“Mom, breakfast is ready,” Mrs. Fujimoto told Grandma Megu who was reading the morning newspapers in the living room. The mansion was as big as a villa. Mrs. Fujimoto took for almost 10 minutes to get to the living room from the kitchen. There were 14 rooms, 10 bathrooms, 6 studies, a snooker room, spacious swimming pools along with a soccer field-sized kitchen. Grandma Megu hired for about 20 maids, 5 gardeners and three chefs.
The mansion was located in a rich neighbourhood and it was the biggest mansion there. Even a castle could not win against the beauty of the building. It was built since 1945. Even though the family had a small number of members but Grandma Megu loved to live in there. She would love having future grandchildren so in the mean time, after succeeding in making Tezuka married, she was overwhelmed to get a new family member.
“How does my Maimi doing?” she asked out of the blue, putting down the newspapers. Mrs. Fujimoto neared her and bent down, “What’re you talking about?”
Grandma Megu adjusted her glasses and sighed. “It’s been a month since they’re married. They don’t even call me.” Mrs. Fujimoto smiled, “They must be busy, mom. They are both working. Please don’t disturb them. They have a life.”
“What are you-,” Grandma Megu hit her daughter’s head. Mrs. Fujimoto gasped. “I know, you fool! It’s just that I would like to meet them. Even for a while!”
Mrs. Fujimoto held her head and nodded. “I’m sorry.”
“I wanna meet them this evening. Yes, this evening. Get me the phone,” Grandma Megu called. Her daughter slowly reached for the golden receiver and handed it to her old mother. After dialling for Tezuka’s cellphone number, that old granny waited eagerly. Mrs. Fujimoto felt horrible to let her mother do that.
After a while, Tezuka picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Oh, hello, Tezuka? Grandma Megu, here,” she began. “What can I do for you?” he asked. He inserted a tiny sigh. Grandma Megu tilted a bit when she heard that. “Um, how are you doing, dear?” she asked, giggling.
“You don’t need to worry, granny. I’m fine.”
“How’s Maimi?” Grandma Megu added. Her eyebrows curved with excitement, waiting to know about Maimi’s condition. Tezuka silenced for seconds and said, “She’s fine. We-we’re both fine. Look here, granny. I’m sorry. There’s a big meeting coming in another five minutes so I can’t talk much.”
Grandma Megu’s eyes widened. “Uh...uh...wait! Wait! I wanna see both of you this evening. Is that possible?” Mrs. Fujimoto looked at her with disbelief. She slapped slightly at her mother’s thigh, muttering to not to invite them over. But Grandma Megu shot her a flint glance.
“I see what I can do. I’ll call you back later. Bye,” Tezuka replied and hung up. Grandma Megu froze. She slowly put down the receiver and sniggered, “He’ll call back later.”
Tezuka let out a depressed sigh as he hung up. He spun around to see Maimi was looking in the mirror beside her office door. She was getting ready for her first meeting. Obviously, she was not that important in that meeting since she acted as Tezuka’s little manager. Despite that she was just getting to start, she could not hold the role as what she was instead, Ayaka ruled as the second after Tezuka.
Ayaka was in a neat office suit. Her long red hair was tied into a ponytail and it reached her waist. Her make-up was perfect that day and her three inches Vincci high heels had made her day. She looked like a high class office worker. Everyone respected her for being Tezuka’s PA. She loved how people were looking up at her.
As she came into the meeting room, she was joyful to see her boss in black suit. It fit him well. That was her favourite suit. A pile of files was put onto the oval desk. Tezuka nodded. Ayaka smiled. As she noticed Maimi walked pass her towards a leather chair for the clients, she was pissed off.
Maimi checked the chair excitedly and hopped onto it. She clapped her hands eagerly. Ayaka rolled her eyes. She tossed her ponytail and cleared her throat. Maimi looked up.
“That chair is for the client,” she told her with a cold expression. Tezuka took a side-glance at Maimi while checking the files. Maimi laughed and played with Tezuka’s pen, “Then, where’s my chair?”
