July 17, 10:57 AM
A word of advice, Otsuki Miyabi-san
Miyabi sucked in the stale, processed air circulating the recently tended court bathroom. It was nice for public bathroom standards, lots of gleaming tile, porcelain and chrome, but Miyabi was not in the frame of mind to appreciate the luxury of the fixtures or interior design. The combination of “air-perfume” and cleaning chemicals burned his nose and eyes. Miyabi didn’t care; it gave an excuse for the glisten rimming his eyes. Gingerly, his slender, pianist fingers lifted his t-shirt to shoulder level, black fabric rippling away to reveal a pale canvas
July 17, 10:53 AM
Defendant Lobby No. 3
“That’s not a courtroom.” Shuya vented the moment they made it back to their vacant lobby. He’d bottled the frustration until the flood of curious ears evaporated, but once the doors sealed them in, he unleashed. Slipping into a glare, Shuya pressed his palm to his forehead and freed an exasperated sigh. His temples were throbbing for a cigarette. “It’s a three-ring circus.”
“Have you ever been in court before, Shu-chan?” Akito inquired while returning his messageless phone to his back pocket. Taking a deep breath, Akito closed his
July 17, 10:00 AM
Courtroom No. 7
Raucous whispers polluted the courtroom, thickening the air as the trial edged closer to its start. All of the seats, save for a buffer around Sayaka and what remained of Orochi, were filled, mostly with spectators anxious to watch Yumi be properly punished for her crime. Their opinions were not subtle, lurking in verbal snipes and finger points. Yumi kept her head down, wilting on the bench seated next to the defense podium where Mayoi and Ryuuichi stood. She could not see her parents or friends, seated in the back of the defense side audience, but she felt them and the weight of their tears
“Guess you had this all planned from the start, huh?”
“Please, don’t. I…I wanted you to be happy, I didn’t know this would happen.”
“The hell you didn’t. A kiss goodbye because you’re leaving the band? What bullshit…I see your resignation upheld…”
Miyabi peered through darkened glass at Toshio, at the rhythmic pattern of neon light casting his body into a play of light and shadow. Embers burned near Toshio’s right hand, cigarette smoke curling lazily up his arm. “Can’t we work this out?” Miyabi felt his body
July 16, 4:51 PM
Detention Centre, Room 4
Breaths lodged in tracheas when their eyes met across the small room. She was not expecting to see him; he was ill-prepared to see her despite the confidence mantras he’d muttered all the way up the hall. Cheeks dusted pink, the cold shock melting to temporary relief over seeing a familiar face. The frigid winds of reality did not remain still for long, greedily devouring whatever warmth they felt.
Yumi broke eye contact first, pressing her hands into her lap while she stared at the pristine tile floor; though clean, it distorted her reflection. It seemed fitting.
“Why are you here, Miy
In the midst of between and betwixt, two figures sat together on a single bench. They were of separate worlds, only able to meet in fragments of imagination, she in her online persona, he lifted from the margins of the comic she loved. She knew his story, but listened to him speak his thoughts, what all happened and how it spiralled out of control. He hadn’t intended to say anything though he succumbed to the need to end the bitter silence before long.
Toshio sat with his elbows perched on his knees, speaking more to the ground, the void, than the girl sitting to his right. He told his side, risking some feelings, shards of his past, b