“I heard the rumor that you’re getting married, right? Congratulations.”
“Oh my, thank you. I’m a little embarrassed that I still seem to be flirting despite my age.”
“No, that’s not true. You look more like an older sister than a mother.”
“Oh my. Have you fallen in love with me instead of Yua? If I wasn’t engaged, I might have tasted you.”
Her mischievous smile in the rearview mirror looked just like Yua’s.
This is not the time to be under pressure. Because there’s no guarantee that I’ll get another chance to ask her.
“Mother, are you…”
“Oh, you’re quick. Take care of my daughter.”
“Eh !? No, um, I didn’t mean it like that…….”
“I’m just joking. Izuma kun, you’re too serious. I’d rather you call me ‘Azuki san’ than ‘mother’.”
“I understand. Well then, Azuki san, is it true that you used to be an idol?”
“It’s true. I quit soon after that. I wanted to sing and dance. I wanted to be pretty and glamorous on stage. But my manager wanted me to focus on modeling and acting. So we had a fight and I quit.”
I understand the manager’s point of view. Azuki san is a beautiful person, but I think she’s more suited to modeling and acting than to being an idol. But she didn’t like that.
“Did you start your own business right after that?”
“That’s right. I decided to create a cute, low-priced apparel brand that even young girls could afford. It was for revenge.”
“I knew it myself. I’m tall and have a sharp face, so I didn’t think I’d be good enough to be an idol. But I was attracted to idols, so I couldn’t help it. So at least I wanted to use my power to increase the number of pretty girls in the world who look like idols. That’s what I meant by ‘Revenge’.”
If I can’t be one, then I will be one to support. That seems to be her motivation for starting the company.
“Even so, all I ended up doing was making clothes that I wanted to wear.”
[It’s like [the high school spirit is inside me] kind of clothes that I want to wear.]
This must be exactly the kind of feeling she was talking about in the interview.
“By the way, Yua, do you remember our diner appointment?”
“Eh? Uh, yes.”
“Matsukata san is a nice person, so you don’t need to be nervous.”
Matsukata san is probably the name of Azuki san’s fiancée, whom she will meet for the first time at the dinner.
“Did you like that outfit? It’s cute, right?”
“–Yes, it’s cute.”
“Yua looks best when she wears something like that. I will coordinate your outfit for the next dinner.”
“You can rest assured, your mother will take care of it.”
She said in a lively voice.
Azuki san parked the car in the parking lot of a convenience store.
“Is it okay to drop you here?”
“Yes, it’s very close by. Thank you very much.”
“It’s my pleasure, please continue to take care of Yua !”
I said to Yua [Well, see you later.] and got out of the car.
I saw Yua smiling and waving at me through the backseat window, and I waved back.
The car pulled out of the parking lot. After the car turned the corner and was completely out of sight, I kept staring in that direction.
Azuki san is a really nice person. She’s so polite and friendly to a kid she just met. Besides, she cares about Yua very much.
That affection is going round in circles–. And Yua is acting obediently to respond to Azuki san’s affection. That’s how it looked to me.
In order to meet the other person’s expectations, she kills herself and devotes herself to them. That was the case with Yua when I first met her. It was as if she had reverted back to that.
Is she just being considerate of her mother whom she hasn’t seen in a long time? Or–
I can’t think straight. I’ve been avoiding social interaction, so the events of the past few days have been information overload for me. My brain’s processing capacity is not up to the task.
I feel something on my cheek.
The rain was falling in drops from the thick clouds hanging low overhead, creating a pattern of countless black holes in the dry asphalt.
I feel like I will get drenched if I rush off, so I walked home slowly.
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