"What did you say, Mako-chan?" A girl with long brown hair in pigtails asked in disbelief, her dark eyes wide with immeasurable awe. They danced a bit as she gasped, "Ahh..."
This, as you may know, was Kana; she was the middle sister of the of the Minami siblings. Her hands were pressed firmly down onto the kotatsu, her elbows bent at 90 degrees as she leaned ahead to stare at what appeared to be a younger girl with amber hair. Except, this wasn't a girl: it was a boy in disguise. He has been masquerading as a girl to gain entry into the Minami household. At that moment, only Kana and a few select others in their close-knit group knew he was a boy.
Makoto's light brown eyes flare as he glared at Kana. "I said... I'm going to tell everyone who I really am."
Dramatically, Kana gave out a loud gasp as she fell backward. A twitching hand appears from behind the table into Makoto's view. "Why...? He was so young..."
Makoto crosses his arms and said, "Hey. Who exactly is dead?"
Kana popped back up into a sitting position. "Looks like you're actually serious about this. Are you sure this is okay?"
When Kana asked this, a little doubt crept onto Makoto's face. "I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared, but I'm tired of lying, especially to myself."
"Eh? What's that supposed to mean?" Kana asked, pointing an inquisitive finger.
Makoto gave a nervous laugh and said, "You'll have to wait until everyone else gets back from shopping."
"Tell me!" Kana exclaimed.
"Even if you say that, I just said..." Makoto said with a blink.
Kana got up on her feet, but kept her hands on the kotatsu. "Tell me or I'll make you wear the girliest thing that I can find! And make-up!"
Jumping to his feet, Makoto threw his hands in the air and screamed, "Do what you must, but I will not tell anyone until everyone is here!"
Once again, Kana seemed to get swept up in shock and the might of Makoto's spirit, as she was sent backward to the ground. With difficulty, Kana pushed herself up on one arm. "Mako-chan... You've gotten strong..."
"Yes!!" Makoto yelled.
Roughly forty minutes pass and then the usual group of girls and a blond boy walk into the den. They looked down on Kana and saw her with Makoto pinned to the ground. Kana was in the process of putting lip gloss on him.
Haruka, the eldest of the Minami sisters, laughed a bit. She had shoulder-length blond hair and light brown eyes. She was a high school student and the caretaker of her younger sisters.
Chiaki, the youngest of the Minami siblings, glared at the both of them with cold intensity. She was short for her age, but carried an intimidating aura. She had the same color hair and eyes as Haruka. She even resembled her a lot, except for her half-circled eyes.
"What are you two idiots doing?" Chiaki said in a dull voice.
Clearing her throat, Haruka clapped her hands twice and said, "Okay, that's enough, you two. Girls shouldn't roughhouse."
Kana stood up and pointed down at Makoto. "She started it! She has a big secret that she won't tell me!"
Putting her hands on Kana's shoulders, Haruka said soothingly, "Now, now, it's her decision if she wants to share her secret or not. If she doesn't want to, you shouldn't force her."
The blond boy stays silent, holding some of the bags. His name was Fujioka and his brown eyes were distant. At the moment, he was trying not to think about Kana pinning him against the ground. Crap! He just did. A blush crossed his face.
Holding up one of the bags, Fujioka squeaked, "I-I'll go put these groceries away!" With that, he ran into the kitchan.
"Ah!" Haruka gasped with surprised. "Okay, thank you, Fujioka-kun."
After a while of getting settled and sharing stories of what each of them got while shopping, Fujioka was nearly nodding off. Kana noticed this and took a nearby tea cup and placed it in front of him. She watched carefully as Fujioka suddenly went head-first for the kotatsu and banged his head on the cup, immedately waking him up. Kana immediately started pointing and laughing at him, a few others giggled a bit. Fujioka just smiled, he was actually happy Kana was paying attention to him.
In the middle of the laughter, Kana suddenly slammed her hand down on the kotatsu and pointed at Makoto. "Enough stalling! Let's hear it already."
