The Haunting: A Love Story
Prologue: Till’ Death...
ACT I -Black and White-
Chapter I: Funeral
Chapter II: Passing
Chapter III: Haunting
ACT II -Light Colors-
Chapter IV: A Drop of Green
Chapter V: Between You and Me
Chapter VI: What Lies Ahead
Chapter VII: Chained
Chapter VIII: Let me Love You
ACT III -Crimson Dusk-
Chapter IX: Dreamland
Chapter X: Sleep Walker
Chapter XI: Nightmare
Chapter XII: Shadows
Chapter XIII: Recollection
ACT IV -Clear Sky-
Chapter IX: Dreamland
The irritating chime of the alarm clock echoes over and over, jerking me and smashing me with a shriek that is left unchecked as it sat idly on the bedside table. My hand flies upwards to reach the clock, hovering above nothingness, swinging and waving aimlessly as it fails to reach the accursed machine that seemed to have vanished from its original position. I swear to myself that if this continues, I might as well be deaf.
…that might sound offensive to someone I know in particular, so scratch that thought.
After a moment of rest and respite, I reach forward towards the origin of the sound and slam my hand on the infernal object—but misses on impact, sending surges of little ant-bites throughout the palm of my hand. I raise my hand once again to kill the alarm with near-similar results; where the hell is this thing anyway? I swear its right by the bedside table where I last switch it, so where the hell did it run off to? Any longer and it will drive me nuts!
Then a miracle happens. The torment, the sound, and the shriek stops and everything went silent.
Then it goes cold.
My teeth start chattering uncontrollably and my body starts to shiver. I curl up in a fetus position to resist the spiking cold that now penetrates my skin, searching for the very cover that protected me to no avail. At each passing second I grow weary, irritated, and cold; thus, with my consciousness fully awake, I jerk from my position to find the usual scene that has been repeating itself since the end of summer. Near the edge of my bed, Shizune smiles nonchalantly with a blanket in tow—my
covers—and folding them neatly and skillfully. She rushes to the window and pull the blinds, revealing a dark horizon still untouched by the morning sun. The hands of the clock, however, tell me that it is now five thirty in the morning.
I check the calendar to be certain, and smile.
Brace yourselves, winter is here.
If I have to pick any season that I enjoy the most, it would be autumn—though sometimes, winter isn’t such a bad choice. Sometimes I enjoy the cold, spiking feel through my nostrils as I take a deep breath in the morning or the crunchy sound of snow as I tread upon them. Though it is still early for all that experience, the definite feel of the season is prevalent enough with the spiking cold that pierces through my skin and bones. But as cold as it gets, the change of season and the drop of temperature is never enough to deter Shizune’s fiery spirit to face a new day.
Like a general, she commands me to ‘get up, get dressed, and roll out’ with signals and signs that is both commanding as it is respectable. Quickly I hurried out of bed, not to forget to take my toiletries and a set of change on my way out before rushing for a quick shower that lasts not more than five minutes. Immediately when I return to my room, Shizune passes—or more accurately, tosses—my school bag which is filled and organized far more than what I would be capable of; I don’t even know where to find that gum packet I received from Kenji a few days ago! All the books were neatly aligned on one end, the notes on the other, and the loose papers are all tucked in sleeves marked with her handwriting. Just with a single glance, you can immediately tell what subject material is in the sleeve.
Oh and here’s that pack of gum; tucked into one of the small inner pocket. Shizune can get a little aggressive considering tidiness and organization sometimes it’s almost religion.
Quickly I take the bottle of pills I casually left on the bedside table, down a few necessary doses to keep me alive, and equip my favorite brown winter coat. The thick smell of leather and the freezing temperature slowly reminds me of that last winter.
…yes, back on that snowy field with Iwanako.
