Anna comes home after dinner to find Rihoko sitting alone in the dark. After a few drinks, some secrets spill out.
Chapter Three: Night Drinks:
Tsuzuki walked Anna home. She snuggled up close to him as they moved. His warmth stirred her heart. She wished he could stay with her tonight. The woman even tried to entice him to her bed. But, Tsuzuki refused.
“I have to work tonight,” he told her. “But I’ll make it up to you tomorrow night, okay?” Anna snuggled up close to his chest.
“Mmm, okay,” she said. “But you better promise!” Tsuzuki smiled at her.
“Right,” he said. They came to her door. He kissed her good night and vanished. Anna let the kiss linger on her lips before going inside. She took in a deep breath at the door. Today was great. It was a nice change to have their relationship out in the open. Too bad Hisoka seemed so sad about it.
“/Maybe I’ll talk to him later,/” Anna thought. He probably won’t listen. But still…
A light sound caught Anna’s ear in the dark. Her eyes looked into the living room. She spotted Rihoko sitting alone in the dark. She had a bottle of wine in her hands. The grad student looked up and saw her housemate.
“Hey,” she whispered. Anna gave her a little smile.
“Hi there,” she said back. “What are you doing up so late?”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Rihoko said. Anna walked into the living room.
“Ah,” she said. She sat down next her.
“Drink?” Rihoko offered. Anna raised an eyebrow at her.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Peach wine,” the roommate said. Anna nodded a bit.
“Sure,” she said. Rihoko poured the “ghost” a glass. Anna took a sip.
“So cold!” she said.
“Like it?” the grad student asked. Anna nodded.
“It’s good once you get past the cold,” she said. Rihoko smiled a bit.
“Yeah,” she said. “That was my first reaction too.” Anna took another sip. The roommate did the same.
In a couple of hours, the spirits began to raise high. With that, lips became loose. Anna turned to Rihoko with a grin.
“I had weird dreams when I was in college,” she confessed. The other woman turned to her.
“I worry about being a good mother to Yoko-chan,” she said back. Anna raised an eyebrow at her.
“Huh?” she asked. “What do you mean?” Rihoko finished her sip as she became somber.
“I messed up my life,” she reasoned. “My parents were getting a divorce by the time I started high school. They didn’t pay much attention to me. So, I started looking for love and attention elsewhere.” She took another drink.
“I met this beautiful boy in my sophomore year of high school,” Rihoko went on. “We dated for almost two years. Needless to say, we moved too fast and I got pregnant at seventeen.” She finished off her glass and poured another one.
“As the cliché goes,” she said. “He left me at seven months and I had Rihoko in a city clinic.” She took another drink.
“It’s been a struggle ever since,” the woman went on. “I have to balance school and my daughter. My parents haven’t even called me once to say hi.” She sighed aloud.
“I was just thrown in without a map or a destination,” Rihoko said. I don’t think I’m doing it right,” Anna smiled and shook her head.
“You’re a good mother,” she said. Rihoko looked at her.
“You mean it?” she asked. Her roommate nodded.
“Yoko-chan is happy and healthy. She’s a bright child as well,” she said. “You did right by her.” Rihoko eyed her, amazed.
“Really?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Anna said with a nod. Rihoko sat in silence for a moment.
“Wow,” she mouthed. A moment of silence passed. Rihoko looked at her roommate.
“What about your dreams?” she asked. Anna blinked at her.
“Huh?” she asked. The question took a moment to sink in. Anna giggled a bit.
“Oh,” she said. “Oh yeah. I had strange dreams in college.”
“About?” Rihoko asked. Anna swallowed her drink.
“Different things,” she said. “Once there was this nude woman with wings wrapped with red ribbons.” Rihoko looked intrigued.
“What was this about?” she asked. Anna shrugged.
Who knows?” she asked. The woman took another drink.
“I don’t think I’ll ever know,” she said. There was a moment of silence. Rihoko smiled as she drank.
“Sounds silly to me,” she said. Anna thought about that for a moment and laughed.
“Yeah, I guess,” she said. “It does sound silly.” Both girls laughed. But then, it hit Anna hard. Her eyes opened wide as she stopped laughing. The images flashed in her mind over and over again. The feathers, the blood, her body, his smirking face. Anna broke down trembling all over.
“Anna?” Rihoko asked. “Anna, what’s wrong? You look so pale.” It all pounded up in the other woman’s mind. Then, it cracked.
“Just leave me alone, okay?” she cried. Anna got up and ran all the way to her room. The storm had only begun here.