One Month to Figure out my Future
The next day, before class started, Hayato whispered to me: “Did something happen again with Rihoko?”
I didn’t know what he was talking about.
“Look at her, she doesn’t really seem as usual. Do you think it was another argument with her dad?”
That girl changed her mood way too frequently, but I couldn’t blame her for living with an alcoholic.
“I think you should talk to her later.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
I waited until the end of the classes because during lunch break she always flees to the club room.
She was still packing her bag when I approached her: “Hey Rihoko, is everything ok?”
“Su.. Sure why you ask?”
“You know you are pretty bad at hiding emotions, right?”
"At least I don't have anything to hide."
She left the classroom right after that. What was I hiding from her? I was completely lost.
This time I decided to go after her.
She was climbing the stairs like there was no tomorrow.
I followed her back to the club room where she quickly got in and closed the door behind her.
"Can I come in?"
"What do you want?"
"Figure out what is going on."
"What do you think is going on? I saw you yesterday…"
"I was done working in the club room and while I was walking towards the school exit, I saw you leaving with Megumi."
Oh no, this was a huge misunderstanding and now I had to figure out a way to come out of that situation. It was like when I saw her with Hayato and I immediately jumped to conclusions.
"It is not what you think, she invited me to her house to talk."
"You even went to her house? Lovely."
Yeah, I didn't choose the words appropriately.
"She told me she won't ever bother us again, she was really sincere."
"Even if this was the truth, I find it hard to believe that Megumi would stop annoying us out of the blue. What made her change her mind?"
"The day before, we had a bit of an argument. I don’t know, somehow, I was able to bring her back to reality. I think that triggered her good side."
"So you talk to her on a daily basis behind my back?"
"Listen, can you open the door so that we can have a proper conversation? Do you really think I was plotting something with her behind your back? After all that I did for the club?"
"Well, it's not only that. You know, she is also a cuter girl…"
"I don't see why that would even matter."
Finally she slowly opened the door and slowly peeked from the gap.
"So you two just talked?"
"Yes, and to be honest I did my best to leave that creepy house as soon as possible."
She completely opened the door and then I got in.
"Do you really think we can trust her?"
"After what I heard, I think we can trust her."
"Alright then, sorry for taking it too serious. I was worried I might have lost you."
“Don’t worry, I’m not planning on leaving the club.”
“You really mean it?”
“As I said before, I already committed myself so much to this club, that it would be really stupid to leave everything.”
She smiled and she invited to come check out something on the website.
“I already prepared the post for your review.”
I looked at the monitor and there was a big title “The club Murderer – Review by Satoshi Kamizaki (Literary Club Vice President)”.
“Since when I have been promoted to Vice President?”
“Let’s just say that your trial period is over and you earned this title.”
“I appreciate that, I will try to make a worthily review when I’m done reading the book.”
“That would be great.”
“Are you going back home now?”
“No, I’m still working on other reviews. I have many things I want to write.”
“Just be careful not overdo it.”
“Ok, thanks for the concern.”
“I have some errands to run, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Sure, see you tomorrow.”
I wanted to go back to the calligraphy shop to her Rihoko’s name and Miyo’s name done by Megumi’s grandfather. Yes, I know I have trashed on the calligraphy club calling it useless, I still believe it’s a useless skill, but it can produce some cool products.
The day before I saved the position on my phone so that it would have been easier for me to get there. One reached my destination, I opened the shop’s door and once again Megumi’s grandfather was there to welcome me.
“Young boy you really came back.”
“Yes I would like to get two more names done.”
“I’m happy to help you, tell me, which are the names?”
“The first one is Miyo, with the characters for beautiful and generation. The other one is Rihoko with the characters ri (梨) for "pear", ho (穂) for "grain" and ko (子) for "child".”
I knew Rihoko’s name perfectly because she always puts it at the end of every review she publishes.
“Well, well, well, we have got some pretty complicated names today. And who might these girls be?”
In the meantime he got started writing or I should say brushing?
“Miyo is my little sister and Rihoko is the president of my club.”
“You are a lucky boy, surrounded by girls by every angle.”
Well they are all troublesome so I don’t know if I can consider myself lucky.
While I was waiting for the old man to finish, I felt like asking him a question just because he seemed a really nice person to talk to.
“Sir. may I ask you why does your family live so traditionally?”
He stopped brushing and smiled: “I knew this question was coming, it was just a matter of time.”
Was this a good or bad thing?
“Why you ask? Because it’s all my fault.”
“What do you mean?”
