Dear Bishop Canterling,
I received a note that a student in your diocese was severely beaten and required extensive outside medical treatment. The local authorities were contacted by his relatives. He complained that another student attempted to sodomize him and, when the victim resisted, the student instead assaulted him. The victim refused to name the assailant. We will relocate the victim to another diocese to be cared for there.
We cannot cover this up, so we must go through the formality of launching an inquiry into this matter and would appreciate any information you can provide to facilitate.
Kato looked up to see Tachibana walk back into the room. He was in nothing but a pair of boxers with a towel slung over his shoulder while carrying a small bag with his personal items. With that, the moment he had been fearing for the past thirty minutes had arrived.
He himself was in his boxers with a towel slung over his shoulder. He felt completely naked. In his little bag he had a fresh pair of boxers, soap, and a washcloth.
Tachibana walked past him to the bed and, without turning to face Kato, he spoke a bit forcefully the words: “Kato-san. Go. Now.”
Immediately, Kato got out of the chair and scampered out the door closing it behind him. He watched two other boys who were about his height pass by in boxers, chatting about something he couldn’t quit catch. Kato was pretty sure he had at least a slight flush to his face as this was embarrassing as hell. He took the towel from his shoulder and draped it over his arm so that he could put both the towel and the bag in front of his boxers to hide whatever modesty he thought he had left. Then he quickly followed the other two boys.
The bathroom at the end of the hall was full of boys, laughing, horsing around, making dirty jokes. Kato never saw the like of it. They were all in boxers, except for the ones going in or out of the shower. He jumped when he heard a large crack and a yelp from a boy who got whipped with the wet end of a towel. All the boys burst out in laughter. It was pandemonium. The two boys who entered joined in the laughter as they took off their boxers and put them along with their towels on some empty hooks on the wall. Kato went to the hooks, hung his towel, removed his boxers, grabbed his soap and washcloth and hung the bag up—then realized that the room suddenly got quiet. Whatever bravado Kato had left to make it through this just went out the window. He turned around and saw some of the boys looking at him. He turned 7 shades of red. For a moment, Kato wondered if it was actually possible to die from embarrassment—and he was pretty okay with that prospect at this moment.
The two boys he followed in turned and walked into the shower, continuing whatever chat they privately had, then another loud crack as the towel whip bit into another boy’s leg which solicited another loud yelp, and things returned back to the madhouse it was before with a roomful of laughter. Kato could only think to put his head down with his washcloth covering himself, one foot in front of the other, and march into the showers.
There were 4 other boys besides the two that just entered, all in different stages of showering. Interestingly, nobody was talking. Each boy was simply showering. Kato did his best not to stare but he had never really seen anybody else naked before. As he lathered up in front of his own shower head, he surreptitiously glanced and took mental notes, making some comparisons of his body to other boy’s bodies. He always thought he was a runt, an awkward kid with a small body; completely abnormal. Now, he felt that maybe he was more normal that he first thought.
Kato was last out of the shower. It felt so hot and so good that he didn’t want to leave. He also didn’t want to face the crowd again. People say life is about choices, but Kato was certain that he never really had any. So, he swallowed his pride and exited the shower.
He was surprised to see only the two boys from earlier chatting together. They glanced his way then went back to their chitchat. Kato went over and dried off with his towel, trying to pretend he was the only one in the room. He then quickly put on his fresh boxers and continued to dry his hair. For some reason he didn’t feel threatened by these two, so he relaxed a bit. They left the room without so much as looking back, and then he was alone. Kato ached for a friend, a companion to talk to, and was quite envious of those two boys. At the same time, he wanted to be alone for fear of getting hurt. The despair was like poison slowly eating away at his heart.
Kato gathered his belongings and went back to his room. It was empty, Tachibana must have gone somewhere. Kato took the opportunity to put on the only other set of street clothes he had, since he only arrived with two pants and two shirts. What happens when these wear out? Do I wear my uniform permanently? Kato wondered.
The door opened again, and Tachibana walked through. He looked at Kato and simply said, “Takahashi-san is waiting for you.”