My name is Saki Enomoto and I am full of shit.
“So yeah, I can’t wait to get to know you all better and I hope we become good friends!” I cheer, lying through my teeth to an entire room of strangers. Not a single one of them have any goddamn clue how easy that was for me. I bow as the Class 1-1 gives me an appreciative round of applause.
I retrieve my cane, left propped against the homeroom teacher’s desk while I gave yet another performance to yet another clueless audience. I take my time back to my desk in the back row, basking in the jealous smiles and lurid looks of my new classmates as one of them takes my place at the front of the class. My attention on this ‘Florian’, as he denotes by writing on the blackboard, is drawn away by the boy sitting next to me.
“You play a lot of instruments. I play drums. You joining the music club?” He asks, whispering out of the side of his mouth. I glance him up and down. Not bad looking. Brown hair and blue eyes, strong chin.
“Maybe, I’m gonna check out the art club too. Why? Wanna play together?” I answer with a pointed innuendo, a demure smile on my lips that makes him blush. Too easy.
“Uhh, I mean, I might join the music club too soooo… Yeah?”
“Cool, let’s talk at break…” I try to tease his name out of him and he just looks at me confused. Is he that dumb or…
“Sh-Shura. Shura Noda? I introduced myself before you.” He did? Heh. Oops.
My name is Saki Enomoto and I’ve got options.
“I’m Ritsu Tainaka! I play piano and drums!” The enthusiastic brunette raises her arms high with huge grin. She’s the last of the music club to introduce herself and is trying a little too hard for my tastes. Five of us total, not counting the three or four separate second-year music club members who are all deaf.
Yuki Asahina, an awkward bookish type who can play the bass guitar. Shura Noda, the drummer from my class. Kazuki Yamada, a self-described master of brass who can, and I quote, ‘play anything you can blow’. I don’t think he knew what he was really saying but it made me laugh at least. Myself, with violin, piano, and singing, and then Ritsu.
Quite the eclectic assortment. If nothing else, we could form a ska band, I guess…
My name is Saki Enomoto and I know everything.
About a month in and putting names to the faces of the art club is becoming a easier, little-by-little. I mean, I could just name them for their obvious… quirks, but I wouldn’t care much to being called Dead Girl Walking so I can at least extend a little courtesy to my club-mates.
Case in point; Taro Arai. He’s the fattest kid here at Yamaku by a laaaarge margin but that’s not his ‘thing’. He just can’t use his right arm at all. Heh. Just more useless weight adding to the rest, I suppose.
“Doing things you can’t do… Just because you can…” Arai muses as he speaks to the space-case Rin Tezuka. I don’t have anything for her, I just think she’s crazy. This Freak Factory is definitely freakier than I was expecting.
“That’s pretty spot-on, Tezuka. I think that’s partly why I joined the art club, too. How about you, Enomoto?” Arai turns his attention to me, his face becoming pinker when he notices I’ve been staring right at him with an indifferent gaze this entire time.
“Hm? Sorry, Taaarooo~!” I quickly switch to my cutesiest, most appealing persona to address his question. My façade of friendliness. “I think that’s kinda true for me too!” Kinda. Sorta. I enjoy art but my parents have monopolised it, much like my music. Music still moves me but, unfortunately, more and more of it is catered to my parents’ tastes. And the tastes of their friends and business associates. Their perfect prodigy.
“Oi, tons-of-fun! You in here?” A crass voice cries into the art room. I frown as my eyes catch sight of a violet and brown blur shifting past me to grab Arai in a headlock. “What’re you always sayin’ about keeping a lady waitin’?”
“You… Don’t… Count…” Arai chokes out, half-laughing as he lifts his tomboyish bully into the air with his good arm. Whoa. She looks heavier than I am but he made that look effortless. Must be some muscle beneath all that flab.
“Put me down, fat-ass!” The girl cackles, playfully batting her hand and… stump… at Arai as he puts her into a fireman’s carry and walks towards the door.
“Pipe down, Miki.” He playfully jostles the girl on his shoulder. “Sorry, ladies, but this one demands my attention and like she said…” He offers an embarrassed smile and a shake of his head before disappearing out of the door. I’m left alone with Tezuka, utterly dumbfounded by what I just saw.
“What the fuck was that about?” I ask rhetorically but Tezuka cogently answers anyway, much to my surprise.
