"I'm the dead girl who jumped off the roof last year." A schoolgirl read out her recent SMS message to her classmates. "The afterworld is very painful. Send this mail to three other people to save me. Lack of doing so will put you in the same situation." Following the words was a low-resolution, grainy picture of a young, sad-looking girl. Her eyes glanced towards the floor sadly, her scrawny arms hanging on to her second-hand schoolbag. Her bleached blouse was crumpled and stained, a missing button revealing a little sign of a pink bra beneath. Her skirt was tattered and torn, her expression as if embarrassed to be wearing such fabrics
"Isn't that Aki Nakahara? The one who committed suicide?" another girl asked.
"Really?" A third butted in
"Creepy…" a fourth muttered.
"What are we going to do?"
"Just send it."
"No, it's spooky…"
As the girls delved into their own conversation, a trio of girls watched them. Two had malicious grins carved onto their pretty, young faces, whereas the third watched uncertainly, her face a mask to her confusion. More wild suggestions flew out of the group before the trio left to the ceiling of the school.
"All right, we did it!" One girl, Atsuko, exclaimed. She had shoulder-length hair and sweet black eyes that hid the creature behind. "We scared them shitless! Using the photo of Aki, whose status of being dead, was the key!"
The third girl, Sayaka, stares at her with confusion. Unlike her friends, Sayaka always questioned their motives. She always looked insecure, and once Aki committed suicide, she had felt more insecure than ever. Her soft, topaz-yellow eyes glinted with doubt as she raised her hand to the bow she had tied her hair with. "Um…" she started nervously. "Don't you think it's too much? You know Aki was-"
"Do you mean we're responsible for Aki's death?" The second girl, Yumi, interrupted. Her own hair was let loose over her shoulders, her cold, gunmetal-grey eyes glaring at Sayaka. "All we did was tease her, never once have we bullied her."
"She's really fucked up if she committed suicide." Atsuko quipped, her own amethyst-purple eyes free of any guilt nor shame whatsoever. "Sayaka, you worry too much."
A little grin broke onto Sayaka's face, before she grinned, "You're right, Atsuko, it's not our fault."
"Um…" a voice said. The trio turned to see a boy of about fifteen looking at them. His soft sapphire-blue eyes seemed to glance into their souls as he continued, "Class will begin in five minute's time. Please make your way to class now if you do not wish to be late." The trio nodded, and started their walk down. However, as Sayaka trailed behind, the boy stopped her, and asked, "Sayaka, you've been looking quite sickly recently. Is everything all right?"
"No, Rei. I'm perfectly fine." Sayaka smiled back.
Rei's eyes seemed to pierce her mask of happy indifference, before he shook his head, saying. "Alright, I shall not take up any more of your time. Proceed."
Night fell on the school as the trio conversed in the changing room. "The pool at night really gives you the creeps." Atsuko said, now dressed in a pink striped bikini.
"We might see a ghost…" Yumi said in a low tone, appearing from her cubicle dressed in a black floral bikini, touching Atsuko with her bare flesh. She let out a gasp, and retracted, bumping into Sayaka, unpacking her bag.
"Cut it out!" Atsuko playfully shouted at Yumi, attacking her. Yumi squealed an apology, and tried to defend herself with her thin arms. "I really want to swim in the pool at night, just once! I don't need you scaring me off the experience!" Upon catching sight of Sayaka, Atsuko asked, "Sayaka, aren't you going to change?" The eponymous girl blushed, her arms instinctively crossing her modest chest.
"Forget it. We'll go ahead. Hurry up and change already!" Yumi demanded, playfully pushing her.
"OK." Sayaka agreed, before she reached for the hem of her top.
Before she could pull it off, though, her phone rang. However, instead of singing, 'Life goes on' by Junko Takeuchi, instead, a darker, monotone voice groaned, "Chikyuh… Ga… Naiteru… Sora… Ga… Obieteru… Yume… O… Dareka… Ga… Ubau…" Sayaka swung round to see her phone buzzing, the screen reading, "One new message."
