Hello everyone~! So...well, like it says on the tin, this is what this little project I cooked up is about xD
I always wondered how Mio and Mayu acted in the outside world, it pains me to no end that we never see this... *gives Kei from FF3 a pointed side-eye
So, enjoy these quick 7 diary entries. I really hope it isn't too long-winded!
Hitoshi Kimura looks back at his diary entries concerning the year he was in the same class as Mio and Mayu Amakura. There aren’t many, but he never forgot them.
APRIL 14th, 1988
In the corner of the room sat the Amakura twins.
I don’t remember when I started observing them from afar…not long after we were put in the same class, perhaps. I find myself unable to ignore them, no matter how much they try to fade into the background.
My friend Kazuki tries to coerce me into looking at his new videogame; it seems interesting, but the scene in front of me keeps my attention from it: girls giggling at magazine covers, others gossiping cheerfully. Boys are boasting about their latest conquest or putting books away while they chat. Yet in this pandemonium of voices and laughter, the twins sit together in the back of the classroom…absolutely silent.
Or actually, not as silent as I think.: Mio, the eldest, quietly asks her twin Mayu something. She nods a bit with a sad smile, causing her sister’s expression to faintly crease with worry.
This is how they always talk. Quietly, away from everyone else, as though they share some secret that the world couldn’t possibly understand. I try to pretend I’m not paying attention as Mio slowly helps up Mayu and both walk out of the classroom.
“What is it with those girls?” I quietly ask Kazuki.
He frowns. “I knew you weren’t paying attention to the game. Why are you so obsessed with them? They’re boring. They don’t talk to anyone and just stand around being shy all the time”.
I ponder on this. Shy? Perhaps Mayu could be described as that. I always notice her hesitant gait and cast-down eyes, but I always had the feeling -and you can call me crazy- that Mio would probably be pretty popular if she wanted. When I briefly asked her for the new homework assignment, she smiled pleasantly and animatedly described the project. She even snuck in a joke or two about our teacher! After a few minutes of chatting, Mayu gave her sister a tug and they quickly left.
MAY 5th, 1988
My friend Nobu has to clean up after class today, and his shift is coincidentally with Mio. He keeps saying how irritating it is that Mayu is just shuffling around doing nothing, since she’s allowed to skip these duties. Why didn’t she just go home by herself? Instead she sits around, fiddling her thumbs on her red tartan school skirt, keeping a close eye on her sister. It’s creepy, he says.
JUNE 11th, 1988
We had gym today.
As usual, the girl’s class was doing gymnastics and having trouble. No matter how much they tried to convince their teacher, he still insisted on getting them to jump over one meter and a half. Most of them were getting more bruises than progress, but surprisingly Mio was able to jump it with graceful ease. Everyone crowded around her, exclaiming surprise and admiration in shrieks.
During this whole time, Mayu sat on a bench in the sidelines. We always wondered why she didn’t stay in the library, out of the sun and taking advantage of the spare time to do homework, like the other excused students did.
She gazed at her sister blankly, but I felt a strong hint of resentment in her eyes.
It was very strange.
JUNE 20th , 1988
The twins didn’t come to school today, so I decided to volunteer to bring their homework, since no one else would.
Their house is small, with pretty hollyhocks in the front lawn, located in one of the quieter neighborhoods of our town.
My knock on the door was answered by a pleasant-faced man, who seemed too young to be their father. I hadn’t heard of them having an older brother, but despite my confusion, he was very polite to me. He explained that the girls were sick, Mayu especially having a terrible flu. Mio had caught it too, but less strongly. “Twins, you know how they are!” he laughed.
He went to their room while I studied the house. It had an air of being lovingly cared for, but in a rather hasty and clumsy fashion. On the small table next to the sofa was a picture of an older man and woman smiling and holding hands, who I assumed were probably the twins’ parents. I wondered if they both worked, perhaps in stressful jobs that kept them busy and away from home. I knew for a fact that my father, being a doctor, was barely at home most of the time.
Mio came into the room presently, and received her homework with a smile. She didn’t seem sick at all, not even a sniffle as we exchanged some school gossip. After a few minutes I heard Mayu calling for her, so she left.
JUNE 25th, 1988
There has been a change in the girls lately, and I feel I’m the only one who notices. They seem a bit gloomier than usual, but I can’t figure out why.
JUNE 28th, 1988
Can you believe it? I actually got a chance to talk to Mio one-on-one! What a rare privilege.
It started this morning, with Mayu being taken to the nurse’s office for some sort of check-up. Mio wanted to go with her, but unfortunately sensei Nakamura is very strict and didn’t allow it.
By the time break time rolled around, she still had not returned, and it is here where the first extraordinary thing happened: her twin did not rush off to see if she was ok. In fact, she mournfully stared around the classroom, looking like a lost deer. She even gave a tiny sigh as the girls scooted their desks together to eat lunch and gossip.
