On one of those days my group visited a place somewhere that is quite some distance away from the city center. Not sure where, but I do know that most of the way there has nothing but high-rise apartments. Unfortunately, I got separated from them while figuring out on getting around at an unfamiliar place. I don’t know how it happened, but it did.
I’m kind of scared to approach anyone, who are already looking at me. My uniform kind of stands out as there aren’t any schools in this country that has a similar design, judging by the students that I had seen. My mobile phone doesn’t seem to work while overseas. Payphones are nowhere in sight and, even if I do find one, I don’t have the coins for it. Also, I don’t remember the numbers to dial to contact people who might be able to help me.
People were already looking at me because the design of school uniform I’m wearing is not used in local schools. The fact that people are even looking at me makes me scared. I would like to ask the locals for help, but the problem is that I am unable to speak the language. I don’t have any additional clothes with me, or have money to buy any new clothes that would have me to blend in.
I’ve never felt this scared before. Being in an unfamiliar territory too doesn’t make me feel at ease either. What I’m fearful the most is to have suspicious men to approach me and, being a girl, more likely for them to do something to me.
Well, my first instincts are to head back to a more familiar area. The trains around here surely must eventually link to around there, but where is the nearest station? I’m sure they had noticed that I’m missing, but did they know when and where I was separated from them? I don’t even know where I am, and I don’t know how others would be able to locate me.
Walking around, I heard a soft ringing tone from not too far away. It sounds like mine, but it’s of the generic type that anyone else could have it. Plus, mine does not work overseas anyway.
Well, that was what I thought, but the ringing was persistent. Also, the loudness and angle of the ringing remained the same no matter where I went, so the only way that is possible is if it’s mine, but how is that possible?!
Feeling scared, I slowly took out my phone. Just as suspected, all that ringing was coming from my phone. What’s even creepier is that the name of the mobile carrier my phone belongs to back in my home country appears there too at full signal. Who is calling me?
It’s the big boss of the company my mother works for, Hisakawa Saeko. I had her number saved on my phone because it had accidentally synced my mother’s contacts on the family computer. Mine and mom’s contacts have since been merged that it becomes a very long contact list. The phone’s interface makes it difficult to delete contacts in this very long list, on top of mom’s knowing people who has the same family name as my friends whose given name I’m not sure about, which explains why I didn’t delete them.
Hisakawa: “Yumiko-chan? Are you okay? Your group of friends had told the staff that you went missing while traveling with them.”
The one calling me is mom’s big boss, but the voice and the words she said suggests that she’s also the Mizuho girl that I’m sharing the hotel room with. So, it wasn’t some girl who did a poor impersonation of her, but rather a very good disguise. I don’t know if it’s because she knows my mother that she revealed her true identity to me.
Me: “How are you calling me? My phone did not have a signal the last time I…”
Hisakawa: “Now is not the time to talk about that! I can’t maintain this call for long. Anyway, if you are the schoolgirl I’m seeing, turn 45 degrees to your left and wave your free hand while looking towards the sky.”
She can see me? But there’s nothing but the wide open sky in the direction she asked me to look at, and a camera in that direction is certainly out of the question. Maybe she’s looking at me from behind? I feel silly doing it in a crowded area, or be facing away from where she could be looking at me from.
Hisakawa: “Ah. That is you. I’ll be picking you up at the lowest level of the basement car park of the shopping center near you in a while.”
For some reason, she chose to pick me up at a basement car park instead of the road near me. I guess it’s the only deserted place inside a very crowded area, but doesn’t the location sound suspicious, like ambushing me for a kidnap or something? I am a daughter of a scientist who is important to some degree after all, and I heard of scientist of similar rank, but at Hatsuya, has been killed by terrorists many years ago.
I have my doubts if the female voice that called me was even the Hisakawa-san I met.