By: Krys Bear
Note: This story depics two girls in love (Makoto and Minako). If you have a problem with that please evolve.
Disclaimer: The Sailor Moon characters are not mine. I'm just using them for my own romantic pleasure. I promise I'll put them back as soon as I'm done with them.
Purgatory - The realm between heaven and hell where the soul awaits judgement.
My return to the land of the living took a lot of sheer willpower. Since I hadn't much moved for an entire week, for a while I walked clumsily through my apartment hallways like a drunkard. The first thing I did was get myself a glass of water, and I swear I nearly dropped the full glass on my foot before I managed to drink half of it. It helped though. The cold water cleared my mind a little, and by the time I had gone to take a shower, my motor skills were returned to me.
The shower was refreshing in more ways than one. Not only was I rinsing my skin, I was also, in a sense, rinsing away some of the lethargy that had bound me for the past week. It's amazing how simple human acts can sometimes bring focus back into a person's life. Small things that most people never think about. Like breathing. I knew things were going to be difficult for me for a while longer yet, but I wasn't letting it beat me. I'd live around it as best I could, and fight it as hard as I could if it came at a time I wasn't ready for it. I felt empowered by my decision. I was once again in control.
After finishing up in the shower, I changed into a pair of navy blue cargo pants and a black muscle-t. Although I was feeling better, I still believed it was too early for me to be going out just yet, so I had no reason to get dressed into anything fancy. And even if I was feeling up to leaving, there was no way I'd have time to today. My apartment was in complete disarray, and the small red counter on my answering machine informed me that I had had fifty-two phone calls during my special 'nap time', all or most of which I would have to reply to as soon as possible.
"Welcome back, Makoto." I breathed out a heavy sigh. "The world has been turning since you've been gone."
I couldn't believe the disaster zone my apartment had become. I mean, I had glanced over it when I'd gotten my glass of water, so I knew it needed some work, but damn, I had no idea it was this much! I remember getting up on a few occasions during the past few days to eat and so on, but that didn't account for all of the clothes strewn all down my hallway and living room floor, or the mountain of dishes and deformed food remains in my kitchen.
Actually, when I really thought about it, I couldn't remember getting up to eat more than once. That's the only time I remember getting up at all. But I must have....I wasn't in the same clothes I'd been wearing when it all began. And I could swear my pillowcases had been changed too. So I must have been at least partially functional at some point, whether I could remember it or not. Now it was time to see just exactly how functional I'd been.
From the look of it, somewhere in my stupored state, I'd attempted to make a cake. Why I put a chicken in the middle of it, I really don't know. I'd also made some muffins, they were still sitting the their tins happy as can be. They actually looked appetizing and I was going to snack on a few, until I saw the anchovy fin poking out of the top of one. Shaking my head, I grabbed a garbage bag and started dumping all of my lovely 'creations' into it. In a way, I guess it was good this happened. I now know what I'd do if I ever became an alcoholic. I'd molest everything in the kitchen and create hospital food.
With that in mind, I vowed to myself I'd never become a heavy drinker.
When I finally cleared the counter and fridge of my culinary atrocities, it was time to tackle the dishes. Usually I don't mind doing them, but some of these had been sitting out so long I swear the food particles must have fused with the porcelain plates. Needless to say, by the time I did finish the Magic Mountain, I never wanted to see another dish again. I was actually happy to move on to my laundry. At least all I had to do with that was gather it up in armfuls and shove it into a machine.
And that's just what I did. I hauled out my old reliable laundry basket, and went through every room in my apartment, throwing everything on the floor inside without a second glance. When I started shoving it all into the machine, I didn't even bother to go through it - who cares if whites wash with darks, if the water's cold no color will run. All I had left to do now was water my poor plants, and then I could sit down and start attending to my phone messages.
After all, one of the could be from Minako.
There were fifty-two messages. Surely just one of those could be from her...couldn't it? True, she did kind of leave in a hurry when I showed her Peeko, and she even looked a little angry....but...
