Chapter 66:

Christmas Eve

Couple That Can't Touch

Fifteen minutes of driving later, we arrived at a neighborhood. Although the houses were big and seemed modern and expensive, they weren't mansions; they were normal houses. And I couldn't be happier when we parked in front of one.

"This is it?" I asked.

"This is it," Father replied.

We got out of the car to see two people from the moving company carrying boxes into the house. We walked through the front garden, which had a tiny pond surrounded by trees, bushes, and flowers. We stepped into the house to first see the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Even though there was furniture, a lot of boxes on the floor were yet to be unpacked.

"What do you think?" he asked.

"It feels… homey."

"It does. The last time I felt like this was when we first stepped into the mansion. It only lasted a couple of days, though. We'll see how long it lasts here. Do you want to know a fun fact?"


"The entire square footage of this house is one-quarter the size of the mansion alone, not including the terrain."

"Sounds about right. How many rooms are there?"

"This floor has the master bedroom, a normal bedroom, a small room, and a bathroom. The second floor has two normal bedrooms, two more small rooms, a second bathroom, and a balcony."

"A balcony? I didn't see it when we arrived."

"Because it points towards the backyard."

He approached a glass door in the living room and slid it open. I followed him outside and saw something unexpected.

"A pool," I said.

"That's right. The only thing I missed with the mansion was a pool. It's going to come in handy when the next summer hits."

I sighed. "You know, when you told me you were going to buy a house, I expected something more… normal."

"Isn't this normal?"

"No, not so much. But I won't complain. It's already a big change and I'm happy with it."

"I'm glad to hear that."

We went back inside and walked around the house for a while. Thirty minutes later, the two people from the moving company approached Father to tell him they were done. They gave him the house keys back and left.

Standing in the kitchen, we stared at the dozens of boxes.

"This is going to take a while," I said.

"Better get started now, then," Father replied.

After three hours of unpacking boxes and going up and down the stairs, we were destroyed. We sat on one of the two couches in the living room, catching our breaths. We stared at the remaining three-quarters of the boxes that we had yet to unpack.

"We're going to die before we can finish," Father said.

"I know. Didn't the moving company offer a service to do this for us?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"I see. Well, we better call someone to help us, or we're going to take days."

"Who do you have in mind?"


"Sure. Let me ask—"

As he said that, he reached for his phone in his pocket. Realizing what he was about to do, he stopped.

"Were you about to call Yoshimura-san to ask him to go pick her up?"


I smiled. "She can come on her own."

After calling her, she arrived thirty minutes later. The three of us continued unpacking the boxes and moving everything through the house. I kept telling Suzuka not to lift heavy things because of her ankle, but she was too energetic to care. Father didn't know about her ankle, so we told him. He began to worry just like me.

We spent the rest of the day unpacking until we finished in the evening. We were starving, so I wanted to make something for both Suzuka and Father. But he stopped me and began cooking instead. Then it hit me. He, along with Mom, had been the Head Chefs of the restaurant they founded. Although I knew that, I didn't know what to expect from someone who was probably one of the best chefs in the world. Still, he seemed to be having a lot of fun in the kitchen.

Father finished cooking only fifteen minutes later. He brought Suzuka's and I's dishes to the table and we waited for him to sit down as well. Then we took the first bite. It instantly became the best food I had ever eaten by far. It was impossible to stop eating. Even though it seemed little, I was already full before I finished it.

"So, this is why your restaurant is well-known all over the world," Suzuka said.

"I was thinking the same," I added.

"You hadn't eaten your parents' food before?"

I shook my head. "Why didn't you cook at home, Father?"

"Because I was busy or tired from work," he answered.

"From cooking at your restaurants?"

"No, your mother and I rarely cook. We were the Head Chefs only for a decade. Then we became too busy with the business side to keep cooking."

"Why didn't you hire someone to do that for you?"

"We did. Let's just say it wasn't a good idea."

"I see. Well, I'm glad I finally got to try your food."

"Me too," Suzuka smiled. "It's the best food I've eaten. But don't tell my parents."

Father laughed. "I won't. Your father is doing great, by the way. Everyone was reluctant about him at first, but he quickly made a name for himself."

"Really? I'm happy to hear that," Suzuka grinned.

The three of us continued chatting for a few minutes more. Suzuka was about to leave, so we decided to share a taxi. She returned to her house and I returned to the apartment.

I told Hisaki that I was moving out. I felt a little bad about leaving him alone, but he seemed fine. And I didn't doubt he was going to invite Sae-san over more often.

Two weeks later, I had finally finished moving into the house. Just as Suzuka and I talked about, time flew by. Before we knew it, Christmas Eve was around the corner. Mom told us she was close to coming back home, but not for a couple more months. Even though I already expected it, it was still disappointing. But I had exciting plans.

