Hello there, me in the mirror. How are you this morning? I hope you're doing fine. As you can see from the other side, I look like utter crap. Another nightmare decided to come after a period of 1 month. Did you have one too? I know. It sucks.
I see you in there. Those dark purple eye bags that sit underneath your eyes like idle vultures. The bare skin that is not coated with a thin layer of foundation, ready to impress you and me. The small shoulders drooped lazily with a tinge of pain in them from a rough night of tossing and turning. The same tank top that you have been wearing for weeks now, not bothering to worry about the noxious odour deriving from it or the soy sauce stain on the left breast. The way the strands of sandy blonde locks stick out from the loose side braid. I'm being honest with you: you look like shit. Get in the shower.
I turned the hot water on. I waited for the shower to heat up, watching the smoke rise from the floor of the shower up to the roof of the bathroom. I remembered my horrible night of sleep last night, yawning for the 100th time ever since I woke up at the awakening of dawn.
My nightmare was horrid. I couldn't remember much since I simply did not wish to. Who would want to remember a nightmare as bad as mine? The only fragment my scribbled mind can recall was the way I was sprawled on a hard linoleum floor. I felt chains holding my wrists and ankles, restricting me from any movement. I then remembered these...furry, black creatures with glowing red eyes crowded around me. They were drooling and were roaming their human-like hands on my nude body. Then, I screamed. I was suddenly in excruciating pain. Every inch of my body hurt to the point where I cried tears. The rest of it...I simply wanted to be gone.
I hopped into the shower and relaxed as soon as the warm water cascaded over my body. I began to wash my hair thoroughly since I couldn't recount the last time I washed my hair...2 weeks ago, I believe. After smelling the nutmeg-lilac concoction dance across my hair, I began to lather my body with this lime and green tea body wash my mother bought for my recent birthday. Counting today, it has been a week since I turned 22. Nothing has changed in me. I'm still the same girl I was when I was little.
I skimmed the loofah over my arms. I noticed the scars that littered the under of my right arm. I traced them delicately with my fingers, somehow admiring the way they looked: a peachy nude colour presenting a jagged shape. I counted them as I traced them...1,2,3...12 altogether. I sighed heavily. These were small reminders that made a huge impact on me. They caused me to do this to myself. Oh well, all the more reason to find them.
I turned off the water and stepped out of the steamy shower. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my body in a tunic style. I walked to my bedroom and began to get myself ready for the day. As I dried my hair, I stared at the photos of the boys. Yeah, those boys. They were old pictures, though. Pictures dated back to 2010, back to when I was a 2nd-year student in high school. They were the photos from the yearbook, taken from the class photo. I still have the yearbook, and when you turned to the class photo of 2-C the faces of those boys were removed and placed on my wall. I don't know if they have changed their appearances. They probably have, it's a high chance they have. But, with those high-school photos I collected profile pictures from their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts...whatever social media they had, pictures of their filthy faces were picked up by me and stuck up on my bedroom wall with year-old glue-tack and tape that has almost lost it's stickiness.
They just stared back at me with emotionless eyes. I stared back at them, but with utter anger and amusement. I felt my lips curve up in a smirk.
"So they think they can hide from me? Big mistake." I tied my slightly damp hair into a bun, put my make-up on and picked out my clothes. I decided to go for the casual look and wear a black oversized sweatshirt, a navy blue skirt and a pair of my favourite white Converse. I grabbed my bag, checked to make sure everything was in there. Once I was satisfied with my check, I walked downstairs to the kitchen. I was running a little late, so I didn't have time to eat a proper breakfast. Oh, I forgot!
I opened the cabinet above the stove and grabbed the box of pills that clearly said 'anti-depressants' in big blue kanji to remind me that I wasn't fine and that I needed these because of a few people that couldn't teach themselves self-control. I opened the box, popped a pill and swallowed it. Ah, that should do it. I'm ready to go.
I snatched an apple from the fruit bowl before leaving the house, locking the front door before walking away from the comfort of my home to the university I was attending. I have recently started doing a course in Criminology. I am fitting in quite well and have met some people. I am enjoying my time at university; it's a way for me to stir away from high-school days.
I was finally at the train station. I purchased my ticket and waited for the train to arrive. I waited, like a normal person living everyday life would. I seem like an average young adult woman going about her day as a university student. My outer intentions are to study Criminology, land a job in that field and go ahead with life. My inner intentions are completely different. There is one thing that I am dying to do in this life. It is my certified job to do this. I must, I crave for this to become accomplished.
Once it is done, I can assure you I'll die happily.
I arrived at the university on time. The cherry blossom petals were scattered everywhere due to the gusts of wind this morning. It was a nice sight to see the petals flying in the wind. It made me feel like the protagonist of a romance manga. It made me feel young and alive as if a fresh breath of life entered me. I breathed in the clean air and breathed out. My body relaxed. I felt okay.
