Chapter 31:

Connie Capperman: Introduction Part 1

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“Oh, Ren?”Bookmark here

As I was about to reveal my choice, I was interrupted. A friendly-looking man was walking towards us.Bookmark here

“Heya, Ren Ren! What’s up?”Bookmark here

Huh? Who is this guy? He was a man that was about the same height as Ren but slightly shorter. His hair was a dark brown colour that was about the same length as Ren’s but was shorter and neatly combed. He was wearing a casual outfit of brown joggers and a blue short-sleeved button-up shirt. And despite his warm smile, he… um… how do I put it? He sorta intimidated me…Bookmark here

He talked casually without noticing me.Bookmark here

“So Ren, how are you doing?”Bookmark here

“Oh, I am good, thanks.”Bookmark here

“Ah, splendid! How have things been lately? Is everything good? How’s work?”Bookmark here

“Same.”Bookmark here

“Oh, and Bailey?Bookmark here

“Same as usual.”Bookmark here

“Really? Oh, and…”Bookmark here

We just met with this guy and he’s already bombarding Ren with questions? They’re not harmful or meaningful questions by any means, but there were still a number of them. He’s acting childlike, but isn’t he a bit too old to be doing so? Wait, the girl that ran off and got excited about the first interesting thing she saw shouldn’t be talking.Bookmark here

“Great! And how’s the boss? I’ve… never met him, but he’s great, right?”Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

“I see! And what about...”Bookmark here

He seems to be rather friendly with Ren, huh? Speaking of which, I don’t know much about his social life. The only thing I know about Ren is that he is smart and polite, works at a well-paying company called Comeffecient, and lives here in the city of Tronito. But I don’t know much about his extrapersonal life…Bookmark here

Maybe I should introduce myself. He sort of intimidates me, but he doesn’t seem harmful.Bookmark here

“U-Um… Hello…”Bookmark here

The man and Ren turned to look at me.Bookmark here

The man looked at me and tilted his head in question.Bookmark here

“Oh… Hello. Hm… Say, are you with Ren here?”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, that’s right.”Bookmark here

The man turned to face Ren and put on a playful smile.Bookmark here

“Yeah, of course you wouldn’t be carrying around a bag of women’s underwear for yourself!”Bookmark here

The man jokingly patted Ren’s left shoulder lightly.Bookmark here

“So Ren, who is this girl? Or should I assume you should be arrested?”Bookmark here

I think I can see why you’d assume that, but you shouldn’t!Bookmark here

“Right. This is Camryn, the girl I told you about three days ago.”Bookmark here

So I was a topic of conversation three days ago, huh?Bookmark here

“Ooh, how precise…”Bookmark here

The man turned to me.Bookmark here

“Ah, so you’re Camryn. Nice to meet you!”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah, nice to meet you too…”Bookmark here

I couldn’t maintain eye contact with someone so bright.Bookmark here

“So, I heard about your situation… You know, you’re very lucky to have met Ren...”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah. I’m very grateful…”Bookmark here

“Yeah, he’s a hopeless man that’ll stay a virgin for the rest of his life!”Bookmark here

I… see… I... don’t really know how to respond to that…Bookmark here

I chuckled, but it was obvious that it was fake. I’m sorry, I just don’t know how to respond…Bookmark here

I turned my head to Ren, expecting him to be annoyed. And he… wasn’t? Instead, he was showing the same expressionless face. I’m pretty sure this man’s comment was a diss. Maybe he was joking and Ren probably knows it.Bookmark here

“Oh, and you’re lucky that you found someone so… compassionate and caring as Ren. I mean, to take in a poor homeless girl?”Bookmark here

The man turned to Ren.Bookmark here

“Ah, the story is just so heartwarming! I mean, if people heard, they’d be chatting about it for years — a number one highest-grossing film idea!”Bookmark here

Calm down, sir!Bookmark here

Ren was… still showing the same emotionless expression.Bookmark here

After a small sarcastic chuckle, I asked a question aimed at either one of them.Bookmark here

“S-So… Who is this man?”Bookmark here

The man turned his head from me and looked at Ren. Bookmark here

“Wanna introduce me? I mean, you suck at introductions, but go ahead.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh… Sure. So Camryn, this is Connie Capperman. He is an old classmate from high school and university.”Bookmark here

Connie? Is that not a girl’s name?Bookmark here

The man turned again for what seemed like the hundredth time and extended his hand towards me. Bookmark here

“Allow me to add something — I’m an old friend from high school and university. In fact, I’m his best friend! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”Bookmark here

Best friend? Um… Judging by Ren’s face, this fact seemed false — they did not seem congenial with each other. But oh well. Maybe it’s one of those relationships that seem one-sided on the surface but is actually not. Hm...Bookmark here

I extended my hand to shake his.Bookmark here

“Um… Y-Yeah, a pleasure to meet you too, Mr Capperman.”Bookmark here

“Oh? Mr Capperman? Nah, don’t you think that’s kinda long? My first name is fine.”Bookmark here

“O-Okay… M-Mr Connie...”Bookmark here

“Nah, the Mr isn’t necessary either. I mean, we don’t have a boss-employee or teacher-student relationship. Just Connie is fine.”Bookmark here

“I see… O-Okay… Connie.”Bookmark here

This man is really warm and inviting. He allowed me to call him by his first name after our first meeting. But… Deep inside, I was still wary of him. Regardless of his attitude, he was still a stranger to me.Bookmark here

Connie turned to Ren.Bookmark here

“So Ren, I take it you’re here for dinner.”Bookmark here

“Correct.”Bookmark here

“I see, I see… Then let’s eat together — the three of us. I mean, I haven’t eaten yet either.”Bookmark here

“Sure. Camryn, are you okay with that?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, yeah, sure.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

We dove into the sea of tables. Since it was a weekend, it was pretty easy to find an open spot. We were at a table that sat four people, with me next to a seat that held our bags, Ren across from me, and Connie in the other seat.Bookmark here

“Okay! So, did everyone decide on what to eat?”Bookmark here

Connie suddenly asked.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah. Well, I actually never had anything from here. B-But…”Bookmark here

I turned to point at a restaurant behind me.Bookmark here

“But the food at that restaurant looks good! I’ll try that.”Bookmark here

Finally, the long-awaited reveal of what I wanted.Bookmark here

“Ah, Chinese food? What a coincidence, I want that too! Anything specific?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh? I was thinking about the fried rice and chicken combo…”Bookmark here

“I see… I want the beef noodle soup.”Bookmark here

Wait, why are you telling us your order? Is Ren paying? Sorry, but I can’t pay…Bookmark here

“How about you, Ren?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh? Um… I was thinking of getting the same thing as you…”Bookmark here

Connie tilted his head in question.
“You sure, man?”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah.”Bookmark here

Ren seemed a bit hesitant. But isn’t that how he usually talks? I mean, he mostly talked that way to me during our shopping trip…Bookmark here

“Aye, sounds good. Well… have fun!”Bookmark here

“Oh, should I pay?”Bookmark here

“What? Of course not.”Bookmark here

Connie pulled something from his wallet in his pocket. It was a card.Bookmark here

“You heard our orders, right? Can you get them for us? I’ll pay; just tap the card.”Bookmark here

“Sure.”Bookmark here

Ren got up and turned to me.Bookmark here

“This will take a few minutes.”Bookmark here

Ren left, leaving Connie and me alone together at this table…Bookmark here

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