I have thoroughly succeeded in getting to stay at my ex-girlfriend’s house. My axe has been left at the umbrella stand for the time being. No one is visiting anyway, so I’m sure it’s not going to be a problem.
“Riri-chan, it’s morning!”
She said that she gets up at seven o’clock every morning. But it’s been ten minutes past that now, without a single sound.
Impatient, I have come up to her room and started knocking. A wooden sign saying “RIRI” hangs from the door.
I was told to never go in there. But then I’d feel sorry for her if she’s going to oversleep and miss her commuting schedule to school. I see no other option.
“Well, in I go.”
It’s a simple room; just what I expected from her. Mostly undecorated, and with an arrangement of textbooks on her desk. Feels like the room of a diligent, exemplary high school student.
Riri is in her bed, her sleeping posture disorderly.
“Riri-chan, rise and shine!”
I shake her. “Hmm,” she responds with a groan, but still does not get up.
“I’ll kiss you.”
I move my face closer to hers, but all she does is try to slip deeper under her blanket.
“Hm~m, lemme check out your phone, then.”
I pick up the phone that is plugged to the electrical outlet. Can’t access it, of course, but I can still get a look at the lock screen. Upon seeing one of the two people in the picture, I hold my breath out of surprise.
“W-what are you doing!?”
Riri, seemingly awake now, scrambles to snatch her phone away. Both her hair and her pajamas are a sloppy mess.
“I’ve been trying to wake you up.”
“You can’t just come in as you please!!”
Riri says as she fixes her messy clothes. Her ruffled hair is dancing all over.
“You alright there? Might as well go blow-dry your hair.”
“Whatever!! Just get out!!”
I wonder if this is what it’s like to have a daughter whose age is close to mine.
I head back to the living room and look at the food I’ve put on the table. Yesterday, when I asked her what she would like for breakfast, she said Japanese-style meal, so I made it to the best of my abilities.
I’m good at cooking. But since I’ve been alone for quite a while, I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to do it for someone else. Riri is sure to eat it all up, though, so that makes it worthwhile.
But in the end, she only throws on her uniform and heads to leave for school, leaving her breakfast untouched. That kinda ticked me off.
“Wait, Riri-chan, you forgot something.”
She’s falling for such an obvious trap, which I think is probably because she’s in a hurry.
Just as she turns around, I peck her on the cheek.
“Have a nice day.”
Riri, red to her ears, slips on her loafers and bolts off.
Left alone now that Riri has gone out, I sit down at the entranceway.
The photo on the lock screen of Riri’s phone resurfaces in my mind. I’ve gotten rid of every photo of Ruru that I’ve had, so it’s been a long time since I last saw that woman in any form.
I’ve always thought I wanted to kill her.
I gently brush on the blade of my axe. If the world is going to end, then I’m not going to let her go out scot-free. Even if the law doesn’t punish her, even if God forgives her, even if it’s just me, I’ll hold onto my grudge against her. That’s what I thought.
“But now I’m not so sure…”
Riri must be very fond of her sister. Ruru, being more interested in dressing herself up with gorgeous clothes, wasn’t that much of a school-goer. She didn’t even need to, what with her having an endless stream of men and women wanting to take care of her every need.
When I saw that photo, I was taken aback somehow.
I’ve almost forgotten what Ruru looked like.
Doesn’t matter, though; she’s at her villa, living free.
With the world’s end coming, I want to do just this one thing. Killing Ruru. I haven’t had another partner ever since she broke up with me. I don’t have anyone I’d like to spend my time with when the end comes.
I get up, head to the kitchen table, and wrap up the food that has been left uneaten.
I’m sure Ruru isn’t coming back. Then the world will end, just like this. It’s all useless anyway, so why am I even doing whatever I’m doing now?
Unanswered thoughts lingering in my mind, I lay down on the table and close my eyes.
I wake up to the dinging of the microwave oven.
Riri looks at me with a face as if she was caught red-handed doing something wrong.
Now I realize that I’ve been asleep for quite a long time.
The fact that Riri is here suggests that it’s already evening. She’s still in her uniform, and is still slinging her bag over her shoulder. Looks like she just got back.
“You won’t mind me eating this, right?”
The food Riri was heating in the microwave turns out to be the breakfast that I made.
“Well, I’m starving!”
She says, sounding a little embarrassed. I’ve slept through the time I could have spent to make today’s snacks. Riri’s got a sweet tooth, and with her appetite of a growing teenager, three regular meals probably aren’t enough to get her through the whole day.
The world is coming to its end, so maybe there’s no meaning in being concerned with her growth. But even so, seeing her come back from school, I wish I could have made it for her.
“Planting my apple tree, huh…”
“What? I’m eating this, alright?”
After saying that, she sits at the table and proceeds to eat by herself. I absent-mindedly look at her all the while she does so.