“+American English talking+”
“/British English talking/”
“#Australian English talking#”
Morning at Humming Plum Apartments. Inside her room all on her wall were pictures of Shuichi that she had cut out of magazines and had taken personally with her camera. She stood at her window watching Shindou Shuichi getting dressed for the morning. Seventeen-year-old “Ghost” Edwards began to smile at the site of her obsession. She had a crush on the lead singer of Bad Luck since they exploded into the mainstream music world last year. She wanted Shuichi to be hers and hers alone. But yet, he was in love with Yuki. Infatuation can string sometimes.
Pictures of Shuichi invaded her wall. She always took pictures of him in secret. The girl even took notes of his every moment. Her camera sat on her desk next to her laptop. Ghost bound up her chest tighter to make herself seem more boyish to him. She constantly wished that she had been born a boy. Maybe then, Shuichi would love her. But there was a little something called reality in her life.
“/Dahlia!/” her mom called over the baby monitor in her room. “/Can you hear me?/” Ghost tightened her bindings around her chest. They had to be just perfect.
“/Dahlia!/” her mom called again. Shuichi left his apartment and walked to school. Ghost took another picture of him leaving the apartment her shared with Yuki. Shuichi paused and looked up when the flash caught his eye. It was happening again. For weeks over the summer, the vocalist was convinced that someone was watching him. However, he didn’t voice this to anybody—not yet, anyway. He wasn’t sure if it was all in his head or not. If he told everyone close to him he thought that someone was stalking him, they would assume that he was being paranoid. So what could he do? All the guy could do was wait until he had more evidence.
Ghost helped her mother into the bathroom. The mother had always been sick since Ghost was a little girl. With each passing year, her mum’s body got weaker and weaker. She always seemed to be running a fever. She could even move freely on her own without the pain in her muscles. The woman spent most of her days in bed. Ghost ended up taking care of her mother day and night. She had to feed, dress, and wash her daily. The girl even had to wipe after her mother after she used the bathroom. Luckily at the moment, Ghost’s mum just needed a bath this morning.
Ghost undressed her mother before sitting her down on the bathroom floor. After she got the washing part set up, the girl got right to work. Her mother looked up at her as she was washing her back.
“/You wearing perfume, love?/” she asked.
“/It’s a new air fresher thing,/” her daughter lied. “/I bought it with a bath roll./”
“/Aw, Shuichi got you perfume?/” her mum asked. “/Now that’s posh. Boyfriend that buys you perfume./”
“/He’d buy me perfume if I ask./”
“/Oh, I know. Do anything you wanted, wouldn’t he? As long as you don’t introduce him to the scary disabled mother, that is./”
“/I will introduce him to you./” Her mother smiled.
“/When the cock crows twice, I know./” Ghost smiled back.
“/Ready to get in the bath?/”
“/Yes please./” Ghost slowly rinsed off her mum and helped her into the tub. She stayed near the bathroom until her mother was finished. As she waited, Ghost got lost into another fantasy.
“/Oh my love!/” she heard herself saying. “/ I am doomed to be married to a cruel lord whom I do not love for my family’s debts./”
“My family will not allow us to marry because you are s poor,” Shuichi said back.
“/But what shall we so? I would rather die than to marry so a heartless man! Come, let us wed and die together./” Then, the piano started to play in the background.
“Hail to the young pine tree, Hail with all respect! May its branches spread out And its needles grow thickly together!” they sang together. They were just about to kiss to close up the scene.
Shuichi and Casper shared a kiss on stage. The drummer cued up the music again.
“Hail to the children for a thousand generations!” the chorus in the background sang as the acting couple kept kissing. Ghost watched them from above, bitterly. She wished that she was the one kissing the pink-haired vocalist right now. Emma watched them as she pretended to pour wine off stage.
“Hail to the children for a thousand generations!” the chorus in the background sang again. As the pair kissed on, Ghost’s contempt began to shimmer. Finally, it stopped.
“Oh gracious. No, no, no!” the director yelled. “Cut!” The chorus and band went quiet. Shuichi and Casper broke off the kiss and looked up. The director shook his head.
“No!” he said again. He stood up and took a script of “House of the Nightingale” in his hand. He pulled out his lighter and lit the flyer by the corner of the page.
“Do you know what this is?” he asked. “This is my script and I’m burning it!” Casper rolled her eyes and shook her head. The script really caught on fire.
“And you know why? Oh shit! It’s really on fire! Someone come and help!” he quickly aloud. A student ran over to him with a trash bin.
“Quickly! Quickly! Thank you!” the teacher said. He dropped the burning script in the bin. He turned back to the actors as he tried to stay serious.
“Because you…” he started up. “You know, I burnt my finger. Because you made it shit! Shit!” The director raced up to the stage to Casper and Shuichi. He looked at Shuichi.
“Do you know what we’re doing here?” the teacher asked. “Do you?” He sighed aloud and rubbed his forehead.
“Shindou,” the director spoke again. “This is an opportunity. A real opportunity to sell a tragic love story of childhood sweethearts in the Edo period!”
“/Are you obsessed with the Edo period?/” Casper turned to him, asking.
“Yes!” their teacher said. “I love the Edo period so dearly!” Casper turned not to laugh. The director whipped around to her and grabbed by the arms.
“Look!” he said. “Two hours time, this girl is going to be dead for love. Dead! You know why? Because, her family has pushed her into marrying a greedy, cruel lord to save them from their debts. A cruel, greedy, controlling pervert!” Casper pushed him off of her.
