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

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ShizuneFan2019
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:22 am

Branch A -- Calm her down

Looks like further talking is not going to help. I must stop her at once. How can I do that?

Her hands. Her hands are doing the talking. If I grab her hands, she cannot “say” anything. That will hopefully calm her down.

2-18
I immediately grab her slashing hands with both of my hands. Before she can react, I proceed to embrace her tightly, forcing her hands to the back. Shizune tries desperately to break free, but I lock her tightly with my whole body, my legs entrapping her in my embrace. She tries to move her hands again, but I forcefully push her hands together, not allowing any escape.

“Hisao, Shizune, what’s going on?”

“Lilly, I’m holding Shizune. I’m trying to calm her down.”

“I’m so sorry… What should I do?”

“Don’t get close, or you may hurt yourself. Maybe go and get a glass of water.”

“I’m on it!”

As Lilly goes to grab some water, Shizune still tries to break free, but I trap her with everything I’ve got. I can’t see her face, but she’s probably staring straight at Lilly. Luckily Lilly cannot see any of those.

“Shizune, I love you. Calm down. Just calm down.”

I know she cannot listen, but I try to, if possible, convey my feelings to Shizune through my vocal cord. She is still trying to escape, but her strength is running out.

Eventually, she gives up. She knows that I’m not going to give until she calms down. Taking a deep breath, she relaxes herself in my embrace, her head resting on my shoulder. I’m not relaxing just yet. Knowing how cunning she can be, she could possibly fake a surrender, and then attempt to escape when I least expect it.

I continue embracing her, trying to increase the oxytocin level in her brain to relieve her stress [1]. I also need to pay attention to my heart, which has been overworking since I took the action. Luckily, there is no flutter.

Lilly comes back with the water, and, knowing that she is of no further help, she leaves the scene.

“I’m so sorry Hisao… If you want to find me, I’m in my room.”

“Okay, we’ll figure things out once Shizune calms down.”

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

After a few minutes, Shizune raises her head from my shoulder and nods to me, telling me that she’s fine now. I nod back at her, release my grip on her hands, and pull away from the embrace. Our hands are now reeling in pain. There are a couple of bruises on her wrist; I must have grabbed her really hard. I roll my wrists to relieve some of the pain. Then I massage her wrists, trying to alleviate her bruise.

She leans in for a quick peck on my lips. Then she takes the glass of water left by Lilly and drinks it.

“Sorry, Shizune. I… I didn’t know what to do. I just did whatever I could.”

Smiling at me, she signs, but obviously still in pain.

[Thanks Hisao. Looks like you found a way to silence me. You won.]

I hold her hands.

“Don’t sign any more. Let your hands rest.”

She nods at me as we share a smile at each other.

References:
[1] “Sisterhood”, Chapter 58

<To Chapter 5A>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:08 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:26 am

Chapter 5 (Path A): Three-Way Chat

None
Reluctantly taking out her smartphone, Shizune presses a few keys to turn on the video chat function, and sets the phone upright. She then dials Misha’s number. After a short while, it connects.

1-07
[Hi Shicchan~! It’s so nice to see you again! Oh, hi Hicchan.]

Shizune’s face lights up considerably when she sees her best friend. We adjust ourselves to form a triangle with the phone, so that we can see each other better.

[Hi Misha, it’s so nice to see you again.]

“Hi Misha, how are you? Shizune is practicing lip-reading to get ready for university. Maybe we try to talk to her, and just sign the difficult words?”

[“Oh Shicchan~, you’re practicing lip-reading? That’s so great~! It’ll help you a lot in the upcoming years~.”]

Perhaps out of habit, Misha is still signing her words.

[I figure I need to learn it at some point. Besides, I don’t think I can survive in Tokyo without it. The teachers won’t be as accommodating as Yamaku, and there will only be a few deaf students. I can’t rely on Hisao to translate everything to me, because we’re going to different faculties.]

[“That’s true. I hope you can get used to university~. You two went to Tokyo last week, didn’t you?”]

[Yes. I love that school. So beautiful. Next to Ueno Park. Next to the train station. So convenient. Everything’s perfect!]

“Yeah. And you know what Misha? She already has a rival in the university.”

Misha looks surprised. She frowns at her partner.

[“Already~? Shicchan, I told you not to start fights! You need to start making friends, not enemies!”]

“No, no, Misha. We’re talking about a friendly [rivalry] with one of my high school friends who is going to study medicine. They’re going to see who gets the better grades and who will be more successful.”

Shizune confidently adjusts her glasses.

[Of course I’ll win. Iwanako is smart alright, but she’s no match to me! We’re going to fight for the upcoming Student of the Year Award, and I’m going to take it!]

[“That’s the spirit Shicchan! I’m sure you’ll outsmart the rest of the whole school~. I’m waiting for your good news. Wahahahaha!”]

“Hey, I’m going to compete as well. Don’t [underestimate] me. I’m Mutou’s star pupil.”

[If you’re so confident, how about we take a wager on who’s getting the better grades in the coming school year?]

“Sure. What are the [stakes]?”

[If I win, I get to do anything I want to do to you, for one day.]

“Does this mean if I win, I get to do anything I want to you as well?”

[Okay then. You're on. Misha’s the witness.]

She nods solemnly and holds out her hand. I grin and shake her hand. Misha, meanwhile, cannot stop herself from laughing.

[“You two are so cute together~! Wahahahaha!”]

We laugh along with Misha. Memories of the days of the Student Council reappear in my mind.

[So Misha, how are you doing over there?]

[“Oh, I’m done with my packing~. I’m flying to New York tonight~. I’ll call you when I get settled down.”]

“Take care Misha. If you need anything just call us.”

[“Thanks Hicchan~. Maybe I’ll invite you two to New York some time! Probably during the summer holiday!”]

[I’m coming. I haven’t been to America. What about you, Hisao?]

“Me neither.”

[“Alright! I’ll try to make an arrangement so that we can see each other again~! We’ll then celebrate and party HARD! Wahahahaha!”]

Although it’s been only a few days without Misha, hearing her laugh makes me feel like we’ve been missing something. I hope she can come back to Japan after her studies. She may be able to teach sign language at Yamaku. If both of us can get jobs at Yamaku, and if Shizune can get her hands onto the business and administration part of the school, then we’ll become colleagues. That’s probably stretching things too far, but I like daydreaming.

[“By the way, where are you two right now?”]

[We’re in my home in Saitama. We’re coming to join my family reunion.]

“Yeah. I kind of persuaded her to come. I don’t want her to miss the [occasion].”

Misha looks slightly worried.

[“I see. How did it go? You didn’t get into a fight, did you?”]

Shizune looks a bit guilty. I wait for her to decide whether to mention it or not. Her hesitation prompts Misha to pursue the question.

[“Shicchan, please~, don’t tell me you got into trouble again…”]

Shizune lets out a silent sigh, considers briefly before admitting to her best friend.

[I lost my temper for a moment. But Hisao was able to calm me down. I apologized. Nothing bad happened.]

I’m amazed by the fact that Shizune was able to admit that. On top of that, she praises my efforts. This is so not like her previous self. She has indeed changed over the months. Misha looks relieved, but then turns to me.

[“Nice job Hicchan~! How were you able to calm Shicchan down?”]

“I couldn’t find anything appropriate to say, so I just held her tight, not allowing her to sign or do anything stupid. I’m so glad that it worked.”

[Thanks again, Hisao.]

“Not a problem. I promised Misha to take care of you. I’m just keeping my promise.”

We continue to chat for a while before Misha prepares to hang up.

[“Alright Shicchan, I must go now~. Call you in America.”]

Shizune looks disappointed.

[Already? Can’t we talk for some more time?]

[“I need to prepare for my flight tonight~. Don’t worry Shicchan! We’ll see each other soon! Hicchan, keep your promise, okay~? Okay!”]

“Sure thing Misha. You can rely on me. I’ll make sure Shizune stays healthy and happy.”

[Take care Misha. Call me again once you arrive.]

[“Sure. Bye you two~. Take care!”]

With that, Misha hangs up. Shizune picks up the phone, then leans towards me. I look up at her. The phone call must have cheered her up considerably, as her face turns into a broad smile. She then proceeds to kiss me on my lips, which I’m more than happy to return.

[Thanks for everything.]

“No problem, my love.”

[Make sure you keep your promise. Make me healthy and happy.]

She suddenly makes a serious face.

[And I’m going to beat you in the university.]

How typical of her. Something’s never changed.

<To Chapter 6A>
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:04 pm

Are you talking about the references? I just don't want to fall into plagiarism.
Plagiarism? :lol: Most of that references come up in so many stories that nobody'd know which of the half a dozen possible stories - if any - you took the inspiration from.
Decision of...?? Making Iwanako in Todai?
Decision of Lilly returning to Scotland.
"I don't want to influence your decision, but I'll miss you, and Hanako will have problems... Do you remeber her panic attack? That might repeat itself if you're gone. If you stay here it would be better for her. But I don't want to influence you. By the way, if you need me to talk to you about it some more, I'll talk to you until your ears fall off... 8)
That's the mystery!!
So if the reader has no way of discerning which option will lead which way, why put in options at all? Why not make the decision random?
Nothing is more frustrating in a VN than getting a choice point that's basically "left or right" and one choice leads to the bad end and the other to the good one. That was more or less my biggest gripe about the first bad end in Rin's path - or the famous shark scene in Tsukihime...
You have the luxury of writing a prose fiction. You don't need to bring in choices at all.
Hey, the original story put two, and I only added one! No fair criticizing me!! Haha~~
It has been a few years, but I'm pretty sure I brought up that point with the original author as well :-)
We all thought like it was our job, and our parents were also expecting us to do that too. I guess this is how being on the "top 1% of all students" feel like.
I don't really think so. There might be those among the Top1% for whom their path was always set, sometimes paved with their parent's money(, which is not a viable option in Japan).
Anybody who actually had to work their ass off for three years to get the necessary grades would not take it for granted.
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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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:22 pm

Oh, you had new chapter as well... Okay.
Her hands. Her hands are doing the talking. If I grab her hands, she cannot “say” anything. That will hopefully calm her down.
So. This is the branch where Hisao has eaten the idiot cake. :shock: I can tell this is going to go badly without reading a line further.
I would NOT have expected "calm her down" to mean the equivalent of "gag her".
[Thanks Hisao. Looks like you found a way to silence me. You won.]
Are you kidding me? Forcefully restraining her to the point of bruising her hands made her calm down?
Usually I would have expected Shizune to immediately throw him out of the house - possibly at the point of Jigoro's Katana - after a stunt like this.
Oh, and being violently restrained does not usually cause the release of oxytocin...
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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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:41 am

Chapter 6 (Path A): Quality Time (Erotic)

<2-21>
As she comes out of the bathroom, her hair dried and face washed, she turns off the lights and meets my eyes. I have been waiting for her outside the bathroom.

I stretch out my hands, signaling her to lie back on my arms. She rolls her eyes on me for a while, but then obeys without any protests. Hugging her from behind feels so good.

I turn her around, lift her to my chest as she wraps her hands around my body, sharing some of the burden. I lean in to kiss her on her lips, which she happily accepts. Then I carry her to the bedroom.

This is one of the moments when her small stature comes to my benefit.

