1 death

Death was something I had never thought would happen to me so early in life. I mean, I was always careful about what I did. I might have had some days when I wasn't feeling so great…but I always bounced back. I had goals I wanted to fulfill and, if I were to be honest…I was afraid of dying.

I wanted to live as long as I wanted to, but that was no longer an option I had anymore. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm guessing I must've missed a step—wait, no, I recall tripping on my shoelaces when I fell down those stairs. Everything after that was a blur.

Darkness soon greeted me and my first reaction was to panic. I don't like the dark—not like this! Not when it came so suddenly after what had happened. I never even had a chance to react…

And yet…I somehow feel safe. Whatever sense of panic I had was starting to wane once it came to my attention that there was comfort in the darkness that surrounded me. There was also warmth and I felt like I was floating…in water? Why would there be water?

Why was I still aware? Was I really dead? I don't know…

There was just something wrong with this and yet…I don't mind at all. I was safe…and, frankly, that's all that mattered to me.

That's all I really wanted to care about, anyways…

I don't exactly know how long I've stayed in this state. Sometimes, I drifted off into what felt like a deep sleep. Other times, I was restless, having grown bored with the lack of anything in my surroundings. It was during those times that my restlessness seemed to have had an impact as every so often, I heard voices.

The voices were oddly comforting despite the many questions I had about them. Like, why was I hearing voices? Should I be concerned that I was hearing voices? I never had this issue before my untimely death.

And yet, I stopped caring because the voices were never harsh. They were always gentle and just…I felt loved.

It took some time, but I eventually grew accustomed to the voices. Sometimes, I purposely enticed the voices with my restlessness. It was my only source of entertainment throughout my constant boredom, and I loved it.

There was one thing I never anticipated and it was only until I was roused from my sleep by a small touch that made me realize I wasn't alone. I panicked and, for the first time since I found myself in darkness, I was aware of my movement.

Suddenly, the darkness didn't seem so safe anymore…and it was only until the voices returned that my sense of security returned. Not exactly the best experience I ever had and I'm really glad that it was short-lived…

Since then, I was vaguely aware that, within this darkness, there was another being with me. I don't know what it was or how long it had been there, but it had a tendency to wake me up when I felt most comfortable…and that was not cool. So I tried to return the favor every once in a while because it was only fair. This resulted in my unknown neighbor and me exchanging touches with each other. I was not at all surprised that this became part of whatever routine I had, as time passed on. Nor was I surprised that I grew accustomed to my neighbor's presence.

Of course, it was not meant to last. The once comfortable and safe darkness suddenly became terrifyingly uncomfortable and dangerous. What felt like walls started to close in on me and my neighbor…and suddenly, my neighbor was gone. I was alone…and the walls kept closing in on me. It was a horrible thing to ever experience…

And then all of a sudden, there was harsh brightness. I had grown so used to the pitch-black darkness that the sudden introduction of light hurt. The warmth I had grown so used to was now gone, replaced with a cold temperature that made everything so fucking uncomfortable. I could only see in a blur and I could hear crying. The sound was so shrill and startling for me, having grown used to silence and the occasional voices that were always so gentle.

It was only natural that I reacted with crying of my own—now that I could actually cry. I was terrified, scared of my new environment, and traumatized by the loss of my old one. I could feel hands on me, which felt so foreign to me after going so long without being touched by someone other than my neighbor. I had no idea who it was, as I could not see, only hear and feel. And from what I could feel, these hands felt abnormally big. Or was it that I was just small?

Who the fuck knows?!

I couldn't confirm either, because I can't see! I don't think I can do anything but cry and that was just so frustrating because I felt so helpless. I don't like this—I don't want this!

I wailed at the top of my lungs as I felt myself being handled. I would have kept crying, but then I heard that voice—the one I heard from time to time when there was nothing but darkness around me. Slowly, I started to calm down, having latched onto the sense of security I found in the voice's familiarity. It was at that time that I felt something prod my mouth and I don't know why, but I latched onto it and began to suck.

What the actual fuck?!

I did not have any control over that action and that was just scary. Like, what the hell?! My body just reacted on its own. What. The. Fucking. Hell?! Stuff like that doesn't happen—it's not supposed to happen!

At least, that was what I thought until I recalled what I had learned in psychology about primitive reflexes, or more specifically, the rooting reflex. And from what I recalled about the rooting reflex, it involves breastfeeding and the automatic response an infant has when something strokes either their cheek or mouth. This gave me a clear understanding on what the hell had just happened (and why the hell my body was acting on its own).

I was a baby…a baby that was just born and oh god, there are some things I should NOT have to go through, but apparently, fate hates me. That was probably a given considering I died falling down the stairs…via tripping on my shoelaces.

