My Reclusive life (complete)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
My own true story of why I came to be living this hidden-away, reclusive lifestyle.

Submitted: June 12, 2015

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Submitted: June 12, 2015

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HikikomoriBoy - "My Reclusive life..." (Extended version) (Complete)


Hello. It is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. My given name is Akihiko and I am from Japan. I added this addendum to my profile because some people were curious and asking for more details on why I came to be living this hidden-away, reclusive lifestyle.

This is my story...


 

I am a young man living in Tokyo, who’s life has been significantly shaped, some would say cursed, by an overly-timid disposition that makes conforming with the world around me something of a struggle.
In my culture, it can be hard to be an individual. Japan is a country of conformity and group thinking. Individuality or uniqueness can be seen as undesirable, particularly among the older generation. There is an old saying: - 'deru kui wa utareru' (the nail which stands out is hit), and although my culture is very slowly beginning to change, this saying still holds much weight.


Here in Japan, an excessively gentle or overly-timid boy does not necessarily fare well in this patriarchal society; a society with a social structure stuck in the past, dominated by arrogant, aggressively-assertive older men who seem to strongly disapprove of anyone not like them. It is especially like that here in the city where a high pressure, slave-like and unforgiving work culture takes precedence over everything.
I have never been afraid of hard work, but it's the absurdly harsh, pressure-cooker, 'live-to-work' working environment, so common everywhere now, that I cannot bear to be a part of. Here, most are expected to live for the benefit of their employer, often to a fanatical level, and you must be seen to be happy at all times doing so. Overtime is usually compulsory, involves very long hours and more often than not, is unpaid. Everyone here is trained into the compulsion of telling you they are very happy in their job, even when clearly, they are not.
This is a big part of modern day Japan, especially here in the city; it is unforgiving and dehumanizing.


I know to the rest of the world, Japan has a reputation for having one of the politest and most courteous societies on the planet, which is mostly true, but it also does seem to have a very poor tolerance for the unassertive, the overly-timid or the excessively gentle-minded, and from my own experiences, I have observed that post-pubescent males with these traits tend to make easy targets for bullies from all generations, and they will often find themselves singled out for abuse.

It is much harder being a boy with such traits to live in Japan than being a girl. Our society is very set in its ways and is agonizingly slow to embrace change. It expects specific types of conforming behaviours from the different genders; Timid, bashful, unassertive or excessively shy behaviour are all generally considered feminine traits. For a pre-adolescent boy to display such traits, well, that is okay, but if those traits continue into high-school age or beyond, it becomes an issue.
Experience has taught me that those who have the biggest issue of all with this behaviour, seem to be the older-generation, especially salarymen. Unfortunately for me and others like me, Japan, especially Tokyo, has an awful lot of them.

During my regular commutes to high school, mostly on public transport like the metro, I have had a number of terrifying run-ins with these older salarymen who had taken issue with my overly-timid demeanour, and felt offended by my apparent unwillingness to communicate with them.
I have always been very uncomfortable conversing with strangers, even on good days, and it shows in my awkward body language and nervous one-word answers if pressed for a response. To me, salarymen, especially the older ones, can be much more intimidating than regular strangers. Many of them seem to have anger issues and sociopathic tendencies which makes them even more intimidating. I have learned to give them a wide berth, wherever possible.


Normally the Metro is an environment where strangers seldom talk to each other, which makes it slightly more bearable for me to use when commuting to school. I always prefer to stand even if seats are available, and I will use headphones or earbuds, often without any music playing, in the hope it will reduce the chances of strangers talking to me. However, despite my attempts to make it obvious I want to be left alone, I do not always get my wish.
Home journeys are always the worst. For some unknown reason, it seems like I attract a disproportionate share of these older-generation salarymen to me. They will make a point of sitting close to me, even if the carriage is empty, and then start talking to me.

In my culture, the older-generation are still automatically afforded great respect, so if spoken to, it is expected that you will answer both respectfully and courteously. This is not ideal for someone with substantial social anxiety issues such as my own, and it is one of the many reasons I dread travelling the Metro.
I have vivid and painful recollections of at least three separate occasions in the past few years, where my lack of communicative abilities with some of these men, have caused them great offence. Each time, the results were the same; a confrontation where I was subject to an unsolicited and aggressive barrage of angry and hurtful words, insults and even threats of violence.
With a crippling fear of physical violence, I can vividly recall the massive sense of intimidation and terror that flooded my mind each time as I stood there in the busy metro carriages with no means of escape. My heart would be pounding in panic, the pulse of blood in my ears almost drowning out the sound of the train and causing me to feel like I would pass out as I was forced to endure the angry verbal assaults and fist-shaking threats from these suddenly-turned-aggressive men.
On each occasion, these attacks left me shaken up, physically trembling and feeling nauseous for hours, if not days, afterwards. They have only served to increase the sense of dread and fear I feel when travelling the Metro and they have helped push me even further inside my already isolated shell.

