For a long time it's just been me, my art, and my meds. But that was before my classmate Alfred dragged me to a coffee shop. That was before I talked to the anons. That was before the muddy waters of my depression started to clear.


4. Apathy

I didn't finish the bird sketch, so I took it with me back to the dorm. Usually I would draw cranes or ravens, but this time I drew eagles. More specifically, the two-headed one of Russia, and the bald eagle of the US. I don't know, maybe I'm in the mood for politics... Though Russia is getting some serious shit as of late.

Alfred texted me a while ago, but I keep my phone on mute. It's really annoying when you wake up from a nap to a phone call.

Alfred: u wanna eat out or smthn?  im getting tired of school food lol

It's not like I have anything to do, so I text him back.

sure, whatever. But not mcdonalds please

Alfred: wat makes u thnk so???

you're american

Alfred: touche. nah my bro kiku recd this ramen place on campus. u free at 6???

Alfred: good ramen nt the msg instant knd


Alfred: its a date? ; ) 

yeah whatever

I toss my phone onto my desk. I guess I should finish that sketch sometime, post something that isn't hella depressing or dark.

There's a pile of origami cranes on the windowsill, a roll of twine, and a couple of shitty hangers. The Japanese guy who lives a few doors down taught me how to make them one time when we were both waiting to do the laundry. Hell, a thousand paper cranes are supposed to represent hope and stuff, but these are all in different shades of black. I guess I was planning on making a shit load of them and hanging them up somewhere for the irony, but now it seems kind of pointless.

It's 5:30 right now. I still have time to kill and a shit load of origami to dispose of. Dunno, maybe I can sell it off to some weaboo on Tumblr. Or... I can just throw it out. Yeah, that's a better idea.

I change into a Hima U shirt and a black knit hoodie. Now, where the hell is the garbage disposal thing? Whatever, I'll find one somewhere. Probably...

So I'm wandering the halls in search for some garbage disposal thing when Alfred finds me.

"Dude, that's a lot of origami... What're you doing with it?"

I shrug. "Throwing it out. I got to around 250 cranes before I gave up."

"I'll take it. Just, dunno, hang it up or something."

He takes the stuff and starts walking to his room. I follow him.

"So yeah, welcome to this awesome kingdom-thing of mine... I, uh, sorry, uh, it's really messy." Yeah. Ramen packaging everywhere and cans of Red Bull.

"There's a reason why me and Yao don't touch Gilbert's side of the room. I think you're fine." Seriously, bird feathers in the weirdest places, wherever the fuck they come from. A few stray cans of Budweiser and a whole mountain of dirty clothes. "I think he's raising pigeons or something. You see godammed feathers everywhere."

 "You hate pigeons?"

"I told you, I'm from Manhattan. Those guys are everywhere. You don't know how much bread I lost to them."

"You got a point there, bro. It's the same thing in DC, except with politicians and interns."

"Mm. You're paying for the ramen, I don't have any money." I should find a job, but screwups like me aren't the best candidates for a barista or something.

I have to admit, the ramen is really nice here. Alfred's friend has good taste, even though he's probably the same guy who calls me Rossuke and doesn't like me that much. I'm not holding that against him, I don't like myself either.

He's babbling on about why Captain America is better than Iron Man, even though Civil War came out like, last year. But I don't mind, he's doing the talking for both of us. It's really cute, actually. He gets so into it and manages to talk through mouthfuls of ramen, though I feel like he needs a napkin or two.

"Hey, so what you think?"

So like, I know what's going on with Marvel in general, but I haven't really watched any movies... "Uh, I kind of like the Winter Soldier..."

He pumps his fist. "Called it! I knew you were a Bucky Barnes guy! It's because he's gotta do with Russia, right?"

"No, he's just cool."

"Eh, whatever. You're a pretty skinny dude, I bet you can't outdrink me."

"Of course I could, I'm Russian."

"Okay, just stop with the stereotypes."

