Chapter Ten: There is a Light That Never Goes Out:
July 6th, 2003.
The photo club went on their annual summer trip and stayed at Clare Ainsworth’s dad’s beach house on the coast. The club had gone to sleep for the night after a day of hanging out on the pier and the beach. Well, almost everyone did.
Henry lied on top of Anna on her bed and closed in for another heated kiss. He snuck into her room once the lights were out. The junior waited for this for weeks now. The couple dated for close to two years now. Anna and Henry took things slowly in their relationship. The past two years together consisted of small dates, conversation, and tiny displays of affection from time to time. Three months before this trip, Henry and Anna decided to lose their virginities to each other this summer. The club’s trip conveniently played into their plans.
Henry smothered Anna in another kiss as his fingers went through her auburn ponytail. Her hands pulled him into a needy embrace as she kissed him back. The girl still wasn’t used to having people so close to her, but this was Henry. Maybe this could work out tonight.
Henry slipped his hands under Anna’s pajama top. The junior trembled as her boyfriend attempt to push his tongue into her mouth. Henry started to open doors she had kept locked for four years. She saw sex as a way for two people to be nakedly open with one another and let their deepest fears and desires spill into each other’s souls. To Anna, she couldn’t open herself up to anyone until the right one came into her life. Only Henry matched that description in her almost non-existent love life.
Henry lightly began massaging her breasts under her shirt. Anna got herself to relax for more with each kiss. This was what she wanted after all, wasn’t it? Henry moved his hands from under her pajama shier to the hem of it. Anna’s heart pounded with a new wave of unease at this sudden gesture. She tried to calm herself back down and enjoy this new direction, but it didn’t working. The girl couldn’t explain what was happening.
Anna lightly, but firmly pushed Henry off of her. The boy broke off the kiss and stared down at her.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. Anna shook her head at him.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I just can’t…”
“What do you mean, why not?” her boyfriend asked. Anna looked away in discomfort.
“I just can’t…” she said. Henry climbed off of her lied next to her on the bed. Henry respected wishes. The boy looked over at his girlfriend.
“Not now?” he asked. Anna shook her head. Her boyfriend raised an eyebrow at her.
“When?” he asked.
“I don’t think ever…” the girl mumbled as she moved out from under her. Henry really didn’t understand her.
“What do you mean?” he asked. “Why? Are you in love with someone else?” Anna shook her head and rolled away from him. Henry’s heart sank at that response.
“Who is he?” he asked. His girlfriend didn’t even know how to answer herself. She doubted that she even knew the answer. Henry turned away, frowning.
“Whatever,” he mumbled. The boy dozed off next to her.
Late in the night, Anna woke up and looked next to her. Henry slept with the pillow in his arms. That night, she noticed something for the first time. Anna didn’t love Henry anymore. He wasn’t a bad guy; the guy practically treated her like a princess. The junior was one of the first people to help her out on a social level through her freshman year of college. He made her laugh and truly loved her with all of his heart. The problem laid with the fact that Anna just didn’t really love him in the same way that she two years earlier. She had fallen out of love in the beginning of 2002. The girl only stayed with Henry because she enjoyed his company. Maybe she didn’t really love him all along and just didn’t want to feel lonely anymore. Now however, what was the point of hanging on?
Anna quietly got up from the bed, walked over to the glass sliding door, and went outside. She stared out at the sea under the moonlit sky. The ocean sounds at midnight relaxed her just like the pool did in high school. Anna slowly shut her eyes and let her mind wander back to Japan, her father, and to a lesser extent, Tsuzuki.
After the beach trip, Anna and Henry broke up before fall semester began. They remained friends and in the same club, however. Sadly, Henry couldn’t let go of his feelings for his ex in the end.
May 18th, 2009.
This latest mess started between the old woman and Muraki.
