Heartbreak (Madoka Kaname)

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Heartbreak (Madoka Kaname)
Date of Cutscene: 12 January 2016
Location: Kaname Residence - Living Room
Synopsis: Madoka returns home after a tragically eventful date with Takashi and seeks solace in the form of her mother.
Cast of Characters: Madoka Kaname

(BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9FOKfNePgk)

The walk home was nearly over before she had gotten her wits about her, having left the game center in an intellectual daze and feeling emotionally numb. Her few tears had been wiped away, not allowed to freeze on her cheeks in the icy winter air, too confused to continue crying.

It wasn't until she was standing in front of the door to her home that Madoka realized her family wouldn't be expecting her back for several more hours; she hadn't even thought to call them and let them know she was returning. After a moment's hesitation she opens the door and steps through, quietly shutting the door behind herself. She takes off her winter clothing, hanging her coat up and placing her mittens and scarf inside a closet.

As she walks into the house she hears the sound of water running and dishes clanking in the kitchen, the lingering scent of a home cooked meal hanging in the air. It's strange, Madoka thinks, she hasn't eaten dinner yet today but even though it smells good her father's cooking isn't making her making her hungry. Normally it would even if she had already eaten but right now she only notices that it's there. She considers heading directly for her room but before she can decide her mother's voice calls out to her.

"Madoka? Are you back so soon already?" Junko Kaname walks out of the dining room and smiles sympathetically when she sees her daughter looking dazed and disillusioned. She's still wearing the outfit they'd picked out together, a summer getup that looked especially nice on her that she braved the winter cold for in order to impress her date.

"I... think we just broke up?" Madoka states confusedly looking up to her mother. Her expression changes minutely, going from dumbfounded neutral to a tinge of sadness as the her thin eyebrows lower and her eyelids squeeze in the tiniest of winces, speaking the words out loud making everything that had happened more real.

"Mmm," Junko accepts gently, taking a few steps closer, "do you want to talk about it?" she asks, skipping asking if she's okay because the answer is so plain to see.

"Yeah..." Madoka admits after a thinking about it for a few moments.

The two of them go over to the nearby couch and sit down together, half a person's space between mother and daughter. Madoka hunches forward and looks down at her hands, held together in her lap for lack of anything else to do with them. Junko reaches over and puts a hand on her back, rubbing up and down between her shoulders in a comforting fashion. "Why don't you start by telling me what happened," she suggests.

"I'm bad at puzzles," Madoka states quietly, drawing a mildly skeptical hum from her mother. "It's more than that, but that's how it started. I'm not really bad at them, but Takashi-kun," another, firmer, wince at speaking his name, "is really good at them. He didn't really need me at all and I think he was surprised at how slow I was compared to him." Now comes the confusion and a small frown curls on her lips. "He asked me if I had a dream, and I told him that I'm happy where I am. I'm doing good work helping people by volunteering at the hospital, I've made a lot of good friends, and I hav- I had a great boyfriend..." For the first time since sitting down she looks over to her mother, pink eyes meeting purple, seeking reassurance. "It was okay for me to be happy with that, wasn't it?"

"Yes. That you're happy with it is what matters most," comes the agreement from Junko, who's starting to get a good idea of where this is heading. "So what happened?" she asks, encouraging her daughter to finish her story, knowing that speaking it aloud will help her come to terms with it.

Madoka lets out a sigh and deflates a little, turning her gaze to a particularly boring spot on the floor. "He didn't like my answer. He thought I should want more for myself, that there should be something I want to do and that I should want to be the best at it. That's how he is; he wants to be the best at everything he does. He couldn't ever see himself as 'average' at anything. He wants to have the best test scores, take the hardest classes, ...give the best gifts." She hangs her head a little as a thought occurs to her, "I guess I'm not the best girlfriend..."

