The event that I wasn’t really looking forward to, the parent-teacher interview, would be held today. But before that, we’d have to go through the morning classes first.
It usually lasted for around twenty to thirty minutes for each student. During the interview, the Homeroom Teacher and the students’ parents would discuss various things like the student’s attitude in school, their grades and their plans for the future.
According to the schedule, my turn would come at 2 pm. I had told my mom about it, so she should be coming around that time.
After morning class. The entire floor was enveloped in silence. Only the second years of this floor were scheduled to hold the interview for today, but even the first years and the third years didn’t dare to make a commotion.
“There’s still time until the interview, what should we eat for lunch, Maki? We can’t really dawdle, though, so why don’t we go to the cafeteria for a quick one? Speaking of, it’s been a while since we went there, isn’t it?”
“Sure, I don’t think it’ll be crowded there… Are you okay with that, Amami-san?”
“Yes! Hehe, I’ve always brought my own lunch, so I’m kinda excited to eat the food there! I’ll ask Ninacchi if she could join us!”
Except for Nozomu, whose parents couldn’t make it due to work, the other four members of our groups were all scheduled to hold the interview today. Starting from Amami san at 1.30, me and Nitta-san at 2, and lastly, Umi at 2.30.
Of course, I’d be waiting for Umi until she was done with hers, and after that, we’d be going home together and hanging out like usual. Depending on the result of the interview, one of us might end up getting scolded, but our parents should allow us to hang out even considering that. After all, we didn’t get to do it as much during the exam period.
We met up with Nitta-san, who also didn’t have anything to do while waiting, and went to the cafeteria on the first floor of the building. According to Nozomu, the set meals and the popular meals would be completely sold during this time period, but maybe because there were barely any second years who went to the cafeteria today, they were still selling those meals.
“Get me the A set, Rep.”
“I’ll take the daily specials, Maki.”
“…Um, I think I’ll take the same one as Umi’s… Hehe!”
“Let me say this first, okay? I’m not paying for your meals.”
Somehow, I was the one who grabbed the meal tickets for all four of us (The other paid for their meals though). After we received our food, we took our seats. The cafeteria was pretty much deserted unlike usual, and honestly, it gave me a sense of discomfort.
“Ah, right. Maki, my mom asked if your mom has some spare time after the interview is over. If yes, she invited her to come over for dinner.”
“Sora-san did? …Hm, sorry, I don’t think she can come over for dinner. She should have a few hours in the evening, but definitely not for dinner.”
I’ve visited the Asanagis quite often, but I’ve never gone there with my mom.
My mom and Sora-san met up occasionally for a drink and a chat, but I didn’t know the specifics of what they were doing and such.
I knew that it wouldn’t be polite to pry into adults’ conversation, but I would be lying if I were to say that I wasn’t curious…
“Maki-kun’s mom, huh? Come to think of it, the last time I’ve seen your mom was at the Christmas party! Right, I think my mom said that she wants to meet your mom too.”
“Rep’s mom, huh? I’m guessing that she looks a lot like you, Rep!”
“Of course she does. She’s my mom.”
Since the schedule of our interview was so close to each other and our classes were also next to each other, except for Nitta-san’s, our moms would probably use the time to chat.
…Hopefully, my mom wouldn’t say anything weird about me to Eri-san. Sora-san was one thing, but Eri-san was pretty much a stranger, so it would be disastrous if my mom were to spill out about my embarrassing past.
After eating, we spent some time in the cafeteria, chatting about our parents while waiting for our scheduled time to come, before going back to our respective classrooms. At this point, some people had started their interviews already. I also saw some of the students wearing strange faces while waiting for their parents.
As the three of us approached our classrooms, a woman with flaxen hair, Eri-san, noticed us and approached us while waving her hand lightly.
“Jeez, where did you go, Yuu? When I went into your classroom, you weren’t there! I was lonely, you know?”
“I was eating my lunch with the others at the cafeteria— Wait, why are you making it as if it’s my fault, Mom?! You’re the one who came too early! The interview won’t start until half an hour later!”
“Hehe, I got too excited. I mean, it’s been a while since I last visited my cute daughter in her school~”
Her words seemed to be true, she was a little too excited. She wasn’t dressed in casual clothes like usual, but instead, she was wearing formal wear. Her makeup was perfect, but I guess that was expected since she was a former celebrity, all things considered.
The pair of mother and daughter really stood out compared to their surroundings.
“It’s been a while, Umi, Maki-kun. You two have your interviews today too? That means your mothers will be coming too, then?”
“Yes. My interview starts at 2.30, so my mom is probably still getting ready— Ah, Maki, isn’t that your mom?”
“My mom? …Ah, yeah, that’s her.”
At the end of the direction Umi pointed to was my mom, walking down the hallway while looking around the surroundings. This was the first time she came to my school due to how busy she was at work, so she was holding the guide map to our school as she walked towards our direction.
Since we couldn’t exactly shout to catch her attention, Umi and I decided that we should approach her instead.
“I’m here, Mom.”
