I waved his sign away and rushed to the door.
He was adamant. Breakfast!!
He pointed to the sign, giving me the 'firm' look.
"No time, Yasusu," I said, loudly. "I'm already late enough as it is!"
He walked in front of me to block the door. Oh, great.
I waited impatiently as he hastily scrabbled on his stupidly large notebook. He then turned it around and patted it with his finger, forcing me to look despite my annoyance at having to read in order to communicate with him. What are you talking about? You're forty minutes early!
"I'm late from being there early!" I snapped.
Yasusu shook his head and pointed to the kitchen.
He flipped to the previous page of his notebook and showed it to me. Breakfast!!
I wasn't going to win in this. He wasn't very stubborn to begin with, so I knew I had to obey this much when he readily repeated the same word and/or statement several times in a row. He beamed cheerily and darted to the kitchen, the plates clacking and clinging as he brought them together.
I yawned and walked over to the chair, sitting on it tiredly. Please just get this over with.
I watched as he happily assembled the ingredients together. I could smell the omelette as it sizzled in the pan, the mixture of raw vegetables tossed inside for flavor. My stomach growled.
Geez, can't remember the last time I really ate anything.
I yawned again.
The juicer buzzed after various fruits were sliced, diced, and then gathered inside it. He placed the smoothie next to the omelette, after making precisely sure
that the fork and the knife and the spoon
were organized in the perfect order in his mind.
I glanced at the time. Fifteen minutes had past.
I immediately grabbed the fork to dive in when he just as hastily inserted a note between me and the food. TAKE YOUR TIME.
I slumped. "I can't."
Scribble. Yes you can. Take your time.
He handed me the organic ketchup and then turned around to prepare his own meal. I was done before he had the chance to sit down.
His violet eyes softened with disappointment, and I knew full well that he was hoping to enjoy a nice breakfast together, for once.
"Got to go," I told him. "Time is money."
Yasusu smiled vaguely, and reached over to give me a kiss on the cheek.
"No time," I said nervously. I successfully evaded him and then darted out the door, closing it without giving him the chance to pull out the I love you
"You got the reports ready?"
"Yeah, hold on." I was unable to hold a small smile as I read the message on my screen.
"What are you looking at?" My coworker perked a brow as she craned over to see what I was doing.
"Oh, nothing," I murmured, replying back.
"Ohhh," she rolled her eyes. "You're talking to the boss again, aren't you?"
I blushed a little. "Err, yes, but it's... professional."
"Surrre it is," my coworker said sarcastically, "I'm sure it's completely professional to use cute smiley faces and the compliments every time you speak to each other." She paused for a moment, and then perked a brow at me. "Hey... aren't you married?"
"Not really," I huffed, rolling my eyes slightly. "Trust me. What I have is barely a marriage."
She frowned. "Airiri-"
"I got your reports. Don't judge me." My voice dropped to my typical low, quiet, authoritative tone as I gave her the stack of stapled letters. "It's my life."
" She shook her head at me and then picked up the report, leaving me alone. Finally.
: That's good. I'm glad you got to eat something. You've been working really hard lately. You're really one of my hardest working employees. Airiri
: I only work hard for you. Manager
: You flatter me. But I don't want you to overwork yourself. It would be a shame if you got sick over this company. Manager
: It isn't worth it Airiri
: I want to assure you, sir, that you have nothing to worry about. Besides, it is worth it. Believe me. Manager
: We're very lucky to have you.
I rested my cheek in my hand and fingered the screen longingly. Airiri
: Thank you, sir. Manager
: I mean it. Airiri:
: I know, sir.
My fingers trembled as I typed the next few words on the screen. Airiri
: Sir? Manager
: Yes, Airiri? Airiri:
: I want to see you.... Manager
: Absolutely. We can schedule an appointment. Manager
: Is this about a raise, or a problem you want to set straight? Manager
: Perhaps make a suggestion? You do realize that you're free to tell me here, right? Airiri
: No. Manager
: ? Airiri
: Alone. Just the two of us... please. Manager
: .Airiri. Airiri
: I know, it's stupid. But I don't... I'm not happy in my life. I feel miserable and tired and I think I...
I could feel my whole body shaking. I pressed enter before the sentence was even finished, desperately hoping he would get the connotation behind it.
