After having dinner, Tezuka began his work on his laptop in his study. As the door was banged close, the living room became quiet. Maimi cleaned the dishes while humming her favourite song. Later, she went to the television, turning it on and sat on the comfortable leather couch.
She tended to go and look at Tezuka but he was still with his work. Maimi had to stay away from him for a while. She snatched the remote control and tuned to a cartoon. She laughed right away as a cat fell from the basket of its master’s bicycle.
Tezuka sighed when that high-pitch laughter shot his ear. He continued to type a document, trying to ignore the noise that came from the television. “Is she deaf?”
The television’s volume was put at the maximum rate and filled the living room with so much noise coming from the cartoon. Maimi hurt her stomach from laughing too much. Luckily it was time for commercial breaks. She relaxed.
Tezuka chewed his bottom lip when he was figuring out the next thing to type. As he had lighted his brain, he straightened his tired body and started to compose his idea on the screen. But the sound of an ice-cream commercial that featured new milk flavor shoved away his idea. His head spun when he heard the singing cows and dancing milk drops. He remembered that break when he happened to watch it once.
Then, the commercial stopped. The cartoon was back. At least, the cartoon didn’t give too much sound effect. Tezuka sighed hardly. He shook his head and pressed the keyboard. Suddenly, Maimi screamed.
Tezuka’s heart jumped.
“Cheesecake!” she said out loud.
Tezuka rolled his eyes and got back his attention on his laptop. It had only been ten minutes but all he had done was not much. Before Maimi came into his life and his house, he could finish his work in just fifteen minutes. But now, it was impossible.
Maimi sang the ice-cream song just now loudly. Tezuka banged his head on the table. He rushed out of the room and turned off the television. Maimi squealed.
“I’ve work to do and could you please co-operate?!” he shouted.
Maimi froze from eating the cheesecake. Tezuka widened his eyes as he saw the large, almost half round of cheesecake that he bought last two days. He hadn’t touched that cheesecake yet but Maimi had eaten half of it in the blink of an eye.
Tezuka grabbed the cheesecake by its box. “This cheesecake was supposed to be in a round shape but you ruined it! What’re you, a giant?”
Maimi threw away her fork and jumped to him. “I want to eat it! Give me back!”
Tezuka took the cheesecake to his right but Maimi reached it back. Unfortunately, the box slipped off from Tezuka’s grip and fell onto the floor. Both of them watched it smashed with the box.
Maimi began to cry while Tezuka scolded her to clean that mess and back into his study. He groaned as soon as he settled down in his seat. Marrying an immature woman was bringing him bad luck.
“Tomorrow is my birthday,” Maimi told Andrew at the same spot they used to sit to eat snacks. It was around nine in the next morning and the cafeteria was not filled with people yet. Only several staffs and janitors were there to have breakfast.
Andrew made a surprise face. “Your birthday? It’s cool then. Does Tezuka know?”
Maimi shook her head. She was still mad because of yesterday’s cheesecake accident. It was a waste. She was not that aware of Tezuka’s bad-tempered mood that time. He was always moody.
“Then, aren’t you expecting presents from your own husband?” Andrew prodded, holding up a cup of hot cappuccino. “He’s rich.”
Maimi played with her spoon dipped in her green tea. “I’ll let him soon. He’s got a lot of work to do.”
“Yes, he is. Always,” Andrew added. He took a sip at his cappuccino and put the cup down on the tabletop slowly. “But he’s a very hardworking guy I had ever met. I never know he will become this type of guy. He manages a company.”
Maimi chuckled. “Yeah, he’s great in becoming a manager. Besides,” she leaned forward, “his PA is some kind of a freak. She never lost her days with her superb high heels and tight office suits.”
Andrew scoffed a laugh. “It looks like she would kick any squirrel in front of her.”
Maimi laughed loudly. “Is there any squirrel in here?”
“Sometimes a zookeeper happens to stop by,” Andrew joked.
“Is there something that you’re afraid to say it to me?” Ayaka cut Maimi off. She was standing by the desk, holding a pile of files. She looked a bit intimidating.
Andrew ducked his face behind his cup while Maimi grinned. “Not exactly,” she stammered.
Ayaka gave a die look at both of them but her eyes stayed at Maimi and she slammed the files on the table. Maimi’s green tea spilled out of its cup.
“Finish those quick,” Ayaka ordered. “Your husband told so.” She shot a glare at her and walked back but she stopped and turned around. “By the way, he doesn’t like you eating here especially during work time.”
She looked around the place with a disgust look on her face. “Hmm, the food here isn’t that healthy. It’s oily and contains lots of sugar.”
Both Maimi and Andrew watched her cat-walked to the exit, her buttocks swayed from side to side. They looked at each other and bluffed.
“Ayaka told me you had snacks with Andrew during work time,” Tezuka blurted when Maimi got out from the bathroom of their apartment at night. “And you didn’t even tell me.”
Maimi’s eyes locked at his anger and explosive eyes. She adjusted her just wash hair that was wrapped with a towel. “I was hungry.”
