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69 shades of anon - by bRkyeWpF aka "Doc"

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  1. 69 shades of anon - by bRkyeWpF aka "Doc"
  2.  
  3.  
  4. > When I was four or five years old, I got hit in the head somehow. I was found on the corner of a busy street in a puddle of blood.
  5. > I almost died, and suffered minor brain damage from blood loss. I couldn't remember anything about who I was, how I got there, and even had trouble speaking.
  6. > Also have a small tic because of it. Not really noticeable anymore, but it's there.
  7. > Doctors and nurses rarely say a word to me while I'm there. It's like I'm some kind of creature no one wants to deal with. It was pretty shitty.
  8. > No one reports a missing child.
  9. > One of the doctors tries to talk to me about adoptions, foster homes, things like that. I don't want anything to do with them, they sounded scary as fuck.
  10. > When I'm sitting out in the courtyard, the doctor comes up to me again about two weeks later. Following him is a lady that looked like she might have been beautiful 30 years ago.
  11. > He introduces me to her. We'll just call her 'Miss Anon' for now. She waves to me in response, and I notice that her arm seemed kind of funny.
  12. > I don't think anything of it. I'm four years old, what would I know? He talks with her for a while and I just sit on the bench kicking my legs, smiling and looking at the fountain.
  13. > "Are you absolutely sure about this? It just doesn't make sense to me." The doctor says to the strange woman. She just nods her head.
  14. > "If anything comes back to me, I'm pushing it to you. You understand that, right?" She just nods her head again. I still don't have a fucking clue what's going on.
  15. > The doctor looks back to me. He doesn't know my name, and I honestly don't remember it either, so he just says, "Alright, let's go little guy. We've got a few more things to talk about."
  16.  
  17. ----
  18.  
  19. > I follow him and the old lady (Everyone's old at that age) to his office, room, whatever the fuck it was.
  20.  
  21. > "Well, take a seat. There's a lot to go over." He looks back at the old woman. "Are you absolutely certain? I can get into a lot of trouble, and so can you."
  22.  
  23. > She sits still for a couple seconds. I'm distracted by a magic eight ball on his table. When I look up, she's just giving him a death stare.
  24.  
  25. > "Alright, alright. I get it. Fill out there forms. We should at least make it look like you're related." All I hear is that we're related.
  26.  
  27. > A bit of hope rises from inside me, and I look over to the strange lady with interest. She has long red hair, but it's up in a bun and is streaked with grey. She's constantly got this look in her eye like she's trying to shout something to the world but doesn't know how, but her smile is really beautiful. It was the one thing that always drew my attention to her.
  28.  
  29. > "This is 'Miss Anon'. She also got into a bit of an accident a little while ago. She ended up losing her right arm, and can't speak because of it. Do you understand?" He raises an eyebrow at me. The guy was seriously laid back, and always had a calm air around him.
  30.  
  31. >"Uh-huh." is all I manage to say, but the fuck I understand. It's confusing as hell so I just go with the flow.
  32.  
  33. > "Good. Starting today you're going to be living with her. She's paying a lot of money for you to go live with her. You should be happy, she's a very rich woman. You should be able to have a lot of fun living with her." He just nods his head a bit. It's hard to tell if he's reassuring me or himself at this point.
  34.  
  35. > "So I'm related to her?" Is all I can ask. That one statement of his kept making me wonder. I wanted to learn more about my family, or about what happened. I guess I just wanted to feel more secure about what was going on.
  36.  
  37. > "Well... sort of. Yeah, I guess you could say that." I don't know what exactly he meant by that.
  38.  
  39. ----
  40.  
  41. > "Anyways, you're going to be living with her. Things will be hard to get used to at first, but she's a very nice woman. I'll also be stopping in to check on you.
  42.  
  43. > I stop giving a fuck at this point. It became apparent to me that I wasn't going to have a say in what was happening, and that they weren't going to explain things to me.
  44.  
  45. > After a couple more forms are filled out and he continues with his half-assed reassurance, they pack up the few gifts I got from doctors, some spare clothes I had gotten, and send me on my way with some woman I had never met before.
  46.  
  47. > It was really weird at first. The place she lived in was absolutely massive. Dozens of rooms, huge garden, the works. Think of your cliched millionaire mansion, and that's what she had. It's a beautiful place.
  48.  
  49. > I got self-conscious of the fact that she was missing an arm, so I'd often catch myself staring at her. She had a prosthetic limb, but her arm was severed above the elbow so it was mostly just to look somewhat normal at a passing glance.
  50.  
  51. > I spent four or five years living with a woman who couldn't speak and didn't know my name. The only way she could get my attention was by ringing a bell she had.
  52.  
  53. > Eventually a little system got put into place. She'd ring it twice if she wanted me to come to her and three times if there was food. I passed my time practicing reading (We'll get to my schooling in a bit) or just playing in the garden. Looking back, it was a pretty awkward lifestyle. I can't say I hated it, but it made me feel uncomfortable.
  54.  
  55. > Every two or three months the doctor that set up the adoption would come and visit. He'd talk to her a bit about the financial situation, check to see how I was doing, and then be on his way. I remember hearing them talk about a lot of things I couldn't follow, but I can't remember what they were about.
  56.  
  57. > A few months after I left the hospital she enrolled me into a nearby school.
  58.  
  59. ----
  60.  
  61. > Every morning would be the same. She'd gently wake me up with the bell or by nudging me softly, and I'd go downstairs to a pretty awesome breakfast. It was always a little different and always tasted amazing. Honestly, I was happy. She turned out to be pretty nice, and things were going pretty well.
  62.  
  63. > She would drive me to and from the school every single day, and would talk to the teachers through writing if anything ever came up.
  64.  
  65. > School sucked for me, though. I hated it. It was the worst thing ever up until high-school.
  66.  
  67. > My first day there, the teacher tried to introduce me to the class. Unfortunately, the lack of a name had never really been solved. It was just implied that "someone" was going to be attending the school and that I was to be taken care of respectfully.
  68.  
  69. > Somewhere along the line, "respectfully" turned into "keep your distance from him." The other kids in the room started saying things like how I was "Too stupid for a name" or that I was weird or sick if I didn't have a name. One of the brats even went so far as to start telling people it meant I wasn't loved by God or some shit. I didn't care because I didn't understand religion, but it was all kinds of horror to them.
  70.  
  71. > One of the kids asked me why I don't just come up with a name for myself. It's not like the idea hadn't crossed my mind, but I didn't like it. I rarely spoke at all, which was a habit formed by living with a mute woman and in a hospital for all of my memorable life.
  72.  
  73. > I didn't know what a good name would be for someone like me. I didn't understand the concept of giving myself a name, so I simply didn't. I didn't want to. I was scared to. What if no one liked it? What if Miss Anon hated it? What if I picked something bad, or weird, or got called out for copying someone else?
  74.  
  75. > Somehow naming myself was a scary prospect. In time, they just ignored me altogether. I would do my work quietly and then head home when Miss Anon picked me up.
  76.  
  77. ----
  78.  
  79. > One day I got sick of the teasing. "How come I don't have a name?" I asked her. My voice was quiet and underwhelming from lack of use and living such a quiet life.
  80.  
  81. > She just stared at me like she normally did when I asked about something she didn't like. Her eyes would get sad, and she'd just give me her small smile. For some reason that always made me feel sick, and I would have to stop asking whatever I wanted to ask. Everything else became irrelevant when I saw that it wasn't making her feel well. I thought it meant I was making her sick or something.
  82.  
  83. > Year after year goes by, and I'm still just some kid without a name living with some woman I couldn't talk to in a house that was far too big for two people.
  84.  
  85. > I remember one day the doctor came to visit, and the woman started trying writing to him in a panic. I couldn't see what she wrote, and probably couldn't have read it at the time, but it seemed extremely important based on her expression. His eyes got wide and he seemed a bit nervous as well.
  86.  
  87. > "Are you busy tomorrow? No? Good. I'll stop by after you drop him off. We can discuss things then. I can't believe it's getting worse..." They didn't want to talk about it around me, so I assumed it was about me. Those last words made me think I did something terrible some how, and I was more upset than usual at school that day.
  88.  
  89. > Miss Anon picked me up that day, and the doctor was sitting with her in the car. "Hey... uh..." He wasn't sure what to call me, so he settled with calling me by her last name. "Little Anon, I'm gonna talk to you for a bit when we get back, alright?"
  90.  
  91. > He always seemed collected and cool, but this time he seemed anxious. I got scared and thought they were taking me away somewhere again, or that I was going to be adopted a second time by someone else.
  92.  
  93. > When we got back to the house, I sat down with him in the largest study. Miss Anon headed to the main kitchen and started cooking.
  94.  
  95. ----
  96.  
  97. > He started with his usual questions. Things like, "How've you been? How's she treating you? How is school? Kids still pick on you?" or he'd ask about movies I've seen or books I've read.
  98.  
