“Which one do you prefer, Souta kun?”

What Nagi showed me in her hand was a pure white down coat and a brown cardigan.

The down coat had a hood and white fur around its edge.

“If you prefer the cardigan, I thought I would wear this knit hat.”

Then Nagi showed me a black knit hat.

After Nagi moving her gaze around to see which one to wear. Then she fixed her eyes on me.

Her eyes were telling me that she wanted me to decide.

I really want to say that both of them look good on her. I don’t think she wants that answer now.

“……Cardigan and knit, could you please try them on?”

“Yes ! Oh, just the coat, please.”

“Yeah. Okay.”

I nodded at Nagi’s words and received the coat. After that, Nagi went into the fitting room.

I put the coat back and waited in front of the fitting room.

There were many people and this is the place where ladies’ clothes are sold. Even though it’s a little awkward, I didn’t mind this time.

Then. One of the clerks approached me.

“Your girlfriend, she’s very beautiful.”

“Girlfriend……I mean, she’s my fiancée. And thank you.”

I probably didn’t have to correct her, but I did.

The clerk came up to me after hearing my words.

“Your fiancée? She has beautiful skin and hair……and speaks fluent Japanese, but is she a foreigner? Where did you meet her?”

“N-no. Um. She grew up in Japan.”

She’s coming this strong. This clerk.

Come to think of it. I think Eiji said something like this.

[Women are creatures that like to talk about love no matter how old they get…….]

He also said that he got into something like this when he mentioned Nishizawa at a New Year’s gathering.

“By the way, what makes Mr. Husband fall in love with her?”


No. I’m planning to be that at some point.

I know it’s a kind of flattery for customer service…….but it tickles me when people actually say it.

While I was wondering what to do, the clerk’s face lit up and she continued her words.

“I’ll bring you some clothes that might suit your taste ! By all means ! Tell me !”

It was a tremendous pressure. I involuntarily backed away.

……A little bit is okay. It looks like Nagi hasn’t come out yet. As far as I can tell.

“Erm, a lot of things have happened. It was love at first sight.”

I had already talked about it a little earlier.

I’m an amateur when it comes to fashion, and Nagi doesn’t have much confidence either. So, she also wanted to buy some clothes recommended by the staff. 

I also would like to choose slowly with her. It’s not too late to ask the clerk.

And she probably saw our situation earlier. That’s why she was trying to find out. What I liked.

After all, they are also working.

That’s what I thought at the time.

“She had blue eyes that reminded me of the ocean and pure white hair. Her skin was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but stare at her for a long time.”

“Hmm. Anything else !?”

“U-um, that’s. ……When you actually come in contact with her, you could tell that she’s beautiful. She has many cute parts.”

“Is that so !? I think it’s called gap moe.”

I thought it would be okay if I said this much.

“What else ! Is there anything else !”

But. The clerk approached me, breathing hard, and kept asking me.


“That’s why, I will never give up. That’s why I fell in love with her again.”

“That’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it ! Your wife ! She’s wonderful !”


I could hear everything. Souta kun. I can hear you.

It’s not because of the heater that my cheeks are getting hot.

I’m very happy to be praised by Souta kun.

I’m happy, but.

But I also feel a sense of embarrassment swirling around in my head.

I can guess why Souta kun talk about it. I talked with Souta kun just now. He wanted to ask the clerk to help him find some clothes.

It’s because Souta kun remembered it properly that he’s talking about me like this.

For the sake of privacy, Souta kun is telling her about his impression of me so that he does not dig deeper into it.


“No, Souta kun.”

I muttered inside my mouth. I don’t want my voice to be heard outside.

The clerk probably just wants to hear what you have to say in the name of her job. I know because I was often asked in school.

More girls came to talk to me than boys. …….There are some boys that Hayama san got rid of before I could say anything.

Even with that out of the way, girls like to hear about relationships.

Maybe he knew a little bit, or not.

Souta kun is not used to girls.

–That makes me happy !

“W-what to do?”

I completely lost the timing to get out.

If I don’t do anything, I may have to wait for him to keep praising me all the time. Until Souta kun stop talk about me anymore. He should try to stop talking that much. Probably.

I can’t stand that. Not only my face but my whole body would turn red.

That’s when it happened.

“Hey ! You’re bothering our customers again.”

“Kyaa ! ……T-that’s not true ! I just want to know what the customer like ! Manager !”


With those words, I understood everything.

“What are you doing, making the customer feel uncomfortable? ……Sigh. You’ve already found out what he likes, right? Quickly, prepare clothes that suit the customer !”

“Yes !”

I heard the sound of brisk footsteps and a woman sighing.

“I’m sorry, sir. That girl, when she sees a couple or a married couple, she immediately tries to talk to them. ……She has a good sense of style, so please trust her on that.”


There was a moment of silence.

I heard Souta kun took a deep breath.

“….D-did you hear by any chance? Nagi.”

I opened the curtains. Souta kun was right in front of me.

Souta kun was about to bow his head, so I stopped him with a glance.

I know. Souta kun is not at fault.

He’s not at fault, but.

“Souta kun, you meany.”

Without hiding my blushed face to tell him how embarrassed I was. I told him.


My thoughts stopped.

“Souta kun, you meany.”

