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The Locked Heart

This story is about a lonely girl called Hikari. She doesn't like to get too close to people. Come and find out why.

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False / True Kindness

Episode updated 12 months ago
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It's weekend, the two days most expected by the young,  for 2 days they don’t need to wake up early or worry about school things like homework for example, they just want to have fun.

Well this may be the reality of many but not for Hikari, even on weekends she does the same things she would on any ordinary day. She gets literally stuck in her apartment, she spends all day reading or studying. Well what else could we expect? She has no friends and no one to talk to, so the only way is to stay indoors focused on school.

 

Sunday night the phone of the apartment rings, it repeats every second Sunday of the month.

Hikari: It must be her.

**Hikari was washing the dishes, she dries her hands and goes to answer the phone.**

Hikari: Yes.

?: Hikari, are you okay?

Hikari: Yes.

?: Do you need something? Do you have enough money?

Hikari: Yes, don’t worry Grandma, it's okay. I have enough money for the rest of the month.

 

The person Hikari is talking is the only family she has, the only one that still talks to her, her Grandmother. Rioko is an 80-year-old widow who lives in Kyoto with a nurse who takes care of her. Thanks to her help Hikari managed to live alone for all these years.

At first Hikari didn’t know where the money came from, but after a long time she discovered that it was her grandmother who sent the money, she was furious at that time, since she never liked to depend on anyone, but even after she refused to accept it her grandmother kept sending  money for her, after a long time she began to accept it. Her grandmother calls once a month to see if everything is okay with her.

 

Hikari: Listen Grandma, I'm going to look for a job again, and I'll make a point of paying for everything you've spent with me all these years.

Rioko: But what are you talking about ?! I'm more than happy to help you, since I've never approached you since you were a child.

Hikari: But this is not your fault, you were not to blame for what happened.

 

Rioko: Even so, my dear, I feel guilty for being a grandmother so absent in the life of my only granddaughter.

Hikari: Don’t worry about it. ( You're the only person who still cares for me even living away from me. Maybe because you've never seen my face.) Well I have to go now, tomorrow I have to wake up early.

Rioko: Yes, good night.

**Hikari hangs up the phone and goes to bed.**

 

The next morning the teacher makes a rather odd warning at the end of the first period.

 

Girl 1: Huh? Ryo didn’t come today.

Girl 3: Yes, I noticed that, too.

Boy 2: Did something happen?

Boy 3: I thought he'd be late but in the end he didn’t even come.

**Hikari listens to the group's chat  and looks to her right side and sees that the place where Ryo should be is totally empty.**

Hikari: (It's true ... he didn’t even come today. Maybe he gave up ... well  whatever, I have nothing to do with it.)

Boy 5: Did he give up?

Girl 3: No don’t say that! He can’t have left!

Girl 2: Yes! He is a very nice person!  We need him with us!

Midori: (Ok... this is a bit too much.)

Girl 4: I'm really worried.

Girl 2: Yes me too !!

Hikari: (how can you care so much about a person you barely know ? He only came one day after all ...)

The teacher notices the students' conversation and makes the announcement.

Teacher: Silence, please, we're still having class!

Girl 3: But Sensei  we are worried about Ryo!

Boy 5: He didn’t come today so we think something might have happened.

Teacher: Oh, so this is what are you talking about.

Girl 4: You know what happened?

Girl 2: Don’t you know anything about it ?

Teacher: Yes, I was going to say it at the end of the second period but I can see that you will not wait until then.

Girl 6: You are right!

Boy 4: (Did you have to miss today Ryo ? I was going to ask if you'd like to join the soccer team.) Please tell us.

Teacher: I'll tell you if you  keep quiet for a moment.

**Everybody went silente**

Teacher: Much better ... Well Ryo called the Principal this morning, he said that he will be missing a few classes but he will return as soon as possible.

**After hearing this Midori looks at the back of the classroom.**

Midori: ....

Hikari: Huh? (Why are you looking at me?)

Girl 2: * smiles * Then he didn’t quit.

Boy 3: So he's sick?

Teacher: This is information I can not tell you.

Girl 3: But Sensei !

Teacher: that’s enough ... I can’t tell you , these are the rules. (I don’t even know to speak the truth ....)

**The teacher sighs and looks at his wristwatch.**

Teacher: Well we don’t have more time, you're free,  see you in the second period.

All: yes ~

**After the teacher has left the room the students begin to leave for the luch time while talking about Ryo's absence.**

**Hikari was almost leaving when Midori came practically chasing after her.**

Midori: Hikari wait!

**Hikari turns around and looks at her.**

Midori: Are you okay?

Hikari: huh?

Midori: Aren’t you feeling lonely? (Well you always are but ...)

