Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Completed 12 Sep 2019)

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ShizuneFan2019
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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:39 am

Chapter 6 (Path C): Lovesick

1-13
As they come out of the bathroom, their hair dried and faces washed, they turn off the lights and meet me in the living room, where I have been waiting them for.

The curtains are mostly closed. Moonlight shines into the room through the gap I intentionally leave out so that I can see them a bit better.

They sit across me next to the window. One of them stares at the chessboard on the table with a knowing gaze.

It is the girls against me. Or, rather, one of them against me while the other is reading a book with her hands. With a sip of the cup of Orange Jaipur Tea, I make my first move, 1. e4.

She replies 1. ... c5. Sicilian Defense. Concentrating completely on the chessboard and the book respectively, their lovely faces under the decoration of the moonlight look more attractive than ever.

I briefly think back to the moments when I was with a certain girl under the moonlight. The romantic moments still linger in my brain.

It is, however, more important to focus on the chessboard. 2. Nf3.

She replies 2. ...d6. I proceed to push my center pawn with 3. d4, as I hear a page of a book gets turned.

I can't believe I have such lovely lady friends. My life is wonderful. When I had my heart attack, I thought my life was over; now the attack seems more like a blessing in disguise. If anything, my heart condition only serves to strengthen our friendship.

3. ... cxd4; 4. Nxd4 Nf6; 5. Nc3 a6. Najdorf Variation, the most popular line in the Sicilian Defense.

She continues to stare at the board with utmost concentration. I saw her play once in Yamaku. In the first match, she took a lot more time than her opponent, but played an excellent game. In the second match, a timer was set up to speed up the game. She lost that match very quickly. She then fled the room.

Her opponent back then was very competitive, not to mention scary to her. Now, with me as her opponent, she can relax and play her best chess. With another sip of tea, I make my next move.

6. Be3 e5; 7. Nb3 Be6

After graduation, I realized that I didn't really spend much time with the two girls sitting opposite to me. They had treated me so well, but I never returned the favor. Therefore, I decided to make amends by making friends with them. The accident in Saitama, while unfortunate, did provide me with a chance to meet them again. Luckily for me, they are more than happy to make friends with me.

They now live together in a house next to their university. Although we don't study in the same school, their university is very close to my hometown, so I visit them regularly in the weekends when I return from my dorm to visit my parents. We drink tea, play chess, and chat away, like a family. A small disabled family. We do make friends in our own universities, but they never hinder our friendship. Our disabilities remain a strong connecting factor between us.

8. f3 Be7; 9. Qd2 O-O

I focus myself on the battlefield as another page gets turned.

-----------------------
"Checkmate!"

Looks like I have no luck today. Well, there’s always next time.

"Congratulations, Hanako."

"T-thanks!"

"Well done, Hanako."

With the chess game finished, we collect the chess pieces and put them away. I take another sip of Orange Jaipur, then sit back and relax.

"It's nice to get away from school once in a while, isn't it?"

"Indeed. I'm happy that we made the decision to relax in this summer house."

“I surely need this, Lilly. Todai is such a competitive school.”

After a hectic semester, Lilly, Hanako and I decided to spend a few days of the summer holiday in a Hokkaido summer house owned by Lilly's parents. Since Akira moved to Scotland for work last year, the house has been left unused, so we figure we might as well put it to some use.

This is a very quiet place, with almost no people around within several miles. The presence of Lilly makes this place even more soothing. The relaxing atmosphere makes a sharp contrast against Todai's busy schedule and stressful environment.

None
And a sharp contrast against...

Someone I once loved.

I look out from the window. Tonight's moon is round and bright. It’s a romantic view indeed.

2-16
If only she was here.

I can't help but think back to the moments I had with Shizune: The Tanabata Festival, the Student Council room, and the night we spent together after the train ride. Moonlight certainly defined our relationship.

They say that a round moon signifies a repaired relationship. I wonder if it's still possible for the two of us.

Since the trip to Saitama and the accident, Shizune fell into a state of disarray. She couldn't get herself to face me. Before the start of university, she sent me a letter, saying that she could not be my girlfriend anymore. She said that she needs to learn how to control her temper, and, in order to protect my heart from further harm, she has to stay away from me until she can do so.

She asked me not to wait for her, because she doesn't know how long it will take. She said that if I find somebody that I love, I should go ahead and move on.

I haven't found someone I love since then. I do have several female friends, but I never developed an interest in them.

Iwanako is a good friend of mine. I'm happy that she's been sending me e-mail after e-mail reminding me to do exercises. We sometimes have lunch together too. But after our snow incident, pursuing a relationship with her would be a bit too awkward.

Lilly... is another good friend. Besides Hanako, I was one of the reasons she ultimately decided to stay in Japan. She visited me in the hospital after the accident in Saitama. She was deciding whether to stay in Japan or join her family in Scotland. After a long talk with Hanako, she decided to stay with us in Japan, and she made a brave phone call to her parents to announce her decision. She eventually enrolled in Kasshoku University along with Hanako. With some guidance from her mother and Naomi Inoue, who also studies in the same university, Lilly is now able to live on her own, with Hanako as her roommate. We become good friends since then. Lilly is like an elder sister to me, often providing me with emotional support and useful advices. Yeah, elder sister...

Hanako... is yet another good friend. After I was released from the hospital, I apologized to her for not being very friendly back in Yamaku. I asked her if she could be my friend. She hesitated for a while, but then agreed. We have many things in common. We both have scars on our bodies. We both like reading and playing chess. I don't know if Hanako likes me or not, but I have no plan to make a step forward. Given how jumpy and socially awkward she is, I don't know if my heart can withstand such a relationship.

In short, I haven't found someone I love.

Or... am I merely making excuses? Maybe... maybe I'm still waiting for Shizune after all. Her temper may have an adverse effect on my condition, but... do I care? When I’m not busy with schoolwork, I always think about her. I need her. If I die, I'd rather die in front of Shizune than any other girl. But then, it would seem too irresponsible to her. If we make a family, and then I suddenly die, what about her? She'd become a young widow. I certainly don't want that to happen.

Low Vol
"W-what are you doing, Hisao?"

"Hey Hanako. I'm just... appreciating the moonlight."

"T-thinking about s-stuff?"

"Yeah..."

"Is something bothering you, Hisao?"

I sigh.

"Nah... Just thinking about..."

Resume
"It's Shizune, is it not?"

"Is it really that obvious?"

“You don’t seem to have much trouble with school, and you have been taking good care of your health. This leaves only one potential trouble you might have right now.”

I'm amazed by how, despite being blind and unable to see my emotions, Lilly was able to figure out exactly what I was thinking. We’re indeed good friends.

"I-if you want to t-talk to us, we’re here to l-listen to you. Right, Lilly?"

"Yes. We're friends, are we not? We’re supposed to share each other's burdens."

I feel a little ashamed talking about my relationship with Shizune, but since they are Lilly and Hanako, I can tell them. And I really need someone to talk to right now.

"I don’t know if this topic would make you feel uncomfortable…"

"Don't worry, Hisao. We may not be on the best terms, but as I said before, I still care for her."

I sit back down on the couch and take a deep breath.

"You know, she sent me a letter back then, saying that she needs to deal with her temper before seeing me again. She asked me not to wait for her, and move on once I find myself a girl to love."

"You haven't found one, have you?"

"I feel like I'm still waiting for her. I don't want to give up just yet. But she's now keeping me at bay. I don't know how she feels right now, but I think I'm not done with her just yet."

"So, are you saying that you still love her?"

"I tried to forget about her and move on. But the more I try to do that, the more I miss her. I know that getting back with Shizune may put my heart at risk, but I don't care. If I have an episode, so be it. I'd choose Shizune over my heart any day of the week. But… with my heart condition, is it too irresponsible if I ask her to come back to me? I… I might die any moment. I don’t want to bring sadness to anybody around me."

