This is the story of a girl,
Who cried a river and saved the whole world.
And while she looks so sad in photographs,
I absolutely love her... when she smiles.
Nine days- Absolutely (story of a girl)
This is a pretty dark oneshot about Minako and Shinjiro. So don't read it if you know you can't take a little violence, blood and M- things, please? There are major spoilers for you who haven't finished the game . Now enjoy.
I'm staring out the window with a pair of eyes void of emotion. Dark bangs under my eyes tells a story of several sleepless nights and numerous days without anything decent to eat. I'm sitting in my room close to the window, by my desk where a glass of water and several small pills can be seen. I'm holding the picture SEES took after defeating the twelfth shadow in my slightly trembling hands. Her surprised and quite sad expression makes my inside turn inside-out. Dark eyes narrow painfully upon staring at the leader of SEES. I wish I were there. I was lying in an hospital bed when she faced her fears runs down my cheeks as Akihiko suddenly forces me to drink the glass of water he brought upstairs for me. My throat hurts as the cold liquid runs through the narrow corridor leading called my throat down to my empty stomach. I feel like throwing up already.
"Shinji, you gotta stop this." The silver haired man's eyes are wide of anger, an emotion he uses to disguise his worry. "You are killing yourself."
"I'm already dying, Aki. Leave me be." I grunt in an annoyed voice as I push him away.
"Shinji!" Akihiko argues with me.
His voice his echoing in my ears, giving me a painful headache. I know what he is trying to do but I can't appreciate it. My body is hurting too much to care about what others think. A violent coughing fit makes my eyes water against my will. I reach out for the pills on the table hurriedly and is about to swallow them when Akihiko slaps my hand away. The pills shatter on the floor.
"Aki..." I mutter darkly between my coughs in a wanring. "I need those."
"I said STOP THIS!" He yells at me with all his might.
A fist connects with my jaw and the power behind the punch sends me flying through the room. A grunt leaves my dry lips as I hit the wall. The strange thing is that I can't feel the pain because my whole body is already hurting. Some genius said that several parts of your body can't hurt at the same time. Unfocused eyes turns focused as I see how blood gathers on the floor. Akihiki is walking back and forth while running his fingers through his short hair.
"Shinji, I understand your pain but Minako is dead! You have to let her go! She wouldn't like seeing you like this...And didn't you say you stopped taking those damn drugs?"
I stare at him with misery clear in my face.
"I can't!" I feel how tears makes their way down my slightly hairy cheeks. "I just c-c-can't let her go!"
I knew about the consequences of the drugs when I started taking them so I promised myself that I would leave this life without regrets. I rather leave peacefully than being strangled by my own persona. I don´t want to end up like a distressed ghost haunting the ones I´ll leave behind, right? It was easy to give people who cared for me he cold shoulder, to act indifferent and avoid getting too close but…At that time I had no clue that I was about to break that promise because of a …girl.
I met her when I was accompanying Aki after one of his check ups at the hospital. He had been reckless as always and broke his ribs during a mission in Tartarus. That was just like him. He asked me to bring him something from school even though he knew I don´t go there. It pissed me off but it didn't change the fact that I did go there and fetched it for him. I can still remember how noisy the room suddenly became when three underclassmen barged in. One of them, a guy wearing a cap, was irritating so I decided to leave early. I hated to be surrounded by people back then but there was something about one of the girls that made me stop and stare. My heart skipped a beat as her eyes captured mine. Her aura bewitched me at that moment and I couldn't stop thinking about her after that encounter. Her crimson eyes looked at me with confusion and caution before her facial expression turned warm and welcoming, just as if she was ready to welcome me into her strange crew of friends without giving a shit about who I was.
Something within me tells me I understood that she was special when I first saw her. Those intense red eyes and that collected stance: I will never forget them. My chest starts to hurt but I shrug my shoulders, forcing the pain away. Akihiko is kneeling down next to me as he inspects my bleeding lip. He talks a lot but I can't hear him, my thoughts are somewhere else.
