Does it matter what day this is?
I haven't written in this journal for years. Not since Koji dumped me. I guess it's because I only write when I need someone to talk to, you know, about girl things. Because I can't talk to the team, and I... Anyway, I'm back, writing in this thing. But it doesn't matter what day it is, so I won't write it.
I feel so disjointed. Like somebody ripped my mind apart, and the pieces got put together funny. I have such nightmares-- Jinpei's noticed, but he doesn't know why, and I can't tell him. I can't. I'm his older sister-- I'm supposed to be strong.
Anyway, it was all my fault.
They say that that's what most women think; I guess as a sex we have a big inferiority complex. But it's true, really. I should have known. I warn the others about hotdogging it all the time... Ken warns Joe, and I warn Ken... We're a team. We're supposed to stick together. Normally I know that, but this time...
It always seemed so obvious to me. We're a team, we work together. Why are Ken and Joe and even Jinpei always going it alone? I even started a song-- it was about Joe, but it applies to all of them:
You have no right to risk your life alone
'Cause you're a part of the whole
And if you play with fire, play with death
Play with death
You play with killing us all.
I haven't finished it yet. But my point-- assuming I have a point, that I'm not just rambling-- is that I know that. And most of the time, I like to stay in the background. Make the enemy underestimate me, do the backup work, stay out of danger.
But the Jigokillers were going after just women, and when Dr. Nambu showed me that capsule, it was like a light bulb went off over my head. Being female could be an asset for once. And I thought, only I can do this. And maybe it was because Jinpei had been busting my chops all day, and Ken "forgot" I was a woman-- maybe I had something to prove. Still stupid. All my fault.
I don't think I can talk about it yet. If I put it on paper, that makes it real, and I want to pretend it didn't happen. Let me talk about something else, for now. Okay?
Something to prove... Sometimes I feel like the Science Ninja Team is a boys' club, and I only got in by being an honorary boy. Ken forgot I was a woman, after all. And if they remembered, it'd be "Jun make coffee," "Jun wash dishes"-- or how about "Jun wear a miniskirt?" That fits. Jinpei is always busting my chops-- "You'll never get a man if you don't learn to wash dishes!" Who taught you to wash dishes, smartass? He doesn't treat the others this way. Is it because we're so close, he feels comfortable doing it to me-- or it is because I'm a girl and it's okay to pick on girls? Ken and Joe are coolness incarnate. Onechan, well, she's just there. Sort of a necessary evil. And nobody defends me-- well, he's a little kid, they figure I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. And I can. But sometimes it hurts...
I wonder why Dr. Nambu put me in the team. He can be such a traditionalist sometimes...
I always got conflicting signals. Always. On the one hand, Jun be tough, be a Science Ninja. On the other hand, Jun be feminine. Don't play with dolls, that's stoo-pid. Don't get your clothes dirty. Don't cry, act like a grownup. Don't swear, act like a lady. What do you want to put that gunk on your lips for? Here, Jun, your birdstyle will incorporate a miniskirt design.
(It wasn't that I minded having a skirt. I was trying to hang onto some of my femininity, after all-- but why so short?)
So here I am. Schizophrenic Jun, half-man, half-woman. She wears the pants-- except when she goes into battle! See this demure, feminine girl kick butt just like a guy! Isn't it amazing? Step right up, ladies and gents!
No wonder Ken forgot I was a woman. Sometimes I forget myself.
I'm as good as they are. I'm trained in demolitions, electronics, computers and paramedical, and I've got higher grades than any of them in anything, including math. I love tech stuff. I can bear the same amount of pain, I can kill the same number of Galactors-- so why do I always feel like I'm less than they are?
Maybe because this isn't enough, for me. I want to be rich and have a husband and three kids and a cat and a big backyard, with a swing, and they don't want any of that, except for Ryu and he's as insecure as I am. Can you be a Science Ninja and still want more out of life than killing endless hordes of Galactors? Yes, but can you be a good one?
Japanese girls are sheep. They are. Always crying and wailing and putting on their makeup, not a thought in their heads but how to catch a man. I'm not like them. I want to be like my friends, my teammates. They have nice, straightforward thoughts. And yet--
--Sometimes I just don't understand them. And I wish I had a female friend to talk to. To talk about boys, and clothes, and... and things like this, because I can't tell them... Or Dr. Nambu. No, I'd die. I can't let him know. That the girl that he trained...
I guess it's not entirely a woman thing. I mean, Galactors are scum. It could happen to Ken or Joe or Jinpei, too, easy enough. Jinpei would tell me but I can't see the other two ever admitting it.
But Galactors are men, and so let's face it, I ran a much higher risk. Ken and Joe've been captured before, and they've never... Well, they wouldn't tell me, so how would I know? But I don't think so.