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

I guide her to my bed next to the window. We stare at each other with a knowing gaze. I bring her down to her feet.

She cups my face with both hands. I look into her beautiful eyes as she smiles at me expectantly.

She kisses my forehead. My left hand moves behind to caress her hair, now clean and smooth from the shower. She moves on to kiss my left cheek. Her small yet lovely face, under the decoration of the moonlight, looks more attractive than ever.

I briefly think back to the three moments when I was with her under the moonlight: The Tanabata when I confessed to her, in the Student Council room, and in my bedroom after graduation. The romantic moments still linger in my brain. It’s not an exaggeration to say that moonlight defines our relationship.

Another romantic moment under the moonlight certainly adds to the experience. Especially in such a cozy American hotel. She chose her residence carefully.

<Adult Content>
Our lips meet. My right hand continues running through her hair as she puts her tongue into my mouth, happily finding my tongue. She wraps her left hand around my waist, pulling us closer into the kiss. Her super-size breasts press against my chest, and as a result I feel my erection growing every second.

Pulling away from the kiss, she gives me a devilish smile, then moves her right hand down to my pants. She grabs hold of my member, strokes it delicately, and resumes the kiss. Another attack on two fronts. She’s always like this. She surely knows how to arouse me.

Without any warning, she pulls away again, kneels down before me, and pulls down my pants. My hard and erect member immediately flies out. With a satisfied look, she grabs hold of the base, and puts the tip into her mouth.

Flashbacks from The Shanghai appear in my mind while she pleasures me with her dexterous tongue. Her technique has since improved. She was already very good at it back then, but she’s now a master of it. With her tongue still caressing the underside of the tip of my member, she moves her lips along my shaft, doubling up the pleasure. I try my best not to surrender, but her all-out attack is overwhelming. Eventually I give in and focus myself on the sensation, waiting for the inevitable fate.

Knowing that victory is in her hands, she finishes me off by putting my whole length down her mouth, my tip now stimulated by her throat. With every inch of my precious part being attacked, I know I won’t hold on for another fifteen seconds. Her technique is simply amazing.

I give a light pat on her head, signaling to her that I’m about to release. With an expectant gaze, she flicks her tongue a bit faster. This hits my happy switch as I moan hopelessly and fire off inside her throat.

After sucking out every bit of my liquid, she stands up and looks at me with a pair of challenging eyes. I know this look. It means: “Your turn. See if you can do better than me.” Even sex is a competition for her.

Considering how well she just did to me, I don’t think I can win. I can at least try to play for a draw, though.

Not wasting any time, I immediately pull her close with my right hand, kiss her neck, and make my way to her right breast with my left hand. She makes a silent gasp at my surprise attack. I pull her head up a bit, exposing more of her neck, and wreak havoc on her breast. Her cheeks are flushing red. She is apparently overcome with desire.

I proceed to remove her dress, her two large breasts now bouncing right in front of me. I lick her right nipples and caress her left one. My left hand is now stroking her hips. Her body starts to squirm as I return an even stronger two-front attack on her. To satisfy her even more, I step up the intensity. My lips are now sucking her nipples while my left hand darts between her thighs, stimulating her skin as much as possible. She bites her lips, trying to stifle her moans, but her body betrays her as she squirms even more under my attack.

I’m not going to lose this game!

I pick her up, then carry her onto the bed. Immediately I remove her pants in one go. She looks surprised by my swift action. Not allowing any counter-play, I quickly remove my shirt, lie myself on top of her, and start kissing her again. Now with both of us naked, I embrace her and caress her legs with my own. The touch of her beautiful naked body causes my member to rise up again, pressuring against her lady bits. Intensifying the attack, I put my hands to work again, my left hand on her right breast, and my right one on her thigh. Her breathing speeds up considerably, her cheeks red like an apple, and her legs shifts uncontrollably. Her private area is now dripping water onto my member. She is ready to go.

I want to do it right now. But, to reward her love to me, I decide to provide her with an exclusive service of the highest quality.

Moving my right hand from her thigh to between her legs, I caress her entrance with two fingers. Yes, I’m now launching a double attack on her lady bits. My member is grinding against it, and my fingers are threatening to enter it. She bites her lips as I smile devilishly at her. She takes several deep breaths, trying to fight to the very end. Her competitiveness never ceases to amaze me.

But I know it is all futile. I insert two fingers into her body. Her tightness tells me that she is on the verge of defeat. I push my fingers deeper as she takes an even deeper breath. Enjoying her resistance to no end, I start thrusting in and out, bending my fingers to caress her inner walls. No, it’s impossible to resist my attack. Just give me the tie!

She tries one last attempt at keeping herself under control, but her body is already at its limit. Then, all of a sudden, the defense breaks down.

She hugs me tightly. Her inside squeezes my fingers so hard that they can hardly move. Her whole body shakes uncontrollably. I feel several intense jolts firing off from between her legs, as she lets out stifled moans to compliment the pleasure.

After a while, the jolts stop. I haven’t seen such an intense orgasm coming out of her; her desperate resistance must have allowed the stimulation to pile up to extreme levels. She’s still breathing heavily, her cheeks redder than ever. She looks at me with a defeated expression. Looks like I managed to claim a draw.

No, I’m not done yet. My member is complaining.

I take my two fingers out of her, and clean them with the towel on the bed. I get into position, my member now right at her entrance. She’s obviously still recovering from the previous intense orgasm. But I’m not letting her rest. After giving her such a world-class service, it’s my turn to enjoy her to the full.

I grab her shoulders, and enter her in one go. Her inside is still very tight. She’s apparently still on the verge of orgasm. I know I’m not going to release for a while, so I thrust relentlessly against her. She bites her lips as her inside starts to squeeze me hard. The sound of our joining spreads throughout the hotel room.

It looks like she’s not going to resist this time. She has probably used up all of her energy trying to defend the previous attack. She hugs me, closes her eyes, and waits for another orgasm, which I’m more than happy to give her. It doesn’t take much longer, as my powerful thrusts and my right hand’s assault on her breast bring forth another series of intense shocks from her inside.

I’m not done yet. I want more. I go all-out against her. She holds out a hand against my chest, asking me to control myself. I’m happy that she still manages to keep her head cool. I nod, and, after making sure my heart is okay, I keep my pace under control. Instead of focusing on power, I move in a grinding motion, trying to stimulate her inner walls even further.

She’s now so out of breath that she opens her mouth widely. I know that both of our limits are approaching. Like what she just did, I try my very best to resist.

“Shizune… I…”

I bite my teeth hard as her warmth gives my member the most enjoyable pleasure ever. I desperately try taking deep breaths. It looks like she’s doing the same.

“Shizune… I… love you…”

Our resistances work against us as I find the stimulation piling up, forming a gigantic surge of pleasurable energy that spreads throughout my body like electricity. As she reaches orgasm, I feel several jets of hot liquid scalding the tip of my member, which prompts me to respond by firing off a large amount of equally hot liquid deep inside her body.
<Adult content ends>

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

<2-06>
We lean against each other after the action, her face rubbing against my chest, about to fall asleep. She might be a domineering woman, but she is my domineering woman, and I love it.

I think back to everything happened after graduation.

Shizune stayed in my place until the start of university, when we both moved into the dorms. We decided to study in Tokyo together, and we met Iwanako during a visit. We went to Saitama for her family’s reunion. In a tight situation, I got hold of her, not allowing her any shenanigans. We talked to Misha the next day, and we made a bet, in front of Misha, on who would get the better scores in the upcoming year.

It turned out that Iwanako narrowly beat us this year, so we both lost. However, I got a slightly better grade (just a single higher grade in one of the subjects) than Shizune, so I got to do anything I want to her for one day. I finally won a bet against her; it was such a rarity. I need to thank Iwanako for that, because she was reminding me every day to study hard. She is, in particular, worried about my financial condition. She urges me to study as hard as I can, in order to get more scholarships to help restore the financial balance of my family. As a result, I earned several scholarships due to my academic excellence.

I chose today as the day to claim my spoils because we travel to America today to see Misha. I figured that since she “enslaved” me during the train ride, I might as well return the favor to her in a public transport. However, instead of asking Shizune to be my slave today, like what she did during that train ride, I just played games and watched movies with her on the plane. After arriving at New York, I treated her to a lovely dinner, and then, well, performed our favorite activity. Shizune was a bit surprised at first when I didn’t ruthlessly pound on her loss, but then she started to understand: there can be two winners or two losers in a match.

Her gradual change in attitude has helped her in university life. She has made a few friends in class, and she’s still a friendly rival with Iwanako. When things became difficult between Shizune and I or one of her friends, Iwanako would step up and help. I’m happy to have these two young ladies on my side.

The rivalry between Shizune and Lilly seems to soften a bit after Shizune apologized to her in Saitama. Lilly ultimately decided to stay in Japan, studying in Kasshoku with Hanako. With some guidance from her mother and Inoue, the two now live together in a house near the university. I visited them last week when I returned home.

We’re going to see Misha tomorrow morning. We’re all looking forward to this. We’ll have a great time together.

Looking back at Shizune, she’s already asleep. Having depleted most of my energy on Shizune, I decide to join her in her sweet dreams.

<To Chapter 7A>

Reference:
[1] “Weekend at Hisao’s”, Chapter 6
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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:04 am

Chapter 7 (Path A): Reunion (A)

1-15
Shizune is staring at the Risk board with intense concentration. With four Risk cards on hand, it is likely for any three of those to form a match, around 60% if I calculate correctly. This will give her a lot more reinforcements, which will probably allow her to sweep the game. Even if there is no match, another capture of territory surely will allow her to get a card, which will automatically guarantee a match of three.

However, I do have a set of matching cards on my hand. If she does not have a match this turn, then when she passes, I will gain massive amount of reinforcements that can instantly turn the tide to my favor.

On the other hand, I notice something different from Shizune’s play. For starters, this game is taking us much longer than I thought. Usually Shizune would easily get rid of both of us before we could even set a stronghold on one or two continents. On top of that, we’re actually playing with strings attached. The winner gets to ask the loser a question, and the loser must answer truthfully.

Is she holding up?

[Pass!]

What?

Misha and I stare at Shizune with disbelief as she passes her turn without attacking. Looking at the board, she is at least 50% likely to capture China from Misha, and this will get her a Risk card. Yet she chose to pass. She’s not taking the risk? Definitely not the usual Shizune that I have known so much of.

[“Why didn’t you attack, Shicchan~?”]

Shizune just brushes it off.

[I just don’t feel like taking the risk.]

When I play my reinforcements on the board, the game is basically over. I sweep Shizune after two turns and then finish Misha off a few turns later. Shizune gives me a thumbs up.

[Congratulations, Hisao. Your strategy has definitely improved! Well done!]

[“May I ask you a question, then?”]

[Go ahead.]

I ask the first question that pops up in my mind.

[“What’s your favorite color? Pink or black? Or another one?”]

Misha baffles.

[“What? You’re her boyfriend, and yet you don’t know her favorite color~?”]

[“You know, Misha, she never told me that! She has kept it a secret from me.”]

Shizune blushes, stares at the floor for a while, then signs without lifting her head.

[Pink.]

I smile at her, satisfied.

[“Thanks. I know what to buy you for your next birthday gift then.”]

Misha cannot stop herself from laughing hard.

[“You two are so cute together~! Wahahahaha!”]

