I wouldn't normally do this, but I think he deserves it, just this once.
It was three weeks ago when I first had the idea, but it took longer to put it into action. Three weeks of walking dogs and washing cars, and many other odd jobs to earn the money. Three weeks to decide what exactly to bake for him. Three weeks to decide how to say Thank You. Three weeks waiting for the perfect opportunity.
And now it had arrived. Thank you, Rokumon-chan.
It was the little black cat that alerted me as to when I could do this. It had been after one of the exorcisms than Rokudo-kun, Tsubasa-kun, Rokumon-chan, and I had done recently. There had been many wandering ghosts lately, a fact I had taken note of. We tried to take care of them as a group, but it didn't always end up that way. I normally went with Tsubasa-kun, at his insistence, while Rokudo-kun and Rokumon-chan handled a different spirit.
I was thankful we had been in a group this time. It was the spirit of a teenage girl who couldn't get over the fact that her boyfriend had dumped her. So, she killed herself. Then got mad at her boyfriend for "killing" her. But anyways, afterwards, Tsubasa-kun had been his usual self. He said something about winning my heart, since he had done most of the work that time.
Rokudo-kun, as I had predicted, hadn't reacted. At least, physically. I could see the look of slight annoyance in his eyes. It was gone as quickly as it had come. But other than that, there was no outward sign of him being offended. However, Rokumon-chan was.
"What! You will never win Sakura-sama from Rinne-sama! She belongs to him! And besides, you did nothing but throw sacred ashes! It was Rinne-sama who brought Keiko-san to the afterlife!" he had shouted at the exorcist.
Rokudo-kun and I had blushed at what he said, though. I may be dense sometimes, but even I could understand the little cat's implications. Unfortunately, Tsubasa-kun had also.
"Nonsense! Mamiya-san will one day be mine! I swear it! But, while Rokudo was dealing with the spirit, I exorcized another spirit! So ha! I did do most of the work tonight!"
While there had been some truth to his words, it was also a downright lie. While Rokudo-kun had been dealing with Keiko-san, a little boy had come around the corner. Only, it had been a spirit. I was the one who had talked to him and assured him that he would see his grandmother in the afterlife. After that, he had gone on his own.
"I was watching! It was Sakura-sama who talked to the little boy! Not you! And even if it had been you, Rinne-sama takes care of more spirits in a day then you do in a month!"
"Oh yeah? Then I challenge Rokudo to an exorcizing contest! Whoever sends the most spirits to the afterlife tomorrow is the one who does the most work! And wins Mamiya-san's affections!"
"Rinne-sama gladly accepts your challenge! But, it can't be tomorrow. Rinne-sama and I must go to the spirit world tomorrow."
I had perked my hypothetical ears at this. "You'll be going to the spirit world tomorrow? I didn't know that! When are you leaving?"
Rokumon-chan had turned his attention to me at that point. "Why yes, Sakura-sama. We'll leave early in the morning, and won't be back till late evening. I'm afraid that Rinne-sama will be absent from school also."
"Granny just wants to see me, is all. Some thing about a new shinigami technique I might find extremely useful. The first 500 people get to see it for free. After the initial demonstration at noon, the first 300 people get the necessary equipment to perform it, free of cost. " Rokudo-kun told me.
I hadn't paid much attention to the rest of the conversation. I had my opportunity.
Which led me to where I am now. Walking to the old weather hutch in the school's garden, an envelope in my left hand, and a basket in the other. I had woken up earlier this morning to deliver it. Early enough to not miss class, but late enough to miss the sort of shinigami and his black cat.
After I placed my secret offering into the hutch, I dashed off to class. After all, I was going to take notes for Rokudo-kun.
It was early morning the next day. I went looking for Rokudo-kun ad Rokumon-chan as soon as I could, without appearing to eager to see them. After all, I went under the guise of handing him the notes from class.
They were standing right by the weather hutch when I found them. Rokumon-chan was just bouncing all around. In excitement, judging by the look on Rokudo-kun's face. It was one of complete shock and joy mixed into one expression. He was staring at a piece of paper in his hands, a covered basket by the hutch, sitting on the ground. There was an envelope in his hands, and his haori seemed to have fallen off his shoulders, as it was lying on the ground.
