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Hope's Peak Psychiatric Hospital

Chapter Text

The view outside my window was pleasant, there were green forests and blue skies. I probably would have enjoyed it better if I didn’t know where I was going.

I was admitted to the Hope’s Peak Psychiatric Hospital for my depression. It’s not that big of a deal, but my parents were concerned. I guess they really didn’t want a sick person around.

The building finally came into view. It was a massive brick building, surrounded by an uninviting iron fence.

“I guess this is it.” the driver cautiously stopped in front of the gate. It was like he expected a random crazy to come out and attack him.

“Yes.” My mother confirmed from the passenger seat. “Let’s go, dear.” She got out and opened my door. “I know it’s hard honey, but it’s for your own good.” I got out of the car. By then, my mother had already gotten my suitcase out of the trunk.

“H-hello.” a lady dressed in a crisp white uniform came out to greet us. “My name is Tsumiki. I’m one of the nurses here at Hope’s Peak.” She was fiddling with one of the bandages on her arms. “Come, follow me.”

We followed the nurse to what looked like a waiting room.

“You can wait here, the doctor will see you shortly.” She went to leave “Oh, and don’t worry,” she turned around, “None of the other patients will hurt you.” With that, she left my mother and I to wait for the doctor.

“You survive.” a matter-of-fact voice came from the doorway that Tsumiki had just gone through.

“What do you mean?” My mother was the one to ask the kid standing there. He had messy purple hair, and a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

“What do I mean?” he wore an unsettling smile “Maybe I’ll tell ya later!” He gave me an extravagant wink and sat down on one of the faux-leather chairs.

“I thought the nurse said we wouldn’t be disturbed here.” My mother put her hand to her chin and gave the boy a thorough look over.

“No, she said that none of the other patients would hurt you.” His grin grew wider. “Now would you say I’m hurting you?”

“Just leave us alone you little imp.” The boy made an over exaggerated expression of hurt at my mother’s words.

“Oh the pain!” he cried out, falling back on the armrest.

Then the door opened, and two people came out. The first was a boy with dark hair, he wore the same thing as the boy on the chair. The other was an older looking man with greying black hair.

“Kokichi!” The younger of the two exclaimed, hurrying over to the chair holding the other boy. The purple haired boy linked their arms together.

“Let’s go!” The boy who I now knew as Kokichi announced. “Monophanie is probably waiting on us!” With that, both of the boys left the room. That left me with my mom and the man in scrubs.

“Why hello there, young man. You must be Makoto Naegi.” He didn’t exactly smile, but he wasn’t quite frowning. “I’m doctor Monokuma, the head doctor at this fine establishment.” He motioned for us to enter the office. “Please, come in.” We stepped into the room.

“Your office is very… lovely.” My mom said exactly what i was thinking. The room was very bland, with no notable decoration.

“Yes, yes, have a seat.” The doctor motioned for us to sit, we did. “Now, I’m going to ask you a few questions. Please answer them as honestly as possible, your answers will determine the level of care you require.”

He asked about my condition, what kind of symptoms I’ve felt, if I’ve ever attempted suicide, etc. My mom answered for me..

“You don’t talk much, do you?” The doctor wrote something down on his clipboard.

I shook my head. Ever since I was a kid, I didn’t like talking with other kids. The only person I could really open up to was my sister, but after she disappeared, I was alone. I think that’s what led to the first attempt.

“Well no matter, just less work for us.” he chuckled. “Let’s get you situated.” There was then a timid knock at the door. “Speaking of which. Come in!” The door opened and the timid nurse from earlier came in.

“Dr. Monokuma, is Mr. Naegi ready to settle in?” The way she stood was like she was trying to avert our attention from her.

“Yes, go on then.” That is when I had to say goodbye to my mother.

“Goodbye darling, I’ll miss you so much. If things get hard, just remember, It’s for your own good.” She hugged me, then I left with Mikan. She took me to a room where I was bathed, and at some point, she handed my suitcase to another one of the nurses. I was given new clothes to wear.

My new uniform included: a long blue button-down shirt that had the hospitals name on it, and the numbers 14157 printed on the front pocket in black; white pants made from the same scrub-like material as the shirt, white socks, and brown slippers. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it wasn’t too bad.

“It’s post-dinner recreation for the rest of the patients, but since you’ve just arrived, you can choose to stay in your room ‘till lights out.”

I nodded.

“So, you want to go to recreation?”

I shook my head.

“Is that a yes?” I don’t quite know if she’s trying to get me to say something, or if she’s just that stupid.

“If you don’t use your words, I can’t tell.” Ah, yes, she is. Talking to me like a kindergartener isn’t going to make me talk, though.

It’s not even like I choose to be mute, I just physically can’t bring myself to say anything. Whenever I try, it’s like someone’s poured cement down my throat, blocking any sound from coming out.

“I guess we have to go to recreation then.” She gave a disappointed sigh.

Tsumiki led me through a maze of halls. There wasn’t much decoration here either, except for the occasional abstract painting or vase of wilting flowers. I guess that was a theme here.

“Here we are!” she announced cheerfully at a large set of double doors. With some effort, she managed to get one of them open. “Whew!” She exhaled. “Now go socialize!” She gently pushed me into the room. The door slammed shut behind me.

The light of the setting sun gave the whole room a homey orange glow, and unlike every other room I’ve been in, this one was well-furnished. There were people scattered around the room in small groups, and a radio playing.

“Hello.” a girl immediately came over to greet me. She was wearing the same uniform as me, except she had a different number and her shirt was pink. Her hair was pulled into a swirly ponytail. “My name is Aoi, are you new here, I haven’t seen you around.”

I nodded.

“Neat! Well, not really, you’re in the nuthouse, but, neat!” She jumped up and down, then grabbed one of my hands. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to the gang!” She led me over to a group of three other teens who had settled down on bean bags in the corner of the room.

“These are Chihiro, Sakura, and Kaede!” She pointed to each girl as she said their name.

They all greeted me, and Kaede motioned for me to sit beside her. I did.

“Well you know all of our names, what’s yours?” It was a pretty normal question, but I just couldn’t answer.

“Do you not speak?” The girl named Sakura asked.

I nodded.

“We can play a guessing game!” Aoi exclaimed. “Chihiro, how do we play again?”

“It’s numbers to letters.” She replied. “I guess they were too lazy to come up with an actual number system, so they just turned our last names into numbers, and took the first five digits.” She answered when she saw the look of confusion that must have been on my face.

“Oh yeah!” Aoi said excitedly. “Let’s see… 14157.”

“Does your name start with an ‘a’” Kaede asked. I shook my head.

“So it’s and ‘n’” Sakura commented.

I nodded.

“Is the next 1 an ‘a’?” Aoi asked me.

I nodded.

“So the next two numbers must be ‘e’ and ‘g’” Keade added.

“So from that, we got Naeg, but that doesn’t seem like a full last name.”

I nodded, then thought for a second. How could I guide them? Then I held up nine of my fingers.

