Yuka, Mayu and Nana were setting the dinner table. They were going to have somen noodles. Nana had missed them the last time and she had been asking Yuka to make them ever since,
"Wait," Kouta said, "You set too many places!" Yuka smiled,
"She would have wanted to join us."
right." Kouta said, remembering her, that strange, horned girl who
had come to stay, forever changing their life. It had been almost a
month since she'd left but already the house seemed empty without
her. Suddenly, Wanta, Mayu's puppy, began to bark loudly at the
"Who could that be? We were just about to sit down to dinner!" Yuka queried, "Kouta, would you…?" Kouta sighed,
"Sure." He said. Yuka almost never had to finish her thoughts; her cousin could always tell what she was thinking.
Kouta walked to the gate, he was distracted for a moment by the sound of their antique clock sounding seven o'clock. This would not be strange but for the fact that it had been broken for several years. Kouta continued to the gate once the clock had finished sounding. He saw Wanta barking, but it was not a hostile bark, it was the bark he used for someone like Mayu, a friend. Kouta assumed it was Nozomi, a friend of Yuka's, coming to ask for help in her exams,
"Hey, Nozomi-Chan," he began, "Care to stay for sup—" but when the gate slid open, he found that it wasn't Nozomi, this girl had short, pink hair and pink eyes. She was wearing a black dress that reached to her mid-thighs and pink and black striped stockings. Kouta couldn't even finish his sentence when he saw her. She looked shameful when he opened the door.
"Kouta," she said, her voice scarcely louder than a whisper, "I…I'm sorry. I didn't want to bother you and it's probably just about dinner time for you…I'll just be on my way!" she turned to leave but Kouta grabbed her arm,
"It's no trouble!" he cried, "We have an extra place setting anyway." Lucy smiled, but inside she was ready to cry,
"Are you sure?" She asked, "I really wouldn't want to intrude…I mean, after everything I put you through, I don't want to ask anything more of you."
"I mean it," he said, "Come inside, we're having somen." Lucy remembered the last time Kouta and Yuka were planning somen. Kouta led her inside and into the dining room,
"Yuka," he called, "It's a good thing you set that extra place at the table after all!" Yuka called back from the kitchen,
"We've got company?" she asked, poking her head out into the dining room, "Is it Nozomi-Chan? She said she'd be dropping by at some point during the week."
"No," said Kouta, "It's someone we haven't seen in a little while." Lucy entered the dining room, Yuka's face brightened at the sight of their dinner guest,
"Nyu-Chan," she cried, "You're back!" Yuka threw her arms around Lucy's shoulders, "Well, sit down, we're almost ready to eat!" Nana and Mayu entered the dining room to see what all the fuss was about. They both smiled happily at the sight of Lucy, though Nana was clearly less ecstatic than Mayu. Lucy sat where she had always sat when she lived at Kaeda. As supper progressed, life seemed to be going back to normal. Nana had started going to school with Mayu and the two of them told everyone about their day,
"Nana," Mayu chuckled, "Tell them what Ms. Kurosawa did." Nana burst out laughing, almost shooting water out her nose,
"Well, today in math class, this boy was passing some lovey dovey note to Mayu, but they sent it to me by accident. Then, Ms. Kurosawa found that I had the note and read it aloud to the whole class." Mayu tried hard to control her giggles, "Then she said that if he was going to pass love notes to girls, he should at least get their names right." Kouta and Yuka didn't find this quite as amusing as Mayu and Nana.
"Thanks for the meal." Said Lucy, "I guess I should leave now." She got up to walk away but was stopped once again, this time by Yuka,
"You can't leave now, Nyu!" She said, "Why don't you stay for a little while? It could be just like old times!" Mayu and Nana agreed heartily,
"Yeah, it could be just like before." Said Mayu, "All your things are still in your room." Lucy just wished it could be like it used to be. She and Kouta both knew it could never go back to the way it was.
"Sure," Lucy said, "I've missed this place." Yuka smiled,
"We've missed you, Nyu." She said,
"One more thing," Lucy said, "My name isn't Nyu. It's Lucy."
"All the same," Yuka said, "Please make yourself at home!"
That night, Lucy found that they were serious when they said all her things were in her room. The same clothes hung in her closet. The same sheets adorned her bed. They had even left all her trinkets on the windowsill. She looked them over as she changed into her pajamas. They were such silly things: a shiny rock, a button. Then she saw something she didn't expect. A beautiful mahogany box, a golden plate engraved with the word "Lilium" on the top. She opened it and listened to the melody drift out. The inside of the box was coated in red velvet, and something pink and round lay in the bottom. She lifted it carefully in her hands. It was a seashell, soft and pink.
"He kept it…" she said quietly, tears streaming down her cheeks. She lay down on her bed and tried to sleep, but she couldn't. She hoped Kouta would eventually forget what she had done, but she doubted he would. Then again, he had invited her to stay. He was sending her mixed messages and it was pissing her off!
"Dammit, Kouta!" She said between clenched teeth, "What is it that you want from me?" She was just drifting off when she heard her door sliding open. She sat up to see Kouta standing in her doorway.
"What is it?" She asked, "What's going on?" Kouta said nothing. He kneeled down next to Lucy and held her close. Lucy looked shocked, this couldn't happen. Yuka loved Kouta, and Lucy had killed his family.
"W-what are you doing?" She demanded.
couldn't stop thinking about you," he said, "Not since you left
us. I love you, Lucy. Despite what happened." Kouta pulled Lucy
close to him and kissed her. Lucy knew this was wrong, she knew it,
and yet she couldn't find it in herself to push him away.
"Damn," she thought, "I hate mixed messages."
Everyone noticed that Lucy was acting strangely over the next few weeks,
"Are you feeling alright, Lucy?" Yuka asked one Sunday during lunch. Lucy tried to think. She was not feeling alright, but she didn't want to tell anyone what she thought it was,
"Um…er…" she said, trying to think of an excuse, "Well, not really…I think I ate some bad tuna the other day from a vendor in town." Mayu looked concerned,
"Maybe we should take you to a clinic." She suggested. Lucy's eyes widened,
"No, no, it's okay! I'll get there by myself, there's a bus that goes right there, doesn't it?" Lucy was beginning to panic. "You know, I'll go right now!"
"Are you sure you're good to go by yourself?" Asked Kouta, Lucy ensured him that she'd be fine.
"I'll just go quickly and be right back. Bye!" Lucy ran out the door, grabbing her purse on the way out.
She went straight to the clinic nearest to the inn.
"How may I help you?" asked the receptionist.
"I…need to see a doctor." Lucy said,
"Do you have an appointment?" the receptionist asked again. Lucy shook her head,
"Could I see the doctor anyway?" she queried, "It's kind of important."
"Well," the receptionist said, "I'll see if he's in at the moment, he's very busy you know!" Her conversation with the receptionist continued for several minutes. Finally, the receptionist pointed Lucy to a chair where she could sit down and wait.
Later, when Lucy was finally allowed to see the doctor, she got some unwelcome news,
"No doubt about it, miss," the doctor said, "You're pregnant."