I am very glad to say however, that during one of these incidents, I was rescued from my nightmare by intervention from kindly bystanders. Seeing how terrified I must have looked, three complete strangers got out of their seats and came over to help me, intentionally standing between me and the man to shield me from him. There was a firm exchange of words between the strangers and the salaryman, until a well-dressed and wealthy looking grandmother who was sat opposite him, probably in her eighties, started talking angrily at him in a raised voice. As soon as she started speaking, the salaryman instantly shut up and she proceeded to give him a very public dressing down. The man hurried off the train at the very next stop a few minutes later.
Total strangers in a giant anonymous city, spontaneously banding together, potentially putting themselves in harms way to help protect a terrified schoolboy from an adult bully; I was embarrassed, but also eternally grateful to those strangers who stepped in to help me that day. Their actions were kind, selfless and wonderful, and they helped to restore a little of my faith in humanity, helping me to realize that there are still good people out there, and that not everyone has an issue with my nature.


Sadly though, episodes like this, and the other incidents I talk about below, have occurred with disheartening regularity and I suppose it is inevitable when exposed to such things, they are going to influence a person's outlook and perspectives on the world.
In my isolated and sometimes lonely world, meeting new people, or just getting on a train, going to a shop, or even just being outside in public can feel like running a gauntlet. I generally try now, to avoid most interactions with any male appearing over the age of 40, especially if they are wearing a suit, just to lessen my chances of meeting more sociopaths like those salarymen on the train.
It is so sad to me that the beautiful country I was born in, and love in so many ways, can also feel like such a scary and intimidating place to live now, all because of the social programming of a lot of its people.

 

"Assert yourself," well-meaning people have always told me, "do not be so timid, stand up for yourself, do not be so shy, stop being so quiet all the time, why are you so afraid of everything?" while those less polite will just tell me to "man up” or “grow a pair”.
I have had these, mostly well-intended, but ultimately damaging words barked and growled at me my whole life; a never-ending stream of unsolicited reminders that I am not 'normal', not the same as everyone else, that I am different and I don't fit in to peoples pre-defined expectations, therefore something must be wrong with me and I need mending.

To add more pressure to the situation, and without intending to sound vain or conceited in any way, I am very aware that I was born with natural good looks. I have some Nordic in my bloodline from my great, great, grandmother's side, which has given me paler skin and natural double eyelids (western eyes), both of which are popular, highly sought-after features here in Japan and in Asia as a whole. Such traits provide cosmetic surgeons with an endless stream of business from people trying to mimic them.

People have commented all my life on the way I look, especially about my eyes, some call them a blessing. But having lived with them all my life, I tend to think of my looks differently.
The way I look has made forming 'genuine' friendships quite difficult. Shallow though it may seem, having yourself a highly photogenic friend here will add many kudos points to your social standing and even your family's reputation, which is great for you, but not so good for your photogenic friend when they realise you only want to be around them and be seen with them because of how they look. This situation has happened to me on many occasions in the past, where I have ended up being befriended, and then paraded around like a puppy, brazenly shown off as if I were some kind of one-upmanship trophy. I would always try to make my association with such people a short-lived one, although trying to detach from them will usually bring its own set of stresses and upsets.


I perhaps should have enjoyed the idea of being popular and sought-after at school, but my crippling shyness and timidness just made it stressful and exhausting. Over time, these incidents, and others like the examples below, taught me to grow wary and even suspicious of people wanting to befriend me. By the time I had reached junior high school, I had built an invisible and fairly impenetrable wall around myself, rarely letting anyone in.

I believe it was having good looks and an overly-timid nature that also put me into some terrifying situations that occurred from when I was about age twelve. There were a number of incidents where people tried to befriend me, only to end up trying to molest me. In some cases they turned aggressive and violent when I recoiled or tried to get away from them, but in one particular case when I was fourteen, a very sinister incident happened.