As Misha rolls herself on the ground laughing, I pick up everybody’s Risk cards to start a new game. I take a quick peek at Shizune’s four cards.

They match. All of them being Cavalries.

Shizune notices what I just did. I lift my head and look straight into her eyes. She stares back at me. We share a knowing smile before moving on to the next game.

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

With a Cavalry, an Infantry, and Artillery Risk card on my hand, I briefly consider the board position. I know that Shizune is up to something. She has been playing strangely. Why is she getting so few reinforcements every turn?

I look more closely on the board. After a long stare, I finally realize what is going on.

Shizune deliberately leaves out one or two territories in some of the continents. She is playing handicap. She does not allow herself to capture more than two continents at the same time. I wonder how she could actually win the game then. Maybe she waits until the 20th turn?

It looks like Misha is taking the lead. She has five cards on hand. I want Misha to win this time.

I pass my turn without turning in my cards or capturing any territory. I actually tried to attack and lost two soldiers in the process.

Misha, probably still oblivious to all these, sweeps me and Shizune after a few turns.

[“Hicchan~! Now it’s my turn to ask you a question~!”]

[“Fire it.”]

[“Who was the girl that first caught your eye when you came to Yamaku~?”]

Wow, what a venomous question. Thanks, Misha. Luckily, your question is quite flawed. I smile at her as I reply.

[“It’s actually you, Misha.”]

[“What? Why me?”]

[“Well, who else? You had the most eye-catching hair in the whole class, no, in the entire world!”]

[“Wahahahaha! Of course~! It made sense, didn’t it? Wahahahaha!”]

As she continues to laugh at whatever she thinks funny, I slide my Risk cards to Shizune, who takes a quick peep on it. She nods, then slides her cards to me. Instead of looking, I just put them back to the stack, then share a smile with Shizune.

Shizune, you really understand that a loser can also be a winner.

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

1-09
As I watch on the chess game between Shizune and Misha, I wonder whether it is wise to waste our time in America on board games.

There is, however, no doubt that the two girls are having a great time together. It’s been more than a year since they parted each other on the roof of Yamaku. Shizune has been in a great mood since meeting Misha here. She’s practically radiating goodwill to the entire world. Well, seeing Shizune like this already makes the trip more worthy than ever.

[“Checkmate~!”]

Wow, Shizune loses another game.

[Congratulations. Well done!]

The normally oblivious Misha finally notices something is off.

[“Shicchan, it’s the fourth time you lost a game today~. What happened to you?”]

Shizune once again brushes it off.

[Nothing. I think my brain isn’t working too well today.]

[“Oh no~! Do you need a rest or anything?”]

[No. I’m fine. I’m very happy to play games with you two. Thanks a lot.]

[“You’re welcome, Shicchan~. We can go shopping in the afternoon~!”]

[Sure. I want to buy some clothes for Hisao too.]

[“Thanks, Shizune. I’ll buy you some as well.”]

[“Sorry Shicchan, but I’ve got to ask you a question right now~.”]

[Go ahead.]

[“If you marry Hicchan in the future and decide to have kids, do you want a boy or a girl? And what name will you give him or her?”]

Pause
Shizune instantly blushes heavily. I feel my body temperature rising as well.

This is a legitimate question. I never thought about that.

Shizune stares at Misha with intense concentration, obviously thinking about an appropriate answer. If her brain wasn’t working too well today, which I believe is definitely not the case, now is a great time to un-rust it.

She’s not the only one who needs to think. It’s about time for me to think about this question too. Well, let us separate the question into four parts. First, do I want to marry Shizune? Second, do I want a kid? Third, boy or girl? Fourth, its name.

Resume
The first question. Do I want to marry Shizune? This is probably an easy question for me. Of course! She is my perfect girl. My wonderful soul mate. I don’t know if she wants to marry me, though. I do have a heart condition, and I am a risk case for the rest of my life. I may die at any moment. Will she take the risk?

Let’s assume she wants to marry me. Do we want a kid? Will my heart condition be inherited to our offspring? Will our child be deaf too? Or should we just adopt a kid in order to avoid spreading our disabilities to the next generation?

For the third question, I don’t really have a preference. But if I know Shizune right, she is very proud of herself being a female. I think she wants a girl. It’s not like we can control the sex of our child, but I know for sure that she would go for every single method to tip the odds in her favor, no matter how small they may be.

The last question. Her name. “Misha” seems a good choice, but I don’t think she wants to confuse her child with her best friend. I’m sure she has something else in mind.

After all the analysis, I now have a conclusion. Doesn’t it look a bit like my Physics lab report?

The conclusion is: Shizune will probably determine everything. As always.

None
A loud snap of fingers causes me to jump back to reality as Shizune stares at me. She points to Misha.

[“Hicchan, I’m going into my room to change my clothes. We’ll meet here ten minutes later, then we’ll go shopping.”]

As Misha leaves for her room, I look at Shizune. She stares straight at me.

[Where did your mind wander off, dreamer?]

[I’m… I’m just thinking about the question.]

[So, what do you get?]

[Have you answered the question to Misha?]

[No. Not yet.]

[Why?]

Shizune blushes and looks at the floor.

1-01
[Waiting for you.]

Well, it looks like the first question has been answered. Thanks, Shizune. I pull her to a warm embrace, which she happily accepts. Holding her with my left hand, I grab her left hand with my right one. This is one of the times where deaf-blind sign language becomes useful.

{I love you, Shizune.}

{Me too.}

{So, what do you have in mind?}

{I asked you first.}

{Well, I don’t have preferences, but I do think you would like to have a girl.}

{You’re right. Good job at reading me correctly.}

{As for the name, I think “Misha” is out of the question?}

{Definitely not Misha. I have a great name in mind.}

{What is it?}

{Eri.}

{Great name indeed.}

{Then it’s settled!}

{I do have a question, though.}

{What’s that?}

I sigh before continuing.

{I don’t know… I’m afraid that our conditions may pass on.}

{Well, then we’ll need to make sure we stay as healthy as possible in order to decrease the odds of that happening.}

{How?}

{For one thing, my deafness cannot be helped. So, on my side there is nothing we can do. For your side, we can work harder on strengthening your heart.}

{I’ve been doing my morning exercises.}

1-16
{That’s not enough. I’m planning to increase your exercise amount when we return to Japan! I’ll make sure you cannot slack off!}

I groan.

{Oh no…}

{I’m going to your room every other day! Then you’ll have enough exercises!}

{What? Every other day?}

{For Eri’s sake!}

Just then Misha comes out.

“Oh no! Misha! Help me!”

“What’s the matter, Hicchan~?”

“Shizune wants to kill me!”

Well, I’m actually happy to be “killed”.

I’m so happy to see Shizune change. From a Student Council President who was nicknamed “Silent Tyrant”, “Queen Hakamichi”, and “Madam Presideaf” in the past, she has transformed into a lovely and caring girl who doesn’t always try to beat others, and is willing to discuss with others before making decisions. I can still see some of her competitive spirit and one-upmanship, but she tries hard to limit those to positive usage only. This is why she is getting more and more friends lately, including Iwanako. This is also why her relationship with Lilly has soften up so much over time. Her maturity will certainly help her in achieving her dream as a successful businesswoman and a philanthropist. What an excellent girlfriend!

With my marriage issue “sort of” settled, I can’t help but feel blissful. With such a wonderful girlfriend / future wife in Shizune, a great friend in Misha, and other people supporting me like Iwanako and Lilly, my life is truly fantastic.

<END> <To Epilogue A>

References:
(1) “For Want of a Nail”, Act 2 Scene 6
(2) “Happy Returns”
(3) “First Comes Love”, Third Section
(4) “Family Game Night”
(5) “For Want of a Nail”, Act 2 Scene 7
(6) “Sisterhood”, Chapter 13
(7) “Developments”, Chapter 52 Part 1
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:06 am

Epilogue (Path A): Stars Embrace

1-06
This looks good. Let’s print it out.

I press the print button on the computer, then go to the printer to collect my budget plan. It looks very nice. I’m happy with my efforts.

I take a glance at the clock. Wow, it’s already 9pm. I still have one more report to write, but I guess I’ll have to leave it to tomorrow. Leaving work until the next day is never my wish, but given the situation I’m currently in, I need to restrict myself.

After turning off my computer and picking up my bag, I leave the staff room, lock the door, and walk out of the administration building. It is nearly curfew, so most of the students should have returned to their dorm rooms.

Not the Science Club members though. Hisao always keeps them until late.

To my right is the beautiful garden of Yamaku. It brings back memories.

I enter the main building and approach the Science Club. I pass by the Student Council room on my way there. Back in the Student Council days, I often pulled all-nighters making stalls, preparing reports, and planning elections. This year’s Student Council is okay, but it is no match to mine. They planned the Halloween event very well, I must admit. Even I myself enjoyed it a lot. But they did it with twelve members. Back in my days, we organized the whole Tanabata festival with the three of us. Me, Misha, and Hisao.

I confidently adjust my glasses. They are such amateurs. Twelve people? Seriously?

I still miss the days when I was Student Council President. As a staff, I obviously cannot join the Council, but I really want to pull another all-nighter some day.

Not now. Especially not with Eri inside me.

The lights of the Science Club are still on. Hisao told me that they are making a robot for the upcoming Joint School Robot Contest, JSRC in short. I wonder how long they are going to work on it tonight.

In the past, I would have barged the door open and snapped my fingers right in front of Hisao. But now I’m a staff, I’m pregnant, and I don’t want to spoil their project, so I open the door lightly.

There are ten club members working on what looks like a robot arm that can pick up small objects. Hisao is guiding his club members in the project. They probably heard the door opening because they turn their heads to greet me.

[Hi everyone.]

“Hello Miss Hakamichi.”

My lip-reading has improved a lot since high school. I was very reluctant when Hisao first asked me to do it, but then he argued that Todai wouldn’t be as accommodating as Yamaku, so I gave in. I really thank him for that. If I didn’t know lip-reading, I don’t think I could get a job in Yamaku, or anywhere else in Japan.

As usual, they quickly turn their attention to my tummy.

“Wow, it looks huge. Can I touch it, Miss Hakamichi?”

I frown at them. People always make this request, staff members and students alike. Yet it’s very hard to reject them.

“Hi Eri, how are you?”

“She’s probably sleeping.”

“She’s going to be a big baby girl!”

“A pretty girl!”

“I’ll play with Eri when she comes out.”

“Me too!”

As the club members continue to harass Eri, much to my dismay, Hisao comes over and smiles at me.

[Hi dear, is everything done?]

[One more report to go, but it’s already late.]

I show him the watch I’m wearing, which displays 9:15pm.

[We’ll call it a day then. I don’t want them to miss curfew.]

[Sure.]

“Hey guys, let’s call it a day. We’ll continue tomorrow afternoon, same time.”

“Okay!”

We escort the students out of the classroom, watching them leave the main building and go back to their dorms. Then it is just me and Hisao.

[Let’s sit in the garden for a while.]

[Isn’t it a bit late, dear?]

[Just a little while.]

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

1-13
We take a seat in the garden under the beautiful starry sky. I lean towards Hisao. We smile at each other. Of course we know the significance of this place. This was the place where our love started to blossom. We’ve been working here for a couple of years, but we’ve been so busy with work that this is only the second time we’ve visited this garden together since he confessed to me back in high school.

