AN: I'm going and fixing spelling errors and stuff, so I'm sorry to disturb you if an alert thingy was sent to your emal :(
Last chapter, please enjoy!
P.S. It's snowing in Washington :D On the first day of December too.
Chapter 10: Divulgence
I was pushed to the side by a passing by figure. I was forcefully removed from my spot, eyes torn away from the ones of the dead woman. The alarms were blaring and I saw Bou-san being half-carried away. The stray bullet had hit his arm, but thankfully without serious injuries.
Lin, Naru and John were escorted out as well, meeting up with Ayako and Masako. The medium teased me with her monotone way for looking so frightened, but I was too tired and stricken to reply. The rest of the early morning passed by as a blur and we all spent the next day answering questions.
Finally let go, we returned to our homes for a couple of days for rest and sleep. Naru said that he would contact us a week later.
June 19th Three Days Later
Things haven't quieted down quite yet at Suzuki Academy.
By the time Haruto-san and his men had entered the library, the notebook had completely disintegrated into nothing, and Tanaka Haru had already passed away. She had been strangled, her neck broken, but with no signs of finger prints or bruises on her. It was left as a freak accident of a sort, saying that she'd fallen off and landed at the base of the stars the wrong way.
That made it the third death that had occurred on those stairs.
With the autopsy on the corpse we'd found hidden inside the basement, it had turned out to be the librarian I'd met the first night at the academy, as well as the woman we'd interviewed our second day. Saito Michiko. Cause of death: brutal murder.
I've just awaken from a short nap, though I'm still feeling a bit groggy. As I was about to make myself some lunch, a knock came at the door and I opened it to reveal the old face of the landlord.
"Keiichi-san." I'd said surprised. "What is it?"
"Ah, a call came from your work place again. Your boss would like you to come by on the 23rd at 2:00. He wants to discuss something about the… 'last case' or something."
I nodded and smiled an understanding. "Okay. Thank you for informing me."
The day went by fairly normally, but that night I had a dream. I had fallen asleep thinking about the case and of different scenarios with the people involved.
I was standing in a dark area for a while. The smells and atmosphere all seemed too familiar until the sound of thunder followed by lightening gave me the answer. The library. I was walking away from someone who was extremely angry. I looked back, and the figure's eyes were obscured but their mouth was moving. Their arms were animated and pointing towards me. I felt as if I was shrinking away.
Unintentionally, my feet picked up the pace. I was at the top of the stairs, stepping down when I turned back again. My heartbeat rushed to a frighteningly fast pace when I saw the figure rushing at me. Their footsteps quickened and thumped upon the carpet, moving like a spider.
Hands reached at me, I screamed and my mouth was covered. Lights came from an angle, and I saw her face. I froze when my whole body was lurching backwards. I reached back but nothing but air was there to support me.
Then I jolted awake.
I couldn't wait for those 4 days to pass. I'd meet up with everyone again, and finally learn the facts of the Suzuki Academy case.
When the day arrived, everyone had gathered in Naru's office with ten minutes to spare. For the first time in days, I made tea for everyone, and sat back to listen to Naru. He'd hardly rested after returning to the office; it was clear in his eyes.
Besides catching up with missed school work, I'd been also busy finishing up the final draft of Sachiko's diary entries. Strangely, the words had become as clear as glass in my mind after a night of sleep. The next afternoon, I'd been able to write everything down and with Lin-san's laptop had typed it all out.
I had given the printed out final to Naru yesterday, and sure enough I saw the stack of neat papers near his. It had been passed around for everyone to read.
Yasuhara was with us as well, with some surprising information from his father to share. With thought and with realistic reasoning, our conclusion was made. I knew that most of the emotions and such were our speculation, but the tangled strings began to untie.
It had all started years ago when Neya Sachiko and Tanaka Haru had decided to attend Suzuki Academy. The incident with her parents had brought Sachiko into deep depression. Her friend tried to comfort her, always retreating into the same corner at the library. One day, (with this backed-up by Haru's old friends), Sara had transferred to Suzuki Academy, becoming quick friends with Sachiko.
Sara had been half Japanese and half American, who'd moved to Japan three years prior.
That had been when the feelings of jealously had started to rise. Sachiko had by no means tried to hint that Sara was the better friend, but the secrets kept from her and less time spent with her all looked like the beginnings of betrayal and neglect to Haru. Sara became an enemy that had barged in.
And to add another horror to Haru's growing problems, Sachiko fell in love with Sato Shouji . His real name had been Arakawa Shouji, and Haru had learned about it weeks after he'd transferred. It had been a dangerous thing for him to get too involved with Sachiko, and we were shocked to learn of his true connections with her. His father had been the murderer of her family.
