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04 April 2009 @ 10:51 pm
Double Dose [Mima-centric] [Perfect Blue]  
Title: Double Dose
Character: Mima Kirigoe
Fandom: Perfect Blue (film)
Genre: Psychological
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1,445

Double Dose

It happened again. For some odd, esoteric reason, she received flowers. Again (she emphasized). A beautiful bouquet (perfect for an idol, perfect for her). She was the idol of all idols. And so, it was natural that her fans would bring her roses.

Mima is gorgeous.

“Mima is unmatched.”

(Rumi stared into the hazy glass window, glazed over by humid summer wind and the sooty clouds of adjacent urban streets. She saw her chubby face, morphed, beaming back with a one-thousand-watt smile.)

“Mima’s famous smile!”

Mima is so lovely.

(She brought the flowers to her nose and inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of success of wonder of triumph.)

“Thank you for the flowers.”

(The other girl—nearly identical, through a frosted mirror—nodded and left. Left Rumi to her girlish delights and illusory dreams.)

-

“Will she ever snap out of it?” Mima asked.

The psychiatrist shook his head and muttered out a bottled explanation. Something about diverging personas and never finding the right tracks after the initial deviation, she couldn’t wrap around all the finer details. An aberration, any fluctuation, it didn’t matter: Mima kept hoping.

“I see.”

“But you’ll be coming nonetheless?” he asked.

She gave a small laugh and pushed her sunglasses away (to stare straight into the sun, like issuing a deathly warning). “You can count on it! The second Saturday of every month, I’ll be here with a bouquet.”

“You do know that it’s hopeless at this point? The original Rumi persona has almost completely disappeared.”

“Yeah but that doesn’t matter. She helped me so I figured I should return the same favor.”

He looked at her quizzically through thin, steel frames, wondering if he heard her straight. “Wasn’t she the one who almost killed you?”

Mima smiled (the genuine one). “Yup! And I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Slyly, the doctor checked to see if she was maniacal too.

-

Right foot first

Carefully, Mima exited the train and entered the bustling streets of an ancient, overturned city. She stepped lightly to the side and adjusted the right sandal strap (“damn thing’s been bugging me for an hour”) and pushed out her hip in a model-esque pose.

“And cut!”

“Did I do all right?”

“You did fantastic, Mima, as always. You really know how to act the part.”

“Well, I did do some amateur modeling before CHAM. And it wasn’t hard once I got into character and all.”

“Great, great. Say, why don’t you go ahead and take a break? Be back by…fifteen? You’ve been working hard all day.”

“Sure, I’m dying here actually.”

Right foot first

Mima bolted straight, slammed her head against the handrail.

“I-I—”

“Not to worry, Mima. You’ll get it again. Remember: right foot first.”

“Was that a…dream?”

“What are you talking about? You okay? Come on, this isn’t like you. Say, why don’t you go ahead and take a break?”

-

Orders from doctors were never to be disobeyed (under any circumstance).

Mima grimaced at the pills, shook out two and downed them both in one sweeping gulp. Quickly (frantically) she reached for the water, placed smartly on the table corner, and swallowed that as well. One, two, three, and she felt better already.

Really.

There was no point. She was fine now (it’s not like she was the psychotic one). And so, Mima decided then and there that the pills would serve to benefit the trash bin more. And swiftly—no regretting—Mima tossed out the lot.

There. Now, I’m really recovered,” she said with a laugh.

(Except: only the ghosts were there to hear her speak.)

In the morning, Mima rose earlier and cheerier and sweeter than she had for months. She took special attention in selecting clothes, brushed her hair until it shone—literally was a pool of volumized gloss—and applied makeup with artistic patience.

Dab, swipe, and pat.

Mima hummed as fingers flew and lips parted, puckered, blew.

“Fabulous.”

And a wink and a dash and off she ran head-long into the streets.

-

“Oh, Mima, you’re looking fantastic today! New haircut?”

Mima grinned. “Nope. I just got up earlier and thought I’d try something new. Sort of like a bounce to it, don’t you think?”

“I see. Well, anyway, you look beautiful.”