I noticed the Photography and Art students taking pictures of the sakura trees or painting the trees as the morning beams of sunlight shined in the background. I smiled at them, waving at the ones I recognised.
"Junko!" I spun around, hearing Sayu calling out my name. I smiled, and we shared a hug.
"How are you this morning?" She asked, flicking one of her braids away from her face.
"I'm fine. How about you?" I answered as we began to walk inside the building.
"I'm better than ever!" Sayu exclaimed in a bubbly tone, excitedly running inside.
Sayu was an eccentric person. She always wore clothes with bright neon colours or floral patterns. She loved wearing her dark brown hair into two pigtail braids. She was a curvy girl, she loved her food. That is why she is studying Food Science, I believe. She hopes to become a nutritionist and a chef. We met in the 3rd year of high-school. After the incident in the 2nd year, I moved from that school and moved to another one nearby. That is where I met Sayu. Ever since the first day at my new school, we have been best friends. I feel happy around her. She is like the rays of light I need if I'm every dreary, and that's what I loved about her. She could always place a smile onto my face.
"You seem tired? Didn't get much sleep?" I was now in class and I was sitting with Nagisa, an intellectual young woman who received #1 in her high-school for the exams. She wore these thick glasses, had short ginger hair and a stunning set of green eyes. Her mother was American while her father was Japanese, so Nagisa was an interracial child. She told me she was bullied in elementary for looking different from the typical black hair, brown-eyed Japanese children. She proved them wrong because everybody in her junior high-school loved her for her looks and her intelligence. I met her not long ago, but she and I get along quite well. The only thing I don't fancy is that she sees everything as a competition, whether it was a test or who could run the fastest. She did tell me that her parents were very regimented and strict, so I can't blame her for her somewhat tightass-ery.
"No, I didn't. I think I slept for a couple of hours." Nagisa hummed, sipping the coffee out of her environmental-friendly coffee cup. Another fact about Nagisa was that she was a die-hard vegetarian and always ate/drank out of environmental-friendly equipment.
"You should read before you sleep. It helps me sleep at night." Nagisa offered.
"What? You're suggesting I, Junko Miyamoto, read a textbook before bed?" I said with a flabbergasted look. Her cheeks turned red and she playfully punched my arm.
"Shut up. Just because I'm "smart" does not mean I read textbooks or dictionaries before I sleep. I'll have you know I read a lot of classical literature." Nagisa said proudly.
"Like Shakespeare and that?" I asked. What the hell was a "literature"?
"Yes, exactly. You know...Arthur Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, Harper Lee-"
"Blah, blah, blah. I'm not an English person, Nagisa." I reclined into my seat as Nagisa pouted.
"I was just showcasing my hobbies. Is that a crime?"
"To my ears and brain, it is," I added cockily but mischievously.
"Shut up, Junko." We shared a laugh and continued talking before our professor walked in. Our professor was a short man in his 50's. His head was bald, with only a couple grey hairs poking through. Whenever he smiled, his wrinkles would multiply 10 times more. He always wore a suit and carried a briefcase with his massive stacks of papers in them. He was a nice man, passionate about his job and always listened to what his students had to say.
"Good morning, everybody." He announced as he walked in.
"Good morning, Mr Wakabayashi." The entirety of us said in unison.
"Now before I begin today's lecture, I would love to introduce our new student professor." All of us looked at each other confused. A student professor?
"He has just graduated from a Criminology course in Osaka and has decided to teach it to young students apart from working with police. I would love for all of you to give him a warm welcome." Mr Wakabayashi gestured us to look at the door. We all turned our heads. I heard people whispering "I wonder how old he is?" "Is he hot?" "Do you think he has a girlfriend?" "I hope he's not a tightass."
"Please welcome to our class, Mr Hiraku Mori." Something sparked in my mind and woke me up from my tiredness. I have heard this name somewhere before. My lack of sleep has made my memory a bit blurred.
As soon as Mr Mori timidly strolled into the classroom, everybody gasped at how good-looking he was. His hair was curly and brunette, which was something you barely saw a Japanese person possess. He wore glasses like Nagisa, but they had thinner lenses. His skin looked smooth to the touch and was coloured an olive colour. From where I was seated in the front row, his eyes were a beautiful blue colour but something about them seemed demeaning...haunting. He wore a white dress shirt, slacks, dress shoes and a black tie. He looked up at us and flashed a smile at us, showing off his perfectly straight teeth.
"Good morning, everyone. As you all know, my name is Mr Hiraku Mori. It is my pleasure to teach you all for this semester only." The girls dazedly awed at his appearance, while the boys saw him as "cool".
"He is charming, isn't he?" Nagisa whispered with a faint tinge of pink on her cheeks from seeing the seemingly smart male.
"Eh. He's alright," I said back. In fact, I wasn't paying attention to Nagisa's remarks about the teacher at all. I was paying attention to Mr Mori. I have sworn that I've seen him somewhere before in the past. But where?
Hiraku Mori...I know you from somewhere.
My mind was in shambles until the end of the lesson.