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jealousy (turning saints in to the sea)

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It starts out simple. A couple of light touches, maybe them brushing against each other. Then it becomes embraces that last a little too long, her dreamy sigh whenever someone mentions him, him lingering around her. It escalates to the point where they're almost always together after school.

 

Sayaka and Kyousuke.

 

As Hitomi watches these little things turn into something bigger, she begins to feel upset. The past few weeks have been absolute agony.

 

And today was just hellish. Hitomi had to watch the two of them fawning over each other during lunch while Madoka was off eating with her upperclassman friend. Now she was walking home alone.

 

If Hitomi could have one wish, it'd be that this situation just disappeared. Her weird feelings would be gone, and she wouldn't have to worry.

 

Hitomi cares about both of them, doesn't she? But Sayaka and Kyousuke together, a couple… The prospect of that looms over Hitomi’s head. For some reason, her stomach twists and she begins shaking when she thinks about them.

 

Could she be jealous of Sayaka? That had occured to her before. It didn't really feel right, but it was the only solution that made sense to her. Maybe Madoka would have some insight.

 

Hitomi spots that familiar pink head of hair up ahead and starts walking a little faster. She catches up to Madoka, all fake smiles and happiness. “Hey, Madoka! What's up?”

 

Madoka giggles. “Nothing much, Hitomi-chan!”

 

They talk casually for a while, but Hitomi seems really out of it.

 

“Hitomi-chan, are you alright?” Madoka asks. “You seem a little distracted.”

 

“Do you think I have a crush on Kyousuke?”

 

Madoka thinks about it for a second. “I dunno. It'd be okay by me if you did. But Sayaka already called him, so…”

 

“Lately I've just been feeling weird when I think about them together,” Hitomi mumbles.

 

Madoka seems to have a flash of realization on her face, but it's gone so quickly that Hitomi thinks it must be a trick of the light. “Well… that is a bit odd. Maybe you do have a crush.”

 

“Yeah…”

 

Madoka sighs. “I don't know why you and Sayaka like Kyousuke-san so much. He's a bit mean to Sayaka when she's only trying to help. And he's boring! Truth be told, I don't see the appeal. Kyousuke-san just… isn't that great.”

 

Hitomi’s only response is a small “Hm.”

 

Madoka’s right. Kyousuke isn't that great, so why-- And then it hits her like a bolt of lightning.

 

All this time she thought she was angry at Sayaka. Kyousuke is with Sayaka all the time. Kyousuke loves Sayaka . But she realizes, Kyousuke is with Sayaka all the time. Sayaka loves Kyousuke . It's not that she's angry with Sayaka, it never was. She's in love with her.

 

The realization left her shaky and disoriented. Hitomi begins to wobble, but Madoka steadies her. “Hitomi-chan! Are you okay?” she asks.

 

Hitomi’s vision is going sideways, and a single phrase starts looping in her head. Girls can't like girls. Girls can't like girls. Girls can't-- No. Hitomi squeezes her hands into fists and mumbles, “I'll be fine. I can--” I can like whoever I want. But she can't say that, she isn't strong enough. Yet.

 

“Are you sure, Hitomi-chan?” Madoka seems worried.

 

“I-- I'm okay. I think I just figured out how I feel and it was surprising. That's all.”

 

“Oh, thank goodness!” Madoka laughs. “It's good that you figured it out. Hey, if you ever need help, just come talk to me. I'm usually over at Mami-senpai’s house.”

 

“You've gotten pretty close to her lately, haven't you?” Hitomi remarks.

 

Madoka nods. “Well… you could say she's my gal pal!” She winks.

 

Hitomi feels like she almost understands, but still isn't quite there. “Ah… Interesting.” There's a slightly akward silence, but Madoka doesn't seem fazed. “Oh, we're at my house already. Bye, Madoka.”

 

“Goodbye, Hitomi-chan!”

 

The first thing Hitomi does is run up to her room, throw her backpack onto the ground, and slide into the chair next to her computer desk. She quickly looks around to see if anyone is watching her, but of course nobody’s there. Hitomi opens Google and begins to type.

 

what is a gal pal

 

Hitomi hesitates. She switches to incognito tabs, pastes the phrase, and hits enter.

 

Urban Dictionary was the first result. Hitomi clicks nervously, and stares at the screen.

 

Gal Pal - A code word for closeted lesbians and bi women to refer to their girlfriends without having to come out.