"What's this ringtone…?" Sayaka muttered, clearly spooked. She took up her phone and accessed the message.
'I'm the girl who drowned in the pool. Painful, it's awfully painful… send this message to three other people to save me. Lack of doing so will put you in the same situation." And at the bottom of the screen was another low-resolution, grainy picture. However, this time it was not of Aki Nakahara, but of Yumi. Her gunmetal-grey eyes were now staring blankly into the camera, her mouth open in an unfinished apology. Her head floated in the pool water, her long brown hair displaced in every conceivable direction. Sayaka gasped, before she nervously laughed, "God, you and Yumi think it's funny…"
Outside, Atsuko and Yumi walked the pool edge, their bodies mostly exposed to the soft glow of the moonlight. "Doesn't the pool remind you of Aki?" Atsuko asked.
"Oh, yes," Yumi smiled. "Wasn't she clumsy! She couldn't even swim!"
A scream for help was muffled by the ensuring sound of a huge splash. Aki Nakahara gasped for breath as she splashed on the surface, trying her best to paddle back.
"Coward." Atsuko teased, as Aki paddled closer to the pool edge.
"Stupid!" Yumi teased louder, using a mop to drive her underwater.
"Look, you don't have to stop swimming." Atsuko taunted, another mop in her hand as hers dipped Aki back beneath the surface.
"What's wrong?" Yumi asked mockingly as she swung her mop forward. "Swim, you fool!" Sayaka watched as her friends continued to force Aki underwater. Her school uniform was thoroughly soaked, and her long hair stuck to her body. Her muscles began to ache, and her lungs became much more demanding with oxygen.
"Girls, if I may…" A voice called. The two stopped with the mops, and turned to see Rei, standing there, his sapphire-blue eyes showing anger inside. However, his polite mannerisms suggested otherwise. "Could you stop bullying Aki?"
"We're not bullying her," Yumi snapped. "We're only teasing her." Their attention drawn, Aki looked at her boyfriend. Noticing his intention, she silently tried to paddle to shore.
"I do not recall teasing being so… explicit." Rei said, choosing his words carefully. "Nor do I recall it being this… physical."
Aki was almost there, but with the wave of her hand, some water got onto Sayaka's face, she made a little squeak, and Atsuko quickly stomped poor Aki underwater, laughing her head off.
Yumi mimicked Aki gurgling underwater before Atsuko pushed her aside again. "OK, OK! I'll cut it out!" the girls laughed for a moment, before Yumi said, "I'll go take a dip."
Yumi swam with strong, even strokes. Every kick was just as powerful as the last as her lithe form cut through the water. However, as she swam, something pressed down on her leg. Thinking it was Atsuko playing a prank, Yumi surfaced to breathe, turned, and her eyes suddenly flashed with shock, horror and fear as she was forced underwater. Her arms flailed as a stream of air bubbles spewed from her mouth. Her blurry eyes caught sight of a bleached blouse, crumpled and stained, missing a button, and a pink bra beneath. A tattered, torn skirt brushed past Yumi's thigh as she suffocated beneath the waves.
"Yumi!" Atsuko screamed. Sayaka, now dressed in a modest swimsuit, quickly dashed out.
"Atsuko!" She shouted as she ran. "What's wrong?" Atsuko said nothing, still gazing at the pool in a daze. Sayaka followed it, and saw Yumi's dead body floating on the surface. Her gunmetal-grey eyes were now staring blankly into the sky, her mouth open in an unfinished apology. Her head floated in the pool water, her long brown hair displaced in every conceivable direction. Exactly like the picture in the message. As Atsuko sobbed into Sayaka's shoulder, Sayaka murmured, "Yumi…"
"I… heard it…" Atsuko admitted. She and Sayaka were standing by the pool, looking into its aquamarine blue color. It was a new day, so their swimsuits were abandoned for their school uniforms. Yumi had been disposed off, although her bikini-clad body was still nubile to some boys, it was an eyesore in general. "While Yumi was drowning, she was saying, 'Sorry, forgive me, Aki.'" Sayaka raised her index finger, about to make a point, when Atsuko cut her off, "Aki couldn't have drowned Yumi by dragging her leg, right?"
