Chapter 16:

The Bond of Love

The Struggles from the Happy Girl Next Door

The both of us woke up at roughly the same time and even though we had become a couple, the fact that we had slept in the same bed together was more then enough to make me remember all the embarrassing things we had told each other.Bookmark here

"G-Good morning"Bookmark here

"M-Morning..."Bookmark here

I quickly regained my composure and proceeded to get up from the bed "I'm going to shower really quick, is that fine with you?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah...That's fine"Bookmark here

With those words, I grabbed some clean clothes alongside my towel and proceeded to make my way towards the bathroom to get it done and over with.Bookmark here

I washed my body as the tub filled up and once I had finished, I proceeded to get into the tub all the while letting out a sigh of relief.Bookmark here

"I really wasn't expecting all of that to happen yesterday... It was more then I had anticipated"Bookmark here

I let out yet another sigh and simply gazed up at the roof of the bathroom "I can't believe that it's official... But at the same time... I'm scared of turning out just like him..."Bookmark here

As the thought crossed my mind, the words that Natsumi spoke to me resonated within me "It won't happen... I promised myself that I wouldn't let anything like that happen to her and I'll do just that... I'll take care of her and protect her just like I did with my own mother"Bookmark here

After staying inside the tub for around five minutes or so, I stood up, drained the water and immediately started drying myself off. Once I had done so, I threw on my clothes and made my way out of the bathroom only to smell something delicious in the air.Bookmark here

"Yukari?"Bookmark here

"Hmm?" She turned over towards me and smiled "I decided to get breakfast ready. Did you drain the water?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah, I did... You really didn't have to make breakfast. I could have done it"Bookmark here

"I didn't force myself. I wanted to do it" She beamed me a smile as she spoke those words.Bookmark here

Seeing her acting like that, I couldn't help but think for a bit that everything was a dream. Having someone such as herself cooking for me. Someone like Yukari who was both beautiful on the inside and on the outside... A part of me felt like I didn't deserve her, but at the same time, she was the one who declared her love for me first.Bookmark here

That alone was enough to wash away all of the doubts in my mind and make me see that she did indeed love me.Bookmark here

"Kiyota?"Bookmark here

"Yeah?"Bookmark here

"Do you mind if we go shopping later today? That way I can buy whatever I need since I'm living here"Bookmark here

"Sure, I don't mind" "What exactly do you need to buy?"Bookmark here

"It's mostly just personal hygiene items, some underwear and a futon"Bookmark here

"A futon?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah... I wouldn't want to bother you're sleeping habit"Bookmark here

"I-I don't mind..."Bookmark here

"You don't?"Bookmark here

"N-No... I don't"Bookmark here

A moment of silence fell between the both of us and just when I was about to speak up about the matter, she started giggling for whatever reason.Bookmark here

"Did I say something funny...?"Bookmark here

"Sorry... I just didn't expect you to be so assertive after us becoming a couple, that's all~"Bookmark here

"P-Please don't say that...."Bookmark here

She beamed me a smile and continued on with her cooking "Then I guess the futon is out of the question. I'll be sleeping with you from this point on"Bookmark here

"Got it..."Bookmark here

Once she had finished making the breakfast, I assisted her with serving everything and when that was done, we laid it down on the table, gave thanks and proceeded to eat.Bookmark here

"It's delicious..."Bookmark here

"I'm glad that it's to your liking~"Bookmark here

She beamed me a smile and we continued eating all the while making small talk from time to time. When we finished eating, she was about to grab all of the dishes that we had used to wash them, but I stopped her before she could.Bookmark here

"I'll wash them"Bookmark here

"A-Are you sure?"Bookmark here

"Yeah, you made the breakfast, you get ready for school today in the meantime"Bookmark here

"Thank you... I'll do just that" She walked over towards me and gave me a peck on the lips. Yukari grabbed her things and headed off towards the bathroom.Bookmark here

As I washed all of the dishes used, I let out a sigh and looked out the window "I wonder how my life will be from now on..."Bookmark here

Once I had finished doing so, the sudden ring could be heard from my door "I wonder who that is..."  "I'm coming!"Bookmark here

I made my way over towards the door and when I opened it, I couldn't help but notice that it was none other then Kuniko herself "Good morning, Kuniko"Bookmark here

"Good morning, dear. How are you today?"Bookmark here

"I'm doing pretty good, how about yourself?"Bookmark here

"I feel better then ever" "Lately, I have been sleeping even better thanks to our talk the other day"Bookmark here

"You weren't sleeping well?"Bookmark here

"I did from time to time... But there were some times where I would start having nightmares about him and what not"Bookmark here