The perpetrator was a part-time volunteer coach at junior high school, who I had got to know and trust through my after-school track club activities. Over the few short months I knew this man, he was always especially kind to me and was very easy to talk to. I grew to like him a lot, he even got me to significantly lower my invisible wall to him, which was quite an achievement at the time.
I would regularly volunteer to stay behind after my club activities and help him clear the track equipment away before I would get changed and go home. One day, as happened often, we were the last two people on the sports field site. It was getting dark and I helped him to pack away the equipment.
I remember this moment like it happened yesterday, it is imprinted on my brain in more vivid detail than any other event in my life; The smells, the sounds, the temperature of the air, the texture of the floor under my feet. It's all there, and I don't doubt will be there for the rest of my life too.
I was alone in the changing rooms getting changed to go home. I had my back to the door when I heard him open it and come in. I was about to remove my white running vest when I sensed him rush up from behind and grab me. I knew he could be a bit of a practical joker and at first I thought it was just horse play. I actually laughed out for a moment, but then I suddenly felt something sharp pierce me in the neck. It really hurt. I yelped with the sudden pain as I instinctively tried to pull away, but he held on to me tightly. Then moments later, with a strong metallic taste in my mouth, a dark mist flooded into my mind, and everything went blank.

The next thing I remembered was waking up on the changing room floor feeling very disoriented, like I'd just awoken from a very deep sleep. I was laying on my back and I could see the coach kneeling beside my legs. I could feel him moving them apart. He suddenly looked startled and anxious as soon as he noticed me looking up at him. In a panic, he immediately scurried to his feet, and ran out of the changing room.
I was very confused. I felt groggy and nauseous and slightly terrified as I started to gain my bearings. My first thoughts were that I must have passed out and I assumed he had gone to get help, but as I lay there for a moment regaining more of my consciousness I started to notice a numbness and stinging pain on the right side of my head. I reached up and felt pain as I discovered a gash on my right temple, then I realized my face, my white running shirt and the floor area beneath my head were all covered with my blood. Had I not been so disoriented from the sedative, I think I would have panicked more than I actually did at the time. I felt an urgent compulsion to sit up and that's the moment when I noticed that my running shorts and underwear had been removed.

It took a while for the gravity of it all to register in my dazed mind, but slowly I started to piece together what I thought had happened. I saw an empty syringe and hypodermic needle laying on the floor beside me and I came to the realization that I had been drugged. The sharp pain I had felt in my neck when he grabbed me was him injecting me with something to render me unconscious. I did not know why my head was bleeding, although one of the doctors I saw later suggested I may have fell and hit my head as I went unconscious.
As I sat there on the cold, hard changing room floor in my dazed and disoriented state, I was still trying to figure out exactly what was happening, what he had done and what I should do. Then my current state of undress re-registered again in my mind as I noticed my clothes strewn on the floor several meters beyond my feet. I felt a wave of nausea come over me as I finally figured out what that pervert was doing, or at least, was planning to do.
I figured that he wasn’t expecting me to wake up when I did, that is why he panicked and ran when he saw me awake. I was fairly confident that I had woken up before he had the time or opportunity to do anything more serious, I mean, apart from the forced drugging.

Suffice to say, a lot of drama unfolded that evening, involving the police, an ambulance, lots of questions, and even a face sketch artist. It was overwhelming the genuine kindness, care and love I was shown that night by so many different people in authority, all of whom I had never met before, including the kind police lady who held my hand in the ambulance and stayed at my bedside for more than an hour afterwards whilst I was in the hospital. Their actions, once again, helped to restore a little more of my faith in Humanity.

Nobody ever saw the volunteer coach again. It was like he had completely vanished, in fact, it was like he didn't even exist. When they went to his house to arrest him, it was an empty derelict property that had not been lived-in for decades. His other background details all turned out to be forgeries and dead-ends. Even his references were false. One of the detectives said that the man had probably been planning this sexually motivated attack from the moment he'd arrived in the area and was just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. The detective was very kind and tried to reassure me that it was most unlikely the man would ever see or approach me again, explaining that his profile fitted that of an opportunist rather than someone more dangerous. I am not sure if that was true or not, in hindsight I think he was just telling me these things to put my mind at ease. Although he did not say it aloud, I could tell he was not optimistic that he would be caught.

To this day, I think this case is still open and unsolved. For me, the saddest thing of all though, is how much I had grown to trust him, without suspecting a single thing about him or his intentions. I actually really liked him. I really enjoyed his company and he seemed so 'normal' and genuinely kind. I would have trusted him with anything.
What hurt more than the betrayal of trust, was how he made me feel; As if my existence had been reduced to that of a worthless disposable object. To be regarded as just a piece of meat, without any acknowledgement for my humanity, my spirit or the fact I was a living, breathing entity with a soul. It is difficult to explain the scars such an event can leave on the mind, or how difficult it can be get over and move on. Even now, several years later, the nightmares still know where to find me and sometimes pay me a visit.