“One, two, three, four- ow!” Kaede cut off Aoi with a smack to the back of the head.

“I think he’s saying it’s the ninth letter.”

To that I nodded.

“So ‘i’?” Chihiro chimed in

I nodded.

“Naegi? Naegi! Your name’s Naegi!’ Aoi jumped up in excitement, which garnered some stares. “But, wait,” She sat back down, “Do you mind us calling you by your last name?”

When I shook my head, she smiled.

“Great!” Kaede smiled as well. Chihiro and Sakura also joined in on the smile fest.

“Now that that’s out of the way, we need to find a way for you to actually talk to us.” Kaede put a hand to her chin and thought for a moment. “Can you write?”

I nodded.

“Okay, well I think I know someone with paper. Though, I don’t think they’re a real fan of sharing.” Kaede sighed.

“I think I know who you’re talking about.” Chihiro frowned. “I don’t think he would share either.”

“But he is the only person here with access to writing materials.” Sakura stated.

“We could always ask.” Aoi  suggested.

“Yes, I suppose we could.” Sakura answered

“Well, who’s going to do it? Obviously Naegi can’t go by himself.” Aoi said.

“I’ll go with him.” Kaede volunteered.

“Kay!” Aoi waved as we got up.

Kaede led us over to a spot in the room next to the large windows. There were three people sitting in a circle-type shape. I recognized two of them from earlier today.

“Oh, why hello there.” The purple haired boy exclaimed. He was laying on his stomach with an array of paper and crayons surrounding him. “Fancy seeing you again, survivor .” He kicked his feet through the air as he kept scribbling on one of the sheets of paper. Something about his tone of voice made him uneasy.

“Hey, Kokichi, can we have one of your crayons, and maybe a sheet of paper.” Kaede asked him.

“Hm,” he made a sound like he was thinking about it. “Nope.” He laughed.

“What? Why?” Kaede looked annoyed with him.

“Why should I? You’re not my friend, quite the opposite, in fact. You only come to me when you need something.” He kept scribbling.

“Gonta think you should share, Kokichi. Sharing is caring.” The boy I assume is Gonta said to him.

“I don’t deal with dead people anyway.” Kokichi didn’t even look up at them, he just continued kicking his legs and scribbling.

The other boy I saw earlier whispered into something into Kokichi’s ear. The purple-haired boy nodded, then reluctantly sighed.

Fine. ” Kokichi groaned and threw one of the crayons on the floor at us. “Take it.” He then shoved a blank piece of paper at me. “But only ‘cause he’s not dead.” He pointed a finger at me, then resumed his scribbling more ferociously.

“Yay!” Gonta clapped his hands in excitement.

“Okay then…” Kaede and I left before the kid could get even more mad.

We returned to our little corner.

“Well the good news is: he gave the supplies. He also got kind of mad at us.” Kaede and I sat ourselves down on the bean bags.

“What did you do?!” Aoi seemed frustrated, but I couldn’t tell with who.

“Nothing!” Kaede put up her hands defensively. “I swear!”

I took the crayon we had gotten from Kokichi, it was orange. I then took the paper and wrote. “Why is that bad?” My handwriting isn't the best, But at least they could read it.

“Why is it bad? WHY IS IT BAD?” Aoi was three seconds away from exploding.

“Kokichi is the only person who knows what goes on around here.” Chihiro squeaked. “He’s also the person to talk to if you need something.”

“He also know what happens in the room.” Sakura said ominously

“The room?” I wrote down.

“The room!” Aoi’s face looked like she had seen a ghost. “There’s a room in this very hospital, room 126B, where its said that people who go in, don’t come out the same. No one knows what happens in there to change them, no one but Kokichi. He holds a lot of power in this facility.” Aoi sighed. “I guess you can’t do anything now, though.”

“Okay everybody!” A nurse came into the room. “It’s time to go to your rooms!” Several other nurses came in and started herding the patients out of the room.

“Bye, Naegi! See you at breakfast!” Aoi and the other girls waved goodbye as they were herded off as well.

“Mr. Naegi? I’m going to show your room!” The nurse, Mikan, was back. This time she didn’t try to make conversation with me as she led me through the corridors. “Here.” She had taken me to an grey iron door. She opened it. “Home sweet home!” She sang out.

The room wasn’t much. There was a cot with a threadbare blanket laid on top of it, a window with iron bars over it, and white paint peeling off the walls. The room was also small enough so that, if i stood in the canter, I could extend my arms and lay my palms flat on the walls.

“Good night, I’ll come by in the morning to get your schedule and all that.” With that, she left me alone with my thoughts.

I didn’t want to think too hard about being stuck in an insane asylum, but there were things that stuck out to me, like how I hadn’t quite met anyone worthy of the title “insane”. Maybe they just don’t let those people run around freely. Kokichi was also unsettling. Did he really know as much as the others claimed. Also, what was the room? Before I knew it, I had fallen asleep.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, Mr. Naegi!” I woke up to Mikan opening my door. There was light shining through my tiny room’s window. “I bet you’re excited for breakfast!” She smiled.

I wasn’t too sure though.

“Come on out!” She pulled me out of my room, but before I left, I had made sure to grab my paper and crayon from yesterday.

She led me to the dining hall. It was a spacious room, with tables like the ones you’d find in a school lunchroom. People were shuffling in; taking their seats.

“This is where you’ll eat all your meals!” Mikan said cheerfully. “You should go find your friends!” She left, presumably to do some sort of nursley duties.

“Hello, Na-e-gi.” He stretched out my name as he spoke it. Kokichi. “Before your new friends scoop you up, I want to talk to you.”

“I thought you didn’t deal with dead people” I wrote on my paper and shoved it in his face

“I don’t, but you don’t die!” He beamed. “You survive!”

“Fine.” I wrote.

“Nice,” he glanced around, “Let’s find some place more private.” He took me to a table that had no one sitting at it. “Now, for our little order of business.” He smiled even wider at me as he said his next few words “This place is full of things you cannot understand, and never will understand. Don’t look for things that shouldn’t be found. That’s how people disappear hear. That’s how they go away.” He left the table before I could fully comprehend what he had just said.

“Oh, hey, Naegi! How’d you know this was our table?” Aoi came up to the table with Kaede, Sakura, and Chihiro trailing behind her.

“I didn’t?” I wrote.

“What luck!” She exclaimed.

I just nodded. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to tell them about my conversation with Kokichi, seeing as I didn’t even understand it.

“We should get in line for breakfast.” Chihiro suggested. We then all agreed to do just that.

The food they served wasn’t that great. It was just tasteless, soupy, oatmeal; and an apple; I still ate it though.

We talked about things that weren’t of much importance, just small talk.

Eventually, we were taken out of the dining hall.

“Where are we going?” I showed my paper to Chihiro, who was the only person I knew nearby, I’d been separated from everyone else.

“Therapy.” She said, there was a far-off look in her eyes.