"I see..."Bookmark here

I didn't understand the pain she was going through, I didn't even understand how long she had been going through such a thing. I clenched my hand tightly ad sighed.Bookmark here

Before I could say anything, she laid her hand on my own and smiled at me "I'm glad that you were there to listen to me, dear"Bookmark here

"K-Kuniko..."Bookmark here

"Do you mind if I come in?"Bookmark here

"I don't mind"Bookmark here

I stepped out of the way and let her in, she bowed and made her way inside. She then proceeded to take a seat in one of the empty chairs.Bookmark here

She glanced over at where the bathroom was and called out to me "Is someone using the bathroom right now?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes... They are"Bookmark here

"I see. Is it your girlfriend~?"Bookmark here

"P-Please don't tease me..."Bookmark here

She giggled at my words and went to the heart of the matter "I came by to thank you once more for everything that you've done for me" "By listening to me, you've removed a burden that I've been having to carry for years... For that, I am very grateful"Bookmark here

Before I knew it, she had started bowing at me "I really didn't do anything for you to be so grateful for me. I just did what I felt like was the right thing to do"Bookmark here

"But even then... If you hadn't been there... If you hadn't brought me that letter the moment you did... I would have been suffering for who knows how long"Bookmark here

"I see... I'm just glad that I could be of help and if you need any more help in the future, please do let me know"Bookmark here

"Of course, I'll rely on you, dear~"Bookmark here

"By the way, Kuniko. Would you like something to drink?"Bookmark here

"Could I have a coffee then?"Bookmark here

"Black or with cream?"Bookmark here

"Black"Bookmark here

"Ok"Bookmark here

I got up from my seat, headed over towards my kitchen and proceeded to pour some of the leftover coffee I had made. Once I had done so, I placed it gently in front of her.Bookmark here

"Thank you, dear"Bookmark here

"No worries"Bookmark here

"By the way, dear. I wanted you to meet my daughter so that the both of you could get along?"Bookmark here

"Your... daughter?"Bookmark here

"Yes, she's quite the beautiful girl and if you aren't in a relationship, I'd be glad to have you as my son-in-law~"Bookmark here

"U-Umm..."Bookmark here

Before I could say a word, the sound of the bathroom door closing made me snap back to my senses "I'm done for..."Bookmark here

"Kiyota!"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes?!"Bookmark here

Kuniko glanced over at the person in question and simply smiled at her "Oh my, I didn't expect you to be here, Yukari" "I guess the rumor was true~"Bookmark here

"R-Rumor?"Bookmark here

Both Yukari and myself were surprised at her words "What rumor, Kuniko?"Bookmark here

"I was talking with Yumiko about how close the both of you have gotten and we were talking about the possibility of the both of you having become a couple. I guess that rumor was true"Bookmark here

"W-Well..."Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah..."Bookmark here

The both of us started fidgeting around at her words. The both of us knew everything that had transpired, but even then, I didn't say anything about it nor did Yukari.Bookmark here

"I'm glad that the both of you are together~" "Make her a happy girl, Kiyota"Bookmark here

"Y-Yes, ma'am"Bookmark here

She beamed us a smile and proceeded to get up after drinking the rest of her coffee "I should probably get going" "I'd like you to meet my daughter if possible, Kiyota"Bookmark here

"Yes, I don't mind"Bookmark here

"Thank you~" "Now if you'll excuse me, I shall be going"Bookmark here

With those words, she bowed at the both of us and made her way out of our apartment. Once she had done so, I let out a sigh and glanced over at Yukari "You scared me back there..."Bookmark here

"S-Sorry... I-I just don't like the idea of you falling for someone else... It hurts just thinking about it"Bookmark here

"I already told you that I love you, I have no reason to be with someone else"Bookmark here

"I-I see... T-That's good to hear"Bookmark here

Just when I was about to get up to start heading towards school, she walked over to me and suddenly stopped me in place "What's wrong?"Bookmark here

"Can we stay here for a bit?"Bookmark here

"For a bit..."Bookmark here

"Thank you..."Bookmark here

I sat back down on the floor and before I knew it, she took the seat right next to mine, but instead of just sitting there, she wrapped her arm around mine, leaned in her head over my shoulder and gently placed her hand on my chest.Bookmark here

"I'm glad that I can make you're heart skip like this~"Bookmark here

"S-Shut it..."Bookmark here

She giggled and the both of us simply stayed like that for around five minutes or so, as we did so, I lightly caressed her head and stared at her for a bit "I will definitely make her happy... And I hope that one day... She's the one I marry..."Bookmark here

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