Chapter 15:

March 22: Deal!

One Month to Figure out my Future

What is worst than a math exam? Simple, a math exam on Monday.Bookmark here

The good news? This was going to be my last exam for the rest of the school year. I spent a really tough week doing exams and now I was finally seeing the end of this dark tunnel. In addition to that, during this week we were also going to Kyoto for a field trip. I need to get started preparing some stuff.Bookmark here

We had our test during the first period and right after that Hayato came to me to check if we got the same solutions.Bookmark here

Not everything matched but I think he did a really good job this time. I was impressed by how much he was enjoying studying. Who would have thought that his disease would have also brought positive effects…Bookmark here

After school lunch we had homeroom class because Miss. Kamuro needed to talk to us about some stuff regarding our field trip.Bookmark here

“First of all I would like to congratulate to all of you guys for the hard work you put in during the final exams. I know it has been thought and not everyone will be pleased by the results, but only thanks to mistakes we can learn and move on.”Bookmark here

It’s funny, that last bit sounded strangely familiar.Bookmark here

“Now to the fun stuff. As you probably remember, on Thursday we will be going to Kyoto for a field trip of a total of four days. We will meet here at school at 9am in the courtyard from where we will be going to the train station. A bullet train will take us to Kyoto and the journey should only take two hours. We will be back on Monday’s morning. There will be many interesting things to discover and the schedule will be tight, but I’m sure you will have free time to wonder off. Your history teacher and I will be your guardians for those four days.”Bookmark here

It’s incredible how fast technology allows us to travel so quickly.Bookmark here

“We will be staying in a Hotel. The bedrooms all have two beds each so I entrust you guys to choose your partner. Of course no boys and girls mixed! If you have anything to ask I am always available and you can easily find me in my office.”Bookmark here

Nobody had any questions so Miss. Kamuro left the classroom. After she got out, Rihoko immediately followed her. She probably wanted to ask something about the field trip but wasn’t feeling like talking in front of the class. I wonder who she will share the room with. For me, well, it’s not like I have much of a choice but I am sure it will be fun to share the room with Hayato.Bookmark here

Rihoko came back after more than an hour and I started thinking that something was not right. After classes, I tried to speak with her.Bookmark here

“So Rihoko, who will you share your room with at Kyoto?”Bookmark here

“I don’t think I will be able to go with you all.”Bookmark here

“What do you mean? Did something happen?”Bookmark here

“I did something pretty bad and I already talked with Miss. Kamuro about it.”Bookmark here

“Can I ask you what you did?”Bookmark here

“Let’s go to the club room.”Bookmark here

The club room just became a place to confess all of our sins. I was worried that her father had something to do with her not being able to go to Kyoto.Bookmark here

We got to the club room and I closed the door behind me.Bookmark here

“So what’s the deal?”Bookmark here

“You see, as you can imagine, I can’t really leave my father alone for four days.”Bookmark here

“Seriously, who is the adult in your family? He should be able to manage just fine on his own!”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s not the end of the story.”Bookmark here

“Go on…”Bookmark here

“A couple of months ago when they gave us the papers for our parents to fill, I actually filled them myself, even my dad’s signature, it was done by me…”Bookmark here

Really? Now Rihoko turns out to be a criminal? What the hell is going on?Bookmark here

“That… That was not really a great move…”Bookmark here

“I don’t know what I was thinking at the time. I just really wanted to go on this trip.”Bookmark here

“So, this morning you went and talked to Miss. Kamuro about this?”Bookmark here

“Yes…”Bookmark here

“And what did she tell you? Did you get in trouble?”Bookmark here

“Not yet, she said she wants to think about it. It’s going to be a bit of a problem the fact that everything was already strictly organized and now one person has to back out.”Bookmark here

This is not good. She put herself in a really bad spot. Now she was the one doing something wrong not her dad. But I might have an idea.Bookmark here

“You know what? Just go home, try to clear your mind. I’m going to have a chat with Miss. Kamuro.”Bookmark here

“Satoshi wait! Not again.”Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

“Stop helping me, look at me, I am pathetic. I keep getting in trouble and it’s all my fault. You can’t always come to rescue me.”Bookmark here

“I never get mad, but I would like you to stop saying that. It’s not fair what you have to endure, it’s not fair that nobody is doing anything to help you. This really gets on my nerves, and now, I want this situation to change, no matter what.”Bookmark here

“Satoshi…”Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, I’m going to do it my own way. See you tomorrow Rihoko.”Bookmark here

Yes I was mad, really mad. Why? I care about Rihoko, we became friends, if the same thing happened to Hayato, I would have helped him too.Bookmark here