She found him leaving the hospital in Tokyo after caring for some patients. He had been stalking Tsuzuki lately and didn’t like the Shinigami’s new little friend. The corrupt doctor saw his object of affection leaving Kimoto Manor a couple of nights ago. Tsuzuki bid Anna good night before he disappeared back to Meifu. Though it looked innocent, Muraki already saw Anna as a potential threat. What better to deal with the competition than to eliminate it?
She couldn’t have that! Nothing was going to diminish that joy, not even an obsessed doctor.
Muraki came out to the entry and saw an old woman waiting him. He looked this woman up and down. She looked to be in her seventies in all black. The woman’s skin seemed to lack any wrinkles. From the outside, it looked like an angel and a devil staring at each other down. Muraki pushed up his glasses.
“Can I help you?” he asked. The woman smiled at him.
“Ah, doctor!” she said, “So nice to see you again!” Muraki look at her like she was crazy.
“Don’t you remember me?” the old woman asked, “You treated my youngest grandson years ago!”
“I’m sorry, but you must have me confused with someone else,” he said politely.
“No matter,” she brushed off, “You probably treated so many people in your career. They all look the same to you, no?”
“What exactly do you want?” the doctor in white asked.
“Forgive me,” she said as regained her composure. “I am called Kimoto Haruka. You got the time?”
“If you insist,” the doctor replied.
Haruka and Muraki walked downtown. The doctor eyed his new “friend” closely. He too had heard of the whole Eda-Kimoto clan legacy. He wondered what the matriarch wanted with him.
“Let me not beat around the bush any longer,” Haruka addressed, “I have a small request to ask of you.”
“Oh?” Muraki asked. “And what would that be?” Haruka froze in her tracks. Muraki paused as she turned around to face him.
“I know what you plan to do with Kimoto Anna,” she said in an ice-coated tone. The doctor didn’t flinch. He tried to play off this accusation.
“I have no idea what you mean,” Muraki said gentleman-like.
“Save it, Muraki-sensei,” she cut in, “I know what you really are! We both are the same, you and I.” The doctor glared at her. She saw his true colors off the bat.
“As I was saying,” Haruka went on, “I know you see Anna as a threat to your quest in possessing Tsuzuki-san.”
“What’s it to you?” Muraki asked. Haruka smiled at him in a twisted way.
“Just…” she said, “Leave her be. You can do what you want with Tsuzuki-san and the rest, but leave Anna to me.” Muraki became angry under his calm demeanor.
“And why should I?” he asked. Haruka held up a pale hand.
“Anna is my granddaughter,” she answered. Muraki listened on intrigued.
“Go on,” he said, “What about this loved one that I should spare her for?” Haruka tried not laugh at such a question.
“Loved one?” she asked. “Please! No, you misunderstand me here. I want to kill the little bitch. Two weeks ago, I sent my oldest son to do the job. He did, but Tsuzuki-san managed to bring her back to life in some way. I have a good idea of who pushed him into it. Long story short, I’m going to kill her again and you…” She paused before speaking again, “Would just rob me of my joy in killing Anna if you did the job before I had a chance to do it.” Haruka finished. Muraki thought about that for a moment.
“You do put up a convincing argument…” he said.
“I can be rather persuasive,” she replied with a gracious smile.
“I’ll leave the girl alone,” he said, smirking.
“Thank you,” she replied with a bow, “I do like to keep family business in the family. Good night, doctor.” Haruka departed for the night.
The next morning, Tsuzuki came to Kimoto manor and knocked on the door. Shock covered the Shinigami’s face. A young man greeted him at the door. He looked about twenty-six years old and pretty nerdy. His brownish-blonde hair looked like a 60’s Beatles cut. The man was still dressed in pajamas. The other man squinted at Tsuzuki through his black-framed glasses.
“Yes?” he asked. Tsuzuki blinked as he tried to think about what to make of this.
“Who are you?” he asked. The man narrowed his eyes behind his black-framed glasses.
