So we come to it at last. This is a story I have been dreading to finalize, or to re-read at all. There are a few stories of mine that are painful for me to go back to. Black Dawn is a story I find to be intensely sad, so I struggle to re-read it. Brave is in that vein, too. Doctor Piggyboy and The One with Several No Good Rotten Space Vermin are stories that I find awkward to re-read because they go into some personal stuff of mine. All of these pale in comparison to Girl. This is a story I simply do not want to re-read, because it will open old wounds, remind me of how depressed I was when I wrote it, and potentially reveal things about my past that I probably shouldn't have revealed (but forgot that I put them in this story).
This is an intensely personal story. Much of what Olivien experiences, and his memories, are my own. When I wrote this story, in May 2017, I was in a very bad place, in a very bad way. Everyone has highs and lows. This story was my deepest low, in terms of emotional state. I won't say I was in sheer despair at the time, but I was suicidal and was very depressed. As such, it is difficult to return to this time of my life without languishing in those emotions. Hopefully I will be forgiven for being somewhat curt in my analysis of this story.
This story was originally supposed to be a follow-up to Country Matters. It was supposed to be another story like that one, only focusing more on Olivien this time, for he was only created as a character when I wrote Country Matters. There was about five months between the writing time of these two stories. Once Olivien was created, it was necessary to have at least one story about him. The same problem with Country Matters arose in this one - dealing with an area so far ahead in the timeline, in Age 793, was tricky. I didn't want to write anything that would back me into a corner when I wrote Dragon Ball: Heart of the Dragon later on. As such, plot considerations were secondary to character development. I originally planned on this story showing a bit of Wepeel. Truth be told, I don't remember if I left in a reference to Wepeel or not, but that was not the focus after I began actually writing the story. I have a vague memory of showing Wepeel for a second, but that might not have made it into the final version of this story.
As I began to think about this story, the main crux of it turned back to an existential crisis of sorts for Olivien. I do see myself in Ledas. He is my main original character, my favorite one, and the one I play as I when I lucid dream. With that said, it's probably Olivien who is most based upon me. And so, it becomes clear how this story became what it did. I was going through a depressive phase at the time, and since Olivien was based on me, I explored that within the fictional setting of Dragon Ball with this character. A lot of the thematic content is related to me personally. These things become awkward to discuss because of that. Also, for my own privacy, I will simply not go into too much detail about all of this.
I created the google doc for this story on May 9, 2017, four days after completing One Chop Man. I did not start writing it until just after midnight on May 11th. I wrote about a page and a half that day. On May 12th, I continued writing, though only got half a page done that day. I wrote about two and a half more pages on May 13th, making some good progress that day through one of the more awkward parts in the story. I wrote three and a half pages on May 14th, though I skipped the end of the second scene, where Oli talks to the policeman, for it was too painful to write at the time, and moved onto the rest of the story. I wrote another two and a half pages on May 15th. In the wee hours of May 16th, I wrote two more pages, considering the story to be done at that point save for the police conversation in the second scene. The final scene also ended in a weird place, but I don't remember if that was the originally intended ending.
I went to bed, and when I woke later that day, I edited the story over many hours, including adding in the final bits of dialogue to the end of the second scene, and adding in a lengthy additional half a page to the ending of the final scene. Those final twelve paragraphs, starting with "The sunlight was on his face.", were all added in only during the final part of the editing of this story. I finished at 10:57 pm that day, and then published the story to the wiki nine minutes later.
When I say I'm not looking forward to analyzing this story, that is perhaps an understatement. If there is any single story of mine I would wish to skip doing an anthology of, it would be this one. I know there are longer stories out there that I haven't gotten to yet, but that doesn't matter to me. I don't want to experience again the KV days of supreme depression. This is gonna suck. I would also recommend nobody else read this, for it's not very uplifting. Anyways, I will be happy again, I hope, when this is over.
Story[edit | edit source]
Climbing up the tower, below a cloudscape drenched in pewter…
“Hey! Hey Olivia!” It was a boy’s voice, pressing in the cold. “Whatcha tryna do? Are you climbing to the moon?” The boy sniggered impetuously.
The cold raked at the inside of his throat. It was a fifteen foot drop, but the eight-year-old boy took it with ease. His heckler wore a faded, torn pair of jeans and a tight-fitting red shirt, his fat belly pressed against it like milk in a bag. The sight made him feel uneasy. Tomi shook a sharp breath in, stepping away from him.
“I told you to leave me alone,” the other boy said quietly, not looking Tomi in the eyes.
“Wh-wh… how did you do that?!” In genuine fear, sprinkles of rain carried on the wind. “That was so high up!”
His thumb was stinging from where it had gotten snagged on a broken piece of metal. West City Elementary’s playground was remarkably decrepit – half the swings were now just hanging pairs of chains, and much of the orange-metal jungle gym was falling into disrepair. Sucking the blood from the cold-burning wound, he felt only impatience.
“Leave me alone.” His eyes once again returned to the sky; he ruffled his hair in anticipation.
The punch had blinded him, his cheek shivering with prickly, warm-rushing pain. Tomi was huffing so hard, his breath was visible. He was no dragon. But his blood red nose, barely more than a bump on his squarish, freckled face, leaked almost as much vapor as his fat, stupid mouth. “How’d you like that, stupid-face?! Are ya gonna cry like a girl?” His was an angry pleasure. “I bet you’re a Hanzo main!”
That was a filthy accusation; he was actually a Zenyatta main. The thought that anyone would believe he was even capable of maining Hanzo induced within him the feeling of furious distress.
His ear ringing, throbbing in the cold, his father’s voice emerged, a memory of a memory of a forgotten memory: “You could really hurt them if you tried. But you should never do that, Olivien. If you get into a fight, you could…”
He punched Tomi square in the nose. The other boy spit-exhaled and stumbled back, raising his hands in a sloppy attempt at defense. He hit Tomi again, this time on the cheek. The rising in his chest was only driving him forward. It was a floating feeling, a burning feeling.
Tomi grunted and fell back further, stumbling through the bark. Rusting, broken chains made mild music of the breeze. He hit the boy a third time, and a fourth, and there was his mother, running from the distance, her high heels clanking on the asphalt. The trees shook as another tearful wind blew through. Tomi was running to her now. “Oh, my baby, oh my baby, Stop!! Stop it now!! Oooooh, my baby…!”
From the distance, he couldn’t tell if Tomi’s nose was bleeding, or if it was just so red because of the cold. The woman’s voice, shrill and urgent, her purse knocking against her hip as she ran, seemed more to enhance the stillness than to break it apart.
Olivien stood on the curb watching the hover cars whoosh by. “Hey, you alright man?”
The colors and the darkness came together. “Yeah, I’m fine. We ready?”
They were five; two girls, three boys. He followed them meekly into the club, his mind running with the sound of the cars, empty and agitated. Higasuki was chatting carelessly about the movie they were going to see afterwards. “Shark Attack IV: Revenge of the Trawler… finally this time the boat attacks back! How insane is that? Don’t you want to see it?!”
“Bedbugs! I wanna see Bedbugs! It’s a sweet family treat for almost the whole neighborhood!” Tia (his girlfriend) said in a high, flutey voice.
“Nah. No way. That’s a kid’s movie. Don’t be lame.”
Their seats were good; the Gotham was a smaller venue, with tables enough for a few dozen people. On each table, a candle burned; the lights had been lowered. A mic stand stood proudly on the empty stage. Olivien took the middle seat; his friends took their seats on either side of him.
