EIDBT – April 13, 2011
Dear diary: today, I made a new friend.
Remember that kid who always seemed to be getting hurt around me? Well, it happened again today. Another bike mishap put him inside a trash can. To be honest, it wasn’t as funny as the last two times he got punished by the world. I really didn’t want to see this happening every day, so I decided to actually help him out this time. After thanking me, he introduced himself as Hanamura Yosuke. I was feeling a little annoyed at his constant blunders, so instead of asking him if he was okay, I asked about his bike. I think he got the point a bit.
Because that’s now the thing to talk about, Yosuke brought up the murder.
“Do you think it was some kinda warning? There’s no way something that weird could’ve been an accident.”
I agreed, though in the back of my mind, I was still keeping that note about getting it on on a rooftop in the foreground.
“Danging a dead body over a roof like that… That’s just messed up. Then again, it’s pretty messed up to kill someone in the first place.”
That’s true. Then again, there have been some pretty crazy cases back home from time to time.
Not that I’m proud of it, but Yosuke offered me a ride to school on his bike. With him. Sigh, I’m not happy that the first person I got that close to in this new town was a guy.
School was more or less normal. I’m getting used to Morooka lecturing the class about not listening to him during lectures. When most of his lectures are him complaining about how we’re all scum, most of us tune it out automatically. I have to say, I’m already looking forward to Sunday. Having a break from this will at least let me get my sleep in a bed rather than at a desk.
After school, Yosuke, probably taking our little bonding session on the bike to heart, came and talked to me.
“There isn’t much to do here compared to the big city, but there is that certain… something you can’t get anywhere else. The air’s clean, the food’s great… Oh, you know about the local delicacy? It’s grilled steak, man! Like that’s anything special, huh? I know a place where you can get it cheap. Wanna come? You helped me out this morning, so it’s on me.”
Hey, free grilled steak is free grilled steak. I started getting ready to leave when Chie cornered us.
“What about me, huh? No apologies?” “My ‘Trial of the Dragon'”
“Urgh… You always come around when I’m talking about food…”
Chie invited Yukiko to come along, but she refused, saying that she had to help out at her family’s inn. I like to think that I’m pretty good at reading people, so when Chie asked Yukiko if she was training to take over the inn, I saw that Yukiko was uncomfortable with the notion. I can get not wanting to take over an inn… That must be boring as hell.
The three of us walked to our destination, which seemed to be a Junes. I thought that it would be strange if a department chain store had local specialties, but it turns out that Yosuke took us there because he couldn’t afford anything but fast food once Chie tagged along. I learned that Yosuke’s family manages this Junes; in fact, he moved here half a year ago. I didn’t know that he was a transfer student like myself. Maybe it’ll be nice to have another person with an outside perspective on this town around.
Chie commented that the shopping district was suffering because of Junes. I can see that being the case; back home, you had to be a big business to survive. If you were small, you were either shut down fairly quickly, or you had to be very special. But whatever, I’ll be gone in a year. If it’s more convenient for me to go to Junes to get something, I don’t care if it hurts the local economy.
Yosuke noticed someone sitting down at another table in the foodcourt, and got up to talk to her. For a moment, I was proud, I thought he had actually got himself a girl. Chie was quick to correct that though. Damnit, I was hoping that that were true; it would have made the bike ride this morning a little less awkward. Yosuke went to talk to her for a while, when she noticed me and came over to talk to me. That’s right, the chick magnet is at full power. She started to talk to me; the just of it was that Yosuke was kind of a loser and that I should get better friends. I agreed with her, because hey, I don’t know Yosuke well enough to put him ahead of a potential target, know what I mean? Understandably, Yosuke tried to stop that conversation. With that, Saki (her full name is Konishi Saki, by the way) left to go back to work.
I learned that Saki’s family owns a liquor store in the town. They’re one of the companies that are losing money right now due to Junes butting in. There might be a way to use that to my advantage… I’ll keep you updated on that. As soon as Yosuke sat back down, Chie immediately started mocking him, comparing their relation to some tragedy of star-crossed lovers, since their families are opposed to each other. I found it pretty funny. The girl acts stupid sometimes, but she occasionally has a solid thought. Well, that’s what I thought until she started talking again.
“You ever hear of the Midnight Channel? You’re supposed to look into a TV that’s turned off, alone, exactly at midnight on a rainy night. While you’re staring at your own image, another person will appear on the screen… And they say that person’s your soulmate.”
Well, I guess people out in the sticks here have got to have something to keep them occupied I guess. Yosuke agreed with me:
“What? For a second, I thought you were actually going to say something useful…”
Chie tried to defend herself, and challenged us to try and watch the Midnight Channel tonight (because it’s currently raining). Apparently, she had never tried it before either. I let out a light sigh at that. Once again, Yosuke chimed in:
“Wow, I’m trying to remember the last time I heard something this stupid…”
After we finished dinner, I headed back home, where I had another dinner alone with Nanako. She seemed put off by this, so I asked if Dojima had called or not. Nanako told me that he hadn’t:
“No. He always says he will…”
In a merciful act of timing, Dojima came home just then. While Nanako was busy scolding him for being so late, I thanked my luck that I wouldn’t have to deal with cheering her up any more.
The news that night was concerning the murder. The reporters had found the high-school student that found the body, and I almost faceplanted when I saw who it was. Her face was blurred out, but it was obviously Saki. No wonder she looked so exhausted when she was talking to me… Coming across a dead body must be pretty traumatizing. Dojima scoffed at the reporting of the case. I agree; the reporters were taking a lot of liberties with the crap they were spewing.
Once the report was over, a Junes commercial came on. Nanako sang along to it. Shut up, it’s cute. She asked Dojima if we could have a family trip to Junes, but Dojima was asleep. It must be exhausting dealing with a case like that…
And so here I am, with about 20 minutes left until midnight. I’m going to stare into the TV, then come to school tomorrow and chide Chie about believing rumours she hears.