He grabs my hands tenderly and starts talking to me through hands.

{I was so happy that you said yes.}

{You think I would say no?}

{I don’t know. You took forever to reply. I started to wonder if I made the wrong signs.}

I can’t help but giggle.

{You should've bought me a bunch of flowers.}

{Wouldn’t it be too bold of a move? We’re in a high school. We might get into trouble.}

{Would it really be that bad?}

{I think so. We’re in a conservative community after all.}

{Perhaps you’re right. But then why did you decide to confess to me?}

{I didn’t plan to do that. If it wasn’t Misha...}

{What did she do?}

{I couldn’t sleep, so I went to the roof. I saw Misha there. We made some small talks, and then Misha suddenly asked me: “Hicchan, do you like Shicchan?”}

{What did you say?}

{Well, I didn’t want to admit it to Misha, so I said no. But after the talk with her, I started to think, maybe it was the time to confess to you.}

{You were really slow.}

{Sorry. It was my first time. By the way, where’s Misha?}

{She left already. She had a tough day. Half of her class failed the English Mock Exam, so she had to work overtime to get them back on track. They don’t want to fail the upcoming National Center Test.}

{Poor Misha. I’m fortunate that I’m in a second-year class.}

{You’ll be as busy as Misha next year.}

{I hope I don’t need to work too much overtime next year. I want to spend a bit more time with you and Eri.}

{You probably can’t do too much about it. But there’s something else you can do.}

{And that is?}

{Work hard, Hisao. And do well in the JSRC.}

{I don’t get your point.}

{I’m now writing budget reports. I’m trying to give you a raise. I want a better living standard for Eri.}

{Isn’t that conflict of interest?}

{That’s why you need to work hard. Then your raise will be justified.}

{Alright. I’ll try my best, for Eri’s sake.}

What a nice weather. Clear sky, bright moon, a few stars shining brightly.

{You always told me that moonlight defines our relationship. But I actually like the stars more.}

2-09
{Stars?}

{Yes. Stars. I love stars.}

{Why?}

{Because stars shine.}

{But doesn’t the moon shine brighter?}

He’s a Physics teacher. How can he not know that?

{The moon only reflects light from the sun. The stars shine by themselves.}

{I see. But…}

He’s so slow.

{Look, Hisao. Stars shine when the sky is dark. I want to be a star. Even though I’m deaf, I’m in a school of disabilities, I still want to shine. When I was Student Council President, I wanted to shine. When I was in Todai, I wanted to shine. Now I’m back in Yamaku, I want to shine even more brightly. Sometimes I feel tired after working all day. But when I leave school, I look up the sky, I see the stars. They provide me with motivation to go on and work harder.}

{I see. I never knew it.}

{As I said before, I didn’t want any weaklings in the Student Council. Three of us were enough. I always called ourselves Three Stars.}

{I was a star too?}

{You probably weren’t, but I wanted to make you a star. Right after you joined the Council.}

I adjust my glasses and continue.

{Hisao, I have high hopes on you. You need to shine here. Be a good teacher. I want you to become the best teacher in Yamaku. Put all the kids into famous universities like Todai. I want the school to become the best high school in Japan. You’ll be the best teacher in the best high school.}

{How about you?}

{I want to become the headmistress.}

{Wow. I didn’t know you have this ambition.}

{I’ll be the head of the school. You’ll be the best science teacher. Misha will be the best English and sign language teacher. Emi will be the best coach. Yamaku will be the most famous high school in Japan, dominating the places to the best universities, and hopefully winning Paralympic medals too.}

I snap my fingers in confidence.

{Yamaku will shine in Japan.}

Hisao closes his eyes, probably letting my words sink in. I never told him my ambitions here. Of course he doesn’t know. He’s slow as always. Doesn’t matter, as I’ll carry him on. I’ll carry both him and Misha on my shoulders.

Eventually, Hisao nods.

{I see. You’re right, Shizune. We are stars. We need to shine. You’re my wife, and I support you. Let’s work hard together for a bright future.}

I didn’t show it, but I really appreciate his support.

{Good. You know, it’s actually Emi who gave me the inspiration. Emi and her friend Rin. I’m very impressed with them. They started with so many disadvantages, yet they’ve been trying their very best to overturn the odds.}

{“The Fastest Thing on No Legs”, huh?}

{Why don’t you introduce her a boyfriend?}

{I talked to her about it the other day during our morning run. She just brushed it off. I know that she has had several boyfriends in the past, but none of them stayed with her. One of them was a Yamaku staff, and I know him. He told me that Emi is a cheerful girl, but she clamps up whenever they talk about their families. If I know her right, she’s not the kind of person who likes planning ahead. She prefers living by the day. So, perhaps marriage doesn’t suit her too well.}

{I see. Let’s go back, Hisao. It’s getting late.}

As we leave the garden and walk towards the car park, Hisao suddenly turns around.

"Oh, now I know why you never make a wish."

I smile at his surprisingly sharp insight.

"You don’t want to see stars falling."

[That’s right. You’re sharp.]

<END>
<To Path B>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:02 am

Branch B: Talk her out of it

I must stop her at once. How can I stop her? I have to control the situation.

[Shizune! That’s enough! Misha asks you not to keep butting heads with others. I need to stop you from doing this!]

[SO YOU’RE TRYING TO BE THE HERO HUH? YOU KNOW WHAT? THIS IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS! IT’S NOT MISHA’S BUSINESS EITHER! IT’S OUR OWN BUSINESS! I’M TALKING TO HER DIRECTLY! STAY OUT OF THIS!]

Shizune tries to grab Lilly’s hands. That’s enough!

I push her hands away from Lilly. She stares at me angrily.

[LEAVE, HISAO NAKAI!]

[No, Shizune! Stop! Calm down!]

[LEAVE NOW. THIS IS MY HOUSE. I DON’T NEED AN INTERPRETER! TAKE YOUR BAG AND LEAVE! RIGHT NOW!]

2-16
I’m furious. I’ve had enough of her. She’s simply unreasonable. There’s no way to get through her.

I take my bag and prepare to leave. Lilly, stranded there without a clue, looks worried.

“What’s going on, Hisao?”

“Shizune asks me to leave. Sorry, I can’t get through her. I need to go. Sorry.”

“Wait!”

Without stopping, I head toward the exit, open the door, and leave. Right before I close the door, I hear Lilly also leaving the room with loud taps of her walking cane. She’s probably furious at Shizune too.

I exit the door and take a careful look outside. Making sure that nobody I know is nearby, I quickly escape the scene towards the train station.

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

I’ve had enough of her.

It’s so hard helping her connect to the outside world. Her temper is sometimes too quick. Can I afford such a girlfriend? Can my heart take her repeated offenses?

Was it a mistake to be Shizune’s boyfriend? She has made a lot of progress these few days, but something is hard to change. Her competitiveness, her temper, her stoic personality. All of them place heavy pressure on my heart.

When you’re deep in love, you tend to neglect your partner’s shortcomings. We did exactly that during our train ride back to my home. But, in the long run, we’ll inevitably run into each other’s difficulties.

Is Shizune my perfect partner? What kind of long-term partner do I really need? I didn’t think about any of these questions back at my old high school, or at Yamaku. But now I’m a grown-up. I need to be responsible to myself and the people around me. I need to think. This is a life-long decision.

I probably won’t get much sleep tonight.

<To Chapter 5B>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:20 pm

Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:07 am

Chapter 5 (Path B): Lost Treasure

1-04
I can’t help but think back about yesterday.

Misha asked me to take care of Shizune, and I promised her. Yet, at the most critical moment, I screwed up.

I don’t know what else I could do though. Maybe I should have shut up, but would that have helped? Shizune was unreasonable. Nothing I said was able to get through to her. There was simply no solution.

It’s such a huge pressure being her boyfriend. I recall Lilly’s words:

“This makes you special, but it also makes you dangerous. Please take care not to hurt her, Hisao.”

Given my heart condition, maybe I shouldn’t have made myself Shizune’s boyfriend after all. It’s too much of a risk. To make matters worse, it looks like she and my parents love to gang up against me all the time. I was used to my parents’ shenanigans in the past, but now with my heart condition, and one more “enemy” against me, will my heart be able to take it? The pressure could overwhelm me at any moment. I don’t want to give up just yet, but I don’t know, is it a lost cause?

I need to find somebody to talk.

I don’t want to talk to my parents just yet. Misha’s probably flying to America. Lilly… no. Definitely not Kenji either. That leaves only one person to talk to.

I quickly take out my phone and dial the number. She’s smart, she’s caring, and she’s probably the most reliable friend that I’ve got right now.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Iwanako.”

“Hisao? H-how are you doing?”

“I… I…”

“What’s wrong?”

“Uhm… Can I talk to you for a bit?”

“S-sure. What happened?”

“Can I meet you in the park? You know, the one next to our high school.”

“You’re back already? Aren’t you in…”

“No, I’m back. (Sigh) Meet you in the park?”

“O-okay. See you there.”

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

Taking a can of soft drink from the vending machine, I find a bench to sit down in the middle of the park.

What should I do? What is the correct play?

“Hisao…”

I look up and see Iwanako staring at me, eyes filled with worry.

“Thanks for coming, Iwanako.”

“What happened? You… did you not sleep yesterday?”

“Yeah, sort of.”

She sits down next to me on the left.

“Something went wrong with the visit?”

“(Sigh) Yeah. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t expect it to turn out so badly.”

“Can you tell me what happened?”

“Are you willing to listen to my ramblings?”

“I’m here. J-just… let it all out.”

Covering my face with my hands, I explain everything happened in Saitama to Iwanako. As I finish, I cannot hold back my tears. Iwanako puts a hand on my right shoulder, then softly strokes my back. She takes out a handkerchief and hands it to me.

“I’m here with you. Just cry, let it all out.”

Unable to control myself any longer, I release all my emotions on the handkerchief, next to the girl I never thought I would ever talk to again.

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

2-18
“Are you feeling better now?”

“A bit. Thanks for listening.”

“No problem. Things have been hard on you. I understand.”

“You do? (Sigh) The thing is, I don’t really know what else to do right now. Nothing seems right to me. I even start to wonder, if being Shizune’s boyfriend was a mistake after all.”

“Uhm… Actually…”

It looks like she has something to say, but doesn’t know how to say it.

“Just tell me, Iwanako.”

“I… I understand how you feel… because… I was… in the same boat before…”

The last few words were mumbled. I immediately realize what she’s trying to tell me. During my stay in the hospital, she tried many times to cheer me up, to bring me out of my rut, to at least do something. Nothing worked. She lost patience and left me. She knew what it was like to be so out of sorts.

“(Sigh) I’m so sorry. I know what you mean. Well, what can I say? Looks like I got revenged. (Chuckle) I don’t know what to do for you, yeah, just…”

“It’s okay. I’m already so happy for you that you’re finally back. I just want to be your friend, to be on your side when you’re in trouble, like now. This is the least I can do for you, to make up for my loss of patience on you before.”

“Thanks. I’m so happy to have you as a friend. Can I ask you a question?”

“S-sure.”

“Well, can you share with me, how you got over with everything? How did you handle things after I left for Yamaku?”

She thinks for a moment, trying to give me the best answer.

