It was the night when Mahiru welcomed Amane at the apartment entrance, and Amane glanced aside at Mahiru, seated next to him, wondering if he should mention about the man he met.
He was not completely sure, but the man most probably was Mahiru’s father.
Mahiru did not seem very similar to her mother, on first impression, and one might doubt if they were mother and daughter. The man on this day looked very similar to Mahiru, and it was obvious that he was the father.
The handsome, kind face, hair and eye colors resembled Mahiru if she was a male and aged. Amane could not simply dismiss him as someone unrelated given how much they resembled each other.
However, he wondered if he should actually tell Mahiru.
He knew Mahiru was on bad terms with her parents, and knew that she would often avoid this topic. If possible, he wanted to act as if nothing happened.
Despite that, Mahiru would surely falter if the man appeared again and met Mahiru. At the same time, he felt she should be mentally prepared.
“…What is it? You have been looking at me all this while.”
Amane was frustrated on what he should do, and Mahiru seemed to have sensed the stare as she looked towards him in confusion.
“Ah, no, erm…”
“What is it? Are you hiding something?”
“…How do I put it?”
“Please say whatever you want. I shall not ask more if you do not wish to say so, but I am all ears if you will talk.”
Once Mahiru indicated that she would respect Amane’s wishes, Amane spent 10 seconds wondering what he should do…and slowly spoke up.
“…Erm, just now…when I went shopping, I met a guy.”
“Yes, yes, is that so?”
Mahiru might not have understood what Amane was getting at, and nodded first. Amane stared at her eyes intently.
The color of those eyes were exactly the same as the man he met.
“That man was staring out there, staring at the apartments…his eyes really resembled yours.”
“His eyes and hair colors are just like yours, Mahiru. So is his face.”
Is he your father? Amane cautiously hinted, and Mahiru seemed perturbed, rather than shaken.
“W-what…are you implying that someone resembles my father?”
So he said, but he was almost certain the man was Mahiru’s father. The face and demeanor were very similar to Mahiru, so much so that there was no way they did not have any blood relations.
Once she heard Amane’s words, Mahiru blinked away, and narrowed her eyes.
She probably was dumbfounded.
“…You must be mistaken, I believe?”
“My father has no interest in me at all. He does have a child with his mistress, although they are not married. I would have assumed he never thought of me. He never contacted me for reasons other than business.”
Mahiru tersely noted, her eyes turning from dumbfounded to aloof.
“He has no reason to meet me, and if he did, he should have contacted me. That had never happened before though.”
She said adamantly, Amane stared at her face, and held her hand.
“And what does he have to say at this point? He abandoned his daughter for more than ten years, got along well with another woman, and what purpose has he has to look for me?”
“Even if they cared about me…I cannot think of them as my parents. Those people are just blood related, and not the parents who raised me. The only parent who raised me was Koyuki-san.”
She continued with a monotonous voice, filled with countless thorns in them. Amane had enough, and embraced her tightly.
The thorns borne out of the voice were hurting Mahiru herself. She did not seem to be acting tough, but it felt like she was choking herself.
The proof was that even though her face seemed devoid of expression, she clearly was hurting. A blank look she had, it looked hurtful.
Mahiru slowly lifted her head towards Amane while in his clutches.
Mahiru whispered, and sighed as she leaned on him.
“…I do not mind at all, actually. That man has nothing to do with me.”
“…And I have a new home.”
“…So, I am fine.”
Amane was glad that Mahiru could think of his old place as her home, and once again, he realized her feelings for her own family as he gently patted her head.