Lilly looks deep in thought, while Hanako stares straight at the floor. We all fall into dead silence.

Eventually, it is Hanako who speaks up.

“H-hisao…”

“Do you have any advice for me?”

“D-does Shizune know that y-you still l-love her?”

“We haven’t talked to each other since university.”

“In t-that case, I… I think…”

Given how much I know Hanako over the year, I know that she’s going to say something, yet either doesn’t know how to say it or if she should say it. I decide to give her some time.

She takes a deep breath before continuing.

“Y-you should t-talk to Shi-Shizune about this.”

“You really think so?”

“I-if you keep your f-feelings bottled up, it will only m-make matters worse. You s-should let Shizune k-know your true f-feelings.”

“I agree, Hisao. It is pretty clear that you still have feelings for her. And if I know my cousin right, she definitely still has feelings for you. Yes, she might be a stoic person, and she might have treated most of her life as compartmentalized sections, but she certainly won’t just treat you as a past tense and move on. It’s not like you made her angry or something like that. She just made a serious mistake and, as a result, cannot bring herself to face you. I believe your best course of action right now is to tell her exactly how you feel. Leave the decision to her. If she decides not to take the risk, then so be it. But given her competitive nature, if you can bring yourself to confess to her one more time, I’m sure she will not only rope you back to her side, but also try her very best not to make your heart act up again. I can put my money on it.”

I chuckle on her use of the word “rope”.

“You really think so? Hanako too?”

“I agree w-with Lilly. In fact, if I w-were Shizune, I would do exactly the same.”

“Alright then. I’ll try to talk to Shizune. Still no hard feelings on me being Shizune’s boyfriend?”

“Answer is still no. I stand by my words back then. I’m so glad that you entered Shizune’s life. I want you to be her boyfriend again. I will try my very best not to argue with Shizune anymore, at least in your presence.”

“Okay then. Wish me good luck, girls.”

“S-sure.”

“Wait for your good news. Also, please help me say sorry to Shizune when you talk to her.”

<To Chapter 7C>

References:
(1) “Sisterhood”, Chapter 5
(2) “First Comes Love”, Second Section

ShizuneFan2019
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:42 am

Chapter 7 (Path C): Reunion (C)

2-17
From: Hisao Nakai
To: Shizune Hakamichi
Subject: Can we talk?

Dear Shizune,

How are you? Are you still in the school?
I just came back from a relaxing trip.

Can I talk to you? Please?
Meet you at Ueno Park, next to the big Sakura Tree, tomorrow at ten o’clock in the morning.

Hisao
From: Shizune Hakamichi
To: Hisao Nakai
Subject: Re: Can we talk?

Dear Hisao,

I’ll be there.

Shizune
Taking a can of juice (Iwanako keeps telling me not to drink coffee) from the vending machine, I sit down on a bench near the big Sakura Tree in Ueno Park.

This will be the first time I see Shizune since we entered university. I don’t know how things will turn out, but Lilly and Hanako reminded me that I should just tell her my true feelings. Afterwards, it’s up to Shizune.

[Hi.]

This is the first time I have seen sign language in more than a year. I think I’m a bit out of practice.

I could have gained some practice with Misha. But since the accident in Saitama, I haven’t really talked to her. Shizune probably told her the news, and Misha probably decided not to interfere too much. Without Shizune in my life, there is no reason to practice sign language.

[Thanks for coming. Please sit down.]

She sits down next to me. Instead of immediately asking me why I need to talk, she just stares straight at me, waiting for my first move. I decide to start with something casual first.

[How is school?]

She frowns at me instead of moving her hands. She certainly doesn’t want to waste time on small talk.

No answer. Looks like she wants me to just say it.

[Alright. I’ll get to the point.]

Is Shizune thinking that I might declare an official break-up with her? If not, what else is she thinking?

It doesn’t matter anymore. Just speak the truth, Hisao.

[Shizune, I just came back from a trip to Hokkaido, with Lilly and Hanako.]

She frowns even deeper at me. She’s probably wondering why I tell her this. Seeing her frown brings up memories: During the stay in my home, I kissed her frowns to stop her from getting wrinkles on her head.

I would like to do the same thing again, but now is obviously not the time.

The good news is that she is able to face me again. There is still hope.

She still waits for me to sign.

2-13
[I had a long talk with Lilly and Hanako. After that, I decided I should have a talk with you.]

She is still silent, merely staring at me analytically.

[Shizune, you said in your letter that you need to learn how to control your temper before coming back to me again. You’re concerned about my heart condition. You asked me not to wait for you, and move on if I find somebody to love.]

Taking a deep breath, I continue.

[Throughout the year, I have been trying to forget about you. I concentrate on my studies, trying to get as many scholarships as possible to help out my family’s financial issues. I did get quite a few, and my family is happy about that.]

She’s still completely focused on my hands.

[But whenever I finish a study session, complete an assignment, or finish an exam, I cannot help thinking about you. Every night, when I look out from my window, the moonlight always reminds me of you.]

Her stare softens a bit.

[I try to get myself to fall in love with a girl. I have many female friends around me. Iwanako. Lilly. Hanako. My classmates in university. But I find no feelings towards any of them. Iwanako is smart and cute, but no. Lilly is tall and elegant, but no. Hanako is gorgeous and caring, but no. I realize that there is only one person in the world that can fit my heart. You know, this heart may be broken, but it does a good job rejecting every girl that does not suit its flavor.]

I can see her biting her lips, trying to contain whatever emotion in her mind.

[Shizune, I know that you want to protect my heart from further harm. But the fact is, without you, my heart is truly broken. I don’t care if your temper causes me another episode. If I die, I’d rather die as your boyfriend. Shizune, I know this may be a bit selfish, but I just want to say, I need you! I want you back, Shizune!]

Her facial expression tells me that she is trying very hard not to cry.

[Whether you accept me or not, I leave it to you. If you don’t want to take the risk, I understand. But today I ask you to come here to tell you my true feelings. Your temper won’t stop me from loving you. Shizune, I love you, temper and everything!]

With shaking hands, she finally signs, for the first time since she said hi to me.

[You fool!]

With that, she leans in and hugs me tightly. I feel tears dropping onto my shoulder. This is the first time I see her in tears. I return her hug, satisfied that I finally let out all of my feelings to her. We embrace each other in tears for a very long time.

It’s so good with Shizune here. Yes, this is the piece that fits my heart perfectly.

-----------------------------------------

1-01
I give Shizune a handkerchief to dry her eyes. After taking a deep breath, I give her a can of juice to drink. She drinks it in one go, then throws it into the trash, stares at me, and starts signing.

[Do you know what you’re doing? You’re taking a big risk on yourself.]

[I don’t care, Shizune. As long as you’re with me, I’m fine.]

[You’re too selfish. If I get angry again, you have an episode and die in front of me, what do I do? I don’t want to become a young widow!]

I blink at her words. I’ve never seen her slip up like that.

She notices her slip-up and, blushing a little, tries to correct herself.

[Not that I’m ready to marry you in the first place.]

I smile happily at her. She doesn’t spell it out, but we both know the implications of those words.

Thank you Lilly, thank you Hanako.

[Then we’ll need to make sure my heart doesn’t act up again.]

[How? You know my quick temper.]

[Well, for starters, Lilly is going to help. She asks me to say sorry to you for her. She promised not to start an argument with you in the future.]

[Okay. There’s another thing in my mind though.]

[What is it?]

1-16
Adjusting her glasses, she signs confidently.

[We need to work on strengthening your heart!]

[I have been doing my morning exercises. I also stopped coffee. All thanks to Iwanako. During the year, she has been reminding me from time to time.]

[That’s good. But we need more exercises. Just morning runs are not enough.]

[What do you have in mind?]

She winks at me while blushing slightly.

I can’t believe she’s suggesting this.

[I can’t believe…]

She grabs my left hand with her right hand, interlaces her fingers with mine, and signs with her left hand.