"But seriously, in Russia vodka is cheaper than water, that's why they drink so much. You probably can't beat me. Over time, Russians have evolved to have livers of steel." Besides, back in sophomore year of high school I was probably stronger than most people in the athletics department. Then I stopped doing ballet, and considering my current lack of muscles, I'm hella out of shape. Whatever, it's not like I'll be going back soon, with me so jacked on antidepressants.

 Alfred grins. "We'll see, man."

"Wait, wait, we're only college sophmores. You're 20, at most."

"19. But there's plenty at the frat lodge."



"My mom would kill me if we get chewed out for this."

"The worst that's happened is someone making a huge-ass bonfire in front of the building and it almost burned down."

"…When was that?"

"Last year."

"Just, I don't know, get the booze and we can get smashed in one of our rooms. I don't appreciate 99% of the male population."

He wiggles his eyebrows "What, so I'm an angel?"

I finished my ramen, so I throw my chopsticks at him. "Hell no." I pause, and then add "But you're really cheerful, for some reason. I'll give you that."

"No, that's why you love me."

I tolerate you more than, say, Gilbert. You're someone I'd spend time with if I had to. But I sure as hell don't love you... Even if you were stuck in a coma for probably the rest of your life, I'll push you away. I don't want anyone to get hurt when I screw up and die, or in your hypothetical case, the slight chance you wake up and find out I'm gone.

I don't respond to Alfred's jibe. Instead, we both sit in this awkward silence, me swirling around my bowl with its remaining bits of soup.

He clears his throat. "Yeah... Uh, I'm done too... I pay, right?"


He pays the bill and we leave, walking side by side down a cobblestone pathway. The two of us part ways at the Gentosha lobby. He goes to wherever the hell he goes, me to my dorm room. Does he think I'm an asshole? That's not the first time someone thought so, but for some reason, with him it concerns me... Whatever. Yao' out somewhere that involves being formal, Gilbert's probably out drinking. I got the room to myself, but it feels sort of lonely.

Ame was messaging me a few hours ago. Wanting advice for some date... I would've rolled my eyes or something.

American-Beauty: dude i need some help 

i just askd out this guy i really like

red or blu tie???

ok imma stop cuz ur probs not here 

I can't just leave him hanging, so...

caustic-nuclear-winter: Sorry about that

I'm assuming youre back from the date

How was it?

American-Beauty: oh hey

it was pretty ok

then it was knda awk cuz i sorta confessed 2 him

idk wat if i screwed up???

caustic-nuclear-winter: I think youre fine

It was probably just out of the blue for him

That's kind of your thing

American-Beauty: trueeeee

caustic-nuclear-winter: He'll probably be back to normal tomorrow

Ame doesn't reply after five minutes, so he's either calmed down or flipping out. Probably less anxious and doing whatever the fuck Tumblr mutuals do.

The bird sketch is next to my computer, but I don't feel like doing anything right now. The windowsill looks kind of empty without the cranes, but I'll get used to it sooner or later.

I kind of just sit there at my desk until I hear Yao unlocking the door. He seems a little pissed, but then again that's him on a regular basis. His tie's loosened and flapping around and he untucked his shirt. "I keep on forgetting how much of an asshole the people I like are. How are you so, like, asexual?"

Well, fuck. I'll probably have to listen to his ranting now. "I'm arelationshipal. I have better things to do."

"Whatever. Temujin- you know Temujin?"

"Yeah, whoever the hell he is." I go over to my bed and wrap my sheets around myself, Wayward Vagabond style.

"He's this Mongolian exchange student." Okay, this random guy from asscrack-nowhere. "I'm sort of dating him, but aaaaauuuugggh..."

Yao rambles on about his relationship problems and I zone out. He's a really good roommate, but sometimes he does need to chill out.

It reminds me of lazy weekends back home, when Natalia would complain about people at school, Mama would pester us about our grades, and I was still trying to find myself. Papa would sneak us alcohol, and Katya was applying for college. Except that now, instead of my Manhattan apartment, I'm sitting on a creaky bed in a cinder-block dorm room, and instead of my family, it's my roommate ranting about his life drama.


Yeah! So your silent authoress has decided to add a note here. That is, leave a comment or something. Seriously. Or I'll forget to update this story here.

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