I had been with Akané for a while . . .
It was 6 months to the day.
Really? All I remember is that we had grown quite close by then. I thought about Akané often—would get that funny feeling in my gut and all, something which hadn’t happened since Mié. I realized it was getting high time to let Haruka go.
High time, Peadar! That’s rich.
Yes, well . . . eh, hem . . . Haruka and I had our fun together—even traveled to Tokyo Disneyland for New Year’s. But, while I liked Haruka, I had never really been head-over-heels in love with her. It’s just . . .
When you’ve been dumped yourself, and know how much it hurts, it’s not easy to do it to another person, especially someone you care about. I may not be the nicest person, but I’m not mean. I was hoping that our spending less and less time with each other . . .
Would lead to a natural end of the relationship.
It happens . . . And so, one night when Haruka was at my place, Akané called me up. I had always been careful to turn the sound of the phone off when I had either of them over to avoid this exact situation. But, for one reason or another, I had forgotten.
Akané had just gotten off work and was hoping to surprise you.
She surprised me, alright. The phone rang and my first reaction was to ignore it, just let it ring. But that would have looked suspicious.
So, you answered the phone and heard Akané’s voice.
And she said something like, “I got off early today, can I come . . .” And just then Haruka, who was in the kitchen, started chopping onions . . . LOUDLY. Akané could hear the sound of the knife on the chopping board—how could she not? It was like a cannon being fired—and she went berserk: “What’s that noise?!?! Who’s there?!?! Who are you with?!?!” Akané had become so agitated and was now yelling into the phone. Haruka could hear everything.
And the jig, as they say, was up, Peadar.
The jig was up, indeed. I hung up the phone, plunked myself down on the sofa, and sighed heavily. Haruka came over and sat down beside me.
How did she take it?
She was remarkably calm. I had to make a choice, she said. Would it be her or “that stupid bitch”.
I was tired of sneaking around, tired of having to worry that one of them might come unannounced when the other was there.
Or call, yes. I was tired of cleaning up after Akané left, searching for her long black hairs in my sofa and bed. And having to do the same with Haruka’s short brown hairs. I hated having to worry about what alibis I would use when the next national holiday came up. So, when Haruka asked me to choose between her and “that stupid bitch”, I answered: “I don’t want to be with either of you.” And Haruka said, “I understand.” She packed up her things and quietly left. It was all rather unexpected.
But not nearly as unexpected as what Akané would end up doing.