A/N: My first one-shot. Did not expect to write one, but the story just played out itself in my head after I've finished watching Pewdiepie (BROFIST) complete the Bad End of The Calling on Youtube. I enjoyed writing it too, quite a different experience from writing the usual.
I do not own The Calling or its characters.
Reiko had always wanted a friend.
A friend, who isn't her doctor, the nurses or the elderly couple Kishibe. She had wanted a friend somewhere close to her age. Someone who would not treat her like a sickly patient or a grandchild. Someone who... Can just treat her normally.
Reiko Asagiri had been hospitalised in Kuromiya hospital for a long time now. She was ill, though she had no idea what she was inflicted with; her mother did not tell her. Children her age horsed around in the local playground, while the most excitement she ever got was the birthday celebration thrown on her six months ago and back then, she was in a coma. She would have felt a little frightened about staying in the hospital without her mother, but she had her favourite black cat plushie with her so it was okay. Besides, her mother visited often.
Whenever Reiko visited Mr Kishibe or the bathroom, she always brought her plushie with her. It was a memento from her late father, who bought it for her for Christmas before he fell to his death at a construction site.
These days, her mother visited less. "I'm having more clients now." She said. She took up several jobs to support Reiko's bills and herself, you see.
"We can keep in touch this way." She said. Mrs Asagiri gave her daughter a cell phone.
Reiko liked her new cellphone very much. She liked the way it flipped open and had fun storing the numbers of everyone she knew in the hospital. Reiko texted whenever she felt like it, even if it was to Kyoko Hibino, the nurse who checks up on Reiko during her daily rounds, or any other time for that matter. She appreciated the attention and concern of Miss Hibino, though Reiko wondered sometimes whether the hospital was overstaffed.
Reiko began to feel a little lonely. She texted the hospital staff more often, though most did not return the messages as they were too busy. Reiko's mood soured further. Thankfully, Miss Hibino introduced her to the internet and Reiko learnt to converse with people online, her screen name derived from her black cat plushie. 'Kuroneko' literally meant black cat and did not seem very creative, but Reiko was rather fond of it. This was an exciting experience. Finally, somebody new!
Though she was not allowed to use the computers in the lounge for too long, she had a great time connecting with people outside in chat-rooms. She made a new friend already. Her screen name was 'Rin' and she had been rather nice so far. Reiko liked her already.
With her black cat plushie, Reiko visited Mr Kishibe in the cafeteria one day and met Mrs Kishibe for the first time. A kind old lady, she was. Just like Mr Kishibe. Reiko promised to teach him to use the computer and how he can use the internet and giggled when Mrs Kishibe was chided for voicing her mock-envy with a gruff from Mr Kishibe, "You have Take to teach you!" Reiko guessed that 'Take' was their son.
The number of calls reduced between Reiko and her mother reduced as she grew busier with every passing day. Reiko had called, but she was almost always redirected to voicemail. Even so, her mother never called back. When she did, however, they were always caught in a heated row. This made Reiko feel worse.
Once, Reiko's mother finally visited her. Reiko was surprised to see her, but soon surprise turned to anger as mother and daughter argued again. It ended with Reiko's phone shattered on the hospital floor and they never spoke again.
Nevertheless, Reiko was happy with Mr Kishibe's company. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks later. Reiko join Miss Hibino in hysterics, crying her hearts out till she felt too tired to move. Miss Hibino brought her back to her ward, where Reiko slept her exhaustion away in bed with Miss Hibino by her side.
Reiko was due for her operation a few days later. However, she began to lose her appetite till she rejected food from the hospital staff altogether. She even flipped the food onto the floor in one of her tantrums. She had been throwing them more often.
The stress of handling Reiko's tantrums and stubborn streak built up and Miss Hibino's colleague was near breaking point. She vented out her frustrations onto Miss Hibino, which she quietly endures. She understood her friend's predicament. Back then, Kyoko Hibino was the only friend there for her. Fate was cruel as Reiko overheard the vents in the Nurse's Office while she waited to spring a surprise on Miss Hibino; an ambush that consisted of a pounce and childish amusement. Their close relationship grew cold.
The operation was a success, but it had backfired on Reiko's health, leaving her worse than before. Her body was weakened by her rejection of food and had not fared well at all.
Reiko spent more time in internet chat-rooms, seeking solace from her loneliness. There, she was met with several people, Passerby and Rin. Reiko did not know who they were but she was glad to see Rin online.