  99. > Then he took a deep breath and leaned back in the chair so far that the back rested against the window. "Listen, Anon, (He was still using her last name as my name. I wasn't sure how I felt about this at the time, and it wasn't exactly a good last name for it.) there's a problem that we might run into. Miss Anon still has some injuries from her accident. Sometimes when someone gets hurt it doesn't heal all the way."
  100.  
  101. > "This is one of those times. What I mean to say is, she's getting worse. It might not be now, but it could be in a month, a year, two years, there's a chance that she..." He paused to figure out a way to explain it to me, but I was a little older at this point and my strange environment forced me to act more mature than my age.
  102.  
  103. > I interrupted him, "You're saying... that she's dying?" He just looked at me for a while, his usual expression on his face.
  104.  
  105. > "Yeah, little guy. Something like that." I wasn't sure how to react to that, so I just sat and stared at him waiting for him to say something.
  106.  
  107. > "Anyways, she might be leaving soon. So here's where the problem lies: I can't take care of you when she's gone, and you can't go up for adoption again. You're... we don't have anything we need for that to happen, and I can't take care of you because I spend too much time working and moving around. My house is too small for two people anyways, and you wouldn't want to live with a nasty old guy like me."
  108.  
  109. >He was trying to joke around at this point, but I didn't really get it. He didn't look that old, and I wouldn't have been against living with him.
  110.  
  111. > "She's going to teach you how to take care of yourself. You need to listen to her really well, alright? You have to give her your full attention. This is really important, anon!
  112.  
  113. ----
  114.  
  115. > Am I the only one that thinks this is fucked up in a way? She adopted me illegally, knowing her condition was unstable, just to turn me into an orphan all over again. And their best solution was, "He's ten, let's just have him start learning to care for himself. It'll be fine, what could possibly go wrong?"
  116.  
  117. > I'm annoyed and confused. Even I know this sounds absurd. I'm more than willing to share that fact with him, but he just responds with, "I know! I know it's messed up! It's not good at all, but that's all we can do. Any other option gets her and I into a lot of trouble, and you'd get into a lot of trouble too."
  118.  
  119. > "No, that's not fair! You guys are crazy!" That's all I say. I shout that at him and then stay sitting, silent, for what seemed like an hour.
  120.  
  121. > Finally he takes a deep breath and starts talking again. "Look, you're not completely on your own. I'll still be checking in on you, I'll set things up for school for you, and if you ever need an adult for something I'll do my best to come to you. Think of it like living with me, but I'm always away."
  122.  
  123. > It's my turn to raise an eyebrow. "This is stupid. That even sounded stupid." I have a bad habit of not giving a fuck after I think about something for too long. It got to the point where I wasn't going to have a say, so I just let things go as they would.
  124.  
  125. > "It's gonna be hard, but you're a really smart kid. You can do this."
  126.  
  127. > "Sure..."
  128.  
  129. > So for the next three years, Miss Anon is teaching me about cooking, cleaning, and even trying to help me learn finances (I couldn't figure out the last one so it was passed on to the friendly Dr. Anon.)
  130.  
  131. > I already liked cooking, so I caught on to that pretty fast. The problem was keeping clean and organized. I hated chores already, forcing me to do ALL of them made my head explode. It took a long time, but she eventually forced me into the habit.
  132.  
  133. ----
  134.  
  135. > The doctor would take care of groceries, and stopped in more regularly than before. He said that he wanted to come up with a good system before "it was too late."
  136.  
  137. > In the mean time, I'm attending school as usual. Every year I'd get a new teacher and they'd be confused as hell about me. None of them knew how to react, but none of them ever made a fuss because she paid off the school. I was like some kind of ghost they just let sit in the corner.
  138.  
  139. > I didn't like the way things were, though. I was always watching other kids having fun, playing together, laughing and talking. It hurt that I couldn't get involved with them, but I understood why. They saw me as an outcast.
  140.  
  141. > Still, relationships in general made me curious. I couldn't understand them. I didn't understand contact, emotions, social interaction in general. So I did the only thing I knew how to do when I didn't understand something. I went and asked the librarian.
  142.  
  143. > Eccentric old woman, constantly reading foreign books, would often yell out random things as if she had some kind of tourettes. Hell, she probably did. I liked talking to her though. Even though she was weird, she always had some kind of an answer to my questions. She was never confused like the other adults were when they spoke with me, probably because she never gave a shit what my name was.
  144.  
  145. > She showed me some books that were things like, "Philosophy for kids!" and bizarre things like that. She told me that after I read those, she'd get me some books that weren't in the kids library.
  146.  
  147. > So at the age of ten I'm being taught to cook for myself, clean up after myself, and am self-teaching general philosophy. Is it fair for me to say that these are traits I wish every ten year old had?
  148.  
  149. > The books were really weird. They took on a way of thinking I had never experienced, and it took a lot of effort for me to start working my way through them.
  150.  
  151. ----
  152.  
  153. > Fast forward two years. I'm almost thirteen at this point. I've started walking around town on my own, and every now and then I buy the groceries myself. Miss Anon couldn't be more proud of me, though she's visibly more ill than she was before.
  154.  
  155. > Her skin's become pale, and she always looks exhausted. The doctor comes in more often than he ever did before to keep an eye on her condition.
  156.  
  157. > I'm spending most of my time at the town library. I learned to look for the books I need by myself, and started getting better at discerning bullshit from intelligence. I also started reading things that directly concerned relationships with other people.
  158.  
  159. > The books fascinated me. The things I saw people doing every day at school that I couldn't understand before were explained to me in such a simple way. I loved it. It felt kind of like I was a part of it, even though deep down I knew I wasn't. It satisfied me for a while, but the desire to spend time with other people and actually make friends kept popping up. I kept wanting to move straight into it.
  160.  
  161. > But I'd tell myself "no." I knew my circumstances were bizarre. I understood that I was going to be what the books called 'socially awkward'. There was little I could do about it, that's just how the life I had made me. I decided to slowly bring myself into society.
  162.  
  163. >My favorite topic was love. The chemistry and psychology behind it confused me so much that it constantly had my attention. I would read as much about it as I could, from essays to love novels, I wanted to figure out why people would 'love' other people. It was something I didn't understand, and something I thought I had never felt even though I had felt all the other emotions the book talked about.
  164.  
  165. > One night I came home late from the library. It was only seven or so in the afternoon and the sun was just setting, but later than usual. It was nearing what Miss Anon deemed my fourteenth birthday.
  166.  
  167. ----
  168.  
  169. > I wanted to come in through the back of the house because I got to walk through the garden that way.
  170.  
  171. > that door happens to lead right by her bedroom window. I took a peek inside because normally she shuts all the curtains, but it was open this time which was something unusual.
  172.  
  173. > I didn't really think anything of it. I hadn't seen her room too much before, so I studied it a little bit.
  174.  
  175. > When I looked down towards the window sill, I noticed a hand up against it.
  176.  
  177. > I don't know when, but she collapsed in her room and tried to grab the curtains to keep herself up. That's why they were open even though she was usually so against leaving them like that.
  178.  
  179. > The doctor talked to me about what to do if something like this happened. He said not to call 911, but to call him instead. So that's what I did.
  180.  
  181. > He only took about five minutes to get there, but it was the most awkward five minutes of my life. I was looking at the woman who took me in laying on the floor, breathing slowly, possibly dying, and there was nothing I could do about it.
  182.  
  183. > And yet, I didn't really feel anything. The initial surprise was big. "My god, she's on the ground! She's not awake! Better call Anon, he'll know what to do!" but after I did, I suddenly wasn't interested.
  184.  
  185. >Don't get me wrong. Looking back on it, I really did love her like she was my mother. She took great care of me and did everything she could for me. I'll never forget her, and I'll always appreciate that I was picked up by the woman with such a lovely smile.
  186.  
  187. > At that time, though, it seemed irrelevant. All the preparing I did for when the aftermath came along seemed to have desensitized me to the idea. I knew she was dying. I knew I'd probably never see her again, but for some reason it didn't matter.
  188.  
  189. ----
  190.  
  191. > The doctor said she was okay for now. He did his best to stay positive, and I appreciated that he did even though I think he was more effected by it than I was.
  192.  
  193. > "You've been working really hard." He was saying as he tried to pick her up and carry her to the front door. "I know she's proud of you. She was always talking about you and how grown up you are. Stay strong, alright? I'll be back as soon as I can."
  194.  
  195. > Before I could think of anything to say in return, he was on his way.
  196.  
  197. > It was weird to me. I'd been living with a mute for the past seven or eight years, but it was the first time the house seemed so quiet.
  198.  
  199. > So what did I do? I went into the gallery and went through one of the games played between Kasparov and Topalov.
  200.  
  201. > I was home alone for three days. The doctor stopped in for about five minutes to grab some things, gave a few more words of assurance, and then went straight back to the hospital. I have no idea what he was grabbing, and I didn't care. I went back into the gallery and played through a Tal game.
  202.  
