Chapter 14 - Worries
Pablo observed me viewing the water absentmindedly; he let me think. Today was a very peaceful day, the sun shining, yet not the same as in summer or September. I averted my eyes, being aware of his gaze. However, he looked away. Marshmallow whined in boredom.
“We should leave,” he noted, locking eyes with me. We began walking beside each other in silence.
“You’re pretty quiet right now. Is everything ok?”
“Huh? Of course, why would you think so?
“You are usually talkative, I guess.”
“I’m just enjoying the walk.” I needed to change this conversation theme to a different one and thought of asking my companion some questions.
We changed on holding the leash, and I handed it to him.
“Hey, Pablo?” I called him slowly, yet, it always sounded like “Paburo,” the pronunciation was hard for me.
“Do you like this city?”
“I guess... Do I?”
Marshmallow barked at another dog and interrupted us from the conversation. “Hey! Don’t bark!” his owner shouted, seeing his dog growling at the other. Marshmallow jumped away.
“Come!” My companion twitched with the leash to make the pomeranian continue walking.
His voice sounded soft, calm, and quiet, high pitched at times, depending on his emotions and his Spanish accent. My voice sounded soft, angelic-like, and sweet.
We carried on our way about an hour, mentioning a lot of things, with happy Marshmallow.
“In which year were you born?” I asked him.
“I was born on the twenty-second of August, in the year 2010. How about you?”
“I was born on the fifteenth of December, in the year 2010, like you. And the city, hmm... I don’t remember.”
We continued our way through crowds of people. The air sooner became colder, and the sky darker. My friend noticed I’m shivering.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
“I’m okay,” I responded.
He wore a navy blue gakuran and black sneakers. I wore a navy blue seifuku (sailor fuku). A uniform made of a red blouse and sailor styled collar, including a dark blue pleated skirt. On my legs, I wore sneakers borrowed from Mizuki because we shared almost the same height.
Pablo stopped walking and unbuttoned his gakuran, anyway. He offered me the clothing.
“No, I’m excellent...” I tried to object, knowing I’m not convincing him.
“You’re shaking. Grab it; I’m not cold.”
“No, it’s alright, really –”
He wrapped my shoulders in the gakuran, smiling. “Better?”
I nodded and blushed, gazing at him inconspicuously. He is not shaking; I reckon he is chill with this, after all. A guy never offered me his clothes before. It’s heartwarming.
We soon came to Sanazawa Street, and he unlocked the gates of his house. We entered the apartment, and he automatically sneezed.
“Are you okay?”
“Ya, I’m fine. I just sneezed, huh.” My friend pulled off Marshmallow’s collar and leash. I unbuttoned the gakuran, handing it to him. “Thank you.”
Mizuki came in and greeted us. “Hi! How was your walk?”
“It was great, Miz,” her brother answered, and I nodded with a smile. Mizuki smiled too. “I made you some hot cocoa.”
The siblings’ parents returned home. He got up and helped his tired parents with bags. His mom and I noticed each other; I waved shakily to Mrs. Nakajima.
The woman smiled at me, genuinely. “You must be Mrs. Sakura Kurumi.”
I could see Mrs. Nakajima is a chubby woman with dark brown hair in a classic straight bob hairstyle, including bangs. Her almond-shaped dark eyes locked with mine.
“We’re glad he has a new friend. Can we call you Kurumi? Or would you prefer a shorter version? Is Ku okay?”
“Ku is fine with me.”
“Alright! I’ll work on making you dinner.”
“Uh, it isn’t necessary! I don’t want to bother you. You seem tired from work, so... I guess I’ll leave before the meal!”
“Oh, it’s alright. You can stay at dinner with us, and we can order Pizza.”
“Pizza? So you won’t mind and cook, Nakajima-san?”
Mrs. Nakajima laughed. “No, I won’t right now.”
“Okay... I’m sorry if I acted disrespectfully.”
“No, not at all.”
Their mom left to order Pizza on the phone, and his dad entered the room instead. I greeted him, still shyly. I received a positive reaction from his parent and felt relieved; nevertheless, I didn’t know if the dad would have the same response.
“Hello, Mr. Nakajima, my name is Sakura Kurumi. I’m Pabs’ friend.”
His dad resembled his son a little, with his dark brown, not much messy hair, and no bangs. I saw he has a shaved beard and tan skin. He did seem European. The strangest thing about his appearance was his eyes – one light green and the right eye chestnut colored.
“I see. Nice to meet you.” his dad said.
“I remember I haven’t made a house tour yet. Right now, we are in the dining-living space. I’ll show you where are the toilet and my room.”
Pablo entered the hallway and showed me two doors. “This one is the restroom.” he pointed at the left door, “the right one is a shower-room.”