“Thanks. Rei-chan, do you know if the new producer will be in today? They said he might stop by for a visit…”

“Yeah, I think so. I think he wanted to meet you, actually. Something about your therapy sessions?”

“That. Right. Well, if or when he arrives, tell him I’ll be in the studio.”

-

Her hands shook like they were holding two burning coals, searing through her white, lady-mimicked skin, burning with the honest intensity of long subdued thoughts. She steadied her grasp and carefully lined her lips (smearing around the edges) and puckered up for the lipstick.

Red streaks over her cheeks, drawing harsh lines along smooth plains.

Mima cursed (what’s wrong with me—her?) and tried again. Again, she failed. This time longer the lines and deeper the crimson and less assured, suave, and satisfied her strokes. Brush, blot, blow. A kiss for the fans! Mima tossed out the messed tissues, frustrated and shaky.

“Why can’t I do anything right?”

You’re such a fake. A flaky, flaky fake!

She reached for the (nearly emptied) plastic vial, scrambling to ingest what’s left. Desperate fingers touched hard bottom.

All gone!

“No. I—I just filled it up three days ago…”

It’s better this way; it’s what you deserve.

Mima collapsed, fatigued, dispelled into a dry, throaty groan of rolled-over unconsciousness.

-

(October 24: 9.00 morning. Patient: female. Admitted: psychotic neurosis.)

-

Soft light filtered through cheap wooden blinds, hitting her thin, cracked eyelids ferociously. Mima winced, rubbing her eyes rapidly, and jarred awake. Automatically, her hands roamed over her body (two legs, two arms, check) and felt light, unfamiliar cloth covering her.

“Where am I?”

“The hospital, dear.” The mental hospital, dearest.

“What for?”

“Clinical hallucinations and paranoia.”

Oh.

-

By the third week there (because she had behaved so well) the doctors conceded just a bit. They allowed her to go outside for “special excursions” and always not an inch beyond the towering hedge-walls of the hospital ground.

Still, she could wander around the gardens (with minimal supervision). And that would suffice. Mima recalled the patients from Floor Thirteen and shuddered.

They were the “crazies” (termed by the nurses who sucked away at cigarettes, spitting out watermelon seeds against a blazing summer sun). They were the terminal patients.

And eventually, countless days along treatment, Mima wondered if maybe she would become one of them too. Only prettier and with expensively engineered synthetic skin.

During the day, Mima made friends with some of the other patients, always subtle enough to inquire just the minimum on Rumi.

So have you heard…

They stared back with blank expressions and void-eyes, not knowing what to respond. Like robots with their programs wrenched out, they moved in a hollow gait along shadowy paths and kicked-pebbled alleyways.

-

“That girl, Mima, wasn’t she a famous singer-actress-model-something?”

“A few years back she was a sensation.”

“And look where she is now.”

“Tragic.”

“Ironic.”

“Oh stop, don’t be mean.”

-

Six months passed with no extraordinary occurrences, no miracles (and no misfortunes). Mima counted her days as pieces of luck, scattered petals she gathered to her breast and breathed life into them. And wove them into a fabric leading to “recovery”. (Just what recovery was—would be—she still had no idea.)

And one day, by some stroke of genius, she answered the questions perfectly and convinced the doctors that she was “healed”. They gloated among themselves and agreed to release her the following week.

-

“She’s stopped sleep-talking.”

“And her other persona seems to have disappeared completely.”

“She’s relatively stable now.”

“Let’s just observe her for a few more days to be sure.”

-

The night before departing, Mima dreamed of dancing microphones and blaring stereos. She waltzed sideways along marble pillars, jumping from one to the next like a gazelle across uncharted savannah.

And as she glanced over her shoulder (the sharp, angled, boned blades rising and falling with the rhythmic coursing of fresh blood and an agitated heart) she saw herself trailing behind not too far back.

And together, they jumped over the ravine and collided with soft, dry grass. And when they held hands (helping each other up) they blended as one.

-

“Mima! Rise up, sleepyhead. Your big day is here!”

A nurse searched around the room quizzically. Mima had vanished.

(And so did Rumi from the other side of the wing.)