"What... What did you say?"
Himari laughed again, "I said, I've broken up with Jun."
What followed next was a screeching sound of yelling came from the end of the line. Himari had to distance the phone from her ear for a second.
"Ha! Good riddance! I never expect you'd do it. Bet his mother would dance happily tonight if she knew. Ergh, but, where are you now? Are you still at the hotel?"
Himari looked around her, "I'm at a park near the hotel. I'm going home now."
"If only I was there, I could accompany you," Nanako sighed heavily, "Ah! Since you're at the hotel, why don't you just stay there tonight? It wouldn't do much but, nursing your heartbreak in a splendid hotel room is way better than returning to your apartment."
Nanako's words made Himari laughed.
"When are you coming back?" She changed the subject.
Nanako was currently in the neighboring city, doing a project for the company she had gotten hired to. Her best friend's luck was pretty good. While most of their classmates were still having to go to interviews, Nanako was already chosen by one of the companies that topped her list.
"I should be back by the next Thursday," Nanako sighed again, "Alright. Just do as I've said. Go to sleep in the hotel. Don't forget to use my voucher. Once I'm back, I'll lend you my shoulders if you still wanted to cry."
"Hehe, thank you, Nanako," Himari curled up her lips. She rubbed the tears that were still on her face, "Go to sleep now. It's late."
"I won't silence my phone tonight so call me if there's anything, alright?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'll do that," Himari got up from the bench. She turned around and began to walk to the hotel.
"There are countless stars in the sky. You could pick another one after you've moved on."
Himari chuckled, "Yes, you're right."
It would be hard, but, she had to continue with her life.
Himari did as Nanako say. She used the hotel voucher to book a room. Nanako gave it to her with an evil intention when she said she would celebrate Jun going abroad at the hotel.
Her friend always had a crooked mind. Himari didn't expect she would stay in the hotel room because of a breakup.
"Okay... This room is quite big."
Himari was amused once she entered the hotel room. It was a single room located at the end of the hallway but the size of the room was inferior to the single rooms she had lived in during her rare trips before.
Well, this hotel wasn't a five-star hotel for nothing.
Himari closed the door, kicked off her shoes and put down her bag and the paper bag of the packed food on the coffee table. She plopped herself on the soft mattress. Her eyes began to wander around.
In an instant, tears were leaking out of her eyes.
This time, she cried hard. With no one around her, she let out all of the pain her heart was suffering. Her cries sounded so heartwrenching, tearing her heart apart.
She had never thought of breaking up with Jun. Even when she was constantly been downgraded by his family, she persevered because she thought it was enough to just have him.
But, as she did so, she was dragging herself down.
"Who knows who your father is? Do you think our family could accept a bastard child like you?"
"Only a well-educated young lady would suit my son. You should disappear from his sight now!"
"Tsk, no wonder! With your mother's look, it's easy for her to seduce men. What a vixen!"
It was bearable if those ugly words were directed to her but, her mother also got spilled by the dirty water.
She couldn't imagine what her life would be if she got married to Jun.
No matter how much she loved him, the torment would gradually erase the good feelings she had for him.
It was best to break up before they tore their faces apart.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Himari was startled. She was shocked by the successive sound of someone knocking heavily on the door.
"...Who's there?" Her hoarse voice echoed weakly in the room.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Himari shrank in fear. She didn't dare to open it as she sensed danger.
It wouldn't be Jun, right? Did he see her entering the hotel?
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Himari got out of the bed yet she stood still on the spot. Her entire body trembled in fright.
After some time had passed, the banging on the door stopped. Even so, her heart didn't stop pounding hard. The silence sent goosebumps all over her body.
Himari took a careful step toward the door. She tip-toed and peeked through the cat's eye.
The hallway was deserted by people. She couldn't see even anyone out there.
Himari let out a breath of relief. She turned around, planning to go wash her face before once again her feet stopped.
It shouldn't be Jun, right?
Fighting against her rationale, Himari slowly opened the door. She looked at her left and right. Since her room was at the end of the hallway, she could only see people if she looked at her right.
No one was here.
Himari couldn't help but be disappointed. Although she was the one who initiated the break-up, a part of her heart was still anticipating him. She laughed in self-deception. Himari pulled the door, wanting to close it.
At the last moment, a shadow fell on her. She was pushed inside the room. By the time she could react, a man had already entered the room. The door was closed heavily behind him. He frantically latched and locked the door.
"Who are you?" Himari was frightened. She didn't dare to move even for a bit.
The man cast a gloomy look at her. Himari was shocked to see his eyes appeared blurry and his face was flushed red. His black suit was messy as well, not at all looking like most of the patrons of the hotel.
Was this man drunk?
"Get out! Or... or, I'll call the security!"
"Shut up!" The man hissed, "Do you want me to harm you?"
Himari sealed her lips. She was frightened by the man's warning.
As her mind was buzzing with how to call for help, the man swept his eyes across the room. Himari jolted when she saw him moving away from the door. She was afraid he would lay his hands on her.
But, her fear was turned into confusion when suddenly the man entered the bathroom. The door was slammed shut and a clicking sound came from it. Not long after, the splashing of water heavily hit the floor. The mist was quick to form on the frosted glass of the bathroom door.
...What was that?
"Who are you? I'm calling the security!" Himari shouted toward the bathroom.
The man didn't reply to any of her questions. Besides the sound of water falling on the floor, heavy groans intertwined together with it.
What should she do? What should she do?
Knock! Knock! Knock!
As Himari was frantic, she was once again surprised when the door was knocked again. Her eyes darted to the closed door of the bathroom. Himari mustered up her courage. She quickly ran to the door and opened it.
Three men in black suits stood in front of her.
"...Yes? Could I help you?" Her voice sounded so low as she was frightened by the men's harsh glares.
Her instincts told her that these men were more dangerous than the one in the bathroom.
"Miss, do you see a man running around here?" One of them asked, "He wore a suit. He should be this tall."
The man raised up a hand to indicate the man's height.
Himari stiffly shook her head, "I've seen no one. Maybe... he has gone to the other side?"
The man who stood on the right squinted his eyes, "Miss, are you with someone right now? Could we come in?"
Himari froze when something pressed heavily on her waist. A cool sensation coming from one side. From the corner of her eyes, she saw the man was hiding behind the door while pinning something on her.
"I'm here with my partner!" Himari flared at the men, "How dare you invade our privacy! Go now before I call for security!"
The man was taken aback, "That..."
"Let's go," The one who spoke first stopped his partner. He bowed to Himari, "We are sorry, miss. Please excuse us."
Soon, the three men ran toward the elevator. Himari took a glance at the man.
"Close the door," The man's voice sounded so cold as he stared down at her.
Himari could only close the door. Her legs felt so soft she thought like she could fall down at any moment.
Even then, she put on a tough front. Himari narrowed her eyes and looked back at the man.
The man's entire body was wet. His hair clung to his head. Water had dripped to the floor, dampening the area around him.
"Put down your knife."
The man lowered his hand from her waist. The sharp tip of the fruit knife glinted under the light.
Himari inwardly let out a breath of relief. She thought she would really be done for when she felt the man pressed the blunt side of the knife to her waist.
The man took a step back. His face grimaced, showing how uncomfortable he was.
"You... what are you doing?"
The man staggered back to the bathroom. He didn't look back as he spat out, "If you don't want me to do something to you, stay away."
Once again, the door was shut close..