Vibrations drew her attention to the simple and cheap purse slung over her right shoulder, followed by a familiar ring tone. Anticipation and anxiety both overcame her as Kagome drew to a standstill and reached inside to answer the incoming call from her publisher, expecting bad news in some form or another.
"Well I have good news and bad news. Which do you want first?" came the by now very familiar female voice of her editor.
"Might as well start with the good news, I wasn't really expecting any," replied Kagome with curiosity lacing into her tones.
"Well it could be taken both ways, if you had followed my advice and used a pen name it would be solidly good news given the subject matter of your book, but its really taken off, sales are going through the roof compared to our original estimates of our timeline. Critics are loving it although some of them are having a hard time believing that it's based off a true story," Sango exclaimed with somber glee.
"Well, hopefully all parties involved will get their due amount of attention and scrutiny. My only regret is waiting so long to come forward, even if my story wasn't believed like I originally thought," Kagome replied as the dull sadness returned to her voice.
"Oh...," Sango had about to say cheer up, but after reading through the story she wasn't quite sure it was the right thing to say so instead she offered "...don't Put yourself down, plenty of other people will be doing that in the days ahead."
"Gee thanks, but I guess you're right."
"Oh, the bad news! Well, we're already getting negative feedback from some of the more general readers and from Winkincy city council members, some of the expected stuff like death threats and hate mail, but also mention of possible lawsuits," explained Sango with some worry creeping into her voice.
"Well, its not like I can complain, I deserve everything that'll be coming my way and more," replied Kagome as tears started to form at the corner of her eyes.
"I'll let you go now, take care."
As the call ended Kagome resumed her long walk home, entering her apartment as she set her purse and groceries upon the table. Thoughts turned to the events of ten years ago that became the main subject matter of her book, titled "Unforgivable" by Kagome Higurashi. Tears started anew as she rested her back against the wall and slid down into a sitting position, wrapping her hands around her knees as she buried her face into them and let her tears flow freely while her heart brought forth the events of that haunting month.
Winkincy High was the big school in the small town, serving as a regional school for the entire county. It had the wildly successful football team that dominated the other teams from nearby cities and counties in their portion of the state and had produced several football stars over the years for both the college and national football leagues. As such the football program was the pride and joy of the town and received a considerable amount of both funding and attention.
It was their senior year when the month of horrors happened, events that would be buried by local staff at the school and their victims given strict warnings to not tell anyone what had happened. At the time Kagome was dating Inuyasha Taisho, another senior who played as a running back on the football team. His sister, Rin Taisho, was her best friend and also attended the school as a Sophomore. Kagome and Inuyasha had been dating off and on again since they had first met on the first day of their freshman years at the school, while she and Rin had been best friends ever since the fifth grade, when Rin had asked Kagome what was troubling her a month after her father had been gunned down in the line of duty, a Police Officer that had responded to a bank robbery and been shot.
Although they had kissed now and then again, Kagome had never really gotten serious with Inuyasha, despite a few attempts to get inside her skirt now and then over the past couple of of years. She loved him without a doubt but had wanted to wait if and until they were married to have any super intimate relationship with him.
On the first day of horror, he had seemed really distant, not just towards her but in general. Kagome had asked him what was wrong and he replied that he had a problem that he had to deal with but he didn't really want to. She had asked him what the problem was and if she could help deal with it. He replied that while she could help, he didn't want her help with the problem. She had finished by saying that she didn't care what the problem was; if she could help she would do whatever it was that needed doing, for him.
He seemed to brighten up considerably as he thanked her and accepted her offer of help. He asked her to follow him to the gym while he grabbed something and then they would head to his house afterwards. What she had in mind for the 'problem' was that he needed help studying for a test, probably one involving math since that was his problem subject.
But no, instead he led her into the gym and told Coach Naraku that he had found a willing volunteer. As the boys on the varsity team crowded into the locker room half dressed Naraku had come up to her and thanked her for being willing to undertake the task a comfort woman for his team. Panicked, Kagome tried to turn and run but was caught immediately by Inuyasha, who tried to soothe her while holding her down by her wrists onto a bench as Naraku tore off her clothes, followed by the team members each taking their turn with her. Not all of them went onto her, but enough did that she was left severely battered, bruised, and unconscious.
She had awoken in a shower stall in the locker room with cold water hitting her naked body and a shirtless Naraku standing over her, a stained washrag in one hand and a bucket of dirty soapy water in the other. He informed her that he had just finished cleaning her up and that she should be thankful to him for it. Following that was the litany of threats and promises against her and her family that would effectively keep her lips sealed for the next ten years.
