“Wake up… Please, Iwa Oniicha-“
“.! Guh! … Why am I’m dreaming about her even though I don’t know who’s she is! Is it because she called me Oniichan?! ARRGGGHH.! SO frustrating!”
“… I need to talk about this with him.”
A two-story western-style house three blocks from mine, is Koni's house. he's the son of a diplomat and also the chief nun in Rengar city centre . What makes me lazy to go to his home is that there's a maid who always mocks and teases me once I visit.
I was standing in front of the gates. A little red button on my right and I touched it. At that instant, a laser shot towards my face.
I patiently waited for the laser scanned my face, I heard a robotic voice “Face ID detected. No. 2334, Iwa Hiroto.” Then Koni's voice said that he was inside. The Gate of the House, which was about half the scale of my house, opened by itself.
“…As usual, I'm still amazed by the technology in this house.” I mumbled as I walked towards his house.
Surrounded by trees and flower gardens, the atmosphere around the house feels very comfortable and cozy. It took about 5 minutes to get to the doorstep.
I felt all the hairs on my neck get up. It is sort of a deer that has been stalked by a tiger. I muttered to myself “Ah… It's her again” while walking away from the door feeling uneasy.
"Ah! Iwakun, long time no see. How are you now? Are you still afraid to talk to me?” Greet Franceska, one among the maids who work on the Koni residence and also the one I hate the most.
With a cheerful face and waving her hand, Franceska ran to me and dragged me into the house.
“Hey, hey, Iwakun. Why did you just come today? I miss you, hehe.”
I didn't answer her question. My chest was pounding and, like grilled squid, my face turned red. My head felt dizzy and I wanted to run off from it. These are the symptoms I'm sure to experience if I get too near women.
"Boo...! Why are you always silent and keeping your head down? I am unable to see your sweet face that always turns red when you're next to me."
“…P-Please T-take your h-hand off p-please. I-it's hard to walk I-if you keep dragging me l-like this.”
“Ehhh… Even though we just met after almost a week you didn't visit” With a slight frown, Franceska let go of my hand and freed me. It's really very uncomfortable to be around women I thought.
To get into Koni's room, I had to walk to the room on the far right of the 2nd floor. Silence accompanied my every step because I parted from Franceska on the first floor.
"K-kon, I'm in." I said after knocking on his door and seeing that he was busy playing a survival game on his computer.
"Oh, hi Iwa. Wait a second, right now I'm focused on winning this match. You can sit anywhere, there's frozen dessert in the fridge if you're hungry." He said while watching the monitor screen. I casually watched him play while eating the frozen dessert from the fridge.
"How many matches have you played today?" I asked after throwing away the vanilla frozen dessert wrapper and that I continued to eat the potato chips that were already opened.
“Erm… maybe around 5 matches”
“*nom* *nom* …Winrate?”
“20%. My team is noob."
“Pff… Just say you cannot carry them, hehe.”
“…If you come here just to make fun of me, you better head home.”
“WTF DUDE.! S-sorry, I'm kidding. I'm actually here to talk about something important."
"Yesterday I was called by a mysterious woman. He said strange things, like calling me Oniichan and saying I hope we can talk again.”
After listening to that, Konu removed her hands from the mouse and keyboard, then turned to me with a pretty serious face.
“W-What did you just say?”
“…I was calle-”
“After that part!”
"I-I'm called Oniichan?"
Konu was silent. I do not know what happened, but my hunch saying something bad will happen. By slightly shifting back towards the door, I attempted to get out of the quiet and strange atmosphere.
“A-Alright Konu, If you feel I've bothered you, I'll take my leave. S-See you t-"
As fast as lightning, I felt an excruciating pain in my stomach! I don't know what happened. The warmth and nausea that rolled up in my stomach made me want to throw up. I lay on my two feet holding my stomach. I saw Konu was in front of me with his tright hand clenched very tightly.
“U-ughh… W-What are you d-doing… Konu…!!!”
"Kuh! Why are you called Oniichan…WHY IS AN INTROVERT WHO CAN'T CHAT WITH SINGLE WOMAN CALLED ONIICHAN BY A STRANGER?!… I'M SO ENVIED.!”
“I ALSO WANT TO BE CALLED ONIICHAN! BUT WHY… WHY NOBODY CALLS ME LIKE THAT!” Konu shouted while shaking my already helpless body.
“Ha ha.. T-thank you Konu, Thanks to your punch earlier, I was able to catch up with my grandmother who was on the other side… ha ha…”
“W-WAIT! Don't follow her! That's not your Grandma! Forget it! Tell me more about Oniichan just now!...Hoi!...”
My head feels dizzy. I saw a white ceiling decorated with a luxurious gold chandelier. I don't remember what happened to me. Last time I remembered that I was in Koni's room to talk about something.
"Ah! Iwa-kun! Thank goodness you're awake. Here, I brought a drink."
“…Franceska-san, where am I?”
"You're in my room right now. You fell unconscious in front of Mr. Konu's room. Take a break, I'll call the young master." He said after leaving the tray filled with medicine, small towels and mineral water.