  203. > On the third day, the doctor came back to the house alone. He stumbled to find the words to use to tell me she passed away, but I understood the moment he came through the door.
  204.  
  205. > "So I live alone now?"
  206.  
  207. > He just stared into space like he normally did, the same cool expression as always. "Yeah, you're alone now."
  208.  
  209. > I was pissed off. I don't know why, I just was. I stood up and asked him one question. "Why?"
  210.  
  211. > At first he seemed unsure of what to say, but then he told me something I will never forget. I may not word it the same way, (Here's to you, faggot anon) but it was a lot like this.
  212.  
  213. ----
  214.  
  215. >"Why, huh?" He looked up at me as if he had made up his mind about something.
  216.  
  217. > "In this world, there are a lot of different kinds of pain. The worst pain of all comes from feeling alone. You're going to have that pain for the rest of your life. I'd help you if I could, but I can't. You're going to feel this pain for your entire life, and for that, I'm sorry. Just do what you can to keep yourself happy and you won't always notice that pain is there. One day, you'll find someone you love to help numb the agony you feel, but it will always be there. I just hope there's a day where you and I can talk, and that pain doesn't ring in your voice. Be strong, and let life take you where it leads. You'll find your peace eventually, be it through death or a family. I'll help keep you on the right path. Just make sure you pick where you want to go.”
  218.  
  219. > I couldn't believe it. My eyes went wide, and that instant was the first time I cried in those three days after she had collapsed. There was so much I wanted to ask about, so much I wanted to scream and cry about, but simply didn't know how. Then he goes and says something like that to me. I didn't understand all of it, but I kept playing those words in my head over and over until I did.
  220.  
  221. > That was the first time in my life that I felt like I could accomplish something worth while. That was the first time I felt determined. Just those words made me determined to change how I lived my life when I started high school. Different emotions were swirling inside of me, and I had no idea how to react to what just happened. I just got up from my chair and held out my hand for him to shake it.
  222.  
  223. > He stood up and grabbed my hand, and then pulled me in for a hug and apologized again. Then he left me alone in the dimly lit room and left.
  224.  
  225. ----
  226.  
  227. I hate to break it to you guys, but there's quite a bit more. I haven't even started talking about high school.
  228. I'm going to cut back a bit before Miss Anon had died.
  229.  
  230. > I had been reading those books like crazy, and trying to interact with others as much as I could. I, surprisingly, wasn't terribly socially awkward, and a lot of kids became more accepting of my situation than they were before. I got in the habit of introducing myself with Miss Anon's last name.
  231.  
  232. > Still, I was a bit of a pariah. I'd still get stares, and there were still harsh rumors. I still didn't have anyone I'd call a friend. They were all just people I knew, people I attempted to interact with.
  233.  
  234. > One day, one of the people I started speaking with was having some relationship issues (Hurrah 8th grade). Being filled with 12, 13, and 14 year olds, there weren't too many people to get advice from. Like hell you were gonna walk up to a teacher and ask one of them.
  235.  
  236. > But I was a bit different. I spent almost all of my time reading those books, thinking and imagining, wondering what it would be like and how people think. To save some time I won't go into details, but I helped solve a love triangle and he and his friends started calling me "The love doctor". I hated the nickname. Even in eighth grade I knew it sounded retarded.
  237.  
  238. > Over time it got shortened. For a while, I was "The Doctor". During that time, a few people had the balls to salute me and shout "Herr Doctor!" Luckily that one didn't stick, but it got shortened again. People would come to me asking for advice or opinions, and the name they used was simply "Doc."
  239.  
  240. > I still hated the name, but after a while it stuck. I won't lie, I loved the attention I was getting. All because I solved something that seemed so trivial to me, the other kids wanted help with things. It wasn't just shitty boyfriend/girlfriend relationships either.
  241.  
  242. ----
  243.  
  244. >Back to a couple months after the death of Miss Anon.
  245.  
  246. > A funeral was held, but I wasn't allowed to attend it out of fear that someone would wonder who I was and my relation to her.
  247.  
  248. > The doctor spoke with someone he knew at a local private high school. It was strict as hell, school uniforms and everything, but they didn't question anything as long as they got paid so it was where I needed to go.
  249.  
  250. > Thankfully, it was common for kids from the school I was going to before to move into that private school. The name Doc stuck with me and followed me here. Even some of the teachers referred to me that way.
  251.  
  252. > I don't think I ever became depressed during her death. Somehow it never effected me that way. It might have something to do with what Doctor Anon said to me, but I honestly don't know.
  253.  
  254. > So I entered high school motivated. I got active in different clubs, I did well in class, and I tried to be as social as I could. It wasn't too much of a change from before, but I was talking to kids and they started enjoying my company more and more.
  255.  
  256. > Even there, though, people would come to me in waves asking for help with boyfriends and girlfriends, families, help studying, random things they thought they couldn't do on their own. Why me? Because sometimes there are things that are just too much to talk about with a friend. Sometimes you have to share your thoughts with a stranger.
  257.  
  258. > Usually it just ended with me giving advice. "Yes, she likes you. Yes, he's probably cheating on you. Yes, that dress makes your ass look massive." Two times, however, I dealt with serious situations. Family problems that lead to violence was one, and the other involved a kid getting involved with a shark in my junior year. Those are stories for another time.
  259.  
  260. > I was becoming accepted in the school. I was pretty happy, but... it felt like something was missing. No matter how much I did, I didn't feel an attachment to anyone.
  261.  
  262. ----
  263.  
  264. > Part of why, I think, I never felt any of the emotions I should have, was because of my ridiculous sleep schedule.
  265.  
  266. > At first the teachers hated it. I would literally sleep through the entire school day, go home and eat, and then sleep more. The only time I was awake was after school when I was helping someone, or early in the morning. I slept for ungodly amounts of time.
  267.  
  268. > They tried everything they could to coax me out of sleeping in class, but it got to the point where they just didn't care as long as I was passing. So sleep I did.
  269.  
  270. > I would wake up around the last period of the day, head to the school's courtyard, and meet with the people who needed advice. I even had to set up a system of confidentiality.
  271.  
  272. > I'd have one person follow me over to a bench on the one side of the courtyard, and have everyone wait on the other side so that they couldn't hear. It helped a lot, since that was something a lot of people were conscious about.
  273.  
  274. > One girl in particular always caught my attention. She was the one who originally had family problems. Her name was Nao. She was half Japanese and half 'everything in Europe'.
  275.  
  276. >All of her problems after the family problem were relationships. She'd get a boyfriend, try to keep an innocent relationship, and then wonder why they would all cheat on her.
  277.  
  278. > So, of course, it became a habit. It got to the point where I could pretend I was listening to what she was saying and then finish with "Yes, he's cheating on you."
  279.  
  280. > My personal favorite was, "How can you say that so fast? How would you know?!" "Nao, look into that window." "Oh my god..." where we could see him sitting on one of the benches in the school with another girl, pretty much holding her in his arms and stroking her hair.
  281.  
  282. > I really liked talking to her, even though she was kind of a dimwit. She was pretty damn cute. Probably 5'4", weighed maybe 110 or 100, and was over all just a nice person to be around.
  283.  
  284. ----
  285.  
  286. > Being the guy that loved, well, love, I liked talking to her because she was always 'in love' with another guy. At first I credited it as her simply being easy, but after some time I realized that wasn't the case.
  287.  
  288. > Since she was falling in and out of love all the time, I thought I could get a better understanding of what it was.
  289.  
  290. > I got stopped by her one day on my way to school.
  291.  
  292. > "Hey Doc, wait up!" Sometimes she was simply annoying. That day I didn't get my regular 18 hours of sleep.
  293.  
  294. > "Oh my, was that the wind? It definitely wasn't anything useful. I'd better start running, don't want to be late to school."
  295.  
  296. > I may or may not have been punched for this. It was quickly followed with the threat "If you start running, I'll cut off your legs and feed them to you."
  297.  
  298. > Needless to say, I stopped running.
  299.  
  300. > After defending myself from the tiny terror, she asked for advice. She told me about how she got a call from her boyfriend's friend who told her that he was cheating on her. I had actually already heard about this, and planned on telling her later that day.
  301.  
  302. > "But he can't be, when I asked him about it he said..." I don't remember what she said here because it was so disgustingly corny that I probably developed tumors.
  303.  
  304. > "Nao." I'd usually start advice with someone's name. It stimulates their natural response to their name and lets your advice take a higher priority than it normally would or some shit like that. I don't remember which book talked about that.
  305.  
  306. > But she'd always just get real shy when I said her name. She'd back away a little and stutter. Never got that kind of reaction with anyone else. I'm ashamed to say it took me a lot longer to figure out what that meant than it should have. I'm terrible when it comes to giving advice to myself.
  307.  
  308. > I said straight out that he was cheating on her, and explained why.
  309.  
  310. ----
  311.  
  312.  
  313. > It took about ten minutes to convince her that I wasn't just trying to make her life a living hell by telling her all her boyfriends are cheating on her. It took another five to get her to stop crying.
