The Line That Separates Them. — Line 7

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How Their Weekend Goes (Part 1).

After accidentally stumbling upon Takumi conversing with his sister, I was unable to think of any other matter for quite a while. I still don’t know the circumstances, but I somehow ended up on the rooftop during the lunch break, eating lunch with the person who had dominated my mind completely.

There was a part of me who looked down on him for what I heard, but that feeling was momentarily overwritten after looking at him munching on his bread with a calm expression on his face, and I resumed thinking of him as the person that I yearned for, from the bottom of my heart.

I couldn’t care less what his familial or financial circumstances were. Of course, I was quite worried and anxious about what I had learnt, but it just ended up adding to my deep feelings of affection for him.

He is a man who is working to support both his sister and himself financially, while still attending school and being impressingly consistent with his performance. After contemplating about such things after the lunch break ended, I spent the rest of my day lost in thoughts about how to approach him from now on.

I decided to keep the existence of Kawashima Miyuki a secret from Chiaki and Minami. I would never, in any way, want to hurt Takumi, so I came to the conclusion that keeping his state of affairs hidden was the best course of action. In the end, the only thing that came out of that whole ordeal was my desire to be acquainted with Kawashima-senpai. I wish that we could one day become close enough that she would voluntarily share information about her relationship with Takumi.

Today, September 9, a Saturday. Most high-schools have optional classes on this particular day, but our school gives the non-club members a holiday on Saturdays and prioritizes it for club activities. Due to the sheer population our school boasts, not all clubs get sufficient space and time to conduct their activities satisfactorily. If we’re talking about why I just woke up at 9 AM with a sloppy mindset, and didn’t go to school… That would be because I am surprisingly not a member of any club.

To be honest, I was approached by every club that exists during the recruiting period, in fact, it turned into a soft-core war between clubs to gain my favour. I felt like Helen of Troy watching people fighting each other for me, so I reluctantly had to refuse every club. I heard that the same thing happened with Minami, so she wasn’t a member of any club either. Chiaki just didn’t join a club because she was afraid that something would happen to me if I were to go home alone.

I completed all my homework assignments yesterday, so I have literally nothing to do today, and tomorrow. Guess I’ll just do my morning routine and think about what to do later.

Deciding so, I pump myself up for the day and get out of my comfy canopy bed with unnecessarily dramatic movements. I imagine Takumi watching my every move, so I subconsciously behave like a lady at any given moment of the day. Speaking of Takumi, doesn’t he have a date tomorrow with his sister? I wonder how it’ll go… I hope it goes well… considering.

It’s not like I haven’t fantasized about going on a date with Takumi a million times over, however, going on a real date with him once would be an amazingly wholesome experience. Should I just ask him out? No, if someone finds out then he’ll be in quite the predicament. Well.. he did say that he liked courageous girls, so I may just ask him out on a date one of these days.

“Miya~! You coming down or what? You won’t get any breakfast if you don’t come down in five minutes!”

‘Ah’, I looked up at the wall clock in my room and realized that more than fifteen minutes had passed while I was absentmindedly thinking about Takumi. I moved my body with sluggish movements and moved around my room to get my clothes.

My room isn’t particularly huge, but it isn’t a congested one either. It is a nice room with pink wall papers covering the four walls. I don’t have a balcony, but a huge window allows the fresh outside air to gently enter the room and make the pictures on my personal notice board flutter. My bookshelf is half-filled with majority of the books being education-related, and the rest being manga. My study table has a single photo frame standing proudly, displaying the joyful faces of my older brother and myself in our childhood forms.

The Kobayashi house, being the grandiose two-storey, seven-roomed semi-villa that it is, boasts a considerable amount of space and luxury, and all that is thanks to my father and his high-paying job at JIC. My father works as a branch manager and earns an impressive amount of money to keep the whole family covered in the fluffiness of a warm blanket.

I stretch my arms and move towards the bathroom and complete my morning routine with haste. I come out all ready at about 9:45 AM, an unladylike tardiness I suppose, but I comfort myself by blaming it all on the one who was responsible for me spacing out for ten whole minutes while brushing my teeth.

