Chapter 25:

Year 3-3: The Hanami festival

Is it ok?

“So you´re a club president?” Kazuhiko asked. Hitomi had just recently started dating him and now during Hanami she wanted to introduce her boyfriend and nephew to one another.
Riku nodded. “Of the book club.”
“I see. That´s nice.”
An awkward silence fell over the two. Riku didn´t know what to say and Kazuhiko didn´t appear to know either. Riku was looking around, Hitomi had left the two men alone, she was waiting for someone.
“Who was Hitomi waiting for again?” Kazuhiko asked.
“The Toujous.” Riku answered. Hitomi and Kotoko, Kiyokos mother, had become close friends after the incident with Kiyokos father.
“The daughter is in your club right?” Kazuhiko asked.
Riku nodded. “Her name´s Kiyoko.”
Silence again. Kazuhiko asked Riku about Satsuki. “She´s in the Netherlands right now, right?”
“Yeah, she loves it there.”
“I can see why, I´ve been there a few times for work. Do you plan to go there too after school? You know to be with your girlfriend?”
Riku looked at Kazuhiko. “I guess. I want to be with her and I can be an author everywhere.”
“That sounds like there´s a but.”
“But I´d have to learn Dutch and the language doesn´t sound too nice.” Riku lied.
“Right.” Kazuhiko smiled.
“And I´d have to leave my friends and Hitomi behind.” Riku stated the real reason he was so hesitant about moving to the Netherlands.
“Well the school year´s just started. You have plenty of time to think about it.” Kazuhiko said.
Riku nodded. Kazuhiko was right, he didn´t have to be as spontaneous as Satsuki was. Riku was looking around again; he jumped up and waved Kiyoko. “We´re here.”
She smiled as soon as she sat down on their blanket. “My mother and Hitomi-san will come soon; they meet Satsuki-sans mother.” She introduced herself to Kazuhiko.
“So it´s only you and your mother?” He asked after a while.
Kiyoko nodded. “She got divorced from my dad. He… let´s say he was a piece of shit.”
Riku stared at Kiyoko, he had never heard her swear before, but he couldn´t blame her. She was right after all.
Kazuhiko looked concerned. “That´s… Good riddance then I guess. You seem better off without him anyway.”
Kiyoko just laughed and nodded.

“Riku.” Someone whispered into his ear. Riku turned around startled.
“Hayato-san? What are you doing here?”
“Searching for my boyfriend.”
“Have you seen Shu?” Hayato seemed worried.
Riku shook his head. “No, why. Did something happen?”
Hayato sat down next to him. “We were supposed to celebrate with my family and his siblings. They´ve gotten pretty close. Well Shus mom showed up.”
Riku didn´t like the sound of that.
“Apparently she´s sober, she had a drinking problem by the way I don´t know if Shu ever mentioned that.” Hayato looked around. “Shu freaked out when she also mentioned leaving his dad, you know because he had cheated for years. I think all of that might´ve been a bit too much for him.”
“Sorry but I haven´t seen him. If I do I´ll tell him you´re looking for him though.”
“Thanks.” Hayato stood up and went back to searching for his boyfriend.

Hitomi and Kotoko showed up after what had felt like hours. Riku got up. “I´ll get something to drink.” He made his way through the masses to a vending ashine. Shu was drinking a canned coffee.
“You know Hayato-san is looking for you?”
Shu looked up and smiled when he realized it was Riku speaking to him. “I know.”
“He told me what happened.” Riku got a drink and stood next to his sempai.
“It was just a bit much. You know my mom acting like a mother is kind of new to me.” Shu let out a big sigh. “But I honestly don´t mind it. I was happy, when she said she likes Hayato.”
“So she approves of you two?”
Shu nodded hesitantly. “I guess. She seemed to at least.” He looked at Riku. “Did Hayato also tell you why she even showed up today of all days?”
“No he did not.”
Shu smiled. “My brother and his fiancé announced that they´re expecting.”
“No. You´ll be an uncle?” Riku couldn´t contain his happiness. “Congrats. To them too of course.”
“I guess my boyfriend´s here to pick me up.” Shu pointed at Hayato running towards them.
“Well I have to get back to. My aunt just introduced me to her boyfriend after all.”
“What´s he like?” Shu asked while patting a wheezing Hayatos back.
“He seems nice.” Riku said.

When Riku came back to the blanket he was met with an interesting sight. One of his kohai seemed to have infiltrated his family. Yuusuke was plying Uno with everyone.
“Hello Yuusuke. Why aren´t you with your family?” Riku asked while sitting down.
Yuusuke looked up from his cards, his younger sister Mio sitting on his lap. “My parents have to work so I took my siblings with me. Kiyoko spotted us looking for a space to sit and your aunt kindly invited us to sit with you.” He put a card down. “Keisuke and Taiga went to the bathroom with Suzuna; they should be back soon though.” Yuusuke added.
“You´re acting more like a dad then a brother.” Riku mumbled. He pointed at one of Kiyokos cards; she took his advice putting it down. Hitomi seemed not very amused by that.
“Riku stop interfering, I´ll lose because of you!” Hitomi yelled. Riku knew she was serious, she didn´t normally call him Riku.
“I don´t mind. I like taking care of children.” Yuusuke answered smiling. His other siblings came to the blanket shortly after. As if that was his signal Yuusuke presented a big bento box. “I brought some food!”

Riku felt like he had gained at least 10 Kilos with how much he ate. He was walking home with Hitomi and Kazuhiko. The adults were talking and laughing. Riku hadn´t seen Hitomi laugh like that in a while, he had been a bit adamant when he heard she was dating someone. Her last boyfriend wanted her to stop being a mangaka so she could have more time for him. Kazuhiko didn´t seem to be like that. He smiled to himself. Maybe Kazuhiko was the one guy Hitomi was waiting for; he really hoped that was the case. After everything she had done for Riku to ensure he had a happy life he wanted her to find happiness too.