A/N: It's me again, Hikari, with another story (as you can plainly see). For those looking forward to a fic with mythical properties and all that whatnot, I'm sorry to say that you'll be disappointed. I've decided to divert from my usual fiction and write something of a biography - no, it's not mine, but a VERY close friend's...poor thing. She released her old diary to me (gasp!) and asked me to create a story out of it; she said that she needed to get it out, somehow. So, yes, this story is the product of my reading that diary and my conversations with her regarding her previous 'situation'.
Disclaimer: All characters depicted herein are copyright and trademark of Aoki Takao, d-Rights, and Takara Beyblade Project. Furthermore,most of the situations mentioned in the story are based on real happenings. The same holds true for the characters, and while the author has tried to make them as in character as possible, they have nonetheless been modified to suit the circumstances.
Prologue: Zutto Hitori De
It's a lovely, sunny day; the sky is a clear azure blue, a fresh breeze is blowing, the air seems filled with birdsong. School let out a few days ago, and I'm finally free. Not to mention the view from the top of the Eiffel tower is breathtaking, and I'm spending time with my family – my mom, dad, and grandfather, really. I should be happy, at least grateful that this is happening, but…why do I feel that I have no reason to smile?
Sou …that's why…
It all started sometime during the second semester. I'd noticed that we – the four of us – were spending less and less time together. Whenever I'd look for them, they always seemed to disappear; when I did manage to find them and was about to approach, they'd run away, for some strange reason. I tried to act as though it were no big deal when, in fact, it was quite the opposite.
Soon, I could stand it no more. A few nights before our last day together as a class, I composed letters to each one of them, requesting an explanation for their strange and highly disturbing behavior. When that day came, I had an extremely difficult time delivering the letters to them in person; they kept running away.
I waited for several days for at least one of them to call me; none did. And then, it came: an electronic chain letter. It was from all of them, of course; the last one to write in it had sent it to me. In it, each one of them gave varying reasons for their recent behavior towards me, but it all led up to one thing: they didn't like me. That was that.
They…my 'best friends'…left me, without valid explanation. They used me, and then left me lying in the dirt. They pretended to befriend me, and then laughed at me behind my back.
I'll say one thing about them, though: they sure know how to spoil what would have been a great trip – I'd received the e-mail the day before I was to leave on a two-week vacation in Paris.
And you know what hurts more? While those three were my best friends, there were also several other people in class who call themselves my 'friends'; they knew the truth about the trio, yet they did nothing to warn me, or help ease the pain of reality.
And here I thought I'd escaped the pain and solitude of my elementary days…
Yeah, I'm mad at them, but I'm mostly mad at myself. Was I really that blind, that willing and…desperate to have real friends that I went along with their ploy? How could I have been so STUPID? I should have seen right through them, yet I didn't. Even when they started acting like that around me, I refused to believe it; I continued to believe in a fairy tale, which was a far cry from the true story.
So far, my family and I have been in Paris for three days, and I don't know if I can keep up this act any longer than a week. Already my father has asked me, five times now, if I'm all right. I keep saying that I'm fine, and throw in a smile for good measure, but I don't think he's convinced. Should I tell them the whole thing, keep several elements to myself, or fabricate a whole new story for their benefit?Deep breaths…calm yourself…think peaceful, happy thoughts…
It doesn't work. My mind keeps going back to the day we first met, back in first year, and then it zooms forward to the day I received the e-mail.
"Huh?" I am startled from my thoughts, and I turn around. It is Father, and he looks concerned.
"Are you okay?"
I smile once more. "Yeah, Dad, I'm fine!"
"Dad, I'm almost always quiet, even at home…"
"Well…more quiet than usual." He approaches, and I try my hardest to look nonchalant. "Are you sure there's nothing wrong?"
"I'm sure, Dad," I hear myself say. And then I switch topics. "Hey, can we see the Notre Dame Cathedral next?"
Dad smiles brightly; I hope he's convinced that there's really nothing wrong. "Of course we can, after we eat lunch. Is that all right with you?"
I nod vigorously, still trying to keep up the act. "After lunch sounds fine. But why not now?"
"For one thing, your mother and your grandfather are waiting at one of the lower levels, the one with the huge café. For another thing, it's nearing half past twelve."
I can feel my eyes widen. We've been at the Eiffel tower since a little after nine; have we really spent more than three hours here? "Oh. So…are we going to meet Mom and Grandpa now?"
Dad smiles again and nods before he turns and heads towards the elevator. I stay behind a little, breathing deeply the fresh, clean air, before I follow.
