Chapter 53 – A Final Sense of Freedom

“Okay, we’re here!” Comfort happily exclaimed.

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Everyone began to pull their bikes off the pavement and towards the hill. It was midnight. The night was quiet, barely cold despite the winter season and time, and with most people in the city tucked away in their homes for the night.

“Okay, where even are we?” Takumi asked. He was confused and a bit tired, having been kept awake until they could finally arrive.

“Well, come and see.” Comfort replied, piloting her bike closer to the hill as Cy and Takumi got off theirs, following her.

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Takumi’s confusion only grew as he looked up at the hill.
“Um…” was his only comment. He stared, trying to see something that could be taken as interesting but all it was to him was just a tall dirt hill. The heck were they planning to do? Climb it, maybe, but for what?

Comfort frowned as she glanced up at Takumi.
“It’s not really about the hill itself, more the view from up there. Maybe it’s not much but it’s quiet, especially at this time of night. Come on, give it a chance at least?”

Takumi frowned as he watched everyone else begin to head up the hill towards the top.
“I- Okay, I guess…”

Takumi gave Cy a confused glance, which Cy met with a glance that mirrored what Comfort said. The two approached the bottom of the hill as everyone else began to traverse up it and to it’s surface.
He hesitated, off-put by it’s height and how bumpy the way up seemed, even on foot.

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Cy glanced at him yet again, before grabbing onto his hand and beginning to take him up the hill.
“Come on, it can’t be that bad up there.”

“It’s just… really high up there…” was all Takumi could muster out.

“It’ll be fine, it’s not like you’ll fall off or anything.”

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Once they reached the top, the couple approached the edge and to where Meadow stood, looking out at the view.
Takumi’s eyes widened a little as he looked out at the view. The river flowing, the trees swaying in the oddly gentle breeze, the faint street lights… it wasn’t much, but what was there was pretty stunning.

“This is… actually really pretty…” Takumi said softly.

Cy glanced over at him with a smile.
“Isn’t it?” They responded.

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Comfort and Meli stood, arms wrapped around each other also staring out at the view.
“See?” Comfort said, with a bit of an ‘I told you so!’ tone. “I told you it would be worth it.”

Takumi let out a chuckle, though a bit forced. “Yeah, you were right…”

“You never experienced stuff like this, did you?”

He paused. “…not really.”

“See, that’s just it. You never were able to so once you finally got the chance to, it didn’t seem like much to you.”

Takumi paused yet again, then frowned. She was right… he’d never given himself the chance to go out and experience stuff. He had completely missed out. His mood dropped, feeling he had not only missed out on so much but wasted the time he felt he could have spent before it was taken away.

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“Hey, don’t get so upset, Takumi.” Eva broke the silence.

“Well, I just realized I wasted a good chunk of my life, so… not sure I can’t be upset right now.”

“What? No you didn’t. It’s not like you’re being put on a timer or anything. You’ll always have the chances to go out and experience things. There’s few situations, if any at all, where you can say you wasted your life or part of it. Maybe to you it feels like you did, but think about it. You’re only 20, and you were suffering with really bad depression. But look at you now, you’re starting to leave that shell. You’ll be able to finally step out of your comfort zone. You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?”

Takumi thought for a moment, then replied. “Yeah, I guess you could say I am..”

Eva smiled, finally turning to face him. “That’s what I’m saying!”

“You’re- You’re right… I-I can finally get back control. I can finally regain control of my life. I don’t need to hide away from everything. I can stop looking at things I could do and wonder if I could really do it. I can just… do it.”

Eva’s smile only grew wider. “Exactly! Look at you… you’re already improving. And I know you’re just gonna keep getting better.”

Everyone fell silent again, but for the first time in a while, Takumi couldn’t stop smiling. He’d rarely felt as happy as he did at that moment.


 

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The three sat in what was mostly silence, though definitely an enjoyable silence. There wasn’t much to look at, but there was something about that moment. Maybe it was the feeling of just being with each other, or the feeling of being out so late at night. Or a combination of the two.

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“We should do stuff like this more often.” Meadow said. “This is really nice.”

Cy nodded. “I agree…”
Cy couldn’t help but chuckle. “Man, and my mom always told me if I went outside after 10 PM I’d get kidnapped or something. There isn’t even anyone out here besides us.”

Meadow snickered. “My mom did the same. Except after I turned 18 she still said it. In fact she’d watch me like a hawk until I went to bed.”

“Even after you became an adult??”

Meadow nodded. “Yup.”

“Good lord.” Takumi chimed in. “Even my mom didn’t do that, but then again I moved in with my dad as soon as I turned 18.”

“Never realized we all had interesting family dynamics.” Cy said jokingly.

Meadow frowned. “Oh, you’d be surprised if I told you about everything that went on in my household…”

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“Well, you know what?”
Takumi wrapped his arm around Cy. “Thankfully none of us have to deal with that stuff anymore.”

Meadow looked away for a few seconds.
“Yeah, that’s good…” their tone dropped a bit.

Takumi noticed their change in tone and frowned.
“Are you okay, Meadow?”

“Oh, um… yeah, I’m fine.” Meadow smiled, though there was something… not genuine about it.

Takumi was about to say something, only for him to be interrupted.

“Hey, guys, I have an idea!” Comfort called out as she hopped off the fence and took off down the hill.

“What is it?” Takumi called to her.

“We’re going back home, I’ll show you there.”


 

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Comfort stared down at her phone screen, scrolling through playlists until she finally was able to settle on something. She turned on a playlist before setting her phone down and turning back to climb into the pool.

“Oh, lord-” Comfort exclaimed under her breath as she got in. “This is a lot colder than I thought…”

“It’s not that bad.” Takumi replied, turning to face her.

“Maybe not to you but I’m very sensitive to cold temperatures.”

The two laughed a little as Comfort swam over to where Takumi was.

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“So, how do you feel?” Comfort asked.

“Um… honestly? I feel pretty good right now. I didn’t expect to like all this very much but for once I feel… really good.”

Comfort smiled.
“Well, I’m glad. It’s nice to see you happy for once… it wasn’t something I saw that often beforehand.”

The two looked over as Cy rushed over to the pool and climbed in.

“I’m here! I’m here- sorry.”

Takumi smiled. “Hey, sweetheart.”

“Hey.” Cy swam over to Takumi and leaned against his float, returning the smile.

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Takumi brushed a hand over Cy’s cheek.

“You know, it’s oddly not cold for being mid-December…” Cy couldn’t help but point this out, glancing up to the sky.

Takumi also glanced. “Yeah, it’s strange… it’s nice, though. Tonight could have been pretty insufferable. I mean, imagine swimming in 35 degree weather.”

Cy cringed. “I’d probably die immediately. I swear I can’t handle the cold even when I’m dressed for it, let alone in the pool.”

Takumi chuckled. “Am I the only one who can handle the cold?”

“You’re the only one who seems to want to get frostbite.”

“Oh, quit being dramatic.”