He had known beforehand that Higasuki and Taro would be bringing their girlfriends. As everyone waited for the stand-up to come out, they sipped overpriced sodas and talked, but Olivien found that the boys were more interested in their dates than him, so there was hardly any opportunity for him to say anything. His sister would have laughed at how pathetic he was if she had been there.
High-rising cackles permeated the dark air. Happiness like that was fleeting and grating, rousing feelings of dissatisfaction with himself. Olivien’s mind turned to his father. He couldn’t help but think of how he’d let his dad down. Pulling a flask of vodka out of his pocket, he sneakily poured the entire contents into his ice-armored glass of weeping Sprite.
There had been disappointment in his father’s voice after he’d admitted to him how little he actually trained. “Yo, how about we go to Emile’s later? Oli, you got some… y’know…” He mimed drinking from a flask.
Olivien nodded mildly. “Yeah, I got you.”
Taro’s date laughed shrilly. She already looked a little drunk. It was rare for Olivien to go out with people like this. His friends, if they could be called that, were just people he’d met a few years ago and never shaken loose from.
He never knew what to say or how to say it. Thankfully, his friends were more interested in their dates, and he didn’t have to try to be another social animal like them. That got so tiresome, so weary on his brain. Olivien felt the eyes, even the glances, boring into him like starved leeches. They hammered at him like his father’s fists during a training exercise. An echo chamber spun with breathless, scattered thoughts, half-formed in their instinctual desperation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a big hand for our first stand-up of the night… Dangeruss!”
A regular-looking man in regular-looking clothes with brown hair walked out onto the stage to scattered applause. “So how about that East City? That was pretty sad, wasn’t it? Damn furries.”
It was a joke that came out of nowhere. Some people laughed. Heat coursed through Olivien’s veins. He sighed in deep pleasure. It wasn’t a feeling of happiness inherently, this feeling, but one that could easily be transformed into that with a just a little care and thought. His eyes turned to the table next to him. In his peripheral vision, he felt Higasuki embrace his date, the action producing a flash of blinding embarrassment in the Saiyan’s chest.
He perceived himself glancing at a young man sitting at the table next to him, admiring the beauty in his face, the soft curve of his chin, his round and smooth nose. Olivien’s chest heaved itself forward in a sudden jerk. He slid out of his seat and teleported to the far door. Using the room’s near darkness to his advantage, Oli was able to escape without anyone, save for perhaps the people sitting behind him, noticing.
The man who had been sitting behind Olivien was a chubby middle-aged man with a red beard and a soon-to-be-bald mountainous scalp. “What a bunch of fucking shit, man!” the man complained from his chair, raising an ice-rattling cup of gin at the comedian standing on the stage. “Not cool, man. Too soon, man. I had a cousin who was a furry… he got blown up in all that shit! Is that funny? Huh?”
“Yeah, a little,” the man on stage said. Olivien lingered at the door. Dangeruss did not give a shit; in his next breath, he moved onto a joke about dolphins and waterproof peanut butter. The admiration Olivien felt towards him in that moment stemmed from his own cowardice in social situations. But that was nothing new – he was fleeing again right now.
Rain had drenched the midnight city, and a light mist was still hanging over them. He decided to take the train back home, as if to convince himself that he was normal. If he hadn’t been drunk, he might not have done this, but he was feeling foolish.
These streets were his. A fox-faced policeman was reaching to place a soggy ticket on an illegally-parked hovercar’s windshield. Up ahead, a crowd had formed under some tents leading into a club. The club’s name flashed with violet neon colors, the letters arranged in a cute, disheveled way, almost childish in presentation: ‘Great Saiyaman 2’.
The bouncer at the door was almost seven feet tall, his muscles like water balloons about to burst. As he opened the door to let in two twenty-something women, Olivien kicked off the ground, teleporting past them and into the club. He was greeted by perfume and alcohol and a beat running through his ears down to his toes and back like shocks of ecstasy. He caught himself breathing hard. A server passed him, glancing disapprovingly.
His speed meant he could get whatever he wanted. He never felt like his mind slowed down when he became drunk like this – only the world around him started to move slower. He liked to drink to forget, to lessen the burden of being so conscious all the time. It’s hard to be a human being, he remembered – a line from some song his sister liked to play all the time in her room.
His eyes glazed over and the beat took him. He felt himself dropping a shot glass he’d snatched from someone whose face he’d never looked upon. They were dancing ahead of him, the bass tickling his bones. He joined them half-drunkenly, half-hopefully, and it wasn’t long before he felt himself grinding up against someone – a girl – no, a woman. She wasn’t more than twenty, her hair blond with electric blue highlights. He felt her heat against him.
Life flashed before his eyes in eternal slow motion yet beyond his comprehension for all its speed. “Kiss me.” In the dark, he jerked away. Her number was in his phone. He was on the sidewalk. This breeze had about it a mischievous cruelty. DROGO LIVES was painted on the brick-crumbling wall just above the single black brick in the ranks.
He felt the need to throw up; and the panic that came with it, that he was in public, that someone could see, was more than he could bear, and he felt his aura forming around his body.
A homeless man walked over to Olivien. The boy was hunched over, spittle dripping from his open mouth, fighting the urge to vomit. The man said something, patting his shoulder. He didn’t understand. The man tried again. Garbled nonsense sputtered out in a dry near-whisper.
“I-I… can’t understand… you…”
The dark, wet look in his eyes held sadness. The old man smiled weakly, patted him again, and sidled off into the shadows. His mind hung with flashes of the night, two or three seconds of a song morphing into another even as his mind’s eye remained fixed on her – her thin, drawn lips, deeply red, her eyes black as death.
“Take me too,” she’d whispered, her teeth brushing against his earlobe. She was shorter than him, but older – twenty or twenty-two, he couldn’t tell. There was a constricting feeling in his pants. He fell to his knees and spit blood red poison into the gutter.
The soft pavement was at once a familiar sensation against his cheek and one that reminded him that time was still passing. He vomited again as he lay there, the rain falling lightly into his eyes. He shook violently and whimpered out another tide of foul-smelling alcohol. He couldn’t remember how much he’d had. That was good. There was no value in remembering.
Moonlight shone through a castle-garrison of clouds. It was not yet full; his tail coiled and squeezed softly around his waist. A flashlight lit his eyesight up yellow. “Hey, you awake?” The officer’s tone was deep and raspy – the kind one puts on when one is trying to be more than one actually is. “Sir?”
Olivien’s head was swirling. He sat up and noticed the officer for the first time. “Hello,” he said. “Nice night tonight, man…” The Saiyan hiccuped and wobbled in place, nearly falling over again.
“Sir, have you been drinking tonight?”
The officer glanced at the ruby-raw puddle Olivien had made. “Public intoxication is a crime. Did you know that?” Olivien swayed in place, his cheeks flushing. He was beginning to comprehend what was going on. “I’m going to have to take you in.”
Olivien meant to run away, but by the time he’d thought to do it, the policeman, an older man with tiny, emerald eyes and a wrinkled face, had thrown him into the back of the squad car, his wrists already bound. His stomach roiled; he would throw up again if he had to blow his way out of this car. He wasn’t going to jail – that much was certain. Nevertheless, as the numbing stage of deep drunkenness overcame him, Olivien leaned back and let the car whisk him along down the road, unwilling to confront his stomach just yet.
“Wake up.” His tone was once again stern. The hoarseness in it was probably from the man’s advanced age. Olivien was surprised he wasn’t already retired.
