Andrew stirred the milk in his coffee at a coffee shop in the afternoon. He didn’t feel like having a good lunch that day. Having coffee at the middle of the day was not usually been done by regular people but he preferred that to comfort her inner heart.
Hearing people roaring about the hit news early in the morning as he went to catch his breakfast at a restaurant nearby his house made him feel strange and mad. He did study the pictures and they were all true. He recognized Tezuka’s jacket and body in that pictures including the punching part. He suddenly remembered his old Taekwondo class taken with Tezuka during primary school.
Tezuka was one of the best students out of ten other rich boys back then. Andrew came second and he had to admit that Tezuka really was a good puncher and kicker. But that was not the main point he was struggling in his mind right now. The main point was, Maimi.
Maimi was the victim. Tezuka was her lifesaver. The old guy was the culprit. But why did he feel like scolding Tezuka? Was it because he was careless about his own wife’s safety? According to the news, Maimi was meeting a client and he took her to an isolated area in the city to do his project.
Andrew lifted his cup up to his lips. He was thinking that if he was Tezuka, he wouldn’t let tiny, weak, little Maimi go to meet some slut guys even though it was all because of business. Taking a proper sip at his coffee, he sighed as soon as he placed the cup back onto its saucer.
Poor Maimi. He thought. How he wished he was there too. How he wished he was Tezuka. At the mention of replacing Tezuka, he felt it was right to do so. It were just a few days only, getting to meet Maimi but he could feel his heart calmed whenever his eyes met with hers which were fantastic and gorgeous.
Now, he was arguing with himself that urged to meet Maimi. Was she alright? Was Tezuka be okay with it? How would they handle this? Reporters were expected to be around since the couple was very popular. But why should he be worried about that in the first place? Why?
Grandpa To let out a mad, angry and regret sigh. He put down the newspapers on his removable desk and sat quietly. Looking at the windows with the vertical blinds still on, he wondered how were Tezuka and Maimi out there. Were they dealing perfectly?
Grandpa To felt embarrassed but anyway, the one and only that should feel that way was Maimi. He was too worried as things weren’t going good. Since the news was released, he had been thinking about his promise with Tezuka. Could he grant it? With the condition Maimi was holding. He knew no one was going to come to see him as the family members were too busy thinking about the incident. He felt back against his pillow and tried to relax.
“Everything’s going to be fine. Tezuka has grown-up,” he told himself with a smile.
“Have you lost your mind?! You should say no about that meeting! You’re a married woman, Mai-chan!” Peppei shouted at her friend through her cellphone. She was having a conversation with Maimi.
Maimi was sitting in her old room. Looking at her torn out wallpaper had calmed her down a bit since she missed that room so much especially when she got married and started to live with her husband. She lied down on the tatami floor with her cellphone against her right ear. “I know. But it’s business. I wanna help Tezuka.”
“You’re risking your own life. And how could he, your husband let you go out with the slut?” Peppei said in an anger tone. She was having her rest at the saloon that afternoon. “By the way, Ayaka, the perfectionist PA was available!”
“But the client wanted me,” Maimi told her in a soft, nonchalant voice. She was too tired regarding to the struggle with the client and having a fever this morning but she needed to get up to settle the problem. By the way, she was still in traumatized. Maimi got up and sighed. She looked at a clock on the wall. It showed almost one and that number insisted her to hang up and have a good nap. Tezuka’s good-looking, tired and concern face suddenly appeared in her mind and it caused her eyes to water.
“Pei-chan,” she said, her voice was harsh. The tears ran down her fluffy cheeks. She wiped the flowing tears away.
“What is it? Are you okay?”
Maimi shook her head, wanting her best friend to see that. “No. I miss Nezumi.”
“Nezumi is his nickname. He loves cheesecake,” Maimi said with a slight grin.
Peppei sighed. “Mai-chan, he has just left you there for only hours ago and by the way, it’s going to be a couple of days only. It’s for your best too, staying away from him for a while. Your mom is taking care of you, dear.”