“I… I don’t really know. I knew that whatever I said wasn’t going to go through. So I just tried my best to redeem myself. As I told you, I studied hard, partly for distracting myself from any bad thoughts, and partly for entering medical school. Then I figured I must write you a letter of apology. I didn’t know how you would react to that, but at least I want to give you a chance to say something. I was a bit disappointed that I never got a reply, but since I couldn’t do anything, or control anything, I just kept going, and hope that one day things would work out. It was quite awkward running into you that day, but once you started talking to me, I had a feeling that it’s time to do something. I was surprised how well it turned out.”

“Me too. So, are you saying that I should just keep on doing my best, and leave the rest to fate?”

“Uhm… Something like that. The only person you can control is yourself. I think you should try talking to Shizune about this. Try to work out a solution for both of you. If it works, then everybody’s happy. If it doesn’t, then… then…”

She pauses for a while before continuing.

“I’ll still be here supporting you.”

I can’t help but take a look at the girl who caused my heart condition. Her long hair is beautiful. Her eyes are attractive. Her baby-face looks innocent and cheerful. She’s as lovely as Shizune, if not more. No wonder my heart acted up on her confession. In addition, she’s smart, she’s caring, and she liked me. No, I think she actually still likes me, given what she just said.

No, I cannot betray Shizune. I’ll talk to her. If it doesn’t work… we’ll see what happens. As Iwanako said, just try my best and leave the rest to… yeah, fate.

“Thanks Iwanako. You’re right. I’ll talk to her. Wish me good luck on that. I’ll treat you after everything’s settled.”

“You’re welcome. See you in university.”

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

None
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. I reserved dinner time in a restaurant near the JR Ueno Station with a lovely young lady.

2-14
“Good evening Iwanako.”

“Hello Hisao. Thanks for inviting me.”

“I said I’ll treat you when everything’s settled. And I keep my promises.”

She smiles, yet I see a hint of sadness in her smile.

“So, how did it go?”

“Let’s talk about that after we order, shall we?”

“S-sure.”

After we ordered our meals (we found that we actually like the same kinds of food), I speak up.

“Well, I talked to Shizune. She said she was sorry for her actions. We talked for a bit, and we tried to figure out a solution. Anyway, the short version is, things didn’t work out, and, in order to protect me from any heart attacks, we had to part ways.”

“You must be very sad about it then.”

“I kind of expected that to be honest. Once I returned from Saitama, I already prepared for the worst. We’re still on friendly terms though. At least we don’t have bad feelings on one another. It just didn’t work out. Time will heal. We can still be friends after the emotions have been settled.”

“I see. I feel sorry for you.”

“It’s okay. You know, I’m really thankful for her. I learned a lot from her. She gave me so much positive influence. It’s just that we are both grown-ups, and we start to realize what we truly need as long-term partners that will hopefully turn into marriage.”

She looks quite amazed at what I just said.

“That doesn’t sound like something said by you, Hisao. Not from someone at your age, at least.”

I chuckle.

“Experience, I guess. It makes people mature.”

She stares at me intently. Is she judging me? Is she doing what I think she’s doing?

Our meals arrive, and we raise our glasses of orange juice. We’re not old enough to drink wine, and when I mentioned coffee Iwanako shot that down immediately.

She’s like a combination of Shizune, Hanako, and Emi. Smart brain and diligent as Shizune. Shy and caring as Hanako. Cheerful as Emi. She even sends me e-mail after e-mail reminding me to do exercises.

Is she the best partner for me? Really? Me and Iwanako?

Is she thinking the same? Is she looking for someone mature?

“Cheers!”

“C-cheers!”

We spend the evening talking about university stuff. We both talk about our stories in the labs. She once hurt herself with a syringe, and to prove that she shows me her wound. I tell her what I discovered in my Physics experiments. Time flies during our seemingly endless chat.

“Thanks again for the treat, Hisao.”

“You’re welcome.”

We stare at each other. It looks like she has something to say.

“Can I ask you a question?”

Pause
My mind instantly goes back to the snowy afternoon when she confessed to me. Is she going to confess to me again? Can my heart take it this time?

I’m sure my heart has become stronger since then, thanks to the exercises I’ve been doing these few months. And, unlike last time, I’m fully prepared for this.

Resume
“Sure.”

“Hisao, you said that both you and Shizune realize what you two truly need as long-term partners that will hopefully turn into marriage.”

“Yes.”

“Then, what do you think you truly need as a long-term partner?”

I think briefly, then take a deep breath.

“I need someone who’s smart and diligent, yet softer and not always cause troubles. I want someone cheerful, as sometimes I may fall into my own rut. Most importantly, she needs to accept my heart condition and help protect my heart.”

Taking a sip of her glass of juice, she looks at me attentively, her eyes displaying extreme focus. After a long stare, she puts down the glass.

“I think I know someone who fits your descriptions.”

She really thought this through. This is her second try. Not too forward to act up my heart, yet clearly brings the message across.

I close my eyes, and pause for a moment. Making sure that my heart stays relatively calm, I open my eyes and look straight at her. It’s time to take action. I’m sorry, Iwanako, for keeping you waiting.

“And I think I know who she is.”

<To Chapter 6B>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:11 am

Chapter 6 (Path B): First Time (Erotic)

2-07
As she comes out of the bathroom, her hair dried and face washed, she turns off the lights and meets me in the bedroom, where I have been waiting her for.

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

I guide her to my bed next to the window. We stare at each other with a knowing gaze.

I cup her face with both hands. I look into her beautiful eyes as she smiles at me expectantly.

I kiss her forehead. My left hand moves behind to caress her hair, now clean and smooth from the shower. I move on to kiss her left cheek. Her lovely baby-face, under the decoration of the moonlight, looks 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 present.

Our lips meet. She closes her eyes, anticipating my kiss. The tips of our tongues touch each other as we allow the sensation to spread throughout our bodies. My right hand continues to cup her left cheek as my left hand runs through her beautiful hair.

I can't believe I have such a lovely girlfriend. 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 relationship.

Breaking our kiss in order to move on, I softly nibble on her right ear. She lets out a soft moan as she embraces me even more tightly. I feel a tightness between my legs. A significant portion of my blood has probably flown down there.

<Adult Content>
I proceed to kiss her neck gently. She lifts her head slightly and faces the ceiling, to allow me more of the kiss. She slips her hands through my shirt to caress my back. Her slim fingers explore my body meticulously, just like how she typically does in her lab classes.

Pulling her dress a bit lower to expose her shoulder, I move my lips across it. My right hand moves from her cheek to her left breast, slightly cupping it through her dress. She keeps her eyes closed, focusing herself to enjoy my stimulations to the best possible effect.

I slowly remove her dress as she also takes off my shirt. We embrace again as we allow our bare skin to touch each other, sharing our body temperature under the charming moonlight. I can feel my pants being stretched to the limit as she lightly rubs herself against me down there, apparently longing for satisfaction. I can see her right cheek flush bright red, her shyness unable to hide her desire.

She lifts a finger to touch my scar, studying it carefully. In return, I fondle her breasts with both hands, squeezing them gently. They may not be as big as some of the girls I knew, but they are still very respectable, my hands unable to cover them completely.

To stimulate her even more, I stand behind her and kiss her neck from behind. She lets out a gasp as my lips touch her sensitive skin. My hands continue to fondle her ample breasts from behind as my lips slowly move down to her spine, and then back up. The view of her slender back is simply stunning. I feel my erect member complaining heavily, begging for action.

After several rounds of kissing along her back, she turns around and sits on the bed, which I had put a towel on it to keep the bed itself clean. She then lies down, looking shyly at me, obviously waiting for my next move. I love her use of body language, telling me without words, yet effectively, that she is ready and I am on the driving seat.

I want to do it right now. But, to reward her love to me, I decide to provide her with an exclusive service of the highest quality.

I remove her underwear as she reflexively closes her legs, not wanting to expose her private area just yet. Kneeling between her legs on the bed, I gently caress her legs, from the outer to the inner thigh. Then I proceed to kiss her legs. After a minute, she starts to relax. I decide that this is the time to give her one of the best services you can get in the world.

I move my lips to the spot between her legs, which is already dripping liquid. She bites her lips to anticipate the unknown. Taking a deep breath, I slowly put my tongue on the spot, which generates a gasp from her.

I gently move my tongue slightly up and down, then up and down again. Her gasp turns into cute moans as her body starts to quiver. I continue my movement as she moans even louder. I know I'm doing it right.

"Ahhhh..."

My tongue continues licking as my lips join in the attack, wrapping around her private area. She suddenly tenses up, her eyes tightly closed, her hands grabbing the bed sheet vigorously.

"Ahhhh... Ahhhh…."

She closes up her knees, her whole body contracts and shakes wildly. I hug her hips and speed up my licking just a little bit, sending her over the edge into ecstasy. I feel several intense contractions around her tummy as she lets out a few involuntary cries, opening herself up fully to enjoy the sensation.

After a minute, she relaxes, her eyes looking at me dreamily, filled with satisfaction.

That was quick. She didn't last even one minute. She must have been extremely aroused from my foreplay. I'm very delighted, partly for the fact that she was able to enjoy the act with me, and partly because it shows how much she loves me.

I take a look at her naked body. She looks gorgeous under the moonlight. She has all the curves at the right places. Her breasts are round and ample, her nipples are still erect, and her waist is slim and curvy. I feel my member complaining again.

Unable to control it any longer (lest my pants get damaged), I remove my pants along with my underwear. She gasps as my precious part flies out from my pants. After taking a good look at it, she raises her left hand. I take the cue and move to her side, letting her fingers touch it.

“Much bigger than I thought…”

She delicately holds my member, stroking it gently. She carefully examines my blood-filled veins. I chuckle at her: She is still so much like herself, even during sex. She seems to know what I'm thinking. She smiles at me, then, shifting her hips slightly, she opens up her legs and stares at me with a pair of eyes filled with desire. She is ready to go again.

I didn’t expect her to have such a strong sex drive, given her shy appearance. I suppose you cannot judge a person just from his or her outer behavior. Of course I don't complain. I want to make love with this girl, many, many more times.

I kneel at her legs again, my complaining member, which has probably grown to its largest size ever, touching her entrance. I pause and look at her, silently asking for her permission. She nods.

As this is probably her first time, I don't want to cause too much pain. I slowly insert myself into her. Right as I enter, I uncontrollably let out a soft moan. She is extremely warm and soaking wet, partly due to her previous orgasm. She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, mouth slightly open, welcoming me deeper into her.

I try to limit myself to slow motion, not wanting to tear her apart. But as I enter deeper, I find her inside so slippery that I accidentally slide all the way into her. I instantly panic, afraid that I might have caused too much pain. However, she just lets out a long cute moan. I stop myself and look at her, to see if she is alright. She notices my stop of motion and opens her eyes. She apparently knows what I am thinking. She giggles, then shakes her head while smiling at me.

Is this not her first time? I can't help looking at her curiously as she giggles again. She is a smart girl. She knows what I'm thinking. But instead of saying anything, she just wraps her hands around my hips, signaling me to continue.

Well, it doesn't matter whether she's a virgin or not (in any case, she's not one anymore). I decide to put those thoughts aside and concentrate on the present. I start moving slowly back and forth, while my right hand finds her left breast. I focus my attention on my member, enjoying every inch of her inner skin. Her breathing speeds up noticeably, her hands still hugging my hips, as she closes her eyes to enjoy the intimacy as much as possible.

