Chapter 9:



“Officer, get these two out of here,” said one police officer to a SWAT team member, who nodded and took Meeshee and I out of the room and up the stairs. I felt like I was going to pass out, and Meeshee didn’t look too energetic either. These last few months had taken its toll on the two of us. After the SWAT member left us, for the time being, in the safety of one of the store’s side rooms, Meeshee and I felt ourselves relax a little.
“We did it.” I said simply after a moment, listening to the sounds of officers and police noises outside.
“Yeah, we did.” Meeshee said, then smiled at me. I could see large bags under her eyes, she was exhausted. A couple paramedics checked up on us, but most of them were assigned to the criminals outside. They were in far worse shape than we were. We were given bottles of water and Meeshee got a little morpheme and bandages, since it looked like she was burned a little with the electric charge. Overall though, we didn’t say anything. Not that we really needed to. I noticed someone approach us after a few minutes; maybe it was an officer asking for a statement. I sighed, got up and prepared myself to give a lengthy speech about what was going on. Might as well perfect it before the reporters show up, which would probably be later. I paused when the person raised their hand, it looked like they were holding something. In the blackness I couldn’t see them too well. Then my eyes widened and I could see the person was holding a gun. I didn’t know who this figure was, but I wasn’t going to argue the logic of it.
“Meeshee! Run!” I said, turning to Meeshee, who was still standing a few feet away, but before I could do anything more the person hit me in the face with the butt of the gun, immediately jumping between us, and pointing the gun at Meeshee.
“Stay back! Don’t come any closer!”
I nearly stumbled upon hearing the voice. It wasn’t…
Risa, the quiet girl from school, was here. Dressed in more lengthy black clothes than her school clothes, she looked convincingly different. I wouldn’t have guessed it was her, even though it was a little dark in the room. Risa turned, looking at me sadly.
“I’m sorry, Tamaki, I haven’t been entirely honest with you. I’m working for the Kami Naifu, I’m supposed to keep an eye on you two. I saw you at the school outside a couple of days ago, and I knew if I followed you, I’d find Meeshee. This woman,” she turned back towards Meeshee, “this woman has to die.”
“Hey, wait! Let’s just-” I reached forward and wrapped a hand around Risa’s arms, trying to pull the gun away from her quickly. A shot rang out, and Risa and I went down. Meeshee covered her ears and screamed. The gun fell out of Risa’s hands, and as we tumbled I kicked the gun away. Then I grabbed Risa’s hands once we hit the concrete, and while she struggled, she wasn’t able to break free.
“Risa, what are you doing?!” I asked in earnest.
“The Kami Naifu won’t be happy if Meeshee stays alive! Don’t you get it?!” Risa started to cry as she grit her teeth, angrily looking over at Meeshee. “They already killed my parents! I have nothing left! I don’t want them to kill me too!”
Meeshee looked at Risa as though transfixed. Both of these girls were being harassed by the Kami Naifu, just in different degrees. Risa and Meeshee were two very similar girls, almost identical. Both were driven to do things neither wanted to, pushed into circumstances that were hard for the both of them. One was led into hiding, trying to keep her life going amid the harassment, while the other was already beaten into submission and was following orders in order to save her own neck. Here they were, both very scared women, tortured by what the Kami Naifu did to them. It was sad for me to hear, coming from them.
“Risa! Listen to me,” I said, fighting to get a more permanent hold on Risa, “the Kami Naifu are the enemy here, not Meeshee! Meeshee isn’t the reason why your parents are dead; you said that yourself, it was this gang! The same thing happened to Meeshee, they killed her parents too. You two are the same! You have a chance to make things right, and it’s not by killing anyone.”
Risa struggled a bit more, then stopped and started sobbing. I let go of her after a minute and picked up the gun which was a few feet away. Around now a police officer stormed in, wondering about the gunfire. I explained the circumstance and handed the gun over to him. The officer led Risa outside and left the two of us there. Meeshee stood there, moving only a little once she saw she was alright.
“Oh Tamaki!” She said, very scared by the tone of her voice as she ran for me, hugging me tightly. I hugged her briefly than released her.
“It’s ok Meeshee.” We turned to the front of the restaurant and walked outside. We headed towards the police, who were finishing their bust. We stayed more closely to the police cars, and watched the gang members, as well as Risa, be taken away. I wasn’t sure what to think with all of this; this was such an extraordinary turn of events, I just found words didn’t really help me process any of it. Meeshee seemed to think the same, because she just stood there quietly. Several minutes later, after convincing the police that Meeshee and I were alright, I walked her home. Meeshee didn’t speak for a long time, but when she did she was so quiet I had to ask for her to repeat herself.

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