“Oh my, you’re coming to pick me up, Maki? Thank you. Also, hello, Umi-chan.”
“Hello, Masaki-Oba-san. It feels refreshing to talk with you at this hour.”
“That’s because I’m normally at work during this hour. Anyway, since we have some time before the interview starts, why don’t we have a chat? Don’t interrupt us, okay, Maki?”
“I won’t… But, why are you coming so early, Mom?”
“Because I finished my job early… Hm, what is it? Do you hate to be with your mother that much, Maki? Umi-chan, look at him. He’s so mean to me.”
Although they hadn’t talked to each other for a while, their relationship seemed to be as good as ever. Me with Daichi-san, Sora-san and Riku-san, Umi with my mom, we all had a good relationship with each other.
“Hello, Maki-kun’s Mom! It’s been a while! Do you remember me?”
“Of course, Yuu-chan. My son troubled you a lot last Christmas, didn’t he? Anyway, Maki, you’re really a lucky boy. Not only do you have a cute girlfriend like Umi-chan, you also befriend another cute girl.”
“Well, I know I’m a little bit lucky in that regard— Um, Eri-san? Why are you patting my head?”
“Hm? Hehe, nothing much. I just think that your reaction is as cute as always, Maki-kun.”
“M-Mom? S-Stop troubling him! S-Sorry, Auntie, my mom is being rude, isn’t he?”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. Hello, nice to meet you, Eri-san, I’m Maki’s mother, Masaki— Hm?”
When they were about to shake each other’s hands, my mom stopped.
She observed Eri-san’s face up close, meanwhile, Eri-san tilted her head in confusion.
“Is something the matter, Masaki-san?”
“N-No, you just look like someone I know— Ah, right, Eri-san… Ellie Whitner-san, right?”
Not understanding what was going on, us three tilted our heads at the two adults’ conversation.
“Ah, sorry, I’ve never told everyone about it, huh? ‘Ellie Whitner’ was my stage name. Whitner is my mom’s surname, yes, your grandmother’s Yuu. It isn’t a secret or anything, but it’s just… I never expected that someone would mention that name here.”
“My college was in the area you used to work at and I used to watch the evening news for work, and because I love it, of course. I never expected that I’d meet you here.”
I didn’t know much about Eri-san’s job but it seemed like there was an unexpected connection between her and my mom.
Anyway, it seemed like they had a good impression on each other. It was great that they were getting along.
Since we moved here, Sora-san was the only person that Mom could talk to. Now that Eri-san was joining their circle, I had no doubt that her life would become better.
“Um, sorry, Maki-kun… It’s been a while since my mom saw someone who recognized her, so she’s a little excited…”
“No, don’t be. My mom doesn’t really have someone to talk to, so it’s great that she could get along with your mom.”
“Really? That’s good then, hehe… They do look quite happy.”
“Yes, but if we just stand by and watch, they’d start talking about unnecessary things, so I think we should do something about it.”
“Ah, you’re right! I’ve always told my mom to not say anything that will make me feel embarrassed, but she never listened to me!”
Guess Amami-san shared a similar worry about her parents with me.
From the outside, she seemed to be someone who lived in a different world than the rest of us, but that wasn’t the case at all. She had similar worries and troubles like us.
Besides, the whole thing about ‘living in a different world’ wasn’t exactly right either. As long as you didn’t put her on a pedestal, or looking down on yourself too much, you’d find out that she was just like you.
“U-Umi-san? Why are you pinching my sides?”
“I wonder why? It’s definitely not because you two are having fun talking without me, that’s for sure.”
“Your expression said otherwise, though…”
While I found it cute that she’d sulk like this whenever I talked alone with Amami-san, but since I had made the resolution to put her above all else, I really needed to draw a line regarding my relationship with Amami-san. All things considered, she was still a member of the opposite s*x.
Yes, we were friends, but I had to make sure that things wouldn’t develop beyond that.
But, at the same time, I felt lonely, somehow.
“Don’t worry, Umi, that won’t happen.”
“Maki-kun and I are just friends. He’s the boyfriend of my best friend, nothing more, nothing less. You don’t need to be jealous of me, okay? Well, I guess I should have acted more thoughtfully, huh?”
“…Yuu, are you—”
“Ah, oh no, it’s time. The teacher is calling me already, so I’ll leave you two to it. Have fun flirting around~ See you.”
After that, Amami-san and Eri-san entered the classroom.
It wasn’t the first time that she left us to give us some space, but her mood was too different from usual.
This time, beneath her smile, there was… Loneliness… And it seemed like there was something else too. It was clear that she was forcing herself to appear cheerful.
…As expected, there was something wrong with her.
To tell you the truth, if I say that I wasn’t worried about her, I would be lying. Of course, this applied to Nitta-san too.
“You know, I always prioritize you over anyone else, right?”
“…Yes, I know. Don’t worry, I understand.”
‘Thank you, Maki…’ She whispered in my ear as she pulled me closer. I took her hands and held them tightly.
When my mom saw us like this, she chuckled in amazement, but I pretended to ignore her.