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Stigma of a Rose

A Kasumi ½ side story
by Adrian D. Moten

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Introduction: This story occurs just before Chapter 1 of Kasumi ½.

There's my Ranma, walking from the gates of Furinken High School, next to Akane. Probably on their way to Ucchan's to pick up a couple of okonomiyaki. He always did have a healthy appetite.

Ranma. A shining example of a real man if there ever was one. Handsome, honorable, loyal, strong, brave, courageous, skillful, nimble, a little slow on the uptake— not a bad thing as I like my men to be smart, but not too smart. He can even be romantic, when no one is trying to force him into such situations. Is it any wonder why I am so far in love with him?

Too bad he thinks I'm some whacked-out, psychotic bitch. Worse, yet, I can almost never prove anything to the contrary, it's so much stronger than I am. A compulsion, a need, for my world to become so distorted, the only thing that can live in it is… Her.

God, I hate Her. I hate everything that She represents. I hate how She took over my life, and in one day, destroyed my entire image to everyone. When I was little, She only appeared every so often, which prompted a servant to pop me a couple of tablets of Ritalin. Everyone thought that I was just suffering from a short attention span. How wrong they were!

Maybe I have Mother and father to thank for my condition several times over. It was more than likely hereditary. If it wasn't, then it was beaten into me on a near daily basis. Mother liked abusing me, especially; they say I was the spitting image of her, so I guess that, to her, it meant a lot for me to succeed it everything I do, to achieve what she never could have at my age. She was so merciless, hitting me with anything, and oftentimes everything, she laid hands upon for the smallest of infractions, like putting my elbows on the table at dinnertime, or a small misstep in a practice routine. A perfectionist, she was, and I was far from perfect.

That was when… She… began taking over. Each day, She stayed out a little longer, adapting to Mother's endless punishments. At the time, I was so relieved that I myself wasn't feeling anything from Her long sessions of perfection, I didn't care how long She hung around.

I thought I had control over Her, and for a time, I truly did. I could call Her at will, and She'd arrive soon enough. It felt so good doing that, like I was on top of everything. Of course, I wasn't, as I soon found out, and quickly. Mother died from a heart attack when I was 8. The coroner said it was a stress-related case. I could verify that claim, as she was furious beyond even her twisted limits with me; just as she found me, she grabbed her chest, choked out a cry, and fell like a stone from the sky. My entire world ripped at the seams. Father lost his mind, or what little remained of it as he let my beatings go unnoticed (… i thought he said that i was… his little princess, and that he wouldn't let anything… hurt me…), and for some reason, he became obsessed with Hawaii. He even left me in the care of the servants so he could pursue his new 'love'. My brother, who did suffer at father's hands (probably so he wouldn't have to face me and my tear-stained face, the coward…), withdrew into his own fantasy world, where he has control over his destiny, where he is noble, strong, courageous… he wanted to be like how Ranma is now, though neither of us knew of his existence then.

As for me, I wasn't so lucky…

… She became me.

Not a dissociative personality disorder, far from it; I have the exclusive honor of being the first person in the entire known family tree to be bipolar. Manic-depressive, it's better known as. As a reward for becoming the first, I have probably a very unusual case of that damned disorder— my highs can run for days, even for several weeks at a time with no rest. That is when She comes out to play. When my lows finally do hit, they can be just as long, though they rarely are: a couple of days tops, before my highs (and She) take over once again.

At my highs, She arises and becomes a maniacal, violent girl, malicious, vindictive, and shameless. Someone who gets what they want, no matter what it takes, and goes to the extremes to do just that. Anything She doesn't want to believe in, it's buried under a mountain of delusions… like Ranma's little problem of changing into a girl when subjected to water. (She tries to kill him- or is that her? - because She views her as a thief who's keeping Her away from Her one and only love.) When my lows eventually come, She fades away, and I have to shut myself away from everything, else I will kill myself, the depression hurts so. Feeling every scornful remark, seeing the horrified looks that She gets, hearing Ranma refuse Her again and again, all the feelings of hurt and grief-stricken shame that She should be feeling is dumped onto me. I'm made to wear Her heavy pack until it's light enough for Her to shoulder again, just to refill it with the heavy truths that She refuses to accept and begin the cycle all over again.

Once in a great while, I am myself. Not Her, not suicidal, just myself; the warm, happy, loving, caring, kind me of long ago. I miss myself. If I met Ranma as myself, who knows? Maybe we could have been engaged or something of the like, instead of him being engaged to Akane. Not just because that I want him for myself, which is true, but I believe that I would be much more suited for him to like, to trust, to love, to marry and bear his children…

Akane doesn't deserve him in my unbiased opinion (hell, all of his other fiancées don't deserve him either, especially not myself in my current state). She loves him, but she'll be quick to deny it, even bashing Ranma whether he deserves it or not (some of his hurts are her fault completely).

She's going to lose him one day, if she isn't careful, and she better be very careful; when Ranma came back from his vacation with the oldest sister almost two months ago, he seemed different, a lot more different than when he left, though it's all very subtle. It's like he matured overnight or something. Akane noticed it, too, at least I think she did, but given a few days, and she dismissed it, that is if she ever thought of it-!

Oh, Ranma, Ranma darling, whatever did you say to that harridan this time for her to hit you all the way back to her homely place?

Argh! Not now! I will not let Her come back out, not now! Stay put! She will not get out today, She won't…!

Good, I'm getting more control of Her, at least for now. Maybe in a couple of days, I can visit Ranma, as myself, not as Her, the Black Rose, or the extremely depressed girl who could be kin to Ryouga. Just me, Kodachi Kunou, the nice, sweet girl that desperately would like friendliness, kindness, even love given in return for her own.


Author's notes: This is a little exploration into the mind of Kodachi. The idea came to me while I was I was watch a video in Abnormal Psyche class. One case study was of one woman who was suffering from manic-depression, and I based Kodachi's persona on what that woman was experiencing (though Miss Kunou's problem is a little exaggerated). After all, she is suffering from some mental problem and bipolar is the best I can think of to fit the bill.

This wasn't planned for it, but Stigma fits in nicely within the folds of Kasumi ½ (maybe Kodachi will get a big part in the coming chapters, time will tell). BTW, Chapter 3 should be finished and posted sometime this week, I hope.

Comments? Critiques? Contact me at raemowse@aol.com

Till then.

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