“Well, the parking lot outside the station. I can take you in there, kid, or you can talk to me.”
“Talk to you about what?” He was breathing hard again, not looking the man in the eyes.
“Be honest with me, or we’re going inside.”
Those words meant nothing. “Why do you even care?”
“Listen kid…” The man got out of the driver’s seat, walked around to the back seats, and opened the door on the other side from where Olivien sat handcuffed, taking a seat. He smelled like smoke. “I’ve seen this happen more times than you could think. Kids like you always think they can just keep going, keep chugging, keep mixing drinks, that you’ll never overdo it–”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” He could taste bile on the back of his tongue.
His head turned. Olivien had lost him; his eyes found the moon hanging in the sky, cloudless and unafraid. Its light tickled something behind his eyes, and his fingers began to tingle. “Were you trying to kill yourself?”
“No.” He only knew it was guilt because he thought of his father then. The feeling was otherwise the same as anxiety – a boring feeling, a feeling without meaning.
“Really?” The man’s tone shifted. “Then why did you get yourself so drunk?”
The urge to be truthful suddenly made itself known to him, and it wasn’t anything he could ignore. Olivien had read once that you never change, not from the moment you’re born, no matter what happens, no matter who you meet, who your parents are, who you want to be. That statement seemed to get truer every day. To be truthful was not an exertion of effort. Rather, it was the removal of layer after layer of public masks, simulacra of real emotions, carefully constructed and maintained, the feelings compartmentalized and tossed away to the bleakest corners of the mind. To be truthful was to not think. He didn’t want to think anymore. He’d had enough of his thoughts – those unavoidable daggers that cut him to ribbons every single day, gnawing away at his being, his perception of self, from behind his eyes.
“I wanted to forget.”
“How stupid I was.”
The officer’s eyebrows raised. “Why would you talk about yourself like that, kid?”
“I never trust my feelings,” Olivien said plainly. He was feeling more and more sober by the second. A grey-feeling pain was making itself known in the shell of his skull cavity.
“What happened? You’re going to have to be more specific if you want me to help you.” His eyes were serious and green and small. “I really do want to help you, kid, okay? I could take you in right this moment, get you put behind bars, and nothing would change. I know that. I’d rather see you get the help you need than make you feel even worse. But you’re going to have to open up a little bit if you want to get real help, alright? Let’s start with our names. I’m Officer Carrow. Nice to meet you.”
Sullenly, he replied, “I’m Olivien.”
Trying to raise his hand, he realized he was still handcuffed. It hurt, how his hands were being pulled. He broke the metal easily; the officer saw, his eyes widening slightly, but when Olivien didn’t move, the man didn’t do anything except wait for the boy to speak again. They shook hands impotently. Olivien let it become awkward.
“You can say whatever you want to me, Olivien, and I’ll listen. So long as you haven’t killed or raped anybody–”
“No, I’m not like that.”
“Alright, Olivien.” The man’s voice was slowly starting to comfort the Saiyan. “So what’s on your mind?”
The window was fogging up. “There’s nothing really. It’s just how I am. I don’t want to be like this.”
“What do you mean?” The officer had closed the door behind him at some point, and he was now not all that far away from Olivien.
“I…” His knees were scraped from when he had lost his balance and fallen. “I wish I liked girls more. I wish I knew what it felt like to love them.”
The man shifted uncomfortably. “I see.”
“I don’t want to be like this,” Olivien said glumly. “It makes my social anxiety a hundred times worse.”
“You know, you can get help for that,” the policeman said. “There are people you can see… some I know personally, I can–”
“I’m not interested.”
“Then how are you going to get better, Olivien? You’re just gonna end up treading back down this same road again in the future.” There was a silver-shining bottlecap in the policeman’s hand. He was fingering it like a poker chip. It reflected the unearthly splendor of the moon quite well.
He wasn’t wrong, but Olivien didn’t have the energy to argue any more, so he simply nodded his head. “What are you so scared about, anyways?”
“I dunno.” He sank further into his seat. “I guess I just don’t want to disappoint my father, and…”
“He doesn’t approve?”
“Well… I don’t know, but I didn’t mean–” Olivien’s ears were simmering hot, and his vision was blurring. “I didn’t mean it like that…” His words trailed off uselessly as the pangs of shame clutched his throat. The look in his father’s eyes, the sound in his voice: disappointment looming over all. “I’m sorry,” the boy said in a strained tone, swallowing, “but I have to go.”
He didn’t wait for Officer Carrow to reply; he was gone in the blink of an eye, quiet as a breath.
Olivien flew above the clouds until he sensed the familiar energy signature of Jia, his family’s caretaker. Breaking through the cloudscape, Olivien landed on the sidewalk just in front of his father’s house. A mansion it truly was, three stories high with a new-blooming cherry tree in the front yard and walls of ivy and jasmine surrounding it.
His head was killing him. Jia, Chari, and his father were all in the house, he could sense. Some part of him didn’t want to face them like he was. He wasn’t exactly drunk anymore, but he wasn’t sober, and in this vulnerable state, he knew he had the capacity to make a lot of foolish choices and blurt out a lot of painfully revealing things. His sister liked to get him drunk just so he’d spill his secrets to her, and she had an excellent sense of detecting when he was already drunk. He didn’t want to deal with that shit tonight.
There was a man in a thick overcoat and khaki shorts making his way down the street, and he was struggling mightily with that. Spotting Olivien, he made a half-feral cry and made his way over to the boy. “Aw, nice! My drink’s still here!”
A plastic coffee cup with a pink straw and blue liquid within had been left on the bench at the bus stop in front of Olivien’s house. The man picked up the drink and without hesitation took a long drink. He moaned deeply, drinking down half the cup in a single gulp. Olivien only stayed out of curiosity; he had to remind himself sometimes that he was not human, that he was not one of these creatures, that his differences from them should be explainable by that fact alone. It didn’t make living any easier.
“What’re youuu doin’ outso layyyy-ttte?” the man slurred, nearly falling over. Sucking at the straw again, he turned to the curb and began pissing loudly.
“You shouldn’t do that,” Olivien said with a wince. “Come on, man, that’s not cool.”
The plastic cup now drained, the man hurled it into the street where it bounced a few times before rolling out of sight. The nearest light post flickered. There was a huge barn owl perched atop it, watching them. “Shouldn’do whaaaaa?” The man stumbled over to Olivien, putting his arm out. The boy caught him easily, preventing the man from falling. Evidently he was too drunk to realize that he’d even been saved. The human regained his feet, patting Olivien on the shoulder, his hand lingering for a moment and then sliding to his breast. When the man rubbed him, Olivien jumped away.
“Aueaahhah!” The man laughed in a way that made it seem like he was never more than a breath or two away from vomiting his guts out.
Oli disappeared into the wind, leaving the drunken man flummoxed and alone. The smell of jasmine tickled his nose, reminding him of his childhood. Olivien grasped the doorknob and eased it open as slowly as he could. In the distant, otherwise still midnight air, he could hear the drunkard kicking the cup down the barren road.
Of course, she was waiting for him just inside. Those were the perks of having a sister who could sense energy. “Where have you been?” Chari asked him, a hint of malice in her pink eyes. “It’s past two…”
He pulled off his shoes as he entered. “Why do you care?”
“You’re my brother, Olivien.”
“Damn, that’s a shame.” He yawned and walked off to his room down the hallway. The polished cherrywood floor was one of his favorite things about this house. He loved sliding down these halls in his socks, so he did… only this time he was drunk, and in that drunkenness, he had overestimated his sense of balance. Thus did Olivien go sliding into the wall, causing a photo of his family (including his mother) to fall from its cozy place, its glass cover shattering with obnoxious sound.
