sorry for the wait! ^^
I wonder...why this stupid voice in my head seldom talks to me these past few days...
The morning started the usual way it has always been. Wake up, prepare for school, water the plant on his bedroom window and head to another boring set of hours in the place he called as torture halls.
He looked in the mirror after trying painfully in vain to fix his hair. They never go the way he wanted to so giving up, he just gave it a final brush of his fingers.
He let out a yawn. Why on Earth am I feeling so drained early on the morning when I feel like I've slept like a log last night?
"I'm here. Doing some thinking so shut up and don't talk to me."
Misaki watched his reflection on the mirror change into a shade of anger.
"What is this bastard's problem? Usually he's so irritating every morning..."
Misaki turned off the bathroom lights and headed out, suddenly pausing on his track.
Oi...oi...me...Misaki squealed to himself. Why are you bothered that he's not bothering you?! Shouldn't you be happy, idiot!
The apartment he was sharing with his brother looked so exaggeratedly homely as his brother prepared breakfast for him. Usually it was Misaki's task but for some reason, his brother Takahiro was doing it that morning.
Misaki let his tie hang on his white polo undone as he took his seat with a curious look at his brother.
The toasts, the hotdogs, the steaming hot chocolate and the rolls of some sushi from last night were set before him. The aroma of some chicken broth was filling their entire flat with a feel of warmth and coziness.
"Nii-chan...aren't you going to be late for work? I can handle this myself," the teen mumbled as he stuffed a pieced of sushi in his mouth.
"It's alright once in a while, isn't it? Besides I know you might be tired from last night," the tall man in bluish suit chirped as he poured himself another helping of the hot chocolate drink.
Last night? Misaki repeated in his head. What last night?
"Eh Nii-chan...what do you mean last night?" the teen leaned closer to the table. Preparing himself for an outrageous answer, like he was doing some ecchi stuff to himself in the middle of the night. The thought in itself was so embarrassing he could die but he wanted to know anyway. That way he could confront the voice in his head with proof.
"Ah...that? You don't have to be embarrassed about it. I'll just pretend I didn't see it..." the older brother answered with a meaningful grin.
Oi...oi...what is that grin supposed to mean?! Misaki felt sweat forming on his hands. Not be embarrassed? What the hell happened last night? He screamed with his inner self crying out in frustration.
Takahiro was just being considerate of his younger brother thinking that Misaki might just be embarrassed to admit that he was already starting to take his studies seriously. That he even pulls an all nighter the past few nights.
Misaki was so full of his wild imagination running in full throttle. Thinking how he'd give the voice in his head a piece of him.
His shoes clicking noisily on the pavement, with a couple of dried leaves crumbling down his feet as he stepped on them, despite Misaki wanting to retaliate, the silence the voice in his head was making the teen more concerned and he already forgot that he wanted to confront the pervert in his head.
To be honest, he didn't know when he started calling the voice in his head as 'pervert'. But thinking about it, it might be really mean to call a person ...or perhaps a ghost...pervert pervert most of the time.
Misaki fished his phone out of his pocket as he walked his way to his high school. Pretending to be talking to somebody else, a trick he just found out just recently to avoid looking demented. He started to talk.
"Oi...are you still there? Or you're already gone?"
Then he must be...
He heard a clearing of a throat in his mind. Confirmed. The guy was still inside him. But the freaking silence compared to when the voice was nagging him at every little mistake he made was seriously getting on his nerves.
"Tell me...did you do something that is rendering you speechless?" Misaki scowled to his phone. "Like you're guilty or something?"
"Still going on about me wanting to do stuff on you? Cut it out already," the voice answered rather wearily. That was new even to Misaki who was already used to the teasing, irritating voice which have been inside him for more than a month now.
Misaki looked ahead. A group of high school students from a different school had gathered. The teen darted his eyes at the blue sky and sighed.
"You know...I've been thinking about this," Misaki started. "Ever since you started living in me, I haven't been able to ask your name."
"Even though I want to brat, I told you, I can't remember anything."