“What?” I had written it out, but Chihiro didn’t get the chance to read it before we too were separated by the crowd. There were a lot of people who looked uncomfortable among the crowd of patients, even some who looked scared.

I wanted to scream, call out, anything! But I couldn’t. I could not make a sound.

We came to a fork in the hallway. Everyone around me was starting to panic, and started running towards the left hand path.

There were nurses trying to calm the crowd, trying to separate the people. There  were other workers hitting patients with long sticks that crackled. I saw someone fall beside be, they were trampled by the distressed patients.

I ended up on the left side, the side everyone wanted to go to. I don’t think I ever want to find out what was on the other side.

My side was separated by gender, then sent into two separate halls. The one I was sent to was long and lined with tubs of water. We were all stripped down and set in these tubs.

It was really confusing at first, but then I just felt so… relaxed.

But then we were left there for hours.

By the time we were let out I found out that it was already dinner time.

I had to find my way to the dining hall by myself; Mikan was nowhere to be found.

When I was walking through the halls, I found the person from before. They were obviously dead by now. The sad thing was, They didn’t look like they had died right away. They looked like they had tried to get out of the way of the stampede, but they couldn’t.

“You go to the left today?” There was a fairly young girl with fire-red hair walking towards the body.

I nodded.

“Lucky.” She looked down at the body. “She was my friend, you know?” She looked like she was going to start crying at the sight of this dead body. “They’ve just left her her! THEY’VE LEFT HER HERE TO ROT! THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT US!” She was screaming and sobbing.

I wanted to say something, but I’ve realized that I left my paper behind in the water room.

“Her name was Tenko,” the girl whispered after kneeling in silence. “Please don’t forget her.” It sounded like she was talking more to herself than me.

“Hey, you two are supposed to be in the dining hall” A man in scrubs noticed us in the hallway.

I began to leave, but then I saw that the girl didn’t follow me. The man seemed frustrated by this. He marched over to her.

“Go to dinner.” He said firmly.

“I’m not leaving Tenko!” She cried out.

The man got even more angry at this, and kicked her. When she still didn’t get up, he kicked her again, and again. She still wouldn’t get up

“GET UP!” He screamed at her, kicking her even harder.

I finally ran over to her, trying to get the man off her, but he just shoved me off. I hit the hard floor with a thud.

The man just kept kicking her. At this point, her tears were mixing with her blood.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” A lady in the nurse uniform had just turned the corner to witness the horrific scene. “MONOKID, STOP IT!” She pushed him away from the curled up red-head. “Monokid, we do NOT, and I mean we do NOT treat anyone like that!”  She turned towards me. “Can you please take miss Himiko down the hall. There should be a room marked ‘Emergency’.”

I slung one of the girl, Himiko’s, arms around my shoulder to support her as I helped her to the room the nurse had told me about. The lady there told me I could just leave her there and go to dinner with enough time to eat before lights-out. I did.

Aoi and Sakura were sitting at the table alone when I arrived.

“Hey Naegi.” She didn’t sound too enthusiastic today, but I didn’t mind, I wasn’t too happy either.

“Kaede and Chihiro went to the right today,” Sakura said, “They have decided to go to bed early today.”

I wanted to ask what was on the right path, but I didn’t have my paper.

“Oh, things like what happened today happen a lot here. Once a week, thay schedule a therapy session. But they put it on a random day, and don’t tell us.” Aoi tried to explain.

“They also do not own enough equipment to give every person the same kind of therapy. The other option, the right side, is where they hook you up to a machine, and shock you to the point where you wish you were dead. I assume they are not supposed to do therapy this way, seeing as at the other facility I was in did it in a much more orderly fashion.” Sakura lamented.

“Oh, and the number of staff? Blegh!” Aoi was picking at the food she had on her plate. “They don’t ever have enough nurses around, and the people they do have, don’t want to be here. I swear, there’s only a handful of people here who actually care about us. Everyone else just hurts us.” She said dejectedly.

“Naegi, where is your paper?” Sakura asked.

I just shrugged. After all, what was I supposed to do?

“Do you think you forgot it somewhere?” Aoi asked

I nodded.

“I assume we cannot just ask the purple gremlin for another piece.” Sakura stated.

“Aw, you lost the crayon too.” Aoi sounded disappointed. “You sold your soul for that!”

Yeah, pretty much.

“I guess for now, we will have to deal with this obstacle.” Sakura crossed her arms and nodded. “Yes, but do not worry. We will find a solution.”

I couldn’t help but feel like a burden. These people who I’d only known for a day or two were ready to help me, and I couldn’t do anything to contribute.

“DINNER’S OVER, GET TO THE YARD!” A man yelled at the patients in the dining hall.

The yard? The atmosphere in the room had turned sour.

“Dang it!” Aoi banged her fist on the table. “The yard sucks!” She said when she saw the confused look on my face, as if that explained everything.

“We have recreation after dinner every day, sometimes it is in the room we were in yesterday, and sometimes it is in the yard. The yard is the least preferable of the two.” Sakura explained with more detail. “There is not much to do in the the yard, and it is pretty barren. Though, I guess you will see that for yourself.” She got up from the table. “Come, let’s go.”

They were right, the yard sucked. It was just a field behind the facility. There were no plants, other then the abundance of grass and weeds covering the ground. It probably would’ve been worse if the sun wasn’t starting to set, since there were no trees to protect us from what would be the hot sun.

“Come on!” Aoi grabbed my hand and took me to the side of the building. “This is the best spot in the yard!” She announced as she plopped herself down on the ground. Sakura sat down next to her.

I sat down.

“I WANNA REMATCH!” a girl yelled from the middle of the field.

“YOU WON’T WIN!” a boy yelled back.

“Oh, they’re at it again.” Aoi sighed. “That’s Akane and Nekomaru, they always fight in the yard.”

“Thanks to the lack of proper staff, they usually get away with it.” Sakura added.

“It’s kind of like they just wanted to lock us up to keep us away from the “sane”.” Aoi said in air quotes. “They don’t care what happens afterwards.”

That sounded eerily similar to what the girl from the hall, Himiko, had said to me. Do all the patients here think that way?

We watched the two fight for a while before someone finally came out to resolve the situation. I recognized her as the nurse from the hallway.

“Aww, come on!” Aoi complained “She always has to be the goody-goody!”

“That is nurse Monomi. She is one of the handful of people working here who care about their job.” Sakura explained to me “Though, sometimes she ends up being more helpful than others.”

“And today she ruins the only fun we hope to have out here!” Aoi cried out. “Why, I would like to give her a piece of my mind!” She went to get up, but  was pulled down by Sakura.

“It is better if you keep that to yourself.” the muscular girl said. “Expressing yourself in that manner will only keep you here longer.”

“I know,” Aoi said sadly “I know! We have to act like the people out there,” She pointed to the iron fence, “‘cause if we don’t, we’re crazy! ‘Cause if we don’t, we deserve to be locked away like criminals! ‘Cause if we don’t, we need to be hurt, until we act right!” She was almost screaming at the fence. “But we’re not getting out.” She became sad. “Because… because we’re chronic.”