“Foreplay. Probably.” She shrugs.
What!? Those two are fucking? How? This place is freakier than I thought if someone like Arai can hook-up with someone so quickly into the year… Still, if that’s something we can just do here and not be judged for it…
My name is Saki Enomoto and I always get what I want.
Shura rolls off of me with a satisfied groan and I retrieve his abandoned, ill-fitting condom from inside me. He grins from ear to ear, seemingly happy with such a piss-poor performance. God, that felt like an eternity. I’ve been dragged to functions by my parents that didn’t drag on like that. Maybe I should have put a little more thought into this but I got so swept up in the idea of finally being able to choose something for myself that I just jumped at the first option. Chalk this up to a learning experience.
“Was that good for you, too?” He beams as he slips back into his slacks. He doesn’t do me the courtesy of helping me off the floor of the music room’s closet-turned-makeshift sound booth. I thought it would be a good idea to do it in here in case I made noise but I didn’t even make a squeak.
“It felt like time stood still, Shuuuraaa~.” I say with a teasing smile as I hand him the saggy condom, now tied at its neck. “Be a good boy and trash this for me, please?”
“Yeah, no problem, babe.” Ugh. ‘Babe’. I finish buttoning up my blouse and follow him out into the music room proper as he drops the condom into the trashcan next to the teacher’s podium. Idiot.
“Wanna go get some food, Saki?” I think you’ve wasted enough of my time today, Shura…
“Um, no, I think I should make sure the room doesn’t smell like us before I go.” Because you’re stupid enough to leave evidence behind, moron! “I’ll catch up later though! Ciao~!”
As soon as he’s out of the way, I go about opening windows and retrieve the air freshener from the supply closet, sighing as I cover my mouth and blitz the sound booth with spray. I don’t want the egg carton foam to reek of disappointing first-time sex the next time someone wants to do something actually worthwhile in there. I put everything back how it was and take the trash bag from the can with me as I lock the door.
My name is Saki Enomoto and I love the attention.
“I just want to say what an absolute honour it is to instruct such talented young woman, Mr and Mrs Enomoto!” Nomiya’s sycophantic rubbing of his hands is as transparent as his hairline. “She’s been an insightful and dedicated member of the art club and we are so proud to display her pieces alongside the others.”
I don’t know who this ‘we’ is. The man is a stooge, only wishing to ride the coat tails of those more talented than himself, especially those he deems… ‘unique’. Myself, Tezuka, Maeda, and Kintsugi. Out of his current favourites, the only thing that outwardly defines me is my good looks while everyone else has a visible disability.
Talented or not, it reeks of a sideshow attraction and my parents are most definitely thinking of this little exhibition as such. Their perfect prodigy is still the best, even if it’s the best of a bad bunch. My diagnosis put the brakes on a lot of their plans for me. The suitors mostly stopped calling and now I’m only wheeled out for special occasions. Like a cheap party trick.
“I’m glad to see our donations are being put to good use. We’ve always been big patrons of the arts.” My father puffs his chest out, his hands clamped tight on my shoulders. Only to boost your own reputation.
“Oh, most definitely! Much of the materials used by Saki were bought with said funds.” Nomiya says, gesturing to the mixed media pieces that Taro has been quietly moving from the rear of the room to the display easels. I didn’t ask him to, he just offered. Said something about giving a helping hand. “Please be careful, Mr Arai! Miss Enomoto’s beautiful pieces aren’t to be man-handled so… roughly.”
Taro looks a little incredulously at Nomiya and then to me. He’s been handling them with just as much care as he had Kintsugi’s sculptures and Tezuka’s canvasses. I feel myself cringe slightly and Mother is immediately whispering in my ear to correct me.
“Straighten up, daaarliiing~. Big smile. The nice man is praising you.”
“What do you think of my daughter’s work, Mr Arai?” Father pointedly asks Taro as he delicately places a swirling gouache painting onto it’s designated easel, adjusting it slightly so it’s centred properly.
“I’m n-not one for abstracts and impressionism, sir, so I don’t feel I can offer any constructive criticism.”
“Criticism?” My mother eyes Taro like a predator. Craaaaaap.
“He meant feedback! Didn’t you, Taro?” I say, locking eyes with him. Take the hint, Arai. This isn’t a fight you want.
