In Which Baby Doll Meets the Other Angels
August 10th, 2006.
Izumi was at the bus station, trying to get home. She glanced at her cell phone. Three oï¿½clock already?, she thought. The angel looked down the path. Itï¿½s late again! She sighed and looked up at the sky.
ï¿½Why do you do this to me?ï¿½ she asked. ï¿½Tell me why, huh?ï¿½ Izumi dropped her shoulders. What was the point? That guy stopped listening to her eight years ago. Why would he even think of listening now? Didnï¿½t hurt to try, she supposedï¿½
ï¿½Damn it!ï¿½ she held someone scream. Izumi looked up and over to her right. A young girl dug feverishly into her book bag.
ï¿½Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!ï¿½ she swore over and over again.
ï¿½Problem?ï¿½ someone asked her.
ï¿½Yes!ï¿½ the girl snapped as she whipped her head forward. Izumi gave her a little smile. The other girl frowned at her.
ï¿½What are you smiling for?!?ï¿½ she snapped. Izumi only shook her head.
ï¿½Calm down for a second,ï¿½ she said.
ï¿½Why?!?ï¿½ the other girl yelled.
ï¿½Just do it,ï¿½ Izumi said. It took close to two minutes, but the younger girl calmed down. Izumi backed up a little bit.
ï¿½Okay,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½What is the problem?ï¿½ The younger girl frowned.
ï¿½I canï¿½t find my wallet to buy the bus fare!ï¿½ she complained.
ï¿½Okay,ï¿½ Izumi said. ï¿½What does it look like?ï¿½ The girl gave her a puzzled look.
ï¿½What?ï¿½ she asked. ï¿½Why does that matter?ï¿½
ï¿½Iï¿½ m just trying to help you here, okay?ï¿½ Izumi asked. The younger girl breathed out.
ï¿½Fine,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½It was yellow and pink with little bunnies on it. I canï¿½t believe I lost it again!ï¿½
ï¿½Stay calm and focus,ï¿½ the angel said. The girl nodded.
ï¿½Okay,ï¿½ she said.
ï¿½Now,ï¿½ Izumi said. ï¿½Where were you before you came here? Think really hard now.ï¿½ The young girl retraced her steps in her mind.
ï¿½I took the bus to Tokyo, did some sight-seeing, went to a temple and took some pictures, went to the police station, and came out here,ï¿½ she said at last. Izumi took in every piece of those facts.
ï¿½Okay,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½Do you remember if you laid your wallet anywhere at those places?ï¿½ The young girl thought about this harder. Suddenly, her mind lit up.
ï¿½I put it down at the police station when I was digging for a pen to write down some information!ï¿½ she said.
ï¿½Alright, weï¿½ll check there,ï¿½ Izumi summed up. The younger girl looked at her oddly.
ï¿½Are you sure this wonï¿½t be a problem for you?ï¿½ she asked.
ï¿½Trouble? No, no!ï¿½ Izumi cut in. ï¿½I just figured I would help you since you looked upset. Iï¿½m Izumi, by the way.ï¿½
ï¿½Baby Doll,ï¿½ the younger girl said. Izumi raised an eyebrow at her.
ï¿½Baby Doll?ï¿½ she asked. ï¿½What kind of name is that?ï¿½ The younger girl shrugged.
ï¿½I donï¿½t know,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½My grandma kept calling me that when I was younger and it just kind of stuck.ï¿½
ï¿½Okay,ï¿½ Izumi replied. ï¿½Baby Doll, letï¿½s go to the police station to find your wallet.ï¿½
ï¿½Alright,ï¿½ Baby Doll replied. The girls headed back into the city to search for the missing wallet.
Once they got her wallet back, the girls made it back to the bus stop just before the bus was about to pull out to Suiten. The whole time on the ride to the harbor, Izumi had many questions to ask her new friend. The previous story about why she was in Tokyo didnï¿½t really hold true. Sheï¿½s leaving out some strong details, the angel thought the whole time. Up until this point, Izumi held back her questions for later. But now, the seal had been removed. She turned to her new friend.