Maimi sniffed. She adjusted her position and relaxed. “I hope you’re here, Pei-chan. I really, really do.”
Peppei was touched by her words. Maimi was too innocent and naïve. They had been friends since elementary school. They shared each other thoughts and secrets. Now, since both of them had grown up, along with Maimi got married, she was thinking their relationship was going to break but by hearing Maimi’s sacred words, she knew it would last.
“Me too, Mai-chan,” Peppei responded. “But I’m going to do double shifts today since the new worker has something else to do and it’s urgent so the manager asks me to take her shift. I tell you what, when you’re going to bed, close your eyes and count to three. If you see me, then, we’re best friends forever!”
Maimi finally laughed. “If I don’t?”
“I won’t give you a free hair treatment. It’s your treat,” Peppei shot. Both of them laughed.
Maimi nodded. They said goodbye and hung up. She sighed and looked back at her cellphone. Trying to call Tezuka is her main thing to do since she last saw him drove home at the front door. She had been missing him even though it were just few hours ago.
The thoughts of sneaking into Tezuka’s room, watching him ate, washing his clothes were set into her mind. She loved doing that ever since she got married to him. He was a young guy and still wanted to do his things but to her, she was going to enjoy her marriage life that she had dreamt of.
She knew Tezuka was not that evil. He just needed time. But Maimi loved how his reactions whenever she showed her wearing throngs and lingeries. Sometimes Tezuka seemed sexy whenever he undressed his shirt and those six-packs would appear. Maimi wanted to touch that so badly.
Looking at Tezuka without glasses on, he was extremely the type that all women around the world craved for. Maimi smiled alone as she felt she was damn lucky to be married to him. She liked it when Tezuka wore his Levis jeans without any shirt on. His upper underwear could be seen with the brand on. He would wear that during weekends especially on a hot day.
Maimi lied down back on the floor and closed her eyes and counted to three like Peppei asked to do. “One, two, three-“
She opened her eyes. Seeing Tezuka’s sexy look with the glasses on made her felt bad. She could not think of Peppei. She just couldn’t. Now she realized that Tezuka was her new life partner now.
Tezuka took a sip at his milk coffee. Putting the cup down slowly, he looked up. Having a short break after dropping Maimi at her house had somehow let him breath clearer. During lunch, he would take Maimi to an expensive restaurant to eat something that was heavy and contained lots of carbohydrate. He hated to see Maimi’s skinny body. He wanted to make her fat but it was useless as she didn’t even gain any ounce.
Would she be alright at that her mom’s? Of course she will. Tezuka had cancelled the family meeting with his own family regarding on the news. Grandma Megu was still angry about it and he knew she wouldn’t let go off Maimi and himself until she recovered from her anger. And it would take for ages.
She’ll be fine. He told himself.
After he had finished his drink, he grabbed his coat and briefcase. Leaving the coffeehouse in a bad condition, he felt like every eye was staring at him. As he arrived at the parking lot, a throng of reporters came chasing him.
Tezuka groaned. The first person asked, “Sir! How’s your relationship with your wife going?!”
“Is she okay?” the second one asked.
“Does that incident affect your marriage?”
“Don’t you love your wife?”
“Is she pregnant because of that client?”
“Enough!” Tezuka shouted. Everyone froze. Then, he opened his car door and before he went in, he turned at the person who asked about Maimi’s probability of pregnancy. “By the way-“
The reporters began to near him as he started to open his mouth. “She can only be pregnant by me.”
He got inside, starting the engine and drove away. Tezuka gasped. He was so confident about his statement before. Yes, Maimi could only be pregnant by him. Only, by him.
Andrew dropped by at Tezuka’s office in the evening just to see his best friend or should he consider it old friend? As he was walking out of the restroom, Tezuka was seen coming in the aisle. He looked terrible. His eyes were sorrowed and his perfect high cheekbones were longer great.
