Yua spoke of her request.
“I was hoping you would let me practice for tomorrow.”
“For the dinner?”
“Yes. I was shown a picture of her fiancée, Matsukata san, and he seemed like a very serious person. So I didn’t know what to say……”
She said it with a vague confidence.
“I’m sure you’ll be able to talk to him casually just like you did with me.”
“N-no I can’t ! I’m going to be hated !”
“So you’re doing something that makes me hate you.”
“It’s not that ! Seita kun is special….”
I don’t think I’m supporting her enough, but I’m so happy that she thinks I’m ‘special’.
“So, what should I do?”
“Then, Seita kun will play the role of Matsukata san. I’ll be my mom.”
“No, no ! You have to play the role of yourself, Yua !”
“But the thought of Seita kun being with another woman is going to make me break my teeth.”
“Your jaw muscles are amazing.”
Are you a crocodile or something?
“I mean, I don’t know Matsukata san, so I can’t do the simulation.”
“I see……. Well, I’ve got some questions for you, can you answer them?
Said Yua as she looked at the screen of her phone.
‘What are your hobbies?”
“Is this matchmaking?”
“What’s your type?”
“Your mother of course.”
“How old was your first kiss?
“Do you want to break off the deal !?”
I let out a sigh.
“It’s worse than I thought it would be…….”
‘Because I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about but love…… I’m not good at serious talk. Our age is too far apart.”
She looked down with her lower lip sticking out as if she pouted.
It’s a little surprising that Yua, who’s good at communicating, would end up like this. But it’s true that Azuki san’s fiancée would be in his forties or even fifties, and they probably don’t have much in common.”
And Yua doesn’t have a father. Perhaps she’s uncomfortable with men who are older than her.
“But honestly, love stories aren’t so bad, are they? Like asking about the beginning of their relationship.”
“I see. As expected of old man’s wisdom.”
“I’m only one year older than you.”
“And then…… ask him about his life or his family background.”
Yua typed a note on her phone.
“And what he does on his days off.”
“It’s ‘hobby’ isn’t it? I was right all along.”
“W-well, I thought you were going to say something stupid anyway, so I just make some retortment.”
“Do you think I’m like that….? Shocking….”
And, she dropped her shoulder.
Yua opened her hands and stuck out her tongue like a mouse in a certain dreamland.
“That’s the thing,…!”
Yua laughed with a face that looked like she had done it. I laughed too.
“I think it’s fine like that.”
“What do you mean, like that?”
“Like that is like that.”
“So, what is it like?”
I looked away.
“Just like that. All you have to do is to act like yourself, Yua. That’s the cutest thing about you–. Ah～…I think it’ll leave good impression.”
Then I roughly tossed the cookie on the plate into my mouth. I intentionally chewed the cookies with a biting sound.
Yua was silently sipping her cocoa. I thought that she would make fun of me like she always do, realizing my cheesy line.
“Just like me……”
Yua, who had put down her cup, said in a mumble.
“Do you really think it’s best to be myself?”
I was puzzled by the tone of her voice, which was darker than usual.
“Eh? W-well, I think so.”
“What if they don’t like me because of it?”
“No, I don’t think he would hate you for that.”
Yua’s eyes were shaken. Rather than being anxious, she seemed to be frightened about something.
“But, if my mom–“
–What about Azuki san?
Aren’t you talking about how matsukata san will hate you?
“Why would Azuki san hate you?”
“Because if I don’t live up to my mom’s expectations–“
And she choked on her words.
I remembered when Azuki san drove me home.
She was so affectionate toward her daughter, whom she had not seen in a long time, as if she was trying to make up for everything she had done so far.
In return, Yua accepted everything.
Then, I heard the story from her brother. When Azuki san was away from home more often due to her work, Yua began to act strangely.
Immediately, after talking with Azuki san, my thoughts that weren’t organized suddenly became in line and made sense.
After all, it was the existence of Azuki san that made Yua what she is today.
Yua felt affection by meeting Azuki san’s expectations. When Azuki san became busy, she filled her loneliness with men who were attracted to her because of her looks. Yua, who didn’t know how to obtain affection except by “meeting expectations,” devoted herself to them, but was repeatedly played with and dumped. Perhaps that’s what happened.
Yua has worn clothes that didn’t fit her and walked around with worn-out shoes all her life. What can I do for her?
“She wouldn’t hate you just for that, Yua.”
“But she might be disappointed or sad. I don’t like that……!”
“Being disappointed or sad is a matter of Azuki san’s feelings. It’s not a problem for you to take care of, Yua. If you care for everyone like that, it’ll be a waste for your time, you know?”
“There are all kinds of people in the world. There may be people who dislike Yua for who you are, but there must be many people who love you as much.”
“….I knew it, you’re not very good at comforting people.”
“I don’t care for anyone else in the world ! But I just……!”
Her emotion rose, and her voice was hoarse. Then, suddenly, Yua stood up, while wondering what she was thinking, she unbuttoned her cardigan and took it off.
Without answering my question, Yua also put her hand on the button of her blouse.
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