ï¿½Tell me something Baby Doll,ï¿½ she spoke up. ï¿½Why were you really in Tokyo?ï¿½ The younger girl gave her a small smile.
ï¿½Sight-seeing,ï¿½ she replied. The angel shook her head at her.
ï¿½I donï¿½t believe you,ï¿½ Izumi spoke up. Baby Doll stared at her.
ï¿½What do you mean?ï¿½ she asked. The angel gave her a little smile as she gently took the girlï¿½s hand.
ï¿½Youï¿½re dead, arenï¿½t you?ï¿½ she asked. Baby Doll tried to laugh it off.
ï¿½I donï¿½t know what you mean,ï¿½ she said, giggling.
ï¿½Itï¿½s okay,ï¿½ Izumi said. ï¿½Iï¿½m dead too.ï¿½ Baby Doll looked on at her in silence.
ï¿½Really now?ï¿½ she asked. Okay, this just changed everything for her. But, could she trust her new acquaintance? Baby Doll pressed her lips together.
ï¿½Iï¿½m trying to solve a murder,ï¿½ she mumbled. Izumi looked on curious now.
Izumi kind of blinked at her. ï¿½Donï¿½t quite follow.ï¿½
Baby Doll took in a heavy sigh. ï¿½Do you remember the murder in the woods two years ago?ï¿½
ï¿½Yes. The police found two bodies, both female, one was beside the power lines and the other was in the creek.ï¿½ Izumi paused as she stared deep into Baby Dollï¿½s grey-blue eyes. ï¿½Wait. No, thatï¿½s not possible. You mean, you areï¿½ï¿½
Baby Doll nodded. ï¿½Yes, I was the girl in the creek.ï¿½
ï¿½Wow.ï¿½ Izumi searched for her words as the bus pulled up to the bus stop to the harbor. ï¿½Thatï¿½s so awesome.ï¿½
ï¿½Not really. I canï¿½t talk to my grandmother anymore. She canï¿½t see me.ï¿½
ï¿½But the cops can see you just fine.ï¿½
ï¿½Thatï¿½s because I have these.ï¿½ Baby Doll took out one of her pink crystal butterfly hairclips and handed it to Izumi. ï¿½These help me have a physical form in the realm. But I just canï¿½t get in contact with her for sure reason.ï¿½
They boarded the next available boat to Kyushu. Both girls looked out at the water. Izumi turned to Baby Doll.
ï¿½Does your grandmother live in Tokyo?ï¿½
The younger angel shook her head. ï¿½No, Suiten.ï¿½
Izumiï¿½s eyes widened. ï¿½Suiten? Thatï¿½s where Iï¿½m headed. Say, do you have anywhere to stay tonight?ï¿½
ï¿½Uh-uh,ï¿½ Baby Doll replied.
ï¿½You can stay with me tonight,ï¿½ Izumi invited her. Baby Doll gave her a blank stare.
ï¿½You sure about that?ï¿½ she asked.
ï¿½Yeah!ï¿½ Izumi said. ï¿½You donï¿½t have anywhere else to go, right?ï¿½
ï¿½Noï¿½ï¿½ the younger angel said. Izumi grabbed her hands tighter.
ï¿½Good, then itï¿½s settled,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½Youï¿½re coming with me tonight.ï¿½ The younger girl still stared at her. I donï¿½t think I have a choice, she thought. Baby Doll finally nodded.
ï¿½Alright,ï¿½ she said. ï¿½Iï¿½ll come with you.ï¿½ Her new ï¿½friendï¿½ grinned at her.
ï¿½I live with four other angels like me,ï¿½ she said.
ï¿½Really now?ï¿½ Baby Doll asked.
