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Part 3: Questions

August 22, 2009

Her father steps out of the car, briefcase in hand, looking tired from a long day at work. He notices his daughter standing there. “Chiasa?” he gasps, “Why are you outside in your night clothes?” …

Chiasa quickly hides the sword behind her back. “Dad.” she blushes, trying to think up a convincing lie, “I-” “I know you can’t wait to see your dad,” he giggles, “But that’s so silly and inappropriate! What if the neighbors saw? Let’s head inside, before you mother finds out and have a temper tantrum!” He hugs his daughter, still laughing at the situation. Chiasa is relieved that she’s not in trouble, “Sure, dad. How was your day?” “Ah,” he growls, “Tough, as usual. I never thought I’d get out of the office! So very busy there today, with new clients and all. I hope I didn’t miss diner, or your mother will be pissed!”

They walk indoors and Chiasa quickly whisk the sword to her room. She looks around, trying to find a good place to hide it, so that her parents will never know that she has a weapon, of course. She knew she would get in serious trouble by both, in spite of her father’s good nature. She decided to hide it the closet, behind some of her old boxes of drawings and such. She closes the door and slides down to the floor, drained.

“What did he mean by, the true woman in me?” she frowns, facing her lap, “And what did he mean by me not being a child? I don’t understand any of this! Am I dreaming?” The door opens and Ryu pokes his head in. “You should knock first.” says Chiasa, more of statement, then with any anger. She was too tired to be angry now. “It’s time for dinner!” he smiles, “You should get dressed, you know how mom hates it when you come to the table in your night-clothes!”

Chiasa pulled herself from the floor, her body felt heavy like lead. She was just too drained and confused to think straight. She quickly pulled on a purple sweater and tan shorts, and headed downstairs.

At the table, the family talked cheerfully. Mother shared about her day, Ryu talked about his baseball practice, father shared about his day with new clients at the banking company he works for. Chiasa was quiet and without much emotion, nibbling at her meal. She wasn’t really hungry, but tried to keep up appearances, so that her family wouldn’t worry.

She now noticed that her features were different from her family… she had paler skin, long dark hair, the epitome of a Japanese Beauty. Everyone else had average brown hair, a more different complexion, and different various features. “Why…” she thought, “Why am I thinking about this now? Why haven’t I noticed this until now? Why is it only when that strange guy said something about it, I’m… wondering?” “Was I adopted?” she blurts, not realizing that her words escaped her thoughts.

Everyone gives her a stunned look and Chiasa is also stunned that she said it out-loud. “W-what?” chokes her father, “Where did THAT come from?” “Oh, sorry.” she blushes, “I was just thinking, that I don’t have your brown hair or complexion. It’s silly, really!”  “Ha!” laughs mother, “Yes, it is! You take after your Aunt Kira, my sister, she was always the classic beauty.” “Uh, oh!” teases father, “Do I hear some jealously in your voice?” “No, don’t be silly!” gasps mother, waving her hand, “I love my sister, dearly! There is no jealousy in it.” “It sounds like a little jealousy” giggles Ryu. “You see!” laughs father, “I wasn’t the only one who heard it in your voice! Ha-ha-ha!”

Their jeers and teasing mother fade into the background of Chiasa’s mind. Something didn’t seem right here, there were so many unanswered questions, so few answers. “I’m going to bed.” Chiasa stands from the table and bow, “Thanks for the meal, mom.” “Okay,” smiles mother, “Have a good rest.” Father and Ryu are still snickering about their teasing, as Chiasa leaves the table.

But sleep didn’t visit Chiasa, as she lay in her bed, staring at her white ceiling. She wanted answers, she wanted to know why was her life being turned-upside down, why her? “I’ll just have to find him and make him answer me.” she thought, but then sighed. How would she ever find a guy, with only a first name. And it could be a fake name, just given to her for the sake of argument. “Morioka”, another question without an answer. Many hours later, Chiasa’s eyes finally closes, and she drifted off to sleep.

By the next morning, her friends were ready to do their routine of running ahead, but saw the dark circles around Chiasa’s eyes. “Wow….” gasps Anna, “Did you stay up too late, studying?” “Studying?” asks Chiasa half dazed, then freaks out, “Oh, no!! I forgot to study!!! I mean, I did start it, but I never finished it!!! If I fail, it’s going to be all of his fault!” “His?” asks Mina, “Who are you talking about?” “Oh, I knew it!” giggles Anna, “You DO have a new boyfriend!” “I do not NOT!!!” shrieks Chiasa, flailing her arms wildly, “Will you quit with the ‘boyfriend’ stuff!? I’m going to fail the test!” She slumps slightly, “Oh, I can’t believe this… my luck just keeps getting worse.”

“Don’t worry,” smiles June, grabbing her arm, “You are the smartest person the class! I’m sure you’ll make it though. Just try your best.” “Yeah,” nods Anna, “And since you’re so bright, I’m sure if you don’t pass, the teacher will allow you to do a make-up one.” “I guess.” moped Chiasa, staring at the ground, defeated. “Come on, you guys!” says Mina, bored with it all, “We better catch the train!” The girls walk toward the station, together this time, with a very mopey Chiasa.

After the horror of taking a test, unprepared, Chiasa mind wandered back on the strange guy and the questions. She came up with a plan… Kain had found her, so maybe it would work in reverse, in her being able to find him. But how? She thought more, “Well, I could try the business district. A guy with a car like that is bound to have a job!” So, it was settled… she would seek him out, afterschool… only she forgot one thing…

“Aww!” whined June in the courtyard, after school, “You promised you would come with us to the new sundae shop today!” “I know,” says Chiasa, “I’m so very sorry! I have an errand to run today, but please, I promise tomorrow I will!” “Well,” sighed Anna, in deep thought, “If you have something to do, and it’s important, I think we can understand that… right?” “Yes,” Chiasa bowed, “It’s so very important.” “Okay,” shrugs Mina, “We’ll see you tomorrow, then! Let’s go girls, before all of the good toppings are sold out.”

Chiasa watched as the girls faded into a crowd. She hated to break promises, but she was telling the truth, this was very important to her. The business district wasn’t too far away from the school, so Chiasa just walked a while. When she got there, it was so very busy and crowded, many people were moving fast from one place to another. One tall and balding business man, wearing an expensive suit, nearly ran into her on the sidewalk. He seemed more annoyed that she was in his way, than that he was sorry for the near accident. Chiasa almost wondered if this was a good idea, doubtful now that she would find Kain, in the sea of people. “It was worth a try.” she sighed, disappointed.

She turned to leave for the train station, when she saw him, just two feet away… He was leaving an office building, his car keys in hand. Kain and Chiasa’s eyes locked in a stare of utter suprise…

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