Chapter 8:

10 Years Ago (Part 8)


The Investigation Starts

I jolted up from my bed as I heard a knock on the window, but getting up that quickly was a mistake, the headache I was feeling was enough to make me dizzy. Once the room had stopped spinning, I slowly got up and looked outside, a small group of people were pelting each other with snowballs and one of them hit our window.

The snow had picked up even more in the short hours I was asleep, it looked to be about a foot deep, everything was covered in snow and although it looked beautiful my mind kept going back to the ravine, the same ravine a body had been hidden last night by four University students.

I felt sick. I felt lethargic. I felt like someone had beat me and left me there, the way I felt I don’t think I ever felt that way in my life. The annoying sound of the alarm on my phone went off which I quickly stopped, a message on my phone popped up from my professor saying that our lecture was still carrying on today, I let out a frustrated yell before ripping the duvet off and trotting towards the shower.

“Hey,” I called as I passed Emi who was sitting on the sofa watching TV.

“Hi,” she managed to smile back.

I almost didn’t recognise her when she turned to me, her eyes were red and puffy and had dark circles under them, her hair was dishevelled but was sitting on the top of her head in a messy bun, and she looked more pale than usual.

“No class today?” I asked trying to strike up a conversation so it seems like I wasn’t just staring at my best friend and judging her appearance in my head.

She shook her head, “No, because of the snow my professor can’t come to work today.”

I think it’s best she stays home and relaxes so I’m glad she doesn’t have any lectures.

“You?” she asked.

I showed her the clothes in my hands getting a sympathetic smile back. I opened the door and locked it before turning towards the mirror, looking at my reflection made me jump, I looked like I belonged in a horror movie with the dark circles under my eyes, my crazy hair and my skin which was a lot paler than I would’ve liked.

I stripped down and stepped inside the shower room, the hot water on my skin relaxed me instantly, I got out and wrapped a towel around me before dressing into some winter leggings and a warm jumper, I wore some fluffy socks when I got back to my room along with some make-up to make me look more human-like, before brushing my hair into a ponytail and putting on my UGG boots, and a coat accompanied with a scarf.

I walked out of my room and met Emi again, “Do you want me to make you something before I go?”

She shook her head in protest, “No, I don’t feel like eating.”

I gave her a side glance if she didn’t eat, she’ll get sick, I put my bag down and put the kettle on, once the water inside was boiled I made her a chamomile tea, and I gave it to her which I’m glad she took.

“Thanks, Mom,” she joked.

I chuckled before picking up my backpack.

“I’ll make lunch when I get back and I’ll bring Daisuke with me as well,” I winked.

Emi nodded and I kissed the top of her head.

“Love you,” I called out.

“Love you too,” I heard before I shut the door.

Leaving my dorm room made my stomach turn a double somersault, I had to make a brave face in front of Emi but the truth is I’m scared, I’m so scared of being found out, it WAS an accident and even if the police let us go over that they definitely won’t let us go after they find out that we were the ones who hid the body.

I made my way to the lecture hall and spotted Daisuke with his nose in a book, the room was empty.

“Daisuke,” I greeted him.

He didn’t bother acknowledging me and continued to read, he looked well unlike his girlfriend, he was wearing a turtle-neck jumper tucked in some dress pants and a pair of leather shoes with a tweed jacket. He looked as well as he did on a normal day.

“How’s Emi?” he finally asked.

“She’s still in shock, I made her some chamomile tea to calm her down, I was hoping you could come over after class,” I told him.

“Hmm,” was the response I got from him.

“How’s Kazuki?” I asked.

“He’s fine, at home, his lecture’s cancelled too,” he told me.

I nodded and sighed in relief, at least Kazuki’s doing somewhat alright.

“And you?” he asked me, turning towards me.

“I’m fine,” I lied.

The truth is I didn’t like anyone worrying about me, it made me feel helpless and vulnerable which I hated.

“Hmm,” he gave me the same response again, I think he caught my bluff but chose not to talk about it.

“And you?” I asked.

“I’m okay, just a headache that’s all, but other than that fine,” he told me.

I took out a balm from my bag and put it on the table in front of him.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“For your headache, it’s peppermint and lavender trust me it will help you,” I gave him a small smile.

“Thank you,” he smiled back and applied it on his forehead.

“I’m sorry,” I told him.

“For?” he asked confused.

“For the way, I spoke to you yesterday, it was uncalled for and I guess I was scared and stressed out so I just…”

“It’s fine, Reiko, I get it and we all react differently to situations

A few minutes went by and more students started turning up before our professor finally arrived, while looking around he noticed that Sora’s desk was empty and made a note of it, one thing he hated was when students didn’t turn up without a valid reason.

