Anna's friends come from California to Japan to find out what really happened to her. Plus, Anna herself accepts her condition.
Chapter Five: Crowded House:
August 2000. The classes began at San Diego University. Anna entered her Japanese literature class. She didn’t really choose these classes. The school chose them for her. The new freshman looked around the classroom. Not many students were here at the moment. She made it here early, she judged.
Anna picked a desk on the front row and sat down. The glass box went up around her. Once again, she expected to be alone. That soon changed.
The freshman felt someone tap her on the shoulder. Anna slowly turned around. A cute blonde-haired girl smiled at her. She looked like a teenage model. The girl smiled at Anna.
“Hi!” she chirped. The Japanese-American looked at her blankly for a moment. The blonde grinned at her. She held out her hand.
“I’m Rebecca Campbell!” she introduced herself. “But you can call me Becky!” Anna looked on nervously. Becky smiled at her still.
“You doing anything after this class?” she asked. Anna blinked once.
“No, why?” she asked. Becky clapped her hand together cheerfully.
“Great!” she chirped. “There is a great club I want to introduce you to!” Anna looked confused.
“Okay…” she said. Becky leaned in close smiling. Anna backed up some. Her acquaintance grinned like a little kitty.
“Come on!” she cheered. "It’ll be fun!” Anna looked at her nervously. She didn’t know how to answer at first. Becky smiled on still. She was just pushing the girl. Anna sighed in surrender.
“Okay,” she said reluctantly. “I’ll go check it out!” Her acquaintance cheered to herself.
“Sweet!” she said. “You won’t regret it!”
May 2009. Anna was still looking up information about the Hell Stone when she heard the door slid open. She looked up to see a little girl looking at her. Anna looked on confused. The little girl looked on the same.
“Hello?” Anna asked her.
“Hi,” the little girl said. The woman studied the girl closely. She looked like a little cutie. Her black hair was out with two long skinny ponytails on the sides. Little pink bows held them in place. Her face put Hello Kitty to shame in the cute department. Her rosy cheeks looked so full. Anna saw a younger innocent version of herself in the girl’s big sweet caramel brown eyes. The school uniform of a mini-sailor girl completed her look. The little dark blue skirt seemed so fluffy and inviting. Her matching blouse and big white bow on her chest opened the door to innocence. Anna’s glass box began to crack. The little girl stared on at Anna.
“Are you a ghost?” she asked. Sweat drop on Anna’s head “/A ghost?!?/” she thought. “/Really now?!?/” Yet, Anna went along with the façade.
“Uh… yeah…” she said. “I am a ghost!” Pretty cheesy, but what else could she do? She couldn’t chase her away. The kid probably wouldn’t leave. Not easily anyway.
“What is your name?” Anna asked. The little girl smiled at her.
“I’m Tanaka Yoko!” she said. “What’s your name?” Anna smiled at her some.
“Anna,” she replied. “Kimoto Anna.” A pause came over them for a moment. Yoko’s eyes lit up brightly.
“Ooo!” she said. “Are you related to the man that died here?” Anna paused nervously for a moment. She suddenly wished she hadn’t said her surname. Seems to her that the Kimoto name had some negative stigma attached to it. She didn’t want to scare the little girl away. Anna looked down at her feet.
“Yes,” she mumbled. “He was my father.” Yoko looked intrigued.
“Really?” she asked.
“Yes,” Anna answered. “But he was a good man!” She forced herself to calm down at the last bit. “/Why are you getting angry?/” she thought. “/The kid’s not accusing papa of anything. She just asked a simple question. Calm down!/” Time to change the subject.
“So, what are you doing here, Yoko-chan?” Anna asked when she felt better. The little girl smiled at her.
“I live here with my mom!” she chirped. Anna froze at that one. Her face dropped instantly.
“What?” she asked.
“That’s right!” Yoko said grinning. Anna’s mind slowly sank into panic. This child’s mother had bought Kimoto Manor after all! Anna dropped her head in her hands. This was bad, really bad! And it would only get worse.
It did at Tokyo Airport. Becky Campbell and some of Anna’s college friends had landed there. Becky looked around through her dark iris blue shades. She was on a mission. Becky turned to her friends.
“Okay guys,” she said sternly. “We are here to find the truth. We will not leave the country until we find out what really happened to our dear Anna! You got me?”
“Right!” the rest of the California friends agreed. Becky got out her English version of her guide around Tokyo.
“So,” she said. “Shall we go to the police first or get settled?”
“Settled!” the others yelled.
“Okay,” their leader said. “We’ll eat and then go to the hotel.” They all liked that idea. Becky looked in her guide for a good restaurant for dinner.
“Hey, there’s a MacDonald’s nearby here!” she said. A brunette in jeans a Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon t-shirt peered at the leader.
“How nearby?” she asked. Becky read on. The others waited. Their leader looked up smiling.
“About eight miles,” she answered. The group thought about that for a moment.
“Alright,” the brunette spoke up. “Fine then.” Becky clapped her hands together.
“Good!” she said. “Let’s go to MacDonald’s!” The crew headed out of the airport once they got their luggage.
Meanwhile at Kimoto Manor, Anna had trouble adjusting. First, she learned that the stone keeping her alive could kill her at any moment. Now, her house had been sold. All in the span of one day. Anna lied on her futon staring at the ceiling. Suicide, huh? That would never fly with Becky and them. Knowing her, she would gather up the old photo club, fly to Japan, and start digging for the truth. Ah, good old Becky! When it came to Anna’s well-being, she wouldn’t rest until Anna was well cared for. The American-Japanese smiled a little bit to herself.
“/Oh Becky,/” she thought. “/You would break your back just for me!/” Then, she heard her door slid open. Anna sat up and looked. Tsuzuki stood in the doorway.
“Hey,” he said softly. The woman looked on at him.
“Tsuzuki,” she said. “What are you doing here?” The Shinigami stepped into Daisuke’s office.
“I came to check on you,” he answered. Anna raised an eyebrow at him.
“Really now?” she asked slightly sharp.” Why is that?” Tsuzuki stepped forward.
“I was assigned to,” he told her.
“Because of the Hell Stone?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said. Anna stood up as well. She walked over to him. Tsuzuki kept his eyes on her. He couldn’t seem to piece this woman together in his mind. Ten years was a long time. He barely knew her now. Part of him wanted to get to know her now. Maybe after all of this mess is over, if there was still time…
“Tsuzuki-san,” Anna spoke up. “I know about the Hell Stone.” He silently became worried. However, he did not speak. She did the talking.
“I looked up all about the Hell Stone,” Anna went on. “It did shock and anger me.” The Shinigami felt hurt inside.
“Anna, I’m sorry…” he began to murmur. The woman held up her hand. Tsuzuki went quiet.
“But, I have done some thinking,” she added. The woman paused to collect her thoughts. Anna closed her eyes for a bit. “I am willing to accept my circumstances long enough to find the truth. If I die before then, so be it. I will just deal with the hand I am dealt.” She opened her eyes to see a relieved Tsuzuki.
“Are you sure about that?” he asked. Anna nodded.
“Whatever it takes!” she reassured. Tsuzuki now sailed back into his cheerful self. He felt happy that Anna wasn’t angry at him for bringing her back from the dead with an unstable tool from the Elysian Fields. She had thought about where she stood and accepted it. Maybe Kato-san was right, in his own shady way… But he couldn’t worry about that now.