“You can wait for lunch. Yesterday, I searched for you and called you but you were nowhere to be found,” Tezuka said. His voice seemed deeper. He hunched his back and put both hands on his knees, sitting at the leather couch. “Why?”
“My cell phone’s battery had run out,” Maimi responded. She hugged herself, standing the cold that came from the air-conditioner since she was wearing towel and home slippers. “And I was at the cafeteria with Andrew too.”
Tezuka was amazed at her loyalty and honesty. He sighed, looking away.
“Can I go now?” Maimi asked, pointing her hands at her room door.
No, you can’t. Stay here. Tezuka’s heart was telling him to tell her to come to him so that they could snuggle together. But he was not really in the mood to do so even though Maimi’s bare shoulders were exposed.
As he looked back at her direction, Maimi was on the coffee table. He chocked from shock.
“Are you okay, Nezumi?” she asked, giving him her cute smile. Her big eyes flashed and he could see his own reflection. “You look tired.”
“I am,” Tezuka spoke. “Go away and get dressed, old miss.”
Maimi neared him and patted her hand on his forehead. Tezuka pushed it away. “What the heck!”
Maimi gasped. “I just want to see if you’re okay. That’s all.”
Tezuka sighed in. He leaned against the couch. “I’m fine. It’s just that I’m exhausted because of you.
“You,” he finished. He gawped at her and his swapped eyes from her face to her breasts. He gulped. “Go back to your room, please. Don’t wear like this in the living room.”
He got up. Maimi caught his arm. “Why can’t I? I’m your wife.”
Tezuka felt her soft fluffy hand on his skin. He knew she was seducing him. But he didn’t ready yet. Not yet.
Just then, Maimi embraced him from behind. Tezuka could feel her body against him. He pushed her. “No.”
Then, he went into his room and slammed the door shut abruptly. Maimi sat down on the couch, disappointed with her husband’s attitude that night.
The bedside clock ticked and ticked. Tezuka opened his eyes. He sighed as the room was still dark. It was still night. He couldn’t sleep well after Maimi’s sudden hug from his back.
Tezuka was sure it was his fault. He should just agree with her to sleep together and it meant that Maimi had recovered from traumatizing over the incident. She wanted to be with him. And as a husband, he should do so to protect her. She craved for real touching and passion.
But he was such a fool. Tezuka felt that he was too absorbed with his egoism recently. He got up and stifled a yawn before he went outside of his room. As he walked across the hall, he spotted Maimi’s room door was a bit ajar.
He looked inside. Maimi was sound asleep.
Tezuka walked in and stopped by her bed. She didn’t move. Suddenly, her cell phone rang. Tezuka quickly snatched it and turned off the silent button. He took a sneak at Maimi. Thank goodness, she didn’t move a bone.
He decided to look back at Maimi’s cell phone. On the screen, there was a rectangle-shaped box and inside it, a ‘Maimi’s birthday’ words were shown. Tezuka froze.
Old miss’s birthday. He told himself and looked at Maimi. Her birthday?
He realized that it was exactly twelve at night. He was wondering maybe Maimi set the reminder. He never knew when her birthday was because he never asked.
Tezuka went out of that room. He walked back and forth in front of the kitchen, pressing his brain to think of something to give to the old miss. He was not the guy who loved giving presents because he was the one that always received especially from secret admirers.
Having a wife was more important than those secret admirers. His heart had urged him to lend her a gift. Tezuka sighed. He glanced around the place, hoping to spot something that could be made into a gift.
An office suits past his mind. Maimi really needed a new set. She had always worn the same office suits almost twice a week until some of the staffs admonished her from her familiar wear. Tezuka wanted to be the first person to give her a present since he was her husband. He was surprised to himself too that he was acting like a weirdo.
That was the first time he filled his head about giving things after so long packed with works. Tezuka stopped in the middle of the area. Now, where would he find a shop that still opened during that time?
Mrs. Suzuki! He clocked himself.
Mrs. Suzuki was Tezuka’s favourite fashion designer. She had been making him new clothes since he was in middle school. Besides, she could finish an outfit in just a few hours. Tezuka grabbed the house phone and called her phone number.
“Hello?” a sweet woman’s voice sounded.
“Hello, Mrs. Suzuki. It’s me, Tezuka.”
“What makes you call this late?” she asked.
Tezuka sighed out. “It’s Maimi’s birthday today.”
Mrs. Suzuki cleared her throat. “That’s great. And?”
“And I have a favour to ask. I hope you won’t mind,” Tezuka said. He glanced over at Maimi’s door to make sure she was not awake.
“I’ll try to not mind, son. Come on, tell me.”
Tezuka held his breath. “Would you make Maimi a new set of office suit?”
Mrs. Suzuki giggled. “Sure I will.”
“By the sunrise,” Tezuka shot.
“What? By the sunrise? You know that I can’t design a new outfit and make it and finish it by the sunrise. It’s late now,” Mrs. Suzuki blurted.
Tezuka could sense by her voice that she was tired after a whole stay taking care of her boutique. But he needed it so that Maimi could wear that to work. “I know but it’s important. I’ll pay triple,” he promised.
