OreShura: Volume 8 Chapter 1
#1: Fiancée's House is Mayhem
Ai-chan had led me up to her apartment. This was my second time.
We were in the elevator with awkward silence up to her room on the 5th floor.
"Yo, are you really sure you want me sleeping there?"
She answered back with her back still turned away from me.
"It's okay. My dad's gone with business engagement to São Tomé and Príncipe for a while"
Santome Principe, P, Principle.
Couldn't even say it right. Where in the world is that place? Sounds like maybe located somewhere in South America.
"But I don't feel right about it though"
Then she turned around and poked my chest with her finger.
"So are you going to Chiwa's house?"
My heartbeat skipped.
Her eyes were still red from crying earlier.
".....No, if I go there my mom's gonna know my whereabout"
"Then stay here with me"
The elevator door opened and we started to walk.
Room 501, located at a corner of eastern side. It was a normal government assisted apartment.
Not where she grew up when I knew her back when we were in kindergarten. They used to live in one family home.
I used to visit there back then, but I can't even picture how the house looked like anymore.
But I still vaguely remembered her mother, who no longer was with us.
"Come on in"
Her guest slippers were pink with bunnies stitched on them.
........It was truly a girl's room.
This was little different when I had gotten invited to Hime's room and now I'm nervous. Sweat was running down my back with weird tension. My virginity was making me act like a complete moron with bad nerves. It was totally out of control.
"Oh, where is Yuuki?"
She has a little brother who's in the 5th grade but nobody was in the living room.
"He was here when I came by about an hour ago"
"You mean, you came by?"
"You had forgotten your bag from our study hall and I came to deliver it to you"
The bag I gave him was placed right by their sofa.
"I guess you were really worried about me"
"Of course. Kaoru was looking for you too, so make sure you send him a message"
The doorbell rang.
Some man knocked on the door and demanded it open with a scraggly voice.
"Th, that's my dad"
"Why!? You said he went to work at Santome Principe! What had happened to that?"
She opened a sliding door and pushed me in there.
It was dense with humidity and greeted me with a surprise "Whoa" behind the steam.
Yuuki was standing there with a towel wrapped around his waist in a changing room. That was why he wasn't in the living room, because he was taking a shower.
"We've bumped into each other a lot tonight, Takkun-san"
"My name is Eita Kidou"
"Alright then, Eita-san. But what brought you here? You came to peep at me showering?"
He was getting smart. Was he really in 5th grade? When I was his age, I was busy rummaging for smut magazines by the river. You know what I was doing with them.
I heard her dad's voice behind the sliding door.
"Wh-, what happened to you? I thought you were away with business"
"I forgot my important business documents. I had to miss one train because of it"
So it was located in Japan. Santome Principe, where in the world is this place?
"By the way Ai, whose shoes are by the door?"
"I, I don't know. Probably Yuuki's"
"They looked rather big for him"
"H, he is actually still growing every day, of course! That doesn't sound too far fetched"
I heard him go along with her story. He sounded very serious and sincere, just like his daughter. Ai-chan's square and straight trait must've come from him.
"I'm guessing my feet will grow bigger than yours in no time"
He was patting on his cheeks with some kind of lotion. He follows a beauty routine at 5th grade.
No wonder he was considered a pretty boy.
"Well my sister turned up. That's a good thing"
"My sister brought home a man on Christmas night and that's pretty considerable.
It's as if she skipped 2 steps forward to becoming a real woman."
"No, we didn't skip anything!"
I shouted out at him.
I quickly covered my mouth but my phone started ringing in my pocket.
Anonymous RPG's national background music, it's set up to notify me as a cursed ringtone.
Masuzu Natsukawa was trying to get in touch with me!
"Ai. I hear a creepy sound, where is it coming from?"
"Oh, I see. I hear it from the bathroom, maybe?"
"I must have left my phone in the bathroom! A lot of phones these days are waterproof!"
I appreciated Ai-chan's attempt and I managed to put my phone in mute.
That Masuzu. She always comes back around with perfect timing.
"I guess now my father thinks I have a very bad taste in music"
My phone lit up and I'd gotten a message.
Do I sense Masuzu's anger........?
I just delivered my delicious Tonjiru soup earlier for her.
I doubt she knew what I was up to anyway.
By all means, I couldn't call Masuzu from Ai-chan's house.
I turned my phone off.
"Was it from some other girl?"
Yuuki asked as he was putting his arm in a sleeve of his undershirt.
"How did you know that?"
"You were sweating profusely. Anyone could tell"
I held my breath, thinking he needed to shut up already.
"Well I'm leaving now. I'll be back on New Year's Eve"
"Yeah, just be careful"
"And those packages are you guys' Christmas presents. For both of you"
The door slammed shut sharply behind him.
I sighed out with relief. I just might have gotten away with it.
"Ta-kkun, you may come out now"
I stepped out of stuffy bathroom into the hallway.
