“Hakaru?” her voice came over the telephone with a curious tone.
It was Sunday, one day left before I went to school and started my plan to earn the credit I needed to save my sister. However, I was antsy and thus decided to try to settle a few other issues and get my cards in order. First off was Akiko, who I had never ended things with completely. I didn’t know if I could deactivate my locked promise over the phone, but I should have been able to. Either way, I didn’t want to see her in person anymore, and talking over the phone seemed the best way to resolve the issue.
“Yeah, it’s me.” I responded, “I heard that you dumped Derek.”
There was silence on the phone for a moment. “I realized… that he wasn’t the one for me.”
“Yeah… I know. You couldn’t wait to suck Jack’s dick, right?”
“It isn’t like that!” Akiko’s voice sounded angry. “What Jack and I have is…”
“He’s manipulating you, you know?” I snorted, not really able to keep the anger from my voice and not caring how she took it. “He has an ability. Sort of like my promise, but different. He’s just with you to make me angry.”
“What? You know?” I couldn’t believe the filth that came from Akiko’s lips.
“He’s not manipulating me,” Akiko said. “I’m with him because that was the choice I made. Do you understand?”
“Yeah… I understand.” I responded bitterly. “You like assholes.”
“Yeah… I do…” Akiko shot back. “You can’t understand. Why are you calling anyway? Aren’t you busy making other women leave their boyfriends and ruin their lives?”
“I came to tell you it’s off.”
“The promise. I wasn’t clear before. I am now. You owe me nothing. I owe you nothing. Your promise has been lifted. Okay?”
There was another pause. “Is that all you wanted?”
“Then… thank you.” Her voice sounded strangely genuine.
“I feel… more… confident for some reason, now that you said that. I no longer doubt…”
This girl was really aggravating to talk to. At first, I thought she was just being mindfucked by Jack just like my sister Maria. However, now that I talked to her, she felt more lucid. That meant that she was with Jack on her own volition. At least, that’s what she claimed. Was Jack just feeding her lines so that he could screw with me even more? Or, was Akiko an even bigger whore than I could ever imagine.
“Goodbye.” I ended the conversation quickly with a click.
I leaned back and gave a sigh afterwords. With that, my relationship with Akiko was completely over. Even if I did gain a certain skill and use it on her, it would be absolutely useless. She had her own interests, and I had no desire to chase her anymore. I had my fun, and now we were done. Maria was a different story though. She was my sister, and I loved her. I wouldn’t allow her to be manipulated by that bastard.
I walked over to her room and knocked on her door lightly. The door cracked open a moment later, and Maria popped her head out. She was always introverted, but since whatever Jack had done to her, she had rarely left her room. Thankfully, he hadn’t been back since that last embarrassing time, but that had more to do with Mother always being home than anything. Jack was half-American and was definitely someone she wouldn’t approve of. She would kick him out on his ass, and even manipulation wouldn’t be enough to stop her. That was the level of her dislike of white men.
“Hakaru… what is it?”
“Maria.” The second I saw her, my heart throbbed just a bit. “The thing about next week…”
“I don’t want to get into it with you,” Maria blushed and looked away. “What you did last week was wrong…”
“Maria, the Halloween party…” I tried to redirect her conversation, but I had a feeling she was not hearing me at all.
“Just be lucky that I won’t tell anybody about what happened.” Maria’s voice sounded forced and bitter, “If dad or mom knew about what you did, they would definitely be angry. This is my last warning…”
“You don’t want to do this…”
“Jack is my boyfriend now. I’m only with Jack. Next week, I’ll be the most popular girl in school. Jack will make me popular. He said it.”
“Can you just promise me something? Can you promise me that whatever you do, it will be what you really want to do?” I asked.
Maria froze for a second but then sighed. “Jack said you would try to make me promise things, and that I shouldn’t go along with it. Jack is looking out for me.”
“He’s going to ruin you!” My voice rose just a bit. “He’s going to embarrass you in front of everyone! He doesn’t care about you at all.”
“It’s enough… Hakaru.” Maria bit her lip. “Please leave me alone from now on.”
Maria closed the door right on my face. I wanted to start knocking again, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I knew her answers would be the same. She’d deflect and ignore me. Getting her to accept a promise, any promise, was completely impossible. My fists clenched to the point I thought they’d bleed, but I finally let go. None of this was new information. What Netori had told me I needed to do was no different than before. Tomorrow would be the day I’d confront my teacher and finally earned the points I’d need.
“Hakaru?” A voice came from the living room.
It was Mother, who was currently on the television watching something. I walked out and let out a noise, turning away.
“Mother… shouldn’t you wear something a bit more decent in public?”
“Eh?” Mother was on the couch, wearing nothing but a robe. “We’re in private though?”
It looked like she had just taken a bath and come out. She was now drinking sake. Her face was flushed and her hair was wet and matted to her face. However, the robe she wore wasn’t done up at all, and the result was that it was wide open. I got an eye of a black patch of fur and a boob before I managed to turn away a tad too late
“This is the family room. We all live here?” I tried to explain helplessly while avoiding seeing her private parts.
“Oh, hoh, is my little Hakaru uncomfortable?” her voice turned playful, and her eyes lowered like a predator. “Aren’t we all just family? You know, it wasn’t so long ago you used to suck these nipples for food. And you actually came out of this vagina too. You didn’t find it too uncomfortable when you were being born!”
