Alternate Dimension (Part 36)

We arrived at Hatsuya General Hospital (筏谷総合病院), where Kotomi was working at and headed to the director's office. It was easier to get to from the basement parking lot than to the main entrance. I have been here before: I was brought here after the hit-and-run incident, and one of my classmates at the Miharu Academy was hospitalized here between February and May 2005 in the other dimension due to a coma. I don't know what she was like before she was hospitalized, but I was told that she is my childhood friend and between the time she was discharged and shortly before the summer holidays began, her behaviour has been odd as she doesn't seem to know who she is, let alone know other people. She still knows all the subjects that were being taught, except National History.

Before I knocked on the door, I heard the director's voice from inside indicating us to enter. How did he know that I'm right outside?

Director: "Those guys at the Gunma branch told me all about you: you were the Itsuki behind you right until almost exactly 2 years ago. Is that correct?"

Me: "Yes. That's..."

Director: "Well, they downloaded your memories and your bio right until your arrival here tells me that you have had a lot of things happening during those two years, including my niece's death that didn't happen here. What I'm more shocked about it is that, except for the lack of the Y-chromosome, your DNA with the Itsuki behind you are exactly the same."

It seems that there is more about me that he didn't say, though he did show my bio on the screen as he talked. Wait, did he indirectly said that Kotomi is still alive? Where is she?

Director: "You might recall Kotomi doing something to your device after the 2005 school festival. Well, she came back here at that point. She told me the horrors of knowing she could have died, and how she can't get closer to you. She's currently preparing for the commencement of her studies in a Californian university she has been accepted into."

California? Isn't that in America? How did she get in there? Either way, she's too far for me to reach. I'll would wait until she returns around her graduation. Can't wait to see her reaction.

I heard the voice of my male self from behind. I feel odd hearing my voice from an another person when it's not me saying it at all.

Itsuki: "So, this forever-sixteen girl is the original owner of myself? Don't make me laugh! Okay then, master! Hehe!"

He whacked me unnecessarily as he was laughing. It wasn't painful, but nevertheless, it's annoying. That professor is right: my appearance as a cute girl younger than him, and me not being able to express my anger and frustration means that he sees me as a joke and not take me seriously, though, ironically, I might do the same thing if I were him since you could do things to the girl (me) and notices that she doesn't get angry at all. I can still express my anger in writing, but not as effective than if I were able to shout it out.

Itsuki: "Let's see... The paperwork for her current school has been taken care of. You and her iris and thumbprints are exactly the same... Ah! Saeko, here's your passport, birth certificate, and so on. Oh, as for the documents to the ownership of your houses, they are in their respective houses. Just how rich are you? Certainly richer than me."

Please, I don't want to talk or know just how rich I am. Hm? This birth certificate... The design look genuine, but it's usually only those born this year would see this particular design as theirs. My year of birth seemed to have moved forward by 3 years, making me 15 latter this year.

Director: "As for your parents, just show them the documents I just gave you, tell them something that only you, as their child, and Itsuki would know. Oh, Saeko, one more thing. The current Kotomi might not know this, but the Kotomi you saw killed might have seen this set of documents in this box I'm about to show you."

The box was well hidden, and the labels on it were in German for some reason.

Director: "Some time ago, my sister, who is also Kotomi's mother, volunteered to be a teat subject of changing the gender of a fetus midway during its development in the mother's womb. The experiment was conducted during the development of 3 of here 5 children, with Kotomi being the first. The experiments were successful with the traces of them being supposed to have developed into the other gender have disappeared. That's what we thought until they grew up. The reproductive system for their current respective are working as they should, but the same can't be said for their personality. What I heard from my sister and her three children in question had personally told me that their mentality were as though they were born in their original gender. It wasn't obvious because social expectations forced them to behave the other way. Their body hormones makes them even more confused about themselves that they even told me about how odd their body is being developed during puberty even though it's considered normal to others. This would partly explain as to why she was attracted to you since 2004, but doesn't know why herself: mentally, she's actually not interested in you."