“I could ask you the same thing,” he said. The Shinigami stared on uneasily. This guy looked like one of Anna’s Californian friends.
“I’m Tsuzuki Asato,” the Shinigami introduced himself. “And you are?”
“Henry!” a woman’s voice called from inside the manor. Both boys looked up to see Anna rushing to the front door in pajamas. Tsuzuki didn’t like the situation at hand.
“Anna, what’s going on?” the Shinigami asked.
“Tsuzuki, this is my ex-boyfriend, Henry Reed,” she said upbeat. “Henry, this is Tsuzuki.” Both men glared at each other.
“Uh… Anna,” Tsuzuki said, “Can I talk to you for a moment inside?”
“Sure,” she said. The woman led her guardian inside. Henry watched on with a frown. Anna and Tsuzuki made it into Daisuke’s office. The Shinigami looked a little worried.
“What’s going on? Why is Henry here?” he asked. Anna smiled and gave him a little shrug.
“He just showed up here, I guess,” she replied.
“Showed up here?” he asked, “How did he know you were still alive? How did he find you?”
“Dunno,” she said, “He just showed up at my door hours after you left last night. I invited him in, we spent the whole night talking in the kitchen, and he slept in the office with me.”
“He slept with you?!?” Tsuzuki yelped.
“He slept on the sheets while I slept under the sheets,” she reasoned. The Shinigami’s stomach turned. Good that they didn’t have sex last night, but Anna seemed happy that Henry spent the night. The whole story sent off a red flag.
After checking on her for the morning, Tsuzuki went to his favorite bakery for lunch. As he ate, the Shinigami tired to wrap his mind around Anna and Henry. How did Henry know that Anna was alive again and who told him?
Suddenly, Tsuzuki heard someone screaming. He jerked his head up to see a high school girl outside the bakery cowering in terror at unseen figure. Tsuzuki rushed to window for a better look. A masked man came up to the girl slowly with a running high-powered badly chainsaw in his hands. He looked like a backwoods redneck butcher.
/What the hell?/, Tsuzuki thought. The Shinigami quickly raced outside to the girl and pushed her inside the bakery. Tsuzuki turned back to the chainsaw-welding maniac. He rushed towards Tsuzuki was the chainsaw. The Shinigami got out of the way just in time.
“Aw shit!” he mumbled. “What’s with this guy?” The Shinigami had to get the crazy bastard away from these people before he killed an innocent bystander. Tsuzuki looked around and found not many places to deal with this guy. Finally, a narrow alley caught his eye. Tsuzuki pushed past the slasher and raced towards the alley. The big slasher walked after him with the big chainsaw in his hands.
When Tsuzuki got to the alley, he turned around and found that the slasher was gone.
Huh?/, he thought. /Where did he go? Tsuzuki reported today back to the crew when he made it back Ju-Oh-Oh.
“Who else knows about Anna?” Konoe asked.
“There was a man named Kato Iwao,” Tsuzuki began, “He was the one who gave me the Hell Stone in the first place.” The others looked on in shock.
“What?” Tsuzuki asked, blinking.
“That changes everything…” Konoe mumbled.
“Why? What do you mean?” the older Shinigami asked. However, Watari side-tracked him with his own thoughts.
“You said Henry was her ex-boyfriend, right?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Tsuzuki said, nodding.
“And the guy with the chainsaw showed up after you talked to Anna-san?” his friend asked.
“Yeah,” his friend answered. Watari thought about this as his fellow Shinigami looked on at him.
“What are you getting at?” he asked.
“I think I should come with you and meet Anna myself,” he said boldly with a smile. Tsuzuki was about to ask why. However, it became clear to him pretty soon.
“Okay,” the oldest Shinigami said, “When?”
“Now!” Watari insisted.
“Now?” Tsuzuki asked.
“Yeah, now!” the scientist pushed.
“Okay…” his friend said. “Let’s go, Hisoka!”
“Right,” the boy mumbled.
