You rubbed your temples in an attempt to relieve some of the tense pressure that had built up in your forehead as your climbed the stairs to your apartment. Your legs felt gelatinous as you started your ascent, every muscle in your body seeming to cry out with aching pain every step that you took. Day in and day out you dealt with difficult clients berating you with a smile on your face, when slowly it was eating away at you on the inside. It was the busy season at your office, and you had been pulling countless hours of overtime each day, at one point you began to question if you were even a living, breathing human being anymore or if you had become a machine built to simply work and collapse for a few hours of rest at night, and repeat. The mental and physical exhaustion had started to catch up with you, and you had slowly found yourself unable to hold interest in your hobbies and were just caught in a state of… existing.
Your intense work schedule had left you with little to no time spent at home with your boyfriend, who you truly missed and needed more than anything. Often you would find yourself worrying that your constant absence would eventually drive him away and that you weren’t a suitable partner because you weren’t able to physically be there for him, and even when you were, often you’d be spaced out because of exhaustion. You missed the days of cuddling together on the couch after work talking about your day and impromptu ramen dates when you both didn’t feel like cooking. Now you would feel a ping of anxiety every time you would open the door to your shared apartment, wondering if one day you might just find it empty. You knew somewhere deep down that the thoughts were foolish but that didn’t help the fact that they bubbled to the surface and you were unable to shake them.
After taking a deep breath, you opened the door to your apartment trying your hardest to hide the exhaustion and frustration of your day to greet the man waiting for you inside. As soon as the door opened Kageyama hastily made his way to the door to greet you, per his usual routine, he wore a warm smile, a hint of pink on his cheeks.
“Welcome home,” He said softly “I missed you”
The last three words were all that it took to release all the emotions that you had been desperately trying to keep at bay, your lips quivered as tears started to stream down your face. You quickly tried to wipe away the tears; however, they were rapidly replaced by new ones as you had found yourself unable to stop the emotional overflow. Kageyama moved closer to you, frantically gesturing and unsure of whether he should reach out and embrace you or give you space.
With a concerned, hesitant expression he asked “D-did I do s-something wrong?”
A wave of guilt washed over you, your lips pulled downward as you started to cry with a newfound vigor. The last thing you wanted was Kageyama to feel responsible for how you felt, if anything, he was nothing but a constant source of positivity and support in your life and you were forever grateful for his presence. You felt your knees buckle as you sank to the ground, as the weight of the emotional baggage you’d been carrying around finally hit you. Kageyama knelt down next to you, gently grabbing your wrist trying to hold you up.
“You.. didn’t do.. anything.. wrong..” You said between sobs, your eyes clenched tight, fingers gripping the fabric of your pants, “If anyone did anything wrong, it's me..”
“I’m sorry. I don’t really get it. You haven’t done anything wrong” He replied, sitting down next down next to you, gently running his fingers through your hair.
Your head snapped towards him and you raised your voice in reply, “But I’m never here! I’m always at work! We hardly see each other anymore, Shigeo. What if you need me and I’m not there for you?!”
You could feel the guilt bubbling up inside you again for lashing out at him, but you didn’t want to hide your feelings from him anymore. You owed him honesty, he never had been that great at interpreting your feelings without you telling him exactly what you meant, but he loved you in the most genuine way that you had ever experienced. You didn’t want to lose him.
“I’m scared, Shigeo. I’m scared that me not being around is going to push you away. That you’re going to forget about me,” Kageyama pulled you into his arms as you continued to sob into his chest, “I’m sorry, I just... miss you so much and it’s making me think these irrational thoughts. I’m so tired and exhausted from work and I don’t know who I am anymore….I don’t like it”
“You working late isn’t going to push me away from you, it’s your job, you can’t help it. I understand that” He said while gently rubbing your back to calm you down as your cried. He placed a quick kiss on the top of your head as he continued, “And I could never forget about you”
You sniffled as you pulled your head up to look at him, “Do you promise?”
“I promise,” He replied brushing away the tears from your cheeks, “I love you”
You wrapped your arms around his neck, leaning in to softly rest your forehead against his, noses brushing against each other. Smiling at him fondly, full of admiration for the patient, understanding man in front of you, you said “Thank you, Shigeo. I love you too. Please continue to love me for as long as you can. I don’t know what I’d do without you, truly”
He leaned in and pressed his lips against yours in a gentle, heartfelt kiss, “How does forever sound then?”
You smiled as you returned his kiss with one of your own, “Perfect”
Kageyama continued to run his fingers through your hair with a concerned expression on his face. He seemed to take note of the dark circles under your eyes and stressed out appearance. “I think that maybe it’s time that you found another job. You deserve to be happy. We can figure it out together.”
You let out a shaky sigh you smiled as you reached for your boyfriends hand. “We can talk about that, but first let’s have dinner.”