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

15 November, 2005

Chapter Twelve

Mai had spent the night in jail. After the police had viewed the stores video surveillance, they realised Akane was actually at fault. They pieced together what had happened, and the Pet Shop owner had agreed that Mai and Akane had indeed argued while in the pet store. Mai convinced the pet store owner not to prosecute, under the agreement that Akane would be punished severely by Mai and Naoki. Mai had taken a taxi home, and found Akane had already left for school. Even the teachers had noticed a major change in Akane's attitude. She was no longer being a smart Alec kid giving lip whenever she could. She actually seemed to be concentrating on her studies and being attentive. One teacher was surprised when she asked an intelligent question that proved she was paying attention in class. Previously, she had come across as a narcissistic smart arse who thought she would one day marry a success based upon her looks. Today, she was totally different. One of her teachers suspected there was something wrong. She caught Akane before she left for home and asked if there was a problem. Akane just replied that maybe she had grown up. The teacher was perplexed, but did not want to press the point. Whatever had happened, Akane had actually seemed to have changed for the better. The teachers hoped it was for good and not just a passing phase. Still, there was a little discussion amongst the teachers in the staffroom after school. People do not just change over night without something drastic happening in their lives. The school counsellor was convinced it was part of an act, and Akane had something planned in order to draw attention to herself. Akane arrived home to find her mother furious. Mai let go with a tirade of abuse. Akane just took it all in stride. She agreed with Mai on every point. Yes, she had stuck the solution in Mai's handbag. Yes, it was wrong. Yes, she was truly sorry and it would never happen again. Mai did not believe what she was hearing, so she kept on. After a while, Mai had to stop. She had run out of steam. Akane had successfully let Mai vent her anger without once disagreeing and without once complaining. Mai gave up. She told Akane she was grounded for a month and was not going to be allowed to attend the school dance. Akane agreed. This infuriated Mai even more. How dare Akane take all this in stride! How dare she agree. This was supposed to be punishment, yet somehow Akane did not seem to be getting punished at all. It was like Akane had a plan of her own and everything was working in her favour. Mai could not tell what was going through Akane's head either. She was virtually expressionless as Mai let loose her worst on her, calling her a 'Yariman', a slut, and every other insult she could think of. It made Mai feel totally out of control with Akane. Something she did not like the feeling of. She vowed to do something to make Akane wish she had never crossed her. She sent Akane to her room. Ten minutes later, suspecting Akane was watching her Tee Vee, she went in there to tell her off. She was infuriated to find Akane actually studying. Mai unplugged Akane's Tee Vee and took it with her out of the room. Akane did not care in the least. She was determined that she was going to finish high school with the highest possible marks ever. She was going to go to University and make something of herself. The only person she could rely on, was her, and she believed it. Mai would not be there for her, Naoki would not be there for her. Only she would be. Only she could make her life work. After Mai stormed off, Akane studied hard. She knew she could do well. She had wasted most of the year, but she was determined to make up for lost ground. She would talk to her teachers and find out what she needed to do to raise her marks. So far she had chosen to cruise like most of the other students. Now, she was going to exceed them and she was going to be someone. No one, ever, not in the future, not now, was ever going to hold her back or stop her from being all she could be. What other people thought of her did not matter any more. She was in charge of her life, and that was all that mattered. At six she heard Naoki arrive home. Mai went berserk telling him what had happened. Mai still did not know that Naoki had not come home the night before. Akane was not about to tell her. She heard Naoki agree to go talk to Akane. Naoki knocked and sheepishly entered Akane's room. Akane must have known that he had not returned home the previous night. He was now confused. It was the sort of thing that Akane should have, and would have used almost immediately to divert Mai's anger from herself. Naoki was very suspicious about what Akane had planned. 'Your mother is very upset,' said Naoki. 'Yes, I know,' replied Akane. She stopped reading her book and making notes and looked Naoki in the eye. It was a very hard stare, and it almost made Naoki flinch. He felt like he was somehow an intruder, like he did not belong in the room. 'She is very upset,' he said emphasizing the 'very'. 'I said "I know". I know she is upset. I'm sorry already.' 'Hai, alright,' he seemed to be at a loss. 'Well, I think maybe we need to talk.' 'Go ahead.' He entered the room and shut the door. A part of him was afraid. He had come home expecting to have Mai blast him for not coming home. He was expecting something completely different, and somehow the household had changed while he was away. He felt less control over his own house than ever. He felt the women in his life had gained more power over him. On the one hand, Akane knew he had not returned. Mai was still ignorant to this fact, and it was what he had prepared himself to fight. It was like someone had switched all the shoes and the ones he was expecting to wear were not the ones on his feet. He was once again caught on the back foot. On top of this, Kaede now had power over him, thanks to the affair they had started. Moe had power over him, as she was not just his mistress, she was also his boss. His own tangled web just got more complex. Now, he had to deal with Akane, and he had no idea what she wanted. 'You know ... you know I did not come home.' 'Yes.' 'Well, you did not tell Mai.' 'It's none of my business where you sleep at night. Was your slut good? Don't tell me, because I really don't care.' Naoki was more confused. Akane seemed to have the upper hand, but she also did not seem to want to use it. She was in a position that she could have anything. Anything she wanted, yet she had not dared once to name her price. Maybe she was going to use it in the future. Maybe she was waiting for the right moment. Surely she would not. She was surely not that smart. Then again, she sometimes was as smart as a shrew. 'I am at a loss,' he said. 'I don't know what you want. Tell me what you want.' 'I don't want anything! I just want to study. I want to study and go to university! Now if you are not going to say anything, then get out of my room and let me study.' He had almost laughed when she first started. Study was not her style. As she continued though, he realised she was serious. University? She had never ever expressed any interested in studying at university before. 'What do you wish to study?' he asked. 'What do you care?' 'I am just interested, that's all.' 'Your not interested in anything except getting your nob sucked,' she spat at him. That was it, he thought. I will buy her a car.