Mini After Story – Kazusa ending (Ch. 1)

Miyoko
“Yes, it’s about time for them to come out of the gate.”
Youko
“Now, you can’t use a sign board or anything.
The media might figure it out.
You’ll just have to do your best to spot them with your own eyes.”
Miyoko
“You can count on me!
I have their faces committed firmly to memory!”
Youko
“Of course, there’s a chance they might not recognize your face, Miyo-chan…”
Miyoko
“…Please don’t say things like that, Director. You’ll make me feel lonely.”
Youko
“Well, anyway,
since it’s Christmas, there are likely to be crowds, so don’t lose sight of them.
Miyoko
“You’re right. There might be more people around than usual.
But the gate for leaving the country is where it’s really packed.
Families, couples, groups of friends…”
Youko
“Yes…
I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought up a topic that has nothing to do with you,
since you’re single, with no boyfriend or friends, and you’re stuck working on Christmas.”
Miyoko
“And whose fault do you think it is
that I’m so isolated?!”
Youko
“I hoped you would be grateful to your employer
for providing such a convenient excuse.”
Miyoko
“…Oh, hey! I found them!
Excuse me for just a moment.”
Miyoko
“Kazusa-saaan! Kitahara-saaan!
Over here!”
Haruki
“Get over yourself, Kazusa…
You can’t keep acting so ridiculously stubborn forever.”
Kazusa
“You’re the one who needs to get over yourself, Haruki!
I told you, just give me one word of apology and I’ll forgive you.
Why can’t you even manage something that simple?!”
Haruki
“I’ll tell you why I can’t do it…
It’s because, this time around,
I didn’t do a single thing wrong.”
Miyoko
“Uh, um… Kazusa-saaan…”
Kazusa
“All right, that’s it. I’m divorcing you!
It’s a Narita divorce for us!”
Haruki
“You’re using that term wrong.
The idea of a Narita divorce is derived from “speed divorce.”
It’s already been several years since we entered our family registry, so that doesn’t apply.”
Kazusa
“Listen to yourself!
That petty, nasty, quibbling habit of yours
is exactly what I hate!”
Haruki
“Ah, what an honor.
I didn’t become this kind of person
because I thought you would like it.”
Kazusa
“Don’t say another word! Don’t talk to me! Don’t speak!
I never want to hear your voice again!”
Haruki
“Everything you just said means the same thing.
We’re back in Japan now, so use proper Japanese.”
Kazusa
“Aaargh! Shut up, shut up!”
Miyoko
“…Director…”
Youko
“Were you able to link up with them?”
Miyoko
“Forget about me… Those two aren’t even linked up with each other.
Um, on a mental level.”
Youko
“Oh, my.”
Kazusa
“Well, then, I’m going to sleep in this room.
…Don’t you dare come in.”
Haruki
“Fine. Even if you realize you’re lonely later,
and come weeping and apologizing to me, I’m not getting into your bed.”
Kasuza
“I am absolutely serious!
And like hell would I ever do something like that!”
Haruki
“Fine! Good night!”
Kazusa
“Shut up!”
Haruki
“…Phew.”

Finally, after throwing so many parting remarks at me that I lost count,
Kazusa slammed the door shut and disappeared into the next room.

…I was so glad we decided to go with a suite.
If there were only one room,
there would have been an uproar that went far beyond “awkward.”

Miyoko
“U-um… Um, um, um…”
Haruki
“…Sorry, Kudou-san.
We chose the worst possible time to get into it like this.”

And it wouldn’t have been an uproar that could be excused with a simple apology.

This woman, who had kindly shown us to our room while remaining at a distance—
that is to say, Miyoko Kudo-san, from the Japanese branch of Youko Touma’s office—
was peering into me, clearly deeply uncomfortable.

Miyoko
“For now, you should let things be as they are and get some sleep.
I’ll be back to see you tomorrow morning.”
Haruki
“I am truly, truly sorry.
Please give my apologies to Youko-san, as well.”
Miyoko
“Ah, the director didn’t seem like she was bothered about it at all, so it’s all right.
…She was actually cracking up over the phone.”
Haruki
“Ha, ha ha, ha…”

So, there were a couple of things to be gleaned from that remark just now.

First, that Youko-san was still as energetic as ever.

And second, that Kudou-san
was extremely worried about our fight…

Miyoko
“Well, good night.”
Haruki
“Yeah, good night…”
Miyoko
“I don’t think I really need to say this,
but you’re not going to let anything happen while you’re in Japan, right?
You’ll make up right away, right?!”
Haruki
“Aha, ha ha, ha…”

Kudou-san fixed me with a grim look until the very last moment,
then shut the door and left.

Well, I understood how she felt, and it was regrettable,
but the fact was that, when it came to our latest incident,
I just wasn’t going to back down that easily.

