Publication date: February 14th, 2016
“We’re just deviants, that’s all. You, me, Taka. We’re deliciously, wonderfully deviant.”
Seventeen-year-old Miho has spent years struggling to deal with the aftermath of a tragic accident. Between the nightmares, PTSD, depression, and her parents’ abandonment, the burden of being the sole survivor has her near her breaking point. The darkness whispers to her, promises of release from the pain, from being a burden, if she is willing to give up.
While the girls love classmate Shinji’s blond hair and blue eyes, to his father it’s all the proof he needs that his wife was unfaithful. Unwanted and unloved, Shinji is used to his mother’s hatred, his brother’s indifference, and his father’s violence. Male or female, he doesn’t care; his regular string of sexual partners helps him temporarily forget that he will soon have to leave the only person he loves, if he can survive that long.
As the first-born son, Shinji’s best friend Taka has known from birth that his future was not his own. He’ll go to the right schools, get the right grades, take over the family business, and produce a perfect heir with a perfect wife, just as his father dictates. Taka’s wants and desires are irrelevant; he can’t change his fate nor escape it, any more than he can protect the only person who keeps him sane.
Drawn to one another like moths to a flame, the three find themselves torn between what society deems acceptable and a happiness they never dreamed existed.
Walking back home, I kept a slow pace to give myself a few minutes alone to say my goodbyes. “You were a good boy, Mitsu; the best dog in the world. Remember when I got so sick, you wouldn’t even leave my side to go eat and made kaasan bring your dinner along with mine? And whenever I got home, you’d always wag that tail so hard I half expected it to fly right off. You made me happy to be home, even if I wished I could just leave and never come back. I’d have never left without you, though, not ever.”
I paused, forcing back fresh tears, unwilling to risk anyone else seeing me cry. The girl at least had been part of it, but random strangers on the street? No. That much of my pride was still around at least.
“I’m sorry, Mitsu. I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. I should have picked you up when I answered the door, or locked you in the house while I got the seal. I should have made that damn delivery guy close the gate. Why did he leave it open? Why was I so careless?” My voice broke again as I gave his body a light squeeze. “I love you, Mitsu. I’ll never forget you. I promise. Don’t worry about me. You head on up to the heavens now. I bet it’s a paradise up there with meat-covered bones and steaks and cats too stupid to run as far as you can see.”
When I reached the house, I spotted his stuffed bear by the door. It had, in a way, been his own pet. He’d carried it all around the house with him and wouldn’t go to sleep without it. It was missing both eyes now, but still it was as if the bear were glaring at me, its sightless face seeming to scream out accusations over my mistakes.
“I’m sorry…your owner’s gone. He went to be with my granddad.” My voice hitched as I stupidly tried to explain things to a teddy bear. I reached down and picked it up, putting it on top of Mitsu’s bundle.
Seeing it there, its little bear arms seeming to hug his body was the final tipping point. I let my grief explode and cried in the rain like a child as I mourned my dog. For those few minutes, I stopped caring what anyone would think. All I cared about was that he was gone and would never return.
Deviations will be on sale for $2.99 from March 27-April 1st!
Anma Natsu is a Texas-based writer of stories that explore love in its various forms, including how it can be both good and bad parts of our lives, sometimes at the same time. Her not quite conventional stories span a range of genres but rarely follow the standard fare.
When she isn't writing, writing, voraciously reading manga and light novels, playing too many video games, and hosting her own podcast, Anma works as a web developer and steals all the free time she can to snuggle with her sweetie and her pets.
You can find her online at AnmaNatsu.com. She's also active on Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads.