THIS IS R18 NOVEL — IT CONTAINS NSFW MATERIALS AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO SPOILER
I picked up what looked to be a runaway girl.
If that was true, I guess I would have to say that I “protected” her.
But if she had a sign hanging around her neck that said, “Please pick me up,” I had no choice but to say that I “picked” her up.
She was standing next to a cigarette vending machine in front of a convenience store. A handmade sign made of cardboard she must’ve had picked up from somewhere hung from her neck. The extremely neat characters written with a black pen were impressive.
I, Hira Katsuki, came to the convenience store to buy cigarettes and dinner for the day.
I thought at first that she was waiting for someone, but then the characters on the sign hanging around her neck caught my eyes, and I couldn’t help but take a half-step back.
But, to not be able to buy cigarettes because I was spooked by the girl, would also make me feel pathetic.
So, I bought cigarettes, trying not to look at her as much as possible.
…The gaze coming from my side was painful.
I hadn’t realized it until I got next to her, but the girl was quite small. Not just her body but her chest as well. She had nothing other than the cardboard sign.
I thought that she might call out to me, but nothing in particular happened. I bought cigarettes and walked into the convenience store.
I grabbed an obviously unhealthy deep-fried boxed meal with a lot of meat and oil, and stood in line at the cashier, and saw the girl from earlier getting tangled up with an old man through the transparent glass window.
“Just what the heck’s happening…”
An acquaintance? No, I can’t hear their conversation but that doesn’t seem like it.
However, there was no one coming to help.
Perhaps not taking a liking to the girl’s reaction, the old man was getting more heated up. But well, that type of person will get upset on their own no matter what response you give them. I also saw the old man’s fists clenching.
Can’t be helped.
When I came out of the convenience store, I lightly hit the back of the old man’s head with the bag containing the boxed meal I had just bought.
“Hey, old man. Don’t just go trying to get violent in front of a store that’s open 24 hours a day no matter how late is it is”
“N-no, you see, I was just scolding the young lady here because I was worried that she might get into harm’s way…”
“No no no no it’s our first meeting! I-I-I don’t know about her at all!”
“Ooh! It’s not easy to scold someone you don’t even know! But you know, it’s a world where it’s easy to be misunderstood these days, so it’s better to call the police in a situation like this, you know? Should we call them now?”
“Wel, I-I I’ve got some stuff to do so I’ll leave it to you, well then!”
The old man ran off at great speed while holding his head with his hands.
Dumb ass. Loser. Drop the wig on your head and cry on your way home.
I faced the girl once again.
She really is small.
She was dressed in a plain blouse and a long skirt, looking like a uniform of a school from somewhere. She had a waist-length glossy black hair that was cut neatly. Her appearance alone was truly that of an honor student.
She might be a runaway girl, but she didn’t look like the kind of character who would sell her body without batting an eyelid.
“And you also, if you weren’t just standing here, you also wouldn’t have almost ruined an old man’s life. Now go home”
“Uhuh, but it’s okay,” the girl declared as a-matter-of-factly.
Rather than saying thank you, she gave off the impression of implicitly saying, “It’s none of your business.”
“I’m, 18 years old and responsible for myself. Besides, if you’re raped and it doesn’t get out, it’s not a crime. I suppose it’s all fine as long as the victim doesn’t sue”
No no no, it’s a crime even if it doesn’t get out.
“What’s your home telephone number? You have your insurance card?”
“I don’t. Can’t you tell?”
Swing, she showed me the sign.
Nu-uh, I can’t tell, man.
Gulping down the words I wanted to say, “Phone number too?” I asked another question.
If she has her own phone, then she should at least have her home number on there. I could also trace the logs and contact her acquaintances.
“I have never had such a thing since I was born”
Well, I guess there’s also a home like that, too
That could also be why she ran away from home.
A sheltered young lady is having her first rebellious phase and trying to run away from home on her own but she’s somehow off. I feel like I could be convinced with that.
“But I do have a name. Please call me Mayu,” she said, telling me her name was “Mayu” while showing me how to write the character of her name on the back of the cardboard with her finger.
“Your family name?”
This is bad. I can’t say what is, but anyway, it’s bad.
I’ve no idea how to handle her. Where’s the manual?
“If you don’t want to pick me up, then I have no business with you. And maybe the person from earlier will come back too”
The girl, Mayu, averted her gaze from me slightly, and went on to expressionlessly and indifferently stare straight ahead at the parking lot of the convenience store.
“Listen here, the old man earlier was obviously after your body”
“That’s no problem. The world is like that, right? A give and take, win-win relationship”
Did “win-win“ have that kind of meaning?
It seems she’s standing here with the sign hanging down also to cause misunderstanding.
“A punishment game, doesn’t look like it, huh”
“No, it’s not. It’s my own will”
“But you know, even if the old man doesn’t come back, the police might be called, you know? Look, the store employee is looking this way”
I pointed at the employee looking over here from the other side of the window with a troubled look.
