Hachiko - A Hachishakusama Story
The next morning, I was eating breakfast with my sister Maki. I was definitely preoccupied with thoughts of Hachiko and whatever it was I witnessed the night before. I mean I actually may have found a real, living, yokai or creature in this case. One that is very much like a human. This is not something many people can say. I guess no one can actually, she said she’s been there over 200 years. All the stories about her, if she’s Hachishakusama, are just random nonsense with no substance. Someone probably told the story to their kids and they passed it down and so on until it became something you would hear like if you were playing the telephone game as a kid. This is so awesome. But it’s making me daydream a little too much. Right now I’m ignoring my sister as I tell you this. Let’s get back to the story.
So my sister and I were eating breakfast and at the dining room table. I swear she was talking but I was too preoccupied to pay attention. I kept staring into my plate and twirling my chopsticks.
“Kazu. I have a boyfriend Kazu.”
I just grunted after she finished talking. Or at least after I assumed she stopped talking. I really wasn’t paying her much attention.
“We’re going to get married tomorrow.”
“Kazu, me and my boyfriend are going to have sex on your bed.”
But then I finally snapped out of my daze thanks to the surprising statement I just heard from my sister. I jumped up out of my seat and leaned forward towards Maki.
“WHAT!??!?!! You have a boyfriend!? And there’s no way in hell you’re having sex in this house and definitely not in my bed if you want to live to see tomorrow! As long as I’m alive you will never ever EVER think about having sex EVER!”
Have you ever snapped at someone but you didn’t mean to? Well that’s what I just did to Maki. I had just watched my little sister curl up into a ball in her seat. And it was all my fault.
“Kazu! I’m sorry! I was joking!”
The damage was done, and I don’t just mean to her. I snapped at my sweet little brat of a sister. That one hurt. I walked over to her side of the table and stood behind her. I wanted to say something, anything, but the words just never came out. So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I put my head down so my forehead was touching the back of her head and wrapped my arms around her.
Maki meekly said to me, “Kazu. Y-y-y-y-y-y-you scared me.”
She reached up with both hands and gripped my forearms. I guess here wasn’t much she could do from the position she was in.
“You were spacing out Kazu. I just wanted your attention.”
“Sorry Maki. I just have a lot on my mind.”
“That tall girl again?”
“You better bring her to the house someday.”
I spun Maki around in the chair and gave her a serious look before saying...“If I do that then we have to have sex on your bed.”
“Ewwwwwwwwwww Kazu. Don’t be gross. Nasty. Soooo gross.”
“You said it first!”
“But I’m you’re cute, darling, amazing little sister. You’re supposed to protect me and give me everything I want.”
“Who raised you to be such a brat?”
“That would be Kazuhito. I think you should have a talk with him. He doesn’t spoil me enough.”
She started laughing and who could be mad at her. She’s a cute little 11 year old who I have to protect. I would do anything to keep my sister smiling, especially after everything she’s been through. I grabbed the chair next to her and slid it over to sit next to her. She leaned in and laid her head on my shoulder. So I had to ask her a very important question that’s always on my mind.
“Maki. Am I doing a good job as your big brother? Are you happy here with me?”
“Of course I’m happy Kazu. I know I’m safe with you around and I don’t have to worry about our new father. You’re the best big brother ever.”
I couldn’t hold back my tears. I was shedding tears of joy because of what she said. I never knew if she thought I was doing a good job. We didn’t have much. It’s not like I could afford everything I felt she deserved but she was happy and that’s the main thing. I had to take her from our family home and from our mother because of the abusive man she ended up marrying after our father died. I was never sure it was right. And I’m sure it broke our mother’s heart to see her children leave but I had to protect Maki.
“Maki, in the near future, I’m going to tell you something and it has to be a secret okay?”
“Sounds serious Kazu.”
“It is. It's so serious I might have to find a place to bury your body if you tell.”
Maki picked her head up off my shoulder and turned in her seat to face me.
“What’s up Maki?”
...and with that, Maki pushed me out of my chair and I landed flat on my back. She may be a shrimp but that was good technique. I didn’t even see it coming.
