by C.M. Lacey
One Year Ago.
Her name was Meiko Koda, and despite the meaning of her name, she never was a "Dark Child". Meiko tended to be the a ray of sunshine. Whenever people were down, it was Meiko that cheered them up. To the outside observer, Meiko had no flaws. She was taller than average, but not overly so. She had a slim body, and long hair that made her the idol of her High School. She even was Student Body President and had top marks. She was the star in the school's drama productions, and a future star in the art world. With all of those things going for her, the name Meiko just didn't seem to fit.
Like many before her Meiko fell in love for the first time in High School. Even her boyfriend, Nobu Fukada was seemingly perfect. He was the star athlete, and all the girls wanted him. He was handsome and charming. To top it all off, he was the one who asked her out. Shortly after they started dated they becme the royal couple of the school. No one openly hated them, and they were both extremely popular.
When graduation came along, the happy couple debarked to Utsunomiya University together. While they were undergoing different studies, they still were together. Nobu was studying for a business degree in foreign relations, while Meiko was pursuing an education in art. Things were falling in place perfectly, and Meiko's life was shaping to be a happy-ever-after.
But along with the cliche's of finding the perfect boy and moving to University together, came it's partner: High School Romances never last forever. On Meiko's end, she was oblivious to it. They both were busy with their studies, so she didn't noticed the signs that she should have. Nobu and Meiko saw less and less of each other, they both were making new friends, and they still had those left over adolescent hormones with the added bonus of being able to drink alcohol legally. The inevitable path of departure was almost written in stone.
While all of this could be seen in hindsight, Meiko was blind to it. In fact, she was so into her own world that it was starting to become pathetic. The double edge sword of being popular was that no one had the courage to point out what was to come, or else, were sitting back and waiting for the explosion to happen. It was on a December 24th that the idealistic world of Meiko Koda would change forever.
She was hosting a Christmas Eve party with some of her art classmates. She had invited Nobu to come along, but he said he had plans. But this didn't bother Meiko, as she still couldn't see the writing on the wall. She was just enjoying herself, having fun showing her new University friends Naho Hotoro and Sasa Yaguchi her J-Metal CDs, and laughing at them for being shocked at her music tastes. Everything was shaping to be a normal party with friends when it happened.
It was during this time that she noticed noticed a small girl with long blonde dyed hair looking at some of her paintings. She wasn't what one would call a friend, in fact, not to many people liked her. But Meiko always felt sorry for the girl, as she always seemed to be snubbed by everyone else. Her name was Nanami Takase, and she was known for being very snobbish and rude. Still, wanting to play a good host, she politely left her friends to say hello.
"I'm pleased you could come, Takase-san." Meiko smiled a warm smile to Nanami.
Nanami nodded, still looking at one of Meiko's paintings. "I won't be here long."
Meiko wished Nanami found a better way of phasing things, but she wasn't sorry the girl was only making a brief appearance. "Oh, that's too bad. Do you have other plans?"
"I'm going to another party my room mate is having. I just wanted to be polite since you invited me." Nanami told her. Meiko couldn't be sure if this was a lie or not.
"Well I hope you have a Merry Christmas."
"Thanks, you too." Nanami said stiffly. She looked away from the painting finally and gazed the room. "Your boyfriend isn't here?"
"Nope. He said he's busy tonight." Meiko told her.
"I see." Nanami scratched her nose and gave a peculiar look. It was the first time Meiko had noticed this sort of behavior.
"If you don't mind me asking, why did you ask if he were here?"
"I was just wondering if the two of you broke up already." Nanami said bluntly.
"Why would we break up?" Meiko asked. She wasn't finding Nanami all that charming anymore.
"Because he's cheating on you."
"What?" Meiko looked at Nanami in shock.
Nanami seemed equally as shocked that this was news to Meiko. "Haven't your friends told you?"
"Y-Your lying." Meiko was shaking her head.