 

Huh. So Madoka likes girls, too. It wasn't all that surprising, actually. Madoka was way too good for any boy.

 

At least there's someone like her she knows. Maybe more, but Madoka is more important. If Hitomi is a lesbian and Madoka is too, is there a chance Sayaka could like girls?

 

Sayaka’s love for Kyousuke seemed to be real. But after some research, Hitomi came to the conclusion that Sayaka could be bisexual, or maybe have a pretend crush on him (Hitomi later found out this crush phenomenon is called “compulsory heterosexuality”. It's when a lesbian is in denial over her orientation, so she fakes a crush so well even she's convinced it's real).

 

This was a very interesting topic. The more Hitomi thinks about it, the more she realizes it makes so much sense. As a kindergartener, she would play house with other girls but never boys. It felt more right that way. And even when she got old enough to understand romantic attraction, she still didn't feel anything for men.

 

Well, she's gotten that life-changing, soul-searching revelation out of the way. Now the real question is how to act going forward.

 

Obviously WikiHow is the answer.

 

how to ask a girl out for lesbians

 

Hitomi clicks on the first result again.

 

Step One - Make sure she likes girls before making any moves.

 

Well, that wasn't gonna work. Hitomi wasn't gonna risk outing herself. But she supposes she'd have to come out if she confessed to Sayaka.

 

Step Two - Ask her on a date. Just pretend you're a guy and be confident!

 

Not gonna work either. Hitomi is godawful at asking people on dates. On the other hand, she's only tried with guys, which she doesn't even like. Maybe it'd be different with a girl.

 

Step Three - Profit.

 

Hitomi’s not even gonna try to understand that one.

 

So WikiHow is useless. The Internet in general seems to be no help for this kind of thing. How could she get Sayaka to fall for her on her own?

 

Make her jealous.

 

Hitomi had figured out her crush on Sayaka through her jealousy over what she thought was feelings for Kyousuke. If there was a chance Sayaka liked her back, even subconsciously, who's to say it couldn't work out the same way?

 

Date Kyousuke. Deal with him for a while. Make Sayaka jealous.

 

Once the idea was in Hitomi’s head, she couldn't get it out. It was crazy, sure. But it might work.

 

No! I can't. It's mean to play with her heart like that. I'm not that kinda person!

 

Hitomi manages to force the thought to the back of her mind.

 

“I'll just hide my feelings. If she asks about it, I'll give her the truth, but I won't confess on my own,” Hitomi mumbles.

 

Of course, that plan all comes crashing down three days later when Sayaka approaches her after class.

 

“Hitomi, are you okay? You've been acting kinda weird lately,” Sayaka asks.

 

“I… I have something to tell you, actually!” Hitomi says nervously.

 

“Really? Well, go ahead.”

 

“I--” Hitomi’s confession gets stuck in her throat. “I, uh, I have a crush on Kyousuke?” The way she says it, it ends up sounding more like a question. But Sayaka takes it at face value.

 

Sayaka blinks. “You… like Kyousuke?” She looks surprised, and a little hurt. “You can't-- I called him! I--”

 

“I can like whoever I want, Sayaka!” Hitomi shouts. A sudden surge of pride runs through her chest. She said it, she's strong enough. The context is wrong, but her feelings are right.

 

Sayaka looks a cross between angry and upset. Blushing, Hitomi turns and runs. Not a good way to end the situation. But she's worried that if she stays any longer, Sayaka will hate her even more.

 

Because of course Sayaka hates her, right?

 

Hitomi keeps running, until she bumps into someone familiar. “Oh! Hello, Kyousuke!” she says hurriedly. She's already lied to Sayaka, she might as well ‘confess’ to Kyousuke.

 

“How's it going, Hitomi-san?” Kyousuke asks.

 

Hitomi laughs. “Hey, I, uh! I was wondering about something!”

 

“Hm? What is it?”

 

“Well, um, I was wondering-- are you and Sayaka dating?"

 

Kyousuke shrugs. "I dunno. Why, did you wanna be my girlfriend?" 

 

“Yeah, yeah, sure! Cool, good talk!” Hitomi nods and sprints away, ignoring the realization that she feels even worse now.

 

That sick feeling Hitomi’s been having for weeks is growing immensely. The next day, it's almost unbearable.

 

In situations like this, she would often text Sayaka about the issue. But since Sayaka was the issue, that wouldn't work. So Hitomi texts Madoka instead.

 

feels bad man

 

Madoka replies pretty quickly.