I have come a long way since that time—I wouldn’t lie, Iwanako did
tried to contact me once since I’ve enrolled in Yamaku High. It was back in summer, a few days after the end of the holidays—after Shizune’s funeral. When I was christened as the new Student Council President, I was also given access to the mailroom, which mean anything that is entering or leaving Yamaku High goes through me; during this time, I stumbled upon a letter—Iwanako’s. I can vaguely remember what was written in it; most of it is blocked from my memory in part due to the circumstances I was facing during that time. But if I recall correctly, it was more or less an apology; no, I think it meant more than that…
It was a farewell, a goodbye carefully encased in an envelope, the last seal that sever my link with the past.
I never bothered to keep or read it any further—even the thought of replying to it felt so repulsive and disgusting it sickens me. I wanted to forget about it, to bury the idea in the depths of my mind; I wanted to move on. And so I did. I threw it all away, letter and all, and ever to look back at the past that is now left behind me. As sad as I find it to be, getting over Iwanako happens to be a lot more painless and unmemorable.
I feel a slight tug to my left and immediately I turn towards the ghost who has been patiently waiting for my preparation, now eagerly points at the door; doesn’t take a genius to know what she’s trying to say. I blush a little at her sight, reminded by the dance last night and the finale she pulled off along with that sweet taste and sensation I experience for the first time; though this really isn’t the time to be thinking of such. I grab my wrist watch, check the time, and hurry towards the door with the book bag slung on my shoulder.
I open the door and before me stands a person I didn’t expect to come in the first place.
“Heya, Hicchan,” she said with a grin plastered on her face. “Gooooood mornin’…!”
“And good morning to you,” I reply. “So what brings you here this early?”
“Nooooothing…! I just think it’s a good idea to stop by once in a while, before the school bell.”
I give a lighthearted chuckle and step outside, locking the door after. Just behind me, Shizune followed closely before she rushed ahead of us in a hurry—I didn’t notice this earlier, but she’s wearing a dark blue winter coat and a matching thigh-high socks that ran through her legs underneath Yamaku’s green skirt. It made me wonder for a second where she’s keeping all her wardrobe, but I’ll let that slide for now; there's too much things going on right now, especially the change of scenery which is a nice change of pace.
[I’ll go on ahead. See you at the Student Council office, Hisao!]
Right around this time, Shizune regularly organizes most of the documents of the Student Council. As much as I deem it unfair for me to receive all the credit off of her effort, Shizune never raised a complaint and countered mine instead with how she ‘couldn’t stand the inefficiency of the Student Council’ and that she ‘wanted to do it anyway’. Even in death, some things never change.
I nod silently, excusing her and leaving Misha and I alone in the hallway as I do last minute checks on the door’s lock. Satisfied, I turn to Misha and tell her that we are ‘good to go’. “I’m done. Are you ready?”
“It’s not nice to keep a girl waiting, Hicchan,” she said before bursting into her usual ‘waha’ war cry, garnering the attention from a number of curious onlookers who peek from behind their doors. “But yeah, I’m ready! Let’s go!”
With a nod and a smile, I take Misha’s readiness and lead her out of the boy’s dormitory. Opening the door of the housing spells an entirely different world from what I experience just barely a day ago; the orange and yellow leaves that majestically decorates the school grounds now clings desperately to its parent as the wind blows and sweep them off from their hold, the air is much colder that it pierces deep through the skin like a thousand needle and cause me to shiver down to my bones, while all around me are the students of Yamaku High who now top themselves with generous articles of clothing meant to stay warm. I stop for a second to take a huff of cold air as the wind slaps my cheeks, causing me to bundle a little deeper into my coat in search of warmth and comfort. The cold is good, but what’s better is that feeling of warmth and comfort you get when bundling in layers of clothing; it is much more so when snuggling under a kotatsu with a pillow.
“Hey, Hicchan…” Misha starts. Her voice feels weak, distant, and somehow different from the one I am familiar with. If any, it is as if something is weighing it down; though maybe, it is only my imagination. “There’s something I want to ask.”
I turn to Misha, who—to my surprise—is six steps behind from my position. In haste, the oddity I sense a minute ago quickly returns as I witness Misha’s regular cheer and smile diminishes in the most subtle manner possible; it is as if it never existed in the first place. Anxiety takes place and soon enough, I begin to worry about Misha altogether. It isn’t like her to act like this; to be deep in thought, to feel…lost. At least, that’s how I see her at this time. “Is there something wrong…?”