Cy laughed a little as well. “I’m just saying.”

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Takumi took a hold on Cy’s hand and gently pressed a kiss against it.
“You worry too much, love.”

“Speak for yourself.”

“Hey, I didn’t try to comfort you only for you to insult me. …with something that’s completely right.”

The two laughed again, as Cy let go of the float and swam off.

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Takumi turned over as he noticed Shawn and Comfort both approaching. He gave them both a smile.
“Hey guys.”

“Hey.” Shawn returned the smile. “You seem like you’re in a good mood.”

Takumi sighed. “Is that all you’re going to talk about with me?”

“Yep.”

Takumi snickered and shook his head. “You know it’s not that big of a deal.”

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“Maybe not a huge one, but it’s big enough to us.” Comfort chimed in.

“I know, I know, you’re gonna go into some spiel about how you rarely saw me in this good of a mood… this is like the 5th time today.”

“I know. But seriously, Takumi. You don’t seem to get just how much we all care about you. So, to see you finally deciding to improve on your mental health… really, we’re proud of you. I mean, that’s a really hard thing to do.”

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Takumi stared, a bit in shock but also in appreciation.
“You guys are proud of me…?”

“Of course we are.”

Takumi fell silent, but just couldn’t stop smiling. He was overwhelmed, yet in a good way. The fact was finally fighting this. That so many people were really proud of him, and were rooting for him. He’d never felt this way before. He’d never had so many people who cared this much about him.
For once he really felt as though the pieces were finally being put back together.


 

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After some time had passed the group finally had gotten out of the pool and most were either asleep or about to go to bed.

“So, did you have fun tonight?” Cy asked, a smile forming across their face.

Takumi returned the smile, bringing a hand up and going to stroke Cy’s cheek.
“I did… we should do stuff like that more often.”

“I agree.”
Cy layed down next to him. “I don’t know, there’s something about being out this late that’s just…” they paused, trying to figure a word to end the sentence.

“Exciting?”

“Yeah, exciting.”

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Despite their tiredness the two continued to stay awake, happily talking the night away.

It really had been a great night, and Takumi wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Chapter 52 – Desperation

C/W: This chapter may contain content some may find sensitive.

November 29th, 2018

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Takumi nervously made his way to the kitchen.
It’d now been only a few days since he returned back home, though he hadn’t even left his room. He hated to admit it, but he couldn’t bear the idea of coming face to face with any of his roommates yet, especially Oksana.

He wrapped his arms around his stomach as he approached the kitchen. He had eaten maybe twice in the whole 3 days, and the effects of his coma were wearing down on him and making him feel nauseous. He held his breath in attempts not to get sick again.

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Upon entering the kitchen, he looked up, scanning the room for anyone around, or the sounds of anyone talking.
To his relief, it was completely silent, with no one around. He almost smiled at the relief as he turned and approached the kitchen counters.

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As if his anxiety had blinked away, he grabbed an apple and sat at the edge of the table as he began to eat.
His nausea began to fade along with his worrying. He stared blankly off, getting lost within his thoughts. For once he felt calm – not sick, nor panicking about anything. He was so lost he didn’t even hear the sounds of voices approaching the kitchen.

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Comfort, Meadow and Max approached the kitchen. They chattered about the movie the three had just returned from, focused in on the thoughts and not even noticing Takumi sitting there.

“No- No, I’m just saying, all that they had to do was-”
Meadow’s out loud thinking was interrupted when they finally noticed Takumi in their peripheral vision. They froze, knowing that Takumi was awake but not having seen him since he was laying unconscious in a hospital bed.

Comfort furrowed her eyebrows at Meadow’s sudden stop.

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“What’s up?” She asked, only to turn around and notice Takumi as well, with Max repeating quickly after. Neither of them had gotten the news yet he had awoken.

The three exchanged glances that were mixes of excitement, confusion and worry. They debated – should they say something? Should they pass him, or turn around and pretend no one noticed him? What if he was upset or didn’t want to see them?
All their expressions dropped as they speculated silently.

After a minute the three turned back to him as he let out a sigh and stood up, ready to head back upstairs when he noticed the three.

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His eyes widened, and he froze, not having noticed them. His anxiety set back in and his heart began pumping. These specific roommates were his friends. He trusted them. But seeing them for the first time in so long… shook him, deep down.

His eyes locked with Meadow’s and the two stared each other down, before Meadow finally spoke.

“Takumi…?” they called, more softly than anything.

Takumi flinched, though not enough to be noticeable. He opened his mouth and tried to reply, but he could only stutter out a few ‘Uh…’s.

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Meadow cautiously, though excitedly, began to approach Takumi.
“Y-You’re awake…!”

Takumi fell pale as he found himself backing away from Meadow as they approached. He didn’t know why, but in truth, for a moment those delusions were returning. Something he hadn’t thought about much but this fake afterlife was surrounding him again.

Meadow took notice and their movements came to a stop.
“Takumi…?” they worriedly called again.

Takumi flinched yet again.
“I- No…” he mumbled to himself.

Meadow’s expression dropped again.

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Comfort and Max hurriedly approached.

“T-Takumi…?” Comfort also called out. “Are you-”

“No- No…!”

“Hey… hey, it’s okay, please don’t be scared…”

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Takumi only continued to back up, barely able to focus on anything over the sensation of his heart trying to pound out of his chest. The fear was clear in his eyes, and he choked on his own words, barely able to say anything other than ‘no’.
He didn’t understand the fear any more than the others could have, but that convincing feeling he would be hurt just wouldn’t come unstuck.

“Takumi.” Meadow interrupted his panicking. “Hey, you don’t have to be scared… it’s just us. You know us, right…? There’s nothing to be scared of.”

Takumi stopped. Their calming tone was almost enough to soothe his anxiety, but he hesitated giving in.

“I-I…” tears began to come to his eyes. He managed to make eye contact for just a second, before his sight fell back onto the ground.
“I- I’m sorry, I can’t-…”

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Before the others had a chance to ask or say anything, Takumi pushed past them and rushed out of the kitchen, now a sobbing mess.

The three exchanged worried glances. They were stumped. They knew he’d probably be kind of off after the coma but… they never could have expected this. He was terrified, and trying to avoid them.

The sound of rushed footsteps heading down the stairs and to the kitchen caught their attention and interrupted their thinking.

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“Guys…??” Cy called nervously. “W-Was Takumi just down here?”

Meadow nodded. “Yeah, he was… Cy, what’s going on…?? He was acting really… off.”

“Off.. how?”

“He was being really paranoid and jumpy, and tried to avoid us when we tried to talk to him…”

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Cy sighed.
“Since he woke up he’s acting strange… He woke up on the 25th but he wouldn’t leave our room after he got home. He barely ate and just… he was talking about being dead. He told me he thought the car crash killed him and we had both died and were now in the afterlife.”
Cy paused. “… well, he didn’t fully say he believed it but he had this feeling it was true. He also said he had already thought he died when he entered the coma. I-I don’t know what’s going on and I’m seriously worried…”

There was silence for a brief moment as Cy waited for someone to say something and the others tried to process everything.