Deep inside, I pray that my behavior will not spoil the trip for my whole family.
It's approximately ten thirty in the evening, and we've just returned to the hotel from an entire day on the city. We've already eaten dinner, so all I need to worry about is taking a bath, and then I can stretch out on my bed and wait for sleep to come. I look ahead to see my mother walking ahead of me. I watch for a moment, mesmerized as her silky, raven locks sway from side to side in the evening breeze before we step into the lobby. If I'd been a girl, I would have liked to look like Mom. I tap her gently on the shoulder, which is no problem; we're almost the same height.
"Mom, can I go upstairs now? I'd like to go to bed early."
"Why, sure, dear. Though I can't imagine why you'd ask me if you can go ahead; after all, we've booked you for a single suite, remember?"
I smile sheepishly. "I guess I got used to having the same room as you guys on family trips like these. I'll go over to the front desk now. Oyasuminasai."
"Oyasuminasa,." Mom, Dad, and Grandpa reply in unison, smiling. I smile, too; it's great seeing all of them happy, especially Grandpa. He's rarely cheerful, but that could be because we lost Grandma two years ago. She used to come with us, too, on previous family vacations. I miss her, and I'm sure Grandfather misses her more.
I give a small wave before I make my way over to the front desk and claim my room key. Then I approach the huge elevators and press the button.
While waiting for the elevator car to arrive, I look around the lobby, looking for my family. They're still seated at one of the small coffee tables scattered around the lobby, and I manage to hear a little of their conversation.
"But what could it be, Yuuhi?" Mom asks, looking worried.
"I'm not sure, Akiko, but it could be something to do with his friends." Dad says, a thoughtful look on his face.
Gulp. I guess Dad wasn't as convinced as I thought. Thankfully, the elevator car has arrived, so I can leave before any of them notice that I'm not yet upstairs.
The doors slide open, and inside is the usual lift operator. I step in and say, "Quatriéme étage, sil vous plait."
The doors close fairly quickly, and I can feel the car rising. Soon it arrives at the fourth floor, and I step out, with a quick "Merci," of course, before rushing off to my room.
Upon reaching the room, I decide to take a shower instead of soaking in the tub, as I had originally planned. I have to make it look like I've been asleep for some time, just in case Dad comes in and wants to 'talk' – specifically, about my 'problem with friends'.
I dress quickly and then sit down on my bed. Then I spy my Bible – Dad gave it to me for my birthday when I was in the fifth grade – lying on the bedside table. I pick it up and flip it open carefully, waiting for my heart to tell me when to stop and read. Finally it does, and I look at the page I had opened it to.
The Book of Matthew, chapter 21, verse 22: And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
I read it several times, turning the words over in my mind. Finally, I close the sacred book and lay it back on the table. Suddenly, I don't feel so heavy-hearted after reading that passage, for I know what it says is true. I only need to ask Him for strength – to overcome the pain, to forgive them for what they did, and to move on – and I know that God will give it to me. It may not come now or tomorrow – it may not even come for several months – but I know in my heart that it will come, one way or another.
Slowly, just like I did when I was younger, I kneel by the side of my bed, clasp my hands together, and pray.
Now I feel more alone than ever...I only found out today that my three best friends had been playing me for a fool...I HATE THEM! But at the same time, I hate myself more for falling for their sick tricks.
Was I really that desperate for friends, that I'd easily believe people's lies?
God, what do you want from me! It's been five years, and I've yet to find a group of people to call 'my friends'! Why all this pain?Yes, I know I have a loving family - my parents and my two siblings - and I'm grateful to You for that. But I sometimes have to wonder: what is my purpose here that I have to go through all this suffering?
I need to know: am I to live life alone?
A/N: In case you guys are wondering, yes, my friend's name is Rina(thought that's not her real name). I forgot to mention: she also asked me to include excerpts from her diary if I found it fit the chapter - probably there's going to be an excerpt in EVERY chapter! No, Rina is NOT a character in the story. There will be no OCs this time around. For those of you who think I'm exploiting a poor girl's sad past, she gave me permission; she said that perhaps sharing what happened to her would help reach others still not in the faith - Rina's a devout Christian, and I do believe that this experience helped her grow.
As for my other fics (I forgot which ones in particular), I'll try to update within the month; my files disk got corrupted so I'm missing some chapters for those fics(Rei, where are you?)...Sorry for the delays in updates! I'll try to make sure it doesn't happen again!
Peace out and God bless!