“/Oh get off me, Kouji!/” she mumbled. The directed turned to the chorus.
“Love and innocence are at stake here!” he shouted. Kouji looked at Shuichi again.
“The lovers are being separated!” he said. The director looked at Casper.
“But soon,” he said. “She’ll forget. When two lips… aw, screw it! Time for show and tell!” Kouji grabbed Casper and laid a hard, wet one on her lips. She gagged in shock and disgust. He didn’t seem to want to let go. Sid and Emma looked at each other, nervously. They turned back to the director molesting Casper in front of them. Kouji looked over at Shuichi and kind of winked at him. The pink vocalist stared at him. After a good couple of moments, the teacher finally broke off the kiss. (You can tell he wanted to do that for days now.) He turned to the lead man, grinning.
“To paraphrase Pon-san,” he went on as Casper desperately wiped at her lips. “That’s the way to do it!” Kouji tapped Shuichi on the cheek and turned back to the chorus.
“Alright!” he called. “Now, from Casper’s part! Come on! Whew!” The director walked off the stage. The music started up again. Casper took a moment to recompose herself from the creepy kiss. She looked over and saw Simon watching her. The hippie turned back to Shuichi.
“Hail to the young pine tree, Hail with all respect! May its branches spread out And its needles grow thickly together! Hail!” she sang again. Simon smiled at such an angelic voice. He wished that he could remember his relationship with her. She seemed to nice… and so pretty. The director watched on in pride. He could feel Casper as the young bride doomed to marry that perverted lord to save her family from debt. Ghost on the other hand, was jealous of the hot hippie. She was paired up with her “man” on stage. The hippie must pay. The chorus joined in with Casper’s singing. The drummer cued up for the chorus to sing along.
“Hail to the children for a thousand generations!” the chorus sang aloud. Shuichi and Casper kissed again on stage. Then suddenly, a stage light fell onto the stage. Everyone stopped in shock. The couple broke away as fast as they could, startled.
“Oh shit!” Shuichi mumbled. The students screamed out in panic. The director rushed on strange looking around. He looked up at the platform where the lights were. Casper looked up as well.
“/What the f**k?!?/” she screamed. The chorus looked up as well. Ghost looked down at them as if she didn’t mean to do that.
“/It just slipped!/” she lied. “/Sorry!/” Shuichi looked at her and walked away. Ghost watched on silently. She must have screwed up big time.
Around afternoon, Shuichi came over to his locker. More love letters fell out of his locker. He sighed aloud. Sid and Ando looked on with him. Ando laughed aloud. Shuichi turned around with an embarrassed laugh.
“Ha-ha, not funny!” he told him. “This is like the fifteenth time of unmarked love letters this week!”
“/Gettin’ kind of spooky, it’d it?/” Sid asked. “/How’s he even gettin’ in your locker?/” Ando looked on at the massive flood. He kind of envied his famous pal to a degree.
“I wish they would stop,” Shuichi claimed. “I have a boyfriend already! Why doesn’t he tell me who he is?”
“What does it say?” Ando asked. Shuichi shrugged. He slowly opened one of the letters. The vocalist slowly read it to himself.
“Shindou-san. I am a HUGE fan of yours. I really do love you, blah, blah, blah. Just like the other letters.” The boys looked on at him. Then, Ando noticed something on the floor.
“Shuichi,” he said. The vocalist looked up at him.
“What is what?”
“That thing by your foot.”
“Huh?” The vocalist looked down at his feet. He picked up the gold, shiny object and looked at it closely. The boys looked with him.
“Some kind of charm…” Shuichi answered at last. “That have a love spell written on the back of it.” Ghost peeked out at the boys from a random locker.
“Every rock star’s dream, isn’t it?” Ando asked.
“/What are you talking about, mate?/” Sid asked.
“A stalker,” Ando replied. “The ultimate accessory.”
“/Not everyone is as desperate for sex as you are, Ando!/”
“Sid!” Shuichi cut in.
“No, he’s right,” Ando said. “See these hands? F*****g friction burns, man! And my sister getting well suspicious about her disappearing lube.”
“Well, I’m going to make it my business to get laid tonight,” Shuichi promised.
“/I’ll bring some spare lube, you just bring your smile,/” Sid tatted on as they walked on to class. Once they left, Ghost slowly came out of the locker. She slowly walked away in sorrow. It failed once again. He just ignored her. What was she doing wrong here? The letters and charms weren’t working. So now what? Then, it really hurt when she stopped and saw all of her gifts to Shuichi thrown in the trash. He just didn’t seem to be interested in her. But yet, all was not lost. For Ghost looked down and saw a flyer for a cosplay party tonight. She picked it up off the ground and read it to herself. An idea and opportunity crossed her mind.
“/F*****g leave me alone, will you?/” Sid asked as the whole crew walked to the party. The crew dressed up as characters movies, manga, and comic books.
“No seriously, Sid,” Fujisaki said. “What you come as, cardboard big dickers?”
“/Gladiator to the stars?/” Casper added. Both girls laughed.
“/F**k off,/” Sid muttered as Shuichi walked on, lost in his thoughts.
“So,” Ando spoke up. “Stalky, stalky, stalk, stalk, stalk! You think he’s coming tonight. Shit! It could be anyone of those people.”
