My Government-Issued Girlfriend Can't Be This Cute!
"You’re 25 and your room looks like this?"
The stunning, brunette-haired girl in my doorway peered inside, like some cautious kid outside a predator's candy shop. Her fingers fiddled with the lollipop stick between her lips as she crept into my domain.
"Huh? What's wrong my room?" I replied, crossing my arms in beige sleeves.
"Real talk? No wonder you couldn't cop a real girlfriend—big obvious you needed one handed to you."
"Anecdotal deductions won't get you very far."
"See? Lost cause!"
Lost cause? I had a job, didn't I? And a stylish, big home? Well it was my parent's house but I'd lived alone—until now.
Keiko Asagiri had light-tan skin that complimented her burgundy, leather jacket. A gray shirt underneath boasted a startlingly large V-neck, while tight short shorts didn't leave much to the imagination. Black knee socks gave her a distinct style that looked akin to something a high schooler would wear.
She casually bent over and grabbed a figure from my shelf. "This chick kind of looks like me, and her style is cute. Bet you'd get off if I cosplayed her."
"Sorry, I'm kinda hard to impress." My green eyes glanced over Asagiri's body. "Your chest is a bit bigger than hers but—"
"Ehhh? I just got here and you're already comparing me to other chicks? Guess my competition isn't stiff though, much." She tinkered with the figure before returning it to my shelf.
My room was the smallest in the house but jammed full of uselessness: anime girl figures on shelves, in glass cases, in boxes, everywhere. I had white walls, but anime posters eclipsed 90% of them—even my curtains showed off 2D babes.
Asagiri stared up at the ceiling. "Bro, what the fuck."
My walls ran out of space years ago, so I started taping posters above as well. Most were from my favorite games, like Azure Mane and Purrso-nyaa.
"I don't have too much to spend money on," I bashfully said.
"Weird flex, but ok." She started exploring my room again. "What's in here?"
"Wait, wait, stop!"
Her fingers tugged on a drawer—adjacent to that bottle's drawer—and she pulled out a cat ears headband. "Is this your kink, Nishikata?"
Phew. "Oh, those belonged to a friend. She came over and just forgot about them."
"Color me surprised, you actually brought girls in here?"
"It was back in high school. I don't talk to her as much anymore for, uh, reasons."
"Hmmm . . . " She slipped the brown cat ears onto her head. They blended in nicely. "Since I'm your girlfriend now, I'm gonna be commandeering these."
I never thought I'd hear someone call themself that. I'd been friends with multiple girls in my life, and still was, but my awkwardness earlier on made things tough. There wasn't much going for me now besides an anime room I should charge admission into.
"I'll look for your onaholes and porn some other time," she said. "Let's head downstairs for the legal mumbo jumbo."
Probably not worth lying to her. "Why was my room the first thing you wanted to see anyway?"
"Gotta see if you raise any red flags, and shit you raised a lot, but you’re not ugly so it balances out."
Compliments from girls weren't rare. Usually they’d be followed by "how are you still single?", and in my head I’d be screaming 'why don’t you help fix that?'' Now the vicious cycle had led me here—to this sassy, barely 18-year-old girl I was gonna spend the next year with.
"Well, I’m relieved you’re not ugly either,” I said with snark.
"Compliments won’t get you anything. Feeding me good food, now that’s something I can scratch you back for." She made a loud sucking noise as she pulled the red lollipop from her mouth. “Just don’t get your hopes up."
We were greeted by our spacious, second-floor hallway. My otakuness was confined to my room, so everything outside stayed normie. White walls were covered in family pictures instead of cute anime girls—truly a travesty.
"Hmmm, this you?" she said. "Pretty cute looking as a kid. What happened?"
"Didn't you just say I wasn't ugly earlier?"
She inspected a photo of me at the park when I was ten. My spiky, black hair hadn’t changed much from back then, and I was still fond of flannels like the beige one I currently wore. If someone looked closely at the photo, they'd see mom’s reflection in my emerald eyes as she snapped the picture.
"You like your men in snack size?" I teased Asagiri. "Probably wanna keep that to yourself."
"What about you? I’m kinda short. If you’re fine with me for a GiG, who knows what you fap to."
"I don’t masturbate to lolis."
"Ah, but you do masturbate then. Heh."
