Disclaimer: I do not own Memoirs of a Geisha.

I hurried straight back to the okiya after learning where the district of where my sister lived was. I knew that if Hatsumomo found me not there when she arrived at the okiya after her little bet, then she would find a way to use the situation to her advantage. What I didn't expect, though, was for Mother to be awake. As soon as I entered the formal entrance hall, she was there. After pulling me into the reception room, she asked me what I was doing out of the okiya.

"Yoko asked me to deliver Hatsumomo's shamisan to the teahouse. I don't think she knew I was supposed to be out of the okiya."

"And why didn't you mention the fact?"

"I'm sorry, Mother. I wanted to meet up with my sister, but after I delivered the shamisan, I realized that Hatsumomo would find a way to use the situation of me being out of the okiya to her advantage."

"Why would she want to do that?"

"Well, Mother, she's got a boyfriend. Yoko has been asked to deliver messages, I've overheard."

Mother looked at me. I don't think she really believed me at first, but then, we heard the door of the okiya open, then close. Not making a sound, Mother went to the door of the reception room, slid it open, than closed after leaving. She returned a few seconds later with Hatsumomo's boyfriend, Koichi, held by the arms. Auntie arrived a few minutes later with Pumpkin and the other maids. After hearing from the others confirm what I had told her, she detailed a plan and ordered Koichi to act like nothing was wrong. He went into the kitchen, with one of the older maids stationed in another room to give the signal as to when Mother would catch them in the act, so to speak.

"Now, we will wait for Hatsumomo."

We didn't have to wait long. The door opened and closed again. Pretty soon, the maid signaled Mother and I knew it was all over for Hatsumomo. I also knew that while Hatsumomo was the only geisha in our okiya at present; that it might not be the case for long. Pretty soon, Mother and the maid came back with Hatsumomo and Koichi. If looks could kill, I would be dead several times over, that's how much she was glaring at me.