“Miya, what is happening with you lately? You seem happy one second, and frustrated the next. T other times, you start giggling while imagining something, then you drop your shoulders in resignation. Are you okay?”

The one who asked me such a painful question was my mother, Kobayashi Kioko. If I were to explain her superficial appearance, I would say that my looks come from my mother. My mother, even in her forties, boasts a beauty comparable to a model in the latter half of her twenties. However, her personality doesn’t quite match up with her looks, she is just a simple mother who loves housework and gossiping with her friends. Whenever she goes out on her own, it ends up with her making the other party completely embarrassed for hitting on a woman with a husband and two children.

“She’s right, y’know? What is up with you nowadays?”

You don’t need to follow up on her concern with that sarcastic remark of yours, Nii-san. My brother, Kobayashi Kozue, is a little on the sadistic side. His smile has this kind of eerie feeling to it that you don’t really perceive unless you are a woman. My brother is a little over 180 centimeters, and he is 23 years old. My brother doesn’t have a lot of charismatic appeal, but his looks are nothing to scoff at considering his genetic relation to our mother.

“I found out that the guy whom I am totally in love with, lost both his parents and is now working hard to support both himself and his older sister, whose existence he’s hidden from all of his friends.”

“…”

“…”

“Yeah, I know. He’s sixteen. Same school as me.”

My mother hesitated for a bit but then proceeded to settle down on a nearby chair, and open her lips with a slight tremble.

“K-Kozu-chan, d-don’t you have work today?”

They just ignored me…

“Mother, I believe I informed you. I have the most important meeting of my life tonight… I am meeting the CEO of the company I got hired at.”

I don’t know why but that sounds kinda hot.

“I still can’t believe that my idiotic brother managed to land a job, and in one of the top three companies in Japan no less.”

“You shouldn’t say things like that Miya. We all know how hard Kozu-chan worked in order to attain his dream job.”

I love how I get called ‘Miya’ at home, while my brother gets the ‘Kozu-chan’ treatment.

“Well… it is true that I worked my ass off to land this job. However, the only thing on my mind right now is the CEO.”

He’s been blabbering about the CEO of his company like a lunatic for god knows how long.

“Yeah, Nii-san, aren’t the news channels always showing the achievements of the guy.”

If I am being completely honest, I am quite interested in the guy myself. They say that he has never shown his face in public, not even once.

“Yeah, and why shouldn’t they? The guy’s a freaking God. The Oracle Corporation is a company which was formed about thirty years ago, and in all it’s time in the Japanese economic system, the most that it was able to accomplish was being in the top 300 companies nation-wide. However, that all changed three years ago when the CEO of The Oracle died….”

He took a second to gulp down his orange juice and then continued with a new-found enthusiasm.

“…I was already planning on joining one of the big companies at that time and didn’t pay attention to what happened but… Japan changed, no, the whole world changed. In a matter of six months, that guy was able to completely dominate the board members of The Oracle and threw them off their game by his unreasonably efficient tactics, he bought more than 85% of the stocks and gained an upper-hand in the business. In under two years, the company had exploded, their total assets were increased by more than ten-folds. Their reach spread far and wide. Restaurants, hotels, transport services, marketing services, cloth manufacturing, various world-wide reaching businesses, and whatnot. At the moment, The Oracle is the second biggest company in Japan, and the seventh biggest in the world. Looking at it from a legal point of view, it is a corporation, but it’s an unspoken rule among businessmen that it is basically a sole-proprietorship, with the CEO overseeing everything.”

“And you’re having dinner with this guy tonight?”

I asked with a shocked voice, a hint of awe was undoubtedly mixed within my words.

“Y-Y-Yeah. Now that I think about it, it’s pretty nerve-wracking. I am already feeling nauseous.”

I am kinda proud of my brother right now…

“Now then, back to the topic. What’s this guy’s name who you’ve been obsessed with?”

My brother addressed the topic which was once lost in the swirl of emotions rising from the explanation that he gave about this boss of his.

