Hellping

11:50 a.m. April 1st.

The weather was finally getting warmer, and I thought it would be nice to read in a sunny place, so I settled down on the sofa, only to feel the phone in my pocket vibrate.

What?

It was a LINE notification. The (and I emphasize, little) stepsister whom I met 10 days ago, sent me the following message.

 

“Since it’s April Fools’, everything I want to say next is all a lie.”

 

Huh? April Fools?

Ahh, I see, April 1st, huh? Now that she mentioned it, there’s such a tradition going on.

Tilting her head and pondering as she walked into the living room with her long hair swaying was the sender―Yume Irido.

I was about to ask what she was planning, but she smiled at me.

 

“Hello Mizuto-kun. You look smart and cool today.”

“……………………”

 

Once I saw that dazzling smile, I understood everything.

“Everything I want to say next is all a lie.”

In other words, these words basically meant, ‘you’re disgusting, die’.

 

It’s a holiday, so our conversation might be overheard by our parents.

But if she could dismiss everything she said as a lie, she could insult me all she wanted and not get questioned.

 

I see, so she thought about it. I shall praise that idea of yours.

But there’s one problem.

Two can play that game.

 

“Since it’s April Fools, everything I say from now is a lie.” I sent her this LINE message, and then said,

 

“Hello Yume-san. You’re cute as usual, it’s mesmerizing.”

 

I said, and had the urge to sigh, but I tried not to show my tone too overtly.

After all, look.

 

“……!……”

 

Yume was momentarily bewildered, and then she pursed her lips in regret.

Even when they know it’s not true, people get embarrassed when they are praised right in the face.

Immediately afterward, she realized that she was being insulted, and felt, and had to experience another bout of humiliation.

 

How’s that? This is the finished product of your method. Suffer from your own ideas!

 

I closed the book, stood up from the sofa, and approached Yume with a very gentle smile.

 

“I’ve always thought your hair is really beautiful…can I touch it?”

“D-don’t—”

 

Then Yume choked up.

Yep. If she said ‘no’ at this moment, it’d mean ‘yes’.

Yume spaced out for a moment, her mouth agape…and then her eyes averted mine as she covered her face, hiding her expression.

 

“Su-sure.”

“Don’t mind if I do then.”

“Eh?”

 

I knew that everything you said before was a lie, but I’m not obliged to determine your true intent.

Once I got the permission to, I gently (not exactly ‘unreserved’) put Yume’s black hair in my hair.

The black silk-like hair strands on my palm simply slid off.

 

“…Quite the silky hair. Feels nice to touch. To be honest, I feel like I can keep touching.”

 

The “smooth” is just a fact, but after the “nice” was a lie. It was a lie. I’ll say it three times because it’s important. That was a lie.

 

“~~~~~~!!!”

 

It seemed the fact that I was touching her hair was some great humiliation, for Yume’s face was flushed red as red and she glared at me from up close.

Hmph. If you’re frustrated, fight back all you want. I’m not going to end up any worse than you though.

 

“……Say, Mizuto-kun.”

 

Yume muttered, pointed her finger, and poked at my cheek.

I immediately turned my face aside instinctively.

 

“Now that I look closely…you do have a cute face though?”

 

She gave a somewhat impish smirk as she looked at me from up close, and my cheeks twitched instinctively.

That’s dangerous!

She just meant ‘now that I look from up close, you seem uglier’, huh?

 

“You look like an actor with your long eyelashes and straight nose. Do you mind if I take a closer look?”

“S-stop—”

 

The moment I was about to blurt out, I realized this was the move I just used. I couldn’t answer no matter how I refused. No copying!

I saw that Yume continued to close in on me, and I could only retreat.

But soon after, my feet touched the sofa, and I fell onto it.

Yume got on top of me.

She put her knees between my legs, and looked at me up from so close, we could feel each other’s breath.

 

“I want to keep looking at your face. I want to keep looking at you all day long. I feel my heart race if I continue to look.”

 

(※Translation: I don’t want to see your face ever again. I feel frustrated just by approaching this face. I might die from cardiac arrest if I keep looking.)

 

Such were the sweet words she said, but the translation was so tragic. Did I do anything to make her say such things?

There’s no way I could let myself be pinned down, right?

I stared right into Yume’s eyes, and eked out the tone I used while we were still dating, saying,

 

“Same here. I get all giddy just by looking at your face. I feel really blessed with you by my side…can we remain like this for just a little longer?”

 

(※Translation: Boy, looking at your face sure depresses me. I feel like puking just by being with you. Get the hell away from me, you shitty woman.)

