To those who've read the manga, think of this as my very own version of this story. Thank you for reading and please enjoy.
My name is Kuronuma Sawako, 17 years old. 2nd year high school.
Most people call me Sadako, the scary ghost in the movie "The Ring". You can really see the resemblance, though.
I am a very quiet and shy person. Direct, straightforward and honest, as Ayane-chan and Chizu-chan describe me.
Oh, and Ayane-chan and Chizu-chan are my friends, by the way. They are very nice and kind. They treat me very well.
And… Not to mention, there's Sanada-kun, Kurumi-chan… And not the very least…
My boyfriend, Kazehaya-kun.
Oh yes, I do have a boyfriend already. I don't blame you though, up until now I can't believe it myself. Every time I wake up every morning, I still think everything has all been a dream.
How Kazehaya-kun actually feels the same way I feel for him.
But now as I grew to realize this is really reality, I have a feeling that this is where everything will start… All the consequences and problems of the so-called love life.
Let's start with my parents. Well, I don't think they know about my current situation, me going out with Kazehaya-kun yet. I just realized that as I regained my actual self once again after going through all this.
So of course, I went to tell them. After all, they should be the first to know. But I guess it came out as the complete opposite.
"I knew you would have a boyfriend soon, Sawako-chan!" That's what my mom said. She looks so supportive. With that expression, I think she's happy for me.
But my dad, on the other hand, hasn't gathered the guts to tell me his opinion. He's… Oh wait, he's crying? W-What did I do?
"S-Sawako…" He muttered just before I could say anything. He looks so troubled! Doesn't he approve of Kazehaya-kun? What if he really isn't? What am I going to do? I knew I should've asked permission first! I started deciding things for myself without asking for their consent anymore… Now I think I've hurt dad for what I did…
"Sawako…" He repeated as he sobbed. I really feel so guilty. "I can't believe you've grown up. Days really come so fast… Everything started to change the moment you stepped on your high school years. You've made friends. You began going out with friends. You began participating in different events. And now… Now! Now you have a b-b-b-boyyy…."
He sobbed more loudly. I can really tell how sad he is. I think he doesn't truly approve of us! B-But… I like Kazehaya-kun! Everything's going perfect now! Why wouldn't dad be happy for us? I know I can understand how he feels, since I've remained to be his little daughter the whole time, but now I'm developing social ties with everyone, I'm starting to slowly distance myself from my family. He still isn't ready to let go of me yet. But I think it's time to take one step higher towards completing my teenage years… And it's Kazehaya-kun who's going to help me with that.
Wait! Maybe if I introduce Kazehaya-kun to my parents, then they may change their mind about us! If they see how kind and nice and sweet and pleasant Kazehaya-kun is, they would surely approve of him! They would never hesitate! I can already imagine!
And so, I went to my cell phone and thought of sending him a mail. But… I wonder if it's going to be a burden if I ask him to visit me? I don't want him to waste some of his time just for this. He might think I'm taking him too much for my advantage… And I don't want to. But then, it wouldn't hurt if I ask him… After all, he should meet my parents sooner or later.
And then… After hours of hesitations, I finally gathered the courage to send him an email.
Would you want to go to my place tomorrow? I was hoping you could meet my parents.
I hope it's not too casual… I don't want to be giving him a misconception of things… He might think I'm totally advancing him; we're barely even one month old. But come to think of it, he's never been to my place. I heard a lot of couples spending most of their time in each other's homes.
But maybe meeting my parents is a little too early! Maybe he's feeling a little awkward right now as he reads my message… And he's hesitating to reply! Additionally, it's Sunday tomorrow, so he probably has a lot of plans in mind… Even if we're dating, that doesn't mean I have to hog him all for myself.
I can't stop shaking! I can't believe I still act so awkward towards him now we're just more than friends. Is this being in a relationship feels like? Now that I'm bonded with Kazehaya-kun, I'm a lot more conscious in what he has to feel and think and…
Oh! It's my phone! I should stop thinking so hard and just…
Sure! I'll be looking forward to it! ~Kazehaya
I remained silent… I stared at that message for as long as I remember. I can't believe that's all it took. I reflected my mind out of all the negative things I could think of, but this is what Kazehaya-kun just said. He's even looking forward to it. He doesn't mind at all… Oh, Kazehaya-kun! I'm so sorry for thinking so humble of you!
