The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

17 November, 2005

Chapter Eighteen

Akane had turned into the typical good student. Her grades had improved and she was no longer the hell raiser she had been in class. Her teachers were impressed and most of them had forgotten their original suspicions regarding her change in behaviour. Her influence had rubbed off on Bob, who had improvements in his grades as well. There relationship had got to the point where she was no longer secretly visiting him at night. She would enter the house via the front door. Her good influence had not gone unnoticed by Bob's parents either. They had heard Bob talking to some girl in his bedroom at night, and his mother had started to listen in with a glass to her bedroom wall. As the pair were not getting up to anything untoward, she allowed it to continue, pretending not to notice Akane's late night arrivals and leavings. The sound of her climbing out of Bob's window some nights could not be missed. Bob's mood improved and he eventually returned to school. One night, Bob's mother decided it was better that everything was out in the open. When she heard Bob and Akane finish their heart to heart one night, she quickly and as quietly as possible went to the front of the house. As Akane came around the corner, Bob's mother gave her the fright of her life. 'Oh my Go...' Akane didn't finish the sentence. 'What is it?' whispered Bob from around the corner. 'It's your mother!' replied Akane. 'Where?' 'Here,' replied Akane. 'Dear,' Bob's mother started. 'From now on, just come and go through the front door. You don't need to sneak in through the window.' 'Um ... Okay,' said Akane. Then she started to laugh. Bob's mother also started to laugh and Bob couldn't help himself, he had to laugh too. 'You gave me such a start!' said Akane. 'Sorry, dear. I just couldn't go on knowing you were climbing in and out of Bob's window all the time. What would the neighbours think?' This made them laugh all the more. They all said their goodbyes and laughed some more, and Akane went home. From that night forward, Akane just used the front door, regardless of the time of night. If it were late, she'd just tap on Bob's window and Bob would let her in through the front door. For Akane, Bob's house became a refuge from her mother. Her mother had also changed. Where as before, she had been an attention seeker, she had now become obsessed with details. Every flaw she could find with Akane was brought up and pounced upon. It became obsessive to the point that even things that were not flaws were attacked. Mai was not trying to, but she was driving a greater wedge between herself and her daughter. Somehow, Akane's new good grades were not good enough either. If she scored ninety five percent on a test, Mai would want to know why she had not managed one hundred percent. Nothing Akane did was ever good enough any more. Mai would wander through the house trying to find something out of place, as though making the house perfect would somehow cause Naoki to return. Her work suffered and she was given time off by the doctor. Whenever she found something wrong in the house, it was somehow always Akane's fault. The curtains left slightly ajar. The carpet tassels moved out of alignment. Some dust the vacuum cleaner had somehow missed. It was all Akane's fault! Akane's imperfections were driving her crazy, and she honestly believed if she and her daughter had been more perfect, then Naoki would never have left. Mai also resented the fact that Akane would also go out at night. She had grounded Akane for the shop lifting incident, and Akane had taken it all in stride. She had not complained once concerning her punishment. She had even done everything that she was told to do, but it just was not good enough. When she did the washing up, Mai could always find some food Akane had managed to miss on the plates. A small piece of green here, a little speck of something else there. It just wasn't perfect enough. These were the little things that had driven Naoki away. These were the things she had to fix so that he would come back. Mai grounded Akane for life. Not that Akane cared. She just ignored her mother. She had got to the point that she thought her mother was mentally unstable. Mai started an argument with her. The carpet tassels were not perfectly straight again. Akane must have dragged her feet walking across them. Akane suggested it might have been the cat. Mai exploded! Everything was wrong with this daughter of hers! She yelled at her, she screamed at her, and for some reason Akane could just not get it right. Akane, just stood there, listened and when Mai ran out of words, Akane simply left the house and went over to see Bob. Mai was more furious than even before. She went searching the house for anything to blame Akane for. Eventually, she went to Akane's room, and in a fit of rage, upturned all the furniture she could. If her daughter wanted to act like a pig, she could live like one. Akane returned after midnight. Mai was already asleep. Akane switched on her bedroom light to discover the mess. She just shook her head in disgust. Her mother was really loosing it. She felt so sorry for her mother, but what was there to do. Akane cleared the debris from her bed and tidied the room as best she could. She went to sleep.