Immediately, everyone's attention shifted to Makoto. It seemed like Kana was not the only one who was curious about his announcement. Makoto began to sweat nervously. "umm..."
Haruka smiled at him and said, "If you're too scared, you don't have to say it."
Makoto shook his head and then a look of idiotic determination appeared on his face. "No. I have to say this!"
He took in a deep breath and everyone seemed to lean in closer to hear what he had to say. It was about this point where Fujioka snapped out of his daze and realized what was going on, so even he was paying attention.
"The truth is that...I'm actually a boy!" Makoto suddenly yelled.
Everyone around the table just blinked, everyone except Fujioka, who had a look of horror on his face. Then his face changed to thought, bewilderment, back to horror, and then realization.
Fujioka shot to his feet and exclaimed, "EH?! You're a boy?! How is that possible? You look just like a girl to me!"
Smiling, Haruka looks up at Fujioka and replied, "It's true. He looks a lot like a girl. I thought he was a girl at first too, but I eventually was able to figure it out."
"Haruka-san," Makoto began with a blush, "you...you knew?"
Haruka only replied with a smile.
Makoto looked at Chiaki, but met her ice, cold stare. He flinched on sight. Sensing his fear, she attacked, "You really think I wouldn't know, Idiotic Kid?"
Wincing, Makoto said, "So you knew too."
"Of course I knew. I knew from the first day, but you were amusing, so I kept you around to play with." Chiaki admitted, sipping her tea.
The words "I kept you around to play with" echoed in Makoto, stabbing his heart.
Once again, Kana slammed her hand against the kotatsu. "Look, we all knew you were a boy. You said there was more to it than that."
Looking like he might get sick, Makoto said, "Okay, this is probably the biggest part of this confession."
Fujioka exclaimed, "Please! How can there be more?"
Makoto closed his eyes and looked like he was summoning all of his courage. "The truth is, I'm happy that Kana bullied me into doing this. Not only because I got so many good friends, but because...I discovered a part of myself that I didn't realize existed." Reopening his eyes, he said, "The truth is...I like wearing girls' clothes and even make-up. I want to continue to do it and not just here, but everywhere."
At this announcement, Chiaki got a momentary look of surprise on her face. "Idiot... Are you really saying that you want to be a girl full-time? Now that you've told us, you can just come here as a boy, you know."
"Chiaki is right, Mako-chan. You don't have to do anything so extreme on our account." Haruka said, a little worried.
"Why would I make such a decision for anyone but myself? I said that I discovered this part of myself. It was always there. I've...already told my mom that I want to be a girl. She was surprised, but in the end she accepted me as I am. She's even going to be working out a way for me to attend school in a female uniform."
There was silence at that table, probably for the first time in years. The silence seemed like it was stretching on forever, until Haruka broke it.
"I have some old clothes that you can have, Mako-chan. I'm pretty sure they'll fit and look cute on you."
Makoto stared at her for a few seconds.
Haruka blinked and said, "Unless...you don't want them."
Shaking her head, Makoto answered, "No, no, I do! I was just stunned for a moment, that's all."
Standing up, Kana yelled, "We're all stunned. Such an announcement!"
Makoto could not bring herself to look at Chiaki, but that did not stop Chiaki from talking, "You really are an idiot, you know that?"
Haruka looks at her, her brow up-turned with concern. "Chiaki..."
Chiaki crossed her arms and said, "We're your friends, aren't we? Did you think we would stop caring just because of this?"
Smiling, Haruka nodded. "That's right."
Kana furrowed her brows, hunched over with her arms crossed. "It seems a little strange to me that a boy would like that kind of thing, but... I still like Mako-chan anyway."
Looking around, Makoto could not see Fujioka. Oh, no! Did he get disgusted with her and leave? "Where's Fujioka-san?"
Kana points down at the ground beside her. "He passed out as soon as you said you wanted to live as a girl from now on."