He was on the ground, his eyes closed, the blood pounding behind them. Short of breath, light-hearted, the boy didn’t want to move. He was so tired, so very tired. He just wanted to forget. Nothing would be better than going to sleep and never waking up again.
“Quiet. You’ll wake one of them up,” he said wearily.
“What are you doing?” Her concern was only growing more urgent by the second. “Are you drunk again?”
He sighed as she helped him up and led him to her room, closing the door softly behind her. “What?”
“You know what. I’m concerned about you. You haven’t been acting normal recently.”
“I haven’t?” He was too tired for this. He fell back-first onto his sister’s bed, rubbing his scalp vigorously.
“Well, even by your standards. What’s going on?”
“I dunno.” Clicking on his phone, Olivien recoiled from the bright flash of light. He should have anticipated that. Her name was Akina. He’d written her whole name in lowercase letters. Grinning, Olivien began writing a reply to her previous message of ‘That was fun :D see u tmrw nite??’ with ‘Sounds like…
“You’re hopeless, Oli, do you know that?” his sister was saying. “What are you doing?”
“Texting the girl I met at the club,” he yawned.
“Girl?” She scoffed cruelly.
“Are you joking with me?”
She raised an eyebrow as she read the text. He sat up and looked around. His sister’s room was sparsely-adorned. A few posters of women wearing the exotic-looking latest spring fashion trends were spread about the walls, as were some photos of him and her as kids, smiling toothlessly up at the cameras. A picture of their mother had been placed on the back of Chari’s door. Her walls were a light blue, and her carpet white. The room was spacious – more spacious than his, but also more horizontally-oriented. He could smell artificially-sweetened mango in the air.
Coming up to Chari’s dresser, he pulled open the drawers until he found her underwear. “Hey, get out of there!” she snapped.
The teenager’s hand was already in the drawer, feeling around. When he found what he was looking for, he pulled out the silicone dildo and flopped it in his sister’s face. “Aha, see, I know!”
Her face went dark red and she threw his phone back at him. Catching it with ease, Olivien laughed and tossed her dildo onto the bed. “What did you write back to her?” he asked as he went to look, but his sister was having none of that.
“How dare you, Olivien?! You can’t just go through my private things like that? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“What’s wrong with me?” His cheeks flashed with heat. “What’s wrong with you?! Look what you wrote…” He felt like throwing up, reading what his sister had texted back to that Akina girl. “You made me sound so lame… don’t you know words matter, Chari?! Oh my god, she’s going to think I’m a total idiot!”
It was rare for him to yell at her, as much as they liked to tease one another. His sister didn’t notice, however. She was still fuming about that dildo. In hindsight, that probably hadn’t been his best idea. Sometimes he felt the urge just to go with something like that, just to see what would happen, with no bearing on how she would think of him for trying it. The same thing had happened three years ago when he’d asked her, after they’d had a lengthy discussion on whether male or female oral sex was better, if he ever went down on her, would her pussy taste like bubblegum? That was the kind of alien humor only a virgin mind could come up with.
Ever since then, she’d had it out for Olivien.
He supposed it wasn’t so much that he’d touched her dildo, but more the fact that the dildo she owned, as brightly-colored and floppily silicone as it was, was not a human dildo, but in fact some strangely-shaped phallic-shaped thing that must have been some artist’s rendition of a mythical animal’s (perhaps, in this case, a night dragon’s) genitalia. He laughed deviously. The anger in the corners of her lips made his fingers tingle with delight.
“Chill out,” he told her. “It’s a nice one. Mind if I borrow it sometime?”
Chari bit her lip to prevent herself from bursting out into laughter. He pocketed the phone. The damage had already been done. He moved to the door. “You’re unreal, Olivien.”
“Hey, I’m right here!” he said angrily. “And that was a serious question.”
She scoffed again. “Of course not, dude.”
“Saving it for the princess, eh, sister?” He smirked, quickly opening the door and closing it behind him before she could get in another word.
There was a bunk bed in Olivien’s room. He didn’t bother getting undressed or turning on the light. His feet knew where to take him. He jumped up onto the top bunk and rolled onto his back, sighing heavily. Old Balerion, his father’s Nebelung, had been sleeping on his pillow, and upon Olivien jumping into bed, had jumped up himself. Now he wandered over to the boy who was lying on his back, breathing hard, and began pawing gently on the boy’s chest. Olivien loved the tuft of grey fur around Balerion’s neck. He looked like a little lion, his noble mane shimmering blue-grey in the near darkness.
After Balerion had fallen asleep at his side, Olivien rolled over and tried to sleep. As he closed his eyes, the form of that young man sitting at the table next to him with the blond hair and the flushed cheeks leapt out from the darkness and ensnared him. He felt his body react to his thoughts, felt the hot blood flowing, the stiffening, the shortness of breath. It was not unlike hunger. A feeling he could not control, a feeling he did not want. He didn’t ask for this. He didn’t ask to be different.
But in the darkness, his body screamed with desire, and he had not the heart to deny his lizard brain. That was a different part of him, his lizard brain. It begged for food, for water, for other boys. Nothing else mattered to that primal, biologically-locked part of him. It was never roused until it was, and once it was, he couldn’t begin to control it. It was the part of him that, like raw energy, flowed unchecked, and should he dare to stand against it, as he had tried countless times before, he would be defeated instantaneously. There was no point in wasting time.
As Olivien unzipped his pants, he heard his cell phone rumble on the dresser next to his pillow. He didn’t bother to look at what she’d typed back.
“Sleep well?” Jia asked as he took a seat on the bamboo stool at the island in the kitchen. Pressing his hands to the cool marble, he yawned as if on cue.
“What time is it?”
“Just past three.”
A CLEAN-BOT 6000 patrolled silently by, gliding over to the refrigerator. “Anyone else around?”
“Chari’s at Capsule Corp.–”
“Your father’s out too. He didn’t tell me where he went, but I expect he’ll be back soon.”
“I’m going out,” he said in a bored tone. “I won’t be back til late.”
“Where’re you headed?”
“Very well, Olivien.”
Jia made him some breakfast, which he ate in silence. After the scrawl of lame pseudo-romantic babble Chari had written, Akina had responded: ‘u ever been 2 Jupiter on the water??’ He let her know that would be fine. Old Balerion had jumped onto the counter and was sunbathing on the window sill behind the sink. He looked like a furry crescent moon, his greyness blackened in silhouette.
“Thanks,” he said mildly after he was finished, putting his plate in the sink. “Can you tell them I’m staying over a friend’s house?”
“Of course, Oli.” He was walking back down the hall when he heard her call again, “Oh, oh, Oli… I almost forgot! One of your father’s old friends came back with him. He wanted to see you – to talk to you, I mean.”
“Where is he?”
“I haven’t seen him since last night. I think he went out. I-I don’t know where…”
“Alright, I’ll find him.” Olivien shut his eyes, concentrating on non-human power levels. There were usually no more than a few on the planet. It didn’t take long for him to focus in on the new one. “Oh, it’s Okinaro.”
“That’s the one,” Jia said warmly. “The fox man.”
“Yeah, I got him. Thanks, Jia.”
Okinaro the Inari was hovering two feet off the ground when Olivien found him. The ocean stretched on in the distance, a darkening purple color as the sun was drifting down towards the horizon’s edge beyond him. Waves foamed against the sea rocks; the man’s grey-white coat of fur swayed back and forth in the breeze. His four tails were poised outwards like a peacock’s feathers. One wild green eye spread open when Olivien touched down.