The boys made it to Kimoto manor three o’clock that afternoon. Tsuzuki knocked on the door.
“Coming!” a muzzled voice called. The Shinigami waited outside. Henry sneered at Tsuzuki and his friends when he opened the door.
“Yes?” he asked, trying to sound nice about it.
“Is Anna here?” Tsuzuki asked. The American man rolled his eyes.
“Anna!” he called. “Your friends are here!”
“I’ll be right there!” she said. Watari observed the young man as they waited. His theory began to make sense in his mind now that he got a better look at the guy. There was only one piece needed to fit it all together. Anna came to door as if on cue.
“Tsuzuki!” she chirped.
“Hi…” the oldest Shinigami said, “Anna, can I talk to you for a moment?”
“Sure,” she said. The woman’s eyes moved to Hisoka and Watari.
“Hi Hisoka and…” she said.
“Watari Yutaka,” the scientist introduced himself politely, “I’m a friend of Tsuzuki’s.”
“Nice to meet you,” Anna said, “I’m Kimoto Anna.”
“Tsuzuki has told me all about you,” Watari added.
“You don’t say,” Anna said.
“Okay,” Henry cut in, “Come in if you’re going to come in!”
Tsuzuki and Anna went into the kitchen. Watari watched them from the living. He almost had the answer to the Henry mystery. Anna turned to Tsuzuki with a smile on her face.
“Henry and I are going back to San Diego tomorrow,” she announced. That felt like a kick to the nuts for Tsuzuki.
“WHAT?!?” he yelped. “Why? For how long?”
“Forever,” she said. Tsuzuki shrugged to regain himself.
“B-But what are your father?” the Shinigami asked. Anna froze at that question.
“Papa?” she asked in a trance-like state.
“Yes,” Tsuzuki said as he reached out to hold her hand, “You have to find out who killed him.” His hand wrapped around hers in a squeeze. He could feel the warmth in her skin when Anna’s mind slowly returned to normal. Watari saw that the answer he needed in that very moment.
/Just as I suspected!/, he thought.
“Anna!” a voice called from the living room. She and Tsuzuki looked up to see Henry peeking into the doorway.
“Yes?” Anna asked.
“Can I talk to you for a moment?” he asked.
“What is it?” she questioned.
“In private,” her ex added with a sharp tone. Right then, Anna returned into the state of a mindless doll.
“Of course,” she said in an empty tone. The woman left Tsuzuki’s grasp and followed her ex down the hall. The Shinigami felt so cold all of a sudden. He had her back for a brief second then he lost her again. Watari confirmed his thoughts.
“It’s just as I thought,” the scientist said as they were leaving the manor. “Henry is controlling her mind somehow.”
“How?” Tsuzuki asked in desperation.
“He’s using some sort of a spell on Anna,” Watari explained, “Someone must have told Henry about her and gave him the spell to try and win her back. It’s not a complete spell though.” Tsuzuki looked at him oddly.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“When you mentioned her father, the spell began to weaken,” his friend went on, “The closer Henry is to Anna, the stronger the spell.”
“So how do we break the spell?” Hisoka asked.
“I’m still working on that one,” Watari replied, grimace.
At the manor, Anna sat on her futon in Daisuke’s office. Henry paced around the room.
“What’s wrong, Henry?” she asked. The man turned to her.
“Do you remember when we first tried to sex?” he asked.
“Yes, why?” Anna asked. Henry sat close to her and lightly took her by the hand.
“I have been thinking,” he went on, “Could we start over again?” Anna looked at him with big eyes of shock.
“What?” she asked. Henry paused as he fidgeted.
“I know it’s sudden,” he said, “Just… take some time to think about it, okay?” Anna nodded without thinking.
“Okay, sure,” she said. Henry smiled brightly.
“Great, Anna!” he said, “I’ll be a good boyfriend for you.” The young man kissed her on the forehead. Then he left the room with Anna watching after him in silence. This didn’t feel right to her.
