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Prom occurred on a Friday. After sleeping until past noon, I woke up Saturday morning. The previous night still felt like a dream. I couldn’t believe I had slept with Akiko. On top of that, I was still dating Kira. Then there was the strange stuff that happened with my mom the night before. I couldn’t dwell on it, because the sound of thumping and the moans next door which had woken me were too distracting to think of anything. I kicked the wall.

“Will you guys quit it!”

This was the wall to my parent’s room. It sounded like dad had returned home to give mother extra attention. That was actually the reason I ended up waking up. It irritated me listening to it. A flash of mother half-naked on the bed from the night before entered my mind, and I shook it off.

Trying to cut out the noise, I looked through my phone. I had received a few voice messages. One was from Akiko, asking if I was okay. Another was from Kira, asking basically the same. I considered trying to meet up with either of them, but the whole thought of it felt awkward after everything that happened. Usually, the person I would talk to about this kind of thing was Derek, but that was naturally impossible now.

That was when I remembered a random person I had run into the night before. Fishing in my pocket, I pulled out the number of the punk girl named Mary. Was it really okay to contact her? I was dating one girl, having an affair with another, and now I wanted to hang out with a third girl. However, Mary seemed like the type who’d listen and understand. She was a psychic or something, so she’d probably be really good to talk to, as long as she didn’t start charging me by the hour. I decided to go ahead and call her. The phone rang only once before it was picked up.

“Hello?” A relaxed, pretty voice came over the phone.

“Hey… this is Hakaru… um… not even sure if I told you that last night. I’m the guy you met in the convenience store? I was wondering if you wanted to hang out.”

“Ah? Hakaru? That’s quick!”

“Huh?”

“Oh… it’s just, I knew you’d call, but I didn’t think you’d do it so quickly.”

“Is that bad?’

“Not at all! Rather, let’s meet at that old coffee house. You know the one?”

“Yeah, I know it.”

I got dressed quickly and then headed out of my room. Taking one complicated look at mom and dad’s room, I shook my head and continued on. I was surprised to see Maria in the kitchen. Her music was playing in her room, and I had also never seen her cook before.

“Hey, sis.”

She looked up at me and then back down.

“Woah… what’s with the cold shoulder?”

Actually, I remembered that we never really got along. She thought I was a perverted freak, and I thought she was a slutty hoe. However, I felt for reasons I couldn’t even recall that our relationship had been doing better recently. Yet, now she was glaring at me like she used to do.

“You’re leaving.” She spoke just as I thought that she wasn’t going to say anything.

“Uh… yeah, going to hang out with a friend.”

She hadn’t worded it like a question, but I decided to answer that way anyway. She only gave a slow nod while she blankly stared in the fridge, clearly having no clue what she was looking for.

“D-did you want me to make you something to eat before I go?” I asked.

After another moment looking into the fridge, she nodded with a blush on her cheeks. She closed the door and walked around the kitchen counter, sitting at the table. I went into the kitchen and pulled out some rice and put it in the rice cooker, then started sautéing some vegetables from a bag in the freezer. It didn’t take very long to finish, so it’d probably be fine if I was a little late. Maria didn’t say anything though, making the cooking a slow and arduous process. When I finished, I put the plate in front of her.

With the task done, I was going to turn and leave, but just as I pulled my hand away, she reached out and grabbed it. I glanced back with a look of surprise on my face, staring down at where she was holding my hand. She wasn’t looking at me, but down at her plate, her expression unreadable.

“What is it?” I asked, furrowing my brow.

“Dreams…”

“Huh?”

“I’ve been having… dreams lately.”

“That’s fine?”

She glanced away, blushing. “Not these dreams.”

“Ah… I’m sorry…” I really didn’t know what to say to her.

My sister was definitely acting odd. She usually dated an endless stream of guys, but lately, she had just been staying in her room all the time. She had grown very introverted lately, and I had no clue why.

“Do… do you ever feel like things aren’t the way they are supposed to be?” She asked.

I thought about it for a moment, remembering my own experiences last night where I seemed to go out of control. I could probably just blame that on the punch bowl though. There was probably something wrong with it.

“Maria… if you want something to change, you have to make it change.” I said.

“R-really…” This caused Maria to shake slightly.

I nodded thoughtfully. “If you feel things should be a different way, then you should make things that way.”

“B-but what if… that involves someone else?”

“Like a crush?”

“S-something like that.”

“Don’t take no for an answer.”

“Isn’t that… a little rapey?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know about all that. But if you want someone, you should take them. I’m not saying you should hurt someone or commit a crime. However, the person you love is the person you love. If you want them, then you should pursue them regardless of things like whether they are in a relationship. If you know you can make them happy, then you should do so.”

“And what if they are already with someone else?”

“Steal them… and if you come to realize that is impossible, then learn to share.”

“Sh-share!”

I laughed, scratching the back of my head as I suddenly realized the kind of stuff, I was telling my sister. For a brief moment, the words I was saying felt so right. However, it probably wasn’t the best advice. Take what you wanted? Share your loved ones? Those were bold thoughts that a guy like me didn’t have the right to even think. I finally pulled my hand away from her and gave her a farewell.

