Genre: Angst, gen fic
Warnings: None really, teeny bit o' language.
Spoilers? Yep, for both Shin and Reira's origins.
Author's Note: I'd like to point out I've not read the manga yet and only watched the anime, so I'm aware there might be some things missing since the manga is way ahead. Also, Nana not mine.
It’s a job in services, I guess…but more lip service than anything. You tell people what they ‘want’ to hear and take care to keep all the juicy little tidbits for yourself, you know…the stuff you know people would really, really like to hear. Hum, some of them actually wish they could be that special. I'm not a guy who gives freely of himself; I come with a fee...and quite an expensive one too.
I have never thought myself capable of loving anyone, yet alone giving for anyone – it wasn’t really my…hum, well, style per say; my style included…whips, chains, dickies, vans, soda pop tops, and all things brash; things that made the women want to wink at me and slip their numbers in my back pocket when they thought no one particularly law-abiding or self-righteous was looking. It amused me…they thought I could make them feel alive.
People came to Tokyo, looking for life, and looking for love…but it was silly to think that these women couldn’t find a beautiful, florescent-faced boy like myself to entertain them elsewhere.
Possibly they couldn’t, no. Elsewhere like, let’s say, back home? I wasn’t even a native of this place, and yet…my shine continued to attract them like, well, put most simply: like moths to the proverbial Tokyo-lit flame. So yes, I found it all very entertaining; that these women could come looking for life, only to think that I, of all people, would have it. There was no life in me. Sure, all the lights were on, but…nobody was home. There was nothing but an ugly dwelling of sorts inside me…a dwelling housing the pungent smoke of Black Stones, and the musty air of hotels and shady pubs…the occasional high of another awesome live with Blast. For me, that was life…it was just barely cutting it though.
I often wondered to myself how long I could survive living the ‘sex, drugs, and rock & roll’ life style I’d made for myself.
Most of the time, I was a pretty laid back boy though. Who had time to dwell on things that couldn’t be helped? What about all the other stuff to be felt and experienced; the good stuff? There were still women to schmooze money out of, random goers to joke with on the street corners…and then Hachi’s great cooking mixed with the euphoria of a performance well done. Those weren’t bad sensations to be, not at all. It was even cool to see Nana’s face just after she’d finished talking on the phone with Ren, complacent and still proud…the soothing feeling I got from throwing my drink in that bastard Takumi’s face and then…then, there was Reira. We’ll get to her in a minute though.
You see it, don’t you? The cavalier way I have of saying things, pushing them to the side? Naturally, I get bored with things, even people; really easily. That’s why it’s much easier to be by myself. Though sometimes…myself wasn’t such good company. I came off as this fifteen-year-old boy who was a bit too…impersonal, indifferent for his own good, but I admit, some things had a habit of getting to me. I just didn’t like making a big show of my aggravation, in fact, I really couldn’t afford to…being a prostitute and all.
There were moments when shit was just not amusing in the slightest: the times when I wished I’d choke on all the smoke inside me, perhaps drown in the sweet-smelling tar filling my lungs. Then, when instead of getting a hot client, I got a stupid, ugly one. One I had to work my best charms on, hoping to seduce myself in the process so I wouldn’t have to think of the horrible fuck ahead of me. Yeah…those were some unpleasant days. And let’s not even talk about those clients; the ones calling themselves coy, or worse, funny and only thinking to ask me, “Don’t you have a home to go to?” after they’d finished getting off, trying to make useless post-sex conversation. That was the kind of crap that had me reaching for my clothes and fee – smiling sweetly of course – with an aberrant haste. That stuff got to me, made me want to torch or kick something. Most times, I forced myself to just relax though (something I’ve already said I’m exceptionally good at), take a smoke, kick back and play the bass. I couldn’t be bothered with people most days: my Black Stones and guitar were enough for me.
As much as the whole home topic unnerved me, I admit it did get a chuckle or two occasionally. Like when...these people, people whom I respected, like Nana, like Hachi, and Yasu…even Nobu…could ask me if the folks at home were ever worried about me. C’mon guys, what does it look like? No one was ever there, and when they were…meh, let’s just say that’s not something I’d like to yammer about. Normally it wasn’t a hard topic to cut around; no one paid a prostitute to regale them with his or her life story. They paid for all the sweet stuff: the rush, the slap-me-sweet words, the cute face…and of course, the sex.
