Chapter five: Felix culpa

"Hika…" Dad shook my arm softly. "Hikari."

Groaning, I slid my arms out of his reach and tightened the grip around the cup in my hands. He sighed.

"Is that your fourth cup?"

"Fifth." I corrected, glancing tiredly at him through my bangs. His lips twitched.

"And I'd say that's at least three too much, Hikari."

"No, it's not. Trust me."

"Sweetie…" He murmured soothingly and offered me an encouraging smile. "Please, tell me what's wrong. Whatever it is, talking about it will do you a lot better than drowning your problems in chocolate milk."

I fiddled with my drink in an attempt to gain time and settle my thoughts down. On the chair next to mine, was dad, waiting patiently for me to relax.

"Well…"I started, a bit hesitant "Remember the guy we were talking about yesterday? You know; my classmate."

"The Ken doll? What's up with him?" He chuckled a bit at his own joke. I didn't laugh with him. His expression sobered up and then his voice came back, this time accompanied by an obscurer timbre. "He didn't mistreat you in any way, did he, Hikari?"

I grimaced, despite finding the question a tad bit amusing. Light had been a jerk to me at first, and he still carried himself around with a certain air of arrogance. But in the last week, I had come to accept this as a part of his personality. Sure, it was a terrible flaw to have, but I wasn't the perfect human either. Additionally, his last actions were proof of his repentance, presuming I wasn't misunderstanding his intentions. In any case, he had taken his braggart attitude down to a notch, which was terribly appreciated.

Did he mistreat me? No. Well, not exactly… or intentionally. Most wouldn't really count "awkward confrontations" and "accidentally pressing the wrong buttons" as "mistreat", of that I was sure.

Light just happened to be very good at both of these things.

Oh, and making me feel guilty; that too, the prick. I admittedly didn't dislike him as much as I did before, but still.


I drank a large gulp of my hot, sweet beverage, barely batting and eye when I almost choke on it.

"He's coming here tomorrow." I rubbed my eyes. "His mother will be receiving some guests–Friends or family or something– I don't know. It's supposed to be very loud and interruptive, so he asked me if we could work here instead. I couldn't say no."

My body shivered. The night was a bit cold.

"I see." Alonzo muttered. He looked… confused, perhaps even a bit conflicted.


We stayed silent for a while, my face impassive as I finished the cup of chocolate milk. My heart was anything but tame.

Closing my eyes, I breathed in to calm myself down, felling more collected as the scent of home invaded my nose. It smelt like wood, walnuts and mom's perfume; it smelt like happiness.

"Hikari…" Dad started again, tentative, as if testing the waters. "Should I…I can… go out for a while tomorrow, if that's–"

"Dad!" I regretted my harsh tone as soon as it left my lips, and cringed along with my father. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

He squished my arm in comfort, but the pain in his eyes was still evident.

"It's alright."

"No, it's not." I refuted weakly. "I shouldn't talk to you like that."

My eyes remained stuck in their position, staring longingly at the bottom of the empty cup. I started licking the rim, not caring about how silly or disgusting it may have looked; I was at home, enjoying a little pleasure of mine.

And dad was here again. This was supposed to be the only thing that mattered.

"I don't want him to find out." I admitted. "But this is your house, there's no reason for you to go. Mom and I don't want you to be gone... Not anymore."

"Hikari…" His breath was shaking. "Maybe, it won't be so bad if he knows."

"I don't want him to know."

"He will understand. It might be good for you, you know? Having a friend there for you, supporting you..."

"I have friends. I have Caliel."

Shaking his head, dad smiled painfully at me.

"I know."

Heaving a sigh, I leaned back on the chair. My body felt heavy, so very heavy, and I stole a glance from the grandfather's clock standing next to the door. It was already past midnight.

"Dad. You should be sleeping."

"You too. Just because there is no school tomorrow, it doesn't mean that my daughter should be sleep deprived."

"Sleep is for the weak." I offered him a smirk. He rolled his eyes and bopped me on the arm. Suddenly standing up, he placed a hand on his chest, while the other dramatically caressed his face.