The second time I came face to face with her was when the other girl, that I later got to know was called Yukari, got into a fight with the thugs in my neighborhood because of a stupid rumor. The guy, Junpei , got hit and I decided to interfere since I knew that they were Aki´s friends. I couldn´t help but care. I fought the thugs off easily before I turned to face the three younger teens. My eyes moved to the girl that had been haunting my mind since meeting her weeks ago. She was sitting on the dirty ground in a way that made me think she would have joined the fight to back me up if I got into trouble. Her serious expression made me avert my gaze somewhat. I never felt the need to look away when facing someone before. It angered me. Yukari asked about the ghost story, just as I presumed she would, and I told her what I knew.
"Thank you." The girl with the ponytail told me while looking into my eyes without fear.
It took me by surprise because it was a while since someone dared to look at me like that. Straight in the eyes without trembling or shying away. It made my respect for her grow inside of me. That girl had a cute and innocent face but there was something else about her that caught my eye that I later understood was hints of a darker past, a hidden story, that made her aura so powerful, understanding and intriguing.
"...I did nothin'." I snorted before turning my back at them. "Don´t come here again."
Akihiko kept on nagging about me joining SEES but all I could do is see the negative sides about it. He joined me for some ramen one day and I must confess that I was happy to see him even though the news he wanted to tell didn´t make me happy. He commented on what I was eating; saying I was going to get sick and I told him to mind his own sick habits of eating that protein shit.
"You still haven´t made up your mind?" Akihiko asked me.
"Is that what this is about?" I remember I turned very irritated.
"We´ve got four new members. Things have changed since you left, we´re more aggressive now." His voice was proud and confident.
"I´m not interested."
I sure was interested, especially about SEES' new leader whom he often mentioned, but I wouldn't let myself slip away from my set path of dying without commitments. Getting involved with the Dark Hour and SEES would only make things worse no matter how interested I was.
"Think about it Shinji, don´t let your power go to waste."
"My power ain´t worth shit." I snapped at him due to memories of what my so called power made me do years ago. "I made up my mind a long time ago. I ain´t goin´back."
"You´ve to let the past go. What´s done is done. It´s time you moved on." He tried to sound like Dr. Phil or something. I didn't believe in that crap.
"Face it. You´re no different than me." Was my counter attack.
And I left him sitting there in the warm ramen restaurant with two steaming bowls of untouched ramen. What I didn´t know was that he would continue to pester me about the news of SEES, Strega and other stuff the following days. I had no thought of joining again, not after what I have been through. Akihiko must have spied on me because he stood there outside the restaurant one day with a confident smirk on his pale lips. I recall glaring at him before I noticed the girl standing by his side, her red eyes glancing at me out of curiosity. It seemed as if she was immune to my bad attitude because she didn't flinch as I pierced her with my stare. It was that girl again, her, the leader of SEES. The one that actually dared to meet my stare.
"Uh, hi." She comments with a big smile on her lips.
"What is the meaning of this, Aki?" I ask the boxing champion avoiding her eyes.
"Amada Ken joined." Akihiko said bluntly.
And everything changed.
I grunt in pain and anger as I see how Akihiko throws my remaining pills away, out through the window, since he knows I won't go after them. I'm a murderer and I need those pills to stay sane, to not accidentally kill someone again. I need the pills to stay in control of my persona power. The pills are slowly ending my life but if I don't take them I'll probably get killed by my own persona. Akihiko can't understand this. He and the others are ignorant of what I'm going through and I wish they just disappeared and let me die in peace. Everybody will die, so why is it so wrong to speed up that natural process? I was supposed to die once but I was saved.
"Hey Shinjiro-senpai, do you want to do something?" The girl, who is called Arisato Minako, asked me one evening after returning home from school.
I had been a member of SEES for about a week when she first asked me to hang out. It had been a week full of Ken glaring at me without saying anything and her bugging me about doing something together. I knew Ken realized what I did to his mother the moment I first saw him in the dorm and my body was full of guilt. What I didn't understand though was why the leader of SEES bothered to be around me. Everyone else at the dorm were able to read my aura telling them to stay away from me but she...she just continued to break down my defenses.
"Don´t waste your time on me, be with the others." I just wanted her to leave me alone, she made me uncomfortable with those crimson eyes of hers that looked at me so much. Sometimes I thought that she could see through my facade by just glancing at me.
