At roughly midnight, we arrived back at my apartment. My Kiwi friend decided to stay the night at my place to avoid a cumbersome walk home. Just before he went to take a shower, I received a phone call. It was S.

“Greg?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you really. . . believe my story?” She spoke in Japanese. Her voice wavered.

“Well yeah, why wouldn’t I?”

On the other end of the phone, S let out a terrible wail. She wasn’t just crying–she was bawling.

“Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m still at the bar.”

You might have gotten away with having an emotional breakdown at any of the other bars I frequented, but BL with its mild atmosphere, ample lighting, and extremely dense population of people too engrossed in sport to be drunk was no place for this. I cringed at the thought of the scene she was currently creating. I cringed on behalf of Mayu and all those well-meaning darts enthusiasts who’d put up with this sallow, creepy girl up until now.

“Greg? I know this is so selfish of me, but. . . would you please come back here?”

I stood in silence for a moment. Technically, I was not responsible for any of this. On the other hand, I may have had the power to prevent the scene from escalating, and it probably wouldn’t hurt me to have a heart–especially given the alternative. I pressed two fingers to my wrist. Still beating.

“Okay.”

I hung up and told my Kiwi friend that if I wasn’t back in two hours, he should try to reach me. If he couldn’t, he should be worried. I was worried.

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