I NEVER trip on my shoelaces…yet it happened. So here I am, born again and given a second chance at life…because reincarnation is actually a thing.

I guess I'll take this second chance. It's not that bad…of course, I did leave behind my family and I just…I shouldn't think too much about it. This is a one-way ticket to depression and I'm not sure a newborn should be dealing with these sorts of feelings.

It hurts to think too much…

I feel warm…and safe. Everything wasn't so terrifying anymore. This is good…I should learn to appreciate what I have before shit hits the fan—and by that, I mean the joys of being a baby. Because if being an aunt has taught me anything when it came to interacting with the spawn of my siblings, it was that babies go through a lot of things during their first year. Oh boy, I am not ready to go through teething—I could barely even stand my wisdom teeth when they started to grow back in my previous life!

Wait—I'm forgetting something…if I was just born, then back there…

Welp, looks like I'm a twin—I mean, considering the fact that I had a neighbor back there and the interactions we had, it's safe to assume I have a twin. And if that's the case (it's most likely the case), I can only wonder if I'm an identical or fraternal twin. I'll probably have to wait to until I can see something before I can confirm anything. But that's the least of my worries. I'm just happy with the idea of growing up with someone—I've always wanted a twin.

So maybe reincarnation isn't that bad…then I noticed that the people around me were speaking in a different language—is that Japanese I hear?

Aww, shit, looks like I have to learn another language. Well, it could be worse…I wonder what my name is…

It took me over a month to gather what my name is, since I was usually asleep (and when I wasn't, I was being fed, but I rather not talk about that…). I had to listen in a lot for any patterns in speech, which was honestly difficult because I don't know Japanese and being a baby means having shitty vision and not-so-great hearing (I can only pick up a few things at a time).

Chōko…that's what they called me. My name is Chōko…and I'm fine with that. Chōji is the name of my fraternal twin brother (who I would later find out was thirteen minutes older than me), and he's part of the reason I had a hard time figuring out what my name was. Because for a short amount of time, I thought my name was Chōji.

Speaking of Chōji, he was currently poking my cheek, as the two of us laid in our crib, side-by-side. I returned the action with a similar touch to his own cheek. I had a weird sense of déjà vu at that time.

I could hear laughter coming from my parents, those two most likely finding my interactions with my twin amusing. They always thought it was cute how Chōji and I acted around each other. At the moment, I found the swirl marks on my brother's cheeks to be extremely interesting. Like…were they always there?

I'm not the most perceptive person around and being a baby only made that even worse. I was always aware there was something on Chōji's cheeks, but it was only until now that I have a vague idea of the shape (my vision is still not the best).

Huh, red swirls—so that's what they were all this time…that's cool. Do I have some on my face? Wait, are these birthmarks—do birthmarks work like that? Ugh, my head…wait…why does this seem so familiar?

What's there to find familiar about?

Hell if I know, I just want to go to sleep now because my head hurts. My little infant brain is not developed enough for this shit…Chōji, please stop touching me, I'm not in the mood—OH HELL NO.

I just had a horrifying realization…and even though I'm really hoping my brain is just making random shit up, I can't help but notice that there's something wrong with the fact that I have a twin brother named Chōji. I mean, it could just be coincidence that his name is Chōji, since I'm Chōko, but the red markings on his face are telling me otherwise because they shouldn't be there—but they are and oh god, why are they there?!

I must have been fussy because I was picked up by one of my parents—my father, most likely by the tone of his voice. My father tried his best to calm me down, but I was just having such a bad time coping with the idea that the unthinkable had happened when I was reincarnated. And what a great time to finally get a good look (as good as it can get with this shitty vision) at your own father's face than now?!

The second I saw the red hair and purple markings on his cheeks, I realized that my father was Akimichi Chōza—because I was already suspecting that my twin brother was Akimichi Chōji. Which turned out to be fact, because he was there in the crib, and here I was, just existing as his twin sister that was totally not canon!

How the fuck did reincarnation bring me into the world of Naruto?! How?! Also, WHY?! I'm in a fucking world full of trained assassins—I don't want this!

I don't want this. I don't want this.

I DON'T WANT THIS.

IDON'TWANTTHIS.

Whatever chance I had at a normal life just went out the window because fucking ninjas! Ninjas that weren't supposed to exist like this—but they do. I'm part of this world now, as someone from the Akimichi clan…and considering that I'm Chōji's twin sister, that means I'm part of Naruto's generation and oh god, the Fourth Shinobi World War is in my future!

I don't want to die again—I just got here!

With the sudden rush of various emotions that I was physically too young to handle all at once, it wasn't that surprising that I started crying—and even if that wasn't the case, I have every right to start crying! Because reincarnation is a bitch and I want my old life back!

Next chapter