I froze as I understood that was my bridge. I had crossed it everyday after school for five years. I had bludgeoned to death another human being under that bridge. I wasn’t going to forget it any time soon.
“Come in Takune. Take a seat in the front of the class, next to my desk. We have a lot to discuss.” The homeroom teacher wore a stern face as she gestured for two of the other students to come up and join me. The class rep and chairman of the spirit squad. Kind girls with sad and disappointed faces.
The broadcast played on. “Yesterday afternoon a horrible site was discovered by a local that had heard a scuffle between two high school boys. The victim was found dead at the scene.”
It was already over. No time to prepare. No time to revel in my story or my achievement. It would all be over before lunch.
“Mr. Takune, where were you yesterday after school?”
I didn’t want to fight it. “I was getting kicked by a bully.”
The teacher sighed and placed her hand on my shoulder. “Then you have no idea what’s happened, do you?” The actual circumstance of what had happened to me didn’t matter to her.
Of course I knew. I knew what was going to happen next as well.
“Come with me.” I followed and the two girls kept pace. We arrived at the principle’s office. Three police men were waiting for me. The teacher bowed to them, same for the girls. Then left.
The tall one placed his long hand down on my shoulder. “We need to ask you about yesterday after school.”
A shorter one with a notebook smiled optimistically as he wrote fervently.
I stared at the only one that hadn’t said anything. He was average in almost every way, except for a small pin on his jacket. It was a stylized skull. It was tilted and familiar. If this was going to be my last conversation before the big house, I wanted it to be fulfilling. I said, “I’ll only talk to him.” I pointed to the pin instinctually.
He shrugged and dismissed the others. After they were gone, “Okay kid. Why me?”
“Your pin. You’re an adult Otaku.”
He froze. Face turned red and couldn’t say anything. I was right. I had noticed the pin from Gurren Laugen. If anyone would be able to understand my situation, it would be him.
I was nervous, but I began to let it all spill out. “I was walking home when it happened. A bully pulled me over and began beating on me. That’s when I-”
He raised his hand for me to stop. His face changed. He was serious again. “You really don’t know what happened, do you?”
I didn’t speak. The situation wasn’t what I thought it was. I could tell now, this wasn’t about me. I listened to the last words I thought I’d ever hear.
“Yesterday your brother was killed.”