“Ando!” Shuichi cut in.
“I mean if he was really clever,” his pal went on. “He’ll come as in a sort film or comic where the stalker wins. You know, Hugh Grant in Four Weddings.” Fujisaki turned right around to him.
“What?!?” he asked. “How is Four Weddings about stalking?”
“Four weddings, one funeral, and Hugh just happens to be at all five! You’d think Andie MacDowell was clever than that!”
“/Oh. My. God!/” Sid said aloud as he came to a complete stop in his tracks. The crew stopped with him and looked on. Emma pulled out on what looked like a rickshaw dressed like a call girl with a red wig and a teddy bear by her side. Jack, who was pulling the rickshaw, was dressed up like Kamui from the X/1999 manga. Emma grinned at her pals with her arms wide open to them.
“#Go on, guess!#” she said. “#Guess!#” The crew stared on at her while Fujisaki tried not to laugh at her. Emma leapt out of the rickshaw as Jack put it down.
“#Give up?#” Emma asked. “#Kasumi Karen!#” She turned around for all of her friends. The crew stared at her still.
“I don’t know who she is either,” Jack said. Emma sighed aloud.
“#X/1999, CLAMP’s manga, came right after Tokyo Babylon!#” she told them. Emma turned to Jack, pointing.
“#And this is my man who…#” she went on.
“The main character!” Jack answered. Emma sighed aloud in stress.
“#How many times must I tell you?#” she asked. “#You’re Shiro Kamui! The main character of X/1999, Shiro Kamui! You don’t know the first thing about manga, do you, Jack?#”
“/And how many manga have you read, Emma?/” Sid asked. The Aussie took a moment to think about that.
“#What, counting hentai?#” she asked.
“/Well, no,/” Sid replied.
“#One,#” Emma replied. “#X/1999. CLAMP outdid themselves on that one!#” Ando nodded a bit.
“#Actually interestingly,#” she went on as they all went inside. “They did make a hentai version of the manga. Called XXX/1999.” Fujisaki just dragged her inside.
“#It’s really good manga actually,#” she went on. “#It stood up to the original. Phenomenal!#” Jack and Casper followed behind. Casper looked to see if Simon was coming. Ghost walked in behind the crew dressed as Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs. She had been followed Shuichi and co. to this house. Now, here she was.
Inside, everyone was dressed in cosplay. It looked like a good time to be had by all. Kouji stood in the corner, smoking a cigarette while dressed up as a sea captain. He put out his cigarette and smiled as Casper started to walk by him.
“/Here comes my leading lady!/” he said. “/Whew! What a hot thing!/” Casper gave an uncomfortable laugh as she walked deeper into the party. She tried to be happy until she saw Simon standing before her. He was dressed like Luke Skywalker from Star Wars as she was dressed like Princess Leia from the same movie. Simon gave her a little smile. Then, it got worse. Gabby walked over to Simon with a drink in her hand. She too was dressed as Princess Leia. Distort slowly leaked into Casper’s soul.
“/What?/” she asked. Gabby turned and saw Casper.
“/Oh, Princess Leia, right?/” she asked. “/Jinx! And you look so… homemade. Doesn’t she, Simon? So gloriously, quaint./” Casper looked down at her costume.
“/Hi Casper,/” he mumbled.
“/You dressed as Luke?/” the hippie asked. “/For her?/”
“/Well…/” he said. “/I guess I…did i?/” He looked down at himself and then at Gabby. That really crushed Casper now.
“/Simon!/” she wailed. The poor girl walked away in sorrow. Gabby leaned on Simon in sweet victory.
“You think either of them has actually *seen* Star Wars?” Ando asked Shuichi. “They’d reckon that Luke’s her brother!” Shuichi said nothing and watched on. Kouji meanwhile was still enjoying him. Ghost had her eyes locked on him. She had yet another game plan in her mind. Get Kouji to replace Casper with her in the play on Friday night. From there, Ghost would get to kiss Shuichi and a beautiful relationship would form from there. Worth a shot.
Kouji was writing another script for a play. “I stood here solid and no one, no one could break me down!” he read to himself. “But now comes the red shadow who creeps in deep for my deepest core of freedom. Very nice. That’s lovely.” He filled in the new part in his notebook.
“/Uda-san,/” a small voice spoke up. The director looked up to see Ghost standing before him.
“Well, if it isn’t the light dropper,” he said. “Thank you, considering… well… you made the rehearsal feel… dangerous.”
“/I want act!/” Ghost spoke up.
“Yeah, well who doesn’t?” Kouji asked.
“/I need Casper’s part!/” she begged. The director looked up at her and laughed.
“What?” he asked.
“/She’s terrible!/” Ghost lied. “/I should play her…/” Kouji laughed again.
“Oh my dear!” he said. “Ah!” Ghost looked at him disappointed.
“Acting is about… truth,” the director reasoned. “Truth is about beauty. Ugly people lack believability. Now how can I put this kindly? You look like a liar.” Ouch, that had to hurt! Ghost stared on at him.
“/I really want that part!/” she protested. Kouji shook his head.
“Not on my ship, darling,” he said. Then, he walked away, laughing. Ghost really felt the burn from there.
Meanwhile, Ando and Shuichi came into a bedroom upstairs. Ando looked around the whole setting.
“In here,” Shuichi whispered. “Let’s see what we can grab.” The other boy began looking around.
