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A SILENT VOICE: THE MOVIE

STORY ARC NO. 3

TEENAGE WASTELAND


( THIS STORY ARC MAY BE TRIGGERING TO SOME PEOPLE, AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR PRE-TEENS. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. )


Previously

Although Shoko Nishimiya has been cruely and obscenely bullied for several months now, the 'tables have been turned' due to an investigation by the Principal, upon recommendation of Mrs. Nishimiya. With the culprit of the bullying being fingered as Shoya Ishita, he now comes in for bullying himself by the other students, as retribution for the demeaning way he treated Shoko. But when Shoya physically assaults Shoko twice, one time drawing blood, she leaves and transfers to another school, leaving Shoya to deal with the violent and painful aftermath that his actions have brought upon himself. As the months and years go by, has Shoya learned anything at all from his misdeeds and ostracism ?

Sequence of Story Arc No. 3

Begins five years from the time that Shoko was transferred to another school. Both Shoko and Shoya are now seventeen and in High School. Shoya makes plans to commit suicide. However, his one last task is to apologize to Shoko, but he spontaneously asks her for her friendship, thereby forcing a delay in his suicide. Tells of the events of the day that never was to be, the day after his suicide, wherein he is still alive and must pick up and continue living, at least for the time being. Ends at the conclusion of the day that should have never been.

The Movie Continues

Five years have passed . . . . Five long, cruel, unproductive, socially destitute, academically feeble, excruciatingly sorrowful years ! Plenty of time to reminisce on past sins and deeds, but has eighteen year old Shoya really done anything to make things right ? However, one thing he is absolutely certain about---that he is going to commit suicide. It is even marked on his calendar in his upstairs room---April 15th. He has already prepared for it, quitting his job, selling all his belongings, and withdrawing all of his college savings and leaving them in an envelope by his mom's pillow. A dream that Shoya has the night before, the night of the 14th, tells him exactly what to do. And now it is the morning of the 15th. Just before noon, he quietly leaves the house, with just one more duty to fulfill, before he 'ends it all' !

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( Program Note: The events and dream described in the Prologue Part 1, The End of it All ...., occur here. To keep events in chronological order, reread Prologue Part 1, then return here for the rest of the events that happen on Shoya's eventful day. )

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Shoya tiredly walks along the lane decorated with cherry trees, now in full blossom. Wearing the brown suit and tie of the high school that he is was going to graduate from, he is on one last personal mission. Walking into the educational and office building complex, he gets off the elevator on the correct floor, and finds the sign that states---

" Sign Language Learning Class "

Turned

In a hallway, as he slowly opens the door to a classroom to look inside, a cute, attractive teenage girl, wearing the school uniform of a shirt and blazer, and a plaid, pleated mini-skirt, walks out of an adjacent door into the hallway. As she walks past him, he turns to the side to see who she might be, and the picture of a twelve year old Shoko Nishimiya is quickly superimposed and overlaid with the live version of an seventeen year old Shoko Nishimiya ! She walks on by, but Shoya goes after her calling her first name, even though she can not hear him. He then touches her shoulder, and gently turns her around to face him. A worried and apprehensive look comes upon her face, as she tries to place who he might be. As Shoya introduces himself, her look is first one of puzzlement, but then morphs into that shy, innocent smile that she has always displayed. Finally, when recognition kicks in, her expression changes to fear and anger, and she turns on her heels and runs.

As Shoya cries out and follows, Shoko hurriedly descends a flight of stairs to the next lower level, and tries to hide behind a low wall and handrail. Shoya catches up and finds her, with Shoko bravely standing up to face him. Shoya simply explains, in sign language, that he wanted to return this to her---her 'Notebook for Communication' that he had tossed into the fountain's water, so many years ago ! A very surprised Shoko now signs that she wants to know how it is that he knows sign language ? He signs back that he learned sign language specifically so that he could communicate with her this one last time ! Shoya then thinks how to sign that he is sorry for the trouble that he had caused her years ago, so that he can be done, and head for the bridge for the 'Final Countdown'. Then, for seemingly one last time, he sees her shy smile. With an unplanned, lightening quick impulse, Shoya instead signs the very sign that Shoko had signed to him so many years ago, so many times---

" Can we be Friends ? "

