They did meet again. From that night on, every time Mitsu visited Luzia, she would find Hazen there. The second time they met, he introduced her to the lady who had shown up only at the door the previous time. Her name was Allyce, and the two were childhood friends.
It took only three nights, and none of them consecutive, for Mitsu to get along with Allyce and Hazen as if old friends. Each time they met, either Allyce or Hazen would ask how she was doing, and not in a tone of greeting. They asked the question as if their lives depended on it. All this, Mitsu remembered carefully.
Once, Allyce had phoned Mitsu, and invited the latter to her home. It took some time arranging the time for it, but eventually, that day came. After ten minutes of casual chatting, Allyce led her to her tiny library, which was an entire room. It would have been the master’s room if she hadn’t given it to her books, and Mitsu would soon see the reason for that.
“Look!” Allyce waved her arms around, excited. “The earliest publications of the Harry Potter series…these were given to me, I didn’t know Harry Potter yet at that time,” she said, pointing to a line of hard-cover books. Then, she traveled to the shelf right below that. “And, this is my favorite edition, so far. I also have all the movies.” She turned to Mitsu then, squinting slightly. “You do like Harry Potter, right?” she asked, as if she would skin Mitsu if the answer was a negative.
“Of course.” Mitsu chuckled.
“I knew it. I’m not sure I’d know how to get along with you if you didn’t!” Allyce joked, moving on to the next shelf. While Allyce was introducing her favorite books, Mitsu marveled at the sight of the library. It was a remarkable collection for a modest home. While glancing around, her eyes caught one of those books.
“’Bloise and Morgan’,” Mitsu read from the title. “I don’t recall the Arthurian legends.”
“But you do know that these two are from those legends, that’s pretty cool on its own,” Allyce encouraged, beaming up at her.
Another time, Mitsu was alone with Hazen on the plains at the back of his house. At first, they were just sitting. Then, Mitsu noted, “You look kind of…troubled.”
“I am,” Hazen admitted.
“Well? Why is that?”
“Allyce’s company will have some kind of party next month, and she invited me to accompany her.”
“So what’s the problem? You can’t dance?” Mitsu made a wild guess.
But Hazen nodded.
“Are you serious?!” she exclaimed. “Wait. Why didn’t you ask her to teach you then?”
Hazen laughed at himself, as it was the only appropriate thing to do at that moment. “I was kind of shocked that I needed to do that, so…I forgot.”
“Stand up then, I’ll teach you.”
“You know how to dance?”
Hazen laughed, and then sighed in defeat. The hours flew by as Mitsu tried her best to avoid being stepped on, and Hazen did his best not to crush her toes. In those hours, they had their fun, so much that they both forgot their hidden concerns. As the sun began to set, it became clear that if they stopped, the topic would be brought up, and so they kept on dancing, even though Hazen had already mastered the art.
When the moon showed her face, though, it couldn’t be avoided any longer.
“Mitsu, listen,” Hazen began.
Mitsu nodded, but sighed. She hadn’t anticipated what Hazen was about to say, but she did anticipate this conversation coming. There had always been an odd atmosphere among the three of them, and it seemed to Mitsu that she was the only one who didn’t know what exactly it was.
“It’s been wonderful, hanging out with you,” he said, “But, uh, I don’t think we’ll meet anymore. Originally, I’d joined you at the bar just to see how you were doing. I hadn’t planned on keeping contact.”
“I’m a villain, Mitsu. Please don’t mistake me as a hero.”