When I was spotted approaching them, it was by Rokumon-chan. He immediately bounced over to me. "Sakura-sama! Sakura-sama! You'll never believe what Rine-sama received! It was amazing!" he cried out.
"What did you get that's so wonderful?" I asked him. He grabbed the letter from Rokudo-kun's hand, though he didn't seem to mind, and read it out loud. I pretended to listen, though I knew the words by heart.
"'Normally, you start out a letter 'Dear Whoever' and continue from there. But, I don't know who, or even what, you are. You could be a ghost, a demon, or even a shinigami. I don't know you, but I do know that someone or something is reading the letters we write to you, and giving us the help we ask for.
Whoever you are, it must be hard taking time to help each and everyone of us. I know it must. So many of us need help, and so far you're the only one that helps us. You're like a superhero. Superhero-san, you do a lot for us. You probably don't have time for much else. So I want to thank you for helping us souls in need of help.
Look, to make this short, Superhero-san, I'm writing not because I need help, but because you might. And, I want to say Thank you for doing all that you do.
Superhero-san, do you ask for offerings of food and money because you are hungry and poor? If so, I understand. If not, well, stop cheating us high school students! We don't have tons of money, either. But, some part of me says no, you actually do need it. At least, more so than the rest of us. So, I worked really hard for the past few weeks, and I hope the money helps. I also got up early to make this for you, also. I hope you enjoy it!
And so, Superhero-san, to end this unconventional letter, I have one thing left to say.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I know not everyone has the courage to help others, but not everyone has the courage to say thank you, either. So, consider all of this a gift from those who are thankful for the help you've given them, even if they don't show it.
Sincerely(and great fully!),
One who will forever and always be in your debt
P.S. You must be a really great person to do this, Superhero-san, and one who blends in. Because no one I know would have enough compassion to do all these things for his/her fellow students. And I know most of the kids in school.'"
After Rokumon-chan finished reading it, he looked up at me. He may have smelt my scent on the letter, but I hoped he hadn't. Or at least hadn't told Rokudo-kun. But from the looks of things, he had no clue.
"That's...really great. I'm glad that someone else appreciates what you do, even if they don't know you." I said in response.
Rokumon-chan smiled at me. "But Sakura-sama, that's not all! Look at how much money they gave us! And the food looks delicious! I can't wait to eat all of this! Does it look homemade to you, Rinne-sama?"
Rokudo-kun, who hadn't moved once since I arrived, finally moved. "I don't think this could be anything but homemade. But who would prepare all this for us, and give us such a large sum of money..." he trailed off.
"What all did this person make for you? And how much money?" I asked.
"17,000 yen(1)!" Rokumon-chan exclaimed. "That's the most money I've ever seen in an offering!"
I tried to look surprised at the amount. To Rokudo-kun, it probably was a lot. But to me, not so much. Speaking of him, he was still standing in that state of shock. Wow.
"We got some onigiri(2), some cookies, and three bentos! A feast fit for a king, right Rinne-sama?" Rokumon asked.
At that instance, the bell rang long and loud, signaling us to go inside. I guess we had been talking for a while for time to go by that quick. "We should head in, Rokudo-kun." I said to him.
He nodded in agreement. "Rokumon, would you take this stuff up to the clubhouse, and my haori? I don't wanna be late for class."
"Of course, Rinne-sama! See you at lunch! I'll bring one of the bentos!" Rokumon-chan called as he gathered everything up before leaving.
"We should be going, Rokudo-kun." I said, turning away from him to head into the school. We were probably going to be late. Rokudo-kun followed after me, running a bit to catch up.
As we were walking to class, I heard him mumble to himself, "Why would someone..."
I smiled to myself. Why would someone be that nice? Well, maybe because you deserve it. Maybe because you're always helping students being haunted, and spirits that can't pass on by themselves. Maybe because you just plain need it.
Or maybe, just maybe, I thought, someone really cares for you.