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Jean Jacques Rousseau said "People in their natural state are basically good. But this natural innocence, however, is corrupted by the evils of society." This quote aspires to believe that everyone has good in them at one point, they just follow the wrong path and get lost while blossoming.
I grew up with this same quote in loop in mind. Always tried to justify everybody's actions by their past, every single bad thing they could do had an ulterior good motive for me...
"You are too good." He then said to me. With his almond eyes staring right through me and his crazy attractive dimples.
I remember I looked at him confused, and he continued.
"People who are too good are weak. And you shouldn't be weak around here." He added, before disappearing from my sight.
He always had this powerful presence, intimidating and so distant... but I miraculously found my way to him. And then, loved him more than anyone before. Despite who he was, despite his sinful lifestyle.
"I already told you no, Miss Kubo." Says my boss before rushing out of the hall and joining the elevator. But I know he's avoiding the subject and I'm definitely not going to let this slip out of my hands again.
"I really don't think this is fair! I am the one that studied this story hard and spent nights on it, trying to link all the clues together. And now you are giving "my story" to Mister Hanatori?! I really don't think this is fair."
I see him roll his eyes in annoyance again, but I could care less. I have always been very passionate about my work as a columnist. I do all the researches myself, edit and put everything together my own damn self and this old man wants to suddenly give credit to my superior because he is more known than me? Bullshit, simple as that. And I will not allow anyone to bully me in any way, ever. I won't stop.
"You can roll your eyes all you want I won't let this happen. I will boycott every single release and then-
"Okay Okay!" He suddenly shouts before turning around to face me. His annoyance is clear, but I could definitely care less.
"You have some guts to follow me around all week for this small story. Why would you fight for something this little?" he says before scanning me with his dark brown eyes.
I cross my arms, suddenly feeling proud of what I'm about to say.
"I don't care if there's only 2 people that read my article sir. As long as I worked hard for people to enjoy a good subject that actually helps "cultivate" themselves with "authentic" resources, I am happy"
"So, then you're doing all this just to feel happy?" He asks, amusement in his voice.
But as I'm about to clap back, the elevator opens, and he walks away.
"Sleep tight and "happy" Then" he adds before leaving and I can feel anger filling my soul.
Staring down at this short old man I remember why I hate him so much. He's the biggest asshole in this newspaper company. It's been three years since I've worked at this company and God, I've lived it...
From his misogynist remarks or neglect on his own work as supervisor everybody really has a valid reason to wish his death. But let's not go there, this elderly of 600 thousand years is still my superior.
The elevator door closes, and I stare at the ceiling happy. Even though he is the biggest asshole, when he says something, he owns up to it, so my story is back in my hands again.
I know a lot of people don't really understand why I go through so much length for my stories, but they really can't. It's my passion, I always loved resolving mysteries, enigmas, puzzles. I worked hard to make it a talent for me to link everything together and find the truth.
Yes, I'm a big lover of the "truth" I always do my best to find it. In everything...
I walk out to join my desk. It's the messiest one, but who cares.
I sit and my tabs are still open. I throw a quick glance at my watch. It's 11pm, I should go back home but... something about this story just makes me so absorbed.
As I go through the open tab again, I start staring at this picture again, I've been staring at it for months now.
It's a shot, a very rare one. The shot of a very important but very dangerous individual in Japan. Everybody in Tokyo knows his family but nobody really knows him, barely anyone has any idea that he is the mastermind of what the dark side of Japan is now. I've been secretly studying and searching about him in any way I could.
It started when there was this article about this young lady that killed herself by jumping off her rooftop. It made headlines because the lady was the youngest daughter of one of the most famous yakuza families. But as usual, like any death related to yakuzas, it quickly got covered.
We lost tons of files about her and nobody ever signed a report, even the autopsy was never publicly released. Why was it so secretive if they did nothing wrong and she just jumped off her rooftop?
I knew better not to ever get anybody else involved in my researches. In some of the less popular Japanese Newspaper companies like mine, it was forbidden to write articles about yakuzas without permission from high executives. Those usually were only limited to the big companies that could afford costly security measures and everything.
But call me stubborn. I mean, if nobody knows I'm doing it I'm good right?
I take a moment to look at the picture again. It's very hard to see his face but I can tell he is quite handsome. The shot shows his profile, he's getting in a car with black shades on and a black coat. He doesn't wear a hat like most yakuzas do when they go out in public, his long-silky-looking-hair in a bun falling down the middle of his back.
It's been months and all I know about this man is that he was supposed to marry the girl that killed herself 9 months ago. It was reported that he was out of the country when she died but before it happens, they at least released a letter addressed to her loved ones.
She clearly was talking about her fiancé by saying quote: "You may not love me the way I do but I really hope now you realize how much I loved you".
The letter had shocked everyone. Yakuzas usually never released that much personal information, and this case really stirred up my curiosity. But I didn't find much. He was a real mystery, I only knew his name so far: Reo Kobayashi. The only son of the Kobayashi clan, one of the richest yakuza families in Japan.
It was a matter of public record that he spent most of his life in his house, home schooled and at some point, went overseas for a matter of 2 years before coming back after his father's death.
Actually, people believe this make-believe nonsense that after his father's death he dismissed all the 78 000 people who worked for his father and chose a peaceful life. But the smart ones like me knew like-hell it could ever happen.
But I had to admit, I salute his discretion. Most of those powerful gang members kill and spread bodies everywhere in the city, they even restricted certain areas to the general public and took the lives of those that trespassed. This man was almost "nice" next to them.