“Well… Mommy wants to know as well. You’ve always been a little paranoid around men, and I worry about you, so I have to know about the boy that you like so much.”

“I don’t really mind, just don’t look into him, please. His name is Kawashima, Kawashima Takumi. He is in ‘E’ class, and is a very… Interesting person?”

“Is that so…”

After that, I watched my brother fidget around for fifteen minutes while I slowly ate my breakfast and then returned to my room, only to be called back out again by Chiaki. She told me that both her and Minami had nothing to do, so they wanted to hang out together. I tried to explain to them the existence of an antagonistic entity known as ‘heat’, but they just wouldn’t listen. They threatened to expose my feelings to the person himself, so I had no other reason but to comply with their unreasonable demands.

I wore a frilly summer dress consisting of a light top that exposed my shoulders and a skirt that reached my knees. If I were to honestly judge my appearance, I would say that it was quite bold for someone such as myself, but I had already decided to change my personality to that of a more open-minded one, not only for the sake of Takumi, but for my own as well. I received a text stating their arrival at my doorstep. I immediately grabbed my purse and joined my best friends as we left the Kobayashi house to spend the rest of the day in leisure and respite.


September 9, a rather normal no-school Saturday for my go-home-club self. I was completely uninterested in the clubs, so I had no difficulties in refusing to join one. However, there’s one person in this house who was interested, but decided to forego just because ‘Takumi isn’t joining’.

Ri~~ng… Ri~~ng.


“Takumi~! It’s your phone! It’s seven in the fucking morning… come on!!!”

Yes, that person was Fumiya. Fumiya and I live together, this fact has been hidden from everyone that we are aquainted with, in-school and out-school. Due to various circumstances in the past, we became friends. When my parents died, Fumiya’s parents helped me out a lot. They gave my sister a place to stay, food to eat, and a bed to sleep. Back then, I was working for more than 18 hours a day, so I didn’t even have time to pay a visit to my sister, but as soon as the immediate effects of my parent’s death were taken care of, I was able to pay attention my sister. I still am very grateful to the Aoki family for what they did for me and my sister, and that’s the only reason why I take care of their one and only son.

“Put it on the home interface Fumiya!”

The yell which came from the second floor was loud in volume, and even louder in its intensity. I just yelled strongly enough so that my voice would reach him. After I gave him his instructions, all I received was a tired groan and the sound of my call being redirected to my home interface, that is, the whole house was my speaker and microphone. This is one of the toys that my company developed, it was first introduced by an intern in a conference about one year ago, he had the whole concept figured out, so I personally sanctioned it. Nowadays, there are a lot of virtual assistants being developed by various companies, but none have tried to actually make an interactive assistant which can perform daily-life functions.

[Good Morning, Takumi-kun.]

The voice reverberating throughout my house in a perfect harmony was that of a woman. The new update to the home interface has been going well… If I do say so myself. This system has still a long way to go, currently, this system can only be effective if installed in a highly technological-oriented and luxurious house like mine, I want it to be a system which can be accessible to middle-class families as well. However, that particular wish isn’t going to come true any time soon.

“What is it? Riku-san?”

It was one of my secretaries, Tsukamoto Riku. She is a very capable person and a passionate woman. She is in the latter part of her twenties, and because of her passion towards work, single. The reason why we’re on first-name basis is because she’s been with me for more than three years. When I first started out, she was the person who showed me the ins and outs of the business industry. I believe she felt like a mother teaching her child how to walk. However, her time of bliss was quite short lived, me being a quick learner was definitely a bad trait in her book.

[I called to inform you of your schedule.]

Riku-san, are you a demon?

“Let me take a seat first.”

[You have a meeting with the board at 10. Lunch with the commercializing and advertisement companies at 1. A conference with the heads of the technological branches at 4. Lastly, a dinner with the new recruits of the software development department at 7.]

