X: The Interview
Misa’s dressing room door was left open so we simply walked in. She was slouched, pouting, in an oversized chair that made her look that much more small and delicate. Matsuda was holding her hand reverently. There were two bouquets of red roses on her bureau, in varying states of decay, and three opened boxes of chocolates. I palmed two chocolate covered cherries as I passed by. The walls were covered in old movie posters, half of which featured Misa herself.
Rem hadn’t followed us. I supposed he trusted Matsuda to keep Misa safe. That, or he didn’t think us much of a threat.
“I’m sorry for my outburst, Matsui,” Misa was saying to Matsuda. “I guess noone’s ever going to be as good as Zealous.” She was perfectly contrite. Matsuda smiled at her as if she were the only woman in the world. She pointed to a spot on her face. “On the cheek, dear. I don’t want to smudge my lipstick.” Matsuda obliged.
I cleared my throat. Misa looked up in surprise. “I’m sorry, Misa didn’t hear—L?” She was shocked—but not unhappy—to see me.
I did my best to appear, if not friendly, then at least a bit softer in my expression. “It’s been a long time, Ms. Amane.”
She demurred, showing off her lovely, long eyelashes. “Misa never thanked you properly for what you did for my family.” I hadn’t mentioned it before, but Misa tended to speak in the third person. I’m still not certain if she was trying to be cute or queenly.
“That’s all right,” I replied, “I still have the dent in my shin from the last time you thanked me.”
She blushed prettily. “Still, what can Misa do to help you and,” she paused to let her eyes wander appreciatively over Light, “your friend?”
Matsuda answered for me, his hand slightly tightening over Misa’s. “They’d like to hear about your encounter with Kira. Just tell them what you told me.”
Misa eyed me suspiciously. “You’re not trying to arrest him, are you?”
“I’m no longer with the police. All I’m looking for is information about Kira,” I said, almost truthfully.
She brightened at my words. “Oh, good. Misa’d hate to see Kira arrested. He’s a real hero, you know.”
“When did you meet Kira?”
Misa’s eyes sparkled like light on costume jewelry, bright enough to make one suspect its quality. “It was about four months ago. Misa was walking home from a late rehearsal—usually Misa takes a taxi, but there was some big accident tying up the streets and it was a nice night to walk. Misa didn’t know, but a man was following her, and when Misa turned down a side street he jumped out and grabbed onto her. Misa tried to get away, but she couldn’t. He was saying things like ‘I love you’ and ‘Will you marry me?’”
“That was Kira?” Light asked, mildly confused.
“Oh, no! The man who attacked Misa was named Shibuimaro Takuo, one of Misa’s crazier fans. Misa tried to get away, and he went crazy! He pulled out a gun and said he was going to shoot us both so we’d be dead together. Misa thought she was going to die, but then he acted very
strangely. He stopped right in midsentence, turned around, and walked away. Another man walked up to Misa and asked if she was all right. He said that Misa didn’t need to worry. He said his name was Kira, and that he had taken care of Takuo. He was holding a notebook with the words ‘Death Note’ written on it in funny letters.
“A few second later, Misa heard Takuo and another man arguing about money, and then she heard a gunshot and someone running away. Once Kira was sure that I wasn’t hurt and that Takuo was dead, he asked Misa not to tell the police about him, then ran off.”
Misa sat up primly and nodded her head to show that her well-rehearsed story was finished. I had always had trouble with actresses, whose speech always featured beautifully tall vowels, musical inflections, and the correct hand gestures to accentuate their points. When both lies and truth were manufactured, it was difficult to tell the two apart.
I took a moment to work my way through the holes in her story. “How did Kira know your attacker’s name?”
Misa rapped her knuckles against her head. “Ah, Misa is so stupid. He had written Misa many creepy fan letters. He made a big deal out of telling people his name and his nickname. I think it was ‘Shibutaku,’ whatever that means. Kira must have overheard him when he was talking to Misa.”
Before I could ask my next question, Light leaned forward, coffee eyes staring at Misa with a fierce intensity. “Where did this take place, and what did Kira look like?” He seemed as comfortable in the interrogator role as he had in every other. I gained new suspicions as to why Light had started me on this investigation.
Misa rattled off a street address, then bit her lip and looked upwards, recalling a mental picture of her savior. “Ah, he was an older guy, probably in his late 30s or early 40s, a little short, he had long black hair and bright blue eyes—oh yes, and a kind of big nose!”
“The light was good enough to see his eyes?” I asked mildly. Misa was momentarily flustered. “No, never mind. Did you go to the police with any of this?”
Misa looked to Matsuda for help. “Well, sort of...” she said.
“She didn’t mention Kira in her initial report, but she thought better of it about a month later and came in to give a revise statement.” He smiled a little. “That’s where we first met.” He lifted her hand and kissed it.
“Misa didn’t want to get Kira in trouble, but she doesn’t like lying, either,” Misa added.
“Have you seen Kira since?” Light asked before I could.
Misa shook her head. “Oh, no. It was just that one time, and now Misa has her own knight in shining armor.” Matsuda beamed at the praise, but Misa’s eyes flickered about the room like a moth unsure of where to land. “Really, Misa has told you everything she knows.” Her eyes landed on the door. I knew a dismissal when I heard one.
“Thank you for your time. Gentlemen, Ms. Amane.” I touched the brim of my hat as I sidled out the door.
Light followed me, and Rem, ever watchful, followed us to the door.
“You are finished?” Rem asked softly.
“For the moment,” I replied.
Rem’s lone eye drifted over the empty stage. “I don’t like Misa being involved in this.”
“Frankly,” I said as I as exited the club, “neither do I.”Next chapter