I can’t believe I’m thinking of doing this, Kirin thought, shaking her head and pacing around in the same place. She had been doing that for a while now. But Mari invited me. I know I never actually promised I’d come, but it’d be rude to ignore, right?
B-but it’s not like I have to come today. I can just come next week, or maybe the week next to that… Yeah, that’s not a bad idea. I’m not busy or anything, but tonight isn’t a good night… for some reason. I can come here after… after that thing…
No matter how much she tried, Kirin couldn’t come up with an excuse even to herself. The truth was that there was no reason for her to not visit Mari at the club she worked in today. I haven’t talked to her ever since Sunday. I wanna see her… But visiting a hostess bar… If anyone saw me…
As she paced around again, someone called her.
“Hey, you. Could you please go stand somewhere else?” said a woman dressed in a short and sparkly red dress. “Business is already slow today and you pacing and murmuring to yourself doesn’t help.”
“What? Ah, sorry!” Kirin hurried to apologize, bowing to her.
“Why are you even standing before our club? Do you want to come in?”
“Ah, no!” Kirin flustered and shook her head, her eyes wide. “I was just—”
“Wait, you’re…” The woman narrowed her eyes, observing the teacher carefully. Then she smiled. “Since the business is slow, how about if you come in?”
“What!? No, I can’t—"
“Please. You’d be doing us a favor. If there a lot of free girls looking bored, it doesn’t look good for business.”
“T-that’s a problem…” Kirin said in an awkward voice, flashing a similar smile. The woman had locked arms with her and was pressing her breasts against her. “B-but I don’t know if I can afford…”
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. You can just pay for what you consume. You don’t need to pay for the girls’ drink. Just talk to us and entertain us.”
“W-well… If that’s all…” Kirin couldn’t stop herself from smiling as she was led into the club.
Inside was what she expected. Though she had never visited such an establishment, she had seen them in movies. There were a few clients. They were all men and were talking with a couple of beautiful women at the same time.
I don’t see Mari… I wonder if it's her day off, Kirin thought, her stomach tightening with the idea. I only came here to see her.
Instead of one of the seats, the woman led her to a back room.
“W-where are we going?” Karin asked. “Am I not going to talk to pretty girls?”
“Yes, but it’d be best if you change. You don’t have the looks of a client of this place.”
The hostess was right. Kirin had come straight from school, wearing a plain tracksuit.
“Don’t worry,” she added. “We have the right look for you.”
A few minutes later, Kirin had changed into a regular suit. Though the shirt was a bit baggy for her, the skirt was tight, and along with the black pantyhose, she looked like an office lady. I look cool, she thought, smiling before the mirror.
“You look great. Now please entertain us,” the hostess said, leading her to a seat in the corner of the main room. “Wait here. I’ll get us drinks.”
When she was alone, Kirin remained quiet, looking at the floor as if her eyes were glued to it. Even if she liked the clothes, it wasn’t enough to hide how nervous she was.
I’m here… I let myself get dragged because of a pretty onee-san… I’m so easily manipulated…
But now I’m here. Hope I get to see Mari… She blushed at the idea, but the image of her neighbor made her heart thump faster.
A few moments later, the hostess was back with two drinks. But she wasn’t alone. Three beautiful women dressed in similar dresses came behind her.
After handing Kirin her drink, the women sat by her sides. The teacher couldn’t help but blush even more; she had no idea where to look so she sipped her champagne. They’re all too gorgeous! It’s like I have a harem!
“So, Kirin. Talk about yourself,” said the hostess who brought her in, also sipping her drink. “We all would like to know.”
“Eh?” Kirin choked on her drink. “I-I don’t remember telling you my name…”
“But we know about you,” she said.
“Yeah, we’ve been hearing about you all week,” another woman said.
“Eh? Why? How?” Kirin looked at her.
“Mari. She couldn’t stop talking about you,” the hostess on the teacher’s far-left answered.
“Really?” Kirin beamed at her.
“Yes,” they all said.
Kirin blushed and focused on the drink. “W-what did she say?” she asked in the most casual voice she could, hoping to hide her feelings. When the hostesses exchanged meaningful glances, she knew she had failed miserably.
“She said her neighbor was a kind and strong person.”
“Someone who’d go out of her way just to help a stranger”
“And even though she was slightly clumsy, she cared a lot about her students.”
“And was also very interesting. There wasn’t a boring moment being next to her.”
“Also that her neighbor was her samurai.”
“S-she said all that?” Kirin managed to ask despite her burning face.
“Yes,” they all said again. “And she always smiled when she was talking about you.”
“I-I see…” Even her ears were burning now. Can’t believe she talked about me… I’m super happy, but what does that mean?
The women exchanged looks again.
“That’s why we wanted to talk to you,” said the hostess who brought her into the club.
“T-talk about what?”
“How do you feel about our girl?”
“W-what do you mean…?”
“You know what we mean,” another hostess said.
“Mari is our precious girl. We need to know anyone who gets closer to her.”
“Yeah, we can’t her have her heartbroken.”
“H-heart broken!?” Kirin exclaimed, not sure to whom to look.
“Yes. And please, don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking about.”
“We want to know what your romantic intentions are towards our girl.”
“R-r-romantic intentions!?” Kirin exclaimed again, so loud some people from other seats turned their heads towards them. She fidgeted, trying to look as small as she could.
“Yes,” all the hostesses said, pressing closer.
“I… I… I like her,” Kirin said barely above a whisper. I can’t believe I’m admitting to them… I don’t even know these women…
The hostesses exchanged looks again. The next moment, they beamed. “Good! We approve!”
As they cheered, the teacher drank the rest of her champagne just to do something.
“Sorry for taking so long, Kirin!” Mari came running towards them. She was slightly panting, but when she looked at the teacher, she smiled.
So beautiful, the teacher thought. All her embarrassment was forgotten as she looked at that woman.
“When I heard you were here, I finished my break right away,” Mari explained, fixing a lock of her long blond hair.
“Here,” one of the hostesses said as they all stood up. “Take your time, you two.”
As they walked away, they all looked at Kirin and Mari, giggling, their smiles even bigger.
“I’m so glad you came,” Mari said as she sat.
“Y-yeah… me too…”
Despite her embarrassment, if Kirin could see Mari’s smile before she got home, it was worthy.