Chapter 0:

A Love so Complicated Even I Get Confused

A Love So Sweet, I Get Confused

Mitsu Ito, first year university student; lives with his single, business man, father and his, university drop out turned barista, older sister, Emi. Smaller than the average male and with a slender frame to match, often he would be mistaken for a girl. Particularly as a child when people use to go up to his father and say ‘Oh what a cute pair of daughters you have.’ Both having bright red hair, inherited off their mother and similar facial features, made this too much of a common occurrence which inspired Mitsu to try and make his appearance more masculine.

Yet, he could never seem to change. He was doomed to forever be the feminine male. As a child, this made him the target of the bullies in his school. Life seemed bleak and it seemed the torture wouldn’t end until he met her. The memory was till vivid in his head, as clear as if the meeting happened only yesterday. His best friend, Tomo smiled a toothy grin, the sun illuminated her soft pale skin and her long chocolatey hair blowing from the wind coming though the window as she engaged in conversation with Mitsu for the first time in middle school.

Mitsu sighed happily, staring into the empty blackboard in front of his as he eagerly waited for Tomo to enter the classroom. Upon hearing her voice, Mitsu’s head whipped around, flowers appearing around Tomo’s body as she came into his line of vision; the rest of the world being blocked off. The word infatuated didn’t do justice to what Mitsu’s feeling were. He was out right in love with his childhood friend and so desperately wishes to be called her ‘boyfriend’. Alas she continued to not take notice of his feelings.

“Come on Akio,” The flowers burst like a balloon in his vision, presenting the tall muscular, dark haired heart throb of the university Akio. Mitsu gagged, turning away as Tomo sat beside him and then Akio beside her. For some reason, Akio had stuck up a friendship with Tomo, that Mitsu didn’t approve of. ‘Out of any girl in this university he chooses my girl’, is the thought that ran through his head every time he saw the pair together.

Class always felt like torture for Mitsu. Tomo would focus her attention on Akio and they would have small chats throughout, distracting Mitsu from the teacher, wanting to know what was being said. So when the class would be dismissed, he wasn’t sure as to why, but Akio would always disappear straight after meaning, “Is any of this sinking in for you?” Tomo sighed, leaning over to focus her attention back to Mitsu. Mitsu would perk up like a puppy welcoming back its master wafter they have been to work all day. “Think we can go over some of the notes tother.”

Mitsu nodded eagerly. Any excuse for alone time. He smirked, a light bulb burning bright with an idea. “How about we go to the coffee shop?” Yes, the coffee shop. The one just off campus is particularly popular with couples in and close to their age bracket. Perhaps surrounding Tomo with love would help give the right impression of any potential romantic involvement with each other. “I’ll buy you a deluxe hot chocolate.” This would surely seal the deal. While for most university students, splashing out for expensive hot beverages may seem a dream, having a sister who will give you a family discount sure came in handy in the pursuit of love.

At the mention of ‘deluxe’ Tomo was more then happy to accompany Mitsu to the coffee shop, though the library would probably be closer her weakness to delicious treats had won her over. For Mitsu this was a win.

The coffee shop was just on the edge of the university on the opposite side to their current classroom. This meant a nice brisk walk in the spring air as they made the journey. Conversation always flowed easily between the pair, no matter how much or how little they saw each other. Though as they got into the queue in the coffee shop, the conversation took a turn Mitsu wished he could have avoided. “Why don’t you get along with Akio?”

Mitsu groaned at question. It had seemed his distaste for Akio hadn’t gone unnoticed. They reached the front of the queue, Mitsu trying to ignore the question and turned to give his order. His eyes looked in the direction of his pocket as he spoke. “I’ll take a mocha and a deluxe chocolate please.”

“Sure thing,” That voice?

Mitsu’s head snapped up. It was him! He pointed accusatively, as if he was a layer in a popular video game and screamed; “What the hell are you doing here?”

Tomo let out an audible gasp and other patrons of the shop turned to the commotion. There was the slightest noise of keys clicking coming from the corner that couldn’t be heard before. Onset panic settled in when the clicking stopped. If there is clicking in this coffee shop, where its popular with couples, there’s only one person it could be. There was the distinct sound of a laptop being shut followed by footsteps coming towards him. Mitsu tried his hardest to focus on Akio who simply smiled at him. There was sharp smack on the back of his head, making his stumble forward and cry out. He turned around, his eyes watering from the pain. Emi stood above him, her cheeks puffed out and her eyes burning a hole in Mitsu’s soul through her glasses. “I raised you better then that!” Emi exclaimed, forcing Mitsu to stand straight by pinch his ear.

Mitsu cried out, slapping her hand away and taking a big step back for his own safety. Tomo couldn’t help but let out a giggle, Akio also letting out a small laugh. Mitsu took a deep breath, feeling the embarrassment rising. He’s being scolded in public in front of his love and love rival! Emi turned to Akio, her arms crossed over her chest and the angry look turning into a mischievous one. “Please make sure Tomo receives my family discount,” She advised before turning back to Mitsu. “My little brother will pay in full.”

“Oh, come on!” Mitsu cried. He wanted to protest but the evil clint in her eyes embedding fear into his very existence. He turned to Akio, giving a low bow, literally swallowing his pride. “I’m sorry for my rudeness.”

Akio let out another small laugh. “It’s okay,” He assured, Mitsu standing back up straight. “Now, it was a hot chocolate deluxe at discount and a full price mocha.” He just had to rub it in.

After getting their drinks, Mitsu and Tomo sat at the table near the window, deciding to enjoy their drinks and collect themselves first before proceeding to go over the lecture notes. Tomo sat scrolling on her phone while Mitsu stared emptily into his full priced mocha. “Oh, how about that?” Tomo spoke up, her eyes widening at the post she had just seen. Mitsu looked up, his body hanging sluggishly over the table. “Some male animals pretend to be female to trick other males so they can get mates,” Tomo explained. She laughed laughing to herself and continuing top scroll through her social media feed.

Mitsu hummed, looking over to Akio who was happily serving some awe-stricken women. ‘Trick other males?’ He smirked, the perfect idea coming to his mind. Perhaps tricking his love rival would be the perfect way to progress his mission in love.