A Good Girl
Today everyone in Homra decided to play baseball at the public
field. I sat with Anna on my lap on the sidelines as we watched Shouhei bat
horribly. Tatara was filming everyone like usual while I was snacking on some
“Chitose, what’s wrong?” Tatara asked. “Are you tired?” Chitose pushed the camera away.
“Stop it now. You can do it when I’m more good-looking.” He said.
“Did something happen?”
“Ah well, popular guys sure do have a lot to handle… you see.” I couldn’t help but laugh at his statement. He narrowed his eyes at me. I went on to stuff my face uncomfortably full of popcorn. I looked over and I lit up when I saw that Mikoto was next.
“Yata, Mikoto is next! Focus!” Kusanagi said from behind the catcher.
“A-ahh!” Yata exclaimed. “Too bad, but even for the King… my straight is…” He threw the ball and Mikoto hit a homerun with barely any effort.
“Yay!” I exclaimed. Yata watched it in a slump as it disappeared over the distance. Mikoto dropped the bat and barely jogged around the field.
“It’s your turn, Akane.” Tatara said, pointing his camera in my face. I nodded my head and set Anna down beside me.
“Wish me good luck.” I smiled.
“Good luck.” She said, without even a glance towards me, or any emotion. It made me feel a little depressed rather than lucky.
I got up and walked over in front of the catcher. Kusanagi handed me the bat.
“Go easy on her Yata!” He said.
“Yeah go easy on me Yata.” I smiled. He nervously nodded his head and threw an easily pathetic pitch. I took advantage and hit a perfect home run.
“EH!?” Yata exclaimed.
“I was on the softball team in high school.” I laughed as I jogged around the field.
“You hustled me!” He screamed.
“Yep!” I giggled just to annoy him. I made my way back to the sidelines and gave Kusanagi a high five.
“Softball team, huh?” Mikoto said as he lit a cigarette. I stopped, turned back towards him, and nodded my head. I thought maybe he was going to praise me or something but… “Probably another reason you're a virgin.”
“Eh?!” I was overcome with anger. “I’m not a virgin! What makes you think that?!”
“A good girl like you, of course you are.”
“Well I’m not!” I exclaimed. I crossed my arms and huffed. I knew it was stupid of me to just scream that kind of stuff into the world, but I didn’t want Mikoto to think of me as the innocent virgin girl. I may not have had many partners, but even if it was only the one that didn’t make me a virgin.
Perhaps I was going to have to add, “show Mikoto I’m more than a good girl” on my list of goals.
I stared up at him and he glanced over at me.
“Sorry…” He dropped the cigarette to the ground and stepped on it. I cocked my head to the side in confusion. It didn’t seem like he was apologizing for teasing me.
“What for?” I asked.
“Don’t they remind you of…?” He nodded down at my leg and my mind suddenly clicked. He was worried that the smell of his cigarette would bring back traumatic memories. I shook my head furiously.
“No, it’s okay. Your cigarettes smell completely different. They remind me of when you came to save me rather than when I was injured, so don’t worry about me.”
I smiled and he looked the other way. I think he was hiding his face for some reason, but I may be wrong. All I know for sure is he took another cigarette out after that and smoked it without a problem, and the smell was honestly… comforting.
“That person was so sad.” Anna said as she looked out into the distance through one of her marbles. She looked over at Chitose next to her.
“Don’t die, okay?” Anna said.
“Chitose! Your turn!” Dewa said and went on to drag him onto the field.
“Wait—Anna?” Chitose said. “W-what was that?”
“Hurry up and hit already.” Dewa said as he handed him the bat. Yata threw the ball and Chitose hit it, his head not completely out of the clouds; the ball barely flew past Yata’s head.
“Eh—where are you aiming at?” Yata screamed. He looked back and saw that the ball was heading straight for a girl walking along the edge of the field. “Ah! Watch out!” He yelled out to her.
I looked over and my eyes widened in surprise when I saw everyone was staring over at the girl who had just caught the ball with her bare hand and proceeded to throw it back, almost socking Chitose in the face.
“How lively.” Tatara said as he videotaped the whole thing.
Chitose suddenly started to run off and everyone watched after him in confusion. As the girl started stomping after him they all realized the situation, except for me of course. Totsuka and Dewa ran off after them and I looked over at Mikoto in confusion.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“That girl is a strain.” He said as he took another hit of his cigarette. “And an assassin.”
“Eh!?” I exclaimed. “Is she after Chitose?”
