Confer (Pt 1)
First Published on Ainushi
－－－－－－－The next day after moving out, Kiuchi was absent from work.
According to the manager, she caught a cold.
Yesterday, she was in a great mood that she even drank sake. What in the world happened, Kiuchi.
At lunch, I made a call to her.
I heard her feeble voice from the other end of the line.
「You were fine yesterday. What happened so suddenly?」
『You know, with a cold, it develops two days after you catch it… Which reminds me, sorry. I might have spread it to you yesterday.』
I wondered if Kiuchi was very tired. Occasionally I heard her gasping, her breath in disarray.
「I’m not that weak. Anyway, you didn’t sleep with your stomach exposed, did you?」
『Before the move, I slept on the sofa so… You know what, can’t we do this when I’m feeling better? I can’t do this today.』
Kiuchi wasn’t following where I was heading with the conversation at all.
Sh*t. The tone in her voice, she was serious. Honestly, what a difficult person to deal with.
I mean, on top of getting dumped, why were you even sleeping on his sofa, Kiuchi?
You are the girl!
「Have you measured your temperature? Have you gone to the doctor?」
『I… don’t own a thermometer. I’ll head to the doctor afterwards.』
「Hang on. I am getting off early. I’ll take you to the doctor.」
After all, Kiuchi was very stingy. I bet she wouldn’t hail a cab and would just walk instead.
I’m really worried.
When I was about to hang up and head over to Kiuchi’s,
『Oi oi! How old do you think I am? I can go on my own. I can go anywhere on my own. Do not use my cold as an excuse to skip out on work, Mr. Next President.』
She rejected me with her uncute words.
Well, I did expect that it wouldn’t go anywhere with how Kiuchi was right now.
This woman… Even though I’m genuinely worried for her…
「Alright, I won’t come over. Quickly go to the doctor and once you’re done, go to bed.」
As Kiuchi was not being very nice at all, I said it bluntly and then,
「Okay. Good luck at work, Tachibana-kun.」
Kiuchi laughed, her voice resonating through my phone.
How cunning of you. If you’re suddenly this docile, then it makes me feel like a scoundrel for having spoken rudely to you.
Looks like I have no choice but to try hard at work.
———– After I was done with work, whilst I said “I won’t go”, I went to Kiuchi’s apartment after buying Pocari and jelly at the convenience store.
I was worried after all.
I wonder if Kiuchi has had anything to eat?
Arriving at her apartment, I pressed the doorbell.
Kiuchi opened the door with the deadbolt still in place.
「… Tachibana-kun, what’s wrong?」
Through the gap in the door, I could only see one of her eyes.
「I’m here to check up on you. Open up.」
「No! You’ll catch my cold!」
She had no intention of unlocking the bolt.
I don’t believe this…
Normally, you wouldn’t turn away people who pay a visit to you when you’re sick.
「Like I said earlier, I’m not that weeeaaaak~~」
「That’s what people call『overconfidence』!! I really don’t want it to be my fault that you catch a cold.」
It’s so like Kiuchi to gracefully treat my kindness to “visit her” with disdain.
「Until you let me in, I will stay right here. If I stay outside loooong enough, I’ll probably end up catching a cold anyway.」
But, I am not leaving. Since Kiuchi has always made bento for me, I want to be of help to her at times like this.
「… I’m not wearing any makeup though…」
With unabashed reluctance, she unfastened the bolt and opened the door.
I don’t know how long it usually takes for Kiuchi to put on her makeup but unfortunately, I don’t think her efforts have been rewarded.
There was no difference. Whether she had makeup on, or not.
When I walked into the room, there was Kiuchi with a mask on her face.
「… Are you really that embarrassed to be seen barefaced?」
“It’s not that strange to be wearing a mask.” Kiuchi said, somewhat astounded.
「Isn’t it because you’re not wearing a mask, Tachibana-kun!? You’ll catch a cold like that!」
Kiuchi crawled back into her bed with her mask still on.