Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Common ❯ Part III: Call to Innocence: Chapter Eleven: Rising Pile ( Chapter 37 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter Eleven: Rising Pile:
The rest of the day felt like a fog. Aoi sat on the couch with her mind in outer space. She couldn't even hear her children around her. Marilyn in a deaf school? They didn't have the money. Aoi buried her head in her hands.
“I'm home,” she heard in the background. Aoi didn't even look up.
“Aoi-chan?” Atticus asked. Footsteps walked up to her. A hand shook her shoulder.
“Aoi-chan? Aoi-Chan? Are you okay?” her husband asked. “Aoi-chan? Aoi-chan?” Aoi jerked her head upwards. Atticus stood inches away from her. His wife blinked.
“Huh?” she asked. Her husband had a worried look on his face.
“Are you feeling okay, dear?” Atticus asked. She didn't answer at first.
“Oh,” she said, blinking. “Uh… yeah, yeah.” Aoi cleared her throat.
“I'm fine,” she lied. Atticus didn't look convinced.
“Did something happen?” he asked. Aoi lowered her eyes.
“It's Marilyn,” she said. Atticus raised his eyebrow.
“What about her?” he asked. Aoi buried her head in her hands.
“She's deaf,” she muttered. Atticus blinked.
“What?” he asked. His wife looked up, trembling.
“They want her to change schools,” she said. “We don't have the money.” Her eyes welled up with tears. Atticus pulled her into his arms.
“Shhh,” he whispered. “Shhh. Shhh. Shhh.” She rested her head on his chest.
“How did this happen?” she asked. “Why does this keep happening to us?”
“I don't know,” Atticus said.
“What will we do?” Aoi asked. Her husband hugged her.
“We can pay for the school,” he said. “I'll be in Hong Kong by late September.”
“No!” she wailed. Atticus gave her an odd look.
“No?” he asked. His wife finally broke down crying. Atticus patted her on the back of her head. He happened to look up to see the children standing in the doorway of the living room. Sanjiro stared at him with an uneasy look on his face. Atticus shook his head.
“It's okay,” he lied. His kids didn't look so convinced. Their father sighed.
“We'll talk later,” he said. The kids didn't move. Atticus dropped his shoulders. He patted Aoi on the back of the head.
“I have no choice,” Atticus said. “This will help all of us. Marilyn will go to a better school. We can live in a better home. We would have everything we need.” He leaned down to her ear.
“This will make our lives better,” Atticus insisted. Aoi looked up at him.
Suddenly, the phone rang.
“Excuse me,” Atticus said. He kissed Aoi on the forehead before he got up and went to the kitchen. The children hurried to their mother.
“Mama?” Marilyn asked. Aoi gave her a sad smile as she patted her on the head.
“Hello?” Atticus asked. The call didn't last long. All of the color drained from his face.
“Oh…?” he murmured. The phone hit the floor.
“Hello?” Hello?” the woman on the other line asked.