ï¿½Uh-huh!ï¿½ Izumi bragged. ï¿½I live in the land of women!ï¿½ The younger angel giggled. The other girl smiled at such a sound. I donï¿½t know why, but I just want to hear her laughing more often, she thought.
Izumi led most of the way through Suiten. Baby Doll tried to keep her uneasiness under a calm blanket on her face. Home. This town was her home, but yet, it didnï¿½t feel like. Just ghost among the living, she thought. The girl looked up when she felt someone pat her on the shoulder. Izumi gave her a little smile.
ï¿½Youï¿½re not alone, you know,ï¿½ she said. Baby Doll pressed her lips together as she nodded.
ï¿½I know,ï¿½ she murmured. ï¿½It just feels like it. I mean, you would think that after being dead for two years that I would be used to it by now, but no. Iï¿½m not.ï¿½
ï¿½Youï¿½re not alone,ï¿½ Izumi said again. ï¿½Itï¿½s okay.ï¿½ Baby Doll nodded.
ï¿½I guess youï¿½re right,ï¿½ she said. The girls arrived at an abandoned-looking one-story apartment building. Izumi turned to her smiling.
ï¿½Here we are,ï¿½ she said. Baby Doll looked at the building with a puzzled face.
ï¿½You live here?ï¿½ she asked. The yellow walls looked like they needed a new coat of paint along with a repair. The setting sunlight didnï¿½t help much either.
ï¿½Youï¿½re joking, right?ï¿½ Baby Doll asked.
ï¿½Hey, itï¿½s not much, but it works in our favor,ï¿½ Izumi replied. ï¿½Now come on.ï¿½ She grabbed Baby Doll by the hand again and dragged her through the vibrant, short green grass. Izumi reached into her shorts pocket and pulled out her key.
ï¿½Iï¿½m home!ï¿½ she yelled after she unlocked the door. ï¿½And I brought another angel with me.ï¿½ Baby Doll looked around at the dull, yellow paint in the living room. It looks a little bit better, she thought. Nice, clean standard Japanese living room standing before her. How bad could it be?
A woman peeked out from the hallway. She looked as if she had just woken with her make-up all smeared. She only had on a black tank top and matching panties. Clearly, she wanted to be back in bed right now. Izumi gave her a little wave.
ï¿½Hey Hime,ï¿½ she said. The woman blinked and rubbed her eyes.
ï¿½What do you want?ï¿½ she mumbled. Hime looked over at Baby Doll. ï¿½And whose this?ï¿½ she asked. The younger girl gave her a little wave.
ï¿½Hi,ï¿½ she mumbled. Hime squinted at her hard.
ï¿½Natalia! We got another one!ï¿½ she shouted. Two more girls wandered into the living room. Another woman walked in from the kitchen. All of them had their eyes on Baby Doll. The youngest of the setting forced herself to smile. I donï¿½t think they like me so muchï¿½, she thought. The woman from the kitchen looked sharply at her.
ï¿½Youï¿½re dead, arenï¿½t you?ï¿½ she asked.
ï¿½Uhï¿½ yeahï¿½ï¿½ Baby Doll said with a nervous nod. Rather pointless to lie. These were angels just like her; they would already now the answer to that question before she opened her mouth. Natalia gave the newcomer a cold stare.
ï¿½Get out,ï¿½ she said. Baby Doll blinked at her.
ï¿½What?ï¿½ she asked.
ï¿½Rooms filled, now get out of here!ï¿½ Natalia snapped. The youngest of the group threw up her hands.
ï¿½What the hell is all of this?!?ï¿½ she asked.
ï¿½Beat it!ï¿½ a slender, punk-looking angel barked. ï¿½We donï¿½t want you here!ï¿½
ï¿½But she has nowhere else to go!ï¿½ Izumi protested. ï¿½She canï¿½t even get in contact with my grandmot--ï¿½
ï¿½Leave it,ï¿½ Baby Doll said. ï¿½Iï¿½ll go.ï¿½
ï¿½Butï¿½ï¿½ Izumi began to say.