  314.  
  315. > She said some familiar words, echoing the thought I had only a couple years before. "Doc, why does this always happen to me?"
  316.  
  317. >It took a lot for me not to react to that.
  318.  
  319. > We're near the main gate of the school at this point, though it's more like a gaping hole in a brick wall than a gate. She's sobbing like a child and basically using my shirt as a tissue at this point. I'll have you know, school uniforms ain't cheap. Eh, who'm I kidding? I thought it was adorable. Cute little asian girl crying into my shirt, looking for comfort? What's not to like?
  320.  
  321. > But it was against my own morals to take advantage of that. Call me a fag if you want, it just wouldn't sit right with me.
  322.  
  323. > She then asks a new question before I can answer. "He said he loved me! That asshole..."
  324.  
  325. > I do my best to help her understand her situation. I'm not here to be a nice guy, I just state things as they are.
  326.  
  327. > And he probably did love you. It's just... er... he's after a different kind of love, ya know?"
  328.  
  329. > Of course, other kids are pointing and whispering at this point. It's more common than not that something like this happens, but that doesn't make it any less awkward.
  330.  
  331. > After a couple more minutes, she calms down a bit. "I'm sorry Doc. I'm sorry. It's just... This always happens to me. I thought maybe you were the reason why. I thought maybe the things you told me to do were why things like this kept happening."
  332.  
  333. > My first thought was 'Ouch'.
  334.  
  335. ----
  336.  
  337. > “You know that's not true. You've had bad luck with guys. It's only natural you'll get problems like this. You're a cute girl, it's to be expected. How you handle all of this is what matters the most. All I can do is say what I think. What you think and what I think aren't always going to be the same, but hopefully it gives you another way to look at things. Sometimes a shift in perspective is all people need."
  338.  
  339. > I give a heavy sigh. I'm too exhausted for something like this so early in the morning, which is why I normally do it at the end of a school day.
  340.  
  341. > "Look, you know I'm always here to help you out if you need it. Whenever you're not sure what you should do, you can come find me. I might not always have an answer, but talking about it is infinitely better than trying to keep it locked up inside yourself."
  342.  
  343. > She looks up at me and I do my best to ignore the stains that somehow got on my coat. Then she gives a quick nod and jumps away from me, doing a little bit of a spin and runs up to the main door of the school.
  344.  
  345. > Then the cute little fucker turns to me and says the thing that made me feel so good about what I did every day. "Thanks for everything, Doc. Really."
  346.  
  347. ----
  348.  
  349.  
  350. > That day finishes with the usual crowd gathered in the courtyard, asking for help with things I'm all too used to dealing with at this point.
  351.  
  352. > It's relationship advice, of course. It's certainly my most popular service, so I must be producing some kind of results. I can't complain either. Helping someone solve boyfriend or girlfriend troubles is a lot better than trying to save someone from a loan shark's wrath, that's for sure.
  353.  
  354. > Normally you'd call the cops in such a situation, but sometimes the cops can't get involved or the situation is just too unbelievable. I hate taking such responsibility for myself, but cases like those are what gave me the reputation I had.
  355.  
  356. > I've saved the lives of some people, and I've made quite a few enemies in the process, but I've never regretted what I do. Those few words make it all worth while, those words everyone uses to part ways with me. A simple 'Thanks' means a lot to me, a lot more than it does to most people.
  357.  
  358. > After another trek from school to home, I make myself an instant dinner and then head to bed. Just another boring day. Maybe I should be more thankful of that. Maybe...
  359.  
  360. > As I think the lack of events in my life, another thought drifts through my mind. A sad, innocent thought. One that always grips me before sleep at home, the thought that makes it so hard for me to stay asleep in my own bed. One that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
  361.  
  362. > "It's too quiet here..."
  363.  
  364. > The next morning I wake up earlier than usual and prepare breakfast. Some different thoughts are running through my head. Doctor Anon hadn't spoken with me in a while, and for some reason I'm wondering what Nao did about her junk-ass boyfriend.
  365.  
  366. > That annoys me. Why should I care about that? Why am I hoping for that? I'm the last person that should be hoping for that. I should be doing what I can to help her as her... doctor?
  367.  
  368. ----
  369.  
  370. > No, it's fine for me to hope she breaks up with him. After all, he was obviously going to hurt her. It's better this way. Right?
  371.  
  372. > By the time I'm half way to the gate I realize I haven't run into any old patients. It's definitely unusual. I almost always run into someone, and half the time I do they're looking for me for some quick advice.
  373.  
  374. >The lack of morning conversation is letting my mind roam around a little more than it usually does, which must be why I'm thinking of things I normally wouldn't.
  375.  
  376. > I try to think about different ways I could have helped the people who came to me yesterday, but unfortunately, Nao falls into this category.
  377.  
  378. > I accidentally scream out in frustration, and some girls headed to school on the other side of the road give me a weird look. That's when I realize that the road had filled up a little more than it had when I first left.
  379.  
  380. > I give a small apology and quicken my pace. This is unbelievably irritating. I, someone who prides myself for having answers to almost everything, can't figure out why the hell she keeps popping up in my head.
  381.  
  382. > Normally this would happen if I were unsure about advice I had given someone, but this isn't a guilty feeling. It makes no sense. There's no reason for her to be in my head like this.
  383.  
  384. > My shout from before gathered more attention than I thought, and a girl from school starts walking towards me. I think I recognize her, but the only thing that comes to mind is that she's a sophomore.
  385.  
  386. > “Doc... are you okay?” This is way out of character for me, this much anxiety is way out of hand. She seems genuinely worried about me because of it. I'm known to be pretty calm and collected, so seeing me like this must be putting a lot of people on edge. I take a deep breath to try and calm myself down.
  387.  
  388. ----
  389.  
  390. >“Yeah, I'm fine, really. I seem to be having some problems of my own. Don't worry about it, I'll figure things out eventually.” I realize I said something I shouldn't have.
  391.  
  392. > If I make it clear that something's bugging me, she's just going to want to find out more. The problem is that I don't know what's wrong, so it'll quickly become awkward and confusing for the both of us.
  393.  
  394. > “Well... when you helped me, you told me talking about things helps make them easier to understand because we're hearing them from the outside. Maybe... I mean, if- uh... if you don't mind, you could tell me what's wrong. Maybe I can help... or something...”
  395.  
  396. > First thought: "WHY ARE YOU SO GOD DAMN CUTE!"
  397.  
  398. > Second thought: I doubt she, herself, can help me out, but she's right about how talking about things can help solve them. It's not like I have any other choice at this point anyhow.
  399.  
  400. > “Sure, I guess I can try to explain things a little.” Her face lights up a and she gets a bright smile. I think that was the right choice. If helping me out makes her feel a little better, I'm all for it.
  401.  
  402. > “Yesterday I helped a girl with her relationship, like I have for dozens of girls before, dozens of times before. Her boyfriend was cheating on her, and she wanted advice and needed confirmation.”
  403.  
  404. > The girl looks at me with her head slightly tilted, and an extremely bewildered expression. She looks kind of like a dog like this. I hate that I can't remember her name, but I'm sure it'll come up sooner or later.
  405.  
  406. > “For some reason I started thinking of her and her problem. She won't get out of my head, and I have no idea why. The first thing that pops into my head is that I hope she broke up with her boyfriend. At first it didn't make sense, but when I think about it that's only natural. After all, I want people to have what's best for them, and right then it was-”
  407.  
  408. > I don't get to finish my sentence.
  409.  
  410. ----
  411.  
  412. >“No!” She yells at me loud enough to make me jump in surprise. That was unexpectedly vicious.
  413.  
  414. > She continues, now much more aware of her own voice.
  415.  
  416. > “That's not-... that's... That's wrong. That's not what it is at all. Doc, you really don't get it?”
  417.  
  418. > Now it's my turn to tilt my head like a lost dog. Is it something that obvious? Why did she notice it so quickly?
  419.  
  420. > “Doc... this is funny in a way.” She starts giggling a little. Now I just feel like I'm being made fun of. I also can't help but think her laugh sounds somewhat... scary.
  421.  
  422. > “If it's so obvious, why not just tell me?” I say a little annoyed, my cheeks half puffed in frustration. For being so shy earlier she seems pretty damn sure of herself. She gives another little giggle. If I weren't so annoyed it would be adorable.
  423.  
  424. > Except it's still kind of creepy.
  425.  
  426. > “Well, Doc, do you want a dry answer or do you want me to help you?” She asks with a smile. I think about what that means for a couple seconds, and look at her with a single raised brow.
  427.  
  428. > Obviously, she means if she helps me she can't tell me the answer, but that's a bit obscure for someone like her to say. I let out a sigh and look straight up to the sky, swinging my arms behind my head like I don't give a care in the world.
  429.  
  430. > “Help me out. If it's something you shouldn't say, then don't say it. It sounds like you think I should figure out myself.” She smiles at this answer and nods her head a little.
