Chapter 18:


Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

“Ayane-chan?” I heard a voice loudly asking.

“Who is this?” I whispered in Ayane's ear.

“She’s my mom…” she mumbled while trying to hide in my arms.

“Why are you being so shy!? Just introduce me to her!” I quietly yelled.

Ayane didn’t get the memo, though, as her mom stopped right in front of us.

“Who’s this, Ayane-chan?”

Possibly because I had to kneel down to hug Ayane, her intimidating presence loomed large over me. However, once I stood up to the utter dismay of Ayane, who by that point clawed onto me, I felt my fears washing away.

She was also super short! Adorable!

I had to keep my composure, though. I wasn’t into older women, after all. As such, I introduced myself.

“I’m Yuuki, Ayane-chan’s boyfriend,” I said as I let out my hand for a handshake.

“So Ayane-chan did start dating!” she said, accepting the handshake.

“Shut it, Mom…” Ayane mumbled.

“I’m so proud of you!”

“Don’t try to hug me!”

As she physically pushed her mom away, I thought about how ungrateful Ayane was. I’d love a lovey-dovey parent like that.

Those thoughts were interrupted by a rumbling noise, though, only for Ayane’s mom to acknowledge it.

“You seem hungry. How about I make something for you?”

I couldn’t properly take in this request, though, as I shamefully closed my eyes while I raised my shaking arm in the air to tell her my real thoughts.

“Actually, I’d like Ayane-chan to cook for me.”

This took Ayane aback enough to trip backward, although she didn’t fall since she still held onto my arm. It wasn’t until her face rested against my arm again that she finally spoke.

“Huh? I already told you my mom’s a better cook than me.”

She looked away from me as she said it. I, however, turned her face toward mine as I responded to her.

“You think that matters to me?”

Her face went red seeing me up close, but she didn’t frown. I suppose she started getting used to my endless compliments. This moment was interrupted, though, when Ayane’s mom spoke up.

“In that case… Ayane-chan, get to the kitchen!”



Opening the door to her house, it seemed similar to mine in layout. I quickly noticed that the kitchen and living room occupied the same space. Granted, while my house only had a tv and a video game console, I saw many different things in her house; mainly bookshelves and cooking materials occupying the living room and kitchen respectively. No wonder she ended up as she did. She seemed like an amalgamation of her parents. Well, maybe just her mom, as her dad was huge! I didn’t let this prevent me from talking to him, though, as I extended my hand out to him.

“Hello, I’m Yuuki.”

He accepted the handshake.

He stood with his arms crossed and wore a robe, which created a traditional aesthetic. Unlike his wife, who was small and inviting with her chattiness, he was reserved and tall. Even with my above-average height, he towered over me. Not even Satou stood as tall as him. His presence caused me to sweat a little, with this feeling only being compounded when I realized that Ayane and her mom were nowhere to be found.

As such, I was left alone with him, with us both choosing to sit at the table in the living room. Now seated, I took some breaths to recompose myself, only for him to start the conversation.

“A- Ar- Are- Are you Ayane-chan’s boyfriend?”

Having gone from scared to awkward, I made the blankest expression I could without even thinking about it. So that’s where Ayane got her reserved nature. Hell, he was even more nervous than Ayane! I never knew a grown man, so tall, and with so much muscle, could struggle to even make eye contact with me. Instead of getting irritated by this, though, I chuckled.

“What’s so funny? Are you not actually dating?” he asked with his finger touching his forehead.

I suppose he didn’t interpret my laugh the way I expected, seeing it as an answer to the question as opposed to me enjoying his ridiculous personality. As such, I cleared the air.

“Nah, I am. I asked her to be my girlfriend over the summer.”

He tightly held the drink in his hand.

“Really? I didn’t know she was dating you for that long.”

Huh? She didn’t tell him about me? Did those two ever communicate with each other?

Stuck in place like a statue, the feeling of dread had my sweat accelerating. I couldn’t bring myself to speak to him for a bit, so we both sat, unable to look at each other. Out of options, I decided to just ask him about it straight up.

“She doesn’t tell you about this stuff?”

His grip loosened until he sighed and drooped his shoulders.

“Not to me at least. Whenever she sees me at home, we usually only read next to each other."

“You work at home?”

Suddenly, he raised his shoulders and smiled, although he tried to cover it up with one of his fingers.

“I do. I write history books, so we need a lot of bookshelves at the house.”

“That sounds nice.”

The conversation died once I said that. Over the past few days, where I’d had to talk to people outside of my friend group, I’d realized just how bad I was at socializing. I never found it to be an important skill, but in a situation as awkward as this one, where both of us struggled to find anything to talk about, I wanted to punch my past self in the face. I couldn’t just take this, though, so I gave him eye contact and asked him the very first thing to come to mind.

“Uh… how do you feel about your wife?”

Why did I ask such an invasive question!?

As I held tightly onto my drink, I thought I might have crossed a line given how his expression refused to change, but suddenly, he smiled.

“I love her a lot. When I was in high school, I was the only one who liked hearing everything she had to say.”

“So you’re more of a listener?”

“I suppose so. Are you like that with Ayane-chan?”

Well uh… that would be hard to explain. While before, I didn’t hold onto anything, I couldn’t help but pinch my pants, scrambling to find something to say.

“We’re not like that. We’re… still trying to figure everything out since neither of us are heavy talkers.”

Ayane’s dad put his arm on his neck after he heard me say that.

“I wouldn’t be able to maintain a relationship like that.”

Somehow, I let out a slight smile before responding to him.

“I didn’t think I would either, but Ayane-chan’s full of surprises. You raised her well.”

My smile widened, although I could feel some heat on my face, given how bold my statement was. Before he could continue the conversation, though, Ayane’s mom came to save it.

“You said what about my daughter!?” she yelled, with the food we’d soon be eating in her hands.

As she and Ayane passed around the food, I realized something.

“I didn’t ask for your names.”

Ayane’s dad perked up, although Ayane’s mom responded in quick succession while giving a smile, as you’d expect.

“My name’s Aya. My husband is Aka.”

By the time she said this, our dinner sat on the table.

“Alright everyone, let’s dig in!” she yelled in an attempt to hype us up for the meal.

Of course, though, this didn’t extend to Aka and Ayane, who slowly and quietly ate while I stood still. Why? Well, it was because Aya stared right at me. While Aka wouldn’t say anything out of nervousness, or a lack of anything to say, I could tell that Aya just tried to screw with me, because of course that would make any guy happy. I hate to admit that it excited me.

“So you slept with Ayane-chan, right?” she finally asked me.

Patreon iconPatreon icon