Chapter 17: Lottie’s Life Advice
The customers have left, the work has been completed, and it is time for tea.
Olivia sighed as she sipped the tea Lottie had made.
Elliot is on her mind.
It’s been a little over a month since they went to the theater.
Since then, Elliot has taken Olivia to a variety of locations.
Circus, opera, and good restaurants.
Olivia is very busy at the moment.
She’s working twice as hard as she usually does.
She can only relax in moderation because of Elliot’s invitation.
She enjoys going out once in a while and doesn’t think about the dreaded wedding as much anymore.
(I can only be grateful to Elliot for this.)
On the other hand, Elliot’s attitude has changed dramatically.
To begin with, he no longer accepts splitting the bill.
Until now, they had taken turns paying for their monthly dinners.
(I had no reason to ask for it, and I thought it was normal.)
But ever since they decided to go to the wedding together, Elliot doesn’t want her to pay the bill.
Every time she wanted to pay, he had already paid the bill.
When he refused to let her pay for the third time, she insisted, “I’ll pay,” and he said, “Well, please pay for the tea.”
Because Olivia consumes two-thirds of the tea money, it doesn’t make much sense, and the theater and circus are, of course, more expensive.
In addition, Elliot is very sweet.
He always escorts her and looks after her.
Kissing her hand goodbye is just the beginning, and he made Olivia blush the other day when he knelt down to tie her open shoelaces.
When Olivia recalls that moment, she can’t help but blush.
She’d never had a man do anything like that to her before.
She was only surprised the first time she saw the play, but after two or three times, Olivia began to notice.
In terms of both frequency and content, this is clearly beyond the level of a friend.
(We were friends, weren’t we? Why is this happening?)
Olivia slumps at her desk, unable to get herself together after Elliot changed his mind so quickly.
“What’s the matter, Olivia-sama?”
Lottie tilts her head as she prepares another cup of tea for herself.
Looking up at the steady girl, Olivia thought.
(I can’t keep this to myself any longer; my thoughts are always in circles. Let’s get someone to talk to, like Lottie, and see what she thinks.)
“Well, actually… Please don’t tell anyone, okay?”
Olivia began to describe Elliot’s recent behavior.
Lottie nods as she listens.
When Olivia was finished, she crossed her arms in a “hmm” motion.
“You’re clearly more than friends. To be honest, you’re being seduced.”
“I had a feeling.” Olivia mumbles.
“But I believe Elliot-sama has had feelings for Olivia-sama for quite some time.
In fact, when I first met you six months ago, I mistook Olivia-sama for Elliot-sama’s lover.”
“Because Elliot-sama was always worried about Olivia-sama.”
“Yes, like: she appears to be solid, but she has some issues, or she won’t eat if left alone, or she has an uncommon sense of direction.”
Olivia smiles bitterly, her heart grateful, derogatory, and complex.
“So I asked. [Is Olivia-sama Elliot-sama’s lover?] But Elliot-sama responded, “She is a “dear friend” of mine.”
Olivia nodded as she heard this.
“Elliot has said that for a long time, and I thought we were friends. But he no longer uses the word [friend]…”
Elliot has undergone yet another transformation.
He no longer refers to himself as a “friend.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“I guess since we decided to go to the wedding together.”
Lottie nodded convincingly.
“I believe he saw Olivia-sama in danger and felt compelled to protect her. The head maid who used to look after me once told me, “Men are creatures who want to protect women when they see them weak.”
“I-Is that so?”
“Yes, because Olivia-sama may flee if he suddenly says, “I like you.” I believe he is carefully making a move on Olivia-sama so that she will see him as a member of the opposite sex, not just a friend.”
“You’re amazing.” Lottie’s sharp opinions impress Olivia.
(…This appears to be the case.)
Lottie opened her mouth as she thought.
“… I think it’s Olivia-sama’s feelings that are important—It’s how Olivia-sama feels about Elliot-sama.”
Olivia was lost in thought.
Of course, Olivia has nothing against him; in fact, she adores him.
She enjoys talking to him, gets along well with him, and has faith in him.
He has a gentle and kind personality, and he is attractive.
If you ask her if it’s her “preferences” for the opposite sex, she honestly doesn’t know.
(Because I’ve always thought of him as a friend, I can’t see him as the opposite sex…)
Seeing Olivia’s distress, Lottie mutters, “I see”.
“Why don’t we just go with the flow here? I believe the answer is that there is no answer. The chief maid stated. [A man and a woman can only get along if they want to].
“I see.” Olivia gives a serious nod.
It is extremely helpful information for her because she has never been in a relationship.
Furthermore, this appears to be the most natural approach.
“Yes. It’s worth considering. That head maid has a wealth of knowledge.”
“Yeah. I’ve noticed that she has a lot of romance novels in her room.”
“….Eh? Then, she’s…”
“Well, she’s single and has no boyfriend.”
Olivia is uneasy about the source of the information, but she decides to go with the flow for the time being.
She is so engrossed in her work that she has no time to think about anything else in order to complete an urgent order that came in unexpectedly.
A week has passed before she realizes it.
Finally, the big event arrives: attending her ex-fiancé and stepsister’s wedding.
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