EP.34 The embarrassing past in the album
After the meal, Kishimoto-sensei showed me around his studio as promised.
Materials for human reference, various collections of oriental paintings, various manga and tablets, etc.
It was very impressive to see in person the studio that I had only seen in pictures.
“At home, I usually only work on the content, and I actually draw manga in the studio next door. I’m the type that’s hard to concentrate at home.”
While saying that with folded arms, Kishimoto-sensei smiled.
However, as I was satisfied enough to see the studio of my favorite mangaka, I didn’t want anything more.
“Oh, sensei, can I have your autograph, please?”
“Fine, as much as you want.”
When I heard that, I took out the entire collection of the golden samurai I had in my bag.
The 28 manga were quite stained after reading them several times.
Teacher Kishimoto left a signature on the inner cover of the books one by one.
After getting all 28 copies signed, I bowed my head with great satisfaction after getting my autograph.
“Thank you, sensei! I’ll keep it forever!”
Then Mr. Kishimoto smiled politely and waved his hand.
“Haha, it’s just a signature of someone like me. Just stay close to my daughter.”
After looking around the studio like that, I went up to the second floor, led by Rika.
“Ta-da! This is my room!”
Should I say that it was kind of unexpected?
Her room was entirely decorated in a relaxed tone.
Although the cute props stood out, it felt incredibly modern for a 17-year-old girl’s room.
‘Is it Rika’s mother taste?’
I stepped into the room thinking so and was surprised to see manga volumes filling one wall.
“Hehe, a little disturbed? When my friends first came to my house, they showed the same reaction as Ryu-chan.”
I usually thought Rika liked shonen manga a little.
However, now that I saw it, it was not a little, but a lot.
It was simply spectacular to see shonen manga, which can be known by their names, being separated by genre and stuck in the bookshelf.
People would mistake it for a library, not a room.
“Now, sit here and wait. I’ll bring some tea and something to eat.”
I sat on the cushion in front of the sitting table, as Rika recommended.
It was my first time visiting a girl’s room, but I felt unexpectedly comfortable.
Was it because of the shonen manga? It felt like I was at one of my friend’s houses.
Rika, who was leaving the room to go to the kitchen, looked back and said,
“While I’m gone, can you not touch anything? I’ll get really mad if you get caught.”
Perhaps because we were at an age sensitive to privacy, I guess she was worried about leaving her room alone.
When I nodded, saying okay, Rika left the room saying she would go quickly.
It was not until I was left alone in the room that I felt a little conscious of reality.
It’s a life that I wouldn’t have imagined in the past to come to my friend’s house on a holiday.
I never had that kind of feelings for Rika, but I felt strange staying alone in a girl’s room.
Maybe it was just my feeling, but I thought the room smelled fragrant.
My room usually smelled like sweat.
I decided to play games to clear my mind until Rika came back.
It was when I just ran a game on my cellphone thinking that way.
Suddenly, Rika’s mother came into the room.
When I panicked and tried to get up, Rika’s mother closed the door slightly, telling me to sit comfortably.
“I look too old when you say “ma’am,” so feel free to call me Maria.”
… Can I call my friend’s mother like that?
I hesitated to speak for a moment, but with the constant urging, I was forced to call her Ms. Maria.
“Well, what brings you here all of a sudden, Ms. Maria?”
Of course, I thought she’d be on the first floor.
Since Rika went down to the first floor to prepare refreshments.
Then Maria, who heard my question, said playfully with an evil smile.
“It’s just to show my daughter’s embarrassing past~”
“Her embarrassing past?”
I couldn’t imagine it well, so when I blinked, Maria smiled and showed what she was hiding behind her back.
“Ta-da! This is the photo album that shows Rika’s growth process. Aren’t you curious as a friend, Yoo-sung?”
It was a very obvious event to go to a friend’s house and look at a photo album, but it was a trial that I wanted to experience at least once as a reader.
Eventually, when I nodded shyly after being tempted, Maria sat across from me and opened her secret photo album.
The album, which chronicles Rika’s growth, started from infancy.
“This is Rika when she was 1 years old, this is Rika when she was 2 years old, and this is Rika when she was 3 years old, and this is a picture taken when she went to England with me.”
Maria recounted the faded memories, pointing out the pictures one by one, and telling an anecdote related to them.
“Ah, this is Rika from the school arts festival. It was so cute that she came home with a sad face and complained about the role of a tree she got by drawing lots.”
Maria laughed as she said so and slowly moved the album to the next page.
“Oh, I miss this, too. I took this picture when I went to the Comiket for the first time with Rika.”
When I heard something completely unexpected, I turned my head unconsciously.
In the photo, a blonde mother and daughter in twin tails were posing with a modern cane in a black costume.
It is a rival character of Magic Girl, which was popular about 10 years ago.
I had never seen it, but I remembered it because of Kim Yoo-sung’s memories.
When I looked at Maria with a perplexed expression, she smiled proudly and said,
“I used to be a first-generation cosplayer. Since I was young, I wanted to cosplay with my daughter when I got one.”
Very naturally, Maria, who revealed her old job, continued to explain the following photos.
“Oh, this is the picture I took when I was in C73. My husband took this picture when I was in C78.”
In the photo, Maria was cosplaying all kinds of foreign characters, taking advantage of being a blonde foreigner.
Rika, her daughter, was always next to her.
“Huhu, isn’t my daughter so cute? She had a talent for cosplay because she looked like me.”
To be honest, it was nothing else than a culture shock in many ways to say that cosplay was taught early to her.
Is she talking about Rika’s embarrassing past?
When I was nodding my head, somehow convinced,
“Ah, I finally found it. My daughter’s embarrassing past.”
“What? There’s more?”
I was surprised that there was a worse embarrassing past than this.
Honestly, at this point, I was wondering what the picture was.
Perhaps because she was satisfied with my response, Maria nodded her head and showed me a picture of the album.
In the picture, Rika, a middle school student with an eye patch on her right eye and a black gosroli costume and a red lens, looked so cool…
Hearing a pointed voice from behind my back, I hurriedly closed the album.
“Oh my, you’re already here?”
Maria welcomed Rika with a calm expression.
Rika, who walked with a red face, hit the tray she was holding while putting it down on the table to make a sound and asked Maria.
“Did you show them?”
Then Maria smiled tenderly and nodded.
Rika was bursting with shame.
She wasn’t as bright and playful as usual and looked genuinely ashamed.
That’s right, it’s understandable if a friend in the same class discovered a picture of you with the 8th grade syndrome.
If I were in the same situation, I’d find a rat hole first to hide.
When I hesitated because I didn’t know how to console her, Rika said with a tearful look.
“I don’t do any cosplay anymore It’s true! That’s just… It’s a mistake I made during a stormy period!”
“Uh, yeah. I trust you.”
As I nodded saying so, Rika was somehow in even more pain.
Is it the cry of someone who got caught with her embarrassing past.
Maria, who was happily watching her daughter suffer, put the album on her side and waved her hand slightly.
“Then Mama will get going. You two have a good time~”
Then Rika jumped up from the bed and shouted to the back of Maria’s head as she left the room.
“Don’t ever come into my room again!”
However, Maria closed the door slightly and walked out without any reply.
Rika, who was huffing to herself, asked me with a tearful face as if she still couldn’t relieve her anger.
“You’re going to keep this a secret, right?”
I nodded with a bitter smile.
“There’s no one to talk to anyway.”