Chapter 13 – A Secret
Takuya letting out a sigh from the heat as he wandered around the Station, he heard that heard from a friend that there is a new Maid Cafe that Takuya wanted to try. He had always wanted to enter in those but the nearest ones were pretty far and so when he heard about it, he was very much curious about it.
That and he was always a fan of Maid Cafes.
"Ah welcome Ma-"
Takuya stared in mild surprise as he found himself staring at a familiar face whom he had seen time and time again in the Club. Someone that would have been the last woman in the Club that he expected to be here as part of the Maids.
Ryoko in turn simply regained her composure and gave Takuya a wide smile that she rarely shows around the Club.
"Welcome Back master!" Ryoko simply said cheerfully as she guided him to a nearby table, Takuya wanted to ask her further but she quickly walked away and left him with a Menu for him to choose. On the other hand, the more he wanted to ask the more the possible fear that she'll respond with a fist into his face as he remembered a previous incident where Yusuke made a snarky comment only for Ryoko to respond with a fist into his face, he didn't know the reason but according to Yusuke he most certainly deserved that reaction.
As a result, he chose not to bring it up lest he wanted to get slugged by her.
The following day he was immediately confronted by Ryoko who was sitting on the Clubroom alone, the others have yet to arrived.
"Take a seat," Ryoko said as she sat across the table. Takuya wanted to make a run for it but he decided to just accept his fate.
"How did you find out about it?" Ryoko asked in a low voice, the fact that she was sitting at the table across him was already setting off the alarm bells in his head but the fact she was dead serious about it also tells another story.
"I just heard about it online," Takuya answered. "I found people tweeting about it so I decided to go and find out for myself out of curiosity."
"So you had no idea that I worked there before this?" Ryoko asked narrowed her eyes on him.
"Nope." Takuya shook his head in fear. "I swear, I only came there to see some maids, since Maids are my fetish."
He immediately cringed that matched the look of disgust that Ryoko gave him. Though in all honesty, he was glad that it was just the two of them, the rest finding out about his fetish would probably result of him being endlessly teased about it.
"Very well," Ryoko said keeping a cautious distance between the two of them. "Promise me you won't tell a soul about it?"
"I won't tell a soul," Takuya answered without hesitation. For a moment she kept her stare at him, eventually, she let out a sigh of exasperation.
"Let's talk about this later," Ryoko said as the others began to arrive as well.
Haruki had the same mixed feelings when he heard that his father was remarrying. While it was true that he never had the closest relationship with his father but at the very least he should have at least told him beforehand that he was considering falling in love again. Especially since his mother had died after he was born due, while he never blamed him for it the two had a distant relationship since then.
But at the very least he should have the right to know about it much earlier, given how he just arrived to help him with the Groceries earlier than intended causing him to meet Ayako. It was also later that day he realized that he had been seeing her for months now without his knowledge.
Needless to say, he was partly annoyed that his father kept him in the dark about it.
And while he managed to get to know Ayako before the realization that she was the mother of Ayame, albeit, with reluctance, he still had his reservations regarding it. So when he met Ayame that morning in class, he was a little awkward in facing her knowing that they could be step-siblings in the future.
"I know you've been avoiding me like the plague today." Ayame approached him with a somewhat concerned look after Classes as they made their way into the Clubroom.
"Sorry, it's just…"
"You're not taking the fact our parents are dating aren't you?" Ayame gave him a teasing smile.
"Well, that is reassuring that I am not the only one. Care to listen to the troubles of my own?"
"Shoot." Haruki smiled, and it was then Ayame told him the history of her and her mother all.
"I don't get it," Mamoru asked as he and Eire lay down underneath a nearby tree at the Courtyard, a commonplace for many to relax and have picnics during lunchtime. He had called Eire to help hear him out with something that bothered him the past few days.
"What is?" Eire asked with a curious look. She decided to help him out either way both out of curiosity and that she was willing to help him out regardless.
"How at times I find myself somewhat at ease and at times when I spend time with Izuhara-san even though she can be a handful at times," Mamoru explained taking reference from his usual experiences with Ayame.
"And yet when I see her happy when with other people, especially other men, I feel a sense of uneasiness within me," Mamoru explained in a low voice, recalling times where he'd see glimpses of her laughing happily with Takuya and Haruki or with just her classmates. "And it's been bothering me for a long time and it's frustrating me at something I don't understand."
Does he...by chance like Izuhara-san? Eire thought to herself, from what she understood from his opinions towards that comes off as Mamoru being unjustly jealous of Ayame being happy with other men. But she didn't want to jump to conclusions in that matter, especially since his main problem is that he's just confused.
"I mean what made you question it?" Eire asked, hoping maybe they both can find something of a reasonable conclusion. "And what made it different from your interactions with others like me?"
"Can I give a blunt opinion on you, Horie-san, and Shishido-san to explain the scope of the situation?" Mamoru explained, Eire hesitated. It was no secret that he and Yusuke had the most painfully blunt opinions on everyone, though in Mamoru's case he's only that blunt due to poor communication skills.
As far as everyone, Yusuke himself agreeing into it, that he's just trying to be an asshole.
"Sure why not?" Eire said albeit with a hint of reluctance.
"While each one of you is a different experience with Horie-san being too intimidating at times for me to approach her, Shishido-san being the total opposite she's too friendly that it's obvious that she's forcing it, while you're a middle ground. Yes, you try to reach out with everyone but you maintain a safe distance between us out of fear or distrust." Mamoru explained most of which Eire agrees on. Yes, she is reluctant to trust them but still tries her best to reach out and open to them.
"What about Izuhara-san?" Eire asked.
"That's where she deviates from you three." Mamoru pointed out with a frown, it was genuinely the first time she saw the usually stoic and blank-faced Kurokawa Mamoru show a conflicted look on his face. "While we spend little time outside our classes, when I'm with her it's like she tries her hardest to get me to open up to you guys. Effectively giving me the whole there's more to life than just studying speech. And I try my best to keep up with someone as hyperactive as her to the point where I always forget any form of exhaustion with her."
"But at the same time, I feel like she has this pain that she masks behind her constant optimism that she shows with us all the time," Mamoru said recalling the troubled look she had back then when he saw her on the phone with someone. "Even though I don't know what was the cause or why she chooses to hide it, I want to be someone that protects her and someone she relies on. Tell me, what do you think this is?"
Okay, so from what I understand is that he just wants to protect her and be someone she can rely on. Eire pondered on that from what she understands based on his explanation. But at the same time, it's pretty broad so he might also end up developing feelings for her. But she didn't want to jump into conclusions leading into a string of complications in the future.
"I think you're just worried for Izuhara-san's well being that's all," Eire concluded with a smile as she got up while she helped him. "You value your friendship with her that in your perspective makes her somewhat of importance."
"Is that so…" Mamoru trailed off looking at the distance and spotted Ayame and Haruki talking from afar and felt the same pang of sadness insider him. "That's a scary thought though…"
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