“This room is smaller than Konu's room…” I mumbled after taking the medicine and wiping the sweat off my neck.
There were two bookshelves in the middle of the room facing each other, scattered books, and papers that looked like important documents.
"To think that Franceska-san likes to read... I'd better tidy this place up as a thank you." I muttered as I picked up some scattered books and documents to return them to their place. After almost everything was neatly arranged, I saw a book with a brown cover with floral motifs around it. With the words "Albume" in the middle, and "Franseska Eido" below it, I know that this is her personal album.
Curiosity to know the contents of the photo album suddenly approached.
"I'm sorry, Franseska-san." I muttered as I slowly opened the album.
I saw photos of her when she was little. Plenty of photos with friends from grade school to college. I can feel how warm each of those photos, which contain beautiful memories on every page. Until I've reached the last page, and shut the album.
"Would I be able to feel youth like what Franceska-san felt, and have many memories of many people..." I muttered as I returned the album to the table next to the bed.
“Iwa! Forgive me! I didn't mean to hit you just now!” Suddenly Konu's voice came from outside the room, together with Franceska-san next to her.
"Eh? Hit me?” I tilted my head in disbelief.
“…Sigh, Forget that. Immediately go to my room. We'll talk about what you're here for." Konu said flatly as he turned towards his room. I silently followed him and walked out of Franceska-san's room.
“…Thank you for cleaning up my room.” She whispered after I passed him outside.
“N-no problem.” I said while covering my red face.
After I reached Konu's room, I told her everything that happened yesterday.
"I don't know what to say, this is absolutely impossible." Konu said while brewing hot tea.
"Here, have a drink."
I drank the tea and continued.
"There's just one thing on my mind. Stalkers."
“Stalker you say? Well, Iwa. Who wants to follow an introvert like you? What's more, it is a girl!… But, we don't have the other logical explanation.”
After a while of thinking, Finally we both agreed that it had been a sort of stalker and didn't really mind it. But actually, I'm still wondering who and what the mysterious woman's purpose is.
It was getting late when I was on my way home. The sound of birds chirping and the sky slowly changing color from yellow to golden to dark blue, made me realize that the day was almost over.
“…It would be a shame if I went home now.” I said while taking a detour towards the hill.
I don't know what happened to me today. Normally, it would never occur to me that I would take a detour like this. I leave the house if there is a definite purpose. Like going to school, to Koni's house, or to other places that I really need.
"To think I came here alone." I muttered while enjoying the view of the city from the top of Ferna hill. The transition from golden yellow to colorful lights starting to light up from all over the city made me feel relaxed. Anxious feeling who always thought about the mysterious woman, as if being carried away by the light of the sun that had left the earth. After feeling quite satisfied, I walked down the hill and headed home.
"Welcome son. Where have you been?" Asked my mother, who turned out to be already home and saw that dinner was neatly served at the dining table. I forgot that today is Sunday, so my mom came home from work earlier than usual.
"From Konu's house." I said flatly after washing my hands and facing each other at the dining table.
My mother's miso soup and fried mackerel are my second favorites after Omurice. The clear gravy rich in umami warms the throat, combined with the softness of the tofu that has been cut into mouth-sized cubes. Don't forget the crispness of the mackerel skin that wraps the soft flesh of the fish itself, making the rice in the mouth blend into a very delicious soft harmony. Covered with green tea makes tonight's dinner very delicious.
My smartphone vibrated after I washed the dishes and headed for the living room.
“Ufufu… You look really cute, Oniichan~”. A short message accompanied by a photo of me when I was at Ferna hill earlier made my mood change drastically. I really can't believe he followed me and took my picture there without me knowing.
“ What do you want from me?” I answered after I ran to my room and locked the door. I sat on the bed waiting for a reply from the “Stalker”.
More than 30 minutes the "Stalker" didn't reply, so I decided to turn off the phone and sleep.
That morning I was surprised by 41 missed calls, and a voicemail after turning on my smartphone.
"Why did you turn off your cell phone? Honestly, I'm hurt, Oniichan. Even though you told me first that you liked me and promised to marry me when I grew up."
I felt again the same feeling as when I saw the photo in the little box.
"What are you saying?! I'll never know or remember who you are! Let alone make a promise like that!” I replied. My head was so dizzy that I lay in bed again until my mother came.
"Time to go son. Huh? Why are you lying in your school uniform?” My mother asked in surprise.
“…I just feel dizzy. Erm, may I ask you something?” I said as I tried to get up and sit down.
My mother, who heard that, then helped me to sit up, and she was next to me hugging me. "What do you want? Are you having a problem? Talk to Mom."
This time, I didn't refuse her embrace. I felt very calm and felt the warmth of his body.
“…Did I ever have friends other than Konu? In the last few days, I dreamed of playing with someone other than him as a child." I said.
“As I recall, you played with Konu most of the time. Maybe the other person you mean is a sign that you will make new friends later. After all, the dream is the flower of sleep. So don't think too much about it." My mother said as she let go of me and invited me to have breakfast together.