“Please let me know one last thing. Your ideal type is…?”
The moment she turned her head to those lines, Hina jolted out of sleep. After removing the manga magazine which was on her face, she slowly sat up from the bed. Perhaps due to the fatigue that has accumulated in her body during the week, the cracking sound from her bones rang out as she stretched.
“Hmm, I slept like this yesterday? But well, at least I took a bath…Eh, passing score?”
After muttering to herself, Hina looked at the calendar at the side of the bed and smiled a little.
Today is Saturday, and her day off. To be more specific, today she had promised to eat out with her high school friend whom she hadn’t met in a long time. Tracing the red asterisk on the calendar, Hina stood up from the bed.
“Oh! Today, I won’t be bothered by Hasegawa! I can go out and have fun with my friend! Great!”
Speaking in a loud voice as if she was talking to someone beside her, Hina opened the curtain with a delightfully crisp sound. The sunlight streamed through the window and brightly illuminated the room’s interior.
Five days have passed since Hasegawa showed her the notebook. Even though Hina had been clear and straightforward with her answer, it seemed like the word “give up” didn’t exist in his vocabulary, and he continued to watch her even more than before. Furthermore, he always came to her on the pretext of having something to discuss, which stressed Hina out every time. He also persistently invited her to lunch.
One time she told him, “Please give up already.” To which he simply answered, “But that’s up to me, you know.”
After hearing those words, Hina just gave up. She thought about resisting until he got tired, but no matter what she said, he just won’t budge. Besides, she’s sure that once he finds someone that fits his ideal type, he’ll surely give up.
The vital statistics are one thing, but there sure are lots of homey and cute type of woman around. Hasegawa is good-looking and excellent at his job as well so there should be many women willing to date him. Even in the company, there is not a lack of girls who admire him.
(Well, guess I just have to tolerate him for now and maybe he’ll last for a month? Besides…)
“Even I wouldn’t consider myself who lives in this kind of room if I were a man…”
Hina looked over the apartment where she lives alone and gave a bitter smile. There’s barely any empty space to step on as manga magazines are spread throughout the floor. On top of her table, her cosmetic tools are littered all over. And on the red sofa she bought at the time she moved, unfolded laundry are stacked in a heap, looking like a mountain.
“I really have to clean up…”
Hina heaved a sigh at her room that is far from Hasegawa’s ideal of a “domestic woman”. It might be a good idea to show him this room if he continues to be persistent. Just as her mind glossed over that thought, she suddenly heard the warning sound of a truck as it parked outside her window. When she looked down from her veranda, she spotted the moving truck as it was about to park in the parking lot. It seemed like someone was moving to her apartment.
Hina thought that it was quite unusual to be moving houses at such a time, but without dwelling further on it, she returned to her room and opened the refrigerator. After drinking from the bottle of mineral water, she scanned the contents for something she can have for breakfast. But only a few canned beers were in there.
“It can’t be helped. Gotta go to the convenience store…”
At this rate, she won’t have anything to eat until her dinner with her friend later that night. Hina quickly changed into a jersey, put on a mask to hide her no-makeup face, and wore black-rimmed eyeglasses. Then she grabbed only her wallet and closed the door. When she arrived at the lobby on the first floor, the moving company was about to bring the boxes out of the moving truck she saw earlier. Then, she saw the back of the new resident as he watched over the moving process. Hina stared at that back figure and felt her shoulders shudder. Wearing a fresh and unwrinkled shirt, that posture and physique looked exactly like Hasegawa.
(No, no, there’s no way! It’s probably just a huge resemblance! He’s been bothering me everywhere that now I’m starting to go crazy and hallucinate! Yup! That’s it!)
However, that bad feeling still crept up on her.
“Oh, Ms. Hina Uzuki. Good morning. I didn’t think we’d meet so soon.”
“From now on, we’ll be neighbors. Let’s get along.”
Hina’s face tensed as she looked at him with his usual composed expression. She covered her mouth in shock and took a step back.
“…What are you doing here?”
“Don’t you have observation skills? I’m obviously here because I’m moving…”
“That’s not it. I mean, why are you moving to this apartment? Coincidence? Please tell me it’s a coincidence!”
Cold sweat ran through her spine as Hina wondered if he followed her there. Meanwhile, Hasegawa grumpily crossed his arms and turned to Hina.
“Coincidence? You said it yourself, didn’t you? ‘My ideal type is a kind man who’s always by my side as we laugh together.’ So, I’m just trying hard to get closer to your ideal type.”
“I thought it might be good to start with ‘always by my side’…”
“How did it come to that?!”
Hina’s mind reeled back to the time when she gave him that answer. It was when he showed her that notebook. When the chime to signify the end of lunch break rang and she was preparing to go back to her office, Hasegawa grabbed her arms resolutely and so she reluctantly answered.
But she never imagined at that time that it would end up like this.
“Since ‘laughing together’ entails shared interests and hobbies, I plan to work hard on that from now on.”
“Why go that far…”
“Of course, it’s because I like you. Since I’m imposing my ideals on you, I figured I should also work hard to become your ideal.”
Hearing him say those words without so much a hesitation, Hina’s face flushed a little. He’s got a point. Instead of just unilaterally trying to bring her closer to his ideal, he can also try to make himself closer to hers. That would be more favorable to his advantage.
“By the way…”
“Eh? This is…?
Hasegawa took out a document in a clear file. On the first page, the word “plan” was written.
“In any case, this is a one-year plan that details the aspects of your life that need improvement based from what I’ve observed so far. The items for improvement will continue to increase in the future, but as long as you are compliant with those, after a year, my ideal woman…”
Hina knocked the document off Hasegawa’s hands. Then she piercingly glared at him.
“I don’t need this plan!”
“Well then, I’ll leave this in the post. Please read it carefully later, okay?”
“I won’t read it! I don’t need it!”
“Is that so? If you read this, I don’t think you’ll ever go out dressed in that state.”
Hearing those words, Hina reluctantly assessed her current appearance. The sleeves of the hoodie she’s wearing have frayed, her jeans has faded out, her hair wasn’t combed, and she was wearing glasses and a mask to cover her face without makeup. It’s practically screaming that she’s got zero sex appeal.
“Looks like it’s necessary so I’ll be leaving it in the post, okay? Aren’t you going to the convenience store? Well then, enjoy your breakfast.”
After giving her a meaningful glance, Hasegawa raised the edge of his mouth in a smirk.
Hina’s face flushed with anger and she dashed away immediately.