“Hey Okinaro. Long time no see.”
“You’ve grown, Saiyan.” He found his feet and folded his arms. The Inari was wearing a simple white gi with black bordering. “You know, I wasn’t certain we would ever meet again.”
“What brought you back here?” Olivien tried to remember the last time he’d seen Okinaro and the others… it must have been nearly a decade. Back then, he’d been just a boy, and the memories of those times were run over with a blurriness akin to water, preventing any sense of absolute truth from emerging.
“Your father asked me to come. We can talk about that later. But I plan on staying until at least the princess’ birthday.”
“Yes,” he replied sternly.
Her birthday was in ten days. “Why did you come all the way here for that?”
“Show me your strength, Olivien.”
Okinaro’s form fractured into pure air as he teleported over to the Saiyan, hitting him hard on the chin with an open palm. The boy tasted blood. There was sand in his hair, brightness exploding before his eyes.
“What the hell?!”
“Get up. Show me.”
“Hey, you need to calm down, man. I haven’t been training.” The blood he wiped away from his split lip was bubbling bright. “I don’t want to fight you.”
“That’s not what your sister said,” Okinaro growled. “Chari observed you training in the storm that hit a few days ago.”
“Oh…” Flashes of memory, of his sister and Bulla, their drunkenness, his sister’s impotency, the pain in his forehead… Didn’t drink enough water. The blood and Bulla screaming and Chari on the floor looking up at him as if he could save her. In the end, despite the massive blood loss, a single senzu bean had saved Chari, quenching that day’s drama with cold efficiency. He wished there was a senzu bean for his brain. He wondered if his sister and Bulla had tried sparring again. Probably not. The princess was much stronger than Chari, much more adept in combat. Olivien understood that his own prospects against Okinaro were not much better. “Well, I’m not nearly as strong as I look, I can promise you that much.”
“You look weaker than I was as a pup. Show me your Saiyan spirit, kid! Have you unlocked your species’ transformations?” Oli shook his head, his tail twisting upon itself in irritation. “You have a long way to go then. Your father is worried about you.”
“I know…” Olivien breathed. “I don’t want to disappoint him.” Heat cried from behind his eyes, and he struggled to blink it away. Why was it always that shame that hurt him the most? “I-I should be training more…”
“You will be. I will see to that.”
The boy’s eyes grew wide. “Oh. So that’s why you’re here.”
“Not quite.” Okinaro grunted, falling into a defensive pose. “But for now, I want you to show me your ultimate attack. Hit me with all you’ve got.”
“Okay… I won’t hold back.” The Inari nodded approvingly.
Olivien felt a flush coming on, not unlike hunger or sexual desire. This was his alien emotion, he knew, the one his father told him about all those years ago. Saiyans are different. We like to fight. We’re stronger than humans. If you hit them, you could really hurt them. Don’t ever let your anger get the better of you. His fists raised and he let out a war cry as he charged the indomitable, long-faced warrior.
There was no one else around. That was for the best. “Kyorra Flash!” he shouted, jumping into the air, the sun at his neck, and unleashing the cyan-tinged energy blast upon his foe. Okinaro didn’t attempt to block it. A semi-translucent, whitish aura formed a protective sphere around his body, and the energy attack did nothing.
“Aurora Bomb!” the boy shouted again, this time using his agility to move behind Okinaro before releasing his attack. The ball of ki, roiling with greenish-red ki, flung from his hand like a baseball. It too exploded uselessly against Okinaro’s aura.
“Is that the best you can do?” the four-tailed fox man grunted, not even turning to face his foe. “Your parents’ attacks don’t seem to be working!”
Breathing harder, tasting the salt in the air, Olivien wondered what he was supposed to do. He supposed if his father had gone to all the trouble of dragging Okinaro here just to train him, this would have to go on for weeks, or months, or possibly years. Was his father really that concerned about Olivien’s lack of strength? A dreading, pressing feeling, like iron sunk in rain-soaked dirt, made itself known in the pit of his stomach. He hated that feeling. He hated the power it held over him.
“How about this?!”
His body moved on its own. He was only dimly aware of what it was doing. There was bluish energy in his hand, sizzling with electricity. He found himself closing the distance on the fox man. Okinaro never even twitched. He punched at the man’s face, lunged left, released a flow of reddish ki balls, and spun around again, aiming for a deep gut punch.
Every attack connected, but Okinaro the Unshriven never moved. The wind blew through the rocks. “Jirako!”
A light blue sphere of energy materialized in front of the man, which he grasped with both hands, splitting it apart like chunks of jello. Okinaro’s aura screamed into flame-light. He looked down upon Olivien coldly. All of this happened before Olivien could remove his fist from against Okinaro’s chest.
The Inari disappeared into nothingness. The heat of his fist connected with the back of Olivien’s head, sending him chin-first into the sand.
“We’ll begin tomorrow,” he said. “Not here.”
“Just… you and me?” Olivien gasped, trying to sit up. His scalp felt burnt. His eyes glazed over. Had Okinaro been trying to hurt him there?
“Chari and Bulla as well. I was meant only to train you, but they wished to join.”
“Fuck me,” the teenager muttered to himself.
“You have nothing to worry about, Oli.” Something in the gruffness of Okinaro’s voice was unconvincing. “Your sister is only a marginally more proficient warrior than you. You have the capacity to greatly outclass her within a few weeks.”
His cheeks burned. “Thanks, I guess.”
The waves fell in again. A seagull was waddling across the beach, just out of grasp of those reaching waves. Okinaro was an orange-blue flame, a ball of pure energy. It gave Olivien a headache to even try sensing the depths of his power. His eyes found the sea again just as his phone buzzed in his pocket.
The walls were shaking. Akina was sitting up against one, laughing at the top of her lungs. “I drank the whole bottle of wine!” she was saying again and again. Her voice wasn’t quite in sync with the bass. He laughed; he always liked to laugh. She giggled. “You laugh like a girl!” She was hysterical. “Are you a girl? Do you want me to make you really beautiful for your wedding night, princess?! Ahahahaha!”
“Do it,” he said, not caring about anything. His head was spinning. The feeling of aloofness alone drew pleasure. “I don’t care.”
She had the kit in her hands. Someone entered, moving to a urinal. ‘We are all made of greed’ had been written in marker on the dirty-tile wall. His head was in her lap, jerking, the laughter yet uncontained.
A flush – “Kiss me.” He leaned in; she pulled away. “No, not here.”
“Where? Where?!” he giggled drunkenly.
A couple were moaning in a locked stall, shaking the walls. “Not here. No, stop that! It’s still wet, don’t put your fingers through it!”
Olivien did as he was told. She brought herself to her feet sloppily, so drunk that she could have given a good talking to a wall clock. They were into the darkness together, running like children from the rain, and then she was gone. He was standing at the door, but the arm that had been wrapped around his neck was no longer there. A big fat man with broccoli hair pushed him out the door.
Oli lost his balance, falling to the curb like a sprig of parsley onto pancetta. A hover car roared by, far exceeding the speed limit. Rain dripped from a wax-colored sky as the moon hung yellow and large and nearly full. His breaths quickened and he looked away.
There was something there in the darkness, something watching him. He looked around, sitting up. His center of balance felt like it would never be restored. There was no one – not any pedestrians, not any cars, no bouncer at the door. He couldn’t even hear the music anymore.
