Sunday, 19 July 2015

Chapter three (segment nine), 2016, August, Nakagawa

Maybe he had pushed the kids a bit too hard, especially those who were really the age they looked. Still, with the Red Rose situation brewing he couldn't afford doing anything else. A suicide was unexpected, even if he secretly was satisfied with the outcome. Rapists deserved death. It was that simple.

Nakagawa looked out through the window and saw how the fashion shots were wrapping up for lunch. Around him the dining hall filled up with their middle management guests and through the door opening to the lobby he could see how the Matsumoto kid ran up the stairs to the rooms. Yukio, was it? Yes, I think so.

The Wakayama twins went straight for his table with the sister giving her brother a bewildered look. You kids aren't supposed to sit here. Ah, my bad, you're not the kids right now, you're in charge of today's events. The brother apparently had a much keener sense of the social game than his sister.

He greeted the twins as they arrived. Today they were colleagues, not principal and students.


“Wakayama-san.” It felt strange to address a student as a peer.

Further back in the hall the Takeida girl stood searching for her friends among the tables with a forlorn expression in her face. Nakagawa rose and waved to her. “Matsumoto-san is upstairs on an errand,” he said to save her some face.

She turned and gave him a surprised look. Then she must have seen the twins seated at the table and hesitantly walked up to them.

“Ryu, have you seen Kuri-chan?” Takeida-san looked at Nakagawa after asking the question. “Sensei.”

To his right Ryu smiled and nodded. “She should be coming back from the beach soon enough. I had Yukio check up on Urufu.” Then he turned his head and looked Nakagawa straight in his face. “I'm out of tricks. If Yukio doesn't manage to get Urufu down here I don't know what we'll do.”

“That makes for an interesting dilemma, wouldn't you say,” Nakagawa said. There wasn't much else he could do. When duty called, and when friends were in trouble, Hamarugen-san would either rise to shoulder the burden, or he was so deeply traumatised by his experience that they'd have to call in experts.

A waiter came with their food and all four of them started to eat. It gave him some time to think about what had happened and give it some context.

And I can only wait and see. Ten years since Ashiga-san arrived and we failed so badly at bringing out his full potential. That was a sobering thought. Meddling was needed, but in Ashiga-san's case it had been the new arrivals who had made his make a stand. Infuriating as his pranks were Nakagawa still preferred to see his old student having a direction in his life once again.

“Is there anything I can do if we have a situation?” Nakagawa asked. He wouldn't be party to actively crashing Hamarugen-san's fledgling business if avoidable.

The Wakayama girl gave him a stare. “Sorry, sensei, but I doubt it,” she said between mouthfuls. “I don't know what your speciality is, but I doubt it involves proactive processing in an event driven environment. After all our educational system can hardly be called a complex ecosystem.”

Nakagawa stared at her. Hamarugen-san, what are you doing to our kids? Changing Japan, starting with this school, wasn't that what you were saying? “That's a novel standpoint,” he observed in lack of anything else to say.

At that time the Matsumoto kid arrived with a frown on his face. He went straight for their table without a semblance of hesitation.

“Yukio?” Takeida-san asked. She looked as if she couldn't decide whether to be happy to see her boyfriend again or worried about the message he brought.

“Sorry, but he's not coming down here.”

“What do we do now?” Takeida-san asked after sharing an exchange of looks with Matsumoto-san. “Where does he want us instead?”

What are they talking about? And they don't seem very worried.
Matsumoto-san shrugged. “He didn't say, but we can't use the dining-hall anyway. The rest of the bunch are coming down the mountain for late lunch, and after that I guess they're off for the beach.”

“Yukio, sit down and eat. I'll take care of it. As long as Urufu says he'll run the afternoon events I really don't care what he's planned.”

The Wakayama twins grinned, and Nakagawa saw how their worries ran off them. With the vigour of youth they started devouring their food, and there was very little conversation around the table after that.

He had another promise to take care of, one he had given to Ageruman-san. Thinking back on how Ashiga-san had developed over the years since his arrival her request made sense, even though Nakagawa was certain she had nothing to worry about. Still, hearing that from a medical expert would be the best way to feel secure.

With a sigh he rose from the table and went in search for Ashiga-san. He wanted someone he trusted to handle the local logistics before he took a taxi to the local airport.

With Hamarugen-san back in action and Ageruman-san never out of it he felt reassured the Red Rose situation could be contained at least until school started again. After that all bets were off and with one of this years arrivals experiencing personal hell in that rat hole Nakagawa could only hope that the problems could be resolved during autumn. After that it would be touch and go with him going into forced retirement.

But first he had that promise to keep. For the first time in over twenty years he was going to ask the enemy for help. They owed him anyway. They had as little interest as he with the direction things were taking at Red Rose, but they were just too involved with that school to afford getting involved with some dirty problem solving.

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