Ghost Hunt Fanfiction: Haunting Life - 178. Haunting Life :21: Behind the Door
So, so sorry for the long absence. This is a separate arc from the last. I did forget to put a summary at the end of the last chapter. I just wanted to inform everyone to prevent any confusion.
I do not own Ghost Hunt
The Girl Behind the Door
Chapter 1 – The Secret Client
It was good to be at work again. That thought crossed my mind as I tapped aimlessly at my keyboard. Of course I might think differently if I was actually doing the work I was supposed to be.
I paused and stretched as I reread my fifth try at a college essay before closing the program and deleting it all. I sighed and stood, catching up a few of the file folders and headed to the backroom. As I attempted to find the proper location for my second file, I found myself fruitlessly attempting to reword my last draft in my head. I shook myself and leaned my forehead on one of the shelves with a sigh.
But seriously, how do you explain nearly four years of ghost hunting in anyway scientific or at least not slightly crazy to a university that seemed to not even consider parapsychology as even a possible career aim?
I squeezed my eyes shut as I tried to fight the overwhelming feelings of fear that was gripping me. The essay was the last step of the application for the University of Tokyo. I had already finished the one University of Tsukuba, but for some reason I could not bring myself to write this essay. It wasn’t even that different from the prompt for Tsukuba. Still for some reason I could not seem to tell the college “about an experience that defined me.” What did that even mean? I mean, doesn’t every experience define me?
“Mai,” muttered a quiet voice. I about jumped out of my skin as I turned to see Naru.
“N-Naru!” I squeaked. I turned quickly to finish the filing.
“Is your head hurting?” he asked. I felt my blush increase.
“N-No, Naru, I’m fine. I-I was just thinking, that’s all. I’m fine.”
There was silence for some time, but I could still feel Naru standing in the door way.
“You shouldn’t do that,” I heard him mutter. I looked up at him, confused.
“Think…knowing you, you will give yourself a headache.” He smirked as his cruel humor sank in. I was too slack-jawed to respond before he walked away and commanded tea be made.
Furiously, I shoved the file I was still holding into a random spot and stamped my way angrily to the kitchen.
As I slammed the pots around, I felt a creeping sensation up my spine.
“Yes, Naru,” I snapped, not turning around to see his raised eyebrow.
“I would appreciate you discontinuing that racket; I would heavily dislike our client to experience your raucous misbehavior.”
I paused, ignoring the second stab and looked at him with slight surprise.
“I didn’t know we had a client coming in today,” I stated.
“It was a last minute scheduling,” he replied. Then Naru did something I have never seen him do. He dropped his eyes to the floor, slid his hands into his pockets, and shifted his weight. Was Naru acting—uncomfortable?
“Make sure that you prepare extra tea for our guests,” he said, regaining his composure in a split second and walking back to his office.
I ran to the opening he had just left and watched him return to hiding. Just before he shut the door, we locked eyes for a moment. How odd.
Just after 3:00 and right when I had deleted my sixth draft, the door dinged open. I stood with a smile to welcome our guests, but was cut off by Naru walking out of his office and swiftly across the floor with his hand extended. The man smiled at him as he took his hand with two of his.
Then Naru did something else that I had not expected, he spoke to the client in perfect English. I was so dumbfounded, I missed the first few sentences they exchanged before I began to translate in my head.
“I can’t tell you how relieved I was when your father told me you were here on an extended stay. I am almost at my wits end,” the man said.
Naru’s father? But I thought—isn’t Naru an orphan?
“Yes, well, it is important that I don’t broadcast such information.”
“Yes, your father explained things to me. I must extend my deepest condolences. I know how close the two of you were.”
Naru nodded stiffly as he seemed very aware of my presence. I stepped out from behind my desk as Naru turned my way.
“Richard, this is my assistant Mai Taniyama. Mai this is Richard Havington,” Naru said, switching to Japanese when he introduced Mr. Havington to me.
Mr. Havington bowed as I extended my hand. I quickly made to follow his lead.
“Welcome to Japan,” I said in my best English, praying my accent would not make the words unintelligible.
The man’s face brightened as he reached out and shook my hand.
“Oh you speak English, how brilliant!” he exclaimed.
British—definitely a British accent.
I glanced at Naru to see if he was shocked by my skills, but he was in full poker face mode. I sighed inwardly as Lin made his entrance into the room to investigate the commotion.
“Ah, Mr. Lin, long time no see.”
Lin nodded his head as he stepped forward and shook Mr. Havington’s hand. Our guest then launched into an extended and very fast story of which I only caught bits and pieces. Something about daughters and flights. I think Naru realized I was painstakingly trying to keep up because he cut across Mr. Havington and said, “Richard we can continue this in my office if you don’t mind. I have several questions.”
“Oh, of course then.” Mr. Havington followed Lin to a seat hidden on the other side of the door jamb.
I made to follow but found my path blocked by Naru. Confused, I looked up at him.
“Mai, I believe that is all I have for you today. You are free to go.”
I felt like I had been slapped. Naru was letting me off work early? But, Naru never did that. If anything I had to stay late recently until he could accompany me on the train home.
I took a step back, his words stinging.
“What are you hiding from me?” I hissed, keeping my voice soft although I knew Mr. Havington couldn’t understand what I was saying either way.
For a millisecond, Naru looked shocked but he recovered quickly and stated, “Mr. Havington is an old friend. I feel he will be more comfortable discussing recent events with familiar people. That is all Mai.”
I shot him an incredulous look. He seemed to recognize that I knew he was lying.
“I will have Lin drive you home,” he continued, turning towards his other assistant to give the command.
I swiveled on my heel and stalked away snapping, “Don’t bother. I can ride the train alone. I’m not a child.”
I packed up my stuff and slung my bag over my shoulder.
I ignored him and stamped out the door and down the stairs to the outside. In the fresh air I paused and looked back up towards SPR’s windows.
What was going on?
I am very sorry for how long I was absent. I completely lost my place in the story because I had so much going on in my life. I also had to get a new computer as my crashed a bit ago. Hopefully I can prevent such an extended hiatus in the future but no promises. On a positive note I have some great news. Your very own Truth is going to be a Veterinarian. Veterinary medicine is my other passion and I am so excited to be entering this program. I will be keeping which program under wraps to allow myself privacy but I thought I would share the exciting news with everyone. I also hope that this explains part of my absence. The interview process was very long and difficult lol.
Thank you to everyone who have stuck with me for so long and thank you to all of the people who recently have found my story worth a read. I could not do this without all of you.