"Madoka," Junko chides gently, "you know that's not true." Her hand at her daughters back pats it a few times before rubbing in a circle. "I think he just realized he wanted someone whose ambitions matched his own. You didn't come running home in tears, so he must not have been mean to you." She lets out a soft sigh of her own. "Some people are like that, Madoka. They want a partner whose aspirations and desires can match their own. Someone like Takashi-san might never be able to settle down and decide he's happy with where he's at." She lets that thought hang in the air for a moment before asking, "Madoka, would you be happy committed to someone who would never stop reaching higher and would never decide that being with you where they are was enough?"

That question warrants thought, and after minute of considering Madoka answers, "...no. I don't think I could be happy with someone who could never be satisfied with where they're at." After a moment she continues the thought and adds, "Or that couldn't be satisfied with me where I was at." She sits up and turns her head towards her mother, gazing at her with wonder and asking, "You were expecting this, weren't you, Mama?"

Junko gives Madoka another sympathetic smile, retrieving her hand as she sits up and placing it on her shoulder and giving a squeeze there instead. "Not today but I knew it would be soon. You made a nice couple with Takashi-san, but it was never going to be the sort of thing that would last. That type of boy is more interested in status and potential, but you care more about people as they are and making them happy right now."

"Then... why didn't you tell me?" Madoka asks, confused and sounding a tiny bit hurt.

"And make you worry when you should be out enjoying yourself? If you were like me when I was your age I might have, because I knew you would never have believed it." That draws a slightly surprised sound from her daughter, "I wouldn't be a very good mother if I ruined all your fun before you could have it." Besides, Junko thinks to herself, it's best if Madoka gets her heart broken at least once before she's an adult. It's an important part of growing up and it will help her to better appreciate someone who is right for her when they come along.

Madoka nods a little to her mothers last comment, accepting it as truth just like she does for nearly all of her advice and worldly wisdom. She's managed to hold it together pretty well throughout the talk, and the little chat has helped pull her from the haze she felt like she was in before. But as it clears and she begins to accept what happened the numbness in her heart starts to fade, leaving a suddenly acute sadness and pain in it's place. "But it still hurts, Mama," she says in a weak, warbling voice, "even knowing that wouldn't work out anyway it still hurts."

"Of course it hurts; you've just had your first breakup. It's never easy when things go from wonderful to lonely, especially as quickly as it did for you this time. It'll hurt for a while, but that's okay." Junko gets a nostalgic look in her eyes and laughs a single syllable, "Hm. It's actually good; the sooner you're done hurting the sooner you can look back on everything and remember all the good memories you made together without feeling sad."

Madoka's expression slowly turns to one of heartache as her mother talks, starting to sniffle while her eyes begin to water anew. By the time Junko has said her piece she's sobbing, reassured that it's perfectly fine for her to feel hurting and sad. For a few moments she cries into her hands, only to suddenly turn in her seat and launch herself sideways at her mother, wrapping her arms around her. She buries her face into her shoulder and clings tightly to her, weeping openly for something she had now lost, the future that might have been, and the sweet romantic warmth of being close to someone she likes that is now only a memory.

The crying was expected, but Junko is surprised as Madoka hugs her and latches on. She'd thought the time when her daughter would want that kind of comfort from her had passed when Madoka had declared that big sisters were supposed to be strong. But with her seeking it out now she's glad her kind daughter is still willing to expose her frailty to her in a time of need and take the solace so freely given from mother to child. As Madoka whines, cries, sniffles and sobs against her Junko cradles and rocks her in her arms, thinking that she should have known a girl with so big a heart would feel it's breaking so acutely.

Madoka clings tightly and stains her mother's blouse with her tears while receiving more rubs to her back and consoling strokes to the hair at the back of her head, drawn so tightly into it's twintails. She nods in acceptance and understanding as she's told it will be okay, and that given a little time it will stop hurting so badly. Even after all the words are spoken and all the tears have fallen she rests against her mother, the feeling of pain in her heart having quieted for the moment to a dull ache while another kinder feeling wells up to match it.

"I love you, Mama."

"I love you too, Madoka."