I was so exhausted, and was tempted to fall asleep on the conversation, even going as far as making it the excuse as to why I was... acting in such a manner towards him.
Fifteen minutes passed. He didn't reply. Manager has logged off.
I'm going to get fired.
Five more minutes past while I anxiously typed up an email of apology, begging him to understand that I had overworked that evening, before quickly redoing the sentence to explain that I had 'a little too much to drink' when I was speaking to him or some sort of excuse when my door knocked.
I looked up from laptop, vision blurry.
Yasusu stood at the door, blinking innocently at me.
I sighed, slouching back. "What do you want?"
Yasusu timidly stepped inside and then handed me the notebook. It's Us Time tomorrow.
"Really?" I groaned. "It's tomorrow?"
He nodded, taking the notebook back.
'Us Time' was the boundary I had set for our relationship shortly after Pururu was born.
One day out of the month I would spend time with him, fulfilling whatever needs a couple needed to fulfill, and get that stuff out of the way to keep him happy. It usually required a day off from work, much to my utter annoyance.
Occasionally I found ways to push the date further or simply not do it that month, but usually he was pretty persistent with keeping it consistent.
"Please. Another day?"
He shook his head.
He pointed at his notebook, pleadingly.
I didn't want to. I really, really
didn't want to.
He smiled and flipped to another page. I glared at him and then squinted my eyes to read it. What do you want to do tomorrow?
I didn't bother reading the rest. "Does it matter? Let's just do what we do every other month. Just let me sleep in and we'll... I don't know. Watch TV and then make dinner with wine and go back to sleep together. Is that fine with you?"
It was obvious by the look on his face that it wasn't fine at all, but he forced a smile and then wrote something on his notebook. I glanced down at the screen, reread my excuse, and then sent it, looking back up when he gently patted my shoulder with his finger. Whatever's fine with you, beautiful.
He managed to quickly kiss my forehead, and I closed my eyes, enduring it.
For a neat freak with an obsession with germs he seemed to really enjoy touching my usually disorganized self, especially after work when I was more vulnerable. He gave me a gleeful grin, and then softened affectionately, running his fingers against my disheveled short hair. He leaned his face a little closer to mine. I could feel his breath near my mouth-
"Enough. I'm working."
Yasusu drew back. He scribbled something on his notebook and turned it to show it to me, but I didn't feel like reading it.
"Leave me alone, Yasusu. Please just let me finish!"
He quietly closed it, his pitiful demeanor returning to him. His eyes dropped to the floor and he nodded, respecting my order, and left.
My boss never replied that night.
I pulled my laptop closer to me and opened it up as soon as I heard the indicator for new mail, searching for it immediately, despite the fact that I had just woken up.
My heart fluttered as I saw that it was a response to mine from my boss.Airiri,
It's fine. It's happened to the best of us, yeah?
Just please enjoy yourself on your day off. You deserve it!
I rolled my eyes in aggravation. So much for sneaking off, then. Yasusu has a stupid habit of telling my workplace when I'm taking a day to relax so that I didn't have to do it.
I glanced at the time, unamused that it was almost noon.
I was still so tired.
I heard another knock at my door.
So it begins...
"Come in, Yasusu."
He pushed the door with his back, carrying a tray of pancakes, eggs, fruit, juice, and coffee.
He tends to spoil me to ridiculous lengths. My every wish was, quite literally, his command. He even went as far as giving me my own separate room to work in, though it quickly became my own bedroom, away from his. It was only on 'Us Time' when we actually shared a bed.
I flicked away the Good morning beautiful!
card and set to eating my breakfast. I was at least grateful that he decided to eat on his own time instead of forcing us to eat it together.
He probably already ate anyway; he had his own schedule and all, being somewhat OCD.
Large purple eyes glittered with happiness as they watched me eat.
It was absolutely annoying how much he worshipped the ground he walked on, when I had to take care of him.
See, Yasusu's father was the original manager of the enormous corporation I worked at currently. Through my hard working skills I managed to gain his trust and eventual interest- he pulled me aside and asked if I was interested in a marriage arrangement with his son.
There were the typical meetings, yes, and even 'dates' (if you can call them that) when I decided to accept the proposal.
It was stupid of me, really. I had just assumed he was shy.
I never gathered that he was mute.
Completely unable to speak.
I need... voices. I'm not very vocal on my own. If I have to talk, I like steady conversations with me and the other person, not talk-read-talk-read.