“OW! MAKI! WHAT THE HELL!?”
I was looking up and Maki was standing there, over me, with her arms crossed, trying to fight back tears.
“Kazu, I know you’re joking but that’s not funny! Don’t you remember what our stupid father used to say to me?!”
I just laid there staring at her for a minute because I didn’t know what to say. Did he say that to her? Is that one of the things she told me and I just forgot? I’m sure I triggered something but unfortunately I didn’t remember right then and there. I tried to make it right. I knew I needed to apologize but part of me didn’t remember why and that sucked. Kazuhito, you dumbass.
“Sorry Maki. I hope you can forgive your stupid brother.”
Maki reached down to help me up. I guess she was okay with my apology. I grabbed her hand but I pulled myself up into a sitting position and put my head down because I was ashamed to look at her at that moment.
“Maki. You’re my little sister. I love you and would never do anything to hurt you. I’m sorry that I said what I said. I will try my best not to say something like that again.”
I picked my head up and thought of the only thing I knew always made her happy, “...and? ...ice….cream….?”
“Not this time Kazu. You’re not getting off THAT easy.”
“I heard that you know. I think your punishment should be… bringing your girlfriend home.”
Touche shrimp. Looks like you learned dealmaking from your big brother. But what do I tell her? I’ve been visiting a mythological monster that doesn’t exist? I found an urban legend who is actually real? ‘Hey Maki, your big brother found someone who would eat you like a snack.’ Yeah that would go over well. And what about Hachiko. I can’t let her secret get out. Can these two ever meet? Ever? You got me Maki. You got me.
I was still sitting on the floor and just looking at her with a blank stare because she really got me on that one. Dealmaking 101 and Kazuhito failed by letting the shrimp get the upper hand. She’s going to be trouble when she grows up.
“Kazu. Do you really not want me to meet this girl?”
“I don’t know how to put this. It’s not that I don’t want you to meet her but I don’t think you should. It’s very complicated.”
“Kazu, it’s obvious you like this woman. I just want to meet her.”
“It really is complicated, sis. If things work out then I will let you meet her.”
With that, I stood up and went upstairs to my room to get ready for work. But before I went in my room I had to get one little dig in.
“Hey Maki. I know you have a day off but don’t lay around the house in bunny pajamas all day.”
“I hate when she does that. So annoying.”
“I’ll wear the panda instead.”
I could hear her laughing at her own joke as I was getting dressed. But it was Hachiko day so I let her get away with her brattiness for the day.
“At first I wanted to take a few days to process what happened and even then I wasn’t sure I was going to go back. I mean she is a monster that could eat me. But this time she was the one to suggest 3 days. I wonder why…”
I picked up my bag but this time I wasn’t overloading it with a bunch of sneakers and other stuff. This time it was just a simple, extra long, cloth tape measure and my headlamp. The objective of the day was to measure Hachiko since he planned to take her out and she needed clothes that aren’t torn apart.
But as I got ready to leave my room after changing, Maki screamed something up to me that made my blood boil. Luckily Maki was the messenger because I was heated.
“KAZUHITO! That Hideki guy called and said he needs you to work late today!”
“WHAT!??! He’s such an asshole! At least I give him notice if there’s an issue. DAMMIT!!!!”
“Are you okay Kazu? You’re never this upset with working late.”
“I...it’s nothing, sis.”
I slowly descended the stairs with my head down since this was my day to see Hachiko. I wanted to have every minute possible with her since who knows when that may not be a possibility anymore.
“Maki, there’s food in the fridge, okay? I don’t know when I’ll be home.”
“Kazu, the store closes at 9. It only takes you 10 minute to get home. So why so melodramatic?”
“Well, I planned to take care of something later…”
Maki started jumping up and down excitedly in front of me, kind of like a rabbit which was fitting since she was still in her bunny pajamas. Why couldn’t she stay that way forever. Maki was such a cute kid.
“It’s the tall girl! It’s the tall girl! You’re going to see her aren’t you?!”
