[Fanfic] Sayonara no Imi (Part One)

Prologue (Blue)

That day, I was certain you were crying.

 

It was the day a cold rain started to fall.
It was the day the train going to Teito
passed, which passes only once a month.
It was the day you and I had first
exchanged words.
You, who stood alone in a desolate area
where you often see the train pass, and stared at the dark and distant sky.
I thought that you were that kind of person
who will someday go beneath the sky. I couldn’t call you so I ended up standing
still, watching the cold rain hit your trembling back.
Prologue (Red)
My body has thorns.
That has made a great undesirable influence
in my life.
I am neglected and despised since I was
born. My total existence is rejected.
Even if I try to resist, I won’t be able to
resist it.
The whole world agrees only on the idea of
the majority after all.
Even in deciding food for the dinner, as
well as deciding on who should be the student council president.
Even in deciding on who the leader is able
to set the country in motion and capable of making the laws.
We, the minority, our very existence has
been likely forgotten.
That doesn’t exist before.
Back then, knowledge and efforts of
majority are being acknowledged.
They pretend that they do not see how
unpleasant those things are.
But if we were one of the majority,
probably we would still be happy.
I would bury all of my personal opinions
into the depth of me and just put an innocent face and blend with them.
But I can never be included in the
majority, for I am different.
But still, there is a way for those who are
different like me.
There are two ways.
First, I can live on a land which no one
knows about the existence of my kind,
And second, we have what we called a
“ceremony”.
1
“Nanami, you’ll be doing it this year.”
At dinner, my father told me that without
any previous notice.
My sister Asuka was sitting with me,
looking at me with a worried face.
Though she’s already a high school student,
she still has a problem eating by herself. She won’t eat unless I feed her.
She won’t eat when she sees me worried,
even if I bring her favorite food which is porridge, so I smile at her just to
get rid of her uneasiness.
Honestly I want to show her my real smile,
but the smile I give looks forced. The moment my smile at her, it’s when my
true emotions show, which removes the smile on my face.
And that emotion is nothing more but fear.
I understand that this year, I’m the one
who’ll be doing it.
It is because I need to “graduate” already.
If I would continue being like this, I
won’t be able to move forward. Though I know there is one way, I still am
hesitant. I hate goodbyes because I will need to throw everything out, and
there is nothing else I can do but to participate in the “ceremony”.
I was born as one of the minority, and I
need to be accepted by the majority, so that I can be an ordinary human.
I made a stiff smile in my face while I was
feeding Asuka some porridge, but she was just looking at the back of my hand
and didn’t eat the food in the end.
2

 
I was born a human but with thorns.

 

When I became aware of this, my father
immediately told me the whole details, that I was born a part of the minority.
Being neglected and despised, my existence
is rejected.
Since everyone around me is the same as I
am, I never thought of thinking about it.
My body has thorns.
There are thorns at the back of my hands,
even at the joints of my hand, as well in my fingers. These thorns are thin but
then they are sharp and have the length of 5 cm to 10 cm.
We, who are called “Shijin”, have this kind
of characteristic and everyone in the clan have this. It seems that we once
existed in Japan, but in the present all those who are like me live only in a
village which is far from the cities.
Every time that there is a disease, food
shortage, or even natural disaster that spreads out through the whole country,
we are always the one to be blamed in doing so. Every time they see a Shijin,
they capture and kill them.
As the saying goes on, “Shijin brings
death. They must be erased as they are all criminal.”
What a selfish thought.
But everyone in the majority thinks this is
right. Thus they look for Shijin all over Japan looking like demon hunters who
have no hearts.
Going back to history, there are no Shijin
that existed before.
Except at one small village,
And that village is where we are today, the
only home of Shijin’s.
Not all time we have thorns.
When our hearts are calm, our thorns don’t
appear. We can live a normal life, like an ordinary human.
Our thorns come out when we become
emotional.
For example, when we are mad,
We are being protected by our thorns when
we feel something or someone that has an intention of hurting us. If someone
tries to touch our hand, assuredly they will have a severe injury.
Because of our hands, we moved away from
those people who live in the village for we might hurt them if they try to
touch us. The reason why we are still living peacefully in this village is
because there are some people who understand us.
To make sure that there is no Shijin that
can hurt others; we do something that we are already doing for a very long time
ago.
It is a traditional ceremony which is
called a “Shitoushiki”.
And this year, I am the one who is chosen
to be a representative of Shijin for this ceremony.
3
“Ah, Nanase got the male role.”
“That’s nice. I thought that I would be
chosen this year.”

“No way! No way! No way! No way!”