She flinch as if startled, her mouth went agape for a second before immediately clasps it tight. Her brows curve to an angle that projects that of deep concentration before—almost unexpectedly—she bursts into a fit of laughter, one that probably outsource all her previous ones before.
“Nevermind, Hicchan! I forgot~!”
Just like that, everything ends in a split second. I feel irritated—toyed
would be a more accurate expression in this case. All that energy and attention on her feels wasted, it’s like she’s playing with the pure heart of a young man!
“You made me worry there for a second.”
She bursts into another fit of ‘wahas’, “Really…?”
“Yes, you did.”
She smiles and skips forward, passing the now-bewildered and confused ‘me’ to wonder what had just happen.
“Hurry up, or we’ll be late for class Hicchan!”
For example, I can’t shake the feeling that her smile seems…what’s the word?
Though probably, that is just my imagination.
Stepping into the grounds of Yamaku High at this time of year is like walking into an entirely different dimension. After the festival, the one thing that is less conspicuous in the months before become something that is prevalent that even the most insensitive staff would notice: couples. Yes, this strange phenomenon that appears after the end of one particular autumn festival is always a common occurrence here in Yamaku High, as hinted by Mutou-sensei who mutters and comments about it vocally to class 3-3 concerning the increase of couples from the outcome. He proceeds to congratulate them in homeroom—both the couples and the success of the festival—before he lightly touch on the subject of ‘relationship’ and ‘safety’. But who am I kidding? It’s Mutou-sensei, and despite him being renown as one of Yamaku’s veteran teachers, most students doesn’t take most of his words too seriously due to his somewhat laid back attitude.
“We understand that it is one of the paths into adolescence, but please remember that you are in school. Try not to be too public about it.”
It’s funny; I’ve been in more than one situation in this classroom way back before the festival that would qualify for a scandal, fit for the school newspaper’s gossip section. ‘Scandalous! Student Council President caught flirting in class with the ex-president!’ or ‘illicit relationship between Student Council President and the ghost of Shizune Hakamichi! Is relationship with the dead possible’, or something along that line. Thank the gods only I can see her.
Although considering a little further, the class might just disperse and scatter in fear if she does appear.
As per usual, Misha, Hanako, and I are excused from homeroom with a simple nod by Mutou-sensei at my general direction. I nod in return before getting up from my seat—leaving my book bag hung on my desk—and signals the members of the Student Council to leave homeroom with a wave. We shift through the tables carefully and quietly so as not to disturb the other students. I open the door and held them for Misha and Hanako before closing them without making a sound. Not far ahead, the door from class 3-2 opens and slowly in a gentle manner, a girl steps out from the classroom as quietly as she can while carefully and skillfully navigate through her surroundings with a cane.
“L-Lilly…!” Hanako calls out enthusiastically, though with so much care as not to raise her voice too loud.
Like a child, she rushes to her side and clings to her arm which she accepts gently and lovingly. Lilly caresses Hanako and embraces her for a while, emitting an aura of a mother to her child. This rare scene brought upon a smile to me; if words can describe, it is the overwhelming feeling of warmth. I wonder how long has it been since I’ve witness such scene? Back when the new Student Council was just starting, it was a near-common occurrence for us to see Hanako clinging to Lilly at almost any given time—it grew on us. Then, Lilly took her leave and Hanako was forced to stand on her own feet to survive—and she did so commendably. And now having her back, it’s as if things are returning to normal—just like old times.
“Feels like old times, don’t you think so?”
Misha giggles lightly, crossing her arms under her chest. “Yeah, it does.”
She sighs. “…at least it does for you.”
W-what? What does she mean by…?
Before I manage to confront her on the statement, the girl with the short bubble-gum hair lands a light punches on my shoulder and encourage me to ‘double my effort’ before she makes her way to Lilly. Though I am uncertain to what she meant by ‘doubling my effort’, I can safely assume it is directed towards Lilly—I did blew the opportunity to dance with her yesterday, though I can’t say that I entirely regret myself from doing so. But most of all, I can’t help but smile upon realizing what she meant; Misha’s playing cupid again, and this time with Lilly.
