Chapter 20 - Pablo's terrible discovery
I gasped. That’s terrible.
I think my theory is correct... I desire to hug her very severely. I can give her a warm hug. Actually, I don’t know where did she go. She’s not in the room yet; I feel confused and worried.
I hugged my knees, shaking and sobbing in the girls’ restroom’s stall, “N-no more, p-please. N-no more d-deaths.” Insecure what is going on, I wished for the intense fear to stop. Is this happening because I am stressed? Shinshu only keeps mocking me, how stupid I’m, which only makes me cry even more.
I hid my mouth with my hand to muffle the sobs. I can’t let others see me vulnerable, or they will hurt me. I just desire to run away or be in Pablo’s arms. However, he would see my tears, and I refuse to let him see me like this.
Slowly, the feeling of fear passed, and I heard the school bell ringing. I quickly wiped my tears and unlocked the bathroom stall, blowing my nose into the toilet paper. I also washed my face and begged Shinshu to disappear.
I made it in time and sat at my desk, next to Pablo’s. He looked at me, a little relieved, yet, I avoided his eyes. Pablo seemed as if he wanted to say something; however, he closed his mouth as he saw the teacher entering the room. Shinshu continued reminding me how stupid and pathetic I am the whole time. I only lowered my head.
I quite disliked the history subject. I just couldn’t understand how can someone find it interesting. I repeated the theory in my head, realizing I barely know anything regarding Kurumi.
Once the history hour ended, she faced me. “Hi.”
“Hey,” I answered in surprise.
“Do you want to visit my place today?” she asked.
I blinked in surprise. “Oh, sure.” Why did she invite me to her living space all of a sudden? Does she desire to tell me about Mei?
“Okay. So you don’t mind being at my place? Are you free today?”
Kurumi nodded. The two girls who gave me newspapers from earlier shot Kurumi weird stares. After the class, we strolled beside each other.
“Why have you invited me to your home all of a sudden?”
It took her some time before giving an actual response. “I just felt like it, thinking it would be nice having a friend over, also so it would be fair because you invited me to your house too.”
We waited in the train station, and once the vehicle arrived, we stepped inside and sat next to each other. “Do you think sausages are on sale sometimes?”
“Huh? That’s the strangest question to ask out of the blue.”
“Not really. I could ask you: ‘How’s your breathing?’ or ‘Are you good at sucking lollipops?’ or ’Will you work in a factory that sells condo –”
“Okay, okay, I get your point.”
“When you grow up?”
“I didn’t end the sentence. Will you?”
“But we need protection.”
“This conversation went a strange way.”
“Anyway, no, I’m not going to work in a factory, in any factory.”
“And what will you do when you get out of school? What’s your dream?”
“My dream? I always dreamed of having a friend... a real friend. I don’t know what I want to do. When I was little, I wanted to be a professional dancer. However, this dream faded as I broke my leg. I screwed up a lot since then, even though I still dance. Because of my leg, I can’t do martial arts properly.” he contemplated. “And you?”
“I wished to become an artist and make art with –” suddenly she stopped talking.
“I just wanted to become an artist.”
“And any other dreams?”
“I won’t talk about now.”
“I don’t feel like saying it at the moment. I’ll tell you when we are somewhere else, sometime later. Besides, we have to get off the train.”
“Yeah, let’s go.” Kurumi got off the train with me following her. We soon appeared in front of a white rectangular building. She unlocked the door, and both of us entered a hallway with a light brown floor and light-colored walls.
We walked to the third floor, where Kurumi finally stopped in front of one white door and unlocked it. We stepped inside, and as we did, she locked the apartment and turned to me. “This is my apartment.” she smiled.
I took my shoes off and arranged them so they will face the entrance. Wondering, why has Kurumi locked the flat.
I slipped into guest slippers, taking a look around. Here, a meter away from the hallway, on the right side was a kitchen with white counters, stove, fridge, and microwave, including a toaster. In the middle stood a light wooden square shaped dining table with only two chairs. I noticed a black couch on the opposite of the room, with a ton of circle-shaped pillows, usually light-colored. The sofa faced a tv on a light wood chest of drawers. Between the table and the couch lay a circle-shaped white fluffy rug.
Behind the chest of drawers, I observed Kurumi’s double bed. Above it hung a canopy with strung lights, resembling Christmas ball ornaments.
Behind the bed were three French windows and a balcony. On the bed lay another ton of pillows – round, square, rectangular, colored as the ones on the couch. On her bed's left side was a dark blue nightstand with a lamp shaped like a cat. It was soft colored and glowed, now turned off, though. The light's cord hung from the cat’s tail—the walls of the apartment colored in pastel blue.
“Whoa. Your apartment looks cool!”
“Really? Thanks!” Kurumi smiled. “I’ve technically never had a friend over. What do you want to do? We could watch some videos.”
“Sure, I guess.”
“I’m going to use the restroom,” Kurumi announced in the middle of the video and exited. I watched her leave. Something fell on the floor from her bookshelf with a hollow thud, and I sharply turned around.
“Huh?” The object resembled a small book, perhaps a diary. It lay on the ground, pages down, and besides it, I saw a photo.
I couldn’t help it and come closer. I examined the paper, picking it up.
On the picture appeared a tan-skinned girl with dark brown hair, containing medium bangs. Her eyes had a mix of colors between blue and green. I realized she looks similar to me. The split ends of her hair had an emerald green color. Her hairstyle resembled a short hime cut. She must’ve taken the photo.
Her other hand wrapped around a girl sitting beside her; they’re sitting in front of a table. On it, they had some coffee with cream and caramel, perhaps even ice cream.
The girl beside her had pale skin and medium white hair. A forelock covered her left blue eye. I knew who this girl is right away. Not only because of the pale skin and eyes but also of the black choker. In the other corner, I saw a signature. “Sakura Kurumi and Satou Mei - B.F.F.”
Did this stand for “Best friends forever?” I gasped. The girl in the picture is definitely Kurumi, and the next one, Mei. Kurumi did know Mei, and they were best friends. That’s terrible. Both of them look so happy... Kurumi said she wasn’t anywhere in a long time since... then she stopped taking. She probably meant before Mei died. So my theory was correct. Mei was Kurumi’s best friend, and Kurumi, the witness.
Suddenly, Kurumi opened the door from the restroom. Focused on the photo, I didn’t notice her. At the same moment, as the entrance opened, I jumped and dropped the picture. She closed the door and gazed at me.
“Hi! I’m back.” she walked towards me, all of a sudden seeing the picture. Her eyes opened wide, and she stared at it. Kurumi ran as quickly as her legs carried her past me to the gate. I stared at the scene in shock and surprise. She grabbed the key, trying to unlock the door, and failed, trying once again. It opened and slammed into the wall.
Kurumi left the entrance open and ran through the hallway. “KURUMI! WAIT!” I screamed and ran after her.
I looked through my shoulder, and once I saw him, I sensed an even bigger fear. On the stairs, I almost tripped; however, I continued running, seeing he is after me. Shinshu was yelling something at me; I couldn’t hear.
“WAIT!” he yelled again. I remembered this well. Except, instead of Pablo, a murderer chased me with a bloody knife. The overwhelming feeling of panic, fear, and the terrible heat and water runs down my stomach. My leg hurting how I trimmed over a branch and fell.
Pablo turned into a murderer and chased me. No, Pablo couldn’t turn into a murderer, my eyes convinced me, but my brain said no.