Tsuzuki sat in the café alone close to sundown, thinking about the situation at hand. Watari and Hisoka went to do research on this spell Henry had Anna under. Tsuzuki had problems with not only the spell, but with Anna leaving for San Diego. She could become white ash there without ever knowing what happened to Daisuke. He couldn’t let that happen.
Right then, Tsuzuki noticed someone sitting next to him again. He looked up and saw, who else? Kato Iwao lowered his newspaper. The Shinigami rolled his eyes.
“Oh Tsuzuki,” his “friend” said, “We meet again!” The other man glared at him. Kato frowned at him.
“Not in talking mood, huh?” he asked, “Alright.” The older man looked at the menu for a minute.
“What the hell have you done to Anna?” Tsuzuki hissed. The older man looked up at him.
“Sorry?” he replied.
“Cut the crap, Kato!” the Shinigami barked. The older man’s face changed.
“That bad?” he asked. Tsuzuki became confused. Clearly, he had no idea what was going on either. Kato raised an eyebrow at him.
“What’s going on? What’s wrong with Malchik?” he asked.
“Malchik?” the Shinigami questioned.
“It’s an old nickname for Anna-chan,” Kato explained, “Now tell me what’s wrong.” Tsuzuki had a few reservations. He still couldn’t trust this guy. However, this had become an emergency now. Tsuzuki told him all about Henry, the spell, and Slasher guy-san. The older man listened on the whole time.
“Does this Henry guy have any past experience with spells?” he asked.
“I doubt it…” Tsuzuki answered uneasily.
“Interesting…” Kato mumbled in deep thought.
“What is?” the Shinigami asked. The old man looked up at him.
“Henry may have control of her mind, but he doesn’t have control of a key thing in a relationship,” he said. Tsuzuki thought about his words. The answer slapped him hard in the face.
“Her heart!” Tsuzuki gasped.
“Yes,” the old man whispered.
“And what about the man with the chainsaw?” the Shinigami asked.
“The chainsaw man is Henry’s psyche,” Kato answered, smiling, “It manifests after you talk to Malchik, right?”
“Yes,” Tsuzuki replied.
“The chainsaw man represents his jealousy, anger, and insecurity. Basically, Henry sees you as a threat,” the old man answered.
“Okay,” Tsuzuki said. “So how so I rescue Anna?” Kato set aside his paper.
“I think your friends have that answer already,” he replied. Right then, Tsuzuki’s cell phone rang.
“Hello?” he answered.
“Tsuzuki!” Hisoka said on the other line.
“Hisoka! What have you found?” he asked.
“Watari and I have found how to break the spell,” the boy said.
“Okay, how?” the older Shinigami asked.
“We need to get Anna away from Henry and tell Henry the truth,” the boy answered.
“I’m on it!” Tsuzuki said. He rushed right out of the café. Kato watched after him stoic.
/Hurry to Malchik!/, he thought. As a distraction, the old man texted Anna about a clue about Daisuke.
Tsuzuki made it back to Kimoto manor. He found Hisoka and Watari standing on the front lawn waiting. They walked to the front door and knocked on it.
“Coming,” a voice mumbled. Henry slid open the door. He rolled his eyes at the Shinigami.
“Now what do you want?” he groaned. “Anna’s not here; she took off earlier.”
“Actually, we came to see you,” Tsuzuki spoke up. Henry looked at him confused.
“Me? What for?” he asked.
“Can we come in?” Hisoka asked.
“S-Sure,” Henry stammered. The boys followed him into the living room. The Shinigami sat on the sofa as Henry looked like a prisoner about to be sentenced. He swallowed without looking up.
“We know about the spell you’re using on Anna,” Tsuzuki told him. The young man went ghost pale.
“You don’t understand,” he protested, “I love Anna! I haven’t stopped loving her all of these! Even after we broke up in college, I still loved her! When I heard that she died, I thought I had lost her forever. But now… now, I have a chance to start again! I will make her love me!”