"Oh, daughter of mine, you forget that I'm the head of this family ―the king in this house—. So as long as you live between these four walls, you have to obey me, for you stand on the lowest step in this domestic hierarchy of ours."

"Dad, stop."

"Bwahahaha! There you are again, thinking you can order me around. I find this mutinity attempt outrageous, yet amusing."

"Dad, you're fired."

"Silly girl. You can't fire a sovereign. That's not how an absolutist government works. I thought I raised you better than that."

I threw my hands in air, yet the faked exasperation couldn't fully cover a small smile I was trying to hide for dramatizing purposes.

"And, I'm done. Good night, dad."

He laughed, crossing himself, prompting me to do the same as I stood up.

"Goodnight, my little dove."

Turning on my heels, I was about to leave when a hand grabbed mine. I gazed in my fathers eyes; a deep green infinity. They stared right at me, unwavering, strong but somehow gentle. My heart shook.

"Ît doesn't matter what anyone says. You are a kind girl: a kind, smart, beautiful and brave girl who deserves the best of all this world could give. I'll always be proud of you, you hear me? Always." He hugged me. At that moment, we didn't really pay any attention to the wetness on our cheeks. "I'm sorry for everything. I'll keep working hard. I promised, right? Just wait a bit more. I'll fix everything."

He did promise, right? And the Iannis always kept their promises.

But what chance did a man's promise stand against the word of fate?

That night Caliel slept next to me, holding my body softly against his, as I kept silently crying. I didn't stop until he started humming. A soft tune from my childhood; Caliel's lullaby to me. It was curious how he kept his angelical voice, even after his fall.

And that's when a sudden thought came to me.

"I care way too much about what he thinks of me." Caliel nodded, caressing my back while listening, drawing circles on the skin. "But I shouldn't. Mom, dad, Izumi, and you, are the ones who truly matter. So I shouldn't care."

"You don't really care."

"I don't?"

The demon stared at the wall, suddenly lost in his thoughts, with an expression so calm it was almost disturbing.

"There's something that isn't quite working in that brat. You sense this and it attracts you. You have always had this nasty habit of trying to repair broken things."

"That sounds very sappy. Are you sure?"

Caliel smiled, though this gesture lacked every trace of humour.

"Be careful, Hikari. A single candle may be able to illuminate a pitch black room, but light is also easily absorbed by darkness." His arms tightened. "I won't allow your light to disappear, Hikari. I won't allow you to disappear."

Burrowing my face in the crook of his neck, I whispered into his ear to reassure him.

"I would never choose him over you."

"I know you wouldn't. Plus, you have known the guy for a couple of weeks. It would be very insulting if you did otherwise."

Caliel beamed, expression full of mirth. I returned this gesture, allowing my eyes to drop, heavy and swollen from crying and staying up late.

"Would you sing once more to me, until I fall asleep?"

The fallen angel chuckled in response, running his fingers across my scalp. I felt his energy humming, like tickling heat, an almost unnoticeable prickling on the skin.

"I spoil you too much."

"No, you don't. You bully me more than anything."

"I think that somebody doesn't want their song." I nuzzled closer, kicking him lightly on the shin. Caliel sighed.

But then he started singing.

I couldn't understand the words, and there's no doubt that no human on earth would be able to do so. There's a part of me that dislikes Caliel's voice. Thanks to him, I've never been able to appreciate many singers in this life.

Notes that shouldn't exist leave from Caliel's lips, like crystal butterflies escaping from a golden cage, soaring across the sky, penetrating my senses, allowing my soul to sail in ships made out of violet stars. The textures beneath my body seem to accentuate, yet cease to exist. Caliel wraps a black, rotten wing around me. I transcend to the furthest skies, above the physical plane. I'll return when the morning comes. My friend murmurs some familiar words into my ear.

"I love you, Hikari."

And I answer back.

"I love you, too."

"I'll let the things flow, like a river. It will become what it has to become."

Maybe one day, I would grow up a pair of wings. And then, flying across the universe, with Caliel by my side, I won't have to worry about the river, nor the laws that bound me to the earth. Then I could be like the wind, always on the move, bending things at its will.

Maybe then, I would be able to change something.

Light glanced at his wristwatch. He would have to leave soon if he wanted to be there on time.