“I feel like those are two completely different things!” I murmured, “Besides, dad wouldn’t be…”
“Dad!” I winced as she snapped the word like a curse word, “Your father is too busy banging other women to give a damn about me!”
“Mother, that’s…” I wanted to say it wasn’t true, but after this weekend, I had first-hand knowledge of dad’s actions.
I had seen him flat out with another woman, Mrs. Fukumi, and had also seen him openly pursuing other women to boot. Last night, he was probably engaging in a couple swap or an orgy with a bunch of other women. He only would have finished up this morning and was likely sleeping off the afternoon before moseying on home. Mother didn’t know the specifics, and I had no desire to describe them to her, but I also couldn’t bring myself to lie to her.
“Hakaru… how would you feel, if I started seeing another man?” Mother asked out of the blue.
My eyes immediately turned back to her. Mother had already closed her robe, but she wore a serious expression on her face.
“Who? Why?” I demanded, not able to help a flicker of anger on my face.
Dad was a deadbeat. He had sex with many women and likely had many children. I couldn’t begin to guess why he married my mother. Perhaps she was the first and it was originally him trying to take responsibility. I wanted to ask, but I felt like this was the wrong time to bring up those kinds of questions. However, that didn’t mean that I was okay with Mom openly cheating too. In some ways, I just felt like she was better than that. It made me sad to think of my mom going out and being with other men. Sad… and a little bit angry as well.
Mother suddenly started chuckling. “Mm? Is my son suddenly jealous?”
“Yes!” I said, half trying to play it as a joke. “I’m your son. If Father dies, isn’t my responsibility to be the man of the house? If that’s the case, and dad isn’t a good enough man, then I’ll still be your man!”
Mother gave a surprised look, her eyes widening, but then a moment later she broke into laughter. “Is that so? I’m Hakaru’s woman?”
I blushed while Mother laughed hard enough that tears started coming out of her eyes.
“Mother… if you ever choose to leave dad… I’ll make sure to take care of you.” I spoke carefully with a solid expression.”
Mother’s laughter died down and she gave me a serious expression. “If that’s how you feel. Then, perhaps, one day, I’ll make you take responsibility for your words.”
“Hmm?” I turned back to her, but her expression was completely unreadable.
“The reason I called you is because of Mrs. Fukumi, your teacher.” She skillfully changed the subject.
“Mrs. Fukumi!” I let out a cry of surprise as I backed up a bit. “What about her?”
That was the last name I expected to hear from my mother. Mrs. Fukumi was supposed to be finishing up her trip with my father. Just two days ago, I had sex with her. There was no way she could have recognized me, was there? My mind was moving a mile a minute as I tried to reason what had gone wrong. Would Kira have confronted her mom? Did she realize who I was when she woke up?
Mother shot me a suspicious look but shrugged casually. “She has asked you to come over to her home tonight. She said it wasn’t work related.”
“I-is that so?” I said, my voice breaking for a bit.
“It is strange that she contacted you to come over to her house on a Sunday, but weren’t you close friends with her daughter? I think she wishes to talk to you about her.” Mother offered.
I asked Mother a few more questions, but she didn’t have any more information than that, which left me a bit flustered. If this had to do with Kira, then I needed to find out. I grabbed the cell phone and looked for Kira’s number which I had only gotten recently that weekend. Mother was watching me with a frown on her face.
“So, you’re still close to that girl?” She asked, and then murmured some words I could barely hear. “I suppose I can allow him to have a little bit more practice.”
“Huh?” I shot mom a look, but she already downed her glass of sake and had rolled up on the couch, turning her television up to full volume.
That was always Mom’s way of letting me know that the conversation was over. Not really understanding what she was on about, I turned and went to my room to make the call. The phone started ringing.
“Hakaru?” Kira answered after a few rings, somewhat out of breath.
“Your mother asked me to come over. Any idea what this is about?”
“…” Kira didn’t say anything for a moment, “Hakaru-kun… I’m sorry, but I’m going to need to ask you for a favor.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“I need you to come over to the house and pretend to be my boyfriend.” She said softly.
“Your boyfriend?” I responded in disbelief. “Why, what about your real boyfriend?”
“Mother… she can’t know about him. My only choice is to bring a decoy.”
“Is that so…” I didn’t feel thrilled about the idea.
I could already reason what happened. Kira’s mom came home and perhaps found a used condom or something, and then started pushing Kira about it to hide her guilt about her on infidelity. Kira finally claimed she had a boyfriend, but not wanting him to see her mom, she thought of a childhood friend who was already at a point where he could keep a secret. Now, Mrs. Fukumi called me to invite me over to chat. It was possible she wanted to give us the talk, or something like that.
“Kira… about that…”
“My father is gone tonight…” Kira said suddenly.
“Really?” I asked, mostly confused at why she suddenly brought that up. “What’s that got to do…”
“If you want to blackmail my mother and rape her, tonight is your best chance.”
I let out a noise of surprise but then sighed after thinking about it for a few moments. Kira was the student council president. She was a brilliant girl, not a dunce. She must have figured at least some of my goals out. She figured out I was aiming for her mother the entire time. I had no clue how to respond. I was caught red-handed. At this point, there was only one way I could respond.
“I’ll be there.”