I slide in and out with a controlled pace, watching my heartbeat carefully. All the morning runs with her pay off as I find myself fitter than ever. I feel her inside getting tighter every second, squeezing my member hard. I try my very best to push myself inside as much as possible. She returns my effort by closing her legs, entrapping me inside her. Then she hugs me, bringing me level to her, and kiss my lips, putting her tongue into my mouth. The sensation provided by her all-round attack is overwhelming. I feel every part of my body being stimulated. Her lips, her tongue, her breasts, her nipples, her legs, and her inside combine to form an unstoppable force, pushing both of us past the point of no return, as we head towards ecstasy together.

"Hicchan..."

She's the third person in the world who calls me with this nickname. Surprisingly, I like it when she uses it. I make a few final thrusts before pushing every single inch of my member inside her as I approach my limit.

"Iwa-chan!"

I call her nickname desperately, my mind now all blank except bliss.

“Hicchan… I… love you… Ahhhh…”

She holds me tightly. Her body shakes uncontrollably. I feel several intense contractions between her legs, and a few jets of hot liquid scalding my member, forcing me to release a very significant portion of my extracts deep into her body.

The climax lasted for at least half a minute, thanks to the long foreplay. I feel liquid overflowing from our joined place to the towel. She giggles as I smile at her. She returns with a smile of her own, filled with deep satisfaction.
<Adult Content Ends>

1-01
We hold each other, not moving a muscle for several minutes, savoring the moment and enjoying the aftertaste. What a wonderful experience, my first time with Iwanako. The consummation of our deep love to each other. After so many tribulations, I'm glad that we have finally found true love.

She caresses my cheek with her right hand.

"Thanks Hicchan, for giving me such a wonderful first time. It was perfect. I’ve never been so happy in my life."

"Glad you enjoyed it. By the way..."

"Haha, you're wondering why I didn't feel pain, aren't you? You think I'm not a virgin?"

"Well... sorry... but I can't help..."

She shakes her head, apparently amused by my lack of biological knowledge in women.

"Contrary to popular belief, not all virgins feel pain on their first time. Actually, only about half of the girls do. The more aroused the girl is, the less the pain is. I didn't feel any pain at all. All thanks to your tender care."

"I see. Then how about blood?"

"I think you can see some blood down there. I don't really want to see it though."

"We'll clean it up tomorrow morning. I just want to sleep with you right now."

I pull myself out from her, lie down next to her, and cover both of us with my blanket. She cups my face again and gives me a quick peck.

“Goodnight then, Hicchan. I love you.”

“I love you too, Iwa-chan.”

As we begin to fall asleep, my mind drifts back to the events that took place last year. After my unfortunate break-up with Shizune, I invited Iwanako for dinner, to thank her for talking to me during my hard times. We developed interest in each other. I love her smart brain and caring personality, while she likes me for whatever reason. After making sure that it is not an obligation of her to take care of me because of the accident, we started dating.

We introduced each other to our families. At first, her family had some concerns about my heart condition. However, when they knew that their daughter was the one who caused it, they eventually understood. Both of our parents are happy that we have found such a perfect match.

Last week, Iwanako was informed that she obtained a scholarship from the school. We decided to celebrate it in our hometown. After a nice dinner in a nearby restaurant today, we headed back to my room (I informed my parents beforehand), where I gave her the best possible gift I can give her: a fantastic first time. I’m glad that she enjoyed it so much.

With her lying asleep next to me, I also drift into slumber, knowing that we’ll probably spend the rest of our lives together.

<To Chapter 7B>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:40 am

It turned out that Iwanako narrowly beat us this year, so we both lost.
Did you just nonchalantly skip a whole year here?
{Well, then we’ll need to make sure we stay as healthy as possible in order to decrease the odds of that happening.}
{How?}
{For one thing, my deafness cannot be helped. So, on my side there is nothing we can do. For your side, we can work harder on strengthening your heart.}
That's not how genetics work, and both Hisao and Shizune should be aware of that.

Regarding the end of the "A path": That felt very rushed - as if you wanted to just get it over with. You had so much build-up with Iwanako at the university only to have her not play any role whatsoever, and there were a few other plot points that didn't have any resolution either.

As for the "B-path": So this is supposed to be the Iwanako path. I assume the C path is going to be Lilly...^^°
Disregarding the fact that taking a story that was heavily focussed on Hisao and Shizune and then splitting it into several routes to have Hisao end up with other girls is not quite in the spirit of writing a "continuation"...
So all it takes for Hisao to realize that his relationship with Shizune is not worth saving is one outburst from Shizune - and that realization (and the consequent decision to split up) is somehow supposed to show his maturity :-)
If that were all it took they would have split up dozens of times before this point...
The rest was again extremely rushed. Okay, they broke up, but we need a happy end in just three chapters. Let's get him together with Iwanako again. A dinner date and a sex scene is going to be all it takes to replace the many chapters of the relationship with Shizune...

If you take the same approach with the supposed Lilly route, you probably would have done better to write one real end for the story instead of three rushed ones.
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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Re: Maturity - Shizune Epilogue (A continuation of After Graduation) (Updated 29 Aug 2019)

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:23 am

Chapter 7 (Path B): Reunion (B)

1-05
From: Shiina Mikado
To: Hisao Nakai
Subject: Wahahahaha!

Attachments: NYU.jpg, Manhattan.jpg, Statue_of_Liberty.jpg

Dear Hicchan,

Yay! Summer holiday!

Shicchan just came to New York! She’s staying with me for two weeks! We’re going to have a lot of fun! Wahahahaha!

We’ve been to the Manhattan, Statue of Liberty, and the New York University. I’m sending you the photos we’ve taken. Hope you enjoy them.

We’ll visit even more places today, and we’ll take A LOT more photos! Wahahahaha!

How are you doing? Are you back in your hometown with Iwanako? Please say hello to her for us. Shicchan says she wants to treat her rival to dinner again. You’re included too. Well, I hope you’ll be able to attend. I know things may be a bit awkward for you, but Shicchan hopes that you can at least come. She wants to see how you are doing.

I’ll try to find some time to come back to Japan. Not this year though. Maybe next year. When I come back, we’ll party HARD. Wahahahaha!

Misha
From: Hisao Nakai
To: Shiina Mikado
Subject: Re: Wahahahaha!

Dear Misha,

Thanks for the e-mail. I enjoyed the photos. Shizune looks happy. You’re… slimmer, I think? Did you go on a diet? Or is university so tough for you? Anyway, you look gorgeous.

Iwanako and I are staying in my house right now. We’re going to meet my friends from my previous high school. They say they’ve got a surprise for both of us. I’m a bit nervous. Hopefully nothing bad is going to happen.

Send me an e-mail when you come to Japan, so that we can prepare for it. I’ll introduce you to Iwanako, and we’ll certainly party hard. Thanks.

Hisao
I smile at Misha’s silly e-mail as I type my reply to her.

“What’s so funny, Hicchan?”

I just love it when she uses my nickname.

“Hi, Iwa-chan. Look, Misha sent me an e-mail. Shizune has flown to New York to meet her. Look at their photos.”

“Misha? Shizune’s best friend, if I remember correctly?”

“Yes. Look at this. The Statue of Liberty. Misha certainly looks slimmer. She used to be a bit… er… plump?”

Iwanako giggles.

“Strange. They say America has great food.”

“I don’t know. Maybe school has been tough on her. She’s never a bookworm.”

“I see. So, are you writing your reply?”

“Yes. Here it is.”

I show her my reply. She giggles at that.

“Nah, I’m sure we’ll have a great time tonight. I need to change though. I want to make a good impression in front of my friends.”

I’m curious.

“Why? You have a boyfriend already.”

Iwanako rolls her eyes on me, then wraps her hands around mine.

“I want to show my friends that I’m worthy of my boyfriend, Hicchan.”

I smile, then gives a quick peck on her lips.

“Thanks. Let’s go shopping then. I’ll pay.”

Iwanako’s face lights up at this.

“Really? I’m so happy! Let’s go!”

“But you don’t really need to prove it to your friends. You’re worthy of me already. I’m so happy to have you as my girlfriend. By the way, please don’t call me Hicchan in front of our friends.”

Iwanako sticks out her tongue.

“It’s hard to resist, but I’ll try.”

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

1-15
We arrive at the pub where we will meet our old friends. It’s actually very close to my house. Only a ten-minute walk.

I’ve seen my old high school friends a couple of times after graduation. Last summer was the first time I saw them. Iwanako was the one who invited me there; we just started dating after that lovely dinner near the JR Ueno Station. As our relationship was not yet stable, we didn’t disclose the news to anybody. It turned out that some of my friends, including Shin and Mai, went to Kasshoku University. Mai actually studies English, and she knows Lilly. I remembered having a chat with Lilly afterwards, and I asked her to make good friends with Mai.

Then, during the winter break, we went to their reunion again, but as a couple. They congratulated us, and played little jokes on us. Of course they were eager to know how we reconciled and became lovers. After we described our fateful encounter in Todai and our subsequent meetings, they said that it was like a movie.

This will be the third time we see our friends. They say that they will bring a surprise to us. I wonder what that will be.

Iwanako is wearing a dark blue dress, which suits her slim figure and conservative nature perfectly. Her smooth dark hair is resting behind her back. For the first time in quite a long while, she is wearing a pair of red high heels. She has also put on a light make-up, and a small amount of green apple perfume. She looks amazing. I’m so proud to have her as my girlfriend.

We arrive at the entrance of the pub, fingers entwined.

“Shall we go in?”

“Sure.”

We enter and go through the curtains. We notice that the place is completely dark. There is not even a single light source.

“What’s going on here?”

“I… I’m scared, Hisao.”

“Don’t worry, I’m here. Let’s take out my phone.”

Iwanako leans close to me, her body already shaking.

Taking out my phone, I switch to the “Torch” function, the one I used to light up the back of the car when my father drove Shizune and me back home. Lighting up the area, it becomes clear that the pub is completely empty, yet looks very tidy.

“Anybody here?”

No response.

Iwanako keeps herself close to me, partially hiding behind my body.

Then I see a banner in the middle of the area. I read it out loud from left to right.

“Welcome back, Hisao and Iwanako.”

We both smile at the words as the lights get turned on.

1-16
As the sudden appearance of light blinds our eyes temporarily, we are showered by cracker bonbons from every direction.

“Welcome back, Iwanako!”

Before we can react, Mai comes out of nowhere and hugs Iwanako tightly. Iwanako visibly flinches for a second before returning the embrace.

Then I see Shin, Takumi, and others coming out of their respective hiding places: Under the tables, behind the chairs, and inside the small rooms.

“Welcome back, Hisao.”

Shin welcomes me with a warm embrace.

“Thanks everybody.”

As Shin and Mai pull away from the embrace, I see another familiar looking lady standing behind a sofa, holding a walking cane.

“Hello Hisao, is that you?”

“Hi Lilly!”

Mai goes back to escort Lilly out from behind the sofa as Iwanako and I approach her. I didn’t expect Lilly to be here, but it makes sense. We do live in the same town. This is the first time Iwanako meets Lilly in person, so I introduce them to each other.