His father called me one last time, shortly after I had found out that I was pregnant with Yasusu's daughter.
I remember it clearly:
"Please take care of my son.
In my opinion he was babied a little too much, but something about his eyes, the tremor in his voice, the weakness in his body, that told me to nod and promise him that I would.
I had reasoned, I'll take care of him, but I never promised I'd love him.
His father died a few days after that conversation, and someone new took his place- the manager.
While at first I was angry that I had to go through all that bullfrog with his son and then not
be promoted, I was eventually drawn by the charismatic way that the new manager treated me, praised me, comforted me when I had my worser days. We never saw each other sure (he told me that he was always busy to come down to the office), but we were in constant contact via email and instant messaging.
However, with the fact that he told me quite sternly that he was married despite the fact that he had obvious feelings for me, combined with the promise to Yasusu's father, combined with Yasusu
, I could not bring myself to tell Yasusu my feelings on the matter.
I wanted to leave him.
Yet, I couldn't tell him, because I knew he'd let me go.
The day went on as planned- boring, as usual, and unenjoyable. Yasusu tried, but I couldn't get over how negligent I sounded speaking to my boss the night before. It was so embarrassing and unbecoming, and I couldn't bear to think what he thought of me now. It got me a bit moody, to which Yasusu left me alone for a little while.
He came back shortly after though, with pie.
I could tell he just made it. It smelled heavenly and warm.
"I'm going to get fat with all this food you're feeding me," I said dryly.
He perked up at the chance to 'speak' and wrote something down on his notebook. With the way you work, I greatly doubt it!
"You wouldn't know. I'm always sitting down at the computer."
Scribble. Perhaps, but I can still see you overwork yourself, sweetheart.
He tapped his head. All that food goes up there. That's why you're so dizzy when you get home.
"Let's talk about something else," I sighed. I watched him thoughtfully pull away a slice from the pie, plop it on a plate and hand it over to me.
Scrabble. What do you think of having another baby?
I choked on the pie, the hot filling burning my throat as it slid down the wrong tubes. It took me a few seconds to cough and gag, Yasusu patting my back and then leaving to get me a cup of water.
"Absolutely not!" I snapped. "Are you out of your mind?!"I've been thinking about it a lot... I think it might help.
" We're financially stable...
he wrote, And... I can take care of it, like I did with Pururu. Please?
"No!" Okay, okay. Sorry for asking.
Then, Please take deep breaths, sweetie. It's nothing to get worked out over.
I couldn't get over the fact that he tried to avoid my question. "Yasusu, answer me." ?
"What did you think that a baby 'might help'? Were you instigating our marriage? That a baby would help it?"
Yasusu winced. Bulls-eye. He blinked at me meekly, and then cut his eyes away, teeth sinking his bottom lip.
"I just... no, it won't, okay? But sure, I won't blame you for trying."
Yasusu awkwardly concentrated on the floor, bent down, and picked up a book from off under the sofa. Grisly Beard. I only really recognized it by the picture that it was one of the ones that he used to read to Pururu when she was small. Ah. So that's where it came from.
"...I'm sorry for yelling."
He gazed up at me and gave me a small smile.
"I'm just tired."
Scribble. I know you are, baby. You know you don't have to work anymore?
," I told him, exasperated. "The company needs me."
Yasusu frowned. Airiri, it'll be fine on its own-
"You don't know anything," I said, my voice falling again. "You've never had to professionally work a day in your life." How do you know that?
I'm the only one that WORKS!" Please don't yell.
"Why not? It's obvious I'm not saying it LOUD ENOUGH for you!! I WORK. Get that through your thick skull!"
His hands trembled as he wrote down something in his notebook. Please stop yelling! I work too, okay? Big deal.
"Like what? Cleaning and cooking? Disinfecting the carpet for the eightieth time this week, making cute little desserts, writing little love letters to me every day?" Trying to be a husband! A good one! For you, Airiri!
His eyes were angry and despairing at the same time, begging me to understand. I'm trying so hard, you have no idea!
"You know what a real
husband does, Yasusu?" I smirked at him, clenching my fists, "He. Works.
He does what I
frogging do. And here you are, telling me that a frogging BABY would save our pathetic excuse for a marriage?! Don't force me into both roles of husband and wife, Yasusu. You wouldn't know how to run a business if you had a full idiot's guide to it. So don't judge me, okay?!"