As we hiked downstairs and made our way into the living room, she took herself on another tour. “Nice place. Kinda wasted on you though.”
It was an upper middle-class home, furnished with stainless-steel appliances and contemporary furniture even discerning eyes would be impressed by. I kept everything clean while my parents worked overseas—how convenient.
"Mi casa es su casa." I directed her to the leather couch.
"Chupa mi verga, guey," she said as she sat down.
"Oh, it means 'I’m happy to be here,' yeah."
My butt plopped onto a reclining chair across from her. Asagiri reached into her shorts and pulled out a slip of paper; a few folds later, an airplane glided over to me.
"You know what to do: unfurl and read all that crap off," she said. "I’m gonna record you and send it to my manager."
Blurry text that looked like her printer was running out of ink made reading difficult. "Is this really necessary?"
"It is if you want a girlfriend. Now give me a good show, Nishikata." The phone in her hand positioned itself to record.
I sighed and started reading: “Hello client. If you're reading this, you have already passed a background check and been approved for Japan’s Government-Issued Girlfriend Program. Herein lies the basic terms you must abide for your tenure:
“One. Unless consent is explicitly given, you are not permitted any physical contact with the government-issued girlfriend (GiG).
“Two. For the year-long duration of your tenure, you are obligated to maintain your GiG with food, shelter, healthcare, and other necessities.
“To the above effect, you've already been accepted into the GiG program based on your age, current residence, job status, and public record. It is expected you provide adequate care for your GiG.
“Three. Conversely, you will have no expectations of your GiG. In training they are encouraged to help around your home but aren’t required to do so.
“Four. The GiG may cease your tenure at any time for any reason. However, you may also cease her contract at will and a replacement may be issued. In either case, you will not be compensated."
I’m not getting compensated anyway! I thought, and resumed reading.
“Thank you for participating in the GiG program. We hope your labors will bear fruit and reveal the beauties of life.”
"See? That wasn't so hard; cheer up." Asagiri said as she tucked her phone away.
Hearing her sarcasm was a bit grating. "So basically: you're gonna mooch off of me for a year and I get nothing back?"
"What are ya' talking about? You get a girlfriend in return! Isn't that what you signed up for?"
"I knew the terms already, but I'm kinda regretting things now."
"Hey, that hurts. I don't get anything out of this either besides free food, free rent—oh and the government pays for all of my college later. See, nothing."
"Ughhh." I facepalmed. Was I really desperate enough to sign up for a girlfriend I'm not allowed to even touch? Maybe I'd have better luck asking out coworkers again.
'However, you may also cease her contract at will . . .'
It wasn't too late to call everything off. I did have excess money, but it could go towards more productive things like doujins and anime girl figures. Or heck, maybe I'd chuck some donations at VTubers. Whoever said money can't buy happiness must've been high.
"Geez, you're taking this way too seriously," she said, sitting back. "Lighten up man."
Honestly, is she really worth it? A slight hint of cleavage from her loose, V-neck shirt activated some neurons.
I gulped. Yeah, it's better for both our sanities I call this off. She's cute, but if the best I'd get is holding her hand in public—definitely not worth it. Who knew how much money she was gonna wring out of me anyway? She hadn't earned any trust either so why should I—
A blur dashed out from across the room. My old, black cat strolled up to Asagiri and eyed her curiously.
"Hey, Furbolt! What are you doing?" I yelled.
"Furbolt? Weird name," Asagiri said, hunching over.
"Oh, uh, it's from one of my favorite novels. I kinda read a lot."
"Hmmm . . . " Her vibrant, azure eyes eyed my kitty back. Asagiri bent forward to pick him up.
"Careful, he only lets the most trustworthy people—"
She picked up and effortlessly brought him to her lap. Furbolt was already purring before soft, feminine hands started petting him all over.
"Nyaa! Nyaa!" Asagiri said, still clad in those cat ears.
Impossible. Furbolt wouldn't even let me pick him up, yet he just prostrated himself for a stranger—but my sister knew how to utilize him. Furbolt apparently warned her about bad boyfriends in the past, not to mention that the only other person this cat's shown affection towards was for the one woman I regretted not pursuing harder.
Fine, fine. I get the message, damn cat.
Asagiri sat up with Furbolt on her lap. An aura of both comical villain and literal goddess radiated from her. "So, where am I sleeping?" she said.