 

I suppose it is inevitable that these incidents, and others, have had a cumulative influence on the way I look at the world, and on my ability to trust people. They have only served to reinforce my need, desire even, to embrace this reclusive, hidden-away life of seclusion.
To me, it actually feels like a good way to exist. Staying out of people's way in general has helped reduce anxiety levels and keeps me from feeling like I am in danger all the time, which is a plus as far as I am concerned, but I suppose it is not really what most would call 'living'.


Karate
I should say at this stage, I have made concerted efforts to rid myself of this excessive timidness and anxiety, but sadly, those attempts have been unsuccessful so far.
If I were to describe it, I would have to say that it sometimes feels like I have been given the nervous instincts of a gazelle, which would be fine if I were living wild on the Serengeti and needed these instincts for survival, but living in Tokyo, it has made life quite awkward.

Ever since I was a young boy I have been easily scared or intimidated by the mildest things or situations. Something as simple as a door slamming, or a loud voice, could be enough to trigger my panic button and send me ducking for cover. Thunder storms also, have been very problematic. I remember on a holiday with my parents to Okinawa when I was age 15, a sudden and unexpected thunder storm sent me into a panic while I was visiting a temple. To compound matters, I had gone there alone, while my parents visited a different attraction nearby.

I sat, cowering and trembling on the ground next to a wall within the temple, trying to keep calm while the thunder raged outside. A young temple monk came over to me. When he saw the panic in my eyes and realised it was from the thunder, he immediately sat down and huddled up close to me, calling to some of the other monks to come and help. In a few moments, there were six monks huddled around me, shielding me from the storm, their arms held over and around me in a gesture of protection.

Their kind actions had provided me with a great deal of comfort and relief, knowing I wouldn't have to face the storm alone. Huddling together with me was the best, most effective thing they could have done. I was so relieved and grateful. They stayed with me until the storm had passed, calming and reassuring me until I stopped shaking.

There was something very good that came from this incident, I struck up a wonderful friendship with the young monk who had first found me. We remain in regular touch and we have visited each other's homes several times now.


It was assumed that I would grow out my timidness as I got older, but by age eleven I was still exactly the same and had not changed one bit. My well-meaning parents, trying to do the right thing, decided to send me along to Karate classes to try to toughen me up a bit.
On first meeting with my Sensei, he told my parents that he saw this sort of thing all the time and he was adamant he could have my confidence levels turned around in just a few months.
My Sensei was a decent and kindly man. He spent a long time working with me to try to address my distinct and very noticeable lack of bravery; a very visible body-language badge that acted like a homing signal to bullies of all ages and backgrounds, who felt compelled to give me a hard time.
Sensei taught me the different forms, stances and moves in Karate and I picked them up quickly and easily, much to his delight. He said I was a natural at them. Unfortunately, the forms and theories were all I was good at in Karate. The practical application was another story. Whenever he tried getting me to use my learned skills to face an opponent, it was a disaster every single time.
To say I was not very good at facing an opponent is an understatement. Despite my solid grasp of the theories and moves, it all fell apart whenever Sensei put me in the ring with an opponent. I would see him holding his face in his hands shaking his head from side to side as I cowered, flinched and even ran out of the ring as soon as the fight started, leaving my opponents stood there scratching their heads and looking perplexed.
Realizing I was going to be more of a challenge than he first thought, Sensei decided not to put me back in the ring again until he was confident I would be able to handle myself and fight back. He worked diligently with me, and after many months of hard work and training, we both thought we had solved it, and I was ready to face an opponent in the ring.
Sadly, we were both wrong.
Next we tried a method where he just continuously put me in the ring to see if we could coax some bravery out of me by force. I was open to trying it, and I tried my absolute best, but every single time, all of my training and hard work completely vanished in the face of my opponent's attack, and once again I ended up in a panic, cowering or trying to get away from my opponent instead of fighting him.
It is hard to describe, it was as if my brain was hard-wired in such a way, that its own self-defence mechanisms, mostly panic, engaged at the slightest sense of danger, and despite me trying so hard, those mechanisms seem beyond my ability to tame or control.


