Rine was trying to get comfortable though the bed on the table was not that comfortable. She didn’t want to move to upset the doctor. Though she really didn’t think he would be that upset with her, she wanted to not upset people during her stay here, where ever this place was. She looked around and saw the room. It was well stocked for medical care but was lacking in any personal touches. It was just a cold white room.
The man in the room with her who was propped up on the chairs he had moved to make something that could resemble a bed of sorts was typing away on his computer. He looked up at her and tried to smile. “Okay, I guess we should get the questions out of the way if you can answer them.” He said softly.
“What questions?” Rine asked as she looked at him. She tried to move slightly to make that easier, and he nearly jumped out of the chairs to steady her as she moved. It was an interesting turn of events. Rine was not used to people wanting to help her at all.
“How did you end up here in Texas?” he asked.
“When I left Vermont, I stayed with some of my dad’s family members for a few weeks at a time. None of them would tell my parents I was with them though I didn’t want to be a burden to them either. The last was an aunt here a few hours away. I had met Dave online a month prior and thought he was a good guy. I thought he would help me.” Rine said softly. “I was wrong.”
“Why did you leave Vermont?” Mitsuhide asked.
“I didn’t like it there. I mean, I guess it is a nice place, but I never fit in. After my boyfriend left me to follow his dreams, which was fine, people really started in on me, and it was a small town. Things travel fast, and well, they weren’t nice rumors. I didn’t want to listen to them. It was bad enough my parents were harassing me about the break and me losing my one chance at the money. Like that was ever important.” Rine said.
“So you and your parents didn’t get along?” Mitsuhide asked. He had watched the press conference multiple times and thought her father seemed genuine. Her mother, the one who normally would have been the one breaking down, had a scowl on her face the entire time.
“My dad tried, at least. He was the one who seemed to understand. My mother was a controlling bitch. She watched everything we did and then told us we were wrong. It really didn’t matter what it was.” Rine said. “I guess that is what mothers do, but I don’t want to be like that.”
“It isn’t what mothers are supposed to do, you know,” Mitsuhide said.
“Was yours better?” Rine asked as she looked at him.
“My mother died when I was young by the hands of my father.” Mitsuhide softly.
“I’m sorry,” Rine said. “That was why you looked at me the way you did on the field.”
“You looked at me like she did,” Mitsuhide said as he brushed her hair off to the side of her face. Through the bruises and the dried blood that had been wiped around and smeared, he saw a beauty in her that came from within. He knew now how she could be here now and the why she stayed. She had nowhere else to go.
“What happens next?” Rine asked. “I should call my job and tell them I won’t be in.”
“That isn’t a good idea. Knowing people like him, the guy who did this to you, he probably already has someone there watching you as well. The what happens next part all depends on you right now.” Mitsuhide said as he looked at her.
“What do you mean?” Rine asked. She was confused as to why someone wanted to help her. It wasn’t like she could ever pay them back already for the care she was getting.
“I mean, you don’t have to worry about anything for now. A place to live is already being set up for you. We have a few houses already that are safe houses, so that is not an issue. Some of our clients need them for any amount of time. It is being stocked with food for you to help you build up your weight and strength again. I will be your personal guard until you are out of the casts, at least. We will then assess everything then. You have at least a few weeks in your casts, so let’s not worry about anything until then.” Mitsuhide said softly to her.
“My car,” Rine said.
“Is probably a lost cause.” He said. “We will get you another one when you can drive again.”
“Why do any of you care about me, or what happens?” Rine finally asked.
Mitsuhide looked at her and wondered if anyone had ever shown her any type of care before. “We here often have to do things that might cross a line that some people can’t do. That is why we have a high rating in our field. For most of us, we don’t have that line. What does cross a line for most, if not all of us, is the simple abuses of people who simply do not deserve it. I believe you fall under this clause. We have the resources to help you right now. Let us. It is a way we can continue to help other people who may have questionable reason to help someone like you.”
“I mean, am I going to take away from your job?” Rine asked as she looked him in the eye.
“No.” He replied as he looked down at her, “Right now, watching over you is my job.”
“Thank you.” She said as she yawned.
“Now try and sleep. You still have a long road ahead of you.” Mitsuhide said softly as she closed her eyes. He went back to his chairs and tried to focus on the screen before him. He was trying to at least. It was not easy with this woman near him.