 

Yume’s lips relaxed slightly, probably because she reacted to my gentle tone. She immediately pursed them however, and got closer.

 

“Yes, I’ll continue to do so if you wish for it.” (※Translation: I’ll stay away from you even without you telling me to.)

“Thanks. It’ll be great if time can stop forever.” (※Translation: Hurry up and scram!)

“It’s really a pity if my body shall imprison you forever.” (※Translation: You’re clearly enjoying the feeling, you pervert!)

“Not at all. A single moment in life is all I need to experience your warmth.” (※Translation: You’re getting me all hot by clinging onto me! Hurry up and end this alright!)

 

Maybe the fact that Yume and I were bibliophiles resulted in our lines resembling Romeo and Juliet. It’s so embarrassing I want to die.

When is this little charade gonna end!?

Cornered into endless despair, I bitterly racked my brain for the next line.

 

“Hey.”

 

Yume suddenly looked at me.

And she whispered.

 

“I don’t, want to kiss.”

 

………Hm?

Eh?

Don’t want—did she say don’t want?

Everything she said was a lie, but…don’t want?

 

Yume’s eyes were rippling and glittering as they stared into my eyes…as though expectant.

Wait a sec…

Even though we’re figuratively tussling against each other, did she recall the past while we’re clinging onto each other…?

 

My eyes inadvertently looked towards Yume’s lips.

The slightly pink lips that looked somewhat soft.

…I experienced them several times back when we were still dating.

In hindsight, it felt like a dream.

But now.

Ever so slightly, I leaned my face forward—

 

“—Pfft.”

 

And then, Yume’s face suddenly crumbled up close.

 

“Haha, ahaha! Fuhahaha…!”

 

Yume burst out laughing, and quickly pulled her distance away from me.

And then, she looked down at me while I was still on the sofa, giving a victorious smirk.

 

“Those words are for real though.”

 

I couldn’t comprehend, and kept blinking.

Really?

If the ‘don’t want to kiss’ part was real—

 

“—Huh? Ahhh? What happened to ‘everything is a lie’?”

“Look at the time.”

 

Stunned, I looked at my phone.

…12pm. And right when I looked, a minute passed.

 

“It’s the afternoon. Don’t you know?”

 

…Ah.

Ahhhhhhh……

The only time we could lie on April Fools was till noon.

Speaking of which, there seemed to be such a custom…

 

“Ah, ah, ahh, ahhhhh…!”

 

I cupped my head.

What’s that about? I was had…

Yume looked at me, and grinned. This damn woman! I just made a rare mishap…!

 

“………Hm?”

 

And I, thoroughly embroiled in the turmoil of humiliation, suddenly thought of something.

Wait a sec? I remember that custom…

I took my phone, tapped at it, and searched the internet.

…As expected.

 

“……Oy.”

“What? Losing dog?”

The part about April Fools’ lasting till noon is an English custom.”

“……Eh.”

 

Yume’s face froze.

And so I leered.

 

“It looks that’s an increasing trend in Japan in recent years, but usually, we celebrate April Fools all day long in Japan.”

 

So, what she said just now changed drastically.

 

—I don’t, want to kiss. (※Translation: I want to kiss)

—Those words are for real though. (※Translation: That was a lie)

 

Yes—she basically repeated herself, saying that ‘it’s a lie that I don’t want to kiss’!

 

“…Oy oy oy…”

 

I slowly got up, and stared down at this lying woman.

 

“Aren’t you quite enthusiastic about kissing someone?”

“Eh, ah, no…I-I don’t really mean that—kyaa!?”

 

I violently grabbed her arms, on purpose, and pulled her towards me.

I looked at her up close, and dealt the fatal blow.

 

“I want to kiss.”

 

Yume’s eyes widened slightly.

The pink lips started to quiver.

And then, her long eyelashes,

Started to shake as they lowered—

 

At that moment, I said,

 

“That’s April Fools.”

 

Yume immediately opened her eyes.

And then, her face slowly turned beetroot, to the ears.

 

 

“~~~~!!!!! Go die already!!!”

“Oww!”

 

She delivered a low kick, and escaped my grasp.

I frowned in pain, but, fufufu, it’s the pain of victory.

Look that her pathetic anguished face. She’s shaking in shame.

 

“I’m not playing this anymore! It’s stupid! That’s it!”

 

She started this herself, and then she decided to end this herself. She darted up to the second floor.

 

…Now then.

I did mention that everything I said to her on April Fools was a lie—

 

But in this situation, how should we interpret “That’s April Fools.”?

 

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