"Are you sure you won't be having lunch before leaving?" Sachiko asked for the third time, making him smile despite his slight exasperation. Light was already used to this question that only seemed to arise every time he went to somebody else's house. It didn't really matter whom he visited. Sachiko had this slight paranoia, always thinking of the possibility that his son's hosts wouldn't feed him well.

"Ianni-san told me that a portion had already been prepared for me, so I will be fine."

"Yeah, mom." Sayu chimed in, momentarily diverting her eyes from the television. "Besides, aren't Italians supposed to love food? If anything, it's possible that Light will return with indigestion."

Said brother rolled his eyes.

"That's a stereotype, Sayu. Please, don't say those things next time Ianni-san comes here."

Sayu groaned, staring at him, clearly annoyed.

"It was a joke, jeez." She huffed in indignation. "And why are you suddenly calling her by her last name? Last time she was here, you were all like 'Oh, Hikari-san that, Hikari-san this'. What happened? Did a girl finally reject you?"

"Hey." Light sighed. "Nevermind, I'll be going now. Goodbye mom."

His mother smiled warmly at him.

"Goodbye, Light. Try not to return too late, and be careful on your way back."

"I know, mom." He walked to the entrance, putting on his shoes before yelling. "Oh, and Sayu, remember finishing your math homework. You wouldn't want you teacher to scold you again, would you?"

And outraged gasp was heard.

"Sayu! Is that true?"

"Light, you traitor!"

He closed the door behind him, sighing yet smiling to himself. A small breeze shook his hair, and he thought about the tree sparrow he had found a day ago. The days were getting colder, so it was a matter of time before it would have to migrate.

The way to his classmate's house was taking a bit too long for his liking. Did she always travel this much when going to his house? He felt a bit bad about it. Though, it seemed that she lived very close to their school, so he supposed that was a plus.

Ianni Hikari. Such a strange girl. Seemingly kind, not dumb as he previously had thought, nor completely right in the head. She was a bit eccentric, to say the least, and had some strange priorities as well. Why did she work so much? Why did she take part in non-profitable projects, when she had so few resources and so little time already? A martyr complex, perhaps? Honestly, it was quite frustrating having to deal with her.

He was curious, though. In what kind of conditions did she live? What was her situation? Was it necessary for the law to intervene?

What about her parents?

Light stopped in front of a two storey house. He noticed the painting peeling off of the walls, yet the owner had made an attempt to make the front porch look presentable in order to hide this fact. He rang the bell and waited, it wasn't long before there was an answer.

A man opened the door. Light couldn't really tell if he was pale or simply very fair skinned. He offered him a soft smile, green eyes crinkling, dimples forming on his cheeks. His dark blond hair was in disarray, giving him a casual look more than anything. As Light was about to greet him, the man spoke first.

"You must be Yagami Light, my daughter's classmate, right?"

Light paused, bemused for the rude interruption, getting a bit uncomfortable when the man's smile widened as he noticed this.

"Yes. Hikari-san and I are working on a school presentation… I assume you are…?"

"Oh! How rude of me! I hope I didn't give you that much of a bad impression" The man laughed, sending a wink in his direction. "I'm Alonzo Ianni… Ianni Alonzo, I mean. I'm Hikari's father. Nice to meet you, boy."

"Likewise, mister Ianni."

"Come in! It's cold outside. My wife and I just finished cooking. Have you ever tried peperonata?"

Light stepped inside and removed his shoes in the genkan, before following his host.

"I can't say I have, no."

"You're going to love it! Once Chiaki and I enter the kitchen, there isn't anyone who can stop us! Be it a Japanese or Italian dish."

"Thank you very much. I can't wait to taste it."

The dinning room, —and the rest of the house, as he would later discover— had a charming combination of western and Japanese decorations. It was mostly very rustic and pleasant. A perpetual scent of wood, nuts, and incense could be perceived in the air. Light noticed some portraits hanging on the wall, and discretely stared at them. He couldn't help but to be a little amused at some of them. Hikari seemed to have a little habit of making strange poses every time she was in front of a camera.

"Funny, isn't it? She always does it. It's a miracle if we ever get her to take a normal picture."


