The La-Iin Series
“Dear Mr. Chensu”
The teacher glanced up. Theasis was standing next to him. “Yes?”
“A family of one of our students has requested to see you. I don’t know what they want, but…”
“They’re Miss Shaejaein’s family,” she said. “They seem a little agitated…”
“What’s a student’s family doing here to see any of us during the Summer?”
“I have no idea. They want to talk specifically to you and refuse to talk to me. Could you deal with them? Because I have other things I need to plan….the sooner I can truly get my Summer break, the better.”
“Yeah…” The teacher stood up from his chair. “Alright. I’ll talk to them.”
“Thank you, Mr. Chensu. Good luck!”
‘Miss Shaejaein’s family, huh?’ The teacher had fond memories of Rini-Futo, his student who seemed like she genuinely cared about his teachings and him as a person. The thought of her made him smile as he walked to the front of the school.
A family of Birdmixes stood there. The children standing with them looked exhausted. The teacher noticed that he didn’t see Rini-Futo anywhere. ‘Did they bring her with them?’
“Are you Mr. Chensu?” The woman asked.
“Oh, er, yes….you must be Mrs. Shaejaein.”
“Yes,” she said. “I’m Mrs. Shaejaein. This is my husband, and our children Tisa-Moto and Diji-Sano. …..our daughter Rini-Futo isn’t with us today. She’s busy elsewhere.”
“I see….” He couldn’t hide his disappointment. He had been looking forward to seeing her again when he heard the Shaejaeins were here. At his words, however, Mrs. Shaejaein seemed to become more agitated.
‘What’s all that about?’
“What did you want to ask?”
“Ever since school has ended, we’ve been talking with our daughter a lot about school. We talked with her a lot about it even when she was in school. And we’ve noticed that you come up a lot in her talks about school.”
The teacher smiled.
“She seems to admire you a lot. She talks about you endlessly if given the chance, although she doesn’t usually bring you up herself. Hearing all this about you, naturally we would notice how she talks about you….the way she can go on and the gentle tone she uses….”
‘You analyze that much about how your daughter talks?’ He kept the thought unvoiced. “I’m happy to hear it,” he said. “Miss Shaejaein feels like one of my few students who really respects what I do. The job of teacher here can be thankless. She’s a great student.”
“Is that so….” Mrs. Shaejaein glanced at her husband. The teacher didn’t know what to make of the look they exchanged. “You say your other students don’t respect you?”
“Well, some of them do, but none of them as much as Miss Shaejaein. Back in April, we took a school trip to Plucehon. She specifically requested to share a room with me, and we got to talk a lot about history. Someday she may even become a history teacher herself!”
“….how old are you, Mr. Chensu?”
“Hm? Fifty. Why?”
Mrs. Shaejaein grimaced. “And you say you shared a room with our daughter during the school trip.”
“Yes. As I said, we talked about history.”
“You say she’s your most grateful student? The one who respects you most.”
“And a lot of your other students don’t respect you.”
“…is there something that bothers you about that?”
“Yes,” Mrs. Shaejaein said bluntly. “it does.”
Mrs. Shaejaein started to shake. “….how have you not been fired yet, Mr. Chensu?”
“What did I do?”
“Don’t try and hide it from us!” Mrs. Shaejaein snarled. Her wings spread out and her face contorted with rage. Her husband and children stood back. “We know what you’re doing! You’ve entered an illicit relationship with Rini-Futo, haven’t you!?”
“Oh, it was easy enough to figure out. Rini-Futo may talk kindly of you, but it may just be so you won’t come after her more. Our poor daughter is only nine years old! I can’t even begin to fathom what you might have done on that school trip!”
Tears began to stream down Mrs. Shaejaein’s face. “How dare you! How dare you do what you’ve done to our daughter! I wanted to believe it might be something else, but I have my answer, and I’m taking it to the faculty!”
“WAAAAAAAAIIIIIIT!” The teacher screamed. Mrs. Shaejaein grit her teeth and walked past him.
“Mrs. Shaejaein, wait! I haven’t done anything to Miss Shaejaein!”
“You can save your lies for later!” She yelled as she stomped into the school.
“I haven’t done anything to her! I was surprised to see that she respected me so much! Please! Don’t you think if I did anything bad to her, everyone would have known!? We were all rooming together on the same floor!”
“You could have gagged her,” she said.
“You can’t just give hypotheticals! Everyone would know!”
“I haven’t done anything to Miss Shaejaein. I never would! I’d lose my job, and I’d lose her respect. Having a student who genuinely cares about what I teach is a big thing for me! I’ve worked here a long time and it’s felt completely thankless at times, but having her here makes it all worthwhile.”
“I’m starting to think that even if you’re telling the truth, you have illicit feelings towards our daughter,” she said.
“Please, you have to believe me. I wouldn’t do anything to Miss Shaejaein, and I certainly don’t have any illicit feelings towards her. But she’s an important student to me. You have to understand that.”
“What I do understand is that you see her as important sexual fodder!”
“Mrs. Shaejaein, correct?”
Mrs. Shaejaein looked in the direction of the voice. Theasis was standing in the hallway, her eyes focused on her. “I’ve known Mr. Chensu for a while now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that he’s terrible at keeping something he’s done bad a secret, especially from me.”
“I can keep some secrets!” He protested. Theasis snorted. “Besides, I was in the room right next to him. I would hear yelling, or muted yelling, or the sound of shifting in a bed. Besides, Miss Shaejaein is a tiny and young girl, while Mr. Chensu is much larger, not only in height but in weight. He’d near crush her if he tried to do something–don’t you think she’d sustain noticeable wounds from such a thing? What do you think, Miss Hyungdarou?”
“The difference in their bodies would most certainly leave some wound, I’d think.”
“Are there any wounds on Miss Shaejaein’s body that are located in….strange areas?”
“N-no….” Mrs. Shaejaein sighed. “But–this whole situation seems too suspicious. I can’t see how there couldn’t be something off going on….”
“It’s alright, Mrs. Shaejaein. I understand your concern. You want your daughter to be safe, and her having a friendship with her fifty-year-old man may not seem so much. But I know Mr. Chensu well, well enough to know if he’s lying. And I’d know if he develops illicit feelings for your daughter–he has a certain attitude he takes on when he gets a crush on a woman. I’ve seen it before.”
“I know you’re trying to prove a point, but that was unnecessary….”
“I just…how come she likes him so much? He says she’s the one who requested to share a room, and she talks about him all the time….I just worried that something….are you sure?”
“I would be the first one to turn against Mr. Chensu if he did anything bad. Everyone part of the faculty would go against him if we found out he was a pedophile,” she said with a smile.
“Now you’re just taking chances to insult me….”
“If you’re worried about it any further, you can take it up with me. I assure you that Mr. Chensu has not done anything to your daughter, however.”
“If you say so….” She gave an uncertain glance in the teacher’s direction. “….I’m sorry, Mr. Chensu.”
“It’s not a problem.”
“….continue to teach Rini-Futo well, alright?”
“I think I know the problem with your daughter, Mrs. Shaejaein.”
“She suffers from PCOTS.”
“‘Precocious Crush on Teacher Syndrome’.”
Mrs. Shaejaein stared blankly at her knees. “I had a bad feeling you were going to say that….”