The Final Test
“And we’re all invited,” Daisuke added.
“All as in all of us including… me?” I asked, pointing to myself.
They all nodded confusing me even more.
“But his parents don’t even know me, why am I invited?” I asked.
“Beats us,” Emi shrugged.
“When’s the funeral?”
“Next week,” Daisuke told me.
“Seriously?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, I found that a bit odd too,” Emi sat down.
“I mean don’t you guys find it a bit suspicious that a body is found and the family decides that they are going to go ahead with the funeral instead of getting to the bottom of things? I mean I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining like Thank God that because of this decision of theirs, we’re safe but still…,” I pointed out.
They all went deep into thought.
“Don’t worry, Reiko. We know what you mean, but, now that I’m hearing it, it does sound a bit weird,” Daisuke stuffed his left hand in his pocket and dragged his other hand down his face.
“Why don’t we all get some sleep? We have a long week ahead of us and the more rest we get the better,” Emi suggested.
“Yeah, let's do that,” I got up off of Kazuki and stretched.
We all took turns changing into our comfies before going to bed, I lay down but couldn’t sleep, I looked over and saw that Kazuki had his back towards me and was breathing steadily.
I slowly got up and was about to leave when I felt a warm hand on top of mine, I saw Kazuki rolled over on his back, he still had his eyes closed which made me realise he was awake the whole time, he patted his chest and extended an arm.
I lay back down and placed my head on his chest, his arm wrapped around me kept me warm but gave me some sort of reassurance that everything was going to be okay.
The steady beating of his heart was all I needed to help me get to sleep, that was the first time in weeks that I slept so soundly, and I felt all my stress and anxiety melt away with nothing but his touch.
The week went by quicker than I anticipated and now came the day of the funeral, we had to get ready quickly as we were expected to be at Sora’s house at 12 sharp, not a minute over. His family was particular about this sort of thing, the guys were wearing black suits while Emi and I were wearing black dresses.
It was 10 when we left, I plugged my headphones into my ears and kept my eyes out of the window, my anxiety was through the roof my leg wouldn’t stop shaking, other than the music that was flooding in my ears no one was talking, so it was a pretty quiet trip.
“We’re here,” I heard Daisuke say making me put my earphones and phone back in the small crossbody bag I carried with me.
I looked outside and my jaw dropped, it was a white three-storey house, actually no it was a frickin’ mansion! I’ve heard about these houses but never seen one and certainly never stepped inside one, living in a place like that would be a dream come true.
“What’s up?” Emi asked me.
“This house is amazing,” I couldn’t stop staring and can you blame me?
“Yeah, Sora’s house is the biggest compared to ours,” Emi shrugged.
Other than a small scoff from Daisuke I didn’t get much of a reaction from the others.
“Why are you guys looking at me like that I mean a house like that… oh I remember now,” just then it hit me, their parents used to be friends with Sora’s so these lot are rich too.
“Don’t,” Kazuki sighed and rubbed his face while looking at me.
“Don’t what?” I asked.
“Get insecure about our financial situations,” he told me.
“Hey, Kaz you can give Reiko a lecture later, right now we have to go in,” Daisuke’s voice interrupted Kaz which relieved me a little.
I smoothed my dress with my fingers before the door opened, a slightly older woman popped her head around and greeted us formally before leading us into the living room, looking at all these people around me made me a little bit nauseous.
I felt like I was in a movie, you know the one where the character is walking past people and everything is happening slowly, and the only thing the audience can hear are the heartbeat of the character as well as their heavy breathing and distorted voices of anyone else talking to them, and they think that every time someone is looking at them, they’re judging them or eyeing them suspiciously because they think everyone knows what they’ve done? Yeah, that character was me.
Just then a woman with yellow eyes and blue hair came and gave me a hug breaking my trance, she looked remarkably familiar, or at least similar to a particular person I may have accidentally killed.
“Reiko, it’s wonderful to meet you,” she said softly.
I was confused about why was she hugging me.
