Hotaru is pouting about her three-day old fight with Emiko when a enigmatic stranger reopens a dark piece of her past.
Chapter Seven: Hotaru’s New Friend:
September 3rd, 2009.
For three whole days Hotaru sat in the park, pouting. She and Emiko still weren't talking. They got into an argument and she stormed out. Since then, the ladies avoided each other around the house. To an outsider, it all looked pretty childish. Hotaru sighed and shook her head.
Why were we even fighting? Hotaru looked up at the sky. So stupid, I'm lonely. Suddenly, the loli demon sensed someone nearby. She moved her head and saw a young man standing in front of her. Hotaru narrowed her eyes at him. He looked nice with his deep brown hair and dressed in a gray business suit and dark blue tie.
"Uh… can I help you?" Hotaru asked, blinking.
"What's wrong?" the young man asked her.
Hotaru found herself thrown off by his high-pitched voice. "Hm?"
"You look sad," the young man said. "What's on your mind?" Hotaru shook her head.
"Nothing big," she replied.
"Oh," the man said. "Fight with your lover?" Hotaru pressed her lips together as she nodded.
"Yeah…" Her tone trailed off as she missed Emiko’s touch.
"That bad?" he asked. The loli demon nodded and looked away as the man sat down next to her. Her acquaintance shuffled his feet.
"I don't want to talk about it," she said.
"Okay," he replied.
Hotaru looked at him. "Then, what do you want?"
The young man shrugged at her. "Not much." He stuck out his hand.
"Tajizawa Saito," the man introduced himself with this name.
"Hotaru," the loli demon answered, stating her own hand. She slowly took his hand and shook it. Ice ran through her fingers at his touch before he gently let go. Hotaru gave him a puzzled look.
"What are you doing out here?" she asked. Saito shrugged at her.
"I like the city," he said.
Hotaru nodded at him rather uncertain. "Ah."
Saito noticed the look on her face. "You look lonely."
The loli demon gave him a puzzled look. "Hm? Oh yeah, well…"
"Your lover?" he asked. The loli demon nodded before looking away again.
Saito looked intrigued at his potential new friend. "What's he like?"
"She," Hotaru corrected.
Saito gave her an odd look. "So you're…"
Hotaru shook her head as she shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know."
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"She's the only woman I've been with."
"You were with men before her?"
Hotaru shuffled her feet. "Yeah…"
Saito leaned in closer with peeked interest. "What happened?"
"Well…" Hotaru shook her head. "I met his wife…" Her mind retreated back into its old dark hole as her mind replayed her murder over and over.
It had been a set-up from the beginning. Hotaru received a note in 1966. She had been so excited the whole day at the department store where she worked at the time. Her co-workers knew about her lover. However, they also knew about his jealous wife. The last six weeks had been hell on Hotaru. The wife had been sending her many anonymous threats in the mail. Hotaru asked her lover if he was really married and the weasel of a man denied the accusations.
"They are just trying to extort us for their own greed," he kept saying. "I'll fix it myself." Like a sucker, Hotaru believed every word from his lying tongue. Her co-workers tried to talk sense into her. Sadly, love blinded her. That day proved to be her downfall.
Hotaru decided to go out for lunch early to meet with her lover. Her boss and co-workers warned her not to go out. "It'll be okay," Hotaru said. "I'll try to stay out in public and call you when I make it there safely." Then, she was off.
Hotaru never made that phone call. She went to the love hotel as planned. She expected to see her lover waiting for her in their usual room overlooking Tokyo. Instead, the naïve woman found her lover's wife sitting on the bed, looking like she wanted some blood. Hotaru's mind went into panic. The next moments shot by quick. The wife tackled the mistress to the ground and raised the iron high above her head…
Hotaru's tears trailed down her white cheeks.
"So stupid!" she cursed herself. "I should have seen the signs!" Someone patted her on the shoulders. Hotaru glanced up and saw Saito smiling at her. He leaned his head in close to her.
"It's okay," he whispered. Hotaru only looked at him. Somehow, she felt safe with this charming, young stranger. It felt like the same moments long ago when she was with her married lover.