I had a lot of thinking when it came down to how I want to convey Maya as a character. She was a strong independent woman through and through but what I wanted to do was to show her off not as that, but as a teenager trying to find herself in the beginning. So what I had came up with, was having her being one of Dazai’s subordinate while they were in the mafia.
While she was in the Mafia she was extremely quiet. In all actuality, she was shy and self conscious. She was only open to Sakunosuke, Chuuya and Mori, and loved to play with Yumeno. Yumeno wasn’t used to people being so nice to him without a hidden agenda, so, In turn he took a liking to her because she was the only one who didn’t try and hurt him. However, Yumeno couldn’t help but try and kill her because even though he liked her, he still didn’t trust her.
With being the only one of color, Maya was very cautious of people, even those in the Mafia. She knew that the country that she resided in didn’t really like people of her culture and were very blatant about it. It wasn’t her choice to come to Japan, but what else could she do to escape where she had been living. While in America, she suffered being black in a country built off of slavery. As a child, she didn’t fully grasp the idea of segregation, but learned when she had the option to stay or leave. In all honesty, it wasn’t an option; when it was discovered that she had an ability, an elder executive who had a mission in America, took her in so Mori could use her ability for the future rise of the Port Mafia; the more the merrier right.
She thought that being there, she would be able to get away from the oppression she faced back in America but that wasn’t the case; in order to block out everyone and everything that comes off in a racist manner towards her, Maya would turn to writing; she would write about everything, down from poems to short stories. This was something she loved to do; she even offered to show Odasaku, the nickname of Sakunosuke, some of her writing after she found out he wanted to write a book while listening in on a conversation between he and Dazai.
So Maya wasn’t really close to Odasaku like Dazai was but she respected him and wanted to write a story together with him when he finally left the Mafia. They had a habit of bouncing ideas off of each other for things to write; stories to tell, people to inspire. He was one of the few who didn’t treat her like a lost cause. Who didn’t put race into perspective of their relationship. They weren’t really friends but wasn’t really strangers either.
Even though Maya was comfortable with her culture, she didn’t know what it meant to actually be knowledgeable and self aware. She knew the bare minimum of racism and stereotypes, but she didn’t have a grasp of what “self” actually means. She was easily swayed by kind words offered to her, things like “for someone of your color, you’re pretty.” Or “I’m surprised you can actually read and write so well for someone of your race.” Which is all offensive within itself but she was ignorant on the matter. Without someone to teach her about the beauty and hardships her people had to go through, she would remain ignorant about it. Maya didn’t know who she really was. What was her purpose. She just stuck to Dazai like glue, trying to figure that out. She thought, why not try and figure out who I am with someone who is trying to figure out his reasons for Living and his place in life.
With her being around him for so long, eventually, Dazai asked her out. Dazai’s intentions for dating her was to only try and see if that dating her could give him that reason to live and to see if life was really worth going through everything he had went through. There wasn’t any love shown from Dazai even though Maya was truly in love with him.
Between the ages of 15 and 17, the couple weren’t really as happy as they seemed behind closed doors. Because Maya didn’t put self first and saw her self worth, she practically depended on Dazai like a lost puppy getting adjusted to their new owner. Because he had no remorse for how he treated her, Dazai would physically beat her and she would do nothing about it. Since his ability consisted of canceling another’s ability, she could do nothing about it due to the fact she would refuse to hit him back in fear he would either kill or leave her. After being exposed to this for two years, she became numb to it.
After she turned 18, Mori, the boss of the Port Mafia, thought it would be a good idea to have the two married and so they did, in effort for the two to become something like how Chuuya and Dazai were; the perfect pair for destruction. Mori also wanted to make this happen for the married couple. However, the relationship between the two never changed and Maya was able to hide the abuse from everyone.
On one fateful day, the three musketeers that consisted of Dazai, Odasaku and Ango broke up, leaving one a trader and another dead. That other was Odasaku himself who became that unlucky fellow to die prematurely. While Dazai took this harder than anyone else since he was the only one who thought of him as a friend and Odasaku was the only one Dazai truly cared for, Maya had it hard herself. Odasaku was the only one who treated her like a human being regardless of ethnicity and gender. The only one who supported her when she wanted to keep in contact with her family in America, mainly her elder brother who was her main inspiration to write. So with the loss of him meant she lost her second inspiration. It felt like she lost a piece of herself but didn’t know what that actually meant. She felt like now is a time to figure out who Maya Angelou is.
So she decides to take four years to get herself together. To find out who she is and what her cultural background represents as well as continue to write and… surprise, raising a baby; as she didn’t tell Dazai she was pregnant that happened due to one of his drunken nights he slept with her and eventually knocked her up.
Four years of “wandering,” trying to figure out who she is and her self proclaimed purpose in life. While on the other hand, raising a baby without the presence of their father which was her choice to make.
And so that’s all I have for a backstory for Maya while in the mafia. The next post is basically going to be about her looks, personality and more information about her ability during the mafia and post mafia timeline. Of course this isn’t perfect as it has its holes and can be added to, changed and or fixed but I hope you all can enjoy this as feedback is always welcomed.