Reads: 187

Kosuke dropped in unexpectedly that night. Reina was reading My Crazy Girlfriend when the black-haired boy entered her room. He was smiling, and he said, “Hey, Rei!”

Reina looked up from her book, then shut it. “Kosuke? What brings you here?” She was in her pajamas, and was about to slip into bed before long.

Kosuke moved further from the door, revealing a rolled-up sleeping bag under his arm. He unrolled it on the opposite side of her room, unzipping the side. “I got permission from both my mom and yours to spend the night. They're even giving me the option to live here for the rest of this week.”

Reina sighed, realizing that this was becoming a problem. She said, “I do believe that you are taking this to an extreme that I am not comfortable with.”

“Maybe so, but I don't want to lose you to some crazy ax murderer.” Kosuke said, his smile replaced with a solemn look.

Reina was being pushed to her limit. With a glare and a sour look on her face, she threw the manga she had been reading down onto the floor. She rose from her futon and shouted, “Get the hell out of our house!”

Kosuke stared at Reina with startled confusion. He said, “Excuse me?

Reina stormed out of her room and to the kitchen. Her mother was doing the dishes and had just placed a wet knife in the dish drainer next to the sink. Reina snatched up the knife and headed back to her room with it. Her mother did a double take and asked after her, concern in her voice, “Ah, Reina, what are you doing?”

Kosuke was coming out of her room when Reina moved to grab him. He dodged her hand, then noticed the knife in her hand. His eyes went huge and he screamed, “Mrs. Honda!” He then ran for the front door as Reina went to stab him.

Reina's mother came out of the kitchen and gasped in horror, then screeched, “Honda Reina!” She ran towards her daughter and demanded, “Drop the knife!”

Reina had almost made it to the door when her mother hugged her, pinning her arms to the sides. Reina struggled, and tried to stab her mother. Her mother cried out, “Hikaru! Help me!”

Mr. Honda charged out of the bedroom and wrestled the slick knife out of Reina's grasp. He threw it to the other side of the living room, then wrapped his arms around his wife and their daughter to help restrain Reina. Mrs. Honda started singing a soft lullaby in an attempt to calm Reina down. Tears were beginning to form in her eyes. Reina eventually calmed down, just standing there, struggling no more. Her parents let her go, at first cautiously, before deciding it was okay to let Reina go. However, after letting Reina go, Mrs. Honda went right back to hugging Reina.

She started to weep, and the two sunk to the floor. Mrs. Honda cried in Reina's hair, and started gently rocking Reina side to side, similar to how she would a small child. Reina just looked up at her father, unfazed by everything that had just happened. He was giving her that hard look of displeasure, but that too carried no weight for her. Mr. Honda said, “Explain yourself.”

“Keep Kosuke out of this house.” Reina said.

“Why?” Her father asked.

“He's been harassing me nonstop for the past few days.” Reina replied.

“Even if that is true, did it really excuse what you did?” The man was clueless per the usual when it came to Reina's life, but it didn't stop him from stepping up when needed. He was oblivious to the murder that almost happened in this house. He just knew that whatever Reina did was too much for her mother to handle alone, and he was doing what he thought was most appropriate for the situation.

Reina decided to let that question hang in the air, and she looked to her mother. The woman was still sobbing. Mr. Honda went to retrieve the knife and place it in the kitchen sink. Mrs. Honda seemed to find the strength to cease crying, and she let go of Reina and stood back up, wiping her tears away on her hands. They looked wrinkled due to being submerged for a while, and she was rather diligent when it came to washing the dishes. Reina got up and saw her father come back into the room. He asked Mrs. Honda, “Have you recovered?”

Mrs. Honda nodded, saying, “Thank you. Yes, I think so.”

Mr. Honda went back into the master bedroom to continue his work, and Mrs. Honda told Reina, “You're grounded for the rest of the week. Go to bed.” She seemed emotionally and physically exhausted. Reina did as told, and she went back to reading My Crazy Girlfriend on her futon.

***

Reina woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but the voices that drifted from her parents' bedroom drew her attention. “She's broken, it is time to accept that.” That was her father's voice. Reina lingered outside her parents' bedroom door, out of their sight.

“No she isn't! She's perfectly normal!” Her mother insisted, sounding desperate.

“You have been saying that for years, yet she keeps proving otherwise.” Her father sounded neutral as he usually did. That is, when he wasn't scolding Reina for something she did.

“You don't know her like I do! Yes, she is different from other girls her age, but she's just misunderstood! Maybe we made the wrong choice in setting Kosuke up as her friend.”

“I think we adopted a child that isn't okay. What normal child tries to stab her only friend?” Her father said, and Reina knew the implication. He knew Reina wasn't mentally sound, while her mother was too stubborn to see it.

“Well what do you suppose we do? We can't just take her back! Not when she's this old!” Her mother was sounding more angry than desperate now.

“We do the best we can. We can have her committed somewhere.” Her father responded.

Mrs. Honda started to sob. “No! She's still our baby!”

“Perhaps, but do you know what people will say about us if Reina acts out and kills someone? We will become the family responsible for creating a killer. Do you know how that will reflect on my job?” Such a concern was not atypical for a man around here. After all, it was usually the husbands that worked and the wives that stayed at home with the kids. Her mother had started crying after those words, and Reina had lost interest in further eavesdropping on the conversation. She went to take care of business then she went back to bed.



Submitted: March 19, 2021

© Copyright 2022 A. Rhetters. All rights reserved.

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