She'll want to talk about it, won't she? Even if she doesn't want anything to do with me anymore...she'll at least break it to me gently, right? It would be cruel to do anything else, and Minako has never been a cruel person...
Realization of the situation I was in with Minako now finally hit me full force for the first time. Swallowing hard, I sank down onto the couch, my arms wrapping around myself. I felt cold, and sick. The look she had on her face the last night I saw her...it was a look I couldn't recognize. I'd never seen her look that way before. Everything I had remembered...she already knew. Everything. And she'd never spoken a word of it to me, ever. Why would she do that? Maybe she had been hoping I would never remember, so she didn't have to feel some sort of obligation to me this time around.
But Minako has never been a cruel person...
I decided that this was a path I couldn't afford to let my mind take. Fifty-two messages, there's a lot of room for a Minako call in there. If it just happened that there wasn't a call from her anywhere in the pile, then I could think about the possible reasons behind it. But in the mean time, I had a bigger challenge to face...sorting through all of those phone messages.
It took me over an hour just to listen to all of the messages. I'd kept track of who called when in one of my notebooks, making sure to jot an 'X' down beside calls I should return before others. It was a crude method of organization, but hey, I'm not Ami. Whatever works is fine with me.
About thirty of the calls I'd received were from various restaurant suppliers, all hoping to negotiate a contract with me. Although it was nice to know that word was getting around about my future endeavor, it was also a little disheartening at the same time. They didn't care a thing about what kind of restaurant I was going to be running, or how much it meant to me, all they wanted was to line their pockets. It's something I should get used to, I suppose. For a lot of people, that's all that matters. Making the mean green wherever you can, from whoever you can. It's a fact of life. Business is business. Hell, soon enough I would be running a business, doing the same thing, right?
In all my years of dreaming about owning my own restaurant, I had never really considered the cold hearted business aspect of it. All I thought about was how great it would be to share my God given gift with others, to be working at doing something I love. Not many people get to work at their dream job, after all. Never once did competing enter my mind, or hiring employees, or, in some instances, firing them. Bill paying and negotiations completely eluded my thought process. I never thought beyond the fact that I wanted to cook.
Looking at all the numbers I had written down on my list, my heart sank. I wondered if all of this preparation work would be worth it in the end.
I was jarred out of my thoughts by that loud, annoying sound that every answering machine gives off to let you know all your messages have been heard. I'd gotten through forty-five of them before zoning out, and none had been from Minako. Fighting down the urge to punch through my living room wall, I took a deep breath and looked over the electronic number list on my answering machine, to see if she'd been one of the messages I'd missed while I was re-thinking destiny.
Her number wasn't listed.
I'd been practically off the face of the earth for a week, and she hadn't even called.
Minako didn't call me.
Fifty-two messages....and none had been from her.
Feeling numb, I slowly got up to my feet. I couldn't stand to be in this room right now, not the room she has walked out on me in. Not the room that was witnessing my complete, utter heartbreak.
Not the room that knew she didn't call.
I slid on a pair of Nikes and tied the laces up with shaky hands. I didn't have a lot of friends outside of the sailor senshi, but I did have one I knew I needed tonight. She's the only one who'd understand the pain I was doing my best to stave off. She could help me figure out what to do before I did something stupid. She could help me fix things before they tore me apart. Clumsily I grabbed my keys, slid on my jacket and helmet, and left my apartment.
There was no way I was staying in the room tonight. I was on my way to see Stevie at Tiger Alley.
'Hey, this is Makoto. You know the drill. Leave a message, and If I like ya, I'll call back.'
'Mako-chan....how are you feeling? Last time I checked on you, you seemed to be doing a lot better...your fever was down, and you weren't talking in your sleep anymore. I'll take that as a good sign. You should probably be up again soon, if this is running its course with you like it did with me. As you've probably guessed...we have a lot to talk about. When you get this message...give me a call, ok? Take care.'