Chapter 3: What Are These Feelings?
‘Tendou… Tendou… Tendou… Tendou…’
Kept flashing in her mind. She fiddled with her pen, staring at the blank page, she still couldn’t find any inspiration. All she could think about was the man, next door.
Her new friend…
She pulled her phone out, staring at his number. She literally had 4 contacts on her phone, her father, a cousin, her old therapist and now Tendou Satori… She never messaged him, and it’s been a few days, what if he thought she didn’t want to be friends? Oh god, what does she do? Y/n sighed; he had been on her mind constantly since they met. Every time she thought of him, she never felt repulsed but every time, she was near another man, she would automatically crawl back into her shell.
Y/n’s attention was thwarted when a folder was placed in front of her, she looked up, only to look immediately down. Her co-worker smiled at her. He had taken a little liking to the girl since she joined the office but whenever he tried to get close, she would always distance herself. He could be a little too much at times.
“Good evening L/n-san, sorry for disturbing you but these are the rough drafts that Ohno-sama requested for you to edit.”
Y/n kept her eyes glued to the yellow folder, she felt uncomfortable. He was standing right behind her, trying to peer over her shoulder
“Um… thank you… I’ll finish them by the end of the week…” She muttered and he crouched down near her, making her squeak as she gripped her desk, trying to control her heart. Her co-worker just chuckled,
“L/n-san, it’s been months now and you’re still so shy around me… Kawaii…” He mused, misinterpreting her actions, laughing before he patted her back, making her go pale. As soon as he walked away, she let out a sigh in relief. She was about to open the folder, but she stopped,
‘He touched me… and I didn’t run away…’
After the incident, when her phobia had arised, every time she had accidently, touched or brushed against a man, she would immediately get nauseated, always running to the nearest toilet to puke her stomach’s content.
For her, it was a life changer that she initiated a kiss with Tendou that night, hell, she let him climb over her in his bed… she let him get that close and she didn’t feel sick at all. Not until she remembered, that is…
After months of therapy, Y/n could finally go out in public, without her father accompanying her. Choosing to move to Tokyo was a big life change for her. At first, her father was not comfortable, but the moment Y/n realised she needed to chase her dreams, she held her stance. She realised that he couldn’t shelter her, her entire life, she needed to overcome this. Even during therapy, a full in-depth discussion with her therapist had made Y/n realise that it was all mind over matter.
So, for a few months, she began following exercises given to her. Her father would accompany her to a park, sit on a bench while she walked around by herself until she could no longer endure it. At first, the walks at the park would only last 5 minutes or less but as time went on, they extended, and she felt okay. Then they began getting the groceries, forcing herself to check out at a till managed by a man. Her conversations were shaky, abrupt, however now, she had learnt to keep her cool. She still felt uncomfortable talking to men but if it was something serious or work related, she could handle it.
Finally, when Maro came into her life, she felt better. Like she had someone to take care off, instead of being taken care off.
She faced her biggest challenge when her father had to work away for two nights. They both were tense, and he offered to cancel on his boss, but she refused. He had a life; he needed a break.
When he left, it was awful, the silence was a bit too much. Insomnia hit her hard. In the end, she turned on every single light in the house, left all their televisions on and let Maro wander on her bed as she tried to sleep. She began thinking of her dad. He stayed single his entire life to look after her and then finally as she was beginning to blossom, she had been attacked. Y/n realised how much he aged, in a short amount of time. She wanted him to find a partner and live happily.
He couldn’t protect her forever…
In the end, she sat up that night. Her notebook lay on the desk and she began drafting out one of her first fictional short story. She incorporated all the happy moments with her dad, from the beginning to the present. He was her hero and she brought that into that story. It was the one of the best pieces of fiction, she had written. When she completed it, she realised that during all those hours of writing, she hadn’t once felt stressed or anxious. She never showed the story to anyone, but that night made her realise that she was losing out on that spark and love she had for writing. Y/n told herself, if she had to pursue her dreams, then she would begin living life the way she should be.
However, what sealed the deal for Y/n was the next day. It was early evening and she was chilling in her room, reading a novel. She began enjoying the silence at times but sometimes if she felt anxious, she would play music. Her father called her a few times as well to make sure she was fine.
But then, she experienced one of the worst moments.
Y/n glanced at Maro’s cage, was he still sleeping? He was usually awake and scratching against his cage door. Getting up, she made her way to him
“Maro, feeling lazy today?” She asked, eyeing Maro who lay stagnant. She froze,
“Maro?” She called and he didn’t move.
Panicking, she scrambled to open the cage, worriedly picking him up. He wasn’t looking well at all. He was panting. She felt the tears run down her face,
“M-Maro, oh god… What do I do?”
Y/n tried controlling her sobs, she had to take him to the vet. She had to venture out there alone. Looking down at Maro, nothing else mattered to her. She grabbed her things and his cage, running as fast as she could to the station. Y/n jumped on a cart, not caring that she was surrounded by people as she weepily looked at Maro’s cage.
