-16- Unexpected Confirmation of Feelings
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Ogata Saiyuri

It took a second to figure out who did the screaming.

It was me.

Even though Saiyuri has been somewhat unreserved around me, the fact that she was completely naked and in front of my eyes at the moment was a bit too much for me to handle. I quickly turned around and began to lecture her about decency. But she had her own rebuttal ready go immediately after.

“Hanapi… what’s the big deal?  I already explained to you that we’re both girls, and it’s perfectly fine.  You’ve given me a kiss, I’ve given you a kiss.  You’ve touched my boobs, and rubbed my butt.  What’s seeing a little exposed skin going to do at this point?”

“…s-still…” My argument felt weak now that she said that.

“Have I pressured you to do anything outside of your comfort zone at all since you arrived here?”

I shook my head.  She really hadn’t.  I’m the one who was pushing my weirdness on her, asking her about stuff like how soft different parts of women are, and how a kiss feels… It was Saiyuri who helped me answer those questions in a safe and secure way.

I felt two arms wrap around me and the warmth of a body fresh out of a hot bath pass right through my clothes. It gave me goosebumps and made me quite conscious of her.

“Am I any different from you?  I’m a woman too, I just happen to be a little older!  I’ve got all the same parts you have, and if there’s something you are curious about, then you can look all you want.”

“…but…” I tried to interject, even though I didn’t have a counterpoint to offer.

“I don’t know what you’re thinking exactly, but if you try and make the excuse that it’s because 「you’re weird」 and are worried I would mind about such things… you’re dead wrong.”

“EH?”

I felt her soft lips kiss me on the neck again, transmitting a delicious sensation almost directly to my brain.  How much did I like those kisses of hers?

“I’m also a teacher Hanabi, not just your roommate or your mother’s friend.  If you’re curious about a woman, I’ll help you understand all the things about another woman’s body you could possibly want to, until you’re comfortable with it.  If there’s a place you want to see, I’ll show you, and if there’s a place you want to touch, I’ll let you.  It’s better than you trying to sneak a look or cop a feel without permission… that will only lead to a bad habit developing.”

I felt terrible now.  Did she know I was stealing glimpses of her body while she was asleep?  I… I couldn’t help it though.  The way she dressed so scandalously at home all the time, it was impossible not to see those parts, even accidentally!

“…why?” I asked, not fully comprehending her reasons.

“Why am I offering to let you to see and touch me?”

“Yeah.  I don’t get it, Sacchan.  You keep using the fact that you and mom were friends and roommates to let me do stuff, and tell me stuff you two used to do so casually with each other… and now you’re saying it’s because you are a teacher, but… you don’t find it weird at all?”

“Not one bit.” She said confidently.

“So… why then?”

“Because, if you think wanting to know those things about other women is weird, then I can assure you that I am much, much weirder than you.”

Does she even know what I mean by being weird?

“I’m not doing any of this to tease you, Hanabi.  Eventually you’ll meet someone special and want to see their body.  Are you okay showing them this embarrassing reaction and making you both uncomfortable or ashamed?  That’s why I’ll always keep this offer on the table for you.  So that you can be confident instead of scared when that time in your life arrives for you.  It may be sooner, it may be later, who can say?”

Saiyuri was offering to let me explore her body whenever I wanted?  Does she not understand that it… doesn’t make me uncomfortable or ashamed?  It’s the exact opposite for me!

A beautiful older woman with a killer body?  I know she’s mom’s long time friend… but… what if… like… I… end up doing… something I shouldn’t?

She released me from her hug, and the comfortable warmth she gave off soon began to trickle away from my clothes.

“Anyway, I’ll go put on something so you can relax.   Just… count to ten before you turn around or you’ll only be catching the sight of my fantastic butt!”

Before turning around, I counted to ten in my mind.

…really fast.

Sure enough, I caught sight of exactly what she said I would as she walked right into her room and closed the door behind her.  She was so curvy and I couldn’t help but be grateful to the goddess of yuri for making such a splendid looking woman for me to see the butt of.

It was frustrating to me, though.  It’s not like I didn’t want to look at her body as much as possible.  I really wanted to!  But… why doesn’t she understand that wanting to look at her body is the thing that makes me weird in the first place!  

I… like it!

