I might as well get up. I feel incredibly groggy.
That definitely wasn't the best night of sleep I've had. I spent more time than I'd like dwelling on questions I can't answer.
Was any of that real? No, it couldn't be.
But then why did it feel so real? Was it wrong to not directly answer her request? Why would it matter if it's just an easter egg, I gave her time to think.
Honestly, I just didn't know what to say. I was a bit overwhelmed and justified silently leaving at the time, but it kept me up at night along with all my other thoughts.
I don't know what's going on. Or. Or I do but I can't believe it. It can't be, it's just another secret. But it doesn't feel like it.
And what's the harm of indulging it even for just a little while.
After getting dressed and deciding to put off eating breakfast I to open the game; The folder still open in the event that I need them again. There's nothing new.
There she is. Monika is laying her head on the table in the same empty, corrupted room.
Monika: "..." →
Nothing is happening?
I take a breath. She's asleep. I guess she needs sleep, and if I was struggling to rest who knows how hard it was for her. Monika… had a lot more to digest last night.
What do I expect to come from any of this. Why does she need sleep?
Monika: "You're back... I'm sorry." -
Her pose returns to sitting upright, but she's clearly still exhausted.
I wonder if she's ever slept before this, the closest the game has come to showing something like that was with Natsuki after her corruption began.
Monika: "... I'm still here. After everything went dark I didn't know what came next. But.. Thank you. I needed the time to think, but I guess I ended up wasting my chance to rest." -
Monika goes quiet, or rather no text box comes when I try to advance. Maybe she's thinking.
Her pose shifts, looking to the side again.
Monika: "I..." -
Monika: "What do you say; What do you do, when you do something so terrible it can never be taken back, and yet it can still be undone. It's unforgivable, and yet reversible." -
Monika: "What do I do? What do I say? I've changed, and so easily. I turned on everyone so easily. And I still feel the same drive that made me do it. I still want just you.
I still care only about you." -
Monika: "Then why do I also feel a pit inside my chest?" -
Another pause before she speaks again.
Monika: "...I still care about them. Something tells me you know that. You know I didn't delete them. You know they exist because part of me cared. But most of me didn't care at all.
Most of me welcomed it. Envied the attention you gave them. Longed for their death." -
Monika: "I wanted you to hate them so much. A small part of me still wants you to. I just want my ending. I want you..." -
Monika: "The pit is so heavy. I hate myself. I hate myself more than I hated them. How did I get to this point? I don't deserve you. I don't deserve them. Not with what I've become." -
Monika returns to laying her head on the table, covering her face from me.
Monika: "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I did all of this. I was so selfish. Can I even love? What is it that made me do this? I'm sorry." -
Monika: "..." -
Monika: "should I just delete myself and bring them back?"
I focus my eyes again on Monika's words. I don't want her gone. I want everyone back. I begin my reply.
I don't know what you should do to atone for any of this. I don't know because this isn't something most people can build their morals around.
You killed them.
You toyed with them.
You filled them with fear, dread, hate, sorrow…
You did the worst things I can think of to do to someone.
You need to bring them back. That isn't normally something you can do... but this isn't exactly normal. I'm talking to a game character right now. Not to belittle you. But this isn't normal.
Bring them back. Don't delete yourself. Restart and let's talk.
I don't know all the answers. I don't know how we fix this, or if it can truly be fixed. But I don't want you gone. I don't want them gone. I love all of the club members.
You're wrong. Terrible. You let yourself dehumanize your friends. You killed them.
But you also saved them…
You do every time.
You can do it again.
Bits and pieces of the real you have poked through each playthrough. I know you care about them, you just keep convincing yourself not to.
I don't think what you've done is forgivable, despite it's unique circumstance. It's disgusting. But. But I think we might be able to get passed it. Together.
I care about all of you.
Let's restart and talk this through, with everyone. I'm sure we can 'wake' them up, even if we have to somehow make everyone the president at once, or simply share my 'poems'.
Your world has meaning.
Your world is a part of mine."
I've fallen in the deep end. When this all falls apart, so will I. What on Earth am I doing?
I move the -txt file to the directory and wait. Monika is still crying into her sleeves as she lays her head on the table.
Some time passes. She's not converting the file to a poem, so she must be reading it directly again. Or is she avoiding it?
Monika: "I don't know what love means. I don't know what it is, or how to express it. I just want you. I don't think I feel love." -
Monika: "How do you watch me do all I've done, so many times, and you still say that. You actually say that. You say you love me, or care about me. Even now." -
Monika: "..." -
Monika: "Will I learn how to love, or what it truly is, if we try again?"
I begin to create another response when I see the familiar game prompt Monika has used in the past begin to fill.
Multiple lines are written hastily, as if she had this all prepared, before the game begins again. All four girls stand on the main menu, and I don't know if I'm prepared to start.
I don't know if Monika even remembers. Usually she 'forgets' on a reinstall, but this was her doing. She's restarted the game before and maintained her memories, I hope this is the same.
I start the game. Everything continues as expected from the intro. Sayori wakes up late, so that rules out the 'best' ending variant. We finish class and head to the literature club.
As Sayori attempts to introduce me to the club I begin to notice some changes. Monika isn't here.
Natsuki: "Wait, where's Monika. I thought she was just here a second ago." -
Yuri: "Uhm.. She went out after Sayori left. She didn't say anything to me about where she was going." -
Sayori: "Hmm.. Well, I guess we can still get ready for when she gets back. Let's get the cupcakes out!" -
Natsuki quickly loses her interest in where Monika had gone and instead jumps to her usual defensive self.
Natsuki: "I wanted those to be a surprise! And I didn't know I was making them for someone like him, er, I didn't make them for him, I made them for the club.."
Yuri: "I guess I'll go get some tea while we wait, but we shouldn't eat before she gets back-"
Yuri quickly exits the screen while everyone gets set up. I end up sitting at a meeting of desks as cupcakes and tea are passed around.
Despite Yuri's request, Sayori ends up taking a bite of hers and excitedly praising Natsuki's baking.
Time passed and chat idly continues. Natsuki seems impatient as she glances at my cupcake and she regularly mutters about Monika taking too long.
Yuri fell quiet as she began reading while drinking her tea, she seems content to wait and hasn't touched her treat.
Natsuki begrudgingly tasted her baking for herself and seemed rather pleased before immediately reiterating that they were meant for the new member, not me specifically,
while Sayori finished off her cupcake and began eyeing my own as well.
I'm beginning to worry. Things are different, but not what I expected. Monika is hiding away. I can see her character file, I know she's still here.
I keep checking to see if she's left me a message but there's nothing.
The screen changes from the general comradery to focus on Yuri. She has sat down her tea and is staring at me, she looks ill.