 

hey, wanna talk about it? i’m at that cafe on the corner of lumiose and laverre street

 

“Oh, thank god!” Hitomi says aloud.

 

sure! be there in a minute :)

 

Hitomi grabs her bag and rushes out the door.

 

She finds Madoka outside the cafe, somehow texting and eating at the same time.

 

“Hey,” Hitomi says.

 

“Hi! Sit down, Hitomi!”

 

“Madoka, I think I messed up…” Hitomi begins.

 

“Oh! What happened?”

 

“Well, I tried to date Kyousuke to make Sayaka jealous and maybe fall in love with me but it didn't work and now she's just mad at me!”

 

Madoka looks thoughtful for a second. “Well, I think the best thing to do is just talk it out with her. Honesty is the best policy, that's what our Sayaka always says! I think she'll forgive you if you're just true to yourself.”

 

Hitomi nods. “I think that's a good idea.”

 

“Oh, wait, I mean I didn't know you swung that way,” Madoka says with a wink.

 

Hitomi rolls her eyes. “You're so bad at lying,” she says, chuckling.

 

“...Should I call Sayaka?” Madoka asks.

 

Hitomi nods, and Madoka opens her phone and dials Sayaka’s number. It goes to voicemail. “Hey, Sayaka? I'm hanging out at that cafe we went to with Mami-senpai, y’know, the one near the school? Anyway, I think you should meet me here. It'll do you some good to get out and be social. Um, bye! Hope to see you soon!”

 

Madoka hangs up the phone and grins at Hitomi. “Sayaka never answers calls, but I'm sure she'll be over here soon! We can talk in the meantime.”

 

“Ah, yeah! Uh, I was wondering actually… How did you meet Mami-senpai?”

 

The two friends spend the next half hour laughing over Madoka’s story. It involved chasing a cat that had escaped from the animal shelter, Madoka literally running into what she described as ‘the golden love of my life!’, and lots of cheesecake eating (both in the story and on the plates in front of them).

 

“Sayaka should be here soon. Are you ready, Hitomi-chan?”

 

Hitomi shrugs. “I guess. I'm a bit nervous, though.”

 

“It'll be fine. Oh, I can see her approaching now!” Madoka stands up and waves.

 

Sure enough, Sayaka was walking toward the girls. She greets only one of them. “Hello, Madoka.” She sounds so tired, and Hitomi immediately feels guilty.

 

“Hey, Sayaka! I was just having a quick chat with Hitomi-chan, wanna join us?” Madoka asks.

 

“I'd rather not,” Sayaka replies. She sighs and begins walking away.

 

“Wait, Sayaka--” Hitomi walks after her, quickening her own pace when Sayaka speeds up.

 

Eventually, she gives up trying to run. “Please leave me alone, Hitomi-san.”

 

“Sayaka, I'm sorry for lying to you!” Hitomi cries out.

 

Sayaka turns. “...Lying?” she asks, clearly intrigued.

 

“I don't like Kyousuke. I never did. I lied because… Well, I was afraid of my true feelings. But I'm done running away from who I am!” Hitomi takes a deep breath. “I can like whoever I want. And that person… It's you, Sayaka.”

 

Sayaka looks absolutely stunned. Not angry, not happy, not sad. Just neutrally surprised. And then she bursts into tears.

 

Hitomi gasps and starts to speak. “Sayaka, don't cry! I-- I'm sorry!” She feels herself getting worked up, but Sayaka looks at her softly and embraces her.

 

Her whole mind goes blank except for the thought of, Oh. This is nice. And then, Does this mean Sayaka doesn't hate me?

 

“Hitomi, I'm so sorry! I was so immature. I shouldn't have gottsn so mad at you for something like that.” Sayaka says through her tears. “The truth is, I like you too! I mean… I like Kyousuke, I think. But you're so much more important to me! I'd choose you over him any day.”

 

Hitomi nods slowly, trying to process the information. There are tears rolling down her own. cheeks, too.

 

They stand there quietly, just hugging and enjoying each other's warmth. Neither of them really wanna move, but they eventually break apart and start walking back to where Madoka is waiting.

 

“Have you two got everything figured out?” Madoka asks.

 

Sayaka chuckles. “Yeah. I guess we did.”

 

Hitomi doesn't speak, because she's just too happy. She's with her two best friends, the most important people in her life.

 

Maybe it was a rough journey. But Hitomi wouldn't wish it away for the world.