“Hikaru, darling, I love you, but can we not do this today? It’s the middle of the week. I just came home after twelve hours or so… I am freaking exhausted right now…”
Ichirou said in a tired voice while being urged to change into something fancy by Hikaru. October seven, a Wednesday. Ichirou had just returned from his part-time job and was jumped by Hikaru who begged him to get ready to go out with her on a double date.
“Ichirou, please~! We were going to do this on Saturday… But you have plans with your sister… Please, please, just this once~”
Hikaru pleaded while holding Ichirou’s arm and looking at him with upturned eyes. A hint of moisture could be seen at the corner of her eyes, and as a man, of course, Ichirou said…
“Ugh, fine. Bring out my clothes, I’ll wash up.”
Ichirou was pissed, but he could never reject her when she was acting like this.
Hikaru excitedly grabbed onto Ichirou’s shoulder and jumped so that she could kiss him on the cheek. And after smearing his cheek with her love and appreciation, she ran to their bedroom to take out Ichirou’s clothes.
Ichirou just bitterly smiled and took to the bathroom to clean up.
Thirty minutes later…
“Hikaru! Come on! I’ve been sitting here for fifteen minutes already!”
Ichirou yelled while sitting in the living room while wearing a black jacket over a white t-shirt and black jeans. As for Hikaru, she was still busy getting ready. The temperature was in single digits, and as such, Ichirou opted to wear a rather warm jacket with side-pockets for hands.
“Coming~! Two minutes~!”
Hikaru yelled back from the bedroom. As a modern man, Ichirou was already used to this, so he just retrieved his phone from his pocket and began scrolling through social media. While Ichirou was busy smiling at the texts and laughing at memes, Hikaru came out, perfectly ready. And as soon as he laid his eyes on her, he was left slack-jawed.
Hikaru was donned in a tight, black-colored, and backless one piece with a purple purse to go with it. Her hair was tied in a bun with her face glowing with a tinge of makeup. Her soft lips were radiating a sense of seductiveness with crimson lipstick smeared on them.
“Beautiful…” Ichirou said while still in a daze. “Wait, aren’t you cold?”
“It’s fine. I’ll cover up with a cardigan.”
Ichirou lazily got up from the sofa, and as he was about to exit the house, his arm was pulled. Hikaru stood up on her toes and whispered into Ichirou’s ears.
“You look so handsome~ Just don’t make me kill some innocent girls out there for ogling at you, kay~?”
Hikaru said while gently nibbling on Ichirou’s ear. After she said her piece, she proceeded to wear a pair of violet heels.
“Let’s just go…”
Ichirou dejectedly said while wiping off the lipstick from his ear. They closed the door behind them before getting in the lift.
“So… Should we take the bike, or will you be driving?”
“I’ll drive. It’s very cold.”
“By the way, where are we going?”
“Ah! It’s this restaurant in Tokyo.”
“So… Are Kyoko and Shoji already there? Did you hear from them?”
“No. But the meeting time was ten minutes ago, we should hurry.”
“It’s fine, it’s just Kyoko and Shoji.”
“Fufu, you’re right.”
Somewhere far away, a certain physics teacher sneezed while driving her car.
Getting off Hikaru’s car, they made their way to the restaurant.
“It’s really cold.”
Hikaru said while stroking her arms.
“I told you. Why did you have to be a freaking magazine model and wear a backless in this weather, huh?”
“Ugh, sorry okay? C’mere, warm me up.” Hikaru wrapped her arms around Ichirou’s arm. “Now, this is heaven~”
“You know, it’s really hard to walk like this.”
A few minutes later, inside the restaurant, Ichirou and Hikaru made their way toward the reserved table with a waitress leading them. It was a fancy, hard-to-get-in kind of establishment. At a certain table inside the restaurant, a young lady with transcendent looks and a captivating body was sitting while being clad in a maroon dress.
Lavender colored hair falling to her shoulders, pale white arms, and a thin neck. A narrow waist with a healthy front and rear. A small and cute face with long eyelashes and adorable dimples. A very beautiful woman in every respect of the word.
“I am glad you guys could make it! Aww~ I am so jealous, you guys came in with your arms intertwined and everything~”
Kyoko said with a sweet voice tinged with a bit of envy as Hikaru and Ichirou took their seats. It was a square table near the window. Kyoko was sitting on one side with the seat beside her unoccupied. Hikaru and Ichirou naturally sat together with Ichirou sitting across Kyoko, and without wasting any time, Ichirou spoke.
“Stop speaking. Do you want me to splash water on your face? With your four-inch-thick makeup gone, this restaurant would turn into a third-rate horror movie set.”
Kyoko’s shoulders trembled, she looked at Hikaru with a wronged expression with a drop of tear collecting at the edge of her eyes.
Hikaru giggled in delight as she was already used to Ichirou’s and Kyoko’s interactions. Kyoko and Ichirou were your typical, run-of-the-mill best friends, and regardless of their age gap, they enjoyed troubling each other.
The school is Kyoko’s domain and she exploits it to the best of her abilities and does her best in making life difficult for Ichirou. However, outside the school gate, it was a completely different story.
“Yeah, I love you too Ichirou.”
Kyoko helplessly said.
“Why do I feel like vomiting?”
Ichirou said while implying that Kyoko’s ‘I love you’, was not appreciated.
Kyoko puffed out her cheeks and proceeded to fold her arms beneath her bountiful chest. Looking at this irresistibly cute appearance of his best friend, Ichirou couldn’t help but show a warm smile. The three of them began laughing and chatting soon after. Ten minutes later, a young man entered the restaurant and approached the gathering of three.
“Ah! Shoji’s here!”
Kyoko exclaimed in joy. Her excitement visible on her face.
Masahiko Shoji, a third-year at Tokyo University. Shoji is a rather handsome youth with short and spiky black hair, and eyes and facial hair of the same color. Shoji is a bit on the short side with height barely reaching 170 centimeters, however, with Kyoko being just five centimeters shorter than him, they look rather good together.
Ichirou got up from his seat to welcome Shoji, shaking hands and proceeding to lightly hug each other.
“So… How is my sister doing?”
Ichirou asked as he led Shoji to his assigned seat. Listening to Ichirou’s abrupt question, Shoji’s smile stiffened as he replied with a hollow laugh.
“She’s doing great. She got second place in the recent tests, and only because she was sick during one of them. She’s truly a genius.”
“Is that so~?”
Ichirou ambiguously asked while giving a look of concealed pity to Shoji.
“Now, now, let’s stop sprinkling salt on Shoji’s wounds and order some food.”
Hikaru gently said while pulling on Ichirou’s sleeve. Ichirou nodded in affirmation, the staff was called and Ichirou ended up ordering for all of them.
“Tell me, how’s everything?” Shoji asked. “Is Kyoko still being bullied by Ichirou?”
“Fufu~ They’re quite the pair. I heard that Kyoko and Ichirou were having a heated debate during class and Kyoko was publicly humiliated.”
“Hikaru! Don’t say it in front of Shoji!”
Kyoko, in a panic, waved her arms in a failed attempt to stop Hikaru from revealing all her embarrassing experiences.
Looking at her cute reaction, the others couldn’t help but laugh. It was a warm gathering of friends. Regardless of age, they all came together and wholeheartedly enjoyed each other’s endearing company.
Seventeen, twenty, twenty-four, twenty-five. Age… Truly is just a number.