Chapter 57:

Long Coming Reunion

Couple That Can't Touch

On Saturday evening, only one day after Kawahara-san and Tarō-san announced their relationship change, Suzuka called me.

"Evening!" she gleefully greeted me.

"Good evening."

"How are you? What were you doing?"

"I'm good. I was playing phone games in bed."

"Sorry for interrupting," she giggled.

"It's fine. It's always fun to talk with you."

She didn't say anything for a moment.

"I-It's fun to talk with you, too. So, I'm sorry I might be about to ruin your relaxing day."

"What do you mean?"

"I told my parents and Makoto about your sister. They instantly agreed to help you, so they invited her to have lunch. Tomorrow noon."

A little anxiety quickly kicked in; mostly because it was going to happen so soon. At the same time, it was relieving to know we were going to meet again, whether with a good or a bad outcome.


"Sorry, I was thinking. Does Otsune know that I'm going to be there?"

"She doesn't."

"Okay. I'll try not to worry too much."

"Good. I didn't want to tell you now so that you could sleep well, but it was going to be worse if I told you only a couple of hours prior."

"Yes, it was better to tell me now, even though I might not sleep that well."

"Yeah…. Do you want to chat?"


We spent three hours chatting about many topics. It didn't matter if they were important or not, as long as we had something to talk about. I fell asleep shortly after ending the call and woke up late in the morning. Only then did I realize that chatting with Suzuka had distracted me enough to be able to sleep without thinking about Otsune. Still, there were a few hours remaining before I would meet them for lunch, so I couldn't stop myself from thinking about Otsune for that time.

One hour before noon, I took the train and walked to Suzuka's house. I rang the bell and Yu-tan opened the door.


"Hello, Yu-tan. Can I come in?"

She happily nodded. I stepped inside and she closed the door behind me. We took a few steps to arrive at the living room, where Suzuka's parents and Makoto-san were sitting on pillows on the floor.

"Good morning," I bowed.

"Good morning, Koji-kun," Mrs. Kozue replied. "Yu-tan, aren't you forgetting something?"

Yu-tan tilted her head in confusion.

"The gift," Mrs. Kozue whispered. Obviously, I heard her.

"Ah! Thank you for the tablet, Koji. It very fun!"

It surprised me a little because it had been months since I had given the tablet to her.

"You're welcome."

After grinning at me, she ran to sit down alone at the nearest extreme of the table. Suzuka's parents were sitting together and Makoto-san was sitting alone at the other extreme, in front of Yu-tan. Suzuka was sitting alone in front of her parents, so I sat beside her. It was a little dangerous. Fortunately, we both wore long sleeves.

"Still no greeting kiss?" Mrs. Kozue asked.

Makoto-san chortled.

Suzuka glared at Mrs. Kozue. "Mom."

"Okay, okay. Koji-kun, Suzuka told us about Miku-chan and you. We couldn't help but feel moved. Even though I don't have the full story, I want to slap your parents and teach them how to properly treat their children."

She went all in.

"But Suzuka told me they are doing better now, so that's good to hear. I'm sorry for being rude, but it infuriates me."

"Don't worry, I understand."

She smiled. "I think we should tell you the plan."

We spent the following thirty minutes discussing what to do and chatting about other stuff as well. At some point, the topic of our birthdays came up and we found out that Suzuka and I were born only one day apart.

To avoid running into Otsune, Suzuka, her parents, and Yu-tan left the house fifteen minutes before twelve. Makoto-san stayed to receive Otsune. After that, she would leave too. However, the silence was quite awkward.

"So, you're dating my sister," she said, probably to break the ice.

"I am. You're engaged, right?"

"I am. Did Su-chan tell you?"

"She did."

"I see."

Once again, we awkwardly stayed in silence.

"Have you had sex?"

What is it with these questions? They don't even surprise me anymore.

"No, we haven't. And we don't plan to anytime soon."

"Really? I mean, it's normal at your age. As long as you are responsible."

"Why are you asking this?"

"I worry about my sister. I want to know who she's dating; that you are mature enough to take care of her. Also, I like to break the ice with awkward questions."

She's weird.

"What base are you at, then?"


"You know, hugging, holding hands, kissing, touching—"

The bell rang and saved me from what probably was going to be an even more awkward question. However, reality struck my brain soon after: I was about to properly meet with Otsune after more than a decade.

Makoto-san stood up and headed to the front door. She opened it and welcomed Otsune; I could only hear her voice. Makoto-san asked her to come inside and, a couple of steps later, everything became silent. I was scared to look at my side; to see Otsune troubled to see me.


I couldn't keep looking away. I turned around and stared at her. She stared back at me, shocked. Neither of us was able to form words.

"I'll leave you alone," Makoto-san said.

"Wait!" Otsune shouted.

Makoto-san ignored her and stepped out of the house. Otsune stared at me as I stood up. Nervous, I slowly approached her.

"Otsune, can I hug you?"

She didn't reply, so I hugged her anyway. Moments later, she squeezed me back. We kept hugging each other for a long while, maybe because we were afraid of seeing our faces or because we missed each other. Probably both.

Finally, we stepped back.

"You are not mad at me?" she asked.