For some reason, Maki decided to jump on my back.
“I’m so happy for you Kazu! I can’t wait for you to bring her home so I can meet her.”
“I wonder if she’d be so happy if she realized who she might be meeting some day. A creature who could rip her limbs off and eat her.”
“I’ll think about it Maki but it may take a while before I decide to let you meet her.”
“Are you scared of me chasing her away? I’m not that bad Kazu. Am I?”
“No, of course not. I have my reasons and you just have to trust me. Okay?”
“Sure Kazu. I trust you. A little...”
“Only a little?”
“Yeah. Only a little.”
“I would think I earned more than that by now. You’re a tough one. Anyway, I’m off to work. You think you can get off my back now?”
She squeezed me even harder before saying, “No. I’m charging my Kazu battery.”
“You can be so silly sometimes.”
Finally, Maki jumped off my back so he could get on my way to work. I put my shoes on and started my death march to work and as I passed some of the other shops, I passed someone I wasn’t expecting to see.
“Shouldn’t you be at the store?”
“I took the day off because I’m…”
“...a slacking loser?”
“What did I ever do to you Kazuhito?”
“Are you kidding me?! You slack off. You expect me to do all your work. Why do you think I changed shifts? Because I don’t want to be near you anymore.”
“Ouch man. That hurts.”
“Look at today. I have to work your shift because no one else is trained to be a manager. Did you think that I might have plans? Did you think about my little sister who I have to leave home alone?”
“Hey! It’s not my fault you’re a siscon!”
When he said that, I balled up my fist ready to hit Hideki but I decided not to. Still not sure why since I can’t stand his face.
“So because I take care of my sister I’m a siscon? F* you dude. I’m going to work.”
I started to walk away from Hideki without even looking at him. Would you? He’s an ass. I always had to pick up the slack for him when he knew my home situation. It’s one thing if it was important, but it never was.
“Damn Kazuhito, I didn’t know I was such a jerk to you.”
“Whatever dude. I’m done. I’m not going to keep cleaning up your messes.”
I kept walking to the store and ignored Hideki. As I got to the store I was greeted by the part timer that I was never introduced to. He’s the one from earlier when I grabbed all that ice cream for the shrimp.
“What’s up, new guy. Looks like it’s me and you today. My name is Kazuhito, nice to meet you.”
Like a respectful human being, I bowed but the trainee did not do the same.
“What a disrespectful little bastard.”
“Look man. I know you’re my boss and all that but I’m just here to make some money and get a car. No need for us to be friends or anything. Just call me Sato.”
“Wow. I work with a bunch of assholes.”
“Alright Sato… you man the counter and I’ll take care of stock and inventory.”
As the hours tick away, our main character Kazuhito… Alright, I’ll stop messing around. I kept stocking shelves and taking inventory while trying to avoid talking to Sato. I was already aggravated and I didn’t need anymore from these knuckleheads I was surrounded by. Luckily for me, all the items have the prices clearly marked on them in case there were any issues at the register. So less of a need for me to interact. This allowed me to work in peace and not worry about what was going on in the store.
My shift ended at 9 when I was running the store, plus the time it takes to lock up. But I was in for a surprise on this day. I was definitely not ready for this one. About 2 hours before store closing, and in walked Hideki. He was there to take over from me which I never would have expected.
“Kazuhito, you were right about what you said to me before. I’m sorry.”
Hideki actually bowed and apologized to me. Weird. Whatever.
“I hope you’re not looking for forgiveness.”
“No. I wouldn’t forgive me either. But you shouldn’t have to work extra because I decided to slack off. I’m taking over. Go home.”
I dropped the box of canned food that I was holding and walked towards the door but as I passed Hideki I had one last comment for Hideki. I walked right up to him and poked him in the chest a few times while telling him what I thought of his little act.
“Next time you pull this shit, I quit. Got it? I. Will. Quit.”
What I didn’t know is that as I was walking out of the door, Hideki was watching me and noticed I didn’t go straight home like I usually do. He took note of this fact for his future notorious plans.