  431.  
  432. > Then she squeals like a little kid and runs in front of me, blocking my path, and sticks her face right in front of mine. “Wha-... what the hell? What do you want? What's wrong with you?"
  433.  
  434. > “I have to know. Who is it you helped yesterday? What's her name? Tell me tell me tell me tell me!” She machine-guns the same two words over and over until I can't take it anymore.
  435.  
  436. ----
  437.  
  438. > “It was Nao!” I yell and try to force my way around her. “Christ, just stop! Why is that so important?”
  439.  
  440. > She squeals again, louder this time, and runs around in a circle laughing before walking next to me again. What the hell is wrong with this girl?
  441.  
  442. > Before I can say anything else, someone calls for her.
  443.  
  444. > “Liz, come on! We're going to be late!”
  445.  
  446. > She snaps back to reality, and I can't help but become even more confused. If I remember right, Liz is a good friend of Nao's. That means...
  447.  
  448. > I look over and sure enough, Nao is the one calling her. She sees me and gives a smiles and wave. I smile and wave back. Liz runs over and tackles her for a hug.
  449.  
  450. > What a weird girl. They rush ahead to meet up with whomever they said before, and I find myself walking at a slightly more relaxed pace than before. Maybe I feel a little better after talking to Liz about it, but I'm still as confused as ever. I guess it's not important.
  451.  
  452. > I just need to keep my cool and do my best to ignore it. Eventually, the answer will come to me. It always does.
  453.  
  454. > I head to class and the daily routine begins again. Some people wave to me on my way in. I'm here earlier than usual, so there are only two others in the room.
  455.  
  456. > I wave back, sit down, and rest my head in my hand. I turn my gaze to the window next to me and stare off at nothing.
  457.  
  458. > How long can I just keep sleeping days away? I should be looking at colleges or careers. I guess I've already got a decent idea of what kind of field I should be looking into, but do I even need to work? I have enough money to last the rest of my life.
  459.  
  460. ----
  461.  
  462.  
  463. > I could even profit off of interest if I play things right. I start to drift off and as a result my head falls out of my hand. I stop myself from slamming my face into the desk, but just barely.
  464.  
  465. > At some point the other seats in the room filled up, people whispering and laughing about random things.
  466.  
  467. > The teacher comes in, and class begins with him taking about heredity and shit like that. The last thing I remember hearing before passing out is how rare it is for my eye color to be passed down, which is calming to hear somehow.
  468.  
  469. > “Yo, Doc.”
  470.  
  471. > That's what I woke up to in class every day. "Yo, Doc." Pissed me off somehow.
  472.  
  473. > “Hey, Doc. Wake up.” Whoever you are, prepare yourself for death.
  474.  
  475. > “Whaaaaaat?” I respond lazily, rolling my head over to look at my attacker. I'm too lazy to kill anyone, who am I kidding?
  476.  
  477. > Why can't I just get some peace and quiet? When I'm asleep is the only time my thoughts stay my own. I can get glimpses of self-understanding I so rarely see when I'm awake, and I can push away reality. After all, your problems can't follow you into your sleep.
  478.  
  479. > “Nao asked me to come grab you. She wants to talk to you about something. Seemed important.”
  480.  
  481. > His tone confirmed this. Something was up, but he knew more than he was willing to share. Even still, there's no point in trying to pry it out of him.
  482.  
  483. > I look at the clock and see lunch has just started. “Thanks for getting me.” I stand up and head into the hall, where I see a cute girl with pigtails standing with her hands behind her back, smiling.
  484.  
  485. > “Hey Nao, something wrong?” Is all I can think to say. It's rare for her to talk to me about anything that isn't her boyfriend trouble. I assume this time is no different.
  486.  
  487. ----
  488.  
  489. > “No, not really. I wanted to talk to you about a few things real quick, and then I'll be on my way. Were you sleeping?”
  490.  
  491. > This is... different than usual. I become a little more intrigued.
  492.  
  493. > “Yeah, but that's not a big deal. So what'd you want to talk about?” Her expression looks a little pained when I say this. She has an idea of how important sleep is to me.
  494.  
  495. > “Sorry... uh, I wanted to let you know I broke up with Gary. You were right. He was cheating. He'd been cheating for a while now, with two other girls. You were right.” She says that part twice, as if she still has to convince herself.
  496.  
  497. > She glances away a little, thinking of what to say next. I can tell she's having trouble thinking of something, so I take over.
  498.  
  499. > “I'm sorry, Nao. I know you're tired of this happening. Just remember that I'm always here to help you out, alright? There are good guys out there, you just have to stop bringing home the ones you find on the street.”
  500.  
  501. > I wasn't really sure what to say at this point either. It's not often she'd pull me aside during school to talk about something like this.
  502.  
  503. > “Wha... no, wait. I...” She looks confused, like she's having more trouble trying to think of what she's going to say next. Then a wave of confidence washes over her, and her expression switches to something a little more serious.
  504.  
  505. > “I thought about what you said yesterday, and about the stuff you said to be before. It made me think about a lot of different things.” Where is she going with this?
  506.  
  507. > “I started thinking about why you do the things you do. It took me a lot of time, but I think I've figured out a lot about you, Doc. The more I thought about it, the worse I felt."
  508.  
  509. ----
  510.  
  511. > Let me clarify something. I've never told anyone about my situation. I've never shared what happened to me, what I've lost, or how I live. No one has ever been to my house. No one knows who I am, more or less. That's why what she says next hits me so hard.
  512.  
  513. > I'll be the first to say she was a witch and that it was witchcraft.
  514.  
  515. > Continuing where she left off, "I felt good about it too, though, because someone like you was still giving their all to care about everyone else, even someone like me. You take care of everyone at the school, even though...”
  516.  
  517. > I really don't see where this is going. She continues with her strange revelation.
  518.  
  519. > “Doc... why do you help people?”
  520.  
  521. > Unfair. She took something I asked her in the past and completely flipped it around. Normally I'd have an answer right away, but between everything that's been taking up my attention I just can't find the words.
  522.  
  523. > “Because... I... Because I...” I can't think of anything proper to say. Nothing comes to mind like it normally does. Why do I go out of my way to help people, is what she's really asking. Why do I sacrifice so much for other people?
  524.  
  525. > Realization slowly sinks in. She's figured out way too much. This is going to hurt.
  526.  
  527. > “Doc... how many friends do you have?” Fuck. This is going right where I hoped it wouldn't. What's the best way to handle this? I can't lie about it, but there's got to be a way to turn this in another direction. How do I turn this around? I don't want to deal with this
  528.  
  529. > There has to be something, some way out. Yet... I can't think of anything. The best way to handle this is answer everything honestly. If I don't try to stall it'll end quicker and I won't have to deal with it anymore.
  530.  
  531. ----
  532.  
  533. > “I don't have anyone I'd call a friend, Nao.” I say, trying to sound as calm about it as possible. My furrowed brow and shaking hand says everything I didn't, unfortunately.
  534.  
  535. > “What about your family, Doc? Don't you have a family?” How much did she think about? This is bad. I took too long to respond, so I can't talk my way around this anymore. She asks me again. I have to tell her at this point.
  536.  
  537. > “I don't have any, Nao. I don't have any.” I say this a little more firmly. I'm not happy, but I don't want to be a dick about it. As long as I keep my cool it can pass without much effect. I'm sure there's a reason for her bringing this up.
  538.  
  539. ----
  540.  
  541. > “I know why you do what you do.” She says with quite a bit of certainty. Does she, now? I'd be impressed if she has a reasonable answer. Somehow I feel like she's just wasting my time and bringing up bad topics for no reason.
  542.  
  543. > “You do this because you're all alone. You've always been alone. Even if everyone considers you a friend, which they do, you think you're alone. You don't have any family, and you don't have any friends in your eyes. Every day you go to a quiet home and do nothing but sleep, because when you're asleep you don't need to think about how lonely the world is. You don't need to think about how hard it is to take part in reality.
  544.  
  545. >"You make everyone's problems your own so that you can keep your mind off of how you can't solve your own problems. You can feel like you're accomplishing something, and like it doesn't matter how lonely you are. The more you help other people, the less lonely you feel. You don't even have a name. Even the teachers just call you 'Doc'. It's like you don't even exist. It's like you aren't real, and you're afraid because eventually everyone you've helped is going to forget about you. Everyone talks about you a lot, Doc. They talk about the guy with no name, and how none of it makes sense. Everyone is trying to piece together your puzzle, and learn the story of the guy who helps everyone of himself, the story of the guy who's never seen outside of school.”
  546.  
  547. > She walks up to me and wraps her arms around me. I don't even notice this at first because I'm standing in shock, unable to even blink. This is complete bullshit. It pisses me off in a way I didn't know possible, and I don't get why.
  548.  
  549. > She didn't just figure out I had a few of my own problems. She pulled out all the stops, and said everything about me. She figured out what makes who I am and why I'm like this, and stated it as bluntly as possible to make sure I couldn't deny it.
