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Rukia Kurosaki

It Had to Be You- 1: You're Here Again

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     There she was, once again sitting across from me with an arm outstretched. The fresh bruise on her forearm was obvious, as was a scrape along her right cheek, and again I decided to lecture her on the perils of being careless. It was odd, that feeling of happiness when her familiar form appeared, always grinning despite her injuries. I knew that if she truly followed my advice, she would have no reason to return, but almost weekly we repeated the process; she would arrive as early as the first bell, brandishing some minor wound she'd earned in a careless blunder. After I reprimanded her yet again, we'd talk for a bit as I examined and remedied her simple maladies.

It bothers me that I look forward to these exchanges, as it means I still haven't gotten through to her, but without fail she arrives with a confident spark in her swamp green eyes and wearing a broad smirk that shows off her extended canine. Completing my treatment and scolding, I gave her a sigh. "Masumi-kun, soon I'll have to start charging you a regular rate." With a grimace that told me she believed the joke, my regular patient argued, "Can't you charge the owner of the cat? I got him off the roof fair and square, and she didn't even say thanks! I've got her address!" This earned a longer sigh, and I shook my head, giving Masumi-kun a pat on the head. "I was joking. And if you have to retrieve a cat from a roof, try not to fall on your face and tumble off said roof again."


I shooed the surprised student out of my office as she asked how I'd known what had happened. To be honest, I'd done the same myself once or twice in the past, but today... On the drive to Teitan High, I happened to see a brown-haired girl rolling down the side of a roof with a cat in her arms. From the short, wavy hair and blue uniform, I'd guessed it was Masumi-kun up to her usual stunts. "A doctor's intuition," I called, watching her shake her head and walk off. As she vanished around a corner, I wondered why she never chose to call home during a visit. At times I'd recommended she be picked up by a relative, but she always turned down the idea and returned to class. I made a note to ask next time she was in the office, annoyed at myself for guessing that it would be within the next few days. Perhaps it was none of my business anyway, what that patient's life was like...


"Araide-sensei, is something the matter?" I broke from the thoughtful reverie, looking back at the student standing behind me. It was Raite Chida, one of the teachers' aides whom I'd worked with in the past. "Er, no, sorry. Did you need treatment?" I asked, putting on a friendly smile. He shook his head and held out a packet of documents secured with a paperclip. "It's the new log-in and release form from the office. They want you to record symptoms, injuries, and treatments for student's records. Those who repeat similar illnesses or wounds have to be screened and given home visits now... I don't think you'll have too much trouble with it, sensei."


With a nod I thanked him for the information and carried the forms into my office, dropping them on the cluttered desk that I hadn't cleared in around a month. I'd read over the new guidelines later... Who knew, maybe I could get more information on Masumi Sera this way. I wasn't really sure why she piqued my curiosity, but the mystery had been eating at me for weeks, and despite my strict policy of patient confidentiality, I wanted her parents to know about her constant visits. Masumi-kun's parents... I couldn't really imagine them.


Before I could get sidetracked by unnecessary overthinking, I decided to reorganize my desk. There were so many loose papers, post-it notes, scattered pens, and abandoned passes that there was no patch of desk visible, and it felt like I was starting a battle at a great disadvantage. My wastebasket was only meant for 3 gallon bags, and there was no recycling bin, shelf, or filing cabinet...


"Oh dear... Where to begin...?"



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