We walked around the entire building when Saeko, without warning, stopped to unlock a door that is doesn’t seem to stand out from the other rooms there except for the words on the sign. The room appears to be where things like stationery and old documents are kept. I don’t know how old the stationary are as they seemed to be in mint condition, but the design of the packaging looks old. It feels strange to see something that is old as when brand new, though it is possible for the manufacturer to not change after all the years, particularly ones made overseas.
Saeko: “I have asked some employees that I’ve known from my Kamisugi High days to come here for help. They are on the way here from the research departments now.”
She went searching through documents, theories, research, and sketches that are handwritten dating to some months before I entered university in America. I could actually recognize some of them. They had Saeko’s handwriting with her name on it, but she has previously repeatedly denied writing it. She has never regarded herself as an important person to the Powell institute and is holding some position there that has the highest authority over the president of the company. If she’s not the president, what is she? I only know that she is the so-called founder as this version of Saeko with me had all the assets duplicated from the person her body is cloned from, so although they are all legally hers over here now, she doesn’t recognize them as hers. It wasn’t long that we heard someone opening the door of the room we are in.
Male & Female voices: “Excuse us. Is Hisakawa Saeko-sama in here?”
They were looking at us and looking around at the same time.
Saeko: “Ah! Takuya-kun, Takagi-chan. It’s good that you have received my message. I have found something interesting to show you.”
The two gave a blank stare at Saeko. What’s with them?
Takuya: “Takagi-senpai, the big boss never told us about Haneda-chan of the admin department being here, but she’s with the guest the big boss talked about. What should we do?”
Saeko once told me that the family name of Haneda came from her counterpart of the other dimension and had used it during her time at that all-girls academy called Mizuho that she attended after Kamisugi. As a reminder, Saeko in her disguised form makes her look like completely different person
Takagi: “Let’s call her.”
The female staff quickly made a call to someone. Saeko looked puzzled as to what was going on, but took out her ringing phone. The two staff probably thought that the timing of the ringing was a coincidence until the female staff heard the same voice from the call with their big boss and the girl from the admin department in front of them. The tone Saeko used is still different from before her change to the current appearance. I noticed that Saeko had enabled the speaker mode on her phone.
Takagi: “Hello? This is Takagi. We’re at where you have told us to meet you, but Kanade Haneda of the admin department is here. What do you want us to do?”
Saeko: “That Haneda-chan of the admin department? I didn’t tell her anything about our meeting, but she could be there to take some stationery. Don’t start the discussion until she had left or err… whatever was in that message I’ve just sent to Takuya-kun. I’m sure she could explain herself if she doesn’t.”
Oddly enough, the Saeko that’s right next to me wasn’t even talking on the phone and neither was that message recorded. Knowing her, there’s a system inside her body that is doing this among the many features that Saeko herself doesn’t know about. Takagi looked over Takuya’s shoulder.
Takuya: “‘Haneda Kanade is me in my disguised form. Please do not let this be known to the people outside this room. Please don’t expect me to behave like myself when I’m like this like my two forms are of completely different people even though I’m now right in front of you. That woman with me should be able to answer the questions for me.”
Why me? I don’t even know what we’re doing here.
Me: “Er, my husband told me some years ago that you two were Saeko’s old friends from Kamisugi High, right?”
The two nodded. Saeko had the look as though this was a shocking revelation.
Me: “Well, I’m Hisakawa Kotomi. The head supervisor of a Hatsuya Institute branch, though I don’t see myself as one. Also, I have heard rumors that my uncle, Hirano Kenji, did something to me and my siblings when we were just born. I didn’t notice anything abnormal about me except that I was forced to look at someone who is now my husband very frequently without going insane. Also, my brain doesn’t seem to allow me to know about my own children, which makes it difficult for me to take care of them. I tried, but my own body won’t allow it.”
Takagi: “So, what happened when you couldn’t see him?”
Me: “Well, to put it simply, I would go mentally insane. I know this as I’m able to recall what I was doing when I’m unable to think. This has been gradually decreasing since my children were born.”
Takuya: “We would investigate that along with possibly related things. Anything else?”
