As I laid in my bed, I contemplated what happened between Camryn and me.
I guess this is for the better. No matter how tough she has gotten by living alone, she is still a kid that should be sheltered. Thus, I will follow Connie’s request and care for her. How long? I am not sure and I don't really mind, but I am guessing until Camryn feels she can finally reunite with her parents.
Speaking of her parents, how are they? During that confrontation, Camryn mentioned that she has been like that for six months. So they became destitute rather recently huh? I should not really dig into their personal issues. The problem right now is that Camryn, a 14-year-old kid, was separated from her family and needs adult supervision, and I am providing her with that. And not just supervision, but I will protect her — like Connie requests.
But… other than that…
As I continued to remember, I felt… Well, I do not know. As I thought about the things I said to Camryn, I closed my eyes tight. When I did, I felt… my left shoulder throb with pain.
“I-I am… sorry… I am so sorry…”
But… Connie requested this so I need to repress this feeling.
Ah, another beautiful day, isn’t it? What? There are no windows in this room so I can’t tell whether it’s beautiful or not? Shush! Well, that’s the truth, but still — shush!
I woke up in my bed in my room in my condo — well, I guess Mr Morales’ and my condo. I sat up on my bed wearing another pair of Mr Morales’ smaller clothes. I raised my arms high above my head to stretch.
Sorry, I’m being annoyingly bright this early in the morning, right? Well, it can’t be helped because I am feeling annoyingly bright. I mean, a place to live in with no charge? It was… surreal to me — but not in a bad way. It’s just… I’ve never met someone so accepting as Mr Morales. To welcome me unconditionally — I was so happy. But how long can I stay here? Until he gets bored of me? What if that happens? What if he changes his mind and realizes that I’m just freeloading? What if…
No! I can’t allow my head to be filled with these “what ifs”. I am happy! Just… busy yourself with something.
Oh, I have to prepare lunch for Mr Morales right? No wait, today is his day off. Then… I should greet him.
I jumped out of bed and exited through the door. I walked down the hallway — look at that gorgeous sun! I turned my head and there he was. Mr Morales was working on his laptop at the dining table — similar to how he was when I first properly met him.
I wasn’t artificially cloying, but I was genuinely appreciative.
“Hello! Good morning Mr Morales!”
He looked at me.
“O-Oh… Good… afternoon, Camryn.”
I turned around to look at the digital clock on the metal box under the television.
“Wait, I slept around 10, right?”
“Then… I slept for about 15 hours!?”
“That is right.”
That's longer than how long I usually sleep! At the most, I get 5-7 hours of sleep, but 15? Why did I sleep for so long?
I walked up to Mr Morales.
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
“I guess there was no reason to.”
“That’s… I could’ve done other important things in that time!”
He shrugged again.
“Sleep is also important.”
“I… guess that’s true.”
“You, um, looked like you were having a peaceful slumber so I did not think I should have interrupted you.”
“O-Oh… I see. In that case…”
“I apologize and thank you.”
“Oh, that is not necessary. B-Besides, you look refreshed after your sleep. I mean, the black circles under your eyes are gone.”
I rushed to the bathroom to check the mirror, and sure enough, they were gone. Woah! Not to brag, but I look even prettier than before. My resting face usually makes me look like I’m sad or angry, but now I look slightly less sad or angry.
I went back to the kitchen and found Mr Morales coming back to the table with two plates.
“I guessed that you would awaken around this time, so I prepared a dish that is usually eaten at brunch — omurice.”
“Oh, thanks for the meal.”
Mr Morales nodded and I sat in my spot.
I took a bite and… the taste was boring but inoffensive and that other salty taste was still there. But even though the meal tasted the same as usual, I loved it.
We finished and I was satisfied.
“Thank you for the meal!”
I rose from my spot and picked up my plate. I reached for Mr Morales’ but stopped when he spoke to me
“Oh, are you not done? I’m just gonna wash them.”
He shook his head.
“Camryn, you do not have to consider yourself as my personal housekeeper anymore. Assuming that role was your way of compensating, right? Well, that will not be necessary.”
Oh, that’s right. So, I’m no longer a personal housekeeper. But, this “job” didn't really feel like work to me. The condo is already barren and it is just the two of us living here, right?
“Then… Then don’t consider it as work. Instead, think of it as me showing my appreciation to you for letting me stay here.”
Mr Morales obliged.
“Sure. But when there are more chores, do not do them all and let me do some, okay?
Mr Morales nodded, but instead of going back to his laptop, he stood up and walked towards me. He put a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
“Also… I will serve you whenever you need.”
Mr Morales seemed to avert his eyes. I think he does this when he is being nice. Embarrassment? Maybe not.
“I will care for you. You can live here until you feel like you are ready to leave. I will provide you with food, and if you have any issues, I will do my best to resolve them. I am not sure if you can smile here, but I want you to at the very least relax, okay?”
That sounds really nice. But he said I can live here until I am ready to leave, right? Honestly, I am not sure how long that will be…
“Then… Thank you, and I am in your care!”
Mr Morales nodded.
I was grateful. To have someone show this level of care for me… I’m indebted to Mr Morales… Mr Morales?
“Um… I have a question.”
“C-Can I can you by your first name? Mr Morales is… I guess it's longer to say.
That wasn’t a lie, but it also wasn’t the main reason.
“Really? T-Thank you… um… R-Ren. Thank you, Ren.”
And so, I am living with Ren. I think that means I am his housemate. Anyway, I can’t wait to see how our life continues going forward. I hope I can get away from the hard life I’ve been living and instead fill it with good times.
Ren… It’s a nice name...