Then he entered upstairs, with me followed him. We found ourselves in a hallway with a wooden floor and white-colored walls. Pablo opened the closest door. “This is my room.” he walked inside, leaving the door open, and I stepped in the place. “Nice,” I noted, examining the space in curiosity.
“But, you sure have some mess in there.” I grinned because many papers lay on my friend’s desk, including a few books and some clothes lying on his chair. His bin being full as well.
“Uh, excuse that I haven’t had time to clean it yet, or I wasn’t in the mood,” he answered, rubbing the back of his head.
“Don’t worry; I have messy space too at times.”
Pablo exited the area and returned to the hallway. “Next to mine is Miz’s, next is Mai’s, and next to hers is the second restroom, next it is a pretty small guestroom.”
Mai exited her room and galloped downstairs. “What’s for dinner?”
“You only care regarding food.” Mizuki sighed, “Pizza. Mom buys it because she’s tired from work.”
We came downstairs, and Mrs. Nakajima placed two pote mayo sausage pizzas on the table. In the next few minutes, everyone sat at the table, eating.
“How are you going to get home, Ku?” Pablo searched for a response.
“I’ll walk to the subway, and then I’ll be at my apartment.”
“We’ll drive you home.” Mrs. Nakajima offered.
“No, no! It really won’t be necessary! I’m not going to bother you with such a thing.”
“It’s already dark, and you can’t go outside alone,” she said uncompromisingly.
“I’ll drive you there; it’s going to be the safest way.”
“Your parents don’t mind you being here?”
I twitched. “They don’t mind. Besides, I live alone.”
“You live alone? Isn’t it lonely sometimes?”
“It sure is,” I said quietly, eyeing my plate.
“You must feel lonely,” noted Mai, making me lower my head.
“Hey, Mai! Don’t do that. Can’t you see it makes her uncomfortable?” Mai’s sibling frowned at his sister.
“Sorry,” she mumbled.
After the meal, Nanami got up. “Alright, I’ll drive you home now.”
“Aw, can’t Ku-san stay with us for a little longer?”
Nakajima-san looked at me. “No, I really can’t. I have a few things to do, and I won’t bother.”
Their mother, Nanami, and I walked outside, the siblings following us.
“Thanks for coming!”
“More likely, thanks for inviting me,” I said, giving my friend a genuine smile.
“No, prob.” he returned my smile.
“Will you come tomorrow too?”
“Huh? I don’t want to bother...”
“It’s okay! You can stay with us!”
“Um, Mrs. Nakajima?”
“I don’t mind. Aaron and I have to go somewhere tomorrow; we won’t even be at the house. We will probably come in the late afternoon or evening.”
“I can get hold of responsibility for the kids; nonetheless, I won’t mind having you around,” Mizuki chirped.
“Yay! Thanks! Well, bye and nice dreams! We’ll see each other tomorrow, I guess?” I pulled Pablo closer to his surprise and wrapped my arms around him. My breasts pressed his chest, making him blush. He repeated the hug.
We pulled from each other, and I hugged Mizuki with Mai.
Mai hugged me tightly too. “I like you!” she chirped.
I got in the car and waved to all three of them, and they waved back. I faced Nakajima-san. “It’s very nice of you to take me.”
“No problem,” she responded. “Where should I take you off?”
“At the train station.”
“You’ll go through a few streets. Wouldn’t it be better to take you off near your house?”
“No, I’m fine with the train station. It isn’t far from my apartment.”
I walked through the streets illuminated by lamps and to my residence. Taking a key, I brought with myself out of a bag.
I unlocked the door and entered my apartment happily, falling into my bed, also freely. “That was great. Finally, I visited a friend’s place after a very long time. Pabs reminds me of her... Could he possibly replace her? I felt delighted. It was like if she returned, although he isn’t her. Yet, maybe he would help me with my pain, without knowing. What kind of reaction would he give me if he knew regarding what I did in my past? Her? The pain? The previous year at my first high school and my parents? Do I even want to mention it?
I can tell him half of the truth... nevertheless, keep the additional one. I’m sure after he would get to know what happened in my past, he’d hate me. I know people would abandon me if they knew what kind of monster I am. I’m sure he’d leave me. Hate me if he got to know what kind of monster I am. No, it’s better not to tell anyone.
I fear his reaction; I don’t know Pabs that well. What if he is just behind a mask? And if I tell him, he’s gonna show his true colors? I better tell anyone. He may seem subtle. However, he doesn’t have to be helpful at all. I finally appear to have friends, and I can’t cut ties. This is my new beginning.
These three may finally be my real friends, and I can’t miss the chance. So, I can’t tell them much personal information—anything of the past. Then everything is going to be okay... I hope.”