Genre: Drama/Angst for now
Summary: Volume 8, from Shinogu's POV
BTW, I really wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to read my fic, and the all the nice feedback. Everyone's been really kind and helpful, and it's appreciated. :D
Shinogu sat apprehensively.
I can’t help Mrs. Tachibana set Ryoki up with some other girl. But I can’t get out either.
The wild card was Ryoki, Shinogu realized. He wasn’t really sure what Ryoki felt for Hatsumi.
Hatsumi’s not the type to give herself up so easily…but she already did…maybe, Shinogu thought, remembering his hellish night in Izu. But if it’s just sex, Ryoki could have any girl he wanted, anytime.
Shinogu felt confused and miserable. There was so much he didn’t seem to know about Hatsumi. He used to know everything, but now there were missing pieces, blanks. Everyday he could feel them drifting apart, more and more. And it was driving him crazy.
Hatsumi was still sweet, attentive, and concerned. But she seemed more preoccupied lately. She always had that side to her, but it was becoming more and more pronounced. It started when Shinogu started attending his university, and got much worse once Azusa showed up.
Where is Mrs. Tachibana? She had told Shinogu to stay and went downstairs. She was in a really good mood, which scared Shinogu even more.
What’s taking her so long? Shinogu took a gulp of his now cold tea. He heard voices at the door, female ones.
He sat up straight. He heard the door open and the women enter. His heart started beating rapidly.
I can’t do this, Shinogu thought, staring at the floor.
Nevertheless he got up, and looked toward the entrance. Three women entered. He was surprised to see Hatsumi was one of them. Mrs. Tachibana and some other girl, who was wearing the same uniform as Hatsumi.
Wait, is that one of Hatsumi’s friends? I thought I knew all of them. And why would Mrs. Tachibana set Ryoki up with a girl from Takazono?
Shinogu looked at her more closely, without being obvious. She was tall and flashy looking. She reminded him of the model girls Azusa was always hanging out with, even with the glasses.
The ties are different, the plaids are a little different. They go to different schools…
Eventually, his questions were answered as Mrs. Tachibana introduced them all. It took all of Shinogu’s rapidly draining energy to stand up and bow. Mrs. Tachibana droned on and on about Japanese families, and Shinogu wasn’t listening. He just watched Hatsumi grow sadder with each word.
“Her academic level is on par with my Ryoki’s you see. So I think the two of them studying under Shinogu-san’s guidance makes a great deal of sense,” Mrs Tachibana said.
Great, Shinogu thought. Another “student” who probably has better test scores than me.
“Psst,” Hatsumi whispered to him. “Did you know about this? Before you got here?”
Shinogu shook his head “No” violently. How could she even think such a thing?
Ruri and Mrs. Tachibana continued, insulting and insinuating. Shinogu just started at his feet, his heart racing, and feeling completely helpless in the situation. It just didn’t feel real, like he was in an audience watching a play, unable to control the actions of the actors onstage.
I just want this day to end, Shinogu thought.
He could see Hatsumi tensing up even more while Ruri kept talking.
“I suppose compatibility is basically a matter of being equals. Wouldn’t you agree Hatsumi-san?” Ruri asked.
“I, uh, well,” Hatsumi stammered.
For some reason that particular statement was the last straw for Shinogu.
“Let’s just go, Hatsumi,” he said angrily. He’d really had enough. “This is really too-“
He didn’t get a chance to finish, because the door opened again.
“I’m home.” Ryoki’s voice filled the cavernous room.
Shinogu froze, rooted in his spot.