MARS Fan Fiction ❯ Rise of a Fallen Angel (Part II of the Angels Series) ❯ Past ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Ms. Reese, just as small and smiling as ever, ushered Rei and Kira into her office at ten o'clock the next morning. “Mr. Hirohito called me last night and told me you were coming. He told me the good news. Congratulations! Now, have some coffee and sit—sit, Mr. Kashino—and I'll be right back with Emily.”
Kira couldn't stop grinning. She just sat there, clutching Rei's hand and fidgeting as she waited for Ms. Reese to return with Emily. Rei, in contrast, simply sipped his coffee in silence.
The truth was, Rei couldn't remember ever being so nervous about a meeting. If everything went well today, he was looking at a life as a full-time father. He would have someone to set an example for. The very thought terrified him; what if he wasn't good enough? Continuing in this line of thought, he had just begun a mental list of how many different ways this whole parenting thing could blow up in his face when the door opened and Ms. Reese entered, followed by a girl who could only be Emily.
She was, as Kira had said, very pretty. At twelve years, she was only about four feet nine inches tall, and very thin. Her hair was thick, black, and resting in a long, shining braid against her back, falling to her waist. Her eyes were dark, too, and framed by long lashes. Her skin was tanned from the sun, and she wore a pair of dark blue jeans, a dark green T-shirt, and running shoes. She surveyed them emotionlessly, then looked back at Ms. Reese.
Ms. Reese's mood seemed to have changed dramatically. Whereas she had been smiling and happy before she left the room, now she appeared rather anxious and fidgety. “This is Kira and Rei Kashino, Emily. I told you about them. They wanted to meet you.”
Emily nodded once, then returned her gaze to Kira and Rei.
“Hello, Emily,” Kira said uncertainly. The intense gaze was a bit unnerving. “Um…nice to meet you.”
Emily nodded again.
“Um…Emily?” Ms. Reese said after a rather awkward moment. “I'm going to talk to Kira and Rei for a moment. Wait here, all right?”
The girl didn't reply. She just walked over to the window, rested her elbows on the sill, and fell to watching the birds in the tree outside.
“Will you step outside with me for a moment?” Ms. Reese asked.
Slightly taken aback, the “hopeful parents” nodded and followed her into the hallway.
“Wow,” Rei said after a moment passed in silence. “That was…scary.”
“Why wouldn't she talk to us?” Kira asked quietly.
“That's…what I needed to talk to you about. But before I say anything, I need to know…” Ms. Reese hesitated, then spoke again, slowly. “Are you prepared to take her…no matter what?”
Rei and Kira looked at each other. All of their thoughts were communicated in that single glance, and Rei's small nod. Kira tilted her head to the side. To Rei, her meaning was clear: “Are you sure?” And Rei nodded again, so Kira turned back to Ms. Reese. “I said we'd take her home with us, and we will. But why won't she talk?”
Ms. Reese sighed. “No one knows.”
Kira looked confused, and Rei blinked stupidly. “Huh?”
Ms. Reese sighed and returned to her office. “Emily, hon, it's almost time for lunch. Why don't you go to the kitchen? I'm going to talk to Kira and Rei and you can come back up after you eat.”
Emily's only response was to get up and walk out the door. Ms. Reese sighed and dropped into a chair. She looked tired all of a sudden, and much older than she really was. “Sit down,” she said, gesturing to the two chairs in front of her desk. “When I say I no one knows why Emily doesn't talk, I'm completely serious. Hers is a long story, and a sad one. I only know parts of it that she told me years ago, but I had to piece most of it together based on the scraps she was willing to talk about.” She sighed. “I'm not sure how much to tell you, so I'll just tell you everything I know.” She was silent for a moment before she began. “Emily's parents died when she was five. Her mother was a cabaret singer, singing in coffee shops and clubs and the occasional hotel, and wherever else she could get a gig, and her father was a karate instructor.”
“What happened to them?”
Ms. Reese sighed again. “They were murdered.”
The silence in the room was heavy, as though a giant, invisible cape had settled over them. “M-murdered?” Kira repeated, horrified.
“Yes. I found her by her parents' bodies. She wasn't crying at all. She was frozen, like a statue. I took her back to the orphanage, which at that point was new. There were only two children here at the time. Well, anyway, I got her back here and I called the police, and naturally they did an investigation, but they never found out who killed them. I tried to get Emily to tell me what happened, but she just kept saying `I don't know' and `I didn't see him.' She wouldn't tell the police anything, either. All she would say was that she had been in a friend's apartment, which was in the same building as her own family's apartment, when it happened. She was supposed to meet her parents just in front of the apartment building so the family could go out to dinner, and when she got there, the place was deserted and her parents' bodies were lying in an alleyway right next to the building.”
“How awful,” Kira murmured. “To have something like that happen to you at such a young age…”
Ms. Reese nodded. “Well, Emily stayed with us for about a week. She was quiet and didn't socialize with the other two kids at all, but she spoke when someone else asked her a question or spoke to her first.”
“She was only here for a week?” Rei asked. “Why? Did someone take her into foster care or something?”
The woman shook her head. “No one came to the orphanage back then. It was just starting out, so no one really knew about it. No, she ran away.”
“Ran away?” Kira echoed. “When she was five?”
“Oh, yes. She always was very smart, and very athletic. Her father started her in martial arts when she was very young, and from what I heard, she picked up on it quickly. It certainly wouldn't have been hard for her to slip out without drawing attention to herself. Well, I went into the room where the kids sleep one morning about a week and a half after the murder, and Emily's bed was empty. I looked all over the place for her, but I couldn't find her. It was seven years before I did.”
Ms. Reese nodded sadly. “I searched for her for months after the police had given up the investigation, but I finally had to admit defeat. Then, one day, I was on my way back to the orphanage with groceries when I passed by the same alleyway that Emily's parents were murdered in, and there she was. Just sitting there on the ground, leaning against the wall and looking more lost than any child should ever have to. Her clothes were ripped up and she was covered in cuts and bruises, but the wounds were at least two days old. Well, I asked her to come back to the orphanage with me, and she came, quiet as anything. But she refused to go see a doctor. I told her she needed to, and she planted her feet and shook her head, and she refused to move. So I ended up cleaning the cuts and patching her up the best I could, and I offered her a place here, which she took. Through all that, she didn't say a single word. That was about six weeks ago, and…she's been absolutely silent the entire time. She hasn't made a sound.”
“What do you think happened to her?” Kira asked after a moment of silence passed.
Ms. Reese sighed deeply, and the few lines on her face suddenly seemed to be etched firmly into the skin, deepening with each passing moment. “I don't know.”
Minutes later, Emily returned. Ms. Reese motioned for her to sit down, which she did.
“Emily?” she said softly. “Kira and Rei have come here because they want to adopt you. I would like you to get to know them, and perhaps return with them to Japan. Will you…consider it? Please?”
Emily, instead of shaking or nodding her head, simply turned to look at the couple that had come for her. She gazed at them for several minutes, her expression revealing nothing. Then, to everyone's surprise, she stood slowly and left the room.
“What was that?” Rei asked in amazement.
“That, Mr. Kashino…was Emily,” Ms. Reese sighed. “And if I'm not mistaken, she's come to her decision.”
And so she had. A few minutes later, Emily returned carrying a small duffel bag and a backpack and stood in the doorway, looking from Rei to Kira to Ms. Reese as if to ask, “Well, what are we waiting for?”
So now you all have met Emily. Is she one freaky chick, or what? Well, anyway, sorry this chapter was so short. Hopefully the next one will be longer. R+R please!!!