Nanami pouted a small bit, then took Meiko by the arm and led her out of the room. Once alone, she looked up into Meiko's face and took a very serious tone. "I know we don't know each other, and you probably don't trust me. But everyone is talking about it behind your back. The story around around the art department is that your boyfriend has been seen with other girls… and everyone is just sitting back waiting for you to find out. I think it's cruel. They should tell you something like that."
"Who told you this?" Meiko was feeling her heart seizing up. She knew now that Nanami fully believed what she was saying, but still felt it was a lie.
"All of them." Nanami pointed to the room they just left. "Ask your friends if you don't believe me. Or better yet, ask your boyfriend."
Meiko felt her body shake. She didn't know what happened to Nanami after that. She was in a haze. She left the girl without saying a word and went up to Naho and Sasa, willing for the news she heard to be just a rumor. She pulled them aside and confronted them as frankly as Nanami had before.
"I just heard someone say that Nobu is cheating on me… is it true… did you know about this?" Meiko stared into their eyes, praying they would looked shocked at this rumor. But God was busy and couldn't answer that request. Both girls immediately looked uncomfortable.
"Look, we don't know if the story is true for sure… but yeah, we heard about it." Sasa told Meiko with a slight shake in her voice. "We've been racking our brains trying to think of a way to tell you… but-"
Meiko felt her legs shake. "No. It's not true. We've been together for three years."
"It might not be true." Naho was saying, but even in Meiko's new panicked state she could tell Naho didn't believe that.
"I'm going to call him." Meiko decided, reaching into her pocket for her phone.
The two friends watched white faced while Meiko dialed the number. No response. She tried again. Nothing. Meiko was going into a panic. She dialed it for a third time only to get the same result. She lowered her eyebrows and felt ice seep through her veins.
"He won't answer?" Sasa asked.
Meiko shook her head. She grabbed her coat and pulled it on. "I'm going to his place."
"Do you think you should? I mean it's Christmas Eve and-" Naho was saying, but Meiko was already shooting passed her.
She didn't care about the guests in her apartment, or what they thought her. She was out in the snow, running down the street. Nobu lived about 15 minutes away by foot, but Meiko was running. She couldn't even feel the pain in her legs, as she was having a mental crisis. This wasn't happening to her. She didn't deserve this. She and her boyfriend loved each other.
When she arrived at his apartment, she dug in her pocket for the key. She unlocked the door and came in. The stinking smell of beer and bodily fluids reeked all over the place. Along with that, were the sounds of a woman moaning, and a man grunting. Even with all of this, Meiko had a vague hope that it was one of Nobu's friends having his way with a girl. So she stepped in further and saw the scene herself.
There was a naked girl sitting on the edge of the futon, covered in sweat and panting. Beyond her on the bed proper was another girl. She was hopping up and down of the waist of a man... Meiko's man. Nobu's hands were cupping the girl's breast as she rode him, moaning loudly all the while.
Before Meiko could utter a word, the girl sitting on the futon gasped, looking at the intruder. She quickly grabbed a shirt that was on the ground and covered her chest. With this gesture the other two now saw Meiko standing there. The girl on top of Nobu climbed off and hid behind her friend. Meanwhile Nobu, with an erect penis, was trying to climb to his feet going towards Meiko.
"W-What's all this?" Meiko pointed at the girls. "What's going on?"
"Look, babe, I know it looks bad…."
Meiko's body tensed up. Her lips quivered. "L-Looks bad?"
"I'm in the wrong I know that… but I didn't mean to hurt you."
"H-Hurt me?" Meiko barely was registering what he was saying.
"I know… I should have broke up with you before now, but I didn't know how I should do it?" Nobu continued. All Meiko could see was his penis was still erect, glistening from the juices of the girl that was just straddling it. "You're so pure and innocent, I didn't want to hurt you."
"I'm pure…" Meiko's voice was shaking. "Pure…"
"I think she's freaking out." One of the girls was saying.