“I might have an idea of what’s going on.” Comfort said, breaking the silence.

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“You do…?”

Comfort sighed. “Well… I can’t say for certain. I’ve been studying psychology and these types of mental disorders, though I don’t quite know enough to have anything but a theory, let alone make a diagnosis…
There is a delusion out there that causes one to be convinced they’re dead. Did he seem… absolutely convinced? Like nothing you said could convince him otherwise?”

“I… honestly can’t tell. He’d seem to calm down after talking to him but then he’d start mentioning it again.”

Comfort nodded. “It’s a possibility but it’s also rare, so we should maybe rule it out for now… what about other odd behaviors…? Delusions are common with other disorders, too. Though he’s only been having them for a few days… real diagnoses of delusional disorder can’t be made until a specific amount of time…”

Comfort paused. “…Can i be honest…? I’ve noticed how Takumi behaves and I have a suspicion there’s something worse going on than just… anxiety and depression. I can’t say anything for sure, but I think he has some bigger issue going on that he really needs to get treated for… Cy, you need to talk to him. I think this is gonna start festering into something worse if he doesn’t get help as soon as possible.”

Cy’s eyes fixated on the ground as they listened to Comfort. Though they tried to push the feeling back, hearing all this out finally started to overwhelm them. Not because of the situation itself, but the realization of just how bad everything is getting. Comfort was right. They had to do something, and soon.
When she finished they nodded.
“I tried to talk to him a few days ago. He agreed but so far haven’t done anything…”

“Did you mention any of this to him?”

“Some of it… I was more worried about him hurting himself again, than anything else.”

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“Well, I’m really relieved he agreed to get help, but I think you should find him and talk to him again about doing it soon. Really soon. I don’t want him to suffer as much as you don’t, and I think I can speak for almost all of us.”

Cy nodded again, as they looked back up, blinking back tears. “O-Okay… I will.”
They turned to head out of the kitchen, but before stepping out of the doorway, they paused and looked back.
“Thank you.”

Comfort gave Cy a kind smile, which Cy returned before heading out.


 

“Takumi…? Where are you?” Cy called out as they entered the hallway. They let out a worried sigh as they walked carefully around, trying to listen for any sign of him.
They passed the bathroom and paused at the sounds of sobbing. They listened in through the door for a moment, before their eyes widened and they started knocking at the door.
“T-Takumi?” they called out again. When no response was given, they had to open the door.

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Sure enough, Takumi was collapsed on the ground, even worse of a sobbing mess than he was 10 minutes prior. He’d cried so much he was choking on tears trying hard not to throw up.

“Takumi…!” Cy called one more time as they rushed to him.
He grabbed onto the edge of the sink in front of him and pulled himself up, turning to face Cy.

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“S-Sweetheart…” Cy tried to speak but those emotions they pushed back were starting to come to the surface. “Please- Please don’t cry…”

He couldn’t. Takumi only continued to breathe shakily, tears still running down his face. “I-I’m sorry… I’m sorry…”

“No, no… you’re… you’re okay, i-it’s gonna be okay…” their voice became more shaky and uncertain as they tried to console Takumi. Without realizing they also began tearing up.

Takumi took notice and only became more anxious.
“C-Cy, you’re crying…”

“No- I’m not, you’re crying…”

“You are too…! Cy…”

“Does it matter…?? Takumi, you- I- listen, listen to me…”
Cy tried to console him but Takumi stopped them.

“Cy, calm down- I know you’re worried about me but you-”

“Takumi, t-that’s why I’m even…!”

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Takumi put his arms around Cy and gently brought the two of them to the floor. Cy finally broke, and started to cry alongside Takumi. He couldn’t help but feel guilty, thinking that now he made Cy upset.

“Hey, hey, it’s okay… Cy, please…”

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Cy sniffled and sat up.
“I’m sorry… I shouldn’t be upset, when you-”

Takumi interrupted.
“No, don’t say that… we’re both upset, it’s okay…”

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Takumi wrapped his arms around Cy, and for a moment, the two just sat there, caught in each other’s embrace and still unable to stop themselves from crying.

Eventually the two had calmed down, and they slowly pulled away and turned to face each other.

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Cy let out a deep exhale.
“Takumi… listen to me. I know we already talked about this but it needs to be brought up again…”

Takumi nodded silently.

“After you left the kitchen I talked to Comfort, and… I feel like there’s something going on with you that’s worse than just depression. I know you agreed to getting help but i think we need to start doing it soon.”

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“It’s especially worrying because of your delusions you’re having recently…”
Cy sighed. “If I keep talking I’ll just repeat what I’ve already said but you know what I’m trying to say. I’m worried. I don’t want you to make a downwards spiral and neither would anyone else here.”

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Takumi looked down, with Cy putting a hand over his cheek reassuringly.
For once Takumi was actually calm. Upset, but not crying nor panicking. He stared at the ground, quietly, for a minute, before he finally looked up.

“O-Okay… you know what…? I’m going to make a therapy appointment later today… you’re right. There probably is something going on… my dad’s side of the family has a history of mental illness… my dad always suspected I picked it up.”

Cy nodded, stroking Takumi’s cheek. “I’m just glad you’re finally going to do something about this… I just don’t want you to suffer for the rest of your life.”

“I know you don’t.”

The two finally managed to smile at each other.
“Thank you, Cy…”

Silence fell again, but this time it wasn’t filled with anxiety. For once, they finally felt as if everything would finally be okay.

Chapter 51 – A Hidden Afterlife

Note: This chapter may contain content that could be upsetting to some.

Nov 26th, 2018

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Takumi was tired. It was 1 am. Everyone was asleep. The lights were out. The room was filled with silence, aside from the eerie ticking of the clock, counting every single second that passed.

He had slept. But for barely more than an hour, maybe 90 minutes. He didn’t know. The past hour had been spend laying there. Counting every minute that passed. ‘1… 2… 3…’ all the way until he got to 60. Then it reset. Again, and again, anything to take his mind off his head. Each corner of his mind left with a thought.
His delusion… that wonder in his mind if he was possibly dead. It wasn’t true. But he felt like it was. But he didn’t want it to be, he didn’t want to feel like it was. He’d repeat to himself, that no, he was alive. But deep, in the dark corners of his mind, the truth felt like a lie. Was he really convinced it was real? Or was it just paranoia…? Whichever way, it was hell.

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He took his focus away from the clock. The repetitive ticking was starting to drive him mad. He stared at the ceiling, now sans distractions and left for those thoughts to creep their way out of their hiding spots. Like a highway in an X shape, where all the cars were stopped at a red light, but the minute it turned green they all drove at once, crashing straight into each other.

The panic hit him so hard his body actually jolted. One moment he was fine, and now his heart was racing, he could barely breath and he thought he was going to throw up. His body was trembling as the anxiety finally brought tears to his eyes.
He couldn’t take it. He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t deal with this alone.