Hikari: Why would I be?

Midori: Well Ryo didn’t come today  so I thou-

Hikari: Midori, I think you're misunderstanding things ... It's not like I and Ryo are friends or something  like that. (I doubt I would get along with a person like him ...)

Midori: But I saw you two talking and I though-

Hikari: I'm sorry but you made a mistake, I'm not friend of that guy or anything, so whether he comes or not, it's not my problem.

After saying that Hikari left

Midori: Wait... she was a little upset, wasn’t she?

The only thing that the students talked that day was about Ryo, “everyone” wanted to know what was going on.

This uneasiness only increased because the next days Ryo  had not shown up and it was already Friday. He missed a whole week and  there were no  signs that he would be back so soon.

The end of the second period of Friday is approaching

Hikari: (This guy is stupid or what? How can he miss a week as important as this? We have one test next week and he missed the review ... i’m sure  he’ll not get a good grade ...)

**Hikari's eyes widen in surprise.**

Hikari: (why am I thinking about him? What happens to him is not my problem!)

Girl 3: No news from Ryo Sensei?

The teacher stops writing, turns around  and looks at the students.

Teacher: Unfortunately no.

Boy 2: If we knew where he lives ... we could pay him a visit and see how he is.

Girl 2: yes! Is a good idea !! Do you know where he lives, Sensei?

Teacher: I'm afraid not ... only the Director has the file with all the data, I don’t advise to ask him, the school rules doesn’t allow him to give personal information of any student or teacher for non-family members.

Girl 3: These rules only get in the way!

Teacher: I disagree, I think they are necessary. All you can do is wait and see if he goes back to school next week.

For some reason the teacher looks at the back of the room and upon seeing Hikari he smiles

Teacher: (ah she came today ... That’s good! Maybe my plan works...) We still have time, please pay attention in class.

All: yes ~

Suddenly a group of 4 people began to make speculations in "low voice"

Boy 8: Wait a moment, don’t you think it's strange?

Girl 7: What do you mean by that?

Boy 8: Pay attention, Ryo was fine the first day until he made a lousy choice.

Boy 9: I don’t understand, where do you want to get?

Boy 8: No one sits near Hikari for years

At that moment Hikari was writing but stoped suddenly.

Although they whispered their conversation was loud enough for Hikari to hear, obviously that was their goal, to make her listen to everything.

Girl 10: Wait you're saying that!

Boy 8: Yes ! There is no other explanation. Nobody sits next to her for years, then suddenly the first person sitting next to her disappears.

Girl 10: Truth! It will make more sense if he is sick!

Girl 7: Then it’s like a curse for getting close to that girl.

Boy 9: So whoever is near her gets sick!

Boy 8: Poor Ryo, we should have stopped him from sitting next to her, who knows what happened to him because of this?

Boy 10: Ekkk i’m scared, I don’t want to be contaminated by her!

Boy 8: We'd better not stay close to her!

Girl 7: Yes you're right!

**Hikari sighs after having heard the whole conversation**

Hikari: (Great, now beyond being "weird" I bring bad luck people who approach me ...)

The teacher could not hear the conversation but that noise was taking away his concentration.

Teacher: You there! Stop talking and pay attention !!

Boy 8: (oh damn!) Yes Sensei sorry!

After that there were no more incidents and classes ended normally. All the students left and Hikari stayed in the room, she was pensive looking at the scenery outside the window.

Hikari: .... (I wonder how long this new rumor will take to spread through the school ... Probably by  Monday  everyone will already know ... "the strange girl who curses anyone who approaches her" or something like that ... imagination is something that is not lacking for these people ...)

Hikari had her thoughts interrupted by a voice that she knew well.

Midori: Hikari?

Hikari: Oh!

**She looks  to her right side and sees Midori smiling.**

Midori: Everyone have already left ... what about you ?

Hikari: (Huh? It’s true. ) Yes, I'm leaving as well.

Midori: (Yay maybe we can go home together today !!)

Hikari: Why are you smirking like that ?

Midori: Oh nothing ~

When they were about to leave the room they heard footsteps, it seemed that someone was running.

Hikari: Huh ?

**Suddenly the teacher enters the room out of breath.**

Teacher: Hikari !!

**Hikari and Midori get scared**

Hikari: W..w..what?!

The teacher let’s a sigh of relief.

Teacher: Ahh, I got here on time.

Hikari: in time for what?

Teacher: (Aghhh I said it aloud!) Nothing! Oh, right ! Hikari, I need you to do me a favor!

Hikari: What would it be?

Midori: (what's happening here?)

Teacher: S..so you know... next week we'll have a very important test and ...

Hikari: “And?”

The teacher opens his bag and takes out a paper.

