Jokes, Whims, & Coincidences
Chapter One, Dammit
Tekichu Sosa: She That Manipulates
Though I normally don’t care for this sort of thing, I suppose that if you’re going to read this, I should at least let you know that my name is Tekichu Sosa.
The characters that make up my name can be read as Keizokuuta Sosa, or Continuing Song’s Manipulation. And it’s in that manipulation part that I would like to start this story, considering that manipulation is what has made up most of my life. You see, I’ve always possessed the ability to bend others to my will and have always taken advantage of that fact.
The things I’m about to tell you are simply to get them out of the way.
I only discovered this skill on accident. I was in elementary school at the time, and I wondered why my parents would name me such a thing. I guess you could say that it was an omen of the talent to come. You could also say the only reason I had any ability concerning this particular facet of life was due to the fact that holding a name like that practically demanded it. But I digress. The truth is, I never found out the reasoning behind it, nor do I longer even care. As far as I’m concerned, being given this name was simply an added bonus.
Being a narrow-minded child at the time, I had no real clue as to what I could accomplish with a skill like that. Some say that kids are far more open to the possibilities in front of them, and in several cases that is true. But in my case, being young only limited my ability to think in terms of practical uses of my talents. Looking back on it, I honestly only manipulated out of instinct, such as getting myself out of trouble for something I had done.
Age was kind to me, though, and I started to think in terms of how I could benefit myself through this. Still being young, I only pulled out the stops for things that were relatively small in scale, but important to me back then nonetheless. I could convince my classmates to help me out with homework assignments I didn’t particularly feel like wasting time on doing myself, or con them out of a piece of their lunch while making it seem like a harmless request.
It was during my years of middle school that I had started taking an interest in the makings of the human mind. I analyzed books on psychology and sociology in my spare time (my parents had a good amount of their old college texts hanging around, and after that the reference section of the local library satisfied me), and soon found out that people holding my particular mindset weren’t exactly common in society. By that point in time I had taken to toying around with the personal lives of people simply because I could. Even more research showed me that I wasn’t really accepted even as a minority classification, meaning if anyone knew about my antics, I would more than likely be shunned, quite possibly detained in a facility of some sort or put into some form of therapy.
Not that it mattered to me. I was a pretty self-sufficient type of person and didn’t need anyone’s approval. And if no one was going to accept me, then they weren’t really worth even viewing as others that held any form of importance. They were useless unless I made use of them, making them no more substantial as toys in my eyes.
But toys needed to be played with, so I spent the break between my last year in middle school and my freshman year in high school on developing a scheme. My goal was only to see just how much I could get away with in terms of bending people’s wills. The final result was pretty spectacular: the senior class that had formerly been filled with friends, couples, and otherwise acquaintances collapsed in on itself, leaving only a warring mass of humans. One could say it was a wonder any of them made it to graduation, but then again, I prefer happy endings.
Feeling satisfied (and definitely more than a little stuck-up), I went on to repeat the process for my sophomore year. My grand finale as a senior was to treat the staff in a similar manner as the senior classes before them. While probably not the best decision in terms of my educational value, it did keep me amused, though I was a bit disappointed by the employees of such a high class school. If anyone had any inkling that I was behind it (because I know there had to be at least one person), no action was taken to apprehend me. Who would believe them anyway? I was smart enough to keep my abnormalities hidden from the public eye. As far as everyone else was concerned, was just your typical high school student with a high GPA.
Graduation, as haphazardly thrown together as it was, left me with an issue. I really had no desire to fall into a menial job, but no particular career paths called out to me. The obvious choice then seemed to be going to college until a suitable occupation could be found. Not feeling like staying within the same boundaries, I asked for enough funds to supply for a particular trip.
My parents have always been the easiest to manipulate, though I’m pretty sure that has to do with the fact that I’m their daughter. Nevertheless, they agreed to my desire of wanting to attend school in America.
I took advantage of the time gap between the American and Japanese school systems’ runs, using the five months to locate a school in a decent area as well as expand upon my high school garnered English vocabulary. It took me while, though I did eventually decide of being a math major, only for the fact that working my way through complex equations reminded me of controlling a person’s mind. Both could be solved by going through a set of steps that would ultimately give a result. I would have gone into psychology if it weren’t for the fact that I found those around me a much better way to study human decisions and influences than a classroom. Besides, what more was there to learn than what was in the textbooks I had already read anyway?