I put my hand on her shoulder.

“Naegi, are you aware that patients who come to Hope’s Peak rarely leave. Most cases here are what most would call a “lost cause”. The only tangible means of escape would be death.” Sakura looked down at her lap. “That’s why I was moved here.”

“Most of the patients here were moved here from someplace else.” Aoi said.

A nurse later came out and brought us inside, and to our rooms.

When I entered my room, I noticed something on my bed. It was a small notebook, with a pen to go with it. On the cover page there was a note. “ You’re page looked like it was getting pretty filled up. Don’t lose this, though, it was really hard to get my hands on”

I slid the book under my cot and laid down. I could take a guess at who had given me the notebook, but that’s all it is a guess .

It was hard to sleep with thoughts of how that girl died in the hallway, and how her friend was almost beaten to death over it.

Am I really not able to leave this place? Now that I’m thinking about it, the name’s kind of ironic. Hope’s Peak, huh? A place for people who are hopeless.

I thought about that for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

Days at Hope’s Peak molded together. It was hard to tell what day it was without a calendar.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

There were three loud knocks at the door, then it swung open.

Everyday for the past three months begins the same. The nurses practically bust down our doors and made sure each patient leaves their room, then we all head to the dining hall.

It was easy to get used to.

“Heyo!” Aoi greeted me when I sat down.

“Hi” I wrote.

“Good morning!” Kaede smiled.

“Hey guys.” Chihiro sat down across from me and yawned. “Oh, Sakura told me she might be a while. She said something about some pressing matters or whatever.” She proceeded to stretch herself out. “Not sure though.”

“Okay...” Aoi sounded unsure. “Why didn’t she tell me, though?” Her face fell. “I’m like her best friend!”

“I’m sure it just came up last-minute.” Kaede tried to reassure her, but Aoi didn’t seem so sure.

“Oh isn’t this bread delicious!” Chihiro said, in an obvious attempt to change the subject.

“Yeah!” Aoi started to cry. “I bet his friends would tell him if they couldn’t eat breakfast together!” She continued to sob.

“Oh, would ya look at that!” someone called from the other side of the hall.

I turned around in my seat.

Sakura was standing in the middle of the dining hall with a nurse at either side of her. She wasn’t wearing the uniform we were given as patients; she was wearing a normal shirt and skirt. She also had a suitcase in one of her hands.

“Hello everybody! I have an announcement!” Dr. Monokuma stood proudly in front of the whole scene. After he realized he was dwarfed by Sakura’s giantess stature, he stood up on a chair. Even then, he wasn’t quite as tall as her. “Anyway… *cough cough*” he cleared his throat, clearly annoyed. “Many of you may know this wonderful lady,” he motioned to her, “ Sakura Ogami!” He gave us all a wicked smile. “Well, as a Hope’s Peak first, she has proven that she has been cured of the mental diseases that have once troubled her, and now, she will re-enter society!” He continued to beam. “Now now, please, hold your tears. I’m sure it’s hard enough for Miss Sakura already.”

“NO! Nononono!” Just when Aoi’s crying had subsided, she began to sob again. “Why?” She stood up and pointed at Sakura with a shaky finger. “Why are you leaving me?”

Sakura tried not to meet her eyes.

“Please… just tell me? Is it ‘cause-’cause we’re crazy?” Aoi spoke through hiccups.

“Well, you can say your goodbyes now!” The doctor got down from his chair “I’ll just be over here.” He stood by the door to the hallway. “Don’t mind me.”

Sakura all but ran over to our table.

“I may not have much time.” She spoke in a hushed voice. “I am not sure why they are letting me out, but it may have to do with this.” She slid a crumpled paper ball into my hand. “I don’t know what it means, but whatever it is, they don’t want me with it.” She came over to Aoi, and hugged her. “Aoi, I apologize for not being able to remain by your side any longer.” They separated. “Goodbye Chihiro, Kaede, Naegi.” She continued.

“Makoto, my name’s Makoto.” I wrote down for them to see. It came to me that in the time I’d been here, I had never properly told them my name.

“Ah, Makoto, a fitting name.” Sakura smiled.

“TIIIIIIIIIMES UP! I’m bored!” Dr. Monokuma called out. “Let’s go!.”

“Goodbye, my friends.” Sakura said her final words to us before she left. I didn’t know if I’d ever see her again.

“As for the rest you,” one of the nurses began. “It’s time for group counseling!” There were a few groans from the patients. “Well, would you rather go to therapy?” The room fell silent. “That’s what I thought.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “My group, follow me!” Some of the patients lumbered after her.

“Now, my group.” The other nurse motioned for the rest of the patients to follow her, we did.

Group counselling was held in a room that looked like it was power-washed with bleach. Everything was always a pristine white. There were couches, but we weren't allowed to sit on them. We sat on metal fold-out chairs put in a circle at the center of the room.

“Good morning everybody!” Nurse Monomi greeted us as we entered the room. “Please, take a seat!” She was smiling.

The thing that always struck me as odd about these group therapy sessions was that we never really interacted as a group here. Instead, it was like the nurse just put us all in this room for the sake of asking us questions faster. It was all just hidden under the facade of each of us supporting each other. I don’t know how supportive a bunch of mentally ill people could be to each other, though.

“Okay, now I want to hear about everyone’s week!” Monomi cheered from the head of the circle. “Starting with,” she looked around the circle for a moment, “you!” She pointed to a boy with light brown hair,

“Nunya.” he muttered. I could barely hear him, and I has sitting only a few seats away.

“Speak up, I can’t hear you.” A little girl with blond hair complained.

“YOU SHUT UP!” The boy yelled back at her. “OR I’LL GO OVER THERE AND MAKE YOU!” He continued to shout.

“Okay, okay, everyone settle down.” Nurse Monomi tried to calm the two down.

“Hmph!” The little blond girl pouted.

“Hiyoko.” Monomi gave her a look.

“Whaaaah!” She cried out. Monomi just scribbled something down on a clipboard.

“Now, since Mondo doesn’t seem to want to share, you go next!” She pointed at me.

“Well, I guess I’ve gotten used to my surroundings over the last few months.” I wrote down and showed Monomi.

“Still not talking though?” she asked.

I shook my head. She wrote something else down.

“How about you go next.” She pointed to a girl with short hair in a color similar to Himiko.

“I don’t know why you bother to keep me here,” She crossed her arms. “I’m nothing like the sickos here.”

“Now, that’s not very nice.” It wasn’t Monomi spreading the message of friendship this time, it was a boy with wispy white hair. “But the denial of your current predicament gives you hope , and how could I possibly judge you for that?” The boy smiled.

“Nagito.” Another boy with long black hair said calmly. “Be quiet, you’re being annoying.”

“Okay!” Nagito practically sung. “Oh, my week was lovely, by the way!” He directed towards the nurse, who quickly wrote something down.

“Thanks!” She gave him an exaggerated thumbs up.

