I wake up to someone knocking on my bedroom door at an ungodly hour.
Who could it be Rosetta would never dream of waking me up this early.
I jump off the bed and fly across the room to open the door.
What could have happened for him to be making such a serious expression
“I’m sorry to wake you up.”
“Can I come in”
“Yes, of course,” I say, swinging the door open wide so Henry-Oniisama can step through.
It’s extremely rare for him to come visit my room by himself.
So rare in fact that it feels strange seeing just him in here…..
“Ali, do you hate Liz”
Hm I never would have thought he was acting so uncharacteristically just to ask me that sort of question.
Is he being like this because he’s already fallen for her
“Rather than saying I hate her, I would say I’m bad at dealing with her type.”
There’s really no need to lie, so I end up answering him honestly.
Henry-Oniisama’s serious expression doesn’t change as he continues to stare at me.
But I can’t tell….
Just what sort of feeling is he looking at me with Is he sad because his sister doesn’t like the love of his life Is he trying to decide whether he should break ties with me
Now that I look at him…. Really look at him….
Henry-Oniisama seems to have aged a lot recently.
He looks remarkably grown up now, like he’s already become an adult.
He and Alan-Oniisama used to be like two peas in a pod; doing everything together and even looking alike.
But these days, Henry-Oniisama seems to have really matured in ways that Alan-Oniisama has yet to.
But, those two are already 15.
I guess it’s about time for them to start slowly distinguishing themselves from each other.
I suppose even twins can’t stay that close forever.
“I haven’t seen you hanging out with Alan-Oniisama much recently.”
Since the silence was getting a bit awkward, I decide to change the subject.
Hearing my observation, Henry-Oniisama’s eyes widen as if my words had caught him off-guard.
I can now easily see the purple color of his eyes.
Somehow, I get the feeling that they’re a shade darker than they were when he was younger.
“That’s cause Alan and I haven’t really been seeing eye-to-eye on things lately,” he explains, his expression finally lightening into a small smile.
They haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye Like they’ve been arguing I guess twins can have all sorts of different kinds of relationships.
“We’ve always been together.
Ever since we were born.
It seemed like such an obvious thing, that we would stick together no matter what, and that never bothered me.
It felt natural.
We were so similar it was great.
He was the one person I knew would understand me best.
But, then Liz appeared and things slowly started to change… We started to change,” Henry-Oniisama tells me, his expression turning a bit lonely.
During the game, Henry-Oniisama should definitely have been one of the people that fell for Liz-san, right Finding love must have really impacted him.
“I always felt proud to be Alan’s twin brother.
I was so close to him that it felt like we were each just one half to a single identity.”
“That… sounds a bit unhealthy, actually,” I accidentally let slip.
I hadn’t been meaning to say anything, but as I was listening, it just came out.
I was trying so hard to keep my face carefully neutral, but when I let the words slip, I feel like I might have let a grimace form on my face as well.
Maybe,” Henry-Oniisama admits, smiling a bit sadly.
Unlike I was expecting, he doesn’t seem angry at all at my words.
“You know, Liz also thought that way.
One time she told us: ‘Henry is Henry and Alan is Alan.
Alan, it’s okay for you to be yourself.
You don’t need to force yourself to always be like Henry.
And Henry, you too! Even if you and Alan disagree on something, that’s okay, since you two are each your own person.’ “
….Yup, that does sound like a stereotypical line that the heroine would say.
I can even picture what Liz-san’s expression must have looked like when she was telling them that.
She probably beamed at them with that trademark angelic smile of hers.
But, if that was all it took to change Alan-Oniisama’s thoughts, then why didn’t it have any effect on Henry-Oniisama
“Did Alan-Oniisama end up falling for Liz-san thinking something like: ‘Someone has finally appeared who doesn’t see us as a set.
She actually sees me for me!’ ”
At my question, Henry-Oniisama’s eyes go wide again, a question forming in their depths.
There’s no need to feel that surprised.
As someone who played the game in her previous life, just this much would be considered common sense.
