Chapter 2:

Novice

Re Mari : I'll find you even if death did us apart!


After packing my stuff I was about to leave but remembered the good-bye kiss we used to do when we were newlyweds. I have waited so many years. I can wait a night more. No need to overwhelm her altogether. I still was scared by my previous mistakes. She came to the door.

“You aren’t forgetting anything right?” she stared right at me.

I dropped my shoulders. “Just the love of my life nothing else!”

She bursted out laughing. I remembered why I looked at her when we first met. It was her innocent smile.

“I remembered why I proposed to you.” She stopped laughing and tucked her hair behind her ear.

“I was thinking exactly the same!” I shouted and rushed towards her.

She grabbed my face. “You are disturbing the neighbors.”

“Well you know-” I was about to joke again but saw her flustered face. She was red like a ripped tomato.

Calm down heart she is your wife I shouted in my mind. I never want to leave you ever again. Finally, you have started smiling.

“Ah, can you use your saved-up day off tomorrow? I was thinking we could go out and have a date.” I said that while standing on the doorstep. I had almost forgotten that in all the happiness rush.

“You are telling me this now? You know I have to inform them ahead. And even submit the paperwork for why I’m taking a day off.” Her annoyance was justified.

I looked at her and said, “So it’s a no?” while trying my puppy eyes impression on her.

“I didn’t say that. Just hurry up and go. And don’t eat anything from the outside for breakfast. I’ll pack some food for us.” She was almost pushing me out of the door.

Hope today never ends I thought while walking down the apartment stairs. But today has to end so I can go on a date with my wife I started arguing with myself.

Wonder what would people say if they knew I was looking forward to the date with my wife. Who has been married to me for almost two decades? I started smiling on my own, ignoring the people walking around me who seemed very concerned about my mental health.

“What do you think they use this warehouse for?” Juno was fidgeting while trying to look out from the windshield of our rented car. We had it parked around a mechanic shop corner. With that, we could see the whole warehouse. It was pitch black inside the warehouse.

“You don’t have to peek so hard. At this point why not just go out and shout that you are watching them.” I hit Juno on the head lightly while dragging him backward a bit.

“This is workplace harassment.” He sneered at me. I grabbed his ear and twisted it. He started apologizing instantly.

“I was just messing with you.” He started rubbing his ear.

“Does it hurt?” I tried to take a look at his ear but he backed away just from my hand as if I’ll do it again.

“No No.” he started hiding his ear with his hand.

“Stop messing around now. See that? That's the only way in the warehouse.” I told him while grabbing my walkie-talkie. I always thought if I had a son he would be as old as Juno and I had always treated him as a one. He probably knew that too.

“Say Tanaka-san, is it true that tomorrow is your anniversary?” Juno has started his attack on the packet of chips now. It was already half gone.

I raised my hand towards his ear but he backed away.

“Are we on a picnic? Stop making noises with all the shuffling.” I grabbed the packet from his hands.

"Yes my 20th anniversary is tomorrow," I said as quietly as possible.

"You should visit the sea." Juno turned to me with excitement in his eyes.

"Trust me on this one. I have an older sister and she is always talking about the sunset and walking on the beach with her boyfriend."

I nodded at him with some doubts. As if asking, really?

Juno started nodding, "Really!"

All of a sudden a car came from behind. We both ducked before the headlight shone towards us.

The car stopped at the warehouse gate. Two men came running out of the car and opened the steel door by sliding it apart. The car slowly went inside and they closed the door. It was a silver sedan.

“What was that!!?” Juno almost shouted.

“After stacking out for weeks, we finally see someone going in. I’m going there to take a better look.” He grabbed his revolver from the dashboard and was about to head out.

“Wait, you moron!” I dragged him back. This was the second time I had to stop him from acting out. I prayed Chief wouldn’t pair me up with this kid next time.

“Why did-” Before he could finish his sentence a black car came from the same direction as the first one and stopped at the gate. Behind it were more cars and a few more came from the opposite side. They all stopped at the gate for a while. They had blocked all three roads leading to the warehouse. All of them were black and had tainted windows.

I instantly realized they weren’t with the first car that went inside. I have been a police officer for more than a decade. More than often you can sense this kind of setup. They were Yakuzas.

“Radio the station and ask for backup. Don’t come out unless it is absolutely necessary. If it is what I think it is then we will need all the help we can get” I grabbed my revolver from the dashboard and checked if it was loaded.

“If something were to happen to me before the backup arrives, I want you to be safe here as our only witness.” 

Juno was still a novice and I didn't want to put him in harm's way before he could properly learn the ropes.

I closed the door behind me. I analyzed the situation one more time, took a deep breath.

And started walking out of the darkness, into the light.