Having been provided with a replacement school uniform by Naraku, she had been given a cover story that she stuck with to protect her family, but had stayed away from school for a week to recover from the injuries she sustained when had accidentally "fallen down the stairs", a story that had worked due to her occasional clumsiness. When she had returned to school she stayed away from Inuyasha despite his attempts to get close to her again and instead spent intensive amounts of time healing with the help of Rin's friendship. It was then that she had learned that Rin was an orphan who had been adopted by the Taisho's. No matter what happened to you, as explained by Rin, you should always smile. Kagome couldn't bring herself to smile after what had happened but couldn't help but have her day brightened by Rin's brilliant smile, it was infectious.
So infectious however, that it drew the attention of others, including Naraku and the football team. It had been a month since her gang rape that she had noticed Rin talking with Inuyasha as the two of them passed her by. They didn't seem to notice her as she overheard a potion of their conversation, with Rin pressing Inuyasha as to why Kagome hadn't been feeling well lately, something that Kagome hadn't divulged to Rin. As the two of them walked on Kagome took notice that they were headed towards the gym and a sudden fear seized her heart as she took off after them.
The door to the locker room had barely finished shutting when Kagome burst in after the two of them. Inuyasha was standing behind Rin as she pushed ahead of them and came face to face with Coach Naraku as he was staring at Rin, who suddenly had a frightened look on her face as the towel wrapped members of the football team started filling the room.
"No, not her, you can't have her!" Kagome almost screamed at his face as tears popped in her eyes. Naraku glanced from Rin to her as a wicked smile made itself known on his face.
"Miss Higurashi, my team was promised the comfort of a woman if they won last Friday's critical district game, which they won handily. Now you have a choice to make; You can either provide that comfort for yourself again or you can let us go ahead and use Rin here. Although, if we use Rin she'll need some help probably, so you can be the one to hold her hands in place," said Naraku in a cold voice that filled with glee by the time he was finished talking.
"What? I, ah...," stammered Kagome as she looked at him, then her friend Rin, then Inuyasha, followed finally by the locker room. In hindsight her choice would have been obvious to her but at that time her heart was seized in fear and in that moment of fear she made her choice, an unforgivable choice that would forever torment her in both her nightmares and everyday life.
Rin was crying as Kagome held her down, her tears joined by Kagome's own as she stared into her eyes the entire time. Tears had continued to pour from Rin's face after she had lost consciousness, the tears provided by Kagome as the last of the boys finished up and got off of her. Kagome continued to kneel by the bench long after Naraku had carried Rin's limp form off to the showers, she didn't even shy away from Inuyasha when he put his sick hand on her shoulder and whispered an apology.
Something had come into her then though, some small kernel of hatred as she turned to glare up at him.
"She was your sister, how could you do that to her?" Kagome accused in a blubbering but hatred riddled broken voice.
"Its okay, she was adopted. Its not like it was incest or anything," Inuyasha offered by way of a casual explanation.
"Wait, you didn't actually take a turn with her, did you?" she asked as an immense chill traveled down her spine.
"Of course I did, I guess you were too busy looking into her eyes. For that matter, I actually took a turn with you after you had passed out. You weren't as good as I was hoping you would be, but don't worry I still love you all the same," Inuyasha explained as he got up and left.
She didn't remember much after that, save that at some point she had made her way home and was crying profusely into her pillow, her mother trying to comfort her while not knowing exactly what was going on but assuming that it was boy problems with Inuyasha.
Rin had never smiled again after that day and Kagome shied away from all contact with her former best friend. Although her marks had been abysmal she had managed to graduate high school and had gone on to attend not a university but rather to a community college for nursing school. Inuyasha and a good number of the other football team members had gone on to major universities. Two months after the month of horrors, a despondent Rin Taisho climbed the railing of the Winkincy County Fairgrounds Observation Tower and fell to her death one hundred fifty feet below, with her demise being ruled a suicide.
In her book, Kagome had added a "In Memory of Rin Taisho" to the prologue and had made it to where all royalties from sales of the book would go to the Rin Taisho Foundation, established after her death by her father to care for and help troubled teens who were afraid to open up and talk about their problems.
But now the real truth was out there and at age 28, ten years after her unforgivable act, Kagome was now going to finally be held accountable for her actions. Leaning her head against the wall, her tears having dried up as she smiled sadly at nothing in particular, she nodded slightly to herself. It was about damn time.