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The Taming of the Yandere

 

V2 Chapter 10: A Gratitude Gone Cold

When the sky immersed to complete darkness, I dragged my fatigued body home.

Since the time was later than what I expected, I ran straight into evening rush hour. The bus was crowded both inside and outside.

The cumbersome bus inched painstakingly through the dense traffic, and I stood on my toes to look out the window.

I was almost to my breaking point, and kept pleading in my heart to whatever god was out there.

If there really is one.

Why are there so many people in our city?

Why are there so many people in our country?

Why are there so many people in our world?

There are too many humans, the number of us has already fallen out of nature’s pattern. Humans have exceeded the magnetic field of the environment, suffocating the space of other living creatures as well as itself.

To survive, we’ve locked down our bountiful, natural habitat with our own conscience.

Loose grains of sand have become solid, durable skyscrapers.

Soft mud has become asphalt roads that stifle the earth.

Rivers that flowed wild have now been cut to uniform, and marshes with variating depths have been plowed to the same bed.

The green earth was draped on a multicolored, patched dress, and the blue sky is smudged on by faint blotches of ink.

The lakes that are Earth’s veins, have hardened. The wetlands that are Earth’s kidneys, have become stone. The ground that is Earth’s skin, has decayed. And the sky that are Earth’s eyes, have clouded over.

If we were to personify the earth as a human, then what are humans themselves?

Evil, sinister cancer cells.

Every human is a mutated cancer cell; we’ve transformed from healthy cells to intellectual ones. We’ve broken through the wall of growth, and have multiplied uncontrollably. Our cities and villages are ugly tumors, growing over every inch of nutritious land on the Earth.

There are disgusting tumors everywhere!

This was the death sentence of cancer cell growth, or also known as the population explosion after the Industrial Revolution.

Some people would keep a loved one’s cancer cells in an apparatus after they die, so it would be as if they were still alive. *

 

*I have no idea if this is true or not, and I don’t want to find out.

Because cancer cells can split and grow indefinitely, they would live forever if provided nutrients.

But if the Earth died of cancer, will we have a same apparatus that we can live in as cancer cells?

From the speed we’re going, destruction is inevitable.

It’s not going to come today, or tomorrow. It might come the day after, and it’ll definitely come after that.

…..

At least today, I’m not going to die. I’m still young, so this invasion of living space is bearable.

But I’m a bit nauseous, am I going to have a heat stroke?

I shook my sleepy head awake, and fought through the crowd. Finally, I was spit out from the packed public bus.

I swiveled sluggishly from the main street to a local alley. The more I walked, the less people there were on the road. I let out a breath of relaxation.

After waving hello to the elderly guard at the gate, I trudged heavily to my apartment building.

I looked at fifth floor. The lights were still out.

No emotions rippled in my chest. If I’m not wrong, they’re going to “surprise” me again.

I climbed up the stairs, and arrived at my house’s door. I pushed it, but the door was locked.

Did Jiang Muqing and Mom go out? I fished my keys from my pocket, and turned the lock. But the door wasn’t locked from the outside, but rather inside.

This means that there are still people in the house. So there is a “surprise”. I chuckled bitterly.

Right when I opened the door, a black shadow shot out from behind, circled my legs, and jumped to my arms with ease.

I lowered my head to look, it was the black cat from Jiang Muqing’s house.

“Meow, meow….”

Its furry body rubbed against my chest, along with its sharp, dark claws.

I guessed that it wasn’t very happy with me from its baring teeth.

Is it hungry?

I’ve been a little annoyed by it recently. Not only does it need to be fed daily, I have to specifically buy its kibbles from the pet store. Although the money Jiang Muqing left a while ago completely surpassed her costs of staying at our house, I had to run every time to the store myself to get it, wasting large chunks of my time and energy. Those could never be measured by money.

I opened the door, and flicked on the light.

This time, the lights had turned on nicely, so Jiang Muqing and Mom didn’t pull the master-switch prank.

What “surprise” is there? I was curious.

I looked around, and discovered a couple dishes placed on the dinner table. Their color and shine were vibrant and colorful, but it seems that they’ve gone cold.

Did Jiang Muqing make these? I still remember that horrifying taste clearly. I could never survive her good heart; I’ll see if her cute pet would be able to take it.

So I pinched a piece of braised pork with my chopsticks, and dropped it in the cat’s bowl. I let down the cat in my arms for it to eat.

The cat actually wolfed it down with lightning speed. It must be hungry enough to eat anything!

I dropped a bigger piece, but its appetite didn’t change.

The cat would never make a “it tastes good” expression like me in response to Jiang Muqing’s good heart.

Is it possible….

I curiously picked up a piece of meat, and bit down.

?!

“It’s good!”

This pork’s fat wasn’t greasy at all, and melted right in my mouth.

Although it was a little cold, if it were to be heated in the microwave for two minutes, it would definitely be delicious.

It seems that Jiang Muqing is really talented in cooking. So she improved this much after yesterday’s disaster with my mother.

So, where is she anyway? There should be someone in the house.

I stood near the table, and glanced around. The kitchen was dark, and the other rooms weren’t lit either…

Where could she be?

….

Finally, I found her behind the front door I passed through earlier. The sleepy girl was curled up against the tall shoe cabinet, hugging her knees together with her head tucked down.

Mom doesn’t seem to be home, Jiang Muqing was the only one in the house. She made dinner already, but the set chopsticks and bowls around the table were untouched.

She was waiting for me to come home….

This girl….

Mysteriously, a feeling of self-guilt rose in my chest. Argh, if you made dinner already you should just eat first, why do you have to wait for me? I never said when I was going to come home, and asked her to wait for me.

Anyway, I should get her out of the floor, nothing good will come out of her getting a cold.

“Hey, hey, Jiang Muqing, go to bed if you want to sleep.”

I shook her awake.

“Fan….”

She drowsily lifted her head.

“Stand up, or your stomach will get cold. I know it’s summer, but the floor is still chilly.”

My voice had some slight concern.

“Fan is finally back!”

As soon as she saw me, a streak of light flashed across her face. She tucked her legs, and stood up at once.

But her legs had fallen asleep from staying in that posture for so long. She lost her balance, and fell to her side.

I quickly caught her.

“Are you alright….”

I asked guiltily.

“I’m okay!”

She found her balance hurriedly.

Seeing her happy, excited state, my heart felt sour. I completely don’t deserve that expression of yours! This idiot.

“But, the dishes that I made from the cookbook have gone cold. Auntie told me that these were the food that Fan likes.”

She gazed sadly at the dinner table.

“I’m sorry.”

The more enthusiastic she was, the more uneasy I felt.

“What’s wrong, Fan?”

The girl looked at me curiously.

“Don’t do this much for me anymore, I….”

I lowered my head.

I felt that I couldn’t just accept any of Jiang Muqing’s good heart, this will only make her rely on me more. It worked backwards against my curing.

“Does Fan not like the dishes I cooked? I will work harder.”

I felt the shoujo’s strength and determination.

“You’re already the best….”

I managed to force a smile.

….

As long as I’m here….

Any gratitude would go cold.