The years went by, and I still found myself with a sense of incompletion. While it had been an interesting experience, there was nothing left for me at the end of this particular path. I could have continued on with my education; my parents were more than ready to pay for it, but I couldn’t take it. Sure, I had toyed with the people there, causing small riots and even tweaking the results of a few elections, but nothing seemed substantial. It was nowhere near practical, but I wanted to live a life that provided entertainment through the people involved, toys as they may be.
I left without attending graduation, not even bothering to pick up my diploma before doing so. A few days, a plane trip, and a couple of impulsive decisions later, I found myself taking up residence in Ikebukuro. Once again, my parents’ money was behind the affair, procuring me a decent sized apartment in the middle of the city. It wasn’t exactly the safest place in the world, especially with the recent gang activities that had developed, but that was exactly the way I liked it.
However, I took a break from live humans for a while, instead focusing on the groups of people that spilled their lives out on the Internet. People will bitch about absolutely anything on the net, their supposed anonymity allowing them to say whatever they desire without fear. I hated the way they interacted, only complaining to each other, but doing absolutely nothing about it. There were even communities for people who wanted to meet up with others to commit suicide, and that inspired me.
It would be fun to toy around with someone who held those intentions, and I went about getting myself involved through the motivation of Let’s teach someone a lesson, shall we?
I presented myself as Kakkoii_chan, buying a new cell phone to front the email account to boot. For a while, I only found people that weren’t really interesting. It wasn’t hard to tell through their words that they were simply frustrated, and not a single one of them held the real intention to kill themselves. Not that I particularly wanted to have someone die with my involvement, but I at least wanted to play with someone fun.
Not long after the start of the New Year, just when I was getting ready to give the whole thing up for broke, I found Nakura.
He was a lot like the others, only that I almost felt a form of sincerity when he told me about his story. He had lost his girlfriend to an accident, and some people went as far to blame him. He talked about not being able to come to terms with her death, particularly since almost every week his classmates presented new ways to torture him for something he had held no control over. I could see how the points from this to depression to suicide had formed in his mind, but still held on to my determination that taking your life was a pointless maneuver. All it that ended in was a person running away with no chance to come back.
I didn’t say that, though. Instead, I fed him the story I had prepared for this persona. I weaved a tale of a girl who had led what she believed to be a perfect life. Her grades were near perfect, she had plenty of friends and was well liked in general, and her boyfriend had been with her for close to three years. However, her boyfriend was cheating with one of her friends, and the rest of her friends knew about it to boot. Unable to deal with it, her grades dropped and she became a recluse, though her parents showed no sympathy towards her situation.
I’ve never had patience for boring toys, even if that toy was a fabrication I produced.
It took a few months to get this all out in the open, and we traded off banter on how much life sucked often. Eventually it came to the point where I felt satisfied with how things had progressed, and couldn’t resist the urge to propose a double suicide. Nakura willingly agreed, though I honestly had other plans. My intention rested in meeting up and playing along for a while, then forcing a nice little game of mindfuck on the poor boy to get my point across. I would just wing it from there, and could honestly care less what he did afterwards as long as I got to have my fun.
So when I was lied to straight off about the identity of the man in front of me and later kidnapped, I had the feeling the joke was on me.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
In preparation for the meeting, I had gone shopping, and presented myself in attire suitable of the role I was playing. My figure was the only things that may have seemed a bit off, but otherwise I looked just like any other third-year high school student. It felt a bit odd to be wearing a skirt that didn’t serve as part of a uniform, but I dealt with it, reminding myself that it would pay off in the end.
We had chosen Nishiguchi Park as our meeting place, and crowds moved around me paying no real attention. The sky was already dyed into black, and I waited patiently, making little nervous movements every now and then. I held no real apprehension; I was just having far too much fun playing the part of a girl ready to commit suicide. There was actually a pattern to the whole concept, but I’ll spare you the boring details.
“Ah, excuse me,” a voice said, and I turned to its owner. Before me stood a man barely a centimeter higher than me, and his hair was cut close, not to mention tackily dyed into a ridiculous shade of red. I felt suspicion upon contact, even though the possibility of Nakura being older than I expected had been there from the start. I mean, I was personally far beyond my high school years. The use of the term “classmates” from his story didn’t necessarily apply to high schoolers, but college students as well. Even so… “I’m Nakura. Would you happen to be—?”