"Yes. Chiaki doesn't like this very much, but that's how our daughter is." Alonzo sighed, smiling softly to himself. "Always a bit on the crazy side, though I'll admit she got that from my family." He chuckled. Light smiled a bit and nodded, unsure how to answer. He could tell that the man was teasing, despite him having a strange sense of humour. It probably had something to do with their culture difference.

"So, Hikari-san…"

"She was showering. She should be here soon to join us for lunch."

"I see."

"Oh, and talking about lunch…" Alonzo placed a hand on his guest's shoulder. He drew closer to Light's face, making him blink in confusion. "How high is your tolerance for poison?"

He didn't really know what to say.

"Alonzo…" Thankfully, the awkward moment was soon interrupted by a low hiss coming from behind. Both men turned around, one utterly terrified, the other unsure about what was going on anymore. A dark haired woman, Hikari's mother, Light presumed, marched towards his husband and hooked her arm in his. A deceitfully sweet smile never left her face.

"Honey, manners remember? You can't tease him as you would tease some boy back in Italy. It's rude."

Chiaki jabbed his husband's side with her elbow, although Light wasn't sure because of the distance. Alonzo's wincing face confirmed his suspicions. He decided it was best to ignore it.

"Yes, I'm really sorry. But he seemed way too serious, so I couldn't help it." There was another jab. Light nodded, staring comprehensively at Chiaki.

"No harm done, really I…"

"Oh, you're already here." A much familiar voice interrupted him, compelling him to turn around. Hikari stood near the dining room's entrance. She wore a grey turtleneck sweater and a pair of black leggings, not caring about the wet hair falling on her shoulders. She looked refreshed and well rested; a rather strange image that wasn't very common on her. "Good afternoon, Light-san. You didn't have any troubles finding the house, did you?"

"Hello… Hikari-san." Light greeted, feeling obliged to address her the same way as she had ―unexpectedly― done. "No, not at all."

She hummed, seemingly relaxed. Her eyes wandered around the room, widening almost imperceptibly when they settled on her father.

"Dad, you're here?"

"Of course I am." Alonzo laughed. "I just went out to buy a little something and came back."

"Yes, I see that." She answered amused after a few moments. Light stared back at him, feeling like he was missing something, but ultimately decided to brush it aside.

"Hikari." Chiaki suddenly spoke. "Do set the table, please. Food is almost ready."

"Allow me to help." Hikari shook her hand in front of her face, rejecting Light's offer.

"No, no. You're a guest. Make yourself comfortable."

"I insist. It's really not a problem. I'd like to help."

Chiaki's gaze seemed to shine, looking at Light as if she had just found a treasure worth of kings. Her husband, noticing this, gained an unamused expression.

"Huh." Alonzo stared dispassionately at Light, clicking his tongue in annoyance before turning to his daughter. "Now I know what you mean, Hika."

The girl's eyebrow twitched.


Her mother chimed in.



"Mama." Hikari pinched her nose. She seemed ready to walk out the room and never return.

Light felt himself sigh. Now he knew: Indeed, the branch never seemed to fall far from the tree.

But he couldn't really complain.

Before coming, he had been full of questions, and had assumed the worst. Now that those questions had been answered, it only left him more puzzled than in the beginning. Hikari's good habits and values seemed to have been inculcated by her parents; a very amiable and likable couple. Chiaki was a children's book writer, Alonzo a philosophy teacher. Everything seemed to be alright. And yet…

Why were they struggling so much to the point where their daughter had to work five days a week? What were they hiding? Could it be debts, maybe even from gambling? Light had learned from his father's job that people weren't always what they seemed to be. Were those friendly smiles real, or just a façade?

"Let's go upstairs, Light-san." His classmate said once lunch had been finished.

"Lascia la porta aperta!"

Light couldn't understand Alonzo's words, but he supposed it wasn't something very amusing considering the way Hikari rolled her eyes.


"Ricorda: Attendere fino a quando ti sei sposato."

The girl then started running up the stairs. Light followed her slightly irritated.

I was officially freaked out. I wish this was just me being dramatic… which it was. Seriously, though: What the actual hell.

