Chapter 13:

Chapter 13: Worrying Disappearance

Becoming A Seiyuu? I'm In!

"Aki didn't call me during weekend. At all. What has he been doing, somehow? I'm itching to know, but I don't know how to get in touch to him. What if his mother pick up the phone call instead? She will know that Aki wanted to learn on acting with Kishi-senpai and Ito-senpai." - Tori.Bookmark here

The weekend has unconsciously passed, luckily undisturbed and much more peaceful than how Tori has expected. During those two days of lazing around on bed and in his beloved room, he waited for his mobile phone to ring. That person never stayed shut over incidents he happened to come across, and Tori would be his punching bag. Ever since the day that person was told (or instructed, he said) by Kishi to come over his resident, Tori has been thinking whether it was a good idea to accompany him, bring Hiro along, or just let him settle down alone. He was not going to abandon that one friend of his, though it did sound like he did. The rumours lingering across Izumi Junior High School spread like a fart; fast yet pungent.Bookmark here

Girls. One of their common trait that Tori disliked was their mouth to not stop gossiping. Tori never became a hot topic to be gossiped about, and to everyone’s surprise, he never even bothered to hear one. All he considered he should be focusing on was his studies, and Aki. Bookmark here

Aki? Yes, Aki! Aki, his one and only childhood friend, has not arrived yet. Tori scanned around the school compound, musing over two options – To wait for Aki’s advent by the school entrance, or just go to 1 – 6 and wait for him there. Deeming the congested students at the entrance, plus the eyeing safety guard standing by the gate, have somehow feared him. He was not used to be outside a building without Aki. Bookmark here

That one childhood friend of Tori was overprotective. Like a doting father. Tori’s parents were undeniably loving and gentle, and Aki had his almost the same but in opposite manner. Though he talked softly, his choices of words were always controversial. Bookmark here

“Good morning, Tori!” Bookmark here

Someone accosted Tori from behind, startling him to the point that he might jump off his indoor shoes. That student was his classmate, and he was familiar to Tori like Aki did too. It seemed like both of them arrived at 1 – 6 at the same time, stepping into the class with the same foot and pace, and separating ways at the same second. Unknowingly their respective brains shared the same mind, Tori would figure it out once Hiro querying him about that one person.Bookmark here

Tori pretended to not notice of Hiro making his way from his seat at the front to Tori’s at the back. Bookmark here

“Hey, Tori! Where’s Aki?”Bookmark here

That was the awaited question. Tori held on the reply, keeping himself busy with his books and stuffs, and finally lifting his head up to meet gaze with Hiro. Hiro’s sparkling eyes meant his interest to be revealed about Aki’s weekend. Tori shrugged. Bookmark here

“How can you not know why he’s late today?” The mischievous side of Hiro has emerged out of nowhere, and it really pissed Tori off. Hiro kept on fetching Tori’s stuffs on the desk and played aimlessly with it, like small mindless kid.Bookmark here

The havoc erupted by, practically, everyone in 1 – 6 shrouded their conversation. Last time, they have drawn the attention of Kishi’s fan girls, then Tori and Hiro were being stalked here and there. Only one reason could be the cause – Aki. The rumors was predominantly about Aki bullying Kishi by putting laxative into Kishi’s lunch meal, which derived in Kishi’s diarrhea and dehydration. The actual victim, Aki, has admitted to the crime but he was actually told by Ito to do so, which was why he should not be punished severely. Aki’s bluntness in executing Ito’s command has later faulted him. Bookmark here

Putting aside the gossip. Bookmark here

Nonetheless, Aki has not come up even when their homeroom teacher, Miss Maeko entered the class. She stood in front of the classroom, calling out names for attendance just to be enlightened that Aki was absent on the day. Her frown flagged up her ponder, finding reason behind Aki’s absence by herself before referring to Tori as Aki’s closest friend. Tori’s second shrug was a little disappointing. Bookmark here