Mrs. Suzuki let out a sigh. It took a few seconds for her to decide. “Okay, if it’s for your goodness and for Maimi, I’ll do it. But do not do this again.”
Tezuka didn’t answer.
“I have all her measurements when I made her wedding dress so don’t worry. I’ll try to finish by six o’clock,” Mrs. Suzuki told him.
Maimi fell onto the floor. She opened her eyes quickly, looking around and sighed. She had just dreamt of a nightmare just now. Getting back to her feet, she stretched her short arms. It was already morning.
She yawned all the way to the bathroom but stopped as she saw a beautiful tight-waist office dress hung at her closet. Maimi went toward it. She studied the upper white blouse with short, crumpled sleeves. It had large belt along with the dress printed in square pattern. The colour was a mix of orange and red. There was a tiny black tie.
Maimi covered her mouth. She liked it so much. She jumped to her feet happily.
“Hey,” Tezuka said at the doorway. “I want you to wear that today.”
Maimi gasped. “Is this for me? You, you gave me this?”
Trying not to blush, Tezuka looked away and answered. “Yes.” Then, he walked away.
Maimi was thrilled. She looked back at the present and spotted a letter tied at the sleeve. She read it. It was written ‘Happy Birthday’.
Tezuka wore his tie in front of the full-length mirror in his room. His eyes wasn’t looking at his reflection instead, he tried to look at Maimi’s room.
Mrs. Suzuki did manage to make a pretty and outstanding office wear ever even in a rush. Tezuka went to pick it up around six and rushed back home before Maimi noticed. He wrote a message of saying happy birthday and hung it at her closet door. He was very anxious when he went back to sleep.
Maimi’s reaction that morning did make his day. Right now, he was waiting for her look after wearing the suit.
“Nezumi-chan! Come over here!”
Tezuka sighed and spun around. His eyes widened and his heart pounded so hard that made him almost drop his jaws but he held it. Maimi was smiling so sweetly like a shining pearl, standing in the living room. She had worn the office suit.
Tezuka blinked. He went toward her to take a good look. He was stunned by her appearance in that tight-waist dress. The belt suited her along with the tiny tie. Her usual ponytails seemed to match. She looked great and her slender body cut shown.
She’s hot. Tezuka talked to himself. The first girl that he claimed hot. So hot until he could not swallow his own saliva.
Every eye was stuck at Maimi once she and Tezuka stepped into the lobby. Even the old janitor stopped mopping and turned at her. It seemed like nobody had ever seen her like that. Maimi felt uneasy since almost the whole lobby was staring at her.
A few foreigners whistled and say hi. Maimi returned with a nonchalant smile. She followed confident Tezuka toward their office as usual. Again, the whole floor darted their eyes at her.
“Nezumi, why does everyone look at me?” Maimi whispered in a sad tone.
Tezuka glanced at her and back in front. “You wore a new suit. That’s all.”
They reached at their offices. Ayaka who came to greet them likewise froze as she changed her view at Maimi.
Tezuka entered his room, leaving Maimi alone like he always did. Maimi breathed in and rushed into her room. She fell onto the carpeted floor with a thud. “Ouch!”
“There’s another meeting this evening,” Ayaka told Tezuka in his office room. Lately, there were many meetings in that week.
Tezuka held his forehead with his left hand and the other flipping through a file. He wasn’t thinking about the meeting at all. He was thinking about Maimi’s birthday. In his head, plenty of plans began to emerge. Was the new office suit worth it? Should he do more?
“Boss?” Ayaka prodded.
Tezuka looked up at her and shook his head slightly. “Okay. Before you go out, let’s discuss about-“
Maimi made a sudden visit into the room without knocking. Her beautiful and attractive office dress that showed her body shape made Tezuka suddenly lost his words. But he came up with, “-talk about cancelling the meeting.”
Ayaka wrinkled her face. “What? But boss, you’ve been cancelling too many meetings in already. The clients wouldn’t accept that as most of them flew here from overseas.”
Maimi’s thousands-watt smile melted Tezuka’s heart but he didn’t want to show it on the face. He cleared his throat. “Listen, Ayaka. Let me handle this. I’ll be going home early today. Don’t bother to ask me why and call me.”
His stern answer scared both Ayaka and Maimi.
Ayaka looked at Maimi and back at her boss. “Okay. Fine. See you later, boss.” And she left the room with heavy steps.
Maimi played with her hands. Tezuka’s eyes locked at hers but the two of them didn’t say anything. Maimi waved and sat on the couch.
“What’re you doing here?” Tezuka asked with his usual business voice.
“Hmm…watching you work? I don’t have anything to do actually,” Maimi replied. She took off her high heels. “Uh, it hurts to wear such a thing.”
“You’re short. You need heels,” Tezuka snapped.
Maimi pouted. She lifted her left leg and put it on her right one. Tezuka noticed it was very sexy. He never knew well about her sexy side and he never knew too that she could be that sexy. He got to thanked Mrs. Suzuki for making a perfect dress.
“Where do we go to eat?” Maimi asked.
“You tell me this time.”
Maimi clapped her hands. “Okay! Let’s go catch some seafood!”