Jumping into my bed and sliding under my cover, I sighed with resignation and comfort. It was nice to not have to be at school, after all. Having a time alone was quite important for me and not having to follow the academic year routine was a nice change. It just felt great to be different from others, who had to be at school.
I check my cell phone. The time was 11:13 AM. I sighed.
“So much has happened today…” I said.
So much has happened lately is more like it.
I blinked and realized that my mind refused to clock out. I slept at the nurse’s office already. It was hard to fall asleep again. I hated that.
Thoughts assaulted me like the waves on a stormy sea. The blue water turned into dark tides and the crest of each wave threatened to smash my neurons into smithereens.
Mari didn’t allow me to have a choice after what happened earlier today…
I shook my head. I wanted it to be over already. Fubuki beat up these goons, right? That had to be it, right? I mean, after all, they were stopped and that was the end of the bullying, right?
I shuddered. Squeezing my eyelids together, I tried to forget about the thought wondering about the person behind it all. An unknown female suspect, I thought, who was jealous just because I was walking next to Mari? Really?
None of that made any sense to me. I frowned. Somebody would go through the trouble of possibly getting expelled on the account of masterminding a crime just because of jealousy? I blinked again. Playing with my hair, I frowned even harder.
Something is not right.
I sat up in my bed and stared at outside. I thought somebody is out there looking at me.
Oh my god…no way…
I ducked into my cover. Trembling, I reached for my phone.
I jumped. The doorbell rang.
Mari had told me not to open the door for anyone until she called.
I shut my eyes and tried to pretend I didn’t hear anything. After what seemed like eternality, the doorbell rang again.
I was sweating bullets. Gritting my teeth, I got out of my bed and walked to the kitchen. Opening a drawer, I took out a chef’s knife and then headed for the front door.
My teeth were clattering and my knees were shaking but I had enough. “Who…who is…it…who is it?” My voice was cracking.
“It’s me.” A familiar voice came.
I frowned. “Is…is that…Fubuki?”
“Yes, Miss Suzuki. It’s me.”
I dropped the knife and opened the door with my shaky hands. Fubuki was standing there in her uniform, with a backpack on her back with a real katana strapped to her waist.
I just stood there, staring at her. In the last of the morning sunlight, she held her head high with pride. Her lean figure was surrounded with an aura of strength. Her arms were steady and her legs were well toned and slightly tanned. She looked invincible and incredible.
“Ahem.” She said. “I’ve sent by Miss Kanazuki to live with you and to watch over you.”
I blinked. That was the third time that morning. “What…?” I managed.
The wind blew her hair and the short strands leaped. A cherry blossom petal fell on her right shoulder.
“I know this is sudden, but by Miss Kanazuki’s orders, I will be watching over you.”
My eyes went wide and my jaw fell. “What?” I said. “What do you mean?”
“May I come in?” She said.
I opened the door fully and let her in. She proceeded to take off her sneakers and revealing a pair of size 7 feet. She wasn’t wearing socks and I could see that her big toes and second toes were slightly longer, followed by middle and the second to last toes and finally, followed by her pinky toes. Her big toes were large. Her feet were lean, athletic and well defined. I could see a couple of veins on her insteps. Looking up her body, I sensed a quiet strength within her. If needed, her strength would turn into a sharp blade ready to strike down anyone comes into its range. Standing next to her, I felt confident even going against men. For that matter, we stood against some men and she struck them down with ease.
I felt safe, so safe that I smiled. I closed the door behind us. “Would you like some tea?”
“I would appreciate it, yes. But right now, I need to see your room.” Fubuki said.
My mouth was agape. “What?” I said.
“I need to check out your room.”
* * *
“Hmm. No wire taps, hidden cameras or anything.” Fubuki said after surveying and searching thoroughly inside my room. She checked every corner and even scanned every inch of my carpet, as well as the small cracks in the tiles on the wall and on the floor of my bathroom. She even checked inside the showerhead. “Maybe I’m just being too cautious?”
I was more struck by her professionalism then anything. Her method appeared random but she was capable of whatever it was that she had been performing during her time outside of the school.