"You know that's impossible." Sayaka stated nervously. "Aki… she's already dead…"
The death of Yumi hung heavy on Sayaka. As a result, her concentration that day suffered. She was constantly crying or moping, and it was only until Rei had firmly told her to get a hold on herself, then had she finally cheered up a little. So, that evening, when she was finally released, Sayaka wanted nothing but a hot bath to calm down and to write a memorial to Yumi. As she walked out of school with Atsuko, she muttered, "Shoot, I forgot something! Sayaka, go on ahead!" with that, Atsuko dashed back into the compound. Sayaka shrugged, and continued down the road.
"Chikyuh… Ga… Naiteru… Sora… Ga… Obieteru… Yume… O… Dareka… Ga… Ubau…" her phone rang. Sayaka froze, and she turned slowly. Once again, the device's blue screen showed, "1 new message." Nervously, Sayaka opened the phone, and read, "It hurts… Can't move… send this message to three other people to save me. Lack of doing so will put you in the same situation." And at the bottom was another low-resolution, grainy image. This time, Atsuko was lying on her chest, her amethyst-purple eyes glazed at the floor. Blood trickled from her head down to the floor, mixing with the glass shards on the floor. "Atsuko..." Sayaka muttered in shock. Quickly, she dialed Atsuko's number, and asked, "Hello, Atsuko, where are you now?"
Her response was heavy breathing. "Sayaka? Oh God, please help me! Sayaka! Forgive-" she screamed, and then was cut off.
Sayaka quickly dashed back to the school compound. Students and teachers alike warned her about nightfall falling onto them, but Sayaka didn't care. Atsuko was in danger, and she needed her help. That was all that had mattered. A loud crash sounded throughout the hallways. The science lab door violently tore itself open, and Sayaka saw her. Atsuko was lying on her chest, her amethyst-purple eyes glazed at the floor. Blood trickled from her head down to the floor, mixing with the glass shards on the floor. "Oh, God…" Sayaka muttered, slumping to her knees, her phone dropping to the floor. "Atsuko… not you too…" As Sayaka mourned, her sorrow was quickly replaced by fear. Simply because of the same voice. The one that groaned, "Chikyuh… Ga… Naiteru… Sora… Ga… Obieteru… Yume… O… Dareka… Ga… Ubau…" This time, Sayaka didn't wait. She quickly popped the phone open, and read, "My head aches, it's going to blow up and burst into pieces. Send this message to three other people to save me. Lack of doing so will put you in the same situation." And the grainy picture at the bottom wasn't Sayaka in some death. No, it was Aki Nakahara's face. Her skin was a ghostly green, and her smile carved onto her face was one of sheer malice. Sayaka screamed in terror, dropping the phone as she ran away, back into the hallways.
Her little legs pumping up and down like pistons, Sayaka didn't stop until she saw her. A green floating apparition. Unlike her photos, Aki now wore her school uniform primly. No missing buttons, no torn skirt, no rumples, no exposed bra. Her long hair blew in her face as she flashed a toothy grin at Sayaka. She widened her eyes in fear as she spun round, dashing in the other direction, her eyes flashing back to see if the ghost followed her. When Aki moved her arm, Sayaka sprinted for dear life, dashing onto the rooftop. Her breath became ragged, her legs dragging behind, muscles worn out. But as soon as she did reach the rooftop, in front of her, floating in the night sky, was Aki Nakahara. "I didn't do anything… I was just watching… Yumi and Atsuko were the ones torturing you, not me…"
"Yes… just watching…" Aki threw her head back in a crazy laugh as Sayaka once again shivered at her psychotic smile. "All you did was watch as they drowned me, taunted me, raped me, beat me… the list goes on, doesn't it?"
