Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chapter 5 (r)

Teramoto frowns immediately as soon as she hears the name of that strange girl. She looks a bit surprised and she seems indecisive about what to say.

Teramoto: "Junko Andou... just how much do you know already? How did you even learn that she's involved?"

Erika: "That's just a matter of logic. Anyone with enough intelligence and a bit of initiative would have been able to acquire this simple information."

Teramoto: "Did you talk to her already?"

Erika: "Yes... or, more precisely, Dlanor did."

Teramoto: "Dlanor? You mean...?"

Erika: "Yes, it looks like she and Andou immediately bonded. They must be kindred spirits. *giggle* *giggle*"

Dlanor: "I respectfully disagree, I do not think we have much in common at all, Miss Erika."

Teramoto: "Aaah... I give up... I don't care anymore..."

Erika: "That's the way I want you. So, is Andou one of your followers too?"

Teramoto: "Ha! That's what I wanted, but no matter how much I tried, she always refused."

Satsukawa: "I thought you never pressured anyone into becoming one of your adepts."

Teramoto: "Normally yes, but as soon as I realized that there was a girl with those skills in our school, I really wanted her to join my group. She was always alone, she had no friends, she was just a first year student. I thought I could easily manipulate her."

Erika: "Junko Andou... she's surprisingly a tough one, isn't she?"

Teramoto: "You have no idea! Just trying to get her into a conversation was a challenge. From the very beginning she told me clearly that she didn't want to join my group, but I'm used to that. I can be a very patient person, and I thought that I would eventually break her. I was very wrong on that.
I started to feel an increasing hatred toward her. She wasn't simply rejecting me, she was defying me, and I couldn't accept that. I decided that she had to be punished for her insolent behavior. Of course that was also for her own good, she needed to learn her place in society."

Erika: "So in other words you started to bully her."

Teramoto: "Bully her?! Tch... well I guess that you can say that we did bully her, if you really want to put it that way..."

Erika: "See, Satsukawa-san? She's such a nice girl, she never did anything wrong at all! *giggle* *giggle*"

Teramoto: "All right, I get it! I'm a horrible person! But why don't you listen to my whole story before concluding that Andou was just a victim and I was evil incarnate? I might have done many wrong things, but who doesn't?! It's easy to point the finger at bullies as if they are the only bad persons in the world, but you know what? Everyone deep down is a bully! The only difference is that some have power and some do not. Give them the chance and even the bullied will become bullies before you can even notice! Even those who overtly despise bullies have probably bullied someone and they don't even remember it, or they justify it with some kind of rationalization. Perhaps they think that their case is different, because they deserved it. Well guess what? I also think that Junko Andou deserved it, okay?!"

Erika: "Ha ha ha! Calm down, Teramoto, who said that I despise bullies? If anything I despise the stupid people that let themselves be bullied."

Teramoto: "Come to think of it, you're just a big bully yourself, aren't you?! Are you having fun?!"

Erika: "Yes. And what is most satisfying is seeing you reaching this kind of self-realization. You finally see yourself for what you actually are, you're not pretending to be someone worthy of admiration anymore. You came to understand the true nature of yourself and the world. You're embracing the truth at last. I'm proud of what you've become, Teramoto!"

Teramoto: "Go to hell!"

Satsukawa: "Now stop that, both of you. Teramoto, please continue with what you were saying. I must admit that I've become curious to know more about Andou."

Teramoto: "Yeah, okay... What do you expect that I did? I started by spreading rumors about her, I wanted to make sure she'd remain as friendless as she was. Everyone started to avoid her as if she had the plague."

Erika: "Seriously? That's what you did to 'punish' her?"

Teramoto: "I get your point! I actually did her a favor! I didn't know her that well back then! How could I imagine that she'd actually be happy to be a loner forever?! I had no choice but to make her life even more miserable than it already was! Soon she had to deal with pranks almost every day. Her desk was filled with insults and scribbles, her textbooks were stolen, and I'm not going to mention what she found in her locker. Naturally I never did those things myself, I made someone else..."

Erika: "Of course not, you'd never stoop so low!"

Teramoto: "Yeah, it's not like... Aaah! That was sarcasm, wasn't it?!"

Satsukawa: "Good grief... Let her talk, Erika..."

Teramoto: "I know, I get it! Give me a break already!"

Satsukawa: "Calm down, ignore that comment and continue."

Teramoto: "I don't feel like talking about that anymore!"

Erika: "Why? Are you afraid to face the truth of your actions? You disappoint me, Teramoto! Aaah! And here I was having so many hopes for you! *giggle* *giggle*"

Satsukawa: "Erika... are you sure you don't have a personal grudge against bullies? It sure doesn't look that way..."

Erika: "What's that even supposed to mean? Can't you see that I'm the one bullying here? But I'm not shamelessly denying my responsibilities."

Teramoto: "And how does that make you a better person?!"

Erika: "It doesn't. What makes me a better person than all of you, Teramoto, is my brilliant mind. Now, if you please, would you care continuing? I haven't had my fill yet."

Teramoto: "Gh... gh... ghhhhh!!!"

Clenching your fists and gritting your teeth won't do you any good, Teramoto. If anything that only increases my amusement.

Teramoto: "Aaah! Enough! Enough! Damn it! Have it your way, I don't care!"

