Chapter 13:

Chapter 13: “He's Back!” Part 1

Madman's Forgiveness

Chapter 13: “He's Back!” Part 2

This was the most fun she had in weeks. Yua believed this trip to be a blessing in disguise. For the past month and a half, she had been assigned to report the disappearances around the camp. Finally being able to just unwind and enjoy the place as a whole was relieving for her. After all, it had been years since Yua and her now fiance Troy had returned here.

They were both counselors for the program that had been running during the late ’90s. Like many other counselors, they had only retired due to the sudden unresolved death of Michael Kurosawa.

The fact that they appeared the age they were when they were last at the camp came as a surprise to them. Yet, they used their newfound youth to their advantage.

“I’m not letting you win that easily!”

Yua screamed as she watched the weathered volleyball come plummeting toward her side’s goal. They were one point away from either team taking home the victory. Troy was too far away to counter it in time, having been near the upper right-hand corner of the net sizing up a determined-looking Kazuma.

It ultimately came to be a match between siblings, as Yua began to process the best court of action against Kentaros spike.

His motions were unbelievable. She couldn’t help but be a proud older sister at this moment. He had remembered everything she had taught him. Kentaro had only become an athlete due to his older sister teaching him some moves she picked up from the camp's long retired volleyball team.

The ball had made it halfway past the net and was on a crash course to the sandy ground. She had to think fast if she wanted to at least end the match in a stalemate.

Cupping her hands together, she dived to her left-hand side. Kentaro couldn’t help but look shocked.

“She can’t be serious..?”

Determined to win, Yua had used a move that she warned him never to do unless he was desperate for a win.

This move was the very one that helped her previous team, “Gehennas Angels” win their final championship before disbanding. This move was known as “the final gambit.”

Crossing her fingers together, Yua thrusts her palms forward sending the ball spiraling over the net. All four players looked at it shocked as it flew past the treelines and into the woods.

“Game set!”

A far-off announcer called out. It was Suzume who turned to watch the very end of their match. She had chosen to sit that match out considering they didn’t have enough players. Hiro had declined, telling them he needed some time to think to himself. Suika on the other hand still had not returned to the group. Though they questioned where she could have possibly been, Hiro told them about her hermit lifestyle.

“She’s probably just out hunting.”

“I don’t think she’s the type of person to truly appreciate group activities all that much.”

He told them so casually before heading off to the other side of the lake.

Reaching into her pocket, Suzume pulls out her phone. With a light tap on the home screen, she stops the match's timer.

Walking over to the group, she waves her phone in front of them.

“Looks like it’s a tie everyone!”

She exclaimed, to everybody but Kentaro and Kazuma’s delight.

The game had indeed ended in a stalemate as Yua predicted. Suzume points to the center of her phone screen. It displays the points as being equally set at 30|30.

“Looks like we’ve still got it, Troy!”

Yua squeals happily, as she wraps her arms around her fiance.

Kentaro is furious. Ducking under the net, he stomps toward his sister.

Both Troy and Yua halfway turn their attention to him, confused by his sudden mood shift.

“What the hell was that!?”

He demands, grabbing hold of Yua by the shoulder. He forces her to turn fully so that she can directly face him.

“You can’t just cheat like that!”

“You knew that move was unfair so why would you use it?!”

Troy seems to get riled up by Kentaro’s aggression. Beginning to move forward, he tries to speak.

“You little shit! Get your hands off of her or I’m going to-”

But before he can finish with his threat, Yua gently places a hand on his chest. This was an attempt to keep him from moving forward that ultimately proved to be successful. Looking deeply into his eyes, she sternly begins to question Troy.

“You’ll do what exactly?”

“Please enlighten me.”

Yua may have been a bitch of a character, but if there was one thing she wouldn’t tolerate? It was people attempting to harm her friends or family.

Troy began to sweat. It’d been a long time since he’d seen this side of her. Worried about re-awakening past demons, he threw his hands to the sky and attempted to play it all off with a laugh.

“Easy there she-devil.”

