Disclaimer: These characters aren't mine. If you want to sue me go 'head. I'm broke anyway. You'd
probably have better luck trying to grow a money tree.

Warning: Umm. Kensuke. Angst. Not Being Happy.

With Ease Born of Practice

It was easy, you know.
Playing Osamu's part. Easy to be a genius. Easy to smile for the cameras.
Easy to turn around and be the kaiser. So easy to be cruel.
I've had lots of practice being anything but myself.

So is it any wonder that it's easy now? Are you surprised that it's easy to pretend? Pretend that his smile
isn't the only thing keeping me from falling apart.
Easy to pretend that this fragile structure of happiness I've built doesn't hinge on his laugh.
It's easy to pretend that I don't melt like unblown glass in a flame when he looks my way.

Easy. Easy to smile when he lights up at a kind word from Hikari. Easy to make believe I'm not curling in
on myself inside when he says her name with that dreamy look in his eye.
Easy to keep my hand from wandering up to my heart as if I could hold the hurt inside.

Easy to act as if I won't shatter into a million tiny jagged pieces if he ever wins her heart.

Easy to pretend I don't love him.

I've had lots of practice.

I lie awake at night sometimes pretending I don't need him to be happy. I close my eyes and picture him
telling me that Hikari said yes. That they're going out. Going steady. Getting married.

In my head I smile my brittle plastic smile and congratulate him. Lie. Tell him I'm happy for him.

As I lie there I practice keeping the tears that burn inside from escaping.

I think I'm a masochist.

I *know* I'm an excellent actor.

I practice all the time.

So it's easy to smile at Miyako. Make everyone think that it's her that I love. Easy to give everyone what
they want.

Everyone but me. That would be hard. I haven't practiced.

So I go back to the easy things. This is just one more mask I wear. It's easy to wear masks.

I've practiced.