[Let’s go!]

[Where?]

She looks around briefly, then points at a seemingly random direction. I follow her fingers to find a public restroom.

[What?]

She frowns at me. I want to kiss her frowns, but it’s more important to deal with the more impending issue.

[Come on! You’ve kept me waiting for so long!]

Something’s never changed.

[But… isn’t it a bit too…]

Without waiting for me to finish, she rushes towards the restroom, pulling me along with her.

I don’t want to do that in the restroom! Please!

Bump.

We’re about to enter the female restroom when a girl comes out, hitting straight at Shizune.

“Sorry!”

[Sorry!]

When the dust clears, we notice that the girl Shizune bumped into is none other than one of my best friends, Iwanako.

She takes a look at me, then Shizune, and then back to me again.

“Hi, Hisao, Shizune.”

“H-hi, Iwanako.”

She looks both delighted and embarrassed at the same time. Delighted because we’re back together again, embarrassed because she apparently just interrupted something.

A hint of slight disappointment appears on Shizune’s face. But she brushes it off almost immediately.

[Hi, my rival. What a coincidence.]

“Shizune says hi.”

“Hi, Shizune. Are you two dating? Then I’m not intruding. Bye!”

Shizune stops Iwanako with her outstretched left hand.

[Wait!]

Iwanako looks curiously at Shizune.

[Do you have some time? It’s been quite a while since the last time I treated my rival.]

“Shizune asks if you have some time for a treat.”

“Uh… I’m happy to spend time with you two as well, if you don’t mind. Maybe this time I can tr-…”

A loud snap of fingers causes both of us to jolt. I’ve not heard that sound for quite a long time.

[It’s decided! Let’s go eat at the Train Station! I found a nice place to eat. You’ll definitely love it!]

Without waiting for Iwanako’s reply, she grabs her right hand with her left one, and starts marching confidently towards the JR Station, with Iwanako and me in tow. We look at each other helplessly.

Thanks, Iwanako, for letting me off the hook. I don’t want to do that in the restroom. You’re indeed my best friend.

Iwanako, Lilly, Hanako, and Shizune. My life is truly wonderful.

<To Epilogue C>

ShizuneFan2019
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:44 am

Epilogue (Path C): America for Five

2-03
“What is the gate number again?”

“Sixteen.”

I have been to the airport many times before, but this is the first time I’m not travelling with my sister. Instead, two girls are escorting me to the plane, Hanako on my left and Iwanako on my right. We’re walking at such a slow pace that I feel a bit sorry for Iwanako. I hope she can bear with us.

Hisao and his girlfriend, however, are walking at a much brisker pace. They are probably waiting for us at the gate already. I hope Shizune is not dragging Hisao into the female washroom again. When Hisao complained to us about Shizune’s pervert tastes, we both sympathized him. I know Shizune is an aggressive girl, but I didn’t expect her to take interest in something like that.

Speaking of Shizune, I appreciate that this whole trip is a very daring move on her part. She said it is a project for her to make a breakthrough on her personality. She wants to try keeping herself at least not agitated in front of me and Hanako. She claims that it is for Hisao’s benefit.

Even though Hanako and I have some doubts traveling with Shizune, we eventually accepted the offer, partly due to Hisao’s persuading, and partly due to the attractiveness of the offer: Shizune offered to pay half of everybody’s plane tickets. I’m never short of money myself; I’m more drawn to her effort to improve herself. I ended up paying for both myself and Hanako, in order to lessen Shizune’s burden. Half of five round-trip plane tickets to America is not a small amount after all, even with the early bird ticket discount.

So far she has been doing pretty well. She patiently waited for us during the whole check-in process, and when I told her we’re going to have to walk slowly, she simply said that she and Hisao will wait for us at the gate. No complains.

“Hi Hisao. Sorry for keeping you waiting.”

It looks like we have arrived at gate sixteen, and Iwanako has spotted Hisao waiting for us. I didn’t hear any reply from Hisao. Instead, I hear a giggle from Iwanako.

“Looks like we’ve got an intense battle here.”

Hanako, who has been partially hiding behind me since the moment she stepped into the airport, finally releases her clutch on my left hand.

“Man, Shizune, you’re really one tough cookie.”

I feel some small air flow somewhere in front of me. Shizune is probably signing.

“No, I’m not giving up just yet!”

“What is Shizune saying, Hisao?”

“Iwanako, this girl is so mean! She said that she will give up North America if I buy her two dresses in New York!”

Both Iwanako and Hanako giggle.

“What are the stakes?”

“If she wins, I’ll have to do whatever she wants during the plane trip! That’s like fourteen hours!”

“Well, Hisao, if I were you, I would have accepted the offer.”

“Is my board position really that bad?”

“I can’t see how you’re going to win this one. You might as well buy her a pair of dresses. At least she’ll be happy.”

“What if I still lose after she gives up North America? Then she’ll get both prizes.”

“Then… well, at least you tried. You’re probably losing anyway. It’s not wise of you to bet against Shizune on the Risk board.”

I hear Hisao sigh.

“Iwanako, I didn’t really want to bet in the first place. She intended to do something else to me. If I didn’t try to distract her, I would have ended up even worse.”

My instincts tell me that whatever Shizune has in her mind must have something to do with dirty things.

I hear a loud snap of fingers that causes Hanako to jump a bit. Shizune is probably asking Hisao to focus himself on the board. I smile. Despite being exceptionally patient with us, Shizune is still mean against her boyfriend. I guess something’s never changed. I can’t help but feel sorry for Hisao.

A minute of silence follows. Eventually Hisao speaks up.

1-04
“I’m buying you a pair of dresses, and we’ll call this a draw. Is that okay?”

“Sorry, I’m not that… I mean, I don’t really want to play with strings attached. Especially not with everybody here like this.”

“I played along because otherwise you would force me to do something that I’d rather not do.”

“Sorry, I’m not in the mood of arguing with you. I’m going to the washroom.”

What that I hear footsteps towards the opposite direction. I appreciate the fact that Hisao spoke to Shizune. He could have used sign language, but he probably thinks that everybody here should at least know what is going on.

Then I hear another set of footsteps.

“Iwanako, what is going on?”

“I think Shizune wants to go to the restroom too. I hope they are okay.”

“What should we do now?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps it’s the best if we just sit down and wait.”

With Hanako’s guidance, we sit down on a bench side by side, waiting for the couple to come back.

“Lilly, what do you think about this trip? Is it a mistake?”

“Iwanako, honestly I don’t know. But Shizune obviously put a lot of effort into it. If I understand my cousin correctly, she will definitely try not to ruin the trip. She needs to learn how to socialize with others, though. Sometimes she’s too unreasonable and mean to others, like what she probably did just now.”

“What do you think Shizune had asked Hisao to do, that he would rather not do?”

“I have an idea, but I’m not sure if I should tell.”

“I have an idea too. Are we thinking about the same thing?”

“Well, if your idea is something related to dirty things…”

“And a washroom…”

“Then we are.”

We both chuckle at the coincidence. It looks like either Hisao complained to Iwanako about Shizune’s pervert tastes, or Iwanako actually bumped into them. Or both.

“Lilly, I can’t believe Shizune asked Hisao to do that, even with all of us tagging along.”

“Well, it’s only speculation on our part, but if it’s true, then Hisao reacting like this makes a lot of sense.”

“Poor Hisao.”

“Indeed.”

“If I have to guess, Shizune probably thought that there was still time before we board the plane, and they had to wait for us at the gate anyway, so she tried to drag Hisao to do… whatever she wanted to do. Hisao refused, not only because he didn’t want to, but also because if we arrived at the gate and didn’t see them, we would be worried. But Shizune insisted, so Hisao had to distract her. And the best way to do so was to play a game of Risk with her. Shizune asked for some stakes, and Hisao reluctantly agreed.”

“That’s some smart deduction, Iwanako.”

