Tezuka slowly opened his eyes as he heard people talking in the kitchen. He relaxed himself on the mattress and yawned. He got up and wore his glasses. He looked at his right, knowing that Maimi had got up earlier than him. He breathed out.
“Ohayo!” Maimi said when Tezuka came into the kitchen. Peppei and Mrs. Kazui were preparing for breakfast while Maimi was making tea from a cute, white kettle. Tezuka bowed and said, “I’ll take a bath for a while.”
“Sure!” Maimi shot with a sincere smile. Tezuka was stunned. He remembered last night. But if she had formed a smile for him that morning, meaning everything was fine. After everything was ready on the Japanese table in the living room, everyone settled down.
Tezuka sat next to Maimi, waiting for her to serve him the food. The menus that day were chicken stew, raw lettuce and two fried fishes. Tezuka kept it to himself. Another simple, poor meal. He could not wait to get home that day.
Maimi served him a bowl of rice and put some lettuces in it. Then, she fed herself. Tezuka ate his in silence. Peppei nodded, telling everyone that it was very delicious. Mrs. Kazui laughed. Maimi followed.
Tezuka watched them. He felt like he was in a new family. Of course, he was. But that feeling seemed a bit more tender and peaceful. During meal times with his family back then, everyone would talk about business and company. And it was serious. But he realized meal times could be more fun and he knew that while eating with Maimi’s family. He enjoyed it.
“Let’s go grocery shopping after this,” Tezuka declared, eating his lettuce. Everyone was surprised as they heard that. “My treat,” he added.
Maimi’s eyes widened and clapped her hands happily followed by Peppei. Mrs. Kazui smiled, “It’s okay, son. I-“
Tezuka parked his BMW into a parking lot in front of a big supermarket named Luxury. It was the biggest and the most expensive supermarket in Tokyo. Only rich people were seen walking in and out with butlers carrying their shops. Maimi and Peppei gulped and held hands together.
“Are we dreaming?” both of them said together. Mrs. Kazui giggled. Tezuka brought them in. The floor was spacious and there were various of things sold there. And everything was high-class rated and made of expensive and hard-to-get materials. Everything was imported from all over the world.
But something seemed weird through Maimi, Peppei and Mrs. Kazui’s eyes. Every people there who went shopping did not push their own carts. Instead, their own butler or maid did. The shoppers just walked freely in their imported coat and suits. Everyone was like businessman. Even king’s children shopped there.
Tezuka took came to nearer counter located in the middle of the lobby and asked for an assistant to bring a cart. His request was done in seconds. He was very well-known there. Everyone respected him. The assistant brought a cart and walked together with the family.
“Nezumi? Is it okay to let him bring that cart for us?” Maimi asked in secret. Peppei and Mrs. Kazui nodded, waiting for his answer. Tezuka shook his head slightly, “This is one of the supermarket’s service and rule. No one is allowed to push their own carts. Assistants are available.” Then he started to walk straight. The assistant followed hesitantly.
Maimi and Peppei were so delighted to be in that kind of supermarket. They were so excited and down-to-earth. Mrs. Kazui released a relief sigh.
Tezuka stopped from walking. The others did so. He turned back and looked at the three of them. “To make it easy, just say anything that you want, the assistant will lead you the things that you request and he’ll find it for you.”
Maimi jumped happily while Peppei danced alone behind Mrs. Kazui who was still amazed with the superb service. Maimi faced the assistant and said, “I want undies!”
Everyone was shocked. Tezuka turned away, covering his redden cheeks. Peppei hit her head, “What on earth did you say that?!”
Mrs. Kazui laughed. The assistant was a guy so he was truly embarrassed to do such thing. Maimi sniggered, “Okay, okay. Um....I want...hotdogs?”
The assistant nodded and brought them towards the hotdogs place. There were many kinds of hotdogs and it made Maimi and the others frowned. “How am I going to choose? There’re too many brands!”
Tezuka rolled his eyes. “Take the most expensive hotdogs,” he told the assistant. The assistant took the most expensive and popular branded hotdogs. Maimi, Peppei and Mrs. Kazui darted their surprise eyes at the hotdogs and at Tezuka.
· * *
Ayaka asked the butcher to cut her some fresh mutton in the same supermarket. She was doing her grocery shopping too that day and she had bought plenty of them. The cart was almost bursting out. Her shopping assistant was a girl.
Ayaka took a deep breath. She was kind of tired despite that she worked too much from last week. But she did not care because she worked with her crush, her own boss. She was so relief to see her boss’s face everyday. That good-looking face and that charm of his. She was wondering why hadn’t she join the blind date.
“Miss Ayaka, your mutton is ready,” the assistant told her. She nodded. The mutton was put into the cart. Ayaka tossed her red hair and started to walk but her steps slowed down as she spotted Tezuka around the rice corner. Her heart leaped with joy. Her smile widened.
