Chapter 7:

Chapter 7: Mirror on the wall

Madman's Forgiveness

Chapter 7: “Mirror on the wall”

Was his mind playing tricks on him? Hiro just stared at her in disbelief, trying to process what exactly was happening. He was only expecting the members of his close friend group to show up. So his former flame accompanying them was a surprise to say the least. Part of him didn’t want to believe it. He was still a bit shaken up over the previous nights’ adventures with her doppelganger after all. There was no reason for Hiro to doubt it though. The facts were quite literally looking right at him. After eight long years, Suzume Fusho had finally returned to her home town.
“Well, aren’t ya gonna let me come in?” She laughed playfully, snapping Hiro out of his trance-like state.
Trying to hide just how nervous he was feeling, Hiro kept a poker face. Yet his true feelings shined through the moment he muttered his response.
“Oh uh.. Sure.”
He said in a low tone, gesturing her and the others in the direction of the living room area.

“Feel free to make yourself at-”
Before he can even finish his sentence, she takes it upon herself to make her way inside the moment something catches her eye.
Despite so many years passing, Suzume was still familiar with the layout of the apartment. This could partially be the blame of his foster father however. He was more of a traditional man who never really welcomed change unless it immediately benefited him. His foster fathers bedroom, which Suzume now shifted her attention to upon noticing the door had been left cracked open slightly; is a perfect example of this. While the room itself was well put together, he had made no changes to it. Suggesting to Hiro throughout the years that people in this world put so much pride in constantly upgrading to newer and better things, that it’s become impossible for them to truly sit back and enjoy what came before it. Which could possibly explain why he still used a CRT television in 2017.
When Hiro and Suzume were younger, the two were practically inseparable. At least twice a week, she would stop by his foster father’s place to study with Hiro and cook them all dinner. It was never anything worth eating, but Hiro would happily accept it every time. Feeling as though if he were to ever turn it down, it would break her heart beyond repair.

“Smooth moves Casanova!”
“Me and Kenny were placing bets on how you’d react!”
Kazuma teases him, lightly smacking Hiros right shoulder as he takes a step inside to let the people behind him through.
“Kentaro here really thought you’d cave and say something embarrassing.”

This comment bothers Kentaro, but not enough for him to act on it. What Kazuma claimed directly contrasted with how their wager actually played out. Moving to Hiro’s other side, Kentaro began to nudge the bridge of his glasses up to keep them from slipping.
“Don’t listen to him, he’s just being a dumbass again.”
“The bet was pretty stupid itself, but I had to add my two cents.”
“I said you’d probably confess that you still had feelings for her.”
“And well..”
“By the look on your face..”
Kentaro turned, as to give Hiro his undivided attention. Staring intently into his eyes, he spoke one last chilling remark before making his way over to the living room area.
“You’re a ticking time-bomb.”

“Jesus what a buzzkill..”
“Don’t even worry about it, though Hiro.”
“Think of tonight like a reunion.”
“We’re all just gonna have fun, alright?”
There was something strangely reassuring in the way Kazuma gripped Hiro’s shoulder now.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
The final two people who entered appeared to be complete strangers. Just from the way they presented themselves, something felt off about the two. Specifically just how happy the two seemed. They appeared to be a couple in their mid to late thirties.
This guy was an absolute unit! He looked to be a potential tourist. One thing cluing Hiro in on this possibility was the man’s sense of fashion. He wore camouflage cargo pants, aviator sunglasses, and a black wife beater tank top which had a red banner going through the middle. Though he tried, Hiro couldn’t quite decipher the white lettering in the middle. The word “ULTRA” was written on it in English.

Clocking in at 6’4, he completely towered over Hiro. In a way, he reminds Hiro of certain anime characters who were drawn to have physiques rivaling those of pro athletes. The girlfriend however seemed familiar to him. He had seen her before, but couldn’t quite remember where.
“She’s too old to have gone to school with me..”
“And by the giant bottle in her hand, I don’t think she’s well fit to be a teacher either..”

Despite her inebriated state, she looked pretty professional. Choosing to wear the same clothes from her line of work to this gettogether. She had light purple hair that she had let down from the bun her workplace required her to keep it in, and was dressed in a brown suit jacket, and navy blue jeans.

“So you’re Hiro right?”
“My brother told me a lot about you!”
“It’s such a pleasure finally being able to meet you.”
She states, politely offering him the bottle of alcohol.
“I didn’t know if you drink buttttt” I couldn’t just show up here without a gift!”
“So I got ya the finest hooch I could find at the station!”

Hiro cautiously grabs hold of the bottle by the bottom, nervously smiling at her.
“Well uh.. Thanks.”
“But who are you exactly?”

Clearing her throat, she begins to make a serious face.
Slamming her first into her palm, she begins to perform a soliloquy in a sort of deadpan tone.
“My name is Yua Takano and you’re watching Sun television Co..”
She had expected Hiro to freak out upon hearing this, considering she had become somewhat of a local celebrity. Yet her expression changed to one of defeat as she noticed Hiro’s genuine look of confusion.
“Oh the news network? People still watch that?”

Yua practically lived off of the notoriety being a news reporter brought her. So having someone suddenly tell her that they had no idea who she was, came across as an insult.
She reels her hand back preparing to slap Hiro in the face, but is stopped by her fiance grabbing hold of it.

“Woah now ma chérie”
“You know better than ta’ be attacking someone who is so graciously letting us into his home.”
The way he spoke came across in the same way a parent would speak to their child. His accent was unlike anything he’d heard before. While he spoke Japanese to communicate with her, it had a Cajun twist to it.

She scoffed, snatching herself free from his grasp. She refused to dignify either of them with a proper response. Instead opting to join Kentaro and Kazuma on the couch, leaving her fiancé and Hiro to introduce each other.

“I’m sorry bout that, my new friend.”
“My name is Troy. Troy Todd.”
He seems sincere in his apology, going as far as offering his hand to Hiro.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you!”
“I’m sorry bout’ my old lady now.”
“She got a temper on her. Whenever people don’t feed her ego, she goes a bit crazy.”

Hiro shook his hand, easing up a bit.
“Don’t even worry about it man. I’ve dealt with far worse working retail.”
“Feel free to make yourself at home-”
The sound of a door slowly creaking open turns everybody but Hiro’s attention toward the hallway.
How could he have been so foolish to forget!
Hiro’s heart drops as his eyes analyze the living quarters, in search of Suzume. The sheer fact that she was here led him to forget a major problem. When she couldn’t be found, he began to join everybody's collective gaze. Slowly turning to face the hallway. His fears were confirmed. There in front of his foster fathers room stood Suzume, staring directly at her doppelganger.

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