“Yes, I’m Kakkoii,” I filled in, mostly because his shitty acting was starting to irritate me. People that couldn’t lie well shouldn’t even bother in the first place. I reminded myself to smile, though, because there was some form of entertainment to be gained from this situation. “It’s very nice to meet you.” I completed my own lie with a bow, and we lapsed into the basic pleasantries of conversation to be expected from those meeting for the first time.
After a few minutes of that, we dismissed ourselves to get moving. He told me that he had been thinking about it, and he knew a good place to go for what he intended to do, so I followed. The wheels of my brain where already turning as to how to handle myself if the situation went sour, which I knew it would. There was even a blatant difference between this man’s speech patterns and the words I had read off of my phone screen so many times. I just had to wonder how things had gotten to this particular point.
I was led down a dark alley that went to an unlit back road. I was told that others were there waiting, and my practical brain started giving me a lecture as to how much of an idiot I was being. Rumors about human traffickers weren’t hard to find these days, and I had no doubt that that was where this whole thing was heading. I wasn’t doing anything about it, though, only because a morbid curiosity told me to roll with it and see where I ended up at.
I stared down the van with its trunk popped, and some dirty blond kid sat there. It didn’t take a genius to pick out the odd smell in the air that obviously belonged to something bad, and I recognized the tang of chloroform soon enough. I considered running, but my lack of any real means of defending myself stopped me. I could definitely outrun one of these guys, maybe both, but I knew the van would catch me without difficulty. And starting a fight didn’t seem too favorable, either. So I did what seemed most logical at the time.
I let my legs collapse underneath me, feigning unconsciousness, and allowed my kidnappers to take me with them.
The trip was boring, particularly since I had act like I wasn’t awake and the people carting me along were obviously assholes with nothing of interest to talk about, so I’ll skip that. Besides, things don’t get interesting until we reached the drop off point. My kidnappers stopped the vehicle, popped the trunk, and waited for whoever they were going to hand me off to. The smell of cigarettes stained the air, and I waited, hoping I wasn’t a total idiot for getting myself into this situation.
Then a bunch of things happened, but since I was kind of keeping my eyes closed, I can only give you the sounds they made as a description: pounding footsteps, cursing, some unknown weight landing on top of the van, breaking bones, bodies collapsing. Whoever was in charge of the wheel started up the engine (trunk still open mind you), and a heavy footstep landed in front of my face. The smell of chloroform made itself known again, and the next sound I could hear was that of struggles, which ultimately died down to submissive groans. The engine was shut off.
The following silence stunned me, but then I realized that this was a pretty damn good time to try to escape. I opened my eyes to parking garage, which was definitely disadvantageous for me, but at least I only had to deal with one person in this case as opposed to three. Then again, this one person had taken down said three in a matter of minutes, but still. It wasn’t like they were guaranteed to be an enemy, since they had for all purposes just rescued me. So I silently sat up, turning to look at my savior—
—and instantly knew this was real. I didn’t have to see his face; I knew this had to be Nakura. I didn’t really know what to do, but if he had gone through all the trouble to put something like this together, he was at least worth talking to. I stared at his back for a moment, finally deciding on reaching out. My fingers slowly closed around the fake fur lining of his jacket.
“You’re the real one, aren’t you?” I asked, but he didn’t even jump. I waited for a response, hoping that I wasn’t about to get myself into even more trouble. Eventually he raised his hands like some guy in an old western movie. Sure, it was more of a mocking gesture than anything, but I still held a fleeting sense of control over the situation. That’s right. Put ‘em up, dammit.
“Looks like you caught me,” he casually remarked, his tone light. I felt the lilt in his words, and it matched up so perfectly with memories of text on the screen. “Shall we go somewhere more accommodating? That is, if you’re willing.” I pulled my hand back, and Nakura turned around, propping himself on the back of the car seats, leaning across them.
His face was the kind that probably made most people squirm uncomfortably. That wasn’t something you could describe in features; it was just what you knew it did. His hair was black, short, and slightly choppy, and his eyes were an off shade of brown. A lazy smirk was on his lips, and he seemed more amused than anything, like he was happy that I was challenging him like this.
I know I shouldn’t have trusted him at all, but the odd thing was that I did. Anybody else would have had some alarm going off in their head telling them that he was dangerous. And I supposed that I had that going off as well, the difference being that I didn’t care. He sat there, waiting for my reply, taking no hostile actions towards me. So of course I was going to accept his request. There was one main factor that influenced it all, taking my rationale far from the realms of normality. A single thought that inspired me beyond what any other person in the world could feel.
He’s just like me.