Chapter 09: The two lifted up the corner of their mouths
Since Uchida had asked me to help her herself, we were now doing the day duty in the classroom together when everyone had gone home.
I was getting a lot of stares from the guys who were after Uchida, but the narrowed eye girl, Minami, forcefully pushed them away.
Honestly, that was a big help.
I lifted the chairs onto the desk and Uchida started sweeping with a broom and dustpan.
There was no particular conversation exchanged, as I continued to work in silence.
In the past, I think I would have reached a super awkward max and started to have ulterior motives like maybe there’s a restless dog in me while moping, but my head is so occupied with what happened with Ayane-san that I can’t afford to wear out my spirit by dwelling on the past events.
So, I just do my assigned work in silence.
“Uh, um! Kudo-san!”
You scared the s**t out of me!
Because of all the things I’ve been thinking about, I didn’t think I’d be called by Uchida at all.
When I looked in the direction of the voice, Uchida looked at me from a little distance and said, a little embarrassed.
“Kudo-kun seems different these days.”
Have I been any different
It’s not that I didn’t know, but I didn’t expect Uchida to tell me that at all.
“I guess so…”
Uchida fidgets to my pause.
I’ve learned a lot these past few days, thanks to Ayane-san.
As a result, I came to understand that my attitude toward Uchida had put pressure on her.
So I stopped working and thought I should apologize for that.
“Eh Ha Why are you apologizing”
“I’ve been thinking about it ever since Uchida dumped me a year ago… and even though we became sophomores already and were in the same class… I think I made it pretty uncomfortable by subconsciously staring at you.”
Uchida widened her eyes, looking surprised, and then started waving her hands.
“No! That’s not true at all! Rather, I should be the one apologizing! I made you feel bad for rejecting the confession!”
“That’s not it.
In fact, it was I who confessed, without considering your feelings at all.
As I paused to catch my breath, Uchida looked at me with her clear magenta eyes and urged me to continue.
“Besides, you know, though it was hard for me, there were also some good things that happened! So I thank you for that!”
I replied, smiling and made a cheerful gesture.
Her body twitches for some reason.
I don’t know why she reacted that way, but the fact is, Uchida made me realize how immature I was.
So I’ve always wanted to tell her how I feel about that someday, so I’m honestly glad it came true so soon.
Now I feel like I’m finally at the starting line.
Not like I’m going to confess my feelings to her again or anything evil of sort, I mean that I’m back to a state where I can communicate to her as normal.
I took a deep breath of relief but found Uchida looking up at me anxiously.
I can see all of Uchida’s body because I’m a little far away from her in the distance, and she was…
“By good things, you mean you got a girlfriend”
“Ah, no! There’s none at all!”
“I-is that so… there aren’t any…”
As I denied while shaking my head and waving my hands in the air, looking impatient, Uchida suddenly loosened her complexion and patted her huge and explosive chest in relief.
I gotta admit, every gesture of her’s is just too cute, but I purposely coughed and looked so as not to spoil Uchida’s mood before saying.
“Anyways, if you happen to stumble upon any more problems like today, let me know and I’ll help you as much as I can.”
Thanks for that…”
After that I finished my day duty, quietly organized the chairs and took out the trash.
And as the teacher confirmed it, we left the school together.
I got a lot of stares from the guys who were in school for club activities, but well, since I have to go to the supermarket to buy soy sauce as soon as I get out of the main gate, I hope they don’t take it the wrong way.
“What are you doing after this, Kudo-kun”
“Me Well, I could go to the supermarket and buy some soy sauce.
Mom asked me to.”
I’m sure Kudo-san’s mom will be happy because you listen to her!”
“It’s as usual.
She’s a single mother taking good care of me, so I don’t want to cause her any trouble.
The least I can do.”
Uchida stopped walking and looked at me with her eyes wide open.
The look on her face seemed to contain some confusion and expectation.
“Uchida What’s wrong”
I asked her, worried, but she answered somewhat happily.
“A-actually… my mom is also a single mother…”
“Um, yeah… but you’re the only person I told this to… so…”
“I won’t tell anyone.
So don’t worry about it.
It’s a little awkward, isn’t it If people know you’re a single parent and child…”
I had assumed that she was from a rather big family from the atmosphere she exudes, but it seems I was mistaken.
But I feel it’s wrong for people to give you cold stares just because you’re from a fatherless family.
My dad died saving people.
And I think that people who don’t understand the circumstances and speak ill of single-mother families are shallow-minded people.
I’m sure Uchida has her own reasons as well.
But I feel like it’s wrong to pry into that.
Although we have something in common, that is that both of us are from a single-mother family, I’ve no intention to take it as an opportunity to take advantage of her, otherwise I will be no different from the guys we faced earlier.
So I turned to face the opposite direction from Uchida and raised my hand.
“I’m going to the supermarket then.
See you tomorrow.”
“O-okay! See you tomorrow!”
With that said, I walked away briskly.
I didn’t look back, but I felt her eyes on me.
I thought about turning around for a second, but my phone rang and I pulled it out.
It was a LINE message.
Not to mention the person who sent it.
And the corner of my mouth raised up unconditionally.
X X X
The girl kept staring at Kenichi’s muscular back until he disappeared.
She was overflowing with emotions that she had been burrowing deep down inside her heart for years.
She took a few deep breaths, as her eyes went blank.
And the corners of her mouth,
Lifted up, the same as Kenichi’s.
Next time we’ll get to see how cute Rino is, so keep your eyes open.
 I think I have seen a video or documentary somewhere before that Japanese people are not that much more favorable towards a single mother than a single father.