“I really hope they can sort this thing out. We paid a lot of money on this trip.”

“Agreed. By the way, what do you think about their relationship?”

Iwanako thinks for a moment before answering.

“It’s obvious that they love each other very much. They really get along well. But any couple must face the tests of dealing with the reality. They need to learn how to socialize with each other’s friends and family. They need to figure out how to live on their own. They must take care of their financial problems. After they marry, they need to know how to take care of their children. These tests will reveal whether a couple is truly in love with each other or not. They have to make sacrifices. They have to stop being selfish. They need to trust each other and prioritize their partner’s needs over their own. I think these tests are especially difficult for Shizune to handle. These are not problems you can easily solve with just a smart brain and diligence. They require good communication skills.”

“Which is obviously Shizune’s worst suit.”

“But she is improving. Hisao told me that she was much worse in high school.”

“Indeed. She has a nice heart, but she doesn’t know how to accommodate others. I believe that being deaf contributes to her personality.”

“She’s working so hard on it though. I’m quite happy that she gets herself a boyfriend.”

There’s a slightly wistful tone in her last comment. I need to be careful not to step on the landmine. According to Hisao, Iwanako confessed to him back in the other high school, and that triggered his condition. I have a feeling that Iwanako still likes Hisao. If not for Shizune, they might be dating now. It’s quite funny. A boy with heart condition becomes a ladies man. Look at what we have here, four girls traveling with him to the other end of the world, to meet another lady friend of his.

“Let’s just hope that everything turns out alright.”

After a while, I hear footsteps approaching.

2-17
“Iwanako, Lilly, Hanako, I’m sorry about everything. We’re ready to go.”

“It’s okay. We still need to wait for another five minutes. I’ll go and ask the staff if they can allow us to board the plane first.”

“No need. Shizune already asked. We’re in the priority list.”

“Great! We don’t need to wait in line then.”

I turn to Hanako, who’s grabbing my left arm again.

“Don’t worry, Hanako. We’ll be just fine.”

“O-okay.”

It looks like they were able to sort things out after all. I’m curious how they did it.

Taking a deep breath, I boldly make a request.

“Hisao, can I talk to Shizune please?”

“Er… Are you sure?”

“Yes. No hostility.”

“Alright.”

After some thirty seconds, I feel slender fingers touching my palms.

{Lilly.}

{Shizune. Don’t worry, I’m not to start a fight. I promised Hisao not to do that to you, ever.}

{Good.}

Her replies are always like this. She just says, or signs, what she needs to, that’s all.

{I just want to thank you again, for inviting me and Hanako to America. I apologize for what happened between us back in high school, but I really want to make friends with you again. Especially with Hisao and Iwanako as our mutual friends.}

{Okay. I hope you’ll be able to enjoy America.}

{Then you all have to describe the scenes to me. I can still listen to the birds and smell the fresh air.}

{We might not see any birds.}

Typical Shizune. She and her brother are so alike.

{Anyway, what I really want to ask you is, did you say sorry to Hisao?}

Her hands freeze for a moment. Then, after a long time, she makes a short reply.

{Yes.}

I smile to her. Shizune, you have truly matured.

{Great. Let’s enjoy the trip then.}

{Okay.}

-----------------------------------------

1-08
“Shicchan~! Hicchan~!”

The moment we step out of the airport (I knew it because of the sliding doors and the changing noise level), we are greeted by none other than Misha, our former Yamaku classmate and Student Council member.

“Misha!”

It sounds like they are hugging each other.

“Hi Lilly and Hanako~!”

“Hello Misha, it’s been a long time.”

“H-hi.”

“And this must be Iwanako~!”

“Nice to meet you Misha. Shizune and Hisao told me a lot about you.”

“Misha, let me introduce formally. This is Iwanako, my high school and university friend. Iwanako, this is Misha.”

“Nice to meet you.”

I hear a handshake.

“You all must be very tired~. Let’s settle down in the hotel, then we’ll have dinner and have fun~! Wahahahaha!”

I cringe at the volume. Something’s never changed.

-----------------------------------------

1-16
“Hey everyone~!”

It looks like Misha has finished the hotel check-in on behalf of all of us.

“Well, I booked three rooms for all of us. We will have to spend the night in pairs. Sorry~, hotels are really expensive here in New York~.”

“Don’t worry Misha. I’d rather sleep with Hanako. Hanako?”

“Y-yes.”

“Great! Then Lilly and Hanako will be in Room 207. Hicchan, you’re the only boy. You have to stay with Shicchan~. Go to Room 206. Iwanako, you’ll have to stay with me in Room 210. No choice~.”

“Haha… I’m okay with it.”

Then I hear a grabbing sound, followed by Hisao’s groan.

“Hey! Wait!”

Then footsteps going away from us.

“Er… See you all later then.”

Then sounds of lift doors opening and closing. It’s obvious what’s going on.

“Iwanako…”

“Erm… Well…”

“Let’s go to our rooms.”

As Hanako and I slowly walk to Room 207 with our luggage, I hear some moaning sound next door. I remember that Hisao’s room is 206.

“Did you hear that, Hanako?”

I hear Hanako giggles.

“Y-yes.”

“It looks like they are having fun.”

“Y-yes.”

“I want to rest.”

“I-it’s okay. Their r-room is opposite to ours. We s-should be fine.”

When Hanako and I settle down in our room, clear of those moaning sounds, I smile. I hope this will turn out to be a great, memorable trip, and I sincerely wish all the best to Hisao and my dear cousin.

<END> <To Path D>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:52 am

Path D: Stay Away

1-02
Why do you two have to argue? It’s just ridiculous! No wonder they say that women are trouble!

[“I’m tired of you two. It’s your own business. I’m staying out of the way!”]

Both Shizune and Lilly look surprised at this. Shizune is furious.

[You offered to bring me here and act as my interpreter, and now you’re quitting?]

[I asked you not to argue with Lilly, yet you have to do that. What can I do? You’re such a trouble! It’s nonsense!]

[WHAT? YOU SAY I’M A TROUBLE? IF YOU DIDN’T INSIST ON BRINGING ME HERE THIS WOULDN’T HAPPEN AT ALL! WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS THIS?]

I have had enough of Shizune. This is absolutely ridiculous!

[Whatever. I’m staying out of the way.]

Frustrated, Shizune turns to Lilly and grab her hands forcefully.

“Ah…”

Lilly gasps as Shizune moves her fingers around Lilly’s palms, conveying some secret message to her. Lilly looks even angrier, and fires back with similar finger motions to Shizune’s palm. I don’t care what they are saying.

After a while, Shizune retreats her hands from Lilly. She then walks upstairs angrily. Lilly also looks very angry. She takes out her walking cane and leaves the scene.

Shizune returns with her belongings. Looks like she is ready to leave the house.

[You’re absolutely terrible. I’m leaving. I’m not staying in your place either.]

[How about me?]

[Do whatever you like. I’m troublesome, right? I’ll stay away from you then.]

[Is it goodbye then?]

She shrugs, then leaves the house without any reply.

This is it. We’re done.

Women are indeed troublesome.

<To Chapter 5D>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:54 am

Chapter 5 (Path D): Troublesome Women

None
Women are so troublesome.

I broke up with Shizune. A week ago, we were lovers to the uttermost. Now the love has broken up into pieces.

I don’t like women. They are not worth the trouble at all.

“Riiiiiiing Riiiiiiing, Riiiiiiing Riiiiiiing”

My phone suddenly rings. Whose call is this? I don’t want to take any call right now!

“Riiiiiiing Riiiiiiing, Riiiiiiing Riiiiiiing”

I don’t even bother looking at the caller’s name before picking up the phone.

2-20
“Hisao Nakai.”

I hear nothing from the other end, except maybe some soft weeps.

“Who is it?”

“YOU JERK!”

I sigh. Of course this is Misha. I should have known.

“Yeah, I am. So what?”