Even Tori was restless. Why was Aki not attending to the school? Was he having Monday Blues? But he was not even working! Tori propped his hand, flinging his view out of the window with his mind deliberately set in tranquility. He wanted to contact Aki, but the timing was pretty uncommon. What was he going to tell Aki’s Mother if she answered the phone instead of Aki? Furthermore, in lieu of him expecting an answer about Aki, what if she would be the one interrogating? Did she aware of Aki’s disappearance this morning? Bookmark here

Vague probability roamed in Tori’s mind, as if he was investigating over the mystery of unsolved case without the natural talent like Shichi Sudou in <Meitantei Konan>. No one was familiar to Aki than him, hence diminishing the percentage to find him sooner. What worse that Aki did not own a mobile phone.Bookmark here

Kishi-senpai! That name popped up in his mind. That senior was the one mandating Aki to come over his house. He remembered the sight of Kishi meeting Aki at the back door of 1 – 6 to hand the latter a piece of paper. A drawn mini map locating his resident conveyed his demand in need to be fulfilled, thus Aki had no choice but to implement obediently. Tori could not stop his mind from imagining incidents he should not.Bookmark here

Was Aki kidnapped on his way to Kishi’s house? Or it might be Kishi’s trap to abduct Aki and… kill him?!Bookmark here

Tori could not think straight as his terror took over his rationality. He dashed to Kishi’s class two floors above his, inherently invading Kishi’s harmonious Monday. He knew where Kishi’s class was, thanks to the local Intel he employed among his classmates. The girls positively garnered every single information about Kishi as the dominantly renowned president of student association, except Kishi’s home address which was what differed Aki to them.Bookmark here

“Hi. How can I help you?”Bookmark here

This guy’s character matched with Aki’s representation about that one of Kishi’s friends named Ito. He wore a very frank smile which somehow conflicted with his toxic personality (said Aki), causing Tori to act exceptionally wary in front of him. “May I see Kishi-senpai?”Bookmark here

“Kishi’s currently going out for his association meeting,” the guy, who Tori noticed wearing the name tag Ito on his chest, replied. Bookmark here

The younger could not tell apart if Ito was speaking the truth or deceit. He covertly skimmed around the 3 – 6 class, attempting on spotting the presence of Kishi in there, just to be embittered by the actuality divulged by Ito earlier. Bookmark here

“Then, when will he come back?” Bookmark here

“Hmmm,” Ito scratched his back of head, seemingly recalling his jotted memory if Kishi did notify him about that. “I’m afraid that he won’t be returning sooner, boy. What if you go back to your class first and come again at lunch break? We’ve promised to hang out on the rooftop.”Bookmark here

Rooftop? It was where he, Aki and Hiro utilized to spend their break, gleefully bringing up topics including lessons they learnt on that day. The rooftop had the least student coming there for a hangout, which relaxed their heart because Tori disliked crowded place like the canteen. Bookmark here

“Thank you very much, Ito-senpai!” Tori bowed swiftly before fleeing away from 3 – 6 class, leaving Ito dumbfounded at the doorframe. Bookmark here

It did not take that long after Tori’s depart when Kishi returned to the class, giggly and high spirited. Meters from the front door, he saw Ito looking towards a direction in the corridor. Wondering what the matter was, Kishi stunned Ito by poking his waist. Bookmark here

That action indisputably caused Kishi a setback.Bookmark here

“What are you looking at?”Bookmark here

The stinging sensation on Kishi’s forearm reminded him not to tease Ito at the moment. He could never resist Ito’s sharp and painful finger pinch. Ito still squinted at him. Bookmark here

“Tori came to find you just now,” Ito changed his course to the corridor again, “I wonder what it’s about. He came alone too.”Bookmark here

“Probably Aki was frightened to meet me, so he sent Tori,” Kishi gestured a wave at Ito to return to their respective seats in 3 – 6 and continued their conversation there. Bookmark here

