~Chapter 5~ Part 5
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It was still in the late afternoon when I got home. Originally I planned on going on a shopping spree after school, but the princess’ challenge and the aftermath torpedoed my plans. Maybe on the weekend; I decided after throwing my bag into a corner in the living room. Then I wondered; just how much foodstuff did I have anyway?

My brief inventory of the fridge and the cupboards revealed a new and baffling fact: The place was stocked. And I don’t just mean I still had a lot of food left; the fridge was literally stocked with fresh milk and ingredients. Not only that, but the trashcan was also emptied and the mess I made with flour the day before was completely gone too. It was as if someone had cleaned and replenished the place while I was away. Maybe my non-existent parents weren’t so non-existent after all?

No, this was different; I concluded after returning to the living room. While the place was cleaned, the paperwork I gathered the first day was still stacked exactly the same way I left it. Not only that, but my room was also in the same condition I left it. There also wasn’t any message or sign of life left behind. That could only mean one thing…

“The zombie maids are also ninjas!”

I nodded to myself and smiled ruefully. For some reason the idea didn’t seem half as silly as it should have. But then again, there was another possibility.

“Maybe the world removes clutter after a while and resets when no one is looking. Maybe to reduce resource usage?” I pondered as I grabbed hold of my notes to make some new entries. While I was at it I also noted some of the events with the princess. “Now that I think about it, I never really asked if she was an ‘actual’ princess or only metaphorically. Like a ‘yakuza-princess’ or the daughter of some CEO…”

After I made a reminder to myself to ask her about it when I would return her shoe, I finally rested my backside against the comfy sofa in the living room and let out a breath of delight. I allowed myself a brief break, during which I absently stared at the ceiling and let my thoughts run free. It only took a few minutes, but it felt really reinvigorating. Finally I stood back up, grabbed an industrial-sized cookie-jar filled with chocolate chips from the kitchen counter and returned to my room to begin my main task for the evening: transcribing my notes to the computer.

In retrospect, I suppose I should have written them there in the first place, but then I would have also needed a separate way to make quick notes on the fly during school. Maybe I should get one of those handy tablets? Or stay analog and just get one of those pocked-notes old-timey journalists carried all the time? Decisions for another time.

Once I arrived in my room I placed the cookie-jar onto the left of my PC desk, my notebook onto the right and I limbered up my fingers in preparation for a lot of typing. Then I froze mid-motion and looked at the random page where my notebook opened. It was the one dealing with the observations I penned the first day, most of which today’s revelation proved to be misinterpretations, but there was one entry in particular that made me stop in my tracks. It had a huge question mark at the end that made it jump out from the rest and it read ‘Idiot Friend: Joshua?’

Now I knew that I was really off the mark with that one. Josh was obviously the hero of the story, which also meant I wasn’t. Then the gears in my brain began creaking again and I could feel my eyes open wider than I ever thought possible.

“Oh my god… Oh. My. God!”

For a moment I almost felt faint and had to grab hold of the desk for support, but there was no question about it. Josh is the hero. The hero always has a male friend tagging along for comic relief. I am his only male friend. Q.E.D…

“I AM THE IDIOT FRIEND?!”

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