"We used to be really good friends in the past…" Sayaka tried, a false smile forming on her lips. "Please, forgive me."
"If we used to be such good friends, honey," Aki cooed, kissing her before lifting her up by the neck. "Why didn't you ever help me?" Sayaka gasped for air. She immediately knew how Yumi felt as she was drowned, she could only choke and gurgle as her air was cut off. Her legs kicked out in a pathetic attempt to resist, but it was oh-so futile. At least, not until a bullet shot through the ghost's head. Aki looked down, and saw Rei standing there. Apparently, he couldn't recognize her, for he was holding an M14 rifle and a katana. Another wild smile broke upon the ghost's face, and she let go of Sayaka, who crumpled into a mangled heap on the ground. The last thing she heard was Rei declare, "You shall not pass!"
"If only at that time…" Sayaka started. She and Rei were in the classroom, alone. Rei now sported a bloody bandage around his forehead. "If only I had cared more about Aki… we could have avoided all this, and Atsuko and Yumi would still be alive." Rei nodded, as Sayaka began to cry. "It's all my fault… I'm responsible for everything…"
"Calm down." Rei aid, putting his hand on her shoulder. "Aki will understand, and forgive you. You'll be fine." He wiped away her tears, and said, "As her boyfriend, I'm sure she'll be OK with you."
Later, Sayaka went back to the roof. She placed some flowers at the place where she was strangled last night. "Aki…" she started. "I'm sorry. I know I'm probably the worst, because I just stood there and ignored your plights. That's why I need you to forgive me, so I know I can turn over a new leaf and become a better person." With that, she stood up, and started to walk away, a true smile on her face.
All gone when she heard the familiar tune, "Chikyuh… Ga… Naiteru… Sora… Ga… Obieteru… Yume… O… Dareka… Ga… Ubau…" Slowly, Sayaka read the message. This time, all it said was, 'I'll be watching you."
Sayaka heaved a heavy sigh of relief. As she came back downstairs, she went off for her next class. Which was just as well, or else she may have seen the psychotic grin on Rei's face.
A/N: Ok, Ok, before anyone goes nuts, I admit that the characters are, and always will be, fictional. It's true that they're LOOSELY based on real people, it's true that I wish my girlfriend's ghost (or that of her sister's, anyone's ghost will do) will come back and slay the bullies, but no person the characters are based on will actually do anything like this in the story.
This was supposed to be another chapter for Counseling before it went on hiatus. The idea was that Haruka, Keigo's dead lover, would've came back from the dead to give Miku (And by extension, us) more insight into Keigo's character via a short story of an incident involving bullies. It was also a send-up to Iris's sister, who committed suicide from bully problems. I ruled it out because it sounded more like a ghost story than an actual event that would happen to the character, and some of the kills he was supposed to pull off were pretty damn hard. Also, I wanted the whole 'bully-killer' persona to go to Troy instead, seeing as he's supposed to be more of a broken nerd with a dead girlfriend and serious anger management problems. But the idea was too good to waste, so I remade it. As time-constraints were tight, I only managed to change some names and details so it's no longer (that) connected to the original story it was supposed to be used in. It becomes kind of obvious when you can see their personalities shining through the exported character copies created for this. The only major change was to Aki (Haruka), who was originally a kind, sweet girl. Here, she's as murderous and psychotic as her boyfriend.
The lyrics used for the ghostly ringtone is, believe it or not, 'Ultraman Dyna' from, well, 'Ultraman Dyna'. By God do I love this song, but I always pictured it as a scary track rather than an awesome track, but I may be wrong.
And it's STILL a send-up to Iris's sister; she preferred my stories to my poems.