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He jolted up, yanking his arm out from underneath where Cy was laying on it and began to shake them awake, likely being too rough from the panic.
“Cy… Cy, wake up, please, wake up…!” His voice shook as the tears finally escaped his eyes. He choked his words through them in a fit of desperation.

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“Ugh… wh- what…?” Cy groaned as she came to her senses. “Takumi…?”

“Cy…!!” He choked out. The tears finally slid down his cheeks.

“Takumi…?? What’s wrong, why are you-?”

“Cy I can’t- I can’t take this-! I just…”

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He sat up.

“Takumi…?” Cy called softly.

“I-I don-t even- I just- I don’t know what to do, I can’t sleep, I’m freaking scared, and confused- I don’t understand what’s going on, I barely even know if I believe I’m still alive!!”

He paused, but finally broke into sobs. It finally got to him.

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Cy tiredly began to push herself up.

“Takumi-!” Panic tinged Cy’s voice as she worriedly called him again. She tried to sit up. “Sweetheart, please don’t cry… what- what’s wrong…?”

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Takumi reached out to place his hand on Cy’s cheek. “I wanted to hide this from you but I guess i can’t even do that for a few hours without losing it…”

“What is it…?”

Takumi sighed. “I- There’s something inside of me that feels like… I’m not alive. I thought when I was in the coma that I had already died so when I woke up… I thought maybe I entered the afterlife. I don’t want to believe it. But I’m so convinced by it…”
He sniffled, continuing to caress Cy’s cheek. “I don’t know if it’s true or not but if it is… I’m sorry. Cause obviously if I’m dead so are you… I got you into a mess I now even regret getting myself into.”

Cy’s eyes widened. She didn’t know how to feel about what she was being told. He thought they were both dead…? She looked into his eyes and just knew he was genuinely terrified and guilt stricken.
Something was really wrong. This was more than just anxiety… but what was it…? What was going on? What could it be?

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Cy frowned. “Takumi… you know that’s not true, right…? This isn’t the afterlife. I can kind of get how you’d feel that way, but I promise… you’re not dead. I’m not dead. No one died. You’re okay. Everything’s okay…”

“Then why does it feel so real…!?”

“Because you’re scared. You’re confused. I don’t know what could be causing you to have this delusion, but… it’s okay. It’s going to be okay. I can help you, or at least I can try.”

Takumi didn’t reply at first. He took his hand from Cy’s cheek finally, just staring at her with an expression of disbelief, that slowly turned to consideration.

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He pushed himself up and near threw himself at Cy, wrapping his arms around her in thankful, though awkwardly positioned, hug.

He tried to say something but started crying again. The hug only tightened before he finally choked something out.
“I love you…”

Cy buried her face into Takumi’s shoulder, tightly returning the hug as she managed a small smile. “I love you too.”

Both waited for the other to pull away, but neither did. Their grips on each other only tightened, until they both fell backwards,keeping the hug intact even as they did. Finally, after a brief moment the two finally released.

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Takumi pushed himself slightly off Cy. The two stared at eachother for a moment, before Takumi silently let out a sigh.

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Takumi carefully rested his head down on Cy’s chest.

Cy rubbed a hand across his back. “You’re okay, love…”

Takumi didn’t respond. He let out another sigh and began to slowly close his eyes and drift off.


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Takumi stared out the window blankly. He watched the cars passed, people walking down the street, birds flying by and the trees slowly moving in the breeze. It was quiet, and felt so blank. Like he was staring out into an empty void.

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Tears brimmed at his eyes. This is all he’d done for the past 15 minutes. Stood there, still as stone just staring out at the world he hadn’t seen for what felt like so long. Finally it was getting to him and he just wanted to break.

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Cy took her attention away from the mirror to look at Takumi. She fidgeted with the bobby pins in her hand. Something was wrong. Takumi was still upset. She wondered, maybe his episode last night was no episode. Was it genuine paranoia? Either way she knew she had to worry.

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Takumi flinched as Cy wrapped her arms around him. He had seen her reflection as she approached, but didn’t think she’d come any closer. He more hoped she wouldn’t.

“Takumi…” she said softly, more like a whisper. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t. How would he say it? He knew why he was upset but couldn’t phrase them, even to himself.

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Tears finally began to fall. He felt so stupid for crying but there was no other reaction. He tried to say something, he wanted to say something. But all that came out was a low squeak.

“Hey…” Cy whispered. “Come on, talk to me…”

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“This is wrong…”

Cy furrowed her eyebrows. “What is…?”

“I-I don’t know, but something is…!!”

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His vision blurred from the tears. “I don’t know what’s going on but everything feels so… wrong. I already can’t take this anymore…”

The two fell silent. Cy stared sorrowfully at Takumi as she contemplated what to say. She couldn’t take seeing him in this state – even she was resisting the urge to break down right alongside him. All she could think about was his wondering if he was dead. This had to have something to do with it.

“Sweetheart… you… you don’t really think you’re actually dead, do you…?”

Takumi froze up. He didn’t realize she even remembered.
“I-I don’t know… It’s hard to tell, really… which I guess sounds stupid but…”

Cy frowned. “N-No, it doesn’t… Takumi, I can’t say for sure what’s going on or what could be going on, but something is really wrong. This is really affecting you. Y- You need help.”

Takumi was silent for a moment. He contemplated what she said, only barely being able to believe it. But still, he couldn’t help but wonder… why even bother?
“What’s the point?”

“What’s the point-” Cy muttered in repetition.
“Takumi… you shouldn’t have to ask that. Do you want to know what the point is?? The point is as long as we’ve been together I’ve seen you in your episodes. You told me everything you’re going through.
And, though I can’t just up and say this because I’m not an expert, i think there’s something more serious going on. And really… not to mention the fact you already dealt with 19 years of abuse you kept piling up inside and that you wanted to kill yourself in the first place.
Please… there’s so much more to life than you’re seeing, and so many people who would hate to see you like this.”

Once again, silence followed. Cy stared out the window as she nervously awaited Takumi to say something.

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Takumi tried to reply but once the nature of what Cy really just said hit him all he could do was let out a finally audible sob. Cy tightened her arms around him.

“Takumi, hey… please don’t cry…”

“I- I’m sorry…” he choked.

“For what…?”

“I-I feel stupid now…”

“No, no… you’re not stupid at all. You can’t help your mental health issues but what you can help is whether or not you do something about it. And that’s something you need to do. I’m seriously worried you’re gonna try to hurt yourself again…”

Takumi looked down. He wanted to say something but the words completely left his mind. The only thing he wanted to say was merely a promise he couldn’t keep.

Cy noticed his silence and decided to continue.
“Please, promise me… promise me you’ll do something. Not just for me, not just for everyone who cares about you, but for yourself…”

Cy’s words processed. Takumi felt overwhelmed, but for once, it was almost for a positive reason. For once he was able to believe it. He was able to believe that he was loved – and it brought him so much relief.
Another few seconds of silence passed before Takumi turned to Cy, finally managing out a smile.

