Chapter 28 - Satou Mei's death
On Tuesday, Pablo continuously smiled at me mysteriously. I forced myself to forget what day it is. I remembered how Mei organized my birthday party once and gave her the choker that I always wore on my neck, no matter what.
Mei... Is gone. Stop thinking about her; you have new friends. And Mizuki with Pablo are good friends. Mai too. Pablo talked about something with technology; however, I wasn't listening. I began paying attention only after he addressed me. "Kurumi?"
"Huh? Who? Me?"
"Were you listening?"
"Well, yes, but actually no."
Pablo sighed. "I wanted to ask you if you could come to my place after school tomorrow."
"To hang out."
"We should learn about our exams."
"I really want you to be here." he pressed on me.
"Why? Something is going on?"
Pablo didn't answer this question. "Okay, tomorrow at my place, after school. Please."
"Okay," I responded insecurely. What could Pablo want so urgently? Show me something? Or maybe... Does he have something for me? I can feel my heart beating faster. It always does, every time thinking about something I desire. Maybe not. I shouldn't make expectations. It's probably nothing special. However, if it wouldn't be unusual, why would Pablo want me at his place so urgently?
He did not answer any of my questions or avoided them. I keep wondering what it could be. He plans something.
I looked through the window at the train and watched people walking by as I became lost in my thoughts.
"You should get off at the next stop." Pablo suddenly said, bringing me back to reality.
"Oh? I didn't even notice."
"So meet me tomorrow at my place. At 5 pm."
"Okay. Is it something special?"
"You'll see." he chirped. I couldn't ask anything else, as he hugged and kissed me. I had to get off, and he waved at me. I did the same, smiling.
The train picked speed, and I continued watching people passing by through the window. Outside was already dark. I got off the train and continued walking home.
I saw someone on the roof of a house near. Who is this person? Why? The person wore a long black cape, and on their head was a black fedora. The person in the shadows?! I gasped. The person looked down at me. The wind ruffled their cape dramatically. They wore long black boots. By lowering their head, they revealed bright red eyes. The wind raised and took their fedora with it. This showed their medium hair, resembling colors of fire. The same went for their eyes, as they reminded me of flames.
I stared at this girl. A red fire appeared in her hand.
"Who are you?!" I screamed in shock and surprise. The girl twitched, not expecting me to yell.
"And who are you?" she asked coldly.
"I'm uh... Pablo. And you saved me from the murderer!"
"What, murderer?" The girl asked, raising her eyebrow. "Look, I've never seen you before. Why are you wasting my time?"
"I'm not wasting your time! I just know you must be a person in the shadows! And I want to know how did you save me and why!"
"Person in the shadows? I don't know who that is. Besides, right now, I'm looking for a serial killer. And you're interrupting me."
"A serial killer?"
"Yeah, a serial killer. The one who left the World of Aihara more likely got thrown away on Earth. I committed terrible things. But what do you know about that, human."
"World of Aihara...? Human...? What..?!"
"Or are you..." The girl's eyes glowed. I felt the same as when I got scanned by roentgen. "Perhaps you aren't only human after all." she smiled. "My name's Suzuki Kasai. Perhaps we'll meet again." with these words, she jumped from the roof to another and another. Sooner the person disappeared.
"No! Hey! Come back!" but my pleads meant nothing. The person was gone. "Kasai Suzuki... Why did you save me? And I know nobody will believe me if I say what I witnessed. I guess I was hallucinating or something..."
I continued pacing with a frown and soon found myself in front of my house.
"Hey, let's visit the haunted house," Mei said one day when the day outside appeared gloomy, the sky frowning, and according to the weather forecast, storm and heavy rain is coming. The best weather to watch some horror movies or to visit some scary place.
"The haunted house?" I asked insecurely.
"Yeah. It's the best weather for that. I know one near here."
We left Mei's house and strolled beside each other. "I dislike haunted houses."
"It's not a psychiatric hospital or orphanage, don't worry. It's just an old non-modern house with falling plaster that won't be repaired, and apparently, nobody lives there."
"Sounds a bit like my home...."
"Yeah, there's nothing to be scared of."
We paced and paced, and the sky became very dark. "Hey, I think it's gonna rain soon. Should we go back?"
"Hmm... But we're almost there already! We can hide in that restaurant." Mei pointed at a restaurant that we passed.
We entered darker streets. I didn't have a good feeling about this. "Hey, I think we should return. I don't like this place."
