Chapter 28:

Volume 2, Chapter 5-3: The Day After

Heroes of the Past

Saturday Afternoon Winter Break 2016 Week 1Bookmark here

I woke up with a slight headache. Once again, white bedsheets covered me. Wait, was Yuka here too? I checked my right side, seeing Yuka’s head on the bed. She held a book in her left hand.Bookmark here

“Oh, Yuki, you’re awake. What time is it?” Yuka asked.Bookmark here

“Twelve ten,” I checked my cellphone.Bookmark here

“I should be getting home. Do you need a ride, Yuki?” Yuka asked.Bookmark here

“I think Tess will drive me back. Thanks for the offer though,” I said.Bookmark here

“Call me whenever you’re free, Yuki!” Yuka said, departing.Bookmark here

I walked to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face. The pounding in my head gradually lessened and I headed downstairs. Checking the living room, I saw no one there. But it was clean, no remains of food, or any presence of us existing. They were probably in the dining room.Bookmark here

“Good morning, rather, good afternoon Yuki!” Felicity greeted.Bookmark here

She appeared normal. I no longer detected deep hostility or malice in her voice anymore. Felicity had a plate of eggs and bacon in front of her. I looked around, but didn’t see Tess.Bookmark here

“Felicity, any idea where Tess is?” I asked.Bookmark here

“She’s probably finishing up cleaning the basement. She’ll be here soon. I would give you a ride home, but Memoria and I still have much to do,” Felicity revealed.Bookmark here

Ten minutes later, Tess walked in. She greeted me and sat down at the table. I finished the food Felicity offered me watched her. Did she recall the events of the party at all? I couldn’t tell from her bright and uplifting smile.Bookmark here

“Tomo? You ready to go?” Tess asked.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m ready,” I replied.Bookmark here

“I hope you had fun, Yuki! Let’s do it again soon,” Felicity said as we left.Bookmark here

I turned to face the emotionless woman once we were in the car. She glanced at me when placing her keys in the ignition.Bookmark here

“Tess, how much do you remember from the party?” I asked, looking at her straight in the eyes.Bookmark here

“Everything. But you wish to talk about Felicity, don’t you?” Tess asked, backing out of the parking lot.Bookmark here

“Yeah. Care to tell me your feelings on it?” I requested, staring at the large house.Bookmark here

“There’s not much to say. Fel got pretty drunk, said a few things that were out of line. That’s about it,” Tess said.Bookmark here

“Really? I feel like her emotions are pretty unstable. But I’ll take your word that Felicity only said that because of the alcohol. How much does she really know about the heroes thing? I just want to know how much access she’s had to you and everyone else,” I pointed out.Bookmark here

“Fel knows of our existence and observes us when training. She’s not privy to the important matters. You’ll learn about that in time,” Tess answered, driving through the large black gate.Bookmark here

“Tess, what are you feelings about everyone as a hero?” I asked.Bookmark here

“In terms of what Tomo?” Tess asked, her voice very cold.Bookmark here

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, confused by her question.Bookmark here

“State it in more concrete terms, Tomo. As friends, as fighters, or are you perhaps inclined to even include romantic feelings?” Tess clarified.Bookmark here

“I meant as friends. Wait, do you actually like anyone Tess?” I asked, her words catching my attention.Bookmark here

“Not in terms of romance. But if you’re speaking on the friendship level then I believe everyone has their faults just like any human being. I’m not as critical about their private lives as Fel is. As long as they perform when needed. I’m sure the others understand my feelings on that,” Tess replied, stopping at a four way stop.Bookmark here

“Oh, I thought you would more well critical like you said. But I understand,” I nodded.Bookmark here

“And what about you Tomo? Anyone catch your eye?” Tess questioned, her face straight as she looked at her rear view mirror.Bookmark here

“What?” I stammered, caught off guard by her question.Bookmark here

“It’s only fair that I reciprocate your own question. Is it not?” Tess remarked.Bookmark here

“You have a point. Say Tess, you seem a lot more, how do I put this, cooler and calmer than usual,” I noticed.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry about it. It’s just the side effects of the alcohol. You still haven’t answered my question yet,” Tess reminded me.Bookmark here

“I don’t especially like anyone. I mean, it’s hard to when you barely know them. I feel at the party, that was my first time really seeing who they are as people. You too, Tess. I mean when we’re talking about the heroes thing, everyone has some kind of facade on. Not fake but more reserved. I can understand since we’re still getting to know each other,” I answered with care, thinking about the things I saw at the party.Bookmark here

“That’s a fair answer. Although, Fel does need to control herself more and choose her words with more care,” Tess noted.Bookmark here

“Do they not like Felicity? I mean, I can see that they’re at least on the surface friendly with her. But it seems there’s tension,” I asked.Bookmark here

