The newlyweds had just got back from eating lunch at a low quality seafood restaurant. When Maimi said catch some seafood, she really meant catch. Tezuka had to follow her direction until they arrived at a seafood restaurant nearby the low-price community area. Only people who worked at factories went there to eat.
Tezuka felt like an idiot. Maimi meant the catching thing literally when they had to catch their own seafood such as squibs, crabs, prawns, eels, and other fishes. A guy wearing perfect suit along with his wife in gorgeous office dress eating at a seafood restaurant like that was like a psycho.
Even during eating, a live crab landed on their table out of the sudden. The chef accidentally slipped his spatula. And it lost Tezuka’s appetite to continue eating so Maimi ate the two courses.
When they arrived back at the company, Tezuka felt much better to inhale the air-conditioner. Maimi went to the ladies so he got straight to his office. Reiya came to meet him.
“Hey, buddy!” he greeted.
Tezuka nodded, staring at his laptop screen. Reiya took out a thin square box wrapped with dark maroon papers and he lent it. “Here, for Maimi. I can’t seem to meet her since she’s….everywhere.”
Tezuka received it and put in on his desk. “She’s a walking statue. A stiff lady who loves to walk to somewhere she doesn’t need to.”
Reiya bent down to meet with the stern and cold eyes. “Of course she is. You, make her.”
Tezuka glared at him. Suddenly, he remembered that he had a plan for Maimi tonight. He had decided to do something for her and with her but when he studied his body in the men’s this morning, he needed to sharpen more.
“Rei, do you go to the gym recently?” he asked.
Reiya twirled a pencil that he took from a stationary container on the desk. “Not without you. Thank you for asking. Let’s go hit the gym, buddy! It’s been a while.”
Yes, let’s go hit the lady. He told himself. What he meant by hitting the lady was getting near Maimi so as she had mentioned that she wanted to touch his six-pack, then he will.
There were dozens of rose bouquets placed on the carpeted floor of Maimi’s office room. She chocked, wondering who gave her those.
“Of course it’s from Nezumi! Wow! Roses!” she said out loud, stepping inside. Now she knew why the other workers outside kept looking and smiling at her as if she had won a reward to Paris. “Roses!”
Maimi bent down to smell the scent. “Um,” she said dreamily. “Roses.”
She saw a small card on top of the roses and read it. It was written ‘Happy Birthday, Mai-chan. From Andrew.’
“Andrew?” she whispered herself. “Andrew gave me these? Oh, it’s such an honour!”
“Who gave you that thing?” a harsh and cold voice of a guy that she recognized came as soon as the door was opened.
Maimi turned to see Tezuka’s angry face as usual when he discovered something wrong. Something that he didn’t like. “Nezumi! Look at all these roses! Andrew gave me these.”
Tezuka banged the door shut. He neared her making her pasted against the wall with a rose in her right hand. He leaned forward until their faced were close enough for Maimi to feel his warmth breath over her skin.
“Why did you take it?” he asked, eyeing her with those hard look. He was clenching his fists.
Maimi gulped. “I-I-didn’t know. I-I-came here and there’re roses!” Then she laughed.
Tezuka inched closer and their noses touched. “Do not accept anything from him, understand?! You can only accept things from me!”
Maimi swallowed and she threw the rose away. “Don’t be mad, Nezumi-chan,” she told him in a soft voice. “It’s my birthday. I can accept anything, right?”
“But not from that Andrew thing,” Tezuka blathered. Maimi blinked and nodded.
Tezuka backed away. “We’re going home early today. Here.” He took out money from his pocket and lent it to her. “Go shopping.”
Maimi sighed with relief after she received the money and Tezuka exited the room. She studied the money and it was real. She was thinking of going out with Peppei and had a good shopping trip for the first time. She gripped the money and stood on the coffee table. “
“This is the best birthday ever!” she shouted.
“Hey, take a break will you?” Reiya asked, leaning one hand against a pillar beside an ab wheels at the gym that evening. “You’re going to break your abs if you keep on pushing yourself to the limit.”
Tezuka sighed as he rested. He had been sweating as much as a pail of water since he started to warm-up and building his six-pack back. He had kept that abs since high school and he was very popular with his perfect body. Right now, he wanted to make it more like a body builder for the upcoming night.
“Tell me, why are you so into it? I mean coming to the gym,” Reiya asked. He gulped a bottle of cold water and wiped his mouth with his upper skin of his hands. “I see that you’re very busy this week.”
“As if you don’t know our gym time,” Tezuka blurted, getting up to his feet and snatched a clean towel from the equipment. “We used to go to gym whenever we feel like it, isn’t it?”
Reiya punched his friend’s forearm kiddingly and nodded. “I know that. It’s just that you’ve been acting like a stranger today.”
I am. Tezuka whispered to himself. He felt attracted to Maimi today when she wore that gorgeous tight-waist office suit for her birthday. Her figure was very seductive and the way her body waved when she walked. He never realized she could be that sexy. Before this, Maimi had always sneaking into his room during midnight to sleep with him but he had locked his door.
Besides, he promised to grant his grandfather’s wish about wanting to see a great grandchild as soon as possible since he was becoming weak and could die anytime. Who knew what would happen. As a married couple, they should have an intimate time together.
Tezuka grabbed a bottle of water from his backpack and drank it. He swallowed the drink hardly while looking at his bare body in the wide mirror. His chocolate abs shown enough more than he wished to make. Some of the girls in the gym whispered with each other about him. They liked him.
Reiya cleared his throat and put an arm around Tezuka’s neck. “I know what you’re thinking, buddy,” he began. “I really am.”
“I can’t believe he let you shop,” Peppei said almost like shouting in the middle of the shoe store. The counter girl kept glaring at her.