Finally, she reached the vets and she ran in to the receptionist
“Please help Maro, somethings wrong!” she sobbed, and he stood up, gripping her cage and observing Maro
“Oh dear, let’s get him checked up, shall we?” He said calmly and she nodded, trying to wipe her face as she followed anxiously behind him. Y/n was brought to the Vet, where he placed Maro on the table, observing his belly and poking it. He looked at Y/n
“Is he going to be okay?” Her voice trembled and the vet smiled,
“Miss Y-n, don’t worry, he’s just constipated. I think you need to be a bit stricter with his diet” He told her, and Y/n let out a sob of relief.
“Thank you so much, poor Maro…”
The vet smiled, writing down a diet for Maro before he handed it to her
“Don’t worry about it, he will be fine after he clears his stomach. You’re doing a job in taking care of him”
She thanked him and left the clinic, happily eyeing a grumpy constipated Maro until she reached home. She soon as she settled his cage, she sat there thinking of Maro.
“I’m so glad, you’re okay…” She whispered before her phone rang
“Otosan” She said happily, and he greeted her
“Hello darling! Just checking on you. Are you feeling alright?” he asked, and she sighed
“Yes, I’m fine but Maro scared me. I thought he was dying, and I took him to the vet! He said Maro is just constipated, thank god!” She laughed and Y/n’s father froze,
“Y/n… you went out? By yourself?”
It was her turn to freeze, as realisation hit her
“Oh my gosh, Otosan! When I saw Maro, I panicked, I-I didn’t even realise… I went out! I sat on a train! The vet was a man and I spoke to him normally! And the receptionist!” She made herself realise and he gasped,
“Y/n, that’s amazing! You did it! I’m so proud of you” he said gently, she could feel his voice shaking
“Otosan, thank you…” she said softly
“Oh Y/n, you should smile some more! You look so pretty!” Her female colleague gushed, and she snapped from her thoughts, blushing. Her female co-workers were nice, they were loud and chatty, and she liked talking to them. She felt normal, they made her realise that she was normal. Y/n packed her stuff and decided to make her way home.
As she walked towards her house, the familiar sign of the patisserie came into her view. She held her breath, Tendou might be in there. She hadn’t seen his face in a while, but she could picture it perfectly. What was wrong with her? Why did she want to see him so badly?
She decided to let her curiosity get the best of her as she tried walking into the shop as casually as ever. She let her eyes wander over to the glass display, as usual everything looked tantalising. The same cashier stood there, smiling at her
“Oh…um hello” Y/n said shyly, and the cashier grinned
“Nice to see you again Miss! Been a while! What can I get for you today? There’s this lovely vanilla cream cake with strawberry jam?” She asked with the nicest smile ever. Y/n felt a little giddy, what a kind lady. She felt a bit shy, shaking her head, she asked,
“Um… is there anything that’s been made by… Tendou-san?” She muttered, shyly and the cashier raised a brow, her grin widening
“Oh my… you know Tendou-san? His chocolates are to die for, in fact… today he baked those chocolate eclairs. Hold on a second…”
The cashier left Y/n to observe the decadent looking eclairs, as she went inside the kitchen. Y/n heard a bang and a clang, leaving her a bit anxious but a few minutes later, the cashier came out, still grinning.
“Would you like me to pack these?” She asked and Y/n nodded,
As soon as she paid and the cashier handed her the bag, she turned to leave
Y/n turned a little startled as the cashier held out a pink box for her
“These are for you, on the house.” She said and Y/n was confused,
“For me? Really? Is that okay?” She asked unsure and the cashier handed her the box, leaning over the counter
“These are Tendou-san’s newest creations, let him know what you think” She winked and Y/n blushed, quickly leaving.
“Now isn’t she just a doll? So cute! Tendou-san’s reaction makes so much sense now!” The cashier squealed to herself, remembering Tendou’s scarlet face when she went into the kitchen and described Y/n. His cool demeanour crumbled as he began stuttering,
“Uh… someone’s asked for my desserts, specifically?” He asked, wiping his hands clean before he began picking up a pot of melted chocolate
The cashier grinned,
“She’s a real cutie too. Very, very shy, do you know her? Kinda short, long wavy hair, her face is very innocent?”
Y/n’s face immediately flashed into his mind as he dropped the metal container, getting chocolate all over his apron before he tried stabilising himself, however his elbow hit a pan, dropping it. His co-workers looked at him in amusement, he seemed so cool but sometimes he was such a dork, like right now. The cashier giggled,
“Oh, so you do know who I’m talking about!? Well, you can’t go out there looking like that… That’ll be a bitch to clean… Don’t worry Tendou-san, I’ve got your back!”
She gave him a thumbs up, walking out as Tendou tried calling out to her,
“Wait! My back!? Shit…”
What was that crazy woman up to…?
