Chapter 17:


A Love So Sweet, I Get Confused

Head pounding, cheeks raw and memories of last night rushed back to Mitsu. He groaned, grabbing onto the duvet and pulling it up over his head, trying to summon the bed demons to come and swallow him whole. Last night, he achieved what he wanted. He set out to confess and he certainly did confess. A confession full of chaos and screams rather then love and comfort. It was the completely opposite of what he wanted to do and the result: he pushed away his best friend. The fear in Tomo’s face will forever be burnt into his mind as he continued to scream at her. The look that made his heart ache and the idea of Tomo leaving that broke it.

He slowly pushed the duvet off him, turning to his side, in view of the door and the outfit for ‘Hana’ that hung there. What would his mom say to him right now? What would she be doing to comfort him? The duvet was pulled up to his chin, thinking back to a childhood memory of his mom making him the fluffiest of pancakes in an attempt to cheer him up after falling over and scraping his knees. Though he wasn’t ever going to have those pancakes again. His mom left him, his dad and sister grew distant and now he was losing his best friend.

All was feeling lost.

Sniff, sniff. A couple of sniffs brought a tantalizing and familiar smell entered his nostrils. Mitsu licked his lips, pushing the duvet off him, allowing his nose to take control of his body, his mind going blank and not caring that he was still wearing the clothing from the previous night.

The stairs creaked with each step, the closer he got to the source of the smell. He hummed to himself, smiling like an idiot at the nostalgia. The closer he got to the kitchen; he could hear muffled voices from the other side of the door. Emi was speaking, most likely to herself. It wasn’t uncommon for Mitsu to find Emi speaking out loud, trying to talk herself into a new plot or work out how one of her characters would react to a conversation. “Damnit Akio,” Emi cried out in euphoria. Thinking the worst, Mitsu panicked, bursting through the kitchen door, the force almost bringing it off its hinges as he saw… A completely innocent scene. Emi sat at the kitchen island, a stack of half-eaten pancakes before her and Akio stood above the stove, continuing to add to a freshly prepared stack. Mitsu blinked repeatedly, rubbing his eyes a couple of times. Was this real? Was he still drunk or dreaming? “Where did you learn to make pancakes like this?” Emi asked before diving into another bite. “So good.”

“Nothing the internet can’t teach you these days,” Akio laughed, finishing off the stack and turning off the stove. He turned to Mitsu, a warm smile welcoming him to a much-needed calm atmosphere. “Take a seat. I’ll grab you a drink.”

Bewildered, Mitsu just followed like an obedient puppy. He took the seat beside his sister, who didn’t pay him much attention as she finished her breakfast. Taking a big drink with a satisfying drink of orange juice. Akio hummed, pushing a plate across the island, in front of Mitsu, fork nestled against the stack and then placed a cup of warm milk beside it.

Mitsu looked, the pancakes had a slight jiggle to them and the syrup on top glistened and made them all the more inviting. Licking his lips, Mitsu grabbed the fork, scooping up a decent amount and placing it in his mouth. It was like a spark of electricity ran to his brain, triggering another memory of his mother as she leant across the island watching him eat. The fluffiness danced on his tongue and they were sweet but not overly sweet. Taking a sip of the milk, the pair was perfectly complimented. Taking another bite, the sweet mixed with salty tears as he rushed to devour the pancakes. Each bite brought him a sense of joy and comfort. The fluffiness feeling like he was being hugged.

Emi placed a hand on his back, rubbing it to make sure Mitsu wouldn’t choke. She smiled up to Akio, glad that she allowed him to go through with this plan. Akio seemed to be the friend her brother truly needed right now.

The fork hit the plate with a clang as Mitsu finished. He bowed his head to Akio, taking sharp breathes, wanting so desperately to find the words to thank him. Akio looked to Emi and she nodded. Yeah, she wasn’t needed right now. Akio focused back to Mitsu, pushing the cup of milk to him again, encouraging him to take a drink. Mitsu raised his hand taking a sip. He took a couple of deep breathes, before going to try speak again. “Thank you,” He felt his cheeks heat up looking at Akio and seeing ‘Hana’ standing behind him. He hands nestled around the up, the warmth of the cup caressing his skin. “I haven’t had pancakes since mom died.”

“I promised you I’d make you something sweet,” Akio laughed, taking the plate and putting it in the sink. Mitsu blinked rapidly. Did Akio promise him that? ‘Hana’ couldn’t help but giggle. “Besides, you looked like you needed something to cheer you up.”

“It definitely made me feel better,” Mitsu assured making Akio’s cheeks flushed and his chest tightened.

“Okay then,” Akio looked straight at Mitsu, hands on hips with a look of determination. “Then today will be a cheer Mitsu up day.” ‘Hana’ laughed, leaning over Mitsu’s shoulder, and putting a hand over his chest, where his heart would be situated. His heart was certainly pounding hard. “Go get changed and then we’ll spend the whole day doing what you want.”

‘Well,’ ‘Hana’ sung. ‘Isn’t this a turn of events?’