Life, Once Again! - Chapter 149
Maru took his lips off and looked at her as if nothing had happened . Her eyebrows shot up to the sky, fell back down, and then shot up again .
"Are you crazy?"
Very normal . "
She didn't say anything for a moment . Her lips twisted for a second before opening back up again . She looked very, very surprised .
"Who told you to do that?!"
"That . . . "
"I really took my time with it on purpose . I tried to give you as much time as I could . "
"Are you really saying that right now?"
She shook her head sideways .
"T-they didn't see, did they?"
"Who? Your club members?"
She nodded lightly . Maru looked behind him, he couldn't see Yoojin anymore . She probably left after seeing what was going on . In any case, they were alone .
There';s no one . "
"Hah . "
"What? You don't like being seen with me?"
Of course I do!"
" . . . . . . "
Her frown was deepening the more he asked her . He wanted to tease her a bit more but decided to stop there though . He didn't want her to cry further, so he took out the gift in his pocket .
"Here . "
She looked at his gift once and at him once .
"It's heavy, take it . "
"What is it?"
"Merry Christmas . It's a gift from Santa . I'm not supposed to give them to kids who cry, but I'll make an exception . I'm a very nice Santa . "
Maru wiped her eyes with his jacket sleeve, she stepped back with a flinch .
"Want to blow your nose, too?"
"I'm fine . "
She wiped her eyes as she sniffled, she resembled a squirrel washing its face in the morning . As weird as it sounded, she was really fun to tease at her age . What happened during the next eight years? What turned this girl into a vixen who waved a condom at him with a grin?
‘Maybe it’s her mother . ’
Maru’s ears tickled for a moment . Was someone swearing at him from afar? She opened the box he gave her . He looked at her carefully . She still had a frown on her face, but her eyes were clearly smiling . Maru took out one of the couple rings and grabbed her hand .
“W-what are you doing?”
“We need to see if it fits . ”
Maru put it on her ring finger, the itty bitty rabbit ring fit perfectly on her . She raised her hand up to observe it a little more carefully .
“It looks good on you . ”
“I look like a kid . ”
“Don’t you like this kind of stuff?”
She couldn’t refute him . She took off her ring with an annoyed look .
“Our school bans accessories . ”
“That’s a shame . ”
Maru put the other ring on his finger . A grown man, wearing some rabbit-shaped ring… It was a bit hilarious to think about, but at least they were connected through it .
“You’re going to keep it on?”
“Might as well since I bought it . ”
“You don’t look good with it on . ”
“I know . ”
“It’s a sign that I’m taken . ”
Her face reddened immediately .
“Everyone says couple rings work better the more childish they look, so this is a really good one . ”
“I’m not going to wear it . ”
She handed the ring back to him .
“Well, I should give it to someone else then . It’d be a shame to throw it away . I wonder if Yoojin would like this . ”
Maru put the ring back in his pocket and looked at her . She had a scary expression on her face . Maru smiled as he took the ring back out .
“I’m telling you this again . I’m yours . Don’t worry or be suspicious of me . I don’t want to force your expectations of me back on yourself though . You do whatever you want . I want you to like me and only me for sure . I’m not going to force that on you . ”
He carefully put the ring back on her finger . This time, she was quiet as he put it on .
“I’ll just have to work a little overtime making sure your heart doesn’t get stolen by someone else . ”
He turned the ring a little so that the rabbit would be on top before letting go . She brought her hands to her chest . She was looking at the ring .
“I’m sorry if I was being too forceful . I won’t do it again . ”
It was true that Maru was desperate to have her . He was lying when he said it would be fine for her to have her heart stolen by someone else . That, of course, was a white lie . He didn’t want to ruin the relationship by being too desperate . He handed her the perfume after, she didn’t say anything still .
“Merry Christmas again . I hope you like the perfume . ”
He did come on a little strong at a girl who’s never dated before, maybe he was the one who was too worried . Perhaps he should’ve taken his sweet time? Well, whatever . He didn’t have any regrets . Maru decided to head off though, he didn’t want to become too nervous in front of her . Maru turned back slowly, but a hand grabbed him before he could walk away .
It was her . She pulled him back and grabbed his collars . Before he even realized, they were staring at each other face to face .
“Stop doing whatever you want . ”
Her lips closed over his, it was a surprise for Maru this time around . Looking at her expression relaxed him immediately though . In fact, he even wanted to burst out into laughter . Her eyebrows were wrinkled because she clenched her eyes tightly . He thought about putting a tongue in there but quickly abandoned the thought, he didn’t want to get slapped . He put his hands around her hips, it took his everything trying to stop them from moving a little further down .
She snapped her head back with a loud huff, her face was completely red . It looked like her face was close to exploding, so Maru tried poking it .
“Hah, hah, hah . ”
She was huffing like she just ran in a marathon . Maru smiled as he let go of his hands around her, she didn’t step back .
“There’s one thing I want to make clear . ”
She sounded a little mad .
“What is it?”
“I like the ring, for now . ”
“Thanks . ”
“I also like you too . ”
The little string of nervousness snapped in his chest with that making Maru sighed subconsciously .
“I’m also going to return what you said right back at you . You should go meet other women, too! I’m going to work hard too . So that you’ll continue to like me . ”
She spat out her words before finally stepping back .