"…" She looked at me in a slightly confused manner before she smiled. "No, I want it to be you."
That took me by surprise and I can't lie and say I wasn't happy about her reply. I remember that I thought she only asked me as the leader of SEES and I agreed so the situation wouldn´t become even more troublesome. She was probably trying to do her job. I was so wrong. The two of us hung out. We ate out, helped Fuuka with her terrible cooking, she got me too cook for the whole dorm and we grew closer in the process. I couldn't push her away anymre because she was always bouncing back at me every time I tried. I realized I was in love with her and the thought scared me. I promised myself not to leave anything behind when I die but I failed.
"Look what I found at the police station!" She told me in her usual cheerful voice one day.
My eyes widened as she almost hit me with my old watch I told her about last time we hung out. It took me by surprise because I never thought I would see that thing again. I never thought that the one who would bring it back to me would be her, out of all people. I saw it as a sign and let my guard down for once. We took a walk and ended up at the shrine. I remember my last attempt to push her away from me by asking her to take care of Aki for me. I always thought that the two of them would become a well-balanced couple. She would care for him, make him eat healthier food and love him... but I was only hurting myself so I would let her go before it was too late. I wanted to protect myself from the foreign feeling of love and adoration towards another human being and save her from missing me when I'm gone. I was so selfish and I failed. I failed so badly. I remember glancing at her almost shyly before I wrapped my arm around her shoulders while commenting something about that the wind was cold. That was of course a lie. That was the first time I touched her for my own pleasure. No, I didn't do anything beyond holding her but it felt so...dreamy. She didn't move away from my touch. It was the first time in ages I felt like a normal teenager. A young man who didn't have to face the Dark Hour, doesn't suffer from a drug addiction or has to ignore his feelings. She leaned onto me in a heavy silence and it didn't take long for me to understand that something was bothering her. My hold on her tightened.
"What's wrong?" I whispered.
"How come I always hear a good bye in whatever you say?" She asked me in a silent voice.
I still remember how that took me by surprise. Minako saw straight through me even though I spent ages to avoid talking about it. My body tensed and my hold on her loosened drastically. She glanced up at me as I distanced myself from her visibly.
"Are you… dying?" She added bravely even though her trembling voice told me that she did not want to hear an honest answer.
"What are you talking about, idiot." I told her while smirking even though her worried eyes made my stomach turn into ice. "I´ve no plans of dying just yet."
Now when I look back at it I can´t still say if I lied to protect her or myself. Tears fall down my face freely now and Akihiko is panicking. I can't stop the tears and I don't give a shit about my childhood friend who tires to get me up on my feet. All I can think of is that Minako must have suffered by the knowledge of my situation until the end. She never questioned me about the drugs again after that night even though I sometimes was forced to take them in front of her. She looked so pained, why didn't I see that before? I groan loudly as the pain gets too much to handle.
"I'm calling Mitsuru now." Akihiko warns me. "You need to see a doctor."
"I love you, senpai." She told me.
I didn't believe her and I remember clearly how I accused her for teasing me openly in the lounge where all the others could walk in on us anytime. Her gentle smile confused me. Her warm red eyes that only looked at me made my body burn with expectations. Expectations I shouldn't have felt.
"I..." She looked a little shy. "I want to see your room."
She didn't leave me alone and I gave in to my desire with the help of her ignorantly clinging to me. I was so foolish and I asked myself what the hell I was doing over and over again as the two of us faced each other in my room. She looked so pleased with herself as if she won a big price by just entering my personal sphere. She always looked so pretty when smiling and I couldn't believe that maybe I was the cause of that radiating smile of hers. I couldn't control myself as she moved closer to me while acting so innocent and pure so I basically pounced her after giving her one final warning.
I embraced her tightly and the feel of her body pressed up against mine made me throw my self-restraint out the window. We shared several heated kisses where tongues met and competed for dominance. Her lips tasted like cherry blossoms. They were very sweet and surprisingly addictive. My face turned feverishly red as she started to take off her clothes in front of me. I wanted to stop her, tell her that she was crazy but her confident smile made me forget all my worries. Trembling hands caressed my shoulders as she pushed off my red coat, they traced the hints of muscles on my stomach as she pulled my shirt over my head and she took off my hat as we shared another kiss. Her breasts were like small but soft mountains of flesh under my rough hands. Her naked legs encircled my waist as I entered her, making me moan like a fool into her hair. We made love and it felt like a dream to wake up with her beside me the next day.
