~ Dark Rose ~

Friendship pairing: Gouenji x OC Michelle (Like… the real me)

One-shot

Mamera: Hey everyone… It's me, Ayasumi Mamera. I am still with my head in trouble, and I feel the need to write it all down, but I don't want it to be a personal story. So I decided to write it in a story, where the OC is basically still me, but since I use my second name, it feels less… close. It's hard to explain. Anyway, this story will contain some heavy themes. And the most scary part may be that it's based upon the truth. This is my life right now. Except for Gouenji being real of course. And I wanted to give myself a little happiness, so that's added too. Oh, and one more thing. Thanks for all the support I've been getting from everyone. Even though I didn't ask for your pity, people are caring about me and my situation so much and it warms my heart. You guys are the best! I love you all so much! Please, give yourself a big hug, because if I could, I would hug you readers all so tight! Anyway, on with the story. Goodbye! ~

Warnings: Mention of rape, mention of self-harm (cutting), mention of depression, mention of an eating-disorder and mention of suicide.

Normal P.O.V.

Michelle sighed as she hugged her knees and sat on the couch, her headphones on her head, listening to sad music. She was home alone. Again. Rain was pouring from the sky and made a noise against the windows of the living room. With everyday that passed, she felt more lonely. The 18-year-old girl with shoulder-length, wavy, dark brown hair with blonde edges sighed, her blue-grey eyes focused on nothing in particular. Her tiny frame was shaking due to her sobs and her pale-fair skin was scarred. Suddenly, a knock on her front door woke her up from her thoughts. She quickly wiped her tears away, jumped up from the couch and shuffled silently to the door, opening it slowly. She looked surprised when she saw a boy around her age in front of it. He had a slightly-tanned skin and platinum-blonde hair, up in spikes. He had thunder-shaped eyebrows and warm, onyx eyes. He was muscled, like a sportsman, and way taller than her.

''Excuse me? I'm looking for Michelle (my surname).''

He had asked the question in English. He sounded like he had an accent. The girl frowned, her eyes widening in surprise.

''Th-That's me. Why are you looking for me?''

The young guy smiled at her.

''I'm Shuuya Gouenji. Here in Holland, you introduce yourself with your first name first, right?''

Michelle smiled back.

''Yeah, that's right.''

''It's weird for me to immediately call you by your first name. In my country, that's seen as impolite.''

Michelle, having a Japan obsession, instantly knew where he was coming from.

''Are you perhaps Japanese?''

She asked the question in Japanese, since she knew how to speak the language fluently. The boy looked surprised by hearing this and smiled.

''So you recognized. Yes, I am.'' He replied, now in Japanese.

''So, Gouenji Shuuya, right?''

''Yes. So you are (surname)-san.''

''Oh, please, call me Michelle. I hate my surname.'' She smiled.

''All right.''

''So, why were you looking for me, Gouenji-kun?''

Gouenji smiled.

''Your dad contacted me. My father and your father accidentally met in a café in the town your dad works. My dad is going to work in the hospital there. We recently moved here towards Holland. The moment your dad discovered my father was from Japanese origin and that he had a 19-year-old son, the two arranged for us to meet. They said you were a Japan freak, so that we would get along well. So, uhm, basically, that's why I'm here. To make things even more funnier, I live just a block away from here.''

Michelle took all of this slowly in.

''You serious?'' She asked slowly.

Gouenji nodded.

''So, uhm, yeah. Here I am.''

Michelle instantly smiled and pulled the door open further.

''C-Come in.''

''Thanks.''

Gouenji surpassed her and took off his shoes.

''Do you guys have house slippers?''

Michelle smiled.

''Oh, here in Holland, we usually keep either our shoes on, or walk on our socks.''

''I see.''

Gouenji sat down on the couch in Michelle's living room and Michelle walked over to him with a smile.

''Would you like anything to drink?''

''No, thanks. I'm good.''

