It has been about 2 months since I started my second year as a high school student and my confidence boosted from 5% to 35%.
My goal for now is to regain all the self-esteem that left my body since that day.
The confidence that I have now is enough to make me feel safe in my class.
Although I got along with all of my classmates, only one person considered me as a friend.
"I feel that my grammar in this part is wrong, could you help me correct it?"
"The word ate should be eaten because it needs to be in past participle form."
"Oh, is that so. Got it."
The girl talking to me is Mio, she is the only one in the school and class that recognizes me as a friend.
Unlike me, she didn't try getting along with our classmates.
Mio only talks to others if it is necessary, however, for me that's not the case which bothers me. Is it because she had experienced something unpleasant in the past?
If my guess is correct, I could help Mio ease the wounds in her feelings and if possible, open Mio's heart to other people.
But before I take my move, I should confirm it but the question is how?
"Would you like to come to my house tomorrow?"
"My parents told me to invite my friends on my birthday so..."
"I'll gladly accept it"
Did she say 'my friends'? If so then I'm not alone. I'm also interested in seeing her friends.
I can finally ask if her dad is Japanese.
--Mr. Kashimoto's POV--
For the past months my daughter has been pretty lively compared to her usual self.
This liveliness started when she started her second year in high school.
The last time I saw her in that state was before she got abandoned by her friends.
Since then, she has become silent, emotionless and gloomy. My daughter's only expression was a face which showed an emptiness and loss of hope for her social life.
As a father, this made me incredibly worried for my daughter but not until recently.
The expressions on the face of my precious daughter came back. Although there's still traces of scar in her heart, the spark of hope lit up.
My best guess is she had discovered a new friend, but I cannot hide the possibility that she has fallen in love with someone.
Either way, the thing that matters for now is that she's happy.
However, the thing that bothers me is if she has fallen in love into some guy, that same guy might shatter my daughter's heart and worsen the situation she's in.
If only there's a way for me to meet this guy.
"Dad, what will we do on my upcoming birthday?"
How could I forget, today is August and my daughter's birthday is in 13.
I have an idea, if we were to celebrate her birthday by some sort of party, I can let my daughter invite her friends or lover.
"How about a birthday party?"
Hmm, hope this works.
"Why don't you invite your friends?"
When I was courting her mother, I would pretend to be a friend of hers when going to their house so that I could get to know her parents vice-versa.
Surely that guy will take the bait.
Of course, my daughter also took the bait.
The next day after the class, we went to Mio's house.
While walking from the train station to their house, the road seemed recognizable and when we arrived at their house, I could vaguely see our house, our house is about 10 blocks away.
Oh no, I forgot to text my mom
"Mom, I won't be going early to home tonight"
Should I lie about my whereabouts, probably not.
"...I'm at my friends house."
That should be enough to keep my mother from worrying.
We entered their house and I heard a voice of a man, this made me nervous.
"No, I'm with my friend."
Phew, thank you for saying that we are only friends.
I saw Mio's mother, her expression was welcoming me while on the other hand, Mio's father was looking at me with intimidation by his side.
This is hella weird, I'm shaking in nervousness.
"So where are the oth-"
"So let's start!!"
What do you mean let's start, you joking right? I'm telepathically telling you that this is not a good joke Mio.
Mio's mother and father questioned in unison.
"What do you mean huh?"
The air of awkwardness got worse. Mr. Kashimoto's intimidating look got replaced with an instant confusion.
"Is that boy your only friend?"
After Mio answered her mother's question, Mr. Kahimoto's look came back at me.
I was profusely sweating for 2 main reasons. His father was looking at me with an extremely intimidating look and the knowledge that I'm the only one invited in this party.
"What's your name?"
"Why did you decide to befriend my daughter?"
That question came out of the blue. I will just answer this from the bottom of my heart.
"Her face was pretty famil..."
No, no, no skip that part.
"...I mean when I first saw her, it felt like she was lonely so I decided to talk to her."
When I said those words, Mr. Kashimoto's facial muscles relaxed and invited everyone to celebrate and eat.
While singing the ritual song for birthdays, Mio's family was cheerful, there was even a moment that I felt like I was one with them.
If only father didn't break up with mother.
When I said my thanks and goodbyes, Mio's father was friendlier than when I entered. I hope that he acknowledged me as a friend of her daughter, not boyfriend.
--Mr. Kashimoto's POV--
I was surprised that he was the only friend of my daughter but what impressed me the most was his answer to my question.
"When I first saw her, it felt like she was lonely so I decided to talk to her."
Even though he muttered something about my daughter's face being pretty, the words he said carved an impression on my mind.
I can tell that his words came from the bottom of his heart. When he said those lines, his face was serious and he answered it pretty quickly.
Although that was just the first time meeting him, I have high hopes of him being a good man.
Mio, you're lucky that you found, no, such a guy found you.
Philip Ruggrazer, please don't hurt my daughter's feelings.