Ayaka stood up straight. She hated to say that the chair next to her was Maimi’s. She sighed and extended her hand over the chair next to her. Maimi clapped her hands again and got up. She sat on the chair with a big smile. Tezuka shook his head slightly. Maimi looked up at Ayaka and asked, “Where would you sit, Aya-chan?”
Aya-chan? Ayaka was shocked with that name. She tossed her ponytail again and turned away. “I stand.”
“Oh? Pity you. You should sit. Why are you standing?” Maimi asked innocently. Her big eyes shone at Ayaka. Tezuka closed the files and stood up, “She my PA. Of course she stands.”
Maimi nodded. Just then, the door was opened and six clients from Thailand came in. Tezuka and Maimi got up and waited for them to settle at each chair. Maimi was eager and nervous. Everyone bowed to each other and be seated later.
Tezuka began the meeting. The conversation was very serious and the atmosphere was a bit tense. Maimi seemed bored likewise while Ayaka was paying attention like she should to because Tezuka would ask her a favour at any time. The Thai clients decided to invest into the company but they asked what would interest them. That topic became the main talk for about an hour. They used English so nothing would interest Maimi to join them.
She yawned. Everyone shot a glance at her. She widened her eyes. Tezuka glared and muttered at her to shut up and stay still. Ayaka rolled her eyes. Maimi covered her mouth and giggled. The leader of the clients, Mr. Joven asked, “May I know, who is that cute lady?”
Maimi smiled. Tezuka breathed in. Ayaka was jealous.
“She’s my wife, Maimi,” Tezuka replied. He looked at Maimi who was nodding like a fool. “We just got married a month ago,” he added. Mr. Joven smirked, “She’s so cute. How I wish I could marry her.”
Maimi gasped. Tezuka frowned. Mr. Joven laughed and he shook his hands, “No! No! Just kiddin’!”
Both of them breathed out. Maimi was surprised too at how she could understand that part since she did not know English. Tezuka leaned forward at her and whispered, “They’re going to invest into our company so don’t do something stupid in front of them. Understand?”
“Really?!!!!!” Maimi’s voice shook the room. It echoed. Tezuka closed his eyes, sighing. Ayaka gawped at her from behind. The clients were curious. Maimi faced Mr. Joven and smiled, “Please! Please!”
The clients felt weird. What with the sudden ‘Please’? Tezuka secretly bite his bottom lip, not wanting to know what was next since Maimi was beginning to show her idiotic character in front of the important clients from Thailand. Ayaka felt like punching her head.
“Money-,” Maimi began with hand gestures showing the shape of money. “-company-,” she added, spreading her arms apart to show the company and, “-please?” The clients were silenced. Tezuka started to get a headache. Ayaka turned away and pasted her forehead against the wall.
Mr. Joven burst out laughing. He even slammed his hands onto the desk. His followers joined. Tezuka looked at them slowly while Ayaka spun around in disbelief. Maimi widened her eyes in excitement. Mr. Joven could not stop laughing. The atmosphere was different than before.
“Okay,” Mr. Joven stopped. He wiped his teary eyes, “I’ll invest. I can see that I should do it after I see your wife. She’s damn funny!” Then he continued to laugh again. Tezuka was amazed. He could not move. Maimi joined the laughing event. Ayaka sighed.
When Mr. Joven and his followers were sent to lobby, Tezuka sighed a relief. Ayaka did the same. Maimi saved the meeting in just a few seconds. She was incredibly an angel. Tezuka was about to think like that but the angel part was not suitable for that old miss.
Tezuka sat on a couch in his office room. He leaned back against the couch and closed his eyes. He was so tired. That Thai clients were difficult to approach and consult them to invest. He was glad everything was over. Thanks to that old miss.
“Nezumi-chan!” that high-pitched voice came to his ears as that old miss came into his room. Tezuka grunted, “Don’t you have elsewhere to go?!”
Maimi stopped and pouted. Tezuka felt guilty right after that pouting. He sighed. Maimi sat on the coffee table in front of Tezuka. He was shocked. He immediately turned away. Maimi looked at his face.