I like waking up next to her, being kissed by her, touching her soft skin… I like all of it!

It’s… all so perfect.

It’s like what Mai had described of her encounter with her senpai.  To me, right now Saiyuri is that long Tetris piece that makes everything click.  Not like Yumi who after my mess-up became a square block that couldn’t fit into my life properly anymore.  

But, why can’t she also understand that it’s the very same thing that scares me?  What if she… doesn’t wonder about women in the same way I do?  It’s one thing to be curious… but even I know my curiosity… is a bit more than I’ve let on to her about it being.

I walked over to the couch and collapsed.  The fatigue I felt in that few moments with Saiyuri was more than all that I did yesterday.  I was feeling so good after visiting Chiya-chan’s this morning and now I am all stirred up inside!  The hug I got from Chiya-chan at her house was refreshing, but the hug I just received from Saiyuri…

I totally wanna blast off!

I kicked my feet on the couch, having no outlet other then making a fool of myself by squealing.  How can I think of Saiyuri this way?  I’m such an idiot!  I’m only… a kid to her!  Saiyuri’s old enough to be my mom, too!

…wait.  Why am I panicking?

My thoughts were racing in every direction all at once.  I needed to calm down.  Saiyuri was absolutely right though, she never once pressured me into doing anything.  She always waited for me to make the first move in anything I was curious about.

Thinking there could be anything between us… it’s crazy.

I’m crazy.

She’s just trying to do exactly what she said.  To do the things my mom couldn’t.  Letting her daughter do such things because she was curious… like kissing and… touching… how could my mom ever allow that between us?  Did I ever think to ask mom about these things?  Of course not!  Mom’s normal!

It’s only Saiyuri who can do these things with me because she isn’t blood related to me.

ARGH!!!

I punched the back of the couch I was laying on a couple of times.

What should I do then?  It made a little sense now, but that left me wondering… was Mom aware all this time about me?  If so, and she thought Saiyuri could help…?

I sat up from the couch and walked over to her room, knocking on the door.

“Sacchan?”

“Come in.”

I turned the knob to see her standing in front of her mirror in nothing but her underwear and a pair of ankle socks.  She was in the middle of drying her hair a little more with a towel.

“Sacchan… I… have something important to ask you.”

“Go ahead, kiddo.” She said, appraising herself in the mirror.  At least in underwear I could hold on to reason when viewing her somehow.

“Are you doing this because mom asked you to?”

“Why would you think that?”

“Well, I mean… the stuff you just said… that’s not stuff I could ever do with mom…”

“Ah.”

“Ah?”

“Do you think Kaede put me up to any of this, by chance?”

“I… I don’t know!”

Saiyuri walked over to me and knelt down, taking both of my hands in hers.

“It’s true to a point.  Kaede and I talked about you, about how you think your so-called behavior is weird, and she was worried.  She was worried you would have a difficult time in Tono exploring that side of yourself openly.  That’s a part of the reason she let you come to stay with me.”

“But… my weird side is weird… isn’t it?”

Saiyuri shook her head and gently caressed my hands.

“There’s nothing weird about it, Hanapi.  It’s just a part of you growing up.  It’s normal to be interested in things, whether it’s the opposite sex, or the same sex.  This is the time in your life when a lot of questions will be asked, and answers learned whether you are comfortable with them or not.  It just so happened to be that Kaede thought I would be able to help you out more easily than she could, as well as having you live in a city where it’s much easier and less problematic to find the answers to all your questions.”

“Less problematic?”

“Did you ever feel that Tono had people that thought similarly to you?  You already know how your friend Yumi-chan felt about your thoughts on the matter, right?”

I know… how Yumi felt about it… about me.

“I also have the same curiosity you do.”

“…about girls?”

Saiyuri nodded.

“I have those kinds of thoughts all the time.”

“EH? S-So… does Sacchan… um… like girls?”

“I do.”

“And mom knows this?”

“Of course she does.”

“Then… does she think I also like girls… that way?”

“Kaede thinks you’re at the age where that’s a question you will start to find the answer of.  Whether it’s just a period of curiosity for you right now or if it’s something more that’s truly a part of you, is something you will have to realize on your own.”

“Sacchan… what if… I do?  I-I mean… I like reading books and manga about girls being together, and I even think about it… sometimes.  Like in the real world.”