“Hisao,” said Lilly as she tries to feel my presence, the last person who has yet greeted her. “Is he here today?”
“He’s here, Lilly.”
I present myself before Lilly as humbly as possible, tapping her shoulder lightly with a smile that can outshine any toothpaste commercial—I find the notion a little silly, but nonetheless necessary to maintain an image. Lilly returns my greeting with a genuine smile, one that easily outclass any supermodel as she rest a part of her weight on her cane and the other on her back. “Good morning, Hisao.”
Through simple exchange of greeting, I feel the growing animosity between Lilly and I. It’s not with the way she talk, smile, or the tone of her greeting; if it’s something I could attribute it to, it’s the way she react—her reply
. It feels…impersonal, but I could’ve been wrong and my judgment may be due to an influence from a part of my conscience that’s nagging me after last night. Yes, I admit it was a dick-move from my part to abandon Lilly; but I did so with some consideration in mind. It wasn’t until later that evening that I evening that I remembered what Lilly was expecting from our reunion: the answer to her confession just a few months ago.
But I dodged it yet again. I’m not surprised our meeting can get anymore awkward than this—I shouldn’t be.
But to my surprise, Lilly doesn’t see it that way; in fact, it went far from my original expectation. She treats it as if it never happens; taking it to stride with a smile that spreads across her soft lips the moment she hears my voice. With a simple gesture she leads me to step forward and assume my position as Student Council President, a shepherd, the beacon of light that will guide the members to fulfill their duty.
“Shall we head over to the Student Council office, Hisao?”
But as much as I believe it to have exist—the animosity—it vanish the moment I notice her calm yet tender smile.
“Yes, let’s go.”
First Misha, and now Lilly…
Sometimes I convince myself that I think too much…this is one of those days.
[I’ve organized the things you need to cover in this meeting into two files,] signs Shizune as I take my seat on my designated table. Like usual, her hand motions are swift and energetic, despite the piercing cold. [The important ones are in the folder I mark with a red pen, the not-so-important in the blue.]
I nod in silence and examine both folders before forming a reply. [What about the lesser ones?]
[You can find those in the bin. That is, if you want to play ‘Meitantei Conan’, be my guess.] She smirks cheekily. Shredded, I should’ve known; typical ex-President.
[Also, I think you need to address the members to prepare for exams and how it will affect their affairs in the Student Council.]
I give her the same reply as she pace herself back and forth, crossing her arms and eyebrow before she swiftly swivel to face me.
[One last thing, Hisao,] she signs aggressively. [Why is she
admitted to the Student Council?]
And thus, that concludes any further attempt from me to strike a conversation.
If there is something that is missing from the new Student Council, it’s Shizune’s constant rant concerning the ‘incompetence’ of class 3-2’s blind representative—literally. It is an established feud that is known across the entire student body, with one side favoring Lilly for her kindness and compassion while the other towards Shizune’s order and discipline. Prior to joining the Student Council, I remember to have ‘tasted’ a sense of this little rivalry between them; one in particular, was during the summer festival preparation where Shizune confronted Lilly and demanded her assigned report that was due to be handed over. This was further emphasized by the fact that her class was the last to submit them, causing quite an explosion that rivaled the largest volcanic eruption ever recorded in human history.
But after Shizune left us, Lilly became the most helpful member of the Student Council.
To most of the ex-members, she was like the beacon of light from my ‘dictatorial dictation’ and ‘unchecked temperament’ that drove them away. She would often stand by their side with reason and compassion that I—sometimes—can’t even consider legit; we are the Student Council, and on occasion, time was never on our side. But nonetheless, they left one by one and the ‘new’ Student Council was left with me, Misha, Lilly, and Hanako—but even then, that was more than enough. Lilly may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer concerning speed and efficiency, but she gets the job done most of the time and that, I can’t complain. It’s natural for me to re-invite her back to the Student Council; after all, we are not known to turn away an extra hand.
Of course, I never counted the fact that Shizune would return—be it as a spiritual entity.
