Chapter 38:

It's a Confusing Time

My Childhood Best Friend is a VTuber! (OsananaV)

“Don’t get so full of yourself, Akira.”

Chika crosses her arms in an almost childlike fashion and pouts off to the corner.

You’re acting like a certain tsundere in this story that I will leave unnamed!

The slightly vicious reply to my inquiry about whether or not she was attracted to me actually made me feel a lot better.

Just to let you know, it’s not because I like it when females verbally and mentally abuse me!

It’s just the idea of having someone I’m starting to enjoy the company of quite a lot, end up having feelings for me adds way too many complications to this narrative.

This is all about Koi and I, after all.

Isn’t it?

“Phew, I thought you were trying to tell me something.”

The young maid’s face changes from her previous pensiveness, into something that is reminding me of the rage that also emanates from a certain unnamed tsundere.

Did Chika just completely switch characters right now?

“I was! I was telling you something deeply personal and suddenly you made it all about you.”

My gut starts to churn as I’m hit with a pang of strange guilt.

I almost don’t even want to apologize for it.

Not in a heartless way or anything, it’s just I feel as if she was right on the money and I didn’t even notice it.

“That was shitty of me.”

Breaking out into a burst of extremely untimely laughter, Chika reaches over and puts a hand on my shoulder.

Yet again I can feel every single eye from the maid cafe hone in on us and stare with lusty eyes of desire.

I’m not looking at anyone else in the cafe so I can’t say so for sure, but my assumption is everyone in there either wants to be me right now or wants me dead.

“It’s okay! I got a little heated there, but you’re right though - there was a reason I brought this up.”

Fixating on Chika, my heart sinks a little - just when I thought this was all resolved, there is something else apparently.

I feel as if my heart has been doing somersaults for the past few minutes.

This isn’t good for a shut-in like me!

Imagine reading this whole thing as a serialized story and having to wait days, or even weeks for the next few words.

That pain would be unimaginable.

Fortunately for me, as I said before, it has only been a few minutes.

Releasing me from her grip, the dark-haired girl sits back in her chair.

“Through some rather unfortunate circumstances in my love life, I’ve managed to acquire a skill that can help you with yours. It’s obvious you want to be with her, yet something is holding you back. Which is why you’re sitting in a niche cafe talking to a maid about your problems.”

This is completely skipping over the fact that said maid demanded that I be here!

But I guess the point remains the same.

That being said, I do feel like this surge of seriousness from Chika is purely motivated by her wanting to get to the next chapter in the real-life drama she’s been enjoying.

“There’s just a lot of other factors; things about herself she wants to tell me, but can’t.”

The maid leans in and locks eyes with me, staring deep into the depths of my soul as she does so.

Averting my gaze, I witness what my fears have been telling me all along.

All the customers and even some of the staff are fixated on us; but not with the stares that I had imagined.

These ones are familiar.

Much like Chika’s, they are eyes of interest, expressions of enjoyment as their gaze is transfixed on us and their mouths are agape.

This is a reality drama for them too!

“Do you need to know the whole story just to tell someone you want to be with them? This time I’m with her; it’s not like I would go around advertising to everyone in my life that this is my job. I’m not ashamed of it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard to talk about.”

Looking back at Chika, her eyes haven’t moved and she looks as determined as ever.

Her little monologue reminds me of the reason I came to this cafe and met her for the first time anyway. It was all due to my suspicion that maybe she worked at a place like this.

“You’re not ashamed of it, but you won’t tell people openly?”

That was my main reason for thinking this might be somewhere she worked, she wasn’t straightforward about it so I figured it could be a place like this.

But I just can’t understand that if, like Chika, she isn’t ashamed of her job…

Then why won’t she tell me?

“Of course I’m not ashamed of it, I love maids and I have since before I worked here; it’s a large part of the reason I do. But between having a relatively misunderstood profession and also the possibility of having people interested in me for that job alone... It’s just easier to not say a word until I’m comfortable - and that’s okay.”

There are many times in the last few weeks where I feel as if I’ve been barking up the wrong tree.

Some may even say more often than not!

But it is at this moment that I realize…

Maybe this is the most egregious example of them all.

I’ve been thinking about it all in terms of something she may be ashamed of, maybe even something she doesn’t feel comfortable with.

But never did I think that it is something she isn’t comfortable sharing with me, not something she doesn’t like herself.

It could be something that she loves.

Like how Chika loves maids.

The cogs turn wildly in my head as so many things in the story become unravelled.

Things about Koi, things about Sakura, and hell, even things about me.

It wasn’t anything that the young maid said herself, but more like the course she put me on.

I’ve been looking in the wrong place when maybe the truth was right in front of me.

This is still one of those wild assumptions that Chika has told me to avoid, but well…

“You’re amazing, I could kiss you right now.”

The girl opposite me jumps back in her chair as her face transforms into a tomato.

“Wha- wha-”

Getting up out of my chair, I lean over and give her a pat on the head.

“I’ve got my answer.”

Chika looks up at me as I release my hand from the top of her head.

“It took you long enough, now get out of here before everyone in this place gets the wrong idea.”

Turning around, I yet again see all heads turned towards us. Some are faces of adoration, some are of anger, but the majority I could say are just completely confused.

I can’t blame them, it’s a confusing time for me too.

T.K. 月狐
Taylor Victoria
Liber Mercury