Side: Toru Nakamura
“Goodness! Toru, you look dashing!!”
My mother greeted me with a squeezing hug as I got off the limo, accompanied by Akio, Eiji and Shizuka.
“Mum, it’s embarrassing when you do this.”
I mumbled, there were no guests at the banquet yet. My parents were here first, because they were one of the sponsors for this banquet.
“Good afternoon, Nakamura-san and Yoko-san.”
“Good afternoon to you too, Akio-Kun!”
Akio greeted them with a slight bow, and was replied with my mother’s enthusiastic greeting.
“Nice to meet you, Yoko-san.”
“Likewise! Son of Haru-kun, right!”
“Nice to meet you as well, Yoko-san.”
“Ah, so cute!!! Can I hug you for a bit.”
My mother’s eyes sparkled as she laid her eyes on Shizuka, who was somewhat trembling from her gaze. I whispered in her ear.
“My mother’s a brain dead fan of yours.”
“Can I? Can I?”
Mother was still staring at her glossy silver-white hair, and her hands were itching to touch them.
“Yoko, please refrain from touching my daughter.”
A youthful voice spoke from behind my mother. The voice came from a man in his twenties, he had glasses and his eyes were the same sapphire blue as Shizuka’s.
“Mouu, at least let your high school friend dote on your precious daughter!”
“Raden-san is right, you shouldn’t touch others like that.”
Both Shizuka and I said at the same time. The two men that had stopped my mother were the head of the Nakamura family — Grey Nakamura and the ‘fashion king’ — Raden Tsukihara.
Compared to Raden Tsukihara, my father looked a lot older, his hair was a little grey and wrinkles were visible under his eyes. I had heard from their conversation that Raden Tsukihara was their high school friend, so he should be in his forties right now.
“Shizuka, long time no see. Since you’ve moved away.”
“Eh? Raden-kun’s daughter also lived on her own? Our son had recently moved out and was living on his own as well!”
“Oh? I see.”
Raden kept his face expressionless, which was similar to the face Shizuka made when she was flustered or mad. On him, it looked as if he wasn’t surprised.
“Our previous house was far from his high school, so we selected a luxurious flat on Penny Road!”
“Really? Shizuka’s living there as well!”
Raden seemed more interested now. Oh no, now they’re going to find out that we were living together. I took a glance at Shizuka, she was looking panicked as well.
“Um...so this is…”
Raden went back to the matter at hand and asked us.
“I’m Toru Nakamura. Pleased to meet you.”
“Eiji Haru, nice to meet you.”
“Akio Shin, long time no see, oji-Chan!”
Looks like Akio knew him alright, it wasn’t surprising, considering that his family were outgoing people. They probably have at least five friends from different cities.
“Yes, long time no see. You’re Toru-kun, right? I have only seen you when you were still an infant.”
“Yes, it’s nice to see you.”
“You can call me oji-Chan as well. You too, Eiji-kun, your parents were close acquaintances of mine.”
“Yes, it’s a pleasure.”
We both bowed our heads awkwardly.
“By the way, son. You dressed up normally today.”
“Ah yes, it was all thanks to Tsukihara-san.”
Raden threw Shizuka a strange look, who averted her eyes. He then beamed at me. Shizuka looked as if she was about to throw her father deep into the ocean and feed him to the sharks.
“Shizuka told me that she wouldn’t dress up Arata because she had to leave the first time for her husband.”
“That...that was because I was lazy!!”
“Oh is that so.”
Shizuka’s face was beet red and punched her father repeatedly. I turned my head away and scratched my chin, embarrassed. Eiji and Akio seemed to be curious about the avenue and went to check it out. The happiest would probably be my mother.
“Really? Really? I look toward to being family, Raden-kun.”
She bowed her head, Raden did the same.
“Not everyone passes my test for becoming the spouse for my beloved daughter, Yoko-san.”
“Hey hey, both of you, please calm down.”
Looks like Raden would become cheery when it comes to his daughter.
“Let’s go in.”
Shizuka acts as if she’s used to her father being like this, and that there’s no way to stop him now. We left the adults talking and walked towards the entrance, which had an arch of white roses.
“Please draw a wristband from these boxes, the wristbands for females will be in the pink box, while the one for males would be in the blue box.”
A female attendant took our invitations and showed us the two boxes. Did I mistake it, or had she blushed when she looked at me?
“What are these for?”
I asked as I drew one and braided it on my wrist.
“It’s against the rules to answer, I’m sorry.”
“Oh, it’s fine.”
I passed by the entrance and stepped into the avenue with Shizuka.
After a while, the hall was crowded with people.
I had let me hair down, the only reason was because I looked at the mirror.
There was no particular bad at looking at the mirror, but once I noticed my cat-like eyes, I decided to let my hair down.
I’m more of a dog person. But there’s more reason behind to why I didn’t like my eyes, but that would be another story in another chapter.
“Seems to me that you were indeed flocked by many women, Nakamura-san.”
“Likewise, you have your share of men, Tsukihara-san.”
We smiled at each other, but our eyes weren’t smiling. It would be exaggerating if we say that we’re jealous, we just didn’t like the feeling of having our ex boyfriend/girlfriend being too close to other people of the opposite sex.
As to the reason why many women flock around me would be because of my status in the business compartment, I doubt I would even be noticed if I weren’t the heir to the Nakamura family.
“Is that wine?”
I asked as I noticed the cup of purple-red liquid in Shizuka’s left hand.
“Kind of, it tastes like wine, but with no alcohol.”
“Can I try a sip?”
She passed the cup to me and I took a sip. Sour, yet tasty. I raised my head and saw Shizuka’s flustered face.
She muttered something. I could feel my face heating up. Just as I was about to break down from embarrassment, I was saved by the broadcasting system.
“Dear ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour to have you all here with us, blah blah blah. We shall now progress ourselves to the first session of the party. I’m sure everyone has a wristband attached to their wrists. A minute later, the wristband will show a number, and two people with the same number will become partners for this party! Please look forward to it!”
The hall buzzed with excitement after the broadcast. Sure enough, a number appeared on the electronic wristband.
A voice and I said at the same time, I know that voice very well. I smiled awkwardly at the lady in front of me.
“Guess we are partners, Tsukihara-san.”
The lady in front of me didn’t seem excited, her face was expressionless. Finally, she smiled and said.
“...I’ll be in your care.”
There won’t be romance in the next chapter, sorry.