“Akina… Akina… I’ve really, really missed you. We should go–”
As the teenage Saiyan attempted to stand up, the darkness became pervasive in his vision, and soon it was all he could see. There was golden, bubbling light, and then blackness again.
“Are you he?” one asked.
The light returned, less gold than grey. They were standing in a rocky, moss-overgrown courtyard. There was daylight shining down through a hole in the ceiling, through which a sparkling waterfall was spilling its guts with moribund care. The stones were dark, shielded in wet luster.
Four cloaked men had surrounded Olivien. Their blackened hoods were pulled up over their heads, and their downcast gazes betrayed nothing about their physical features. “Something is wrong. Perhaps we were mistaken.”
“This boy is the One. I have sensed it. It was seen.”
“It was seen,” murmured another.
“Test him. Prove it’s he.”
Olivien’s head was spinning; he was thankful not to have to think too much. “Who the hell are you guys?” he asked under his breath, almost afraid to say anything to them. He sensed no power coming from any of them, and yet, the stillness in the air, the smell of wet moss… it all gave Olivien a foreboding sense of impending doom. He was sinking and already forgetting.
The cloaked man standing directly in front of Olivien raised his face, revealing twin pools of light, electrified purple and smoky black. A caged animal screamed. Olivien felt something hit him in the chest, felt his ribs crack, and he was thrown back into a wall.
The taste of blood and his breaths, shallower than before, ran through his brain. The energy beam was in his hand, blue and burning brightly in the otherwise low light. The cloaked man was walking towards him steadily. He raised his hand and fired the Kyorra Flash.
The light faded, and Oli was sitting on the edge of the sidewalk again. “A-ki…”
He leaned forward, wincing, holding his chest, hacking up spittle saturated with blood. His ribs were cracked.
No one was around. In the distance, the dark shape of an alley cat jumped on top of a garbage can, clawing at a window.
The door opened and a man stumbled out. Youthful and strong-jawed, his hair was stuck to his rosy cheeks by sweat. It became harder to breathe. His chest fluttered. The taste of blood was yet on his tongue.
Giving Olivien only a passing glance, the man burped loudly and stumbled down the road.
The pain hit him with the precision of suffocating thought. There had only been two things in the entire world that Olivien had ever wanted: to be good, and to be loved. He leaned forward, retching a pile of red gore into the gutters. His fingers were running pink. The rain felt cool on his cheeks.
Breaking from the clouds, West City lay before him, all those assorted blinking lights, some rising higher than others, mocking a starless sky.
Guilt layered upon guilt until all that remained was that old familiar pressing feeling. The moon would be full in another night or two. The urge to look, to let it flow through him, to give into it all, held Olivien there for only another moment. He bit his lip again, tasting blood, and kicked off into the night.
The subtle scent of jasmine lingering in the hallway…
“A girl did that to you?”
He shrugged, putting the jug of mango smoothie back in the fridge.
Oli’s sister could be so stubbornly skeptical sometimes. “Really, Oli? A girl?”
He didn’t like the way she said that. Bulla entered the kitchen, yawning obnoxiously.
“Say hello to our guest, Oli.”
“Helloooooooooo.” Olivien’s voice suddenly went deep and dramatic. Chari’s eyes were so white he wondered if he’d broken her.
“Hey, Oli. Nice hair.”
“Thanks. Akina did it for me.”
“It’s pretty,” Bulla said innocently. “Is Akina your girlfriend?”
He met his sister’s pink eyes. Her look was an old one, a knowing one, a disappointed one. The flush of intoxication that washed through Olivien’s veins then came from being known – better to be a monster out in the daylight than underground.
He’d never wanted to kill himself – rather, he preferred to think that one day he would discover within himself the courage to do it. Today was not that day. “No, forget it. Come on, let’s go. Okinaro’s out back, I can sense him. We don’t want to keep him waiting.” The desperation to escape the guilt was what shocked Olivien the most. He had never wanted to disappoint his father, had never desired to become such a failure as a person, but he was, and he had. When he thought of his past actions, the only thing riled in his brain was the feeling of revulsion.
He thought back to the previous night. Though a senzu bean had healed his ribs, they had been cracked somehow – that hadn’t been an hallucination. Whoever those thugs had been, they had been able to hurt him – perhaps even kill him, if they had wanted to. The shame in knowing that stemmed almost entirely from the fact that he was disgracing his family’s name. There was no way to escape the swallowing feeling that manifested itself as a result.
The sunlight was on his face. “Are you going out with Akina again tonight?” Chari asked him. Bulla ran to Okinaro, who stood calmly in the center of the garden courtyard.
“Oh really? I thought you said you felt something for her.”
When they had kissed, he had felt it within him – a very, very small thing, buried, unformed like a fetal bird of prey, a flame in the dark. “Not enough,” he replied wearily. “Isn’t it the same for you, Chari?”
“No,” she said, wrapping her arm around her brother’s neck. “I’m glad I don’t have it like you, though. That must suck. Isn’t it just cruel?” His sister was grinning, unaware of her power. “You think you can like any girl you want. Your brain feeds you all that false hope, man, and then…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he interrupted her. He wasn’t willing to go there – not yet, not while yet he lived. “Well, at least you’re okay with it. I’m glad you are. It’s better than keeping everything repressed. Does Bulla know?”
Chari smirked and bit her lip, looking away bashfully. He’d never seen her act like that before. Stopping dead in his tracks, his heart sank. “You didn’t…”
The Saiyan boy clicked his tongue. “I didn’t want to tell you this, but I could smell her on your breath.”
He had been waiting a long time to say that. As his sister’s blush morphed into furiosity, Olivien allowed himself to smile as he walked down the path towards Okinaro. Plum blossoms were carried by the wind, fragrancing the sky, and behind him, his sister, for all her embarrassment and anger, was still many, many times happier than Olivien was. They would never know that, though they had perceived the cracks in his public mask. He was a weak and desperate animal.
None of that mattered. Olivien was determined to slay his cowardice by means of Okinaro, and if it took one session or one hundred, that did not matter.
Endnotes[edit | edit source]
- The reason this story is named as such is in reference to the main issue Olivien is wrestling with throughout it.
- The opening memory is similar to one of my own from first grade.
- Tommy (in this story, written out as Tomi) is the real name of that boy from that memory. In the original draft, he was called T. I believe I aged up both Olivien and Tomi for the memory.
- Both Jia and Ledas would have instructed Chari and Olivien to never use their powers in the presence of others, unless absolutely necessary. One could imagine, though, for children as young as this, that it would be a difficult secret to keep.
- I only had minor experience with Overwatch. The "Hanzo main" comment was meant to be cringey, but I guess all I feel now is apathy towards it, for Overwatch isn't a very good game in my opinion.
- Just like Olivien, after Tommy punched me in the face, I got him right back, and he had no stamina. He was unable to take the blow. He shouldn't have hit me in that case. I remember his mother got very angry and my mother told her to piss off, as he had punched me first, and both of them had seen it, too. Stupid bitch bred a stupid son.
- The stuff about Bedbugs and Shark Attack IV references one of my favorite Tim and Eric moments.
- I do not recall if Higasuki was based on anything.
- I quite distinctly remember talking to TUN on the day of my last final in the spring of 2017 (before I wrote this story), asking him if I could base the comedian off of him. He refused it. I tried to convince him for about an hour, instead of studying for that final. Good times. Totally not a waste of time.
