Twenty-Eight . Eleven
28 November 2021. 10.30 a.m.
Kasumi is lying on bed, with her eyes half open. It’s currently weekend, so she is taking a break from her writing work. Accompanying her is the music from the radio. It’s “Beggin'” by Måneskin.
Kasumi mumbled, “Come on, guys. Give them a break. Let them play other songs too! I mean, they were just covering this song, it was not even theirs to begin with. Yet, you all just want this one song when they come to make shows.”
“‘Zitti e buoni’ is one hell of a banger, why don’t you guys wanna play it on the radio? You can accept Latino or Korean, but why not Italian? Sheesh.”
“By the way, Vic’s hot. I dig her style.”
Out of a sudden, she received a call from Mieko.
“Hello, Kasumi? Are you there? I got something strange arrived at my house.”
“What happened, Mieko? Tell me about it.”
“There’s this parcel, it’s on your name, but the shipping address was to my house. Plus, there’s nothing else written on this parcel, not even the sender’s name. So I want you to be with me while I open this parcel, in case there’s something dangerous inside.”
“That sounds really fishy. You wait right there, don’t do anything until I come. I’ll be on my way to your house, right now.”
Kasumi quickly hangs up the call and got up from her bed. She took her wallet and house keys, and quickly strapped her boots on. She locked her house door, and dashed to the nearest train station.
While in the train, Kasumi thought to herself.
“What the heck is inside the parcel? And how did it made its way to Mieko’s house instead? Hopefully it’s not a creep who might have stalked her while working at the maid cafe.”
“Oh, it’s time to move out now.”
As soon as the train doors opened, Kasumi dashed out towards the stairs up. She quickly made her way to the apartment close to the maid cafe where Mieko works. She climbed up the stairs and reached Mieko’s place. Kasumi tried ringing the bell a couple of times, but there are no response.
She tried to turn the doorknob, and it was not locked. As she slowly opens the door, the insides of Mieko’s house are pitch dark. All the curtains are closed as if no one’s inside the house. Only Mieko’s shoes are on the front door, so she’s alone.
“What the heck happened here? Please don’t let anything bad happened to Mieko…”
Kasumi slowly closes the front door. She slowly took off her boots and walked on the hallway looking for Mieko. She tried looking around and saw Mieko’s bedroom door is slightly open. She approaches the room with caution, and gets ready with her fists in case an attacker is inside.
Kasumi slowly walks into the room, and it gets even darker. As soon as Kasumi reached the middle of the room, the door quickly shut by itself. Kasumi was shocked for a moment, and she started breathing heavily.
“So you wanna fight in a locked room, huh? Bring it on, show yourselves!”
The lights suddenly lit up, and Kasumi heard popping sounds right in front of her.
“Kya-!” Kasumi quickly covered her mouth as soon as she accidentally used her cute voice. Right in front of her, she saw Mieko, Chie and Natsuki holding party poppers in their hands.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY KASUMIIIIIIIII!!!”, all three of them shouted in sync.
“Gosh… Thank you so much all of you. I am really glad that you’re alright, Mieko. But, seriously you guys… You actually made me worried there for a moment. I almost even forgot that today is actually my birthday. I should have actually suspected this earlier,” said Kasumi.
“Kasumin, you’re too preoccupied with your writing until you even forgot the important dates. You really need to have some break once in a while,” said Chie.
Mieko quickly interfered, “Your birthday is right on Zettai Ryouiki Day! You even sent me your picture wearing thigh highs celebrating ZR Day, but how come you forgot your own birthday?”
“Come on, come on, girls. She’s still in shock after the surprise we did to her. Let’s give her some lax, and let her enjoy this special day, shall we?” said Natsuki.
Chie and Mieko nodded. “You’re right, let’s have a blast today!”
“You three really made my day today. It’s been a while since I get a surprise birthday party, how long has it been since then? But that doesn’t matter. All what matters is what happened now.”
“Thank you, Mieko, Chie, Natsuki, for sticking together with me even after we graduated from school,” said Kasumi as she wiped her little tears.
“Aww, come on! We’re BFFs forever! If you cry, we’re gonna cry too!” Natsuki quickly hugged Kasumi. Mieko and Chie quickly joined them, making a big group hug.
Chie asks, “So, before we begin the party, shall we take a commemorative picture? Mieko’s camera is ready.”
They all quickly get into position, and took a selfie together.
Mieko, “Oh, I got a good idea. Since today is Kasumi’s special day, let’s make her the focus for the photo. We’ll just show our hands, and when the timer is up, we pull the party popper.”
“Good idea, Mieko. Let’s do this!” Natsuki excitedly exclaimed.
Chie asked Kasumi to hold some of the presents, and dons her the birthday party hat. Mieko, Chie and Natsuki quickly position themselves outside of the camera view, and only shows their hands.
The timer beeps: 5-4-3-2-1-