“Give me your glasses,” she demanded. Tezuka shook his head coldly. Maimi stamped her feet on the floor and hugged him. Tezuka gasped. At that precise moment too, Ayaka came into the room to discuss about the investment just now but as soon as she saw Maimi was hugging her boss, her files in her hands fell down. Maimi and Tezuka looked at her.
“Uh-uh- sorry to disturb you,” she said and quickly picked up her files. Maimi came to help her, “It’s okay, Aya-chan. Let me help you.”
Ayaka was hurt inside. How come Maimi was so naive and innocent all this time? Can’t she see that Ayaka was hurting that she did not like Maimi? Tezuka got up and adjusted his glasses, “Put that files on my desk. You,” he said, pointing at Maimi. “-come with me.”
Maimi cheered, “Roger that!”
Ayaka got up after collecting those files and bowed in front of the couple and sighed. She was about to cry when she saw both of them walked towards the lift zone.
“I want cheesecake,” Maimi asked Tezuka, her eyes dancing. Tezuka was driving towards Grandma Megu’s. He decided to take the lunch time to see his family as he was invited before. He did that in the afternoon so that he could do his other schedules in the evening.
“No,” he responded. Maimi knew it. She pouted, “I want cheesecake! Please! I’m hungry!”
“We’re going to eat at granny’s house,” he cut in. “No snacks before lunch.”
“But I’m hungry! Please! Just one slice, please!”
“No, dummy,” Tezuka said. “Idiot old miss,” he added. Maimi hit the dashboard hard. She kept whining for the cheesecake. Of course Tezuka did not like that. When the traffic light turned red, Tezuka took the advantage to brake his car hard. Maimi accidentally hit her forehead on the dashboard with a thud. “Ouch!” she screamed out, holding her forehead. Tezuka turned away to his right and he could not help himself from laughing. He did not laugh since he was in junior high but that scene insisted him to laugh but he held it by looking at the other way. He pasted his lips, holding from laughing even for a single giggle.
Maimi had finally settled down. She rubbed her forehead for hundred times. She looked like she was about to cry. Tezuka looked at her and sighed. There she goes again.
The light turned green. Tezuka drove his car straight. After a few minutes later, he stopped by at a cake shop. Maimi curved a smile. Tezuka noticed her teary eyes. He was glad she did not burst out crying.
Tezuka took out his wallet and lent her some money. “Make it quick.”
Maimi thanked him and got out from the car. Tezuka watched her walking into the cake shop. He sighed. Suddenly, his cellphone rang. He picked it up.
“Hello, boss. It’s me, Ayaka,” a mature female voice called. Tezuka cleared his throat, “What is it?”
“Where did you go? You didn’t even tell me where you heading? Again,” she said. Her voice was in a mad tone. Tezuka took off his glasses and frowned when he looked in front. It was blurry.
“I’m going to see my family. I’ll be back in the evening,” he said. He was wiping his glasses using his coat. He kept looking at the front door of the cake shop. “Don’t bother me,” he told her and hung up.
After a few minutes later, Maimi was seen came out of the cake shop with a box. She was so excited. She got into the passenger seat and cheered, “I bought five!”
“You said you’re buy a slice,” Tezuka scolded her. Maimi smiled, “These are for Grandma Megu, Mrs. Fujimoto, Ayase, Momoko and me!”Tezuka rolled his eyes and put back on his glasses.
Andrew smiled as Grandma Megu praised his present to her that came all the way here from France. He dropped by the house to greet the family since they were very close to him during his childhood time.
He brought back some souvenirs from France to give them. His own family was still living in Vancouver. Mrs. Fujimoto was so excited to see him. Grandpa To and Mr. Fujimoto were glad. Ayase was not there since it was still in school hour.
“You are well grown up,” Grandma Megu said. Andrew nodded. “At first I don’t believe Ayase says that you are here.”
“Maybe Tezuka told her,” Andrew said. He was as good-looking as Tezuka did. They had grew up together but until their college time only. So it was about 5 years they did not contact each other.