ï¿½Itï¿½s cool,ï¿½ the young angel said. ï¿½Iï¿½ll just go and not upset everyone.ï¿½ Baby Doll turned and walked out the door. Izumi whipped her head around to Natalia.
ï¿½What did you do that for?!?ï¿½ she snapped.
ï¿½Donï¿½t you get it?ï¿½ Natalia asked. ï¿½She could be one of those spies from Heaven sent here to spy on us and report back to them!ï¿½
ï¿½How can you be sure?ï¿½ Izumi challenged.
ï¿½Come and look,ï¿½ the leader said. The ladies all went over to the window and looked out. Baby Doll stood at the road, trying to hitch a ride in the dim evening.
ï¿½Just watch; somebodyï¿½s going to be here to pick her up,ï¿½ Natalia said. The girls stayed silent and continued looking out the window. Pretty soon, two guys dressed in black approached Baby Doll on the road.
ï¿½See?ï¿½ Natalia asked. The other girls began to look worried.
ï¿½Those arenï¿½t angels,ï¿½ Yoshiko said.
ï¿½Huh?ï¿½ the leader asked as she took a closer look. The guys kept talking to Baby Doll. She glanced around for an escape as her calves began to tremble. Nataliaï¿½s eyes shot wide open.
ï¿½Oh shit!ï¿½ she gasped. The woman raced outside and over to the potential victim. ï¿½Hey there, you!ï¿½ she said to the group. Baby Doll and the men looked up to see Natalia catching up to them. She quickly put her arm around the young girl.
ï¿½You were supposed to go get cigarette for me!ï¿½ the woman lied. ï¿½What are you doing out here with these guys?ï¿½ The other three looked puzzled.
ï¿½What?ï¿½ Baby Doll asked. The guys, about seniors in high school, looked at Natalia in an odd way.
ï¿½Isnï¿½t she too young to buy cigarette?ï¿½ one of them asked.
ï¿½Well I was going to go with her, but she went out the door ahead of me!ï¿½ Natalia said with a laugh. Baby Doll gave her an odd look.
What are you talking about?
Play along with me. This is for your benefit.
And kicking me out of the apartment, also for my benefit?
Just play along!
Iï¿½m just trying to understand my benefit.
Play along and shut up!
Fine, Iï¿½ll do it.
ï¿½Uhï¿½ yeah,ï¿½ Baby Doll lied. ï¿½Iï¿½m sorry.ï¿½ The boys still had odd looks on their faces.
ï¿½Donï¿½t leave your sister alone out here like that,ï¿½ the first one said. ï¿½Thatï¿½s not cool.ï¿½ Then, they walked away. The girls watched them leave. Baby Doll glanced at her ï¿½older sister.ï¿½
ï¿½Now what?ï¿½ she whispered.
ï¿½Back in the apartment,ï¿½ the leader whispered through clinched teeth.
ï¿½Just do it.ï¿½ Natalia pushed Baby Doll towards the building before she could open her mouth to speak again.
Baby Doll sat on the living room couch as the other angels debated her fate in the kitchen.
ï¿½What do we do with her?ï¿½ Yoshiko asked.
ï¿½Itï¿½s still too dangerous to keep her here,ï¿½ Natalia pointed out.
ï¿½But, she has nowhere else to go,ï¿½ Izumi reminded her.
ï¿½We heard,ï¿½ Liz said. The lead angel breathed.
ï¿½Sheï¿½ll stay here for the time being, but if they start coming for us, out she goes. Got me?ï¿½ she said at last. Izumi grinned at her.
ï¿½Sweet!ï¿½ she cheered. The angel went off to share the good news to her new friend. And thatï¿½s how Baby Doll came to stay with the angels in the Chrysanthemum Apartment.