Chapter 19:

Fun Time is Over

The Fall of Prince Hayashi

I had the password to the laptop, sitting in the back pocket of my pants. As I left Hayashi’s house I found that the sun was completely gone and in its place the night settled in. The world around me was dead silent, as my feet echoed while I was walking back to my apartment. Bookmark here

I had a feeling that Satomi wouldn’t be there. She worked the night shift at her parent’s convenience store, something I completely forgot when I was with her. It made it seem impossible that barely even a month ago her name was just a known stranger to me. Right now, it was clear as day that the feelings I had for Satomi were….more than just friendly. Bookmark here

A part of me never wanted this moment to end. It was like a mystery, trying to find the pieces of Kota’s past and link them all up together. On the other hand, I knew that with each move we were only digging ourselves into a deeper and deeper mess. Maybe we should have taken a page from Mori’s book and left Hayashi’s past alone the moment we met him. I could have lived with that hallow truth. But….could she live with just that? With the outline of what was really going through his mind? Bookmark here

She might still love him….but her hate for him might be her downfall. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

I came home to my apartment to find it empty. I wasn’t surprised at all though. I doubt that even someone like Satomi could handle staying in one place for so long. The windows were all closed, the dishes all away. Like an angel felt bad for me and cleaned up everything while i was gone. Bookmark here

A small sheet of white paper caught my eye, as it was hanging off of the coffee table. I took my shoes off and slid them over to the side. I took the note off the table and brought it close to my face. Bookmark here

Went to work. I cleaned up around a bit too. I’ll be back at 9am tomorrow morning. I’m bringing food too. Bookmark here

“Looks like I was right,” I said, crumbling up the paper. I headed to my bedroom and tossed the paper in the trash can. Bookmark here

Satomi was out working and then she’d hopefully get a good night of sleep before coming back at 9am. The password in my pocket didn’t seem that important anymore in comparison to a good night of sleep. I closed my eyes and in the matter of seconds, was whisked away into dream land. Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Fuji?....”Bookmark here

“Fuji?....are you there?”Bookmark here

“Come on! Get up!” Bookmark here

My eyes opened slowly, the sudden rush of light hitting me in the matter of seconds. God, everything was so blurry and bright. I ran a hand down my face and found that my glasses were gone. They must have fallen off when I was sleeping. Out of habit I patted the area around me and the floor to my side, feeling around for where my glasses could be. Bookmark here

“You look like a lost puppy looking for it’s owner Fuji.” Bookmark here

I looked to my side and found a blurry yet familiar silhouette, one that was topped with a bush of auburn hair on the top. Bookmark here

“How did you get into my apartment Satomi?” I sat up right and tried to fix my appearance. Bookmark here

She came closer and handed me something. In her hands were my glasses, safe and sound. I took them from her grapes and put them on, the world finally getting back to normal. Satomi came into perfect view, the smile on her face the first sight saw clearly that morning. Bookmark here

“You look really stupid when you sleep,” she said, heading back out of my room. Bookmark here

I got out of bed and rushed to my closet, grabbing some new clothes to change into. “How did you get inside?” Bookmark here

“The door was left unlocked,” Satomi said. “You’re lucky no one came to rob you.” Bookmark here

“I highly doubt anyone would rob me anyways,” I said.Bookmark here

“Don’t act broke when you have loads of money!” Bookmark here

Ignoring her for a moment, I stepped into the bathroom to take a quick shower. By quick I mean in the matter of five minutes I was done with everything. Brushed my teeth, cleaned myself, and got into new clothes. I left the bathroom feeling like a new man, with Satomi making some noise in the kitchen. Bookmark here

“Are you out already?” Satomi shouted, from what I could have guessed was the kitchen. Bookmark here

“Yeah!” I followed her voice. “Do you need to use the bathroom?” Bookmark here

Satomi poked her head out from the kitchen and our eyes met. “That was too fast! Are you sure you’re even clean?!”Bookmark here

This feels….too domestic...Bookmark here

My face warmed up unconsciously. “I’m 100% sure.” Bookmark here

The kitchen was just as bright as the rest of the house, with two bags of what I assumed to be breakfast sitting on the counter. The bags looked really familiar and I realized that Satomi brought breakfast from the same traditional food place we got a while ago. My eyes widened as I searched through the bags for what was in store. Bookmark here