I quickly got to Miss. Kamuro’s office and she opened the door: “Kamizaki, why am I not surprised to see you?”Bookmark here

“I hope you didn’t take any actions against Rihoko yet.”Bookmark here

“No I haven’t, come in so we can talk.”Bookmark here

Again, same chair, same smell, same Miss. Kamuro. But this time, I wanted to be in control of the situation.Bookmark here

“I have the solution for Rihoko’s problems, can you trust me?”Bookmark here

“Weeell, you sound really serious. I’m yet to take actions against her because I knew you would come running here.”Bookmark here

“I guess you know me really well.”Bookmark here

“Let’s see what you have in mind, Satoshi.”Bookmark here

I explained everything to Miss. Kamuro who was now thinking and processing all that I just told her.Bookmark here

“Finals are over. The trip would be perfect for her to get out of that environment so that she can put her thoughts together. The timing is perfect, you really think you can pull this off? Rihoko is still a really fragile girl.”Bookmark here

“I can deal with it.”Bookmark here

She took a very deep breath.Bookmark here

“I’m a teacher, and I could get in trouble by allowing this. But, if there is one person that I fully trust, that would be you. Be sure to impress me Kamizaki, do your magic.”Bookmark here

“Thank you Miss. Kamuro, I will.”Bookmark here

You are still wondering what my plan is all about? Well, it’s not that I have such a revolutionary idea, I just have to convince another person. That person was now in the student’s council president office.Bookmark here

I knocked.Bookmark here

“Come in!”Bookmark here

This was not Megumi’s voice. I opened the door and the only person in the room was the vice president.Bookmark here

“You again? Remind me of your name.”Bookmark here

“Satoshi, Satoshi Kamizaki. Where is Megumi?”Bookmark here

“She went home earlier, there is one big meeting between various families. Fortunately I didn’t have to participate.”Bookmark here

Crap, that was not good. I needed her, and quickly.Bookmark here

“Do you know where the meeting is held.”Bookmark here

“I think it was another family’s house but I don’t know the address.”Bookmark here

Of course she doesn’t know, I bet she has her own driver too.Bookmark here

She asked me: “Did something bad happen? Why you sound so desperate to find her?”Bookmark here

“It’s kind of a personal matter, but I really need to speak with her.”Bookmark here

“Unfortunately I can’t help you. I still have business to do here, but you can go wait for her to come back home. Even though they are probably going to get back only after dinner.”Bookmark here

Do I really have to run all the way to her home? Maybe Sakura knows where they went. Or should I wait for the next day? No, I can’t. There is basically no time to waist. Bookmark here

“Thanks for the information.”Bookmark here

I decided to head for Megumi’s house. After getting out of school I was already out of breath. Going at such high pace was not what I am used to.Bookmark here

Anyways, after this lame run to Megumi’s house, I was welcomed by Sakura at the front door. I was already feeling better after having witnessed such beauty. Don’t judge me, I know you like maids costumes too…Bookmark here

“Mr. Kamizaki you are back. Sorry to disappoint you but Miss. Takano is out at the moment.”Bookmark here

She called me Mr. Kamizaki!!!Bookmark here

“Hi Miss. Sakura, I know, can you tell me where Megumi went?”Bookmark here

“Why are you asking that?”Bookmark here

“I really need to speak with her, it’s kind of urgent.”Bookmark here

“Maybe you want to come inside and tell me what is going on?”Bookmark here

“It’s just that… she knows someone who could be really useful to me. We had a sort of deal.”Bookmark here

“I see… Wait here.”Bookmark here

I waited for roughly five minutes and then Sakura came back dressed in casual clothes.Bookmark here

“Shall we go?”Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

“What do you mean?”Bookmark here

“I will drive you to where Megumi is, we have plenty of cars here.”Bookmark here

I never doubted that…Bookmark here

“Are you sure it’s not a problem?”Bookmark here

“Absolutely, if you say you have a deal with her, it’s my duty to escort you to her.”Bookmark here

That was kind, and weird at the same time, but it was going to save me a lot of time.Bookmark here

“Thanks a lot.”Bookmark here

I followed her to the garage where there were lots of different cool cars parked. She opened a small and simple car on the far end.Bookmark here

“This is my little car, it’s not as comfortable as all the other ones, but it will get the job done.”Bookmark here

A car is a car and it’s certainly faster than my legs.Bookmark here

“Come on, you can sit on the passenger seat. Don’t worry I don’t bite.”Bookmark here

