Kara no Kyoukai:Chapter04 02
It's now the next day.
The fact that even I, who can't see, can tell the arrival of the morning is a small but satisfying discovery. Little things like that are a cause for joy. While I wondered why they made me happy, my morning check-up began and ended before I knew it.
It wasn't very quiet in the afternoon, because my mother and older brother came to visit me. Our conversation wasn't very smooth. They felt like strangers to me. With no alternatives, I answered their questions according to Shiki's memories, as a result of which my mother went home with an easy mind.
Everything was funny because, it seemed like I was acting.
When evening came around, the counselor showed up.
The woman who initially introduced herself as a speech therapist was so bright and cheerful that I couldn't see any depth to her personality.
I've never heard of a case where a doctor greeted a patient with the words "Hi, how have you been?"
"Oh, I thought you would be all emaciated, but the vibrancy of your skin is no joke. You know, when I first heard your story I pictured something along the lines of a ghost under a cherry tree, so I didn't really feel like coming. But hey, you are a cute young lady along my line of fancy, so it's my lucky day!"
The woman who I reckon to be in her late twenties, judging by her voice, sits down in the chair next to the bed I'm lying in.
"Pleased to meet you. I'm the speech therapist who is to help you get over your aphasia. I'm not a resident doctor here, so I don't have any ID, but I guess it won't be a problem since you can't see anyway."
"--- Aphasia? Me?"
The doctor goes, after finally getting a reply. I get the feeling she nodded her head as well.
"There you go; it's normal to show anger. After all, aphasia isn't a very good image, and in your case it's a misdiagnosis. Ashika-kun is a textbook doctor, so he's a bit weak when it comes to special cases like yours. Even so, you are being naughty. People are getting such misconceptions because you can't be bothered to answer them."
The woman smiles as if she is great friends with me. --- It was totally my own opinion, but I decided then and there that this was a person who wore glasses.
"So they think I have aphasia."
"Yeah, since you did hurt your brain in the accident they are wondering if your speech circuits are damaged or something. However, that's a misconception - the reason for your silence isn't physiological, but psychological, isn't it? So it's not aphasia, just you being stubborn. In that case my role isn't needed, but it feels bad to be cut off before a minute has passed, and since nothing's happening with my main job I'll play with you for a bit."
--- This is a useless act of kindness.
I reach out for the button to call the nurse, but the lady doctor quickly removes it from my reach.
"Dangerous, dangerous. If you talk to Asika-kun now I'll be kicked out straight away. Anyway, isn't this good? If you pretend to have aphasia, you won't have to reply to useless questions. It's better this way, right?"
... That's correct. But who is this person that can say such things so boldly?
I turn my bandaged eyes towards the unknown lady doctor.
"You are not a doctor, are you?"
"Nope, I'm a magus as my main job."
That's so absurd I let out a sigh.
"I don't have any business with a magician."
"Ahahaha, that's correct. A mage can't fix that hole in your chest. The only thing that can fill it is a normal person."
"--- A hole, in my chest ---?"
"Yeah, you should be feeling it. That you are alone now."
The lady doctor smothers a laugh and stands up. I can hear her arranging the chairs and her footsteps as she goes out.
"I think it's still too early, so let's leave it at this for now. I'll come again tomorrow, bye!"
After appearing so abruptly, she leaves equally as suddenly.
I touch my lips with the right hand that I have difficulty moving.
A hole... in my chest...
--- Oh, how can this be?
Oh no, I hadn't realized.
No one. No matter where I call he's not there. The existence called Ryougi SHIKI that existed within Ryougi Shiki has disappeared without a trace.
Shiki was a dual personality disorder sufferer who possessed another personality within herself. Inside the Ryougi family, children with two personalities were born genetically. That which would be shunned in a normal family was instead celebrated as inherent of a transcendent being, and the bearers were treated as the true heirs of the family.
... Shiki inherited that blood. It was the reason Shiki surpassed her older brother to become the heir to the Ryougi family.
But this kind of thing doesn't happen very often.
