Chapter 15 – Complex?
This chapter was a bit confusing. Basically it starts on Thursday the week after the previous chapter and has a lengthy flashback to the previous Saturday in the middle.
“You alright? Ryou.”
When Ryou sits down on his seat, Shouji turned around and asked him with a worried voice.
“I’m fine, just a bit sleep deprived.”
Ryou answered while waving his hand as if to say there’s no reason to worry.
Bags could clearly be seen under Ryou’s eyes.
“Even if you say it’s fine… Are you sleeping properly? Were you doing something in the middle of the night?”
Ryou has a somewhat disheartened face while answering Shouji’s enquiry.
“Ah, my part time job. I ended up being late due to a little blunder.”
“Due to a little…, really, your job ignores the Labor Standards Act. Hasn’t it been every night recently? What time did you return home?”
Shouji is popeyed from surprise.
“Ryou…, you need to resign from that sort of job.”
“I think so as well…, but you’re not going to ask.”
Shouji then curiously asks Ryou.
“What kind of part time job would make a high school student work until such a time. What kind of work it is.”
Shouji shrugs his shoulders.
“Even if I ask, I don’t think you’ll answer.”
Ryou gives a small laugh in reply.
Shouji who felt likewise shrugs his shoulders.
In that case it’s no use even if I ask. I’ll hear it when you say it.”
“Well, I’ll talk about it someday.”
Shouji says doubtfully.
Ryou laughs while shrugging his shoulders.
When Ryou says so, the two look each other in the eyes and laugh.
Ryou then said to Shouji with a smile.
“Well, those like you who don’t pry are nice guys.”
“That‘s how it is.”
While saying so, Shouji turns around and begins to read a magazine on top of his desk.
Seeing that, Ryou takes his phone out of his pocket and lets out a small sigh.
As would be expected, am I working too much, he absentmindedly thinks so. Ryou has been putting in so much at work to prevent himself from thinking about Erika, when returning from work, he ends up thinking about it after all, and as a result his sleeping time has shortened.
Why did he fall in love, Ryou began to be troubled the other day. Early morning after working all night on Saturday, he still had work on Sunday that night as well, he started to think that his sleepiness isn’t helping in regards to his problem. Why, if he understands why he is on love he can calm his feelings and calming down would be helpful.
Is it because he was attracted to her face, but Ryou doesn’t think that’s enough for him to fall in love. At any rate, walls were put up in his heart as caution for such feelings.
He reflects on when his feelings first started to change. Without any doubt, it was the previous Sunday on the day of their date. Then, when on that day did he change, thinking about it, it was probably around the time of the lunch, he can say with conviction. Anyhow, it was thought that he couldn’t eat it anymore ‘a boxed lunch with a taste resembling a mother’s’ when eating it he shed tears by mistake.
That time, without a doubt some part of his heart’s walls were torn down, Ryou conjectures. Then, was it that time? He asks himself, but feels it’s a little different. Then was it when we hugged afterwards? He feels that is also wrong. Was it the time he slept on her lap? Thinking to that extent, why in the first place had he fallen asleep so quickly, Ryou wonders. While looking puzzled he ponders over that day.
Lying down and receiving a lap pillow, when closing his eyes after deciding on a direction to face, the impression coming from the touch was strangely relaxing. Why was it so relaxing? ……Even thinking about it he couldn’t understand. Eyes closed, he briskly scratches his head, various faces of Erika flow by.
A troubled face, smiling face, laughing face, a face teary-eyed from laughing and the like, at the same time as they flow by in his head his chest throbs, it couldn’t be stopped. And then, the face of Erika smiling gently flowed by, Ryou’s felt his heart thump heavily.
Ryou who is at a loss puts his hand on his chest to suppress his heart, when he once again calls to mind Erika’s gentle smiling face, his heart beat similarly again. Is it this? He thinks recalling that face. His heart throbs as if to say ‘Correct! Correct’, ah, I fell in love when I saw this face, Ryou was able to come to a conclusion on since when he had fallen in love.
Ryou who finally found his answer let a breath in relief, so what now that I understand? He was troubled for a moment, when seeing her face, when recalling it, if my heart doesn’t throb like that would it mean my feelings have calmed down? While thinking so he recalls Erika’s face while becoming accustomed to his heartbeat.
While shutting his eyes, after about 30 seconds he looks puzzled.
(Resembles somebody……? No, is it not the face but the atmosphere……?)
After worrying about that for a few seconds, Ryou opens his eyes.
“It resembles mother’s atmosphere……!”
Muttering to himself, everything is understood at once.
What it all comes down to, for Ryou the cooking was like a mother’s taste, that is to say ‘taste of a mother’s cooking’ is what broke down his heart’s wall, his mind was made to settled own due to the atmosphere being similar to a mother’s, he came to fall in love seeing her smile gently with an atmosphere like a mother’s.