She pressed her head against my chest and hugged my waist.  Was it really okay for me to reveal the depths of my weirdness to Sacchan?  Even now… even as she was hugging me in the barest minimum of clothes, I who was in turmoil, afraid to open up seriously, was excited.  Her beautiful hair, still damp… a pleasant scent from the herbal shampoo she used.  I wanted to sniff her hair, I wanted to run my fingers through her wet and clumped tresses.

“I can hear your heart beating fast, Hanapi.  Are you happy right now?  We’re both women, alone in a room embracing each other, and at least one of us definitely likes the other because she is a soft and beautiful girl with very kissable lips.”

“S-Sacchan… I…”  I was scared to say it.  You knew I liked you, didn’t you?

“My heart beat like that too… with my first time.  It’s okay to feel this way right now, Hanapi.  If these feelings of yours change later, then that’s fine, too.  For me, my feelings never changed once I understood clearly… that I could only ever be with a woman.”

“Only ever with a woman… you?”

“Yeah.  I just never clicked with boys the way I do with girls.  I tried it once.  It was after your mom left to go to Tono… when she found out she was going to have you.  I was confused for a while.  But… holding hands with a man, kissing a man… it just never felt quite right.  It didn’t make my heart race, and that’s when I was certain.  I couldn’t be like Kaede, I… wouldn’t have a child of my own after rolling around in a bed or some tall field of grass with a man… because I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“But… if it was with a woman… you could?” I inquired, interested to know her thoughts.

“Well, can you imagine it?  Rolling around in a field with a sweaty guy who might have a body full of muscles, holding his calloused hands and enjoying him whispering sweet things into your ears trying to make you fall head over heels for him?”

I closed my eyes… sadly the only boy to come to mind was Sosuke, but… while I could see Yumi and him doing that… I couldn’t… imagine it being me.

“Now, what if it was someone like Narita-san, or your tall friend, Matsuri-san instead?”

“…”

It was far easier when she said the names of my friends.  

With Mai, I could see her easily taking the lead in that grassy field.  My body is pinned down underneath her quickly.  She is holding my hands over my head and kissing me deeply… I’m not in control but I’m so thrilled as she leads me with her experience.  

With Chiya-chan it’s the opposite.  She’s shy and scared, but I’m like Chisato from DekaYome.  I’m the courageous one with experience, whispering comforting words to stoke her confidence that she’s a beautiful girl as one of my hands holds one of her braided pigtails and I feel the soft texture of it under my thumb… I watch as her tall body trembles when I begin to coax the pink hoodie off of her body…!

My arms flung themselves around the back of Saiyuri’s head right then.  That delusion was a bit much!

“…Hanapi?” She called my name in a soft voice.

I couldn’t answer her right away.

No, I couldn’t answer her at all, because the only thing I could do right then was sob.  Tears and snot poured from my face because she had read me like an open book, probably from the first day she met me.  She had already understood me… completely.

Saiyuri let me cry, never moving, never loosening her hold on me for even a moment.  She had to have known… how I felt about her, and she still let me be selfish.  I had cried so much I was almost hysterical.

When I finally ran out of energy… I fell backwards onto her bed.

“Feel a little better?” She asked me in a comforting way.

I sniffled just a little bit.

“When… did you know I liked you… like that?”

She was lying next to me on her side, looking at my sloppy face now, with her head resting on her hand and smiling.

“Didn’t have a clue you liked me.”

“EH?  But you said… one of us liked the other… because she was a soft and beautiful girl… with…”

Suddenly she moved to kiss me.  Just a soft kiss on the lips, but her eyes stared deeply into mine.

“I was talking about myself, you know?”

EH!?

Wh…

WHAAAAA!?

“…me?  Sacchan likes me?”

“What’s not to like?  I have a beautiful young woman who looks so much like my Kaede, but is also so very different.  She cooks me delicious food, cleans my house, takes care of me when I’m tired and sore, has such soft and springy skin that is always warm when I hold it… and then she wants to steal lewd glances of my beautiful bod all the time!  Why wouldn’t I be totally smitten with someone who makes me feel so special?  It’s like I have a wonderful young bride~”

It was hard to believe she was being serious.

