Then two years later I received a love letter in my e-mail, of a girl from Europe coming to pay me a visit. I was shocked to the marrow, fear gripped me-how would a girl whom you have only exchanged glances with in another country know your residence.
I went to do some researches about you and found out you had a year earlier become a huge star and celebrity in your home country. In retrospect had I known you were such a young lady, I would have made a move on you in ’06. Finally I wanna see you again, we have a lot of catch up to do and a lot to talk about, I am tired of always thinking about you. And I had narrowly missed meeting him six years earlier in Lagos-when my friend had told me he saw him at an education fair I attended at a hotel.That chanced meeting in South Africa was indelible.
That explains why you didn’t want to be met at the airport, talked on phone and the surreptitious movement. In 2008, I don’t know why I was afraid; I should have welcomed you with open arms, having come such a long distance-what a despicable me! And then, in my process of stalking your journal, I saw that you were also recently enamored with Sherlock Holmes, and uh. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to theletters.org or The Letters with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. You were walking towards the building I was standing, then we saw each other , exchanged glances, and suddenly you turned back.
I was replying but didn’t it seriously, was non cooperative and almost saying nonsense. I actually thought I was in trouble because I was having issues in both my place of work and personal life then.And I did the impossible-looked and walked away . You made a lasting impression on me because it was after we had looked at each other you swiftly turned around.
But to my chagrin you, that I had seen and admired two years earlier, came near my residence and stood by a car, ostensibly waiting for me. I hope you can forgive the randomness, but I tried very hard to stick to your tastes anyway. My instinct was to follow you, but decided against doing that because it was my first day in that school and I needed to be on my best behaviour, being a foreign student. I was always around where you were and you were aware of my presence but didn't care for it much that you do to the next person to you. I am not sure if it was supposed to be painful, I just know that on my end, I would rather have proximity than nothing at all.
Kaidoh almost tears a hole in the paper just from his grip, then stuffs it in his back pocket before anyone else can notice.
At first, I thought it's better to have you an arm's reach away rather than become an unreacheable desire.
The problem is, someone already did."Hey, what's that?" Momo asks, snatching the letter from Kaidoh's pocket and darting away when Kaidoh tries to snatch it back.
It took a lot of self-control to never look at you a second longer than what I do our other friends. Somebody likes you!" he practically squeals, tearing off in the direction of the tennis clubroom. It wasn't easy especially when I started realizing my feelings were transitioning from infatuation to love.
I have always found you attractive but it was no different from the other 400 guys I found attractive. I thought maybe it's you gentleness or manliness but I've known you long before I fell in love with you and I've known all about you.
He has a glint in his eye that makes Kaidoh wish it weren't too late to pretend he was sick and go home early. Had I known, I would have done something about it because it's never easy to fall in love especially with someone who doesn't love you back especially when I got to have the front row seat when you started falling in love with someone else.
We were the typical clique and it meant we heard about your good times, your bad times and all the in-betweens. We were the first ones to know when you had a fight, the first ones you ran to for advice and the first ones you look for when you want to share even the most mudane things in your relationship.
Inui turns away and begins muttering to himself as he heads toward the courts, and Fuji claps a hand on his shoulder."We started reading Sherlock Holmes in Western literature last week," he says, just before collecting his racket and making his own way toward the door. Taka and Oishi mutter similar sentiments on their way out."Kaidoh," Inui says, sticking his head back in just as Kaidoh has managed to get his bearings and pull off his uniform jacket. Then he hears Tezuka shout something vaguely threatening from the courts, and he has to hurry to catch up.~All Kaidoh wants to do after practice is go home and focus on studying or video games or anything other than love letters in his shoe cubby. What he ends up doing is accompanying Inui back to his house and, despite his own weak protests, setting about the task of investigating his secret admirer on the floor next to Inui's bed."We'll begin with the girls in your year," Inui says, his tone a little more clinical even than usual as he sketches out a t-chart in his notebook.
The whole train of conversation is making his stomach knot up unpleasantly, and he wishes Inui had thought to offer him some tea when they'd reached his house.


Inui has a habit, when he's focused on something like a new juice recipe or a really hard math problem, to forget about things like food and water."All females attending Seigaku are currently suspects in this investigation," Inui says matter-of-factly. How often do you see Fudomine's An?"The train of conversation is really making Kaidoh's stomach hurt now, so he stands up and moves to Inui's desk, hoping to find something to distract him. If only I knew what it is that's making me love you, I would stop it because it's not easy to fall in love with someone who doesn't love you back.
It would have been worn by men in late 19th and early 20th century England, primarily for the purpose of hunting, but has achieved something of an iconic status as an accessory for detectives via Sherlock Holmes." Inui's face brightens suddenly and he sets down the notebook. I didn't know it was possible for anyone to keep on loving someone without getting anything back but here I am still in love with you. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did."Kaidoh decides it's wiser to not mention the pipe.