“Anyone seen Himura-san?” he asked around.

Everyone shook their heads to say no, myself and Daisuke included, once the lecture started, I was sinking in my chair, I looked around and thought everyone was looking at me, judging me as if they knew what I had done the previous night.

I felt a panic attack coming along and just focused on my breathing, I closed my eyes to block off everything else, my hands and knee was shaking.

“Are you okay?” I heard a whisper in my ear.

“Yes,” I managed to whisper back.

Before I know it, the class was finally, Daisuke and I packed our things away and as always were the last ones to leave.

“Hey, you, okay?” Daisuke asked.

I nodded and we both left the building and made our way outside, once I was in the open and fresh air, I felt so much better.

“Take this,” Daisuke held out a packet of cigarettes with one sticking out a little.

“I don’t smoke,” I told him.

“You’ll feel so much better, I know what it feels like to have a panic attack, I used to have loads after that deer incident, trust me you’ll feel great,” he told me.

“No, thank you,” I told him.

“Suit yourself,” he told me and put it away back in his pocket, but not before taking one for himself.

“Aren’t you cold?” I asked him.

He shook his head.

“No, I’m good,” he told me.

We made our way back home and saw Kazuki there sitting next to Emi.

“Kaz,” I smiled.

“Hey, Reiko,” he smiled back and got up to kiss me before I went to my room to drop my things off.

I made lunch and we all sat around the table quietly eating.

“This is ridiculous!” Daisuke filled the silence causing all of us to look up at him.

“What’s ridiculous?” Emi asked.

“The fact that we’re all panicking. Nothing is going to happen to us. No one is going to catch us. It was a fucking accident!” he looked at each of us as he spoke.

“Then why did we hide the body? We could’ve called the police like Reiko initially suggested” Kazuki asked, irritably.

Emi and I shared a worried glance, if the boys end up arguing things could go south very quickly.

“What choice did we have? You think the police are going to believe that?” he fired back with the same irritation Kazuki showed just a few seconds ago.

“HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?!” Kazuki yelled banging his fist on the table.

“BECAUSE IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING EASY!” Daisuke yelled back.

I looked towards Emi who looked lost.

“STOP!” I yelled.

The boys instantly shut up and looked at me.

“First of all, this is OUR house as in MINE and EMI’s and if you guys want to yell at each other then you both can get out! Second of all, I think you’ve forgotten you’re not enemies you’re friends! Kazuki, I know you’re worried and scared we all are but you need to calm down, and Daisuke, I understand your suggestion was an act of protection for your friends, the police aren’t always reliable and who knows what they will believe. So, the only thing we can do right now is wait for the storm to subside and we can’t do that if we argue with each other,” I told them both.

Both boys looked down before nodding.

“Right, now make-up,” I told them.

They looked at each other for a second and then at me.

“I’m telling you guys to make up not make out,” I joked which made even Emi laugh.

Once they apologised and made up, we sat on the sofa and decided to watch a movie, I know it’s not going to be easy but the only way to get over this fear, this trauma is to distract yourself with other things, on that cheery note I finally fell asleep.

2 weeks went by when we realised the gravity of our situation, we were in deep shit and we didn’t even fully know it yet. Because of the missing student and the lack of information given, the University had no choice but to make a phone call to the local police station. We saw this coming we just didn’t realise that it would be this late.

Lectures were cancelled so the police could go around and interrogate everyone, Daisuke had already called that morning and told me to stay calm and relaxed any slip-ups could cause trouble.

So as expected that morning the police knocked on our door, I expected there to be one but there were two, a male and a female, the male officer just stood there by the door with the arms crossed and legs shoulder-width apart, I couldn’t help but shift my gaze in his direction every two minutes, he made me feel so scared, I don’t know why but I felt like he knew everything, he knew what we did.

The questions were simple, how did we know Sora, did we hang out with him, how long have we known him, then they left, once that door shut and the noise of their shoes against the floorboards quietened did, I release the breath I had been holding.

Daisuke and Kazuki came round an hour later and we all seemed to relax a little until that evening when the phone rang, the three of them were called back in the station as they knew Sora the longest.

Daisuke went to answer the phone and I was just holding onto Kazuki’s hand and Emi’s hand in my own and was just shaking my head protesting to all of them going, I was scared out of my wits. Kissing Kazuki felt so weird, I was so sure that I wouldn’t see him again and that he was going to get arrested, hugging both Emi and Daisuke felt like this was the last time I would see them.

I waited.

And waited.

One hour.

Two hours.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity the three of them walked in, they looked alright but my heart wouldn’t stop racing since they are here right in front of me means they were not arrested, but little did we know tomorrow was the real test would begin…