V1 Chapter 34 | Heating Up

Yuzo-san, Himekawa’s father, looks me straight in the eye and speaks.

He is the president of a company, and I am at a loss for words.

I don’t know if I’m not understanding him well enough to understand what he’s saying.

“What do I want to do, sir?”

“I have lived with Anri all my life. I am well aware of her personality and her likes and dislikes. However, I feel that her personality has changed a lot because of this one incident. What did you do to Anri?”

That’s an interesting way of putting it. I didn’t do anything special, I guess.

I didn’t do anything special, did I? I look back on the last few days, and I probably didn’t do anything.

“I didn’t do anything special. I just helped her out a little bit because she was in trouble.”

“I heard she does part-time work too, right? She doesn’t have to do that, I can give her as much cash as she wants. She could even go back to her old house without having to live here. But Anri refused to do so. What did you tell her?”

No, of course not. I heard you. That’s an accusation, right?

It’s true that I gave her rent and introduced her to part-time jobs. I think that’s a necessary part of making a living. You have to work to earn an income. And I am proud to say that food, clothing, and shelter are essential.

“It’s her own decision. I think she just made up her own mind about herself and told me.”

“That can’t be true! I know her better than you do! She’s just a kid! Leave home and go to school while working part-time? That’s unacceptable!”

Yuzo-san’s loud voice echoes in the not-so-spacious dining room.

It probably echoed beyond the door as well. And I’m sure Himekawa heard his voice as well.

Do you know Himekawa well? If so, Yuzo-san must know about the meals she eats alone.

I don’t know what they talked about yesterday, or to what extent.

But what Yuzo-san says seems right and wrong at the same time.

“I lived here and went to school by myself while working part-time. I’m proud to say my grades aren’t that bad.”

“So what? You and Anri have always lived and grown up in completely different environments. That’s the path you chose, right? I don’t want you to involve Anri in that.”

“Involve her? I don’t intend to involve her. I’m just going to give her a little help in walking that path, the path she has chosen. It is up to you to create your path and walk it. In my opinion, it’s not the path her parents decided for her.”

What am I getting so hot about? Do I really need to be this passionate?

A single word like, “Well, then, this incident never happened,” and that would be the end of it.

“I love Anri. When her mother died, I promised to make her happy. How about that? I can’t believe she left her home and stayed in a place like this. That’s impossible!”

I was annoyed by his words. A place like this? What’s wrong with this place?

What do you know about this boarding house?

Oh, so we live in different worlds to begin with.

I don’t know if it’s a difference in values, prejudice, or what, but Yuzo-san and I will probably never be able to agree on anything.

I am sure that even if we continue our conversation, it will only lead to a parallel line.

Having concluded this, I decided to say one thing to Yuzo-san.

“I understand. There is not much I can say, but please respect her opinion and her thoughts. I think she is at a crossroads in her life right now.”

“I spoke with Anri last night. No matter how many times we talked, she wants to stay at this boarding house, not at home. That’s what Anri thinks.”

Toward the end, his voice was muffled and I couldn’t hear him well.

Things had been heating up earlier, but I suddenly woke up.

A moment of silence followed, and they drank tea from each other’s cups.

It was the tea Himekawa had made earlier. The nice aroma of the tea calmed down their agitated hearts.

“I’m sorry. I think I spoke a little too loudly.”

“No, that’s not true. I’m sorry too for saying all those things.”

“Can Anri even manage here? I am hardly ever at home. I feel bad about leaving Anri alone at home like that. Considering this incident, I am hesitant to hire someone and have strangers come in and out of my home.”

“Do you have any relatives or anyone in the company that you can rely on?”

“If there were, I would make the request to that person from the beginning.”

Well, that’s right. If she had a place she could rely on or a relative, even Himekawa would go there from the beginning.

I talked with Yuzo-san for a little while, but I felt that he seemed to have a lot of enemies within the company.

I think that Yuzo-san is probably a highly capable individual and the president of the company, but with his tone of voice and attitude, I imagined that his subordinates would probably not follow him.

“Do you feel uneasy in this boarding house?”

“I am only anxious. Young men and women under one roof. Just thinking about it…”

Yuzo-san’s hands were shaking.

If I were in the same position, I might be thinking the same thing.

No, I’m sure I would think the same thing. I wouldn’t want to leave my beloved daughter in the hands of a man I don’t know.

I can understand that feeling.

“Please believe in her.”

“I believe in Anri. I always believe in Anri. I heard a little about you from Tendo-san last night. I trust you a little too. But when you are young, it is easy to make mistakes.

“If I make a mistake, please don’t hesitate to tell me. She and I are still naive children.”

“That’s why I’m worried. Two kids alone in a place like this…”

“Did you eat Himekawa-san’s meat and potatoes?”

“Yes, it was delicious, But what about it?”

“I made it with her. She said it was the first time for her to make such a delicious dish, and she was very happy.”

“I see. No wonder she can eat it normally.”

“She can do it more often now, too. There is no problem. Would you trust me?”

The sound of the second hand of the clock echoes again.

A few seconds, maybe tens of seconds. Time passes without a word from either of us.

It feels as if we have been talking for hours. Where is this conversation going to end?

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