“Come on, Kouji,” he said to himself. “Where ya hiding the good stuff?” Ando pulled opened the lower nightstand drawer. It was nearly filled to the top with condoms.
“Whoa! Shit!” the boy exclaimed. “If Kouji can get laid, anyone can!” The ninja started grabbing at the condoms.
“What’s the plan then, ninja?” Shuichi asked.
“It’s an ancient strategy for getting laid,” his pal said. “Mark yourself a ten and then go two points below. An eight goes for a six that way granted success!” Ando flopped back onto the bed.
“Look,” he went on. “A poodle doesn’t get nothing with a Labrador. But if you enter a Chihuahua... Wow!”
“So what number are you then?” Shuichi asked. “A hound dog?”
“A seven,” Ando replied. Shuichi nodded a bit. His buddy began to looks disappointed.
“A six?” he asked. Shuichi said nothing as he nodded, unconvinced.
“I am not a five!” Ando pleaded desperately. Shuichi still said nothing.
“Am I a five?” Ando asked. He really looked nervous. The vocalist laughed a bit.
“You’re a seven,” he said, nicely. “Of course you are!”
“Yeah, baby!” Ando yelled as he clapped his hands. “So we need to find me a five!” Shuichi nodded a bit.
Kouji watched Casper as he drank his beer. The hippie looked at him with Fujisaki in disgust. Then, she turned her attention to her “ex.” Gabby was dancing with her doll. Simon really seemed out of it. He didn’t seem to know what to do at all. Fujisaki tried to comfort her. The hippie looked over at the director. Kouji wicked at her as he raised his beer at her. Boy he looked good about now…
Casper walked over to the teacher. The pervert smiled as she took him by the hand to dance with her. She took him into her arms and began to dance. Simon looked over at the hippie as Gabby kept dancing with him and turned back. Casper still kept dancing with the teacher. Kouji began rubbing on her ass as they danced. Simon looked at her again and turned back. Casper danced on in discomfort. The director sniffed on her neck and had another sip of his beer.
Meanwhile, Shuichi and Ando walked around looking for a date. So far, he came up with nothing. Then, the vocalist spotted Ghost sitting alone in disappointment. He turned around to Ando.
“Hey, I found your five,” Shuichi said. “Wait here.” Ando looked confused for a moment.
“What? Where?” the younger boy asked. Shuichi made his way over to Ghost.
“Hey, hello,” he addressed her. Ghost turned around and saw her idol right before her. Surprised washed over her face.
“Hi… uh…” Shuichi spoke up. “You were the one who dropped the light, right?” Ghost’s jaw just dropped. Ando raced over to them.
“Shuichi, you’re a f*****g genius!” he cheered as he patted him on the shoulders.
“You’re single, right?” Shuichi asked Ghost. The girl looked confused for a moment.
“/What?/” she questioned. The vocalist tried again.
“You got a boyfriend?” he asked. “A guy?” Ghost began to smile a little bit.
“/No! I’ve got no one… I mean, yeah, I’m single!/” she replied.
“Cool…” Shuichi said. Ghost became really excited.
“So… uh… what you say, dance with my friend, Ando?” the vocalist purposed. “He’s seventh heaven!” Ando pointed to himself in pride. He even tried to act all sexy for her. The girl began to look disappointed.
“/Ando?/” she asked.
“Yeah!” Ando replied. “Ando, baby! 007! And you, are Chanel #5!” He grinned to Shuichi, grinning. They both grinned at her. Ghost really looked crushed now.
“/Sorry! I’ve got to go!/” she lied. Shuichi and Ando looked disappointed as she hurried away as fast as she could.
“What? Hang on!” Ando called as he tried to go after her. He stood there in shock. Shuichi walked up next to him. They looked at each other for a moment and turned back to the view.
“You sure I’m a seven?” Ando asked. Shuichi didn’t know how to answer that at first.
“Let’s look for some fours, shall we?” he suggested. Ando looked at him quickly on that one.
“Just in case…” Shuichi finished. That just stung.
Ghost escaped into the garage. She closed the door and leaned against it. Her plan was turning into a blood disaster. The girl disappeared under a work bench when she spotted some beer. She pulled out a can and opened it. She was about to drink it when the door blew open wide. Casper pushed Simon into the room with her. She closed the door behind them and moved in closer to her prey.
“/I can’t believe after everything that has happened you bring her to the party!/” she complained.
“/She says I’m her boyfriend,/” Simon replied. The hippie sighed and tried not to cry. She lightly touched him on the cheek.
“/You’re not Simon anymore,/” Casper wailed. “/Are you?/” The boy looked at her for a moment.
“/Yeah, I’m Simon,/” he said. Casper began to relax.
“/Okay,/” she said. “/On the day of the accident, you were on the phone to me. Tell me what you said./” The boy stared at her for a moment.
“/Doctors told me it would take a while for some things to come back./” His bird looked crushed.
“/Okay then. Let’s bring you back./” She lightly touched him on the cheeks. The hippie kissed him on the lips. Soon, more kisses followed. She took off her top and threw it to the floor.
“/Come on. Come on, I want to touch you!/” she pleaded. Ghost watched the whole thing in silence. Casper kept trying to kiss Simon.
“/I can’t,/” he said.
“/Course you can,/” she replied. The girl felt at his package as she kissed on him, but there was nothing there. Casper slowly broke off the kiss in disappointment. He wasn’t aroused by her at all.