"What? Why would I be?"

"Because I abandoned you without saying anything. I left you alone."

"I was sad at first but, as I got older, I understood what happened. I've wanted to contact you for years but Mom and Father wouldn't tell me anything about you."

"I imagined that. I also wanted to contact you, but I was afraid that you hated me."

"Well, I don't hate you at all."

"I see," she smiled. She then inspected me from top to bottom. "You… You grew so much," she laughed.

"You too. You turned twenty-nine this year, right?"

"There's no need to remind me. And you're about to turn eighteen. Time really flies."

"It does."

"What have you been up to? What are you doing here in the first place? And where is everyone?"

"There are a lot of things to tell you."

"I'm all ears. Let's sit down."

And so, we spent the next several hours talking about what we had missed in each other's lives. Suzuka and her family had left to eat at some place and to walk around the city, but they had left food prepared for Otsune and me, so we ate it as we chatted.

I told Otsune about the years following her departure and ended with Suzuka and I becoming a couple. She then told me what happened to her after she left. How she found a part-time job to be able to go to university and the two boyfriends she had; I didn't expect that to make me a little upset. After graduating, she found a job at a nice company, where she met Makoto-san and her fiancé.

"What time is it?" Otsune asked.

I took my phone out of my pocket to see. "Almost five."

"Did we just spend five hours talking?"

"We did. We had a lot to talk about, after all."

"And we are far from finished," she giggled. "We should exchange numbers."

After adding each other's contact, Suzuka and her family came back. They were very happy about us finally reuniting. They were more emotional than we had been. We all chatted for another hour before Otsune left.

I said goodbye and walked out of the house, but Suzuka followed me outside and stopped me.

"Koji. Do you want to have an improvised date?"

That came out of nowhere.


She nodded.

"Sure. But you were outside all day today already. Aren't you tired?"

"A bit, but I saw some places that I wanted to go to with you."

"Let's go, then."

And like that, we were off to the center of the city. We first went to an arcade that was insanely bigger than the one I worked at. She asked me to teach her how to play many of the games available, but I didn't know how to play them either. Since I had played video games all my life and she had barely touched them, I got the grasp on how to play them quicker. Still, once she learned how to play them, she was incredibly good.

We then went to a bowling alley. I had no idea how to play it; I only knew that it existed. Still, Suzuka wanted to go and, in the end, we had a lot of fun—and a few accidents.

We then went to the cinema to watch an action movie. It was quite fitting for her to like them, although for an unexpected reason. She liked the adrenaline of the action scenes because it reminded her of her competitions. Still, watching a movie was far less exhilarating than competing.

I worried about her ankle the entire evening. I made her sit to rest a few times without telling her that I was doing it to take care of her ankle because that was going to make her feel bad.

To end the evening, we went to a restaurant. It was cheap, but the food was delicious. We chatted for a while and had a great, pleasurable time.

Since Hisaki's and I's apartment was closer than Suzuka's house, she accompanied me. I wanted to go with her to her house but she kept refusing. We arrived a few minutes later in the night and walked upstairs until we reached the floor of the apartment.

"We should do this more often," I said as we walked through the hallway.

"Yes, please," she smiled.

I smiled back. "How is your ankle, by the way?"

"It's fine, thanks to you making me sit down every five minutes. It's still a bit annoying though."

"You noticed?"

"Of course. You wouldn't get tired that quickly. You thought I was going to get mad if you told me, didn't you?"


She chuckled. "Thank you for caring about me."

We arrived at the door. Since Hisaki was at home, I simply opened it. However, we were not prepared for what we were about to see.

Hisaki and Sae-san stood in the middle of the hallway, kissing. I had to blink many times to be sure of what I was seeing. They really were kissing.

After a couple of seconds, they noticed us and jumped away from each other.

"I-I-It was him! He jumped onto me and k-k-kissed me!" Sae-san yelled.

"W-What?! It was you that jumped onto me!" Hisaki yelled.

"You wish! I would never do something like this with a disgusting guy like you."

"Why did you keep kissing me for that long then?"

"Because you—"

"Enough, you two," I shouted. "Why do you keep acting like you hate each other, while everyone knows you like each other? Actually, I know why. Don't answer. So, just accept that you are in love—"

"Never!" they both yelled.

Sae-san walked between Suzuka and me and left the apartment. Although she seemed quite angry, she probably was more embarrassed than anything.

Hisaki stood still in the hallway, probably still processing what had just happened.

"Let me guess," Suzuka said. "Thinking she wouldn't, you dared her to come to the apartment and she actually came. Then you had an argument and, right before she left, you started kissing out of the blue."

Silent for a moment, Hisaki replied, "I hate that you always guess right. I'm going to bed."

After he stepped into his room, Suzuka and I laughed.

"Love, right?" she said.


We stared at each other in silence for a long while. My chest began to feel tight and warm as my heartbeat raised. I had no idea of what was happening nor I could think about anything.

"I-I should leave before it gets too late," Suzuka giggled.

"Y-You're right. Goodnight. Be careful on the way back."

"I will. I'll text you once I get home."

"Sure. Goodbye."


She walked out of the apartment and closed the door.

Were we about to kiss?

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