I sat on the car and off we went. This was the second time I got a ride for free from a member of Megumi’s staff, and this time it was a cute maid who was driving, even though she did not have her maid outfit anymore.Bookmark here

It took around twenty minutes for us to get to our destination. The house we were standing in front of was massive just like Megumi’s. The style was the same but the gate was even fancier, with the name of the family on it, all made out of solid iron. It said: “朝倉” (Asakura). Bookmark here

There were many cars parked inside the residence but we decided to park outside and get in on foot. Sakura rang the bell. Shortly after the little screen that was placed on top of it lit up and someone who looked like a butler greeted us: “Asakura Residence, how can I help you?”Bookmark here

“Good afternoon, I’m the Maid of the Takano family, I need to see Megumi Takano, the young daughter of Mr. Takano.”Bookmark here

“Sure, I will go and look for Miss. Takano. In the meantime you may come in.”Bookmark here

Just like that, the automatic gate opened and we entered in that huge courtyard. The main door of the house opened too, and a maid, who wasn’t as cute as Sakura, made us sit in a sort of waiting room. It felt like I was waiting for the doctor.Bookmark here

Five minutes later the butler reappeared and behind him there was Megumi in her kimono.Bookmark here

Sakura stood up and said: “We should leave you two alone now.” The Asakura’s butler and Sakura got out of the room.Bookmark here

Megumi started the conversation: “What happened? You got me scared, coming all the way here with Sakura.”Bookmark here

“It’s about your offer.”Bookmark here

“What offer?”Bookmark here

“If I join your club you will help Rihoko’s father, I accept.”Bookmark here

Yes, now you know. I’m ready to leave the club to help Rihoko go to the field trip. It might sound reckless, but she basically committed a crime just to go on that field trip, she deserves to have a chance.Bookmark here

“But… But after all that happened it wouldn’t be right.”Bookmark here

“Rihoko needs help, I can sacrifice one year of drawing stupid kanji characters to help her.”Bookmark here

Megumi laughed and said: “Don’t let my granddad hear you, he would probably kill you. Anyways you are crazy.”Bookmark here

“Maybe.”Bookmark here

“Well ok, but I have to add another condition.”Bookmark here

“What is that?”Bookmark here

“You will stay in the literary club, and I will be joining you guys.”Bookmark here

Now I might say that I planned this all along, but it is literary like killing two birds with one stone.Bookmark here

“I see you also made up your mind. Deal!”Bookmark here

We shook hands like business men do.Bookmark here

“I will talk about it with my father after we are done here, tomorrow I will probably have everything arranged. At school we will discuss the details.”Bookmark here

“Sure, thank you very much for the collaboration.”Bookmark here

“It’s nothing. Now I have to go back, see you tomorrow.”Bookmark here

“See you too.”Bookmark here

After Megumi got out of the room, Sakura came back in.Bookmark here

“So how did it go?”Bookmark here

“It all went really smoothly, even better that what I anticipated.”Bookmark here

“I’m happy to hear that. Now let’s go I will drive you back home.”Bookmark here

“No need for that, I can go by myself.”Bookmark here

“Miss. Takano instructed me to do so.”Bookmark here

Megumi was actually a really good person, I’m happy to have been able to see through that bossy like attitude she always puts on at school.Bookmark here

The Asakura’s butler and maid wished us a safe trip back home and we left that mansion.Bookmark here

In the car Sakura said: “It’s great to see Miss. Takano have some fun with her friends, she has been talking about you a lot lately.”Bookmark here

“All the good things about me are true, the bad ones no.”Bookmark here

She laughed: “You are really funny, Miss. Takano really needed someone like you. Someone who can be funny and innocent, but at the same time being able to go head to head against her.”Bookmark here

Well that was one hell of a compliment.Bookmark here

“Thanks.”Bookmark here

When we got to my building I got off the car and thanked Sakura once again: “Without your help I wouldn’t have been able to make it. Thanks a lot Miss. Sakura.”Bookmark here

“No problem, I hope to see you again, bye.”Bookmark here

While she was driving away I heard someone shouting from the distance.Bookmark here

“Heyyyy, big brother. What are you doing?”Bookmark here

It was Miyo of course, I hope she didn’t see me getting off from Sakura’s car otherwise I will have to explain too many things.Bookmark here

I waited for her to get closer and replied: “I’m just getting home.”Bookmark here

“Oh yeah? Since when you come home with hot mature ladies driving you around?”Bookmark here

I was out of luck for today, she saw me. Furthermore, Miyo’s sentence sounded really bad but at the same time it wasn’t too far from the reality.Bookmark here

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“Grab some popcorn because I have a long story to tell you…”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.