But that leaves me with a question.
Why did Alan-Oniisama end up falling for her but Henry-Oniisama didn’t
“But Henry-Oniisama… you didn’t fall in love with Liz-san”
“When she said that to me I did feel something.
My heart was startled and it started beating really fast.”
Then… why didn’t he fall for her And wait… what about Albert-Oniisama Did he fall for her or not
Ah! I just don’t know anymore.
“Yeah, suddenly she looked so beautiful to me.
Her kindness and her pure smile were so dazzling, it was like I was looking at the sun.”
Wait, what That sounds like he had feelings for her….
But what happened I don’t get it.
Also, there’s no accounting for taste.
The qualities he just named are the things that I find the most uncomfortable about her.
“Hey, Ali If you were worried about Alan and I being too close and having only one identity, what would you say”
At his question, it’s my turn to act surprised.
Even if you ask me, I have no clue.
I mean, I don’t have a twin.
How am I supposed to understand what that’s like What even gives me the right to decide what’s best for them
Besides, didn’t Henry-Oniisama say that being so like-minded with Alan-Oniisama was something that he was proud of Who am I to say that such a feeling is wrong
Agh! I don’t know! I’m not a fortuneteller or some sort of wise-woman….
I’m a villainess.
If you’re looking for advice, then you’ve come to the wrong person.
Go look for the saintess for these sorts of things.
That’s more her area of expertise.
“I don’t know what I’d say… But I know what I wouldn’t say.
I hate the idea of telling someone that ‘you’re you.’ Shouldn’t that person already understand that fact best Wouldn’t you be ashamed of yourself if you needed someone else to help you realize that” I tell him disdainfully.
Henry-Oniisama’s eyes go unfocused for a second as he stares at me and then suddenly he bursts out laughing.
And it’s not just a little laugh.
It’s this gut-wrenching, doubling over in tears sort of howl.
…..Did I say something funny Or is he making fun of me Why am I even being laughed at right now
“Right That’s how I think, too,” Henry-Oniisama says clutching his stomach and breathing hard.
If you already think like that, then what was the point in asking me
“I certainly was charmed by her for a little while, but then I realized something when you and Liz were talking during the tea party.
I didn’t really like her.
I was just brainwashed by her idealistic words into thinking that I liked her.”
Brainwashed…. Isn’t there a better way of putting that
“I actually agreed with most of your points, Ali.
And the more I listened, the more disenchanted I became with Liz.
Her fundamental thought process just doesn’t sit well with me.”
Don’t say that.
I don’t actually want you to agree with me.
I want you to be on Liz-san’s side, Henry-Oniisama.
“Wait, if you don’t like the way she thinks, then how did she manage to charm you in the first place”
“Deep down, I’ve always been somewhat off-put by some of the things that she says.
But, all it would take was her flashing me that mesmerizing smile and I’d forget all that and be charmed all over again,” he says with a decidedly unhappy look on his face.
As expected of that angelic smile.
It really breaks down people’s inhibitions.
“Did my debate with Liz-san do anything to change Albert-Oniisama and Alan-Oniisama’s minds about her”
“Al-Nii and Alan are completely head over heels for her so….”
Ah, I see.
So, since Henry-Oniisama was wavering already, my words were able to stop him from falling in love with Liz-san.
But since the other two were already long gone by that point, my words had zero effect on them.
Despite being twins, Henry-Oniisama and Alan-Oniisama are surprisingly different.
“Did you come here just to tell me this”
“No, it’s not just that,” Henry-Oniisama says, his expression turning serious once again as he turns to look me in the eyes.
Somehow, I have a bad feelings about this.
He already said he agreed with my logic earlier…..
If we share a similar thinking process as well, then I really don’t want to hear what’s about to come next.
I try to keep my expression from showing my dismay but I can feel the muscles cramping up a bit under the pressure.
Henry-Oniisama searches my face for a moment as if trying to gauge my thoughts even before he speaks.
“Ali, just what are you trying to play at I know you’re scheming something.”