They Call It

This essay is inspired by the game/anime Steins;Gate, so to those who haven’t played or watched it, it might come off as a bit of a spoiler.

There is a tragedy lingering in our subconscious that feeds our guilt and diminishes our sanity. There will be people who would allow their agony to grow with them and let it destroy them, and there will also be people who would dispose of it in an empty cell somewhere in the darkest cave of their bodies, but nobody ever truly forgets an event that thrives in seemingly benign stimuli that trigger an uproar of emotions. Trauma, they call it.

It’s half-past two and you wake up in cold sweat, panting from a nightmare that you urge to blur immediately. It’s the cause of your insomnia, and maybe the odd disposition you adopted, whatever it’s doing in your mind, it won’t let you keep still. You’re determined to disremember the image, but it intermittently clarifies, imitating the eerie static of a TV displaying a disturbing figure.

What is it? Who is it?

If I had read the light novels first, I would imagine Okabe’s room like this. Going downstairs leads to the lab. This is 屋根裏部屋 by なば.

Trauma, they call it, but you call it a nightmare, a ghost, a love, a mistake, a death that haunts you to this day. Go ahead and blame yourself for not realizing the consequences. She would only feel pain for a second, and after that is the bloodless – the numb. You’ll have it much worse, regretting a decision driven by your eccentric imagination, turning at every corner and watching her walk into death’s arms each time. Look at yourself, soaked in sweat that reeks of desperation and guilt. It was your fault.

They told you to grow up, even she understood that it was all a bad idea, that you would just end up crippled in the corner, deranged from the replaying sight of your fears. So you leaped back and undid your wrongs, wondering if they were ever wrong to begin with.

They weren’t.

She loved you, everybody loved you, even with your pathetic excuse of an ambition, they took delight in your company. You gave them a happiness that only another universe would offer, and I commend you for that, but you took it all away the moment you began to fall apart. You couldn’t come to terms with the reality you created. You took away a father, a lady, a death, a life and your love so you could save her once again. Even if you didn’t have to.

Couldn’t you have asked her to grow up? Maybe she would have stopped looking at the sky, reaching out for heaven. She could have realized that death was a part of life, and not just one’s own life, but even those around her. It was her fault for reliving her trauma.

The color and tone of this image would remind me of Steins;Gate. It’s pale yet strong, much like the anime(or game). This is 電車が参ります。by なば, as well.

It’s the tale of a sad man when he ends up hurting those he tried to protect. You gave up the people who loved you and the people you loved, and you’re left with memories that only you would remember. You couldn’t save her, and that’s because the cruel world asked you whose happiness you had to forgo. You chose yours.

Trauma, they call it, but you call it fate. It was never yours to change, and it was better you two had never met. Go save yourself.