One of the Nerima crew reflects on a decade separated from the one she loves.
By Edward A. Simons
Based on characters and situations created by Takahashi Rumiko. Ranma 1/2 and characters copyright Shogakukan, Kitty Animation Circle, and Takahashi Rumiko. This story written 2000 - Edward A. Simons
Genma tore him out of my life leaving nothing but memories and empty promises. At first, all I could do was cry. But crying didn't stop the pain. It didn't heal the emptiness in my soul. It didn't fill the Ranma-shaped gap in my life. And so eventually I stopped crying.
No, that's a lie. I just stopped crying where other people could see me. I walled away those emotions by day and by night I sobbed myself to sleep. I thought that pretending it didn't hurt would eventually make it so it didn't hurt anymore. I was young and foolish to believe that. I don't think the wound in my soul has ever healed.
And I can't describe the loneliness of those empty years. I kept up the friendly, cheerful facade, but I didn't ever let anyone else get that close to me again. I had lots of friendly acquaintances, but no real friends. I couldn't afford to get hurt that badly again. I didn't think I was strong enough to survive it. I still don't think I'm strong enough to go on with my life if I ever lose Ranma again.
I tried to make myself as strong and hard as steel, just like the weapon I carried everywhere. I tried to become something that wasn't really me. I submerged myself in anger.
I oiled and polished that cold hard steel and made sure it was ready to be used at any time. I didn't want to use it, but sometimes I dreamed of slicing Genma open. Somehow, even the weapon itself was a reminder of the joy that had been stolen from me by that fat fool. I had never hated anyone before, but I learned to hate. Genma taught me how.
I think that's part of what kept me going all those years. I had a focus for my hatred in the cause of my sorrow, in the loss of my Ranma. I know we can never own another person, can never demand they love us, but I always thought of him as mine. If anybody had a right to say that, it was me. But I never said it; I just thought it down those long years of loneliness.
But I didn't want to hate anybody and when I finally saw Ranma I let that anger and hatred go. I know it wasn't Ranma's fault. He never wants to hurt anyone. I even forgave Genma, though he didn't deserve it. I'm sure I still haven't heard everything he did to Ranma for the sake of training and he didn't deserve to be forgiven for any of that. I forgave Genma anyway. I don't trust him, but I forgave him. I don't think Genma realizes just how much he hurt me or Ranma or how much he continues to hurt people with his greed and his lies.
My friends, those few I had, thought I was stupid. They were right. They told me to cut my losses and get on with my life. But I couldn't do that. I couldn't deny my memories or the love I felt in my heart. I couldn't cut the ties and go on with my life. It would have been denying a part of me.
Now we live in the same town, my Ranma and me. He's still that brash overconfident boy that I remembered, yet now he's almost grown and in many ways we're almost strangers. And I think he's afraid to get close to me. He's always gone on some training trip, or something and I'm left alone in a house full of emptiness. I just want to see him, to hold him, to tell him that I love him, but he seems to have time for everyone but me.
That's another silly dream. They always said I had too much imagination, that I wasted too much time on dreams of how I wanted things to be. I wish I could erase those years of separation, to do it all over again and do it the way it should have been. I never got to be with Ranma as he grew up. I never got to help him, to encourage him, to support him like he deserved. That hurts worse than the loneliness I endured.
But he's not here again tonight. He was supposed to come over after school, but he forgot again. And so I cry in the darkness just like I promised myself I would never do again. I wipe the tears away and wish that there was at least someone to understand how I feel. I wish Ranma understood most of all, but in the dark and lonely night I wish there was one other human being who understood how I felt. Someone I could share these feelings with and have them understand. Someone else that loves him as much as I love my only child - Ranma.