ITSUJITA ~ C43
Chapter 43: For the sake of everyone
That night, I told Aina that I would live with her.
I stayed up all night planning countermeasures.
There is one problem that may happen if Aina and her mother move in here.
That is when I return to my Grandma's house.
I usually return to my Grandma's house at night.
After the store closes, I lock the door and go to my room on the 2nd floor.
From there, I open the sliding door that only I can see (it keeps following behind me) and return to my Grandma's house.
Of course, during that time I won't be in this world.
If I live with Aina and her mother, they might wonder why I'm not in my room.
To avoid this problem, I came up with an idea.
"I can just sleep over here."
So, it's a simple solution.
Except for shopping for goods, I used to go home only to sleep.
If necessary, I can go back to my Grandma's house after Aina and her Mom go to bed.
Besides, Karen often invites me to the city hall. Ryer also often invites me to drink until morning, and I often find myself covered in vomit.
There are many chances to go back to Grandma's house.
I am in a good mood even though I hadn't slept a wink to think of that solution.
Before I open my store, I hum to myself as I put the goods I brought from Japan on the shelves.
"Good morning, Shirou Onii-chan."
The doorbell rang and Aina walked into the store.
Our most beloved mascot girl is coming to work.
I turn around and greet Aina.
"Good morning, Aina-cha... Eh?! Stella-san?"
I noticed that Stella is behind her.
Stella smiles gently and gives a small bow.
"Good morning. Shirou-san."
"Oh, good morning."
"I'm sorry for coming here so suddenly. ......"
Stellar looks apologetic.
I hurriedly shake my head.
"No, it's fine. Please come inside. It's a little messy before the store opens....... please come in."
"Mom, come in, come in."
"Well then, excuse me."
"Please have a seat."
Stella walks into my store and sits down on the chair I've prepared for her.
After recovering from her illness, Stella is completely healthy now.
Her skin is glowing, and her body is a little plumper and healthier than when I first met her.
She's a beautiful woman who doesn't look like she has an eight-year-old daughter.
I poured some tea from the thermos into a cup and gave it to Stella.
"Now that Stella-san is here, could it possibly that you want to talk about that thing?"
When I asked this question, Aina opened her mouth before Stella could answer.
"Shirou Onii-chan, listen! Mom is against the idea of us living here together!"
"Yeah, really! Shirou Onii-chan, please convince Mom to accept that idea! Let's live here together!"
Aina puffed up her cheeks and looked a bit upset.
On the other hand, Stella's face looks troubled.
"Don't do this, Aina. We can't stay here. It would be a problem for Shirou-san."
Stella scolded her.
"Shirou Onii-chan, is that true?"
Her innocent eyes turned to me.
And it looks like she's about to cry.
"I don't feel bothered at all."
"Come on! Shirou Onii-chan said he doesn't feel bothered!
Aina looks up at Stella.
Stella shakes her head quietly.
"Aina, adults have certain circumstances that children don't understand."
"What? What do you mean by circumstances?
"When an adult man and woman live together...... There are a lot of things."
"A lot of things?"
Aina tilts her head, and Stella smiles at her.
"Aina, the only time a man and a woman can live together as adults are when they are married."
Aina made a loud voice.
I see. It's all about public opinion.
Aina and her Mom, a single mother with a single child. If they live together with me, who doesn't even have a girlfriend.
What will the townspeople think when they see us in such a situation?
I don't care what they say about me.
I'm sure they think I'm just a weird merchant who sells mysterious goods.
But, I don't want them to look at Stella in a strange way.
I don't know how old Stella is, but she is very beautiful.
If she and Aina wish to marry again, surely she can find many potential partners who are willing to marry her.
However, it's a different story if I'm living with her.
It might cause misunderstandings and take away her chance to marry again.
It is natural for Stella to against that idea.
But if I told that to an eight-year-old girl like Aina, would she understand?
"Yes, married. If we live together, Shirou-san won't be able to get married."
I blinked at Stella's words.
It's not her, but me?
Is she worrying about me?
"Shirou Onii-chan won't be able to...... get married?"
"Yes, that's right."
"That's the ...... problem?"
Stella pats Aina's head.
"Because of us, Shirou-san may lose his chance to meet a wonderful woman. Aina, are you OK with that?"
"Then, then, Mom and Shirou Onii-chan should get married!"
Stella-san was surprised by her unexpected statement.
I was even more surprised.
"Wha, what are you saying all of a sudden, Aina? Me and Shirou-san....?
Stella's face turns red, and she is stunned.
"Hey, Shirou Onii-chan! Please marry my Mom!"
Aina holds my hand tightly with both of her hands.
"My mom is very beautiful, right?"
"And she is very kind, so I'm sure Shirou Onii-chan will love her too! So please! Please marry my mother!"
"Aina, you mustn't trouble Shirou-san!"
Stella is panicking.
But Aina doesn't back down.
"Shirou Onii-chan, is it OK with you? Please marry my Mom."
"Ahaha. Aina-chan, I can't do that."
"You don't like my Mom?"
"No. It's not like that. I think she is very kind and beautiful."
I crouched down and made eye contact with Aina.
"I have never been married before, so I don't know much about it, but marriage is for lovers who love each other. It's not something that can be decided so easily. Do you understand?"
Aina nodded her head.
"Thank you for understanding. And Stella-san..."
"Don't worry about me. I don't think it's a problem for me to live with you two. Besides..."
She stopped at that point and rubbed her cheeks to hide her embarrassment.
"I'm really enjoying my business, and I'm not thinking about getting married or having a girlfriend for the time being. In fact, it's because I'm single that I can devote myself to my business. So if you don't mind, why don't you come and live with me on the 2nd floor of this store?"
"You know, if we live on the 2nd floor of this store, we can spend more time together. Aina has already told you, right? I'm happier when I'm with Mom."
"Well...... are you sure, Aina?"
"Yeah. Aina, I'm happy to be with Mom."
"Yes. Mom is also happy to be with Aina."
Stella gently hugs Aina.
Seeing the affectionate hug between mother and child makes my heart warm.
"Shirou-san, are you sure we won't bothering you?"
"I'll say it again, I won't be bothered at all."
"...... If you live with this auntie, people might have some weird misunderstandings about you."
"No way... Stella-san, what makes you an auntie?"
"I am an auntie...... I'm already 26 years old."
"If you're a 26-year-old auntie, then I'm a 25-year-old uncle."
"Hee! Shirou-san, are you 25 years old? You're one year younger than me. I thought you are much younger......"
"I'm sorry for my baby face. Well, I still think I'm young, and by my standards, Stella-san is still young too. So don't call yourself auntie anymore, OK?"
"...... I understand."
Stella nodded with a somewhat embarrassed look on her face, then...
"Thank you, Shirou-san. I'll accept your invitation then. I will be in your care from now on."
"Shirou Onii-chan, Aina will be in your care too!"
In this way, it was decided that I would live with Aina and her mother, Stella.