Tick-tock …… tick-tock …….

Only the sound of the hands of a clock echoes in the silent space.

The sound is small but surely informs us of the passage of time.
I was waiting for the time to pass quickly in the quietness that reigned in the room.

Occasionally, I shift my gaze toward the sound. But all I see is the long hand, which has not moved more than a few centimeters, or even a few millimeters, as I saw earlier. The short hand, for example, hasn’t moved nearly as much since I started eating my evening meal.

Please …… get it over with. Please …….

I’ve been thinking about it a lot in my mind since a few minutes ago. But life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. This is evidenced by the fact that despite the fact that I have avoided many future events, trouble never ends.


A loud coughing sound comes from the man sitting in front of me.

“Is it seven o’clock……”

The man in front of me also seems to be concerned about the clock from earlier. I want to go home early too.
I’ve only had one bite of the curry Kurase made, and I’m getting hungry.

“So, what’s your relationship with Nanami ……?”

The man in front of me – perhaps Kurase’s father, who had been letting time pass unnecessarily without getting to the main topic – asked a standard, commonplace question.

“I can take you to the police station now, can’t I?”

What do you want me to do?

According to Kurase, her father is an active detective. This question-and-answer session is just like an interrogation. Isn’t this coercing a confession?

“What were you trying to do with Nanami?”
“Ah, no, it was….. an accident….”
“Accidental ……? What kind of person would be in such a state after an accident?”
“No, it’s certainly not normal, but it’s true!!!!!”

I can understand why you would want to be skeptical. Even I am surprised at how such a goofy development came about. But it is Kurase’s natural and screwed-up abilities that make it a reality.

“Shut up! Do you know what it’s like to have your daughter, whom you raised with the help of a single man, turned into a wounded animal by a boy you don’t even know?”
“I didn’t do anything …… to her!”
“That’s right, Dad! He just touched my breast!”
“Alright, Kurase, let’s shut up.”
“You! Come to the front. I’ll cut you off!”
“Look, the conversation got complicated!”

Kurase’s father’s eyes are bloodshot at Kurase’s statement as he sits beside him.
It’s true, but I was just explaining to him that it was an accident!

“Mouu, Dad. Calm down! We were still having dinner, remember? Because of you, the curry got cold.”
“………… uu…… Nanamii……”

The father is emotionally unstable.

It seems that fathers have a weakness for their daughters after all. Please, Kurase. Please, Kurase, do something to persuade your father.

“Well then, Nanami. What kind of relationship do you have with this guy? You’re having dinner alone with just a friend! and you even serve him a home-cooked meal!”
“You’re persistent, Dad. You can’t just go out with your friends and have dinner together nowadays, can you? Yuri chan has been here before.”

That’s because you’re the same gender, isn’t it ……?

Well, it is possible that Kurase thinks that the opposite gender and the same gender are the same when it comes to friends.
“And even though we might still be friends now,……, I don’t know what will happen in the future,…….”
“N-Nanami ……?”

The father’s face turned pale as Kurase said something to him.

“Anyway! Ito-kun is still my friend! If you do anything rude to my friend, even father, I won’t forgive you!”

A drop. Quietly, tears welled up in the father’s eyes.
What does it feel like to be a father rejected by his daughter? I felt a little sympathy for the father.
But at the same time, I realized that this is the way a family should be. Kurase must be loved.

“What is your name?”
“It’s Ito Arase.”
“Ito-kun, huh? Your name is Ito-kun, is it ……?”
“Yes, that’s right.”

I see, this is ……! and he’s gritting his teeth again, but isn’t he saying something weird without me? Kurase, you’re okay with this, right?

“You’re really friends with her, aren’t you? You don’t look at Nanami as a member of the opposite gender, not even a little bit? You swear to me?”
“W-We’re friends.”
“Really? If you don’t want to be punished, give me a convincing answer!”
“Please believe that we are friends !?.”
“B-Because, Nanami… ……”
“If you bother Ito-kun any more, father won’t be able to get curry, will he?”
“Ah, no, Nanami? What about that? Father, I’m tired after all that work, okay?”
“Don’t worry. It’s all right. There will be enough food for dinner.”

Kurase then took out something mysterious and reddish from the refrigerator.
……What’s that? Isn’t something moving?
Is this what you were talking about when you said you failed?

“H-Hey, Nanami? What’s this?”
“Dad’s dinner. You can have it as a snack.”

I am afraid of Kurase who is smiling at him. The cute Kurase is just a cute girl and I thought there was no way I could be afraid of her, but it was a …… unexpected aspect.

“I-I’m sorry Nanami,…….”
“I’m not the one to apologize, am I?”
“………… I’m sorry. Ito-kun…..”

Kurase’s father apologized with his head on the table with a regretful look on his face.

“No. no. I’m sorry. I understand how father feels.”
“father……? You have no right to—Hiii..”

Kurase’s father, who was about to go off again, was instantly calmed by Kurase’s one glare.
I’m saved, but isn’t there too much bomb buried in every nook and cranny, this guy …….

“Well then, I’m hungry, let’s continue with dinner!”
“Yeah, yeah …….”

Are we going back to dinner with this atmosphere?
I mean, the three of us? Wouldn’t that be hell?

In the end, the unique combination of me, Kurase, and Kurase’s father treated ourselves to curry for dinner.
It was supposed to be delicious, but I couldn’t really taste it.

“Oh, I forgot! I’m going to go do the laundry! I’m going to go get the laundry done!”

We were served dinner, and it was time for me to leave. Kurase suddenly remembered and went to take in the laundry. Kurase’s father and I were left in the living room.

…………What should we do?

I felt awkward, but not knowing what to say, I decided to wait in silence.

“Ito-kun. Can I talk to you for a minute?”