“Lilly, this is Iwanako, my girlfriend. Iwanako, meet Lilly Satou. She is my friend from Yamaku, and is now studying English in Kasshoku with Mai.”

I could have added that Lilly is Shizune’s cousin, but I chose to omit it.

“Nice to meet you Satou.”

Lilly looks at our general direction and smiles warmly at us.

“Hello Iwanako. Just call me Lilly.”

“Thanks for coming, Lilly. It means a lot to both of us.”

“You’re welcome. I’m happy that you two both studied hard in the university. Being able to study in such a competitive university is an achievement to be remembered.”

“Yeah, but I kind of lost to Iwanako in grades last year. I’ll study even harder this year to overtake her.”

“We’ll see, Hisao. Just because I’m your girlfriend doesn’t mean I’m going easy on you. You’d better watch out!”

Lilly giggles at our banter.

“Hisao, I want you to know that Hanako also wants to say hello to you. She could not come in person, but she would like to invite you two to our house later. We’ll treat you for a nice dinner.”

Thanks, Hanako. Of course, asking her to come here is too much to ask for.

“Please say thanks to Hanako for us. We’ll drop by later.”

Mai chooses this moment to speak up.

“Hisao, we told you before that we have a surprise for you.”

“Er… Wasn’t the introduction a surprise already?”

“Nope. We had a long discussion with everybody here, and we decided to give you a nice treat.”

“Oh, what is it?”

“Did you remember the accident you had with Iwanako?”

“Of course I remembered that.”

Mai suddenly stares at me angrily, as Shin also does the same.

“Then, did you remember how you treated Iwanako and all of us back in the hospital?”

Oh no!

“Well, you’re not getting away with this without some kind of punishment!”

I take a glance at my girlfriend. She’s now smiling wickedly at me. Was she part of the plan too?

“What… what do you want from me?”

“We’re not going to tell you, but I’ll give you one chance. If you can pass this test, we will let you off the hook.”

“What is it?”

Suddenly, somebody covers my eyes with some kind of handkerchief.

“All of us are going to hide ourselves in this pub, except Takumi, who will make sure you don’t bump into walls. Your job is to find Iwanako out blindfolded. You also need to identify at least two other people in this room correctly. If you get Iwanako wrong or name the wrong person, we’ll have to punish you. This is actually Lilly’s idea.”

Lilly giggles.

“Good luck, Hisao.”

“We’re going to hide right now. Takumi is going to count down from ten. You can start searching when he says zero. Good luck, Hisao.”

I feel someone giving me a kiss on my cheek.

“Good luck finding me, Hisao.”

“Ten… Nine… Eight…”

“Wait! I don’t even know some of your names!”

“We don’t care. Good luck!”

“Seven… Six… Five… Four…”

Well, I guess there’s no way around this.

“Three… Two… One… Zero!”

“Iwa-chan, where are you?”

I call out my girlfriend’s nickname. This actually works in my favor as I hear some of them giggling at that. Now let me try to identify the source of the sound.

As I try to search for Iwanako, I can’t help but smile broadly. Yes, I may have to pay the price for my actions back in the hospital, but there’s no doubt that we’ll continue to be friends in the future. Shin, Mai, and Takumi. Lilly and Hanako. And, of course, my dear Iwanako. With all these friends around me, my life is truly amazing.

<END> <To Epilogue B>

Reference:
[1] “Happy Returns”, Last section
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by ShizuneFan2019 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:27 am

Epilogue (Path B): Healthy Member

1-14
“Done!”

After grading the last piece of homework, I pile up all the papers and put them into the “Out” tray. There’s nothing left in the “In” tray, so my work for today is done. I take a bottle of orange juice from the small fridge under my table, take a sip, and tidy up my table. Looking at the clock, it’s already 8pm.

I don’t really like decorating my table, so I simply put several photo frames at the left corner.

The first one is the two of us in Tokyo Disneyland last winter. We were wearing large jackets and snow caps. We had a fantastic time in the park. She played a few roller coasters, and I took photos of her. I couldn’t ride with her because of my heart condition, but we enjoyed the visit.

The second one is me with Iwa-chan, Shin, Mai, Takumi, Lilly, and a few friends from high school, back in the pub several years ago. I still remember how I skillfully found Iwa-chan blindfolded in the pub. That she put on perfume that day certainly helped my course though.

Come to think of it, was she putting on perfume on purpose? She knew the plan that day. She did it to help me out, and I didn’t disappoint her. Smart cookie, Iwa-chan.

The third one is me and Iwa-chan visiting Lilly and Hanako in their home. We had a homecoming party that night. We had a great time. Iwa-chan was learning Braille from Lilly, while Hanako and I had a chess match. They treated us some great food and Orange Jaipur tea. This photo was taken while we were enjoying tea. Hanako was leaning towards Lilly on the right side, probably trying to hide her scars as much as possible. Lilly was composed as usual, her eyes facing the general direction of the camera. Iwa-chan was leaning towards Lilly on the left side, looking extremely happy. I was hugging Iwa-chan from behind, my head sticking out next to hers. I think we stayed until 11pm that night.

The fourth one is the “Three Musketeers” graduation photo I took with Shizune and Misha at the Yamaku school gate. I rarely have a chance to talk, or sign, to Shizune these days. She’s working under her father, and is very busy with her business. Misha is working as sign language teacher in another high school.

We’ll see each other soon though. Everyone, actually. Lilly, Hanako, Shin, Mai, Takumi, Shizune, Misha, even Emi and Rin.

The last one is not a photo. Rather, it is an envelope put into a photo frame. A letter to Hisao Nakai many years ago, written with pink-colored ink. I deliberately put it together with the four photos. It looks out of place, but it serves a very important purpose to me.

Whenever I see the letter on my table, I am reminded of how much I owe Iwa-chan. I treated her so poorly back then. I’m forever in debt to her. It takes a lifetime for me to repay it.

An unforgettable wedding in the summer should be a great start.

I take out the envelope from the photo frame and open it. Neatly written Japanese characters in pink.
Dear Hisao,

How are you? I hope you are well and happy at your new school. Everyone here misses you. Almost all of our second-year class got put together in class 3-1 for the final year, so we are pretty comfortable right from the beginning of the year. I’m sure you would’ve been assigned to this class as well.
The mood among third-years seems to be very anxious about the final exams, even though they are so far away. The teachers are badgering us about it all the time – even old Mr. Tachibana who is, by the way, our homeroom teacher this year. Would you believe it? I was sure that he’d retire after our second year, but here he is, nagging everyone about studying for exams.
If the teacher hadn’t pushed his students so hard, maybe Iwa-chan and I wouldn’t have met in Tokyo University. I’m thankful for him.
I think things like that are the main reason why the mood among the third-years is so nervous. I must admit that I’m somehow losing confidence in myself as well, even though I’ve always fared reasonably well in exams.
I still remember the way she cried with me when we came across each other that day. She pushed herself to study medicine to make amends to… Poor Iwa-chan.
It’s so weird to think that we are already seniors, isn’t it? Time has really flown past. I wonder where it went. The new first-years seem so young and somehow really innocent. I keep wondering if I was like them in my first year. I’ve been feeling nostalgic like this for the whole first trimester.
There are other things I want to say. I’m writing to you because I felt that there are things I should’ve said after the incident back in winter. I really regret that I wasn’t able to say them in person, and I have no excuse for it.
If I wasn’t being a jerk all the time.
The truth is, the times when I visited you at the hospital made me worried about you. I am not talking about your health. You seemed to become more and more distant and disheartened. It was natural after something like that happened, I’m sure, but somehow I got the feeling that you had given up on something back then. Happiness, maybe?
You’re right, Iwa-chan. I’m lucky that Shizune and Misha were there to pull me out of self-pity.
I wanted to somehow express my feelings, but the right words didn’t come to me. I couldn’t say anything to comfort you. I am really sorry for not being able to support you when it mattered the most, even though I like you so much. At least now, finally, I can be more honest.
Poor Iwa-chan. I feel tears welling up in my eyes. I’m so sorry.
If I could go back to those quiet days in February and March, I’d tell you not to give up on yourself. That’s what I would say. Maybe you wouldn’t have drifted so far away if I had just said something. I hope you’ve managed to get back on your feet on your own.
Your wish has come true, Iwa-chan. I’ll repay you…
Now that the distance between us is also physical, it also feels more final, somehow. I wonder if we will meet again. Perhaps it’s for the best if we don’t? Still, if you would like to correspond with me, by all means write me back. I’d very much like to hear about your new school and how you are doing. I wish you all the best.
…by serving you for the rest of my life.

I wipe my face with a handkerchief, wipe out the drops of tears on the table, and put the envelope back into the photo frame.

Making sure the table is tidy, I finish my juice, then leave the staff room and lock the door. Tomorrow is Sunday. Iwa-chan is visiting in the morning; it will be the first time she visits Yamaku. In the afternoon, we’re going to town to choose her wedding dress.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We’re going to have fun. She must look fabulous in a wedding dress.

We’ll see everybody in the wedding ceremony. I’m so happy that they all agreed to come. When we told them the news, they had different responses. Lilly and Hanako were ecstatic. Shizune simply adjusted her glasses. Misha laughed herself to the ground. Shin, Mai, and Takumi blamed me for proposing so late, although I don’t think I was delaying anything: We couldn’t really get married before Iwa-chan finishes her practical training; while she was training hard, I was also working hard in Yamaku, trying to save as much money as possible for our future. Emi was surprised that I was able to find such a lovely lady, while Rin was indifferent as always. My parents were delighted that I’m finally making a family. Iwa-chan’s parents chuckled at her sweet smile when she brought the news up. Mutou asked me to work hard for my family. The Nurse reminded me to perform a body check before we plan to have kids. Yuuko was jumpy as always, and she revealed some of her relationship problems that I’d rather not hear. Kenji warned that I made a wrong decision. I start to regret inviting him to the ceremony; I don’t want an accident in my wedding. Other guests of our wedding ceremony include Miki Miura, Natsume Ooe, and Naomi Inoue, my classmates in Yamaku.

In short, I think everyone is truly happy for us.

Just as I leave the school gate, my phone rings. It’s my fiancée.

“Hi Iwa-chan.”

“Hi Hicchan, are you done with your work?”

“I just left the school gate. How about you?”

“I’m done too. Have you eaten already?”

“Yeah. I want to finish everything today. You’re coming over tomorrow, so I want to keep my table tidy.”

“Great! See you at home then. Love you.”

“Love you Iwa-chan.”

Turning off the phone, I walk towards the bus stop to the city, where we currently live together in an apartment. Now that Iwa-chan has a job, we should be able to afford a house near Yamaku in a couple of years. Actually, given how well we are paid, I think one year is enough.

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

1-13
“Welcome home Hicchan!”

She welcomes me home with a big hug and a kiss on my left cheek.

“Hi Iwa-chan. How’s work?”

She sighs.

“Saturdays are always the busiest you know. Everyone comes on Saturdays.”

I comfort her by holding her head against my chest.

“Yeah. Any patients with tough conditions?”

She shows a disgusted face.

“Hicchan, you’ve got to help me out tonight.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Today a middle-aged man came. He’s in his fifties I think. Well… I do appreciate that he was brave enough to come…”

“What’s wrong with him?”

