Monday, December 13, 2010

Return – Chapter 7

While Feed was at Jusho High, a man calling himself Saga was visiting Nakajima's high-rise apartment building in Suginami Ward. He was impeccably dressed and his speech and mannerisms were those of a gentleman. But Nakajima's mother had never even heard of any organization called the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office. From the man's appearance, it appeared that this organization held a lot more power than the police. How did these people have any connection with her son?

"Ma'am, we really need your assistance in our investigation. For Akemi-kun's sake, too..."

Nakajima's mother had not heard anything from her son about what had happened to him at Jusho High that day. But ever since he had practically materialized from thin air in their living room, she sensed a warmth in Nakajima's eyes that had not been present before. They were caring eyes, full of a kindness that looked to her for aid and yet was there to protect her as well. He hadn't said anything; instead he had sat there with her, deep in thought. She had suppressed her urge to ask him what had happened to him while he had been missing, for some reason sensing that Akemi would go far away again if she did. Finally, as if he had gotten his thoughts together, Akemi had stood up and gone to his room, falling into a deep sleep the moment his head hit his pillow. But that was enough for his mother. Her mother's intuition told her that he had been through something terrible in the short week he had been gone.

I don't know what happened to him. But at the very least, Akemi didn't abandon me. Nakajima's mother felt a new love for her son from the bottom of her heart.

I won't let anyone threaten Akemi, regardless of who they are!

Unsure of what to do in the face of her harsh stare, Saga fished in his shirt pocket for a carton of cigarettes.

"I'm sorry, but could you lend me an ashtray?"

The moment he opened his mouth, the doorbell rang. Nakajima's mother immediately stood up and picked up the intercom hanging on the wall.

"....yes. Your colleague just arrived. Hold on a minute, I'll let you in."

Pursing her lips together as if she had come to a decision, she headed toward the foyer. Smiling bitterly, the man returned his cigarette to its box and followed after her.


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