I sighed, and kicked a stone along the street. Today just wasn't my day.
Yesterday wasn't my day either. Or the day before. Or even the day before that. Heck, I haven't had a good day in over a year now.
My name is Sue. Sue Sakamoto. Just in case that clarifies anything.
If you're wondering why I'm so down, then you and I are in the same boat. I don't have any idea myself. All I know is that I used to be a carefree girl. I lived a normal teenage life, somewhat. My mother and brother are famous researchers, but that didn't weigh too heavily on my life at the time.
Then there was that day my mother gave me the news. We were going with her on a research expedition with a group of her colleagues.
My brother Kazuma was thrilled. We'd be researching Sky Dragons, a rare creature that lived only on the floating island over the sea. I have to say I was relatively excited myself. An expedition to a faraway place to study rare creatures was an interesting proposition.
One of my mother's colleagues was even more interested than she was. We don't speak his name anymore. We just call him "The Doctor."
Chances are you've already heard the story. The Doctor was secretly after an artifact known as the Demon Crown. He awakened the two entities associated with it, Balrog and Misery, and began to steal away the mimigas, the island's inhabitants, to perform his gruesome experiments on. He wanted to create a mutant army or something.
Things went badly. Misery attacked our camp, my mother barely escaped into the caves. The others scattered. Some were killed. I tried to run, but the witch Misery hurled a ball of light at me. I fell to the ground.
I woke up. I don't know how much later. All I know was that it didn't take me long to realize that I had lost over two feet of my height, and now possessed big, floppy ears and white fur.
I was a mimiga.
I did the only thing I could do. I found the other mimigas. I lived in their village, despite the disapproval of their leader. I soon found a way to get back to our research quarters, though the sky dragon project hardly held importance now.
Toroko was friendly. She was the only mimiga who openly trusted me. I spent time with her, since everyone else seemed hesitant.
Then Quote arrived. The rest is history.
If you don't know what happened after that, go find out for yourself. I don't have time to recount the whole adventure. All you gotta know is, the Doctor was defeated, the island was saved from crashing into the Earth, and Quote, his friend Curly, and the not so evil Balrog disappeared. Reunited with my mother, we quickly found a way to reverse the mimiga spell on me. We went home.
Happy ending, right? The bad guys are gone, the good guys are safe, there's nothing to worry about.
I just wish that was how I felt about it.
I've been safe at home for ages now. But my life never resumed; I never again felt like the Sue I was before that adventure. I still don't. I'm always depressed, I clearly don't feel like I belong here. But why? What's changed in me now since I lived here about a year ago?
I walked back into my house, threw my jacket haphazardly on the chair, and slumped down on the couch. I picked up a book, and started to read, but the words meant nothing. I put it down again. I flicked on the television, but nothing was appealing, and I soon turned it off.
This had been disturbingly normal for me lately. Nothing could hold my attention. Nothing could ease the constant nagging to go somewhere, do something… a place and thing that eluded me. I was utterly confused.
Mom walked by, and saw me moping on the couch again. Usually, she said something stupid, like "Perk up Sue, the world is waiting!" or "Chin up, buttercup." Junk like that. But today was different. Today, she walked silently over and sat down on the couch next to me.
I waved my fingers in an unenthusiastic greeting. Mom stared at me for a moment.
"Sue," she asked. "I'm done pretending that everything is alright. Something has been bothering you for a long time now. What is it?"
I looked at mom. I didn't know what to say. I didn't even know the problem myself, and if I did, I wasn't sure I could put it in a way I could explain anyway. So, I responded with the only appropriate answer.
"It's nothing, mom."
She frowned. "You sit around, distracted and depressed, for a year, and you expect me to believe nothing is wrong?"
"It's just a bad day," I said. "A bad day at the end of a chain of several hundred bad days in a row."
Mom looked at me very hard. "Sue," she said finally. "Did… anything happen to you, on the floating island, that you haven't told me about? It was a bad experience for all of us, but did you deal with any particular trauma I haven't heard of?"
"My bad days started when I got turned into a mimiga," I said. "The only thing that I don't get is why they didn't end when I turned back."
My mother was concerned. "I don't know what to tell you," she said. "I'm a researcher, not a psychiatrist. All I can tell you is to try not to think about what happened on the floating island, and maybe you'll be able to begin to live normally again."
Mom stood up. "Let me know if you have anything else to say," she said, and she left the room to make dinner.
As I lie in bed that night, but didn't sleep. I thought about what mom had said, and how it was absolutely the opposite of what I was doing. I realized now that every day, my thoughts turned more and more to my days on the island.
I sat up. I climbed out of bed. I knew what had to be done. There was only one way to quiet this storm in my psyche.
I changed out of my nightclothes. I threw my possessions into a duffel bag. I scrawled a note and left it on my bed.
"Dear Mom and Kazuma,
Left for the Floating Island. Not coming back unless I can figure out what part of me I left behind there.