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.Bookmark here

"Take a seat, Kiyota"Bookmark here

"Thank you very much"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

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

"You have a good eye"Bookmark here

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

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

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.Bookmark here

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

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

"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.Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

"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..."Bookmark here

"Miss Yumiko..."Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

"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..."Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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

"Kiyota?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes?"Bookmark here

"Are you all right?"Bookmark here

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

"You seem a bit angry..."Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

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

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

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..."Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

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

"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"Bookmark here

"May I ask how he passed away?"Bookmark here

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

"I see..."Bookmark here

"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..."Bookmark here

"Kiyota..."Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

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"Bookmark here

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

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"Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

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

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

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~"Bookmark here

"Y-You must be mistaken..."Bookmark here

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

"You saw that?"Bookmark here

"Of course, I see everything in this complex"Bookmark here

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

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.Bookmark here

"U-Umm... Yumiko?"Bookmark here

"Can you let me do this, please?"Bookmark here

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

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..."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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"Bookmark here

"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..."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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..."Bookmark here

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

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