Mitsuru's high-pitched screaming echoes in my head. She is yelling at me over something I can't understand so I pays no attention to her. I'm shaking so I pull my knees towards me in an attempt to hide from the world and the memories of Minako's hands on me. If I got the chance back then I would have traded Minako's kisses for any drug, any day. That could have saved me, I don't doubt it. But it's too late now.
But dreams doesn't last forever. I finally took my responsibility as I jumped in front of Ken to take the bullets meant for him. The pain was numbing but not as painful as seeing her cry over me.
"SHINJIRO!" Her terrified voice cut through my heart like a knife.
She was by my side, crying like a baby, and I blamed and still blame myself for hurting her like that. I didn't want to hurt her but deep inside I knew that it was my selfishness of loving her that made her suffer. It was my fault. I should have ended this earlier so none of us got hurt.
"Minako…don´t cry…" I reached up to touch her cheek and she took my hand in hers."This is how it should be."
"Don't go to sleep!" She ordered me. "No, Shinji, don't close your eyes! SHINJI!"
Everything turned black. My feelings and my memory were deleted just like that. I was locked up in a dream world not too different from Tartarus. There were white walls everywhere and no matter how much I searched I couldn't find an escape route. But after what felt like an eternity of silence I heard a voice calling out my name vigorously. The voiced sounded pained and it gave me this strange sensation in my chest but I didn't recall it, It was a voice of a stranger to me.
"Please wake up…"
"Come back to me…"
"...I love you." It said.
I bolted up in my bed. My skin was wet by sweat and I was coughing violently. Nurses surrounded me quickly and started to shove medicine down my throat. I was very disoriented and confused so all I could do was to search for that voice among the women there. None of them sounded like the girl that had been calling my name. Later my doctor told me that it was my old watch that saved me. I thought I lost that one ages ago. The confusion angered me in a way I didn't understand at first, it felt like there were something I can't see but life just continued as normal. I avoided school, people and other troublesome stuff until the day of graduation. The day I would have graduated if I got my grades. A feeling forced me to go to school that day. I was so pissed and grumpy.
A similar voice called out my name as I walked through the school gates. I came face to face with a short girl with brownish red hair as I turned around. Why did this girl scream my name like she knew me? Why is she smiling at me like that? My whole being starts to boil with irritation. Girls are troublesome. That little brat should stay away from me if she knows what's best for her. Her bright smile faded as she watched my expression. It made me feel wary because I found her smile to be...pretty.
"Do I know you?" I asked her in a very cold voice.
Her red eyes widened eerily at this and it almost made me feel like a bad guy. Almost. Brown eyes narrowed a fraction as I felt a strange sensation in my chest upon seeing how tears fell down her cheeks freely. I have upset a lot of people through my years but I have never made a girl cry like this before. It wasn't my intention.
"Hey, don´t cry…" I ordered her in a bothered voice.
And she ran away from me. The happy smile she gave me when she saw me made me feel so strange. I shrugged before making my way into the school to see the graduation ceremony but something changed within me before I reached my goal.
"Dammit!" I growled out loud as I hit the wall as all my memories suddenly came back."Minako!"
I'm still ashamed over the fact that I forgot all about her and the others. It feels like I betrayed them. A cold liquid enters my body but I'm already shivering. I wonder if this is it. I've stopped to fight back now, I don't have any strength left. I can hear how my persona is whispering things to me. I hate it. I need my pills!
The gentle springlight warmed my body and the soft breeze played with my clothes as I stepped out on the school roof that day. I remembered everything clearly now. I gazed out over the city and thought that this was the world she fought to protect, the world she managed to actually save. My cold eyes turned soft as I spotted her sitting on a bench close to the fence. She is the one that saved his life. I was all out of breath as I reached her because I was running.
"Minako..." I managed to utter after coughing. "Don't make a sick guy push himself so hard."