Apparently, he'd known everything but had wanted to make amends, though not really planned to fall in love. Haru confronted Shouji about it and blackmailed him to the point where he could no longer live with the facts. He killed himself months later by jumping off the top of the library roof, right in front of Haru.
She was devastated that the suicide had occurred, but something about the absence of Shouji had pleased her. Sachiko would get over it, she'd told herself. Now the only obstacle was the wretched Sara.
And so the psychological tortures began. There were horrid rumors and whispering. Haru secretly taunted and harassed Sara, but acted kind to her in front of others. It went on for weeks and months. Haru thought she was winning. However, the truth about Shouji's father was revealed to two other people.
Sara and the librarian, Saito-san.
"…or else you won't be allowed to continue your studies," Haru had whispered. "You know what you should do, right?"
Sara had had this strange look on her face – guilt?
Haru had taken a grip on Sara's upper arm and with a look of impatience had said, "Do it soon, or else you'll loose everything."
Sara had nodded and I'd left by then, more confused as ever. But I'd known and am positive now that the 'she' they'd been talking about had been me. What truth?
The day Sachiko had heard Haru talking to Sara could have explained everything had Sachiko stayed to listen longer. Haru pretended to be ignorant when Sara had told her about Shouji. Then Haru threatened Sara with a certain matter. (We could not figure out what) But whatever it had been, Sara had to break her ties with Sachiko and do so quickly.
Sachiko had given Sara a beautiful music box as a birthday present - we'd been able to look it at her mother's home. It was shaped in a small sphere with an eerie and haunting melody. The designs were beautiful and intricately etched. There was a deep scratch on the bottom part when Sara had been hit by a car and dropped it. The vision Masako and I had seen.
According to her mother, Sara had been planning to give it back to Sachiko. We weren't able figure out who'd been driving the car that had hit Sara, or why she had been planning to give the music box back. Again we knew that Haru had been behind it all, but her intentions had been difficult to interpret. But one thing was clear, that her want for Sachiko had grown to obsession.
The night Sachiko died, according to the dream I'd had days ago, it had been Haru who'd accidentally pushed her down the stairs.
The librarian had been the only one who'd been in the library at the time, and had seen the incident occur. It'd been reported to the police that it had been an accident, that Sachiko had slipped.
But years later Saito Michiko started wondering. Had it been murder? She and Haru met again when we'd called them for their interviews. Something happened. Perhaps Haru had felt threatened. The result was a struggle leading to a premeditated, violent murder.
I guess this is all that we are going to get for the conclusion. The whole story makes me tremble and yet has me sympathizing. Things had turned out too twisted for the sake of 'friendships' and want of attention. I'm sure Haru regretted everything. She'd apologized at the very end.
The most frightening thing is, that anyone could turn out to be in a situation like Haru had been in. I could be just like her.
"Geez, Mai. Now you decide to come to school?"
I pushed back the stand for the rice balls and squatted down so that I could adjust the tape on the sign. "Hey, I'm still gonna have to take the test. Wanna pass me that piece of paper?"
Michiru laughed. "But you sure have good timing - finishing the case just after our final exams."
They didn't know the details, didn't know how much more stressful the case had been than anything I'd ever done. It was fine like that, I thought, but I wished they could cut me some slack. After a moment of thinking I laughed. "But if I'd been here to take the exams, we wouldn't have won the opportunity to organize the festival. My scores would have brought everyone else's down."
"Hmm true. Your low grade would have made it impossible to win." Keiko smiled to show she was kidding. She made sure the banter above was straight. "You showed up to help with the preparations for the festival, so all is forgiven."
Michiru laughed. "You're too forgiving."
The festival was fun and eventful, almost enough to distract my mind for the afternoon. It was the last day as a senior and as a high school student so Keiko, Michiru and I went to every booth, ate until our stomachs were bursting and helped with the clean up until the sky was a dark red.
After this day the next would come, and I would have to confront something with the SPR members. Even though it may change everything, I'm hopeful that my 'family' can stay together. With that comforting thought in mind, I leaned against the school's outer gates and looked up into the night sky - filled with images of the past and nostalgia.
My first finished fic! Thank you so much for reading and reviewing thus far. Hopefully you'll leave some words on this last chapter.
Anyway, a 'sequel' to this story will be up on or after New Years Day.
Title: The Autumn Room. At the moment, I only have two chapters finished. -sigh-
But I'll put up the prologue so that I can hear your guy's input. Please review! Bye for now