The instant he understood, Ryou suddenly stands up.
“I’m not a mother-con!!”
While saying so he bangs his head on a wall.
Anyway, Ryou has understood the cause for being in love with Erika, but doesn’t want to understand it.
After understanding, same as some time ago, he thinks to try and become accustomed to it, when picturing Erika’s face, this time her face is completely clad in the atmosphere of a mother, the throbbing of his heart becomes awful, Ryou despairs at the mother complex hidden in himself. I absolutely never was a mother-con, while telling himself many times, his feeling for Erika show no signs of cooling down, he gives up on his efforts to calm them. The only salvation for Ryou this time is that Erika and his mother’s face don’t resemble each other’s in the slightest.
Trouble concerning the results, after having his sleeping time reduced he feels are inflexible, causing the situation to be the worst it can be, Ryou goes to bed in a bad mood.
Ryou who recalls the vicious cycle of that day mocks himself.
The previous week he ended up meeting up them on Wednesday, three days after making his decision, and Friday. However, this week Ryou worked hard.
This week he declined invitation on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was only to return home, Wednesday was only for lunch, all were declined.
The energy required to decline the invitations from the girl he likes surprised Ryou.
For the lunch break invitation he says he is tired from his part time job and is sleeping in the classroom and he has to go home quickly to get to his part time job, he cuts them of like that. Due to those not being lies his mind could be at ease.
Furthermore, perhaps he should confess and get rejected, he thinks so but then he might not be able to see her smiling face anymore. Then if responding only to lunch breaks, there may not be any problems when it comes to them. But then it would be difficult to continue to decline returning home together, so Ryou declines both.
He ponders so about these invitations, after end-of-day homeroom on this Thursday that an invitation message never came. He fees relieved in not having to decline a message from Erika, but at the same time when thinking about last week and today being the first time, Ryou came to be lonelier than he thought he would. He was angry with himself who was so self-centered.
Sighing, Ryou holds his anger in check, today let’s return slowly along the backstreet, he decides. Because there was no invitation, those three are unlikely to return through there (Ryou believes they will return along the main street), Erika certainly won’t return along the backstreet, it was said before. Just how much of what Ryou said was heard, is something he doesn’t know.
When those at Ryou’s part time job saw him, he was given a day off in consideration so today is a day off. When it was discovered that Ryou constantly had bags under his eyes, he was forcibly given a rest day, my present appearance seem to be very bad, Ryou mocks himself again.
What on earth should be done in the current situation, as a beginner in love Ryou doesn’t know what to do.
The only thing he knows is that returning home together should be avoided.
Going back a little to the rooftop during lunch, Erika, Azusa and Saki have finished eating and are talking.
Erika with a depressed looking face says a few words.
“Am I being avoided…”
Azusa’s face becomes troubled.
“It his work, didn’t he say he is tired because of it?”
“Yes, but for this whole week…”
When Erika says so while sighing, Saki said in a low voice.
“But, he really seemed to be tired.”
Erika is surprised at Saki knowing such a thing.
“Really? How do you know?”
“Today, I saw him in the hallway by chance. There were bags under his eyes.”
Erika shows a little relief on her face because of Saki’s words, but at the same time worried about Ryou.
“Is it alright to have such a hectic part time job?”
Azusa who recalls something says.
“That reminds me, I haven’t previously heard him say anything about his job. Have you heard anything more than that?”
Erika shakes her head.
“I haven’t heard. I haven’t asked.”
Knitting her eyebrows Azusa says while looking at the sky.
“Next time, let’s not ask, be slow.”
Erika who sees Azusa’s state has a cold sweat stream down.
“In, in moderation…”
For a moment Azusa smiles nihilistically, instantly returning her face she said.
“However, interesting isn’t it…, because we said we wouldn’t come to the classroom, he can keep refusing this way by saying he is tired.”
Erika nods while feeling a little down.
“That’s so, returning today will also be declined……”
Azusa seeing Erika not being lively pains her heart, simultaneously she is wondering about Ryou. There should be no mistake that Ryou likes Erika, why then won’t he see her. Even though Ryou has fallen in love as Azusa planned, what has happened since then has been completely unplanned. Ryou has always said he doesn’t want to stand out, he declined returning, so for the sake of his friend’s not suspecting something it can be thought that he is declining lunch break invitations, but for some reason it is felt it isn’t that.
For the sake of not standing out he only has to decline invitations, to think so can be considered pointless, if the three grandly approach Ryou it would attract attention, Azusa by herself is making a plan, for today Ryou’s thoughts need to be made clear, there’s no meaning if that is used. (If Ryou is aware he would complain)
Azusa who was thinking so with her arms folded looks up and said.
“Let’s meet and talk.”