“By the way, you . . . ”
“H-how many times have you kissed people?”
“Would you believe me if I told you that it was my first time?”
“No, really . ”
“T-then how were you so natural with it?”
“Men like to study stuff like this, you know . ”
Maru gestured for another kiss playfully, her hand immediately flew to slap his lips . It kind of hurt .
“Pervert . ”
“Says the lady who just gave me a passionate kiss mere seconds ago . You even grabbed my collars . Are you into that stuff?”
He hugged her without permission one more time . Her round head only reached up to his chin . She had such a wide forehead .
“Thanks for being jealous . Thanks for telling me that I’m worth something to you . I was actually nervous that you didn’t really care for me . ”
It was better to be frank, at a time like this . Maru decided to tell her the truth without hiding anything . It might burden the listener a bit, but that was exactly what Maru wanted . It was mean if one were to think about it, but Maru wanted to imprint as much of himself as he could in her mind .
“It’s unfair… How good you are at talking . ”
She reached out to grab his coat for the first time, she didn’t seem to have the courage to actually hug him just yet . He did feel slightly greedy, but he decided to stop it here . He was glad she already had the courage to kiss him .
“Merry Christmas,” she said .
It would’ve been nice if this continued for a bit longer . Unfortunately, their sweet time was interrupted by a text message . She raised her head and Maru let go of her . She took out her phone to check the message .
“Hup . ”
She inhaled sharply before looking around like a meerkat . She was incredibly alert, her cheeks were turning completely pale in fear .
“S-saw . ”
What did she mean? She handed the phone to him with a frightened expression . There was a very short line written on the screen .
[Try not to bump your teeth . It’s absolutely embarrassing . ]
One of his cheeks twitched . This didn’t feel good . He raised his eyes to take a look at the sender of the message .
‘Ah, dear mother-in-law . ’
He swallowed nervously as he looked around . Was she still around looking at them?
“Y-your mother saw us?”
“Can’t you tell?”
“T-that’s troublesome . ”
“It’s your fault!”
“ . . . I’m leaving . Good luck . ”
He was serious . Reincarnation or not, there were still people he didn’t want to have to deal with . One of the worst amongst those people was his mother-in-law . She was a good person, of course . One of the nicest in fact . She was someone who cared about her daughter’s troubles very much .
At the same time, mother-in-law positively loved to tease people . If she finds out her daughter got a boyfriend… well, he need not imagine the consequences . She’d be smiling in front of you as she asked you some incredibly embarrassing questions . He still remembered the first time he went to her wife’s house, the first thing his mother-in-law asked him was if he was carrying a condom .
Maru turned back and tried to leave, consumed by his survival instincts . She didn’t let him go . As a matter of fact, she was smiling with vengeance on her face .
“Can you let me go?”
“Hmph, don’t want to . ”
“I’ll do good from now on . Please?”
“Too late . ”
His neck was starting to tingle . This was bad . He started looking behind him slowly, there were Yoojin and a pretty woman in her early forties .
“Nice to meet you . ”
Winter . Was this what frogs feel like in winter when they wake up for a moment during their hibernation only to be confronted with a snake? He could almost hear someone from the distance welcoming him to hell .
* * *
"Everyone’s here, right?”
“Yes . ”
“We’re leaving . Make sure you didn’t forget anything . ”
She checked her belongings again at the president’s behest . She wasn’t missing anything . Thank goodness .
“Phew, it’s over for now,” her friend commented .
She nodded with a big sigh . The prelim was hard, but that weirdo made her feel even more nervous .
Her friend must’ve seen the perfume in her bag . She was curious, so she took it out as well . The bottle was shaped like a droplet .
“What is it?”
“Perfume . ”
Her friend looked curious . She took off the cap and tried spraying a little on her wrist . She’s never used a perfume before, but she knew roughly where she was supposed to spray .
“Mm, it’s good . ”
Her friend responded first . She closed her eyes as she took another whiff . The scent was incredibly fresh, like a breeze passing right under her nose . It wasn’t strong at all, she liked it .
“Doesn’t this fit guys more though?”
“I think so, but I still like it . ”
“Who did you get it from?”
She just smiled in response .
“Santa . ”
Her friend only seemed more confused .
* * *
“Dig in . ”
“Yes? Ah, yes . ”
He was uncomfortable . Very uncomfortable . Sure, the cafe they were in was nice, but his future mother-in-law… Plus, the reason why they were sitting together was that she saw them kissing… This couldn’t go well for him .
“I’m not going to scold you, so relax a little . ”
“Y-you don’t have to be so polite, ma’am . ”
“Oh? Sure . ”
She was just coming right in . Maru decided to put on a fake smile . He couldn’t smile in any other way . Their coffee arrived . The drink was a welcomed change to their silence, but Maru wasn’t able to even take a sip . She threw him a question just as he grabbed his cup .
“Alright . So, what did you like about my daughter? I hope you can be honest and persuasive . Don’t give me a bad reason . ”
Mother-in-law grinned . She was pretty, but that’s not what’s important right now . If he didn’t give the woman the right answer… He’d have a bad time .
“Can I think for a bit, please?”
"Of course . ”
He needed to take care . It seemed that Santa decided to give him a box of coals, just because he decided to tease his girlfriend .