Teary Promise (Part 17)

With my brother being magically turned into a girl from visiting Mizuho, the two of us looked like each other again just like in the old days, but how we are alike wasn't what I expected: as two young women instead of as two boys. It was right after the quake that I first saw him as a girl, though it was earlier that I first saw the picture of him as a girl on his student ID. I really thought it was someone else and wondered why the unknown girl used familiar terms to me and got angry when I tried to be polite.

No matter how hard you try to look when he becomes a girl, you can't see him in any other way than as a real girl and an older version of me. No matter how hard I hit and shake his protruding chest, it simply jiggles around without ever falling off or going out of shape, and although it fells soft to touch, he showed discomfort as I touched them, which happens to me too when I touched mine. The sad part is that it can't be removed. Also, when I looked under his skirt, the tightness of the underwear he is wearing seems impossibly tight to have his male thing there at all unless he really is physically a girl.

I know we both looked alike when we were young, but this is just too extreme no matter how you think of it. How on earth does my brother turn into a girl with a set of seemingly normal set of clothing? I know it doesn't seem logical, but I saw him transforming front of my eyes! In fact, he grew shorter as that happened.

Is he an attractive girl? The senses that would have me to be able to tell doesn't work on people I know since childhood or are of the same gender as me, so I can't tell even if I'm looking at one. Also, that female voice coming out of my brother is quite scary too: Not a child's voice or him trying to imitate a girl's voice, but an effortless real female voice from his mouth. My brother, looking very much like a girl in every way, with that voice... It's so real that it's creepy to me.

To tell you the truth, I don't like how a girl usually behave and the over-obsession with beauty and fashion. It's like, I want to say to them to stop being girly and all that, but the awkward thing here is that they are girls, and I am one myself. The bad thing about being one is that I'm given unwanted special treatment by the boys, who treated me differently when they thought I was a boy. I really want to marry a beautiful woman, but I guess there isn't anyone but myself, and the other party has to be a man if I do want to marry someone. I want to be a man because living as a girl is a hassle and somewhat too easy in finding someone to love.

The aftermath of the disaster still lingers in everyone's minds, and works are underway to clear the rubble and reconstruction of roads. So much things are happening in the recovery and reconstruction efforts that the ones happening in my area don't get covered on TV at all. Everyone is too focused on recovering that other things get overlooked. There are several rumours and strange incidents happening since the disaster around town, but nobody is doing anything about it. My town is too insignificant for anyone to bother checking it out. Since I moved from the capital and attend school in a different city, I am still quite unfamiliar with the town I live in. Most of my time after school is mostly wandering around the city where my school is with friends, and the long travel back home. I don't know much people around here, and since the disaster, I don't know who are still alive.

The local temple at my town is located on top of a forested hill at the eastern edge of town, where it can get quite crowded during the summer festival and New Year's Day. On most days, it is usually deserted. Prior to the tsunami, you could see nothing but trees and more trees surrounding the place, and it feels cooling too as the leaves of those trees help block out the bright sun and the heat it brings. Since the tsunami happened, this beautiful scenery ends abruptly at the eastern side where you see nothing but wasteland and the sea. According to the elderly, those trees, like the remaining surviving ones, had been there for many generations. It's sad to see them go just like that.

With my favourite secluded beach spot obviously gone, and indistinguishable from other areas, this temple is now my new place to hang out by myself. However, it didn't take long before somebody notices me there.

Woman: "That uniform... You're from the city, aren't you? I can tell as all of the schools around here uses the sailor uniform. I've seen you around town more often these days by yourself. Forgive me for being rude, but did you loose a loved one around here? I can't help but notice you looking at the direction towards where the harbor town used to be."

She didn't say it, but sailor school uniforms are for girls only as boys wear something else. Also, before the tsunami wiped clear of the forest east of the temple, you can't even see that town and can't tell if you are facing it without a map or a compass.

Me: "I lost my boyfriend that day. I..."

I don't know why tears were flowing out of my eyes. I guess I'm still emotionally attached to him.

Woman: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. So, may I ask what your name is?"

Me: "It's okay. My external emotions are overexgeratting what I actually feel. Anyway, I am Isaka Yumiko."

She heaved a sight of relief. However, she had a curious look when I mentioned my family name.

Woman: "Huh? The Isaka family? I think I saw that name on one of the newly built houses of this town. Hard to describe the house apart from it being newer than most of the houses in town, but I'm sure it's the only house in town with lights at night right after the earthquake hit. I didn't know the solar panels could last that long. A relative of yours?"

I remembered that the lights were working the night when the quake hit, and, the oddity of being able to watch the news on the TV at the living room, but couldn't make calls or go online. The home electricity is primarily powered by solar panels and uses the electrical grid only when power is insufficient, which rarely happens. It is designed to be able to store solar energy that is long enough to last from sunset to sunrise with even appliances like refrigerator, computers, and air conditioning turned on throughout the whole night.

Me: "I live there, actually."

Woman: "Ah, forgive me. I assumed that you stayed elsewhere as all of the schools around here have a sailor and gakuran uniform sets only, which most of the children of this town attends."

What does this woman want with me? I would had felt more scared if she were a man because I'm quite vulnerable right now and, as a girl, I have a lot of weak points on my body that practically makes me defenceless no matter how tough I try to be.

Woman: "So anyway, I'm a teacher at one of the schools in this town. Me seeing the Isaka name plate outside your house since it was built for about 5 years now, and me having never met you before now, I can also assume that you don't attend the middle schools here too. Don't tell anyone I said this, but the students are like a nightmare to manage, as you can tell from their attire. Students who do try to be like students in schools of other towns, get targeted by them. I am aware that there is some bulling going on, but it's difficult to find the culprits, and they don't do it when they know a visitor visits the school or in plain view of the security cameras. It's as if they knew the loopholes to escape being caught. Would you like to go to my school to see what it's like? I don't think you have been to the ones around here before."

Is she indirectly asking me to help her? Did she confuse me with what my cross-dressing brother did? Does she know that my mother is a manager at Powell Research and wanting me to ask them for help? Most adults have intentions that they aren't saying, and more cunning than children. Mum is somewhat like an important person because she is a department manager (or something like that) of a well known company, and I am at a higher risk of being kidnapped just because of some crazy person threatening my mother. But why me? I have nothing to do with it. Maybe I'm just over exaggerating what can happen.

Me: "Well, I guess so. But isn't school over? I came here when the school just ended. Also, I'm not even a former or transfer student there."

Woman: "You will be fine, especially with me around. Also, club activities are still going on now, and I think the school gates won't be closed until late at night."

Me: "Well, I guess I could know more about this town I live in at least."


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