Her parents on the phone had pushed her to exhaust every explanation, every platitude she had to give them. Putting the phone back on the receiver, she breathed a sigh of relief. She was glad they were there for her, but speaking to her overprotective parents always sucked her energy.
She asked when the man who rescued her would be here. She needed someone else to talk to, someone who would ask nothing of her. And she had been wanting to talk to him for a while; that’s why she had expressed her feelings to this interpreter, who looked so like him.
“This afternoon,” said the interpreter.
Good. She also had some questions to ask him.
When he arrived, he peeked his head in at her before a smile broke out and he approached her. Her interpreter was still there.
They exchanged translated greetings.
“There’s something I’ve been dying to ask…” she said as he settled down beside her. He looked up at her in innocent surprise.
“Yes?” he asked in Japanese.
“What were you doing there that day… that you rescued me?”
There was a long, uncomfortable silence, and his friendly smile turned into a downcast frown. As though the answer was depressing, as if the question was somehow too personal.
“I… was captured by the mobsters. They pulled me in to question me. Something went wrong when they captured you. They paid me handsomely to…”
He took a breath, then another one. “I’m the pilot that brought you here. I was supposed to fly you to Osaka, but –”
She was in tears now. She glared at him, hurt, as he looked helplessly back at her. “How dare you…” she choked. “How dare you keep coming back here.” She felt her exhaustion heavier than ever now. “Go. Just get out of here…”
Uncomfortably, he stood up. He watched her intensely, frightened, and then turned to leave.
He disappeared in the days following on.
Good riddance. He deserved it.
Prompt from Trifecta.