Chapter Seven: Sayonara (Goodbye)
I don't know how I survived the rest of that day. I don't know how I survived the rest of that weekend. Even when the workweek began once more on Monday, and I ensconced myself in the comfort of routine, the revelation insisted upon being processed and re-processed within my mind, turned over and examined from every possible, conceivable angle.
I was a grown woman. I was old enough to make my choices. He was a grown man. He was an adult. We both were.
Yet why, when I overhear him speaking to one of the staff, does the voice of a thirteen-year-old boy ring in my ears? His voice is as deep as any other man's, but the way I hear it, it hasn't even cracked yet.
And me... what about me? I've graduated college, yet why do I feel suddenly like a little girl, having tea parties with mannequins, and playing with Kondo? As my private memory, it's whimsical.
As my boss having knowledge of that facet of my past, it's embarrassing.
I'm suddenly awkward and uncomfortable around him. He seems to feel the same way. We had been so... safe... in our disguises. No one would have known about out checkered pasts. Yet now, here we are-- and each of us is a little more vulnerable than before.
We both know about the blood. The illegal activity. The goings-on. Granted, he was older, and his memories are more perfect than mine. But I still remember enough.
On Wednesday, I'm called into his office. He doesn't look me in the eye when he gives me the news. "You're being transferred to our office in Kobe," he instructs me. "It will go into effect in two weeks."
He continues to go into the more practical details, concerning such things as duties, raises, and living arrangements, but I only listen to his words with half my brain.
Inside, I'm grateful for the escape.
Somehow, I feel his relief, too.
I manage to catch his eye, and his words fade for a moment. A silent message flickers between us, and he surreptitiously gives my hand a squeeze before continuing on with the minutiae.