Otsune and I chatted practically every day since we had reunited. It had been almost three months, so I convinced her to meet with Father. But I didn't expect other people to appear.

"Koji, come downstairs," Father shouted.

Confused, I walked out of my room and headed to the living room.

"What is it—"

"Hi, Koji!" Fujisaki-san greeted me, sitting on the couch along with Moriyama-san and Yoshimura-san.

I stared at them. "Everyone's here."

"Of course, tonight's Christmas Eve," Moriyama-san said.

Yoshimura-san suddenly stood up and bowed at me.

"I'm sorry for not talking to you even though I said I was going to," he apologized. "I became too busy and then Araki-san invited us to come today, so I decided to wait to talk with everyone at the same time."

"Don't worry, I'm not mad," I replied.

"I'm glad," he smiled.

"Let's hear about everyone's plans, then," Father said.

I sat beside Father on the other couch.

"I'll go first," Yoshimura-san replied. "Instead of working for another person, I started working in this taxi app. So, I'm still a chauffeur, but with the schedule I want."

"Interesting," Father said. "I hope they pay you well."

"It can't be compared to what I was being paid before, but it's more than enough to live. Which brings me to the next point. I already got my own apartment, along with Fujisaki."

"You're already together?" I asked.

"W-What do you mean together?" Fujisaki-san blushed. "We just decided to share an apartment to save money."

"Exactly," Yoshimura-san added, also blushing.

"Oh, I see," I continued. "What are your plans, Fujisaki-san?"

"Well, I enjoyed being a maid, but it's not for me. Instead, I'll pursue something I actually like: cosplaying."

"Cosplaying?" Father asked.

"Dressing up as a character."

"How do you make money with that?"

"It's hard to make money by cosplaying alone, so I'll also become a streamer."


She nodded. "I'll talk to people and play video games while sharing it in live video."

Father seemed really reluctant. "I know nothing about it, so I won't judge. As long as you like it and it pays well."

"It's very unlikely for people to succeed, but I believe I will."

"You do have the personality for it," I said. "Send me the link when you start."

"I will," she grinned.

"What about you, Moriyama-san?" Father asked.

"I'm going to retire," she smiled.


She nodded. "I'm too old for it. I want to enjoy life, find a partner, and explore the world. That's why I'm leaving Japan in a couple of weeks. I'll go on an adventure across the world."

Everyone was surprised. Except for Father, who merely chuckled.

"Actually, it isn't that shocking. You earned it after your hard work all these years. I hope you enjoy it."

"Thank you," she smiled.

We continued chatting for more than an hour before they had to leave. I tried to make them stay a little longer, unsuccessfully. Luckily, she arrived in time. As Moriyama-san, Fujisaki-san, and Yoshimura-san walked to the front door, the bell rang. Since Moriyama-san was the closest to the door, she opened it.

Otsune stood outside. She and Moriyama-san stared at each other in silence.

"Otsune… san?"

"H-Hi, Moriyama-san. Long time no—"

Not letting her finish the sentence, Moriyama-san jumped at her and squeezed her.

"It's been more than ten years," Moriyama-san said.

"I know," Otsune replied, hugging her back.

A few seconds later, Moriyama-san stepped back. "You've grown a lot. You look so mature now."

"Thank you. You look the same as always, but happier."

Moriyama-san snickered. Then we realized there was someone even more shocked to see Otsune: Father. He stood still with his jaw dropped, staring at Otsune.

"H-Hi, Father."

Unable to react, I gently pushed him towards her.

"Otsune. W-What are you doing here?"

"Well, Koji and I coincidentally saw each other a few months ago. We've been talking since then and he convinced me to come today."

Father remained silent. "I'm sorry. I have so many questions that I don't know what to say. Please come in."

"Thanks," she smiled.

"We should leave," Yoshimura-san said. "Have a great Christmas Eve."

"Wait," Father stopped them. "You can stay if you want."

"Sorry, we have plans with our families," Fujisaki-san replied. "But I hope you have a great evening. It looks like it'll be a long one."

Father giggled. "What about you, Moriyama-san?"

"I was planning to walk around the city to see the Christmas atmosphere, but nothing is going to beat seeing Otsune-san again."

"Good," Father smiled.

"Talk to you later," Yoshimura-san said.

"Bye-bye!" Fujisaki-san added.

They walked away.

Moriyama-san, Father, and I stepped back inside. Otsune stood still, looking at the house. Then the four of us sat in the living room and we began to chat. It was extremely awkward at first, but it became nicer and nicer as time went by.

We talked about a lot of things. Mainly, Father and Otsune talked out their problems. Otsune still had some resentment, but both of them were willing to fix their relationship.

Then we began making dinner: a huge turkey. The four of us worked on it and it turned out delicious. They ate while drinking wine, while I drank grape juice. We celebrated the beginning of Christmas by doing a toast with the same drinks.

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