“He… he…”

I hold her tight.

“He showed me his member. It was disgusting.”

“STDs?”

“Yeah. Quite serious too. He was honest though, when I interrogated him. He visits, you know, those places frequently, and he never uses protection.”

“I wonder why any woman would allow him.”

“I don’t know. Money, I guess. Anyway, I asked him not to visit those places again, and use protection every time.”

“What did he respond?”

“He sighed and left. I’m sorry for his choice of priority. But after seeing such an ugly… you know, I had a very hard time during dinner. I had to keep distracting myself by looking at our Disneyland photos.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

She smiles at me with expectant eyes.

“Hicchan, please help me. I want a healthy member tonight.”

I chuckle at her use of the words “healthy member”. I cup her face with my right hand.

“No problem. You have it.”

“Thanks. Let’s go prepare ourselves then. I’m taking a shower now.”

“Wait!”

“Hm?”

“Let’s shower together. It’s been a while.”

Her face lights up immediately.

“Okay.”

<END> <To Path 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 4:30 am

Path C -- Try to Compromise

1-02
[Well, I’m not saying she’s right, but both of you have a point. Please, don’t argue anymore!]

I immediately regretted what I just signed as she fires back.

[SO ARE YOU SAYING I SHOULD KEEP QUIET AGAINST HER VENOMOUS INSULT? IT’S A SLANDER! I NEED A LAWYER!]

[No! It’s not that bad! I don’t think Lilly’s insulting you.]

“Hisao, what is she saying?”

I suddenly realize that we’ve been neglecting Lilly all this time.

“She says you’re insulting her. Quick, tell her you’re not!”

But it’s too late.

[IF IT’S NOT AN INSULT THEN WHAT IS IT? I CAN’T BELIEVE IT, YOU’RE ON HER SIDE TOO! YOU’RE TERRIBLE!]

[No, Shizune!]

Filled with anger, she gives me a firm push on my chest. I lose my balance and fall straight into Lilly, who apparently did not anticipate this. The push is so forceful that both Lilly I tumble onto the ground, and my chest lands right on her cane.

Thump.

“Arrrgh!”

It was a nasty fall. I feel my heart burning. It’s so painful!

Thump. Thump.

My vision starts to fade. I can barely see Shizune’s horrified expression as she comes over, as Lilly also realizes what is happening.

“Hisao! What’s going on?”

Thump. Thump.

“Shi…zu…ne, why… are you… so… stubborn…”

And my vision turns into total darkness.

<To Chapter 5C>
Last edited by ShizuneFan2019 on Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 4:36 am

Chapter 5 (Path C): Misery Loves Company

1-11
“Hello Hisao.”

“Hi, Lilly. There’s a chair a few steps in front of you at the ten o’clock direction.”

Lilly sits down on the chair next to me. She tries to keep her composure, but she looks terrible. I notice bags under her eyes. Looks like she didn’t sleep at all last night. I’m about to say sorry to her when she pre-empts me.

“Hisao, I’m sorry for everything that happened three days ago.”

“It’s not your fault. I just didn’t do the right thing. I didn’t expect her to do that to me. I’m the one who should be sorry. You probably didn’t sleep well last night.”

“(Sigh) I don’t think it was your fault either. I am terribly sorry that my rivalry with Shizune took such a big toll on you. What did the doctor say?”

I woke up yesterday, only to find myself in this hospital. My condition triggered again. The doctors performed a keyhole surgery on me. My parents visited me in the evening. Lilly gave me a call last night, promising me she will come today. Shizune’s father apologized to me on his daughter’s behalf, and promised to pay for the medical expenses. According to her father, Shizune is still in her room, not willing to come out. Her brother is staying with her, trying to provide some comfort.

I also called Iwanako. She’ll visit me later today, together with my parents.

“Nothing too serious. They had an operation on me, but I should be able to leave in a few days. They need to make sure I’m fine before releasing me. My parents are coming in the afternoon, by the way.”

“May I stay here with you? You must be very lonely here. My family already left for Scotland this morning, as they still have work. I’m alone as well.”

I am shocked to hear the news.

“Really? You didn’t go with them? Where are you staying now?”

“I feel like I cannot just leave you alone here, as I am partly responsible for what happened. I’m staying in a hotel until you leave the hospital, and then I need to decide whether to stay in Japan or join my parents. My family wishes you well. They asked me to give you this card.”

Lilly takes out a card from her bag. I take it and read it.

“Please say thanks to them for me. How about Shizune?”

Her facial expression tells me that there is no good news.

“She is utterly shell-shocked. According to her brother, she is staying in her room, not willing to come out. She probably hasn’t eaten much either. Her brother is staying with her, trying to do something. That’s why I’m visiting you alone.”

Poor Shizune. She’s probably blaming herself for everything. She can’t even bring herself to see me.

“I understand. We must do something quick, or I’m afraid Shizune might do something stupid.”

“Yes. But what should we do? I am used to handling problems and conflicts, but this one I am afraid I don’t know what to do.”

“Iwanako, my high school friend, is visiting me this afternoon. Maybe she can provide some help. I also want someone here. Do you think you can help me on this?”

“You are talking about Hanako, are you not?”

“Yes. I want to talk to her for a long time. I didn’t treat her too well in Yamaku, and I think I need to make it up somehow. There’s another reason why I want her here.”

“Would it happen to be related to me?”

“Yes, Lilly. You’re probably still unsure whether to stay in Japan or move to Scotland. I don’t think you have much more time to decide. You should talk to Hanako about this.”

Lilly lets out an exasperated sigh.

“Yes, unfortunately. The deadline is actually tomorrow. I intended to give myself some quiet time to decide during the stay here, but the… accident… came in the worst possible time. I don’t really have the mood to think right now.”

“I’m sorry, but I think time is running out now. Let’s call Hanako and bring her here. If you’re willing to stay, my parents and Iwanako can provide some help. Iwanako is a smart and caring girl. She’ll be happy to help.”

“Thank you Hisao, but I feel a bit guilty imposing others on my own issues…”

“Lilly, I know it’s a sensitive topic for you. But time is running out, and we still have quite a few issues to settle, Shizune included. We need everybody’s help right now.”

Lilly reluctantly agrees.

“Okay then.”

“Meanwhile, let’s figure out how to deal with Shizune.”

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

2-05
My parents, Lilly, Iwanako, and Hanako are sitting around me in the hospital. Hanako is looking at the floor all the time, obviously feeling a bit awkward in front of my parents and Iwanako. I certainly don’t want to meet Hanako again in the hospital, but things are not under my control right now.

After explaining everything happened in Saitama to everybody, all of us fall into deep silence. Eventually, my dad speaks up first.

“Well, Hisao, I think the best course of action right now is to cheer Shizune up. You can write a letter to her, and let one of the girls here deliver it. Tell her that you’re fine and not angry with her. You can add some apologies, but I don’t think it matters too much. I’m sure Shizune is not angry with you. She’s angry with herself.”

Iwanako briefly looks around the room. Out of the three girls, she seems to be the best candidate to do the delivery.

“I’ll do the delivery for you. Don’t worry, Hisao. Maybe I can talk to her for a bit.”

“Thanks, Iwanako. Thanks for coming, by the way.”

“No problem. Please take more rests. You need to recover faster. Leave the rest to us. We’ll try our best to help.”

“Thanks. I definitely owe you one, Iwanako. Thank you too, Hanako, for coming over to see me.”

“I-it’s okay.”

With that, the discussion on Shizune is finished. Now we need to deal with another issue. I don’t think Lilly wants my parents and Iwanako in the discussion.

“Dad, mom, Iwanako, thanks again for coming. I need to talk to Lilly and Hanako in private for a bit. Would you please wait for us outside? I’m sorry about that.”

“No problem Hisao. Take care. We’ll buy you some daily necessities.”

“Thanks.”

After the three of them leave the room, I turn to Hanako.

“Hanako, I’m sorry that we have to meet again in the hospital like this. Do you know why I asked you to come?”

“I-it’s about L-Lilly, isn’t it?”

“You’re right. Lilly?”

Lilly takes the cue, sighs, and speaks up.

“I want you to come because I am still thinking about the decision.”

“Are you s-still not sure about it?”

Lilly sighs again, this time even heavier.

“It’s a tough decision. Of course I want to be with my parents again. But if I do this, I will need to sacrifice everything I have here. My life in Japan, my friends, my Japanese, everything. That includes you too, Hanako. You’re my best friend.”

“I… I r-really want you to stay, but…”

Lilly lowers her head, probably trying to figure out what to say. Eventually, she continues.

“Before last year, the last time I saw my parents was six years ago. Last summer, Father and Mother asked me and Akira to fly to Scotland, to visit my sick aunt. I was initially very excited about the trip. Being able to meet them again in six years was dream coming true for me. I thought we could finally reunite and become a complete family again. However, during the stay in Scotland, I realized that things were not that simple. My parents were always at work, and Akira… you know…”

“She doesn’t seem to like your parents, does she?”

“No, she doesn’t. Six years ago, when my parents decided to move to Scotland, I expected them to take us along with them. However, they decided to leave us behind. You can imagine how disappointed I was.”

“W-why didn’t t-they bring you to Scotland?”

“Quality of Education was the claim. However, Akira believes that the true reason is they do not want to handle a blind daughter.”

Hanako and I gasp in shock.

“What?”

Lilly sighs.

“I’m not sure if this is the truth, but in any case I’m staying in Japan through high school. During the stay in Scotland last summer, all four of us realized that we have grown so far apart. We truly became a broken family. My parents were always at work. Akira stayed in a hotel by herself and seldom came back home. I think this is why my parents summoned both of us to Scotland. They are trying to make amends and glue the family back together.”

I wonder if Lilly will be living happily if she joins her family in Scotland.

“Lilly, do you think it will work if you join your family in Scotland? Given how the last trip turned out, I don’t think you’ll be living happily over there. If your parents continue to work long hours, and Akira keeps the same attitude, I highly doubt if any progress can be made.”

“Hisao, that’s exactly what I’m thinking as well. The distance between us is not merely a physical one.”

“L-lilly, I don’t think it’s f-fair for you to sacrifice everything here, in exchange for a reunion that is not very l-likely to bear f-fruit.”

“You’re probably right, Hanako. But how can I reject my parents’ offer? Being able to rejoin my family is like my lifelong dream.”

Hanako thinks for a while before holding Lilly’s hand.

“Lilly, c-can I talk to you in p-private?”

Hanako then turns to me.

“H-Hisao, can I t-talk to Lilly for a while? We’ll c-come back soon.”

“Sure. Meanwhile I’ll write my letter to Shizune.”

“See you soon, Hisao.”

As they leave the room, I start writing my letter for Iwanako to deliver.
Dear Shizune,

I’m sorry that I cannot be with you at this moment. I’m still in the hospital, but I’ll be released after a few days. It’s nothing serious.

I want you to know that I’m not angry with you or anybody. All three of us have our share of blame. Please don’t get angry with yourself or anybody else.

Please take care. Eat well and sleep well. I hope you can come and meet me after I am released from the hospital.

I still love you, Shizune.

Hisao
<To Chapter 6C>

References:
(1) “Sisterhood”, Chapter 53
(2) “Sisterhood”, Chapter 14
(3) “Sisterhood”, Chapter 17

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