“You know I’m just messing around with the kid.”

Lowering his hand, Troy attempted to gently pat Kentaro’s head. Even this move was calculated. Despite them both appearing around the same age in the camp tape, he wanted to have authority over Kentaro.

This was a way of emasculating Kentaro and showing him who was “really in charge.” Troy wanted to make Kentaro feel as though he were weaker than him. As if Kentaro was less of a human than him. This was a tactic that Yua had seen all those years ago when Troy would behave the same way with other campers.

She wasn’t having any of it. Not after what had happened to “him.” Reeling her hand back, she swiftly delivered a slap across Troy’s cheek. Though the hulking teen stumbled backward, he couldn’t help but smile.

“You remembered to put all your weight into it.”

“I’m impressed.”

He taunts her, rising back to his feet. Kazuma begins to make his way to the other side of the court to help Kentaro and Yua in case an altercation were to happen, but is halted the moment Troy holds his hand out to him.

“Easy there, Mon Ami!”

“No one’s fighting anyone today!”

“I know where I ain’t wanted.”

“Besides, I ain’t even trying to brag but..”

Staring slyly at Kazuma and Kentaro, Troy begins to size the two up.

“We all know that even if you both took me on I’d still win.”

He suggests as he begins to walk off into the woods.

“I’m just gonna go ahead and take a walk myself.”

“Hell, maybe I’ll catch up with that girl that went missing.”

He smirks, giving Yua one last glance before disappearing

Scratching the back of his head, Kazuma turns to Kentaro whose gaze is still locked at the bit of woods.

“God could that guy get any lamer..?”

“Hey ken-chan, you good bro..?”

He asks, trying to get his friend’s attention. Kentaro appeared to be lost in thought, however. Curling his fist, he began to debate to himself whether or not to go after him. Despite being angry, he knew that Troy was right about one thing. No one in the group could over-power him, no matter how hard they tried. Even beyond this moment, Kentaro never truly cared for Troy. Believing Troy and his sister to have been in an abusive relationship. Something that she would never confirm to him.

Kentaro only had to piece together this explanation due to strange behaviors she had adopted ever since starting a relationship with Troy. Before they got together, Yua was never a drinker. Going as far as refusing to touch the stuff. She’d tell Kentaro to stay away from liquor as well. This was due to her being scared of what would possibly become of him if he followed in their parents' footsteps.

The two came from an emotionally fractured household. Their parents weren’t necessarily abusive, but they never truly took responsibility for their actions either. Spending whatever money they’d make on take-out meals and alcohol. Day in and day out, their own love-life seemed to be more important to them than the health of their own children.

This forced Yua to mature at a faster rate than most children. Volunteering around their small town, and helping out with menial chores just to get by.

Yua served more as a parental figure to Kentaro over the years than they ever could. It was to the point that Kentaro barely saw her as an actual sibling in his eyes. Rather, he considered her to be more like a mother to him. So seeing his mother just straight up become something she wasn’t? That hurt him dearly.

Completely ignoring Kazuma’s question, Kentaro turned to Yua and placed his hand on her shoulder.

“Are you gonna be okay Yua?”

He asked with genuine concern. He had a good feeling about what her next course of action was going to be, but he had to remain strong.

“I’m fine Kentaro..”

She speaks softly, brushing his hand away from her shoulder.

“You shouldn’t worry too much about what I do though.”

There’s a strange swagger in the way Yua presented herself.

She was smiling from ear to ear. Kentaro knew his sister. He knew whenever she was faking something like this. Yet at this very moment? He knew that she was being nothing but honest with him.

She seems confident in her approach as she waves goodbye to everyone.

“You, Kazuma, and Suzume should head back to the campsite..”

“I’m going to go ahead and try to talk with him. I need to find out what’s gotten into him.”

Yua states as she begins to skip down that same path that Troy followed.

Based on their past, she had a good feeling she knew exactly where that jackass was gonna be.