“/Oh…/” Casper said sadly. “/You’re not…/” Simon shook his head.
“/No,/” he said. “/No. I’ve got to go./” He slowly walked away. Casper sat down in sorrow.
“/Not worth it, are they?/” Ghost asked under the bench. The hippie looked up quickly.
“/Who the f**k are you?/” she asked. Ghost came out with her beer. Casper looked at her slightly shocked. Silence passed for a quick second.
“/How can boys do that to us?/” the Welsh girl asked. “/Make us feel like shite?/” Casper looked at her.
“/He… He didn’t. You don’t understand./”
“/It’s difficult for him now./” Casper paused for a moment.
“/Us now./” Ghost looked up at her with a little smile.
“/Hey, but you did remember what it was like to kiss him for the first time? The magic moment when everything changed./” Casper though about that for a moment and nodded. Ghost pulled out another can.
“/Fancy a beer?/” Casper looked at her for a moment and took the can. They took a drink after the hippie opened up hers. But then, Casper lowered her drink and looked at her lap. What was the point?
Ghost made it home later that night. Only, she didn’t go home. Instead, she made it to Yuki and Shuichi’s apartment. The girl used one of her hair clips to pick the lock. Ghost slowly and quietly went inside. She made sure to close the door behind. Darkness in the apartment. All she could hear was keys typing on the keyboard. Yuki was hard on work on his laptop. Ghost took off her shoes and began to creep inside. However, she ended up stepping on a loose board. The girl froze in fear as it creaked loudly. Oh crap, what to do now?
“Is that you Shuichi?” Yuki asked without looking up. Ghost really panicked and raced into a random room to hide. Yuki came out to the front door and looked in the hallway. He turned on the lights for a better look. No one in sight, so he went back to work.
Ghost breathed hard as she looked around. The girl looked very excited as she looked excited to find that she was in… Shuichi’s room. Joy to the world for her! She looked around like a little kid in an amusement park. Ghost began to touch on his computer mouse and hair brush. She opened his closet, pulled out one of his shirts, and sniffed it. Oh the sweet smell of a good.
Ghost lied back on Shuichi’s western-style bed wearing nothing but his shirt, her panties, and socks. Oh, she had just died and gone to Heaven. She didn’t seem to want to leave.
In a few minutes, Ghost got lost in a sea of pleasure on Shuichi’s bed. She was imagining that the pink-haired vocalist was on top of her, banging her. The heat and colors danced around playfully in her head. However, the party was interrupted when she heard the door open down the hall.
“Hey Yuki!” Shuichi outside. “Good night!” Ghost quickly panicked and hid under his bed. Shuichi came into his room and began getting dressed for bed. Yuki had to work late tonight. So, the vocalist decided to just go to his room for the night. Ghost watched on, excited. This was better than watching him from her bedroom. This was dream come true. Once he got dressed for bed, Shuichi just went to sleep. Ghost spent the night under his bed.
Morning came over Tokyo. Shuichi awoke to his cell phone ringing. He turned it off and climbed out of bed.
“/Underpants,/” Ghost whispered to herself as she was watching him get ready for another busy day. The vocalist did as she predicted it.
“/To the mirror, cupboard, trousers, to the mirror, aftershave, mirror again,/” But then, she noticed something dead wrong. The girl saw one of her red fish hair clips on the rug. She felt along one of her pigtails and noticed that it was gone. Oh crap, she was in trouble now! Shuichi walked over to the bed. He felt his bare foot touch something. He knelt down to pick up the hair clip. Confusion came onto his face.
“Yuki!” he called.
“Yeah?” he boyfriend replied.
“Did you have any girls over here while I was out yesterday?” Shuichi asked. Silence. Okay, clearly not. Silly him to think that sexy Eri Yuki was cheating on him with a woman. So, who’s hair clip with this.
Meanwhile, Ghost made it home in a cold rush. Oh she was screwed now. Not in the way that she wanted.
“/Dahlia!/” her mother called from her bedroom. “/Is that you love? Dahlia?/”
“/Yes mum,/” she replied.
“/I need help in here!/” her mother yelled. Ghost went to tend to her mother. She went into the bedroom to find her mother lying on the floor.
“/Jesus mum!/” her daughter exclaimed. “/What happened?/”
“/When you weren’t back when you said, I thought you went to bed. I went to check and… am I wet? I’m wet, aren’t I?/” Ghost helped her mother back into bed. Ghost’s mum panted in relief.
“/Do you spend the night with him, love?/” she asked as she stroked her daughter’s cheek.
“/Don’t,/” Ghost said sadly. “/Let’s get these wet clothes./” She started to unbutton her mother’s nightgown.
“/Wait!/” the mother said. “/Give me my pain pill first./” Ghost paused to do so.
“/Make it two,/” her mother requested.
“/No!/” Ghost shot down. “/The doctor said they are medics. I don’t want you vomiting!/” She placed a pill into her mother’s hand.
“/You’re a good girl,/” the ill woman said. “/Shuichi’s lucky to have you./” Ghost looked away some.
“/Mum,/” she said. “/I’ve got something to tell you./”
“/It was my fault,/” Ghost lied at school with her mother. “/I was stupid. I wanted to be alone, so I sat in one of the bedrooms upstairs. And Kouji… Uda-san, the drama teacher, well he came in and asked if I wanted comforting. I didn’t say no. It was his party and his house, so… and it was just his hands. Uda-san’s hands. I mean… he… he didn’t make me touch him or been anything near me./” She paused for a moment.