  550.  
  551. ----
  552.  
  553. > I usually think she's a ditzy girl, but this was unbelievably cunning. It hurts so much that I can't even work up the energy to move or talk.
  554.  
  555. > Why the hell would she say all this to me? Why would she bring everything I've been hiding from and throw it in my face like this? Why would she shove so much pain into me at once after I've done so much for her?
  556.  
  557. > “I'm always here for you, Doc. I don't care what you think, I-...” She hesitates for a second, but only a second. “I'm your friend. When something is bothering you, or when you can't take anymore pain, when you don't feel like being alone, you can come find me.”
  558.  
  559. > She looks up at me and smiles. “I cried in your arms yesterday, so...” She hesitates again. It seems like she's having trouble saying a lot of this, but that's understandable. This is pretty unusual, even for me, though I'm still just shocked about everything. “Just remember I'm here for you, alright?”
  560.  
  561. > She lets go of me and backs away a little bit. Then she puts her hands behind her back again and smiles. “I'll talk to you later, Doc. And I'm sorry... For waking you up.” She turns away and runs off to lunch. I stand in the hall for several minutes before walking back into the classroom.
  562.  
  563. > It takes me a little longer than usual to fall asleep, but do my best to ignore what just happened. This time I have a weird dream about shadows curling over and devouring everything, and death filling the sky and air.
  564.  
  565. > Some kind of terrible metaphor for what just happened, I'm sure. It's all just shocking. It's all just... it's too much. It's too much for me at once.
  566.  
  567. > It wasn't until class started again that I realized the double meaning in those last words of hers. 'Sorry for waking you up.'
  568.  
  569. > How cruel.
  570.  
  571. ----
  572.  
  573. > Slowly, I pull my head off of my desk at the ring of the final bell. I feel like crap. Nao hit me somewhere I didn't even know existed, and then left me to soak in my own misery. I know she didn't mean for it to be that way, but that's exactly how it feels.
  574.  
  575. > Even so, I'm not mad she said it. It helped for some reason. Pushing myself up as much as I can, I head to the courtyard I claim every day and once more push my way the problems of everyone else.
  576.  
  577. > Something I forgot to mention. I set up a little box labeled "Requests" for people that had a problem they felt like they couldn't talk about and would rather write or set up a meeting for. It very rarely saw use, and was usually only serious problems.
  578.  
  579. > After dealing with the usual problems, albeit with much less energy than usual, I head to the door and check the box. There's only a couple hours of sunlight left. I ended up staying later than usual, so I almost ran right past the box without noticing.
  580.  
  581. > Not a good sign.
  582.  
  583. > The request box never has anything simple. Normally, they're situations too harsh or embarrassing for people to outright say, or they're things that take a lot of effort and thought to explain, and are best put into writing.
  584.  
  585. >Either way it means a lot of work for me. I pop it open and pull out the paper, somewhat interested in what challenge awaits. Maybe it'll help keep my mind off of what Nao said earlier.
  586.  
  587. > Except it's from Nao.
  588.  
  589. ----
  590.  
  591. 'Doc,
  592. Sorry about before. I think I said that all wrong. I didn't mean to make you
  593. upset. I wanted to let you know I care about you, and I wanted to tell you that
  594. if you're ever having problems, you can come talk to me. Somehow things took a
  595. weird turn, and I started saying stuff I didn't really understand.
  596. I don't want you to be mad at me, and there were a few other things I wanted
  597. to say.
  598. I wouldn't mind talking to you tonight. Could you come over later?'
  599.  
  600. Before you guys say anything, no, I don't 'get sex Nao.'
  601.  
  602. > The letter closes with her name written with a flourish and a little heart. My first thought is that her handwriting is really childish.
  603.  
  604. > The second thought is that it's really odd for her to make a request like this, and even more unusual for her to use the box to do it. I'm beginning to worry something might have happened.
  605.  
  606. > Maybe she feels a little worse about the break-up than I thought? Or maybe she really does just want to talk to me about my life some more. I guess I wouldn't really mind that. I'd rather not leave it the way it is.
  607.  
  608. >Pocketing the note, I grab my stuff and head home. It only takes a couple minutes for me to clean up and finish eating, and soon enough I'm on my way to her house. It's still kind of early, but late enough for dinner. Maybe she wanted me to eat with her and her family?
  609.  
  610. > Oh, that's right, her family's gone for the next few days. They left on some kind of business or something like that. More and more, I begin to think about what she might want to talk about, and why she couldn't just talk about it on the roof. Or hell, why not just write it on the note?
  611.  
  612. > As my mind wanders through different possibilities, one finds its way in that I'm pretty sure makes me blush a little. Possibilities was a key word, dammit! There's no point in thinking the impossible.
  613.  
  614. ----
  615.  
  616. > Why am I even thinking something like that? There's no way. I'm not her type, and I'm not exactly the most fun guy around. I spend most of my time reading and sleeping. There's no way. Never.
  617.  
  618. > Right?
  619.  
  620. > As I'm thinking this, a small shop catches my eye. Maybe... Maybe I should get her something? That wouldn't be too much, would it? It seemed like she wanted to apologize about something, but if I get her this, maybe she won't feel like she needs to.
  621.  
  622. > After all, what she said just caught me off guard. It wasn't that bad. Sure, this is fine. I'll step in and try to find something nice.
  623.  
  624. > I thought it was just a jewelry store, but there are a lot of different antiques as well, and almost everything looks like it has quite a bit of age to it. Looking for something she'll like might be a bit harder than I thought.
  625.  
  626. > To make matters worse, the shopkeeper happens to be an extremely disgruntled old woman. She peers at me with half closed eyes, and coughs roughly before speaking.
  627.  
  628. > “Need help findin' somethin', kid?” How charming. Sounds like she's been smoking since she was ten, and that would had to have been seventy years ago.
  629.  
  630. > “No, that's okay. I'm trying to find a gift for a friend.” When I say this, she gives me an odd look. One of disbelief, mixed with worry, maybe. Wait... did I just say friend? Before I can think on this anymore, she starts talking again.
  631.  
  632. > “Just so you know, everythin' here is pretty pricey.” She notices I'm checking the jewelry, and then continues, “The jewelry 'specially. Most of 'em are original pieces made with precious metals, and some of 'em are a couple hundred years old. There's no point in you lookin' there if you ain't got the money.”
  633.  
  634. ----
  635.  
  636. > “Well, I do have this...” As she says that, she pulls out a large wooden box, maybe three feet in length and a foot wide, yet only three or four inches thick. It's obviously old, yet well kept and polished. She cracks it open and inside are some of the most amazing pieces I've ever seen. I think my mouth opened a little, but I'm too distracted to notice.
  637.  
  638. > “Oh, wow...” I walk over to the box slowly, and start gazing at all the different pieces of jewelry laid out in front of me for something she might like. Then I feel really stupid.
  639.  
  640. > How the hell am I supposed to know what she likes? What would she even be willing to wear? Oh man, this is dumb. I guess I should just try to imagine her wearing one of them, and if I think it looks good, just give it a shot. Why am I even buying something for her in the first place?
  641.  
  642. > As I start to think about this, something grabs my attention. Bright silver inlaid with the brightest gold I've seen, it looks like a mix between a cross and a sword. The guards of the hilt or arms of the cross span into wings that fold around and draw down towards the tip of the blade.
  643.  
  644. > The gold is patterned across different points to try and highlight the edges of the work, but it's also been inlaid with extremely fine detailing. The chain is rather nice too, some kind of silver colored metal that has quite a shine. I don't know for sure what kind it is, but it doesn't seem to be affected by aging. Platinum, maybe?
  645.  
  646. > “How much is that one?” I ask, well knowing this is going to cost a small fortune. It's simply too well-made. One of the things Miss Anon loved showing off was her jewelry. She taught me the ins and outs after writing, "Someone of rich blood should know at least this much." She looks at me a little wide-eyed, and then her expression changes to that of deep thought. She closes her eyes before speaking.
  647.  
  648. >
  649.  
  650. ----
  651.  
  652. > “Are you sure you want that one?” I wouldn't have asked if I was sure, but no point in arguing semantics.
  653.  
  654. > “Well, what's the price?” She looks worried a little. This, in turn, makes me worried. Why the hell is she getting so worked up over this?
  655.  
  656. > “$1200.00” I almost fall backwards to this response. I mean sure, it's well made. But twelve hundred dollars? Unbelievable!
  657.  
  658. > “What the hell, are you on crack!? Why so much?” I ask, hoping for a chance to haggle down the price. I'm sure there's a good reason, but it never hurts to check your luck.
  659.  
  660. > “Hmm... this is several hundred years old, and it has a bit o' mystery to it. Gold should have been almost impossible to inlay with that kind o' detail. The silver was skillfully crafted. This was the work of a real master, and has precision that's rarely matched. It's also a symbol that's lost its name. I might be dippin' a little under what I could make off of this, that I might be...” she says. I start to get worried she might raise the price. Crap, that's not what I need.