That news was a big hit to him. It was bigger to Tezuka and Maimi. Andrew urged himself to greet him.
“Hey,” he said while Tezuka was about to get inside the room. Tezuka shot him an ‘Oh, no. Can’t you just leave me alone? We’re arguing, remember?’ look.
“Go away,” he responded. The door was opened and Andrew sneaked in. “What’re you-“
“Tezuka, please, listen to me,” he said, holding his both hands in front of him. Tezuka stopped. “I’m here to help, if there’s something that I can do for you?”
Tezuka sighed and settled down at his seat. He slammed his briefcase on the desk. “There’s nothing you can do for me. And I don’t even need your help. Fine, you know ‘bout that news. Yeah, you’re happy now that I’m doomed.”
Andrew put both hands on his hips. He tried to look into Tezuka’s eyes but failed since Tezuka was pretending to search for paperwork. He knew his best friend was sad and mad. There was no way he could go to work in this situation.
Andrew leaned forward and put his hands on the desk, facing him. “Yes, I know but I’m here as a friend, Tezu. I would like to help you.”
Tezuka glared at him. “I told you none,” he said. “And I mean it.”
“I bet Maimi is sad,” Andrew blurted out. Tezuka lifted his head up slowly. “You should do something, pal.”
“Don’t tell me what to do,” Tezuka snapped. “She’s my wife, not yours. Don’t butt in our problems.”
Andrew stood up. “I know. I know your attitude. If you have something valuable in your hands, you would always let it go easily without knowing what’s best for you and itself. Herself.”
Ayaka looked down when she eavesdropped the conversation between Andrew and her boss in that room. She didn’t feel bad or pity. Instead, she felt satisfied. She was beginning to support that news. That news almost made Tezuka lost his hope in consoling his own wife.
Ayaka grinned slyly. She turned around and walked confidently toward the lift. Pushing the going down button, a twinge of thrill came down her spine. She knew she could take her boss away. That was only the beginning.
“This is the first chapter,” she told herself. When the lift doors were opened, she tossed her curly red hair and breathed in before she stepped into the lift. All she needed to do right now was planning.
Mr. Fujimoto knocked the door of Tezuka’s office. Tezuka was surprised and got up. “Dad?”
The man held up his hand and went in. He led himself to sit on the couch in the middle of the room. Tezuka followed him and sat across his father. A serious look came on Mr. Fujimoto’s face. He eyed his son with hands pasted together.
Tezuka was too tired in explaining and right now, it was his own father waiting for his words. He tried to hide his sigh by looking down and breathed out slightly. Mr. Fujimoto and rested his back against the couch.
“Is it true?” he began.
Tezuka swallowed. He nodded. Mr. Fujimoto leaned forward.
“Is everything okay?” he asked. Tezuka admired his father’s calm attitude. He would say something very cautiously and he never rose up his voice to settle a problem.
Tezuka sighed. “Not really. But I’ve sent Maimi to her mom’s. Plus, there’s a bunch of reporters out there.”
“She’s….fine,” Tezuka answered slowly. He was not sure about Maimi’s real condition. But he knew she was truly hurt. Her intense look that was shot at him making him felt like running away. Even though he always chased her away when she tried to get close to him and she would angry likewise, but this time, Maimi’s mad face seemed real.
“I suggest you do a statement about this,” Mr. Fujimoto said. “You call the newspapers to hold a press conference regarding this incident and explain everything. Let the third party decides and thinks. It’s the best way since you’re a popular businessman in Japan.”
Tezuka tilted. It was too sudden but he thought it was a great idea for the time being. “Okay, I’ll try…”
“Do not just try,” his father cut. He glared at Tezuka. “Do it. Your grandma is very mad about this and you know how she acts. By the way, please think about your grandpa.”
At the mention ‘grandpa’ somehow gave Tezuka some guts. He decided to do the press and finish everything fast.