III. Miguel Encourages Akira to come out of the Closet

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❝ Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle! ❞ –Lewis Carroll

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Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle! Lewis Carroll

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Akira was frustrated. Her emotions were all jumbled up, as if you looked inside a bag of different colored M&Ms. They tossed and turned; churning in her stomach and she felt sick. She stomped angrily to her room with her feet and shut the door behind her. Sliding down the wall, Akira curled up with her knees against her heaving chest. She lowered her head and stifled her sobbing, yet her shoulders still shook as she dug her fingernails into her legs; she wouldn't allow any more tears to fall.

In eleven years, Akira hadn't once shed a tear. Back when she was five, she didn't place in a dance festival and Haruto was extremely ashamed of her. In his anger, he had doled out the worst punishment she had ever experienced and since then, Akira refused to make the same mistake again.

It was bad enough that Haruto made her feel degraded in front of Miguel, but the fact that her only friend in the sixteen years she'd been alive had lied to her and didn't tell her that her hallucinations were real for so long; it terrified her. The thought of those... Creatures actually existing in the real world and not in her head shook her to the core. They spoke to her; told her things she never wanted to hear. Now she had to acknowledge that they weren't a figment of her imagination, but real? Akira lifted her head to see a bottle of psychotics on her desk across the room.

Akira always wondered how she could still see the monsters after taking her medication; the whispers in her ear, the sudden attacks which would have her running for her life... Each and every single moment actually happened.

Her hand immediately came over her mouth and she lurched forward, gagging; she wanted to vomit. All those pills... All those medications that the doctor advised her to take felt like they were coming up at any moment. The feeling crawled up her throat like an army of ants. Every time she had to plug her nose and choke down each and every drop or pill per day was painful, but now she learns that they were simply harming her body instead of doing her any good?

A soft rap resounded by her ear and she snapped out of her trance; flinching at the sound. "Fujioka-san?" She heard Miguel say quietly, "Are you there?" Her eyes scanned across the room, looking for a fitting hiding place. She immediately scurried towards her closet and slid the door closed behind her. Her hands covered her mouth and nose so that he couldn't even hear her breathing while trying to hold back her urge to retch. Each exhale was slowly let out in worry with her warm breath hugging against her hands.

The door creaked open and Akira heard quiet footsteps into her room. "Where else could she be?" Miguel's voice rang right by the closet door and Akira sat as white as marble and still as stone. She heard some shuffling which sounded as if he were in front of the door. Attempting to create as much distance as she could, Akira scooted backward until her shoulder blades hit the wall. It wasn't much, but it assured her a lot more than it should have.

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