The group continued like this until lunch. Monomi didn’t even get through everyone on the first question, but she didn’t seem to mind. It was almost like that wasn’t why she was there.

“Group counseling is exhausting!” Kaede moaned when she sat down. “It’s just… we get so off-task, and by the  time we leave, there’s like, no progress!” That seemed to be a problem with every group I’ve heard from.

“Sakura used to be in my group.” Aoi said sadly. “She was my first friend here, ya know?”

That’s when I remembered the note she gave me. I didn’t have the time to read it right away, so I had but in my notebook for later.

I took it out and unfolded it.

“What’s that Na- Makoto?” Chihiro cringed to herself at the name mix up. “I’m sorry! I just got so used to calling you Naegi, that I guess I’m having trouble adjusting.”

It’s fine. It’s my own fault for not telling you.” I wrote down quickly before she could start crying.

“Oh, I’m still sorry, though.” She insisted.

“I mean it, it’s fine.” I continued.

“Anyway.” Kaede changed the subject before our conversation could go in circles. “What is that?” She asked, pointing towards the crumpled paper.

“I’m not quite sure yet.” I answered. “Sakura gave it to me before she left.”  I directed the notebook away from Aoi. Mentioning Sakura really upset her, and I didn’t want to make a scene at lunch.

I smoothed out the paper. It looked like it was torn out of a notepad. It was a list of what I could only assume were names.

“Mondo Owada, Angie Yonaga, Himiko Yumeno, Gundham Tanaka, Nagito Komaeda, Aoi Asahina…” Kaede stopped. “The rest of the names are scribbled out. Odd.”

“Maybe we can make a few of the names out, they don’t look too blacked out.” Chihiro looked at the list over Kaede’s shoulder. “I think I can make out the name Tenko for one of the first names.” She squinted some more, then frowned. “I’m afraid I don’t know this Tenko.”

The name sounded familiar.

“Well what about this one.” Kaede pointed to another one of the marked out names. “It looks like it says Chima!” She looked excited at her discovery.

“But half the letters are missing, we can’t possibly tell who that is.” Chihiro shot her down.

“Aww.” She sighed. “I guess you’re right.”

“This one has the surname Saihara.” I wrote out.

“Yeah!” Kaede said after looking at the list again.

“These all seem to be patients here.” Chihiro stated.

“But what does it mean?” Kaede’s eyes sparkled at the thought of a mystery.

“It has to be something important, Sakura gave this to us in her last moments here.”

“I agree, but that doesn’t make the list any more easy to understand!” Kaede rose her voice.

“Hey, what are you guys talking about?” Aoi finally noticed us huddled at one end of the table.

“Nothing much!” Chihiro lied.

“Yeah.” Keade followed up. When I gave her a confused look, she just kicked me under the table. She glared at me.

“Yeah.” I wrote hesitantly.

“Okay.” She said after a pause, but she still looked weary.

“I promise, we wouldn’t keep anything from you.” Chihiro stuck out her pinky finger. “I pinky promise. Aoi linked her own pinky with Chihiro’s.

“Okay.” This time she sounded more confidant. “Oh, are you gonna eat that?” She pointed to the cup of applesauce I had on my tray.

“Have at it.” I was still a little shocked that the others would openly lie to her like that.

“We’ll talk later.” Chihiro wrote down on the corner my paper.

“I’ll hold you to that.” I responded.

Just then a girl on the other side of the dining hall started screaming.

“AAAAAAAGH! ATUA! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” She was holding her head like she was scared of it splitting in two. “WHAT HAVE I DONE TO LOSE YOUR FAVOR?” She just kept screaming.

Something that really struck me as odd, was that there was only one nurse in the room. Usually, we had at least four nurses with us at meal times. This nurse wasn’t even doing anything to stop the screaming, she was just watching and taking notes.

The poor girl had fallen to the floor at this point. She was clawing at her face.

At this point, all the patients were standing around her.

“ATUA, PLEASE! DON’T LEAVE ME HERE!” There was tears and blood everywhere.

“Angie!” A boy I’ve seen around the hospital had made his was past the crowd.

Angie Yonaga was one of the names on the list. I made a mark by her name.

“ATUA! ATUA!” She kept crying out. The boy next to her was trying to calm her down, or at least keep her hands away from her face.

After what felt like an eternity of screaming, the nurse finally got up to take Angie away.

The crowd began to disperse.The boy left behind was looking around, seeming to get more and more frantic. It seemed whoever he was looking for wasn’t nearby.

Screaming wasn’t uncommon to hear at night, but tonight was eerily silent. I used the small amount of light that came from my window to look over the list one more time.

Angie Yonaga had a meltdown in at lunch, and there was no one there helping her. She was also on this list of patients.

It was then that the thought came to my mind.

“Did they do something to her?”

Chapter Text

I woke up with a headache. Probably one of the worst I’ve ever had. It wasn’t morning, but my door was ajar.

I didn’t see anyone in the hallway when I poked my head out.

“Squeak! Squeak squeak!” I tried not to scream (Can I scream? I haven’t really tried.) as what I assumed to be a mouse scurried up my leg. It made its way up my torso, and onto my shoulder.

It was then I realized that it was not a cute fuzzy mouse on my shoulder, but a terrifying rat.

“Squeak.” It seemed to be trying to tell me something. “Squeak squeak squeak.”

“I don’t understand rodent.”  I thought in the rat’s general direction.

As if it understood me, the grapefruit-sized animal jumped down from my shoulder. It then proceeded to scamper down the hall. When I didn’t follow, it just turned around and ran back at me.

“SQUEAK!” It glared up at me, tapping its foot impatiently.

“Fine.” I followed. The rat let me to the office of Dr. Monokuma. “Why are we here?

“Squeak.”  The rat’s white furry body climbed back up my leg, and once again, was perched on my shoulder.   “Squeak!” It whined. “Squeak squeak.”

“What?” Does you want me to enter?”

It nodded once, confirming my thoughts.

I tried to twist the knob. It was locked, of course.

Before I could pull my arm away from the door knob, my new four-legged friend ran down my arm like a snowball rolling down a hill. Then, like in a work of fiction, the rat stuck its tail into the lock, and few seconds later there was a soft click.

I tried opening it again, and like magic, it was unlocked.

This was the first time I’ve stepped in his office since I first came here. It was the same as I remembered, though.

The snowy rodent ran over to a fairly large filing cabinet that sat in the corner of the office.

“Squeak!” It called for me.

“I’m going!” I yelled back in my head, closing the door silently before joining the rat.

I opened the first of four drawers. It was filled with papers that looked to be patient files.

“Squeak.” The rat’s ruby red eyes stared up at me after it perched itself on top of the cabinet.

“What?” I paused my flip through of the files to stare back. “No, I already know. Squeak.” I mocked the small animal in my mind.

It did not look impressed. It then crawled onto my arm and tried closing the drawer.