I mean, my mother’s older beautiful teacher friend who I’m rooming with and have totally been crushing on… said she likes me?  There’s no way, right?  I thought the bride thing was just a joke because she doesn’t know how to do anything domestic…?

“Are you… being for real, Sacchan?”

“Does it make you uncomfortable?”

“N-no!  I… it’s just that Sacchan is so beautiful, and me, I’m just… Hanabi.”

“Do you think there is some hidden qualification to be liked by another person?”

“…I don’t know?  Don’t you have to confess and stuff?”

“Wasn’t that what I just did?”

“EH!?”

Her hand gently stroked my cheek, which was wet from earlier tears.  The sensations from the tips of her fingers did nothing to calm me.  They only riled me up further.

“You are too adorable when you’re a nervous wreck.”

Was she teasing me now?  I felt like this was more than mixed signals.  Wait, did I even know if it was a signal in the first place?

“Sacchan… w-what if I… liked you too?”

“Hmm… that’s a good question.  I am probably unsuitable for Hanapi who is so capable at everything already… Plus I’m an old hag… and there’s another matter of course.  Keeping any and all of this a secret.”

“NO!  Sacchan… isn’t unsuitable or unattractive!  You’re so amazing… and… I wouldn’t tell anyone… and… and…!”

“…and?”

“…and I want to kiss you… again!”

We both stared into each other’s eyes, and I slowly drowned in my yuriness for her for what seemed like forever.  

Then she puffed her cheeks out, looking annoyed.

“…Well?  Are you going to kiss me or not?”

Yes, Ma’am!

With full permission, I kissed Saiyuri.  I kissed her hungrily, passionately, imagining she was the partner I was rolling around in that field of grass with.

She accepted my kisses and returned them as well.

I melted into a blob of pure happiness with Saiyuri, who I was now sure that I, one hundred percent, liked in that way.

Taking hold of my hand again, as our fingers intertwined, she brought our hands to our chests as she closed the distance between our bodies as we made out.

The back of my hand, pressed against the fabric of her bra and a bit of the bare skin not contained by it allowed me to feel her own heartbeat, just as she could probably feel mine, which had lost all control.  Beating like a taiko drum at a festival, I…

Didn’t feel weird.

Because… It wasn’t weird.

I wasn’t weird!

This… was normal.

My normal.

…our normal.

And it was because of Saiyuri… that I could finally say that out loud now.

Our kissing might have stopped some time later, but my feelings were rampaging inside of me for the rest of the night.  I couldn’t focus on anything.  Not cleaning, not watching television, not making dinner, and certainly not any homework.

I was both scared and excited at accepting my own feelings properly.

And when it came time for bed, I joined her in her room.

We continued from before, but I wanted to be as entangled in her as much as possible.  I wanted to feel her skin on my skin, and that’s when it happened.  I don’t think she even had a clue what it did to me at that moment…

But when I wrapped my legs around hers, her knee came up and brushed against my shorts in the space between my thigh before settling there.  Sending an unexpected jolt of something right up my spine and radiating outward to every corner of my body.

I’m already a little bit lewd, I admit it, however, I never expected this.  Saiyuri had not once touched a single inappropriate place on my body until that moment.  We only kissed and caressed, safely.

But with this accidental touch… was this how Mai felt when her Senpai grabbed her there in that classroom?  The moment that led to her knowing without a doubt that she… was a girl who likes girls?

Was it the same for me now?

That it’s no longer a weird intellectual curiosity… but a normal fact of life?

No matter what my feelings for her were, there is a hard limit to what Saiyuri can do with me, with her being an adult and me being a minor.  But, was I really in such a rush to do those things with her?

Even though some part of myself screamed it was, I was still happy enough to be able to be like this with her.  It was a fairytale moment for me.  I was like a princess, and Saiyuri was… well, also a princess, but like… the rescuing type of princess!

And she came to rescue me.  To rescue me from my rejection by Yumi… and rescue me from my much of my self-doubt.  I lay buried in her chest, our legs locked together, her finger twirling bits of my short hair turning me into a sleepy puddle of yuri right next to her.

But like all fairytales,

there is much more to the story.

I had no way of knowing at that time,

that we were only at the beginning of the fairytale.

Nor was I aware from that point

if this fairytale would have a happy ending.

All I cared about at that moment

was that Saiyuri accepted me.

And that for her…

My fuse would always be lit.

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