My poor Sensei. He was so patient with me, but after almost two years of training, he had little choice but to write me off as a lost cause. He came to my house and very apologetically explained to my parents that there was nothing more he could do for me. Sensei told my parents how my grasp of the principles and forms were superb, but it was the look of complete terror on my face every time I faced an opponent that told him I was just not Karate material. He confessed to my parents that he grew to hate putting me in the ring, because seeing the look of panic and fear in my eyes every time he tried to make me fight, was giving him a guilt complex. He suggested to my parents that I might perhaps fare better in a monastery than in a martial arts dojo.
Sensei was genuinely sad about having to let me go. I think I was his first ever hopeless case. I was sad too. Sensei seemed like more than a mentor to me, he had become a kindly and protective grandfather figure, who's presence, and lessons I enjoyed very much. They offered me a welcome respite from the world outside of regular bullying and aggravation that was making my life so miserable.
After my catastrophic failure at Karate, I began to realize the possibility that my excessive timidness and anxiety really was hard-wired into my brain, and was here to stay.

 


Ren
In total, there have only been a few people I have really felt that I could call true and genuine friends; There was Ren, from my early school days. He was my first and only real childhood friend, a very confident boy who was perceived by others as being very tough. Ren was thoroughly versed in three different forms of martial arts and because he regularly attended and won competitions in them, most of the kids in our school knew who he was. Few ever gave him any trouble.
They say opposites attract. Ren and me were no exception to that rule. We both seemed to be at opposite ends of the personality spectrum, so different to each other, yet from a young age we were the absolute best of friends, inseparable. We always got along so well and had so many great times and adventures together. For me, part of the magic was that Ren knew my nature. He knew I was overly timid and easily scared, but he never judged or hassled me about it, he just accepted it.
One day he admitted that it was something he actually liked about me. It was a strange thing for me to hear, and also the first time I had ever heard anyone say something positive about my naturally timid state of being. I remember how happy his words left me feeling that day.
Throughout our friendship, Ren was always quite protective of me. I think he enjoyed playing the role of being the protector, and I was more than happy to be the beneficiary of his genuine protection abilities. Ren would not tolerate anyone saying bad things about me and most of the kids in our year knew about it. Despite me being the target of regular bullying at school by some of the seniors, I believe my known association to Ren prevented the bullying from being a lot worse than it could have been from my own peers.
For as long as I live, I will never forget one particularly scary incident where I had been cornered by a few of the senior school kids in the park not far from my home. They were pushing me around and generally tormenting me for their twisted amusement like they always did. It appeared I seemed to anger them with my inability to speak or reply to their taunts. I think they saw it as some sort of defiance which made their torments get progressively more nasty and twisted. The truth was that I was just too intimidated by them to answer.
This particular incident had tuned a bit more nasty than usual. They had already hit me quite a few times and I was scared senseless not knowing what else they were going to do to me. I tried running away but they just caught up and started punching and kicking me as I curled up in a ball on the ground to try to protect myself.
As if orchestrated by some unseen force for good, Ren just happened to be walking across the far side of the park and saw me in my predicament from a distance. He immediately sprinted over to us and without a single moment of hesitation he leaped up and grabbed the leading bully, quickly wrestling him to the ground. The bully got up and tried to attack Ren, but Rens martial arts training had taken over his actions. He darted swiftly around the lunging bully and lashed out, yelling with a lighting fast and very hard punch to the stomach, instantly putting the bully back on the ground again and causing him to start gasping for air after being winded. It all happened very quickly, and was over in just seconds. Ren, now red-faced in a complete rage and completely pumped with adrenaline, turned to face the other two bullies. I'd never seen him looking so enraged. His angry stare was so intense, it was enough to scare even me, and he was on my side!
One of the bullies immediately turned and sprinted away while the other hurriedly helped the winded bully to his feet and without saying anything, but looking very shocked, they both hurried away, beating a hasty and wise retreat.
It felt like something straight out of a Hollywood movie, yet it was completely real. I had never seen anyone be genuinely brave like that before, or had seen a real act of heroism, not in real life. I was still laying on the ground, my vision blurred and sparkling in the sunlight from my tear-filled eyes, never more relieved or grateful for Ren than in those moments following my rescue. Ren was trembling slightly as he quickly crouched at my side to see if I was okay. I was very shaken up and teary-eyed from the pain of the beating I had received, but I was okay.
Seeing my best friend there, feeling his protective hand gripping my shoulder, his look of deep and genuine concern for me, despite my trauma, it was one of the most magical moments of my life. Until that day I had never knowingly met a real-life guardian angel, but now there was one crouching right in front of me, and his name was Ren.