“You really like traditional food?” Satomi asked. Bookmark here

“It always makes me feel at home,” I said. “Like I’m safe and sound almost.” Bookmark here

Instead of questioning me on what I meant, Satomi just went along with it. Bookmark here

“Let’s set up the table and then eat,” I offered. “I’ll go get us some cups, you can put the food down.” Bookmark here

Then we’ll have to talk about the password. Bookmark here

Those words hovered on my tongue but some part of me refused to truly acknowledge them. This moment felt so pure and happy. I just wanted to enjoy eating breakfast with Satomi early in the morning, the both of us smiling the whole time. Yet, I wasn’t dumb. There was a reason why the both of us were here and until that reason was settled there wasn’t going to be any ‘free’ time between the two of us. Bookmark here

The both of us sat down on the coffee table, like we always have. The traditional food wasn’t wrapped up in a bento box like last time, yet that didn’t bother me at all. I still took the food out and savored every bite. My mother wasn’t the best cook in the world, yet the feeling of her care always shined through in what she made. This meal tasted like that, like someone put in the effort to make it all from scratch and handed it to us personally. Bookmark here

Satomi cleared her throat, distracting me from my thoughts. She tapped her fingers against the bowl in her hands, her eyes focused on the floor next to her. Bookmark here

“So…” she tapped her finger again. “Do...did you find out what the password for Kota’s laptop might be?” Bookmark here

All the feelings of warmth left in that moment, now replaced with the images of Satomi crying in my shoulder. I gulped down the rest of my rice and nodded. “Yes. I found it.” Bookmark here

She looked up from the floor, a mix of dread and excitement in her eyes. “What….did it work?” Bookmark here

“I didn’t try it yet,” I put my food down completely. “I was waiting for you to come back before I opened it.” Bookmark here

“Oh,” Satomi muttered. “Well...if you want we can open it now.” Bookmark here

That was the sign that our fun was over. I got up and headed back to my bedroom finding the laptop where I put it last night before I went back to Hayashi’s house. It stood there, almost tempting me to open it and try to pry open it’s secrets. Stupid computer thought it could control me. Well, it was right in the end. We weren’t going to get over the fact that the laptop could have the answer to all of our questions. Bookmark here

I pulled the laptop up from the bed stand and held it in my lap. I could hear Satomi standing in the doorway, waiting for me to type in the password. Or, what I thought the password could have been. Since I still had no clue if the password I ‘found’ was the right one at all. Bookmark here

Last night while searching the hideout, I stumbled upon a couple of Kota’s personal papers. Things that we glossed over because they had information we knew about or nothing that could help us figure out why Hayashi ended his life. But, there was a huge difference in what was found on those papers versus what we thought was useful for our mission. The personal pile was filled with sentimental things, like middle school photos or notes Hayashi kept for the future. When it came to something as personal as a laptop password, it was best to look there. Bookmark here

I spent the whole night searching through the personal pile and all that seemed to fit nicely as a password was sitting on a piece of paper in my back pocket. I put the laptop down and grabbed the pants I wore yesterday off the bathroom floor. In the back pocket on the right was the secret (or what I thought was the secret) to opening Hayashi’s laptop. Bookmark here

“What’s that?” Satomi asked. Bookmark here

“This is the password from yesterday,” I said. “Or so I hope.” Bookmark here

Without any other words, I opened the sheet of paper and read over those same exact words that hit me yesterday. Bookmark here

Kyoto_uniBookmark here

Kyoto University. One of the most prestigious universities in all of Japan. Getting into the school took years of high education and all of a person’s effort. The reason why Hayashi did all those clubs must have been to look good on the application for Kyoto University. Actually, that was the paper I had in my hands. A tattered, rough and loved version of the application buried deep in Hayashi’s belongings. Bookmark here

His parents must have wanted him to go. Or maybe he thought he deserved to be in Kyoto. Either way, his secret obsession with the school became more and more apparent the more I looked through his own belongings. He seemed to only have eyes for that university, or others that were on the same level as it. Bookmark here

I typed in the words and I heard Satomi take a seat next to me, my fingers lingering over the enter button. Bookmark here

“Should we...should we press enter?” Satomi whispered. Bookmark here

“We’re already to far ahead,” I said. “Do you want to do the honors?” Bookmark here