“Seems like it, but she usually doesn’t kill good citizens…”
“Should I go talk to her, maybe she will listen to me since I’m like her.” I was about to walk off, but he grabbed onto my arm and I looked back at him with surprise.
“If she thinks you’re with him she’ll kill you as well.”
He stared down at me with a protective look that made me submit to his wishes. I averted my eyes and he let go of me. Kusanagi’s phone rang with Tatara calling to tell them exactly what was going on. I walked over to Anna, lifted her on my lap, and hid my face in her hair to conceal my embarrassment.
“What’s the matter Akane?” She asked me. I slightly shook my head without a word.
We all went back to the bar later, leaving Chitose to clean up his own mess. When they got back Tatara explained the whole story of Chitose having a one-night stand with her and forgetting to keep his promise to say goodbye the next morning. I thought it was rather sweet, in a sort of twisted way. To think she was so damaged that when a boy slept with her and rudely left she went on to kill him. Perhaps that's the stress of a strain though, with her lifestyle I can only imagine many hardships.
I wonder… If things had gone differently for me, if Homra hadn’t taken me in… would I have eventually fallen to the same sort of fate?
One night the bar was rather busy for once. It was refreshing,
but a hassle. Kusanagi, Tatara and I were the only ones working and the place
was getting rather rowdy. I hurriedly took the orders of the few people who
were eating, gave them to Tatara in the kitchen and then quickly made my way
back behind the bar to help Kusanagi serve drinks.There was this group of
businessmen who were getting quite wasted.
“Pretty girl! Another round please!” One of the men said. I nodded my head and quickly got him and his friends another set of shots. I set them down when the one who called out to me suddenly grabbed my hand. “How about after your shift you come back to my place?”
My eyes widened in surprise and his friends all burst out laughing. I thought maybe since they were laughing it was meant as a joke or something. I’m not really the type who gets asked these types of things all that often so I didn’t actually think he was being serious, so I laughed along.
“Well?” He said.
“Eh?” I tried to pull my hand away, but I don’t think he really noticed. “I’m sorry… I umm…”
“Come on! A pretty girl like you ought to be pampered.”
“Please let go.” I said, but he couldn’t hear me over the laughter of him and his friends. “Sir, I need to get back to work.”
“She said let go.” A loud voice boomed. They suddenly all stopped laughing and glanced back to see Mikoto standing menacingly over them. “She isn’t interested.” He growled. The man let go, shaking in fear. “Now leave.” The man nodded, quickly paid his bill and ran out with his friends close behind. Mikoto sat down at the bar and I stared at him in awe. “Can I have a drink?”
I snapped out of my daze and hurriedly nodded my head as I stumbled for his usual. When I finally recovered from the scene I was able to muster up some words,
“Thank you… but please don't be so intimidating, the other customers seem frightened as well.” I looked over and the amount of customers had reduced to half, after the men ran out a few other people seemed to have found Mikoto’s presence to be daunting.
“I don’t care if they think that way. I’ll stay here on the nights you work so you don’t get yourself in trouble.”
“…You don’t have to—“
“It’s concerning otherwise.”
My eyes widened in surprise. To think Mikoto was this worried about me? Does he really think of me as this weak?
Is this okay? Is it alright for me to waste his time like this?
A few nights later Kusanagi left early and I had to close the shop. I locked up as Mikoto sat at the bar, smoking a cigarette and finishing the last of his drink. I walked over and sat down next to him, letting out a sigh of relief that the night was over. I was so tired. I glanced up at Mikoto who seemed to be spacing out.
“Hey, do you think I can try that?”
“Hmm?” He looked over at me in confusion. I pointed at his cigarette and he paused for a moment before reaching into his pocket and taking another one out for me. He handed it over and I looked at it in confusion. He let out a sigh. “You put this end between your lips.” He flipped it over and I did as he said. I looked up at him and he snapped his fingers, lighting the thing with his fire. “Now suck in.” I did so and immediately started to cough uncontrollably. I quickly put it out in the ashtray as I tried to recover my breath. He smirked as he blew out some smoke. “You’re such a good girl.”
I slumped over in disappointment.
‘I’ll never be able to match him; I’ll always be helpless.’
“But that’s alright.” He said as he patted the top of my head. I looked up at him with astonishment. “It’s refreshing.”
I looked down, trying to hide my now red face.
Perhaps Mikoto really doesn’t mind being around a girl like me, and honestly… I don’t really mind being around a guy like him.