• Chapter Seven


    Only one light was on in the darkened house on The Creeks Circle. A high, fearful scream erupted from the lighted room. Otaku dropped the book on the floor, the back seeming to stare up at her in the faint light of her bedroom. Her eyes were open wide in fear and she couldn’t seem to raise her eyes from the betraying manga littering her white rug. She continued screaming in horror until she was forced to stop by her raw throat. Otaku’s murky eyes suddenly glistened with wet tears. One crystal tear slid down her cheek, leaving a wet, glittering trail. Finally, she tore her eyes from the book to see the doorway standing open, inviting her to run. She did, her bare feet missing the book by inches. It was a strange occurrence when Otaku ran, and when she did, it was usually slow and clumsy. But this time, she raced down the stairs and out the door, powered by her sudden shock and grief.

    Otaku’s long legs pumped, propelling her along the pavement, her heart thudding loudly in her chest and it seemed she couldn’t feel the acute pinching of pain in her side. Her feet were still bare, but, like her side, she was immune to any rocks or bits of glass that cut into her small feet, leaving a small trail of blood in her wake. Still wearing her blue nightgown, Otaku stopped when she knew she couldn’t run any longer, finally feeling the effects of her running to hard, collapsing into the grass next to the paved sidewalk, and still struggling to breathe as she cried.

    “L… L read that book before I did…” she said quietly, slowly wiping the tears from her wet cheeks. “How could I have been as stupid as to not to see how bothered he was?!” “Because, stupid,” a mocking voice in her head rang out. “He’s L. A master at disguising his feelings. And, besides, you were having a too good a time to notice anyone else but yourself. What selfish behavior,” Otaku brought her legs up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them and hiding her face within herself. She could feel her hot tears soaking through her nightgown.

    Another voice in her head told her he had to be acting. To save his life and continue on the Kira case. And then, when he found the proof against Light Yagami, he would come out and give Kira the death sentence, like that murderer deserved. A small smile spread across her lips as she considered the possibility. She wouldn’t again open Death Note number 7, she didn’t need to see that again, but still, somewhere she knew that he WASN’T simply acting. He was really… really… Otaku couldn’t bring herself to say it. To put something so unspeakable into words would be like confirming it. And she wouldn’t do that. But still, a glimmer of hope burned inside her. That was what was keeping her from having a mental breakdown, or going after Light Yagami again. But, she was going to see L again, wasn’t she? That was what he said. Unless he was… was …

    Otaku looked up at the bright, round moon. It was the only light source. Otaku looked around, surprised to see that not even any lamp posts were lit. Not one. Otaku rubbed her arms, trying to warm them as a chill ran down her spine. She gazed back up at the moon again as clouds began to cover it, blocking the only light. And suddenly Otaku’s world was pitched into darkness. She was no longer crying. It seemed that she had given up all the tears to L. She had none left for fear. Standing, she began to walk back in the direction she came from, though she hardly recognized where she was.

    After about thirty minutes, Otaku returned to her darkened home. She had neglected to shut the door, and inside her house was cold. Otaku closed the door behind her and climbed the stairs. Her parents still weren’t home from work, and it was past midnight. Or maybe they had come home and were out to search for her. But there was no note, and nothing at all seemed disturbed. They must have had trouble getting home. Otaku stepped into her room and made sure not to look for the book. She shut out her bedroom lights and nestled under her sheets, squirming to try and warm the chilled blankets, but it seemed impossible. She finally gave up and lay under the cold covers, her eyes, puffy and red from tears, were closed and she breathed slowly and softly. And when Otaku woke up, the sun was shining through her window, lighting the entire room. She could hear her parents bustling around downstairs, but as memories from the last night flooded back to her, she remained in her bed. It had finally gotten warm.