Teacher: In this paper are the main topics that may be in the test.

**He hands the paper over to Hikari and she reads it**

Hikari: I see... but why are you giving me this paper? All students already know what is written in this.

Teacher: You're right everyone knows about it but there’s one student who doesn’t.

Midori: Are you talking about Ryo ?

Teacher: Yes, so Hikari I want you to give this paper to him, otherwise he will not be able to take the test, I would appreciate it if you do it today.

**Hikari gets nervous and takes a few steps back.**

Hikari: Wait! What ? Why me ?! Couldn’t you have asked someone else?

Teacher: (I knew you'd say that) Well yes but now there's no one here that can do it so...

Hikari: No, there is !

**Hikari turns her back to him and looks at Midori who was behind her.**

Hikari: Midori you can do that, right ?!

Midori: (wow she's really agitated!) ammmm su-

Hikari: “su” ?

**Midori stops suddenly when she looks behind Hikari and sees that the teacher is making signs that she can’t  accept it.**

Midori: (Does he want her to go? ... Oh I get it!)

Hikari: So Midori?

Midori: Sorry! I would love to but unfortunately I don’t have time for this!

**Midori says as she walks away and Hikari starts to panic**.

Hikari: W..what? why ?!

Midori: I have an appointment today with my boyfriend!

Hikari: Boyfriend?

Midori: Y..yes! I introduced him to you that day, remember?

Hikari: Well yes but ...

Midori: It’s something very important that I can’t leave for later!

**Midori walks to the exit slowly**

Hikari: (What's this? It looks like she's running away!) But Mi-

Midori: (I have to get out of here !! Otherwise she'll convince me to accept it !!) Sorry for not being able to help! Bye Hikari, see you next week !!

Hikari: (she ran away !!) Wait Midori!

Teacher: (Looks like she understood my message ... thank you Midori) well Hikari, as you can see only you can do this.

**Hikari sighs and turns to face the teacher.**

Hikari: I just have to deliver this right?

Teacher: (Did I convince her ?!) Yes!

Hikari: (I really don’t want to do this...) But I don’t know where he lives so I can’t g-

**Suddenly the teacher takes a paper from the inside of his pocket.**

Teacher: Here it is! Problem solved!

**He hands the small piece of paper to Hikari**

Hikari: That's...

Teacher: Ryo's address.

**He says as he smiles.**

Hikari: * staring at the paper * (it's close to where I live ... I can do this quickly) Wait a minute ... didn’t you say that only the Principal had this information and that it couldn’t be given to anyone?

Teacher: (Sharp as ever) Y..yes but in this case it is an exception!

Hikari: I don’t understand ... you didn’t plan this, did you?

Teacher: (She's hard to convince) B..b..but what are you talking about?! O..of course not!! Let's not worry about it! You just have to hand over that paper, that's all ... why don’t you go now? The sooner the better, right?

Hikari: Yes, you're right.

**Hikari sighs and puts the paper inside the backpack.**

Hikari: Excuse me.

**She leaves the room and the Teacher let’s a sigh of relief.**

Midori goes to talk to the teacher she was hiding in the room next to where they were.

Midori: Did you convince her?

Teacher: somehow ... eh? Wait ! Didn’t you have an appointment with your boyfriend ?!

**The teacher asked, surprised.**

Midori: Oh that was a lie ... I kind of understood what you were trying to do ...

Teacher: Really?

Midori: You want her to interact with the other students too, right?

Teacher: Yes, this is the last year after all... so I wanted her to make some friends at least, I know that you know each other a long time and the little she speaks is just to you... Ryo it seems to be an easy person to approach so I think he can talk normally to her...

Midori: Yes, I agree... if she keeps acting like this she's going to have a very lonely and sad life ... so we have to help her, right?

The teacher smiles

Teacher: Yes!

Meanwhile Hikari is walking the streets with the address in her hand looking for the place where Ryo is supposed to live.

Hikari: That's the same way I go every day ... maybe that's why he asked me to give it to him ...

**She stops in front of a building.**

Hikari: It's here ... well my apartment is further ahead ... I think I'll go there first to leave my things.

She goes to her apartment and leaves her backpack and bathes. After changing her clothes she takes the paper that the teacher gave to her.

Hikari: He will not be able to get a good grade even with this.

She sighs and looks at her printer that is at the table in the living room.

Hikari: It seems like I have no choice.

After doing everything she needed to Hikari puts the papers inside an envelope and leaves to deliver it to Ryo. It doesn’t take long until she reached her destination.

Hikari: * looking at the paper * hmmm apartment 28 ... ok let's get this over with.

**Hikari enters the building.**

Meanwhile Ryo is lying on the bed in his room. He’s looking at the ceiling.