He had already begun to place the pieces together on how she could get take this and seem like it was okay. She had been conditioned for years. Her answer spoke volumes to him about her mother. He had thought the older woman’s response during the press conference was not one of a typical mother. She seemed more distressed that she would be there at all than her daughter was missing. The fact this woman’s father’s family was helping her stay hidden also said a lot about what they must have seen going on around her.
None of that made his job any easier. She was broken in many more ways than he thought previously. It would take a miracle for her to walk away from this unscathed. It would be something if she could. There was something he saw in her that she was also a survivor.
He was amazed at her ability to handle all of this. She was not the normal abused woman they dealt with or heard of. She was different. This was going to be different. He really was on uneven ground with this one. He would do what he had, too, though. He always did.
Rine woke up with a start. She was thrashing around, and she felt the hands on her shoulders to hold her steady. “Please don’t.” She cried out without opening her eyes. “Please.”
“Rine?” Mitsuhide asked as he realized someone must have pinned her down before as flashes of Yasu’s medical report went through his head. He eased on the pressure on her shoulders to more of a light touch.
“Mitsuhide?” she asked as she opened her eyes.
“It is okay,” Mitsuhide said gently. “You were having a nightmare. You were moving too much. I was just trying to get you to stay on the table.
“Oh,” Rine said as she quieted down. “I’m sorry.”
“There is nothing to be sorry for,” Mitsuhide said as he looked at her. “You can’t control the dreams you have.”
Tears began to roll down her face. “I am such a waste.”
“Did he say that?” Mitsuhide asked as he looked down at her. “Because I think if he did, then you should know that anything he did say was wrong.”
“Why would you say that? You don’t know me.” Rine said as she hid her face from him.
“I can tell,” Mitsuhide said softly. “Everything will be fine. Now is there anything you need? Are you hungry?”
“I don’t know,” Rine said.
“Well, I think I will see what they have in here to eat. I will bring you back something.” Mitsuhide said.
“Thank you, Mitsuhide.” She said.
“You really don’t have to thank me every time I do something,” Mitsuhide said with a grin.
“But I do,” Rine said as she settled back into the bed/table, she was on. He walked out of the room and went to the kitchen area. Though he was known not to be able to cook or taste anything, he was going to try to do something. Knowing Masamune, the place was probably well stocked with food. He looked around and was the flavored rice, and though he couldn’t screw that up to bad.
As he watched the water boil, he was trying to relax a bit. He was also trying to focus on letting his own rising anger go. She was worse off than anyone had thought. She had been going through this for years. He wanted nothing more than to track the man down and show him exactly how it felt. There was no doubt that a fight with a man would be too much for this other man. He was a coward to hit a woman like this.
Mitsuhide thought that though she thought she had concealed the baby from the other man, there was no way he could not know. Mitsuhide, himself, had felt the movement of the child. It was active. That made Mitsuhide livid that someone could hurt the woman who was carrying their child. He had a thought though maybe it wasn’t the man’s in the first place. Rine had never said either way.
He finished the rice and placed two portions in bowls, and walked back to the room she was in. The smell of the food made her stomach growl in a way he smiled. “I think you are hungry.”
“I think so too,” Rine said as she tried to sit up a bit.
“I have a question for you. It is one you don’t have to answer if you really don’t want too.” Mitsuhide said as he looked at her as he handed her the bowl.
“What?” She asked as she looked at him.
“Is the child the man’s who hit you?” he asked.
“No,” Rine said as she looked at him. “The father died.”
“Did he really?” Mitsuhide asked, knowing that was often an excuse given.
“He did. His name was Steven Tremball. I liked him a lot. He was nice and seemed to care. He died right before I met Dave.” She said, and he typed it into the computer, and sure enough, an obituary was the first search result.
“I am sorry,” Mitsuhide said softly.
“It is okay. The Tremball’s didn’t want me around, so they gave me a few hundred dollars and told me to get rid of her. I wasn’t planning on staying with Dave. I was trying to find a job that I could find a place on my own. I know how this makes me look. I didn’t expect this.” Rine said into her food.
“It changes nothing,” Mitsuhide said as he looked at her. “We will help you regardless, but knowing this guy is not the father does help in some ways.”
“How?” she asked.
“I won’t have to answer to you or the child when I probably kill him,” Mitsuhide said.