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Big Big Girl

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Big Big Girl

Post by Ayaka Nanakorobi on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:21 pm

She was like Snow White, the nurse had told her. Like a sleeping princess that everyone had been waiting to wake up and open her eyes, and show signs that she was as strong as her father had told the doctors and police repeatedly. She could go either way, the doctors had warned. With the damage to her brain and skull, it could be months before Ayaka woke up, if ever. And it she did, there was still a chance she wouldn't function normally. There had been papers and forms, questions of assisted breathing and life support. If his little girl didn't wake up, did he want to keep her going? Would she want that? Was it right? But... she was only fifteen. Birthday cards and stuffed animals and bright flowers littered the room for the birthday the living dead girl had slept through.

Nobody had expected her fingers to move within the numb palm of her brother. Yakumo certainly hadn't. Things were beeping like mad, steady but faster as she pushed herself to return from too far into the dark to be touched. Too far away to feel how badly being conscious hurt, how the rush of questions and doctors with lights in her eyes made her head pound, how she could hardly move because of the casts and slings on her arm and shoulder. Oh God the world hurt. Bandages. Wires. Shrill beepy things plugged onto her body everywhere. And her head. Ohh, her head The morphine drip turned up as tears rolled down white cheeks, the girl who had slipped between the worlds for two weeks begging the staff to dim the lights, to speak softer, and please just make the hurting stop.

Thin fingers escaped Yakumo's hand as he was pushed to the side, frantically calling their father from the hospital room. Chin to cheek, cheek to forehead. Bandages. Bandages wrapped her head like a mummy before the nurse pulled Ayaka's hand away, words blurring, that annoying little light forcing her eyes to dilate as the doctor came in, wanting to do neurological tests. Could she speak? Did she know where she was? Who she was? Could she touch all her finger tips to her thumb in order and in reverse? To her nose? The broken doll Ikuto had carried in himself, bleeding and gone. How damaged was she. That was the bottom line. How damaged was she, could she function again with a normal life. Would she be too damaged and be pushed off to a nursing home to be cared for, somewhere out of sight where her father and the world could forget about what he'd had and broken and nobody could fix. Ayaka sighed, the nurse changing her dressings and mindlessly chatting just to make the quiet girl feel more at ease. They would be releasing her soon, after she passed a few more tests to show she was okay and would heal. After the police came to talk to her.

The police. Ayaka knew the truth, and Yakumo did, too, even though he hadn't been there and couldn't prove it. But that cold feeling, that dread. The police... She couldn't tell them. Ikuto wouldn't allow it. Be a good girl, came the echoing words from years of pain. She shuddered under the nurse's fingertips. He wouldn't be happy to know she woke up, would he. He probably hadn't planned on it or wanted it at all. If she went home, would he just try again? Or send someone in the night to put an air bubble in her IV? Ayaka sighed heavily, the nurse's words miles away. The dark. The beautiful blackness she'd been in. No thought, no sound, no pain. Ikuto couldn't hurt her there. If she went home, she would have to be drowning in it all over again. The dark... Ayaka closed her eyes, wishing she could just go back to sleep and return to it forever.

Bandages clean and changed, Ayaka as clean as she could get in this place that smelled of antiseptic and sterilized death as her dressing gown as tied shut. She was suitable for visitors again, the nurse chimed with more cheer and enthusiasm than was needed. She meant well, Ayaka supposed, even if in the drugged haze Ayaka knew that she was more than a little distant. She was numb. From the steady drip of the morphine to keep the pain at bay, and from everything. It was too much all at once. Waking up, the rush of questions, knowing she'd be thrown back into Hell just as soon as she thought she'd escaped it. Mom escaped it. Home wouldn't be home anymore without mom there, either, and Ayaka knew that. Would it be safe? Not that mom had ever saved her much of Ikuto's wrath, but with her gone entirely it would only be his darling little Ayan there to lovingly accept each strike, each grab, each blow, and each declaration of how worthless her existence was. Why did she have to wake up?!

Knocking so softly on the door's frame, Ayaka barely heard it as the nurse pushed her cart out of the room, leaving Yakumo standing there looking in. His hair was scruffy and spiked in odd directions with his gel. Button up shirt that was un-tucked under his cardigan. It was strange looking at Yakumo right now, as if Ayaka's brain was having to process it all slowly, filling in holes with data like a computer. Yakumo. Her big brother. A face she'd known all her life. And yet, it was almost like looking at a stranger in her door that held two bottles of juice, waiting to come in. But he was looking at her the same way, like he'd never seen her before either. Maybe he hadn't. A stranger in a hospital bed, covered in bandages and wraps without a smile, dark brown eyes so dull and dead as volcanic ashes covering burnt earth. It looked like it hurt him to look at her. Yakumo was quiet as he walked into the room and set the bottles down on the tray, moving to gently raise her bed up and help his sister sit. He was quiet still as his hand reached out to cup his sister's right cheek, not once straying to the left or looking at the bruises that lingered on her face.

