His parents told him that little had changed in their lives except the house was much quieter without him, the neighborhood was getting busier with more people moving in and that his father got a partnership for his company. Overall some good things, but nothing too much.
Jin talked about the school, how much he liked it so far and the cooking history club that he and the others had set up, much to his mother's delight. "See. I told you teaching him to cook was a good idea." She smugly said to Akihiro as soon as Jin mentioned the friends he made back in the old cooking club and how they were all here at the school.
"Well, having friends is all well and good," his father said, putting down his empty cup of tea. "But we were wondering about something a bit more...closer than a friend that maybe you have at the moment?"
"Crap!" Jin thought, his body frozen as he immediately thought of Ranka. "How do I explain her to my parents? What will they think, will they like her? Will they hate her? Should I even tell them about her?"
"He's blushing!" His mother squealed, pressing her face too close to Jin's. "So, you do finally have a girlfriend now, can we meet her?"
"Not so fast now," Akihiro replied quietly, placing his glasses on. He solemnly looked at Jin, bracing himself for the talk he had wanted to give to his son for a long time but never found the opportunity to do so until now.
"I know that when it comes to you and me Jin," he began slowly." I haven't exactly spent as much time with you that I should have and there are a lot of things that I want to talk to you about, especially now that you are in college."
Jin immediately panicked and tried to stop his father before he could go any further. "I-it's okay, I know about sex if that's what you're talking about-"
"No, that's not it." His father interrupted him, his eyes suddenly focused and sharp. "You may know about that, but not about love! Come with me Jin, I have made many mistakes that I don't want you to do, and only a father-son talk can make you fully understand!"
He quickly grabbed his son and the pair rushed out the door, led by Akihiro. "I heard that they have a good café around here, it should be close by if I recall correctly, we have a lot to talk about."
Jin gave out one last look at his mother that begged of help but to no avail. She just smiled and wished them a good talk as the door closed.
With only her in the room, she looked around and took a careful look at Jin's living space. It was nice and tidy, no clothes strewn around, all his books in an orderly fashion, nothing that would look out of place at first glance.
But a first glance is not enough for any mother. "Especially when my little boy might be with a girl! Finally, now I can meet her and talk about Jin, I knew I should have brought my baby photos of him with me in case."
Fumiko looked more closely at his books and notice that, in addition to the titles that he had brought with him from home, there were a few others that seemed new. Standing up and walking over to his bookshelf, she read the titles of the unfamiliar books.
"The domestication of the wolf? Dogs: Man's best friend? Scientific analysis of human-animal hybrid genetic compatibility? What is all this?" Fumiko looked at these titles carefully, her mind slowly drawing to one single conclusion.
"Jin is interested in dating a wolf girl? Wait but no, Jin? That can't be right, maybe he is doing research for his school, he is taking animal biology after all. Yes, Yes that must be it. Plus, these all look like library materials that the teacher might have told him to use."
From the corner of her eyes, she stopped a small pink speck on the carpet floor, poking out from under Jin's bed. Turning to look, she crouched down to inspect it, lifting the cover of Jin's bed.
Stuffed underneath his bed was Jin's winter blanket. A deep red colored thing that she had gotten from him for his 16th birthday, she had insisted that he would take it with her to make sure that he didn't catch a cold while sleeping.
But that was not the strange part. Here and there, she noticed that there were more pink specks sparsely populating the blanket. Gathering up a few of them, Fumiko held them up and took a close look at them. Long and thin, they were a bright pink color, not unlike one of the wolves that lived in their neighborhood.
The books, the fur, the shuffling they heard to hide this blanket, it all came flooding to Fumiko's head. Heavily breathing as her mind raced to fit all these discoveries together, her expression was one of shock and surprise as she came to the only possible reason for all these things. "I-is he dating a-"
"Jin! I'm back and I hope you're hungry!" Ranka called out as she burst through the door, carrying a basket with her. Despite his insistence that he was not sick, Ranka had still made it her personal responsibility to feed him chicken soup to make sure he stayed warm.
"What kind of a pack leader and wife would I be if I let you get sick?" she had asked him every time the issue was raised.
"You're not my wife though."
"Not yet! And if I can't take care of you now, how can I do so when we get married?"
And repeat that every day for a couple of days until Jin finally gave up and accepted her soup. "At least it's good now, I don't get sodium poisoning like the first time I taught her this recipe." Jin had thought has he downed another bowl of soup.
"Huh?" Ranka looked around, realizing that Jin wasn't around. But someone else was. A human woman in her forties, with long black hair that reached her shoulders. To Ranka, this woman looked strangely a lot like Jin. "Wait, were his parents were going to visit soon?"
Meanwhile, Fumiko was having the shock of her life. In front of her was a wolf girl, almost as tall as her, wearing a set of bright blue pajamas and carrying a basket, calling out for her son. But her ears, her bright pink fur, that was got her attention the most.
Holding up her hand, she saw that the stands of fur she held in her hand were an identical shade of the girl in front of her. "M-maybe this is all a misunderstanding, would Jin ever date h-"
"Ah, hi there!" Ranka said cheerfully, reaching out her free hand and using it to shake Fumiko's outstretched hand. "It is very nice to meet you, Mrs. Jin! I am Jin's wife!"
"No, she's not!" Jin called out as he and his dad rushed down the hallway, having turned back upon realizing that the café was closed for the snow day.
"His.........Wife?" Fumiko thought as she collapsed, fainting on the floor.
"She's dead!" Ranka screamed out, horrified that she had just killed her future mother in law in front of Jin.
"She's not a sloth, she's completely fine!" Jin yelled out at her as he checked her pulse.