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escaping the real world to face reality
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Jennifer met her gaze, acknowledged her, turned back to talking with the other guy. Good. That was as it should be, that was as Asuka had envisioned it.

And then the other guy started talking and all of Asuka's plans for the afternoon went to hell, because people are opening up people are being vulnerable and hell yeah let's get Asuka out of her head for a little bit. She'd been spending the whole day there.

So. Um. Physical problems weren't exactly Asuka's forte, and, truth be told, she had a lot more empathy for people with mental disorders. Like, she felt sorry for them and all, but you could deal with a broken leg or arm or hell, even something more permanent like diabetes way more easily than with something like social anxiety or depression. God, Asuka hoped she wasn't being ableist or trivializing disability or something. She really hoped she wasn't.

But it's not like she could be blamed for that, could she? Like, she'd dealt with mental stuff before, so no shit she was able to relate to mental illness better. Plus, she'd done way more research on mental illness and stuff, so there's that.

Don't make excuses for yourself, Asuka. Hold your goddamn cowardly self accountable.

Okay. So this guy's physical condition had mostly social implications. That was something Asuka could talk about. Thing was, she wasn't really sure how to go about this. Was he telling her in confidence? Doubtful. Still, it'd suck if she fucked up this little interaction and made the guy uncomfortable. She wasn't going to be that one kid who always ruined a good moment. But still, she couldn't sit this one out.

No advice. Asuka hated it when people tried to give her advice for her shit. It was always really obvious and irrelevant and seriously, did these assholes think she was an idiot? Of course she'd tried that already. You would've if you've been there. You weren't there, man. You just weren't there.

Fuck, she was overthinking this. Except she wasn't, was the thing. Nothing she'd thought of so far was a valid way to enter the discussion. So just quietly take a seat nearby, nod and listen and look friendly, and maybe she could join later in a way that doesn't fuck this up.

"Ah, that sucks. That really sucks, man."

Well that sounded stupid and forced and insincere. But she had to say something. She already knew how this was going to go, how this was going to end, if she didn't say something.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
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It Belongs in a Museum · Kingman Museum of Art and History