“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I ASKED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF SHICCHAN. THIS IS WHAT YOU DID TO HER!”

Women are so troublesome.

“It’s not my fault! She’s unreasonable! I just want to stay out of this!”

“OF COURSE IT’S YOUR FAULT! YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED TO CALM HER DOWN! ISN’T IT BASIC STUFF, TO BE A BOYFRIEND! YOU NEED TO FIGHT FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND!”

“Why? I don’t think it will work. She’s just unreasonable. It’s too troublesome!”

“YOU BETRAYED MY TRUST. I ASKED YOU TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER, AND NOW YOU SAY THE TASK IS TROUBLESOME? I GIVE YOU ONE LAST CHANCE. IF YOU ARE A MAN, COME OUT AND SAY SORRY TO SHICCHAN!”

“… I’ll think about it.”

“WHAT? YOU’RE SUCH A COWARD! SHICCHAN AND I DON’T DESERVE SUCH A FRIEND. DON'T CALL ME A FRIEND ANYMORE. BYE!”

With that, she cuts the call.

Women are troublesome. I don’t want to deal with them.

Fine. I need no Misha either.

-----------------------------------------

1-06
This is my second month in university. Classes are interesting, and I already made a few new friends in class. Nobody in the school, save for a few medical staff, knows my condition yet. I need to be careful on myself, and keep up with my daily exercise.

Today I had lunch with my new classmates and studied my notes in the afternoon, as there was no class. Now I’m in the cafeteria for dinner.

After ordering my food, I try to find myself a seat.

I see somebody waving at me from afar.

With the tray on hand, I walk closer to see who the person is. It’s Iwanako.

“Hi, Iwanako.”

“Hi, Hisao. It’s been quite a while.”

“Yes, it has.”

“Join me for dinner?”

“Okay.”

Some company certain won’t hurt. I’ve been studying Physics all day.

“How’s school, Hisao?”

“Busy. You know, Todai’s a tough school. So much homework, so many tests, so little time to study.”

“I know. I’ve been in a lot of pressure too. Lab classes are like hell.”

“Hopefully we can take a break in the upcoming summer holiday. But it won’t come before the exams though.”

“Yes. I wish it could come sooner. It’s so tough being a medical student. Sometimes I have classes on Sundays too.”

I suddenly feel a bit sorry for her. She entered medical school partly because of me. And she is now suffering from the tough schedule.

“What? You’re even busier than me. Although I’m not much better off. I usually write my lab reports on Sundays.”

“I haven’t returned home since I moved into the dorm. My parents must have missed me a lot. I’d better spend more time with them during the summer.”

“I haven’t returned home either. You just reminded me of what to do in summer.”

“By the way, do you want to meet our old friends in high school? They’re planning a gathering during the summer holiday. You get to see Shin, Mai, and Takumi again.”

“Wow. I haven’t seen them for ages! Yeah, why not?”

“You’re in. I’ll tell them you will come.”

“Sure.”

“By the way, why are you alone here? You’re supposed to be with…”

I interrupt her.

“Nah. I broke up with Shizune already.”

“Really? Why?”

I sigh.

“I don’t know. I think I’m a lousy boyfriend. I didn’t do what I was supposed to do.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“It’s okay. I don’t know. I feel like women are so troublesome to deal with. Maybe it’s not worth it to be a boyfriend.”

“But doesn’t it also give you happiness?”

“Yeah. I admit that dating is happy, but only at the good times. I still don’t think it’s worth the trouble though.”

“I don’t think all women are troublesome. Maybe Shizune just doesn’t suit you. You can always find another one.”

“I don’t know. I kind of lost interest in women right now.”

Iwanako giggles.

“Don’t say that, Hisao. You sound like you’re…”

Realizing my slip-up, I quickly try to correct myself.

“No, I’m definitely not gay! I’m just… I’m just…”

“It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m just joking. Well, at least you can focus on your studies. We’re in university, after all.”

“Perhaps you’re right. You know, talking to you makes me feel a bit better about women. Just a little bit though.”

Iwanako giggles again.

“Don’t think too much now. Focus on your exams.”

She suddenly makes a serious face.

“And, do your damn exercises!”

“Alright, I’ll keep it up. I just skipped it for a week, that’s all.”

“No! You have to keep yourself healthy! If you don’t go running tomorrow, I’m going to drag you down to the track!”

“I’m sorry! Okay, I promise you, I’ll do it tomorrow!”

Her face doesn’t relax.

“And!”

Pointing at my cup of coffee, she stares at me angrily.

“Don’t! Drink! Coffee!”

Maybe all women are troublesome after all.

<To Chapter 6D>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:56 am

Chapter 6 (Path D): Reflection

1-13
As I come out of the bathroom, my hair dried and face washed, I turn off the lights and go to the bedroom, where my Physics lab report has been waiting me for.

The curtains are mostly closed. Moonlight shines into the room through the gap I intentionally leave out so that I can see the computer a bit better.

I sit on my bed next to the window. I stare at my computer with a knowing gaze. I know what I need to write tonight.

I pick up my comb and tidy up my hair, now clean and smooth from the shower, except that little bit of hair that always sticks out no matter what I do. I move on to enter the password to the computer. I put my cup of orange juice next to me (no coffee this time. I’m sick of Iwanako’s angry face). The orange juice, under the reflection of the moonlight, looks juicier than ever.

I briefly think back to the moments when I was with a certain girl under the moonlight. The romantic moments still linger in my brain.

It is, however, more important to focus on the Physics report. Looking at the orange juice makes me think of the reflection of light.

Perhaps Physics is my best girlfriend.

I start putting my hands on the assignment. Tonight I’m writing a report on the characteristics of light. Anything about light can be included, such as reflection and refraction, it being an EM wave, anything. I load my experiment data in my lab class earlier today from the spreadsheet, then make graphs out of it. These graphs will be critical to my analysis. I add the graphs to my report, then add my own analysis and findings. I take out my calculator, use its trigonometry functions, and copy the results to my report.

I like Physics. It allows you to explore the wonders of nature. I’m not exactly religious, but through studying Physics, I can’t help but praise the creator of this world, if there is one. Maxwell’s Equations. Newton’s Laws of Motion. Snell’s Law. Gauss’ Law for Gravity. So many formulas describing this wonderful world.

On the contrary, women are so troublesome. So volatile. So unstable. I can’t figure out a law that governs the emotions of women. There is no such a mathematical formula. I like Physics much more than women.

Some of my friends in university ask me if I want to date somebody. I always decline. They say I’m a nerd, always studying instead of socializing. They ask me if I ever felt lonely.

I don’t mind being lonely. Physics keeps me from being bored. Maybe I can become a scientist in the future. If not, a PhD degree in Physics, followed by a career as a Professor, is equally attractive.

The only girl I like talking to is Iwanako. She is... not as troublesome. She’s quite easy to talk to. She does remind me all the time to do exercises, study hard, and not drink any coffee. As she’s the one who caused my heart condition, I can’t blame her.

Taking a sip of orange juice, appreciating the Physics of light once more, I continue on my report.

-----------------------

I take a look at my finished report. Making sure there is no more stupid grammar mistakes, I copy it to my USB drive. I’ll print it out tomorrow morning and hand it in. I should get a good grade with this.

It turned out that Iwanako beat me in grades last year. I’m amazed by how well she’s studying. She is certainly no slouch. I’m a nerd who study every day. Yet she beat me. I’m going to study harder and take revenge.

After finishing my juice, I lie down on my bed. I’m tired. Time to sleep.

Moonlight is still shining through the window. On the shelf above the table, there is a photo frame. My graduation photo with Shizune and Misha. I start thinking about the days back in Yamaku.

In the first week, the two of them approached me, asking me to join the Student Council. Then I met Emi Ibarazaki, who is known as the Fastest Thing with No Legs, and her artist friend Rin Tezuka. There were also Lilly Satou and Hanako Ikezawa. They always spent time together in the tea room. There’s Kenji Setou who lived next door. The librarian Yuuko Shiragawa who also works in The Shanghai.

