Chapter Five: Puccho:

All the rains of June
it brings together, and it is swift --
the river Morgami.


The rain got heavier by the afternoon when Tsuzuki made it to Kimoto Manor’s door.

“Coming!” a female’s voice shouted after he rang the bell. Rihoko looked him up and down and smiled when she opened the door.

“Oh, Tsuzuki!” she beamed, “Anna’s in her room on her laptop like usual.”

“Thanks,” the shinigami said with a bow. Tsuzuki made it down the hall and knocked on Anna’s door.

“Enter!” the woman said on the other side. Tsuzuki slid open the door and walked inside. Anna looked up when she heard it slide closed. They stared at each other a moment and looked away, blushing.

“Hi…” Anna mumbled.

“Hi…” Tsuzuki said back. Hard to find the right words to say to the person you want but can’t have.

“I met Becky a while back,” Tsuzuki spoke up in an attempt to defuse the awkwardness in the room. Anna looked up as her heart raced in her chest.

“Really?” she asked.

Tsuzuki nodded as he pressed his lips together, “Yeah.”

“What did she say?” Anna asked.

Tsuzuki shrugged, “Oh, just that she thought that you were murdered or sold into prostitution.”

Anna blinked at him as she tilted her hand, “Huh?”

“That’s what she said.” the shinigami said, scratching the back of his head. Tsuzuki smiled as another thought crossed his mind, “She did say you were great.”

Anna raised an eyebrow at him, “Is that right?”

“Yes,” the Shinigami answered in a somber tone. Anna gave him a little smile at that.

“That’s Becky; she always worried about me,” she said, sitting back in her chair.

“That’s a real friend you have there,” he said.

“Yeah,” she agreed.

Tsuzuki smiled in the silence. “Anna,” he addressed his female friend.

The woman looked up at him. “Yes?” she asked.

Tsuzuki paused before speaking again and swallowed hard for a bit. “I want to get to know you a little bit better.”

She tilted her head and blinked at him, “In what way?”

He hesitated to speak at first, “You know, just in any way possible if that’s okay with you.” The shinigami waited for any reply. His heart hoped that she would welcome him further into her world. Please yes, he pleaded over and over again in his head. Anna sat back in her black and red computer chair and nodded.

“Fine,” she said, “I’ll let you get to know me.” Tsuzuki felt like flying high in the rain-filled sky.

“Thanks Anna,” he replied with a quick bow. She held up her hand to stop him before he could celebrate any further in his head.

“But,” she said sternly, “I never really had anyone so close to me like that before. Don’t be surprised when I push you away when I feel that you’re getting too close, okay?” Tsuzuki nodded with his puppy dog ears and tail.

“Sure,” he replied, “Anything you like.” Anna smiled and rested her chin on her palm.

“Thanks,” she replied. Both sat in a more comfortable silence as they listened to the rain pouring outside.