A deep sigh escapes from my lips and I know it is time for me to go home. But, as I gather my things and get ready to leave, my phone starts ringing.
Curious, I lean closer to see who the hell would call me this late at night, then I remember. I totally forgot about this date...
I pick up the phone and get ready for the mad voice that'll scream at me in a second.
"Kanna Kubo! Are you out of your fucking mind?! How dare you come late?! We've been planning it for 2 weeks! 2 weeks!"
Here we go...
"Yui I'm so sorry... I had work and I had to see the manager about the-
"I could give two fucks! All I know is that I'm here and you're not! So, you better hurry the fuck up." She orders.
I quickly sigh, knowing damn well how she'll literally ignore me for weeks if I don't get there ASAP.
"Give me 15 minutes." I say while walking to the elevator. And she already sounds delighted.
"Oh my God! I can't wait for you to see this place, and there are so many influential and rich personalities, just what I need!"
"You gold digger" I spit, sarcastically rolling my eyes.
She laughs, not the least offended. She owns up to her shit, that's why we've been friends for so long.
As I'm about to hang up, she asks:
"By the way, are you dressed properly?"
And I roll my eyes again.
"You know... I can just go home."
"I knew it... that's why I brought the things with me."
"What things..." I ask, suspicious.
"Just come I'll take care of the rest."
She hangs up and I knock the back of my head on the elevator with annoyance. I am beyond tired... I spend my days writing about boring tabloids and at night I do heavy researches on my secret works... give me a break.
As I stare at my reflection in the mirror, I think "Thank God she's going to do something about this", 'cause I know I look a mess. My long black hair in still looking nice, flatly thrown behind my shoulders and falling down my back, but my makeup is a mess, sebum ruined it, my lipstick probably got kidnapped but the soup I ate earlier at the restaurant with my other colleagues. And my outfit is definitely not appropriate for this kind of high-end event.
A few minutes later, the cab parks in front of the big hotel, Yui is standing just at the entrance. She looks amazing as usual and I chuckle as I notice her head turning everywhere probably looking for me.
I get closer and when she spots me, she smiles and hurries by my side.
"If you stood me up, I would've never forgiven you." She says with a satisfied smile.
"I know that's why I'm here even though I'm crazy tired..."
"Yeahhh... well let's hurry up, you gotta get dressed."
I follow her nonchalantly while staring at the inside of the hotel we're in. It's just breathtaking. The rooftop is a big mirror with crystals encrusted in it. Expensive looking portraits hanging on the wall and classic music playing in the hall.
What the hell am I doing here? To remind myself how broke I am?
5 minutes later we walk into a hotel room where a man is just standing there fixing a dress. I stare down at him and all the dresses hanging next to him. What the actual f-
"This is Eric, he's my stylist and I rented this room for the night for both of us 'cause I knew you were going to be too tired to go home. He's going to help you with everything you need. I'll be right back" she says before disappearing.
I hear the man chuckle before inviting me in the chair facing him. He stares down at my long hair and then my face, he grimaces.
"Oh Dear... this make up is a mess", he says without filter.
I almost laugh knowing damn well how messy I look.
"Well I was at work, I don't really need to look that polished there."
He laughs dramatically before facing me.
"I like you, we're gonna make it quick then." He says before starting to remove my makeup.
30 minutes later I don't even recognize the girl in the mirror. He really has a magic wand in the stead of fingers.
My hair is slightly curled by the ends, and runs down my thighs, my makeup is very light, a brown eyeshadow showing off my almond eyes, pink blush and matte red lipstick.
The dress choice was his, he chose a black and white dress. The dress was symmetrical, one side was the compilation of black cubes and the other just plain white.
The dress was more revealing than anything I would wear but all the other dresses were too expensive for me to act spoiled.
"You look sooo good" I hear by the door. Yui is back and she also switched her outfit.
I smile at her.
"Thank you... can we get it over with now? I really wish to sleep before 4 today please."
She laughs for a few seconds, then her seriousness is back, and she stares at me intently.
"You know that is not happening."
I turn to the Eric who just laughs and hands me the shoes.
"Have a good time dear" he says before gathering his things.
The shoes are some silver crystal encrusted stiletto heels. I feel soooo uncomfortable with them on, but I can't complain, Yui would skin me.
"Let's go girl!" She says.
The next second, we're in the elevator. Hopefully there is nobody inside. And I stare at my reflection again.
Very different from my reflection at my company's elevator earlier...
"I can't believe I'm doing this" I say shyly.
"My dad is going to be here, he really likes it when I'm with you. And I do too. Thanks for coming." She tenderly smiles and my heart softens.
She and I have grown together, she comes from a very wealthy family, her father was in politics and her mom was a well-known human rights lawyer.
She was used to this type of party, but I was definitely not.
But since I promised to go with her this time, I couldn't just skip it.
I inhale loudly, before trying my best to calm myself down. I always hated big parties.
Throwing away all my nervousness, I should use this opportunity to make friends with some of the people at the party. I might meet some really powerful individual that might turn my life for the better.
- You shouldn't have wished that-
A voice inside my head tells me. And, as the elevator opens again, I can't believe the individual in front of me... nonchalantly looking around then noticing the doors are open, he glances at Yui, then me... and I can't keep my eyes off his.
It's really him... what the fuck is going on. I feel my heart knocking hard in my chest. I can't believe this is happening.