Unfortunately, the presence of Maimi, Peppei and Mrs. Kazui darken her heart. Especially Maimi. She made her as her rival. She noticed her boss was doing some grocery shopping with Maimi and the others. The cart still had place to be filled so she guessed they had just drop by.
“Take five,” Tezuka ordered. Mrs. Kazui gasped, “That’s too many, son.”
Tezuka looked at her. “It’s okay.”
Mrs. Kazui sighed. She still needed to receive his treat. She watched the assistant was hovering while carrying the first pack of rice imported from India. She helped him immediately.
Maimi and Peppei were browsing fishes swimming in a big pond in the middle of the area. There were eels, catfishes, shellfishes and etc. Those animals made the two old miss mouth-watered. Tezuka came towards them. “Just pick any of them,” he said then walked away.
“Oh, my God! This is really shop till you drop, Mai-chan!” Peppei whispered. Maimi nodded with jubilant. “Thank God, I married to Nezumi-chan!” she said.
After an hour of shopping, they ended up with two carts. They did not even believe they just did. As they reached the counter, there were three cashiers and the job was done in seconds. Maimi, Peppei and Mrs. Kazui were amazed again. They could not speak anything. Rich people were lucky then.
Plus, five assistants helped them to carry their things towards Tezuka’s BMW. After everything was settled, everyone got into the car happily. Tezuka just kept quiet while driving the car. Maimi danced in her seat joined by Peppei. Mrs. Kazui smiled and laughed softly. In her heart, there was a site that was leaping with joy. Tezuka felt the same too. He was kind of glad that he had helped Maimi’s family.
After 20 minutes of ride back to the house, the three females began to prepare for lunch. Tezuka continued to do his work outside on the same open balcony. Every neighbour who walked pass the house would stop for a while to get a closer look at Tezuka and they would whisper about Maimi’s husband.
“Excuse me, son?” an old woman with a lady beside her asked. Tezuka looked up plainly. “Um, are you Maimi’s husband, the manager of the popular share company?” she added. Tezuka nodded slightly. The two of them gasped and they walked away solemnly. Tezuka sighed.
The sun had set. It was already evening. Maimi was rushing to get ready and pack her things because she was going home. Tezuka had got into his car earlier, talking to his cellphone. Maimi hugged her mother and Peppei.
“Have a good night with your hubby!” Peppei teased. Maimi blushed and hit her slightly. Mrs. Kazui sniggered, “Keep yourself healthy, okay?”
Maimi bowed. “Um!”
Tezuka horned his car and it made Maimi startled a bit. She bowed once again and ran towards the car. As she settled down in her seat, Tezuka cleared his throat, “We have a meeting tomorrow. There’s a bunch of clients from Africa. You’re included.”
Maimi gasped. She clapped her hands. “I love meeting! Yay!”
As they got home and getting to go to bed, Tezuka stopped from checking his paperwork and took a sneak at Maimi’s door room. He was wondering what she was up to. He went towards her room and knocked on the door abruptly. Maimi opened it. Her eyes danced as she saw him.
Tezuka was not wearing his glasses. He coughed a little and cleared his throat, “Don’t stay up late. We need to be there before eight.”
Maimi nodded childishly. She adjusted her hair and blinked his eyes. Tezuka frowned.
“Aren’t you gonna give a goodnight kiss?” she said, blinking her eyes. Tezuka looked away, blushing. “Just go to sleep, old miss,” he responded and began to walk away. Actually, he really wanted to do that right when he noticed the old miss was cute in that pink pajama.
Maimi stumped her feet on the wooden floor. “Nezumi! Come here and give me a kiss! Right now!”
Tezuka froze. He gulped but trying to keep cool. “No thanks,” he told her. Maimi jumped and jumped and jumped while making noises with her mouth. She kept calling him. Tezuka sighed and turned back.
“It’s late, okay! Just go to sleep, will ya’?!” he scolded. Maimi closed her mouth. Again, she was going to start crying. “Nezumi....,” she said, her voice cracked. She ran at him and hugged him from behind. Tezuka was shocked.
He pushed her hands away but she hugged him back. “I don’t want!” she sulked. Tezuka rolled his eyes. He sighed out loud and faced her. “I hate to say this but...if I give you a kiss, would you go back to sleep and make it tomorrow without any problem?” he asked, gawping at her. He had to do that. Maimi was a great sulker and he did not like to see or hear her sobbing.
Maimi nodded figorously. Tezuka swallowed and breathed. He gave a peck at her left cheek and quickly walked into his room. Maimi grunted, “Not that!”
But it was too late. She pouted and got back into her room. She missed the first kiss.