“/He just kissed me on the cheek. He kept kissing me. And rubbing his hands over me. And he said I was great. Because I had little tits. Almost like a boy, he said./” The headmaster looked at her in silence.
“/That was it,/” Ghost finished. “/He didn’t even touch any other part of me. Just my cheek. And my tits./” Her mother looked dead-on at him. The headmaster blinked for a moment.
“Right,” he said. “Your cheek and tits. Right. Right. Tits. Right. Oh dear!” Ghost one step closer to having Shuichi now. Kouji carried out his things with the police escorting him out. He looked up and saw the little liar staring back at him from the bridge above. Oh how he hated her now. Now with him out of the way, Casper was left in the way.
“I heard he got his cock out and was tightly on something like Harry Potter and starting shouting at Ghost, ‘Kiss the toad to make some magic!’” Ando said at lunch to Emma and Simon.
“#Drama teachers, man! Pretend to be a tree. We’ll I’m not a tree. Well, pretend!#” Emma threw in. “#F*****g perverts, the lot of them!#” Casper walked over to Ghost outside.
“/Is it true?/” she asked. The other girl nodded.
“/Yeah, it’s true,/” she lied. Casper sighed in sympathy and tried to hug her, but she held back.
“/Oh the creep!/” she mumbled. “/F*****g animal! I’m so sorry, Ghost./” Ghost looked up and saw Shuichi talking to Hiro and Fujisaki as they walked by. Then, she turned back to the hippie.
“/I’m the one who should be sorry,/” she said. “/I wasn’t going to say anything, but my mum insisted. Have I ruined everything? The play…/”
“/F**k the play,/” Casper told her. “/Come sit with us./” The girls walked over to the boys and Emma. Simon got up to leave.
“/That’s grown up, Simon,/” Casper mumbled in sarcasm.
“/Finished, that’s all,/” the boy replied. Then, he walked away. Casper and Ghost sat down. Ando tried to eat to her in a sexy yet dirty way. Emma nudged him in the rib cage.
“#What are you doing, you tramp?#” the Aussie questioned. Ando gave Ghost a little smile and ate on.
“Casper’s got a new friend, I see,” Fujisaki said as he and the band watched the crew talk and eat their lunch.
“Yeah…” Shuichi mumbled. Then, something caught his eye. Ghost had the same hair clip that he found in his room this morning. He pulled the clip out of his pocket and made the comparisons. They were a match. Shuichi watched on in disbelief.
“/Come Ghost, we can do better than these two,/” Casper said. “/Let’s go./” So, Shuichi made a little trip after school to her apartment. To his surprise, it was right across from his own that he shared with Yuki! Shuichi made it to the front door and started pressing different call buttons. Ghost’s mum answered the phone.
“Ghost!” Shuichi called. “Ghost!”
“/Who is this?/” her mum asked on the other line.
“Who’s this?” he asked. “Who are you?”
“/Enough of you kids playing, leave us alone!/”
“What? Look, do you have a daughter at the school?”
“/None of your business. Leave us alone!/”
“I need to know! This is important. Look, my name’s Shuichi!” The mother gasped in surprise.
“/Your name’s Shuichi?/”
“/Shuichi in the school play? Shuichi who’s dating my daughter?/” Confusion came onto the vocalist’s face.
“/What are you doing even answering the door, you--?!?/” Ghost screamed out later.
“/You’re a disgrace!/” her mother yelled.
“/Lies!!! All lies!!! A boyfriend, you haven’t…/” Both ladies got into a shouting match.
“/You f*****g, f*****g…/” Ghost yelled. Her mother looked in shock. Another ugly truth hit her.
“/Oh my god, the drama teacher/!” she yelled. Ghost looked slightly worried.
“/You lied about him too, didn’t ya?/” her mother asked. “/Well I’m not going to let you ruin a man’s life!/” She reached to picked up the phone when her daughter rushed forward wrestled the phone out of her hands.
“/Ow!/” her mother cried. “/I didn’t bring you up to be a liar!/”
“/You didn’t bring me up at all, you f*****g cripple!/” Ghost screamed. Her mother looked at her in shock. What had happened to her daughter? She had never spoken to her like that before. Ghost herself looked slightly surprise.
“/So, what?/” her mum asked. “/You’re going to keep holding me to the bed all day and all night, are you? Whatever trouble you’re in, I’ll support ya. But this is a man’s life./” She reached over to the phone, but her daughter pulled it away and tied her hands to the bed tightly.
“/This is for your own good,/” she said as her mother gasped in shock. “/Going out of bed isn’t good for you. I will not let you f**k up my life, mum. Okay?/” Ghost took the pain pills with her and left the room. Her mother feared the worst.
“/Dahlia!/” she called. “/Dahlia!!!/” The night of the play started out fair. The piano player began the song.
“It’s time to part with my childhood. I will become a woman now. I have to save my family from starving. I am their only daughter and I don’t know what else to do. But I must give away my love yo you.” Casper sang. The chorus sang in the background. Simon watched her from off the stage. The headmaster listened on while fighting back tears. So lovely.
lord is a cruel man.
But, I must save my family,
Or else we will die.
Ghost looked out her window at Shuichi. The vocalist saw her with disgust and closed his blinds.
“/But I will always love you after the snow,/” Ghost sang to herself in misery. She lost out big time.