Those people seem to know her predicament, as they started to discuss about her and her being in the hospital. The discussion took a turn when one of them dismissed Reiko as a hoax, who only seeked attention. The others began to join in in defaming poor Reiko, but Rin stood out and defended her. That made her happy.
The naysayers became more unreasonable, accusing Rin to be Kuroneko herself. That was definitely untrue, and Rin was mad. She chased them all out of the chat-room. Only she, Passerby and Reiko remained.
Reiko wished she could unread those nasty remarks. She wished she was not online that day. She would rather not be there for those remarks. It was as though the internet had betrayed her.
Rin and Passerby comforted poor Reiko, with Rin promising to visit her in Kuromiya hospital a week later. Reiko was delighted. She became cheerful again and requested for her lunch.
Today was the day Reiko was finally got to meet Rin. Miss Hibino felt happy for her. She had observed their interaction once and found Rin to be a sweet and understanding girl. Miss Hibino was able to trust her with Reiko.
That morning, the hospital received a young woman and she was on the brink of death. She was hit by a truck and had multiple injuries, including trauma to the head, torso and left leg. That person was Rin Kagura.
Rin was placed on the bed and was rushed into the operation room, going in and out of consciousness. Through her blurred vision, she saw a girl with a black cat. She thought nothing much of it before blacking out.
Reiko waited patiently in the lobby on the first floor. She had no idea how Rin looked like, but she was sure Rin can identify her by the kuroneko she brought with her.
Hours passed. No one came forward to introduce herself as 'Rin'. Instead, she was casted curious glances and once, a lady approached her and Reiko was elated. However, her hopes came crashing down horribly when the lady thought she was a lost child and asked where her parents were. Reiko simply shook her head then ignored the stranger, hiding her anger.
Exhausted and depressed, Reiko returned to her ward, where she noticed that there was a new girl beside her bed. Her head was bandaged and she was unconscious.
She promised that she would come visit... She promised... Everyone is a liar...
Reiko's thoughts brought her to the open window; her legs carried her onto the window's ledge.
Miss Hibino's eyelid had been twitching all day. She felt that something bad was about to happen, and it became apparent when her pen broke into half while she thought of Reiko.
Miss Hibino walked a little faster than her usual pace, to the ward where Reiko occupied. She swung the door open.
Rin felt a pounding in her head that woken her up. Slowly, her eyes opened.
Miss Hibino screamed and ran towards Reiko, who seemed calm as she looked down upon the street below her, her soft hair swayed with the wind. Her black cat plushie was left on the bed.
I'm always alone... Everyone leaves me behind...
Rin pushed herself up from her lying position and saw the young girl standing on the window's ledge. Her instincts screamed, her arms reaching out towards the girl. The girl pushed herself off at the same time.
Miss Hibino narrowly missed Reiko's arm and the momentum from her sprint almost caused her to follow right after her young patient.
Mother, Mr Kishibe... And Rin.
Reiko felt the wind rushing pass her, in what seemed like an eternity. The last thing she heard was a sickening crack; the sound of her skull hitting the pavement.
Everyone leaves me behind...
Everyone is a... liar...
Rin could not process what just happened, and her scream had alerted a nearby nurse who rushed into the ward just as Rin blacked out. The surgery and the event had pushed her body to its limits.
When Rin awoken, it was late in the afternoon. She was on a bed outside her ward and was greeted by Miss Hibino. It was as though nothing happened.
"You know, I was supposed to meet a friend here at this hospital, but I knew nothing of her except her screen name 'Kuroneko'. Do you know who she is?" Rin asked the nurse, who smiled warmly at her.
Kyoko Hibino wanted to cry. It was apparent that the 'friend' Reiko was going to meet was Rin. They were close to meeting each other, yet Reiko chose death. She had no knowledge of the friend beside her and died with resentment and misunderstanding. Deep in her heart, she prayed for Reiko, for her wellbeing in the afterlife.
"Kuroneko? She had left the hospital a few days ago." Was what she told Rin. She did not seem to remember the past event so she decided to spare Rin the truth. It would be easier on her that way.
"Oh..." Rin turned her head to the side, lost in her thoughts. Miss Hibino pushed her bed into the ward in silence. Silence is their only remedy for now.
I'm sorry for not holding our promise, Kuroneko...
Everyone is a liar... A liar...
A/N: I've noticed that my writing style changes with the kind of stories I write, but those changes are good I guess? Please review if you like this fanfic!
Oh yeah, the other fanfics I've posted up are still ongoing. Don't worry!