“I’m sorry you know me?” I asked, a little confused.
“Why of course, I know everything about you, dear,” she smiled before walking away slowly.
I internally screamed and looked towards the others for help, what did she mean by she knows everything about me?
“What did she mean she knew everything about you?” Emi asked.
“I-I don’t know,” I felt claustrophobic.
“Reiko, calm down, if anyone senses something suspicious, we’re dead!” Daisuke whispered warningly in my ear.
“Yeah, to make matters worse 2 of Sora’s older brothers are lawyers,” Emi told me.
“Okay, guys not helping,” I whispered through gritted teeth as I faked a smile.
An hour and couple of drinks later we were fine and keeping it together, I felt a lot calmer as well, I guess I’m going to be an alcoholic in 10 years’ time, ahahaha… God, I’m gonna need so much therapy!
Kazuki was talking to one of Sora’s older brothers and I was standing by his side with a drink in my hand, I was half listening to their conversation and half looking around from the rim of my glass as I took a sip.
Sora’s Mum, his Dad, and his brothers, as I looked around I could see them looking back at me, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that scared before in my life! I’m pretty sure they knew what we had done but were putting on a façade in front of us.
An hour later we were at the crematorium and were standing back as the family stood in front, silent tears rolling down their faces as they carried on with the customs, it was a beautifully decorated box with flowers and just a window in the cover in front of Sora’s face.
For some reason I really think that the box is empty, I so wanted to take a closer look and must’ve taken a step forward but felt warm fingers wrap around my wrist, I looked back to Emi who gave me a look.
I took a step back and looked at the casket before looking at her and widening my eyes, she blinked once and then looked back, she thought for a second before nodding and squeezing my hand which was still in her loose but firm grip.
“What are you girls doing?” Daisuke whispered.
“Nothing,” Emi whispered back.
“Yeah sure, you guys were plotting something, I could tell with the way you moved your eyes and… stuff,” Kazuki pointed out.
“Yeah, that was weird,” Daisuke frowned.
Emi and I exchanged looks, if only boys knew the other things, we girls do without verbally communicating with one another.
“Reiko thinks the box is empty,” Emi told them finally.
“What? Why would you think that?” Kazuki asked me.
“I have a feeling,” I shrugged.
“So you’re basing your assumption on your feeling?” Daisuke asked.
I shrugged while Kazuki sighed.
“Reiko, please.” Kazuki looked at me, tiredly.
I sighed and nodded, he kissed the side of my head before standing straight again, but that feeling wouldn’t stop coming back, I’m damn sure that the box is empty.
Once everything was over and done with we each went around paying our respects, hopefully, Sora will show us mercy and not haunt us for the rest of our miserable lives, his Mum pulled me in for a hug and a few of her tears fell on my shoulder crushing my heart.
She brushed my hair out of my face and placed her hands on my shoulder, “It was wonderful meeting you dear, have a safe journey home,” she squeezed my shoulders as she said ‘safe’, which made my heart race.
I nodded with a slight smile but as she turned she gave me a glance, I swear I felt sick by the end and turned to the others but they weren’t around me so I was standing there alone having a stare-off with Sora’s Mum for about 30 seconds before she finally left and I released a breath I didn’t realise I had held.
It was late when we all got home, I collapsed on the sofa and rubbed my head, I had a wicked headache and right now all I wanted was painkillers and sleep.
“Alright you guys don’t get too relaxed tomorrow’s his wake,” Kazuki told us.
I let out a loud groan, “Someone, fucking kill me!”
“I’m kidding, we aren’t invited to that,” he told me pinching my cheeks.
“Not the time nor the place Kaz,” I frowned.
“You know what you make that face you look like an angry kitten,” He winked clicking his tongue.
I swatted him away and went to my room but not before getting changed into something more comfortable, I’m going to burn those clothes later I swear, every time I look at that dress it will just remind me of this dreadful day.
The crisis is finally averted and now we can go to live our lives… maybe… because if what I feel is actually true then we are definitely fucked up in the worst way possible.