"Your dad seemed really nice"
"Yes, I know....."
She didn't look happy as she was standing there with the unwrapped packages.
"I feel bad you had to lie for me"
"Don't be. I chose to do this"
I felt I was having a very adult conversation there.
"It's starting to look like an episode of a soap opera for you guys"
Yuuki came out with his pajamas on. He only spoke casually to his own family, I guess.
"Quit teasing me and go to sleep already. Don't you have sports practice in the morning?"
"Yeah, but I wanted to stay up to see what might go down tonight"
"No, don't be silly and just go to bed now"
He laughed all the way to his room. Now I was able to see the side of him that was like a fifth grader.
"Let me apologize for my brother's attitude"
"But he has very good manners"
"My mother had made sure of it"
Not only was she sweet but very well-mannered.
It was unlike my rotten mother.
"Ta-kkun, you must've been sweating all day? Just go ahead, take a bath and wash it all off"
"You don't mind if I get in first?"
"Please feel free to use my father's stuff"
I heard her walking away to the living room with her slippers on.
Well I just might have to accept her hospitality.
I had a very long day. I had to cool my head off once and for all.
I was able to rest that night after I took my bath.
I borrowed her father's pajamas.
His papers were filed randomly in his bookcases and there wasn't even a strand of hair on the floor. I didn't even smell cigarette smoke in there. Clean sheets. I felt a lot of love from Ai-chan who had kept up with this room.
I breathed out in the bed.
This must've been the most chaotic Christmas in my 16 years of life.
I wonder if my mom was home.
I could never agree with her idea to let her move back in with me after she had ditched her boyfriend.
NO WAY. I swore off romance altogether just to avoid this kind of Romance-Brain induced behavior.
But that exact thing made Ai-chan cry.
There was a knock on the door.
"Ta-kkun, are you still awake?"
The door opened and Ai-chan peeked in with her pajamas on.
.....She was clutching onto her pillow.
She hid half of her blushing face with it.
"May I sleep with you in here?"
She was a straight shooter.
"You s, sleep in here!? I don't think it's a good idea!"
I again panicked like a typical cherry boy. Calm yourself down a little bit, Eita Kidou. What happened to the smartest boy in his class?
But she ignored it and crawled into my bed anyway.
"I said that's not a good idea!"
I turned my back away from her.
She pushed her body against my back.
"Then you could stay there just like that"
"I just can't seem to give up on you, Ta-kkun"
I felt her warmth was slowly spreading on my back.
It was so very warm.
"I just can't celebrate you and Chiwa as a couple. I need to be honest even though it might make you hate me. Those are my true feelings."
Her words made me realize one thing.
What if I kept my no-romance attitude all through my life until I die.
Then I wonder what Ai-chan would do?
Would she stay alone forever for me?
Or would she give up on me and find somebody else instead?
I vaguely imagined that she might pick the latter.
Romance is nothing but a phase, like a fever. She should forget about me after graduation.
But I was starting to think otherwise.
She just might sacrifice her whole life for me, just for me to say yes one day.
That would be ----- all my fault.
"Did you see my mother earlier?"
"She was like that, but up until I was in grade school my parents were deeply in love, like an ideal couple. But after they fell out of love, all that mess had happened.
"That made you not believe in love anymore is your excuse?"
Ai-chan wrapped her arms around my waist from behind.
She was pressing her forehead against me.
"I think Ta-kkun is really in love with Chiwa after all"
She was straining her voice out.
"Wh, why do you say that?"
I was so confused.
"Me, ending up with Chiwa? No way. I consider her as my little sister and do love her like one, but I never had any romantic feelings."
"What is the difference? Why do you try to separate them?"
I couldn't come up with anything to say so she continued.
"When you had the argument with your mom you said, 'If I didn't have Chiwa during my difficult time,' I have realized then how much Chiwa meant for you. I can't compete with her when I am only a forgotten fiancee"
She was gripping on me tighter now.
"So tell me, Ta-kkun, you do love Chiwa. I want you to tell her, you guys will become a couple officially. Maybe then, I can forget you"
I was thinking with my eyes closed.
When I said I liked Chiwa, would it be the same feeling towards a girl I'd be in love with?
.....No, it wouldn't.
I don't think I would.
"I don't like anybody. I will never fall in love"
Ai-chan had gotten out of the bed.
"If that's so then I don't know whether to give up or not."
"Do you see a package by your pillow? Go ahead and open it"
I opened as she told me and found a red scarf.
It looked rough but thick and warmly knitted.
"You have to keep it after doing this to me. You don't have to wear it in front of Chiwa."
This was my very first present from a girl.
But I didn't even feel happy. I wonder maybe it was it because I'm not a believer of romance or I knew deep in my heart I was going to hurt her.
Ai left the room without saying anything anymore.
I opened up the scarf and held it.
It had a same smell earlier from Ai in the same bed with me.
Translator notes and references
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