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.
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.
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?
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?”
“I don’t really think that’s the case. I wonder why she is here.”
When the automatic doors opened and Rihoko smiled at us, I asked: “Hey Rihoko, what’s up? Is everything ok?”
“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.”
Now Miyo replied: “Hi Rihoko, take care of my brother, I’ll be going ahead. See you later.”
Yet again I found myself in a situation I didn’t want to be in, but I couldn’t do anything to change it.
“See you after school Miyo…” I don’t even think she heard me since she was already pretty far ahead.
“Sorry to appear out of the blue, but I would like to talk to you about something important.”
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…
“Is it about your father?”
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.”
She quickly caught up to me: “Sorry, I spaced out for a moment.”
“So, you had something to tell me?”
“Yes. Did you already talk to Miss. Kamuro?”
“Not yet, I will do it today. Why?”
“I would like you not say anything about what I told you yesterday…”
At that point I was pretty confused.
“And why is that? Are you still trying to protect your father?”
There was silence for a couple of seconds and then: “You don’t understand.”
“I think I can.”
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?!”
I had never seen her angry and I was also getting nervous that the people around would start staring at us.
“Why you think I can’t understand?”
“You have your perfect little family, you can’t understand.” She started running away and vanished in the distance as usual.
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.
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.”
“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.”
“Look at you, already arguing like a married couple.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Nosy as always I see, just like my sister.”
“Just like a certain someone who follows people around the city like a creep.”
Fair enough, unfortunately.
“The police call it gathering evidence.”
Hayato with a big smile on the face replied: “Then you are my colleague.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Sorry for being late Rihoko. Miss. President I almost didn’t even notice you, hope everything is all right.”
“Ah, the little dog came back with his tail between the legs.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, but we have to work, so if you don’t mind…”
“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.
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.
“So, shall we get started? Today I think we can finish the website and publish it.”
Rihoko slightly nodded and lifted her head a bit: “Thanks for stepping in.”
“No worries, they were in the way.”
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.
“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.”
“Yes I can handle it, thanks again... Megumi was right before.”
“I should treat you better, but I just ended up getting mad at your for no reason.”
“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.”
“You are right.”
“You can go on without me, I still want to check a couple of things just to be sure.”
“Ok, see you tomorrow then.”
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.
I was on my way to Miss. Kamuro’s office when I spotted her at the coffee machine.
“Good Afernoon Miss. Kamuro.”
“Oh Kamizaki, I was worried you would never show up. So how did it go? You found out anything?”
“Yes, and it’s no really nice.”
“I see, let’s step outside to get some fresh air as we talk. You want something to drink too?”
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.
“Let me pay, it’s a way to thank you the task I assigned you yesterday.”
“I thought it was a punishment.”
She gently smiled and replied: “You are the only one who was able to bound with Rihoko, you needed to know the full story.”
So, another girl bought me a drink.
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.
“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.”
“You know anything about her mother?”
“She told me she died because of cancer.”
“Wow, she must really trust you if she told you about her mother.”
“Now you are wondering what we can do to help her get out of the awful situations she constantly lives in.”
“She didn’t want me to tell you anything and she doesn’t want me to get involved.”
“But you are here telling me everything, why you think you are doing this?”
“I think it’s unfair what she has been through and what she is experiencing.”
“In other words, you care about her.”
“Come on Satoshi, you don’t need to be so cold.”
Whenever Miss. Kamuro used to call me by my first name I always felt a weird yet comforting sensation.
“I’m not really here to talk about me, rather to talk about Rihoko.”
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.”
“Do you really think it is possible?”
“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.”
“Yes I did, unfortunately.”
“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.”
“I understand, tomorrow we have the first of the final exams.”
“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.”
“I’m sure of it.”
That was the truth, if there was a person that I fully trusted that was certainly Miss. Kamuro.
“Well Kamizaki, ready to hit the books?”
“Yes, now I should really be heading home. Thanks again for the drink.”
“I’m the one who should be thanking you.”
Miyo was already home: “Welcome home big brother, how was todays walk to the school?”
“Why what happened?”
“How shall I put it, Rihoko run away crying.”
I was prurpusly making it sound worst just to teas her.
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.”
“It’s true. I think she let out all that she was holding inside. Later we were actually able to finish our website.”
“So now is everything ok between you two?”
“You should never make a girl cry!”
“It’s not my fault if you girls tend to cry so easily.”
“And it’s not our fault if you have rock instead of a heart.”
“Stop you are making me blush.”
I actually believed it was a compliment not an insult.
“Do I have to smash this ladle on your head?”
“Ok ok I’m done teasing you, I’ll help you getting the table ready for dinner.”
“You’d better.” And she went back cooking not before making a funny expression with her tongue sticking out.