"Hmmm..." Misaki stopped from walking and turned his head towards where they came from. "Must be tough on you..."
"Oi...oi...suddenly concerned about me?" the voice chimed.
Frowning at his phone once again, Misaki huffed. "Well...what's so wrong with that! If you can't remember anything, then how will you look for your body?! I don't want to have you stuck in me for the rest of my life you know!"
The warm breeze suddenly felt cold on Misaki's cheeks. He lowered his phone, chewing on his lip. That was rather a little harsh even for him. He didn't mean it.
"Ahm...I mean..." Misaki stammered. "Just..."
"It's okay. I'm going to try to remember soon so I could leave your body in no time."
"Th-that's good to know then..." Misaki mumbled as he continued walking the few remaining blocks to his school.
Hearing that, instead of being happy like he was expecting, he felt a sudden uneasy feeling he wanted to shoo away. Everything was starting to go from weird to crazy.
The bell was ringing so loudly, filling all the buildings and halls and grounds of Misaki's school signalling the last break for the day. The classroom instantly got deserted save for Misaki who was too exhausted too even move an inch from where he was sitting. He glued his eyes outside the window, the thin white curtains softly fluttering with the gentle breeze.
It was a view of peace and calm, and yet Misaki had the biggest scowl on his face, his hand holding his mechanical pen in a tight grip.
"Hoi...you told me you'd help me with the test..." Misaki mumbled darkly. "Why the hell didn't you say a thing?"
"Grah I am definitely going to have a massive Zero on my paper!" Misaki shouted.
To make matters worse, the voice inside his head just laughed at him, sounding like he didn't care Misaki would flunk.
"I will never believe in you ever again, damn it!" Misaki blurted, burying his face on his crossed arms on his table.
"I told you I'd help you. I didn't say I'd tell you the answers. No spoon feeding here punk."
"Whatever!" Misaki once again shouted. "You are inside my body at least do something for me?!"
"Oi...Takahashi? Who're you talking to?"
The teen abruptly turned his head towards the voice by the door. It was Aoi, Misaki's eyeglasses friend; smart, good looking and sporty who for some reason was choosing to hang around Misaki and another loser Ueda.
"Ah-noone...just myself..." Misaki grinned, scratching the back of his head. "Just...the last mock exam wasn't any better than the first."
Walking towards Misaki, Aoi frowned and pushed his eyeglasses up to his nose. "I told you you should study with me and Ueda. Look even that loser got 70 out of 100, besides, Spring break is just around the corner! Be more driven you know!"
Misaki slammed his head to his table. It hurt, but he was trying to find out if the man inside him would get hurt too. He heard nothing. He cursed hiimself for doing such a stupid thing to himself.
Aoi sat on the edge of the table before Misaki's and smiled. Enjoying the breeze entering the room through the huge open windows of their rooms and the silence. There was seldom any moments of peace in their room when all the students were in it. So it was quiet rare to have this opportunity to have the room for all themselves.
"Say, Aoi..." Misaki started turning his sleepy face towards his friend and at the newspaper he was holding. "Why are you carrying a newspaper?"
"Ah this?!" Aoi waived it on air while grinning. "I am doing paper maches for my Art club so I need this. Got this from the security guard on the gates."
'You sure love collecting trash don't you?"
"There's art in trash, Takahashi! Don't underestimate this newspaper...you'll get awed by my finished product."
Green eyes wandered at the indistinct writings of the newspaper. The black and grey of it was making him sleepy and uninterested.
"Then come to our house, we have tons of old newspapers, paper mache boy," Misaki mumbled lazily.
"Eh really! That's nice! The older the better! This newspaper, would you believe, is already a year old? The nii-san in the guard house has been using this as his fan whenever it gets hot...silly..."
"One year old newspaper?" Misaki repeated.
"Yup, apparently this is from last year, same date today! See?" the teen raised the top page of the newspaper pointing out the datel,
There was another long silence that floated around them until Aoi threw the newspaper at Misaki's table. The teen looked at his wrist watch and hurried off towards the door.