“Um, sure, I don’t really work in this medium so my… feedback wouldn’t be nearly as insightful… as you’re looking for…” His explanation slows as he sees my parents disapproving gaze turn from him to the other pieces in the room.
“And which of these are yours, Taro?” Mother asks, her nose almost pointing straight up as she looks down it at my club mate. Here we fucking go.
“I wasn’t asked to showcase.” He says, a slight tone of annoyance. Nomiya doesn’t appreciate Arai’s more manga-inspired work and this is just the latest snub to him. “I’m just giving a helping hand to my fellow club members.”
“I see, so you’re just the help.” Father asks, still holding my shoulders firmly. I go to speak up but Mother’s daggers turn on me and I wilt at the look.
“Mr Arai, I think you’ve done an excellent job but there’s no more pieces to move and we should save room for the visitors so why don’t you head off for the evening?” Nomiya suggests but I can see Taro eyes narrow at him, then back at my parents, then finally to me. I daren’t speak to his defence in front of my parents and I don’t bother meeting his eyes. Stupid, useless Saki.
“Fuck this…” He quietly mutters as he storms out of the art room. Nomiya chastises Taro as he leaves and Mother enters my field of vision.
“Quite a rude boy, that one. Why don’t you introduce us to these other… talented young people?”
My name is Saki Enomoto and I don’t need anyone.
I peek out of the curtains to scrutinize the young man that accompanied my parents to this year’s festival. Not that they bother to come last year… The boy’s the son of one of my father’s business associates. Apparently he wants to win my parents approval to ‘court me’. His literal words. Who even says that anymore? I limp back and forth a little, biting my thumbnail before Shura appears in the wings of the half-full music auditorium. Fucking finally!
“What’s the big emergency, Saki?” Shura asks and I grab him by the collar, pulling him into the music room with a passionate kiss. There’s only ten minutes before show time but I know he won’t take that long. He wrestles himself out of my embrace with anger in his eyes.
“What the fuck, Saki!? You know I’m with Ritsu now!” He growls, wiping his mouth. Only because Taro didn’t much care for her attitude towards his friends, especially after I let it slip that he and Miura used to be a thing. You were just the nearest warm body after her tantrum got her nowhere.
“And? I need something to take the edge off before the show.” I place a hand on my hip and he looks at me like I’m crazy. I must be to be calling your useless ass for a booty call but I need something to remind me I’m in control of my life before I have to put on yet another performance for my parents.
“You can’t fucking do this, Saki! I’m not gonna come every time you whistle anymore!” He says but he doesn’t move to leave.
“And yet here you are. Now are you gonna finally grow some balls or are you gonna fuck me in the sound booth?” I lean in with a coy smile as the anger in his face falters. His eyes dart around but mine remain locked onto his.
“God fucking damn it.” He quietly curses and I coil my fingers around his tie and pull him towards me. He frowns again and places a guilty finger on my lips. “No kissing. That’s off-limits.”
Huh, so you’ve got some spine, at least. I can work with that.
My name is Saki Enomoto and I’m sure you can take it.
“Well, well, well! Welcome back, cute little first year!” I shriek excitedly at the pale girl coming out of one of the cubicles in her school uniform as I hobble into the changing room. After the first time, I was sure I’d never see her at the pool again but here she is! She looks pissed but a little hazing won’t hurt her.
“Ugh, what do you want?” She looks at me incredulously as she groans. Her reactions are positively adorable. It just makes me want to tease her more.
“I just wanna know if you’re happy with that drab thing or if you’re gonna pick out a cute swimsuit like me?” I smirk, pulling the bikini top out of my swim bag and holding against me.
“No, I don’t need one…” She mutters, her eyes moving away from mine.
“But you’ll never get a boy in that ugly-ass thing! I can totally see you in a cute little red number. It’d match your eyes.” I’m actually complementing her that time but she shivers a little at my comments.
“Just leave me the heck alone, okay?” She sneers back at me, those same piercing red eyes staring daggers at me. Oooh, a little fire in this one.
“I’m just offering a little bit of free advice, first year! C’moooon, can’t we be friends?” I ask and she spins on her heels, narrowing her eyes at me.
“My name is Rika and I don’t make friends with bullies. So shut the hell up or…”
“Or what, Riiikaaa~?” I ask with a grin. C’mon, girl. This is the most interesting interaction I’ve had all damn day. She stops - maybe realising she had nothing after the ‘or’ - then scoffs and storms out of the changing room. Awww. Maybe next time, Rika…
My name is Saki Enomoto and I am strong.