Maria barely looked at me. She seemed completely lost in thought. I hoped she didn’t take my words too seriously. I didn’t even know where they were coming from. Although, now that I said it out loud, sharing Akiko and Kira was an option, wasn’t it? We had agreed to it last night. I just wasn’t sure I could be so bold as to keep two girlfriends. Now that I had that conversation with Maria, all of that was brought right back to the surface.

By the time I took a bus and managed to get to that old coffee shop, it was about the only thing on my mind. The coffee shop she was speaking about was a teenager’s spot. They had coffee, couches, and music. It was a very platonic place to go. Compared to the place that Kira’s brother tried to set up, it was definitely much more PG, but for that reason, it had also been around for as long as I could remember.

I immediately could pick Mary out of a crowd. Not only was she very beautiful, but she definitely stood out with fishnets, dyed hair, and tight shorts. She was an incredible beauty, and she was definitely drawing the eyes of many of the guys in that room. Yet, when she saw me and broke into a big smile and waved excitedly, I could feel a lot of jealous looks in my direction. Her actions were so innocent and wholesome; I suddenly felt like I wanted to have my way with her.

Calm down, Hakaru. You came here just to have a conversation.

Mary is just some kookie psychic girl you decided to chat with over girl problems. She was not another potential love interest. How could I really start pursuing another woman after already having Kira and Akiko? In fact, this place had many students from my school, which included those giving dirty looks. I wouldn’t put it past them to take pictures or otherwise try to inform Kira that I was cheating on her to cause problems. I suddenly didn’t feel so good coming out to such a public location to meet a cute girl.

I quickly gestured her to a corner in the back under the gaze of many angry men. Mary followed without question, but she did have a bit of an amused look on her face as if she guessed what was going on. She had already ordered a large, sugary drink, and she had a coffee which she put in front of me.

“I hope you don’t mind coffee. You can put whatever you want in it.”

“It’s fine. Um, how are you doing?’ I asked, suddenly feeling awkward in coming here.

She smiled happily. “Better now that you are here. I was afraid you’d stand me up.”

I blinked. “What, I’d never do that!”

She blushed cutely. “Ah… I didn’t mean… I guess I’m a little rusty to this kind of thing.”

“Ah…” I looked away, afraid I’d end up staring if I watched her too closely. “It’s fine.”

 She smiled, looking relieved as she took a drink of something iced and covered in chocolate. “Mmm… tasty.”

“If you drink too many of those, you’ll get fat.” I watched in horror as I said such inappropriate words.

 I was repeating words my mom had often said to my sister instinctively. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got angry at me. However, she only laughed it off while taking another sip.

“Are you worried about my looks, Hakaru?” she asked mischievously.

“Ah, no, I mean… what I mean is…”

“Well, it’s fine. I like the taste. I feel it’s okay to cheat everyone in a while. After all, how can someone avoid temptation forever? As long as you return to what is… healthier, then you’ll be better. In fact, one could say that it is the healthy lifestyle that makes those moments so exhilarating, don’t you think?”

“Uh, yeah, sure, of course.” I agreed, not really knowing what she was talking about.

“So, how did last night go?”

“What?” I looked up.

“You bought condoms… didn’t you have a girlfriend?”

“Right…” I breathed easier.

For some reason, I felt like I was cheating or something, but she already knew about my girlfriend. There was no way she was interested in anything more. It was just friendship or something. I was really looking way too much into things here.

“Okay… so here’s what happened.”

I was going to give her a truncated version, but the more I talked, the more I realized I couldn’t hold back. I ended up telling her exactly what happened, from me ending up with Akiko to Derek’s sick plan, which I still didn’t even know if it was over yet. The only thing that I skipped was the part where I finished with Akiko while Kira watched. That was too much to tell anyone.

At first, I thought she’d be disgusted or horrified. Instead, she seemed a bit thoughtful. After a moment of thinking about what I had said, she gave herself a nod.

“So, who will you pick?”

“Huh?”

“Akiko, or Kira? Which girl do you love?”

“Um… both?”

She let out a laugh. It was pretty and held no condescension or scorn.

“Is that really fair?”

“What? I mean… they both care for me. So, if I had both, then… everyone is happy.”

“Perhaps…” She responded, taking a sip.

“Why, what are you thinking?” I demanded.

She shook her head. “I don’t doubt you care for them both, but your time and energy are finite. At some point, one girl is going to get less than the other, right? It’s impossible to be fair in such a relationship. That’s why I feel it’s better if you pick one girl to be with. Yet, the other girl will be hurt for a time. However, time heals, and she’ll be free to move on and find a guy who can dedicate all his love for one girl. It’d be… healthier for everyone.”

I frowned hearing her words. They were exactly the opposite of the words I had just spoken to Maria, but there was a ring of truth to them. I had worried that I wouldn’t be able to make either girl happy.

“Then again… there is a third option.”

“A third?” I looked up.

She smiled gently. “If you can’t pick which girl, it’s probably because neither girl is capable of giving you everything that you want. The best woman for you is the woman who fills all of your needs. So, if Kira and Akiko are insufficient, then maybe the best course of action is to dump them, and find the woman who really can satiate… all of your desires.”

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