“#Ah, the magic of the stage!#” Emma said as the crew and students walked in to see House of the Nightingale. “#The anticipation. I feel like a Roman about to throw a lion at the Christians!#”
“/Emma, it’s a school musical, but…/” Sid pointed out.
“#Who do you think would win between Shuichi and a lion?#” the Aussie. Back stage, everyone was getting ready for the show. Ghost walked in for work. Casper eyed at her while she was in her make-up and half of her costume.
“/Want to help me get dressed?/” she asked. Ghost turned around to her.
“/You want me to look good, don’t you?/” the hippie asked. Ghost smiled and walked over to her.
“/You nervous?/” she asked as she tightened up the obi. Casper sighed.
“/Aw God! On a scale of one to… ah, f**k scales! I’m shiting it!/” she replied.
“/You’re going to be so good. /”
“/I’m under rehearsing shite!/” Ghost looked at her innocently.
“/You want something to get you through it?/” Casper looked at her for a moment.
“/What do you got?/”
“/Pills of my mum’s./” She walked over to her bad and got them out. The girl returned to the leading lady.
“/At least take three to get a decent hit. Anti-anxieties, they’ll chill you out./” Ghost opened the bottle and dumped three pills out. She handed them to the victim.
“/Go on, I love to help you out./” She smiled to seal the deal. Casper smiled back.
“/Okay, thanks./” Ghost watched as Casper walked over to her mirror and took the pills with water. The trap had been taken. She sighed and did her hair.
A few minutes later, the leading lady was puking up in the toilet. The headmaster stood by nervous. Oh this was bad. Really bad.
“My mother was right,” he said. “Do science, she said. Do science, science makes sense. But the lights drew me, like a moth to a flame.” Casper puked again. Ghost stood by listening. Everything was going to plan. The headmaster looked up.
“Right, nothing for it. Cancelation o’clock.”
“/I know the words!/” Ghost quickly said. Casper looked up in suspicion.
“/What?/” she asked.
“You do?” the headmaster asked. Ghost quickly nodded.
“/Oh my god!/” Casper yelled before she puked again.
“/I’ve been helping her learn them,/” Ghost lied again. “/I know them all./” Casper threw up again.
“You just saved my Osakan rabbit!” the headmaster said. “Let’s get you into costume.”
Sid, Emma, and Simon sat in the audience, waiting.
“#Alright, we’re already ten minutes late now,#” Emma complained. “#It’s time for action.#” She began to clap out loud. Soon more people began to clap. Emma leaned over to Sid.
“#If Rome doesn’t go to Muhammad,#” she said. “#Then, Muhammad will clap until it does.#” Gabby came and sat down next to Simon.
“/Hey Simon,/” she said.
“/I’m waiting for someone too,/” he mumbled. Gabby kissed him on the cheek.
“/Yes honey,/” she said. “/It’s for your queen bee!/” She cuddled up close, smiling at him. Then, the music began to play. Emma smiled as the crowd cheered.
“#Works every time!#” she said. The curtain rose up and the show began. Shuichi appeared on stage dressed like a young lord. He walked on stage, singing.
“This is year 1770 in the spring. Our culture is alive and well. I am of the age of marriage. I wonder how my Sukiko has been doing all of these years. I haven’t seen her in so long. I wonder how she has been. I heard she has grown into a fine young woman. I can’t wait to see her, some day.” Shuichi sang. The actors around him began setting up for the wedding. Emma nodded at him, impressed. The music really came to life. Gabby looked excited while Simon watched on blankly.
“Today is a special! Today our lord will wed. Today the spirits smile upon him. Today he’ll be blessed!” the chorus sang.
“Today, I will become a man!” Shuichi sang. “The heavens will unite me with a true angel!”
“Today is something new! Today, two houses will unite! Today will see me through.” He turned to look at the bride. To his dismay, Ghost walked out on the stage dressed as a bride instead of Casper. The chorus sang on like they were supposed to. Shuichi shook his head in soft anger. Ghost walked over to him smiling.
“Today I will be a bride. Today I will save my family from debt. Today’s the day of saying, ‘I love you!’” she sang. Simon looked rather confused. Casper didn’t show up. The play went on.
“Nice day for wedding, isn’t it?” one of the actors asked.
“Why it sure is!” the second one replied. Fujisaki provided the keyboard music along with the rest of the band. The actors danced along with the show. Ghost smiled the whole time and Shuichi. The vocalist was not enjoying this at all.
“So who’s the lucky bride?” another actor asked.
“Sakura from the Uda clan!” the third one replied.
“Oh, she’s a lovely young woman!” an actress said.
Ghost looked out into the audience. Kouji sat in the back row and looked on in shock. This wasn’t how he wanted it. He like crying now. The chorus sang on.
In the bathroom, Casper sat in the stall. She couldn’t believe Ghost tricked her for the part. The door suddenly opened wide.
“/Casper?/” a voice asked.
“/I’m in here, Simon,” she replied. Simon walked in further.
“/Don’t come in,/” she said. “/I’ve got vomit in my hair./” Simon went in the stall next to hers. Silence for a moment.
“/I just searched half the school for you,/” Simon said. “/I don’t know why./”
“/Because you care about me,/” his bird replied. Another pause came.
“/Told you I loved you, didn’t I?/” Simon asked. “/The day it happened. The accident./”
“/Do you actually remember or is that a guess?/” she asked.