I ended up joining the Student Council. The busy schedule of the club and Shizune’s tactics forced me to spend a lot more time than I should have been on the two girls. I gave up running with Emi. I didn’t befriend Lilly or Hanako. I only had two true friends in Yamaku.

And yet, the two friends of mine are now past tense to me. I once said I wanted to be more mature, to be more responsible to myself and the people around me. Yet I’ve failed. Misha could be right back then. I was not behaving like an adult.

And now I have no more friends in Yamaku.

This makes the trip next week to Yamaku even more embarrassing.

Next week is Yamaku Festival. I’m going back to meet Mutou. I want to discuss my Physics project with him. I’m probably not going to see the girls, so I will get there early, talk to Mutou, and then leave.

Women are troublesome.

Am I going to stay single for the rest of my life?

Perhaps I can talk to Mutou about this too.

<To Chapter 7D>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:59 am

Chapter 7 (Path D): Reunion (D)

1-14
It’s been quite a while since I last visited this place. The lush greenery of the school grounds, the tree-lined walkway to the main building, and students wearing Yamaku uniforms, all bring up a feeling of nostalgia.

Students are making final preparations on their stalls for the festival. I can see Aoi and Keiko far away, supervising other students in their preparations.

Not wanting anybody to notice me, I head straight to the staff room.

Staff members are usually off on Sundays, but today is special due to the festival. Mutou is waiting for me in the staff room.

“Nakai. Good to see you again.”

“Mr. Mutou, it is nice to see you too.”

“Shall we start on your project then?”

“Sure.”

-----------------------------------------

After a lengthy discussion that took more than two hours, I finished drafting the outline. Mutou leaves for a can of coffee. Putting down my pen, I look out from the staff room window. It is getting crowded down there. The festival is in full swing.

1-07
Somewhere in the middle of the plaza, I can see a girl with pink bubblegum hair with drills, making sign language with another girl with short hair. Misha and Shizune. So Misha came back from New York to join Shizune for the festival. Looks like they are talking to Aoi and Keiko. Shizune is wearing black dress and high heels. How typical of her. They are probably talking about the Student Council.

I never spoke to Shizune or Misha after that fallout. I don’t think they want to see me again.

I regret deeply what I did in Saitama. I could have tried to calm Shizune down. Maybe I could have grabbed her hands and not allowing her to sign. Yet I opted to stay away. My poor performance ultimately lost me two of my best friends.

If time could turn back…

Well, things are over. Treat it as an experience. I need to move on.

1-20
On the other side of the playground, I see a short pink-haired girl with prosthetic legs talking to some students wearing sports uniform. It’s Emi. I think the Nurse is there as well.

I didn’t really come across her again after the first week of Yamaku. I heard that she won a lot of medals in the track meet. Shizune told me that Emi did not pass the National Center Test, so she could not enter a university. She then pursued her career in sports.

I also heard from Shizune that she was trapped on top of a mountain when she was hiking with her boyfriend. She lost her prosthetics, and was unable to walk. Her boyfriend saved her by carrying her all the way down the mountain. She was then allowed by her mother to live on her own with her boyfriend.

Emi is a sweet girl. I regret not going to morning runs with her. The exercises could have strengthened my heart.

I briefly consider going down to say hi to Emi, but then I realize that the Nurse would probably be very angry with me.

2-02
Standing next to Emi is Rin Tezuka. She just stands there, doing, well, whatever she is supposed to do. She’s a strange girl. I can never understand what she says. My biggest impression of her was that she drew the mural outside of the school dorms.

Shizune told me that Rin left the school to study arts after that summer holiday. Before that, her art teacher held an art exhibit for her, but they got into an argument. Come to think of it, I think Shizune said Rin studied in an art school in Tokyo, the same city I’m attending school right now.

1-17
A bit farther away, in the garden, I see four familiar looking girls that I recognize as Lilly, Hanako, Naomi Inoue, and Natsume Ooe. So they came back too. Lilly, Hanako, and Inoue are now studying in Kasshoku. I once thought about going there to meet them, but after the incident in Saitama, I don’t think Lilly wants to talk to me again.

Hanako looks a bit more cheerful than she was in Yamaku. It looks like she is still a close friend with the other two girls I never talked to in class. I feel bad about myself. We were in the same class, yet we never knew each other.

What a jerk have I been. No wonder I don’t have any friends in Yamaku now.

None
“Nakai.”

Mutou comes back with his coffee.

“Yes sir.”

“Looks like the festival is in full swing. How about you also go down there and join the folks? It will be great fun.”

I sigh, which catches Mutou by surprise.

“What’s the matter, Nakai?”

“I don’t know. May I have a word with you?”

“Sure.”

2-17
“You know, back in Yamaku, most of my friends were girls.”

“Yes, I recalled that. You were particularly close to Mikado and Hakamichi.”

“In fact, I had an argument with the two some time ago. After that, I feel like I’m not ready to face any other girl. I kind of lost patience and confidence with girls. I think all women are too troublesome to deal with.”

“I see. Well, since you’re in a science faculty, you don’t really have the need to interact with many girls.”

“I know, but I’m thinking ahead. If I can’t get myself to face a girl in the future, will I have trouble starting a family? Or should I remain single forever? I’m a bit lost right now. Do you have any advice for me?”

Mutou stares straight at me for a while, probably thinking of the right thing to say. Eventually, he nods at me.

“Nakai, it’s good for you to think about the future. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it too much right now. But if you want any advice on this, come here.”

He leads me to the staff room door.

“See, this is a door lock.”

He takes out a key ring from his pocket.

“I have several keys here.”

He inserts the keys one by one into the lock. After several tries, a key fits in.

“You see, there is only one key that fits into this lock.”

I think I can see where this is going.

“For every lock, there is a key to unlock it. The purpose of a lock is to allow only people who have the matching key to unlock it; if a lock has no key, then the lock is useless. This staff room is an example. The door lock exists such that only staff members can enter it. However, it is also important that only one key can fit in the lock. If too many keys can unlock it, then we will have a big problem. This place will be open to thieves.”

He clears his throat before continuing his speech.

“Nakai. From my life experience, I believe that every lock has a key to open it. You are not an exception. However, you will need to find the right key. You mentioned that all women are troublesome to deal with. This is not completely true. Based on how I know you, I think you will need someone who truly cares for you, yet is not as problematic as some of the girls you knew before. I am sure such a girl exists, and your job is to find her out. For now I don’t think you need to worry too much. You can start thinking about it after you graduate from university. Of course, it may take a few tries, as I demonstrated to you just now. But, in due time, the correct lady will appear. I can assure you this much.”

He puts a hand on my shoulder and continues.

“Nakai, I’m happy that you have studied so well. Your attitude towards science is fantastic. There are differences between science and women, but there are similarities as well. One of those is that you need to perform experiments. If you persist enough, results will appear. This is all I can tell you.”

“Thank you sir. I will think about what you said.”

“Good boy. I need to take a break now. Good luck on your project.”

“Thank you.”

With that, he escorts me out of the staff room and closes the door.

I stare at the door lock.

Mutou’s words keep ringing in my head.

“For every lock, there is a key to unlock it.”

Who has the key to unlock my heart?

“You will need someone who truly cares for you, yet is not as problematic.”

Care for me, yet not as problematic.

“I am sure such a girl exists.”

I surely know such a girl.

“You need to perform experiments. If you persist enough, results will appear.”

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let every word sink in.

Thank you Mutou.

I quietly leave Yamaku. I don’t need to attend the festival.

“It is also important that only one key can fit in the lock.”

I don’t need many girls in my life. One is enough.

Let’s perform an experiment. And stop being a jerk this time.

I take out my cell phone and dial a number.

2-19
“Hello Hisao?”

“Hi, Iwanako.”

