Shoujoai ni Bouken: Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: With the school festival coming up, energy is
running high. Yuriko has been volunteered to perform at the big dance on the last night of
the festival. None of that is important at the moment, as Yuriko faces an implacable
Volume 4, Issue 16
Yuriko sank into the nearest chair. Her heart beat wildly in her chest and she had trouble
catching her breath. Nonetheless, she affected as calm a demeanor as possible as she
returned her attention to the Principal.
Keeping her voice low and composed, she asked, "And what is the nature of these
The man behind Mie, Watanabe-san, Yuriko reminded herself, stepped forward, his fists
clenched, his face pale. "Allegations? Nature? How can you even ask that, you, you
Yuriko swallowed hard, but did not respond to the man. She kept her eyes on the Principal,
refusing to allow any of the sickening feeling she was experiencing show on her face.
The Principal would not meet her eyes as he answered her question. "Watanabe-san has
accused you of sexually harassing her in the school clinic."
"I see." Yuriko said. She glanced at Mie, who sat looking at the hands she held
clasped in her lap. Yuriko stood, leaning slightly on the chair back for support. She took
two steps towards the door, but stopped when Mr. Watanabe's harsh voice cried out.
"Where are you going?" His arms flailed in outrage at the Principal "You're
not just going to let her walk out of here, are you? What about my daughter?"
Yuriko spun in place and faced the Watanabes, then gave a perfunctory bow. Facing the
Principal once again, she bowed more deeply, took a deep breath and said, "I'll
arrange for you to speak with my lawyer. If you'll excuse me..." Yuriko took one more
step and was roughly jerked around by a hand on her sleeve.
"Let go of me." Yuriko said evenly, making sure to avoid any kind of
confrontational quality in her voice.
Mie's father, his face distended with anxiety and fury, let go, but hissed at her, "I
don't know what you did to my daughter, but I'll find out - and when I do..." he let
the sentence trail off threateningly.
"Excuse me," Yuriko said and left the room quickly before she responded in
She could barely hear past her own breathing which came roughly and harshly, but the sound
of footsteps running behind her signaled the approach of another person.
"Yuriko-san...Yuriko-san!" Concern filled Midori's voice as she tried to match
Yuriko's long steps.
Yuriko had forgotten the woman completely. "Please," she pleaded, "leave me
alone." She stopped suddenly, breathing hard. "If you need to do something, will
you please call Kishi-san and let her know that I'll meet her in her office in forty
minutes. Excuse me," she finished abruptly. She moved off quickly, hoping desperately
that Midori would not follow. To her relief - and terrible sadness - she could hear the
PA's footsteps retreat down the hall.
She opened the door to her classroom, entered and walked over to her desk. Shoving her
books into her bag, she mumbled an excuse for the interruption and without a word of
explanation, left the room.
Five minutes later she was off school grounds and headed to her agency in a taxi. As the
taxi turned the corner, Yuriko looked out through the back window and said a silent
goodbye to her friends at the school.
"This is not as terrible as you seem to think," the lawyer said reassuringly.
"There is only this girl's uncorroborated verbal evidence against your own. Should
this go to court..."
"Don't let it go to court." Yuriko said insistently.
"We may have to..."
"I said, it doesn't get to court!" Yuriko slammed her hand down on Kishi's desk
for emphasis. He head pounded with tension, and her eyes felt as if they were burned into
her sockets. "I don't care what they ask for - we'll settle."
"Yuriko-kun," Kishi said reprovingly. "Listen to Ishinabe-san. He knows his
"But he doesn't understand mine." Yuriko grated. She stood and paced around the
office. "These kids care about me - they want a role model, a friend, a lover. If I
go on trial for sexual harassment..."
"Then you'll become infamous, rather than famous." Ishinabe said calmly.
"O.J. Simpson won't ever act again, but he still gets invitations to dinner." He
stood and intercepted Yuriko mid-pace. "Yuriko-san, trust me. I've dealt with this
kind of thing before - false paternity claims, molestation charges... if you're innocent,
then you'll be fine."
Yuriko fought against the tears that threatened. "Dammit," she said quietly.
"I didn't want this."
"Of course not," Ishinabe said calmly. "No one does."
"We have a meeting at 10 tomorrow morning. Do you want to be there?" Kishi lit a
cigarette while Ishinabe continued.
Yuriko nodded, then shrugged. "Will the girl be there?"
"No, just her lawyer and maybe her parents and representatives from the school. This
is simply a fact-finding mission, you don't need to come."
Yuriko ground her teeth. "I'll be there."
The apartment was dark and quiet. Yuri moved into the living room by feel, turning on no
lights, making as little noise as possible. She sat down on the sofa without stripping off
her coat, and just stared into the darkness.
The phone rang. She didn't move to pick it up. The answering machine kicked in and she
could hear Mariko's voice asking her to call. When the message was finished and Mariko had
hung up, Yuriko reached over and punched the machine's power button. The light went off
and the room was left just slightly darker then before.
The phone rang again. Yuriko reached around and pulled the phone line out of the phone,
cutting off the call in mid-ring. The apartment was silent but for her own breathing and
the tick of the kitchen clock.