The Start of a Secret Relationship
“En… Onii-chan… Carry…”
The next day, Emma, who had come over to my apartment at night to hang out, was starting to fall asleep. If I were to do as requested, she would fall asleep in my arms as is. It would be better to lie down on a bed if she wants to sleep, but Emma asking for me to carry her is really cute. I gently caressed Emma’s head so as to not wake her up.
“You’re acting like a genuine older brother, Aoyagi-kun.”
Charlotte, who was sitting a few feet away and watching our exchange, stared at me with a delighted expression. I was a little flustered from her gaze and listening to Charlotte’s words.
Charlotte definitely didn’t mean it in a deep sense, but when she said I was like a real older brother, it’s unavoidable for me to take it in a different way. The ‘older brother’ she used implied that the boy who lives next door resembles a real older brother. However, there is another interpretation for the word ‘older brother’, isn’t there? That’s right, ‘older brother’ could also mean ‘brother-in-law’.
No, yeah, I’m sorry. The reality is far from being so convenient. You might say, ‘What the hell are you thinking?’, but it can’t be helped, right?
If you were told so in a similar situation, wouldn’t you also think the same as me and associate it with ‘brother-in-law’? It should at least be more realistic than being a real brother.
Who am I telling all of this to? Even if I’m spoken to by the person I’m interested in, I’m way too flustered… Moreover, I don’t know if being a ‘brother-in-law’ is more realistic than being a ‘brother’ who lives next door.
“—What’s the matter?”
“Eh? Ah, no, I was thinking that it wouldn’t be bad to be Emma’s real brother.”
Seeing me thinking seriously, Charlotte asked with a worried expression, so in response, I blurted out the first words that came to mind. However, I instantly regretted the words I said. What on earth am I talking about? Can’t my words be interpreted in a strange manner quite easily…?
Regretting my own words, I looked over to where Charlotte was seated.
“Fufu~ If that were to happen, Emma would surely be overjoyed.”
—Charlotte’s face was covered in a pretty and gentle smile that made her look like a lovely angel. The appearance of Charlotte smiling with her hand on her lips is way too picturesque.
I was once again made to acknowledge Charlotte’s world-shaking beauty.
“Now, since Emma has fallen asleep, is it okay to start now?”
While I was fascinated by Charlotte’s angelic smile, she said so and smiled again. The smile this time around resembles that of an excited kid that is talking about something that they like.
What’s happening… This time her smile looks like that of a child, but contrary to my expectations, it somehow looks even cuter than before. However, because I am aware of the reason behind this smile, it’s a little depressing.
“Yeah, it’s alright… Did you wait for Emma to fall asleep because you didn’t want her to read manga?”
I knew what she had confirmed, I asked her what I was curious about. Although the number has considerably declined, some parents still believe that manga is bad for education. I don’t think Charlotte, who loves manga and is really kind, would have such a narrow-minded perspective, but I was a little curious because she had decided to wait for Emma to go to bed.
“No, that’s not it. Emma would probably want to talk to Aoyagi-kun rather than read manga, and I wouldn’t want to get in the way if that were to happen. Besides, Emma can’t read Japanese, so she’d feel left out. That’s why I waited for Emma to go to bed.”
“Emma falls asleep pretty quickly, too” Charlotte added with a smile, and began preparing the manga. As expected, Charlotte is always thinking about Emma and is extremely kind. This immense sisterly love sure is a sight to behold.
It’s very different from that other stupid pair of siblings.
I reminisced a little and smiled, waiting for Charlotte to be ready.
But, I soon lost my composure.
Charlotte, who had finished the preparations, came over and sat next to me for some reason. Moreover, she was sitting in such proximity that our shoulders were practically rubbing against each other.
“Ch-Charlotte-san? W-Why are you sitting beside me!?”
If she just wants me to read the manga, she could just hand it over, I don’t understand why she is sitting beside me. When asked why, Charlotte’s cheeks dyed red and she shyly opened her mouth.
“You see… I’ve always wanted to read manga with my friends… But I don’t have any friends who can read Japanese… So I want to read with you… Is it no good…?
Charlotte, whose cheeks were a shade of red stared at me with upturned eyes, seemed a little disappointed, so I couldn’t refuse and nodded a little.