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Rehomed Cat

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“Hello? Yuni?” 

 “Kenma… I-“ You swore to stay composed but the embarrassment of your situation was too much to bare. You can’t help but sob but you do your best to inform your distant cousin of the reason for your seemingly random call.  You two were close as kids, but had grown apart as you aged. Though you were both quite similar, he had grown up to be quite successful and was always at least somewhat social, whereas you had succumb to anxiety-inducing traumas and separated from the outside world, effectively living as a NEET.

 “Can I please come live with you?” Your voice is distressed, angry at yourself for causing trouble because of your inability to live by “normal” standards. All this time, you’d been getting by on an allowance left to you by your late parents and by now was expended. You had already received a notice of eviction and considered yourself to be out of options, relying on the generosity of your only remaining family member. 

 He’s quiet for a moment, you wonder if he’d set the phone down and stopped listening long ago, not wanting to hear you crying or collect yourself to snivel and beg. 

 “Kenma, I’m sorry! I’ve inconvenienced you! Please don’t worry about-“ You were close to ending the call when he interjects.

 “You’re not inconveniencing me, Yuni. I was just thinking how to go about getting you here” He’s calm and you apologize again to him for misunderstanding, starting again to sob uncontrollably. 

 “Yoon~ Please stop crying” He pleads. 

 You do your best to control yourself, but you’re moved by his kindness. He didn’t have to help you the way he agreed to and you were beyond thankful. You both decide on a plan and schedule your move, he buys any travel tickets you require and tells you just to focus on leaving on time and arriving to the correct destination where he will meet you. You thank him profusely while he begs you not to and finally end the call, mutually looking forward to seeing the other soon. 

 You didn’t have many belongings to pack, your life was incredibly small and fit with a little room to spare in your suitcase — which you could lift with ease. A few different clothes, a couple pairs of shoes, basic toiletries, your journals — most of them used but a few untouched ones among them — and your laptop, cellphone, headphones, and respective chargers, cables, and accessories. Your hobbies were limited to writing and sketching, online games, and watching anime or your cousin’s gaming streams. While your life was simple, the internet allowed it to feel much more vast — exploring forums and other social platforms, connecting with strangers with similar niche interests. For the most part, you’d always felt content, only ever sometimes longing for excitement and more fulfilling life. The days you felt lonely or like the biggest disappointment on the planet, you’d escape reality and find a new game to play or anime to watch, sometimes even deciding to write whatever world it is you wish you could live in instead. 

 Kenma was thoughtful in deciding the best route for you to take, always having known about your lifestyle and being the only person you’ve experienced to not make you feel guilty for it. It wasn’t like you’d grown up wanting to live this way as an adult, but life had been a little too cruel and unfortunate for you, you’d suffered many traumas and braved the aftermath completely alone. This is the life you ended up with and you do everything you can to not allow harsh and hateful opinions to become your inner voice. Neither you nor Kenma made much of an active effort to stay in touch with each other, but you’d mutually send texts on holidays and call on birthdays, never once did he condescend or criticize your life, only ever wishing you well and being happy to hear from you. He’d arranged your trip to be as simple as possible — a bus ride and one direct flight. 

 On the day you set off to live with him, having dropped your keys off back to the building supervisor, you sent a text to Kenma letting him know you’re leaving your apartment on time and walking the short distance to the bus stop you’re meant to be at. He doesn’t respond and it only worries you a little. What if he regrets helping me? I have to go now though, he’s already spent money on getting me there. I hope he’s okay. You don’t hear from him until after you’ve arrived to the airport and checked in for your flight, which is taking off in less than an hour. You answer immediately. 

 “Kenma? Is everything o-“ 

 He interrupts you.  

 “Everything’s fine Yuni-” He sounds irritated. “I’m sorry but I won’t be able to pick you up from the airport. Can you write some things down?” 

 You’re caught off guard, but relieved he hasn’t mentioned regretting helping you, and you shuffle to get into your suitcase — small enough to fit as a carry-on — to get to your pens and journals, opening to a clean page. He gives you the name of the taxi company he’s booked to pick you up and the name of the driver so you know who to look for, and told you to let yourself into his home, giving you the codes you’ll need — one for the front gate and one for his front door. He assures you, you have full access to anything and tells you to make yourself at home once you arrive, and that he should be home himself not too long after you get there. 

 A little stressed at the sudden change of plans, you do a small breathing exercise and mentally hype yourself up. I can do this! Kenma is trusting me to arrive safely. He wouldn’t have done this unless he had to. I can do my part. He is helping me so much already, I can do this! Your flight is being announced as ready to board and you make your way through the gate and take your assigned seat once on the plane — a window seat. Thanks, Kenma! The flight is only a few hours, but you’re too nervous to sleep, so you stare out the window and keep yourself calm imaging your new life. You swear you’ll be of use to your cousin, you never want to upset him and make him wish he hadn’t moved you into his home. 

 Your flight is smooth and you land quicker than you anticipated, leaving the airport is simple and just outside are a few cab services lined up for others traveling away from the airport and further to their specific destinations. You spot the cab and the driver Kenma described to you and make your way over. The driver is kind and doesn’t seem to mind you’re the shy and quiet type. He picks up on this after a bit of small talk and then asks what type of music you’d like on the radio. Kenma’s apartment building is a short drive from the airport, the driver opens your door for you to exit the cab and drives away while you’re standing and staring in awe at the size of this building. It’s design is incredibly modern and sleek, it strikes you as the type to house wealthy business professionals, then you recall Kenma actually does have a large income though he never mentions it, but it’s apparent by the various high-end gadgets he uses to stream the many various games he plays — which he’s always buys on or before their release dates. 

 You make your way up to Kenma’s apartment, using the codes he’s given granting you access into the building, however your general appearance keeps you from feeling that you belong there — wearing a baggy stained hoodie that keeps the bike shorts you’re wearing under from being visible, and tattered sneakers, messy hair pulled-back to a pony and smudgy makeup applied a few days ago. You’re thankful not to have run into anyone on the way up and hurriedly lock yourself into your cousin’s apartment — your new home. 

 He’s quite a few floors off the ground and the layout is bigger than you expected. He’s got one wall of floor to ceiling windows and you walk over to peer down on the city and watch for a moment the people all living their busy lives below. What a crazy life. You set your suitcase down near the sofa and give yourself a tour of his home. Crossing back through the living area to the kitchen you had passed on the way in, then down the hall to a bathroom you suspect is for guests as it almost looked unused, Kenma’s streaming room — feeling a little surreal standing in a place you’ve only seen online — and Kenma’s bedroom, where he’s got his own bathroom, this one he obviously uses. He’s got a really neat set up and a lot of expensive things, he’s so humble though it’s easy to forget he’s as rich as he is. You decide to bring your suitcase from the living room to Kenma’s room. You have no problem sleeping on the couch but decide he may prefer your clothes in his closet over on the area rug in the main room. It dawns on you to text him that you’ve arrived but he doesn’t respond again. He doesn’t need to, but hopefully that relieves some stress he may be having. 
 
 You sit in silence for a moment at the foot of your cousin’s bed, accessing your needs. The transition was simple enough but it’s somehow all still a little overwhelming. You decide on a shower, but being that there are two in Kenma’s home, you wonder which he’d prefer you to use. Remembering he said he’d be home not too long after you, you decide to use the guest bathroom. You are a guest here after all and you figure you should keep the bathroom he uses available to him. You bring a change of clothes and everything you use in the shower with you, finding towels and everything else you’ll need stocked in the bathroom — you swear to leave as little evidence as possible of having used the space, feeling bad having to disturb the display of it all.