Yasusu opened his mouth, and I laughed at him. Why? Why did he even frogging bother? He couldn't talk.
"You're nothing but a coward, Yasusu. Afraid of the stupid little things that don't even hurt you. You're hardly a husband at all. So don't frogging give me that you're 'trying so hard'. Because you aren't. And frankly your excuses are really, really irritating me, especially right now."
I expected him to reach for his notebook, but he had laid it flat on the table.
He stared at me for a moment, taking in my words. He blinked several times more, eyes wet, but tears not forming. Suddenly, he furrowed his brows, his eyes glowing with fury. He stood up and then, out of nowhere, stretched out and moved his arms up and formed his hands oddly, making them gracefully slide in and out in strange and fluid motions.
He only ever used sign language when he was angry.
It was like a foreigner falling back to his native tongue because he was too emotional to execute his words in the language I was used to. It was overwhelming, almost... frightening.
For some reason there was just more violent passion to this. It made the whole room feel loud and quiet at the same time, deafening in the absence of sound.
"Stop!" I screamed, covering my ears. "Just stop!! I don't understand you!"
He didn't. He continued the madness, furiously zipping his hands in and out, glaring at me. The urgency, the speed, the ferocity in which he signaled gave the exact feeling of someone who was yelling, unable to contain their frustration and annoyance. Finally, he stopped, and he sat down, catching his head in his hands.
I felt something wet and warm fall down my face in drops.
"This just isn't going to work," I whispered.
I looked up to make eye contact with Yasusu, but he was gone. Before I could wonder where he was at I had to involuntarily cringe as he uncharacteristically slammed the door from his room. I peered over his book, and I frowned slightly, unsure what to think of the message he had left. Pay attention.
I decided to take you up on your offer after all.
My wife is going to meet someone tomorrow night; why don't you visit me at the Triple Star Inn?
We can talk.
Hope to see you there
"Airiri? Are you free to work tonight?"
I made a grin. "Nope. Got a hot date."
"Ooh!" my coworker chirped. "Good for you! I'm glad that you and your hubby are finally getting some alone time. That's really nice."
"Yeah..." I laughed weakly and then rolled my eyes when she was out of sight. My husband was not who I had in mind, you silly woman.
I hoped I looked good.
: Is it still on tonight? Airiri
: Excited to meet you. Airiri
: Me too. ^_~
The room was going to be on the very top floor, fancy, first class. I felt my heart racing eagerly and fearfully at the prospect that this was really happening.
Yasusu didn't leave his room last night, nor did he answer the phone. I had to leave a message, telling him to have dinner without me (as usual) and not to expect me home until quite possibly the following morning. I had made the excuse that it was a conference meeting that was keeping me up 'so late', but I still couldn't bring myself to admit that I was cheating on him.
I don't know.
I felt awful for last night, I did. But he is just so intolerable sometimes.
I sighed, folding my arms. I really hoped he wouldn't forgive me.
I think this would all just be so much easier if he hated me.
I knocked the door again, eyeing the golden 607 room number. I nervously checked my watch.
I'm not too early, am I?
My manager... was he teasing me?
I knocked a third time, when suddenly I saw the knobs turning and clicking open.
It was getting hard to breathe. I gazed up at the face of the man I had never seen before, and-
My face turned pale.
My husband blinked at me, tilting his head curiously.
"What the frog are you doing here?!"
Yasusu opened the door wider and motioned me in, turning around to find the notebook that was placed neatly on his bed. He flipped to the first page and handed it to me, asi f he expected that I would ask that question. What are you talking about? You invited me.
"No I..." my voice faded as I realized what just happened. I glared at him. "Is this all some sort of sick prank?"
He turned the next page. Nope. I'm your manager. Surprise.
"....You can't be."My father owned the business, Airiri. I inherited it after he died.
"But..." This didn't make any sense. "But... you said you had a wife-"Yes, I do. A lovely one, too.
It took me a moment to realize he was talking about me.
"....How the frog do you manage a frogging business and I not-" I stopped.
Yasusu blinked at me tiredly. He wrote something down on his notebook and handed it to me. I'm going home. Feel free to stay here if you want. Won't make a difference if you're at home or not.
He left me alone, leaving me to wonder if I should laugh or fall down to my knees and cry.
I did both.