That said, from the direction of the cashier, you couldn’t see the cardboard sign that Mayu was holding. She might be thought of as just a girl waiting for someone. Moreover, the employee also pretended to not see when she got tangled up earlier.
Probably there’s also nothing reported.
“This is… Indeed troubling”
Mayu let out a voice like she was at loss, perhaps she really hadn’t noticed it.
“Then I will move to a new location”
I reflexively grabbed Mayu’s shoulder as she tried to walk off somewhere.
A slender and small shoulder, which looked like it would break if I grabbed it too hard.
“No no no, moving to a new location is”
Not so bad when in front of a convenience store, but if she goes somewhere else, she could really get caught in a crime.
“Good grief… Wanna go to my place? I got one room that’s pretty messy but not used”
Well, two, to be exact.
“I see, so that’s how it is”
What’s that “I see” for.
Perhaps not feeling like explaining the reason, Mayu went on to “Uh-huh, hm-hmm,” arbitrarily grasping it herself.
“How about food?”
“I have eaten”
Really? Though I thought about it, I decided not to ask. It’s just too troublesome.
“…I’ll take you there. It’s close by,” I said and started to walk.
Mayu followed quietly behind me. I headed for my apartment, feeling a little relieved.
I walked for about five minutes, and immediately arrived at an old, wooden two-storied apartment building.
It was a 2DK1 with a separate bath and toilet. The kitchen-dining-room was quite spacious. However, the building was 30 years old. The soundproofing was surprisingly good, perhaps because of the multiple remodelling. However, it was somewhat dusty looking and even looked like a somehow dirty warehouse from the outside.
The rent was cheap enough that even I, who couldn’t go to university after graduating high school and had to work as a part-timer, could afford it.
I looked behind me as I climbed the rusty metal stairs. Mayu was still behind me.
I wonder if she’ll run away, well, it’s fine if she does as it won’t become troublesome, though, with that in my mind, I opened the door to my room.
Mayu didn’t run away. Instead, “Waah, it’s very dirty, isn’t it. It doesn’t seem like a place for people to live,” she blabbed on.
Is it natural to be told that because there’s a mountain of garbage bags piled up in front of me? It might stink to others, but I’m so used to sleeping here that I don’t recognize it anymore. The border between the entrance and the corridor had long been buried out of sight.
“Thanks for the honest opinion”
It felt better than an obvious lie like, “It’s very tidy, isn’t it.”
“You can see some of the floor right? That’s the only safety zone. I don’t care even if you step on anything else and get hurt“
“An exciting living, isn’t it”
There’s also a time when I almost stepped on a kitchen knife once.
I climbed over the mountain of trash, and arrived at the place that was originally called the kitchen. There was an open sofa bed, and this was my living space.
I randomly threw my bag and the convenience store bag onto the mountain of garbage bags and luggage storage area.
“That room over there is used as a storage room. It’s messy but if you tuck them up into the corner, I’m sure you can sleep. The futon is also there. Toilet and bath are over there,” I told her while pointing to the sliding door right there.
Next to the kitchen, there were two Japanese-style rooms separated by sliding doors. So it was quite spacious, but there was probably less than 2 m2 usable space.
“Thank you very much. Well then”
And yet far from moving there, Mayu put her hands on the buttons of her blouse and unbuttoned them all in a flash, then took off her blouse.
“Hey, what are you doing taking your clothes off all of sudden!”
“Because that’s to do this kind of thing, right? Driving away someone who came to approach me was also for this”
Ah, so the “I see” at the convenience store is “I see” for “I see, so you’re my new customer, right?☆” huh!
Mayu looked up at me with her small body.
A white skin and a plain, pale pink bra. Her chest wasn’t that big and seemed like it could be hidden by wrapping them in the palm of my hands. Although she didn’t have that much flesh, she had a girl-like roundness in places.
In the midst of the usual trashed filled space, stood a half-naked girl.
It was like a terrible hallucination. No sense of reality.
Thinking, I wonder if she’s used to it. I wonder if it’s okay. No, of course not, I put my hands on her shoulders… And she was shaking.
“…Hey, you’re shaking, you know”
“…Because it’s cold”
If it’s freezing here, I’d have frozen to death a long time ago. Rather, it’s just past summer, so even if you sleep naked outside, you’ll catch a cold at best.
“Then put some clothes on”
“Unfortunately, I only have these clothes. That’s why I would be troubled if they got dirty. If you prefer to continue with the cloths on, I will have to charge you for the clothes, however”
“That’s not what I meant…”
I tossed the blanket I had lying around to Mayu.
“Sleep. I’m gonna sleep since I have to be up early tomorrow. Try making noises and wake me up, I’ll immediately kick you out, alright?”
“Don’t complain. You homeless girl”
I lay down on the sofa bed and tried not to look behind me.
After pretending to sleep for a while, I heard a small “I’m sorry” from behind my back and the sound of the sliding door opening and closing.
Not a “thank you very much,” huh. It’s fine either way.
I felt like I was forgetting something, but I went straight to sleep.
1. Two rooms and a combination dining-kitchen.