Chapter Sixteen: Nozomi:

Kirika-chan began looking around in the crowd. Her parents tried to keep up.

“Slow down, honey!” Tsuzuki shouted. His daughter didn’t listen. Come on, they have to be here. Where were they?

“Hey!” someone yelled. Kirika-chan looked up. Akira and Nozomi stood in the distance. Their friend perked up.

“Guys!” Kirika-chan cheered. She ran over to her friends. Anna, Tsuzuki, and Daiyu trailed behind. The girl clapped her hands.

“You made it,” she said.

“Uh-huh!” Akira said. Nozomi only nodded. Kirika-chan hugged them both.

“I’m so glad,” she said. Her family caught up to her.

“Who are they?” Daiyu asked.

“Her friends,” Tsuzuki said. Kirika-chan turned to her family.

“Hello, Nozomi-chan, Akira-kun,” Tsuzuki said.

“Hello,” Akira said, bowing. Nozomi said nothing. Right away, Daiyu locked eyes with her. The teenaged girl stared back at her.


The teenagers went off on her own. Tsuzuki look around for some sweets to feast on. Anna and Daiyu were left alone. The air felt so tense. They wouldn’t even look at each other.

“Who is that girl with my niece?” Daiyu asked.

“Her friend,” Anna said.

“Is that right?”


Daiyu wrinkled her nose. She snorted aloud. Anna glanced over at her.

“Is something wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing,” the Chinese woman lied. The other woman glared at her.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Anna asked. Daiyu kind of shrugged.

“Nothing,” she said again. “It’s just…”

“What?” the other woman asked. The demon gave her a look.

“She seems…” she said. Anna stared her down. Daiyu dropped back her head.

“That girl is gay,” she said.

“So?” Anna asked. She could see where this was heading. In fact, she dared her to say it. Come on, spit out. Daiyu shook her head.

“Nothing,” she said. “Nothing at all.” Anna put her hands on her hips.

“Look,” she said. “I don’t care who Kirika-chan is close to. I just her want her to be happy. Nozomi is good at heart. You should at least try to get to know her first.” Daiyu rolled her eyes.

“Fine, whatever,” she said. Anna cut her a cold look.

“Hey!” someone spoke up. The women turned to see Tsuzuki running towards them with candy apples in his hands.

“Look what I found!” he said. The shinigami looked between the two women. His smile faded away.

“Is something wrong?” he asked. Anna quickly shook her head.

“No, everything is fine,” she said. “Just fine.” The woman turned and walked down the path. Tsuzuki turned to Daiyu. She just shrugged and shook her head. Tsuzuki sighed. Fifteen years and it just gets worse. The shinigami went after his wife with the apple. Before that, he paused and handed Daiyu the apple.

“Here,” he said. And then, Tsuzuki was gone. Daiyu was left standing alone with a candy apple in hand.