Silence fell, heavy and unsure, neither quiet knowing what to say. ”Good morning,” would have been funny at least, but Yakumo didn't seem to want to joke. Nothing was funny about where Ayaka was right then, or knowing where she'd been. Eventually his hand pulled away, reaching instead to open and hand his sister the bottle of juice. Strawberry-peach. Her favourite. ”They said they'd let you come home soon,” Yakumo strted quietly,breaking the silence and almost sounding apologetic. ”The end of the week, but maybe as soon as tomorrow night. Dad said he'd come to see you tomorrow since the police want to talk to you then.” Only a few sips from her own bottle of juice, Ayaka put it down, watching Yakumo's hand move down to his side, fidgeting and gripping the starchy sheets. Going home nnd the police; two subjects that Ayaka didn't want to think about, and she doubted her brother did, either.

”Yakumo...” She watched as he took a deep breath in.

”It'll be okay. Somehow, it will. Ayaka... I know what dad's been telling everyone about what happened. It's been all over the news for the last two weeks, and he won't change his story.” Fingers gripped the sheets tighter, Yakumo looking down at his own lap as his shoulders shook a bit. ”I can't tell them anything since I wasn't there. But you can, Ayaka. If you tell them the truth it will change everything! ...What happened?”

Blank black eyes stared at and through Yakumo, noting the urgency in his voice. Their father had been trying to cover it up. Figured. What had he told them that the police were still wanting her input, even though she was still a minor? What had he told them that anything she said they would ignore? Money would buy a lie good enough to bury the truth forever. Image was all that mattered, and the lie would make him look better than the truth would. Ayaka looked down, her mind again feeling like an outdated computer trying to start up programs it couldn't run. What... had happened? Eyebraws furrowed lightly under pristine bandages. She went home that night. Mom left the night before. ”Uzuki took me home. I didn't want to come home... You were with your friends, and mom was gone. I told Uzuki how Mom left, and she kissed me. And I stayed down there with her for a bit, and went back up...” A small kiss, and a kiss as long as eternity. Comfort. Promises that someone would be there to take care of Ayaka, and hold her, love her... Her eyes stung as her head began to ache. ”I went up into the house, and dad yelled at me. He grabbed my arm...” Tears welled up, Ayaka's voice growing fainter as it began to tremble. She remembered him grabbing her arm and squeezing as he pulled. She remembered the first time she impacted against the wall. But after that.... Go to sleep, came the dark whisper from the back of her mind. Ayaka's defenses every time this happened. Go to sleep and it will all be over. Hot liquid spilled down her cheek. ”I don't remember! I don't know what happened!”

Pain. Her speeding pulse was like a hammer striking an anvil, the blood vessels pounding against where the staples held her skull together under the stitches. The swelling was down, yes, and the bandages were just to help with what was still draining from the surgery, but it would be months before the bones knit back together. Deep breaths in and out as Ayaka bit back a whimper, Yakumo petting down her right arm gently. Her brain had blocked it all out as it had many times before in their lives. Slowly she looked to her left arm at the cast on her forearm, and the sling keeping her from moving her shoulder and clavicle. They were all fractured, the nurse had said. All on the left. ”Yakumo... Give me your phone?” Phone in hand, she turned it over to look at the mirror-like backside of it. She wasn't planning to call anyone, not yet. Ayaka just wanted to see. There was a heavy pause that followed the shuddering gasp, Ayaka seeing herself for the first time since the last time she was at home and getting ready for class.

There was a tiny stitch on her left eyebrow and heavy bruising on her cheek, the greens and yellows garishly bleeding out any traces of lingering purple that stood out on snowy skin. Her lips were chapped, and the skin under her nose was raw from the breathing loop around her face. But even with two weeks to sleep and heal and the dressing gown in the way, Ayaka could see the heavy bruising that covered the left side of her body. Her eyes drifted upward to the bandages that she felt earlier. There was no hair. The bandages only now covered where the stitches and staples were healing, medical tape holding the gauze down against pale, bare skin. Ayaka choked on air, fresh tears spilling. She had no hair, and her head had been cut open. Like Frankestein's monster or something out of a bio class. What had they done to her? What did he do to her?! The phone dropped into her lap, the girl crying openly in her hospital bed, Yakumo quickly turning to wrap himself around his baby sister as best he could without hurting her further, petting and shushing her. ”Yakumo... what happened to me?! What did he DO?” Comfort. She needed something safe. Uzuki. Where was Uzuki?! Ayaka tried to wipe her face, thoughts collecting, trying to fight off the swelling pain in her head. ”Call... call Uzuki. I want to see her before I see dad tomorrow. Why isn't she here?”