I may have been part of the company purely for Kazusa’s sake,
but even as a man, I couldn’t be expected to deal
with her outrageous selfishness forever.

That said…
Now that I thought about it, our entire trip to Japan
had been nothing but trouble since the moment we left.

And, at the start, it was definitely my fault.

My on-site meeting before our departure stretched out too long,
so we were late for our scheduled flight,
and Kazusa was stranded at the airport for five hours.

But up until that point, she was normal.
The problems started after we boarded the plane,
and the chaos continued through our connecting flight.

There were irrational requests midflight,
like “I can’t sleep. I want pudding.” (That was her.)

There was the fit pitched at the stopover airport
over a lost wallet at a kiosk. (That was her.)

There was the flipping out
because at the end of the in-flight romance movie meant as a time killer,
the two lovers separated. (That was her.)

See? The only place I was in the wrong was at the very beginning,
and absolutely everything else after that was her fault.

…As I grumbled to myself over all of this,
I twisted the shower faucet, and allowed the hot water to splash over my body.

Haruki
“…Phew.”

I could feel my muscles, stiff after hours and hours of sitting down,
gradually beginning to relax.

Haruki
“…Sorry.”

I could also feel my heart, which had been so stubborn this whole time,
beginning to soften.

That’s right. If the very beginning was my fault, then so was the rest.
I was the one who set the whole thing in motion.

This was Kazusa’s first trip to Japan in a long time.

…The two of us had made our escape several years before.
Finally, she had returned to her homeland.

At such an extraordinary moment,
it was unreasonable for me to demand everything to go normally.

And, anyway, the homecoming wasn’t the only problem.

Right now,
there was an even more extraordinary event waiting for us.

Haruki
“…Yeah.”

I was the one who needed to apologize after all.

After getting out of the shower and calming myself down a little,
I would call, knock, bow my head…

Kazusa
“Waaaaah! Harukiiiii!
I’m so lonely!”
Haruki
“Whoa?!”

…I barely had a moment to think.

Kazusa
“You… You…!
Were you just relaxing in the shower?!
How can you just forget all about me and be fine?!”
Haruki
“Forget all about… Come on, I haven’t forgotten all about you yet!”
Kazusa
“No… Don’t say something so sad…
I was wrong! I’m sorry, okay? I’ll do anything!
So don’t abandon me like that…!”
Haruki
“Couldn’t you have stayed angry for a full hour, at least?
Give me some time to reflect…”
Kazusa
“No… Let me apologize.
I’m sorry… I’m sorry, Haruki…!”

As I stood there, naked and dripping, Kazusa clung me.

The shower hadn’t been turned off yet,
and it rained hot water down onto both of us at once.

Haruki
“Hey, you’re gonna get wet.”
Kazusa
“I don’t mind.”
Haruki
“If you get chilly, you’ll catch a cold.”
Kazusa
“Oh, I don’t have to worry about that. You’ll warm me up.”
Haruki
“Kazusa…”
Kazusa
“…Right, Haruki?”

Even though she got herself soaking wet for such a blatantly lecherous reason,
Kazusa was just so beautiful, so cute, that I couldn’t resist her…

Haruki
“Mm…”
Kazusa
“Mmm… Ha… Haru… mm…!”

And so, in this tiny hotel bathroom,
in this completely ridiculous way, with hot water splashing over us,
we embraced each other, tightly, fervently.

Miyoko
“Kitahara-saaan, Kazusa-saaan,
it’s time to get up!”
Haruki
“Hnn…”
Miyoko
“Ah, good morning.”
Haruki
“H-hey, good morning.
Sorry, what time is it?”
Miyoko
“Umm, it’s just about noon…”
Haruki
“Huh? It’s already that late?
Sorry, I’ll get dressed real qu—Whoa?!”
Miyoko
“…Kitahara-san?”
Haruki
“S-sorry, it’s nothing… Hey, you.
Will you quit dozing?”
Kazusa
“What? I’ve been awake the whole time.
Mmm…”
Haruki
“Based on what you’re doing, I’d say you’re definitely still half-asleep!
Hey, whoa, not so hard… Mph!”
Kazusa
“C’mon… just one more time.”
Haruki
“Kudou-san is already just outside the room!”
Kazusa
“I’m sure Miyo-chan will be fine with
waiting just a little longer.”
Haruki
“No, I wouldn’t assume—look,
if we run late now, it’s gonna be obvious what we’re doing.”
Kazusa
“So what? It means we’ve made up, right?
…Anyway, Haruki, you were into it
all the way until dawn.”
Haruki
“That was because you kept begging me for it…!
Ah! I told you, Kazusa, stop…!”
Kazusa
“Nope. I’m not gonna stop.
Mm… mmm… Haruki… mm, mph… Hah…”
Miyoko
“…I need to quit this job already.”                     


1    2   3   4   5