No, no, no, no! Not here, please, not now… I clamp my eyes shut as my legs buckle under my own weight. Almost every muscle in my lower body rebels against me at the same time. Almost. Small comfort but it’s the only silver lining to be had. I reach for the easel to steady myself and only succeed in knocking it over with a loud clatter as I hit the floor with a wet slap - right into a puddle of my own piss.
I whimper as the shame overwhelms me and tears stream down my face as easily as the yellow liquid continues to leave my lower body. God, if you’re listening, if you could just kill me before I’m seen like this, I’d really appreciate it.
“Is everything alright, Saki?” Arai comes jogging over from the far end of the art room. Thanks for nothing, God, you fucking bitch. “I heard a cra-ah-haaoh, fuck…”
“Don’t fucking look at it, Taro!” I shriek at him but he’s already facing away as I start blubbering uncontrollably, my speech becoming a useless as the rest of me. “G-get owwwwwt! You d-didn’t s-see anyth-thing!”
“I can’t just leave you, Saki. Is there anyone I should call?” He turns his head slightly back at me but his eyes aren’t looking at me.
“N-n-no!” I cry out. “F-f-fuck off!”
I cover my face and pray again that I’ll die on the spot. Again, I’m denied. I look to where Taro was and he’s thankfully gone. I sniffle and look at the mess below me and my lower lip just won’t stop shaking. My vision is soon obscured by shadow as something big and heavy envelops me.
“Um, here. I know you don’t w-want me to l-look at you so I thought my hoodie could cover you up.” Taro’s voice says softly from behind. I shake the hood off my head and look at the deep blue hooded jacket Taro threw over my shoulders. It’s his and it’s at least two sizes bigger than me.
“I t-t-told y-y-y-you-” I stammer as I look back at him to see he’s looking away again.
“I know what you told me but I couldn’t just leave you alone like this.” He says gently. “At the very least, that can cover you up while you tell me how I can help.”
I look down and quickly tug up the hem of the open jacket so it doesn’t soak up any of the puddle. Why is… he… so…
“Do you need help standing? Should I get a wheelchair? IcouldcarryyoubutIwouldhavetolookatyousorry, sorry, I’m rambling…” Taro panics a little before he takes a deep breath. “Just tell me what you need, Saki.”
“I… I…” I don’t even know where to start. Everything is such a mess. I’m such a mess. He moves away and I watch him retrieve a roll of blue towels and puts it on the closest desk. He holds it in place with his head as he tears several large handfuls from the roll and places them on a nearby chair.
He then turns to me, his eyes looking slightly off to the left as he approaches. He must only be seeing me in the very corner of his vision as he crouches down next to me.
“I’m gonna lift you onto the chair, okay? Can you hold onto my neck?”
“B-but I’m covered in…”
“I’m trying not to think about it… Can you help me a little? I’ve only got the one arm, remember?” He asks with a crooked smirk and I slip my arms into his hoodie and then wrap my arms around his neck. His hand slips under my thighs and I shiver at the thought of how utterly disgusting that must feel for him. He lifts me as effortlessly as he did Miura that one time two years ago. I don’t think he even needed me to hold on as he cradles me and guides me onto the chair.
“There we go… Much better.” He rises to his full height, shaking his wet hand away from us both. I wince at the wet patches on his knees but the roll of blue towels is thrust into my hands before I can say anything. “Here, dry yourself as best you can.”
“Th-thanks.” I do as I’m told as I watch my club mate right the knocked over easel and fetch a mop and bucket from the supply closet. He’s diligent and singularly focused on cleaning away any evidence this happened. He doesn’t even look at me but I don’t think it’s out of disgust, it’s because I told him not to. I pad away a lot of the moisture from my bare legs and shoes but my skirt and socks are soaked. I take my socks off and throw them onto the pile of wet towels.
Taro props up a wet floor sign with a satisfied nod. “All done. How’re you feeling now Saki?” I stare at the towels for a moment, then to where I collapsed, then to Taro’s pitying smile.
“So what do you want to keep your mouth shut, Arai?” I narrow my eyes at him and then look off to the side as the bitter reality of the situation dawns on me. I’m right where he wants me…
“Huh?” Taro looks back confused, placing the mop back into the bucket.