“Good to hear from you. What’s the matter?”

“Uhm…”

“Yes?”

“I… I just want to ask…”

“Is anything wrong?”

“No! I… I mean… Are you back home already?”

“Yes. I’m taking a break to spend the weekend with my family.”

“I see. I was… I was wondering…”

Taking a deep breath, I continue.

“It may seem a bit forward, but can I meet you tonight? I’ll be back home at around 7pm.”

“O-okay. You mean, you want to talk to me?”

“Uhm… actually… May I invite you for dinner tonight?”

“You mean… like… a date?”

“Yeah.”

A brief silence follows before she replies.

“But didn’t you say that all women are too troublesome to deal with?”

“Yes, but you’re not troublesome at all, so I want to date you.”

As I speak those words, I feel my cheeks heating up. Another brief silence follows.

“Haha… I’m h-happy to see you t-too, b-but let me s-see if I still h-have some new c-clothes in my w-wardrobe…”

“N-no need to dress up! It’s just me!”

She takes a deep breath, then replies, speaking rather quickly.

“No! It will be my first date! I need to dress better! I’m going shopping right now. See you tonight!”

She hangs up before I can reply.

I can’t hide a big smile. For a very long time I’m actually smiling. My heart is beating heavily. I can’t wait for tonight.

As I said, I don’t need many girls in my life. One is enough. If I manage to find one tonight, I’ll be happy for the rest of my life.

References:
[1] “Ascent: Emilogue”

<To Epilogue D>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:05 am

Epilogue (Path D): Full Satisfaction (Erotic)

2-14
Time surely flies.

I lie down on the comfortable king-sized bed in my underwear. I close my eyes. I can’t help but think back on everything happened in the past ten years.

It all started with that fateful snowy encounter. The accident that changed both of our lives. Forever.

We lost contact for a year. Then, at the most unexpected moment, we ran into each other in Tokyo University.

We remained friends for one year. Then, with a surprising phone call, we ended up holding hands. We have since become the most important person to each other. And today, seven years after we started dating, we finally made our relationship official.

If that encounter didn’t take place, what would we be doing right now?

It was an extremely daring move on my part, I admit. The note that I wrote to him, I spent so much time pondering whether to write it or not. I still don’t know why I decided to do that. I can’t even remember why I liked him in the first place. Anyway, I passed the note. We met. I confessed. He fell.

Is it too daring and nontraditional for a girl to confess to a boy? Maybe. But in Japan, girls are becoming more and more aggressive. We even have the term “Niku-shoku-kei”, that is, “meat eaters”, to describe girls that actively pursue boys. Was I a meat eater back then? I don’t think so. I don’t see myself as a hungry lioness in any sense. Maybe I was afraid that if I didn’t get a boyfriend soon, I would be single for the rest of my life. Or maybe I simply liked him very much.

He didn’t have the chance to respond to my confession. He fell, and then, for over three months, he was unable to accept the reality. I lost patience with him. He eventually transferred to Yamaku.

My boy rejected me. My classmates started blaming me for everything. Nobody wanted to be friends with me. I was so lonely at that time. I cried every day. My parents tried to comfort me, to no avail. Then, there was the new class teacher, Mr. Tachibana. He was nagging everyone about studying for exams. I couldn’t concentrate myself on my books. He brought me to the staff room. I will never forget what he told me.

“The only person you can control is yourself.”

After sleeping on it for a whole night, I decided to come out of my rut. I wrote a letter of apology to him. I studied hard, trying to enter medical school. Studying provided a very nice distraction from all my negative feelings. I hoped that he would manage to get back on his feet on his own. In the end, I was accepted by Todai.

Then, when I visited there to register and select my classes, I ran into him on the road. The biggest miracle. Ever. The probability of that happening would most likely break the calculator. I guess we were destined to be together, even after such a devastating accident.

I didn’t know what to do. I was scared, and I started to run away. What a big mistake I made! If he didn’t stop me, we wouldn’t have any future. But he stopped me.

The timing was perfect. He stood up, thanks to Shizune, his ex-girlfriend. She roped him into the Student Council. She forced him to study hard. They entered Todai together. Shizune is an even more aggressive niku-shoku-kei. He got eaten. I admit I still had feelings towards him, but since he already had a girlfriend, I couldn’t do anything. Well, seeing him happy again was more than enough.

We ran into each other again in the cafeteria. He told me that he broke up with Shizune. To be honest, I was actually half-happy hearing the news. Then he said that he lost interest in girls because all women were troublesome.

I was heart-broken, although I didn’t show it.

Luckily, Todai is a very competitive school, so studying again provides me with some much needed distraction. I kept on studying and studying. At last, I beat my rivals in grades.

The phone call was so sudden that I didn’t know how to respond. He asked me out. The only thing I remembered was that he said, “You are not troublesome”. I think I said something like needing new clothes for the date.

He was so happy in the dinner. I never saw him smiling so much. We talked so much that we forgot about the time entirely. According to my parents, I was smiling all ears when I came back home well past 11pm.

He called me the next day, asking for another date. He said he couldn’t wait. I was thrilled. Two weeks later, he confessed to me, and we started dating.

When I asked him about the sudden call, he told me that his Yamaku teacher gave him some very important advice that he didn’t elaborate. I guess we were both helped by our teachers. That’s why we invited them to our wedding today.

We also invited our high school friends, including Shin, Mai, and Takumi. He didn’t invite any of his Yamaku classmates. He said it would be a bit too awkward. Given his relationship with them, I can’t blame him.

Well, even if he had asked them to come, I don’t think we would have had any space for them. The banquet today was huge. I’m very happy that so many people came to bless our wedding.

A lot of his students came. He surely is a popular professor. A few weeks after we started dating, he told me that he changed his goal from being a high school teacher to a professor. Given how nerdy he is, I can hardly say no to his choice. Not to mention that a professor earns much more than a high school teacher.

After we graduated from Todai, he continued studying and obtained his PhD degree in Physics after three years, which was shorter than many of his classmates. I finished my practical training at the same time. He was offered a job as an assistant professor in the university, while I worked in a hospital nearby as a doctor.

Many of my colleagues came to the wedding. Hicchan specifically requested that nobody was allowed to bring any hospital utensils, and discussions on heart conditions were strictly prohibited. Everybody happily agreed. I guess nobody wants to talk much about work in a wedding party.

After the banquet, we retreated to a hotel we booked for tonight. Hicchan wants to spend our first night as a married couple in this lovely room, on this comfortable bed.

2-07
“Hi, Iwa-chan.”

I open my eyes to meet my husband’s lovely smile.

“Hi Hicchan.”

I can’t believe we’re still using the nicknames we developed in university. It looks like we’ll continue calling each other like that for the rest of our lives.

“Thanks for being my wife. I love you, Iwa-chan.”

The way he looks at me makes me blush. How can I not love him?

“Thanks. I love you too.”

We stare at each other in silence. Given that we’re both in underwear only, it’s pretty obvious what is coming next. You have to respect the tradition. The first night of a newlywed couple.

I want it to be as long as possible. However, given how long we haven’t done it to each other, I don’t think we can last more than fifteen minutes.

After Hicchan proposed to me last year, we agreed to abstain from each other until the night after the wedding, so that the night would become a special moment for us. It has been extremely hard for me to resist the temptation every time we had a date, but the wait is finally over. I’m yearning for Hicchan right now!

I love going to bed with him. Every time. He knows how to satisfy me. There are many reasons why I decided to marry him, but I’ll be lying if I say that his bed skill is not one of them. It seems very shallow of me to decide my marriage based on sex, but people always say that a healthy sex life is vital to spouse relationship. As a doctor, I must add that suitable amount of exercises keeps you healthy and increases your longevity. I’m pretty sure the amount of time we spent on the bed helped make Hicchan as fit as ever, despite his heart condition. There is a mathematical formula for sex frequency: A simple multiplication by nine. For couples in their twenties, like us, we have two times nine equals eighteen. The numbers one and eight suggest that we should have sex eight times out of ten days. This is the Western way of interpreting it. The Eastern way interprets the numbers as eight times in one week. In any case, it means we should have sex almost every day. Personally I don’t think the formula is very applicable, but it does tell us how much the average couples are lacking in that aspect. I don’t want to stress Hicchan too much, so I think I’ll make him do it every other day, except when I’m unavailable due to blood.