Shoya turns away and smacks his own face with his hand for being so obtuse, so quick to bare his soul. He only now comes to realize the full implications of what he has just done. He only wanted to apologize to Shoko, and tell her of his sorrow and regret for his past misdeeds and the bullying of her. He had planned on this prior to his suicide, and nothing more. Nothing ! But it dawns on him ! As such, to be able to be friends with her, that is going to take more time, much more time. This means that with one quick comment, given from the depth of his heart, he will need to postpone his suicide. In that same moment of his realization, Shoko holds up the notebook to cover her face, as her eyes fill with pure horror. Soon, her eyes are wet with tears. Shoya can only think to sign,

" Don't cry ! Please don't cry, Shoko ! "

ScaredShokocrying

As Shoko stands motionless, trying desperately to fight back tears, Shoya's mind begins to clear of the intense drama that has just taken place. He takes a mental note of how unbelievably cute, and incredibly attractive seventeen year old Shoko Nishimiya has become. Why her Moe Factor 'is over 9000!' ! And as her Moe Factor begins to anesthetize him, he muses that this beautiful, innocent girl in front of him is the same girl that he hated so much back then . . . . Which brings up another reason that he must delay his suicide, or so he tells himself. He has not been punished enough for what he did to her so long ago. He now knows that he doesn't deserve to die just yet, not until he has been properly and thoroughly punished . . . .

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It's the morning that was never meant to be for Shoya. The morning of the 16th ! The morning finds him sleeping on the bare floor, in the bare upstairs room, in his only set of casual clothes, with a single blanket pulled over him. A voice from nowhere is calling out---

" Sho-tan ! Wake Up ! Time for Breakfast ! "

His niece, five year old Maria-chan, is calling from downstairs. Shoya gets up, noticing the only thing in the bare room. On the floor is the calendar with the days torn off after the 15th. He affixes it back on the wall. At the breakfast table, Shoya's mom serves him bacon and a fried egg. Mom is happy about the money in the envelope, but asks in such a matter-of-fact way, why would he want to kill himself ? Shoya replies that he is just 'going through a lot of crazy stuff!' Livid with anger, Mom then explodes into hysterical speech, grabbing a charcoal lighter and flicking it on. She holds the narrow flame just under the money envelope, and threatens to burn the money unless Shoya promises to not kill himself ! Shoya apologizes for his suicide attempt, but mom becomes ever more forceful, demanding to know what Shoya is really going to do ! After several insane moments of shouting back and forth, mom begins to cool down, only to accidentally ignite the money envelope. As it burns, she throws it into the table grill, where most of it burns to ashes.

Before he dresses and leaves for school, Shoya tapes a piece of paper with the rest of the days of the month filled in with a pencil, to the torn calendar on the wall in his room.

Riding his mom's bicycle to school, Shoya contemplates what has been, what is now, what could have been, and what actually will be. He briefly daydreams of what it might be like to actually be friends with Shoko, doing things together with her. In a flashback in his mind, he recalls when, in middle school, cruel rumors were spread about him, and the need to stay away from him socially. The thought in his mind once again presents itself---that he needs to continue to be punished for his past bullying behavior.

Thehallway

Now doing something that Shoya imagined that he would never have to do again, that is, walking into the school building to begin the day's classes, he is treated the same as always, completely ignored by the other students as he walks through the hallways. The Hell ? So What ? Shoya, in his mind, places a cartoon " X " over the faces of all that have been ignoring him, which is to say, everyone ! The cartoon " X " is his symbol to indicate that he does not have the right to acknowledge anyone socially, and they do not have the right to socialize with him. So, this is what being 'shunned' is like ? At noontime, Miki approaches Shoya to ask him if he has handed his math homework notebook yet. Even though she is speaking to him, and he is answering 'No!', the cartoon " X " remains on her face.

As Shoya, as his desk, overhears gossip about himself from the other students, he drifts off into a flashback daydream. He is telling his former friend, Kazuki, that he has just obtained the music CD for their favorite rock band. Kazuki responds by telling Shoya that he is, as of this moment, no longer a fan of that rock band. Shoya goes outside to eat his bento ( lunch ), sitting alone on a bench next to two trash receptacles. On the other side of the trash bins is another lonely boy, sitting by themselves and eating lunch. He turns away from looking at the other boy, only to be consumed in thought about if he can ever see Shoko again; maybe on Tuesdays when she feeds the carp in the river below, from a bridge overpass.

After an uneventful day, the day that was never meant to be, Shoya greets his mom at home. Mom apologizes for burning the money that morning, but who wants to spend tainted blood money that resulted from a suicide, anyway ?

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Next Story Arc, Story Arc No. 4--- Do You Know the Way ---can be found here.