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9kinds

Chapter 6 - レモンの甘さ The sweetness of lemons


Kouta and Amu go out to eat together at a yakiniku restaurant. They drink and talk and Amu tells Kouta a fun fact about how a single lemon has the same amount of vitamin C as four lemons. When Kouta asks him to elaborate he explains that when various products try to illustrate the amount of vitamin C they have compared to lemons it’s only taking into consideration the flesh of the lemon, not the fruit as a whole. So if you were to use that same standard to describe a whole lemon it would have the same amount of vitamin C as four lemons.

Kouta wishes he could just relax and enjoy the conversation but he knows there’s something that he has to ask him about.

***

The next section picks up when Kouta met with Misaki at the bar in Yoyogi. He learns that she and Shizuku have been together for a long time. They met back in high school in their hometown in Gunma, got together right away and once they graduated came to Tokyo together. However neither of them were able to hold a job for long and after turning 20 both of them began jobs in the nightlife entertainment district.

Kouta expresses surprise at hearing this because Shizuku speaks with a Kansai accent but Gunma isn’t in Kansai. Misaki explains that he picked the accent up from the owner of Tuberose who he and all the other host refer to as papa out of respect. She explains that they started working in this industry thinking that it would only be for a short time, but they were both better at it than expected and it’s been three years now. She likes the work but says that she can’t continue and Kouta notices that she’s touching her stomach. He then recalls that she ordered a nonalcoholic drink and surmises that she’s pregnant.

She confirms this and says that while she likes this life she can’t do it while raising a child and she doesn’t know how long Shizuku will be able to continue on like this either. She explains that she wants Shizuku to become independent from the club, however since Shizuku has became so good at being a host and is now the top seller at the club, the owner said he won’t let him quit until there are three others that are able to sell as much is he does. She had told him that they should just leave anyway but since the owner took care of Shizuku, he doesn’t want to do that. That’s why he was so desperately searching for new hosts to join Tuberose and trying to train them.

Kouta realizes that that is the reason behind why Shizuku seemed desperate the other night and why he hangs out with Amu, because he sees promise in him. Kouta asks Misaki why she’s keeping this a secret from Shizuku and she explains that men don’t like it when women intervene, she just went to the club yesterday to add a little bit of pressure.

Kouta tells her that he'll never be able to surpass Shizuku who has the natural talent that takes to be a host. Misaki asks him why he's being so pessimistic and tells him to just be quiet and do as he's told. She gives some several pointers on how to do better, all simple things such as to try to actively participate in conversation when he's helping other hosts, to make eye and physical contact. She warns him that he should view them not as people but as clients- money. Kindness or affection will only hurt him.

***

The next section picks back up with Kouta and Amu at the yakiniku restaurant. Kouta asks Amu what he and Shizuku did the other night and when he tells him that they went to the batting center until first train, Kouta conveys that information to Misaki via text.

Amu tells Kouta that lemons are actually just as sweet as strawberries, but the sweetness gets overpowered by the sourness. He notes that the same thing happens with people too, and Kouta scolds him saying that he’s making lemons out to be the bad guys.

Kouta asks him why he decided to be a host and since he seems like someone who could find a better job. And Amu says maybe it’s because he wanted proof. When Kouta asks him to clarify it’s clear that he himself doesn’t really know he talks about how recently there have been more earthquakes and he’s always been the type who can’t tell when they’re over, if it’s the earth that’s shaking or if it’s him. Amu asks Kouta the same question and he finds himself trusting him and honestly explaining that he needs money to support his family but failed to find a real job.

When they go to pay Amu says that he doesn’t have any money so Kouta offers to treat him since he had fun, but Amu insists that he’ll pay him back later. Afterwards they go to karaoke and Kouta pays for both of them there too. By the end of the night they’re so drunk that they’re hanging off of each other to keep walking, though they drank more and cheaper alcohol than they do at work neither of them gets sick.

Amu’s phone goes off and he tells Kouta that he has somewhere to be. As they go their separate ways, Amu tells Kouta that they should hang out again sometime, which makes Kouta happy. That night, Amu disappears with Tuberose’s money.

Tags: waiting at tuberose, チュベローズで待ってる
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