Bluffing. Weakness. Depressed.
Before the morning homeroom, Mariko came up to my seat.
She was in a strangely good mood, she had a smile as if she got over something. I tried asking her if something good happned and heard that she had resolved one of her worries.
It was a problem with her little sister's, Chitose-chan's boyfriend.
Speaking of which, by chance Mariko had the same problem I did.
No, saying it's a problem suggests it's a bad thing. I was troubled over how should I behave towards my little sister who found a boyfriend.
Mariko didn't resolve anything, but rather she was able to properly talk about it with her little sister, Chitose-chan.
To speak of it from the conclusion... her boyfriend was a celebrity. And of course, it was Chitose-chan's unrequited love.
When Mariko resolved herself and asked her to show a photo, it was revealed to be a member of a popular idol group.
As for yesterday's shopping invitation, Mariko must have wanted to consult Chitose-chan's case with me.
But, she easily resolved herself alone and told me not to worry about it.
Right now, it felt like I could consult Tomomi's case with Mariko.
Still, as I thought, siblings' problem should be resolved between the siblings, I should overcome it and proceed forward. Also, I still haven't spoken with Mariko about my little sisters.
About my friend's little sister's boyfriend... that kind of roundabout lie wasn't too good.
The boyfriend's photo... huh.
If I said I'd like to see the photo, Tomomi would probably be reluctant. That's the kind of feeling I had, somehow.
After school, resolving myself I returned back to the mansion and rang room 601's intercom.
She might not want to be together with me just the two of us and put on the chain lock... these kinds of concerns were unfounded.
"Welcome back Nii-chan!"
"Y-yeah. I'm back Tomomi."
"Come in come in."
Invited over by Tomomi, I intruded on her room.
I passed by the living room and was sat on the sofa. Tomomi brought over two PET bottles of cola from the refrigerator in the kitchen.
"What would you like today Nii-chan?"
I received the bottle with cold cola, opened it and drank some.
"Ohh! You must've been quite thirsty."
"Puhaa! This is tasty."
The words did not continue there. Tomomi seemed somewhat restless.
Unable to bear the silence, the two of us with perfectly same timing have cut in.
"W-what is it? Go on, Tomomi."
"No no, go on Nii-chan."
"You don't have to refrain."
"No such thing."
Since we were pressing the initiative on each other, I lightly cleared my throat.
"Um, then taking you up on your words. ...Tomomi, is it going well with your boyfriend?"
Momentarily, Tomomi's expression froze, her smile still on.
"O-Oo-of course. There ain't no need for Nii-chan to worry."
"I see. So, when are you going to introduce him?"
"Well, it might be slightly awkward for him. Our home's environment is slightly complex."
Tomomi nodded grandly.
"That's right, explaining that is a bit hard, I feel bad for Nii-chan but introducing him would be hard..."
"Then how about you show me his picture?"
Her face grew pale.
"P-pictures and such are NG."
"So you didn't take any pictures together?"
"Yup. He's kinda shy."
"Is that so. What kind of person is he?"
"Umm... his stature is somewhat like Nii-chan's, his personality is rather serious but there are things off about it. You could call him caring. He doesn't tell jokes by himself and is more like one that retorts. Slightly air-headed and quite radiant when I mess with him, I guess. Also, he has kind parts about him..."
Tomomi's expression have turned completely feminine. Just by thinking about that person Tomomi's face turned like this... But, from what she's saying he doesn't seem like a bad guy.
"His name? Age? Ah... sorry. Being too inquisitive is no good even if we're siblings."
"T-that's right Nii-chan, you too didn't tell us anything about that childhood friend girlfriend. That's not something you'd like to tell a little sister right?"
"Mariko is my childhood friend, but we're not in a relationship you're thinking of!"
Both her shoudlers trembled as she stared at me.
"I-in the first place, Nii-chan, what do intend after knowing about your little sister's boyfriend?"
"Then you don't have to ask."
"I'm not going to do anything, but I am worried."
"Yeah. I'm worried. I'd lie if I said I'm not worried."
"About that... just how much were you worried?"
"Even if you ask me how much..."
"Were we walking holding hands? Or, did we k-kiss? W-were you worried about these kind of things?"
I was relieved deep inside.
"Ah! Just now, were you relieved? Can it be you were relieved?!"
"T-that's not really it..."
Tomomi blushed and immediately changed the topic.
"Okay! That's enough. Let's forget about the boyfriend, let's play games Nii-chan! What would be good, hmm. Rather than competition one, something to play in co-op would be better. Oh right, the one where you rampage around the city in a gang would be good. Let's attack the police station together! We'll send them flying with Tomomi-chan's huge rocket launcher!"
"What an anti-social game!"
"Ehh. Then, in this one you can't cooperate, but you can become an island nation's dictator and squeeze out taxpayer's money to fill your bank account in Switzerland, wanna try? You can beat up those who try to meddle in politics and demonstrators by using army, even assasinate activists. When there's a coup d'etat you can give some of the instigators ranks in the army to hijack it. That's just trivia about it."
"I can't imagine that, but I'll refrain. Still, you're sure something to find games like that."
"I said I'm eatin' games. They're not to play around with!"
Saying that with a smug expression, seems like she's having fun.
"Earlier during the date, maybe we should have gone to the game centre after all?"
"Ni-Nii-chan! Forget that! Forget all that!"
"Even if you tell me to..."
"Just forget that! It's fine already. Being able to play games with Nii-chan side by side makes me happy enough. We don't have to go anywhere together. As your little sister it makes me happy enough."
Staring at me Tomomi laughed. But, her eyes were sad.
She forced herself to laugh.
That kind of expression was unlike her.
Tomomi is convinced that the date before had failed. If she becomes scared of dates, that'll be my responsibility.
The date with her was interesting.
I can't say there were no failures back then, I think I failed as well. How did that happen, I didn't know myself yet. That's why I think saying that isn't enough.
But, including the accidents it was all interesting. I had fun.
We just have to reflect and capitalize on it.
Revenge was possible. It had to be done.
"That's right. Hey, Tomomi... let's go on a date."
Not letting any kind of voice, Tomomi solidified with mouth half-opened.
"Once again, please go on a date with me."
As I emphasized on it, Tomomi finally returned.
"W-why, Nii-chan? Even if you go on a date with me... uh...um... see... Nii-chan back then... didn't have fun... I don't have a talent for dates..."
Tomomi was scared, like an injured fawn.
"I had fun. Going into places I normally wouldn't go to was a great adventure! That's why, as thanks I'd like you to let me lead the date this time."
"Nii-chan will... decide on the date's course?"
"Yeah. Where will we go and what will we do. I'll consider it myself."
"So Nii-chan wants to practice dating too? Then maybe with Sayuri or Yuuki..."
"It has to be you. Properly finish the date practice with me and let's get rid of your fears!"
"Y-you don't have to do that."
"I can't let you date your boyfriend while you still have the failure in mind. So, let's have a fun date together."
I held her hand with my both hands as to wrap around it. Tomomi nodded with a quiet "Yup".
It seems like she acknowledged it.
All right. Let's do my best! Let's arrange a date Tomomi will enjoy!