“So, what brings you here?” Grandpa To asked. Andrew looked up at him, “After I knew about Tezuka’s profession here, I decided to invest. Or, probably join him.”
“That’s great,” Mr. Fujimoto responded. The others nodded. Andrew sighed, “Tezuka has a pretty wife. He’s lucky.”
Everyone was a bit surprised at his words. Andrew bowed down, “Sorry about that.”
“Haha! It’s fine. Maimi is pretty. How about you, Andrew? Anything about your wedding?” Grandma Megu asked. Mrs. Fujimoto hit her mother’s elbow slightly. Grandma Megu glared at her.
Andrew giggled. “No. Not yet.”
Suddenly, the main door in the living room where they were sitting was opened by the maids. Tezuka and Maimi were seen coming in. Everyone smiled. The couple froze. Tezuka became moody right when he spotted Andrew who was sitting on the couch. They shot glances at each other. Grandma Megu invited them to join the conversation.
“Granny, I bring you cheesecake!” Maimi said out loud, showing off the cute pinkish box. The others laughed.
Finally, everyone gathered for lunch at a dining room. The meals were very high-class. It was western. Maimi sat beside Tezuka, facing Andrew. Tezuka did not even look up at his old friend instead he kept eating his lunch madly. Maimi ate hers without noticing anything. The others knew about that argument. They tended to stay quiet.
Maimi took a sliced meat with her fork and brought it towards her mouth but unfortunately it fell down onto her lap. “Oh, no!” she said. Everyone darted their eyes at her. Momoko the maid came at her to help.
“I’m sorry, Momo-chan!” she told her. Momoko shook her head and tried to clean that spot. Tezuka sighed. Andrew laughed. The awkward atmosphere turned to be a bit cheery as soon Andrew started the laugh and the others followed.
Maimi smiled childishly and made a peace sign. Tezuka grunted and secretly pinched her waist. She jumped.
“Nezumi-chan! You naughty boy!” Maimi screamed. Andrew frowned. Grandma Megu exchanged looks with Mrs. Fujimoto.
“Tezuka pinches my waist!” Maimi blurted out and giggled. Everyone laughed but Andrew just sniggered silently. Tezuka realized Andrew was jealous when Maimi said that. He had discovered the way to make Andrew stay away from Maimi.
When everything went back to normal, Grandpa To began, “Tezuka-kun, are you going to sleep here?”
Tezuka shook his head, “No. I have works to do this evening.” Maimi turned to her left to look at her husband. “Maybe next time,” he added. Maimi was disappointed. She looked down, “I want to sleep here.”
Andrew looked up at her pouting. He liked that. Tezuka got up and bowed down. He grabbed Maimi’s arm and dragged her outside of the room. Everyone was shocked. Andrew sighed.
“Let go of me!” Maimi shouted and pulled back her arm. Tezuka frowned at her. That was the first time she did not want to follow him. He faced her, “What’s wrong with you?!”
Maimi started to cry. “I should ask that too!”
Tezuka back-combed his hair and put his hands on his hips. “Okay, what do you want? You wanna sleep here? Do you want to eat here? Okay, fine, go!”
Maimi sobbed. “I want you to join me,” she said. She wiped her tears. “You should listen to me more. I’m older than you, okay!”
Tezuka held his head. He was so mad at that time. He realized it was his fault that he was angry with Andrew but he at the same time, Maimi was dragged into the problem. Just then, Andrew came out.
“Is everything okay?” he asked, walking towards them.
Tezuka became angrier as soon as Andrew’s face popped out. He grabbed Maimi’s hand and hugged her. Maimi was shocked. Andrew stopped. Grandma Megu and the others came after to see what was going on.
“Nezumi?” Maimi’s voice muffled in her husband’s shoulder. Tezuka pulled her back to face her and planted a kiss on her lips. Andrew’s heart hurt. The others could not tell what is going on but Grandpa To knew something happened between them.
When Tezuka pulled himself back, he told Maimi to get into the car. Andrew noticed that Tezuka was going to make him jealous. He admitted that he was jealous. And at the same time, he told himself that he liked Maimi. Even though they had just met twice.