I can't tell anyone, though. If I did... Ken might hit me again, for being so stupid as to run the risk. Or he might get embarrassed. Joe would go all macho and protective, like I can't take care of myself. Jinpei would cry. Ryu would try to comfort me, but it wouldn't help at all.
And Dr. Nambu might take me off the team...
No, that's stupid, why would he? It's just like he said-- it's torture. That's all. Just another form of torture. We're trained to handle that.
...So why am I falling apart?
I don't understand why I feel this way. We were trained to handle torture-- but it isn't just like they tortured me. I feel dirty, now. I feel like, like, an object. Where before I was a person.
I feel like a statistic, that's it. Before, I was special, I was strong. Now I'm just like all those sheeplike girls, all those victims. I'm supposed to be stronger than this!
Ken and Joe wouldn't have let them get the drop on them like that. They'd've fought back, and won, even with their wrists in cuffs and no way to go to Bird Style and all those guns... they're just better than I am. Because I'm a girl? Am I trying for an excellence I just can't have?
I wish now I'd done it with Koji, when he said. At least then I'd have memories, of a good first time, to look back on. But I was 15! I was scared! Why couldn't he understand that? I was a scared virgin--
--was. Was a virgin.
Oh, God... I always hoped, someday me and Ken... and it would be beautiful and perfect, in some green field with no one around for a hundred miles, or by the side of a swimming pool in the summer heat, or between satin sheets after a dinner by candlelight... Would he even want me now? Assuming he ever would want me. Forgot I was a woman, indeed. Maybe he's gay.
That would explain a lot, actually. Why he never noticed me, or anyone else... except Joe. They were always so close... stop, that's crazy. Joe's not gay. Even if Ken was, Joe doesn't swing that way.
Maybe while I'm pining over Ken, Ken's pining over Joe. All we'd need then would be for Joe to be pining over me, and we'd have us a French sex comedy.
But I don't want to believe that. If he's gay, I'll never have him. And he's so gentle, and beautiful, and strong...
...and he hit me when he rescued me.
Okay, I know why he did it. I disobeyed orders, and he was upset about me. But why do I always have to be the understanding one! Ken, I know you were worried about me, but I was worried about me too! I was hurt and I was humiliated and I was scared I was going to die. I wanted some comfort and you hit me?
Ken, half a dozen Galactors took turns raping me, and they had my hands so I couldn't do a Bird Scramble, and they laughed, and I couldn't call you and it hurt so much I thought they were going to rip me apart, and they beat me up too, and they put me in their death machine, and then you show up and you hit me? I needed this?
Damn you, Ken, and damn you, Koji, for pushing too hard, for jilting me because I wouldn't go all the way with you even though you knew I was close to two years younger than you and I was a scared kid, and damn you Dr. Nambu for being a father without giving me a mother, for handing me birth control pills and saying they were just a precaution because you knew I wouldn't do anything imprudent, even though maybe I wanted to, and even if I was scared to you didn't have to act like it was a given that I wouldn't--
Men are scum.
I wish I was dead.
I don't mean that about men. I'm not sure whether I mean it about me or not. I don't know what I mean.
I wish I had a mother, or an older sister, or somebody, even a little sister, just any woman to talk to...
And I don't know what I'm going to do about a doctor. I need to see one-- I know I'm not pregnant, but who knows what kind of diseases I could have caught? I mean, I had my shots, but Galactors are so scummy... But I can't go to Dr. Nambu. And I don't want to go to a man doctor-- but there aren't any woman doctors in Utoland, are there? And I don't have the money, anyway-- I'd have to ask Dr. Nambu, and then I'd have to tell him why, and I can't...
Why not? The Doctor's a good, gentle man-- why can't I tell him? Because he'll blame me? Because I'm unclean now? But he knows I always ran the risk-- he had me trained to deal with it... except, not well enough. What do I say? "Doctor, your training sucks?" Or is it just that I didn't internalize it hard enough, that it's my fault I'm falling apart? He'd expect me to be stronger, and I'm not...
And I have some female friends-- well, acquaintances. They don't know what I am. What am I going to say? "Excuse me, who do you go to if you've been gang-raped by criminal scum?" I couldn't explain how it happened without lying, because I was on the job. And I don't want to lie to anyone.
And I could talk to Tsushima Sensei, but she's so strange-- so gentle and mystic and remote-- that I don't know how she'd react. Maybe she'd blame me, too. I wasn't fast enough. I let them get me. She'd be disappointed in me.
That covers everyone, doesn't it?
So here I am, writing in this journal, wallowing in self-pity, when I should get past this and get on with my life, but I can't, dammit! I keep having nightmares about it. I'm scared to go back into battle, because if I fell down once it could happen again, right? Maybe I'll be too slow and it'll happen again. And I want to beg Ken and Joe and Ryu to protect me, but I'm supposed to be able to protect myself. Strong, tough Jun the Swan. Who's falling apart.
Somebody help me. Please.
But how can anyone, when I can't ask for help?