Chapter Two: Downtown Party:
Game Board Setï¿½
In the course of three days, Tsuzuki had been acting strangely. Nobody at Ju-Oh-Cho had seen him at work. His apartment hadn't been lived in since the morning of the tenth. Nobody knew where he went.
"Has he called you?" they all asked Hisoka.
"No," he told them. Why would he? Maybe he's with Anna? On day three, Anna sat in her room studying her notes when her phone rang.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Hey," Hisoka said on the other line.
"Hisoka?" the woman asked. "What's on your mind?"
"Have you seen Tsuzuki anywhere?" he asked.
Anna paused for a second. "Come to think about it, no, I haven't seen him. I was going to call and ask you guys the same thing."
Just by hearing her tone on the other line let Hisoka know that this case had turned dead serious. "You haven't?"
"Any phone calls from him?"
"No. Why? What's wrong?"
"What's the matter? What happened to Asato?" the woman asked. Hisoka hung up the phone. Anna frowned as her heart sank. Asato-kunï¿½ The woman dialed her fiancï¿½'s phone once again for that morning. Anna waited as the other line rang.
"Hey, I'm not in right now. Please leave a message after the beep," his voice mail said. Anna's worry deepened.
"Hey, Asato-kun, it's me," she said. "Your coworkers are worried about you. Please call me back." Anna hung up the phone. Suddenly, there came a knock on her door. The woman glanced over at the sound.
"Yeah?" she asked.
"Hey Barbie!" a woman yelled from the hallway. Anna quickly sat up in her chair.
"Lucy?" she asked. The Goth slid open the door as Anna blinked at her.
"What do you want?" she asked.
"We're going out tonight," Lucy replied.
"Midge insisted that you come along with us."
Anna turned to her, blinking. "What?" It took her a moment to realize that "Midge" was to Willow as "Barbie" was to herself. A sweat drop formed on her head.
"That's right. Now get off your ass, get dressed, and come on," Lucy ordered. Anna pouted.
"Willow knows I don't party," she complained. The woman turned to Lucy.
"Do I have to?" she complained.
"Yes, now get up!" the Goth said. Anna puffed up her cheeks.
"Fine, fine," she complained. "I'll do it." Lucy folded her arms across her chest.
"I'll stand right here as you do so," she said.
"Sheesh!" Anna sighed. She walked over to the closet to get her clothes.
"Ease up!" she said.
"No," Lucy said. Anna sighed as she dropped her shoulders.
"Jeez," she mumbled to herself. Does she even care that Asato-kun's AWOL? I told her about this yesterday. No use complaining about it now; they just won't listen. They are probably doing this to get my mind off of Asato-kun, she thought. Well, time to put on the brave face.
In thirty minutes, the girls were out the door. Anna stood in the doorway feeling awkward with a hazy, red face. Rihoko, Willow, and Stella all smiled at her.
"Oh! You look so cute!" Willow squealed. Anna looked down at herself. Black jeans and a light blue Cheongsam shirt, not exactly her choice in clothes. But Lucy kept pushing her. So, here she was. Come to think of it, her friends looked like they were looking for dates in the summer. She found herself between her friends style clothing choices tonight as she looked at each one of them. Three miniskirts, a halter top, a fishnet top, two t-shirts, two pairs of black fishnets, a pair of dark blue stockings, and all high heels. Rihoko looked more like she was going to a sporting event with her jeans, t-shirt, and sneakers.
"Yeahï¿½" Anna mumbled to herself. Lucy gave her a hard pat on the back.
"She could do better," she said. Anna gave her a cross glance. How? By dressing like a whore? Uhï¿½ no. I will pass. It's too cold for that. Willow clapped her hands together.
"Right!" she said. "Let's go!" The girls headed into the city. Anna glanced over at Rihoko the whole time. She too wasn't keen on this party tonight. Anna turned back to the party animals.
"Why are we out here?" she asked.
"Cause, good for you!" Stella answered. "You and Rihoko just sit around in that house all day.
"I have school," the busty young mother protested.
"Well not right now," Lucy pointed out. "You'll be on break in a couple of days." Rihoko nodded a bit.
"True, butï¿½" she started to say.
"Where are we going?" Anna asked. Willow turned to her with a grin.
"Kitty Cherry Splash!" she bragged. A sweat drop formed on Annaï¿½s head.
"Kitty what?" she asked.
"I found it myself," Willow replied.
"I see," Anna said as she forced herself to smile. Oh boyï¿½
Kitty Cherry Splash looked like Hello Kitty's dream house on speed. Pink and glitter nearly blinded the girls. Lucy and Stella sneered at the building.
"This is Kitty Cherry Splash?" Stella asked. Willow grinned at her.
"Found it myself!" she said. "Like it?" The other women stayed quiet. Willow clapped her hands again.
"Right! Let's go!" she said. The American woman headed inside. The other women followed inside reluctantly. The inside looked worse. Pink and glitter times ten in here. Jpop music pounded inside the pink December air. The waitresses look like kitty girls. Same thing went to the guys. The woman looked on with strange looks. Willow turned to them smiling.
"Enjoy!" she cheered. Then, she disappeared into the crowd. Rihoko leaned over to Anna.
"You've got a weird friend," she whispered.
"Yeah," Anna said as she nodded. Most of the girls dove into the girly party vibe. Most of them did. Anna sat at the bar with her drink. Her mind wandered off with the music.
Why am I here? I don't party. Willow knows that. Anna never partied. She studied in her dorm and went to Photography club every week. Anna even stayed in on her birthday. So much so that the club had to kidnap her out for the twenty-first birthday. Anna shook her head at that night. Her mind wandered off to Tsuzuki. She checked her phone. No new messages. No phone calls, hasn't shown up for work, not stopped by his apartment or Kimoto Manor. He would at least call her back. Right then, Anna shared the boys' concern.
"Hey Anna," someone said. The woman looked up. Rihoko leaned in close to her face, smiling.
"What's on your mind?" she asked. Anna shook her head.
"This isn't my type of place," she said with a sigh. Rihoko took a seat next to her.
"I know what you mean," she said. Her roommate nodded. The paranormal otaku noticed her phone.
"Expecting a call, ghost-chan?" she asked. Anna looked up.
"Huh? Oh. Sort of," she said. The woman turned back to her drink. She breathed out and lowered her shoulders. Anna turned back to her roommate.
"You know what?" she said. "I'm going home. I'm just going to take a shower and go to bed." Rihoko looked at her.
"Okayï¿½" she said. Anna paid for her drink, got up, and left. The big-breasted mama gave her a little wave.
"Okayï¿½ byeï¿½" she said. And Anna was gone.