Chapter 17:

The Verdict

The Struggles from the Happy Girl Next Door

As the both of us made our way out of the apartment and followed the road towards our university, she was beaming with joy all the while grabbing onto my hand.

She had insisted that we do so since we were officially a couple. I wasn't against the idea at all, but I was a bit worried if it was all right for her and that it wouldn't bother her if people would look at us with hatred and what not.

She told me that it was fine. That she didn't care what others had to say as long as she was happy. Hearing her sound so confident upon declaring those words, I couldn't help but chuckle a bit and let her do as she pleased.

"Hey, Yukari"


"Natsumi wants to hear everything that happened between the both of us" 

"Y-You told her?!"

"No! I just simply called her yesterday because I needed to talk with her about what I was going to do... It was that moment that she told me that she wanted to hear all the juicy details of what happened between us that night"

"I see... S-So she wants to hear about us becoming a couple?"

"Yeah... It's a bit of a pain if you ask me"

"S-She wasn't mad or sad when you told her about us, what happened and what you were going to do?"

"No... Why would she get like that?"

"I thought that she loved you... Or at least that's how it looked in my eyes"

Hearing her say such a thing, I couldn't help but start laughing without minding the people around us "Hahahaha!"


After a few seconds of laughing, I let out a sigh and smiled at her "We're close because we went through a lot of things together. We were always there for one another, we would hang out in school together, outside of school, we would spend days at each other's houses, but never once did it develop into love..."

"How are you so sure about that?"

"She's told me that before" "She specifically told me that our relationship would always be that of friends, because of we ever did cross that line... It would be tough for the both of us once we'd broke up... We wouldn't be able to be around together like we would in the past"

"I see... That does sound complicated..."

"And awkward on top of that" I let out a sigh and glanced over at her "Besides, I've already found the person I want to love"

"..." At those words, she stared into my eyes and started smirking "You tried to play that off a bit too cool~"

"D-Don't criticize me..."

She wrapped her arm around mine and once more proceeded to grab my hand even tighter "I like you just the way you are~"

"I'm glad..."

After a while of walking down that road, I couldn't help but notice a hand waving over at us "There's only one person who would do that..."

I let out a sigh and upon getting closer, I greeted the person in question "Hey there, Natsumi"

"Good morning, Natsumi"

"Good morning, lover birds~"


"Getting embarrassed, Kiyota~?" She smirked at me and wrapped her arm around my neck pulling me towards her without a care in the world.

"Congratulations on getting Kiyota to fall for you, Yukari-chan"

"T-Thank you...?"

At times, Natsumi acted like three different people, those being my childhood friend, a mother and also an older sister. Since I was already used to her acting like that, I wasn't really startled, but for someone like Yukari, that change in tone was more then enough to make anyone wonder about her sanity.

"So? Who made the first move?"

Once Natsumi let me go, I straightened my clothes and glanced over at Yukari who simply started blushing. That alone was more of an answer then anything.

"You're too bold, Yukari-chan~!"

 Before Yukari could escape Natsumi's paws, she was dragged into the same situation that I was in a few seconds before. Seeing Yukari trying to get away from he ever so nimble Natsumi was more then enough to bring a smile to my face.

Once that whole ordeal at the front gate was finished, the three of us made our way towards an empty table and decided to talk there.

"I'm so happy for the both you~"

"Thank you, Natsumi..."

"You sound like my mother and it's creeping me out"

"That's no way to talk to the person who helped you out~" She proceeded to pinch my cheeks and after getting her fill, she finally let go of me and smiled at the bot of us.

"I really am happy for the both of you"

When I glanced over at Yukari, I couldn't help but notice that she was tearing up "W-What did you do, Natsumi?!"

"Huh?" She looked over at Yukari and started panicking "A-Are you all right, Yukari-chan?! Do you not feel well?!"

"I-Is everything all right, Yukari?!"

"*hic* Y-Yeah... Everything's fine..." She looked up at the both of us with the same smile that had charmed me "I'm just glad that the friendship that the both of you have won't be ruined by me dating Kiyota"

I glanced over at Natsumi and noticed that she was looking over at me as well and before we knew it, the both of us were laughing at her words.

"W-What's so funny?"

The one to speak up was Natsumi who wore a smile on her face as she did so "The both of you being in a relationship won't affect our friendship, it'll just make it stronger, besides..." She glanced over at me and patted my back "I can't let this guy out of my site. That's why I told him to come live near the area where I live. So that we could hang out more and be together in the tough times like we would, right?"

"Yeah, so there's no need to be worried, anxious and what not about how we're going to get along now. It'll be the same regardless, as long as you don't mind it, Yukari"

"I-I don't mind! I don't want to be that type of girl who prohibits you from being around the people you care for!"

"Then that solves everything that needs to be said, don't you think, Natsumi?"

"Yeah, that solves everything perfectly" She beamed Yukari a smile and after that small exchange, we each headed off towards our own classrooms.

As the day passed by slowly, I couldn't help but wonder how the whole incident with her parents had gone, in that exact moment, my phone rang.

I pulled it out and noticed that it was a message from Yukari stating that they had already decided on what to do in regards to the incident and that we would need to go to the police station today in order to hear it.

"We need to know" I sent her a quick message so that we could meet up at the school gates and without waiting another second, I headed on over towards the gates.

Once there, I noticed that Yukari was already waiting for me there "Thank you for coming, Kiyota"

"Of course, I need to be here with you"

She beamed me a smile, grabbed my hand and thus we started making our way towards the police station. After walking down the street for a bit, I opened the door for the both of us, gave my name and we simply waited for our turn.

All the while we waited, she continued grabbing my hand without a care in the world, but compared to how she was grabbing it before, it was tighter and I could feel that she was anxious.

"Everything's going to be all right... You're free now"


"Mr. Tokugawa Kiyota"

Hearing my name, the both of us headed on over and upon getting inside the room, a man stood in front of us with paperwork on his desk.

We took a seat and after the introductions, we arrived at the matter at hand "We arrested both Mr. and Miss Takahara and after the evidence that we were given, the stories from the officers at the scene and their own words, we've sentenced Mr. Takahara for 10 years in prison and Miss Takahara for 4 years in prison"

"Thank you very much for everything, we appreciate it"

"We're just doing our job" The man bowed at us and as we made our way out of the police station, I let out a sigh and glanced over at Yukari.

"Are you happy with the verdict?"

"Yes... I am"

"Good... Now you know for sure that you're free"

"Thank you... Kiyota"

"No worries, but now we need to survive on our own together, so ask me for help if you need it and what not, ok?"

"Of course, I'll ask my cute boyfriend for anything that I need and help him with anything that I can do"

"N-Now you're just making me feel embarrassed about myself..."

She giggled at my words and the both of us simply made our way towards the school hand in hand "I helped Kuniko with everything... I helped Yukari... And I talked with Yumiko, but I don't know if that was enough... I'd better talk with her later today"

With those words, the both of us continued on with the rest of our classes without a care in the world and a sense of relief washed over me at the fact that I knew that no more harm would come across Yukari anymore.