"That's not my real name."

“… < Sigh > I can’t really remember the last time I cried. Not to say I never have, I’ve absolutely cried - plenty of times over… Each time I felt weak and helpless, that I was broadcasting some vulnerability for vultures to swoop in on. I taught myself to just tough it out, fight the urge and never let anyone see me shed a single tear… It was just safer this way for me.”

  • Sakora ‘Okiku’ Tuluvan

“That’s not my real name.”


August 2nd YC 123


6NJ8-V IV - The Rabbit’s Warren Fortizar, personal quarters of Suha Raibuya


“Gooooood Morning sleepyhead!~”

“Mhmphm…?”

"You’re up earlier than I expected!~

“Did I… Pass out last night?”

You fell asleep in my arms… I moved you to my bed so you could rest for the night.”

“Your bed?”

“N-Now don’t be concerned! As you can see, I slept on the couch… I didn’t invade your personal space while you were asleep, I promise you that.”

“…Thank you.”

“O-Of course!~ Now, how about I fix you up some tea? I just got done boiling some water, a cup should help shake that groggy feeling of waking up!~”

“…Sure.”

“Just a moment then!~”

< Suha cheerfully humming a tune >

“… You seem really happy already.”

“Hmm? Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Well unless you’re just high… Last night? Just… Opening old wounds like that and reliving the memories…”

“Maybe that’s why I’m happy? Not that I’ve taken any blue pill today yet. Just, I got everything that was weighing me down off my chest… I said what I wanted to say, shed the tears I wanted to shed - What left is there but to feel happiness?”

“…”

< Suha placing a cup of tea on the dining table for ‘Okiku’ >

“… Do you not feel happy?”

“… I don’t know what I feel right now.”

“Hmm…”

< Suha pulling out a chair >

“Well, how about we navigate your feelings?”

“Navigate my feelings?”

“You know, ask questions and try to piece together what it is you’re feeling.”

“What’s there to ask…?”

“Well, how about we start with an observation!~ I can see you’re significantly more relaxed with talking with me already… It’s like I’m talking to a different person!”

“Don’t get used to it…”

“I won’t, but before you were constantly so hostile and combative… Being able to talk with you like this is… Is well, refreshing! Now why do you think this is?”

“…”

“You could’ve walked out of that room and put on that same act as you always had. Like nothing even happened, yet you didn’t. You came out with your guard down for once… Why do you think that is?”

"…I guess I don’t see you as a threat anymore. That I can let my guard down a bit around.

"And Why’s that?

< ‘Okiku’ sipping her tea >

“… I finally saw something undeniably genuine about you last night. Smiles have lost all credibility with me given how easy it is for people to wear them and mask who they really are… But when you smashed that plate and started… Crying. I saw you for who you really were, and I guess… Sympathized. Im… Sorry about the things I said to you. I didn’t expect it to make you… Cry.”

“… What you said last night was unexpected and cut real deep in me… It was immensely hurtful and caused the meltdown you saw… That said, all is forgiven Okiku.~”

“That’s not my real name.”

“It’s not?”

“No, it’s an ‘Artist’ name I choose to go by. My… My real name is Suroko Tuluvan.”

“Suroko Tuluvan…Are you… That concerned about people getting close to you that you won’t even give them your real name? Instead going by an alias?”

“Partially… It’s also because that is a name that represents all my art. The only thing I really care about…”

“Your pride in being an artist was about the only thing I could understand about you at first.”

“I’ve had just about everything you can think of taken from me at some point… My talents are the only thing of mine nobody could take from me.”

“Why the name Okiku then?”

“Some… folklore spirit of a innocent woman accused of a crime she didn’t commit, killed and haunts the world of the living spirit trying to prove her innocence…”

“So are you saying you were accused of a crime in the past?”

“Yeah…It’s an accusation that might as well have ended in a death sentence for the damage it’s caused me…”

“… I won’t push my luck, if this is a topic that brings you discomfort and you’re not ready to talk about it, we don’t have to continue. You’ve already opened up for me so much already.”

“I… I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

“Okay! No pressure… Please, go at your own pace.”

“…”

"Would you say… You’re more at peace with yourself now?’

“No… No I don’t think I ever will be.”

“I mean at this very moment, do you not finally feel… At peace? That you feel some balance in your emotions for once?”

“…I-I Guess?”

“That’s good!~ Guess having a good little cry did wonders for you!”

“Why would it? Kinda embarrassing that I did it in the first place…”

"There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. These feelings are what makes us human, it is good for us to express them no matter how negative they make us feel. In fact, I’m… Proud of you! "

“Proud of me? For crying? Crying is a liability, it shows vulnerability. Sign of weakness for someone to take advantage of.”

“And that’s why I’m proud! Despite how you feel about it - You found comfort in doing it in front of me and I find that… Special.”

“Hmph… I’m not looking for anyone to be proud of me over anything.”

“Well I am regardless~.”

“… I think I’m gonna head back.”

“So soon? I was going to offer you some breakfast.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“O-Oh… Well, I’m sure you’re wanting some time alone to process everything yourself.”

“Sure, let’s go with that.”

< ‘Okiku’ getting up from her chair >

“Oh! Sakora, before you go… I just want to tell you that I’m here for you…”

“…”

“I know you don’t care for such things,but I would never turn you away if you need someone to listen or talk to you. You don’t have to promise me to come see me, just consider seeing me if you’re lonely.”

“… Thank you.”

“Anytime~.”

2 Likes