“/Does it matter?/” Simon asked. “/Doesn’t change anything./”
“/No,/” Casper mumbled.
“/Should I say something else now?/” the boy asked.
“/No,/” the hippie replied. She sighed.
“/Let’s just say nothing for a bit,/” Casper went on. The actors finished up their song and the audience clapped. The pair sat on in silence.
The drummer cued up for the next song. The music went on again. Shuichi stormed back stage over to Ghost.
“Casper!” he yelled. “Casper okay?”
“/I just gave her some mild stuff to make her vomit,/” Ghost replied. “/The look of her seems to show that she’s thrown up worse!/”
“Who the f**k are you?!?” the vocalist yelled.
“/Do you believe in magic, Shuichi?/” Ghost asked. The boy looked at her in disgust.
“/When we kiss,/” the girl went on. “/When we…/”
“I have boyfriend!” Shuichi yelled. “Do you understand that?”
“/Look at me!/” Ghost said. “/I’m as close to a boy as you can get! You could love me! We could you each other!/” That wasn’t working.
“You’re f*****g crazy!” he yelled.
“Excuse me,” one of the stage hands said with a huge prop in his hands. “Excuse me.” He walked between the two. The actors sang on as the evil lord came on stage. Ghost took Shuichi by the hand and slightly parted her kimono.
“/See?/” she asked. “/Just like a boy! Can you feel how hard my heart is beating? It’s because by the end of this play, you’ll have kissed me. And when you kiss me everything will change. Shuichi, I love you!/” Then, came the ugly truth from the lord. Time for them to go on. Right then, Shuichi found how to fix his problem. Politeness wasn’t going to get through to this nutter, well then, time to be nasty. Ghost put her finger to his lips and turned to the stage. The big moment was here. The actors were acting along with the wedding festival. The scene changed to night outdoors. Ghost turned to Shuichi.
“/That’s our cue!/” she said. She hurried on stage. Shuichi looked after her, pissed off. The music cued up for the actors to sing. Shuichi came back on stage.
“Hail to the young pine tree, Hail with all respect! May its branches spread out And its needles grow thickly together! Hail!” he sang.
“Hail to the young pine tree, Hail with all respect! May its branches spread out And its needles grow thickly together! Hail!” Ghost sang.
“Hail to the young pine tree, Hail with all respect! May its branches spread out And its needles grow thickly together! Hail!” they sang together.
“Hail to the children for a thousand generations!” the chorus sang.
“I will always love you!” Shuichi and Ghost sang to each other. Then, they kissed on stage as the chorus sang. Ghost became overjoyed, but Shuichi leaned in to her ear.
“Nothing,” he whispered. “I felt nothing!” Ghost began to look disappointed.
“You disgust me!” Shuichi whispered as she began to cry. The vocalist began to walk away. Ghost grabbed him by the arm, pulled him back, and slapped him in the face.
“/No!/” she screamed. “/It’s not how it goes! It’s not! It’s not!/” Shuichi walked back over to her.
“You think you can f**k my life up and I’ll start liking you?” he asked. “Look at yourself. Stay out of my life!” He walked off stage and Ghost just really broke down crying. Everything she had worked for had fallen into ruin. The audience sat in silence. The curtain drew closed. Everyone was still silent. Emma stood up and clapped.
“#Now that’s an ending!#” she said. Ghost went home that evening and tore down all of her pictures of Shuichi. She screamed in rage as she did so. Afterwards, she sat on the floor crying. Now, the girl had nothing. She walked over to the closet and pulled out her best dress. The girl took off her chest bindings and put on the dress. Ghost went into her mother’s room and untied her wrists. Her mum nodded at her daughter’s dress.
“/You look beautiful,/” her mum said. “/You always look beautiful to me./” Ghost said nothing. Her mother wiped away the girl’s tears and stroked her cheek. Her daughter just looked at her. She managed a little smile and left. Ghost found herself at Ando’s house. She threw rocks at the window. A light came on inside. The girl didn’t look up to see Ando opening the window and ended up hitting him with a rock.
“Ow! F**k!” he yelled in pain. Ghost looked at him. The boy panted in pain before looking down.
“Oh, hey,” he said. “Hi.” Ghost looked down and noticed that he was staring down her dress, so she tried to fix it up. Ando snapped out of it quickly.
“Hi!” he said quickly.
“/Can I come in?/” Ghost asked.
“Uh… Um… Well, uh… Shuichi says you are a psycho,” the boy said. Ghost looked desperate.
“/Thinks I fancy him!/” she shouted. “/I don’t! I fancy you! I want to have sex with you! But I can’t do it if I’m out here, can I?/” Ando looked slightly confused. Then, he began to look excited.
“Shit man!” the boy said. “Part II of Star Quest here I come!” He quickly ran down the stairs. Ghost smiled as she walked over to the door.
They were now in Ando’s bed. Both were silent for a moment.
“/I’m a virgin,/” she said.
“Oh,” said Ando. “Congratulations!” He climbed on top and got to work. Ghost looked slightly surprised.
“You mind if I list a complete filmography of director Kurosawa since 1943?” he asked as he was working. “Slow things down.” As was doing so, Ghost looked over at his wall. She saw a picture of Shuichi, Ando, Hiro, and Lexie on the beach two years ago. The girl lightly touched Shuichi in the picture. She had yet another plan. This time, involving Ando in the mix.