- The feeling of loneliness that Olivien feels at being excluded from the fivesome could reference any number of experiences I've had. Notably, Olivien didn't bring a date. He probably could have, but the reason that he did not is at to his main issue in this story - being unable to come to terms with, in a social way (as in, letting others know), that he would probably be dating a male, not a female. Not to say he had anyone in mind (he didn't). Admitting his homosexual tendencies is more embarrassing to him than just going there alone.
- Olivien does train a good deal, but perhaps not as much as a Saiyan should.
- "His friends, if they could be called that, were just people he’d met a few years ago and never shaken loose from." - a cruel way of phrasing it, but definitely an introvert's perspective. This is not to say he dislikes them, just that he's surprised he's still friends with them after all this time, for introverts tend to lose friends as time goes on due to their asocial ways.
- "He never knew what to say or how to say it. Thankfully, his friends were more interested in their dates, and he didn’t have to try to be another social animal like them. That got so tiresome, so weary on his brain. Olivien felt the eyes, even the glances, boring into him like starved leeches. They hammered at him like his father’s fists during a training exercise. An echo chamber spun with breathless, scattered thoughts, half-formed in their instinctual desperation." - I would say this paragraph sums up how social anxiety feels for me every second of the day I'm out in public.
- Despite TUN not wanting me to use him as the comedian, I still did. He never read this story, and I don't need his permission to create a character inspired by him. As far as I know, his stage name was Dangerruss.
- I made Dangerruss slightly more funny than TUN is in real life.
- When Oli looks at that man and finds him attractive, it is embarrassing that he is doing so in public, not just that he is doing so. That is why he has to run.
- I referenced the city as "midnight city" for I knew that I was about to introduce a character who was actually in Midnight City. Great job KV, very clever, etc.
- "He decided to take the train back home, as if to convince himself that he was normal." - the double-meaning here I think is obvious, but that doesn't make it any easier an issue for him to tackle. Oli feels like an outsider because of his sexuality, but also because he's a Saiyan. He could've flown home and nobody would have seen him. He feels utterly alienated, despite all the people around him.
- "He liked to drink to forget, to lessen the burden of being so conscious all the time. It’s hard to be a human being, he remembered – a line from some song his sister liked to play all the time in her room." - that is why I drink, about half the time. The line is from "Baby Blue Sedan" by Modest Mouse. One of their better songs, in my opinion.
- "Life flashed before his eyes in eternal slow motion yet beyond his comprehension for all its speed. “Kiss me.” In the dark, he jerked away. Her number was in his phone. He was on the sidewalk." - firstly, the description of how alcohol distorts time was very difficult for me to write out, but I think I did an okay job here. This is a real memory as well, though the location is different. There was this time where a girl said that to me. I was so drunk I couldn't react in time, and it was awkward. Perhaps not as awkward for Oli. Like I did in One Chop Man, I played with motion here. The pacing between the sentences, in terms of time, is very fragmented and rough, which is a direct result of the alcohol Oli used. Remember, he's fifteen, so even if he considers himself a pro at this point in time, he surely is not.
- Some might say that I'm referencing A Song of Ice and Fire with "DROGO LIVES". But, Drogo is also the name of Frodo's father. "FRODO LIVES" was a sort of meme thing people would graffiti in subways back in the day. I always liked it. As to if it has broader meaning, I suppose it does. LOTR brings me comfort, being my favorite universe. Additionally, the hope that this message conveys should be weighed against its meme status.
- "the brick-crumbling wall just above the single black brick in the ranks. " - this is a small detail, but it will illustrate just how much of my life and my memories are in this story. This specifically references a brick wall at the daycare I attended in elementary school which had a brick wall. There was one black brick amongst the others, which I always found intriguingly odd.
- The scene with the homeless man was something I experienced one night while traveling back home from school, taking the train after a date with a girl. I am not sure how to feel about that experience, or if I should have any emotional investment in it at all.
- The memory Olivien has just before he vomits shows that he's not homosexual. A woman was getting him hard there. It's just... why does it have to be so difficult? And so rare? And not easily reproducible? This is a feeling I get all the time. Like, when I'm into a woman, really into a woman, it feels entirely natural. But then I try to look at porn and sometimes for hours I can just watch women, sometimes lesbians, go at it, and not feel the slightest bit of blood flow. Two seconds later, I switch to men and have a boner. I don't know if there is a name for this feeling. Oli appropriately vomits after he experiences it. It's like, why does nature tempt me? It's like "okay, you're not gay, but you're not going to be able to comfortably get off to women". It's not good. I know there's a "bi cycle" and all, but mine is weird. It's very rare that the women come into play. When they do, it can last days at a time, and then it just vanishes into cold air. I don't get it. It sucks. That is what the vomit signifies though. Just as Oli is getting some relief, so to speak, that he can get off to women, cold hard reality has to interject and make it nothing more than a tease.
- Like Oli, I used to vomit much more often when I was younger. That's not so much the case now that I've leveled up enough in my drinking. He knows not his limits. But also, the reason why he's going overboard is why I was to - the alcohol isn't enough. It never was.
- The use of the moon in this scene was cool. It was also referenced at the start of the scene. The way I wrote it is that a moon that is not entirely full can have produce some tingly sensations in Saiyans who look upon it, but won't make them transform. Again, something else is teasing Olivien, and he's getting no release (aside from vomiting).
- Officer Carrow is featured significantly in Midnight City. It's unclear which city Krillin lives in. If it's not West City, then I guess Carrow got transferred. It would of course be cleaner if Krillin worked and lived in West City, but as of me doing this commentary in September 2020, his city of residence is not known.
- Olivien could obviously break out of the handcuffs if he wanted to, and could just as easily escape the police hovercar. He was simply too drunk for it. He knew he'd throw up if he did it, and also he could hardly stay awake. Also, the only reason why Carrow arrested him was because he was underage, not because he was drunk in public.
- The conversation between Carrow and Olivien is very difficult for me to read. It's basically me having a conversation with some random compassionate person I made up in my head about my own situation in life, which is the same as Olivien's. Probably the most painful part of the entire story for me to re-read.
- It is true that it makes my social anxiety one hundred times worse.
- The man in the overcoat was someone I encountered at a train station once. He did everything, in real life, that he does in this story. That is, except for the part where he gropes Oli. I added that in because the man was so drunk, I figured he couldn't tell if Olivien was a boy or a girl, which naturally goes well with the name of this story.
- I think Chari sensed Olivien returning home. Not easy to sneak around your family when everyone can sense ki. Not to say he was powered up. These two have long since honed their ki sensing abilities to be able to tell even when they drop their power signatures to regular human levels.
- Olivien acts nonchalant around Chari as a matter of habit. He did the same thing in Country Matters. It's a more stark act in this story, as we just saw the turmoil he went through with Carrow. Those feelings are no less raw now than they were when he spoke to the officer. He is just supremely uncomfortable emoting around anyone, even his twin sister.
- Chari is one to talk. She's like 100% lesbian. She should have some empathy for Olivien. I mean he did meet a girl at the club. Her dismissiveness fuels his emotional isolation. He doesn't tell her how he really feels because of mocking comments. That she was surprised he had hooked up with a girl is telling, but it's not like he's 100% gay like her. He likes girls, it's just a weak attraction, a maddening attraction that will neither die out nor grow to such power as to be useful.
- Akina originally had a different name. I changed it during the editing phase to protect the privacy of a girl I went out with a couple times.