Well anyway, as I was saying, or about to say a while back, life wasn’t in Tokyo. Not for anyone. Life was what they could make of it for themselves if, by chance, they ended up in a city as pulsing as Tokyo. But you could do that anywhere…just as long as the pulse was present. It all depended on you though…whether or not a place had a pulse. It was this world’s best kept secret, it seemed…something that, if found out, would surely put me out of a job. There was only one who ever came close to figuring it out. Eh. She’s not something I usually like to think or talk about either, but I do, to prove to myself that I can. I can do anything I want; her memory is only forbidden to me if I allow it to be. If I allow it to tame me and break me down to my knees. Smart as she is, she still can’t possibly hope to tap that power…
I was confident in the fact that I wasn’t kidding myself by thinking that.
Reira came off as a clever girl initially: witty, bold…with a streak of something that could have been bad. I had found out differently once we’d gotten to bed though – there was nothing bad about Reira. She was just another female looking for life in the body of a fifteen-year-old boy. She actually thought I was pretty neat; I could tell by the way she’d smiled at me when she’d first seen me. She was soft...while my tone was so white it was almost glaring (the shine I mentioned earlier), Reira had that soft whiteness about her, the glow that got people thinking she was the most gorgeous thing to ever grace a stage. While I had thought all those things about her at first –clever and witty – I don’t ever remember being impressed by her right off the bat. Japan had beautiful women that had yet to be acknowledged; women like Nana, other lovely female specimens I’d just so happened to screw once upon a time. Trust me, I’d seen gorgeous. And if it wasn’t me, it definitely wasn’t Reira.
She was just pretty. Alright, fine, very pretty. Shit. So Reira was beautiful, alright? People think that if you slap the title of songstress on a girl, that instantly means she could have people under her spell; manipulate them with a voice so radiant it ought to be the ocean’s siren…but that wasn’t always the case. However, Reira had that. You could tell she wasn’t too big on herself, and that’s what made her so entrancing. I’d been immune to this effect though…that is until I got to know her. And, believe me when I say this, I had never set out to purposefully acquaint myself with Reira. She’d come to me, having seen my joke about the 100,000 yen as the real deal. Well, she’d seen the truth about the hooker part, just not the money part…only really persistent people got the 100,000 yen treatment. I really hadn’t expected Reira to come find me, hadn’t expected her to know…but she did. Nothing I could do about it, fine, whatever.
Most nights with Reira were spent in fancy places; hotels worthy only of those blessed enough to have the money that Trapnest members had. Reira was the vocalist, the core of Trapnest; if she didn’t have them, you could tell she’d most likely make it big elsewhere. Reira liked sex…but it seemed she liked other things too. She liked to treat me like a child…max out our bodies and then hug me to her like she was my big sister or something. It was like she was trying to make up for the pedophilia by forcing me to find the genuine pleasure of being a fifteen-year-old boy, and while it seemed completely ridiculous she’d even attempt something like that, I found myself being drawn into the game easily. There were many evenings you could find me hanging coyly about her shoulder, the ever-present and lovable boy-toy as she wrote songs and went through fan mail. Everyone wanted just a word or two from the ‘exquisite Japanese flower’…Reira didn’t want anyone to know she was half American.
I could have shared that with her, told her my supposed secret, or what I suspected to be my ‘family’s’ secret…but I didn’t. It was of little consequence to me; it was better to just stick with the program. Reira didn’t need to know more than what was necessary about me…and up until the day we decided it best not to see each other again, she didn’t. But, in that one fleeting moment in which we’d said our farce of a goodbye, I could tell she’d figured out the secret. She’d figured out the secret about the pulse…that it was me who had no life: that she’d inadvertently given it to me for a short time. Maybe it was the first time she was really seeing me as a boy…just because of the man I was trying to be in that single moment.
Parting with Reira created in me the sensation one probably got from pressing their lips to a paper cut: that dull, yet pleasing pang. You wanted to press, to push it harder and see how much you could get out of it…but I couldn’t do that to Reira. I’d wanted to: wanted to hurt, perhaps provoke her. Remind her that she was, regardless of what either of us said, an honest-to-god pedophile, actually falling for a half bred, fifteen-year-old chain-smoking prostitute. But I didn’t. It was the feeling I’d had toward her when she’d first tried to use my lighter to rope me into spending time with her. It was the ugliest part of me: the part that didn’t sell to customers.
Reira could dare to wish for love, even when she was mocking herself about what a joke her love life was. Me, I’d never wished for anything. Not unless I was being sarcastic…I wouldn’t even wish for Reira. Regardless of what I felt for her.
And that, is yet another one of the world’s best kept secrets.
My love for Reira. My hatred of myself.