Hotaru’s eyes widened. “You want to take me to the room?”
Suzuki-san laughed and Hotaru turned red as it dawned on her what he had meant and what she had said. She covered her face in shame.
“Don’t be embarrassed. Come in. There is little there, a futon, I think.”
Again, she imagined lying with him but stepped hard on that idea as she followed him. He really had burnt himself completely. She touched his arm without thinking and snapped her hand back.
“Forgive me, but doesn’t that hurt?” she asked, pointing to his arm.
He looked from his limb to her, confusion darkening his expression.
“The sunburn. It is very bad.”
“Oh. It’s not a burn. I have strange skin. It’s always this color.” He opened one of three doors in the apartment. As promised, a futon took up some of the floor, but otherwise the room was empty.
Hotaru squeezed past him, looking over the space. It was small, but she didn’t have many belongings. She turned back to her roommate and introduced herself properly. “Hotaru Chiba, and I would be happy to live here.”