But the other side didn’t seem to be so sure.
Reflexively, I braced myself for what he might say again.

“My name is Seiichiro. Don’t call me your father-in-law by mistake.”
“H-ha. ……?”

A sudden self-introduction. What on earth……?

“I’m sorry about earlier. When it comes to Nanami, I just get so passionate. And ……, I heard you took care of Nanami…….”
“I’m talking about the stalker case. I heard that you saved her from a dangerous situation.”

For a moment, I didn’t know what he was talking about, and my reaction was delayed.

“No, no. I didn’t do anything.”
“I see. I still want to thank you as the father of the child. Thank you.”

He bowed his head again.
This time, Kurase did not make him bow, but of his own volition.

“Please raise your head. I really didn’t do anything.”
“I see.”

Seiichiro raises his head.
But the stalker is Asagiri’s brother, right? Did you hear the details?

“Um, about the stalker?”
“I heard from Nanami that it has already been solved. But I am a detective. I can’t just leave it like that. Especially when it’s my daughter.”

You are absolutely right. In fact, he even brought out a knife, and if something went wrong, she could have been stabbed.
But how could I talk about this? I had not reported the incident, but now it was only a matter of time before he found out about it.

“H-How much do you know?”
“I haven’t heard everything. But I did hear that the culprit was Yuri chan’s brother.”
“Did …… Kurase tell you that?”
“This is just something I was forced to ask because of my position. Nanami didn’t want to talk about it until the very end, though.”
“I see,…… that,…….”
“Don’t worry. I’m not going to mention it any further or make an incident out of it, because, if you ask me, it was nothing more than harassment.”

I told Kurase about Asagiri’s brother’s murderous behavior at the time of my hand injury. In other words, it seems that Kurase had not even mentioned that he had taken out a knife until I had consulted him about the stalker.
I am sure that Kurase’s character did not want to make what her best friend’s brother had done important. Even though it might have been directed at herself.

“As you know, that kid doesn’t have a mother. I don’t mean that as a compliment, but it’s almost as if I didn’t do much of anything in this line of work. Hence, even from a young age, that child was out of the loop in some ways, but she was really solid. As if she could handle being on her own. …… and that child grew up to be the kindest child anyone has ever known.”

Seiichiro speaks quietly.

“That’s why I’m worried. I wonder when that kindness for someone else will hurt me. Even in the past, …… once, She was involved in an incident because of such a kind nature.”

I had never heard of it before. Have she ever been involved in some kind of incident ……?

As if there was no such a dim past, Kurase is showing every day.
“…… so I’ll check with you again. That’s really all there was to it, wasn’t it?”

I don’t think the decision Kurase made was wrong. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to call the police.
But was that really the right thing to do? I ask myself once again.

From the standpoint of Kurase’s father, Seiichiro, it would have been unbearable. If his daughter, who was involved in an incident in the past, gets involved in an incident again, it would be …….


Flashback. I flashback to my sister who lost her life because of me.

“S-sorry. That’s not all.”

I can’t help but think. At a time like this, I wish I knew more about the future.

I made a decision to tell Seiichiro the truth.
Seiichiro listened to my words without saying a word. And when he finished listening, he slowly opened his mouth.

“I see.”
“B-But really, Asagiri’s brother is already fine…”
“Don’t worry. I have no intention of doing anything about it now. There will be no evidence left behind.”

I was so relieved to hear him say that.

“And once again, thank you. Thank you for protecting my kids.”
“No, I’m ……”
“From my point of view, Yuri chan is like another daughter to me. That’s why the decision is surely not wrong. If you decide that it’s okay, then I believe you. As a detective, my judgment may be wrong.”

Seiichiro laughed.

“If I may say so. I’ll tell you”

Seiichiro continued.
…… alternative? My heart beat increased again at those words.

“If something else happens, if I’m not around, I need you to protect them. I may be asking too much of you, but…”

I could only nod. I felt deeply that this was a real family after all.

“I’m home! Oh, Dad. You’re not picking on Ito-kun again, are you?”
“No, no, Nanami, this is!”
“Kurase. Thanks for dinner. It was delicious. I’ll leave you now.”
“What? You’re leaving already? You’re not staying the night?”
“No, wait. That’s not right.”

Kurase was bursting with naturalness until the very end.
I waved her off at the door and started on my way home.

“No mistake…….”

I muttered, looking up at the sky.
The sky in the countryside is beautiful. I couldn’t help but think that today in particular.

“Nanami. Did he go home already?”

I saw Ito-kun off and was about to enter the house when, for some reason, my father came outside too.

“Yeah, what’s going on? Why did you come all the way out here?”
“I just wanted to have a smoke.”

Saying that, he took out a cigarette and put it in his mouth.

“Hey, don’t smoke in front of me, it stinks!”
“O-Oh, no ……, you used to tell me how cool I was …….”
“I don’t like the smell in my hair.”

Father cries and puts away his cigarettes. I want to get back soon, so you don’t have to put it away.

“He’s a nice guy.:

I had a strange voice because my father suddenly said such a thing.
I was so surprised that he said that.

“He looks like the old me.”
“Hmm? I wonder.”
“Yeah, so you can bring him home once in a while.”
“I’ll bring him home without father’s permission, though.”
“Gosh, ……, it’s not allowed to be just the two of you like today!”
“I’ll do it when father doesn’t come home.”
“I’m going to go into the house now.”
“I’m going to smoke and then come back. ……”
“If you smoke, stay away from me for a while.”

I left my father, who had lost some of his energy, and went into the house.
Now I want to go out somewhere with Ito-kun, I thought.

If you enjoy our content, feel free to donate 🙂 Thank you in advance !

Related Posts

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Oh Nanami, you can’t be that cute… My heart is bleeding because it needs more space…