The Value of Money and the Value of People
The words I had intended to say were lost in the heat of my mother’s sigh.
“Kotaro, I don’t have time for your emotionalism.”
There was no reason for me to be distraught.
My words are nothing but a sound to her.
No matter what I said, appealed, or wished, she would trample it all down.
She thinks of me as nothing more than a tool, and rightly so.
“I almost doubt that you are my child.”
The inorganic voice almost chokes me.
It is only then that I realize I have been holding my breath.
That’s how out of it I am right now.
“Kotaro, how much are your feelings worth? I don’t care what you think. If you don’t like it, go ahead. If you’re angry, suppress your emotions.”
“…Why? What right do you have to say that?”
My voice was as if I was trying to squeeze it out of me.
It was the best I could do to fight back, but even that was easily brushed aside by my mother.
“I do. Because I am your parent.”
“That’s not an explanation.”
“… I’ll explain it to you in a way that even you can understand, Kotaro. Kotaro, do you know how much money it cost me to get you this far? How much money do you think I would have made if I had never had you?”
See, this is what it comes down to.
My mother’s only value is money.
She doesn’t care if it is her child or not.
“In short, you may consider that you owe me a debt. So I’m asking you to make enough profit to pay it off. Your feelings have nothing to do with it.”
I can’t think of enough words to make this person understand me.
I feel like I’m talking to an alien.
We fundamentally do not share the same values, so even though we speak the same language, we can’t have a conversation.
“All you can do now is to flatter the Kurumizawa faction and the daughter of the Mary Company. When I determine that I have made a satisfactory profit, then I will sever the ties between parent and child. Until then, do your part. … That’s what ‘grown-ups’ do.”
I am sick and tired of this self-serving logic.
I felt foolish for trying to care about such a person.
“So, get along well with Kurumizawa’s daughter. The tutoring contract is over, but continue the good relationship. I’ve also told my sister Chisato to support you in this regard. … Do well, okay? If possible, get into their pockets. If you can get married, it’s a win-win. That’s what makes it worth my while.”
Involuntarily, I fall silent.
I was wondering what was the point of having a conversation with her.
“Hmmm, I see.”
Mary-san, who was listening next to me, was nodding her head.
After that, she walked up to me on the other side of the phone, and in a small whisper, she said something like this in my ear.
“I’ll teach Kotaro the magic words.”
The statement was what is known as ‘advice’.
“Say, ‘Stay out of my business, or I’ll make the Kurumizawa Conglomerate and the Mary Corporation stop supporting you.’ That would probably end the conversation.”
… Just like that?
This inorganic, impersonal mother would break down at this level of language?
I can’t say it myself, but my mother probably sees value in using me. I am sure that she will continue to intervene in my life at every turn.
“Don’t worry, you can trust me. Because there’s nothing I can’t do. … It’s a cheat character’s golden rule. You can say it exactly like that.”
But it’s also true that there’s nothing I can do.
There is no way my mother will listen to me no matter what I say.
I decided to take Mary’s advice and … give it a try.
“Stay out of my business, or I’ll make the Kurumizawa Conglomerate and the Mary Corporation stop supporting you.”
I said this to her and waited for her reaction.
I thought she would say something like, “If you can do it, do it.”
“…I’m not going to let that happen.”
Without a second thought, my mother relented.
I was puzzled.
She had told me so many things, but with a single statement, she had changed everything.
“You’re out to negotiate. I guess I’m the one who’s in trouble if you do that… All right. Kotaro, I promise not to get involved with you from now on. In return, you will continue to keep in good contact with them. Then I’m hanging up.”
With that, my mother ended the call unilaterally.
Even after the call ended, I was still stunned by how easily she had ended it.
“Such a simple… withdrawal of one’s own words?”
I thought she was stubborn, but it seems her words were lighter than I had imagined.
“HAHAHA! Kotaro is still a child.”
Seeing my astonishment, Mary-san puts on an infuriating smile.
“For people like that, ’emotion’ is of little value. So if you offer them a value or a risk that outweighs their feelings, they will easily fold. … That’s how it is with genuine businessmen.”
Smiling cheerfully, but her smile was very fake.
“People who are driven by money, let them be driven by money. That is why people like that should not be trusted. After all, they are motivated by money, and one day they will betray you.”
It was anticlimactic…
No, my current feelings might be a little different.
(A person like that is my mother…)
I was disappointed in that person.
I felt ridiculous for trying to be loyal to that person.
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