“Megumi’s father is my son, and I raised him exactly how he has been raising Migumi. I was always strict with him and I wanted to follow traditions as much as possible. I was blind at the time, too blind to see that it wasn’t worth it. I never knew my son, I had never been a father for him, just a strict master. When Megumi was born, I thought I might have the opportunity to redeem myself, but I was wrong. He started treating her how I taught him and now I can barely see my granddaughter even if we live under the same roof. I tried to explain to him why it was a mistake to follow my footsteps but nothing has worked so far.”
That was quite of a speech, and as I suspected, he was really a nice guy. He realized the mistakes he made in the past and tried to warn his son not to repeat those same mistakes. That’s how people learn, by doing mistakes.
“What’s up young boy, you seem absorbed in your thoughts.”
“I mean… I… I wasn’t expecting this. You changed quite a lot Sir.”
“I guess I did, that’s why I’m no more really welcome at home. I just run this little shop all by myself.”
That was kind of sad, but regardless he kept on brushing and completed the two works really quickly.
“Since I assume you are going to give these two girls as presents, I’ll use cherry wood frames which have a unique color close to purple.”
He applied the frames and handed me the final product into a bag.
“How much Sir.?”
“As I said yesterday, it’s just paper, furthermore we don’t make money from this shop, it’s just to keep me busy.”
“I insist Sir.”
“Ok, but I’ll make a special price. Only 2000 Yen.”
I paid the 2000 Yen and left the store.
I was ready to go back home and show Miyo her little present. By the way, the day before, I had been able to hide mine from her so I didn’t get to hear her begging for me to her one too.
On my way back, I notice a big black car with tinted windows in front of Megumi’s gate, and shortly after I saw her in her Kimono getting ready to hope on the car. Did she really go around wearing that thing?
“Hey Megumi, what’s up?”
She stopped and locked at me.
She gave a quick glance at my bag.
“Oh so you are coming from my grandpa’s shop? You went there today too?”
“Yes, I quiet like what you grandfather does.”
“I’m happy to hear that, are you going back home?”
“Yes, I assume you have important business to take care of.”
“Kind of. I mostly attend meetings between families. My parents are already there, I’m going to join them.”
“And you have your own driver.”
“Yes I do.”
That’s so cooool.
“You want a ride back home?”
That would be so cool too.
“No, I don’t want to bother you.”
“You don’t bother anyone, come on get in.”
The driver quickly got off and opened both my door and Megumi’s. Everything felt so fancy and expensive. I gave my address to the driver and off we went.
I was locking out of the window when Megumi pressed a button and a little window separating the front seats from the back seat came out.
“We can talk freely now if you want.”
“Oh wow, that’s nice.”
Even though I didn’t really have anything to say, I was impressed by the features of that car.
“Did you speak with my grandfather?”
“Yes, he seems like a nice person.”
“I know, he is the only one who really understands me.”
“Did he ask you if you knew the meaning of my name?”
She had a little laugh.
“He always says that when he has to talk about me to new people. Did you know the meaning?”
“Oh, now I see why he liked you so much yesterday.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Sure go ahead.”
“Do you have siblings?”
“No, I’m an only child. Any particular reason why you wanted o know that?”
“I just can’t understand why a family with the obsession of traditions, doesn’t want have a male heir.”
Her face immediately turned very gloomy.
“I… I’m sorry I think I chose the wrong words, I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s fine. I’m sure they wanted a male, but they can’t. My mother had to be operated and she can’t have children anymore.”
No it makes more sense.
“I see, I’m sorry.”
“There are things in life, even they can’t control…”
For the rest of the ride we didn’t talk anymore, and once we arrived at my building, I got off, while the driver opened the door for me.
“See you Megumi.”
“Sure, see you at school Satoshi.”
When I got home I waited for Miyo to come back so that I could give her my gift. I also tried to wrap it is some decorative paper. When I heard the door opening I went towards Miyo hiding the package behind my back.
“Guess who has the best brother in all of Japan.”
“Certainly not me.”
“Oh well, in this case, you won’t receive the gift I bought you.”
“Waiiiiiiit, you have a gift for me?”
“It depends, am I or am I not the best brother?”
“I guess I can accept that. Here it’s yours.”
“Thaaaanks big brother.”
She took the package and hugged me.
“Did you wrap it?”
“I can see that. Hopefully the what’s inside is better that the wrapping.”
Listen, I tried. I’m not good with handy things.
“Wooow, that’s my name. Who drew it?”
“You know our student’s council president? Her grandfather has a calligraphy shop.”
“Really? Cool! I will hang it in my room. Thanks again.”
“Did you buy one also for Rihoko?”
Is she a mind reader?
“Yes, I did.”
“Good, I see you are starting to learn.”
“What do you mean by that?”
She didn’t reply but simply walked away while laughing…