(Title – 危機 – Kiki – Crisis)
“Ehh~~~?” Kichirō had his brows furrowed and his mouth agape. The dorayaki he was chewing even fell on the table.
Shirō was calmly smiling. He picked up a table napkin and wiped Kichirō’s lips. He chuckled and said: “Yeah. I know it’s shocking but I really do. Ever since we started chatting, I can’t help but smile stupidly whenever I think about you. My heart races whenever I hear your voice over the phone. I don’t know why either but I know I really like you. There isn’t a day that I never think about you.”
Kichirō’s eyes opened wide and he silently uttered “OMG.” He couldn’t help but be astonished. “But… but… I’m a man! You’re a man! I have a girlfriend to boot.”
“Hey, I know that. I’m sorry but please understand that I’m gay. Why would I chat with you if I didn’t like you? What kind of guy would chat with another guy all day? If you’re worried about me butting in on your relationship with Miyuki, rest assured that I’m not that kind of guy. I’m just merely voicing my feelings for you. You don’t have to accept it. I just want you to hear me out. I hope that we can still be friends…”
Kichirō did not answer and just stared blankly into the air. He was blinking and his face was so pale. After a few seconds, he started to bow down his head to move his gaze away from Shirō.
Shirō was silently observing him. Seeing Kichirō having difficulties in facing him, he heaved a deep sigh and stood up. He patted Kichirō’s shoulder. Without uttering anything, he walked away.
Kichirō felt like it was the end of the world. He felt so listless. He wanted to follow Shirō but there were images of Miyuki’s gentle and elegant smile that flashed in his mind. He then decided to go home and not attend the offline meeting. For some unknown reason, he was really moved by Shirō…
When he got home, he remembered that he was supposed to meet Miyuki. He pulled out his cell phone from his pocket and started to text her.
Kichirō: I’m sorry Yuki-chan but I can’t meet you today. I’m sick. 😥
Miyuki: What?!? I thought you were able to go to your offline meeting?
Kichirō: I was supposed to but I suddenly had a high fever…
Miyuki: Do you want me to come over and take care of you?
Kichirō: No. I’m okay. My father is taking care of me now. It’s okay. Let’s just meet some other day.
That was the last message he would send to Miyuki this day. He switched off his phone and decided to lie down on his bed. He wrapped himself with his quilt. His mind was in a blur as he struggled with this internal strife. He couldn’t keep track of his fleeting train of thought; eventually he fell asleep.
The next day, he decided to deactivate his Friendster account. He kept his phone switched off and just stayed in his room all day. He wanted to stay away from it all… to stay away from the potential critiques who would do everything to pull him down just because of this “dilemma” he is experiencing.
He never once thought about liking a friend… his best friend… an online best friend, that is; and not to mention, a guy! All his life, he followed the “straight” path and never had any thoughts of following the “curved” one. Now that Shirō came into the picture, he started to question himself, am I really straight? Am I bisexual…? Am I… gay?!?
Why is my heart racing whenever I think of him; yet, when I think of Miyuki, I feel empty?
If it was a mathematical equation or a complicated chemical equation, he could easily digest and compute; but this so-called “love equation” involving him, Miyuki, and Shirō is something he could not solve on his own.
He pondered, how will my family… my parents react if they find out that I like a guy?
His father was worried sick because he couldn’t understand what was happening with Kichirō. He thought that he (Kichirō) had a conflict with Miyuki. He knocked on Kichirō’s bedroom door and opened it. He saw Kichirō lying on the bed, with his quilt wrapped around him.
“Son, I know you’re awake. What’s bothering you? You look so down,” he asked.
Kichirō hesitated to respond. After almost a minute of no response, Akihiko (Kichirō’s father) decided to leave. When he was about to close the door, Kichirō suddenly spoke: “Otōsan, I have a question.” His voice was soft and weak but his father was able to hear what he said.
“Yes, son. Go ahead and ask Otōsan.” Akihiko went back inside the room and sat on the armchair on the right side of Kichirō’s bed.
Kichirō, who was facing the opposite side, decided to turn around and faced his father. He was hugging his favorite Keroro stuffed toy. “Otōsan…”
“Yes?” Akihiko was on the edge of his seat as he looked earnestly at his son.
Akihiko was getting impatient. “Yes, son? We won’t be able to discuss anything if you keep on repeating what you’re saying.”
Kichirō sat up and silently said an “oh.”
“C’mon, son. Speak up.”
“Otōsan, is it wrong to like somebody else when you’re in a relationship?” Kichirō asked as he was playing with his stuffed toy.
“Why? Do you like somebody else?”
“Ano… I have a friend…”
“Eto… He’s got a girlfriend who happens to be my best friend’s cousin.”
Akihiko squinted his eyes. “So who are we talking about?”
“Uhm… my best friend’s cousin who happens to be my other friend’s girlfriend and my friend, too.”
“She said that she likes somebody else.”
“Does your friend know about this?”
“Okay, carry on.”
“Um… is that wrong?”
“Of course it is. You’re… I mean your best friend’s cousin who happens to be your other friend’s girlfriend and your friend, too, is being dishonest. She should be honest about her feelings before it’s too late.”
“Uhm… what if she likes a girl too?” Kichirō flashed his puppy eyes on his dad, all ears on his response.
Akihiko was shocked. He didn’t know how to answer. He wanted to fidget but he didn’t want to look awkward in front of his own son. “Honey, can you talk to Kichirō? I need to pee,” he yelled. “Uhm, talk to your mother about this okay? I need to go…” He anxiously said as he stormed out of the room.
In a matter of seconds, Fumiko came into the room. She had her silky black hair flowing freely and looked elegant as always. “What’s wrong, Kichirō?” She asked.
Kichirō related to his mom the “long” story.
“As a mother, I won’t allow that kind of behavior in my care. Infidelity is something you should stay away from as that is one of the reasons why some people have a broken family. As for homosexuality, it’s common to be attracted to your same sex at your age but that should just remain as an attraction and nothing more. If you will think about becoming gay, I’m more than willing to disown you. As early as now, you should stop this unnecessary matter and discuss this with Miyuki,” she coldly said.
“Umm… Okasan. It’s not me. It’s my friend,” Kichirō obviously lied through his teeth.
“Don’t you dare lie to me, young man. I gave birth to you and raised you myself. I know whether you are lying or not. Don’t ever humiliate me by becoming an abomination.” Her tone was demanding and unpleasant.
Kichirō felt helpless as his mother scolded him. He knows that he can’t hide anything from her. His fear got the best of him. Especially now that his mom’s eyes were glaring at him as she gripped tightly onto Kichirō’s arm. He couldn’t help but tremble, almost in tears.
Ever since he was a child, his mom would always dictate whatever she wants Kichirō to do, saying that this is for the “best.” She never gave importance on what Kichirō thought. Since he loves his family, he willingly followed every order his mom imposed on him but now that it’s his sexuality that is being stepped on, he just couldn’t take it anymore.