Maimi was trying a pair of wedges from Vincci. “Yeah, he did. So, I ask you out to accompany me. You should buy too. My treat.”
Peppei smiled. “Thank you, Mai-chan, I appreciate that but isn’t it a bit….weird that he let you go out and shop? He even lent you money because all he could think is work.”
“Pei-chan, it’s a good thing that he changed,” Maimi assured her, studying the wedges on her feet. “Besides, it’s my birthday so maybe he wanted to do something for me.”
“Yeah, I hope so,” Peppei said. She yanked herself next to Maimi and looked at her feet. “Are you going to purchase that?”
Maimi glanced at her. “Yes. I like it. It has black and white stripes. And it makes me look taller.”
“Of course high heels make you look taller,” Peppei teased. She looked around the place. “I can’t seem to find the right shoes for me.”
“Let me help you,” Maimi said, standing up. She was still wearing that wedges and a salesgirl saw it. She neared Maimi.
“Um, excuse me, miss. If you’re not buying those, please take them off,” the salesgirl ordered with a blather tone.
“She’s not a miss,” a manly voice was heard. “And I’ll pay for that.”
Both Maimi and Peppei were surprised to see Andrew. He took out a credit card and gave it to the salesgirl. She left. Andrew faced the two fellows. “Salesgirl can be so rude nowadays.”
Maimi nodded. “I can see that. Thank you, Andrew but I can pay for that.”
Andrew held out his right hand gently. “It’s okay. It’s a gift from me.”
Peppei eyed at the two of them quizzically. “You guys know each other?”
“Oh, sorry, Pei-chan! He’s Tezuka’s childhood friend, Andrew. Andrew, Peppei. Peppei, Andrew,” Maimi introduced. “He’s the one who gave me the roses.” She turned at him with a cute smile. “Thank you for the roses. I like it.”
“Don’t mention it,” Andrew said, returning his charming smile.
Peppei nudged Maimi’s elbow. Maimi shrugged. “What?”
“Tezuka’s childhood friend?” Peppei asked.
“Yes, I just got back from France a few weeks ago,” Andrew answered. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Peppei blushed. “Yes, it is. What’re you doing here?”
“I help my uncle with his publishing thing and I do invest into Tezuka’s company.”
Peppei nodded eagerly. “That’s nice.”
“Here’s your credit card, sir. Thank you for coming,” the salesgirl said. Andrew received it and sucked it into his pocket jeans. He turned back at the two ladies.
“Hey, let’s have a break at Baskin Robbins.”
There was gauzy, light blue table linen cloth covering the dining table with two candles. There were also a small plate on one side and another on the other side. Tezuka put a big cheesecake like he bought last two days and put it in the middle of the table. He was trying to be romantic and he took the tips from a magazine he bought in secret after the gym time.
Tezuka was not a guy with romance. He did not buy roses, he did not make candlelight dinner, he did not care about his partner’s feelings and he loved living alone. But that night was different. He was being different. After making Maimi waiting so long to spend time together with him in a room, he decided to break the rule.
Tezuka was feeling a bit uneasy after arranging the table. He wanted to throw the things into the rubbish bin and just let that cheesecake on the table. “Yes,” he said. He grabbed the candles and dumped them into the sink. Then, he carefully took the tablecloth like a pro without turning the cake and the plates down. There, he felt much better.
It was already past nine at night. He had waited for an hour but Maimi hadn’t called him. He didn’t want to text her because he didn’t want to make himself like a fool. He had a high egoism. Tezuka flipped through some files at the coffee table.
She’ll be back. She won’t be wandering around too much. He consoled himself.
Suddenly, he was instinctively wanted to look at the balcony. He got up and went there. Before he could look around, there was a silver Porsche pulled into a stop and a girl with many ponytails came out of the car. She bent down and waved at the person who drove from the passenger seat window. She watched the car reversed and left the place.
Tezuka’s heart beat slowly. Maimi didn’t have a friend that has a silver car like that. As long as he knew, Maimi’s only friend, Peppei was as the same rate as her. She worked at a saloon and walked there. So, it was impossible for her to have that car.
Tezuka waited for the front door to be knocked. After a few minutes, the door was knocked softly. He got up abruptly, walked there and opened the door. Maimi’s big eyes blinked. She smiled.
Tezuka looked at her from head to toe. He had to admit that she still looked gorgeous. He crossed his hands at his chest. “What took you so long? I don’t see shopping bags.”
It was true. Maimi didn’t bring any shopping bags. She pointed at her feet. “I bought wedges.”
Tezuka looked at her wedges. Then, he turned back at her with his cold eyes. “Whose car is that?”
Maimi entered and put down her handbag on the couch. She sat down with a relief sigh. “That’s Andrew. He offers me a ride home.”
The front door was slammed shut like a bomb. He stood right beside the dining table. “You can call me, you know.”
Maimi was taking off her belt. “I don’t want to trouble you. You must be busy.”
Tezuka sighed deeply. He took a few steps closer. “I’ve told you not to accept things from him, remember?!” His voice was high and mad. His forehead formed wrinkles.
Maimi gulped. She stopped touching her belt and backed away against the couch. “I do! I do! But he’s nice and fine.”
“He’s not nice. He used to be my best friend. Used!” he shouted. “And I don’t want you to get near him!”
Tears were starting to flood in Maimi’s eyes. “But he’s my friend too!”
Tezuka glared at her as if she was a stranger. He leaned forward with those hardcore look. “What did you say?!”
Maimi screamed, defending herself with both hands. She finally cried. Tezuka was shocked. He was shocked of himself being like that to Maimi. It was her birthday and he had set a cheesecake just for her at the dining table.