Michelle nodded and sat down next to Gouenji, but still quite a distance between them. She felt super-shy and self-conscious. She wasn't wearing any make-up today and she wasn't wearing pretty clothes either, wearing just a fluffy white sweater, a grey pair of sweat shorts and white socks. Her hair was in a small bun on the back of her head.

''Uhm, not to be rude, but are you okay?'' Gouenji slowly asked.

Michelle looked surprised.

''Why you ask?''

''Well… it seems like you've been crying.''

Michelle instantly turned red and looked away from the platinum blonde.

''I-I'm fine. Just had something in my eyes, before I opened the door for you.''

''In BOTH of your eyes?'' Gouenji asked suspiciously.

''Anyway, how do you like Holland so far?'' Dewi tried to change the subject.

Gouenji frowned, but listened anyway.

''It's okay, I guess. I mean, it's really different from Japan, but it has something charming in its own way.''

Michelle smiled and nodded.

''I see.''

She then turned shy again and started fiddling with the sleeve of her sweater. Gouenji looked at the laptop standing on the table in front of them. It was still open, and there was a Word-document visible with a considerable amount of text.

''What's that?'' Gouenji asked.

Michelle blushed and immediately closed her laptop.

''N-Nothing. Just some drabble.''

''For what I red in that short amount of time, it was really good. You're a writer?''

''I-I like writing, yes, but I'm not good at it at all. I try, sure, but I'm really insecure about it.''

''You're so shy.'' Gouenji smiled.

Michelle blushed even more.

''I-I guess. I always have been. It just recently got worse, that's all.''

''How so?''

Michelle sighed.

''A lot of stuff has been going on.''

Gouenji looked compassionate.

''Wanna talk about it?''

Michelle looked surprised.

''But I just know you!''

''So? It couldn't hurt to get to know each other a bit better. That's where I'm here for, right?''

Michelle looked at her lap.

''I-I guess, but it's like, pretty heavy.''

''Don't worry. I can handle stuff.''

''B-But… I don't want you to start thinking of me like a freak.'' Michelle slowly said.

''A freak? Why would I think that?''

''Because… I'm not normal?''

Gouenji grinned.

''What? You're a fairy or something?''

Michelle frowned and gave Gouenji a shove.

''Not funny. I'm serious.''

Gouenji held up his hands in a defensive way.

''Okay, okay, I'm listening.''

Michelle took a deep breath and then started spilling.

'' Okay, first of all, my mother… She abandoned me, and on top of that, my stepfather is about to die from cancer. Nobody knew he was sick, until they discovered it in June. And by then, they gave him 5 months. So somewhere in January… it's done for him. Not that I would be able to say goodbye to him. My mother disowned me and said I'm not her daughter anymore. My father, yes, my parents are divorced, has turned into a work-a-holic, who is cheating in secret on his girlfriend. My father knows I know, and the two of us talk about it sometimes. Of course, I kept it a secret for my dad's girlfriend, but it didn't take long for her to find out about it. She was FURIOUS. Tension in the house became even worse, and she takes all her anger out on me every day. I know she hates me. She has hated me ever since the day she met me, which was when I was 5 years old. I'm freaking 18 now. Every time I'm home alone with her, I get yelled at or just plainly ignored. She just doesn't talk to me, like I don't exist. I feel like I do everything wrong and I'm scared every day to make a mistake. Sadly, there is ALWAYS something she would accuse me of doing and go tell-tale by my father. My dad just tries not to get between us two, leaving me alone to receive all the yelling by myself. I feel more lonely than ever. Sure, I have a sister of 20 years old, but she never makes time for me. She's always working, or out with her friends. She smokes, drinks a lot, sleeps around and does drugs. Not a very good example of a sister. She even does illegal things, just to satisfy ex-boyfriends. So I truly am on my own. I don't have a lot of friends, only 2 or 3, which I talk to everyday, but one of them lives all the way in Hong Kong, and the other is too far away to visit, too. Furthermore, my social anxiety has made it impossible for me to go out in public. I have a fear of crowds and always feel very self-conscious. I hate myself so much. I truly see myself as useless. To make things worse, I used to have a boyfriend. I was so happy with him. Until I found out he never loved me, wasn't sure about his feelings and that he slept with other girls, while being in a relationship with me. This, he told me on the day before my birthday. I feel so ugly, Gouenji… So worthless…''

In the middle of her story, Michelle had started crying, all the negative emotions flooding over her. Sure, she still kept some things behind, but this was the main part of the drama in her life. Gouenji's eyes had widened and his mouth formed an o-shape, in shock.

