「Um… I’ll be going home for today.」
Mizuhara gives me a dissatisfied look.
「Why? What about my anmitsu and ice cream?」
「I really can’t make ice cream in this situation!」
Why is anmitsu his top priority?! I head back to the bedroom and grab my backpack.
It looks like things are about to get complicated. I don’t want to make things worse.
I give Mizuhara’s mother the most polite greeting I can manage, and wave goodbye to Mizuhara as he enters the room.
I close door as softly as I can, and head straight to the front door.
「…………………My shoes aren’t here!」
Only the tall Japanese sandals are at the front door.
Mizuhara’s shoes aren’t here either.
Where did he put them?! I search the entire area to no avail.
I don’t bother going back into the bedroom to explain the situation. Instead, I’m spending my time searching at the front door and the kitchen.
I notice that Mizuhara left the milk outside, so I put it in the fridge. I also make sure that the matcha agar I’ve made has already solidified.
It’s solidifying faster than gelatin.
After spending some more time hesitating, I proceed to finish making the anmitsu.
I’m taking extra care not to make a single sound.
It’s the first time I’ve cooked something sneakily.
I put the agar, azuki, and rice flour dumplings on a plate, then wrap it and store it in the fridge. The bedroom door is opening.
Mizuhara’s mother comes out of the room, gives me a graceful smile, and slips out of Mizuhara’s place.
I take a peek into his room.
I can’t see Mizuhara’s expression because his back is facing me.
「………Do you want some anmitsu?」
「I’ll have some.」
I take out the plate from the fridge and put a premade vanilla ice cream on top. It’s done.
I bring my own plate and sit in front of him.
「Um… Was there anything your mom wanted?」
「She said my brother’s getting married, and asked if I can attend the wedding ceremony.」
That was the purpose of her visit.
「I wonder if it’s really a problem if I’m not going, even though he’s my brother.」
「I don’t think that’s the problem… I got the feeling that she just wanted to see you.」
「…I wonder about that.」
He explains his home environment to me straightforwardly.
His parents are managing a traditional inn in Hokkaido.
His mother always wears an elegant kimono befitting her behavior.
She could even be called a traditional landlady.
His parents are both devoted to the inn, so they never spent much time with their children.
They fed them the same things they serve at the inn. It’s a little luxurious, but nothing too special.
I can’t really imagine what he was like as a kid, but he says that he didn’t need much attention.
I’m not sure if he’s a reliable narrator, but leaving his obsession with sweets aside, he does show a lot of independence.
「One day, my father brought me a math practice book. I finished it as he told me to, and yet he took my favorite book and burned it. I never understood why he did it, or why my mother or my brother didn’t stop him.」
「Ah… about that…」
「My mother told me about it after some time had passed. My father burned the book because he suspected that I copied the answers from the book.」
Mm… it really is a tough problem.
It took some time until Mizuhara understood the reason why his dad burned the book.
During that time, he began to distrust his family.
His mom told him the reason, but his dad never did.
The only thing he said was「That’s why I bought you the same book.」
But to Mizuhara, it wasn’t the same book at all.
The trivial details mattered to him, but not to his family.
The most important part is the fact that no one took his side when he lost what was most precious to him.
With more and more disagreements piled on top of that, Mizuhara decided to take the chance to move out before going to high school.
「A wedding ceremony…」
This is the first time I’m seeing him so tense even though he’s eating sweets.
The Sweets Therapy isn’t working.
I grab Deviina and bring her in front of Mizuhara.
I’m trying to give him some Animal Therapy, but Deviina kicks him in the face with her rear leg.
I quietly put her down and sit her up.
Mizuhara looks at me as if asking me what I’m trying to do.
「Um… I’m sorry. Was it a bad idea to let her in?」
I’m giving him an enquiring look.
Maybe it wasn’t a good idea, since he might have complicated feelings towards her.
「Not really. I just didn’t expect her to come at such a bad timing.」
He probably means the entire half hour he went to buy some milk.
I get what he’s trying to say from his tone.
「Huh? You mean… You knew your mom was coming today?!」
「She’s been trying to visit me these past few days. I expected her to come today too.」
「You should’ve told me!」
He knew she was coming to visit and avoided her on purpose, and sent her away once she said her piece.
Mizuhara looks away calmly.
I’m curious about whether he’s planning to go to the wedding ceremony, but there’s still some time for him to consider.
「By the way, where did you put my sandals?」
Mizuhara points to the top of the air-conditioner with his fork.
「They’re going to be covered in dust!」
I glare at him and take the anmitsu away from him.
「Just kidding. They’re under the newspaper.」
I check under the newspaper. My sandals and his sneakers are here.
It was right under my nose. I guess it didn’t matter since I couldn’t have looked for them when his mom was around.
He never told me his decision about attending the wedding ceremony.