Chapter 9:

March 9: Tough Times

One Month to Figure out my Future

If you are wondering whether I told everything about Rohoko to Miyo or not, well I didn’t. I tried to be vague and brushed it off just by saying that she had an argument with her dad but now everything was good.Bookmark here

Today Miyo didn’t have exams so, as usual, we left home together. We were used to walk for a bit and then she would go with her friends while I would, sometimes, join Hayato.Bookmark here

Anyways, as we were getting close to the exit of our building, when we noticed that, there was someone standing outside. That person was actually Rihoko. What was she doing here? Did something happen again with her father?Bookmark here

It didn’t take too long for Miyo to start fabricating theories: “Ohhh, now you even ditch your little sister to go to school with your crush?”Bookmark here

“I don’t really think that’s the case. I wonder why she is here.”Bookmark here

When the automatic doors opened and Rihoko smiled at us, I asked: “Hey Rihoko, what’s up? Is everything ok?”Bookmark here

“Sure I just thought it would be nice to walk to school together since you were so kind to me yesterday. Good to see you too, Miyo.”Bookmark here

Now Miyo replied: “Hi Rihoko, take care of my brother, I’ll be going ahead. See you later.”Bookmark here

Yet again I found myself in a situation I didn’t want to be in, but I couldn’t do anything to change it.Bookmark here

“See you after school Miyo…” I don’t even think she heard me since she was already pretty far ahead. Bookmark here

“Sorry to appear out of the blue, but I would like to talk to you about something important.”Bookmark here

It would be too good for a girl to actually want to go to school with me just for the sake of being with me…Bookmark here

“Is it about your father?”Bookmark here

“Kind of…“Bookmark here

I started walking because I didn’t really want to be standing there in the middle of the sidewalk and I made sure Rihoko would follow me: “Come on, there is no point in standing there.”Bookmark here

She quickly caught up to me: “Sorry, I spaced out for a moment.”Bookmark here

“So, you had something to tell me?”Bookmark here

“Yes. Did you already talk to Miss. Kamuro?”Bookmark here

“Not yet, I will do it today. Why?”Bookmark here

“I would like you not say anything about what I told you yesterday…”Bookmark here

At that point I was pretty confused.Bookmark here

“And why is that? Are you still trying to protect your father?”Bookmark here

There was silence for a couple of seconds and then: “You don’t understand.”Bookmark here

“I think I can.”Bookmark here

She stopped walking and whispered: “You can’t…” and then, suddenly, she let it all out: “You can’t! Do you think I have any other choices? Tell me! What am I going to do if I lose my dad too?!”Bookmark here

I had never seen her angry and I was also getting nervous that the people around would start staring at us.Bookmark here

“Why you think I can’t understand?”Bookmark here

“You have your perfect little family, you can’t understand.” She started running away and vanished in the distance as usual.Bookmark here

I could have run after her and told her that my family was mostly a façade, but I figured she needed some more time to think. No, it’s not an excuse because I didn’t want to lose precious energies by running.Bookmark here

Once at school I was happy to see that Rihoko was there at her desk. When I sat down Hayato quickly asked: “I guess it didn’t go that well yesterday with Rihoko, she seems pretty mad.”Bookmark here

“She had family some issues. This morning, before getting to school, we had a bit of an argument if you want to call it like that. It was more one sided since I wasn’t mad.”Bookmark here

“Look at you, already arguing like a married couple.”Bookmark here

“So funny… She asked me not to tell Miss. Kamuro what happened yesterday, I don’t know what to do but I feel like it would be a wise choice to tell everything to her regardless.”Bookmark here

“You are probably right, an adult point of view is always important. By the way, later you have to tell me too. Who knows, maybe my advice could be very useful.”Bookmark here

“Nosy as always I see, just like my sister.”Bookmark here

“Just like a certain someone who follows people around the city like a creep.”Bookmark here