  661.  
  662. I know she played the hell out of me. I was stressed and confused at the time, and money wasn't really an object. Thankfully it was all real precious metals.
  663.  
  664. > “I'll take it.”
  665.  
  666. > “What?” She looks shocked. Partly because a kid my age shouldn't be walking around with that much cash to blow on jewelry, and partly because I'm sure she didn't think I was seriously looking for something to buy.
  667.  
  668. > “I said I'll buy it.” I try to act as nonchalant about it as possible and pull out my wallet. Even though I have quite a bit of cash, it's still a stupid investment.
  669.  
  670. > Still, I feel like I owe Nao a lot. I don't quite understand why yet, but that's just how I feel. I mean, I even called her a friend earlier. That has to say something in itself.
  671.  
  672. Of course I have to pay in cash. Not having a name has its downsides.
  673.  
  674. ----
  675.  
  676. No... Can we just wait a bit, please?
  677.  
  678. > > “Oh? Well... okay then." Grateful for the purchase, she wraps it up for me. It looks quite nice, wrapped with real care which saves me a lot of trouble, and makes it easier to present it as a gift.
  679.  
  680. >I take the small box and slip it into my coat pocket, share salutations with the slightly dazed old woman, and continue on my way to Nao's. All I can think about is whether or not she'll like it.
  681.  
  682. > I start getting nervous and start thinking stupid thoughts. What if she doesn't like it? What if she hates it? What if she hates me for getting her something so expensive?
  683.  
  684. > It's a little bigger than most things, maybe it's not her style? It's actually really weird, could I say it's anyone's style? Why the hell did I spend so much money on this? Maybe she was calling me over to tell me something terrible, and I just got her a present. Oh man, what if she's allergic to the metal it's made of? This could be completely worthless!
  685.  
  686. > As stupid thought after stupid thought creeps through my head, I start to get more and more nervous about meeting her. At the same time I realize something.
  687.  
  688. > I'm getting more and more excited to see her, just as excited as I am nervous. Am I really that anxious to see Nao again? Why is she suddenly such a big deal to me?
  689.  
  690. > I push aside all thoughts of Nao and why I'm rambling in my own mind like a madman, and start to walk a little faster. The best way to figure all of this out is to just talk to her about it all. Whatever she has to say might help me understand what I'm thinking. After all, she's the one who picked me apart until nothing was left.
  691.  
  692. ----
  693.  
  694. > I smile a little and look at the horizon in the distance. The sun is just barely poking over it. In another hour or so it'll be gone completely, and night will have settled in.
  695.  
  696. > What an odd day it's been. I've never had a day so wrapped around myself before. It feels different, but in a good way. Maybe Nao was right. As I think this, what she said earlier comes to mind. Sorry for waking me up, huh?
  697.  
  698. > After what seems like an eternity spent walking, I end up at her apartment building. These places always seem so big from the outside. I head in and look at the name list by the buzzers, and after looking for a few seconds, find 'Anon' written on a piece of paper across one of the buttons near the bottom.
  699.  
  700. > She lives quite a few floors up. I hold the buzzer for a few seconds and then hear a buzz back. Looks like she was waiting for me. Pushing open the door, I head into the massive apartment complex and start trying to find an elevator.
  701.  
  702. > The more I wander around the place, the more I realize how nice it is. What exactly do her parents do to stay at a place like this? Just before I think I might be lost, I find an elevator that can take me to her floor.
  703.  
  704. > I push the button and head up, trying to block all predictions of what kind of scenario is waiting for me. There's no reason to work myself up for nothing. Just let things come as they are. If it's bad then so be it. Get it over with now, and deal with it later.
  705.  
  706. > The elevator stops and I make my way out, now searching the different halls for her room number. For some reason all the numbers are in a random order. What's with this place? It seems kind of abstract for such a nice hotel.
  707.  
  708. > I swear I've been walking around this hotel for hours now. Eventually, I find her door. I give it a few light knocks, but before I can finish, the door cracks open. Was coming to try and find me?
  709.  
  710. ----
  711.  
  712.  
  713. > “Oh... Hey Doc. Come on in.” I look at her carefully. Her face seems a little red and puffy, and her hair is kind of messy. She's also dressed in what I'm assuming are pajamas. It's only been a few hours since we last talked, but this a drastic change.
  714.  
  715. > “Uh... sure. Nao, are you... okay?” I'm a little hesitant to ask. Partly because I'm afraid I might be the reason she was crying and partly because I'm afraid of whatever could do this to her.
  716.  
  717. > I start thinking I hate whoever made her feel like this. If I find out it was me, things might get a little awkward.
  718.  
  719. > “Yeah, I'm fine. I was just thinking about a few things. I thought about what I said to you too... I'm sorry Doc. I didn't mean... I didn't mean to be so mean about it. You don't have any family or friends, and I figured out that was the case, but I didn't try to be sensitive about it. I just said it and rubbed it in your face with no consideration for you. I wanted to tell you I'm sorry and let you know I didn't mean for it to be like that. Actually, there are a lot of things I want to let you know, but-... let's just sit down and relax. I found a few movies I wanna watch. I'll make us some drinks, too. You like coffee?”
  720.  
  721. > Coffee, huh? Whatever.
  722.  
  723. > Did she just want to hang out? I guess that's fine, but why go through such a roundabout way of saying that? I know she said we can talk later tonight, but it's pretty obvious she was just looking to spend time with me. Why go through all the trouble? Something doesn't seem right. I don't get it.
  724.  
  725. > “Sure, sounds good. And black, please.” No matter how I look at it, she isn't acting normal. She isn't her happy-go-lucky self that she usually is. Even when we talked earlier today, she seemed a lot more... grim. Something's bugging her. She's worried about... something. I don't quite understand this yet. This doesn't make sense.
  726.  
  727. ----
  728.  
  729. I don't know, and I don't care. Never bothered me enough to question it until after I thought about it later.
  730.  
  731. “Black? That's so lame. I'm gonna make something crazy and you're gonna like it.” Or maybe not.
  732.  
  733. >Maybe I'm just over thinking things. This is so bizarre. Why is everything like this? She invites me in and then heads into the kitchen, and I take a seat on the couch to take a look at the movies she laid out.
  734.  
  735. >They're all really cheesy horror titles, and there's nothing to describe them other than 'B-movies.'
  736.  
  737. > “What's with the movies? Trying to bore me to death?” I decide to try and tease her a little to try and pick up what kind of atmosphere I'm missing. She comes into the room with a small tray and sets down two cups of coffee on the table before turning to me slowly, a wicked smile on her face.
  738.  
  739. > I can hear the poison in her voice. "Did you say something, Doc?"
  740.  
  741. > Scary as fuck...
  742.  
  743. > "Yeah, these movies look lame. What the hell, Nao? Why are you trying to bore me to death?” This might end in pain.
  744.  
  745. > She stares at me for a while, with that same wicked smile, hardly moving. I can't even tell if she's breathing. This is almost disturbing. Suddenly, I feel a flash of pain and everything goes dark for a second.
  746.  
  747. > I close my eyes and open them, but she's just laughing. It takes me a while to come to the conclusion that she hit me, but at the same time... that wasn't normal. It's like something happened inside my head. What the hell was that?
  748.  
  749. > “Don't judge my taste in movies. I promise you'll like them. Besides, even you can't deny sitting next to such a cute girl to watch some horror movies.” She winks.
  750.  
  751. > I happened to be taking a sip of my coffee when she did, so when I try to laugh, I start choking on the extremely hot liquid. It feels like I just burnt the inside of my lung. She panics a little and starts patting my back, but that doesn't hide the fact that she's laughing.
  752.  
  753. ----
  754.  
  755. > “No way, if I were trying to kill you, you'd already be dead.” She says this with a smile, and it catches me completely off guard. She's always so friggin' out there with what she says. Scary... but she giggles a little, and leans back onto the couch.
  756.  
  757. > I give a small sigh and set my coffee on the table, before leaning back into the other side.
  758.  
  759. > We start watching the first movie she puts in, but even just as it starts I can tell she's starting to nod off. She keeps tilting sideways before snapping back up, her eyes almost closed.
  760.  
  761. > “Tired?” I ask, amused by the sight. She looks like a little kid like this. Different from her usual 'sub-murderous' personality. She looks over at me, half asleep, and then smiles lazily and closes her eyes.
  762.  
  763. > “I haven't been sleeping well lately, sorry. I'll try to wake up.” I laugh at this a little.
  764.  
  765. > “You're already drinking coffee, stupid. If you're still tired, just try to sleep.” She looks at me for a few seconds, and then yawns quietly. Why is everything she does so attractive?
  766.  
  767. >“Yeah, thatza good idea, Doc. I think I'll do that...” And before I know it, she lays her head on my shoulder and closes her eyes. Not quite what I meant when I told her she should get some sleep, but I guess this is fine.
  768.  