I remember my first love from third grade. His name had been Ichimei something. An eight year old me had had the biggest crush on him, although I don't really remember why. His eyes were really pretty. Maybe it had been because of that; it doesn't really matter and it isn't the point I'm trying to make. The thing is, I remember always wanting to be near him, and always prayed that the teacher would move my chair next to his, but it never happened, and I was always internally crying because of this. Long story short, during fifth grade I had decided to forget about him and move on. Surprise, surprise; only then the teacher decided it would be a good idea for us to be bench partners. And as if cupid hadn't already been mocking me enough at that time, he also began being my partner in almost every work that was assigned to us.

My stupid heart decided to fall for him again.

Three weeks later, he moved to Kyoto.

Last week, I had decided to stop yearning for Light's friendship. Of course, the schmuck had a tendency to go against me and was making it hard.

Like, very, very hard. Since I invited him over my house, he had been strangely talkative to me, which was nothing short of a damned joke. It was Ichimei all over again, minus the romantic feeling.

Again, I wasn't that much of an idiot. A reasonable idiot, yes, but not a humongous one.

"Light-san." I tried not to spit his name with all my might. "You don't have to eat lunch with me. Go with your friends."

"Hotaru was planning on inviting Ayumi-senpai to a date, so the rest of the boys and I decided to scatter so we wouldn't interrupt him." He primly informed me, taking a bite out of his sandwich. I grunted, furiously sipping my milk, when I suddenly remembered something.

"Wait. You mean Ayumi Mei? Didn't she ask you out, like, a month ago?"

He coughed, brows furrowing.



Light shrugged "Not really. She is over it and can date whoever she wants."

"That's a lie and you know it. That girl is as dramatic as it can get, so chances are that she'll attempt the crème de la crème of all romantic clichés: A.k.a, get together with one of your friends so she'll be close to you."

"That's ridiculous."

"It may be ridiculous but you're not denying it."

"Enough of that. Have you been practising your pronunciation?"

I made a face at that.

"You're avoiding the topic by mentioning one of my weaknesses and I find this completely unfair."

"I don't know what you're talking about." He smirked. "So?"

"It has been getting better. I can finally express my desire to eat peaches and go to the beach without accidentally making some weird innuendos that everyone will point out." At Light's sigh, I decided to give him a break. "My words are now understandable and it doesn't give people the sudden urgency to rub their ears against a cheese greater."

"Good. Project is next week and you did a pretty decent job. It would be a pity if no one would be able to notice this."

"Has anyone ever told you that sarcasm is your greatest charm?"

He smirked. Leaning his head on his hands, the corners of his eyes lifted slightly, giving me the look.

"So you think I'm charming?"

I stared for a while, not knowing what to say. The word 'charming' then registered in my mind, evoking a certain image of Light with a weird moustache and a white toupee.

'Oh dear, where art thou?'

Caliel snorted at my own laughter.

"I never thought you would be one for cheesy pick-up lines, Light-san."

He shrugged and returned to his lunch. As I was about to do the same, something hit me.

I was smiling. I had been smiling the entire time, actually having a nice conversation with Light. My face fell in uncertainty. This wasn't really that bad. I had already decided on following the flow, and to allow this… acquaintanceship, to evolve as far as it had to evolve. Considering this was Light, it couldn't be very far. Still, I didn't get it. Why was he here? Why was he talking to me?

A panting boy then entered the room, red-faced and sweaty, parading the biggest and dopiest smile I had seen in the whole week. "Light, there you are!" Hotaru Takeshi exclaimed. Another three boys walked from behind him. I recognized them as my classmates.

"Ayumi-senpai said yes." One of them informed smugly, ruffling Hotaru's hair. Light beamed.

"Really? Congratulations, Hotaru-san! I knew there was no way she would say no."


No one paid any mind to those unheard words. Electric blue eyes kept staring with sterile interest, not caring about this last fact.

"So, Light. Want to come with us to the cafeteria before lunch is over?" Hotaru's eyes slipped in my direction as he asked this, avoiding direct contact with my own. Light brought his hand to the back of his neck and rubbed in embarrassment.

"Well, I was keeping Hikari-san some company."