Saeko: “Er, I’m Haneda Kanade. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I can’t seem to remember what I was doing at all before high school and, at times since then, I would suddenly find myself elsewhere or with memories that I have never been through but could recall as though I did.”
Saeko, are you indirectly saying that we should treat you as someone we’ve never met before, or are you capable of creating a separate set of mind (like user accounts on a computer) that even changes your way of thinking. That latter possibility sounds dangerous should we want the original self in times of emergency.
Me: “Takagi-san, Takuya-san. This girl is the same person as that recent call. The messages too. I saw her changing in front of me.”
Takagi: “Er, we aren’t capable of something that complicated. I’ll write a note to the founder that you should send personally. Do not open it until you get it to her.”
That note reads: “Saeko-chan, what do you think you are doing? Your disguise is too perfect that even people like us who had known you for a long time can’t tell that it’s you if you hadn’t told us.”. There were other questions being asked that meeting, but they seemed insignificant at this point of time.
I don’t know if people experienced the same thing, but from my point of view, the Powell institute seem to have appeared out of nowhere around the time Saeko came back from the other dimension. I was studying abroad at that time, and Itsuki didn’t tell me anything about her, so I didn’t anything about it. Maybe people did mention it, but, because of the name, I passed it off as some random large company that I have never heard of that is based in the country I was studying in. Although today was the first time I’ve been here, this place was previously a mansion that has been abandoned for many years. According to cousin Nanami, the place has been known as one of the best places for “ghost hunting” due to the overgrowth on the mansion. The garden that has been neglected for decades also gives out that spooky feeling and certainly long enough for animals to build their homes there, but since the mansion itself is surrounded by the city of Kamisugi when it was still occupied, the type of animals are mostly limited to birds, underground animals and abandoned pets.
Speaking of weird events, there was a particular phenomenon that happened late at night (at my college dorm) while I was asleep where everyone around the world seemed to have vanished into thin air for some time and reappeared on top of the things they had on them at that time. At least, according to Saeko and Itsuki, as for the point of view of the person being vanished, it seems like an instant. I’m afraid to say that I was one of the victims too as the same happened to me, though the impact is quite minimal as I was in the dorm bedroom at night as opposed to a place with a lot of people during the day, where Itsuki is. Of course, I didn’t know the truth about it until later on.
My children are growing up just like what I went through when I was younger. They were just little things no taller that the width of my body and now the oldest is about half the height of Saeko. Since Saeko herself has her age stuck around 16 and has never grown no more than a week since then (not at all if it weren’t for that Hong Kong incident), it’s possible that their ages would overtake hers. I would even become gray-haired along with Itsuki with aching backs, but Saeko would would remain as youthful as she was in 2006. What my children will become is completely unknown to me, but us parents and the things the children go through during their primary school years seems to have a large impact as they would remember it well into their adulthood. Well, whether that memory they will have being good or bad is another thing. I’m probably as clueless as my mother as to how to take care of their child.
It’s nice how I can hear someone practicing musical instruments instead of the traffic noise.
It’s a Friday afternoon. My parents had called me and my siblings to their house for dinner that is held once in a while. My siblings would certainly bring along their lovers, so I would be bringing my husband and children too. Of course, Saeko too.
Saeko said that my husband would be arriving just as we would step out of the house, so that leaves him with little time to change, so he would either come as he’s dressed, or do a change very quickly.
Except for a girl wearing the Mizuho Girls’ Academy uniform that is about to run past us, there wasn’t anyone else around. That academy was where Saeko (as Haneda Kanade) went to is the only place I know where anyone who even steps in there wears the same uniform that makes them look like elegant, perfect girls right down to their behaviour, with slight differences depending on their purpose there. This particular girl is a non-teaching staff who looks… a lot… like….
Why does she looks so familiar? Is she Saeko? But she’s right here with me, so who could that be…?
Children: “Daddy, we’ll be waiting for you at grandpa and Aunt Izumi’s place.”
Mizuho girl: “Yeah, have fun with your mommy… Oh no! I’ve better go!”
Wait? Did my children address that girl as their father?! What’s going on? I’m confused.
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