Shin finds out about Michi's past. 


Is it ok to depend on a stranger like this?

Shin and his mother took me into their house a week ago. They never asked any questions about my past. It was a good things of course but why were they so laid back? What is I was a bad person? What if I bought misfortune with myself somehow? But they were too good to care.

“What are you doing? Stop spacing out like that and do your work” Shin’s loud voice startled me and broke my chain of gloomy thoughts. I looked back and smiled apologetically and started watering the flowers in the garden. Since they were already so good as to take care of me, I offered to help them with their household work. That was the least I could do. But seriously, Shin is always bullying me! He always has this evil look in his eyes. I wonder what he is thinking. “You’ll kill the plants with that tsunami” Shin whispered closely from behind me and I jumped and fell on the ground. I had been so engrossed that I never noticed that the pot was overflowing with water.

Shin sighed with a can’t-be-helped expression and tilted the pot to take out the excess water.

“Sheesh why do I have to take care of this kid” he only moved his eyes to look at me in a creepy manner, “listen cu- Michi I have other jobs to do than to take care of you got it?” he completed with a grin.

Aaaah he pisses me off sometimes. And there it was again, something like ‘koo’. What was that supposed to mean? Why does he call me Koo Michi? If I could talk then Shin would be surprised by the number of intelligent comebacks I have for his stupid jokes. I got up quickly stuck my tongue out at him and started doing my work seriously. No matter what Shin said though, somehow having him around was really fun. He was always so cheerful and goofy that one cannot help but love his presence. I wish we could become real friends.

“Shin can you go out and buy these things?” Shin’s mother came out of the house with a paper and spread across his face. Now what?

“Hey let’s go get these” Shin pulled me by my collar and we left the house before I could even react. He really is a bully. “You… haven’t been out of the house since you came to us right?” he kept looking at the road while he spoke, “So I thought it would be a nice change”

Wow he actually thought something for me. I took out my notepad and stared writing.

“I never knew that you were actually a good person. Thank you”

“Why you!” Shin hit my head lightly and we both started laughing. I guess we were friends after all. The convenience store wasn’t all that far from the house. It took us less than 15 minutes on foot. While entering I saw a news board outside the store. It had many posters on it of criminals and to-let ads and maybe a few missing person ads as well. I thought I saw something familiar but ignored it and went inside. It was a well-equipped store, most of the things on the list were there. We filled the trolley and went to the cash counter. After standing for a few minutes in the line it was finally our turn.

The cashier stared at me for while making me feel uncomfortable. Shin signaled me to go outside and wait. Suddenly the cashier spoke. “Hey! Aren’t you that girl?” he looked at shin with a big smile, “Glad you found her mister” he shook hands with Shin who looked just as puzzled as me and gave out the bill.

Shin stood there for a second but moved aside to let the person behind him come forward. He looked back at me and frowned but he did not ask the cashier anything. As Shin started coming towards me he bumped into a lady and the things we had bought fell down. I started going inside the store to help him pick it up but stopped mid-way as I noticed that familiar thing once again on the board. It was a picture of me. No, more specifically, it was one of those posters you put up for lost people. The contact number written at the end was without doubt Fin’s.

There was also a note under my photo. It said that I was a mentally ill runaway and reporting me would fetch a reward. This was bad. If Shin saw this then he would never believe me. In the first place it was my fault for not telling them anything from the start. No matter what I would say now, Shin would be disappointed in me. I looked at Shin, he was thanking the lady for helping him pick up his stuff. Maybe this is as far as it goes. I needed to get away from here before things got nasty.

I spun around and ran with all my might. I hoped that Shin hadn’t seen me.

The weather started getting cloudy and the sky was filled with clashing thunders. I was quite far from where I had been this morning and was left with no energy to run at all. Still wandering on the roads I saw a bus stand and benches. I really needed to sit for some time. The grey clouds looked gloomy and within a few seconds, it started drizzling.

‘When is this adventure going to end?’ I thought to myself. Since the moment I came here I have been doing nothing but running. I even ran from Shin and his mom without even thanking them properly and now I am sitting drenched on this bench in the middle of god knows where and I am so hungry. A tear trickled down my eyes to my chin.

As I tried to hold it in my lips trembled and finally I thought of letting it go and burst out crying. I was having a rough time, at least crying should be allowed at the moment.

Rain kept pouring down and without realizing I fell asleep on the cold bench. I kept slipping in and out of my sleep until I felt someone tugging on my shoulder. Next I felt something warm under my arms and stomach and felt like I was moving. I slowly opened my eyes. Everything appeared blurry at first but I could make out the outline of Shin’s head after sometime. Shin was carrying me piggy-back style. How did he find me? I moved my hand a little to let him know that I was awake. He did not look back but spoke softly.

“I saw you run. The poster outside the store… well that was put up by your fiancé right? I heard all about it from the cops. They are all waiting for us at the house.”

NO! I have to let him know that I was in danger. I started pulling my hands and getting of Shin. I had to write everything on a paper or he’ll just give me away to the police.

Seeing me struggle Shin put me down. I frantically looked for the note pad and started writing in it. But where was I supposed to start from. My eyes started welling up again. I felt trapped. I looked at Shin hoping to make him understand at least something without having to write and that is when I noticed that he had been bleeding.

Shin’s forehead was covered with blood on the right side and there were a few bruises and cuts on his face too. What had happened?

Shin sighed, closed the distance between us with one stride and hugged me tightly.

“Don’t worry, its ok. I am going to protect you”