After we gave our opinion on the website template, club was basically over. However, since we would start actively promoting the club on Monday, my mood was terrible.
Yes I was being paid, well supposedly at least, but without that tangible cash in my hands it was hard not to be discouraged by the trouble that I would have to face. And I wasn't just talking about the reaction of the other students.
'That might be the real issue.'
I reached my apartment about the same time as yesterday so Ms. Aria wasn't home yet. This time, I waited until she arrived before I went over to start preparing dinner.
"I did give you the key so you might as well use it." said Ms. Aria as she took off her shoes at the doorway and changed into her slippers.
"I still don't know why you gave me your spare key. Aren't you afraid I might use it to hurt you?"
"Nope. I trust you after all. Enough to let you wash my undies."
"I already said that I wouldn't do that! Gosh, why can't you transfer a little of that diligence from school to your private life?"
"Because I'm a woman who can separate business from personal."
"Don't say that so smugly!"
About an hour later, we sat around the table after finishing dinner. Normally I would leave with the plates once we were both finished, but I stayed seated since there was something I needed to ask.
"I'll be cleaning the apartment tomorrow, do you have any plans?"
"Hmm, I need to go to school but I should be back by around two o' clock."
"In that case, should I prepare a lunch to-go, or serve lunch once you get home?"
With a serious pensive expression that I rarely saw on her face, Ms. Aria pondered for a few minutes before eventually deciding on an answer.
"I want both."
"...I really shouldn't be questioning this but, are you sure? I've noticed that your top has been getting tighter around the stomach area lately."
I knew how rude it was to bring up the topic of a woman's weight, but I felt like I had to say something. It was one thing that I was being forced to see her sloppy attire, I didn't want to have to start looking away for different reasons.
As I expected, she gasped and wrapped her hands around her stomach with a deeply offended expression.
"How could you?! You pervert!"
"I don't want to hear that from the exhibitionist!"
I released a light sigh before continuing, "Look, I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I'm just stating facts. You wouldn't want to have to buy new clothes would you?"
"I'm not that fat!"
"Haruto! I'm your teacher and your employer, how could you treat me this way?!"
"As your domestic helper, it's my job to make sure that you're healthy. And as your student I don't want to see you becoming a walking bad example."
"Kuh, this is your fault too you know!"
"What? How?" I asked in genuine confusion.
"Because of all your delicious food it's been harder for me to restrain myself. In other words, you have to take responsibility if I really do become fat and take care of me for the rest of my life."
Watching as she made up some ridiculous argument to defend herself, I narrowed my eyes and sighed. I then shook my head and took up the plates.
"Got it, I'll make you lunch and have something prepared for when you get back."
'Maybe if she gets fat she'll finally have some shame.'
With this mindset, I went into the kitchen to wash the dishes but Ms. Aria hesitantly uttered a line.
"Uh, but could you make the packed lunch something healthy?"
'So you finally caved in, huh? Really, by the time I graduate will I even think of her as a proper teacher anymore?'
Once I finished up over at Ms. Aria's, I went back to my apartment and checked the club group chat. Unfortunately, it was basically as barren as I remembered it. Kirisaki evidently tried to liven up the place with corny jokes and memes, but it had little effect. We would officially begin club operations next week, but I had a feeling that things would only get worse, though I wished I was wrong.
I didn't believe that I was best person for the position I had, but I was sure that if something didn't change then the club was doomed to fail due to problems aside from romantic relationships.
"I really got my work cut out for me."
I looked at the television in my living area, more specifically the games under it, but then shook my head.
'I have to get up early to clean tomorrow.'
I could probably get by with an alarm, but I didn't want to risk being too tired so I reluctantly gave up on gaming.
The next day, I got early up, bathed and changed clothes before heading over to Ms. Aria's apartment. On school days I would only prepare her lunch and dinner, but on weekends I prepared her breakfast as well. Since I knew that she was already inside, I was okay with letting myself in and started making breakfast.
By the time I was finished, Ms.Aria came out in a loose jacket, t-shirt and jeans. It was more casual than her usual school attire, but several times better than what she wore around the house. I had been working for her for about a month now, but I still occasionally found myself speechless at her business casual look.
"Good morning, Haruto."
"Good morning, Ms. Aria. Breakfast is being served."
"Mhmm, thank you."
Unlike dinner, I didn't eat breakfast with her. She never denied me the chance but while she was acting like a proper adult, I also tried to be mindful of my position.
"Mm, well done."
Ms. Aria ate as fast as usual but somehow she seemed graceful. Once she was finished and wiped her mouth, I handed her a lunchbox and saw her off at the doorstep. I wouldn't mind going further to send her off, but it was better for us not to be seen together outside of school.
"Now then, guess I should start?"
With Ms. Aria gone and the dishes cleaned, I began tidying up her living room. Even she couldn't be sure what documents were important so I would first organise them into two stacks. One for things I was sure were important and the other for things I wasn't sure about.
One would think that I might get lucky and pick up the answer sheet for my next test while cleaning, but it seemed that Ms. Aria had the ability to hide the documents that she needed to. I once asked her to use that ability to keep her living space clean, but it only went through one ear and out the other.
As sweat rained down my forehead, all of the documents were eventually organized in boxes and folders. It would take more time to find a specific file, but this was the best I could do for now.
After the living room, I prepared to journey to the most dangerous part of this apartment, her bedroom. I had cleaned it twice before but my trepidation only grew each time. Oh how I wished that she would at least handle her own room, but since this task was part of the original agreement I had no choice but to traverse the cursed domain before me.
I slowly reached out my hand and grasped the doorknob, then turned it and pushed it open. The room was dark due to drawn curtains and closed windows, but I didn't make the same mistake I made the first time, by heading straight towards the curtains.
Instead, I turned on the light and gasped in horror at the scene that was revealed. Both her outerwear and underwear were sprawled all over the room, empty bottles were lying around and though there was no disturbing smell I already knew that was because of Mr. Air freshener.
Proof that Mr. Air freshener was fighting against the stench in this room came in the form of worn-out panties that would surely freeze the hottest of loves. This, among other items, would certainly make me vomit if I took even a single whiff.
Unlike the living room which was a matter of effort, cleaning her bedroom was a matter of courage. However, since coming to Yorukobi Academy I had learnt something very important.
'If you accept the pay then you gotta do the work.'
I charged into her bedroom and began collecting the forgotten laundry and throwing away whatever trash I could. I worked extra fast on the bedroom since I didn't want to be in here for a second longer. Thanks to that, I was able to finish basic cleaning with enough time to work on lunch.
When Ms. Aria returned, we ate lunch together and then I finished cleaning while she passed the time on the couch. I made sure to give her a stern look when she came back, but she easily brushed it off.
'She's gets so defensive when I talk about her weight but so shameless any other time. I really can't understand her priorities.'
Once I finished cleaning, I made dinner and then went back to my apartment. I would have to come back on Sunday, but it wouldn't be as early and she didn't have any plans so I decided it was finally time to start playing the game I bought this week.
'Finally. After all the crap I went through, I definitely deserve some gaming time.'