48. Dark history
I never thought that Mom would hold a meeting with Rie’s mother.
Moreover, they seemed to be quite friendly.
Well, I knew that were no secrets between girls. At least based on my experience in the original world.
How many times had I heard during school breaks, “Let me tell you a story, keep it a secret, okay?”
That said, their voice always could be heard all around!
Even if I didn’t want to hear it, I would hear it. Something like, “I’m dating ○○-kun. It’s a secret between us.”
Once I turned around and kindly warned the girls, “If you’re going to talk about secrets, do it elsewhere,” but they escaped without a word.
All the girls there ran away from me. And every time I remembered it, tears came to my eyes.
Well, there aren’t any secrets between women on good terms.
After all, sharing with others is just human nature.
But, from now on, if I don’t pay attention to my words and actions, everything will be spilled.
No, wait, is it already too late?
When I looked at Mom timidly, she slowly nodded as if to say that she understood.
“Let me tell you something about, Rie-chan?”
“Don’t worry it’s not a bad thing. You see, everything about Take-kun has been cherished by her.”
“What do you mean?”
“The silver mechanical pencil that was supposed to be thrown away seems to have been carefully stored by her.”
Rie stretched out her hand, but of course it was too late.
“A silver mechanical pencil? Ah, the one that can’t hold the lead properly anymore? The one that I wanted to throw away but…“
Right, Rie told me that she would throw it away for me, so I handed it to her.
But, did you bring it back without throwing it away? It’s broken and can’t be used, you know?
“The handwritten note when you asked her to buy something was put in a handmade frame and is still displayed in her room.”
Rie held her head.
“When she needed a detailed specification, I would write it on a paper and give it to her, but….. handmade frame?”
“Ah, uh, ah…”
Rie’s mouth was like opened and closed like fish.
“And…… if I remember correctly, I saw a number…”
“Nuooo…… that one, it’s the first day I was allowed to call you by name so…”
“Rie, you said it yourself.”
Rie dropped to her knees.
“That’s how much Take-chan is cherished.”
“My life….. ugh”
You look like a slug after being sprinkled with salt, you know? Want me to sprinkle some water? It might refresh you…
“Your mother was worried, you know. She told me that, you didn’t want to let others know about the swimming tournament date.”
“Come to think of it, at the last tournament in the middle and third years, you got a good time, right?”
I heard later that the time was close to some kind of record.
“If she were 0.1 seconds faster, she would’ve got a co-ed high school recommendation. That’s amazing.”
The co-ed high school would be Wakamiya High School, another coed school in the Special Ward.
“If you’re at that level, wouldn’t it be possible to get into Wakamiya, even if it isn’t by recommendation?”
They can get a top-level swimmer without using the recommendation ticket, after all. So, won’t they welcome you?
“No, I’m not interested in going there…”
“Besides, why didn’t you let me know the schedule of the tournament? Makoto and Yuuko were also frustrated because they couldn’t go to support.”
“I-it’s embarrassing…… if I knew that an acquaintance came to see me, I would be so nervous and couldn’t be able to show my ability… or rather… that was what I thought.”
Rie held out her head while mimicking a seppuku. [TN: “Seppuku” (切腹, ‘cutting [the] belly’), sometimes referred to as ‘the only way to commit ritual suicide is a form of Japanese ritual suicide.]
At the same time, Mom took out her smartphone.
“It looks like the food I ordered on the way home has arrived in the box. Rie-chan, I told your mother that you would have dinner here, so don’t worry. Well then, let me take it.”
In a hurry, Mom left.
After deciding to bring Rie here, she must have ordered delivery right away.
Even after Mom disappeared from the front door, Rie was still in a dangerous condition, saying, “Abababa.”
Could she even recover?
I mean, her “dark history” was made clear by a male friend’s mother?
I wonder how would I feel if that happens to me…
No, looking at Rie, is enough to know it more or less.
The food Mom ordered was pizza. With a topping of ham and sausage.
“I’ll make a salad. Sit there for a while.”
Sis came down from the second floor and froze when she saw Rie. After looking at Mom and Rie a few times, she let out a small sigh.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Aki, Taketo’s older sister.”
“Nice to meet you, my name is Rie Etou.”
Rie suddenly stood up and lowered her head.
“You see, Rie-chan was in the same class as Take-chan in middle school.”
Mom, who arranged the salad on the table, explained.
As for Sis, she had a face saying, “as expected”, and wasn’t surprised by that fact.
“Thanks for always taking care of Taketo.”
“No, that’s not true. I’m sorry I can’t be more useful.”
“Well, she cherishes Take-chan very much.”
Rie held her head again.
Not long after, a peaceful dinner started.
Mom relieved Rie’s tension with small talk.
When I was enjoying dinner in such a situation, Mom suddenly said,
“Looking at the pizza, it reminds me of something. Take-chan. You, tried the food made by Rie-chan and other girls in the home economics class, right?
All of a sudden, the conversation was turned to me.
Home economics class… ah that’s right…
“I think it wasn’t pizza, it was pasta.”
In middle school, every class had three girls for each boy. This was a measure to prevent boys from getting pressured more than necessary, and this was the same for all co-ed elementary and middle schools.
However, physical education and home economics were separate classes for boys and girls.
Two classes were combined for the art and home economics classes.
During the cooking practice, all the boys would have a chance to taste the food prepared by the girls in their group.
“I know. Take-chan, when I asked about what you ate at that time, you said spaghetti with ketchup. Later, I asked the other parents about it.”
The owner of this body didn’t seem interested in such things. But you’re right.
Hmm, but this memory is… hm?
“But it was actually Bolognese. Mom was surprised when I heard it.”
Right, it was a tomato-based sauce, but it doesn’t use ketchup in the first place.
What the hell are you doing? How could I, I mean him, make such a mistake…
“I heard she practiced a lot. Seriously, it will make the girls lose their motivation to cook for you, you know?”
“T-that’s right, ahaha…”
I want to erase this memory.
When I glanced at Rie, she had a strange expression on her face.
They probably practiced a lot in order to get me to eat Bolognese.
And now, she learned that I only recognized it as ketchup spaghetti.
I don’t want this, but I can understand Rie’s feelings of agony after her dark history is shown, very well.
By the way, Mom. Your word is so sharp, I bet you can kill a bear with just words…
“By the way, how was it before?”
“What do you mean before?”
“You went on a date at the fountain park, didn’t you?”
Mom’s words made my heart jump.
As for Rie, she jumped from her chair like a rabbit.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.