Kaidoh is infinitely relieved when Inui crosses her off the list after just a few short questions, making a note next to her name that looks suspiciously like Love triangle—Kamio, Momoshiro. Inui snaps shut the notebook before Kaidoh can really be sure of what he saw, but, noticing Kaidoh's glance, Inui says, "Pink pen and hearts aren't really her style, anyway."They take a seat side-by-side on a bench in the park, Inui getting curious looks from passersby for his hat and the pipe he chews on in concentration as he looks over the list. He has his racket with because it needs re-taping, and probably Kamio or Ibu would let them borrow another one for a little while.Inui raises his eyebrows, like he's taken aback by the suggestion. Kaidoh puts both in his bag and they head to the courts, and after a few rounds of easy back-and-forth Kaidoh thinks it's been kind of a weird day, but not, in the end, all that bad.~Things start out pretty normal on Tuesday.
When Kaidoh gets to homeroom, his neighbor on the left, Kimura, is already there, which he's glad for because he wants to go over some math problems. It seems like his smile falters just for a second when he spots Kaidoh and Kimura going over their work together, but then it's back and he's jogging over to Kaidoh's other side. It's pink and full of hearts again, and he can feel his face starting to flush already.Dear Kaidoh,What kind of movies do you like? Inui must recognize this in the way Kaidoh scowls, because he goes on to explain, "She's just given us a clue to her identity." It still doesn't seem that wonderful to Kaidoh. Actually, in The Adventure of the Naval Treaty—""So which suspects are left?" Kaidoh asks quickly. It's not that he's not interested, but he knows from experience how long Inui can go on talking about something from Western literature class, and the bell is probably going to ring soon.Thankfully, Inui doesn't seem to take it personally, or even really notice that he's been interrupted. Nakashima was absent yesterday." He points to each name with his chopsticks as he goes down the list. Do any of those names mean anything to you?""Not really." Kaidoh only knows Okamoto as the quiet girl from gym class, Fujiwara as the popular girl from science, and Kimura as the girl he occasionally goes over homework with and who he snapped at in homeroom this morning. Which he now feels even more guilty about."Well, think about it carefully," Inui says, pushing the notebook away and turning his full attention on the rest of Kaidoh's lunch. When Kaidoh reaches the door to the stairs, he chances a look over his shoulder at the far end of the roof.
Inui is still there, poring over the list and smiling faintly, like there's nothing in the world he'd rather be doing.~Kaidoh is expecting Inui to insist on another joint case-study session tonight, but after tennis is over and they've both showered and changed Inui pats Kaidoh on the back and mutters something about needing time to think, and then he's putting on his deerstalker and out the door. It doesn't make sense to Kaidoh why Inui can't just do more handwriting analysis or whatever to figure out which of the last three names the letter-writer is, but he's not in a hurry to find out, so he just nods goodbye and starts home himself. He hasn't even left the tennis courts, however, when someone calls his name and he stops in his tracks, trying to locate the voice."Kaidoh!" He spots Kimura coming from the direction of the school and for a second considers pretending he didn't hear her, but by now they've made eye contact and he's pretty much stuck. She jogs up to him and he shifts his feet uncomfortably, wondering if she wants to yell at him for being rude in homeroom."I'm supposed to give you this," Kimura says instead of yelling, and Kaidoh stops shifting when she holds out a new note. She doesn't, so he reluctantly opens it and reads over the contents, Kimura craning her neck to read as well. He can't be bothered to try and stop her, and anyway, if she took it all this way without peeking she probably deserves to see.Dear Kaidoh,Would you ever consider meeting me? The phone only rings once before Inui picks up, and Kaidoh recounts the story as quickly as he can, blushing a little when he has to read the letter out loud. He's not looking, but Kimura, for all that she seems to be invested in her book, is suspiciously tense, her eyes narrowed like she's focusing on something very hard."Do you have your response?" Inui obediently tucks the pipe into his bag and Kaidoh obediently pulls out his letter, a little wrinkled from being stuffed in hastily on his way out the door. Meet me after tennis practice Thursday by the broken water fountain.There's a smile playing at Inui's lips when he puts the letter down. Before Kaidoh can ask what he means, the bell rings."I'll deliver this," Inui says, tucking the letter in his pocket and heading for the door. Girls aren't allowed in there!"The pipe falls from Inui's mouth and clatters to the floor, which Kaidoh figures must be because he feels just as stupid as Kaidoh does for not having figured that one out on their own. The hearts and pink pen are gone, too, like the letter-writer knew they would figure out he was a boy so he decided to stop pretending.
Kaidoh hands the note off to Inui, glad to be rid of it, and leans against the lockers, suddenly tired."We'll have to make a new list," Inui says after a few seconds, breaking the silence. I just wanted to ask you a few questions, for the purpose of making a more effective list.Kaidoh spends a couple seconds trying to figure out the nicest way to text I don't care about stupid secret admirers or stupid lists and I just want to pretend this whole thing never happened, but when nothing comes to him he assumes it must be impossible. Kaidoh sets the phone on his desk and tries to concentrate on some proofs for geometry, but he ends up just staring at the paper and tapping his pencil on the desk until his phone vibrates again and he fumbles to pick it up.First question: are there any male classmates you are especially close with?
Third question: do you have a particular affection for any of them?The hair on Kaidoh's arms starts to stand up and he scans the message two more times, wondering if he's reading things right.


