My cousin opened the door and shouted at me.
I hung up on Shuu-san and hid my phone under the futon.
“I was reading a book out loud, it’s homework.”
“Then do it more quietly. Who do you think you are? You freeloader! You’ll make Mama angry!”
She slammed the door shut with an almighty crash. I let out a breath and took my phone back out, praising myself for hiding it right away, she just thought I was making noise on my own. I didn’t want to make her angry, but I was happy I could keep my secret.
If she found out I just picked up the smartphone she had thrown away, she’d be really angry and take it away.
I lay back on the futon as I cradled my phone, having a staring contest with the low ceiling.
This was the cupboard under the stairs and, more or less, my room.
There wasn’t room for a freeloader like me, so I was assigned this space instead. It was surprisingly comfortable, given its looks. It wasn’t really in the sun so it wasn’t hot in the summer, and it was small so stayed fairly warm in the winter too.
There was an extension lead from the next room for power, so that was fine.
Above all, for me, it was my castle. A place where no one was in my way, a world just for me.
Here I read books, wrote a novel, and talked with Shuu-san.
I wore hand-me-downs from my cousin. I studied with second-hand textbooks and read books that I borrowed from the school library. I wanted to borrow books from the city library too, but you couldn’t get a library card without your guardian, so that was difficult.
Well, it’d take a while to read all the books at school so that wasn’t a problem. I could use my phone to read books on the internet too.
Of course, the phone didn’t have a contract, but I had Wi-Fi at home so I could use it fine and there were still free Wi-Fi networks around outside, so I could still use it then.
Or I could use my cousin’s portable hotspot so that was fine too. That’s how I’d used my phone when I went to meet Shuu-san.
I’d be happy if I could get a contract, but if I said that then I wouldn’t even be allowed into the house for a while.
It’s so depressing to think of the situation I’m in.
I’d have to think of something fun.
That’s right, I have to call him. I hung up suddenly, so I’m sure he’s suspicious.