[I don’t care about the board, they literally just debate for hours and then leave it all to me in the end. Tell the commercializing and advertisement companies to hire the best actresses and models they can under their budget to act in the commercial for all our new products. Tell the tech guys to send all the new stuff they made, prototype or completed, to me personally, I’ll have fun with them as always. And as for the dinner with the recruits, tell them that I couldn’t make it because of a prior arrangement– Or so I would like to say, but I can’t…]

[It is just as you say.]

“Fine, you win. Hey, Riku-chan, humour me, isn’t the name of one of the guys we hired over at the software department, ‘Kobayashi’?”

[Don’t call me ‘Riku-chan’, it does feel good, but I am ten years older than you, it’d be embarrassing if someone were to hear… About what you were asking before, the name of the person you mentioned is ‘Kobayashi Kozue’.]

“Does he have a sister or something?”

[Lemme check…]

“Fumiya~! I’ve made coffee! Come down or I’ll throw it on you! Cup and everything!”

“Coming~!”

[I see, you two are as chummy as ever, huh. As for his sister… Yes, she exists. A high-schooler named Kobayashi Miya.]

“I see. That’ll be enough for now. Pick me up at 10.”

[Umm… the meeting is at 10.]

“Exactly…”

[Fine. See you then.]

“Lily. End the call.”

After I said so, the call was automatically discontinued. ‘Lily’, this name was given to the home interface by Fumiya. When he first heard the feminine voice of the in-built AI, he just named it ‘Lily’. When I asked about the reason, he said, “Her voice sounds foreign, and the first thing that came into my mind after thinking about foreign, was ‘Lily’”. His reason was amusing, so I went along with it.

“Yo~ Good Morning, Takumi.”

Fumiya greeted me while descending down the stairs while rubbing his hair with one hand and rubbing his stomach with another. A monkey has appeared.

“Here, coffee…”

I was standing behind the counter in the kitchen, Fumiya came over and leaned on the counter with one of his arms and collected the coffee mug with the other. My kitchen is quite technologically advanced. There is an oven, a microwave, a food processor, a water purifier and all sorts of other gadgets, each one of them in a league of their own when compared to the normal ones currently in the market.

“Listen, Miyuki will be coming over tonight, take care of her until I come back. I will be back by 9 or 10, I am making breakfast, I’ll also prepare lunch. You guys can order whatever you want for dinner. If Miyuki insists on eating my handmade food, convince her that I’ll cook for her tomorrow, okay?”

“Roger, Hey, Takumi, can I get a million yen?”

“Sure, but why?”

“I was just kidding. Hey, Takumi… do you know that you’re basically a perfect wife and a perfect husband.”

“Sana, Fumiya wants to play with you.”

“Oi! Come on!”

As soon as I called out loudly, a very cheerful and lovely little girl came running from the garden, into the kitchen. My house, or rather, the Kawashima residence is a two-storey mansion which covers almost 3500 square feet. I bought this house about one-and-a-half year ago and customized it to my tastes. The whole residence is covered in air-conditioning. There are a total of 12 rooms, each room fully furnished, and with its own personal bath. The kitchen is large and spacious, so is the living room. The house sometimes feel quite large, but it becomes fun because of all the toys I bring home to go from one place in the house to another.

My house has a considerable amount of furniture, so despite its size, it doesn’t seem too overwhelming. Buying the house, renovating it, mordernifying it, customizing it, and all that cost me a little more than a 9-digit figure, but whatever. I recovered all that money in like two months. The reason why Fumiya was living with me was because of his parent’s work. Both of his parents are internationally acknowledged chefs, and are currently working at one of our branch restaurants in New York City.

Woof~ Woof~

The one who came running through the large sliding window which connects the living room to the garden was my best friend and my little girl- Sana. Sana is a Japanese Sayomed, a white and fluffy one at that. She’s about two years old right now. I got her as a gift when I went on an inspection of one of our branch offices. She came running and jumped in my arms, she is a very shy one, so she doesn’t go near anyone but Miyuki and me.

Lick~~~

I got kissed all over my face by Sana, and then, I released her on Fumiya as an act of revenge. It ended with me having to wrap bandages around various parts of his body and giving Sana a rather exquisite breakfast.


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