be insensitive to temperature changes. I believed that hard environments created hard animals, so my newts were tough and resistant.
"Tomoyo! I told you never to put them together!" I yelled at her.
"Well jeeze how was I supposed to know that would happen" She yelled back, but was laughing along with the other girl. My eye twitched, I had told her exactly what would happen, and it did happen. But I wasn't angry with her, I was never angry.
Kero wasn't doing well. His body was becoming hard and rigid. I remembered that my newts had the poison glands around their head. Suppi had bitten a newt by his bottom half, Kero had bitten a newt's head.
I put Kero into a container that had just enough water so that all he had to do was lift his head a tiny bit to breathe in oxygen. He couldn't swim up to the surface anymore. I found a Q-tip, wiping more poison out of his mouth.
The next day came, and he was completely paralyzed. I lowered the water level so his nostrils stayed above. The only way I knew he was alive was from the reassuring movement of his nostril flaps.
The next day arrived, and Kero's eyes had fallen out. Kero was dead. I never took my anger out on Tomoyo, in my head I insisted that it wasn't her fault and she didn't mean it.
Grade nine rolled around. High school. Tomoyo was in my first period wood working class.
We had one assignment that entire class which was to make a wooden car, so you can imagine how much of our mark it was worth. That day was the last day of wood working class, and I needed to finish my car. Just my luck, I had slept in and missed the class, but I took the bus and made it to school by lunch time. I went into the room to finish it up, but I couldn't find my car.
"Raven" I asked one of my newer friends. "Do you know where my car is?"
"Uhm…" Raven pointed to the floor. There was a jumble of wooden pieces completely smashed. On one of the pieces said, "Sakura K."
"Tomoyo… she smashed your car on the ground." Raven said quietly. I was shocked. How much was this assignment worth out of my final mark? Seventy percent? Eighty percent? Ninety percent?
I said nothing to Tomoyo about it. Raven suggested that I went to the teacher and told what happened, but I wanted to protect Tomoyo instead. I took the zero percent and never said anything about it to my teacher.
Weeks went by. Finally Tomoyo and I were drifting apart. I was browsing Raven's online journal when I read a mean comment under the name Anonymous.
'I hate Sakura. She should kill herself.'
I swallowed hard. There was only one person who would say that.
I typed a storm while tears flooded my cheeks. I typed about how I new Tomoyo just used me so it seemed like she had friends. I typed about her manipulative ways and how she tore me away from my real friends. I didn't care anymore. I wasn't afraid of her. I wasn't a coward either; I didn't have to hide behind the name Anonymous. I put my name,"Sakura Kinomoto", and clicked enter.
I came to school, not knowing what to expect. I had avoided Tomoyo the entire day, but met her in the hall on the way to fifth period.
She glared at me. It was the more frightful thing I had ever seen in my life. No horror movie could compare to that feeling. I shuddered, my face paled, my stomach dropped towards my feet. I could barely walk forward. It felt like I was about to be killed, and I feared for my life. Tomoyo walked into her classroom, and that was the last encounter we had for about a year.
It was finally over. I was free. But I still had my memories. I couldn't forget. I browsed through them daily, reliving the experiences over and over. The pain felt nice. It was reassurance that nothing was changing. But now she was gone, there was nobody there to attack my self-esteem. I picked apart sentences just to find an insult. There just had to be one. It didn't seem possible that normal people didn't call you names to gain control.
The next time Tomoyo and I spoke to each other, we pretended like nothing happened, and even grew to be partial friends again. Tomoyo had friendship problems all through high school. She could never keep a friend for more than 5 months. They would all leave her because of her bad talking habits and all-around meanness towards everyone.
I was free. But I wasn't happy. I had emotional problems for most of my life. My self esteem was non-existent. I eventually tore away my entire appearance. I dyed my hair, got extensions, colored contacts, and wore make-up. I would do anything to change how I looked.
I couldn't let go of her memory, I nursed it until it was a part of me. I could never, ever forget her.
Everything in this book is… my childhood. When I think about my life as a kid, this is the only thing I can remember. Before Tomoyo came into my life, I can only remember babysitters and dance classes. From age three until age fourteen I had been in dance class. The teacher's made at least one person cry per class, that one person usually being me. They yelled, screamed, and broke you into submission. Girls burst into tears when a teacher would tell them how awful at dancing they were, and encouraged them to quit the class so the other students wouldn't have to deal with them. I was born broken and lived in shredded pieces of dignity. For part of my life I had a babysitter that was so strict and scary, I once preferred to soil myself than ask her if I could use the bathroom. She spanked her children, and children she babysat were no exception from this punishment. She called them 'lickings,' and my behavior earned me on average fifteen per day.
I don't remember how I did it, but I could still remember how to smile.
I'm not asking for pity by writing this, I just need to get this off my chest. I'm trying to move on, and telling someone is the only way I know how. There aren't any words that can express the utter torture I felt during these times. It wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't have been my best friend.
All I really want is for everyone to imagine this for a second, and try to see it through my eyes…
Syaoran closed the book, silent for a moment. He couldn't imagine how she found a way to continue breathing after so much suffocation. He felt an instant connection to the author, like a human would to an abandoned baby animal.
He searched through a phone book, doubtful of finding her name in there. She is probably listed under her husband's name…
Then his eyes caught sight of a name. Sakura Kinomoto. No husband…? She lived only a few blocks from his house, which would explain why the book was on the park bench. He probably jogged right by her house every morning…
The rest of the day seemed much longer than usual. Occasionally Syaoran would glance at the phone book, and then his eyes would shift to the little book. He flicked through files and sharpened pencils, anything to make the time pass faster.
Work ended with Syaoran speed walking out the front doors to his custom designed vehicle. He held the author's address in his hand. Only moments passed until he found the small blue house only a few blocks from his apartment. He raised his hand and knocked on the door.
Why am I even here? She is probably working. Why do I even want to see her? Maybe to return the book?
The door opened slowly, and out emerged a small girl with a happy smile but dull, sad pools of green memories. Her eyes blinked, and shifted toward the book in Syaoran's hand.
"I…" Syaoran didn't know what to say. There was nothing he could say to make things better. He stared at her, how fragile could she be? In a quick moment, he pulled the frail young woman towards him and hugged her. He expected her to resist him, scream, or punch him; he was a complete stranger. All she did was flinch from the movement of his arms then give into his embrace.
"You read it." She concluded in a dull, unemotional voice.
"Did you understand?"
"At least you read it. As long as one person reads it, a friend or a stranger, I'm happy."
Her eyes smiled.
This story is all true besides the starting and ending with Syaoran. I'm ending the story here, just so the rest of you can use your imagination to figure out what happened after that. These are my childhood memories, everything I can remember, but I used the CCS characters instead. Sakura was me, Tomoyo was my ex-bestfriend. I made this story to show that there are other people in this world who know exactly what you've been through, and maybe if you are a Tomoyo, maybe you can stop, look at yourself, and realize how you are affecting people. Even justa little push can send a person flying off the cliff.
Take a look at what you are doing. Things can hurt so much from someone else's point of view.
This story is true.