Chapter 8 – Mother’s homecoming (4)
Translator – Vodka
Here is the chapter of the last week. I hate to say this, but I might need to take a break. I so don’t want to, but circumstances are proving to be rather demanding……
“Welcome back, Nii-san! Were you able to meet up with mom safely?……so, what happened?”
I had finally reached my house. When I opened the door to the entrance, Kaede, who was in the living room, adorably broke into a trot to hurry over and meet us.
I was the first one to enter the house. She flashed a smile at me, and even before she could meet with our mother, the two girls who had followed me from behind had entered the house and captivated her eyes.
“In the first place, you’re always getting too close to Minato-kun”
“How I decide to interact with him is none of your business, is it?”
“It might not be now, but it will be, here on out!”
Shizuku and Kirasaka glared at each other.
Kaede was aware of their bad relationship too, but the fact that they would continue to fight like this even when they have come to visit our house was a first.
Kaede too seemed like she was bewildered as to how she should call out to the girls before her.
“Leave them be, it’s the same as always”
“I know that, but……Ah, welcome home, Okaa-san!”
[TN – ‘Okaa-san’ is “mother”]
Mom went around the two quarrelling girls, and she stood in front of Kaede.
Kaede jumped at her, and mom received it with a face full of smiles. The apparent happiness on mom’s face was just like when I had encountered her at the station.
“I’m back! I am sorry to have put you through so much trouble. From looking after the house to taking care of Minato-chan, thank you for everything”
“That’s fine. I like doing it. Please don’t worry about it, Okaa-san”
It was a pleasant sight to behold. A mother was gently patting the hair of her beloved daughter, while the daughter had her face buried in her mother’s chest, looking happy.
It was a pleasant sight to behold, but……
“Please return immediately!”
“Of course, after I see you return to your house”
There was nothing more annoying than two people making a fuss, and not caring about the mood of the place.
It was simple to tell them to be quiet, but mom seemed to have been enjoying this situation. Kaede seemed to have lost her prudence as she too had decided to keep quiet. She put on a bitter smile, but it seemed like she was having fun too.
Anyways, normally, it is the older brother who should have to look after the younger sibling.
Truly, I have lost face……I help her with the shopping and bathroom cleaning, though.
If I tried to help her with other things, I somehow always ended up increasing her workload……truly a wonder.
The reunion went on to last for some time.
Mom took a deep breath, seemingly at ease in her own house.
“As expected, home is the most relaxing……”
It had only been two months, but she looked around the house yearningly.
Indeed, when you were gone on a school trip and returned home after a few days, you would feel yourself excessively at ease.
Be it on any ordinary day, or holidays, I would devote myself to the guarding of the house. It was my home ground.
I wanted to leave it only when it was inevitable, like during school events.
Mom entered the living room, her arms linked with Kaede’s, and sat down on the sofa.
I carried her luggage into our parent’s bedroom. Then, I headed for the living room.
“I will pour in some coffee. The two of you, please don’t fight and have a seat”
In the living room, Kaede pulled some chairs and urged them to take a seat, but instead of sitting down obediently, they……
“Well then, I shall sit next to Minato-kun”
“Ara, I have plans of sitting there”
Kaede was trying to diffuse the tension in the air. The two girls wore a smile and gave her a nod. However, the peace didn’t last for longer than a moment as they started to fight yet again.
“……I hate it when it’s noisy”
“Ah, no!……Sorry to have shown you such an unpleasant sight”
“Th, that’s right……I have embarrassed myself. My apologies to Okaa-sama too”
I had unconsciously let out my honest thoughts while standing at the entrance of the living room. The two girls turned to look at me, seemingly taken aback by my remark and closed their mouths. They obediently proceeded to take their seats.
As expected of me……being able to say things which were tough for people to say out loud.
However, if I were to talk about their reactions to the word ‘hate’ ……
They were making faces like it was the end of the world.
