Chapter 41: The Hidden Devil Supervises a School Field Trip and the Leader Confronts the Ideal Girl
No matter how much Changmin detested school field trips, he still had to plan at least a couple of them each year. Field trips were supposed to bring a different learning experience for students. That, to Changmin, was nothing but a lie. Bullshit. For Changmin, field trips meant responsibility. He had to plan for everything and care for everyone. Just when he thought he had lucked out since Ken had agreed to plan the three-day field trip for both of their classes, Ken had become ill the day of the trip. The only substitute was Naomi. Changmin was never before a believer in religion, but after this situation, he was proselytized. There were probably gods, who enjoyed wreaking havoc with people’s lives, and in this case, his life. Perhaps, this was karma, Changmin pondered. This was for nonchalance.

He knew by the way Naomi greeted him as she got on the charter bus that she had been plotting her revenge. This would be the perfect time for revenge. There would only be two teachers at this field trip to Fuji Mountain for a walk in Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Tree. It was situated at the base of Fuji Mountain. How was this related to Biology and Math? Changmin helped support their location by justifying that the students would be examining and identifying bryophrytes and evergreen trees, which pertained to their plant unit in Biology. Ken could explain how photosynthesis and sexual reproduction in plants while they were walking. That mathematical portion of this excursion was more or less a bonus like sprinkles on cupcakes. All Changmin had to do was make word problems that were remotely in tune with plants. Population density? Rate of population growth? Changminimum area? Simple.
The real intention of selecting this location was for Changmin to see Fuji Mountain. It was ironic how the areas closer to home were never viewed. The activities what locals believed to be catered to tourists were those that were frequently foreign to the inhabitants. Maybe it was because the dwellers had always heard of these tourist attractions, so they never bothered to be a part of those events. What was interesting to say about a location that everyone knew about? That would never attract attention.  
As for Naomi, she sought for Changmin’s attention. In fact, she had already considered all of her plans. There was no way that she could fail for Changmin was already off-guard. Thus, she was reveling in her probable victory by playfully waving her hand at Changmin while puckering her lips together just before she entered the bus.
This would be a three-day torture for Changmin. He was chained to her throughout the course of the events from the car ride, the plane flight, every meal, and worst of all, to the hotel room. Moreover, he was unprepared to ward off any attacks. Trying to shake his frustration away, Changmin continued with attendance and prayed that luck was with him. Perhaps, that would only save him.
            Over the days, Rhett found himself deliberately avoiding Hana. He had thought of their conversation that night, and wasn’t sure how to face her. He didn’t want to be awkward, and he wasn’t sure what she really meant. Even though he wished to analyze what had happened with her, he knew it was rude to even ask. Frankly, he was distraught.
            After Kannei’s date with him, he felt sure of his feelings for her. If he had wanted to kiss her, then everything should be right. He thought that the next time they met, he’d tell her how he felt about her. He’d say to her: “I don’t want us to be a fake couple anymore. I want us to be real. I want us to be together for the sake of being together.”
            If he wanted to confess, then why was he even thinking about Hana’s situation? What was wrong with him? Was he that afraid of his uncle or did Hana remind him too much of his favourite actress? These were exactly the questions that puzzled him night after night along with problems at work.
            Today, he at last, figured out what he would do. “Hana, can I speak to you for a few minutes at my office?” Rhett asked Hana, who was typing away on her laptop.
            “Sure, Rhett,” she answered with a joyful grin before tagging behind him to his office.
            Once Rhett had closed the door behind them, he handed her a mug decorated with drawings of puppies. “You seem to stay after work to complete your projects,” Rhett explained, “so, I thought this would be a nice thank you gift for the vitamins you gave me. So, what do you think?”
            He thought this would be it, that this would end whatever that might have started. Instead, Hana started to shrivel, and within seconds, there were tears streaming down her reddened cheeks. Hugging the mug ever so tightly against her chest, she stammered, “D-d-don’t be so n-n-n-ice to me if you don’t even l-l-l-like me.”
            Rhett gently and carefully patted her shoulders. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I didn’t want you to be upset.” Because she didn’t speak and only continued to sob, he added, “I think you’re a very nice girl.”
            “But . . . nice isn’t enough, is it?” Hana stared into Rhett’s eyes, making him feel too guilty. How could he even shake his head to her statement? How could he hurt such a friendly girl? “Tell me,” Hana gripped onto Rhett’s shirt, urging, “tell me the truth.”
            “I . . .”
            Suddenly, her lips crashed into his. They were soft, and smelled like roses. She was kissing so aggressively that he felt like his teeth were forced to open, and before anything could progress, he pulled her away. Hana, with her eyes still overflowing with tears, bolted out his door. With the door half open, he could see gossip filled eyes, wanting to interpret what had occurred. Rhett wiped his lips and shook his head, knowing that sooner or later, this incident would spread to his uncle’s ears. Then, what? What would he say? What was the right thing to do in this case?

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