He's twisted.

He knows this. This is what happens when you place a pretty, quiet little girl with parental issues together with a manipulative, little bastard who is far too intelligent for his own good.

A child is too young to fall in love. A child forgets easily, trusts easily, loves easily. Perhaps this is true for most children, but Mitsuru was never like most children. He fell in love easily enough, but only that one time, and that didn't go well did it?

Perhaps if he were not so damn smart at that age, perhaps if he was just a kid who's more interested in football than in chasing the girl this wouldn't have ended up that way. Even if it was inevitable that he will chase her, perhaps it would be different if he was not so...mature in an immature way!

Maybe she would have just become an embarrassing memory in the past, maybe he would now be together with a sunny, intelligent girl that suits him image more. Maybe his image wouldn't feel like so much of an act...

It is useless to think of it now. The truth of the matter is that he is carrying emotional baggage from an almost love affair from when he was 11 years old and it had stayed with him into adulthood. Unrealistic? But there you go. Reality bites.

Oh he did grow up normally enough. He was open, friendly and generally an all round nice guy who did pretty damn well at everything he puts his mind to. In fact, people would probably hate him if he wasn't so likable. It didn't affect his everyday demeanor too much...except when it came to girls.

He really was not a nice guy when it came to girls. Mitsuru is amazed at how he acted in junior high, but then again...not really.

He know it must have been jarring getting to know a perfectly easygoing guy, only to be inexplicably brushed off with a smile should you want to take it further. He can't explain it...it was like a switch was turned on as soon as he catches sight of envelopes with hearts on them anywhere near his locker.

He can't remember most of the faces, but he does remember the expression. That twisted part of him was even gratified that someone else had, at least for a moment, felt the same as he did and does. Because of her he had kept that area of his life completely shut, because of her he had become this way.

He doesn't get why they keep coming despite his obvious lack of interest in...well anyone.

Of course that was until a certain halfie came. Suddenly life got interesting again, in a different way but just as gratifying. He felt like he could laugh properly again, and he did, for the first time in years; The proper from the gut kind of belly laughter. He felt things would be okay, that he can be genuine, that he could live a somewhat full life despite her disappearance. He really did think that and felt a curious mixture of joy, yet longing, every time his memory of her got just a little weaker, just a little fuzzier.

Yes he's traumatized. Yes, he won't forget, but he was sure the memories would be knitted over with time like a scar and life would, ultimately, be fine.

But she was cruel. Or god or fate or whatever was cruel. Because she came into his life again and even then she continued to plague him with her running...but he found himself breathing again without knowing he had stopped. And he didn't know quite how he managed to survive before.

He could see that she was certainly aware of him, certainly interested in him and wasn't going anywhere soon.

So knowing he has all the time in the world, he slowly but surely chased her to a corner. It's twisted, it's not nice, but this is the person he had become and he will only ever show this side to her alone.

He would never let her run from him again.