Mitsuhide inwardly groaned at the thought of helping her with her clothes, but there was no other way around it. She did need help. This thinking of her as a child was not working as he helped her out of the room as she hobbled on her good leg. Thinking of her as his child was impossible. He was trying his best not to look at her either as he was helping her, but that also was next to impossible as she was adjusting the towel that was wrapped around her and tucked into the valley of her breasts.
“I do appreciate you helping me.” She said as she tried to steady herself.
“Well, you do need to get dressed.” He said as he looked at her in the eye. Her bruises were fading. He reached up and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. “And I am the only one here. Did you enjoy Liv’s idea?”
“I did,” she said as she sighed. She turned and walked to the bag that was on the dresser. “I only have a few things to wear, so I guess this shirt and some sweat pants.”
“If you would like, I will order you some more clothes,” Mitsuhide said, trying not to think of the fact she only had a few outfits, and they all needed to be washed.
“That sounds good. I just need help with my shirt. I have issues trying to get it over my head with these damn things on.” Rine said with a sigh. “Only a few more weeks of this, though, right?”
“I don’t mind. You have at least another month or so with the one on your leg.” Mitsuhide said. “You have a lot of healing left to do.”
“I really don’t know how to thank all of you for this.” She said as he took the shirt and held it in front of her to put her arms in.
“The best way to thank us is to let us help you,” Mitsuhide said as he helped her get the shirt on. “Have you thought about what you want to do after this?”
“I haven’t,” she said. “I guess I should.”
“Well, what about school?” Mitsuhide asked.
“What about school?” Rine asked as she looked at him.
“What did you want to do with your life before you left Vermont?” Mitsuhide asked.
“I wanted to work with animals,” Rine said as she looked at him as she slipped the pants on and tried to pull them up. She had figured out a way to do this without both arms she normally would use. She was getting better at all of this. “But now I have to just straight think of making money. I can’t go to school just yet.”
“Why?” Mitsuhide asked.
“Well, I have to think about her now,” Rine said as she looked at her abdomen. In the week she was there with him he had seen her eat and she was growing in front of him. He was happy about that.
“I understand that, but did you think our involvement ended when the casts come off?” Mitsuhide asked. “That we would fix you and then throw you to the wolves?”
“I can take care of myself,” Rine said with a flash of her eyes.
“Of that, I have no doubt, Rine. However, we were always going to help more than what you think. We can set you up in an apartment or even a house, money for school, even help with her.” Mitsuhide said. “I was thinking more of a job. We can find a position for you at the company as well.”
“Why are you all like this?” she asked.
“Sweetheart, there are things we all have done that crossed a certain line in this job. Helping someone like you will make some of the things better to deal with. Oda is a good guy though he doesn’t come off that way sometimes. They all are really. Just accept the help, and then you can be a part of helping the next person who needs it.” Mitsuhide said as he looked her in the eye. “it is a way of paying it forward.”
“I still don’t get why you are so nice to me,” Rine said as she sat on the bed.
“I lost my mother when I was young. My father thought she was his personal punching bag. I watched her die in front of me because of it. I was then passed between family members until one of my uncles thought I would be a good toy for him to mess with. I left and was completely on my own when I was eighteen as well. I know how hard that life is even though I had the military to help me. It gave me a purpose in life, but it also messed with my head. Seeing you in that field at the park was like seeing it again with my mother. You had the same look in your eyes that I saw that night when he killed her. I am not a child anymore, though. I also have the resources to help someone like you on my own, but the company will do that as well. No child should have to be born into a life like the one I had or the one I think you had as well. You are nice and polite, but underneath I know what you went through as well. The baby deserves a chance as well as you do.” Mitsuhide said as he sat next to her. “I mean, I have done my time in the service. Got medically discharged with honor. I have this job. just let us help you, and you could probably keep us all in check.”
“I really don’t know what to say,” Rine said as she looked at him.
“Just say you will think about it. I mean, even if you don’t want to work for the company, one of us can hire you as something.” Mitsuhide said. “I know I could probably use some help sorting and cleaning.”
