Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 9 (Interlude 1-1) – A Single Person’s Loneliness
Rain fell gently.
The sky visible from the room’s window was an expanse of ashen gray. The rain that had begun to fall since the day the three of us had gone to Shinto had continued unceasingly. The gloomy weather seemed to be dragging our moods with it. I let out a sigh and fell onto the living room sofa.
I rolled over, faced up, and looked around the living room without focusing on anything. My little sister, Sakura, was on the front sofa, sound asleep and breathing softly, clutching a cotton blanket. I had placed the blanket over her. Sakura could do the housework, but she really was still a child; falling asleep with your stomach poking out all the time is bad for your health. She exhausts herself doing her best for other people, so she always falls asleep like this. So it’s my job to protect Sakura, who tries her hardest.
“Eh heh heh…”
I smiled at Sakura’s happy looking face as she slept.
Today I looked over Sakura’s studies around noon, and then Sakura showed me how to make sweets. I patted Sakura on the head, who looked just a little frustrated at how much better I’ve gotten, and then the two of us cleaned… And so on.
Before I knew it, Archer was gone.
Remembering it made me angry again. Gaaah, I’m ticked off!
Recently… no, for the last few days, Archer had been rather strange. He was unusually kind. Archer’s the sort of guy who’s a total bully when I make the tiniest mistake, going “Ah, you did it again. Haven’t you made any progress?” and “Calm down a little and think of your surroundings. You’re not an animal, are you?” These last few days, however, even when I messed something up, he would help me. …It’s not that I’m not happy about it. Archer had always been, well…
He would watch over me silently until I did it myself. When I did, he would tell me “good job”, with a slightly mean look… That’s what he was like.
…It made me very happy, so it was fun to try my absolute hardest. Once in a while, he would stroke my head, and around my chest he would, ah… …Uuu! Who the heck cares about that stuff!
Anyway… Recently, it was like Archer had no time, somehow.
Today was the same. He would disappear out of nowhere. And when he got back, the two of use would get angry. Archer would look sorry. Then he would meaninglessly pat our heads and apologize.
…It’s not that I wasn’t happy. But… somehow, it felt different. It felt like Archer was somewhere far away.
I was in a foul mood. I was worried about Archer, different than usual. And I was worried… That my happiness might be broken.
It was the sound of the front door opening and closing.
Archer was back! After I jumped down from the sofa and put on my kitty slippers, I ran to the entryway. Just as I expected, Archer stood in the entrance, dripping wet.
At my face filled with anger, Archer again… Looked apologetic, and awkward.
“Where did you go!?”
“…Hmm. Ah, well… The church.”
The fleeting glimpse I caught of Archer’s expression was somehow… Heartbreaking. But I was still angry!
“Come on! Why didn’t you say a word to us!? Sakura was worried too!”
“Oh… Huh? Sakura… Too? Ohh, I see.”
Archer was in his element, his face brightening at capturing my slip of the tongue. …Ugh.
“I see, I see, so you were worried too, huh?”
“…Ye-, yeah I was. I was worried! Got a problem with that!?”
I’m a kid, a kid, kid! I lost when I got worried! Stupid dummy!
…But, for whatever reason, even if it was manufactured, this conversation, with its inconsequential back and forth, put me a little at ease.
Hoping just a little for more of the casual conversation I wished for, I looked up at Archer’s face.
Archer gently stroked my head with his big hand. “Thank you…. I’m sorry for worrying you.” Archer apologized, his eyes full of all the kindness he could muster, and stepped pass my side.
It was too lonely. I hate it.
I kicked Archer’s shin with all my might.
Archer jumped up and down, clutching his leg. It was a kick based on the fake Chinese martial arts I had learned from Kirei. How do you like them apples!? I nimbly distanced myself from the enemy, pulled my eyelid down and stuck out my tongue as hard as I could, and then retreated back to the living room.
In the corner of my eye, I could see Archer’s dumbfounded and troubled face, but who cares? I crawled under Sakura’s blanket and decided I would pretend I was sleeping.
“Fwaah!? Wh- what is it, Nee-san?”
“Your older sister’s in a bad mood! Comfort me with that maternal breast of yours!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about… Geez…”
Even while she said that, my little sister patted my head and affirmed her affection. Caught between her flat chest and the gently wafting scent of soap, I fell into dreamland.
Together With House Husband, Part Two, Chapter 9. Interlude 1-1.
In ill humor.
A kind person who they passed the time with, together. But recently, they just can’t see eye-to-eye.
Notes after the Jump.
Note: This Story is from Rin’s perspective, in case you didn’t already catch it.