- I'm a lot like Chari, only I have like 18 silicone dildos, not just one. That's not to say she only has one, but surely she doesn't have 18 if she's stashing them in her underwear drawer. I've always wondered why lesbians like dildos. You'd think they wouldn't be turned on by a phallic object at all. I guess some things aren't intuitive. It's hard to imagine how a lesbian thinks when I am not one.
- It's likely that Chari's dildo is a Bad Dragon Nox. At the time I wrote this story, that was my favorite one.
- Olivien trolling Chari by pulling out her dildo definitely crossed a line. I don't think it's bad, but that's because I'm Olivien. I recognize that others would be extremely offended and embarrassed by it. I don't know, I don't find handling others' dildos to be that bad, and I'm a pretty hardcore germophobe otherwise. I don't know why that doesn't gross me out.
- The fact that Oli cared so much about appearing lame in text messages to Akina shows that he does genuinely like her and could probably fuck her.
- That Bulla comment was savage and also probably true.
- Olivien's room is based on my room. I also have a bunk bed and sleep on the top bunk.
- I love my Balerion kitty, he is my favorite kitty. In the Dragon Ball universe, he is much older than in real life, for this story takes place roughly 14 years after The Great Sushi-Eating Contest, where Balerion is first mentioned. I dunno how old he is in that story. I think Ryori gives Ledas Balerion as a gift at some point. Perhaps in the West City Saga (which won't be posted to this site) of Heart of the Dragon.
- The contrast between wanting to form a relationship with Akina, and needing to fap to a dude, is a very real and shitty reality. Desires are not free will is basically the point of the end of the second scene. He wants Akina, but he needs to fap to a guy. There's a difference there. I don't think he would've responded to her text, regardless, as he was lying in bed about to fall asleep, but her texting him back just as he gives into primal desire is a very interesting moment.
- The man whom Olivien masturbates to was not entirely described in the same way in the first scene that he was in the second scene. That was done on purpose. When Oli goes to fap, he focuses on different features than what he first honed in on in the club. All of that was sadly deliberate on my part.
- Ledas was pretty much only gone in the third scene because I didn't know how to write him with his children yet. If I'm being entirely honest, I still don't. I know there's one scene with Oli and Ledas in The Space Taco Bandit, but it's a short scene, and Olivien was possessed by Watagash, so he wasn't acting normally. I still have yet to write an interaction with Ledas, Chari, and Olivien three years after Country Matters and Girl were published. Not sure if I ever will, before that issue is tackled in Heart of the Dragon.
- Jupiter is the name of a bar in Berkeley, California that I visited with a date once. Nice place. I had like 5 glasses of wine there.
- My Balerion also likes to sunbathe in the window sill behind the sink of my house.
- Okinaro having four tails in this story is a massive spoiler for Heart of the Dragon, but was required to show.
- Okinaro and Olivien are two of my favorite OCs. Having them interact in this story for the first time (not timeline-wise, but in terms of my own writings) was very rewarding. It's a relatively light scene, which contrasts from the depressive mood up to this point in the story.
- The storm that Chari observed Olivien training in was indeed the one in the first scene of Country Matters, showing that these two stories take place within days of each other. Arguably the third scene of that story and the first scene of this story were only one day apart.
- "He wished there was a senzu bean for his brain." - Olivien desperately does not want to have homosexual thoughts/inclinations.
- Olivien is actually not that weak at this stage, but he hasn't unlocked any Super Saiyan transformations. I think he just needs the correct emotional moment to do so, for his base strength at this point is certainly high enough.
- Okinaro did his best to humiliate Olivien with his Jirako attack in order to motivate him to want to become stronger.
- Okinaro is trying to motivate Oli by telling him that Chari is more powerful than he is. That is obviously not true - she hasn't trained since she was a little girl. This was one of those lies that is not obvious, however, unless one has read both this story and Country Matters.
- "Of The Night" by Bastille is one of their best songs, in my opinion. I know it's a mash-up/cover, but it's superior to the songs it's covering for me. This song is also Olivien's theme song.
- I once went back to a girl's house and she had drunk an entire bottle of wine before I got there. She also thought I laughed like a girl. Again, personal memories here transposed to Olivien. The setting is different for him than me.
- Akina offers Olivien no release, fading into the night like a memory.
- Dragons of the Dawn are using a lot of improper grammar I see.
- The Dragons of the Dawn are a faction who will appear in The Last Saiyan. They confuse Olivien with Nir here. I guess this is what became of the Wepeel plotline.
- The lair of the Dragons of the Dawn that is shown in the fourth scene will be a place that Nir spends a lot of time in during The Last Saiyan. He will train there. I may also show this place in my as-of-yet unnamed story about Tights visiting the southern islands where the Makyans live to get inspiration for a novel she is writing. But yeah, this place was carefully crafted and thought about. This is not a throw-away scene by any stretch of the imagination.
- Olivien let his guard down when the Dragon of the Dawn attacked him. He is obviously far stronger than any of those Makyans. He was drunk and didn't expect it though. That is something he will learn about when Okinaro teaches him to really be a warrior.
- This is the third story in 2017 that I wrote which featured the Dragons of the Dawn. I guess they were heavily on my mind at the time.
- I am actually quite proud of the parallel line of thinking with giving into looking at the moon and giving into primal urges here. I had forgotten I wrote that, but it ties this story into the Dragon Ball universe, and Saiyans in particular, very nicely in my opinion.
- "The subtle scent of jasmine lingering in the hallway…" - this line hints at the more stream-of-consciousness style that will take over for the next two stories in Ikigai. This line was only added in as I edited the section.
- Olivien, like myself, is very fond of mango.
- "When he thought of his past actions, the only thing riled in his brain was the feeling of revulsion." - this is most often the case during the refractory period.
- "When they had kissed, he had felt it within him – a very, very small thing, buried, unformed like a fetal bird of prey, a flame in the dark." - basically describing my sexual feelings towards women for the most part. As I've said before, sometimes it's strong enough to actually be meaningful, but those instances are growing rarer the older I get, it seems.
- Chari's conversation with Olivien at the end was added in during the editing phase. I wanted to go into that topic in a more specific way - not just the tension of bisexuality, but specifically of his bisexuality, where he is attracted to girls just enough to remain interested in them, but knows that he won't be able to have sex with them many times in a row, or date them, or even form long-lasting bonds with them. Yes, he wants the pussy sometimes, but the feeling is too rare and too spread out over time to allow him to have a girlfriend. And yet, and he cannot get rid of that craving, either. It's really quite a terrible situation to be in, I must say.
- Bulla and Chari are together as of this story. I am happy for them. I think Olivien is slightly jealous of Chari being a lesbian and being able to find a girl and be happy, while he is mentally fractured and lonely and torn between two extremes in the way he is. Whether or not Okinaro's training will give him confidence, strengthen his resolve, and make him feel less shame is unknown, but at least it's a start.
- It's likely, but unconfirmed, that Chari performed cunnilingus on Bulla.
This story is difficult for me to analyze, being so personal, being so riddled with my own memories and experiences. I think the prose is pretty good, though I would change it slightly were I to re-write it today. A bit repetitive in some parts, I think. But the evocative images were well-written, in my opinion. The descriptions of how and why Olivien felt shame, guilt, and lust were well constructed for me. I especially liked the scene with Okinaro and Oli. That lifted my spirits a bit. I guess this story was cathartic in a way. I'm not in the place I was when I wrote this story anymore, but there are still vestiges of that in me to this day. I don't think I'll ever be fixed. Like Oli, I am messed up, and that's how it will always be. Maybe I will get some relief, eventually, but that is not for me to yet know.
<---- Part 91
Part 93 ---->