Jiro tilted his head to the side. “Is that macaroni?” he asked.
Taisei’s face was buried in his arms. “I panicked,” was the muffled reply. “I may have also been drunk.”
“You were definitely drunk, dude.” Jiro held up the ruined, glittery remains of what until last night had been a surprisingly classy Valentine’s card. “I guess we should have hid it from you when you finished it, this outcome was uh pretty inevitable to be honest.” He shrugged and tossed the valentine back on the table. “Too late now, I guess. Just buy him something, there’s plenty of time.”
Taisei shook his head miserably. “He hates when I buy him things, that’s why I wanted to make him something.”
“So make him some chocolates like a normal person,” Jiro said, realizing how absurd that notion was as soon as it came out of his mouth.
“He told me he hates sweets,” Taisei wailed.
Jiro, who had seen Yuudai eat half a cake when he thought no one was looking, rolled his eyes. Taisei was still having a breakdown, though, so Jiro bit back his exasperation and patted him awkwardly on the shoulder. “Come on, it’s not that back. It’s kind of…” Jiro tried to search for a word that was not a complete and utter lie, “…charming?”
Taisei sniffled. “You think so?”
“Just give it to him,” Jiro said. Taisei nodded and smiled. Maybe Yuudai would insult him so hard Taisei would finally lose interest in him and Jiro’s life could go back to normal. One could only hope.
* * *
Yuudai stared at the card, not saying anything.
“And so I remembered that, back in English class, our teacher had us make cards, right? So I thought, since you don’t like sweet stuff, maybe that would be good?” Taisei had been explaining the nightmarish clump of glitter and paste for about five minutes straight, and was starting to run short of breath. “I think the macaroni is supposed to be a cat, does it look like a cat? Maybe it’s not a cat I blacked out while I was doing it.”
Yuudai walked away without saying anything.
He hates it, Taisei thought, trailing miserably behind as Yuudai walked into the kitchen. What if he throws it away, right in front of me? What if he throws it on the stove and burns it?
Yuudai, however, did neither of these things. What he did do is walk to his fridge, grab a couple of fish magnets, and stick the valentine on the door. Then he shuffled over to Taisei, and kissed him on the cheek.
“You wanted to go to a movie, right?” Yuudai mumbled, blushing. “Let me grab my coat.”
It was all Taisei could do not to cry.