Sadly Ren had to move away with his family when I was about eleven and I lost the best and most wonderful friend I had ever know. The day he left was one of the saddest days of my life. We both cried when we said our goodbyes and I must have wept, on and off, for days afterwards. It was like I was going through a grieving process. In truth, I don't think I ever fully recovered from loosing Ren.

 

After that, things started to fall apart in my world. Ren was the only person I had known who accepted my overly-timid nature without trying to change me or give me a hard time about it. I had no idea how I would ever find another friend that would come even close to that.
For the next few years, life got fairly lonely and miserable.
I tried to keep my head down and just concentrate on school work, but once Ren had left, it felt like open season had been declared on me and others by every bully in the school. The bullying was quite relentless and soul-destroying. Every time I went outside it felt like I was running a gauntlet, trying to reach my destination without being seen or spotted by those wishing to do me harm.
It was a miserable few years that only served to reinforce my need to stay out of the way of other people, especially those of a certain profile that were more likely to give me a hard time, which in my overly-anxious mind I had worked out to be, rightly or wrongly, at least three quarters of all males and a quarter of all females. I realise my figures were highly inaccurate, but that is how it seemed at the time.

 

Naoki
Eventually I made it to senior high school and thankfully the bulk of the worst bullying subsided significantly. Most of the bullies had moved to different schools, and those remaining seemed to have other things on their minds that demanded their attention more than I did. There were still isolated incidents, little reminders that I was not completely out of the woods, but nothing on the scale I had endured during high school.
It was at senior high that I met Naoki, the only other person that I felt I could call a true and genuine friend. In fact, Naoki was the only person at school whom I had ever plucked up the courage to ask to be friends with. I realised as soon as I saw him for the first time that he seemed so much like me, he radiated an energy I instantly recognised, causing me to feel a strange, but strong connection to him.
Naoki was wary of me offering him friendship, almost in the same way that I was wary of others who wanted to befriend me, and at first he refused, implying he didn’t need any friends and that he preferred to be alone. That is when I saw it; That exact same invisible wall that I had built around myself. It still seemed so sad to hear those words coming from him. As soon as I heard them I instantly knew that Naoki had been hurt, possibly in the same ways that I had been hurt. That is also the moment I knew we had to become friends. Despite my shy and timid nature, something inside compelled me to keep working on him, and eventually, after some persuading, he reluctantly agreed to become friends with me on a trial basis. We started off as homework study partners. Once we got talking however, we quickly discovered we both had so much in common and were much more alike than either of us had first imagined.
Both of us shared a similar quiet, gentle and timid disposition and had suffered many similar life experiences as a result of it. As we talked more, I could actually see Naoki's spirits lift and brighten as if he had suddenly gained a sense of hope, possibly for the first time in years. I clearly saw it in his eyes, that moment he realised he may have finally found someone he could call a friend, without that friendship ending up abusing him.
Naoki quickly abandoned his trial friendship period with me, and for the second time in my life I had someone I could genuinely call a real friend.

We completed school together, much happier people than when we were alone. Just having another person in our lives that fully understood each others predicament was a priceless benefit during the stressful exam years.
Naoki and I remain best and loyal friends to this day. Since leaving senior high school, we have both ended up living intentionally reclusive lifestyles, figuring out together how to hide ourselves away from the world by choice, but stay happy in this busy and overcrowded city.
We have grown really close, much closer than we were at school, and we are always there for each other, our similar timid dispositions and matching life experiences fuelling the unbreakable bond of loyalty that now binds us together. Naoki is such a gentle and caring soul who I am so lucky and honoured to have in my life. I couldn't bear to imagine life without him.

So this has been my story so far in this relatively short game of life. All these events and more have helped shape me into the person I am today; an overly timid boy who is trying very hard to stay out of this harsh society's way, hiding as best as I can, but at least with one good friend to help break the cycles of loneliness. It is not a perfect living scenario, but at least I am able to survive and exist in this world, free to be the quiet and timid Human being that I am, without the constant pressure to be something else, something that I'm not, and without the ongoing battle of trying to fit-in to the expectations of a society that just seems incapable of accommodating or accepting me without it leading to mistreatment or abuse.
I hope that this was interesting to anyone reading it and perhaps it may have offered a different perspective on the world. Either way, thank you so much for reading my story.

Please do let me know if you read this or my other work, and let me know if you enjoyed reading it.
Thank you
Akihiko
xx


 

 

 


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