“I-I promise…”

The minute Cy saw his smile she returned it. She brought her hand up and began to caress his cheek.
“Good…”

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The two pulled in closer together and met for a kiss. For once Takumi felt his anxiety leave him. He finally felt genuinely happy in the moment, and just wanted to stay in it forever.

The two parted after a couple of minutes, with Cy going to rest her head on Takumi’s shoulder. He smiled again, wrapping his arms around her and running his fingers through her hair.
The two stood there, finally finding themselves in a moment they wished to never return from.

Chapter 50 – The End of Nothing

November 25th, 2018

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“Miss. Excuse me…?”

The nurse gently tried to nudge Cy awake. She barely reacted aside from stirring just a little bit, but barely opening her eyes.

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“Goodness…” the nurse muttered to herself. “This one’s a heavy sleeper…”

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The nurse turned around as she heard faint sounds coming from behind her. She fixated on Takumi and lit up a little. He had moved, ever so slightly, but he had moved nonetheless.

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She approached the hospital bed and watched hopefully for him to wake up. The monitor tracking his heart rate beeped loudly, yet steadily. More slight movements started. His fingers twitched and his eyes moved though not opening.

Finally – Takumi slowly began to regain consciousness. Each sense came back one by one. The sounds of beeping rang through his ears. He felt himself laying on the hospital bed but couldn’t tell it was even a hospital bed.

Throughout the whole coma he didn’t even think he was alive anymore. Time passed at the same slow rate as it did for everyone else; all that was different from death was he was left with his thoughts. A dream like version of himself, thinking as if he had just died.

It was the strangest feeling – Being led to believe you were dead and suddenly… you experience sounds, feelings, everything. And to top it all off he could barely move. Every attempt to even lift a finger felt like he was being restrained to the bed. Whether it was real or a phantom feeling he didn’t know, but it was nothing but pain.

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But finally, his eyes opened.

The first thing that came to vision was the ceiling. Despite the sounds around him, monitor beeping and faint yet audible chattering from outside the hospital rooms, he couldn’t look at anything else. He should have been dead, shouldn’t he…? In his mind, he already was dead, so how was he awake? How was he seeing things, or hearing them? He couldn’t even tell if it was the real world or if he was maybe in the afterlife. Everything felt so surreal. Or, unreal, more like it.

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The nurse watched Takumi, a smile plastered on her face though it mixed with worry. She didn’t have to work with patients in comatose states often, so she wasn’t well aware if his behavior was normal.

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“Sir…?” she softly called out.

Takumi paused, but turned to face the nurse.

She smiled. “You’re awake, finally… how do you feel?”

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Takumi stared. He made out the room around him. It was a hospital room, wasn’t it…? This must have been the beginning of the afterlife…? It could make no sense that he was in a normal hospital; he was dead. He knew it. He had to have been. He remembered the car accident – how could someone survive that?

“How do you feel?” the nurse repeated, in a more gentle tone.

“Where am i…?” Takumi choked out. “Am i… am i dead…?”

The nurse raised an eyebrow, concerned. “Are you… what…? No, you’re in a hospital room, and very much alive. You’ve been in a coma for a month.”

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Takumi managed to sit up, despite still aching like hell. A ‘coma’… that didn’t sound right. That didn’t feel like a coma. It was so… empty. Too empty to be anything less than death. It was unreal. Completely unbelievable.

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“Sir, is everything okay…?” The nurse asked, worriedly.

Takumi stared down. He felt… completely empty. Not in the depressed sense, but… literally empty. As if he was nothing but a ghost. A ghost visible to the others, if everyone else wasn’t already one. Nothing inside – not blood, not a heart, not organs, nothing.

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The nurse frowned. He wouldn’t answer her, and all he had said was asking about being dead.
What did it mean…? Why did he think he was dead…?

“Sir…?”

Takumi blinked.

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He began to mutter to himself. His body trembled as he glanced around the room in a panic, mumbling words that were barely intelligible.
All the nurse could do was stare. Worried, but not knowing what to do. But she did know something was really wrong.

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Another voice’s mumbling interrupted Takumi’s as he and the nurse turned to the direction of the couch.

The nurse smiled a bit as she approached the couch.

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“Ah, you’re awake.”

Cy yawned. “Y-Yeah, sorry… what time is it…?”

“It’s around 7 in the morning. I was trying to wake you up earlier.”

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“Oh, really…? I’m sorry… I was really tired last night… was anything going on…?”

Cy began to sit up, rubbing her eyes and trying to get herself to wake up. Once her vision had cleared up, she looked over at the hospital bed, and froze.

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The two’s eyes met as Cy approached the bed slowly. Takumi had felt so lost and empty but the moment he gazed into Cy’s eyes for the first time in so long he lit up. Though his first thought was guilt – to him… if Cy was here, did the crash kill her too?
But managing to let that feeling sink off, she was with him…

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Takumi managed a smile as he slowly brought a hand up to Cy’s cheek.

“H-Hey, my love…” he stuttered out quietly.

Cy brought her hand up over Takumi’s. She looked up again, meeting his eyes yet again. She managed a smile as tears welled up in her eyes.

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Without much said the two pulled each other closer in for a hug. It felt like a long time since Cy had felt Takumi’s embrace she almost cried, just squeezing him tighter.
Takumi didn’t want to let go either, now that the two were finally together again, and she was all he supposedly had now…

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Cy lied awake in her bed. It was 11 PM. They had gotten home an hour ago and Takumi had been trying to get ready for bed. No one else was awake when they got home, so no one knew yet. The house had seemed barren which only fueled Takumi’s paranoid delusion.

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Her attention was caught by the sound of footsteps approaching the door, then the doorknob rattling, then a knock. She pulled herself up, going for the door and opening it.

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As soon as the door opened, Takumi rushed to Cy and threw his arms around her. Cy felt her breath hitch – similar to earlier it’d been so long since this happened. Tears welled up in her eyes again.
“Takumi…” she spoke through a whisper.

She was interrupted by him quietly shushing her.
“Hey… hey, it’s okay… it’s okay, I’m here…”

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Cy sniffled, burying her face into his neck and sobbing silently. Takumi hugged her tightly, continuing to whisper comfortingly to her.

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The two separated, and again their eyes met, just silently staring at each other. In that short moment of silence, the thoughts of everything that happened came over the two and they just stared sorrowfully, not knowing what to say.

The two glanced away from each other, trying to compose their thoughts before one of them started crying again, especially Cy. After a few seconds Takumi looked back, then found himself pulling Cy closer.

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By the time Cy noticed the two had already been brought into the kiss. Without hesitating Cy returned the kiss, feeling her bad thoughts fade out. A sense of euphoria hit the two the longer they held the kiss together, and Cy finally couldn’t resist letting the tears fall out of her eyes.