A surprised gasp left her lips as she turned to face me before her mouth shaped as a smile. Tears of joy leaved her eyes. The sight of her made me blush like an innocent school boy but I was sure to ask for forgiveness. I threw my arms around her as I sat down and made her lie with her head in my lap. She yawned in a cute manner.
"It's pretty pathetic of me to forget the way I did...I hurt you, I'm sorry." I murmured as I caressed her face. "But even then, my feelings for you were the same as always."
"I was scared when you disappeared from the hospital." She told me as she wiped away her tears. "Mitsuru-senpai almost sued your doctor when she heard that you were released without her knowledge."
"Haha." I could so see Mitsuru do that.
Minako chuckled but stopped when I kissed her without a warning. Her lips tasted like tears. Like salty cherry blossoms. She was the one calling out to me when I was hospitalized. It was her voice that brought me back from the maze within my own mind. She is the one I love.
"The girl I saw in my dreams...it was you. You were crying and laughing like usual...Hahah. Yeah... this ain't a dream. You're really...here."
Minako stared up at me in silence before she kissed me. She sighed tiredly as we broke apart. The sound of several footsteps alerted me of that we weren't alone anymore. I remembers how pissed I was about the interruption.
"Hahaha...man, those guys knows how to ruin a moment."
The rest of SEES joins them at the roof and I remember how happy I felt. I felt as if I was a part of something big. I was there with the girl I love and we looked at the setting sun together. It was after that I noticed what was wrong with the girl in my arms.
"Minako…?" I whispered her name but she didn't respond.
I shook her body carefully as if to wake her up from her slumber. No response again. My body grew cold.
"Hey!" I shouted suddenly.
My shout made the others gather around me. Fuuka gasped with fear. Junpei's eyes widened as he saw Minako's sickly pale face. Yukari was the first one to start crying as Minako didn't wake up.
"Wake up! Dammit!" I cursed.
Akihiko kneeled down and checked for Minako's pulse. His eyes widenend dangerously as he found none.
"She has no pulse!" Akihiko yelled in panic.
A loud crashing sound is heard when I throw a bottle against the wall. I m breathing uncontrollably, eyes are wide, sweat is rolling down my face and my weak body complains. I start to cough violently. Mitsuru and Akihiko regards me wide-eyed before they both rush to my side.
"The ambulance is late!" Mitsuru complains worridly. "Oh wait, I think I hear it! Let's get him downstairs."
"I couldn't save her!" I yell as they drag me up from the ground.
"Shinji, calm down. You'll get help." Akihiko tries to calm me down.
"Minako was the only good thing that happen to to me and she... she..." He growls out in pain as he touches his chest. "Why were I saved when they would take her away from me so suddenly?"
"He must have taken a lot of pills before I got here." Akihiko presumes.
Mitsuru suddenly drops me and the sudden extra weight makes Akihiko lose his grip as well. I fall to the ground.
"That's enough Shinjiro!" The young woman roars at me. "Don't you dare speak like that! Not when Arisato died to save all of us. Don't you dare. I'll execute you if you do."
I stare at her wide-eyed.
"Mitsuru..." Akihiko looks at her with a frightened expression on his face.
"You are going to hospital to get detoxification and you are going to live on for her sake!"
Kirijou is crying now. I have never seen here cry like that before.
"If I stop taking the drugs, I might..."
"No!" She interrupts me in a trembling voice. "You killing Amada's mother was an accident. You were inexperienced and scared. You lost control once and the fear of messing up a second time made you rely on Strega's drugs. Have you ever tried to stop taking them? Your persona won't go berserk, I can assure you of that!"
"Are you sayin' that I...?"
"You are just a coward!" She yells me in the face. "I can't understand why Arisato fell for you!"
My brown eyes widen as I find mmyself speechless. Am I an despicable person? Would Minako hate me if she saw me in this moment? I stare at the two as three people runs up the stairs. Their uniforms tells me they are the people from the hospital Mitsuru called. I don't fight back as they grab my arms and drags me downstairs. Mitsuru's words echoes in my mind.
What if I try not to fail for once?
AN. Hope you enjoyed! Please R&R