A Decision Made While Thinking of the Future
“Thank you very much for today.”
Charlotte, who had finished cleaning up after the meal, thanked me at the entrance of my apartment. I offered to do the dishes, but Charlotte insisted that she’d do the cleaning up herself as the process of cooking included the clean up afterwards. She really is a very kind and splendid woman.
That Charlotte is currently carrying Emma in an extremely delicate manner. When I gaze at this pair of close siblings, I feel very happy, but also somewhat envious.
It’s probably because although there are some differences, it was something I could not do…
“I should be thanking you as well. I am very happy that you cooked such a delicious meal for me.”
I expressed my gratitude to her from the bottom of my heart.
I don’t know how rich her family is, but I don’t think she would normally cook at home if her family could easily pay the heavy sum to have her study abroad.
Moreover, the meal she prepared was so delicious that it could be served in any decent restaurant.
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that right now is the most blessed I’ve been all my life.
“I am glad that you enjoyed it. I really can’t thank you enough Aoyagi-kun.”
“You’re exaggerating. I didn’t do anything that deserves such high praise.”
“You might not find it as important, but please allow me to express my gratitude. If something were to happen today, the result would’ve been irreversible. If Emma were to somehow disappear, I wouldn’t be able to continue living.”
Charlotte muttered in a soft voice while gently stroking Emma’s head. The kind smile she had been carrying ever since I met her has disappeared, I could tell that she is completely serious, with nary a sign of casual behaviour.
I also decided to stop smiling and talk to her seriously.
“Yes, foreigners aren’t an uncommon sight nowadays, but they definitely are an eye-catching existence. It’s rare for children to go missing or get kidnapped, but if a cute foreigner girl like Emma-chan were to be left alone outside, I don’t think it’d be strange if she does end up getting kidnapped.”
What I said just now would certainly make Charlotte uneasy. Even so, I deliberately chose to say it. I judged that this wasn’t something to be in the dark about.
Even though I took Emma as an example, she isn’t the only one who is in danger. Charlotte also has a high probability of being targeted by a suspicious person. In Japan, these two have become an existence that would certainly draw attention.
I’m not sure of how conscious she is of this, but she probably at least has some awareness of her popularity due to how much people talk about her.. If that is the case, it would be wrong to deceive her. I should provide her with the facts and come up with preventive measures together.
That’s the only thing I can do for now.
“An eye-catching existence is something that stands out, right?”
“Yes, that’s right…?”
Charlotte stares at me strangely due to the sudden change in the conversation. It seems like this isn’t enough to get my point across.
“It’s entirely possible for Emma to be targeted if she is left alone, but of course, if she stands out then it inadvertently implies that other people would be watching her as well. As such, she probably won’t be put in much danger in crowded areas during the day. As I’ve mentioned before, Japan is a relatively safe country, so it’ll be alright if you just pay attention during night time. As for Emma, even if she gets lost again, a kind person will definitely take her to the police station.”
In fact, no sane person would try to pull something off in a public place. Even if they do, they probably aren’t smart and will be an easy target to capture. It’s not advisable to underestimate them, but there is no need to be overly cautious. After all, evenJapanese people have to be careful during night time.
“Fufu~ Aoyagi-kun is really a kind person after all.”
Listening to my words, Charlotte placed her fingers on her lips and smiled. Her gestures are quite elegant, but they’re making me embarrassed.
“No, I am not kind…”
“No, you’re kind. When you realized that I was anxious, you seriously thought about trying to eliminate my anxiety.”
“I think that anyone would do that…”
“Even I know that not everyone is a good person. There are people who are kind only on the surface, and there are people that face things head on with sincerity—Aoyagi-kun falls under the latter category. That’s why I believe you’re a kind person.”
This may be the first time I was acknowledged by someone other than Aki, Miyu-sensei, or Akira.
I thought it was okay, because I knew that I did things that not everyone could understand. However, I’m glad to be acknowledged by others. Moreover, since these are words from the person I am attracted to, they make me even more happy.
“Even if you praise me this much, I have nothing to show in return..”
“There is no need. However… If I were to ask something of you, it’s not something major, but I’d be happy if you’d be friends with me.”
Charlotte said something truly delightful. I don’t know if she said it out of courtesy or something. But for me, it’s a proposal that I couldn’t even dream of rejecting.
“If you’re okay with me… Then I’d be glad to.”
“Yes, please take care of me from now on!”
When I nodded in affirmation, Charlotte replied with a wide smile. She is way too cute. As I thought, there is no way I can look at her bright smile directly.
She was so cute that I unintentionally averted my gaze. Out of the corner of my eye, I could tell that Charlotte was puzzled by my actions, but I would like her to wait for a bit. I am sure that my face is bright red right now…
“—So then, sorry for the intrusion.”
Since the conversation has concluded, Charlotte left my place to return to her apartment. It’s very late, but since her apartment is right beside mine, there is no need to worry about being attacked by a suspicious person.
…Just in case, I will wait until she enters her apartment.
“Aoyagi-kun, please take care of me from tomorrow onwards.”
“Oh, yeah—Wait a minute.”
“Yes, what is it?”
I had a sudden realization, so I immediately called out to Charlotte. She is patiently waiting for me to speak without making a displeased face.
“Please do not interact with me in school for a while.”
It’s a sudden request. Charlotte’s confusion is natural. I don’t desire for this either. However, if you consider the future, this is essential.
“Could I ask the reason…?”
“If we start to interact intimately all of a sudden, our classmates will feel uncomfortable. Some people may even try to find the reason for our intimacy. I wish to avoid that.”
“Is there anything wrong with that? I honestly don’t mind…”
“No, if people find out that we are living next to each other, circulations of bizarre rumours are inevitable, and I want to avoid those troublesome things.”
“Is that so…? If Aoyagi-kun is saying that, then that must be the case. I see… I’ll be a little lonely, but I’ll do as you say. Then, good night.”
“Yeah… Good night.”
Despite her confusion, Charlotte accepted my request. I was very happy when she said that she would trust me even though it’d make her sad.
That’s why I thought that my choice was not wrong.
I was conflicted since Charlotte is the person I am dealing with, but there is another reason why I want to maintain a distance from her at school. No, to be exact, the second half is different.
I don’t want people to know that Charlotte and I live next to each other. This aspect doesn’t change. However, the actual reason I am so troubled is because Charlotte is just too popular.
If people know that we live next to each other, there will definitely be people who will try to come over to my apartment or pretend to enter it. The reason being that it’d be a great chance for them to grow closer to Charlotte by bluffing that they met by coincidence. I’m fine with giving in and having them come and invade my personal apartment.. However, that would eventually end up bothering Charlotte. It would feel like she’s being stalked by classmates every day. I am sure she wouldn’t feel good.
I decided to maintain a distance from her at school to avoid such a circumstance. Even if I were to explain this to her, she would insist that she’ll be fine no matter what. Therefore, I came up with an excuse that I didn’t want rumours going around about us.
It may seem strange to Charlotte, but it’s better than to let her suffer. I only pray that she does not hate me for this.
――――I confirmed that she would not leave her apartment anymore, so I returned to my room as well.