As usual, I was sitting at the side of a
window looking at the scenery outside when I heard that there are people
speaking at the other room.
It’s the girl who was chosen for the male
role of “Shitoushiki” and her friends.
Their voices sounded happy-go-lucky, it
made my heart so noisy, and the back of my hand is hurting.
After one month, we will start practicing
for the Shitoushiki.
I don’t really find it difficult.
A girl is chosen for the male role as a
representative, wherein she will be the one who will cut off the thorns at the
back of my hands.
I even had to practice for a month to add
some improvisation so that the villagers who will come to the ceremony won’t get
bored.
It would be meaningless if nobody will ever
bother to see us.
Shitoushiki is being held for humans so
they will find it easy to cut off the thorns from our hands, and let them
understand that we, Shijin are harmless and not intended to cause dangers to
them.
We, the Shijin, have lived our lives
peacefully and long enough because the human representative in our village
keeps removing our thorns and exposing it to the world.          
“What Nishino-san and Nanami will be doing
is, a ceremony based on a battle that took place in this town between humans
and the Shijin who has made an oath before, so we could continue on living
peacefully and would not forget the battle.”

In the room wherein I was in face to face
with the male role, my father was explaining thoroughly on what we will do at
the Shitoushiki.
She was called Nishino-san. Earlier, I also
heard that her friends called her Nanase.
Every time our eyes meet, I look down
because I want to dodge it.
I saw her eyes are trembling.
I wonder if this girl is really suitable
for the male role.
We exchanged cups and afterwards, the two
of us swore on our contract.
“You may now shake hands.”
My father demanded it, so I offered her my
right hand.
Nishino-san stared at my hand, slowly
trying to reach it.
She became somewhat cautious to hold my
hand for she doesn’t know when the thorns may come out.

“NANAMI!”
My thorns were about to come out so I
withdrew my hand and immediately went out from that room.
“Onee-chan?”
My father became mad, and as I pass at the
corridor, I saw Asuka and heard her worried voice but I couldn’t turn back.
4

 

“Eh-!? You walked out just because of
that!?”
Mai and Sayuri raised their voice towards
me.
“Yeah, it seems that I made her scared.”
“I see. Well, it has already passed. It
can’t be helped.” Mai said.
“I agree! Nanamin, you’re just confused,
right? Just overcome it with smile! You have to be always positive.” Sayuri
said.
As I walked out of the room, I bumped into
my best friends; Mai and Sayuri and told them what happened earlier..
Those two are also Shijin like me, and
we’re at the same age as well. Since we were raised together, we have always
share the same problem we are carrying. They are irreplaceable existence to me.
Since the three of us are always together,
Asuka called us “Gosanke” and eventually, some young Shijin girls started to do
it also.
“No, if Nanami does something that Sayuri
does, it would be scary.”
“Is that so? Isn’t Nanamin’s smile so
cute?”
“Thanks. How’s the practice, both of you?”
The both of them are also participating as
support roles in the ceremony and starting today, human girls will be joining
us in the practice as supports too.
“We only had a session to see each other.
They were seemed extremely cautious on us…” Mai said.
She’s smart and always does things in a
calm way. She understands me very well.
“We must always show our smile at all times
to them! I’m sure they will smile at us back. Those who won’t do that will
receive Sayuringo Punch!” Sayuri said.
As usual, she is always happy-go-lucky,
but actually she finds it difficult to express her true emotions for she is
fragile. I was worried that those human girls she met would hurt her feelings.
But it seems that it didn’t happen, I’m relieved.
“Nanamin, try to do the punch. Come on,
Nanamin Punch.”
She held my fist and tried to make me do
the punch. But I just smiled at her.
“I’m not mad at Nishino-san.”
“Really? Then why did your thorns look like
they were about to come out?”
“Maybe I was… expecting.”
“Hmm, I see.”
It seems like Mai understood everything
that’s why she just smiled happily.
“Huh? Ice skating? What’s that?”             
Sayuri was tilting her head, staring at us
and wondering what we were talking about.
Yes, I’m not angry about Nishino-san
getting afraid of me. It’s only natural for her to be hesitant to shake hands
with those who are like me.
Even though we live in the same village,
there is still a division between Shijin and ordinary humans that is why this
is the first time that we’ve seen each other this close. We lack in
understanding so it’s natural for us to have a misunderstanding between each
other. However, I expected too much from Nishino-san.
Nishino-san who will cut my thorns at
Shitoshiki. She will prove that I’m not a harm to humans. I was thinking, she
would be my very first friend who is not my kind. But in reality, she’s even
scared to hold my hand even though there are no thorns in my hand for that
moment.
I was mad at myself because I expected too
much. My thorns were about to come out. But if I let my thorns come out in that
situation, I will end up bearing the responsibility of Nishino-san. I would
make her misunderstand that she made me angry that’s why I had no choice but to
leave from that room.
—–To be continued—-
(Part Two)
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