Ryo: .... (I can’t go on like this ... I know this but ... why is it so hard ?!)

**He sighs and closes his eyes slowly.**

Suddenly the doorbell rings.

Ryo opens his eyes in surprise.

Ryo: Huh? Who could it be ?

He gets up and goes to the door but before opening it he stopped suddenly as if he was frozen

His hand on the door knob begins to shake and he begins to sweat cold and speaks in a low voice.

Ryo: T..there's no way she can find out where I live, r..right ?! I-I-I never said anything to her! But she may have followed me !! No no no ... I don’t want this !!

He was terrified his body didn’t stop shaking and his heart was racing.

Ryo: No ... it can’t be, she cannot have found me! *he squeezes his eyes* Leave me alone!!

The doorbell rings again.

Ryo: (It’s still here).......ok... i better check who is

**He sighs and looks at the camera monitor that is on the left side of the door.**

The last person he could imagine was on the other side of the door. He was surprised and somewhat relieved.

Ryo: W..what? What is she doing here?!

Hikari: Hmmm it looks like he's not home ... I guess I'll leave it under the door then.

**When Hikari begins to goes down she hears a voice through the door.**

Ryo: I'm coming!

Hikari: (Oh so he was here after all!)

**Hikari sighs, she's a little nervous, which is extremely rare.**

Few minutes later the door opens and Ryo walks out with a smile on his face.

Ryo: How can I help you?

Hikari: Goo

She stoped talking as soon as she saw Ryo's face

Hikari: (Is it serious? He wants me to believe it?) Katsuya-san.

Ryo: (katsuya san? You could call me by my name) Y..yes?

Hikari: You can stop that now.

Ryo: Stop with what?

Hikari: With that fake smile. It makes me sick.

Ryo: !!!

**Ryo was shocked and just looked at Hikari.**

Ryo: I don’t know.... what you're talking about.

Hikari: Really? Your eyes are red, that's a sign that you've been crying.

**Ryo takes a step back.**

Ryo: W..w..what?

Hikari: Not to mention the dark circles, that's a sign that you have not slept for a while.

Ryo: Y..you ....

Hikari: Well, that's none of my bussiness... the teacher asked me to give you this, inside this envelope is the content of the test that will be on Monday, it's an important test so I recommend you study hard.

**She hands the envelope over to Ryo, he was without any kind of reaction. He was just looking at Hikari with a surprised face.**

"How did she get to see right through me even though I’m pretending that everything's okay?"

Hikari: Katsuya-san?

**Ryo goes back to his senses**

Ryo: Ah yes! Thanks...

Hikari: Well that's all. Excuse me.

When Hikari was leaving Ryo called her

Ryo: Ah wait!

**Hikari stops and turns around.**

Hikari: Is there something wrong?

Ryo: I..I think so ... there are some notes inside the envelope that are not mine, maybe they came by mistake.

Hikari: Maybe ... but they asked me to give you all this, that's what I did. Now, if you'll excuse me.

**Hikari leaves and Ryo stays in the same place until he can no longer see her.**

Ryo: Who is this girl anyway? .... Well it's not time to stand still!

Hours later Ryo is studying in his bedroom

Ryo: Wow this is really a lot ... I’m pretty sure my grade would be horrible, I’m glad she came to warn me, not to mention that these extra notes are helping me a lot!

**Ryo stops writing suddenly.**

Ryo: This letter .... what if she d- ?!

**After thinking this he shakes his head.**

Ryo: No, no way!  She wouldn’t do it right?  Probably it was the teacher who sent me this ... I have to thank him for it latter.

**Suddenly someone rings the doorbell**

Ryo: What ?! who could it be at this hour?

It was dark around 10 pm. Ryo looks at the camera but sees no one.

Ryo: But what the?

He opens the door and sees a bag hanging on the door knob 

Ryo: but what is it?

**He picks up the bag, looks inside and sees that it is full of vitamins, there's water and also some food.**

**Surprised he looks  around but doesn’t see anyone**

Ryo: Is it possible?

He runs into the apartment while holding the bag. He runs to check the security cameras.

He checked what happened minutes earlier and sees that who left the bag at his door was a person with a hood, he could not see the person’s face but by the size  it was surely a girl.

As soon as the girl rang the doorbell she rushed out and the wind made her hood fall off exposing her long brown hair. Seeing this Ryo is surprised.

Ryo: WHAT ?!

The girl puts on the hood quickly to hide her hair and leaves.

Ryo: It's no use hiding, I already know it was you.

He looks at the bag that is in his hands and says as he smiles

Ryo: Thank you.

+ Ryo: That was the sign that kindness can come from the most unexpected people.

{TO BE CONTINUED}

 

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