“I’m sure they are indifferent about it. Fel is the only one who really cares that much and in some ways, that is her weakness. Although Darryl may have a differing opinion than everyone else,” Tess answered, making a left turn.Bookmark here

“You’re pretty sharp Tess, even with social interactions. It feels like you know too much and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It’s just so mysterious,” I searched for the correct words to convey my opinion of Tess.Bookmark here

“It’s just what I do, Tomo. There’s nothing more to it. By the way, you may want to check your underwear when you get home,” Tess suddenly said she neared my street.Bookmark here

“What? Tess, what did you do?” I responded, surprised by her sudden comment.Bookmark here

“It’s more about what Fel did than me. Anyways, you have arrived safely back at your house,” Tess ended our conversation as she pulled into my driveway.Bookmark here

“Tess, you gotta tell me. It’s freaking me out the way you said it,” I pleaded.Bookmark here

Tess remained silent and waved goodbye to me. Damn it, I would have to see what Tess meant when I got back to my room. I searched for my keys, but could not find them. Damn it, did I leave them in Tess’ car? Tess was pretty perceptive, she would have heard or seen them.Bookmark here

“Yuki, stop standing outside. You’re going to catch a cold,” Mom said, opening the door.Bookmark here

“Thanks Mom,” I said, entering my house.Bookmark here

“You forgot your keys by the way. They were still on the table when I came home,” Mom said, holding them up.Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s where they were. Yeah, I won’t forget them next time,” I promised, taking the keys from her hand.Bookmark here

“So, did you meet any nice boys?” Mom asked, a mischievous smile on her face.Bookmark here

“What?” I asked, not sure how this was relevant.Bookmark here

“I’m just curious. You’re so lonely, Yuki. I thought you might find some good friends there,” Mom said, chuckling.Bookmark here

I thought back to this morning or rather the party. Most of my memories of the party were intact, but Tess’ words were really freaking me out. Recalling the interaction between Zhuyu, Shan, Ichaival, Kisai and the other boys, I shook my head. They were too weird and I still didn’t know them too well. Besides, I needed to check my underwear.Bookmark here

“I’m fine, Mom. Don’t worry about it. I still have Yuka,” I reminded her.Bookmark here

“Yes, yes, you do. I’ll let you do whatever you need to do now,” Mom said and then walked away.Bookmark here

Back in my room, I took off my pants and shirt. Looking down, I saw underwear different than the ones I wore to the party. I checked the material and it was high class stuff. High end designer material to be exact with “Sica” as the brand.Bookmark here

I changed clothes and stared at the wall, trying to recall what happened. The last thing I could vaguely remember was Shan and the others leaving. And then someone came to take me upstairs, probably Yuka?Bookmark here

“Damn it, Tess, what did I do?” I muttered.Bookmark here

Whatever. I’m sure Tess would eventually tell me later. I pulled out my phone and placed it down on the table. I saw the indicator light flashing and checked the screen. I had a missed call from Manami.Bookmark here

“Manami, how are you doing?” I asked, calling her back.Bookmark here

“Yuki, you’re okay! I thought you might still be at your friend’s party. Anyways, I have some news for you!” Manami exclaimed.Bookmark here

“Go on,” I urged.Bookmark here

“That girl we saw in Ichi’s room. You know the one in the photo? I saw her yesterday. She was at the mall. I took a picture. I’ll send it to you now,” Manami revealed.Bookmark here

I opened the photo and compared it to the one I had. There was no doubt about it. They were definitely the same person.Bookmark here

“This is getting interesting. What should we do?” I asked.Bookmark here

“I’m not sure. There’s no guarantee that she’ll show up in the same place. Want to try asking your friends for help?” Manami suggested.Bookmark here

“Hmm, I’ll think about it,” I said and then hung up.Bookmark here

Should I tell Tess and the others? If it was related to the heroes thing, I believed it would be best to inform them. Might help me figure out who this woman was.Bookmark here

“Tomo, how is your underwear?” Tess asked.Bookmark here

“I don’t know what you did and I can’t remember. I expect you to tell me one day because this is freaking me out a little bit. But I have a favor,” I replied.Bookmark here

“What is it?” Tess asked.Bookmark here

“I have a picture of someone and I believe it is related to Ichizen’s death,” I answered.Bookmark here

“Okay, send it right away,” Tess said.Bookmark here

I sent her both pictures. The one Manami took and the one I snapped during the inspection of Ichizen’s room. I heard silence as Tess viewed them.Bookmark here

“Tomo, we’re having a meeting tomorrow. I’ll pick you up around ten. By the way, Felicity picked a random color for you. I hope you enjoy,” Tess ended the conversation.Bookmark here

Damn it, Tess. You suck. Sighing, I placed my phone down on the table. For Tess to call a meeting with such urgency, that picture was important. What would I found out about the woman in the picture at the meeting?Bookmark here

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