Me: So will I be seeing you tonight ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Rika: You mean at the party right?
Rika: Okay your next lesson will be on emoji meanings lol
A week has passed, after our trip to Okinawa. Since school is currently closed for the summer, I’ve been helping my father prepare for this party, where he will be announcing his new film. I have to admit it’s nice to see him getting out of hiatus.
As I was checking some supplies, my father came up to me.
“So will your friends be coming to the party.”
“Yes, they should be arriving soon.”
“Ah, I see. Well if they need anything let me know. They’re all pretty good kids.”
“Sure, I’ll tell them. Father, may I ask you something.”
“Sure what is it?”
“There must have been a point in time when you realized the marriage proposal was fake. So why let it continue for so long? Did you just want to use her?
“I realized something was wrong from the very beginning. The process seemed off. I reached out to her parents, and even they admit they were confused. Perhaps, I should have ended it, and I was planning to once a serious proposal offer came, but I didn’t.”
“So it was out of curiosity.”
“Perhaps. But, my main reason for continuing this charade was because of you.”
“Yes, you may have not realized it at the time, but little by little you began to change. It was as if your cold shell was melting away. After, well, you know, I blame myself for everything, your torture, her death. I thought by being strict, you would be safe. I thought that building up the Ito family name to be something powerful and feared, would keep you safe. I thought by finding you the perfect romantic partner, you could be safe and happy but I was wrong. I can see my actions weren’t the best. Truthfully I took the hiatus because I wanted to focus on your marriage arrangements.”
“It’s funny how much I failed. You know, you had a few proposal offers last month but I rejected them all. After hearing about your experiences with Rika during the arrangement review, the fact you stood up even to me, made it pretty clear you were in love.”
“You didn’t fail though. I mean you had the chance to end Tanaka and my arrangement at any time yet you didn’t. I also heard from my friends you were the one who called them to visit our home, you also were the one paying for my expenses during Okinawa, and you provided us with the invitation. Thanks, Father for everything.”
“There's your mother’s smile,” he said.
“Kazu! There you are.”
Ah sounds like Dachi. I turned toward my father.
“Go to your friends. I’ll be fine.”
Dachi gets close. “We’ve been looking for you.”
“Wait, Father, meet Dachi Yamazaki. Dachi, my father.”
Hello…um… Mr. Ito-san.
“Yamazaki huh? Ah, I remember you. Congratulations on your high marks, your mother sent me a letter about it.”
“Also, thank you for watching out for him.”
“So where’s the others” I asked.
“Follow me. Kazu your dad is scary.”
“Eh, he's a big softie.”
I followed Dachi to where the others were waiting. There I saw Prez and Saori.
“How are you two?” I asked.
“The usual. Though I have to admit Ito, this is quite the grand part.”
“Well, he likes to go all out when it comes to parties. Anyways, have you guys seen her yet?”
“Not yet.” They respond.
“Alright I’ll check in a different room but you guys enjoy yourselves.”
After I got away I pulled out my phone, first a text then a call.
Me: Hey mind meeting me by the punch bowl
Good, she arrived.
“What’s the meaning of this Ito?”
“Listen Midori Ichinose, I think it’s time you stop living a life of regret. You know what I mean.”
First of all, I made myself clear about not using my government name. Second, what's the point” when I already know the answer?
“Didn’t someone say the journey matters more, or the truth will set you free?”
“Hmrp, a classic case of the student becoming the sensei. But I agree it must feel nice to stop running.”
“Well, they’re waiting on the roof.”
She smiles. “Thank you, Kazuma.
As she headed off the roof, I quickly followed behind.
Once I reached the roof I placed my head against the door window. Then suddenly I heard someone say,,,
“Well, I can’t jump through a door. Also didn’t I say don’t start a conversation like that when someone is on the roof?”
“But technically, we're not on the roof yet, tee-hee.”
“Well, I’m just glad you made it.”
“Wait, how did you know I was up here?”
“When I was looking for you, someone said they saw you come up this way. Why are you up here anyways.”
“Want to take a look.” I motion her to peek through the door window.
“Wait a minute, two people on the roof at night, is she?”
“I guess we’ll see,” I said.
“It’s too bad we don’t have Prez spyware.”
“You mean something like this.”
“She’s not the only one with tech access.”
After a bit of fumbling, we started to hear their voices.
“Midori, did Kazuma text you to come up here too?”
“Ooh you got it, Rika said.”
Suddenly we heard someone talk behind us.
“What are you two doing?”
Dachi of course.
“Watching a confession,” She said.
“A confession? All I see is Prez and Saori.”
“Shhh, we’re trying to listen.”
“Um Saori no Sao-chan um…”
“Sao-chan, you haven't called me that in so long.”
“The reason you’re up here is because of me, not Ito”.
“Sao-chan, I have been practicing how I would say these words to you for as long as I can remember. Hoping if I say it right you will say yes. But I know that’s how words work and no matter what I say won’t change the outcome especially. But I’m tired of holding this burden for so long.”
“Midori, I don’t really under-”
“I love you Sao-chan. I have loved you for such a long time. I would do anything for you. But I know you don’t feel the same, after all, you love Dachi Yamazaki. And I hate to say but he’s perfect for you. He's honest, kind, a little foolish, but he will always be there for you. So it’s okay, I understand.”
Suddenly Saori rushes in to hug Prez.
“It’s true, I am unable to return your same feelings to you, but that doesn’t mean I want you out of my life. I love you too. Sure the love isn’t romantic but you are very special and important to me and I don’t ever want you to leave my side either. Also, I want to keep calling me Sao-chan. I miss it. Midori please don’t ever leave. After all, my heart is big enough for you both.
Sao-chan… excuse me for one moment.”
Suddenly a painful high high-pitched noise is played
“Ow!”The three of us said.
“You three are listening, aren’t you? Come out!”
The three of us enter.
“Well I can see the students have become the master. I guess I should have expected it after Yamazki's confession”.
“So Saori, are you going to fall in love with Prez? Dachi asks.”
“My love for Prez is different from my love for you Dachi.”
Suddenly we all feel some drop of rain from the sky above.
“We should probably head on in.”
After seconds of heading in, a heavy downpour occurred.
“Wow it looks really bad outside,” said Dachi.
“Idk I think the weather looks perfect, I said.””
“Huh?” They all said.”
I started taking off my shoes.
“Kazuma-kun what are you doing?”
“Well, I can’t feel the water between my toes with my shoes on.”
“But what about…”
“I just have to be careful and watch where I’m stepping.”
“But you’re wearing a white suit”
“Well, it’s good that I have white underwear.”
“What? Kazuma-kun,” she laughs.
“I reach out my hand, want to join Rika?”
She smiles and begins taking off her shoes.
“Okay let’s go.”
“Man, those two are strange. Who goes out to dance in the rain?” Asked Dachi.
“Hmrp I shall not be outdone twice. Sao-Chan care to join?”
“Sure looks fun!”
“Wait, don't leave me alone,” Dachi says as he runs out.
The five of us all spent our time frolicking, twirling, and dancing in the rain. I grabbed Rika by the waist, pulled her close, and kissed her on the lips.
I love you Rika-chan.
I love you too, Kazuma-kun!