It was the summer of 97’ and fourteen-year-old Yua Takano had just started what was planned to be her first year of working as a counselor at Camp Gehenna. For four years prior, she would frequent the camp for two months out of the year. She saw it as a perfect opportunity for her to get out of the house and actually enjoy what little of her childhood she had left. This wasn’t the only thing that drew her to the camp, however. Upon learning that she could make some extra cash working as a counselor once she turned fourteen. Yua jumped at the opportunity.

The campsite fortunately wasn’t too far of a bus ride from her home. This made it so that she was able to ride back and forth whenever necessary. Making trips to bring her brother whatever money she had made that week.

If there was one thing that could help her truly act like the immature kid she was at heart. It would have probably had to have been the vast collection of books that were available in the library. She remembered it vividly. While the building was only two stories high, she overestimated it due to how many books it was able to store.

Whenever she had time between her shifts, she would spend the majority of her time in the library. Always making it a goal to check out a different book each visit. Hardly having any interest or time to finish due to always having to rush to her next assignment.

One book in particular proved to have an interesting enough hook to keep her attention.

It was a copy of “The Great Gatsby” By F. Scott Fitzgerald

Just from the first two chapters alone, she proved to be enamored with Fitzgerald’s penmanship. She craved an answer to the mystery. Who exactly was this Gatsby these characters spoke of so fondly?

Returning to the library one day, she couldn’t help but find herself stressed. She had never experienced somebody that rude in her life. Yua wished she would have just refused to accept the offer from the camp-head to tutor one of the new exchange counselors in the fundamentals of the Japanese language. Her kind heart foolishly led her to giving the lessons a chance.

There was only one thing that could help her get back into her comfort zone. One thing that could help her relax after a long day of struggling and to keep up a positive attitude.

That thing seemed to be missing, however.

“Come on now where is it!”

Yua pleaded as she searched frantically throughout the foreign literature section. For the life of her, she couldn’t seem to find it.

“Hey miss, are you okay?”

A voice called out in a tone unfamiliar to her. The voice was deep, and just from that factor alone she knew it was coming from a man. The way he articulated his words came out smooth. It was as if Japanese had been his native tongue. She began to fangirl, believing that this could very well be the moment she meets her very own Gatsby.

“Holy shit, this might actually be it Yua!”

“Could this be your knight in shining armor?”

“Just from the sound of his voice he sounds handsome, kinda like a rock star.”

Her face turned red just thinking about the possibilities.

“Just try to play it cool. Don’t embarrass yourself..”

She inhaled for four seconds and exhaled for eight. This was done to recollect her thoughts and to keep herself composed.

She slowly began to turn, and once her eyes met his she seemed surprised. It was the guy that she was tutoring. Or was it..? He appeared slightly taller, less muscle-bound, and his hairstyle was entirely different. The man standing before her had his hair styled into a flat top. This was a style unlike any she’d seen before. She wasn’t all that knowledgeable in overseas fashion, so the concept of someone wearing their hair that high was foreign to her. He wore the standard purple camper uniform. The only difference however came in the form of the maple leaf on his chest being golden to represent his seniority.

“Are you okay..?”

“Do you need help finding something maybe..?”

He asked, a bit confused as to why she had spent the last fifteen seconds staring him up and down.

A strange grin formed across his face as he seemingly put two and two together.

“Oh, I get it.”

He suggests, rubbing the underside of his chin with his thumb and his index fingers.

“You must have never seen a brother before, huh?”

“Well don’t be too shocked if I end up stealing your heart then.”

“Hell, by the look on your face I think I may have already succeeded.

He laughs to himself, oblivious to just how unamused Yua had been.

She was under the belief that this was the same counselor that had been harassing her.

“Like hell! After all, you’ve put me through this past week?!”

“I’d rather die than to ever catch feelings for an asshole like you!”

However, hearing this is enough to snap the library worker out of it. He actually started feeling a bit of embarrassment. Worried that he had maybe done something to warrant this act of aggression. Worried that he may have made her uncomfortable with his comments.


“Lady you must really be going through something.”

“This is the first time I have ever seen you in my life.”

