❤︎Chapter 10: A Comforting Voice

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Tomomi checked his phone that night, slipping it under the dining room table as the maids served him dinner.

"Your grandmother will be here shortly," one kind maid said, "She was caught up in some work this evening."

"That's alright, thank you." Tomomi says as if he were really interested. In fact, he wanted to eat as fast as he could to avoid the old hag. He pulls out his phone again when he's left by himself in the lonely dining room at the lonely, extravagant table.

There were no new messages from Momoka. Reina and the girls had stopped by basketball practice to tell him Momoka had gone home. He felt like something had gone wrong...

Tomomi: Momoka, are you you alright?

He waited calmly for a reply -- she most likely needed some time. Poor Momoka. He should have never let her go to visit the club. He had never gone to visit them himself, but he could tell by the text Momoka received just how brutal they could be when it came to him.

To his surprise, his phone buzzed just as he was beginning to fall into a guilty daze...

Momoka: I'm okay...

Tomomi: Are you sure? I was so worried.

Momoka: I'm sorry for making you worry! The meeting with Nanami-San didn't go very well...

Tomomi: What happened? Please tell me.

Momoka: Um... It's just about some of the stuff she said.

Tomomi: I'll call you after dinner and we can talk, alright?

Momoka: Okay.

Tomomi frowns deeply as he quickly scoops the rest of his meal onto his spoon to shovel it into his mouth. Now he was really glad his grandmother wasn't here -- she would have given him a half hour lecture on his table manners if she saw him like this.

Without a word, Tomomi quickly slipped out of his seat, pushed his chair in, and sped walked
to his bedroom on the second floor of the mansion.

His room is quiet as usual. It didn't have the slightest bit of interesting color to it. It most definitely did not reflect his inner personality at all. Sure, someone as dull as the outer shell Tomomi fit perfectly with the bedroom, but the Tomomi that was held back on the inside would appreciate a splash of...

What am I thinking about..? The handsome young man shakes his head. He slides his glasses smoothly from his face, sets them on his desk, and collapses on the bed.

Tomomi : Momoka. I'm ready to talk.

Barely half of a minute later, his phone screen lights up from Momoka's incoming call. Tomomi quickly answers it without hesitation and brings the phone to his ear.

"Hello."

"Hi, Tomomi."

"...I'll get right to it. What did she say?"

Momoka went silent and he could make out a few muffled noises on the other line. Was she fidgeting, perhaps? He could imagine her doing that, if she was nervous.

"Um...just..things. She admitted to being the anonymous sender..."

"I see."

"Yeah...and she basically repeated everything from the text. I couldn't seem to convince her to leave us alone."

"What did you say to her?"

Momoka let out a breath, as if she had feared he would ask this. It piqued Tomomi's interest and his anticipation rose.

"...I told her we liked each other."

"Alright. And...?"

•"Oh," Momoka sighed in defeat, "The way I told her didn't sound convincing at all."

"What do you mean...?"

"I...I don't know, I just...I still am insecure about you having feelings for me. And because of that, Nanami-San laughed in my face and pointed out that I know nothing about you, and.."

"Momoka--"

"She's right. I don't! It all seems like a dream to me, bring in a relationship like this with you. I'm sorry. But how could someone like you..."

"Momoka. Please, believe me. I like you, a lot. Don't feel insecure. I have no hidden intention behind telling you how I feel. I'm not going to suddenly turn on you. My feelings are real. I won't let Nanami-San harass you. I'll find some way to take care of it."

Momoka was quiet on the other line, and Tomomi felt his weak heart begin to pound. How was she going to respond?

"I understand now. I'm sorry for feeling insecure all of a sudden." She had a beautiful smile in her voice.

"I'll see you at school tomorrow. I'm going to speak with Daisuke-San, the kid behind the messages sent to me."

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