Chapter 69:


Couple That Can't Touch

Gently, I put the flowers on Sakakibara-san's grave. I visited him every year and I was reminded of how unbelievable it was that twenty-three years had passed. A lot had changed, yet everything felt the same. As if no years had gone.

I always spent a few minutes at his grave, telling him what happened during the year. Then I returned to the car and headed back to my studio.

I worked at a video game company but, after fourteen years, I needed a change. With my savings, I bought a small place and hired two assistants to help me make manga. Not everything was smooth, but I enjoyed the challenges. Nor did I expect Sae-san to offer me the opportunity to adapt one of her novels, which I gladly accepted. However, I didn't expect her to be so unpunctual.

"Good morning," my two assistants greeted me as I arrived at the studio.

"Morning," I replied.

I sat at my PC and turned it on to start drawing. The first thing I saw was a message from Sae-san, telling me she was going to send her next chapter today. I asked her how Hisaki was doing with his veterinary clinic; she said he was doing great.

I opened the family's group chat to see the recent picture of Father and Mom, along with Suzuka's parents and Hashimoto-san and Rem-san. They ran into each other during their vacations.

Right after graduating from high school, Father and Mom hired people to take care of the business side of the restaurant. Then, a few years later, they retired. Somehow, they convinced Otsune to take over.

Suzuka's parents retired a few years later as well. Makoto-san and Haruma-san took care of the business side of the bakery, which became quite famous in Japan. Yu-san took care of the food side even while studying in university.

Hashimoto-san became a worldwide famous actress and model, followed by Rem-san as her makeup artist and assistant. Those were the reasons why it was so hard to believe that they had all run into each other.

I closed the chat app and opened the drawing app to begin working. However, I received a call from Suzuka.

"Hi, Darling," I said.

"Hey, there's a funny problem," she giggled.

"What do you mean?"

"It'll be better if you come and see it. I'm really sorry for interrupting your work."

"It's fine. Is Emi in trouble again?"

"Kind of."

I sighed. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

"Great. Love you."

"Love you too."

I hung up and, after telling my assistants I was going out for a little, I got back in the car and drove to Kasen. I received a message halfway through my drive, but I waited until I parked at Kasen to read it. It was Tarō-san, sending me a review of the latest chapter of my manga.

For some reason, he started sending me a review of each chapter I completed after I had asked him and Kawahara-san for their opinion on the first chapters I had ever drawn. Still, it was very useful to get the insightful tips of a movie director.

Tarō-san didn't last long as Kawahara-san's assistant since Suzuka and I stopped swapping after we kissed. However, he surprised us all when he applied for the cinematography degree at university. It was probably one of the best decisions of his life. He started by directing short documentaries, but he quickly gained fame and became a very successful director in the industry. He even worked with Hashimoto-san multiple times.

As for Kawahara-san, she and Mrs. Kawahara continued to research the swapping for many years. It didn't take long for it to become news all over the world. More and more people who swapped bodies approached them. It only took them a couple of years to come to the conclusion that kissing and intercourse were the only cures for it, depending on each couple. They named it the Couple That Can't Touch disease. Or CTCT, for short.

However, as the years went by, Kawahara-san and Mrs. Kawahara were unable to make any more progress. So, a few years later, they parted ways and continued with their own research.

Since I had to find out what happened, I didn't read Taro-san's review and got out of the car. It was always nice to see the twenty-three-year-old tree we had planted every time I came to Kasen.

I walked into the building. I thought of saying hi to the teachers since most of them were the same as when we studied here, including Yasue-san, Natsuhiko-san, Shimamura-san, and Tokugawa-san. But I didn't want to make Suzuka and Emi wait.

I stepped into Mrs. Asuka's office just to be welcomed by a boy.

"Dad, dad! Please fix this now!"

Confused, I asked, "And you are…?"

"I'm Emi!"

It only took me a second to realize what was going on. Suddenly, someone tried to open the door behind me and hit me.

"I'm so sorry!" she apologized. "Wait. Koji-san? Suzuka-san?"

"Yōko?" I replied. "What a surprise."

"You bet!" she grinned.

Tazuko then appeared behind her. "Hey. Long time no see."

"Why are you both here?" I wondered.

"Mrs. Asuka called us because our son is in… trouble? I didn't understand what she was trying to tell me very well," Yōko giggled.

"Mom, it's me!" the boy in Emi's body approached Yōko.


"Yeah. Looks like our kids have swapped bodies," Suzuka giggled.


I chuckled.

Here we go again.

Thank you for reading CTCT! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This novel ended a while ago, but I hadn't published it here completely. I decided to do so to advertise the novel I'll start publishing tomorrow. It's called Blow and it'll be a short spin-off of this series. I'll participate in the MAL contest with it, so I hope you can support me by sharing it.

If you want to read more CTCT, you can buy the ebook or a physical copy of the individual volumes or the entire collection on Amazon (, where you'll find 3 bonus chapters!

Again, thank you for reading!

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