Chapter 02: Two Years Ago prt.2
Her steps slowed and her body lowered towards the ground. She shook her head repeatedly, but it was useless. Giving herself a hard slap across the face, she tried her best to straightened her posture. Get it together, Reina! Even with a strong will and determination, her body gave way and she finally collapsed.
“How-- how did this happened?!” Mrs. Kamei cried with Mr. Kamei by her side as they stared through the wide glass window into the hospital room where Eri rested. She laid unconscious, her entire head was bandaged up, leaving only the areas of her face open for oxygen. Ishi gave a convincingly sad sigh. He was the one who had checked Eri into the hospital and contacted her parents shortly after, informing them that their daughter had been assaulted.
He began to explain the happenings from the past few months. Everything had been Reina’s doing. Eri’s first head injury was caused by her. They were and still am in a lover’s relationship. Mr. Kamei was furious as he had allowed Reina into their home many times with open arms.
“I can’t believe we trusted her…and-- and our little girl, they-- a relationship?” Mrs. Kamei sobbed. Ishi tried hard not to smirk as he watched Eri’s parents become more and more emotional over the stories he told.
Slowly opening her eyes, she found herself in a familiar room. She was back at Yuko’s shop.
“How is it that I’m always the lucky one to find you stranded in the middle of where ever?” Yuko asked as she appeared with a glass of water. “What was it this time, anyways?”
“Don’t ask,” Reina mumbled.
“Suit yourself-- by the way, Kamei-chan came by today looking for you,” she mentioned, handing the glass over to Reina.
“I have to go see her,” Reina said with concern as she attempted to stand. Although she stood quite easily, her stance resembled one of a drunk man.
“How about we close up early and I’ll give you a ride over there, alright?” Yuko suggested.
Parking just across the street from Eri’s home, Yuko waited as Reina made her way towards the front door. From what she could see, Eri’s younger sister had answered. Not a moment later, Reina came rushing back towards the car.
“We have to get to the hospital! Eri‘s hurt!!”
Running through the front entrance, Reina rushed for the front desk with Yuko following behind.
“We are here to see Kamei Eri!” She said quickly. The receptionist punched in a few keys on her keyboard and examined the content displayed on the computer monitor with care.
“May I ask in what relations are you to the patient?”
“I’m her friend.”
“I’m sorry, but only family members are allowed to visit as ordered.”
“But I really need to see her! Please!” Reina begged.
“Leave now!” Mr. Kamei shouted. He had decided to wonder the hospital in means to relieve stress, but here he was, face to face with Reina. “Haven’t you done enough?!” He snapped, storming in her direction.
“Leave now, before I call the police!”
“Kamei-san, why are you--”
“I know about you and Eri, I know everything! I don’t know what she did to you to deserve this, but I suggest you leave her alone!”
Seeing that Reina was stunned until the point where she was unable to speak nor move, Yuko stepped forward and gently escorted Mr. Kamei back a couple of steps.
“Calm down. I think you should get your facts straight, Kamei-san. Tanaka-chan would never do anything to harm your daughter,” she reassured. Backing off completely, Mr. Kamei turned on his heels and left. Reina shook her head slowly. He knows about our relationship? But even that couldn’t of caused this much tension.
“Come on, relax. We’ll try again tomorrow,” Yuko comforted, wrapping an arm around Reina’s shoulder.
Day after day, Reina was repeatedly denied from visiting Eri. The only information she was able to collect was the fact that Eri had suffered a severe head injury and has yet to awaken. Reina knew that must of been why Mr. Kamei was angry with her. He had mistaken her for the culprit. She knew right away that this must be Ishi’s doing. It was too obvious.
“Tanaka-san, is that you?” Asked a nurse who caught a glimpse of Reina standing outside the hospital.
“Good evening, Abe-san,” Reina said politely. Abe Natsumi worked as a nurse at the hospital. She had seen Reina almost everyday since her first visit and noticed her troubles at the front desk. Trusting that she was an honest girl, Natsumi had decided to help her, giving her updates on Eri’s situation whenever they had met. Once she had even attempted to sneak the girl in, but it had became too risky.
“Why are you not waiting inside?” Natsumi asked. Reina flashed a tired smile.
“I just needed some fresh air,” she answered. Natsumi nodded understandingly.
“How’s Eri today?”
“She’s…still in a coma. I’m sorry. But the doctor predicted that she will wake up soon as her wound is healing fairly quickly. Maybe in a week or so? Or less?”
“I hope so…,” Reina said solemnly.
“If you don’t mind me asking, do you perhaps know what happened? Kamei-san’s parents don’t seem very friendly towards you.” Natsumi’s tone was careful, yet filled with curiosity.
“Her parents-- are angry that we’re in a relationship. But it also appears that they think I was the one who put Eri in a coma…but I-- I didn’t. I would never hurt Eri,” Reina explained to the best of her abilities. Natsumi gave yet another nod.
"I believe the truth will surface soon, Tanaka-san. Everything will be okay," she reassured.
Reina was on her way to the hospital again when she saw Natsumi running down the street towards her.
"Abe-san, what is it? Did something happen to Eri?!" She asked in a panic.
"Sh-- She's awake!" Natsumi answered urgently.
Reina begged and pleaded to the receptionist, until the point where anger was clearly heard in her voice. Natsumi stood by her side and calmly put in a word or two, as that was the only way to help without risking her own job. But it was the same as always; she was denied. Reina took a deep breath and asked one last time, "May I PLEASE see Eri? Please?" The receptionist paused for a moment and sighed.
"Okay, you may on in. But only for five minutes."
Reina gasped for joy as she thanked the woman. Grabbing Natsumi by the arm, they began to jog their way into the hall behind the front counter.
"Don't you dare go near her room!"
Mr. Kamei and Mrs. Kamei had just arrived after receiving the news regarding Eri.
"You should be fired for letting her through like that!" Mr. Kamei barked at the receptionist. Reina shook her head.
"Please let me see Eri!" She begged. The couple refused, glaring stressfully at Reina as they stormed pass her. It was not fair. She didn’t do anything to harm Eri, but obviously they were too ignorant to see that.
“Tanaka-san, I’m sorry,” Natsumi apologized.
“No Abe-san, it’s fine. I’m just glad that Eri is awake now…all that matters is that she’s okay. Thank you for everything.”
Waving farewell to Natsumi, Reina made her way out of the hospital. Now that Eri was awake, she felt relieved again, but nothing could of prepared her for what happened next. Ishi came strolling towards her, arms wide open.
“Tanaka! How are you?” He greeted her cheerfully.
“What the hell are you doing here?” She asked sternly, her fists clutched down by her side and ready to strike at any given time.
“Come on, what’s with the attitude?”
He knew that with the public around them, Reina wouldn’t dare lay a finger on him.
“I know it was you who did everything. You put Eri in a coma!” Reina cried. It was all too clear now. Why else would he be here.
“Don’t forget manipulating her parents into thinking that YOU did it. But you know what, Tanaka? It was your fault. If you hadn’t pranced off like that, I wouldn’t of even thought about Eri-chan. Ever thought about that? No, because you only cared about your own safety. You’re selfish, Tanaka. Selfish,” Ishi confessed, while pushing the blame on Reina. He was right. If she hadn’t left, Eri would have been unharmed. But knowing Ishi, he would’ve taken any chance possible to make their lives miserable. Reina was unfazed by his words. With her fists raised, she took a firm step towards him.
“I think you’re making a big mistake,” Ishi spat, pointing to the cops standing close by, two of which had already taken notice of their conflict.