“Is this not why we’re here?” I closed the cabinet drawer, as requested by the rodent, who was now hanging off the handle of said drawer. It then made a effort to open the drawer below it.

“Oh, wrong one.” I opened the cabinet drawer where the albino rat was tugging at.

This drawer was also filled with patient files, but this one covered the latter half of the alphabet.

The rat picked out a file towards the back of the cabinet drawer. It started tugging at this particular file, but was ultimately too weak to lift the heavy file.

I picked up the manila folder that was filled with countless papers. The name on the top read Angie Yonaga.

“What kind of rat would be interested in someone’s medical history?” I was a bit suspicious, but I opened the file anyway. I was greeted by a rather large picture of Angie’s face, which was one I wouldn’t soon forget.

I looked over the first page of writing. It didn’t look to important, just a nurse’s account of her daily activities. The nest one seemed like a list of medications she was on. There was another page stapled to the back with more medications, but this one had descriptions of what I’m assuming are either side effects or reactions. There was one that caught my interest, though.

“Drug Z- caused patient to experience intense delusions. Patient also scratched at face and arms, causing bodily harm. Patient has not yet calmed down, and has been put in solitary confinement to prevent harm to other patients and themself.”

Solitary confinement didn’t sound like something that should be in a mental hospital.

“Squeak!” The rat took the paper from my hand, then kind of looked it over. “Squeak.” It nodded it’s head in confirmation to something. Whatever it was, I didn’t know.

“Squeak.” It shoved the paper back in the folder, which I had set down in order to read the drug list. “Squeak, squeak. Squeak!” It closed the folder and slid it back to me.

“What?” At my questioning, the rat mimed a motion of putting the folder away. “Oh.” I did what it wanted.

“Squeak.” The furry snowball ran down from the filing cabinet. “Squeak!” It sounded impatiently when I didn’t follow.

“Hold up.” I thought to the rat, who now stood by the door.

There was a certain folder that caught my eye. “Kokichi Oma”, the prince himself.

“Squeak!” The rat cried out. There were footsteps approaching.

“Crap.” I haven’t gotten the chance to look through Kokichi’s folder yet, and this might be my only chance to do it. I glanced on the clock on the wall. It was still only three in the morning. “Who would be up this early?” I mean, I am, but that’s only because a rat decided to wake me up and take me here.

The footsteps were getting closer, and in a last- second decision, I shoved the folder under my shirt. I then closed the cabinet and hid under the desk.

Not soon after, someone came into the room. I could only see their shoes, but it was enough to tell they were a nurse.

“Hmm, let’s see.” A distinct shuffling of files could be heard. “J, K, L, M… oh it must be in the other one.” She opened another one of the drawers. “Ah, N!” She said triumphantly. “Now where is he… perfect!” She closed the drawer and left the room.

I peeked out from under the desk. The coast was clear.

“SQUEAK! SQUEAK SQUEAK!” The rat sounded like it was yelling at me.

“Look, sorry.” I thought at it. “Normally people aren’t awake at THREE IN THE MORNING!” I hope it got the message.

“Squeak.” It said begrudgingly.

Now was the time for me to get back to my room. As much as I would like to see who she took, it would take too much time to figure it out because it would be impossible for me to know every single patient whose surname starts with an “N”, so I wouldn’t even know who’s missing.

I sat back on my cot, finally letting out the breath that I’d been holding since I left the office.

“Squeak.” Just when I thought I was finally off the hook, the now familiar white rodent jumped up next to me. “Squeak.” It had something hanging out of its mouth. It looked like a sort of folded up napkin. It dropped it in my hand.

“What is it?” I slowly unfolded the napkin. There was a single black and white pill nestled in it.

“Squeak.” The rat nodded, then promptly left my room, locking the door behind it.

I wasn’t quite sure about whether he wanted me to take the medication, or hide it. I decided on the latter, tucking it back in the napkin, then sliding it somewhere where it was unlikely to be found (It’s better not to think about it).

Then there was the issue of the patient medical file I just stole. After pulling it out from under my shirt, I opened it. Similar to Angie’s file, Kokichi’s also had a picture of him greeting you, but while Angie had a sort of somber expression on her face, Kokichi was grinning from ear to ear.

On his profile it said he was delusional, and that he believed in some sort of alternate reality. I don’t know what that means, but it didn’t sound dangerous.

I took a gander at his medication list. It was only one page. Drug Z was also listed on the page, but next to it was written “No side effects observed.” Interesting. Angie was literally tearing her face off, while this boy was perfectly fine.

On a list of past medical incidents, it said he had managed to convince the hospital that he had amnesia, but almost three months later confessed that “It was a lie”. In the first three years in the facility, there were several other reports like this one. Somewhere else in the file, it said he was put in solitary confinement for months at a time for misconduct, but halfway through year four, these reports stopped. So he either learned his lesson, which was unlikely, or something got him to change.

There was something that struck me odd, though. According to the file, Kokichi came to the hospital shortly after it opened 12 years ago, but according to his birthday on the patient information sheet, he should be 16. Maybe there’s been a mix up? I Really hope that’s the case.

“I should hide this.” I would be in some deep trouble if anyone found me with this. I got up from my cot, and looked around the tiny room. “Right, not very many places.” Carrying it around with me is also out of the question.

I finally settled on sliding the file under the cot, then folding up my blanket on top of it. It was still fairly warm out, so it wouldn’t seem too suspicious. I’d have to find a better place to hide it soon, though.

Chapter Text

It was just my luck that the very next day was therapy.  Of course, I still had the pill hidden on me so I had no choice but to go through the more… unpleasant of the two. Before, I had been fortunate enough to avoid it, but today would be the day.

Electroshock therapy.

Instead of having everyone in the same room, the patients were separated into separate lines for four different room. The doctors didn’t seem to sort us based on any sort of criteria.

The people in line were visibly upset, some of the younger children were crying. Other patients were shuffling about. There were lines of nurses (and some doctors) holding an array of weapons to subdue unruly children.

“Shh.” a girl in the line next to me was soothing her friend, who had started crying. “Shh, It’s okay.”

My biggest regret was standing at the end of the line. Not only did I have to wait an extremely ridiculous amount of time, but I had to watch the other patients go in and out of therapy. There were tears, lots of tears, and yelling. One boy even tried to run away; unfortunately, he didn’t get very far before he was severely beaten, then thrown in the room. But hey, at least he got to skip the line.

The actual electrocution process only took about half an hour, but it felt like an eternity.

The treatment didn’t exactly hurt (they had given me some sort of drug or anesthesia), It was extremely unpleasant. I remember thrashing around in leather straps, which must be the cause of the marks on my wrists.

My memory was also really fuzzy coming out of the room. I didn’t know if I forgot anything important, but I felt like something was just... gone.

I need a better place to hide that thing.

“Thing?” Oh, the pill. That thing.

I had spent most of my day waiting on therapy, so I was sent to my room afterwards, even though it wasn’t lights out.

I just plopped down on the cot.