“If this is about my comments just now, I want you to know I'm sorry.”

Yua however doesn’t buy this. She believes it to be another trick by her student to try and get on her good side. After all, the student she had tutored would constantly try to flirt with her, barely paying much attention to the actual learning.

Snatching a random book off of the shelf, Yua begins to make her way to her usual seat. Not before flipping him off.

The worker just chooses not to pry. Aside from them, the library had been pretty much abandoned.

This was the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading himself. Reaching underneath the counter, the worker pulled out a navy blue book with golden text etched into it at the top. It was none other than the same copy of “The Great Gatsby'' that Yua had searched for. The worker shared an interest in the book. Though, he could hardly ever find time to actually read it.

Aside from Yua, there were no customers that day. So he felt as though no harm would come from checking out the novel for himself.

“I didn’t want you to think I was just some nobody.”

The worker leaned his torso against the wood counter, almost burying his face in the book. He knew that the girl wanted nothing to do with him, but he wasn’t going to let that ruin his free time.

Yua however knew this excerpt. She had heard it before but couldn’t quite recognize it. Setting her own book down, she sat there waiting for him to confirm her suspicions with his next line.

“You see, I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me”

Yua’s ears perked up as she quickly turned to face the counter. She was right to be suspicious. What he was narrating was an excerpt from chapter 5 of Gatsby.

She seemed more angry than anything. While still under the belief that he was her student. She thought that he had taken the book to mess with her.

“Do you think this is funny..”

She asked through the grit of her teeth.

Gripping the edge of the table, she shot up and began to make her way over to the counter.

“What gives you the right to harass someone who’s just trying to help you!”

The library worker, while confused; nervously smiles.

He genuinely didn’t mean her any harm.

The worker believed that perhaps she was one of those “Karens'' he had heard of. That she possibly chose to attack him due to him reading aloud.

“Maybe I could be asking you the same thing..?”

“Like lady I know it’s a library but can you really fault me for reading?”

“There's barely a soul in here so I thought it’d be fine.”

Snatching the book from him, Yua begins to rapidly tap at the title. It was as if she was trying to focus his attention on it.

“You think it’s the reading that’s the problem!?”

“First you attempt to make my life a living hell and now you’re trying to make it so I don’t even get a break?!”

“I’m regretting even choosing to tutor you!”

Hearing this is enough to finally make things click.

The worker actually can’t help but to laugh at this, causing Yua to take a single step back.

“What the hell are you laughing at now..?”

She asked.

Through his laughs, the worker was finally able to reveal the truth to her.

“You’re talking about my cousin Troy right..?”

“My name is Michael.”

“Michael Kurosawa”

“Some people say we look alike, but I don’t really see it.”

Now that she had a moment to truly think about it. It made sense. While they were similar in appearance, there were too many differences that separated the two. Such as their distinct hairstyles, the way they spoke, and as she would quickly come to realize.. Their different personalities.

A wave of embarrassment washed over Yua as her face flushed a bright red.

Immediately, she cupped her hands together and lowered her head.

“I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!”

She began to plead in a rapid procession.

Just by the looks of it alone, Michael could tell that if he doesn’t intervene that this could possibly escalate into her having a full-fledged anxiety attack.

“Hey now.. It’s alright.”

“Mistakes like misunderstandings are just a part of life.”

“You shouldn’t put so much worry on the small things.”

Attempting to comfort her, Michael places a hand on her shoulder. Inadvertently, this serves as the catalyst to trigger the very thing he had hoped to prevent.

It felt as though hives had broken out all over Yua’s skin. As if she was being stabbed by millions of tiny microscopic needles. She wanted so desperately to scratch, but the burning sensation that followed would have just made it so much harder for her.

She had to get out of there and fast before she could embarrass herself anymore.


“I gotta go!”

She screamed, running out the exit of the library. On her way out however, something catches Michael’s attention. After all that fuss she had made. She had dropped the copy of Gatsby right in the middle of the doorway. Her screaming would soon prove to attract unwanted attention.

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