Chapter 7:

Struggles from the Past...

The Struggles from the Happy Girl Next Door

As I took the first few steps inside her apartment, I noticed that she had already served some tea for the both of us.

"Take a seat, Kiyota"

"Thank you very much"

I bowed and did as I was told, I proceeded to take a sip from the tea that she had served me and all the while I did so, I stared at Yumiko to try and get a feel for how she was acting, but to no avail.

"You said... That my smile wasn't genuine, correct?"

"I-I'm sorry if I bothered you by saying such a thing, I really didn't-"

"You have a good eye"

"..." "So... She's been through her own share of pain as well..."

"If you don't mind... Would you hear me out?"

The way she looked at me. The way her tone was calm but at the same time, it felt as though she was holding in all of her emotions from spilling out. I couldn't say that I didn't want to hear about it. I needed to hear her out.

"I don't mind, on the contrary, I would feel pretty bad if I let you stay like this even after you invited me"

She chuckled a bit and smiled at me "You really are kind... You're parents raised a kind boy"

"T-Thank you..." "If only you knew..." I could feel my face start blushing a bit at her words, but nonetheless, I maintained my composure as she prepared herself to start talking.

"You see... I always yearned to have a baby" "I married the man of my dreams and spent a lot of happy days with him"

"But... When we tried for a baby of our own, it never happened. We continued trying multiple times, but to no avail" "We then decided to visit my doctor to find out if anything was wrong and just like that... We were told that I wasn't fertile..."

"Miss Yumiko..."

"My heart was shattered. The one thing I yearned for. The only thing I wanted was impossible for me to obtain" "I was lifeless for the entire day, but even then, he didn't leave my side"

"It was after some time had passed that I found out that he was seeing someone else behind my back... Someone younger, prettier and fertile..."

"Don't tell me?!" I clenched my fists underneath the table, hoping that the  words that crossed my mind wouldn't be spoken into reality.

"He had gotten her pregnant... And I couldn't blame him, he wanted to have a kid as much as I wanted to have one"

Hearing her not even be frustrated from saying those words, it simply hurt me even more. Before I knew it, I was clenching my fists even tighter then ever before.

Memories flashed before my eyes. Each and every one of them simply made me feel even angrier "I've got to composed myself..."



"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine... Why do you ask?"

"You seem a bit angry..."

"I'm showing it... I'm showing her my hatred..." "I'm sorry... I just can't understand why someone like that would do something of the sort to someone such as yourself"

"That can't be it... Right?"

"Well..." I glanced over at her and sighed "Do you mind if I talk about a experience of my own?"

Yumiko seemed genuinely surprised by my words, but nonetheless, she gave me a single nod "I can't believe I'm going to talk about this after so much time has passed..."

"My mother passed through a similar experience... My father always made her feel depressed about every little thing she did" "Since I was prone to be in the house whenever something happened, I would hear him yelling at her"

"Because of that... I decided to not become the same man as him, instead, I would do whatever in my power to treat people as nice as possible, be it a man or a woman"

"... Is that why you are so kind?"

"Yes... I don't want to be the same as that man... The day he passed away, I declared on his death bed that I would be different... That I would be the better man." "Even if there were things that I did that were similar to how he would act, I would fight to change those ways"

"May I ask how he passed away?"

"It was in a car accident as he was making his way back to the house" "We found out about it the day after"

"I see..."

"Of course, my mother cried upon hearing of his death. I couldn't even cry in that moment, not even when they were burying him" "I didn't feel anything..."


"That's why..." I looked up at Yumiko and smiled at her "If there's anything you need, if you feel like talking to someone about anything, be it some problems, if you just wat to talk, please do call on me"

She stared into my eyes for a bit and chuckled "Are you sure about that? I wouldn't want to take up all your time for something as mediocre as that"

"As long as I'm not busy or working, I'll come and talk with you or accompany you"

She beamed me a smile and let out a sigh "You really are one interesting kid... The way you acted, I wouldn't even have thought that you had gone through such tough moments"

"All of that is in the past for me. That's why I have no need to be clinging to it... That would only make me disgusted of myself"

"I see... You're even more mature then me" "You make me feel disappointed about myself"

"I-I didn't mean to do that!"

She chuckled and took a sip from her tea "I'm just messing around" "By the way, it looks like you and Yukari are getting along with one another~"

"Y-You must be mistaken..."

"Is that so? Then I guess that smile from her was just a figment of my imagination then"

"You saw that?"

"Of course, I see everything in this complex"

"Thinking about it... That's a bit scary..."

She smiled at me once more and before I could even ask if she had anything else to say, she stood up from her seat and out of nowhere started hugging me.

"U-Umm... Yumiko?"

"Can you let me do this, please?"

"... I guess it doesn't hurt"

I let her hug me as she please and as she did so, the subtle noise of her holding in her tears could be heard "She would've been a fantastic mother..."

I stood up from my seat and upon seeing this, I hugged her back and the once sniffling and holding back of tears became a massive flood of emotions being holed up for who knows how long.

"It's not good holding in so many emotions... I know that firsthand" "Being able to only see your own father treating your mother in such a way is the worst thing. Being looked own upon for being a kid and not being able to speak up for either yourself or those close to you is the worst"

"Worst of all was... The only moment I could voice my complaints. The only moment I could even express myself was when he had passed away... His body lifeless just like a dolls..."

I let out a sigh and erased those memories and instead focused on what was happening and on what I was going to do in order to help out Yukari with her own situation.

Once I had finished hearing Yumiko out on her problem, it was already a good time to settle in and rest. As I was about to step into my apartment, I glanced over at Yukari's apartment and simply remembered the sight of her waving at me with a smile on her face.

"I promise that I'll help you... I just need to know how far you want to go and I'll go from there" "If it comes down to it... I'll support you as much as I can so that you can smile with sincerity..."

I stepped into my apartment, locked my door and simply waited for the time to pass by so that a new week could start.