He doesn't want to answer, would rather throw his phone against the wall and go for a run and think about nothing at all, but answers start to flood his head anyway.
He changes into his workout clothes as quick as he can and goes for a run, not even bothering to tell his parents, and when he gets back, dripping with sweat and short of breath and up much later than he usually goes to bed, Inui still hasn't texted a response. For some reason, this makes Kaidoh feel worse instead of better.~On Thursday morning, Inui isn't waiting for Kaidoh in his homeroom, which comes as surprisingly disappointing. Kaidoh takes his time getting settled at his desk, fidgeting around restlessly, and watches the clock on the wall ticking away the minutes before the bell rings.
Acting on a weird, niggling instinct, Kaidoh jumps up from his seat and walks back into the hallway.
He's not sure where he was intending on going, but once he's there he spots Inui and Kimura almost instantly, talking animatedly next to the water fountain.
There's a group of third-years chatting nearby, and Kaidoh slips in close to them, out of Inui and Kimura's line of sight but within hearing."I'm sorry. But I have a boyfriend, and I don't think I should be doing this."Kaidoh feels weirdly panicked now and he almost lurches forward, half-determined to grab one of them by the shirt collar and demand an explanation. But then the crowd he's hiding behind starts to disperse, and at risk of being caught, Kaidoh has to slink back into homeroom without hearing what Inui says in response, if he says anything at all.He's only just sat down when Kimura enters the room again and takes her seat next to him.
For some reason, Kaidoh feels annoyed with her, even though he doesn't think she's done anything wrong, so he turns his attention to his math book, not wanting to snap again.
He can't stop thinking about what he has to do after practice, how Inui's gone so Kaidoh can't ask him for advice and no one else even knows what's going on. The more he worries about it, the faster practice seems to fly by, until suddenly he's the last one in the clubroom, showered and dressed and ready to go, and he's been pretending to tie his left shoe for so long even he has to admit it's getting ridiculous. Steeling himself, he does his shoe up in a double-knot, hefts his bag, and leaves the clubroom to head for the broken water fountain. Kaidoh's leg starts to bounce with nervous energy, which he keeps trying to stop but can never hold at bay for longer than a few seconds. At twenty-five, he texts his mom that he'll be late for dinner because of a tutoring appointment he forgot about. Kimura takes a seat near him, on the far side of the bench, and folds her hands in her lap. He's probably just as confused as Kaidoh has been for the past few days."I'm late for something," Kaidoh says, waving.
He doesn't wait to see if Kimura's boyfriend waves back before he takes off, running all the way to the bus station that connects to the stop near Inui's house.
But there'll be time for that, he supposes, in homeroom tomorrow.~Inui's mom is the one who comes to the door to let Kaidoh in, and after Kaidoh has bowed and apologized for the unexpected visit he hurries upstairs, only knocking twice before letting himself in to Inui's room.
The first thing he notices is that Inui still looks terrible, the light from his desk lamp accentuating the tired circles under his eyes.
He's hunched over his desk with a book, but judging by the smudges on his cheek, he was probably just sleeping on top of it before Kaidoh came in. What Kaidoh notices next are Inui's deerstalker and pipe, sticking out of the overflowing garbage can next to Inui's desk.
Kaidoh shuts the door behind him before he stoops down to rescue them, weighing both hat and pipe in his hands. Then Inui takes a deep breath."Kimura told you?" "I figured it out myself," Kaidoh says, trying not to sound offended.
I didn't know at first that she was seeing someone, they're rather low-profile."Kaidoh gets a little red at this. He decides not to bring up the fact that, for a few hours anyway, he thought maybe Inui liked Kimura. She was still willing to help pass them along, however, up to a certain point."Kaidoh remembers the conversation he saw in the hall. His stomach has felt like it was slowly unraveling for the entire conversation."Kaidoh," Inui says, standing and straightening out his wrinkled shirt. Actually, in The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist—""I think you make a pretty good Sherlock Holmes, Senpai," Kaidoh says, absolutely determined to cut him off.
Inui looks like he's about to argue, but before he can get a word out, Kaidoh wraps a hand around his neck and pulls him into a kiss, only letting it linger for a moment before he pulls away, heart beating loud in his ears.It takes about four seconds for Inui to recover from the shock, but when he does, it happens fast. He practically attacks Kaidoh, shoving him against the desk and tangling one hand in his hair, letting the other rest on his collarbone as he kisses him hard. Kaidoh kisses back with just as much enthusiasm, and whatever anxiety was still in him melts away entirely, leaving him free to grab at Inui's sweatshirt and tug him closer, smiling against his lips. Inui only pulls away when they're both breathless and struggling to stay upright, and even then he can't seem to go a few seconds without kissing Kaidoh again, briefly, on his lips or next to his mouth."Kaidoh," Inui says, letting their foreheads rest together. He untangles himself from Inui, both of them a little reluctant to move, and picks it up, pressing it into Inui's hands."You can still wear the hat, though," Kaidoh says, coloring when Inui immediately lifts an eyebrow.




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