“What exactly do you do?” I asked.
Fubuki turned to me and blushed. “Ah…I…” She paused. “I’m a kendo instructor at the Fuuzan School of Martial Arts…”
“Save it.” I said. “Just tell me what’s going on.”
She sighed. “The only thing I can tell you is that Miss Kanazuki’s family and my family has a very close tie ever since the country was ruled by the imperial family.” Turning her head away, she continued to survey my room.
“Wait a minute, but why?”
“Please ask Miss Kanazuki for any detail that you wish to learn.”
“OK, well, you can’t just barge in here and then declare that you’re going to live with me.”
“You let me in. As for the part of living with you…”
She turned around and fell on knees putting her face on the ground with her hands splayed out above her head.
“Please, Miss Suzuki. This is an order from Miss Kanazuki and I had no right to refuse. Please indulge my selfishness and allow me to watch over you until the entire case is solved.”
I put a hand on my chest. “But I…but I have to ask my mom about this…”
“I’ve been told that your mother, Mrs. Suzuki, is a very kind and understanding person.”
I shook my head. “But…but I don’t want her to learn about what happened to me at school…”
“I will keep that a secret. My official reason is that I’m your new friend. I’m all alone by myself in this town and no one was willing to let me rent a place without having a steady job.”
I stared at her in pure amazement. Her voice was steady with a deadly earnestness, so much so that I began to believe her excuse. “So…Mari sent you?”
“Yes, Miss Suzuki.” She said.
Her obedient response sent a chill up my spine. She was a first year student with a pleasing voice, after all. The shape of her legs, her waist and her feet were beautiful and feminine. My heart skipped a beat. “So…you’d do anything that Mari tells you?”
My voice had an edge of defiance. “Even if she tells you to die?
“Was that the real reason that you said you liked her and wanted to meet her?”
Fubuki looked up at me in surprise, I caught a glimpse of her blushing face before she pressed her forehead to the ground again.
“I’m afraid I can’t answer that question. It’s too personal.”
I sighed. With that, I was defeated. “I’m sorry, I should not have pried.”
“No, please don’t apologize.” She said. “I wish I could tell you everything, Miss Suzuki. After all,” she paused. “You’re a kind person and you have the right to know. It’s just that…” She looked up. “It’s just that Miss Kanazuki believes that you shouldn’t be involved in that world.”
Fubuki lowered her head again and became silent.
Sighing, I fell into my chair near the desk. “OK. I give up. When my mother comes back, we’ll talk to her about it. I…I’m actually OK with it, but it’s still up to her.” I went to her. Taking her hands, I helped her to her feet. “And next time, call first. Got it?”
Fubuki smiled softly. “Yes, Miss Suzuki.”
I never realized she was a little bit shorter than I was. I looked down into her eyes. Her face grew redder and redder. Even her ears became flushed. “Miss Suzuki?” She stammered.
I shook my head and smiled. “Nothing. Let me get that spare futon out for you.”
“I could just sleep on the floor…”
“No.” I shook my head firmly. “You’re a girl and you shouldn’t have to sleep on the dirty floor. Not even with a carpet on it.”
“But you don’t have to…”
“I want to.” I nodded firmly. “So sit tight and let me get that for you.”
We had a small storage room on the second floor. I headed for the door to my room, paused, and turned. “Oh and Fubuki, one more thing.”
“Yes, Miss Suzuki?”
“Don’t call me that. Call me Sayoko.”
“No buts. Are we clear?” I said. Suppressing my grin was becoming more and more difficult.
She looked defeated, for once. “Yes, Miss…”
I shot her a look of disapproval.
“Yes, Sayoko.” She said. She folded her hands in her lap.
“Good. I’ll be back.”
With that, I walked out of my room and headed to the storage room.
I can’t believe it! Fubuki is going to be my roommate!
* * *
My mother was surprisingly easy to talk to. She just laughed and praised Fubuki for her bravery of being alone and trying to make it in the town. Fubuki blushed and said very little.
The three of us ate dinner and then, Fubuki and I returned to my room for some girl-time. My excitement surprised and delighted me.
It was going to be an interesting night.