“That’s the thing…” Watari began. “Anna won’t really love you. You can try all you want, but it’ll all be in vain.” It took a moment for it all to sink into Henry.
“You mean…” he started.
“Yes!” the Shinigami all said. A crushing blow that one was and it showed on Henry’s face too.
“Damn it!” he cursed aloud, “Why do I always screw up everything in my life?!?” The shadow under him started to form waves and peaks. The Shinigami knew that had to act fact before this all got out of hand.
“Hey, it can’t be that bad…” Tsuzuki said, trying to keep him calm.
“I am a disappointment to my dad!” the American yelled. The peaks and waves started bubbling in the shadow.
“An easy fix,” Watari said. Henry clenched his fists asked his sides.
“Every girl I dated dumped me for a better man or woman!” the young man ranted. The shadow increased in its height on the floor.
“It happens,” Hisoka brushed off. Yet, the first storm had yet to deliver the worst of it.
“I EVEN MADE A PASS AT MY STEP-MOTHER!” Henry yelled.
“Oh,” the Shinigami said. “That’s bad!” Right then, chainsaw man showed up out of Henry’s mind from the shadow on the ground. The Shinigami leapt up to battle. Henry turned around and fell to the ground.
“What is that thing?!?” he yelped as he struggled to crawl away.
“It’s your insecurity!” Hisoka yelled.
“What?” the man asked.
“This monster shows up when you doubt yourself!” Watari yelled. Henry felt like puking as he saw his error. Tsuzuki pulled out his fuda.
“By the name of the Ju-Oh-Cho, you shall be judged!” he yelled at the chainsaw maniac. The man ran forward with the chainsaw. When the bastard got close enough, Tsuzuki placed the fuda over the monster’s chest. The monster screamed out as the paper burned right through. He slowly burned away into ash—chainsaw and all. Once it was gone, Henry crawled out of hiding.
“Is it over?” he asked in a trembling voice. Tsuzuki, Hisoka, and Watari knew otherwise. The Shinigami had only one guess as to who was pulling the strings in this misadventure. Tsuzuki turned and left to confront the culprit.
Tsuzuki went out to the Moonlit Blossom bar close to midnight. This was where he kept encountering Muraki as of late. If he was right, the doctor was the one who gave Henry the spell to control Anna. Tsuzuki waited at the bar for Muraki.
Tsuzuki glared at Muraki as he entered the bar. The sadistic bastard looked around for his prey. When he spotted the Shinigami, Muraki made his way over to the bar. He sat down next to Tsuzuki.
“Ah, Tsuzuki-san,” he exclaimed, “So nice to see you again.” Tsuzuki didn’t look at him.
“I know what you did to Henry,” he hissed. Muraki tried to play off the allegation.
“Why Tsuzuki-san!” he exclaimed. “I have no idea what you are accusing me of!”
“Cut the crap, Muraki!” the Shinigami snapped as he whipped around to his stalker. “Why did you do it?” Muraki smirked at him.
“That girl stands in the way of the bond between us,” he simply explained. Tsuzuki glared at him cross.
“And what’s that supposed to mean?!?” he barked. Muraki gently-mockingly took him by the hand.
“I refused to share you with anyone else,” he said in a pandering tone, “That woman is a burden to me. That’s where Henry became useful.
“I met her ex in this very bar. Intriguing man, he was. I wondered what an American man was doing in a bisexual bar like this. So, I walked over to him and introduced myself. He said that he wanted to be left alone. I noticed that Henry looked a bit depressed, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me all about his ex, how she died, why he came with their friends to find out the truth, and how he would give anything to have her back. This gave me a little idea.
“I offered to reunite him with his ex. Henry didn’t believe me at first, but I can be very persuasive. I gave Henry the spell to control Anna’s mind. However, I knew you and your little friends would try to rescue Anna. To keep that from happening, I gave the pool fool’s insecurity a physical form. I didn’t really expect it take form into Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from his memories.”