“Hisao, if I may, a handful of students have been urging to allocate extra funding to their clubs,” Lilly suggests at the end of the short meeting. I keep my hands to my side for now as Shizune lands a piercing glare at the poor girl. “They need them to keep club activities alive and attract prospective new members.”
Quickly, Shizune turns to me, [What did she say?]
If there is one thing that I am quick to learn between Shizune and Lilly,
[Lilly wants us to allocate small number of funds for certain clubs to keep them alive and for expansion purposes.]
Is how little Shizune spare her regards to Lilly and her more social approach in the Student Council.
[Where does she think the Student Council’s funding come from, a money tree?] She replies with a fast, powerful stroke that sends shivers down my spine. One does not have to be a genius in the arts of sign language to see where it is heading to. [We’re on life support as it is after our last festival, now she dares to promise other clubs that we’ll provide financial support with what little we have right now?]
[I didn’t say she promised them, just allocating a small sum that’s all.]
[Knowing it’s Lilly, she would
if she has the opportunity. Do what you like!] She crosses her arm and ‘hmphs’, glaring almost murderously towards the blonde that sat nearly at one end of the table. Some things never change.
I glance at Misha and Hanako for a moment to ask for their opinion, all the while trying to converse with Shizune with the use of pen and paper. “So what do you guys think?”
“I’m not sure about our current situation, but I don’t think it’s possible…maybe,” Misha replies, leaning on her chair with a pen stuck between her nose and upper lip. “Hanako might have a better idea though.”
“I-I think it would be great if we do so,” she replies. “But I don’t think we are capable of that right now.”
SNAP! Like the echo of a thunder, Shizune’s trademark ‘call’ echoes and cause me to turn to the bewildered and enraged spirit who still persistently tries to maintain control of the Student Council. With my attention firmly on her, she strokes and swings cohesively as she criticizes Lilly and how the Student Council would of be greater efficiency without her ‘constant plea of help'. ‘I told you so’, ‘of course that isn’t possible’, or my favorite quote of the day (well, not exactly) ‘even a deaf-mute can ‘listen’ and understand this matter better than you.’
To be fair, Shizune would be entirely out of the loop if I didn’t act as her translator in the first place.
She raise her hand high and drops them low, points them like a spear to her foe, then proceeds to carve her message like a sharp blade that thirsts for blood; I stop trying to read what she’s trying to say upon realizing how pointless it is after her third emphasis on how ‘lacking’ Lilly’s leadership quality is. When the bell chimes, I raise my hand to stop her while at the same time dismiss the council meeting.
[I’ll head off first, Hisao,] Shizune remarks swiftly. [I can’t stand seeing her in the Student Council. I’m off to get some air.]
I guess that isn’t a surprise.
As Shizune walks off and with Lilly and Hanako excuse themselves from the room soon after, I sigh in relief to rest myself and prepare for the day. If there is one thing I realize in taking the job as a Student Council President, it’s the sheer amount of responsibility and pressure the student body and faculty staff rest upon you that leaves little to no room for breathing. Sometimes a short 30 second head rest on a table can feel so ridiculously rewarding its hilarious; not to mention with the coming exams, I feel as if some conspiracy decides to burn that last bastion of hope.
…maybe Kenji was right all along. Damn feminists.
With everyone now making their way back to class, the only person who is still in the Student Council office is Misha and I. With a voice as soft as a kitten—unusual in Misha’s standard—she approach and stops me just before I take my leave, bearing with her a look that is best described as troubling…though that itself isn’t accurate. Immediately I cease my actions and without blurting a word, wait for her to deliver what she longs to.
“Earlier, did you hear that…how should I say it…‘sound’?”
“Sound…?” I cross my eyebrows and wonder. What does she mean by ‘sound’? “What sound?”
With her arm crossed and a look of discomfort, Misha clench her teeth and takes a deep breath. I hold my breath in anticipation.
“It sounds like…” she ponders before quickly dismisses it with a gesture. “…it’s nothing, Hisao. It’s nothing at all.”
