Haaah– Finally, I’m done with my homework! My brain’s dead. Guhh…
Thank goodness it’s the weekend the next day, my brain cells can rest for a bit.
Let’s see... Hmm… We don’t have a scheduled Saturday class.
Maybe I should visit the bookstore to get some reading material for my literature club and browse the shelves for intriguing titles this weekend.
“. . . .”
Yep, that’s the plan! I guess I’ll check out self-help books this time.
I’ll probably ask Minori tomorrow if she’d like to go with me.
“Yuyo, Mom’s on the phone. She’s asking for you,” my brother called out.
“Got it...” I made my way down the living room.
Why couldn’t Mom just use social media if she wanted to make international calls? What a drag.
“Hello, Mom… Good evening.” I greeted after picking up the phone.
“How are you doing, Yuyo? Are you doing well in school?” My mother holds me to a high standard in terms of academic performance. It’s hardly surprising that she wants to know about it right away.
“I’m doing fine, Mom. So, too, with my studies. You should ask oniichan that question.” I sniggered at my brother, who was watching on TV.
“Brat…” My brother sneered.
“I already did. I’m glad everything is going well… By the way, send me the details on how much you will need for that school trip your brother mentioned a few days ago.”
“Why can’t I just get a part-time job? It will be less of a burden on you if I do.”
“No.” Mom’s tone turned stern. “I’m giving up a lot by living far away from both of you so that I can provide you with a better education. Your focus should be on your studies. I don’t want such part-time jobs to take you away from studying. You can work part-time after enrolling in a university, just like your brother does.”
“. . . . I understand.”
For the past year, I’ve been asking my mother to allow me to work part-time so I could earn my own money, but she constantly says no. I wouldn’t consider myself to be sheltered in that sense.
However, I feel like I haven’t been exposed to certain aspects that a person of my age should be exposed to.
Though I don't always agree with my mother's decisions, I try not to upset her, so I just go along with it. That’s why I’m focused on my studies so that I don’t fall short of my mother’s expectations.
This is the best way I can repay her. Keep doing well at school and stay out of trouble. My studies will be my top priority if I want to graduate with good standing.
“By the way, have you decided what career path you want to pursue in college?” she abruptly asked.
“N-Not yet, Mom...” I almost whispered.
“I mean, my interests are so varied that I can’t decide which one to pursue.”
“It is time to think about it, Yuyo. Your third year is just around the corner. That is something you should think about by now.”
“Yes, Mom… I will.”
“I would like to know what it is sooner rather than later... Well, I have to go. Say hello to your aunts there for me.”
“Of course, Mom. Take care...”
I sighed as I hung up the phone.
“What, you got scolded?” My brother asked.
I nodded. “Say… Sanji-onii, how did you come to choose corporate management as your undergraduate academic degree?”
“Hmm... Simply because I hope to start up my own business someday.”
“Heeh.. I see.” That’s all it takes, huh?
“Don’t sweat it, Yuyo. Your second year has only just begun. There’s still plenty of time to think this through. You can go at your own pace, okay?” My brother smiled kindly at me.
“Thank you, oniichan...” I forced a smile at him before turning back to my room.
My brother makes me wish I was like him. He almost lives up to our parents’ ideals. While he might not possess the same academic skills as I do, he’s more adept at dealing with the unpredictable nature of this world than I am.
It would be great to have more practical knowledge than what I have learned so far.
Haaah... I need to figure out what I want to do with my life as soon as possible.
I wonder… If Dad is still alive, how would he react if he knew I had trouble deciding what I wanted to do?
“. . . .”
I miss you, Dad…
“Minori, wanna go to the bookshop with me tomorrow?” I made my way over to her seat.
“Of course! Perfect timing… I’m also trying to find references for college mock exams.”
“Ehh?! Mock exams are still a long way off, we’re still in May... Uhh… Honestly, you’re incredible, Minori. Your career goal is already unquestionably visible in your mind while I... Haah...” I heaved a sigh.
It’s the same thing again, just when I thought I’d slept it off last night.
Nevertheless, Minori is really awesome. She hopes to become a grade school teacher someday.
This is causing me a great deal of pressure. Maybe I should ask Kuroda-sensei for some advice one of these days. As our homeroom teacher, she might be able to offer more insight.
“Considering you’re good at rationalizing things, why don’t you take it into account to help you decide which career path to take?” Minori suggested.
I cocked my head to my right while keeping my arms crossed in contemplation. “Hmm... That makes sense, too. Then, I may need to look for some reference books on this as well. Perhaps those will help.”
“Can I tag along?” Kyashii butted in since her desk was just behind Minori.
“No, you can’t,” I answered immediately without even looking at her.
“Huh?! Why?!” She exclaimed in shock.
“I’m joking, I’m joking… Of course, you can.” I puffed up my cheeks and turned my narrowed eyes at her.