"She's going to cry." The other whispered back.
Nobu placed his hands on her shoulders. "I'm sorry you had to find out this way. I wanted to break up with you in a better way."
"Break up…." Meiko repeated. "Break up with me?"
"Poor thing." One of the girls was whispering. "Did you know they were still going out?"
"No…" The other girl responded.
"It's harsh, but you have to understand that it's over between us." Nobu said, his voice becoming more stern.
"Why?" Meiko asked. Why was her world crumbling apart. Why did he do this to her?
"Because… I'm a different guy now… and you're… you're still the High School Idol that likes cute things." Nobu explained. "I want more than just a your sweet optimism, cute kisses, and young love. I want adventure, I want crazy dirty sex. I want to party all night, and I want to be a bastard. That's something you can't give me."
Meiko looked down, her eyes hazing over. The girls were talking amongst themselves again, but she couldn't hear them. Her heart was shattering and everything she was seemed to be broken with it. Her jaw was shaking up and down, and her left eye was starting to twitch. Was this what it felt like to be loosing one's mind?
She tiled her head to the ceiling and screamed at the top of her lunged. The three in the room jumped back. They all expected her to burst into tears, maybe shout at Nobu for being a cheating bastard. But Meiko wasn't that sweet idol at the moment. In fact, she didn't think she'd ever be again.
She turned around and flung Nobu's stereo on the ground. It shattered on the floor before anyone realized what was happening. Now Nobu had come to his senses as her tackled her away from the speaker she just shoved her heel in. He was screaming at her, but she elbowed him in the nose to a satisfying cracking sound. The girls were squealing and both ran into the bathroom and locked themselves in.
Meiko was only getting started. She threw the tv on the floor next to the stereo, picked up the playstation, rose it high over her head, and sent it sailing into the wall. Nobu was back on his feet, blood smearing his face, his erection finally gone. He grabbed her waist and picked her up, dragging her to the door. She head butted him, until he dropped her howling in pain. She ran back into the room and threw everything she could on the ground. Then in the kitchen, everything must go. Windows shattered, all dishes broken, all the food was thrown into the walls.
Nobu had to punch her in the face to get her to stop. He picked her up and this time was able to toss her outside. He shouted something at her, something about how she lost her mind, then slammed the door and locked it. Meiko's key was still on the handle. She could open the door if she wanted to, but her cheek was singing in pain.
She stood up and screamed at the door. "Cheater! Fucking cheater. Fuck you! I hate you! Nobu Fukada has a baby's dick! Nobu Fukada fucks sheep!"
He opened the door again and screamed at her to go away. But she just screamed all the more in his face. She berated him with every insult known to man, then invented more when she exhausted all those. He looked horrified. It was the only time in this whole ordeal did he look like he regretted what he had done. He had broken Meiko Koda, the sweet school idol who still liked to sleep with a unicorn stuffed animal.
"Meiko… I'm sorry…" He said, holding his broken nose. "What have I done?"
Meiko spit in his face finally was finished with him. She turned around and went down the stairs the led to his apartment room, and left the complex. She was shaking, her tears were finally creeping to her eyes as her anger was fading. But she didn't want to give Nobu the satisfaction of her tears. In fact, she didn't want to cry ever again. Or feel love… for that matter. She hated love. Love made her chest hurt.
As she walked down the street and entered the shopping district she saw her own refection in the story fronts. Pass the Christmas decoration was a girl she didn't recognize. Meiko wasn't that pretty girl who looked shellshocked… that wasn't her. She looked at her long hair and hated it. She hated all her clothes. She hated the way she looked. Turning from her reflection, she looked ahead and saw a barbershop. Surprisingly it was still open. She shallowed the lump in her throat, walked to the door and opened it. She decided to kill Meiko off. She wasn't that girl anymore. She wasn't Meiko, the kind hearted or Meiko the sweet and innocent. She would live up to her dark name now. From now on, she'd be Mei.