Finally, the two released and began to head for Cy’s bed.

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The two sat in silence again. The air felt cold. The tension could be cut with a knife. At first, the two were left to think, Cy about why Takumi was acting strange and Takumi about whether or not he should talk to Cy about… ultimately he decided it was better to wait.

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Takumi managed to break the silence by raising a hand to Cy’s cheek and giving her the most reassuring smile he could manage in his confused, numb state.
“You still look just as beautiful, love…”

Cy smiled, letting her hand rest over his. Once again their eyes met, but Cy noticed just how clear the emptiness was in his. How his movements were it seemed he was forcing himself to function through an immense depression. Something had changed, but she didn’t know what. She frowned.

“Cy…?” he called softly.

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Cy rested her hand over Takumi’s.

“Yeah, it’s just… I feel like something’s wrong. It may be weird but I can just… see it in your eyes. I can just tell you’re upset. I mean, you were unconscious for a month and now you’re awake, I can’t imagine what that must have felt like, or what it feels like waking up from that.”

Takumi nodded, starting to find it hard to keep himself from letting tears fall.

“Do you… remember what it was like…?”

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“Yeah, I do… it was just… nothing. I couldn’t hear anything, see anything, feel anything… it was just my thoughts. I thought that I was dead and now I was gonna be left in solitude with my thoughts forever, but I left that state and… I guess that’s not what death is.”

Cy nodded. It sounded as strange as it really was. Though his words meant different from what they sounded – she couldn’t even tell.

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She looked up at him, tears now streaming down her own face.
“I’m just… I’m just so glad you’re finally awake. That you’re okay…”

Takumi paused. “… I don’t feel okay…”

“I know… it’s going to be okay, I promise. We’re gonna get through this, okay…? I’m going to help you… I promise.”

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After that, silence. Again. Deafening silence. It was hard to look at eachother. It hurt. Sitting there, thinking about if they’d actually be able to get through it as easily as they wanted.

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Suddenly, Takumi reached over and wrapped his arms around Cy, pulling her onto his lap and hugging her tightly. She held onto him but managed to smile a little.

“I love you, Cy…” Takumi said softly. “I’m sorry… I never should have done this… I didn’t realize how much it’d hurt you and once I did it was too late… now look where we are… I’m so sorry…”

Cy felt her heart drop at his words. The fact he was blaming himself for this…
“I love you too… it- it wasn’t your fault. I promise you, it wasn’t… I know you wouldn’t have done it if you were thinking… please, don’t blame yourself for this…”

Takumi let out a shaky sigh. “I-I still feel like I hurt you…”

“No, you didn’t… it’s okay, Takumi…”

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Takumi brought Cy a little closer and started softly pressing kisses against her neck. Cy managed a smile again, tightening her arms around him.

Eventually the two parted, and Takumi looked up.
“It’s already really late… should we go to bed?” He asked.

Cy nodded. “Yeah, we should…”

Takumi smiled a little and began to shift over to the bed, though keeping his arms around Cy’s waist and pulling her with him.

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The two lied down, wrapping their arms around each other. Cy managed to drift off quickly, feeling comforted in Takumi’s grasp. Meanwhile, he found himself lying awake for a while before he could even close his eyes. Thoughts were racing through his head, delusions, fears, everything. Everything felt so surreal, and he had no way of knowing anymore what was real.

It felt like an eternity – though couldn’t have been more than half an hour – before he finally was able to fall asleep.

Chapter 49 – After So Long

November 24th, 2018

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Cy traversed her way through the rain. After a not too long journey, she finally found herself arriving at the hospital, just as the rain slowed down and the sun began to set at the unusual early time. She quickly found a place to park her bike, and proceeded to head inside.

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She made her way towards Takumi’s hospital room. The room illuminated as the clouds faded and the outside world was left with that dim, post raining sunlight. She looked down at his comatose body.

A pain pulsated through her chest. It’d been a month. It couldn’t be too long before he finally could wake up. Hidden in the back of her head was the worry that maybe he wouldn’t. Maybe the coma would be extended. Maybe he wouldn’t wake up at all…
Trying to stay positive, she pushed the thought away.

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She took a seat at the edge of his bed, setting her hand on his arm, and letting her fingers run to his wrist, before taking his hand in hers. She gently stroked the back of his hand with her thumb.

“Hey, my love…” she said in a soft tone, “I miss you…”
She sighed. “I was really hoping you would… be awake by now… I really hope I don’t have to wait too much longer…”

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A smile managed to form across her face. She let her grip go and moved a hand back to his wrist, where she felt his pulse, still beating steadily against her fingertips.
He’s still alive… he looks okay… she thought. He’ll be okay… I know it…

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“Oh-! Hello there.” The nurse said.

Cy startled a little, but tried to smile. “Oh, hello. I’m sorry, am I interrupting something…?”

“Oh, no! I just came to run a few tests on the patient… You come around here often, are you family or anything?”

“I’m his partner..” Cy nervously replied.

“Ah, I see. Well, since you are here, I should say… I have some good news about the patient’s state.”

Cy’s eyes widened a little. “Really? What is it?”

The nurse brought Cy aside. “Well, to get right to the point, Takumi has made a full recovery. He’s finally ready to come out of the coma, and will be doing so tomorrow.”

Cy’s eyes lit up. Another smile formed across her face. “R-Really!?”

The nurse smiled, seeing Cy’s clear excitement and relief. “Yes! He’ll be taken out of the coma in the morning, and should be ready to go home that night. It may, however, take a while for him to recover. Up to a few months. From the after effects of the coma, and possibly the medication he’ll need to take.”

“Just as long as he’ll be okay…” Cy replied.

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The two turned back to look at Takumi. It really did feel like a long time. Yet at the same time, time flied. It didn’t feel like too long ago this started, but Cy was glad it finally would be over.

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There was a long path ahead, but it was going to be okay.

Chapter 48 – Remorseful

November 13th, 2018

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Carlie stared down in shock at the note in her hand.
Her eyes ran over each line written down on the tattered paper, piecing together every coherent sentence caught among the smudged, unreadable ones. Her hands were shaking, and by the time she got to the end of the note, all she could think of was the guilt.

She stood there, wondering why she had let herself do this. She knew she had messed up, big time. She drove someone off the edge and now he was in the hospital, potentially dying for all she knew.

“Yo, are you listening to me at all?” an angered voice called from behind her.

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Oksana scoffed. “Carlie, snap out of it. I’m tryna’ talk to you. What even is that?”

She tried to look over Carlie’s shoulder, attempting to make out the incoherent sentences. She squinted. “Seriously, what even is this? How can you read this shit?”

Carlie blinked. She released her grip on the note, letting it fall to the floor as she turned to face Oksana.

“Ugh, finally you acknowledge me. What’s your proble-”

“Oksana, we made a mistake.”

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“Mistake? What are you talking about?” Anger tinged Oksana’s voice.