How sad, her body forced the mind to be interested in me back then. No wonder she doesn't seem to know why she is hanging out with me quite regularly back then.

Director: "As for her younger siblings, they are still too young to tell for sure, but it's apparent that the second youngest child is behaving quite feminine. The remaining two children that were not part of the experiment are behaving just as they should. The father, however, saw it as me creating mutants out of his children. So the children, most noticeably Kotomi, had not seen much of their father as he does not want to see any of them except the 2nd and 3rd eldest children mentioned earlier. Due to the age gap, Kotomi does not talk much with her siblings either."

Me: "I didn't want to butt in too much into her family affairs, but I'm surprised that Kotomi went through all that and could still achieve achieve top scores."

I had already regretted playing around with the machine that cloned me: I am now vulnerable to be controlled by someone else anytime and I can't relief the stress that has been building up inside me by myself. Looking back, the events that prevented me from returning to my original self are:

  1. My mind was transfered to my clone's body (as mentioned earlier)
  2. The machine that cloned me can't repeat or revert what it did to me: it has been fixed after I found out my mind had been swapped with the clone. I thought I was the clone's mind until then.
  3. An unknown doctor in this hospital forced me to wear this competition swimsuit that is mysteriously impossible to remove like it's now part of my skin. (It also made me forget what it is like to take care of myself since I don't need to now.) I wonder who that was?
  4. I wasn't in my original body when I returned to my original dimension. That made the machine that transfered me between dimensions think that I don't exist here and created a new entity so that I could come here.
  5. Everything in my original dimension is now messed up because of no.4. Nothing major though.
I feel like killing myself for the regrettable actions, but I can't even if I wanted to because of no.3 mentioned earlier. It's also the reason why I can't relief myself that has been building up: you don't see stressed at all because it also forced me not to express my unhappiness on top of the frustration of not being able to express them. It's a wonder how I haven't exploded yet or be able to talk as though I am calm and patient. I tried to do what I know to relief this stress that has been driving me crazy. Since nothing happened, it means that it didn't work. Say, I wonder if Itsuki could help me? He is like a twin of me after all.

Me: "Say, can you help to relief my stress for me? I can't seem to relief it myself no matter how I tried, and it's getting worse."

Itsuki: "W...wait! What are you thinking? We're siblings you know."

What came out of my mouth sounded as though I was playing around and grabbing his attention. No I'm not! Though, I already gave up trying to show my seriousness since I can't. Oh wait, what if I scribbled a note and showed it to him? Since I could think angrily, that means that this restriction does not apply to in writing. Let's see if it works...

Look, I don't want to do it too, but that perverted professor designed it that way. It's been accumulated for so long, I could explode anytime now. I was already angry when I first met you. Even angrier when you made fun of me. The reason why it didn't seem that way is that he designed it in such a way that I can't express anger or even say that I am angry. What I just said earlier was meant to be in a serious tone. You can imagine just how STRESSFUL I AM! YOU SHOULD BETTER RELIEF MY STRESS FOR ME OR MAKE ME FORGET WHY I WAS STRESSED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

I gave that note to him and gave him some time to read. Itsuki doesn't seem to know what to make of out of this: I wrote an angry note to him, but I had a puzzled look while he saw me writing, giving the impression that I was possessed when I wrote it. I wrote an another message.

Me: "What I just wrote is true..."

I heard myself saying that in an uncertain voice. Although I still know what I was angry about, Itsuki did something to me to have all the stress to have mysteriously disappear. It seemed so simple and easy, but why can't I do it myself?

Itsuki: "Shall we go to our parents' place now? I don't want to hang around here for too long."

He now seem to be more serious about me: he now knows that my external expressions may be completely different from how I feel inside. I may show a happy calm face when I'm actually angry and frustrated, which, if anyone knows about this, would be cautious on making fun of me since they can't tell if I am angry or really am happy.

Chapter 8


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