Chapter 20:

Getting Caught in the Rain with President Sato

Pandora's Box

By the time I finished my business with the school paper, it had become late. I decided to call it a day and head out. As I was putting on my street shoes, Red pointed out the window.

"It's raining again. You know what that means, right?"

"I'm not doing your stupid umbrella plan again."

He gave me a disappointed look.

"Why not? Don't forget you only have a little over a week to find a girlfriend... And I need more content anyways, so..."

"I still haven't completely psychologically recovered from that incident with Mei two days ago. I think I'm just going to head home."

"Come on! Don't be lik-"

I ignored him and proceeded to exit the building, while opening up my umbrella.

*Splash* *splash*

An individual suddenly came up beside me and of course, it had to be her...

"It's a lovely evening isn't it, Hako-san? Thank goodness, you happened to be leaving the same time as me."

Sato forced her way under my umbrella. She had her usual smug grin on her face.


I shot her a glare.

"This will be a wonderful opportunity to chat just like old times, don't you think?"


I refused to move.

"Well we should probably get going. I have some studying to do when I get home."

She grabbed just above where I was holding on the umbrella and essentially started dragging me along, forcing me to go with her. I would have just let her keep the umbrella and went my separate way, but my mom would kill me if I lost another one.

I silently walked beside her not saying a word. She continued trying to force me to have a conversation.

"I noticed you barged into the press room earlier. You must have had important business with them, huh?" She spoke sarcastically.

"I think you should mind your own business, Sato-san. Honestly, I’d prefer not to talk to you now. If you have something to say, say it next week at the debate."

"Oh, don't be that way Hako-san. Not long ago we were great friends."

"Yeah, until I realized you were taking advantage of me."

I looked in the opposite direction as we walked in order to avoid eye contact with her. After a while, I got fed up and decided that I was going to "accidentally" close the umbrella like I did to Mei. Maybe that would drive her away.

*Click* didn't close.

"Careful, it looks like your finger almost slipped." Sato said.

She had pressed her finger against the umbrella's runner to prevent it from closing. Like usual she was somehow one step ahead of me.

"What is it you want from me!?" I snapped at her.

She was unfazed and remained composed.

"Believe it or not I have no ulterior motive. I simply forgot my umbrella and did what any fair maiden such as myself would do, find a gentleman who could escort me home."

"I don't believe that one bit."

She smirked at me.

"Think what you will, but it's true."

There was something I always wondered about her. Since I was essentially a captive audience, I felt now would be a good time to ask.

"Why are you like this?"

She looked at me curiously.

"I'm not particularly sure what you're referring to. Like what?"

"Your manipulative, cutthroat personality. How is it that you can just use people and feel no remorse."

She laughed a bit, seeming to find my question amusing.

"Seems you have quite the harsh assessment of me. I think a better way to put it is that I simply refuse to lose."

"Is that the reason for all your petty games, you want to win this election at all costs?"

"Ah Hako-san, that's the lame man's way of looking at it. The election is nothing more than a single move on the game board known as life. Same with that tennis game a few days ago or even that chess match ten years ago against Tachi-san."

"What exactly are you trying to achieve? If life is a game then there has to be some sort of objective." I asked.

She looked up as if she was reminiscing.

"My father works for political campaigns for a living. He taught me that in the real world, winning in the end is all that matters. Everything in between are just steps towards that goal.

So you asked what my goal is, the truth is I don't know what that is yet. All I know is that everything I've ever accomplished in my life will bring me to that goal."

"That seems kind of vague. It seems you see me and even Akari as a threat. Considering the way you've been treating us, do you hold some kind of grudge?"

"A grudge? No, quite the opposite. Games are boring when you're playing alone. I see Tachi-san as a worthy opponent. I don't necessarily see you as an opponent, but more of someone who's tenacity I admire."

"You admire my tenacity?"

"Yes of course, most people would have given up by now, but you're completely determined to see this through to the end. That being said though, I just don't think you have what it takes to beat me."

We made it to the front gate of her house, which I will admit was quite large. Before bidding me farewell, she got uncomfortably close to my face, as she left me off on one final note.

"You know, if you somehow manage to win, my opinion of you would change. I'd see you as an equal, in fact I'd even say you would be the only man worthy enough for me to consider dating."

With that she entered her house. As I made my way home I contemplated that bizarre encounter with her. That last part she left me on, I wasn't really sure how to take. It seem like it was almost like a thinly veiled confession.

There was one thing I was a little more certain on though. She was definitely a sociopath.

N.J. Ecalus
Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64