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Never Meant To Know

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“Hi.” Tsumugi said suddenly to the red haired boy sitting next to him. The boy gave him a dark glare and looked like he was trying to ignore him, but after a few moments of Tsumugi’s prolonged staring, he sighed.

“...Hi.” He muttered. He made no effort to make it seem like he wanted to participate in conversation, but Tsumugi pressed on anyway.

“What are you in here for?” He asked. The boy gave him another glare, and pointed down to his hand with his eyes.

“You have eyes, don’t you?” He waved his bandaged hand. The bandanges were bound fairly tight, and were fairly spotless, except for a few bloody spots. They held a bloodier gauze against his palm.

“Oh! Yes. Sorry.” Tsumugi laughed lightly. He held up his own hand. “I sprained my wrist. At least, I think I did.” His tried to do some wrist circles for effect, and winced when a sharp pain ran through his hand. “It’s never hurt this bad before, haha!”

“How sad.” He brushed off, adding more bite to his words. Unfortunately for him, Tsumugi did not take the hint.

“I’ll say. I write for a living. So, my boss won’t be very happy about me spraining my wrist and taking a break, but I don’t think I could do anything anyway.”

“That’s too bad.” The boy feigned pity. Tsumugi nodded in wholehearted agreement. The pair sat in silence for a long moment, and the red haired boy had just begun to relax, before Tsumugi opened his mouth again.

“So what happened to you?” Tsumugi’s question caused the boy to jolt.

“Does my bloody, bandaged hand not tell you enough?” He grumbled.

“Well, not exactly… It leaves a bit of room for the imagination, but it looks awfully bloody.” Tsumugi hummed.

“It was. It bled all over my equipment.”

“Your equipment! You were working while it happened?”

“No, I was laying in bed and happened to wake up with a large deep gash in my hand.” He snapped sarcastically

“A gash!” “What kind of job do you work that would leave you at risk of gashing your hand and bleeding all over your work equipment?”

“The occult.”

“The occult! That’s crazy. That can’t be true at all!” “But, er, if it was, what occult-y thing would have made you gash your hand open?”

“An unstable client.”

“...Oh. That’s… boring.”

“It’s less boring when I bring up that a knife was pulled on me mid-session, I think.”

“That’s allowed?!” Tsumugi yelped. The boy grabbed Tsumugi’s shoulder with his free hand and shushed him harshly to try to prevent people staring at them. It didn’t work.

He made eye contact witha few people who walked past them and offered a polite smile before going to yell at Tsumugi. “...Are you stupid? Of course not. Why on Earth would I knowingly let someone bring in a weapon that could harm myself or one of my employees?” “Really, some people shouldn’t seek out professional readings if they’re just going to get upset at the truth.”

“Readings?”

“Yes, readings. I see glimpses of people’s futures. And I do palm reading too, but more as a party trick than anything. I feel that palm reading is based more on one’s ability to correctly guess someone’s character. Real occult is so much more than that.”

“Would you do mine?”

“What? No. We just met.”

“You said that a palm reading is about guessing one’s character. You can do that, right?”

“...Oh, alright.” He offered his free hand to Tsumugi, who took it, and turned Tsumugi’s hand roughly so his palm faced up. “Your palms say…” He made a show of observing Tsumugi’s hand, stroking and tracing each individual line on his palm with feigned care. Finally, he said, “...that talking to you would be a waste of my time.”

“What?!”

“Is that all? You’re lucky I don’t charge for these readings too, because I charge quite a lot for my genuine services.”

“Your genuine services?! How would I know how good you are if you flat out refuse to do what you call a party trick for me?!” Tsumugi complained.

“Do you want a genuine judgement of your character? You’re probably irresponsible, focus on one thing so much to the point where you forget everything else exists, and not to mention dense! Haven’t I tried to avoid talking to you enough? Yet you still keep trying to talk to me–!”

“Excuse me, Mr. Sakasaki? A doctor can see you now,” A nurse coughed softly. The boy, now dubbed ‘Mr. Sakasaki’, stood up with a ‘hmph’ and stormed toward the doors of the hospital wing, leaving Tsumugi and the nurse alone in the waiting room.

“Is he… allowed to do that?” Tsumugi asked. The nurse shook her head, and rushed after him.

~ ~ ~

After Tsumugi’s encounter with one eccentric Mr. Sakasaki, he decided to look into the occult. Not extensive research, but some small reading. His words about ‘genuine services’ had intrigued Tsumugi, but all of his researching (googling ‘occult’ and clicking the first thing to come up) had ended up being complete bait or complete garbage. It was all too vague, or too exaggerated, or too mind-numbingly stupid that Tsumugi considered just closing his laptop and turning in for the night.

Then an address popped up.

The place was called Clear Fate, and based on the (very limited) scanninng Tsumugi had done of the website, the place had all sorts of things related to the occult, but the owner specialized in fortune telling and could perform all sorts of rituals per his client’s requests.

Tsumugi wrote the information down and figured that he could go to the shop for a ‘consultation’; Of course, it would be an actual consultation, but to Tsumugi, it was more as an experiment than anything, and for the owner, it would simply be business. It hardly counted, in his eyes.