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Chapter Ten: Out of Control:

Isaac pulled up into a packed parking lot. I looked around outside the windows as the sun started to set.

“Why did we stop?” I asked.

“We’re here,” Isaac answered.

“Huh?” I asked, blinking. I turned my head to look out the windshield and found an old-looking building sitting in front of us. A puzzled look came over my face as bright colored light flashed from inside.

“That’s it?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Yusuke answered. I failed to see the meaning in any of this.

“So… we’re here now?” I asked.

“Of course,” Isaac said. “What did you think this was?

“Uh…” was all I could say. Isaac chuckled as he turned off the van and climbed out. I watched as the other guys followed suit. I’m not sure if I should be doing this, but I get out of the car and follow behind. As we walked up to the run-down night club, I reflected on the events of today up to this point. At ten o’clock, we pulled up at McDonalds and ordered an early lunch. So far, that was nice and normal. Somehow, things turned rather uncomfortable for me when we drove into an unmarked neighborhood. I looked out and saw nice-looking houses all in a row. This place looked like it came out of a housing catalog. I slowly shook my head.

“Uh… why are we here?” I asked. Isaac suddenly got out of the car.

“Wait right here,” he said.

“Where is he going?” I asked once he shut the door. The other guys grinning and snickering didn’t ease me one bit.

“Guys,” I spoke up, “What’s going on here?” Sunao patted me on the back.

“Isaac’s just getting us some supplies,” he answered. My eyes widened in such alarm.

“What supplies?” I asked. The laughing only made me worry. I looked around for a single straight face in the van. “Guys?” I asked. “Guys?” Isaac returned to the van with a bag brown paper bag filled with… something.

“Got it?” Cassius asked.

“Yep,” our driver answered, “All of it.”

“How much they charge this time?” Yusuke asked. Isaac did the math in his head.

“About 2,000 yen,” he replied.

“Sweet!” Sunao exclaimed. They all went too fast for me to understand. Wait, what? What? What the…? Huh? Isaac climbed into the van drove off. Unable to hold back my nerves, I tapped Yusuke in the arm with two fingers.

“Uh… what’s in the bag?” I whispered.

“Pot,” he said without missing a point. At first, I tried to laugh off his answer.

“I’m sorry,” I lied, “I thought you said pot.”

“I did,” Yusuke answered. All of the color drained from my face.

“What?” I asked.

“And we’ve got pills for tonight,” Isaac added. I frowned when he told me that.

“I presume not for medical uses, right?” I asked. The guys laughed around me.

“That’s a good one!” Cassius howled. I blinked at all them confused.

“What?” I asked. Isaac smiled and shook his head.

“You have so much to learn, my friend,” he said. “You have so much to learn.” We pretty drove around the city until we came to the club that we are at now. Inside looks like a typical rave. There were people about my age or older jumping and dancing along with the live band playing on the stage. Oh, by the way, Isaac and the guys are all friends with the band. In fact, we snuck around the back just to meet them. The lead singer, Ryo, greeted Isaac with a huge hug.

“Isaac, my man!” he said aloud. “How have you been?”

“Great,” his friend answered, “Missed ya so much!”

“How did you find us?” Ryo asked.

“Well, you know, on the campus, a couple little cuties were putting up flyers for Dragon Spike coming home to Hiroshima this weekend. I just had to see your ugly mug playing once more.”

“Who ya callin’ ugly, pal?” the lead singer asked.

“Come on now,” Isaac told him. “You have always looked like a beaten-up pug and you still do.” Ryo playfully punched him on the arm.

“Aw, shut up,” he said.

“Ryo and Isaac go way back,” Cassius told me as we went into the club part of the building. “They’ve been friends since junior high.”

“Ah,” I muttered. Right now, I sit at the bar drinking cream soda while everyone is probably drunk or high while they are partying. I am wondering why am I really here? I’m supposed to be studying for the entrance exam at Tokyo University and going to college. Instead, I’m in a strange world, kilometers away in Hiroshima in a dirty-looking club at the bar while everyone else is having a good time. I don’t belong here. Why am I even here?

Suddenly, I paused when I noticed a familiar face approaching the bar just inches away from me. Three men walked over for a drink. They looked like as Akemi would describe them as douche bags with their fancy cheap suits and sunglasses on their heads. Their leader dressed in black and red stood out to me. At first, I thought I was seeing things. What the…? Is that Dan Toshio? I blinked several times. Shock overtook me as I realized who exactly I was looking at.

It’s him! It didn’t take long for the anger of seeing his face to take over. Without clearly thinking, I decided to make good on my own promise to hurt him. I finished my drink and walked over to that pompous jerk.

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