"Crap, I forgot I have something to say to the student council. Hold that newspaper for me I'll get it back from you."
"Yeah, yeah, sure, it's almost about time for the next class. Hurry up or Mino-sensei...ah well, you're his favorite anyway."
"Idiot, who's his favorite here? Gotta run!"
"Ah...I wish I could just ditch classes and go to sleep! I feel sooooooo tired!" the teen grumbled.
The empty classroom, the breeze outside, the blue sky, they were all ingredients to cook a drowsy Misaki. And the wind suddenly blew stronger. The thin curtain landing full on Misaki's face. The newspaper falling of his table.
"Eh..what has gotten to the wind..." Misaki bended to pick up the one year old newspaper. He got a glimpse of a full body image of a man smiling on the old piece of paper and stared at it. "Usami Akihiko? Youngest recipient of Naomori Award?"
"Oh...don't tell me you like that guy?" the voice, which was gone for a long time suddenly talked out of nowhere.
Misaki's heart started to pump more blood in his system. He wasn't really good at being shocked or surprised at times when he was having his peace. "Will you shut-up? Looking at a guy's face in the newspaper doesn't mean I am a pervert like you okay?" he answered hotly, as he spread out the whole image on his table.
"Oh...shut-up huh? But when I don't talk, you end up pestering me..."
The man in the newspaper was seemingly tall, considering that the other men beside him looked shorter than him. He was wearing a suit, his easy smile shining despite the old age of the newspaper. It was a colored image, so Misaki instantly saw the contrasting hues of the man's lavender eyes with his shiny, seemingly-soft silver locks.
"A picture of an achiever, don't you think?" Misaki muttered.
"Eh...looking like a two-faced bastard to me..." the voice replied icyly.
Eyes squinting as if mocking the voice inside him, Misaki started giggling. "Ow...jealous aren't we?"
"Why would I be jealous?"
"I mean, I doubt you look even one-fourth of how this man looks like. HAhaha..just admit it...you're jelly..." Misaki continued. Feeling satisfied at the sudden uneasiness in the voice inside his head.
"I don't know how I look like."
The words as if were knives diving and sinking into Misaki's flesh. Loosing memory was a pitiful thing. Not even knowing how one look like was a different story.
The voice in Misaki's head sighed. "That goes without saying don't you think? I don't remember a thing, and it's not like I can see any trace of me when you're looking at a mirror. All I see is your mug and nothing else."
Misaki's grip on the paper losened and feeling like a jerk, Misaki bowed his head. "I'm sorry."
The voice chuckled. "What are you apologizing for? Stupid...ah...I can't wait to go back to my awesome body wherever it is."
The teen stared at the man in the one-year-old- newspaper, his heart constricting, his breathing getting caught up.
"But what if there's no more body to return to?"
The trio were eating icecreams as they made their way to their own houses after school. The sun was already about to say goodbye as it bestowed streaks of orange and pink on the road. They were typically a picture of high school students having a good time. Aoi, nagging them to study harder, Ueda, ranting on how awesome the basketball game was and Misaki, laughing at everything they were saying.
Misaki didn't know that for every word his friends say, for every laugh he gave and for every scene around them as they made their way home, the voice inside Misaki was watching them intently through Misaki's eyes.
"Ohhhh...look! Look!" Ueda suddenly exclaimed excitedly and pointed at a new arcade on the streets. "Awesome! Another place to have fun!" Ueda muttered before running ahead of them.
Sighing, Aoi scratch his forehead lightly. "Another place to make you broke is what it is! Idiot!"
Misaki laughed while finishing his icecream. He burped while tracing his fingers on the joys sticks of the crane game just out of the establishment's entrance.
"Ah that icecream tasted so good..." Misaki muttered happily.
"Oi...I don't like strawberry, next time choose something better for my tastebuds' sake," the voice complained.
"What? Why do you have so much demands when you're just a freeloader in my body?" Misaki looked deeper into the stuffed toys inside. "Anyway, what do you want?"
