Chapter 33:

How I Didn't Go Crazy With My Family

Cursed Lines

Fortunately, Daisuke didn't propose, but spontaneously confessed all his feelings to Alice and made her lots of promises that I know he will keep. At the same time, he finally begged her to give him a chance, to which my sister agreed, under my influence. I might be proud of myself if I wasn't still lying incapacitated by Konya. At least Maiko let me go and ran to congratulate the lovers.

"Is this your job?" I asked, trying to get out of his embrace, but he only held me tighter.

"Maybe a little," Tatsuo whispered, his breath tickling my neck. "He found such a pretty shell and wanted to throw it back into the water, I only hinted that he could use it for some romantic gesture. It's in your nature to like these things."

"We like it," I nodded reluctantly and stopped struggling.

"That's why I'm going to have to try very hard to live up to your expectations," he added, but I wasn't going to get sucked in this time. I just rolled my eyes and smiled to myself.

Alice and Daisuke became a couple before the end of the holidays, and happiness and love were shining in their eyes. When the four or five of us got together, Konya and I sometimes envied them for being a little more comfortable than we were in showing that they were together. It didn't bother us at all, just it was a bit of an annoyance sometimes.

However, what turned out to be a plus was that Alice began to complain about the lack of time. Daisuke didn't have much of it because of work, and for her, every hour she could spend with him was worth its weight in gold. He had become her priority, and I secretly enjoyed how she was slowly beginning to see that fulfilling her responsibilities to our father took up a lot of time. Everything was going my way, and I thought it would be a hard struggle to convince her. However, we decided to go out somewhere just the two of us when she began to feel too much remorse.

Mom also wanted to see her, so we went for a walk in the morning, and then we met Alice and went to the café. I was wondering how long you can choose a scarf that matches the styling. I wasn't sure why my mother seemed to want to experience a second youth, maybe Eros had told her something during their last conversation. When she mentioned him, she didn't sound as mean and contemptuous as usual. It crossed my mind that maybe she met someone and I got scared, just like that without consulting me. I had to ask Alice for help on this.

It was nice to talk about mundane things and hear the latest gossip from my mother's office. These were the only ones she could share with me because when she was meeting Daisuke's mom, they spent so much time gossiping about us that they had no time for anything else. I heard from a friend how they could argue about which of us was better boyfriend material. Maiko often joined in this discussion and only turned them against each other, because she found the performance quite comical. I could only imagine our mothers shouting over which one of us would faster go for his own place, get engaged, get married, etc. After a heated argument a second later, they were able to laugh and persuade each other to help themselves to another cookie.

"I'm sorry, but..." I heard a quiet male voice somewhere behind me, which then turned into an exclamation of surprise as my mother threw the poor man over her shoulder.

I jumped back in fear, I didn't suspect her reflexes from her martial arts days. He must have touched her shoulder, and now he whimpered in pain on the ground, trying to pull himself together. He held out his hand with the scarf to my mother.

"You lost it," he groaned. "I picked it up and just wanted to give it back."

When my mother realized what she had done, she frantically apologized to the man, helped him up, and offered to take him to the hospital to make sure he was okay. The man seemed to be reluctant at first to agree to it, but for a moment he stared spellbound at my mother and probably began to pretend that he hurt more than it really was, so that she would take care of him.

"Oh dear," Alice said, taking a deep breath.

I turned to her, yes, we were supposed to meet in this area. She looked from the victim to the offender, and I understood what I needed to check. I looked at them with my skills, one hundred percent compatibility.

"Kids, don't worry about me, I will take care of it. You won't spoil the rest of your day," my mother announced, already leaving with the man leaning on her shoulder towards the nearest taxi stand.

I looked at Alice, who started laughing and pulled out her phone to take a picture of my disgusted face. I was sure it would go to Daisuke first and then to Konya, but that wasn't the most important thing right now.

"You could have warned me," I said to my sister.

"You never asked me to check it out," she huffed. "At least there'll be something to tell about their first meeting. You should be happy."

"Maybe I'll start once I'm over the shock," I muttered.

"Come on, I'll buy you some ice cream." Alice patted me on the shoulder, still laughing, and started dragging me towards the coffee shop.

Then I got a series of messages that Daisuke and Maiko, who were visiting their grandparents, still had a lot of fun with my picture, and Konya had already set it as the wallpaper on his phone. We sat at the table, eating after the ice cream dessert. I was devastated that they had no choice of mint ice cream and had to settle for the strawberry one, which my sister recommended. But no more than my mother met her other half that day, so everything was going to change now, and I was a little afraid of that. Alice asked me to look at a certain couple, bringing me out of my thoughts.

"We're not at work today," I said, pointing the spoon at Alice accusingly.

"But I haven't met my quota for today yet," she sighed heavily feeling guilty.

"Absolutely don't worry about it." A man in sunglasses and a roguish smile sat down to us.

"Dad?" Alice almost choked on her coffee.

"And yet you can look like a normal human, almost," I muttered as he put his father's arm around me. I didn't push him away, it was actually quite nice, but I didn't expect to see him either.

"Are you ashamed of your very cool father?" asked Eros, offended.

"You're far from cool," I replied. "What are you doing here?"

"I was just around the corner and I thought I'd say hello to my kids. Something wrong with that?"

"That's not like you," said Alice.

"Back to the topic, because I have to fly on soon." Eros suddenly became serious and focused all his attention on my sister. "Your brother made me realize something recently, and you don't have to worry about your responsibilities anymore. You can help people if you have the desire and time, but I want you to take care of your happiness first. That's all I wanted to say." He smiled and turned to me, winked, telling me that the last request also applies to me. "See you later, Alligator."

Alice looked at me in surprise as I quietly drank my coffee, as if meeting my father and his words had not impressed me. On the contrary, I was just happy to be completely at peace now about my not-so-normal family.