This chapter is from Konya's POV.
So many times I imagined this situation, I had so many different scenarios in my head, but none of them assumed such an ending. I had to admit that the chips were good, so I decided to forgive Kiyoshi for not getting what I wanted, and the incident itself seemed quite funny to me.
In fact, I didn't have much to study anymore, but I couldn't get bored because I had someone in front of me whom I could observe without any embarrassment. If I could cook, I could prepare something in that time, but I couldn't do it in my own kitchen, let alone in a strange environment.
I noticed a disturbing thing, Kiyoshi didn't eat anything at all, too focused on his studies. He was tired and frustrated, repeating the actions that indicated this with increasing frequency. He tapped the notebook furiously with the lead of a pencil, rubbed his eyes, and after taking off his glasses for a moment, he tore with greater force and nerves the innocent pages of the notebook and books.
I've seen how stubborn he can be, but I decided enough was enough. I got up and grabbed him by the arms, pulling him away from the table. Of course, he struggled and tried to hold onto the table.
"Enough of that!" I said and he looked at me angrily.
"You're already done with your studies, you haven't eaten anything in the meantime, you need to rest for today."
"I can't," Kiyoshi muttered, but at least he gave in.
"You can see that you won't accomplish anything today, you'll only get more nervous."
I closed all books and notebooks under his watchful eye but gave him a defiant look. He reached for the cookies and began to eat them, offended, muttering something under his breath from time to time. I was wondering if I should reach for the ultimate weapon of tickling now. But something in his gaze held me back like he had a lot of negativity in him but didn't want to direct it my way.
"What is it about?" I asked, sitting across from him.
"No matter how hard I try, I'll never be as good as you," he replied, looking away.
"And you are given a talent, which is a much better option," I laughed, knowing it was just that.
"You'll just improve your English a bit, and you'll get into university easily."
"I don't know," I replied, realizing how long I hadn't thought about it.
"I thought that since you're getting better at ignoring your mother's genes, dreams of being a history teacher would be on your priority list."
I looked at him uncertainly, it was true what he said. It got easier and easier for me, but I still couldn't believe that it would be possible. Kiyoshi looked at me as if he wanted to assure me that he would support me no matter what decision I made.
"Do you think I'll make it?" I asked uplifted.
"Of course. I think the kids can handle some snarky remark once in a while, or more challenging homework." He smiled but wagged his finger at me. "But I'll make sure you don't torment them too much."
"What about you?" I think it was the first time I was excited about the future, but Kiyoshi's face immediately dropped.
"I don't know, I've never been drawn to do anything other than painting. I planned to study and work in a way that would allow me to do it in my spare time." He threw up his arms. "You see, I'm not that smart and ambitious."
"Leave it to me."
"I will do everything so that you have as much time to paint as possible," I announced firmly. "After all, you're stuck with me anyway."
Kiyoshi finally relaxed a bit and admitted that he was indeed tired and hungry. I didn't think it would be such a nice feeling to understand and reassure each other that whatever you decide, I will support you and you me. We heard a knock on the door, and after a while, Kiyoshi's mother entered the room, who carefully took in the situation, but did not comment on it in any way.
"Did you order something?" she asked.
"I was just about to do that," Kiyoshi replied. "We just finished studying."
"Then why don't we three eat together?" She was mostly waiting for my answer, staring at me intensely.
"I'd love to," I replied, trying to smile. She answered the same and said she would call us as soon as the food arrived. "Will I get home in one piece?"
"I can't guarantee that," Kiyoshi replied seriously, wiping his glasses. "Remember that woman has kicked Eros' ass more than once."
However, I was pardoned, and the meal, admittedly, took place in a somewhat awkward and silent atmosphere. Kiyoshi's mom was still watching me, but I guess she decided I wasn't that much of a threat to her son, who was watching us nervously.
"When I look at you like that, you seem strangely familiar," she said at one point.
"Subtract twelve years from him, add a knight's suit and a cardboard sword," Kiyoshi said.
"Impossible," she whispered in surprise. "It's such a coincidence?"
"And yet, I consider it very lucky for me." He smiled in my direction.
"So how long have you been together?"
"A few weeks," I replied this time, so she wouldn't think I had no say in the matter.
"If it's so serious, maybe I should educate myself on the nature of relationships like yours?" she said in a very serious tone.
Kiyoshi and I looked at each other, awkward and embarrassed by the subtext that could be read from this remark. I mumbled something about maybe I should get going. I didn't expect that at all, but maybe it was a family thing with them that you couldn't predict what they would surprise you with.
"Mom!" Kiyoshi hissed as he stood up. "I can't believe you said something like that."
"Come on! Shaming your own child is part of being a parent," she laughed ominously.
"That doesn't mean you have to do it. Come on Tatsuo." He grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the door. "I'm sorry about her," he whispered as he walked outside to say goodbye.
"Don't worry, your mom seems a little scary but cool," I said, honestly. "I'm glad I got to know her."
Kiyoshi leaned against the door and sighed heavily. I wondered what he expected and why he looked away and blushed even more than at his mother's playful remark. I wasn't going to give him that satisfaction and waited for him to let me know what he wanted.
"Thank you for your help," he whispered finally. "Without you, I probably wouldn't have got half of what I wanted."
"That's what it's all about, helping each other, isn't it?" I couldn't resist the opportunity, however, and leaned towards him, hands behind my back. I saw how he followed that gesture with a little disappointment in his eyes. I guess I knew what he expected, so I just kissed him lightly on the cheek. "Have a good night."