Yuka. Yuka. Yukayukayukayukayukayuka.
As much as she tried to block it out, the word (name) kept repeating itself inside her head. Yukayukayukayuka—
NEVER. Stop thinking, dammit. STOP.
She yelled at herself, screamed out loud, but, but…She wouldn’t think the word (name) for a week, and then it suddenly slipped in somewhere, and her heart seized up, and—
She hated her. Luna hated Yuka. That made things so much easier. That made it possible to look at her, to think of her, without the dreadful guilt, shame, confusion…
She made a list of the reasons she hated Yuka, and repeated it to herself. Over and over again. One. She stole Kuonji. Two. People used to like her. (They don’t now, but that’s beside the point.) Three. She outshone Luna and stole the glory from her. Four. She was more powerful than Luna. Five. She was too goddamned smart. Six. Yukihira sensei liked her. Seven. She was beautifu—
There was no seven. Luna skipped over seven, because Yuka was ugly. She had to believe that Yuka was ugly, that she was not attracted to her. Being attracted to Yuka was impossible (not).
She had to believe that what she felt for Yuka was hatred, that the (un)comfort she found in countless men, the empty sex, was actually lust, that she loved Kuonji.
She had to believe all that so she could survive without being sucked into that endless pit of despair and self-hatred. And where self hatred lay, so did madness.
And that was the one thing she could not afford. Madness was her greatest fear, what she ran from, what she saw when she stared at herself as a child, what she hid from now. Madness would kill her, and, despite everything, Luna didn’t want to die.
But now—she stares at the soft brown eyes so like Yuka’s and suddenly she sees the truth.
She has been blinded and maddened all these years, blinded and maddened by the guilt she’s held to herself forever and a day, ever since she felt the first stirrings inside her body of something she believed was immoral, unnatural, and therefore does not exist.
She has been blinded, and maddened, because her love was natural, oh so natural, even if it was hopeless. What was mad was her wild quest to deny, to hide, to erase.
What was mad was the lives she destroyed as a result of her foolishness, her stupidness.
And now she realizes. Now she realizes.
She realizes that maybe, maybe, she can still set it right. Maybe she can offer an apology to Yuka. Maybe she can make amends for what she did to the students of the Academy.
But it’s too late for the person she damaged most—herself.