(The spiritual counterpart to Cola Mateya.)
Mateya Cola sat on the hill at the riverbank, legs crossed, arms to her sides, and her eyes pensive. She felt the cool breeze flow through her clothing, touching her heart directly. It was too getting cold for short sleeves and a miniskirt, but she wore them anyway.
“I don’t want this,” she said.
Next to her, her best friend, Mika Toyama, also sat, her hands stretched out on the grass; her left hand was almost touching Mateya’s right. “What don’t you want?” she asked.
“This.” Mateya swept her hands in an arc, circling them around her. “I don’t want this life I’m forced to live. I can’t change it, and I can’t fight it. But I don’t want to live it, either.”
Mateya brought her knees up to her face and wrapped her arms around them. “It’s not fair. I don’t understand why I can’t do anything that I actually want to do.” She wanted to cry, but she held back the sobs. A few tears escaped before she could blink them away.
“It can’t be all that bad,” Mika said. “After all, what about all your friends?”
“My friends? They’re all the same,” Mateya said. “Akito Inuzuka, my childhood friend, walks me home to school almost every single day. He can’t meet my eyes without blushing, and he offers to carry my books each time, without fail. But that’s all there is to it. He won’t touch my back and undo my bra. I can’t get him to go to the fireworks show with me unless we’re in a group. He’s so static, so passive, and nothing I do changes anything.” She diverted her eyes away from Mika. “And you… I can’t…”
Mika scooted closer to Mateya and grabbed her hands. “It’s okay, Mateya. I’m here for you…” She said this with genuineness, but her words could not reach Mateya’s heart.
“But not in the way I want!” she shouted. “I want to be with you…”
“You’re with me right now,” Mika said. “We’ll always be together.”
Mateya couldn’t help it; she began to cry. “This is exactly what I mean. You don’t understand what I mean, no matter how hard I try… I love you, Mika!”
“I love you too, Mateya! You’re my best friend.” Mika pulled Mateya close and hugged her. But Mateya broke away and stood up.
“Oh my God,” she said. “Why are our destinies so seemingly set this way? Why can’t we change anything? Is there some force that deems it so necessary to keep us in a field of stasis?” When Mika didn’t answer, Mateya shook her head and ran away, her tears breaking off and falling behind her, sparkling as they dissipated.
She ran for as long as she could stand it. She didn’t look at anyone else, because they all moved out of her way in time. She didn’t go in any particular direction, because she knew she’d find her way back home in time for the next scene. Her legs turned into jelly, and her breath ran out, but she kept running, and running, until she saw Akito standing by a bench above the moon, rising against the amber skies. She stopped, panting, and crying with no tears left to spare.
“Mateya, what are you doing?” Akito asked.
She walked up to him and put her hands on his shoulders. “Akito… Please…” she sobbed. “I want to make love to you… Will you do it?”
Akito took a step back. “What? Are you okay?”
“I just need something… anything…” She could barely finish her sentence. “I don’t care what…” She collapsed before she could say anything more.
Mateya woke up in her bed, with her pajamas on. Her father, Kokkai Cola, stood over the bed, and brought out a dishrag to place on her head. “You got a bad fever,” he said. “You’re going to have to stay out of school for a few days.”
“Don’t worry, your friends are going to come see you later. They already called ahead.”
“I don’t…” She began crying again. Her father leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, and then left her bedroom, sliding the door shut quietly.
“I don’t want this,” she said to herself. “I don’t want this at all.”
She was the protagonist, that Mateya Cola. She couldn’t escape the fate of her own existence, no matter how hard she tried. She was trapped in a cycle of school and friends for perpetuity.
Soon, Mika, Akito, and her other friend Yuu came to her house, and entered her bedroom, holding bowls of soup. “We’re here to help you get better,” Mika said. “After all, that’s what friends are for!”
Akito stepped forward, and– accidentally spilled some of his bowl of soup on her. It burned her, even through her sheets, and she shrieked. “I’m… I’m so sorry!” Akito shouted, bowing several times. Mika and Yuu burst out laughing.
All Mateya could do was cry.
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