Yakumo's hand stroked up and down her back slowly as he tried to think of how best to say it. ”Ayaka.... Uzuki hasn't been here. At all. None of your clique has. Just me every day, and dad, when press came by.” No. That was a mistake. It had to have been. Uzuki loved her! She promised she'd be there to protect her! Ayaka shook in Yakumo's arms, sobbing with every pounding ache in her head that matched her soul. There was a reason. There had to be. But to wake up and know that she hadn't come, not even once.... Was it even worth waking up at all?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quiet was an understatement, Ikuto's form menacing, even with his smile dripping with fatherly adoration and yellow roses in his hands. Press weren't allowed in today, thankfully, Ayaka's father's career already illuminated under the blaring whitewash of the spotlight. He was a hero for saving her just in time. The city officials should put higher punishment on drunk drivers. Ayaka was blessed to be alive and have a father like hers. A father like hers. She stared distantly down at her lap, dressed presentably at least from the waist up, the rest of her still tucked nearly in the pristine sheets of the hospital bed, lines and wires still connected to free patches of skin. Nothing covered her head, doctors insisting that she needed to give it at least another week or two before she started agitating the healing skin with tight wig caps and heavy synthetic hair. The wound needed to breathe and heal, not have things get caught on the staples and stitches.

He'd beaten Yakumo to the hospital, showing up before his honours student would be out from class. Ikuto had to be there when the police talked to her, she'd been told. She was still legally a child, so he had to be there. Hovering. Watching. Listening patiently to make sure that his sweet girl who had miraculously come back to him didn't say the wrong thing and screw it all up for him. The officer looked bored in his mock sympathy, too used to the horrors of the day to day crime scenes, too desensitized by the pain of the human condition to be particularly moved by the battered, bruised, and broken doll that sat propped up in the bed, holding onto the pink and white unicorn plushie. Ayaka was glad she was right-handed, the thin limb wrapping around the toy, trembling as she spoke, her eyes only occasionally darting up to try and read the officer as he took notes. His own eyes were distant and uncaring. She knew that look too well. She knew he had no interest in what she had to say; everything was superficial. Nothing real mattered, so what did it matter what she said? The officer was young, and apart from looking bored, there was something else. Like he just wanted to leave the room, away from Ikuto's smiling malice.

His hand moved half-heartedly as Ayaka spoke, more like he was going over a list. Maybe that was how cops took notes anyway, though. But it looked like he knew the story already. It was later when clubs let out, came the dulled words. Her classmate had taken her home- there was no need to mention it was Uzuki, or that Uzuki was anyone special. The street was dark; she dropped her iPod and moved to get it. The unicorn might have squeaked in pain as it was gripped tighter to Ayaka's body, the girl shaking, recounting false memories. Rehearsed lies, like an actress. All she had ever been in her life, every time she went to a hospital in Edo. That bruise on her cheek? Oh, silly Aya-chan! She just slipped after she mopped the floor. Her fractured arm? Those things just happen, she just fell off her motorbike and landed wrong. There was always a reason, a laugh and some silly excuse to explain each bruise, scratch, and break.

Nobody noticed Yakumo run up to the room's door, out of breath, glaring hard as he listened, stabbed by each lie Ikuto had his daughter recite. The car was red. He must have been drunk. She tried to get out of the way, but he hit her on the left. Yakumo's fists clenched, watching from the sidelines as notes on the officer's notepad mingled with what looked like doodles of the unicorn toy and tic-tac-toe. Eyes lowered to the floor with his expectations, Ayaka surrendering. Enough money could buy a lie, and enough fear could erase the truth. Even though she couldn't remember it all, Yakumo knew just as well as Ayaka did what happened to her. This was her one chance to tell someone the truth, expose Ikuto, change their family and both of their fates forever... Opportunity squandered, suffocated by the smell of cleaning supplies and bouquets, smothered by soft toys and fear. Nobody noticed as Yakumo turned and walked away, swallowing rage, resentment, and despair that even after nearly being beaten to death, Ayaka would only retreat further into her shell.
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Ayaka Nanakorobi
MEANINGLESS

Posts : 31
Points : 76
Location : Kyoto, Aerugo

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