“I can do that, and you don’t even have to pay me,” Rine said with a light in her eyes.
“Paying someone is kind of the point of a job,” Mitsuhide said as he chuckled.
“Or it could be a way to start a friendship,” Rine said.
“Being that with me could be dangerous, sweetheart,” Mitsuhide said.
“I don’t care.” She said. “It couldn’t be worse than not having a friend in the long run.” Rine said as she glanced over, “I don’t have anyone else besides you guys.”
“Well, that could prove to be a problem.” Mitsuhide chuckled, “The others all like you as well. So I guess in theory they all could be friends as well.”
“Why do you sound like that could be a problem?” She asked.
“I might get jealous.” He said as he laughed, “That could be a big problem.”
“I don’t think you would.” She said as she laughed and then stood up. “I think I will go watch the water some more.”
“That sounds like a plan.” He said as he watched her hobble out to the other room and sit in her chair. She glanced out the glass doors and went into her own little world. He didn’t want to think about what she had just said or what he had just offered.
It would be best if she just worked for the company, and he would see her in passing. He could still keep an eye over her and the child without involving them in his life. He didn’t mind her, though. He actually liked her. She was a fighter as well. She was just like him to a point. He could sense it under the surface of her politeness and her manners. She was just as broken on the inside as he was. He wondered what had happened with her to lead her to be here. What her mother really did to her. He hoped maybe one day she would tell him. Though he wouldn’t go after her mother, he still had plans to go after the man who did this.
Mitsuhide also knew that the others were tracking this Dave currently. Never in his life did Mitsuhide want blood so badly. He didn’t want to think about the reasons why. This was not his normal job. He never made it personal. This, however, was exactly that, very personal. He glanced over and saw her place her hand over her abdomen. “Everything alright?” he asked quietly.
“She is active right now,” Rine said with a soft smile. “Would you like to feel?”
He got up and moved to right next to her. She took his hand and placed it where her tiny hand had been a few minutes before. His hand was covering her entire abdomen as he felt the kick coming from inside her. He glanced up into her eyes. “I feel her.”
“She is going to be something else,” Rine said.
“What was her father like?” he asked softly as he was feeling every movement of the baby still.
“What do you mean?” Rine asked.
“I mean, was he big, small, blond or dark?” Mitsuhide asked.
“Actually, he was a lot like you. He had dark brown eyes though not your light brown. His hair was light, and he was pale under his tan.” Rine said, “He was a nice guy. He had manners and was old fashioned to a point. It was nice, though short-lived.”
“Was he going to marry you?” Mitsuhide asked.
“We never discussed it. Though I found out right before he died. I know his family knew about her.” Rine said.
“You told me that before,” Mitsuhide said softly. “Do you think he would have?”
“I don’t know. I think the romantic in me wanted him too, but I honestly don’t know. If we had, we probably wouldn’t have lasted. He was a nice guy. Don’t get me wrong, but I probably would have screwed it up somehow by not being the good wife or something. His family was well off, and he could have done much better than me.” Rine said softly as she closed her eyes and sat back.
“I don’t see what the problem would have been,” Mitsuhide said.
“His mother called me trash since I was in hiding from my parents. I mean, I am still hiding from them. I don’t want them to be a part of my life but with good reason. I could have a life with them, but it wouldn’t be worth living.” Rine said, and for the first time, Mitsuhide saw her wrists. The lines on them were there, but he had never thought to look. He touched one of them.mitu
“When?” he asked.
“Which time?” Rine asked.
“The first?” he asked.
“When I was thirteen.” She said as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“The last?” he asked.
“At eighteen.” She said. “I was free from them.”
“I swear to you right now, no one will ever what to make you do that again.” He said, and she opened her eyes to see the burning in his. She knew then she had found a friend no matter what he said to the contrary. As they sat in silence with him next to her with his hand spayed out on her abdomen, they both enjoyed the silence around them as the baby moved around and landed a few good kicks that made him chuckle.