Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Common ❯ Part III: Call to Innocence: Chapter Eight: Sailing High ( Chapter 34 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Eight: Sailing High:

Atticus came back to work with a surprise waiting for him. One of his colleagues stood outside of the building, waiting for him. Atticus slowly walked up with a puzzled look on his face.

“Honda-san?” he asked. “Honda-san, what's going on here? Did something happen?” His colleague paced around for a minute with his hands in his pockets.

“Um… We're needed inside,” Honda-san said in low voice.

“What for?” Atticus asked.

“Just come on,” his colleague said. He pushed Atticus along to go inside. Atticus himself didn't get a chance to speak.


The small conference room was quiet. Everyone sat at the table, waiting. Atticus shared the same puzzled and concerned look on his face they all had.

“What's going on?” he asked. No one had an answer. Hiroka looked at him with no emotion on her face. Atticus and Honda-san took their seats at the end of the table.

“Where's the boss?” Atticus asked. His colleague shrugged and shook his head. Everyone looked up when they heard the door open. The boss stood in the doorway, smiling. He took a look at all of his workers.

“Good morning, everyone!” he greeted them. Nobody spoke. The manager clapped his hands.

“I have an announcement to make,” he said. The boss paused for a moment.

“Our branch is expanded to Hong Kong!” he said. Whispers filled the room. Everyone looked at each other.

“When did this happen?” Atticus asked.

“Last night,” the boss said. “The deal was a success.” He took the place at the other end of the table. All eyes fell on him.

“We will open a new branch in fall,” the boss said. “I will transfer some of you to work there six months at a time. You will find out who by the end of the day. That is all.” Everyone didn't know what to make of this.


No one could stop talking about the new deal. They wondered who would be going to Hong Kong in autumn. Atticus sat at his computer, unable to focus. He couldn't go to Hong Kong. He still had a family to look after. Could Aoi hold down the fort?

“Hello,” a voice said over his head. Atticus looked up to Hiroka standing over him, smiling.

“How are young doing?” she asked.

“Oh,” Atticus said. “I'm fine. How about you?”

“I'm doing well,” Hiroka said. “Who do you think is going to Hong Kong?” Atticus shook his head.

“I can't go,” he said. Hiroka made a face at him.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“My family,” Atticus said. “My kids are so young. I don't know if my wife can handle six months without me.”

“She'll be fine,” Hiroka insisted. “You make more money for them.”

“Yeah, but…” Atticus said. She reached over and patted his shoulder.

“It will be fine,” Hiroka said. He had to force himself to smile.


The list was posted on the board in the hall. The workers crowded around for a look. Ten people were going to Hong Kong.

“Atticus,” Hiroka said as she caught him trying to leave. “Atticus-kun! Atticus-kun!” The man was at the door when he turned around. Hiroka ran to catch up with him.

“What?” Atticus asked. She broke into a big smile.

“Congratulations,” she said. He blinked at first.

“What do you mean?” Atticus asked. Hiroka grabbed him by the hands.

“You're going to Hong Kong with me!” she said. A puzzled look washed over his face.

“What?!” he asked.

“We're going to be working together in Hong Kong,” she said. “Isn't that great?” Atticus didn't know how to respond. He nervously laughed as Hiroka giggled and hugged him.

“Uh…” was all that he could say. Sweat drops ran down the back of his head. What was he going to tell his wife and kids?