Fair enough, unfortunately.Bookmark here

“The police call it gathering evidence.”Bookmark here

Hayato with a big smile on the face replied: “Then you are my colleague.”Bookmark here

As always, he doesn’t back down that easily. Shortly after class started and I focused for the rest of the day since the next day we would have had an exam.Bookmark here

After classes ended I was a bit scared of going back to the club, I was afraid Rihoko would have still been angry at me. I decided to slowly head to the club room so that I would be sure to find her there and possibly sort things out.Bookmark here

As I was walking down the hallway of the club rooms’ floor, I could clearly see a bunch of students standing outside of our room. One in particular was in front of everybody else, guess what, it was our “lovely” student’s council president, Megumi.Bookmark here

Getting closer allowed me to hear what they were saying. Megumi was clearly talking to Rihoko: “Hey Sonoda, why you have that look on your face? Your little poppy doesn’t want to help you anymore? You should have petted him more.” After that, the other girls all started laughing.Bookmark here

Probably someone in our class informed them that today Rihoko would have been more vulnerable so they all started picking on her hoping to get her to quit the club.Bookmark here

“Sorry for being late Rihoko. Miss. President I almost didn’t even notice you, hope everything is all right.”Bookmark here

“Ah, the little dog came back with his tail between the legs.”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you are talking about, but we have to work, so if you don’t mind…”Bookmark here

“As if a club with two members would be able to accomplish anything!” Another chore of laughs erupted and then Megumi concluded by saying: “Well then, for today is enough. We will meet again doggy.” Then, she and her army left.Bookmark here

I got inside our club room and closed the door, Rihoko was sitting on a chair and with her head tilted down, she was basically staring at the floor.Bookmark here

“So, shall we get started? Today I think we can finish the website and publish it.”Bookmark here

Rihoko slightly nodded and lifted her head a bit: “Thanks for stepping in.”Bookmark here

“No worries, they were in the way.”Bookmark here

The rest of the afternoon was pretty normal even though there was still a bit of tension but Rihoko clearly wanted to focus on the website and not think about this morning anymore.Bookmark here

“Aaand now it’s done, everything is working fine. I already showed you how to add your book reviews so whenever you want, you can start posting them.”Bookmark here

“Yes I can handle it, thanks again... Megumi was right before.”Bookmark here

“About what?”Bookmark here

“I should treat you better, but I just ended up getting mad at your for no reason.”Bookmark here

“You have many things running around your head right now, put this aside and focus on more important things. Tomorrow we have an exam so it’s best if we go home.”Bookmark here

“You are right.”Bookmark here

“You can go on without me, I still want to check a couple of things just to be sure.”Bookmark here

“Ok, see you tomorrow then.”Bookmark here

Yes, it’s a lie. I just wanted her to go home so that I could go speak with Miss. Kamuro without warring about Rihoko finding out.Bookmark here

I was on my way to Miss. Kamuro’s office when I spotted her at the coffee machine.Bookmark here

“Good Afernoon Miss. Kamuro.”Bookmark here

“Oh Kamizaki, I was worried you would never show up. So how did it go? You found out anything?”Bookmark here

“Yes, and it’s no really nice.”Bookmark here

“I see, let’s step outside to get some fresh air as we talk. You want something to drink too?”Bookmark here

“Why not…”Bookmark here

I was about to insert my coin into the vending machine to get the same soda Rihoko would buy me but Miss. Kamuro stopped me.Bookmark here

“Let me pay, it’s a way to thank you the task I assigned you yesterday.”Bookmark here

“I thought it was a punishment.”Bookmark here

She gently smiled and replied: “You are the only one who was able to bound with Rihoko, you needed to know the full story.”Bookmark here

So, another girl bought me a drink.Bookmark here

When outside, we sat on a bench in the school courtyard. Miss. Kamuro was sipping her coffee so I decided to star by explain everything that I learned the day before.Bookmark here

