Chapter 24 - Sharing is caring
“Kurumi? We’re here. You’ve been suspiciously quiet, everything ok?”
“No, no. I spaced out, sorry.”
I realized both of us stood in front of a white-grey double story house already. The house had many windows and reminded me of the Spanish architecture; perhaps it was its purpose. The place looked different compared to others in Sanazawa Street. I also noticed raindrops are falling on the ground.
“Come inside; otherwise, we will soak in the rain soon.” I paced to the door. Pablo followed me and closed the door I opened. “Mai is over at her friend’s place, and Mizuki ought to be home.”
“Should I go get her? So you’d tell her.”
“If you could, yes, please. It’ll be better to tell share it. She is my friend, after all. I don’t want her to feel excluded.”
“Are you sure?”
I took a deep breath and smiled. “Yes. It’s hard mentioning it. However, I can do it!”
“Fine.” he walked upstairs and knocked on Mizuki’s door. It took her a while to open. “Huh? Pabs? What do you need?”
“I invited Kurumi over. She wants to talk with you. In private, I guess.”
Mizuki looked surprised. “Really? Okay.” she strolled downstairs to me. Pablo went inside his room so that he wouldn’t bother us.
“Hi, Ku! What did you want to talk about?” Mizuki snatched a pillow from the couch and sat on it. She gave me one cushion too, and I did the same. “I wanted to tell you something... dark. Please don’t judge me; I feel like you should know.”
The girl looked a little insecure but agreed.
“Okay. I won’t judge.” I was anxious and sighed. “Have you heard about the case in the newspaper? Satou Atsuko?”
“I’ve heard of it, I think. Her younger sister died, and there was a witness, right? Of the younger sister. She saw the whole thing. I feel bad for her.”
“The witness... It was me.” Mizuki was quiet for a few seconds before her brain understood what did I say. Her eyes widened in shock.
“It was me.” I began shivering and could feel my voice shaking. “I-I knew her. It was s-so hard. M-making friends... And now hearing this.”
Mizuki pulled me into a hug and rubbed my back with her hand in silence. “I’m sorry to hear this. You don’t have to talk regarding it.”
I started crying. “I already told P-Pablo. H-he noticed s-something is wrong.”
“It’ll be okay, I promise. Oh god, it must’ve been so harsh...”
“She was my b-best friend.”
“What a terrible experience.” Mizuki ruffled through my hair. “I’m gonna make you some hot cocoa; it’s good on nerves.”
Marshmallow came in the room and wagged his tail. He lay next to me. “Aww. He’s just so cute! Where did you buy him?”
“No? Then how did you acquire him? For free?”
“Well, yes, it was for free. However, it was Pablo who found him.”
“What do you mean?”
“He found the dog when we were on vacation in Spain. In one of the smaller cities lives our grandpa. Grandma died a few years ago.”
“Yeah, he told me that. So what happened?”
“He got lost and walked past an abandoned puppy in a carton box. He insisted on keeping him.”
“Wait. He found an abandoned puppy?! Marshmallow?!”
“Yes,” Mizuki confirmed gloomily. “He decided to keep it. We were poor at that time. We barely had the money to visit grandma and grandpa, that’s how much.”
Pablo came from his room and overheard our conversation. “Excuse me? How come you’re talking about me when I’m not in the room? I didn’t give you my permission.”
I jumped. “Pablo?!”
“Hi, Pabs! Welcome back. Kurumi wanted to know where did we receive Marshy.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Awww! You saved an abandoned puppy!” I smiled and hugged him. Suddenly something behind the window glowed, and we heard thunder.
“Eek!” I squeaked and pulled him closer, trembling.
“Uh!” he almost fell on the floor in surprise. “You ok?”
I received a flashback. It usually happened in stormy weather, triggering my fear.