We came to Chiba Destiny Land to play.
Rika seems to be quite the Destiny enthusiast…
“Look, Shin-chan! It’s the home of Stan Mouse! Kyah! It’s real!”
And so on.
“This attraction is a coaster modeled after Dycroft, the Aerial Fortress!”
She would talk about her extensive knowledge.
“And then, I’m sorry, Shin-chan, that was…!”
After we get off the coaster, Rika suddenly apologizes.
“Well…you know…I was rambling on and on, like I was trying to show off my knowledge…”
Oh, you were worried about it?
“I’m not bothered by it at all. Nerds like to talk, you know?”
“But…don’t you hate it when you have to listen to something you’re not interested in?”
“Well, it depends on the person. I’m happy because I’m happy to know what the person I like is interested in.”
Rika’s face turns red.
“I see… someone you like… you know…”
“What? Oh, um..! I mean…”
Oh no, am I giving her the wrong idea?
If someone like myself, who is a shy guy, says I like you, won’t she hate me?
No, but…I shouldn’t tell weird lies here.
I’m happy, and I’m indeed having fun.
“I’d like to know more about Rika’s favorite things. That’s why it’s so much fun to see Rika having fun.”
“Un. I see.”
Rika smiles at me.
“I’m also very happy that Shin-chan knows about my hobbies.”
Rika looked a little sad.
“There have been times when I’ve shared my otaku knowledge and been hated… actually.”
“Yes, I think it’s because I look like a gal, but they say it doesn’t suit me. They say I’m gross…”
I see…otaku and gals are like water and oil.
But…it kind of pisses me off.
I can’t believe that they have their image of Rika and then dislike her on their own.
“Don’t worry. I don’t hate you. I like Rika’s otaku-like personality, too.”
Rika’s face turns red.
Oh, shoot! I might have given her the wrong impression!
“Come on, let’s go. There are still many other attractions!”
“Oh, yeah! This is only the beginning! If you want me to talk about it, I won’t hold back!”
Rika smiled and pulled my hand.
“Yes, I’m glad to be here with you.”
“Okay, let’s go!”
After that, we enjoyed Destinyland to the fullest.
Rika’s commentary on the attractions helped me to understand them better and enjoy them even more.
After visiting all the attractions, we went to a restaurant for a break.
“Wow, this restaurant… it’s always so packed you can never get in…”
“Wow, I didn’t know it was that great.”
There was a lot of delicious food on offer, so it’s no wonder it’s so popular.
And there was even a show by Destiny’s characters right in front of us.
“I was so happy to see them. I’m so grateful to you, Shin-chan. Thank you so much!”
“No, no, you’re welcome.”
Rika said as she sipped her after-dinner coffee, feeling immersed in memories.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun in my life. It’s record-breaking!”
“Record-breaking…when was it last time?”
“Before my mom divorced, I think it was when I was in elementary school because we were poor.”
Rika looks a little sad.
“It’s been bad since before the divorce. Mom’s been working. My dad doesn’t do anything to take care of the house…”
“I see…it must have been hard.”
“I love my mom. She always gives me a gentle hug, no matter how hard the situation is.”
Rika says with a smile.
“My mom brought me here one day. We didn’t have any money. I had so much fun going around with her then. That’s why Destiny is so special, and I love it so much.”
“I see you like this amusement park because of the memories you have of your mother.”
“That’s right. Well, it was so crowded at that time that we could hardly ride any of the attractions…”
Even so, they must have had a good time.
I could feel it in her eyes.
She was excited the whole time.
“I see…Well, let’s come back again,” she said. Maybe we can invite your mother next time.”
Eh? Rika’s eyes darted to the side.
“Oh, um… why are you mentioning my mom?”
“Well, she hasn’t been here since Rika was a child, so she must be the same as you, right?”
“That’s right, but…”
“It’ll be more fun if we play with you and your mom too!”
I noticed that when Rika was enjoying Destiny.
Sometimes she would suddenly look sad.
She was probably feeling sorry for her mother.
She was wondering if it was okay to play around while her mother was working.
“I mean, what did you do with the money you got from my grandfather the other day?”
“Oh, was that for real?”
“Probably. Ask your mother if there is any money in your account.”
Rika nodded and sent a line on her phone.
Then, a few minutes later.
“Oh, Mom. Yeah, yeah. How was it…? Eh! That was for real?”
[That’s right! Yacchan was so surprised! Heeeeee! What is this, a scam? Wrong bank transfer scam! Where should I call?]
A very loud voice comes from the other end of the phone.
It must be Rika’s mother.
What is it?
I’ve heard this voice somewhere before.
“Well, I think the money is okay. Yeah… yeah… yeah, see you later.”
With a snap, Rika hangs up the phone.
“Did you get the money?”
“Yes…I was surprised to see 75 million yen in there.”
It was his payday and he had just gone to the bank.
But 75 million yen?
Grandpa said he had given her 50 million yen, but he must have added some extra color to it when he found out about Rika’s situation.
“Shin-chan… take me to your grandfather’s house sometime soon.”
“What? Okay, but…what are you going to do?”
Rika says seriously
“I have to pay him back.”
“Because… I’ve received too much money. I can’t take such a big sum of money…”
Well, I understand what you’re saying, but…
“It’s all right. Take it.”
“Grandpa gave it to Rika as a New Year’s gift. It would be rude to give it back to him after he gave it to you.”
“That may be true, but it’s 75 million yen.”
“The amount of money doesn’t matter. Grandpa, he gave it to you because he wanted you to be happy. I think that returning it is impossible because it would be disrespecting the other person’s kindness.”
And the fact that Grandpa added some extra money probably means that he likes her that much.
If Rika’s family is poor, I want her to spend that money properly even more so.
“Is it really okay?”
Rika asked me anxiously.
“Of course. You won’t be asked to do anything later. If you have to return it later… Well, you won’t be asked, but if you do, rely on me. I’ll do something about it.”
Rika closes her eyes and bows her head deeply.
“Thanks, Shin-chan. It’s very helpful. I’m sure Mom will be very happy. Really, really… thanks.”
Rika said with a beautiful smile.
I am glad she is smiling.
At the same time, I remember the smile of the girl in my memory.
Rika Kinasa-chan, the girl who taught me how to be an otaku in elementary school.
Rika-chan and Rika in front of me. I wonder why…they overlap.
“Oh, nothing…it’s nothing.”
“After that, we enjoyed Destinyland to the fullest, and Saburo-san drove us back home.”
“Hai, we’re here! Rika-chan’s home!”
A limousine stops in front of a rundown apartment building.
“Thanks for the ride.”
“No problem, I’m not going to let Shinji’s girlfriend go home alone!”
Rika smiles in front of the apartment.
And that’s when.
Suddenly, I heard a woman’s voice.
When I turned around, there was a woman there, wearing heavy makeup.
Who is this person?
“Shin-chan! Hey there! Long time no see!”
“Ya, Yamaga Yamaga…san?”
“Why are you here?”
“Wait a minute~ Rika. Are you going on a date with Shin-chan? I envy you, Konokono~ What’s wrong with you two?”
…Why is Rika talking to Yamaga-san so friendly?
Well, because…Yamaga-san is…Rika’s mother…
Rika is… is Rika… what?