Chapter 4:

My Worst Nightmare! How Can I Prevent What's Already Happened?

Josō! A Girl's POV!

"I know your secret."Bookmark here

That message played like a doomsday trumpet in my ears. The final stroke before everything collapsed.Bookmark here

My first thought: who?Bookmark here

My second: how?Bookmark here

I decided to play dumb.Bookmark here

"Who is this? What are you talking about?"Bookmark here

The reply was almost instantaneous. "Don't play dumb, Harumi Hanamura. I know what you are."Bookmark here

So this mystery number knew my name? Just how much more did they know?Bookmark here

"Enlighten me."Bookmark here

They replied with an eyeroll emoji. "🙄"Bookmark here

"You're actually a guy who got his photo stuck all over the internet by a bunch of jerks from your old school. Satisfied that I'm not kidding?"Bookmark here

Shiiiit... "Who ARE you?"Bookmark here

"It's Takahashi."Bookmark here

If I'd been drinking anything, you can bet it would've gone all over my computer screen. "How do you know?"Bookmark here

The reply was slow to come. "I thought I recognized your face, so I ran some face ID on your school profile and found a few crop-ups on the internet. Nice of your sister to make those fake IDs."Bookmark here

I was terrified. Not only did she know my secret, she knew Hina had made me a fake ID, and illegally modified her own. She could do anything with that info.Bookmark here

"I know what you're thinking." Akane continued. "I could easily blackmail you and get you and your sister stuck in prison."Bookmark here

I sent a pleading emoji. "🥺Don't. Hina doesn't deserve anything like that."Bookmark here

"I'm not going to." The reply was like a ton of bricks being lifted off my shoulders. Bookmark here

"But..."Bookmark here

Of course there was a 'but'. "But?"Bookmark here

"I want you to promise me something."Bookmark here

That was it? "What?"Bookmark here

"I... Need your help with some stuff. I'll explain more on Monday."Bookmark here

I decided to save Akane's number to my phone - that way I wouldn't have to try and remember who it was.Bookmark here

I had to go down and tell Hinata about this. She had as much right to know as I did.Bookmark here

"What???!!" She squeaked, dropping her ladle into its saucepan. "Show me."Bookmark here

I unlocked my phone and handed it over. I didn't trust anybody with my password, not even Hina. That's why my face-ID is so acute; so that Hina's face wouldn't register as mine.Bookmark here

She read the messages. "Oh, Rumi..." She sighed. "What now?"Bookmark here

I knew what she meant. Fight or flight trigger. Well, I was done running. Akane might know, but I'd lost the will to care what people thought anymore. And besides, society's been evolving a lot - guys dressed as girls aren't half as weird as some other stuff going around.Bookmark here

"I guess we'll find out on Monday, huh?" I replied, face set in what I hoped was a determined expression.Bookmark here

She must have seen the look in my eyes, because she nodded, a smile spreading across her face. "Awww, my little brother's all grown up..."Bookmark here

"Alright, quit it." I said. If she started getting all mushy she'd get me going as well.Bookmark here

That's it for this entry. A lot to take on board, I know. Reading through my actual diary whilst typing this made me realize just how much happened that weekend. Anyway, for anyone interested, I'll explain more about Akane and her problem next time.Bookmark here

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JOSŌ! Cover 1

Josō! A Girl's POV!

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