“Nope,” she said. “You found it, so you press ‘enter’.” Bookmark here

Taking a deep breath, I pressed enter and watched the loading screen. The small circle moved around for a couple of seconds, before a text popped up on the screen. Bookmark here

Welcome back, Kota_HayashiBookmark here

The screen lit up the home page, covered in Hayashi’s bookmarks and folders. I felt Satomi grabbed my hand as her eyes looked over the whole screen. There was so much to take in from just the home screen. Folders for school, folders for games, folders for clubs. Everything that Hayashi ever needed was here. Everything he spent his time on doing sat in front of us. Like we just broke into a chest of treasures and found the jackpot. Bookmark here

Our minds short circuited, with our eyes glued onto the screen in front of us. This...this was what we were missing this whole time. An open book to Kota’s mind. A doorway for us to really get to know him even after he passed away. This would help Satomi and I move on. This would help Mori clear his conscious. This could calm Kota’s parents nerves down. The answer to every question sat in front of us. Bookmark here

Without noticing, I clicked on the web browser. My mind must have opened it out of habit. My fingers traced the track pad till the browser opened up, the home screen for Loogle. Bookmark here

“What are you doing?” Satomi asked, her grip on my hand tightening. Bookmark here

“Well,” I said. “Now that we have the laptop open, we should see what Kota searched up. Right?” Bookmark here

Satomi went silent, her eyes darting to the floor. My stomach churned a little bit, watching her demeanor change in the matter of seconds. Why was she suddenly so cold? Her whole body turned away from me, like I wasn’t even there? Bookmark here

“Souta, I don’t think we should do that,” she said. “It’s-”Bookmark here

“We just spent all this time opening the laptop and now you’re worried?” I said. “Let’s just look to see what he searc-”Bookmark here

She grabbed the screen. “Wait-”Bookmark here

I grabbed the screen back. “Just a small look!” Bookmark here

“But we shouldn’t!”Bookmark here

“Imai! Stop this!” Bookmark here

“It’s not right!” Bookmark here

I pushed her away from me a little too hard and opened the small clock teasing me in the corner of the web browser. The history page loaded up, and the last couple of websites Hayashi looked up made my blood run cold. Bookmark here

“Satomi,” I grabbed her arm and showed her the screen. “Look! Look at this!” Bookmark here

Her eyes snapped to my screen and just as I expected, her face went pale. She grabbed the laptop out of my hands and I saw a tear drip from her eyes. Bookmark here

Search HistoryBookmark here

Jan 1st XXXX: Mental Health Anonymous- Sign InBookmark here

Jan 1st XXXX: Mental Health Anonymous- ForumsBookmark here

Jan 2st XXXX: Mental Health Anonymous- Sign InBookmark here

Jan 2st XXXX: Mental Health Anonymous- ForumsBookmark here

“Souta,” she cried out loud. “We need to stop this! Right now!” Bookmark here

“What!?” I shouted, grabbing the laptop out of her hands. “What are you saying?” Bookmark here

“We can’t search through that!” she said. “Even an idiot can tell that Kota wanted that all to be anonymous!” Bookmark here

I sat down, the laptop on my lap. “That doesn’t matter anymore! He’s not here to care! And your the one who wanted this the most!” Bookmark here

“I know I did!” she shouted, tears running down her eyes. “I know I did and I’m sorry! I should have listened to Mori. We shouldn’t have gotten this deep into all this and now-” Bookmark here

“I told you that you could leave at any moment!” I said. “You don’t need to suffer through any of this!” Bookmark here

She slammed her hand against the small wall next to me. “That’s not the point! Souta, please! Don’t look through Kota’s stuff!” Bookmark here

Her eyes met mine. “If you care about me, you won’t look at the laptop at all. You’ll log off right now.” Bookmark here

If you love me, you’ll log off. Bookmark here

I crossed my arms and looked her in the eyes. I still had the laptop in my hands, and I just couldn’t get the strength to put it down to the side. Bookmark here

“Alright,” she said, walking out the room. “I get it. You really don’t care about me. I’ll just go-”Bookmark here

Notes from Zen: Bookmark here

Happy September! Sorry I was gone for a while, but I was busy writing up this chapter and also my university started. The next chapter will be out on the 3rd or 2nd, depends on when I get it complete. Thank u all for waiting :)Bookmark here

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