Enough medical knowledge. Back to enjoying Hicchan. I don’t want my professional habit to ruin the night.

Hicchan cups my face with both hands, and then kisses me passionately. I close my eyes and enjoys his lips. He proceeds to lie down on top of me, his naked upper body touching my skin directly. I wrap my arms around his back. The stimulation from the skin touch arouses me quickly. I feel his crotch getting harder every second.

Yes, I love it. I haven’t had it for so long. Hicchan, please make me happy tonight.

<Adult Content>

His hands move from my face to my shoulders. With a simple click, I remove my bra, exposing my two breasts in front of him. To seduce him even more, I hold them with my hands, making them look bigger. He quickly grabs them with his hands and starts squeezing. When he moves his lips onto my right nipple and sucks it gently, I let out several unrestrained moans. The member inside his underwear is fully erect, pushing itself against my entrance through the two pieces of cloth. It looks like he is as eager as I am, if not more.

He squeezes my breasts harder, and licks my left nipples with his dexterous tongue. His groin constantly teases my sweet spot. Combined with the fact that I haven’t had sex for almost a year, I don’t think I can hold on much longer. In fact, I think I’m close to climax already. I quickly remove my panties, give a gentle push to his head with my right hand, and spread my legs apart. I don’t care about manners anymore. Please, Hicchan, give me!

He dutifully kneels between my legs, holds my hips with his hands, and starts working. When his soft tongue gives its first lap on my sweet spot, I shudder in pleasure. The second lap causes a loud moan. The third one sends a shocking wave throughout my body. On the fourth one, I start squirming uncontrollably. I don’t think I can take another one. He presses his tongue delicately on my spot again, closes his eyes, and, with a simple flicker motion, he sends me into ecstasy.

“Hicchan… I’m… Ahhhh…”

My vision goes white as intense waves of pleasure overflow my body. The pressure built up from the long wait finally gets released. Words can’t begin to describe my feeling right now. It’s just so satisfying.

When my senses return, I find my orgasm still lingering, and Hicchan has not moved his tongue away from me. This strongly indicates that he is going to give me a second time. Yay, bonus!

Having just released once, I should be able to enjoy his service for a little while before coming again. But with Hicchan increasing the frequency of his licking, I’m probably going to succumb within a couple of minutes.

Pleasure starts building up again as I watch Hicchan endeavoring hard between my legs. The sight of him serving me is adorable. I’m so blessed. I’ll be a happy woman for the rest of my life.

I didn’t count the seconds, but it must be less than two minutes before I tense up again. Then he inserts a finger inside, and starts thrusting. A few seconds later I find myself entering the white again.

He wipes his mouth with a handkerchief, and then leans over to kiss me. Job well done, Hicchan. I wrap my arms around his neck and return his kiss feverishly. He grabs my breast with his left hand and squeezes it. It’s time to reward him of his efforts.

Hicchan is such a selfless boyfriend, or I should say husband now. Every time he goes to bed with me, he pleasures me for half an hour, then leaves only five minutes for himself to enjoy. It’s not just sex either. He basically treats me every time we go on a date. Sometimes when I am in a bad mood, he comes over and just sits there with me, holds me in his arms without saying anything. He’s just a wonderful boyfriend. He told me that he hates troublesome women, so I try not to make too much trouble for him, and always say sorry whenever I do. There’s been ups and downs in our relationship, but we passed all the tests and we’re officially a family now, mostly thanks to his selflessness. How can I not love him?

Breaking off the kiss, I lie down again, spread my legs apart, and put a finger into my mouth, eyeing him with desire. I’m very confident of this pose; no red-blooded male will be able to resist me. Especially not when his name is Hisao Nakai.

Hicchan takes the cue and kneels down between my legs once again, this time with his hard rod against my entrance. Sometimes I wonder why such a big thing can be fully inserted into me. I know for a fact that my tunnel gets widened and elongated under arousal, but c’mon, it’s just too large. And it’s not like I’m very tall or plump or anything. My height is average, and I’m pretty slim. The rod shouldn’t fit in the first place. Yet it does. How miraculous! Perhaps we’re such a perfect couple to the point that even the sizes of our reproductive organs match.

I do have to admit that every time he gets inside me, I feel completely filled and satisfied. This time is no exception. When he enters me fully in one go, my body automatically responds with a shudder, while at the same time sending my brain a signal of joy, comfort, filling, beloved, and satisfaction.

Judging by Hicchan’s facial expression, I know that he’s not going to last very long. We did abstain for a long time after all. Luckily, I’m still aroused enough that we should be able to enjoy ecstasy together.

As he thrusts slowly yet powerfully inside me, I squeeze my tunnel in order to increase the friction, bringing us more sensation. I tense up again under his strong assault, the sound of our joining echoing throughout the hotel room.

“Iwa-chan, I… love it… so tight…”

I smile. It won’t be much longer for him. But then I realize, I’m approaching my limit too. Despite having already come twice, it’s the first time in many days I have an intercourse, so the excitement is still overwhelming. Not to mention that his member is large, hard, and strong.

“Hicchan… I love it too!”

He grabs my shoulders with both hands, pulls himself closer to me, and inserts himself deeper inside at a higher angle of depression. I have a feeling that he is touching the end of my tunnel with each thrust, and the resulting sensation brings me over the edge.

“Iwa-chan… I’m…”

He stares at me with questioning eyes. I know what he is asking. Since the day we agreed to abstain, I haven’t taken any pills. We’re not using protection, and today is the 14th day into the cycle. If he doesn’t pull out, there is a decent chance that we will become parents. Well, in fact only one out of four, but it’s there.

We’ve discussed it before the wedding. Even though Hicchan has a heart condition, the consensus is that we should give it a try anyway. Under my delicate care, he hasn’t even had one flutter since we started dating. We’ll have to put our kid to health check often, but with me as a doctor, it won’t cost much.

Given how much he loves me, I’m perfectly willing to give him at least one baby. It’s the least I could do for him. I was the one who triggered his condition after all.

He knows that I agree, but he’s asking just for courtesy. I confirm his request by closing my eyes, giving a slight nod, and squeezing his member even harder. As I feel the first jet of hot liquid splashes deep in the back of my tunnel, my body contracts in orgasm, sucking up millions of his tadpoles into the racing track where they compete against each other in the acidic environment for the ultimate prize.

“Iwa-chan... I… love you.”

“Hicchan!”

I bite my lips as the pleasure between my legs overcome my senses for the third time tonight. The abundance of hot liquid tells me how much he has been waiting for this moment. Tonight is indeed special for both of us.

After the peak subsides, I grab his hips and push him close to me, trying to keep his extracts from leaking out of my tunnel. I also lift my legs up a little in order to help his offspring in their missions through gravitational force. He chuckles upon seeing me do all these.
<Adult Content Ends>

“Congratulations Hicchan.”

“Yeah, guess we’ll be parents very soon.”

“I hope you can deal with the trouble.”

“I’ll try my best. It’ll be much easier with you on my side though.”

“Pregnancy may give you a lot of trouble too. I say sorry in advance.”

“It’s okay. As long as you love me.”

“I love you.”

We kiss each other deeply. I know that a lot of trouble is coming up on us, but as long as we have each other, I’m not afraid of anything. I believe that love conquers all.

<END>

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Completed 12 Sep 2019)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:20 am

Nothing like a discussion about STDs to end a romance story...

Not going to comment on the last two paths, because honestly I wouldn't know where to start.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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