I decided to eat dinner for the time being because you cannot fight on an empty stomach. The menu was beef stew, which I had cooked last night with a simple tofu, and lettuce salad. After eating, Nakamura sat across from Ruri-Chan and I.
“Well, I guess it is time to hear you out.”
“I don’t want to go home today.”
“I understand. I wasn’t going to just kick you out.”
Nakamura let out a small laugh.
“By the way, why my house, isn’t Amano a better choice?”
“While it would be… I thought you might let me stay because I have helped you out recently.”
Nakamura said so and glanced at Ruri-Chan. I said I was going to tell her about Ruri-Chan.
“Haa… Well I am a teacher, meaning I can’t have my students staying over without a good reason.”
“Well, I will tell you as long as you promise not to tell Amano.”
“Amano? Well okay.”
“I do not want Kyouko to know.”
“Well you have your own circumstances, so I will not tell her.”
Nakamura took a deep breath then started talking.
“While I was in middle school I had a diligent personality. I was going to school properly, never missed a day and almost had a perfect record, but after getting into high school my parents said, “What are your plans for the future?” The cause of them saying this is Kyoko.”
“Kyoko has had the dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher for a long time. My parents heard about her dream. I think that having goals and dreams is very important. I know what goals and dreams aren’t for me, but even if I say this to my parents they don’t listen, this continues every day, that is why I ran away.”
So, it was something like that.
I understand that the most difficult period for parents and children is high school. A goal like Amano’s might be a little too much for someone like Nakamura to bear. I think that parents want their children to go to a university etc, while children are frustrated that someone else has planned out their life.
“Recently Kyoko’s been amazingly radiant, I wonder if it is fine for me to have her as my best friend…”
“Not at all. I have not been in contact with my best friend for half a year, it is because he is my best friend that I can do that.”
I intended to encourage Nakamura, whom had begun to feel down, but she breathed out a large sigh.
“It is because you have no troubles that you can say such a thing.”
I stopped myself from saying that I had troubles.
My kind of troubles and Nakamura’s troubles are different. So I thought it would be counterproductive to say that.
And so, silence fell upon us.
During the silence, Ruri-chan stood up and sat next to Nakamura.
Recently, Ruri-chan has come to call me “Masachika-san”.
“Please give me freedom.”
Ruri-chan was a slave, wasn’t she?
When I look at Ruri-chan, I see that she is serious.
“… Is that okay?”
Ruri-chan nods her head deeply. It is rare for Ruri-chan to express her intents like that, or is it the first time? Then I have no other choice then to decide.
I took a deep breath, looked straight at Nakamura and said it.
“Ruri-chan is a slave.”
“I bought Ruri-chan… Therefore, she is not related to me by blood.”
“No. no… Are you making fun of me? There’s no way you can be serious about such a thing.”
“It is a fact, I did not want to say it, but Ruri-chan wanted me to say it.”
“Then what do you mean by you bought her? It can’t be that simple to buy someone?”
In order to answer her questions, I had to tell her about the lottery, so I talked about the past events including winning the lottery. Nakamura was so astonished that her mouth hung open in disbelief throughout the entire story, even when the story had finished her mouth was still open.