However, they had still left a seat open between them, which I was guessing I was supposed to take very conscientiously.
……That’s one place I didn’t want to sit.
No matter how hard I searched, I couldn’t find another place to sit. The only other option was the sofa on which mom had been sitting.
However, at my age, it was embarrassing to sit next to my mother. It was also tiring to remain standing. Because of the inevitability of the situation, I ended up sitting between the two girls. Shizuku seemed particularly happy about it as her expression was shining.
The corners of Kirasaka’s mouth had risen a little. She too must have been in a good mood.
After the two girls had quietened down, the only sounds that we could hear in the room were the sound of the television and that of boiling water.
No one was talking, but strangely, it didn’t feel uncomfortable.
With Kirasaka and Shizuku under the same roof, I didn’t think that I could feel at so much ease. It was a first.
Be that as it may, I hadn’t spent time with my mother at home in a long while.
I wouldn’t say that I loved my mother. Even then, it was nice to be able to spend time with her like this, once in a while.
[TN – Of course, he loves her, but not any more than normal. Thought I should clarify it]
How should I put this?
It was calming, or should I say, she filled a gap in our lives?
Dad was still overseas by himself, but when it came to him, I tended not to care……
After Kaede served coffee to everyone, mom inquired the two girls sitting next to me.
“What kind of relationship do the two of you share?”
It was evident that she was looking at the two girls beside me. So, I too looked at them with a sideways glance as I sipped on my coffee.
“What kind of relationship……I am Minato-kun’s childhood friend. Kotone-san is also aware of that……”
“I am Minato-san’s classmate, and I also sit next to him……”
I was pretty sure that mom already knew the answer to her question.
In the case of Shizuku, it went without saying. As for Kirasaka, she too had introduced herself at the station, albeit briefly.
Besides, Kaede kept in touch with her daily, so she should be knowing about Kirasaka, albeit only through mails.
The two girls seemed a bit puzzled by her question. They answered accordingly, looking slightly doubtful, but mom shook her head.
“I am not talking about your relationships with Minato-chan. I want to hear about the relationship that Shizuku-chan and Ren-chan share. Are the two of you friends?”
At that question, the two girls looked at each other.
They were staring at each other’s face blankly, their smiles gradually disappearing from their faces.
Shizuku stared expressionlessly at Kirasaka.
To counter that, Kirasaka stared fixedly at Shizuku with cold eyes.
I, who was sitting in the middle, could feel the pressure emanating from both sides. My right hand, which held on to the coffee cup, was shaking a little.
“Well……you could say that we are ‘acquaintances’”
“That’s right, ‘acquaintances’ is what I am thinking as well”
I couldn’t help but sense thorns in their words.
Rather, I should say, if the two of you are going to glare at each other, then please don’t make me sit in the middle.
Sensing the rising tension in the air, and looking at the shaking cup in my hand, Kaede seemed to have perceived something as she very casually, took a bit of distance from us.
Only mom was still looking at the two girls without any change in her expression, but I could see an increasing seriousness in her eyes.
“I won’t ask the two of you to get along with each other, because there is something called ‘compatibility’”
Mom said to the two of them.
Anyone could understand by looking at the two of them that they weren’t on good terms with each other.
These two certainly had the worst ‘compatibility’.
Rather, it would be hard to find two people who had their level of compatibility.
When mom started talking, the two girls looked away from each other’s face and directed their gazes to the front.
It looked like they had even corrected their postures somewhat.
“The two of you are here, not because you are on good terms, but because of Minato-chan, right? If so, then, I need to say this all the more……”
Mom closed her eyes and exhaled.
With a start, Shizuku and Kirasaka stiffened for a moment, but……
“I love Minato-chan more than the two of you!”
“……Are you stupid?” (MC)
I was wondering what she would say when she put on such a serious expression, but this over-fond parent of mine looked at the two girls before her with eyes filled with energy and made a bold declaration about how much she loved her son.