“Don’t play dumb, fatass! I just pissed myself and cried like a baby! This is primo blackmail material. You want money? You want me to blow you or some shit? Just tell me what the fuck you want so we can get this over with.”
“What!? Do you really think I’d take advantage of you like that?” He steps back, looking disgusted at me. If our roles were reversed; I know I would!
“There’s no way you’re gonna be this nice to me and not expect something in return.”
“You were in trouble… I thought I could help.” He says quietly, an uneasy and hurt expression on his face. If this is an act, he’s in the wrong club. I almost believe him.
“No one is that good, Arai. There’s always an angle.” I spit venomously, wiping my gross, pruney hands. To my surprise, he chuckles as he sits on a chair as far from me as he can but still be heard.
“I don’t think I’m all that good…” He brushes his face with his forearm, I wouldn’t want to touch my face with unclean hands either. Hand. Whatever.
“Look… I get angry sometimes, for no damn reason. You seen how I am with Maeda? He hasn’t done a damn thing to me but I look at him and just think ‘fuck that guy’! Nomiya’s a fucking asshole too but he deserves it. I’m gonna come right out and say I don’t like your parents either.”
I chuckle a little at that admission. Can’t blame him, they deserve it too.
“Hell, I’m not even speaking to Molly at the moment because she… She turned me down. I respect her decision and I agree that we work as friends but I still kinda resent her for it, y’know?” He sighs, sitting back and looking at me dead on, a serious expression where there is usually warmth.
“I’m not all that good but I’m not that bad either. So - with no expectation of anything from you and purely out of genuine concern - how are you feeling, Saki?”
I blink disbelievingly at him a few times. Why would he tell me all that shit? Why would he tell me his friend thinks he’s an un-dateable loser? Why… would he embarrass himself… Fuck me…
“Like I could collapse into a black hole of cringe…” I answer honestly, kicking myself internally for thinking so little of him. He gets out of his chair and closes the distance between us.
“Well, let’s see if gravity is feeling a little more forgiving first. Can you stand?” He asks, offering out his hand. I reach out for it but hesitate to touch him, only to have his hand meet mine with a soft yet firm grip. “Come on. I got you.”
I pull against him as he eases me onto my feet. I shake a little but more out of embarrassment than anything. I look up at his face and his eyes meet mine with his usual warm smile.
“There we go! And if I just…” He deftly connects the zipper of his hoodie and pulls it up to my chest. It’s length falls to just above my knees and looks like I’m wearing a big blanket. “Heh, sorry, it looks pretty silly but it’ll cover you up until you can get sorted out. Do you need to see the nurse or will you be okay going back to the dorms?”
“No, I think… I need a shower. I… I d-don’t know what to s-say…” I sniffle, rolling up the sleeves. This has been awful but Taro has been so amazing. I don’t even know how to say thank you for something like this. No one has ever been this kind to me. Not without a caveat or a catch.
“You don’t need to say anything at all.” He hands me my cane then retrieves his phone from his pocket.
“D-don’t t-tell anyone!” I croak and he shakes his head.
“I’m not, just gonna ask Miki to open one of the fire exits at the rear of the girls dorms so we can avoid the common room.”
“Oh, s-sorry. I thought I’d help you get back to the dorms but if you can manage it, I’ll tell Miki to just wedge the door open.” And she’d do it, no questions asked? What kind of relationship do you two have where that’s a reasonable thing to ask?
“N-no. I still feel a bit wobbly so-so if y-you wouldn’t mind?”
He smiles down at me and for the first time in half an hour, I feel like everything is gonna be alright.
My name is Saki Enomoto and I guess I didn’t know everything.
“You’ll be dead and gone loooong before I waste my time on you.” Rika whispers, the venom in her voice is unlike anything I’ve ever heard from her. As she turns away, I’m left to wonder how she knew so much about me. She must be way smarter than I ever really gave her credit for. And fiercer. Damn.
My legs are shaky as I clamber down the ladder into the pool. Between what happened in the art room and Katayama blowing up at me, my mind spirals with thoughts of how little I actually know about the people around me. As predictable as people like my parents or Shura are, there’s still people who can surprise me…
My name is Saki Enomoto and I should have known better.
