Chapter Twenty-Eight: Mizuho:
I feel like I have been locked out of the loop.
Tatsuya-kun won’t tell me anything. I have tried calling him. He usually says that he can’t talk now. I haven’t seen Chiharu around lately either. Come to think of it, things have been getting weird lately. Children walked around with those orange lanterns. They kept quiet. It creeps me out every time I look at them. Plus, looking up at the sky gave me chills. I could’ve sworn that I saw eyes looking down at me one day.
I walked up to Tatsuya’s apartment and knocked on the door. I paced around as I thought about what I wanted to say. I had to know the truth. What was he keeping from me? Why did he try to avoid me? I happened to look over to my right. A man and a child stood at the door of the apartment. At first, I thought nothing of it. The man was wearing a long black coat despite it being summer. His hat was tilted to the back.
Then, there was the kid.
I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl. They were playing around with a stuffed white doll that had no face. But, there was that expression on that child’s face. There was just… nothing. This kid’s eyes looked so dead. No smile or delight as they played with that doll. They didn’t look like they were enjoying that doll in their hands. That child looked up at me.
I turned my head when the door opened. Tatsuya stood in the doorframe.
“Hello,” I said in a low voice.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“I came to see you,” I said.
“Why?” Tatsuya asked. I clenched my fists at my sides.
“You barely talk to me anymore! What am I supposed to think?” I asked. I could feel myself shaking.
“I do not have time for this,” Tatsuya muttered. He tried to close the door on me, but I stuck my foot inside.
“Hey!” he said.
“Let me in!” I screamed.
“Go away!” Tatsuya shouted. I felt screaming and crying.
“Why do you keep shutting me out?!” I yelled. “I want to help you! Just let me in!”
“No!” Tatsuya shouted. He tried to push me out, but I managed to force myself in. I could not believe what I saw on the living room floor. Chiharu sat in the corner, trembling and looking disheveled. She looked like heroin addict the way she bit on her hand. All of the color was drained from her skin. Her shirt hung off of her right shoulder. She had her knees to her chest. Never had I seen her eyes look so vacant. My jaw dropped.
“What happened to her?” I asked. Tatsuya sighed and flopped down on the couch.
“I don’t really know myself,” he said. “Mikado and Masaomi didn’t fully explain anything to me when they brought her home.” I walked over and sat down with him. I couldn’t walk away now.