Once again, as swiftly as she brought a subject into the light, it easily disperses and vanishes into nothingness as quick as the morning mist. Immediately I feel the urge to stand from my seat, chase, and stop her to question what she was on about before she takes her leave; but I digress. I froze in sight and just watch her walk through the door and disappear into the halls. I stop to wonder what is going on, to read into Misha just as Shizune did; the thought stops halfway however, as the bell of the next period echoes to rush me back to reality.
Whatever it is, I hope it isn’t important.
How wrong I was to think like that.
Lilly grazes her hand through the bumps on the documents and sighs, shifting from one end of the page to the other. For a while now, I have been captivated by her slow but methodical process in completing documents after documents each time I peer at her pure, seamless figure that basks under the crimson ray of the afternoon sun. She sighs—a hint of exhaustion—as her task never seemed to have end. I stop my pen for a moment and try to strike a conversation—at least something to liven up the moody situation in this room. Yet to my discomfort, nothing seems to escape my lips as I watch Lilly repeat the cycle over and over again; she feels and reach for a document on her left—translated to braille, no less—‘read’ its contents, then proceed to the typewriter to translate them into alphabets. I pause to marvel the sight for a moment before getting sidetracked by her voice.
“Hisao…?” she proclaims almost suddenly. “Is there something on your mind?”
“N-no…nothing Lilly…” I reply. Sometimes, she never fails to impress me with her sensitivity towards her surroundings. “Can I help you with…?”
“It’s nothing; I just thought…” she sighs despondantly, holding her breath for a second before letting go. “…Never mind.”
I can’t even formulate a reply; words just float aimlessly as the urge to speak dies along with Lilly’s seemingly stale response. There’s nothing I can say to her—no, more accurately I can’t
—in order to fix this gap that grew between us ever since the festival. True, if any it was entirely my fault—I answered with a ‘yes’ and left her out near the bond fire for a dead girl up on the roof—a dead girl
! Any sane man living in this planet would laugh for leaving someone—a beauty nonetheless—for a dead girl then return satisfied with the outcome. I’ll be honest, I regret nothing
of my decision, but I do admit feeling guilty over abandoning Lilly after she worked her way to asked me out; it was also her first day back at Yamaku, too.
But even if I explain my circumstances, it still doesn’t discredit me from the guilt that Lilly apparently pushed on to me.
I sigh in resentment and shift through the papers, feeling both dejected and desperate. But even so I knew this is to be expected; after all, I did think it was a great idea to go all-necro if it is Shizune.
…does it count as necrophilia?
Nevermind; I shouldn’t think that
far in the first place.
My attention shifts to the pen on my hand as I twirl it akin to a helicopter blade. My head feels heavy, both contributed to the post-festival paperwork and the more…obvious thing that occupies me. Thankfully, it was to my misfortune that Shizune wasn’t around to haunt the Student Council office at the moment—something to do with Misha and her fading interest, if I recall her telling me about it this morning. Truth be told, Shizune wasn’t the only one who noticed how…’strange’ Misha has been acting for the past few days—it wasn’t even difficult to caught wind of it either. If I remember correctly, it all started to crumble during Shizune’s funeral.
I can still recall it; those near-lifeless eyes, that zombie-like stature, and that gaze—that gaze! It’s as if her very soul was sucked from her body and was left an empty shell. All that as we stood on the platform, waiting for our train to Sendai.
“I…no, I can’t do this anymore,” Lilly drops her hand from the typewriter, sighs dejectedly, and straightens her figure to speak. “Hisao, how are you feeling these days?”
“E-excuse me…?” I reply, slightly taken aback. “I’m fine, thank you.”
She shook her head. “No, Hisao. I meant you concerning…her; it’s about Shizune.”
My hand stops its motion immediately, sweat runs down my brow and down the tip of my finger before it traces itself down the pen. The ink stains continues to profuse itself from the tip of the pen, staining the paper with a blotted, black splat before I lift the tool from contact. For a while I feel surprised, shocked—stunned, even. Not far from it, I can sense another tingling sensation I’d best describe as...