"Oh…" Hotaru's gaze turned, if it was possible, even more awkward. "You can also come along, Ianni-san." He offered after a beat.

I raised my eyebrows, truly impressed. Light's influence wasn't something to be trifled with. Said boy was watching me, waiting for an answer. At first, I was tempted to accept the offer, and then my gaze returned to the boys.

To say they looked "adamant" would have been a nice way of sugar-coating it.

It's alright. I shouldn't be where I'm not welcomed. It was absolutely ridiculous how reputation was such an important thing and how some rumours could damage it beyond repair.

Standing up, I smiled politely.

"Thanks for the offer, but I just remembered there's something I need to do in the library." Light narrowed his eyes.

"Are you―"

"See you later, people." In a matter of seconds, I was at the door, abandoning the class, walking with no specific destination in mind. I passed by students, teachers, unknown faces, expressions blurred by sun rays flowing through the windows. I stared through the glass panels, stopping midway. A student collided against me. I vaguely noticed that they didn't apologize.

Ashy clouds were slowly starting to hide the sky. I remembered the star sprinkled violet firmament that Calliel always showed me; a piece of his memory, a little reminder of a path he would often see, yet had abandoned eleven years ago. It had been warm, harmonious. It was supposed to be only the beginning.

A few chuckles escaped from my lips.

One day… one day…

Light had been pleasantly impressed that day. At first, when he had been paired with his strange classmate, he didn't expect her to actually cooperate. Because that's who Ianni Hikari was supposed to be. When she opened the door to her room, only a single word came to his mind: Disorder. After a while, he would discover that nothing was actually dirty, but everything seemed to be placed in an improvised array, not making much sense. Hikari didn't have any problems in navigating her room, finding everything that needed to be found. There wasn't chaos in her room; she just had a really strange way to place things.

The air smelled like sandalwood.

The door remained open, although no sound was to be heard from downstairs. She took out her notes and book, before presenting him with a draft of her part of the essay. He couldn't really complain.

As they worked together, he noticed a couple of things, like how her hazel eyes would sometimes drift away, focusing intently on something he couldn't quite see, or how her expression would glaze over, as if lost in her own little world.

Time went fast. Way too fast. He only noticed this when Alonzo entered the room.

"Shouldn't you be going soon, boy? It's not like I want to throw you out of my house, but your parents might get a tad bit worried if I keep you here for too long."

He blinked, finally noticing the time.

"Yes, you're right." He stood up and started to pack his things up. Hikari yawned, stretching her arms behind her back and stood up.

"Alright, I'll walk you to the door."

"Actually," Alonzo started. "Your mother needs you. She can't seem to find some books and is asking you to help her." Hikari nodded. "I'll walk your friend to the door."

"Alright then. Goodbye, Light-san" She leaned closer and pressed her lips on the boy's cheeks, before taking a step back. Light blinked in confusion. It took a few seconds before Hikari realized what she had done. Her cheeks grew a bit warm, and she seemed close to a mini panic attack. "Oh, God. I'm so sorry I did not mean to do that."

Alonzo chuckled. "Confusing cultures, my dear? I think you should help your mother and go to sleep."

"Yep, that's a great idea!" She all but yelped, speed walking out of the room after she offered a last bow to her guest. "See you at school!"

Light remained a bit bewildered. At this, Alonzo snickered out loud without any shame.

"Come on, boy. Time to leave."

"Thanks for the invitation. The food was very delicious."

"Of course it was!"

Light put on his shoes, bowing one last time to the Italian man, who did the same before opening the door.

"Light." The boy stopped on his tracks as he was about to leave. "Let me ask you something."


"About Hikari, how is she doing at school?"

The boy paused a bit at this.

"Shouldn't you talk to her about this?"

"I'm not talking about her grades." He dismissed. "She's not bullied, right?"

Light scratched his cheek. "I think your daughter wouldn't allow something like that." Alonzo smiled at this.

"Of course. But I worry as her father worry, you know?"

Do you really?

"That's normal. But I can ensure you that Hikari-san isn't suffering from abuse of that kind."

"I'm relieved to hear that. What about her friends?"

The man's smiled dropped when Light failed to answer immediately.