As Rika finishes her cigarette, I offer out the soda can so she can dispose of it. She’s looking a lot less tense, that’s for sure. I’m glad. I understand how she could think this is a trap or a trick. Maybe it would have been not too long ago but recently I’ve been hit with some hard truths, a couple from the very girl sitting next to me.
I can’t continue the way I have been, I know that for damn sure, but what that actually means for me and the monster I created is a mystery.
“In the spirit of honesty, Saki,” Rika dreamily says, tilting her head towards me. “I’m glad we could bury the hatchet. I don’t think I could go into my Fontan Procedure with all that guilt.”
“Fondant? Like the cake?” I ask, a curious eyebrow creeping up my forehead. She laughs.
“Fontan. It’s the operation that’s gonna fix my heart. Well, mostly. It’s still not gonna be the same as a regular undamaged heart, but it’ll be the best it can be for me.” She looks down at the gravel. “Still kinda worried what that’ll mean for me going forward though. With me and Hisao.”
“It means you can be whatever the hell you wanna be.” I say, slightly jealous at the idea of a future with some real potential. “And that boy is clearly crazy about you so you better hold on tight to him.”
“Oh, I intend to.” She blushes with a coy little smile. God, I wonder what that feels like. To have someone like they have each other.
“Hey, don’t worry about this shit, ‘kay?” I gesture between the two of us with my spare hand as I pull out another cigarette. “You just focus on your Fondant thing.”
“Thanks, Saki.” She looks at me with those ruby red eyes again as I spark up my cigarette.
“Now get on outta here, you shouldn’t be inhaling this shit!”
My name is Saki Enomoto and I wish I had been honest from the start.
[Shura just told me that bitch who yelled at you confessed to her boyfriend in front of all the boys. What an attention whore!]
I read Ritsu’s text a couple times trying to think what answer she’d be expecting but sigh and say what I really feel. I’m too comfy in this warm blanket of a hooded jacket to play the part I’m expected to.
[So? We hate her, right? We should totes spread some shit about her!]
I frown as I pull the huge floppy hood from Taro’s jacket off my head and type furiously.
[“We” aren’t gonna do shit, understand? Katayama’s getting a pass.]
[Since fucking when? Did you go soft?] She replies and I have to resist the urge to throw my phone against the wall.
[You wanna see how soft I am, fucking push my buttons, see what happens. She’s getting a pass until I say otherwise, got it?] I hope this little game of chicken works because I honestly don’t have anything I can use against Ritsu to make her back off. Well… One thing…
[God, are you on the rag or what? Fine, I’ll leave the bitch alone.] I breath a little sigh of relief and toss my phone to the side, nestling back into my new comfort zone.
My name is Saki Enomoto and I am truly sorry.
My eyes widen as Hisao explains what happened to Rika. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for him, he looks like hell. But here he is - striding into another kind of hell, my music room, to make a proverbial deal with the devil. That’s the reputation I must have from his perspective.
This is the most I’ve ever said to him but ever since I was honest with Rika, a lot of my outlook has changed and I think it’s only fair that I’m as open and honest with him as I was with her.
We share notes about our conditions, and my heart actually hurts thinking about what he and Rika have gone through. What the fuck.
“From everything you told us - all the pressure you've been under, all those expectations foisted upon you, and even all those damn lies weighing you down… All of that would crush any normal person, it certainly would me.” He says as he pinches the bridge of his nose. I don’t know about that, Hisao… You’re still fighting and I bet Rika would be proud to know that if she was here.
“Whether you fall or not… I’d say you’re way past learning to fly, Saki. It sounds to me like you’re defying gravity.” He looks me square in the eyes, a look of determination behind the deep bags under his tired, sunken eyes. I can’t help but giggle as he unintentionally references my favourite musical, much to his surprise.
“That’s kind of a cute thing of you to say, but being too cute has it’s drawbacks too. Someone might take advantage of you.” I say, using my fake sultry voice to illustrate my point. “Someone like me.”
“Will you?” His straightforward question, however, cuts through any illusion I could put up.
“…No.” I answer honestly, my shoulders slumping. It’s been taking so much more effort to perform the lie recently.
“That’s why I’m even here, even considering this… Because she thought you were worth trusting.” He smiles a little as my shocked eyes meet his. Rika… thought I was trustworthy?
I think about what Taro told me back in the art room. I don’t need to be good, I just need to not be bad. I think I can manage that. For her.
“Tell me what you need, Hisao.”