Two personalities --- Yang affinity males and Yin affinity females. Between those the leadership of the Yang affinity male is usually stronger. Among the few true Ryougi heirs until now, all had been born as men and had female personalities inside. But due to some mistake, Shiki was the reverse of the norm.
Inside the female Shiki, the male, SHIKI, was included.
The one with dominance over the body was the female Shiki --- me.
SHIKI was my minus face. He contained my suppressed emotions. Shiki grew up suppressing the darkness called SHIKI. Time after time, she killed the self called SHIKI and lived pretending to be normal. SHIKI didn't seem to have any complaints about that. After being asleep inside of me, he woke up for things like sword training and took charge while complaining as if it was annoying.
... It might seem like a master/servant relationship, but the reality wasn't like that. In the end, Shiki and SHIKI are one person, so Shiki's actions are SHIKI's, and SHIKI suppressing his own fancies was also Shiki's wish as well.
... Yes, SHIKI was a murderer. As far as I know he had no experience at it, but he had a desire within him to kill those beings called humans that were the same organism as him. The dominant personality of Shiki ignored this - in short, she forbade it.
Shiki and SHIKI were inseparable beings, although they ignored each other. Shiki was lonely, but because of the self called SHIKI, she wasn't alone.
But the time came when that relationship would be destroyed.
Two years ago --- when Shiki was a first year high school student. The season when for the first time, SHIKI, who until then hadn't wanted to use the body, had asked to go out of his own volition.
From there on, Shiki's memory is hazy.
Right now I can't bring to mind any of Shiki's memories from the beginning of the first year of high school, until I was involved in the accident.
The thing I remember --- my shape standing at the site of the murder. More than that, there's an image that I can remember even more clearly than that.
The classroom burning red in the light of the sunset.
The one who destroyed Shiki, my classmate.
The boy, who Shiki wanted to kill.
The piece of normality, that Shiki wanted to protect.
I got the feeling that I knew this a long time ago.
But, this me that has woken from a long sleep, his name is the one thing I can't yet remember.
Night falls, and the hospital grows quiet.
Only the occasional sound of slippers echoing through the corridors makes me feel that I'm awake.
Inside the darkness --- no, because I'm in the darkness. This blind me, I take to heart the fact that I'm alone. If I was the previous Shiki, I wouldn't have had this kind of feeling. Shiki, who had another self inside her. But SHIKI no longer exists. No --- I, I don't even know whether I'm Shiki or SHIKI.
SHIKI had disappeared from inside me. With that alone, I recognize myself as Shiki.
"Hic hic... What kind of contradiction is this? Not knowing which side one is if one side is missing."
I try talking to myself, but the emptiness in my chest doesn't even fill a little. Even just the thought that I am sad would have some change on this emotionless mind of mine.
I won't be able to know.
Since I am no one, I can't feel that Ryougi Shiki's memories are really mine. Even if the shell called Ryougi Shiki exists, when the contents are washed away, the shell has no meaning. .... Oh, it hurts. What must go inside this empty cave?
"--- I, will, go, in..."
Suddenly I hear words like that.
A movement of the air as if a door has opened.
It's probably my imagination
I turn my closed eyes that way.
There's --- something there.
White smoke is billowing. My eyes that shouldn't be able to see can see the shape of the smoke. The smoke strangely resembled a human. No, it seemed as if a human lacked bones and was swaying in the wind like a sunflower.
The unpleasant smoke comes straight at me.
I can't move as I like yet, so I just blankly wait for it.
Even if this is a ghost, I'm not afraid.
The really scary things have no shape. No matter how weird something is, if it has form, I can't be scared.
And --- if it is a ghost, the current me may as well be the same. After all, there's not much difference between a thing that isn't alive and me, who has no reason to live.
The smoke slaps me.
My whole body and mind go into overdrive. The chill that rakes down my spine is as sharp as a bird's talons.
It was an unpleasant sensation, but I just dumbly sat there and watched. After touching me for an age, the smoke melts like a snail sprinkled with salt.
The reason is simple. It's been five hours since the smoke started touching me. It will soon be five o'clock. The ghost melted because it's now morning.
Since I haven't slept, I decide to go to sleep again.
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