  769. > I look around the room a bit. All around are different pictures of her and her family. Her mother, a charming looking woman with a bit of an elegant air. Her father is a Japanese man, and looks very serious even though he's smiling. And between the two of them is a little girl with pig tails, bright eyes, and a brighter smile.
  770.  
  771. > She must be only 6 or 7 in this picture. I find it touching, but I can't help but feel a pain looking at it. She already figured out I didn't have a family. When do I tell her why? Later tonight when we're talking, maybe? It's not exactly a pleasant story.
  772.  
  773. ----
  774.  
  775.  
  776. > I mean really. I started at the age of 13. I made my own food, reprimanded myself when needed, and set my own goals. Never once did I think about how lonely I was, and never once did I think about the pain that doctor told me I'd feel. I ignored it as much as I could, until it became a shadow cast over my mind spread so thin you could barely tell it was there at all.
  777.  
  778. > It never once occurred to me how lonely I really was until I was sitting with this girl sleeping on my shoulder. I feel tears starting to well up in my eyes as I rest my head on top of hers. For the first time in my life, I figured out something I thought I could never understand.
  779.  
  780. > The reason she kept popping up in my head, the reason I keep thinking of her, the reason I wanted to protect her from whatever things hurt her. It's the one thing I never thought I'd find so easily.
  781.  
  782. > Tears begin to to flow down my cheeks, and at this moment Nao starts to move. She yawns a little, and looks around confused. Then her eyes widen a little and she looks up at me.
  783.  
  784. > I close my eyes and pick up my head and look away just a little. I'm sure she understands, but I don't want her to see me crying.. I wipe my eyes and try to look back at her with a smile.
  785.  
  786. > “Did you sleep well? You've only been out for an hour or so.” I can't think of anything else to say, so I just say whatever to try and draw the conversation away from the obvious topic. This doesn't stop her, though. She looks at me for a minute, a little worried, and seems unsure of what to say.
  787.  
  788. > Then she gives me a soft smile. “You're not alone anymore, you know. I'm here for you. Just like you've said to all the people who come to you for help: I'm always going to be here for you. If you ever need help, come to me first. I'll give my all to make things better. I promise, Doc.”
  789.  
  790. ----
  791.  
  792. > This girl... she's amazing. She really was. I can't believe what she's saying, so I just keep smiling and look at the TV. The movie was near the ending, but I hadn't watched a minute of it. Nao starts talking again.
  793.  
  794. > “I'm gonna jump in the shower, Doc. Just wait out here. Help yourself to the kitchen if you want. I'll be right back. We can talk about everything, okay?” She says, again with a soft smile on her face, her eyes almost closed. I just smile back and nod my head.
  795.  
  796. > “I'll be right back, Doc. Just wait for me. I want to help you like you've helped me, so...” She almost doesn't finish, but I hear her say it under her breath, “Don't forget about me, Doc.” And with that, she heads down a hall and around a corner.
  797.  
  798. > This is a pretty big apartment. I look at the picture of her family again, thinking back to class today. Green eyes aren't dominant or common, huh? I smile at this thought a little, and then lay my head on her couch.
  799.  
  800. > Try as I might, I can't keep my eyes open. Oh well, I'm sure Nao will wake me up when she comes back. She really wants to talk. There's no reason she wouldn't wake me up. At least, I really hope she wakes me up.
  801.  
  802. > Oh yeah, I got her that necklace. Maybe I should give it to her when we start talking. Maybe I can tell her what I figured out, how I feel about her, things like that. Maybe things will get better from here. Maybe, just maybe, things aren't so bad after all.
  803.  
  804. >Slowly, my own thoughts drift into a dark abyss and I embrace an old companion of mine, one who kept me safe and sheltered me from everything: Sleep. Maybe, after this, I won't need sleep to keep me safe anymore.
  805.  
  806. ----
  807.  
  808. > My eyes snap open. I look at the window and see it's still dark outside. Confused, I look around the room. Where am I? That's right, Nao's. I fell asleep at Nao's. It's almost three in the morning. What the hell? She said she'd be right back, but all the lights are on and our cups are still on the table. Did she fall asleep too?
  809.  
  810. > I force myself to get up off the couch, and start to walk down the hall. The lights are off around the corner, but light from the other room helps me find my way a little.
  811.  
  812. > Around the turn, there's a whole other room with doors branching off. I see the bathroom door is open, and her clothes are laying in a basket next to it. It's really dark back here, but I try my best to find where her bedroom might be. Then I notice one door is cracked open slightly.
  813.  
  814. > She must have fallen asleep again. I walk towards the door and peek through the crack. It takes a while for my eyes to adjust. It's even darker in here than it was in the other rooms for some reason.
  815.  
  816. > Slowly my vision comes to focus, and I see something I never expected.
  817.  
  818. > Nothing.
  819.  
  820. > What the hell? Where'd she go? I back away from her door and take another look around the apartment. I checked each and every room, but she wasn't there.
  821.  
  822. > She... left me? Here? Alone? What the... hell... That's just not like her.
  823.  
  824. > I run over to the door leading back into the main building. Her shoes are still here? Where the hell did she go?
  825.  
  826. > At this point, I'm in a small panic. Maybe she's just screwing around with me, yeah. Maybe that's the case. But that's just not like her.
  827.  
  828. > Okay, logical thoughts. She went out to get food!... no. She's out doing laundry?... when they have their own washer and dryer. The fucking hell, where is she?!
  829.  
  830. > Okay, calm down. Think, did she hint to where she was going?
  831.  
  832. > 'Don't forget about me, Doc.'
  833.  
  834. > Wha... what? What does that mean? Why did she say that?
  835.  
  836. > Crap, where the hell did she go?!
  837.  
  838. ----
  839.  
  840. >I couldn't think of anything. I couldn't figure out where she might of gone, and I can't call anyone for help. It's too soon to get police involved, who are people I need to generally avoid by the way, and I don't exactly know her routine.
  841.  
  842. > So I do the only thing I can do. I check around the main building. After searching for what seems like hours, I check back in her room.
  843.  
  844. > And her door is open when I get back.
  845.  
  846. > Did she come back? Of course that'd be what I think. I just open the door and walk in, I didn't even look around the front room when I did. I kicked off my shoes and expected to see exactly what I was hoping to see.
  847.  
  848. > "Christ, Nao. Where'd you go? You scared the livi-..."
  849.  
  850. > Something smells really weird.
  851.  
  852. > Why is the floor red?
  853.  
  854. > What's on the couch?
  855.  
  856. > Who is that?
  857.  
  858. > Who are they?
  859.  
  860. > It was the most horrifying thing in my entire life. One guy in a suit was leaning up against a wall, talking on his phone. The other was sitting on the couch,
  861.  
  862. THE FUCKER WAS CUTTING UP NAO. He was cutting her up and sticking her in a fucking contractor's bag. I was so fucking pissed and scared all at the same time. I didn't know what the fuck to do. It just wasn't registering. RUN YOU FUCK, RUN! THat's what i needed to hear. That's what I needd to do but I fucking stood there and stared, stuck in fucking shock.
  863.  
  864. And They stared back. The fucking stared back, the one on the couch not noticing me, and the guy against the wall just staring, his jaw open in surprise.
  865.  
  866. Fucking bullshit. The very moment he moved, I slammed the door and ran as fast as I could.
  867.  
  868. It was probably a 3 mile run. I ran the whole way, even though i'm not that athletic. I just ran and ran, I couldn't think of anything else. Nothing else mattered. I couldn't understand what the fuck I just saw.
  869.  
  870. It hurts so much just thinking about it. I hate them so much. I want to kill every last one of those fuckers.
  871. fucking hell, gimme a minute.
  872.  
  873. ----
  874.  
  875.  
  876. When I got back home, I threw up probably six or seven times. My brain wasn't working at all. Everything was just static. I guess I called the doctor at some point, because he came over soon.
  877.  
  878. He started asking me a million different questions at a million miles per hour, but I couldn't comprehend anything.
  879.  
  880. He was the one that decided to bring in the cops.
  881.  
  882. I'm in the witness protection program. The mansion, the money, all of it was taken away because none of it was rightfully mine.
  883.  
  884. They gave me a name and a new place to start from. The doctor that had been helping me all this time was pardoned for most of it, though I'm not sure how the hell he managed that. I haven't talked to him since.
  885.  
  886. Apparently, Nao went out to talk with two strangers while I was asleep. I woke up and missed them coming back to the room. When I got back, that's what I saw.
  887.  
  888. Say whatever you fuckers want to say. One guy can only do so much.
  889.  
  890. I told you my story. I thought it would help, but now I'm just pissed.
  891.  
  892. Thanks for listening anyways. Sorry for not typing out a proper ending, but I'm sick of it. It's too much now. I'll lurk for a bit, but fuck you.
  893.  
  894.  
  895.  
  896.  
  897. And thats how OP ruined a perfectly fine story.
  898.  
  899. OP was once again a faggot
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