“Please have a seat, Miss Suzuki,” the principal told her. Rina nodded, shakily walking over to the open seat. She felt like she was going to fall any minute now, the fear coursing through her making it hard for her to stand. She really just wanted to turn and run away. She didn’t want to face being in trouble like this again, not so soon after the last time.

Once she was seated, Rina bowed her head, refusing to look up at the principal. She could hear him moving and shuffling around. She could hear the sound of papers being moved before the principal coughed lowly. She glanced up, seeing him staring right at her. Seeing that, her eyes darted back down to the ground, her hands gripping her skirt tightly and bunching it up.

“I’ve rewound the security tapes and I can see that you’ve not had any active part in this fight, you were simply trying to help Miss Ogawa. Is that accurate?” The principal asked her. Rina simply nodded her head, unable to give him a verbal answer. “I’m glad to hear that, although I wish you hadn’t been involved at all. Since you were not an active participant, I’m only going to give you a three day suspension. You’ve gotten lucky this time but don’t count your stars because that will change if this behavior keeps up. Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir,” Rina replied lowly. The principal nodded. He got the easy part done and over with, giving Rina her punishments for breaking school rules had never been hard. For someone who seemed to get in trouble fairly regularly, Rina was good at accepting her punishments and showing remorse for her wrongdoings. The principal never understood how such a sweet girl could be such big trouble.

Now he had to focus on the bad part. Now he had to address what Hana had told him. He wasn’t sure if he fully believed Hana’s story or not, it was quite a peculiar one. It was harder to believe after he had just caught the senior girl in a rather massive lie. Still, he had to check it out. If one of his younger students was really living on the streets as Hana had claimed then he needed to address it regardless of how real or not real he believed it to be. It was his duty as head of the school.

“Rina, I want to ask you a question… Where are you living?” The principal could see the way Rina’s body tensed at his question. She tried to cover it up quickly but she hadn’t been quick enough before the principal had seen it. “Do you live with your parents?” he continued to prompt.

“Yes, sir. I live with my parents, why do you ask?” Rina’s voice was soft and it sounded like she was on the verge of crying, which she was. She was scared. What if he asked to meet her parents? She couldn’t even begin to think of how she would explain her way out of that one. She had no plans on what she would ever do if any of her teachers or principals asked that. It was something she had always tried to avoid thinking about.

“Are you being truthful with me?”

“Of course, sir. I would never lie to you,” Rina said. She was doing her best to hold back the tears but the poor her fear pulled at her heart, the harder that was becoming. She had to keep herself together; she couldn’t keep letting herself fall apart.

“I’m asking you this because Miss Kiriyama has told me something that I find very interesting.” Rina’s face drained of color when she heard his words. She didn’t… She couldn’t have… Not even Hana would be that low to do something like that… Could she?

“W-what did she tell you?” Rina couldn’t disguise the stutter and she couldn’t disguise the fear that was clearly evident on her face. All of the control she had had over her emotions was gone in the blink of an eye.

“She has claimed that you’re living on the street and have no contact with your parents. Is any of that accurate?” Rina could feel the tears welling in her eyes. She blinked hard, forcing them back. She couldn’t cry. She had to be strong; she had to compose herself. She had to find a way out of this.

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