The End of the World
Koushirou met Jou at their usual park bench, the one they always agreed to meet at. The reason behind this meeting, however, was more serious than what they usually met for. Normally, they met to go to the local arcade, get ice cream at their favorite restaurant, or even watch the latest Mutant Ninja Robots movie.
Today, however, Jou had gotten into some pretty big trouble over a computer program he showed to Takeru, one that he had borrowed from Koushirou.
The computer program Jou was supposed to show to Takeru was one Koushirou had written about the planets in the solar system, complete with sounds and animation. Jou had immediately suggested that they show it to Takeru, who would undoubtedly enjoy such a show. Koushirou agreed, and gave the disk to Jou, who would be passing by Takeru's apartment building on his way home from school.
Only problem was, Koushirou gave Jou the wrong computer disk.
So, when Jou showed Takeru what he thought was a computer program that gave a virtual tour of the solar system, he instead showed Takeru one of his and Koushrou's "secret" programs that their parents didn't know they had. Unfortunately for Jou, that was also the same moment Takeru's mother walked in the room.
To make a long story short, Takeru's mother was quite upset over what she saw, and thoroughly raked Jou over the coals for it.
Now Jou was sitting on the park bench, looking rather depressed. Koushirou heard all about it during their phone conversation they had right after Jou got back from being tongue lashed by Takeru's mother, and felt bad about what had happened. It was his fault, after all, since he was the one who gave Jou the wrong computer disk.
"Hey, Jou," Koushirou said as he sat down next to his friend, "How are you doing?"
Jou sighed. "I feel terrible. I can't believe I showed the wrong computer program to Takeru, and for his mother to walk in at that exact moment, too."
"I hope Takeru's mom doesn't decide to call our parent's about this."
"Well," the older boy said, "I didn't hear anything about it before I left, but then again, she may have called while we were away."
"Hey, if we never go home, we never have to find out," Koushirou said, only half-kidding.
"But we'll eventually have to go home, Koushirou, we can't just stay away from our parents forever," Jou replied, looking at his friend.
A smile crept on Koushirou's lips. "Yeah, but we don't have to go home right away," he replied, "Come on, let's go to the arcade. I'll buy."
Jou smiled and nodded at him, and the two went off
to Tokyo Joypolis, Odaiba's biggest arcade.
* * *
Unfortunately, Takaishi Natsuko was not the kind of person to let such a thing slide. When Koushirou came home a few hours later, he was met with some very displeased faces.
"I think you have some explaining to do, young man," Koushirou's mother demanded.
Koushirou gulped, realizing that he was caught.
"Ms. Takaishi called us, telling us about a little incident you and your friend Jou had with a computer program that was shown to her son." Koushirou's father added. "An inappropriate computer program, shall we say."
He remained standing there, a deep sense of trepidation overcoming him, knowing that he was pretty much dead.
Koushirou took another gulp before answering. "Um, well, you see, I made a really nice space program, and Jou and I decided to show it to Takeru. The thing is, though, I, uh, gaveJouthewrongcomputerdisk..." he said, trailing off.
"Oh, I see," Koushirou's father replied, "Then that really was your computer disk."
Koushirou gave a barely noticeable nod of the head. The sense of dread he was feeling before had now formed a lump in the pit of his stomach. He wished a portal to anywhere else would open up and suck him in, anything so that he wouldn't have to face the stern looks of his parents. As it was, Koushirou felt like he was being picked apart by tiny birds and squashed by an elephant at the same time.
"And you knew exactly what was on there?" Koushirou's mother continued.
His head gave an even smaller nod, if that was possible. Oh, this was not good, not good at all. Koushirou figured he'd be lucky if he received a relatively quick death. If he wasn't lucky, well, he really didn't want to think about that.
"Well, then," Koushirou's father began, "I don't think we can trust you with a computer anymore."
Koushirou gulped. No more computer for a while, that wasn't too bad, was it?
"And you're grounded for two weeks," His mother added.
Two weeks? Koushirou winced at the thought. And he probably wouldn't have his computer during that time, either. Couldn't his parents just kill him outright and be done with it?
"I think you should go to your room and think about what you've done."
Once again Koushirou slowly nodded his head, and turned to his room. Grounded for two weeks and no computer for at least that long. He supposed that it could have been worse, but then again, it really couldn't get much worse. Sighing, he entered his room and closed the door. The next two weeks were not going to be pretty.
He sat on his bed and began thinking. Not about what he had done, that would come soon enough, but about what might be happening to Jou at that moment. More than anything he felt guilty for dragging his friend into this. True, Jou was very much his partner in crime when it came to the now infamous computer disk, but it was still Koushirou's fault for giving him the wrong disk in the first place. If he had just paid attention to what he was giving to Jou, none of this would be happening. Now Jou was probably sitting at home getting a thorough tongue lashing, or even worse, the silent treatment.
Koushirou sighed as he lay down on his bed. Of course, if they had never made that disk, this would have never happened, either. He couldn't remember who first came up with the idea, not that it mattered, since that usually meant the one who didn't have the idea was more than willing to go along with it.
There was no use playing what if, though, as the
only thing that mattered was that they had been caught, and were now facing
the consequences. Koushirou cringed as he thought the next two weeks would
be like; no computer, and his mother would be most likely giving him extra
chores while he was grounded. He was actually looking forward to school
tomorrow; at least then he'd be able to talk to Jou during lunch and find
out what punishment he got.
* * *
School proved to be rather uneventful the next day, although Koushirou did get a chance to talk to Jou during lunch. When they met in their usual spot, he could tell that Jou had faired no better with his own parents when it came to being punished.
"So, what happened when you got home?" Koushirou asked when the two sat down for lunch.
"I got a long lecture from my dad, and then he grounded me for two weeks," Jou replied, "I think it would've been better if he just killed me right away." He paused for a moment, then asked, "What happened to you?"
"Grounded for two weeks, and no computer for at least that long."
"Well," Jou remarked, "I guess that means we won't be going to the arcade anytime soon."
"Or the movies, or the park, or anything else, for that matter," Koushirou added. He sighed, realizing once again just how long these two weeks would be. "Let's change the subject, this is too depressing."
"Okay," Jou replied, "Did you hear that Taichi and Yamato got in another fight?"
"No, what happened?"
"They were arguing about what they were going to do after school, and then punches started to fly, and eventually both ended up with bloody noses. I hear they're in trouble, too."
Koushirou had to smile at that; it felt better knowing they weren't the only ones who recently got into trouble. As they talked about the rest of their friends, Koushirou thought that maybe being grounded wouldn't be so bad after all, as he was still able to spend his lunch with his friends. Of course, that thought quickly passed when Jou asked him what he was doing after he got home from school.
"My mom told me that I had to mop up the kitchen floor when I got home," Koushirou replied, scowling.
Jou gave a pained look of his own. "My dad told me that this would be a great opportunity for me to get ahead on my studies."
They both looked at each other, and realized that
the next two weeks really would be a pain worse than death.