Disclaimer: I don't own Memoirs; all I own is the plot and any OCs. Also, I use names in the fic in Japanese order, that is, last name first when I mention someone by their full name.

Hatsumomo was stunned. "Mother, what is going on?" Her expression changed back and forth between looking confused and glaring at me, like she knew I was somehow involved.

"It has come to my attention that you have a boyfriend. I caught him while talking to Chiyo, who was sitting at the door, waiting for you to come home. He and the other maids confirmed that you had been sneaking around to see him. I have been trying to find a suitable punishment for you. I had thought to make Koichi your donna, but he doesn't have the money. Added to that, you know that geishas are forbidden to love."

Hatsumomo looked ready to jump up and strangle me. She and Mother were both cunning and while Mother didn't say as much that it was I who had told her, Hatsumomo still knew. She asked sweetly, "What, then, is my punishment, Mother?" I doubted that Hatsumomo planned on following that punishment.

Mother was silent for a moment. "I was intending for you to train both Chiyo and Pumpkin. But, since you have proven yourself to be more interested in ruining your reputation and most importantly, the reputation of this okiya, the two girls will be trained by other geisha. Even if you turn your behavior around, it will be too late to change my mind. You've already damaged your reputation with the Mizuki and unable to get a donna through there or any other teahouse, so why should I help you with obtaining one? You will also pay back the okiya half of the cost of Mameha's kimono. There are some other points to add, but they are not the business of maids and noodle chefs."

What those other points were, I didn't know at the time, but from what one Auntie told me later, in secrecy, it seemed that a ruby obi brooch that had been Mother's from her working days had gone missing when Hatsumomo was still a maiko. A maid who was in charge of cleaning Mother's room was thrown out, as all evidence pointed to the maid. Now, it seems, Mother was starting to look at Hatsumomo as the culprit, especially since Hatsumomo was sometimes seen going out with a very similar brooch on. Also, Auntie said, Korin, Hatsumomo's friend, wasn't allowed in the okiya and Hatsumomo wasn't allowed to go there unless she was introducing a younger sister around town.

Koichi never came back to the okiya; it seemed like since he could no longer be brought into the okiya without being found out, he decided to break up with Hatsumomo. Yoko, I never saw again. Whatever happened to her, I don't know. I'd heard she'd gotten a job working for the Ichiriki, but I had never been able to confirm that. A young woman named Imahara Keiko was hired to fill Yoko's position. Keiko proved to be more to Mother's liking.