Misaki inserted some coins in the game and started trying to get the brown bear at the farthest corner, frowning here and there as he manuevered the stick controller left and right.
"Okay fine, next time I'll buy vanilla."
"Huh?" the voice asked, sounding a little surprised.
"What, you want vanilla right? Then we'll eat vanilla ice cream next time."
The voice grew silent, as Misaki played the crane game. He was a shapeless form residing in a teen's body for some reason, and yet even him could feel that his lips, however it looked like was forming what everyone would call as a 'smile'.
Misaki greeted into the empty apartment. It seemed like his brother was still not home so he decided to prepare dinner for the two of them. Leaving his shoes, he walked around with his socks still on. He placed his bag on the sofa and the huge bunny he won from the crane game.
"It was your fault for suddenly talking to me! I was aiming for the bear not the bunny," Misaki muttered as he rummaged the refrigerator for some vegetables.
"What, they're both stuffed toys anyway," the voice answered.
"Ah...I like the kuma-san! Not the Usagi-san! It's long ears irritates me, it's grin looks like mocking me don't you get it? It's a pest in a cute clothing! Rabbits are sneaky creatures!"
Getting the daikon, Misaki grabbed the blue apron hanging from the hook on their small yet bright kitchen and started washing it. "Now that I think about it...there's one that irritates me right this moment..."
If anyone would see Misaki, talking by himself, everyone would right away assume that Misaki was having some mental issues. Probably the pressure of the finals knawing at him. Nevertheless, Misaki was looking like an idiot.
"From now on, you're Usagi-san. Irritating as hell..." Misaki shouted as he raised his knife in preparation for the slicing.
"I am Usagi-san?" the voice sounded...surprised. "Why such a childish name?"
"Like you have a choice? You don't remember anything and I am tired of calling you 'hoi pervert', 'hoi pervert' the entire time. Got a problem?"
The voice chuckled softly. "As you wish."
What the hell? Misaki frowned as he sliced the daikon into thin strips. Why is he acting all so nice right now? Usually he would retort at my childishness?! Him being nice freaks me even more..."
The plate Misaki was holding fell on the floor. The piece shattered into shimmering pieces as if falling stars landing on the ground. Misaki looked at it for a moment disbelieving. He was never an expert in kitchen but he wasn't that clumsy. He couldn't believe how the plate slipped from his fingers.
"It was all Usagi-san's fault!" Misaki thought to himself. He got caught-off guard when he heard a gasp inside his head. But the moment he wanted to shout and rattle at the voice inside him, he found himself pursing his lips. Misaki swore he could hear gasping inside his head. It was making him scared. He tried to clean the shattered plate in silence, the voice in his head getting more vivid.
"Ano...Usagi-san? Are you alright there?"
"..." the voice sighed. "Sorry."
The voice didn't talk the entire night which left Misaki surprisingly, in utter worry.
"Sensei, the last chapter of the book, when will you finish it? You've been in a slump for a long while now! What's happening to you?"
"It feels like it isn't you who wrote this story. It is totally lifeless. Sensei..."
It was three in the morning. The lamp on Misaki's table was focused on the sheets of paper with his neat writing. There was a deep frown in his brows.
There was a hint of lavender hues on the emerald eyes as it stared down the paper. The ticking of the clock, the soft rustle of the trees outside made a one strong sound that filled the dimly lit room.
The man inside Takahashi Misaki stared into space as he watched through hazy vision some scenes from a distant time. Once again, he was having complete control over the body while Misaki was sweetly drifting in his dream land. "Usagi-san" buried his face on his palms. But to anyone it would just appear as Misaki burrying his face on his hands. The man couldn't see the faces and he was not familiar with the place. Everything was a blur with only the voices crisp and clear.
"I can't do this anymore...I don't know why I'm writing anymore..." the hazy memory showed a man driving at the speed of light. And a blinding shock that shattered everything shook him. Next thing he knew, he was inside a thin body of a boy being scolded for being late.
"Who am I really?"
chapter end notes"
thank you for your patience and reading^^ there's more to it than that. muahahah^^