Erika: "Then, are you ready to expose the pathetic and shameless account of your misdeeds?"

Teramoto: "Yeah, I'm ready! Feel free to laugh and sneer to you heart's content, you witch!"

Erika: "Aha ha ha ha ha!!! Well said! Well said indeed!"

Satsukawa sighs, but doesn't comment.

Teramoto: "So I let Andou simmer in the hell that I prepared for her for a while. Then I approached her, and without being too explicit I made her understand that I could make the bullying stop, if she only accepted my offer."

Erika: "Clever, and what did she say?"

Teramoto: "At first? Nothing! She said nothing! She completely ignored me, as if I didn't even exist! Simply thinking about that fills me with anger all over again! I confronted her more assertively, I demanded an answer, and you know what she told me? She said that she didn't even understand what I was talking about! She totally looked down on me, as if she couldn't even be bothered!"

Erika: "Nice..."

Satsukawa: "Really? What kind of person is this Andou?"

Teramoto: "As if I knew! She's still a complete mystery to me, and you haven't even heard it all! That day I was completely defeated, I was at a loss for words, and she went her way, like that. And there I asked to myself, what did I represent to her? She made me feel like a mosquito trying to hurt an elephant. It became personal. If what I did to her until that point was just a small nuisance, then she left me with no choice but to seriously mess with her.
A few days later, I gathered my friends and we waited for Andou on her way out of her club. We took her to an even more isolated place. I was seriously going to hurt her, you know. I was furious!"

Satsukawa: "What did you do?"

The change in Satsukawa's tone is almost hilarious, he became so serious all of a sudden.

Teramoto: "She followed us without saying a word, without ever looking at us, but I could almost read her thoughts. She was thinking: 'what a bother', 'I just hope they'll be done quickly'. She wasn't scared at all.
We cornered her with her back against a wall, where nobody could see us nor hear us. I started talking to her, you know, to make her understand her situation, to make her know why I had to do what I was going to do to her, why she left me with no other choice. It was like talking to a statue, she didn't even react. She was like in another world, or so I thought. I soon realized how wrong I was."

Satsukawa: "What do you mean?"

Teramoto: "After a few minutes without seeing any reactions from her, I lost it. I remember I moved my right hand, almost subconsciously, with the intention to slap her as hard as I could. And there, for the first time, Andou looked at me. You can't imagine how scary that was. She never looked anyone into their eyes before, but at that very moment she did, and I could feel a murderous intent from that piercing stare. Andou realized that I was going to hit her, I hadn't even raised my hand above my shoulder, but she knew, she read the subtle movements of my body, she knew the pattern. I thought she was ignoring me, but she was actually observing me closely, with her full vision, without focusing on any place in particular.
Then I realized that some kind of pointy tool was dangerously close to my throat. I didn't even notice the movement of her hand. I should have taken away that tool belt from her before threatening her. Only then I realized my mistake. I wonder why they let her keep that on all the time. They probably think that she would never use that to hurt anyone, but they're wrong. Back then she clearly showed the intent to use that tool as a weapon."

Erika: "Intriguing..."

Satsukawa: "Wait... are you telling me that Andou, after being so passive and unresponsive for all that time, finally snapped and attacked you?"

Erika: "That's not it, Satsukawa-san. Andou gave Teramoto a clear message: 'you can prank me and bully me all you want, I don't care, but don't you dare to touch me'."

Teramoto: "Yes, that's what I think as well. Andou didn't even open her mouth, but I received that message with clarity."

Satsukawa: "Then... what happened after that?"

Teramoto: "My friends were taken off guard as much as I was, and I feared that I could lose my authority more than I feared that I could lose my life. I mustered my courage and I calmly confronted Andou. In retrospect it might have been foolish to believe that she wouldn't seriously hurt me, that girl isn't normal. Or perhaps it's because I knew that as long as I wasn't threatening to physically harm her, I had nothing to fear. I don't quite remember what was going on in my mind back then. Faking confidence, I simply told her again that all of that could be solved pacifically if only she accepted to work for me.
She answered like her usual: 'I won't join your club'. I was losing hope and patience, but then she surprised me again. She told me that if all I wanted was to put her skills into use, she could do that."

Satsukawa: "So... in the end nothing happened?"

Teramoto: "That's right, we reached an agreement. She accepted to work on whatever project I had in mind, in exchange I promised to make sure nobody would bother her anymore. I still wonder why she didn't propose that earlier, it could have saved a lot of troubles to both of us. It was still a compromise though, she never accepted to become one of my subordinates. I think you can see why that was troublesome for me. I was going to entrust my tricks and my reputation to an unrelated person. But then I thought, who is she even going to talk to? It's not like I expected any loyalty from her, but she had no friends and she couldn't bother to expose my shams or anything of that sort."

Erika: "So, that's how your cooperation began."

1 comment:

  1. "she had to be punished her for her insolent behavior" --> she had to be punished for her

    "Perhaps they think that in their case is different" --> that their case is different / that in their case it's different

    "I actually made her a favor!" --> did her a favor (but i'm not sure on this one, so better ask someone else before changing it :p )

    "It sure doesn't look that way..." --> "it sure does look that way" would make more sense in this context?

    "where nobody could sees us nor hears us" --> see us nor hear us

    "She never looked anyone into theirs eyes before" --> their eyes