“We- We drove someone to attempt suicide. Oksana, this is fucked up. Someone might die because of us.”

Oksana stood confused for a moment, before narrowing her eyes upon realizing.

“This is about Takumi, isn’t it?”

Carlie nodded.

“Are you brain dead? Do you really see a problem with what we did?”

“Do you NOT see a problem with what we did!?”

“No! Come on, this guy’s a psychopath. I don’t see a problem with letting someone as insane as him going six feet under.”

“Oksana, that’s fucked up!! He’s not a psychopath, for fucks sake!”

“Stop acting dumb. Weren’t you the one who warned me about him, hm? And now you’re suddenly on his side?”

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Carlie frowned. She wasn’t wrong… she did think Takumi was genuinely horrible at first. She did treat him horribly. She did attack him, and nearly tried to kill his girlfriend…

She sighed. “Yes, i was. But i realize now i was wrong. People do change. I know that, while his actions weren’t justified, he did have a reason for acting out. He… he isn’t a horrible person.”

Oksana rolled her eyes. “You’re serious? Don’t tell me you’re serious.”

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“Come on, Carlie. People like this don’t change. He has no excuse and I’m sure Cy was miserable with him.”

“Like you give a shit whether or not Cy was miserable with him. I’ve seen how Cy’s been since he’s been in the hospital. She’s miserable without him.”

“I swear, you’re saying this as though he’d forgive you or something. Stop being lost in your fantasy world. Stop pretending like abusive people don’t exist and start realizing the facts.”

“I- I’m not- I’m not trying to say abusive people aren’t real.” Carlie stuttered. She knew that fact all too well, but pushed it to the back of her head. “But for the love of god, if anyone here is living in some fantasy world it’s you. Your reality is completely twisted. You’re seeing people as things they aren’t. You think it’s morally okay to drive someone to attempt suicide just because you don’t like them. You’re calling Takumi a psychopath, but if anyone here is a psycho, it’s definitely you.”

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In a flash, Carlie was thrown against the wall, with Oksana pinning her by the throat.

“The fuck did you say to me?”

Carlie’s heart rate shot up. Fear pulsated through her body as she looked into the deadly glare in Oksana’s eyes.
But despite this, she stood her ground. “I said you’re a psychopath. You’re nothing more than an apathetic piece of shit who clearly is destined to be a serial killer, or some shit, if you’re okay with just letting someone kill themself at your words.”

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“Agh- Hey!” Carlie faltered as Oksana threw a fist in her face.

“I won’t tolerate you speaking to me in that way.”

“Ugh, I- let go of me…!!”
Carlie’s voice shook. She felt terrified for what Oksana would do to her – though not like this was any new feeling to her.

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The argument continued. Back and forth, going between Carlie trying to stand up for herself and Takumi, and Oksana yelling profanities at her. Carlie took a few hits too, with Oksana being completely flung into a rage. Her words got louder, and overpowered Carlie’s. It was a wonder no one had come to see what was going on.

Finally, Carlie shoved Oksana off of her, and managed to escape from the bedroom.

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Carlie pressed her back up against the door. She stared up at the ceiling, thoughts racing through her head. She couldn’t believe what she’d let herself do to Takumi, but she could barely even be shocked by Oksana. All she could do was stand there, wondering why.

The sound of footsteps approaching her startled her from her thoughts.

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She looked forward and noticed as Cy slowed her footsteps the closer she got towards Carlie. Eventually she stopped, and the two just stared at each other for a moment. Carlie’s expression softened.

“Did… you hear any of that…?”

Cy nodded.

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Carlie frowned. “… I guess I owe you an apology…”

“You do. But sorry doesn’t change what you’ve done.”

“I know it doesn’t, but-”

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Cy turned and started to walk away.

“C-Cy wait!”

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“Please, hear me out.”

Cy paused, remaining silent.

“Listen… I’m sorry. I really, really am. I know, saying sorry doesn’t automatically excuse the horrible things I did to you and Takumi. It doesn’t make time suddenly turn around and keep it from happening. But…” She paused, then sighed, knowing she was getting nowhere. But, she continued. “I have finally realized what I did was wrong.”

At first, Cy remained silent. The words processed for a minute. She blinked, then turned around.

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“I… can’t forgive you.”

Carlie looked down, but nodded. “I expected that… you don’t have to.”

“How the hell could you do something like that?”

Carlie frowned. “I guess I was being manipulated… Oksana told me before the messages started that if I didn’t do it with her I’d end up with him. I’ve been in an abusive situation myself. It kinda reduced me to something of one myself…”

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Carlie sighed. “Listen, you know what I’m trying to say. I don’t expect you to forgive me, or to give me a second chance. You don’t have to. But, I’m going to start trying to change that part of myself. I don’t want to hurt either of you, or anyone again, especially not after knowing what I was leading Takumi to…”

Cy remained quiet for a minute. A mix of emotions ran through her mind. She was still angry, but couldn’t help but feel… somewhat sympathetic. Her eyes, her tone of voice… it all sounded genuine. She looked down.
“I… I’ll… think about it..” was all she could choke out.

Carlie nodded. “Okay…”

Cy then started for the staircase.

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Carlie looked down, putting her head in her hands. She sighed, starting to feel really guilty.
Now, she was just left to think… what would happen when Oksana finally caught on?

Chapter 47 – In The Dark

October 29th, 2018

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The bedroom was caked in darkness. The moonlight illuminated through the windows.

And it was another night of thinking. It was 2 am, and Cy didn’t even have the energy to try and go to bed.

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She could barely sleep the past few days. She felt like her mind was broken.

The same thoughts, the same regrets, the same ‘what if’s’. All on a loop.

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She felt alone. A lot of people in the household had yet to notice Takumi wasn’t around. Only the few people he was closest to. Meadow and Camille had been there for her, but she felt like an annoyance to them.

There was one thing ringing in her head. Words her mother had spoken to her earlier… she had called, but Cy was ignoring it because she couldn’t handle talking to her at that moment. When she finally managed to answer, she told her what happened, though without specifying who it was in the coma.

“I’m very sorry to hear that, Cyrielle. But, it’s only been a few days. I think you’re overreacting.”

“Overreacting?? Mom, he’s in a coma…!”

“Yes, yes, I know. But if he’s going to wake up eventually it shouldn’t matter. When it’s way overdue when he should’ve woken up, is when I’d worry.”

Cy let out a shaky sigh as she remembered the conversation. Firstly, her mother had just as bad anxiety as her, that was such a lie.
And even if not… how could she be so… inconsiderate? Sometimes Cy wondered if her mother cared about her at all. She always claimed to want the best for Cy, and yet she’d disregard Cy’s deteriorating mental health. Refused to accept her gender identity for years. Thought she was mimicking her anxiety because of Zenia’s own problems. Didn’t even try to reach out to Cy after she ended up in the hospital for trying to…

Suppose the conversation would have gotten worse if Zenia knew specifically who it was. She would have flipped her shit on Cy, most likely.