"…She gets along with some of our upper classmates."

"Of course she does. But they'll graduate next year." Alonzo murmured distracted, his attention being slowly drawn by a flock of birds flying above their heads. He stared at them for a while, and addressed Light one last time before turning on his heel. "Wait for me, please."

He entered the house, but returned after a minute, holding an umbrella in his hands.

"It's about to rain. Take this."

"Oh, thank you." Light took the offering, albeit a bit unsure. The weather forecast hadn't said anything about rain, had it? Alonzo grinned, as if guessing his thoughts.

"Augurio." The man did not elaborate. "I have a favour to ask you, boy."

Light stared at him, looking right into his deep green hues. It reminded him of the little leafy specks in Hikari's irises. Just then, he noticed the big, dark circles surrendering the man's eyes, like little black half moons. They contrasted strongly against his pale skin. Was it his idea, or did the man look less dignified than before?

As for the truth, Alonzo was just terribly tired.

"Of course."

"I know this might be a bit unfair for me to ask of you." He paused. "No, it actually is not, but it might seem unfair to you."


"Could you not allow anyone to patronize my daughter, please? I know that in this society that we live in, she might seem a bit strange and not worthy of any respect, but please," The man stared with a hint of desperation. "She is a good girl. She doesn't really mean any harm. It would make very happy if I knew someone had her back when I'm not there for her."

A tight feeling started constricting Light's chest. Somehow, he didn't like the sound of that. How he had said what he said seemed just wrong. He tried to find the meaning of those words behind the man's expression, but he just seemed to be waiting.


A car honked in the vicinity, somewhere near, a child was screaming. A biting breeze passed by, making the leaves murmur, crawling like tiny fingers on Light's back. It was starting to get dark. Yet Alonzo's smile was so serene, so very warm, that Light didn't notice any of this.

"Thank you." He closed his eyes. "Thank you very much."

Light could simply nod. Somehow, there weren't any more words to share.

"Goodbye, Mister Ianni."

"Sorry for the ramble, boy, be save."

"Thanks." Light turned around, prepared to leave. It had been a strange night.

A certain distance had been walked, when he felt an inexplicable urgency. He still didn't know why he turned around at that precise moment. What would have happened if he hadn't.

"So itchy…" He had barely heard Alonzo complain from afar. The man was entering his house scratching somewhere below his hair.

Below what he thought it had been his scalp. Of what he thought it had been his hair.

He tried to turn away, feeling like he had just seen something he shouldn't have seen, but Alonzo had caught his eyes. For a moment, they just stared at each other from afar. Then, gazing sadly at him, Alonzo brought a finger to his lips.


He then entered the house. Light kept going. One of the mysteries surrounding Ianni Hikari had been finally solved.

Monday came. Light found himself navigating through a see of students, going through the school's entrance, when he saw her. Hikari presence could never be ignored, no matter how much she tried to hide herself. Those who knew her, or knew about her, were always looking in her direction, murmuring and parting every time she got too close. She walked almost lazily, staring at something distant, eating tiny chocolate hearts from a plastic bag.

He suddenly had a whim.

Ianni Hikari raised her head, seemingly surprised when he walked up to her.

"Good morning, Hikari-san. How did you sleep last night?"

She didn't answer at first, giving him an uncertain smile.

"Good morning to you to. And I slept pretty good, thanks for asking." She gnawed at her bottom lip, not knowing what else to say. Amused, Light didn't resume the conversation, curious of how she would proceed. The girl finally sighed, before shoving the plastic bag in his direction.

"Do want a chocolate?"

Light smiled and took one.

"Thanks. Should we walk to class together?

Hikari seemed immediately disturbed. Light didn't know whether to be amused or offended.


And thus, a strange week for Ianni Hikari, began.

Good Lord, last year of highschool is already killing me. I can't even begin to imagine how college will be like.

Approvato: Approved

Mai: Never.

Felix culpa: Happy fault. In a literary context, the term "felix culpa" can describe how a series of unfortunate events will eventually lead to a happier outcome

Lascia la porta aperta!: Leave the door open.

Ricorda: Attendere fino a quando ti sei sposato: Remember to wait until marriage.