The guy with the garden responded first. We could hold our wedding there, barely 10 days before our time runs out. Hopefully that will be enough.
Next in line is sending out invitations. We shouldn’t need more than three. We don’t have many friends or family. We only have Hizashi’s mom, Nemuri and the Iida family. Tenseis little brother should be in the same age as Hitoshi. I leave the invitations to Hizashi.
“Hizaszhi? Should we really do this? Like… do we need the ceremony? If we’re in such a hurry, we should just get it done in papers…”
“I… I want to have a wedding, y’know? I want to have a ceremony and I want to wear a nice suit and eat cake-”
“I know you do, but… we have to do this quickly, and we don’t have a lot of money. It’s gonna be hard to plan this in just three months.”
“We’ll figure it out.”
“I don’t know… just renting that garden is expensive, and we need clothes and food…”
“We… we can take extra jobs. I have my radio show, right? And I heard that UA is hiring new teachers…”
“Do you want me to become a teacher? Don’t you need like, education for that?”
“Not at UA, remember? They’re allowed to teach however they want. The only thing needed is that you need to be a Pro Hero. And I can imagine that being a former UA student gives you extra points.”
I sigh and look at him. He really wants to go through with this.
“Fine. I’ll check it out tomorrow, but I’m not gonna go to UA alone.”
“I’ll go with you!”
I sigh again. I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
We both managed to get jobs at UA. We start next semester. It’s barely a month until the wedding, and we don’t have clothes or rings or anything. This is becoming more and more chaotic. I’m sitting at the table with marriage papers. We can not have a wedding, not now. We have to think of the child, so we can get this done as soon as possible. I have the adoption papers as well, ready to send them in as soon as Hizashi comes home. I’m tired, I just woke up. I’m supposed to get Hitoshi from school in half an hour. I’m drinking my first coffee for the day. I’m done with planning this wedding, it’s not gonna work out. Suddenly, one of the cats jump up on the table. It’s Tamotsu, the cat we brought home with Hitoshi. He’s gotten a lot fatter since we brought him home. He lays down on all of the papers, demanding attention.
“Really? You’re gonna stop me from doing my paperwork?”
I sigh and start rubbing his belly. For some reason, he enjoys it. Most cats don’t, but this one does, I guess. The cat purrs loudly and rolls over, almost wrinkling the papers.
“Hey, watch it!”
I lift up the cat and move over to the couch instead. He demands, and so I must deliver. He lies down in my lap instead. Cats are definitely my soft spot. That’s probably why we got two. I keep rubbing him. He rolls over so far that he almost falls out.
“Calm down, you’re gonna fall.”
When I come back home, Hizashi is already inside the apartment. He’s holding the papers I was working with in his hand, reading.
“Marriage papers, huh. I thought we were doing a wedding.”
I let go of Hitoshi’s hand and tell him to go to the bedroom.
“Yeah. We’re not gonna be able to plan this in a month. I already mailed the guy with the garden and told him that we’re not doing it. I mailed the Iida family, Nemuri and your mom as well.”
“I thought you were in on this.”
“I was in on it until it was a month left and we still don’t have anything planned. We don’t have time, ‘Zashi.”
“You said… when we graduated… that you’d always try to make me happy.”
“Well yeah, but now we need to prioritize Hitoshi. We have a month to get these papers in. If we do it like this, we’ll have lots of time to spare! No planning needed.”
“But what about me, Sho?”
“Are you really just thinking of yourself in this situation? Would you rather have a half-assed wedding than to keep Hitoshi? You’d rather put him in an orphanage for the rest of his life?”
“But what, ‘Zashi? But what?”
He goes quiet.
“We can always have a wedding later, it doesn’t have to be now.”
“Yes it does! It won’t be the same!”
“You have to be kidding me. You are being so selfish, you’re not even acting like yourself!”
I sigh again.
“You are going to sign those papers and send them in tomorrow at the latest. I have to get ready for my shift.”
I start walking towards the bedroom, but something hits the wall next to me before I can open the door. It was my half-filled coffee cup. It hits the wall and breaks, and the coffee spills out on the wall.
“Don’t you DARE leave me!”
I slowly turn around. His face is painted with rage and fear. I hold my hands up and start walking towards him, slowly.
“Hey, calm down. No need to be violent.”
“CALM DOWN? REALLY?”
I take another step towards him. He’s too close to the kitchen for me to be comfortable. What happened to him? He never reacts this strongly to anything. He seems to be reading my mind, because in the next moment, he has a kitchen knife in his hand.
“Hey, Hizashi! You need to calm down!”
I still have my hands in the air. I’ve been trained on what to do in these situations. I push my back towards the bedroom door, so Hitoshi can’t get out.
“You don’t get it, do you?”
He lets out a sad laugh.
“YOU are my weak point! My soft spot! I CAN NOT lose you!”
“You’re not losing me, ‘Zashi. We’re just… slowing down, okay?”
“I DON’T WANT TO SLOW DOWN!”
He charges at me with the knife in his hand. Too bad I’m better at hand-to-hand combat than he is. I dodge his attack and grab his wrist, pulling it behind his back.
“Drop the knife, Hizashi.”
He laughs again, dropping the knife to the floor. I keep holding him down.
“Leave the house until you’ve calmed down. I won’t let you near Hitoshi for as long as you are like this.”
I let him go and he drops to the floor. I kick away the knife from him, so he can't reach it.
Hizashi slowly gets back up on his feet, puts his shoes and jacket and leaves the apartment. I lock the door behind him and hurry inside the bedroom.
“What happened, daddy?”
Hitoshi is sitting on the floor in the corner of the room that has become his own. I sit down next to him.
“Papa is just going for a walk, he’ll be back soon enough. Don’t worry.”
“I heard you two yelling. Were you arguing?”
“...Yes, we were. But it’s gonna be alright, I promise.”
I kiss his forehead.
“I’ve locked the door, and I’ll be going out soon. I’m putting a stool in front of the door, so you can check if it’s Hizashi through the peep-hole, okay? Only let him in, no one else.”
“Wanna go eat some dinner? I don’t have time to cook a full course meal but we can eat instant ramen if you want?”
He nods again and stands up. We walk out to the kitchen. I grab the knife from the floor without Hitoshi noticing it and put it on the counter.
“Do you want the shrimp, chicken or beef flavour? We have one of each.”
“Beef it is. Hizashi will have to take the chicken.”
I fill the electric kettle with water and turn it on, waiting for the water to start boiling. I lift Hitoshi up on the table.
“When papa isn’t home, we get to sit on the table.”
My feet reach the floor, but Hitoshis don’t. He dangles his feet off the edge as we wait for the water to boil. The small lamp on the side of the kettle goes out. It’s ready. I stand up and pour water up to the small line in the cup, as well as pour in the spice. As soon as they have cooled down, I hand the beef flavoured noodles to Hitoshi, along with a plastic spoon and chopsticks.
“Hizashi will be back soon enough, I promise.”