I don’t know, nor am I certain why or how—even what
I am afraid of, but the longer the question remains in the air the deeper the feeling sinks in, penetrating me down to the bone. If any, if felt as if there is more
to the question than the answer…but is there? Lilly is undeniably sharp, this I know; having to have to go through each day without the ability to see have certainly honed her other senses—I’m guessing ‘intuition’ is part of the package, too. Will my answer be enough to satiate her thirst?
“It’s alright now, thank you.”
She sighs, “No, you’re not.”
“Hisao, I know I’m not supposed to interfere but I’ve been hearing...things; things I don’t want to believe to be true.” She continues as she rests both hands on the desk. Her usual kind and gentle face transform into one that is stern and—at some point—concerned. To a degree, I can strangely understand why Shizune and Lilly are both two sides of the same coin. With a sigh and a deep breath, she raises her question. I can never forget that ‘fear’ for days to come. “Is she here with us right now?”
At a moment’s notice, I feel as if everything around me has stopped; even the air feels dead and unmoving. When I swallow, I can feel the very texture of my throat as spit runs down my throat, slowly free falling down into the depths before disappearing with a ‘plunk’. The ticking sound of the clock serves as a moderate distraction and relief, albeit it getting increasingly irritating by the second the more I try to evade the question. Yes…the question. Lilly…how does she know? Have we been found out?
“I…don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Please, Hisao. I know you know what I am talking about—and whatever it is you’re doing is dangerous to you...”
For the last few months, I have spent my days haunted by the ghost of Shizune Hakamichi—the deaf-mute president of the near-nonexistent student council of Yamaku High. Up to this day, I have not seen her acted towards me that would surely endanger my life—sanity is definitely out of the question. Most of the time, it’s the usual banter between us and a few errands along the way. Of course, if she is talking about Shizune’s father, then I can say that he was
a danger to me. Yes, that’s right—was
If any, Shizune is dangerous to my mental health—sometimes I wonder if she really is there or not.
“Hisao, please don’t think less of me,” Lilly continues. “But I believe that the ‘Shizune’ with you now isn’t what she seems to be.”
I sigh. “Continue…”
“She…how should I tell you…” Lilly struggles for a moment, shifting her weight around her seat for a moment as she struggles to find the right word to express her…concern. “Shizune is—”
The door of the office swung open with a bang, interrupting us and at the same time postponing whatever it is Lilly wanted to express. I quickly stand from my seat, ready to call out to the girl with the pink hair and her usual unceremonious entrance. The current time is 3:55PM, thirty minutes late from our usual schedule. I was excited at first—almost ecstatic, even—to find someone whom I can rely on to finally crush this stagnant air and escape. How wrong was I to believe it was her the moment I notice the more masculine figure present before the doorway, gasping for air; Miyazaki, the vice-president of the Paranormal Investigation Club. Not far behind him, Hanako is rushing as fast as she can to the room. Lilly quickly tries to adjust herself towards the direction of the wheeze and gasps, giving her full attention towards it. I stop to wonder for a second on what occasion is he in such a hurry—not to mention the entrance. It is almost unusual for the Paranormal Investigation Club to be present in any and all student affairs; unless of course, it involves the ‘paranormal’.
This time, however, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
“Something the matter, Miyazaki…?” I ask in the calmest yet stern voice I can muster.
The vice-president (of the Paranormal Investigation Club) bit his lower-lip, and starts. Everything suddenly felt like an illusion.
“It’s Mikado…! Mikado was…!”
-END CHAPTER IX-
It's been almost...one-two year hiatus? My apologies for that. Ever since I am back to university things have been hectic with studies and life, so it gets pretty difficult--funny thing is, I finished this chapter a year ago and did a small number of proof-reads and edits (might not be perfect) before it eventually got left forgotten after an unfortunate BSOD ate my computer. It wasn't just until recently that I found this piece and began working on the next chapter (yes, chapter 10 is in the works) and it was also thanks to someone in this board that reminded me of it.
Again, thank you.
Update may be slower, but I'll do what I must to complete the story. Once again, I apologize for this late-late hiatus. Feel free to flame, comment, etc.
The 'ghost' is back