The Struggles from the Happy Girl Next Door
A voice called out my name as I made my way towards the café, I looked over at where it had come from and saw Natsumi standing there all the while waving at me.
I waved back at her and made my way towards her "Hey there" "It's been a while"
"Yeah, it has been" "I'm glad that we're finally reuniting like this~"
"Yeah... Back home, it was relatively quiet. Almost too quiet without you"
"You make it seem like I'm the reason that your place was always loud..."
"It kind of was..." I swallowed my words and glanced over at the store "Shall we?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty hungry"
"I see..." A sigh escaped my breath and as we entered the establishment, we were immediately led to an empty table. We each glanced through the menu and as soon as we knew what we were having, we placed the order and simply waited.
"So? How was the move?"
"It was all right. When I was unpacking everything, I couldn't help but notice that I had a lot more then I remembered that I had"
"Now you know how it feels"
"Yeah, but you at least had someone help you with unpacking. I did everything myself"
She gave me a simple wave and glanced out the window of the café "You know something..." "I've always wanted to experience life on my own, but to be completely honest with you... It's lonely not having anyone you're close with near you"
"Don't you're friends live relatively close to you?"
"They do... But it's just not the same as when I was close to you"
"Didn't you feel the same? Didn't you feel like something was missing?"
"Well..." The day she moved, I didn't mind it at all, on the contrary, I was glad that she was fulfilling her dream of living on her own, but as time passed by, I noticed the little things that made it fun being near her.
The times when we would hang out in the city, the times she would drag me through the mall and how we would mess with one another, all of that was something that I too, missed.
"But now that you're living close by, I can pester you all I want~"
She giggled at my words and out of nowhere proceeded to pull out her phone "Let's take a picture to commemorate our-"
"Come on~! Just one"
"I know that you don't like to take pictures, but let's just do it. It's not like it'll hurt you or anything"
A sigh escaped my breath and I just nodded "Fine..."
She got up from her seat, sat directly next to me and pulled me in. Since I was already used to this clingy side of her, I simply let her do as she pleased.
I did as I was told and once she took the picture, she stared at it for a bit and slapped me on the back "See? You're getting better at smiling"
"I don't know why, but it bothers me even more hearing you say that"
She giggled once more but instead of actually heading on back to her seat, she stayed right next to me.
After a minute or so afterword, our waited arrived with our food, we both gave thanks and proceeded to eat to our hearts content.
"Don't talk with your mouth full"
I let out a sigh and glanced out the window for a bit "I wonder if Yukari was meeting up with someone today... But even then, that doesn't explain the bruise on her hand and those noises... That couldn't have been her dad moving around in the bed and bumping into the wall..."
"Something wrong, Kiyota?"
"It's nothing" I continued eating and as I did so, I noticed that she had a bit of food on her face "Clean yourself"
I grabbed my napkin and wiped away a bit of food that was on her face "Thank you~"
"How did you even manage to live on your own acting like this?"
"I only act like this with you and you know that"
"Yeah, but you should really try to do these things on your own"
After some time passed, the both of us finished eating, but instead of making our way out of the café, we simply decided to talk with each other for a bit before heading on out.
"By the way, did you finally manage to meet your neighbors?"
"Yeah, I did" "The lady from downstairs is a bit too kind, but she's a nice person overall. The landlady treats me like her own son and the neighbors from next door..."
As I tried to think about what to say about them, nothing came to mind. The only thing that appeared in my mind was how pissed off her dad looked seeing a stranger with her daughter.
"I only met the daughter. She goes to the same Uni as us"
"She does?! What year?"
"If I'm right on it... She should be in her second year of Uni"
"I see... So she's two year's younger then us" She glanced over at me and started poking my cheek "And is she pretty, cute, sexy~?"
"Why are you even asking that?"
"I'm just curious~" "You haven't dated anyone in quite a long time. The last person was that girl from high school, right?"
"Is she cute, pretty or sexy?"
Seeing how persistent she was being, I let out a sigh and tried to think back on her all together. Of course, she was pretty, she was also cute, but there wasn't anything sexy about her.
"I'd say she's pretty and cute"
"I see... I wish I could get the chance to meet her"
"I hope you don't..."
"Why~?! That's too cruel~!"
"You'll just make things uncomfortable"
"I promise that I won't"
Once we were ready to head on out towards the city, I paid for our food and thus we made our way towards the nearby mall. She had told me prior that there were some things that she needed to get and since I could probably use some more things for my apartment, it was a relatively good moment to head on out shopping on my behalf as well.
"What do you need exactly, Natsumi?"
"Hmm?" She glanced over at me and started pondering to herself "Well... I need some materials for school, I was thinking off getting a few pieces of clothes and then some underwear"
"..." "Was that last thing really necessary for you to tell me?"
"Of course, that way, I can get your opinion on it"
"Come on~!" "It's not that embarrassing"
"Speak for yourself"
"You're going to do it whether you like it or not"
"..." I let out a sigh and thus the both of us made our way towards the first store on the list. We each went our separate ways inside getting whatever we needed. Once we were ready, we met up at the front of the registers and proceeded to pay for our own things.
The next stop was the clothing store, she insisted on me accompanying her to which I agreed without even thinking about it.
"Is there anything specific that you're looking for?"
"I wanted a new outfit, but I don't know what to get exactly"
"Why not go the same route and choose a blouse with some jeans?"
"That's too plain" "I want something more eye catching"
"I see..." I glanced around the women section and my eyes laid upon some one piece dresses "How about something like that?"
"Hmm?" She glanced over at what I was pointing towards and upon seeing the dresses, she suddenly grabbed my hand and started dragging me towards them "They're beautiful~"
"Is this something you could use on an outing?"
"Yeah, I like it a lot" She glanced through the ones they had in stock and ended up picking out a white one piece dress with frills sewed on the ends "Do you think this would look good on me?"
"Why not go ahead and change into it?"
"You have time for me to do that?"
"Yeah, I wasn't planning on doing anything today"
"Perfect~" She grabbed it and the both of us started heading towards the changing rooms "Wait right here"
Once she entered the changing room, I let out a sigh and started looking through my phone, as I did so, an email arrived about a new book I was looking forward to buying that was released today.
"I wonder if the bookstore has it in stock"
"How do I look?"
I glanced back and I was completely awestricken by how it looked on her "I-It looks good on you..."
"Really~? Then I'll get it"
With a single smile, she made her way back inside the changing room and started changing back into her clothes.
As I took in a deep breath, a sudden voice called out to me "Kiyota?"
I glanced upwards and standing before me was none other then Yukari with some clothes of her own.
"What are you doing here in the women's section, Kiyota?"
Her gaze fixated on me, I couldn't help but look directly at her "I'm here with a friend"
"Is something wrong?"
She seemed worried about something, but I couldn't tell what exactly, before I could even ask if she was all right, she spoke up "Kiyota... Is she-"
"I'm ready to go~"
Before she could say what she wanted, Natsumi stepped out with a smile on her face, but upon seeing the scene before her, she stood there in place and glanced between the both of us "Did I interrupt something?"
"Well..." I glanced over at Yukari and then back at Natsumi who was staring at me "What do I say? I wasn't expecting any of this to happen at all!"
That single moment of Yukari walking up to me. The answer I gave her and Natsumi coming out in that single moment was the start of something that would change my life and make me see what had happened in my apartment complex.