Maybe if I slept now, I’d be able to catch up on the sleep I lost last night.

~~~~~~~~

I was in one of the hospital’s many hallways, the lights shining down on me. There was a girl with blond pigtails standing in front of me.

“Come on!” She giggled, and ran away.

“Wait!” I chased after her. The sound of our footsteps echoed in the empty hallways.

“You can’t catch me!” She taunted, just out of reach.

“Ugh, wait!” My sides were burning.

She finally stopped at the foot of a large iron door, the only door in the long hallway. 126B was etched in the metal.

“Shh,” she put her finger to her lips and smiled, “they’re sleeping.” She opened the door.

Red liquid began pouring out, slowly making its way to my feet. The metallic smell of blood filled my nostrils.

“It’s okay.” She reached up and patted me on the shoulder. “We all have to sleep sometime.” She then disappeared behind the door.

Even after the door closed, the blood continued to pour. It was quickly filling the room, now up to my knees.

I looked for an exit, but the hall I had come from was blocked.

I had somehow been moved into a gray room, blood now pouring from the walls. It was now at my waist.

Higher and higher.

Chest.

My breathing became panicked. I now had to tread in the blood to keep my head up. I was quickly getting tired, though, and found it harder and harder to keep going.

“So tired.”

The sea of blood enveloped me, taking me under as if I was made of stone.

I held my breath for as long as I could, but in the end I lost. Blood filled my lungs, drowning me.

~~~~~~~~

I woke up with that metallic taste in my mouth, it wasn’t quite morning yet, but I wasn’t about to go back to sleep. Instead I counted the cracks on the ceiling. There were quite a lot of them, which wasn’t too weird. It was an old building, after all.

I suddenly became aware of a buzzing sound. It was like that of a fluorescent light. It wasn’t too obnoxious, but it was hard to ignore.

“Squeak.” The unmistakable sound of the snow rat echoed through my small room.

“What?” I tried looking around for it, and saw it hiding under my cot.

“Squeak.” The thing had managed to remove part of wall under it.

“What?”  I just asked again.

“SQUEAK!” The rat gave me a look of frustration, then pulled at the corner of the file I had hidden under my blanket.

“Ok then.” I crouched down and slid the manila folder into the wall. I also took the opportunity to hide the pill in the cubbyhole as well. This was definitely a better hiding place than just under the cot.

“Thanks.” I thought as the rat disappeared back into the wall.

Almost as soon as I laid back down, the door opened. Two people came into my room, one of which I recognized as the doctor who nearly beat a girl to death. The other person was Nurse Monomi

“Get up.” The former of the two ordered me.

Please. ” Monomi prompted.

“Hell no!” He just yelled back.

“Please, just stand in the corner.” Monomi said in a much nicer tone than her very rude counterpart.

I did what she asked me to do.

They looked around the room a bit, there wasn’t much to search anyway.

“What’s this?” Monokid held up my notebook.

I shrugged and he started flipping through it. It’s a good thing I decided no to mention the pill in there, or I would’ve been caught by now.

“Is this because you don’t like to talk?” Monomi asked, looking over Monokid’s shoulder as he read.

I nodded.

“Well, there’s nothing wrong written in it.” Monomi stated, taking the book from the angry looking man.

“Hmph.” Was all he said.

“Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble, we just had some files mispla- OW!” She cried out after Monokid jabbed her in the side. The notebook fell to the floor.

“You’re clear, for now.” He grabbed Monomi’s wrist and dragged her from my room.

I didn’t have any other visitors for the rest of my night.

Chapter Text

 

“You got a second?” Kokichi sat down on the beanbag across from me.

“What do want?” I scribbled in my book quickly, then resuming my task of trying not to seem too lonely without my friends (seriously, where were they?).

“Two things actually!” He smiled. “I know you’re totally busy, so I’ll be fast.”

“Ok.”

“First,” The boy’s face turned serious, and he leaned over to whisper,“I think you should take the pill.” I jumped, and was about to ask how he knew, but he stopped me. “No, don’t, they’ll see it.” Right. “You probably want to know how I know, well… I was the one who sent Agent Frost.” I must have looked very confused, because he felt the need to go into more detail. “The white rat, she’s Agent Frost. I sent her to help you.”

“Why, and for what?” I was confused.

“Well, you’re the main character, you’re supposed to survive situations through complete bs. I think you’re gonna change this place.” His smile faltered for a second, “How, I’m not sure, but that’s just how things are. It’ll just work itself out!”

“What does that have to do with that thing?” I was trying to ask about the pill without explicitly writing it down.

“I think It can help. You see, when taken, the pill gives you a truth. From what I’ve figured out, whatever truth you get depends on a bunch of stuff. All that doesn’t matter, though. What matters is you’ll be fine.” For some reason, he wasn’t really convincing me. “Look, you already know I took it, and look at me!”

“I don’t think you should use yourself as an example.”

“Oh, but it’s true!” He put on a dramatic face of sadness. “It hurts me to see that you don’t trust me!” he threw himself onto the beanbag chair. “After all, I only want what’s best for you!” He sat back up, wiping his face of emotion. “But that’s a lie. Whether or not you want to believe be doesn’t matter. I do however advise you to take the pill.”

“What did it tell you?” I asked after thinking about the risks.

“Oh, everything.” kokichi looked like he was looking off in the distance. “This isn’t real. It’s all a work of fiction written by a faceless figure,” He chuckled. “But of course, that’s crazy. Do you know how many people here are sane?”

I shook my head.

“A lot.” he said sadly. “So many people are put away for normal behaviors. But enough of that!” He suddenly perked up. “It’s time for my second order of business!”

“There’s more?” I scribbled down.

“Yes. I need you to take care of Shuichi after I’m gone.” He was solem.

“Why, where are you going?”

“Where am I going?” the boy shrugged. “Does anyone even know?” Blegh, he was being existential.

“Whatever.” I just rolled my eyes “I want to ask you about something.” I suddenly remembered the list Sakura had given me.

“First you have to promise to take care of him,” Kokichi said “Then I’ll answer your question- to the best of my ability, that is.”

“Fine, I promise.” I scribbled quickly.

“Perfect.” He gave me a small smile that almost seemed… genuine, or at least as genuine as the imp was ever going to be around me. “Now onto your question?” he prompted me.

Oh yeah, you see I was given this list, and-”

“Imma cut you off right there.” He interrupted my writing. “It’s probably best you don’t finish that sentence.” I nodded, then pulled the crumpled up piece of paper that I had folded neatly, and tucked away in my front pocket. I knew it wasn’t safe to carry any kind of incriminating evidence on me, but this was the least conspicuous thing I had, and it would be a stretch to punish me for a list of names.

“Here, I just wanna know if you know what it’s for.” I handed it to his outstretched hand.