“I can’t even tell if you’re kidding or not!” Kyashii’s pouting at me. “Minori, I can tag along, right?”
Minori let out a soft laugh. “You certainly can, Kyashii-chan. Your best friend is just deliberately picking on you.”
“Yeah, she can be a bully to me at times. Hmph! Thank you, Minori.” Kyashii then frowned at me.
I couldn’t contain my smile at her reaction. “We just dropped by the bookstore a couple of days ago. Do you still need to buy some?”
“Not that I really need anything. On the flip side, if I come tomorrow, I might be able to look for more cookery books because I’ll have more time to browse for them.”
I see... Cookbooks again, huh? Her enthusiasm for cooking is undeniable, no doubt about it.
“While you’re at it, why don’t you try to look for math guides as well?”
“Why?” she asked, wiggling an eyebrow at me.
“Because you’re struggling with it?”
“Hmph! It’s not like I aim to become a mathematician or anything requiring math. Plus, I have a decent math grade, so I don’t need it.”
“Huh? Exactly what kind of reasoning is that?”
“Well, you’re in my corner... Besides, I’m thinking about becoming a chef or cooking teacher, so I should put my money where it is most useful.”
“Ohh... It turns out you can actually be practical after all. And here I thought you keep squandering your money on something as frivolous as that underwear.”
“Haaah...?! That’s something important, you clueless dummy!” she snaps at me.
“What?! I know underwear is essential, but I’m talking about–”
Why are we fighting over that again?
Jeez! I uttered a nonsense remark, and Kyashii won’t back down when it comes to that issue.
Minori is laughing at us. Whenever Kyashii and I squabble over little things, I feel like we’re making a fool of ourselves.
“You both look adorable when you’re fighting like this...” Minori’s smiling sweetly at us.
“You’re far too kind to call us adorable. You can be completely honest and just tell us that we look stupid. Even I know that much.” I retorted.
She simply laughed again.
“That aside, I think it’s also great that you’ve already chosen your career path, Kyashii.” I turn to commend Kyashii.
Kyashii smiled at me.
Both my friends and my brother are incredible in this regard. They know exactly what they want to accomplish in the future.
I can’t believe I have ignored this thought for so long while my friends have been seriously considering it.
Haahh... It would be nice if I could decide on that sooner. Those who already know what they want to do with their future at such young age are amazing.
Just wishful thinking, but I wish I were one of them.
The three of us met at the subway station at 10 in the morning the following day. As it’s the weekend, there are already a lot of people around.
Hmm... This could be a bit draining again.
But let’s just enjoy this weekend with my friends.
I walked next to Kyashii and Minori as we head to the bookstore. As we were getting close to the store, we noticed an oddly placed mannequin outside one of the shops.
“What’s up with that mannequin over there? It doesn’t seem like there’s a clothing store nearby.” I asked. Minori and Kyashii looked equally confused.
“Beats me,” Kyashii replied.
“Ignoring that, let’s make a beeline for the bookstore.” Minori picked up her pace, sprinting ahead of us.
“Hey, what’s the rush?”
We tried to catch up with Minori but as soon as we got closer to the mannequin, it started moving and turned towards us!
“Hyyaaahh!!” I think I screamed at the top of my lungs as I frantically hugged Kyashii with my feet jiggling and pressed my face against her shoulder!
My heart feels like it's about to leap out of my chest because of that moving mannequin!
“That surprised me!” I overheard Minori giggling.
I gradually shifted my eyes to the mannequin, only to find that it was actually a man playing a joke on us.
I instinctively scoured the area for a cameraman…. Lo and behold, there was one!
We seem to run into content creators who film people for fun and upload them to the internet for revenue.
Arghh! This isn’t funny at all!
I mean… I know they’re not doing anything illicit here other than just earning a living, but still– Urgh! I just can’t handle it!
“I’m almost on the verge of having a heart attack...” I pouted at the mannequin person who was laughing at us as he clasped his hands and bent his head as if to apologize.
“Yuyo, if you don’t let go of Kyashii, she might end up having a heart attack as well,” Minori said.
“Aahh!! I’m sorry, Kyashii!” I immediately stepped away from Kyashii, who looked like she was about to go into cardiac arrest from holding her breath. “Are you alright?! I’m so sorry….”
Did I squeeze her too tightly? But why was she even trying to hold her breath in the first place?
“U-uhh... It’s fine, Yuyo! I’m just as surprised as you are.” She drew a deep breath. “Hooh! Minori, don’t you think it’s a little hot in here?” Kyashii dashed towards Minori.
“Ehh…? Ooh~ Yeah... I guess it is, Kyashii-chan.” A cheeky smile lit up Minori’s face.
Is it? But it doesn’t seem to be particularly hot right now.
I turned my attention back to the mannequin guy because he was gesturing a thumbs up at me this time.
What was that for?
I simply waved at him with a sigh. “That was quite a jump scare, Mannequin-san. Have a good day.”