I felt sorry for her. More than that, I wanted to know more about this girl’s life. So gathering up my nerves, I went up to her.
“Hey Amakura-san! Want to eat lunch with me?”
Mio blushed slightly. “I’m sorry….my sister, she-“
“Yeah, she isn’t back. But I bet as soon as she’s fully checked they’ll send her right up here. Why don’t you relax and have a bite with me while you wait? It’ll pass the time”.
She agreed very readily, as though she had been waiting for me to provide some sort of excuse. With our boxed lunches in hand (hers seemed a bit hurriedly prepared), we sat down and talked.
If I hadn’t been paying attention to her, I wouldn’t have believed that the girl I was talking to was the same hushed young lady who sat in the corner. Mio chatted freely, telling me so many things: her favorite books and movies, funny stories she had heard, and even about her father’s death and mother’s hospitalization. She told me these stories without any self-pity or morbid inflection, showing me that she wasn’t someone to dwell on the past: she accepted the difficulties in her life with surprising strength for a teenage girl. I must admit though, she was quite evasive about telling me of Mayu’s injury, stating vaguely that it was a “childhood accident”. Her eyes clouded over a bit, and I wondered if there was perhaps more to that story.
Not that I let her do all the talking though! I told her about my own life, like my favorite baseball teams, or my father’s job and how much I wanted to be a doctor just like him. She looked at me in admiration and I duly confess that I blushed.
“I’ve been worried. An important place of my childhood is going to be flooded, because a dam is going to be built…I’m going to miss it…” she whispered, misty eyed. She changed the subject immediately after these words.
Our conversation did not go unnoticed. The whole class was mesmerized as Mio, who had a charming quiet charisma, talked to everyone about pleasant topics. At one point we were talking about our favorite snacks.
“Oh no!” she giggled, “I don’t recommend those candies! They taste awful, in fact Mayu even-“
It was at this crucial moment that the person in question entered the room. The whole class fell silent and Mio’s face dropped: her twin, though outwardly calm, was emanating a furious energy. In a single motion, she immediately closed the door and left, while her sister instantly stood up to follow her without even a goodbye.
In mind-reading camaraderie, everyone in the room fell silent to hear the quiet yet heated exchange outside of the door.
“You didn’t come”
“I was waiting for you! I was going to-“
“You said we’d always be together, I kept waiting…”
“I didn’t mean to-“
At this point Mayu gave a low sob.
“Mayu, I’m so sorry, I’ll never do it again”
“Never? You promise?”
My classmates and I looked at each other anxiously. Judging by what Mio had promised, it seemed we wouldn’t have any more pleasant tête-à-têtes with her.
June 30th ,1998
Tomorrow our summer vacation starts. There was an assembly for the students and their families, which was long-winded and boring. I wouldn’t have remembered this day if it weren’t for two events.
The first was my grandmother. She was staring intently at the Amakura twins, to the point where it almost got embarrassing. After the speech I went up to her and ask what was wrong.
“Those girls….they have a most tragic fate” she whispered to me, her emotion so strong it brought tears to her eyes.
My father overheard and rolled his eyes. He was quite aware of his mothers’ superstitious nature. He took her claims of “sixth senses” and “spirits” as an unfortunate manifestation of her psychological problems. I generally agreed with him, but at this moment her voice sent chills down my spine. The twins having a tragic fate, could it be? Looking at the facts logically, two girls sharing such an intense devotion were bound to have problems in the future….after all, they couldn’t really be together forever. They’d eventually have to start their own separate lives.
Still, looking into my grandmothers’ watery stare, I was seized with a sudden fear that this “tragedy” could be something much worse.
The second event occurred when everyone was leaving. Mio was very protective and close to Mayu the whole time (in fact, she wouldn’t even look at anyone in the eye after her twins’ outburst that memorable day), but at one point, while her sister was busy talking to her uncle, she came up to me with a small smile.
“Remember how I told you our childhood spot was being flooded? My uncle just told me he’s going to take us there in two days. We’re going to see it one last time before it disappears” she whispered excitedly.
Kazuki and Nobu were waving at me to come over, so we had precious little time to talk. I took the opportunity to tell her how great it was to hear that.
“There are a lot of changes in life, aren’t there?” she asked me wistfully. “Nothing remains the same, not forever…”
She looked back at her sister, a pained expression on her face. “Sometimes you have to talk. To get things…to change…”. She bowed quickly, and, as in every encounter I had with this girl, she ran back to her sister.
Always the same. Always being pulled back by some invisible cord connected to her twin, never able to be separated for long.
I hoped -as she secretly waved goodbye to me while the family entered her uncle’s car- that whatever happened in that old childhood spot of hers, it would mean change for the better next year.
“Goodbye Mio”, I whispered.