The Struggles from the Happy Girl Next Door
As she spoke those words to me, I noticed that there was something different about her. It wasn't anything bad... She just seemed nervous about whatever it was that she wanted to say.
"Please tell me all your troubles, Yumiko"
She seemed somewhat startled by my words, but nevertheless, she smiled at me and nodded "Then... I will do just that"
She took in a few deep breaths and proceeded telling me her story once more "As you already know... I'm not fertile and on top of that, my husband who I loved with all my heart left me for someone else... To create a life of his own"
"When it happened, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to cry at the cruelty I had to go through. I wanted to curse out his name for leaving me. But I never did any of that... I needed to be strong and so I endured everything and to this day... I still do"
"When I heard what had happened to Yukari, I was devastated. To me, she's like the daughter I never had. When her family moved in, I tried to get along with them all and the only one who ever became close to me was her"
"That's why I'm thankful for her for speaking to me not as her landlady, but as a friend. With Kuniko it was the same... When I had heard what she had gone through way back when she moved in, I felt a sort of bond with her... One that I didn't have with anyone else"
"The both of us had gone through more or less the same thing. The people we loved had thrown us away as if we were mere tools" "Just like..."
I could feel her gaze on me. Since she knew about what I had gone through, I could immediately tell what she was trying to get at "Yeah... Just like my father"
She stared into my eyes for a bit and continued on "That's why, when I had heard that she had opened up to you about her problems and that you let her express herself without you minding, I thought that I could do the same thing..."
"That's why you invited me... Right?"
"Yes... And now that I know that you're going to listen to me vent out my frustrations... I can't help but be happy"
As she spoke those words to me, I noticed that tears had started rolling down her face. The pain that she had to endure all this time without being able to say everything... I knew how it felt... It was as if someone was stabbing you continuously without ever actually killing you.
She stood up from her seat and headed towards the seat right next to me. In that single moment, she grabbed my shoulders and I could feel her gripping me even harder and harder with every second.
"She's still trying to endure it... Why? Why suffer over others?"
Even though I had said those words about her... I was mostly talking to myself... I had endured my rage for everything that he had done to both my mother and me.
Seeing my mother crying, cursing at him for what he did had simply built my rage since I could tell... That she did love him... And it pained me knowing that...
I lifted my hand slowly and was about to gently place it on her head, but before I actually did so, I simply let my hand wait on top of it... "Is it really all right for me to do this? I am a tenant and I really haven't asked her permission to do so..."
As the thought crossed my mind, I remembered how Kuniko looked when I had heard her out. The smile she wore at being heard and comforted.
"It doesn't matter what happens... I can't let her suffer alone" I moved my hand slowly and proceeded to pat Yumiko's head slowly but surely.
"This really is weird... I'm not used to doing this to someone older then me"
As I continued doing so for a few more seconds, the once sealed off emotions that she had to endure for years quite possibly had been broken off...
She let go of my shoulder and simply clung to me. Wails of pain and sadness filled the room. Wails that only went to show how much she was hurting deep down... Just like my own mother...
"Now I can't stop... I need to see this to the end..." I continued caressing her head and as I did so, a single thought crossed my mind "Why must people use others? Why can't we live in peace with the people we love regardless of the circumstances one is in?"
"Yukari... A gentle, kind, beautiful and fun girl to be around with. Kuniko... A beautiful person, caring of others and to top it off a kindhearted person to be around with..." "And now Yumiko... Someone who cares for anyone regardless of who they are... Strict yet kind and quite possibly the best mother one could have ever wanted..."
I clenched my other hand tightly into a fist and sighed "Why must these people suffer? What did they do to eve deserve this?" I had spoken those same words when I found my mother crying in her room that night.
Why did the ones who did nothing but good have to suffer while those who did nothing but bad things get away without any incident at all? Why did this world have to be cruel?
After a few more minutes of her crying into my chest, she had stopped crying and simply clung to me, but even then, I didn't stop caressing her head... Not until I knew for a fact that she would be all right.
After another minute of us staying like that, she lightly tapped my arm to which I slowly removed it and noticed that she was proceeding to sit up right once more.
I could tell that she had balled her eyes out completely until there was nothing left "Are you all right now, Yumiko?"
"Y-Yes... Thank you and I'm sorry for-"
"Please don't worry about it. I really don't mind this" "I'm more or less used to it now"
She stared into my eyes for a bit and giggled to herself "I see" She beamed me a smile and then placed her hand on my own "Now that you've heard me... There's something that I'd like to ask of you"
"Of course, what would that be?"
"Do you mind... I-If I treat you like my son?"
"I-If you don't like it, you can decline it"
"I don't mind"
"No, besides... It'd be nice to know and see the Kuniko who'd act like a caring mother. I'm quite curious about it" I let out a chuckle and smiled at her.
She seemed to have caught on to what I was trying to get at to which she simply sighed "Don't think that I'll be nice. I'll be strict with you, got it?"
She giggled at my words and after talking for a bit more, it was finally time for me to start heading on back towards my own home. As I made my way towards the door, she called out to me "Kiyota?"
I turned to look at her and she simply started hugging me out of nowhere "Thank you for everything... Please do come by whenever you can"
"Of course, I'll do that"
She let me go and gave me a kiss on the forehead "Now go on and take care of that girlfriend of yours~"
With those words, I headed on over towards my own apartment and when I was about to open the door, it suddenly opened up and noticed Yukari standing right there "You took you're time~"
"Y-Yeah... I did"
"I hope that you haven't fallen for Kuniko or the landlady~"
"No, I haven't"
"That's good to know~" She beamed me a smile and thus the both of us made our way inside the apartment.
As I did so, I couldn't help but notice that she had finished making dinner which was somewhat surprising since I really didn't expect for her to do so, but even then I wasn't bothered by it, I was more glad then anything.
She insisted on serving me the food and once she had done so, she lightly kissed my cheek and started posing for whatever reason "I hope you like the dinner today, darling~"
"Don't you like me calling you that?"
"J-Just call me Kiyota..."
"But that's boring~!"
"It doesn't matter!
She started pouting at my words and turned the other way. Once she had served me, she started serving herself some food and the both of us simply ate together all the while laughing and talking to each other about things that had happened to us and what not.
As I finished washing the dishes, I suddenly felt her body wrap around me "I do hope that our future together is a happy one..."
"Yeah... I hope so too"
I glanced back at her and she simply smiled at me all the while nudging her face into my back.
As she did so, I let out a sigh and simply went back to drying the dishes "It will be a happy future... And I hope that it'll be one with you with me"
"Same here, darling~!"
"Again with the darling?!"
"I know that you're getting embarrassed by it~"
She giggled at my words and simply continued teasing me for the rest of the day.
Our life together had started and only time would tell what would happen. But even then, I knew that I would be there for her. Through thick and thin, I wouldn't let her suffer anymore and if possible... I would marry her and make her the happiest person ever unlike my father, the man who ruined my mother...
And thus... I helped the girl from next door from all the struggles that she had... And later on... I would come to love her even more...