Soon afterwards, I offered to buy groceries since I really feel so bored. It's actually killing two birds on a stone; I've done afternoon exercise at the same time. It's in fact a very great feeling! I should suggest this daily routine to my friends!
I froze. I think I just heard someone call my name from nowhere. I'm currently walking my way towards the market and I don't think my name passing through my ears is a normal thing.
Oh no, again! I do have a feeling the voice sounds familiar… And the other strange thing is they don't call me by my casual nickname. Someone's calling me by my real first name, and I have no idea where it's coming from!
Ohh! Someone just landed a huge handprint on my back…! Only one person just does that to me…
"C-Chizu-chan! What are you doing here?"
"I think that's supposed to be my line," Chizu-chan grinned. I stared at her and she's wearing the apron I gave her as a gift in my first Christmas with them. That makes me so happy; she's actually been using it like she told me!
"Ah!" She exclaimed, "Let me guess, you're going to the market, aren't you?"
I nodded happily.
Suddenly, I saw Sanada-kun appear from behind her, he himself wearing kitchen attire like Chizu-chan. "Isn't that obvious?" He said, "She's carrying her market bag."
"Oh, shut up Ryu," Chizu-chan snapped back, and the two began teasing each other again.
I wonder if it's a normal thing for couples to tease and fight? Well, these two always do… And they look so natural. I envy them for a bit because I was hoping I could do the same thing with Kazehaya-kun… But I think that would be impossible. I can't imagine it myself. Right now awkwardness still envelops the both of us.
"Hey, Sawako… Are you all right? You've been frozen the entire time," Chizu-chan remarked. I can clearly say she's worried, but I don't want them to always feel pity for me. I should always show my cheerful expression, even how bad I look with it.
"N-no, I'm okay," I smiled. A forced smile. And I bet it looks so obviously scary since I saw a lot of people stop and froze themselves. I sighed and thought of working it out more often. "A-Am I interrupting? I think you're really busy…"
"Oh, that? No, no, it's okay. We just finished our part time duty in Ryu's dad's restaurant. We were cleaning up and that's when I saw you…"
"Oh, I see… Then I suppose you're on your way home, then? It's a good Saturday afternoon; it's the perfect time to rest."
Chizu-chan gave me a pat on the shoulder. "I can't rest yet. In fact, I don't rest! I'm made of steel! You're going to the market, right? Let me come with you!"
E-Ehh? I really felt happy when I heard her say that, but I don't want to be wasting her time just to come with me. I bet she helped out at the restaurant since this morning and it would be a shame if she doesn't rest…
"Stop thinking too much, Sawako! There's no such thing about being a burden. I want to help out! I really don't feel like resting and it's rare seeing you out on a weekend."
"Well, Ryu?" She turned to Sanada-kun, who in turn is finished changing clothes and is starting to walk away. "Aren't you coming?"
"What do you mean 'what for'? You get to carry her groceries! You're a gentleman, aren't you?"
Sanada-kun looks like he can't disagree with us, but it feels he's just forced to come. I think I'm being a complete burden to him then…
"N-No, it's okay!" I react. "I can do it myself; you don't have to come if you don't want to…"
Sanada-kun suddenly came to me and took the basket from my hands. He stared at me for a couple of minutes and smiled gently as he turned away. "Whatever Chizu says."
"Ehhhh?" Chizu-chan blurted out. "What was that supposed to mean?"
…And the whole remaining afternoon turned out to be a great day out with friends.
The next day, 8 A.M…
Well actually, I woke up a lot earlier than that. It turns out I can't stop thinking about the fact Kazehaya-kun's coming to my place later.
I've done my daily routine every morning – feeding the birds, jogging, coming back home, taking a shower, cooking breakfast… And act upon my motto well: "A good deed every day." But even as I do these things, I still can't stop being nervous on how my parents and Kazehaya-kun would interact with each other.