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It was painful, and lonely. No one to talk to. Nothing to do except lay in bed, staring at the other empty bed next to hers. Just wanting to see him again. To be able to curl up next to him and fall asleep, knowing everything was okay.

But that just couldn’t happen.


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Tamami and Sakura had driven out earlier that day to visit Takumi.

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“Sis…?” Sakura whispered.

Tamami sniffled as she took a tight hold on Takumi’s hand. “Y-Yeah?”

“Are you okay…?”

Tamami didn’t answer. That answer should’ve been obvious.

“I was always scared of this happening… the other two times it’s happened at least we were there to save him, but…”

“We didn’t know…”

“I know, but…”

Tamami felt so… guilty. She’d always been oblivious. They’d talked before the crash, but he didn’t say anything about it. She couldn’t tell he had been upset.

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“Sis, hey…” Sakura tried to console the other as she began to sob.

Tamami tried to speak, but could barely choke out the words. “I-…”

Sakura comfortingly rubbed a hand on Tamami’s shoulder. “I know… it’s okay.”

“This hurts, seeing him like this…”

“I know… it really does…”

“Why did this have to happen…? Who could’ve done this to him…!? ”

“I don’t know… I really don’t know…”

Sakura glanced back up at her brother. Even though she felt tears running down her face, it was hard to be anything but angry. Angry at the thought someone out there did this to him. There’s someone out there who did this, and who hasn’t even been caught. Whoever they are… they got away with this.

Tamami sniffled. “Wh- Where’s… Izabelle?”

Sakura looked up. “Uhm… I- I think she wandered off…”
She sighed, standing up and heading for the door. “I’ll go find her, before she gets lost…”

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All Tamami could do was stare. Stare in shock and disbelief. Tears were running down her cheeks. Her whole body trembled and her vision blurred from the tears.

“I… I’m sorry, Takumi… I wish I could have protected you…”

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She broke down again, reaching over to grab his other hand and squeezed it tightly. Muttering to herself through her sobs, not knowing if she was talking to herself or to Takumi anymore. She was trapped in her thoughts now.


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“Why did you wander off like that, sweetheart…?”

“I was bored… I wanted to play, but Taki was sleeping…”

Sakura froze.

“Uhm… y-yes, he’s… very tired…”

She sighed. ‘I shouldn’t be lying to her, should I …? I don’t know what else to say to her…’

“When he wake up, will we play?”

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“M-Maybe. We’ll see, okay…?”

Izabelle cheerfully nodded.

Sakura let out an inaudible sigh. She felt her body tense up as she watched Izabelle wander to the other side of the small sitting room and begin to play. She watched, but felt herself slipping into her thoughts, all sounds turning fuzzy before being completely drowned out.
Sakura wasn’t a crier, but it was impossible to keep back this time.

She startled when she heard the door shut behind her. She turned around, right as Tamami collapsed to the floor, back pressed to the door.

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“You okay, Imoto?”

Tamami looked up at Sakura. Her eyes and cheeks were red tinted and puffy from the crying.
“I can’t- I can’t handle seeing him like that any longer…” Her voice trembled.

Sakura frowned. She didn’t know what to reply. She brushed a few strands of hair out of Tamami’s face, tucking them behind her ear.

“We should go home…”

Tamami nodded mournfully. Weakly, she pushed herself up, staring blankly as Sakura walked to the other side of the room to get Izabelle.


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Time was crawling. Every second that passed felt like an eternity.
Cy didn’t even feel anything. The emotional gate just… shut. She was numb. She was tired.

She sat up. It had to have been more than an hour. She’d done nothing but stare at the ceiling. Watching the dark shapes twist and contort from a darkened ceiling into shapes, shadows, figures of people and eyes staring down on her.
I need to take my fucking meds… she thought.

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Then, she heard her phone ring. A wave of confusion mixed with anxiety went over her. Who would be calling her at 2:30 in the morning?

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Cautiously, she turned her phone over and viewed the piercing bright screen. She squinted when the bright light hit her face, though through her blurred vision she made out the name of the contact. She hit the accept button on the call.

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“H… Hello?” she said tiredly.

“Hey, Cy.” Tamami spoke. “I-I’m really sorry… did I wake you up…?”

“I haven’t slept since 2 nights ago, you’re good…”

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Tamami frowned. “I’m sorry…”

“What are you doing awake at 2 in the morning?”

“Can’t get to sleep… I thought it’d be at least worth a shot to see if you were up… I visited the hospital today.”

Cy froze up on the other end. “Really …?”

“Yeah… Cy, I’m so sorry this happened…”

“I should be the one here saying sorry… You’re his twin, you’ve had so many more memories with him. You’re probably way more hurt than me. The majority of memories I have with him is from school, and… you know…”
She sighed. “I was the one who didn’t notice something was wrong. I could’ve stopped this from happening… I don’t have the right to be upset.” That last sentence was muttered quietly, but just enough Tamami could still hear.

“What… Cy, what are you talking about…? That’s not true. I mean, yes, I do have an entire childhood of memories with him, but there isn’t a competition to who’s hurting the most. You have just as much the right to be upset as I do. You may not have had as many great memories but you were and still are on the path to make up for those lost times.”

Cy was silent. Her hold on the phone got tighter as she tried as hard as possible to hold back tears. It couldn’t be true. It didn’t feel true.
Her glance fixated onto Takumi’s uninhabited bed.

“You there?” Tamami’s voice rang after a moment of silence.

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“Yeah…” Cy choked out, voice shaking.

“Did you hear anything I said…?” Tamami’s voice softened.

“Yes… I can barely believe anything. I just can’t help thinking it was my fault.”

“It wasn’t. I know you would have tried to stop him if you knew. He knows you would’ve tried to stop him if you knew. No one is blaming you, and I know he wouldn’t either.”

Cy blinked out a couple of tears. She was tired, physically and emotionally. She felt numb again, and just wanted to sleep this off, despite knowing it would just come back. “O-Okay…” was all she could manage to choke out.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, just… tired.”

On the other end, Tamami nodded. “I should probably leave you alone now, so you can get some sleep. Sorry, I didn’t mean to keep you up.”

Cy tried to smile, despite knowing Tamami couldn’t see. “I-It’s fine. Guess I’ll talk to you another time.”

“Yeah. Night, Cy.”

“Goodnight…”

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And once she heard the line cut off, Cy was left there again, alone in the darkness of their thoughts.
She let herself fall backwards onto her bed, staring up at the ceiling that hid amongst the surrounding darkness.
One month. The time period was just a month. But she didn’t know if things would stay certain, or if suddenly, something would change.
Then, 7 months. She couldn’t help but think. They’d dated for 7 months. It felt like it went by so quickly. She remembered their first couple of dates so vividly.
It took this short amount of time to realize she loved him. And the next month would decide what was next.

She drifted off into her thoughts, still lying on her bed barely moving a muscle. And soon, she found herself finally drifting off into sleep.