“At what price?” Tsuzuki snapped.
“His soul,” Muraki said calmly.
“WHAT?!?” the Shinigami yelled. The doctor gave him little shrug.
“Henry said that he would even sell his soul to have Anna back,” he went on, “Be glad I didn’t kill her like I originally planned.” Tsuzuki raised an eyebrow at him.
“And why is that?” he hissed.
“Her grandmother asked me not to,” Muraki answered demonic-like. Tsuzuki’s eyes grew wide in shock.
“Kimoto-san found me outside of the hospital,” the doctor went on, “We took a little walk. She asked me not to lay a single finger on Anna. Haruka wanted the thrill of killed her granddaughter herself.” Tsuzuki went pale with shock. The sick-minded doctor smirked at his prey.
“You amuse me so, Tsuzuki-san,” he said, “I’ll let Reed-san go because of that. Sadly, I can’t guarantee that I’ll keep my promise to Kimoto-san or that she won’t come after her granddaughter again.” Muraki lightly kissed Tsuzuki on the cheek.
“Good night,” he whispered. The doctor turned and left. Tsuzuki sat there with a blank face for a moment. When he came back to earth, anger slowly crept in. This case got even more difficult. Not only did he have to worry with the Hell Stone, Kimoto-san, Muraki, and the Kimoto case just made it all heavier.
The next morning, Anna and the Shinigami saw Henry off to Tokyo Airport.
“Thanks, guys,” he said to the boys, “You really helped me get over my depression.”
“It was nothing!” Tsuzuki cheered.
“Take care of yourself on your way back to San Diego,” Hisoka added.
“Sure will,” Henry said with a nod, “I already told my friends here that I was going home.” Then, he turned to Anna. A confused look came onto the man’s face.
“You look like a girlfriend I used to have,” he informed her. “Can’t remember her name though, but you both look so sad.” Even though it hurt, Anna didn’t show it. Once everything had settled down, Tsuzuki told Anna everything about yesterday. Horrified for her friend’s sake, she made a simple yet painful request.
“Erase all of Henry’s memories of me!” Anna pleaded. Tsuzuki had reservations about that.
“You sure you want to do that?” he asked. Anna looked up at him nearly pleading.
“Tsuzuki please,” she pleaded, “I can’t have him make the same mistake again. I’ve known him for many years. He still hasn’t gotten over me and he’ll do anything to have me back!” Anna looked down at her feet.
“It would just be better if I never existed to him at all,” she mumbled. Tsuzuki was touched by her logic. He reluctantly agreed to erase Henry’s memories of her. So here Anna and Henry were, strangers once more.
“Thanks, I guess…” she mumbled. Henry smiled again.
“Anyway, thanks guys!” he said. Then, the man turned and left.
“You okay?” Tsuzuki asked Anna softly.
“Yeah,” she lied. That afternoon, Anna went home and ripped off all of the pictures of her and Henry out of her timeline. She tore them up and threw them away. After rearranging the timeline, Anna sat down on the floor and broke down crying. She had lost just a dear friend and another piece of her past all in one day.
On the plane back to San Diego, Henry looked at a photo album of his college days. He came across a picture of that old photo club during that beach trip in 2003. He and the girls looked so happy together. Then, he saw Anna standing next to him in the photo, smiling and holding his hand. Henry noticed a middle-aged Japanese businessman looking on with him.
“Who is that girl next to you?” he asked as he pointed to Anna. Henry shrugged as he shook his head.
“I don’t know,” he said in his best Japanese. They looked on at the picture.
“She’s pretty though,” the man said.
“Yeah,” Henry agreed. “But she looks so sad in her eyes…” His voice trailed off. He began to think of his favorite Smiths’ song, “There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” as he looked on at the photo. He knew that was true, somehow…
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