Tendou groaned, he got home later than usual. After cleaning that mess in the kitchen, he had to start the next batch of chocolates all over again. Sighing, he stretched his arms, removing his day clothes and slipping on his loungewear. He opened his balcony, anxiously awaiting the sounds from the other side but alas, there was nothing. It was a bit late; she must’ve been asleep.
His heart thumped when he remembered that she came to the patisserie, she asked specifically for his desserts… Did this mean she was interested?
Preparing his mug of coffee, he grabbed the latest Shonen Jump, sitting on his balcony, as he began reading.
Y/n currently lay on her floor, Maro walking on her back as she clutched her phone. She ate his desserts today and they were phenomenal. Tendou’s chocolates must have been her favourite, no other chocolate could compare. She glanced at his chat window, thumbs idling around the screen as she began thinking of what she could say.
“Don’t be a baby, Y/n… you’re friends, right? You can text a friend” She convinced herself
Meanwhile, Tendou skipped through his Shonen Jump, he was thinking about her. How could he capture her interest further? So far, he realised they had a mutual connection through his chocolate, but he wanted more. This was not enough.
Tendou’s phone buzzed and he pulled his phone from his pocket, reading the screen
Unknown: I went to the patisserie today; I really liked the eclairs! Delicious!
Unknown: I forgot to write my name! Silly me, this is Y/n, from next door. (:
Y/n squealed, scaring Maro as she hid her face in her folded arms, her feet gently tapping the floor. Why was she feeling so giddy and shy? She actually texted him, what if he found that weird? She began thinking of why texting him was a bad idea, but her phone buzzed, and she snatched it up, her heart beating
Tendou-san: Been waiting for you to text me, thought we were going back to being strangers… I’m glad you liked them! They were fresh and made with love :3
She blushed, was he implying something by that
Y/n: Sorry, I had been a bit busy with work. They indeed tasted like they were
She sent back and waited, minutes passed, and she felt her heart drop, maybe he got bored?
She sat up straight, grabbing her phone, reading his message. Her heart raced
Tendou-san: I know its late but I’m on the balcony, would you like to join me for a chat?
She would get to talk to him again, it’s weird how much she really wanted that, she wanted to feel hesitant, but her body moved on its own. She slowly slid open her balcony door
“Um… Tendou-san?” She called out, seating herself on the floor cushion
“Hey stranger, nice hearing from you” he said form the other side, a tiny smile on his face, while she blushed
“S-sorry, it’s been a busy week… How are you?” She asked,
“I’m fine, just got home. How’s Maro?” He asked and she glanced inside, Maro was busy sniffing around her floor
“He’s the same, scampering around the house, every chance her gets….” She kept quiet, thinking for a second, she had to keep this conversation going, “So I... uh… I came by the patisserie today; those eclairs were delicious. Um, I got a box of your chocolates… on the house. The almond one was my favourite” She began rambling, wanting to slap herself for sounded so weird
Tendou raised a brow… Chocolates on the house? Damn, Ryo was smooth. That’s what she meant when she said she had his back.
“Yeah, I know you came by! Glad Ryo gave you the chocolates, I was worried she might have gotten the wrong customer…” he lied, feeling a little guilty but hey, he was slightly desperate to get closer to her.
“I wanted to come out and greet you, but I got into a slight mess…” he ended
Y/n hugged her knees, those chocolates were from him? For her, especially?
“You didn’t have to Tendou-san but I’m glad, they were absolutely scrumptious, I’m fascinated with the fact that you hand make them, I’d love to see the process” She said, wondering how artisanal chocolates were created by hand.
Tendou thought for a second, maybe he was going to be forward but at the same time, he didn’t just want to talk to her with a partition between them. But he decided to take her curiosity into his hands
“I’ll be making a new batch of chocolates tomorrow evening. Would you like to come by after work maybe? I’ll let you into the back kitchen, you can watch me make chocolates. I’ll even let you make your own little batch. I’ll ask Ryo to stay behind, she’s the cashier from today. So we won’t be alone and you might feel more comfortable?” He offered, holding his breath waiting for her response.
Y/n was flustered, he wanted to hang out with her tomorrow, and he was going to ask his female colleague to stay for her sake. This man was sweeter than his own chocolate. She felt her heart warm; she remembered the time she ventured out of her house for the first time without Otosan. She could do this
“Y-you don’t have to ask Ryo-san to stay… I’ll be alright, if it’s you…” She said and Tendou felt the arrow struck his heart. Fuck, he wanted to stomp his feet in joy. She had to be the cutest thing he had ever laid eyes on, he cleared his throat, trying to sound a little sexier and gruffer
“Great, I’ll be waiting, text me when you finish with work.”
She giggled, hugging her legs, smiling
“Sure, Tendou-san, I’ll be heading inside now… By the way, you should try drinking some green tea with ginger, your voice sounds a little strained! It’s good for sore throats!” She hummed happily and he sweat dropped feeling embarrassed
“That sounds great… Goodnight Y/n-chan” He said, scratching his temple
“Goodnight” She said back, sliding her door closed.
Tendou dramatically clutched his chest,
“Ugh… my heart”