''Michelle-san… I'm so sorry.''

''It's okay.'' Michelle sniffed. ''I'm used to it.''

''But being used to this is really wrong.''

''I don't care! I deserve this. I am a despicable human being!''

No matter what Michelle would hear from other people, she would, and will, NEVER believe it when people gave her a compliment. They would be lying.

''Michelle…''

''Just, don't pity me. There's nothing to be pitied for. My life sucks at the moment, and I had a rough childhood as well. But I don't care. It's who I am. It's what I deserve.''

''What happened in your childhood?''

Michelle's eyes widened.

''…I don't wanna talk about it.''

Gouenji nodded.

''Ok. I understand. I might go a bit fast.''

Michelle smiled.

''It's okay. You're like, one of the few people I dare open up to.''

Gouenji smiled.

''I take that as a compliment.''

''You should.'' Michelle smiled back.

Then, she continued hugging her knees, staring in the distance. But what she didn't knew was that, by doing so, the sleeves of her hoodie got lifted up a bit. And what Gouenji saw them, sent shock through his body.

''What's that?'' He asked.

Michelle turned to him.

''What's what?''

Gouenji grabbed her underarm and Michelle's eyes widened.

''W-What are you doing?''

Before she could protest of even fight back, Gouenji pushed up the entire sleeve of her hoodie until her shoulder. He then gasped in air.

''Holy shit…'' He cursed.

On Michelle's entire left arm were scars, some white and old, others red and recently new-made, by the looks of it. There even was a heart shape on her left underarm. The rest of the cuts were just deep lines.

''You cut yourself?!'' Gouenji exclaimed shocked.

Michelle immediately pulled her arm back in shame and hugged it to her chest.

''A-And so what if I do?''

''Why would you?''

''Because it helps me relief the stress. It takes the pain temporarily out of my head and heart, and onto the place where I cut. I can forget my problems for a couple seconds.''

''Is a couple of seconds really worth it to be scarred for a lifetime?''

''Yes, it is.'' Michelle huffed back.

Gouenji sighed and held a hand through his hair.

''Damn… And why the heart on your left underarm?''

Michelle sighed.

''It's a symbol… It was one of the first things I had cut, since I started when I was 10 years old. It stands for love… love I never receive. Love I miss in my love. Love I never will get. I just feel lonely… The heart symbolizes the love I never had.''

''That's really sad…''

''I don't know any better.''

''But… you said you cut since you were 10? That's like, ridiculously young.''

''I know, I hear that a lot. But that's the age when my depression began.''

''You have a depression?''

''It should be clear by now, right?''

Gouenji shrugged. It may have been a bit obvious. Still, he felt the need to ask.

''Is your left arm the only place you have cuts?''

Michelle looked to the ground.

''…No…''

She pointed at the upper part of her legs.

''This area is covered as well.''

She lifted up her shorts a bit and Gouenji gasped when he saw big, deep, red striped appear.

''Michelle!''

Michelle ignored him and removed the black ribbon around her neck. She wore it everyday. After it came off, it revealed a couple deep stripes in her neck.

''What did you try to do?''

''Slit my throat.'' Michelle replied matter-of-factly.

Gouenji gaped at her.

''Ohmygosh, you tried to commit suicide?''

Michelle sighed.

''It wasn't even the first attempt. I did many more suicide attempts.''