Ito did not seem to decline the idea. He tailed Kishi and marched to his seat, located behind Kishi’s, and resumed their chat. Kishi swiveled his chair facing towards Ito to have better hearing. Bookmark here

“The thing is that I don’t think Aki asked him to meet you, while he could already see you normally,” Ito tapped his ball point pen on his desk, creating an extremely uncanny vibe mimicking a mystery movie. “There must be something happening to them. Boys can still quarrel, you know that, right?”Bookmark here

“I already did last week. With Aki,” Kishi rolled his eyes whether in irritation or disappointment. “Then, just let him find Aki on his own. We aren’t his siblings, let alone his classmates. Besides, isn’t Hiro close to him too? That eases the case.”Bookmark here

The seniors bewildered by themselves, making up with various possibilities that might befall Aki regarding his disappearance. They should feel so since they were the last people to have met Aki for the last time. The previous Sunday was their second day of acting training. Due to unperturbed willingness and focus, they prolonged until chilly night breeze poked through the window sills. It was a sign that they should give themselves an appropriate rest after practicing for two days straight, abandoning school works, studies, and their responsibilities as sons of their families. Bookmark here

“Or were we anxious too much?” Kishi assumed, sandwiching his crossed arms in between his chin and his chair. Bookmark here

Despite his reluctance to teach Aki about acting, Kishi eventually found it rather interesting to discover more and more veiled trait of Aki. Even Ito said so. As a new actor, Aki really worked hard to be acknowledged by Kishi and Ito. He repeatedly improvised the dialogue from Kishi and Ito’s collection of scripts from their drama club. They taught Aki how to alter intonation and control volume in the lines, without neglecting the importance of the statement picturing the situation of that particular scene. As the student, Aki listened incredibly attentively, which gave Kishi and Ito the serenest time to handle him. Bookmark here

Nevertheless, Aki progressed in utterly slow pace. He was fully aware what he should act, he realized how he should perform, he knew what he was about to play. But still, he has gotten himself accustomed to imitation too much that he could not detach that habit from him. Kishi and Ito’s scripts were not anime-based, therefore he tended to copy Kishi’s acting instead. Bookmark here

It was indeed an error for Aki. At this rate, Mori would really give the voice acting task to Hiro and Tori. He was learning, yet he had to change that hobby first. Before Aki left Kishi’s house, Ito lent him a script – A clean completed scripts entitled <0001> with description of the story on the first page and the dialogues of every characters starting from the second page onward. Aki hesitated to take it even if he was just borrowing it, however Kishi insisted him to use it wisely.Bookmark here

“As long as 0001 is safe in his hand, we won’t get into trouble. I mean, big trouble,” Kishi heaved a sigh, beginning to contemplate of his choice beforehand. Bookmark here

The ringing bell resonated across the building, informing everyone that it was lunch break, and they were supposed to rest their mind off for a while. Grumbling stomach was unpleasant, therefore it might be not a good choice to not eat during break. Tori has not found the missing Aki even after half day of academic session, which elevated his nervousness. He was fidgeting to call Aki’s resident in no time. Bookmark here

Tori and Hiro were climbing the stairs to the rooftop to have their lunch when they almost bumped into Kishi and Ito. The four of them were going to the same place, as if they have promised to move together like best friends. Neither of them uttered a word or two to break the silence between them.Bookmark here

They have almost reached the top fleet of the stairs when someone barged into the building from the rooftop, emerging out of the blue. That familiar someone huffed and puffed as if he was running away from being chased by a kidnapper. Bookmark here

A kidnapper?!Bookmark here

“Mori-senpai! What’s wrong with you?” Hiro grabbed the elder on the shoulder, pale face and trembling limbs basically portraying his sickness. Bookmark here

Mori rubbed his chest, recomposing his accelerating breaths as he gasped for fresh air. His one hand stretched to his hind, pointing to a direction which was the rooftop. Bookmark here

“Someone! Someone has gone insane there!!”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.