“Hm.” He looked the list over “Constantly pissy; as of yesterday, crazy; now toothless, thinks he’s some sort of dark lord, Mr. two-for-the-price-of-one; and, finally, Señorita Bubble Blitz!!” Kokichi squinted at the scratched out names. “Then we have what looks like a dead girl, and oh look, Shuichi’s crossed out. Oh, and mine.” He looked like he was pondering the correlation of the names on the list. “I think this might be a list of candidates for Z.” he said finally. “Maybe the names are crossed out because they’re unable to take it? I don’t know, just a guess.” He said finally. “We know for a fact Angie’s had it, and I’m pretty sure Gundham’s had it. Of course Tenko’s dead, and I’ve already had it. Can’t really vouch for any of the other people, though.” He shrugged.

“Thank you. Even if it’s just a guess, it helps.” I would have to tell Chihiro and Kaede about my new lead later.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t mention it!” grinned. “I’d say later, but, you know.” He rolled off of the beanbag chair and stood up. “Bye!” With that, he left.

As if on cue, my friends showed up.

“Hey, Makoto!” Chihiro smiled as they all took a seat.

“What was he here for?” Aoi glared in the direction of kokichi, who was lying down next to the dark-haired boy he always seemed to hang around. That boy was probably the Shuichi he had asked me to take care of.

“It wasn’t a big deal, just some B.S.” I scribbled in response.

“Yeah, he can be pretty weird.” Kaede nodded in agreement.

~~~~~~~~

That, I couldn’t sleep. I just ended up tossing and turning on the rough material of the cot, which only made me more uncomfortable.

“You see, when taken, the pill gives you a truth.” Kokichi’s words rang in my head.

“A truth, What kind of truth?” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious. “Ah, what the heck.” I rolled off the cot, and dug the pill out of my secret hiding spot. I unwrapped it from it’s napkin holster.

“Are you really doing this?” my sensible side asked me. “What else should I do?” I was just trying to talk myself out of it. “The truth will set you free.” I thought with unwavering finality, and tossed the black and white pill into my mouth.

“I don’t feel diff-”

~~~~~~~~

I found myself in the backyard of my childhood home, staring at a younger me, and my sister. She was exactly how I remembered her before she went missing. She had the same short brown hair, same glowing hazel eyes, and the same contempt for all things frilly. That could be exhibited by her muddy pink dress, which was torn in several places.

“Makoto!” She ran over to my younger self and pushed me. “Tag! You’re it!” She ran off, leaving me to get up and go after her.

“Hey! That’s not fair.” I tried chasing after her. Despite the fact that she was my younger sister, she was still much faster than me, and I could never catch her.

I remembered this day. This was the last day I ever say Komaru.

“Wait!” I called after her, pausing to catch my breath. “Momma and Papa said not to go into the woods!”

“It’ll be fine!” She just kept on running, so I had no choice but to follow her.

I knew how this half of the story played out. Komaru and I would return home, and she would be scolded by our parents for ruining her new dress. That was what finally made my parents decide to sent her to boarding school, unfortunately, she would go missing before she would ever get sent away.

I followed the two of us into the woods, passing myself, and attempting to catch up to my sister. I couldn’t understand how she could get so far in such a short amount of time.

Komaru finally stopped in a clearing, stopping to catch her breath in a clearing.

“Toko!” She called out, still a bit out of breath. “Toko! I don’t have much time, my brother’s behind me!” There was a bit of rustling, and a timid-looking girl poked out from the greenery.

“H-hi, Komaru.” She said nervously. I had never seen this girl before. She had a deep plum-colored hair, and her dress had long tears down the length of her skirt. “How’re you doing?” She was picking at her cuticles, and nervously fidgeting around.

“I’m doing well,” My sister replied wistfully, “But we may have to go through with the plan sooner than expected.”

“WHAT? WHY?” The other girl, Toko, cried out.

“I think my parents are sending me away.” Komaru reached out and took the other girl’s hands. “I think they’re finally done with me.” She looked down at their hands. “Don’t get me wrong, I really do love them, and I know they love me, but I don’t think they really like my… interests.”

Toko put her hand on my sister’s cheek and gently kissed her. “Okay, I’ll be ready for it.”

“Komaru? Komaru! Where’d you go?” The two girls jumped at the sound of my voice coming through the forest.

“Crap.” Komaru sighed.

“I guess that’s my cue to leave.” Toko left my sister in the clearing.

“Sis!” I came hurling out of the shrubbery just as Toko left my sight.

“Hey Makoto.” She said casually. “I give up, you win.”

“What! Why?” Little me was shocked.

“Eh,” She shrugged. “I’m just tired, let’s go home.”

Things played out exactly how I remembered. It would be hard to forget.

“KOMARU!” Mother was yelling. “We just got you that dress, and you go out and RUIN IT?”

“It’s not my fault you don’t let me choose my wardrobe.” She muttered.

“What was that, young lady?” Father was also mad, but not as much as out mom was at the time. “Don’t talk back to your mother!” He turned to me, as if just realizing I too was in the room. “Makoto, go to your room.” I ran up the stairs at his command, but instead of going to my room, little me hid on the stairs. This was when I learned about the boarding school.

“This is the final straw!” Mother had said. “Your father and I have been talking, and we have decided to send you to St. Elizabeth’s School for Wayward Girls.” Whatever reaction she wanted from my sister, she didn’t get. Komaru didn’t give her the satisfaction.

At nightime, I got to see Komaru run away with Toko.

Now I was standing on the porch of a log cabin.

“Darling, I told you already, I have to do this!” A voice came from inside. I peeked through a window to see an older looking Komaru, Toko, and a boy I didn’t recognize with blond hair.

“But why?” Toko whined. “I can do it perfectly fine. It’s just in and out!”

“Would you two please calm down.” The third person sounded annoyed. “We already made our plan, it’s too late to change anything at this point. The longer we wait the more children suffer.” The two girls quieted. “Now let’s go over our plan one more time.” He seemed satisfied with their compliance. “First?”

“I will feign insanity, and be admitted into Hope’s Peak Psychiatric Hospital.” Komaru said confidently.

“And in there you will?” the boy kept prompting.

“I will gather information on conditions in the facility.

“And how will you get out?” He continued.

“In three weeks time, someone will come bust me out.”

“Yes, but who ?” He asked.

“Yeah, Komaru, who?” Toko looked at the other girl. “If you don’t know who, you shouldn’t go. It’s too risky!”

“Gee thanks, mom.” Komaru playfully pushed her away. “I know who’s getting me out, Her name was monaca, right?”

“Yes.” The boy gave her a firm nod. “Then we publish our findings.

“But who’s gonna believe a bunch of teenagers?” Toko asked.

“They’ll believe me.” The blond boy said. “As the the heir to the Togami family fortune, my word will carry weight.”

“Alright.” Toko still looked nervous. “I guess this goodbye, for now anyway.”

“Yeah.” Komaru kissed her on the lips. “‘Till we meet again.”

“Get a room.” The Togami boy looked annoyed with their PDA.

“Yeah, yeah, we get it.” Komaru brushed him off. “Let’s get going.”

~~~~~~~~

I Woke up on the cold tile floor of my cell. Oh did I say cell, I meant room.