(Title – 彼はいつも迷子になる。– Kare ha itsumo maigo ninaru. – He always gets lost.)
Usagi notes: Lemme post this early. Busy at work. Lol
Snow began to fall for the first time today, making this renowned merchant city a lot colder than earlier. One could reckon that after a few minutes, this bustling city would be painted with hues of blue, white and gray, as snow began to cover the edifices, pavements, trees — and everything that was met with the heaven’s frosty providence. Reflexively, Shirō shuddered due to the gradual drop in temperature. He was supposed to run some errands for his mother, so he was not wearing thicker clothes today, but he unexpectedly bumped into the ghost of his past.
He sat on the bench as he rubbed his cheek that was punched by Ryū, a few minutes ago. Although Kichirō slapped him, too, it was not as painful as the punch that he had received from his rival. Ryū, on the other hand, sat on the bench, opposite him, staring blankly, as if he did not see Shirō. He looked like nothing happened at all. There was an awkward silence between the two. Only the sound of rustling evergreen trees and branches from bare trees could be heard around them as the winter breeze blew.
Shirō measured Ryū with his own eyes, as he looked at him from head to feet. He made sure that this man’s countenance would be forever engraved in his heart. He was the one who took Kichirō away from him. Although he knew that it was his fault as to why everything turned out to be this way, and that Ryū did not have anything to do with this, he still could not stop himself from feeling resentful toward the other guy. He felt like he was a child, whose candy was stolen by a bigger kid. In fact, he was well aware that he could not compare himself to this heavenly guy. He had better looks, he was taller, and he even looked like he was getting along well with Kichirō’s family. Despite these facts, he still did not want to give up that easily — he had him first. Now that they met again, he would not let him go. He thought that it was divine intervention and providence that made them cross their paths once again. This unexpected meeting was another chance for them to start anew.
As Shirō looked at him, Ryū looked away from the other guy. He did not want to acknowledge this guy’s presence. He knew that Shirō was staring at him. He could feel the weight of his stares. He was indignant — frustrated that he allowed Kichirō to go with this sly bastard. It was too late. He understood how Kichirō’s way of thinking was. He may be smart, but he could be slow and be regarded as a simpleton. He feared that Kichirō could be easily deceived. Now that this guy came into the picture, he thought that their peaceful life as a family would be disturbed by him. He felt so insecure. There was this jealousy that was slowly budding in his heart and mind. Even though he knew that Kichirō was earnest when he said that he no longer adored Shirō, he still had this fear in him that Kichirō would leave him for that guy. Ryū bowed his head down and held on to the crescent moon necklace that Kichirō gave him — the item, which he knew, was given by Kichirō’s first true love. For some reason, he knitted his brows as he thought over these things.
All of the sudden, the chilly silence came to a stop, the moment that Shirō opened his mouth to say: “Eto~”
Ryū continued to frown when he heard Shirō. At first, he wanted to ignore him. He was hesitant to talk to him after what happened earlier, but in the end, he chose to respond. This was completely against his personality, but for Kichirō’s sake, he was willing to topple heaven and earth. So, he responded: “Hm?”
Whatever they talked about during that day remained a mystery…
After they conversed, the two head forth their own destinations. Shirō went home, full of determination. Ryū, on the other hand, walked away with a hint of helplessness, but his worry overcame this feeling. He knew very well how Kichirō was not good with directions. He would get lost easily, especially in this unfamiliar city. With this in mind, he tried calling him but only got a busy signal. It appeared that Kichirō intentionally switched his phone off so that he would not be able to reach him.
It was three in the afternoon. The snow came to a stop and miraculously it became bright again, as the clouds dispersed, giving way to the mighty sun. The sunlight filtered through the trees and the thin layer of snow around this place had slowly melted, allowing this colorful city to boast its brilliance once again.