Gouenji was at loss for words. This girl… This shy girl in front of him… was a dark rose. A rose, because she was fragile and dark, because of all the matters surrounding her.

''I-I never thought a girl like you was suffering like this.''

Michelle smiled sadly.

''That's because I never talk about it. I honestly don't know why I'm telling you all this. I guess… I feel comfortable around you.''

Gouenji smiled.

''I feel the same.''

Then, he frowned again.

''But still, Michelle, this needs to stop.''

''Like I've never heard that before.'' She rolled her eyes.

''I'm serious. You're a danger to yourself. Why would you go and hurt yourself?''

''Isn't it obvious?!'' Michelle suddenly began to shout.

She went to stand up from the couch and faced Gouenji.

''Didn't I tell you? I'm AWFUL! I'm ugly, despicable, worthless, untalented and mental. I deserve the punishment!''

''Nobody deserves this punishment!''

''Well, I do!''

Michelle lowered on her knees on the ground and started to sob. Gouenji's gaze immediately softened and he sighed.

''What happened when you were younger…?''

Michelle swallowed the lump in her throat away.

''I…g..t.. r..p..d'' She muttered.

''What?''

''I got raped, okay?!'' She shouted angrily, tears flowing down her cheeks.

Gouenji gasped.

''What?!''

''Yeah, sucks, right? Well, I don't care what people think about it. I don't want their pity. It's what I deserved!'' Michelle cried.

''Michelle, nobody deserve to be raped! How old were you when it happened?''

''…. Eight.''

Gouenji's mouth opened even more.

''That is terrible…''

''Don't pity me! I don't want to be pitied! I am worthless.'' Michelle hissed through her teeth, still crying.

Gouenji was at loss for words.

''Yeah, wanna know more crap? I used to puke out my food. I wanted to be pretty. To be accepted. I thought that, if I would become thinner, people would like me! Not that it worked! Because I'm still friendless as hell. Somehow, people at my school found out about my problems and made it public. Whenever I crossed the halls in school, people would pretend to cut themselves, then laugh at me afterwards.''

Michelle now just looked plain angry. Gouenji understood. He felt outraged himself.

''How dare people do that to you.'' He gritted.

Michelle looked surprised.

''What? You honestly don't care about it, do you? Nobody should care about it.''

''I do! It's awful! Nobody deserves to be treated like that!''

''I do… I've been treated horribly ever since my parents divorced when I was 4. I've learned to shove myself away for the sake of others at the age of 5. I've learned to 'fake it until you make it' at the age of 10! I don't know any better than to be treated like crap. And I honestly don't think I deserve better. Because I AM crap!''

''Michelle…''

Michelle now just broke down again and sobbed loudly. Gouenji couldn't take it anymore and lowered himself on the ground next to her, wrapping his arms around her.

''Sshh… I promise you. You're not alone anymore now.''

''Every time a person said that to me, they still left. I am scared to love again. I'm scared to trust people. They always end up hurting me. I don't know who to trust and who to love. I'm just scared, Gouenji… Scared of life.''

''I know. But you don't have to be anymore, okay? You're not alone in this anymore! You got me now! Even though I only just met you, I see you as my little sister. I care about you! I promise I'll protect you from any harm. Please, just have faith in me.''

Michelle slowly looked up.

''You sound so honest…''

''That's because I AM honest.''

Michelle stayed silent for a long time, then closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh. Then, she smiled.

''Okay, I trust you.''

She then wrapped her own arms around Gouenji and pulled him close. Man, she had longed for a hug for a long time now. When was the last time someone had hugged her…? She couldn't even remember. But now, in Gouenji's arms, she finally felt safe.

-The End-

Author Note: Just wanted to give off a small author note at the end. The way Michelle thinks is still the same way I think. I based Gouenji's responses on things I get told all the time when I finally decide to share my life-story with them. I, in no way, think I should deserve 'better' or crap like that. Anyway, I do feel a little bit better, now that this is off my chest. Goodbye for now! xoxo