Chapter Twenty-Two: Yamashita’s Confession:
December 1st, 1999.
The fourth in-school session began today. Anna had to get up early for her appointments with Yamashita-sensei. Right now, she sat in his office. The good doctor sat before her at his desk. He hit record on the tape player.
"So Anna-chan, how are you today?" he began.
"Fine…" she mumbled. The good doctor frowned at her as she kept her eyes down in her lap.
"Look up at me when you talk," he told her.
"I'm sorry sir," Anna said as she lifted her head. He gave her a small smile.
"Much better, let's start again,” Yamashita-sensei said. “How are you today?"
"Fine…" Anna mumbled again. The therapist raised an eyebrow at her.
"You don't sound fine," he said.
"What do you mean?" the student asked, caught off-guard.
"Your tone gives you away," the therapist said as he pushed up his glasses. Anna fidgeted with her hands.
"Oh," she said quietly.
"You're still adjusting, aren't you?" he asked. Anna nodded at him as her hands began to tremble.
"I see," Yamashita-sensei replied.
"Is that bad?" she asked with a trembling voice.
"Depends on how you would consider your condition," he answered as he took down a few notes.
"I don't know how to describe it," she admitted in a small voice.
"It's okay,” he said in a calm voice, “These things take time to heal."
"Alright," Anna said as she looked down into her lap.
"Look up when you talk to somebody," Yamashita-sensei repeated.
"Sorry," his patient said in a small voice.
"You always look down when we meet,” he pointed out, “Are you afraid me?"
"No," she answered.
"It's okay; I'm here to help you," Yamashita-sensei told her.
"I understand," Anna said in a low voice.
August 18th, 2009.
In the morning, Anna walked up to the front desk and tapped the glass at Kyoto Psychology Center. Miyuki looked up at her with a pale face.
"Yes? How may I help you?" she asked in a trembling voice.
"I need to see Yamashita-sensei, please," Anna said.
"Why?" the receptionist asked.
"It's important; and don't tell me that I need an appointment to see him. You are in no position to turn me away," she said in a stern voice. Miyuki swallowed hard.
"Okay…" she said as she pressed the call button.
"Dr. Yamashita," she said.
"Yes," he replied back.
"You have a visitor," Miyuki said.
"Send them in," the therapist said.
"You sure?" she asked nervously.
"Yes," he replied. The receptionist sighed as she glanced over at Anna. The other woman gave her a little smile. Miyuki turned on the mic.
"Okay sir," she said. The receptionist turned off the mic. Anna smiled at her.
"Thank you," she said. Miyuki pointed down the hall.
"Right this way," she said.
"Gladly," the woman replied. Anna walked down the hall in victory. The receptionist could be used to her advantage, but right now time to talk to the doctor. Anna came up to her former councilor's office and knocked on the door.
"Enter!" a low voice commanded. The woman opened the door and walked inside. Dr. Yamashita was doing some paperwork when he looked up and saw his former patient.
"Oh Anna," he said. "It's you, come on in." She shut the door behind her and took a seat in front of his desk. The doctor put away his papers and turned his attention to her.
"So," Yamashita-sensei spoke up. "What brings you here?"
"What did you want to talk to me about three days ago?" Anna asked in a somber tone. The good doctor paused as his face went pale.
"Oh, uh…" he mumbled. Anna pulled out Rieko's diary.
"Has it something to do with this?" she asked. Yamashita-sensei's eyes grew big with shock.
"Where did you get that?" he asked.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" Anna questioned. The doctor shook his head.
"That's confidential," he replied.
"But this is a murder investigation," Anna said back. Yamashita-sensei glanced down at his desk.
"You don't really need to know," he said in a quiet voice.
"What are you saying?" his former patient pushed. He reached forward to touch Anna on the hand.
"Just forget about this detail and clear my name out of this mess," her old mentor pleaded in a calm, desperate voice. Anna felt herself caving in once again after so long. Yamashita-sensei still had that calming effect on her. The tone of his voice and his touch put her back in their first session together in high school. Ten long years didn't change her old shriek at all.
Suddenly, Anna snapped back into reality and drew her hand away.
"No!" she barked. Her former shriek looked at her in surprise.
"But Anna…" he said. She shook her head.
"I am not your patient anymore, Yamashita-sensei!" she said. A nervous look came over his face in front of her. Anna looked him deep into his eyes.
"I have been doing some thinking," she said. "I wondered why you went straight to me instead of the police and I figured out why. You were thinking that you could still control me after all this time. Well, I hate to say it, but it's different now. I can't help you unless you tell the truth, understand?" The old psychiatrist stared on in discomfort. Anna pulled back.
"Now," she said. "Did you sleep with Rieko?"
"No!" he barked.
"She had an affair with a therapist here," the former patient said as she slammed her hand against the desk.
"Yes, but not with me!" Yamashita-sensei confessed.
"Then who?" Anna pressed. The old man broke out into a sweat as he felt the walls closing in around him at this point.
"Miyazaki-sensei!" he blurted out. Yamashita-sensei breathed before speaking. "Back in January," he began. "Hiroshi was bragging about his new lover. Curious, I asked who it was. At first, he wouldn't say. I didn't push it because it wasn't my business."
"But then Rieko came to you for therapy?" Anna asked. Her former therapist nodded grimly.
"Yes," he said. "I thought it was going to be a normal session, but then she started to talk about her boyfriend. I didn't ask too many questions at first. But, her dates sounded like Hiroshi's. So, I asked when she met her boyfriend. Rieko said on New Year's Eve at a party. I put two and two together and found out about the affair." Anna blinked at him as she took in the whole story.
"So, why did you terminate her therapy?" she asked. Yamashita-sensei pressed his lips together.
"I confronted Miyazaki about it,” he broke down. “He denied it at first, but when I told him that Rieko was pregnant, he got scared. Feeling that she wasn't going to stop seeing him, I terminated her therapy to try and save them both."
"You do realize the baby was Masayuki's, right?" Anna asked.
"Yes, of course,” he replied. “I didn't tell Hiroshi in hopes of scaring him into ending his relationship with Rieko." Yamashita-sensei froze in fear.
"Oh dear, I might have led the girl to her death after all," he said, going pale in the face. Anna patted him on the shoulder.
"Not intentionally,” she told him. “Don't worry, I will clear you name." Her former therapist gave at her with surprised look.
"You mean it?" he asked. Anna gave him a stern nod. He bowed his head at her.
"I thank you," he replied. The woman had the truth she desired about her former mentor, but there was still a dead girl and baby and a mess to clean up.
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