"Oh, good morning, Sawako-chan!" It's my mom. She has just woken up. "You're so early… You've even made breakfast ready."
"Umm, y-yes," I innocently replied. Do they remember about Kazehaya-kun's visit? I can't stop shaking… I don't want to cause a commotion between the two parties… What if some sort of argument spring up and they will end up hating him? I can imagine my dad screaming at me as he says 'Sawako! I forbid you to see that guy again!', or in a worst case scenario, 'Sawako! I'm going to transfer you in a different school and ban you from having a boyfriend!'.
NO! I can't let that happen!
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot," I suddenly heard my mom say, "Your boyfriend's coming over, isn't it? That… What's his name again?"
"K-Kazehaya-kun," I muttered. She remembered!
"Yes, yes… Oh, we should definitely clean the house! What a mess! I'll be sure to wear the nicest clothes I have. Oh Sawako-chan, you prepare your best cuisine, okay? Is he able to taste your cooking yet?"
"I-I think so…" I said, keeping in mind that he actually ate the chocolates I made for him for Valentine's. My mom… She's so supportive of me! I can see that she definitely approve of us!
But my dad… I wonder what's he thinking right now?
Beep! Beep! Breeeep!
Oh, it's my cell phone again – someone's calling. C-Could it be Kazehaya-kun? What could it be? And this early! Maybe he's going to back out… Oh, I hope not, but this thing is really making me so nervous…
"Who else could it be? Anyway, is what I heard true? Is Kazehaya really coming to your place?"
"H-How did you know th…"
"Chizu told me! So what?"
Oh yes, I happen to tell Chizu-chan about that yesterday at the market… She seemed to be encouraging as well when she heard it, and also added she'll be looking forward to what will happen. She even told me that my parents will probably like Kazehaya-kun and approve of him just by seeing him. But why does Ayane-chan seem to be feeling the opposite?
"Y-Yes, Kazehaya-kun will come… I-Is it bad?"
Long silence endured between us, and the atmosphere is getting tensed. Ayane-chan is making me a lot more uneasy… Perhaps I should've asked their advice first before deciding for myself. But my friends are just like my parents – they're both torn apart on over my decisions.
"Oh, Sawako…" Ayane-chan finally spoke up after a couple of silent minutes, and she seemed not too pleased. "I don't argue with what you want to do, but are you sure? I think this is way too early for… You know, this?"
Ohh, Ayane-chan thought the same way too! I did consider it before, but this is for the sake of our relationship. If I want to remain to be with him, I should do this. But I don't want people to get the wrong impression of this… They might think something more complicated other than some simple introduction…
"I-I know, but…" I muttered, conscious of what I should say. I can't slip out and let her misunderstand me. "It's just… I really want to go out with Kazehaya-kun, and for that to officially happen I need my parents' consent. It's not what you think though, Ayane-chan! I don't want misunderstandings to happen, so right now I'm clearing it up that this is just a mere…"
"I'm not misunderstanding you, Sawako," Ayane-chan suddenly sighed. But then… I think I heard her giggle. "Don't worry, I completely support what you plan on. I don't have the right to interfere with you guys now, only unless if Kazehaya's at fault. But this situation is completely different and you both agreed with it so it's definitely no problem. If there is, in any way, just remember that Chizu and I are always here to back you up. Go ahead and follow what you must."
A-Ayane-chan! She's also looking forward to it… I realized that I started tearing up with what she said. I began to sob quietly, but seeming that she heard it as well, she thought she made me cry.
"N-No, Ayane-chan," I sobbed after I convinced her I'm just crying for joy, "Thank you very much… Thank you for giving me support and thank you for believing in my decisions. But I'm still nervous on what can happen…"
"S-Sawako? Are you all right?"
"Sawako-chan! I think he's here!"
"Sawako! Why aren't you talking? What happened?"
"Sawako-chan! Am I going to open the door?"
"Sawako! Say something! What's going on?"