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In Control

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The sound of the alarm startled you awake, the noise not helping the headache you already have. It had been months since last time you used it & while you're still half asleep, you vaguely wondered why you set it again. Doesn't Nanako wak--

Your thoughts halted, throat tightening as you remember now. Namatame, the accident, how he took your little sister to /that/ place.

You managed to rescue her. But she was admitted in the hospital.

That had been three days ago.

You snooze the alarm before laying on your back once again to stare at the ceiling. You feel your head swimming.

Even after that exhausting rescue, you still have to attend school.

That's why you set the alarm.

Yesterday you overslept. Startled awake by Yosuke's text, wondering why you weren't at your usual meetup spot.

You (and Yosuke, who worriedly waited for you) end up 15 minutes late to class and got assigned cleaning duty for the rest of the week.

This new task barely fitted on your tight agenda, so you had to reschedule half of your meetups.

That had been tiring, but gave you another excuse to stay away from this empty house.

Once a warm home, now it was starting to resemble that small apartment complex back in the city you know too well.

You hate it.

So cleaning duties were a small blessing.

Your alarm chirps again, meaning 10 minutes have already passed. You finally sit up and are greeted by the disaster on your room.

The work table was pushed against the shelf, and now both are covered with dirty clothes; the figures that were displayed on the shelf are now laying beside it, broken; once tidy school notes are now sprawled all over the desk, some lying on the floor; dirty, torn shirts (result of the days of Nanako's rescue mission) bunched up on the corner, ignored for now; your school bag vomiting it's contents as it laid open where it fell last night you arrived.

You are unfazed by this.

You walk up to your closet, it’s doors wide open. Half of your clothes bunched or falling off the hangers.

Among the handful of clothes that are hung up, you find your last clean white shirt.

You think you should probably do laundry, but it reminds you of Nanako. Of how she's in charge of it, how she's always being careful of the weather so it can dry in time.

You tighten your hold on the shirt, your hands trembling.

You close your eyes, tightening your jaw. You take a deep breath and force down the the knot that's threatening to form.

Opening your eyes, you seal the lid of emotions again.

You smooth out the wrinkles of the shirt in your hands before changing into it.

You comb your hair with your fingers. It takes a couple of tries, but in the end you manage to keep it in place.

You look out of place inside the room, like a metaphor you don’t have time to dwell on. You don’t want to be late. Your schedule is full, again. You can’t stay and think too much. You have to face the world, look unfazed.

Because even if your world is crumbling, you have to look in control.