“She got into a fight with her father because she came home late and didn’t have time to prepare a proper dinner. There were a few broken plates and a lot of screaming but nothing more according to Rihoko.”Bookmark here

“You know anything about her mother?”Bookmark here

“She told me she died because of cancer.”Bookmark here

“Wow, she must really trust you if she told you about her mother.”Bookmark here

“I guess.”Bookmark here

“Now you are wondering what we can do to help her get out of the awful situations she constantly lives in.”Bookmark here

“She didn’t want me to tell you anything and she doesn’t want me to get involved.”Bookmark here

“But you are here telling me everything, why you think you are doing this?”Bookmark here

“I think it’s unfair what she has been through and what she is experiencing.”Bookmark here

“In other words, you care about her.”Bookmark here

“Maybe.”Bookmark here

“Come on Satoshi, you don’t need to be so cold.”Bookmark here

Whenever Miss. Kamuro used to call me by my first name I always felt a weird yet comforting sensation.Bookmark here

“I’m not really here to talk about me, rather to talk about Rihoko.”Bookmark here

Miss. Kamuro slightly laughed and said: “You changed quite a lot, but you are right. The satiation is difficult. Rihoko’s father has never touched her fortunately so we can’t really report him to the police. But, it might be possible to do something about him being often drunk. He stated drinking after the wife died, someone might say it’s a normal reaction, but he never moved on. Now it’s getting out of control and can be dangerous both for himself and Rihoko. It might be possible to get him properly treated in order to stop his alcohol addiction.”Bookmark here

“Do you really think it is possible?”Bookmark here

“Yes, if only Rihoko collaborated. We can report him to specialists so that he can get treated but we also need Rihoko to accept the fact that his father has a problem that needs to be fixed. She often puts all the blame on herself and refuses to see what her father has really become. You probably already noticed that.”Bookmark here

“Yes I did, unfortunately.”Bookmark here

“I suggest that, for now, we wait, I know it might not sound as the greatest idea but you have only one month left of school and I want her to finish it in the best way possible. If we start getting deeper in her familiar matters, it could cause really bad reaction.”Bookmark here

“I understand, tomorrow we have the first of the final exams.”Bookmark here

“Exactly. Look Satoshi, I appreciate you did everything I asked you to do, just remember that, I care about every single one of my students and I would never let anything bad happen to them.”Bookmark here

“I’m sure of it.”Bookmark here

That was the truth, if there was a person that I fully trusted that was certainly Miss. Kamuro.Bookmark here

“Well Kamizaki, ready to hit the books?”Bookmark here

“Yes, now I should really be heading home. Thanks again for the drink.”Bookmark here

“I’m the one who should be thanking you.”Bookmark here

Miyo was already home: “Welcome home big brother, how was todays walk to the school?”Bookmark here

“Weird.”Bookmark here

“Why what happened?”Bookmark here

“How shall I put it, Rihoko run away crying.”Bookmark here

I was prurpusly making it sound worst just to teas her.Bookmark here

She jumped out of the kitchen with a ladle still in her hand and screamed: “WHAT? I hope I didn’t hear what I think I heard.”Bookmark here

“It’s true. I think she let out all that she was holding inside. Later we were actually able to finish our website.”Bookmark here

“So now is everything ok between you two?”Bookmark here

“I guess.”Bookmark here

“You should never make a girl cry!”Bookmark here

“It’s not my fault if you girls tend to cry so easily.”Bookmark here

“And it’s not our fault if you have rock instead of a heart.”Bookmark here

“Stop you are making me blush.”Bookmark here

I actually believed it was a compliment not an insult.Bookmark here

“Do I have to smash this ladle on your head?”Bookmark here

“Ok ok I’m done teasing you, I’ll help you getting the table ready for dinner.”Bookmark here

“You’d better.” And she went back cooking not before making a funny expression with her tongue sticking out.Bookmark here

Real Aire
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