They say that it's normal for little kids to have imaginary friends. So when your parents burst into the living room to investigate the loud crash they heard moments before and find you standing amidst the shattered remains of the crystal vase your father gave your mother for their anniversary, it's only normal that the imaginary friend gets the blame. The statement "Shiro did it" might even be met by a knowing glance passed between adults and slight smiles as the incident is brushed off as a child's attempt to get out of trouble.
Weeks later when the cricket ball goes flying through the kitchen window barely missing your mother, the same statement is greeted with a different response. It's not nice to tell lies. Big boys fess up when they do something wrong. It's the right thing to do. So you tell them the truth, again. "But it wasn't me! Shiro was the one that hit the ball through the window!" And you get sent to your room for being rebellious and spiteful.
But hey, you're six and it's normal to have an imaginary friend, even if he keeps getting you into trouble.
Years later, after your mother's funeral, when Shiro lashes out in a fit of rage and sad desperation you once again get the blame. "Ichigo, why did you destroy the cherry tree in the back garden?" your father asks in a pained voice looking at you as if you are a stranger he's seeing for the first time. "Dad, it wasn't me." You try to explain but your words are cut off harshly as your father slaps you. What can you do but sit there in stunned silence looking up at the man who has never lifted a hand against you. "Damn it Ichigo, you have to stop this." He says in a broken voice as tears run freely from his grief stricken eyes. "You're not a little kid anymore, Shiro doesn't exist!" your father says in defeat, leaving you alone with your shame and humiliation… and the anger and resentment start to boil beneath the surface of your tender being, because Shiro is real. You see him every minute of every day. You talk to him, share your secrets and deepest desires. The day you find an injured kitten in the forest behind the house, Shiro is the one that shows you how to put it out of its misery, Shiro is the one that shows you how to dig the hole to bury it in. You laugh together, fall asleep in each other's arms each night, and yet your father says he doesn't exists?
But you're ten now and your father is trying to cope with the loss of his wife, your mother, and with having three children who now depend solely on him so it's no longer okay to have an imaginary friend.
Once or twice you still try starting a sentence with "Shiro and I," but each time your father cuts you off with a disapproving stare and harsh words. So you stop, you take the blame when Shiro dumps a can of blue paint on the neighbor's car after said neighbour accidently drives over your bike. Shiro urges you to beat up the kids at school who dare mock you for being different. Nothing has changed, Shiro still gets you into trouble, but you no longer care.
You're fourteen and you hear your father having hushed conversations over the phone, saying how he doesn't know how to deal with your violent outbursts and wilfully destructive behaviour.
You're sixteen and you get caught with paint cans in your locker at school after someone graffiti's the wall in the teacher's lounge. You laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation as you sit with your father in the headmaster's office. How do you even begin to explain that sure, you did the outlines, but Shiro did the colouring. If they had bothered paying attention they would have known you can't work with colour, but you keep quiet, no one wants to hear it anyway.
You're eighteen, your last year in high school. As a joke some jackass put's 'mostlikelytobecomeaconvict' underneath your picture in the school year book. You let it slide, laugh it off while at school, but spend hours that night alone in your room with Shiro plotting ways to get back at the kid, at the teachers who stare at you with judging eyes as you pass them in the hallways, at your father who never seems to look at you anymore, at your sister who called you a freak because she and her friends caught you having a heated argument with Shiro. You plan it all out, Shiro whispering suggestions in your ear, painting vivid violent blood soaked pictures with words. You know what you have to do.
Karakura town is still reeling from the tragic events that took place at the local high school yesterday morning. At eight forty-five, Kurosaki Ichigo entered the school carrying an automatic rifle. The authorities regained control of the situation thirty minutes after he entered the school but by that time the eighteen year old student had managed to kill and injure several of his classmates and teachers. The death toll is still unconfirmed as several victims of yesterday's events are being treated for critical injuries at Karakura hospital.
Kurosaki Ichigo is currently under observation at an undisclosed mental institution. Police have confirmed that Kurosaki massacred his family before leaving for school that day. Doctor Isshin Kurosaki and his two daughters, Karin and Yuzu were found dead in their residence shortly after the incident at the school was brought under control.
"Shiro did it," you say over and over as you rock your body back and forth on the small metal cot.
"Don't worry Ichi," Shiro whispers in your ear as he presses your shaking body firmly against his. "I'll get us out of here." You relax against the familiar contact and soothing words, because if you can't trust your imaginary friend, who can you trust?
I have no idea where this came from. When I started I fully intended this to be a funny humorous rendition of the mischief that Ichigo and Shiro get up to... yeah, that one didn't work out so great. Anywhoo... hope it was at least worth the read.