Volume 8, Chapter 1-2: Closet Cleaning

Dad walked into the living room, staring at the bags with a perplexed expression. He opened his mouth but said nothing. Mom waltzed in, grinning.

“You left him speechless. Let’s see what we have here,” Mom said, digging through the bags, inspecting all my new clothes.

Dad continued staring at me in silence. Mom whistled, holding up a dress and matching accessories.

“Who picked these out for you?” Mom asked.

“Felicity wanted to, but one of her acquaintances helped me out,” I replied.

“These are all brand names. How did you afford all of this? Don’t tell me….,” Mom gasped, a shocked expression forming on her face.

“I have no idea what you’re thinking of, but someone at Sica offered me these in return for testing them,” I explained.

“Seems too nice to be true. But, if it’s free, might as well take it,” Mom remarked.

“How are you going to store all of this stuff?” Dad asked.

“Thank you very much for finally saying something. I’m planning to figure it out all tomorrow since I don’t have school,” I answered.

“Yuki, I’m proud of you. You’ve taken the next step in obtaining a boyfriend,” Mom congratulated me.

“As usual, I’ll just ignore you. Can you help me carry all this stuff up?” I requested, lifting up a couple of bags.

“Sure, my dear daughter. You help too, Dear,” Mom nudged Dad.

“Right,” Dad agreed.

After half an hour, I shoved everything into one corner, blocking me access from my bookcase. Hm, I should ask Chihiro and Yuka for help.

“Chihiro, are you free? I have something I want you to help me with,” I called her.

I called Yuka next, but she was busy. Maybe a date with Champ? Still strange to wrap my head around that Champ was Yuka’s boyfriend, but also my adversary too. For now, I would see how things went. Wasn’t that how Tess and the others approached life? It just might work for me.

Monday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 7

I woke up to a sweet scent of flowers. I glanced around, searching for the source. Where was it coming from? I stumbled out of bed, almost falling to the floor.

Yukie flipped green onion cakes on the frying pan downstairs. I yawned, greeting her. She smiled, placing the food on a plate, steam wafting off from it.

“Yuki, you seem distressed. Can I assist you?” Yukie asked, taking off her apron.

“It’s not that big of a deal, but there’s a strong smell of flowers. I thought it might be coming from down here,” I said.

“That is indeed a strange thing to smell. I do not think Auntie or Uncle bought any fresh flowers for display,” Yukie remarked.

“You don’t have to worry about it. I’ll keep looking. Oh, my friend is coming over later. Can you get the door for me if I don’t hear it?” I requested, returning back to my room.

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“Yes, of course,” Yukie nodded.

Damn it, this smell of flowers bothered me. Where was it coming from? I yanked open my closet, but found nothing. I thought it might be a new fabric softener, yet my clothes still smelled the same.

“Yuki? You in there?” Mom knocked.

“You can come in,” I replied, closing my closet door.

Mom walked in with a laundry basket, depositing all my dirty clothes inside. She saw my concerned look, placing the basket down.

“What’s bothering you?” Mom asked.

“I keep smelling flowers. I’m not crazy, right?” I asked, looking over at Mom.

“I think you are, my daughter. Nothing like that around here. You sure you’re fully awake, Yuki?” Mom replied, concern on her face.

“Weird,” I muttered, deciding to not pursue the issue any further.

I laid out all ny new clothes onto the bed. I stared at all of them, not even sure where to start. I read through Jessica’s notes, waiting for Chihiro. The doorbell rang and I walked downstairs. Yukie already opened the door and Chihiro waved at me.

“Yuki, your cousin is cute as always,” Chihiro complimented.

“I thank you for your words,” Yukie said, giving a slight bow.

Chihiro’s eyes widened when she entered my room, seeing all my clothes. She knelt down, checking the tags and then placed her hands on my shoulder. My friend then shook me, letting out a deep sigh.

“Where…. some of these clothes aren’t even out yet! Yuki, who do you know?” Chihiro exclaimed, staring at me.

“Jessica Staccato,” I answered.

“Wait, you mean, the Jessica Staccato? Did you meet her? Where and how? Tell me everything!” Chihiro shouted, her voice a mix of excitement and confusion.

I explained the situation to Chihiro. She calmed down after a few minutes and then her face brightened up.

“This is amazing. I checked our store’s catalog a few days ago and the stuff you have was in it. Do you know how rare that is? Even the store employees haven’t touched this stuff yet,” Chihiro revealed, picking up a coat and holding it in the air.

“You willing to help?” I asked, pointing at my closet.

“Of course. Jessica really knows what she’s doing, picking out all these perfect clothes. This and this, I would have never thought to pair these two,” Chihiro observed.

“She did make us stay in the dressing room for two hours. How should we start this?” I asked, opening up my closet.

“Try grouping all your clothes together so it’s easier to get later. Do you have any bins?” Chihiro asked.

“Yeah,” I nodded.

“We’ll put all the accessories and other loose stuff in those. Did Jessica leave behind notes?” Chihiro inquired, inspecting the plastic bins.

“Yeah, she gave me a bunch of papers,” I said, showing her the notes.

“Oh, so detailed. She even included pictures and what to pair things up with. Here, I’ll start with the coats. Oh, I almost forgot. I brought over a few dividers for your bins to keep things tidy,” Chihiro said, pointing at box she brought over.

“Perfect, let’s get started then,” I said.

After four hours of organizing and moving things around, we finally finished. It was time consuming, but at least I had a large variety of clothes to select from. Not to mention, it was all laid out in an accessible way.

“Yuki, I have work soon. Let’s catch up again sometime. Yuka too, if she’s not too busy with her boyfriend, you know!” Chihiro said, waving goodbye.

“Thanks for the help again!” I shouted out from my window.

What to do now? Maybe I could sit back and relax. Yeah, that would be nice. Knowing Tess, she would somehow rope me into doing something and right on cue, my phone rang.

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“Tomo, I apologize if I am inconveniencing you. Are you free?” Tess questioned.

“Yeah, I just finished organizing all my clothes. Let me guess, back into Kisai’s dimension again?” I responded.

“Not quite, something’s come up. I think you’ll want to see it,” Tess replied.

“What’s that suppose to mean?” I asked.

“Please come to the facility as fast as you can,” Tess simply answered.

“Fine, I’ll be there in twenty minutes. This better be damn exciting, Tess,” I agreed, hanging up.

During my drive over, I pondered what exactly was going on. Did Kisai somehow break the seal already? Knowing him, he didn’t exactly need anyone’s help. I’m sure it would end up being something useless.

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