Kichirō walked aimlessly along this bustling street as he met many unfamiliar faces. He bowed his head down with an uneasy look on his face. He knew that he hated being in the crowd, but he hated seeing those two as they acted like kids, fighting over a piece of candy. His image of Shirō was that of a kind-hearted angelic type that could brighten up your day with his smile; while on the other hand, he thought that Ryū was a knight on a white charger, who would always be there to save him — it turned out that Ryū was self-centered and that he only cared about himself. His image of these two was completely shattered in just a matter of minutes. He pondered over this and tried to gather his thoughts. It was his fault in the first place. If he did not break his promise to Shirō, the other boy would not be hurt like that. If he did not stupidly run away with Shirō, Ryū probably would not be roasting rice cakes  right now.
( I used a wordplay here.「やきもちを焼く」has two meanings. The first one would be “to be jealous” and the other would be “to roast rice cakes.”)
Kichirō woke up from his daze when he accidentally bumped into a stranger. He was startled and fell to the ground. “Watch where you’re going!” The man he bumped into growled as he frowned, then walked away without even helping him to get up. He stood up and dusted himself off. When he refocused, he realized that he was in an unfamiliar place. Ah! Where am I now?!? He frantically thought to himself.
Out of reflex, he pulled his phone out of his pocket to dial Ryū’s number, but he realized that his phone was already discharged. He was indeed frantic. He panicked because he did not know where he should go to. His original intention was to step out of that scene for a few minutes just to cool off. He did not realize that as he thought over those things that were bothering him, he would end up getting lost in the middle of this unfamiliar city!
He wanted to ask around for directions, but he had forgotten the name of the place where his relatives lived. Because of this, he squatted on the edge of a sidewalk, then he touched his chin as he came up with something to get this matter sorted out. Kichirō, you’re a genius. Come on — think, think, think…! All of a sudden, he raised his right hand’s index finger. It appeared that he had a bright idea. He immediately bounced up and followed a bee-line as he headed forth to a nearby convenience store. He was thinking about charging his phone. He stopped midway and his spirit sank when he realized that he did not have money with him. Because of this, he instantly faced the wall on the corner of the street as he cultivated mushrooms on his head.
If Ryū would think just like how Kichirō thinks, he would certainly have a severe headache. However, he had no choice but to do this so that he would be able to track down his ‘prey.’
If it was Kichirō, he would definitely not stay in crowded places. He detested places with a lot of people. He would also go to a place where he could sit or eat based on his lazy temperament. If he would put these pieces together like a puzzle to form a map, it would definitely lead him to the park where it was spacious, had a lot of benches, and stalls or vending machines where he could buy food from. He dashed off toward the nearest parks and other similar places, with hope that he would be able to find his dear wife, but could not find a trace of Kichirō. He had to set his jealousy and frustration aside just for his beloved’s sake. Since he could not find where that idiot went and since he could not contact him, he took his phone out of his pocket and dialed Akihiko’s number to ask for help.
“Hello?” Akihiko answered.
Ryū hesitated first before answering back: “Otōsan, it’s Ryū. I can’t find Kichirō.”
Akihiko, who was in the living room with Fumiko, Shūichirō and their relatives, was still calm despite hearing this. It appeared that they already arrived at their destination. He calmly answered: “He might still be with Shirō. Have you tried calling him?”
Ryū frowned and clenched his fist when he heard Shirō’s name. So, you’re okay with your son being with that bastard?!? He thought to himself. He pursed his lips then responded: “No. He’s not with him. I… I had a fight with Shirō so Kichirō run off to somewhere. I already tried going to places where he could possibly be at, but I can’t seem to find him. I even tried to call him, but I can’t reach him. I think he’s still mad.”
Akihiko tilted his head and chuckled: “Ha ha, see… I told you not to run after him. I know how that boy thinks. You should have listened to me when I said we should trust him. He’ll find his way back soon. Don’t worry.”
Fumiko, who was busy talking with her sister, overheard what they were discussing over the phone. She looked at Akihiko with a worried and flustered look: “What happened to my son?!?”
Akihiko, who was still holding his phone, also looked at Fumiko. He waved his other hand, chuckled, then casually said: “Oh, it appears Kichirō is missing, Dear.”
To be continued…