"I agree." Mei said, "I think we went the wrong way; I don't recognize it here."
I felt startled. "Let's get out of here, Mei. I don't want to be here!"
"I'm going!" she answered.
We got lost; this place resembled a maze. Mei and I entered a street with a blind alley, having to return. We found ourselves in a strange place with plastic bottles, cans, and papers on the ground.
"I don't like this!"
"I think I'm gonna use the GPS. You were right; this wasn't a good idea."
Mei wanted to use her phone, but a shadow appeared upon her before she could do that. "Huh?"
She noticed that I had a terrified look on my face. I was trembling. There's no way this is real.
"LOOK OUT!" I shouted, and Mei turned around.
Behind her stood a person in a long cape with a hoodie that hid their face. He or she held a knife. The only thing Mei could do was yell in fear when the person stabbed her in the stomach, and Mei kneeled on the ground from the pain and shock. The strange person stabbed her again in the same place. Soon she lay on the floor, holding her stomach, yelling and trying to roll over and dodge the person's attacks, but too late. The person was repeatedly stabbing Mei in front of me.
"KU! KU!" Mei yelled. The person would soon stab her to death. No, no. NO! THIS WASN'T POSSIBLE! NO!
I thought this is a lucid nightmare. I was frozen and couldn't help staring at Mei, who had a petrified look in her eyes and coughed blood. How the person stabbed her, the knife threw blood all over the walls, ground, and the person's dress.
I saw something similar when my mom showed me the violent scenes. This had to be a nightmare. It can't happen in real life; it is impossible.
"MEI!" I yelled. Mei's hand reached to me.
"K-Ku..." she said in a shaky voice, knowing she's going to die. Mei's eyes shed tears. Big tears, tears of a person who knows they are going to die very soon.
"NO!" I yelled in a breaking voice.
"NO! NO!" Tears of fear formed in my eyes. Mei gazed up to me for help, and I didn't do anything, just stared in Mei's eyes that would soon get a glass look and never gaze at me again. I stared at the person who did so much for me, the person who couldn't go and die. The person without life didn't matter and made sense. The person who accepted me the way I was and tried to do my best for me, to help me deal with everything.
Now, this person was dying terrifyingly. I found myself shaking, speeches, staring, unable to move, to say a word; I couldn't even whisper what I felt during that.
"STOP!" I yelled and moved quickly. The murderer turned to me, and I attempted to grab their bloody knife. Blood from it dripped on my hands: Mei's blood, the most fantastic person in the whole universe's blood.
The person in the cape appeared quicker. Before I could snatch the knife, the person stabbed me in the stomach. I started breathing heavily and sobbed, seeing the look in Mei's eyes when she saw her best friend getting stabbed too. Mei had the most desperate face. Her lips moved.
"K-Ku..." now she said in a breaking voice, as she was dying, and shed a big tear.
The murderer raised the knife, and I felt water on her stomach. I started running as fastest as possible from it all, crying, sobbing, bleeding, and feeling intense fear and shock.
I trimmed over a branch, not looking where I'm running. I gasped in fear and looked behind myself. The murderer chased me, getting closer pretty quickly. I sprained my ankle, experiencing pain in the leg. Clenching my teeth, I continued fleeing. It began raining. I heard thunder, triggering even bigger fear.
I saw that wherever I ran, the streets looked better and better, even though there weren't any people. Throwing a gaze through my shoulder, I saw the murderer chasing me with a knife. I sobbed in fear. The murderer was moving very quickly and reached their hand to me. He or she almost grabbed me from behind.
I knew if he would, my neck would be cut, and I'd be dead. I grabbed all the strength I had and ran even quicker, feeling pain in my stomach, leg, and chest, breathing heavily, and my whole body shaking from the shock, sobbing and trying to gulp my tears, unable to get the scene out of my head.
The walls are coloring in red... Mei is reaching a hand to me, saying I ought to run... The desperate look in Mei's widened eyes... Everything Mei did...
I finally glimpsed people walking around, jumped, and got out of the dark streets. The world was getting darker and darker, though. Blurrier and blurrier, I became lightheaded and dizzy, very dizzy, not to mention the water running down my stomach and the terrible heat that occurred.
I bumped into a person passing by, who stopped walking. I grabbed their hips and raised my head.
"HELP ME!" I shouted, and then the world became black, and my body fell on the ground with a hollow thud.