The eyes had a faintly glowing film over them. Her cheeks were bright red and her mouth was twitching.

She was as shy as I had ever seen her before.

I shouldn’t have held such feelings. I know I shouldn’t, but–

So cute. I thought so.

“You’re being mean, Souta kun.”

“N-no, I mean, you know.”

I tried to respond to the words that were told to me again, but my cheeks seemed to loosen……I couldn’t even turn my head and I couldn’t speak well.


“Geez, Souta kun…..”

The only thing that helps is that I can’t sense any anger in her expression.

Nagi beckoned me. When I took a step closer, she poked me on the shoulder, asking me to give her my ear.

I meekly put my ear to it. Nagi turned her hands in a tube and then put them over my ears, creating a path for her voice to travel.

“When we return–“

A shiver runs down my spine.

Nagi’s voice is so beautiful. It’s cold and light like the sound of a bell.

It’s pleasant to the ear and makes you want to listen to it forever. However..

“Please, be prepared. When it’s time to sleep, it’s my turn.”

The voice mixed with her breath tickled my brain through my ears.

A thrill of pleasure ran down my spine, causing all the hairs on my body to stand on end.

“N-Nagi. T-that kind of thing.”


Nagi heard the words I somehow managed to spin and looked at me.

She looked at me and gave a small laugh.

I almost trembled when I felt her breath on my ear.

“Souta kun. Your ears are weak, aren’t they?”

Nagi’s hand gently stroked the back of my hand. There were still some lingering pleasure and goosebumps there.

“Fufu. I learned something good.”

Finally, Nagi pulled away.

I have a very, very bad feeling about this. ….I wonder if I’ll be able to endure the night.

It might be better to tell my parents to go somewhere from now on.

“So young.”

The manager’s words made Nagi gasp and she gave a small cough.

“……E-excuse me, Souta kun.”

Nagi looked at me. She turned around once again.

“Do I look good?”


The dark brown cardigan emphasizes Nagi’s calmness, and the black knit hat gives her a slightly childish look.

“…….I feel like Nagi looks good in everything.”

“Fufu. Thank you.”

I’m not flattering you or anything. It’s my true feeling.

If you wear something with calm colors, it will emphasize Nagi’s maturity and make her look more beautiful.

On the other hand, a thick one-piece dress with a cute look would also suit her. Casual fashion would also look good.

“Ah, and by the way, you don’t have to worry about money. My father told me to buy as much as I wanted. He gave me a card.”

“Oh. That’s unusual.”

“I’ve never been much of a materialistic person. ….Of course, I don’t intend to waste my money.”

I also don’t think Nagi would waste money either.

Nagi lifted the edge of her mouth in a small smile and continued her words.

“[Students are supposed to have fun. For the sake of my work, I would spare no money] he said.”

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Soichiro san, in front of Nagi, he’s the first person who became ‘father’.

At the same time, I thought it was a very Soichiro san-like word.

“You must be trusted.”

It’s an obvious thing to say. But I couldn’t help saying it.

Soichiro san knew that Nagi was doing well in her studies. And would not waste money. He knew that she had a strong sense of responsibility, that’s why he gave it to her.

I watched Nagi properly. Even though she was clumsy.

Knowing that made me happy.

“Yes !”

Nagi nodded with a smile.

After that, I asked Nagi to try on various clothes…..and then I went to the men’s section and tried on various clothes.

Before I knew it, it was getting late in the evening.

Tomorrow. I promised Nagi that I would go to various places tomorrow, and then I left.


“How was it?”

“They made a promise not to get involved. Both for me and for Nagi.”

After the bath. Father called me.

[There is a phone call for Souta] I was told.

The person on the other end of the line was, to my surprise, Katou. That alone was a surprise.

[I want to apologize for what I have done to you.]

He said in a trembling voice.

Then he apologized for everything that had happened.

It was the most emotional apology I had ever heard.

It sounded as if he was scared of something as much as he felt guilty.

And apparently, he thought it was troublesome for the three of them to make the call together, so Katou made the call on their behalf. He said he’d let the other two call if I’d like, but I politely declined.

–Perhaps. Soichiro san had done something. That’s the only thing I can think of.

“And I’ve told my father and the others again. Didn’t you hear?”

“Yes, I did. I heard.”

I told them about Katou and the others. I knew I couldn’t hide it anymore.

And my dad–

He apologized so much. He apologized so loudly that even Nagi, who was in the room, could hear him.

“Well, we talked about a lot of things. I managed somehow.”

[I don’t think I was a good father. I will be a father who listens to Souta and thinks about what he wants to do together with him. I will definitely correct it for Souta and Nagi. I will make sure that I can be a father to both of you. It is not about blood or family registry. I want to be considered as your father.]

That’s what he said. Of course, my mother apologized as well.

“I knew this was going to happen, so I didn’t tell them. ……I don’t have anything to hide anymore.”

“Fufu. Then you can be closer to your family from now on.”

“I guess so.”

Nagi’s words made my cheeks loose.

I’m grateful to Soichiro san for his help. I must go to thank him next time.

Nagi patted me gently next to the bed. I sat down next to Nagi.

“Souta kun, thank you for your hard work.”

“I got a lot of help from Nagi and the others today. Thank you.”

“Yes ! You’re welcome !”

Nagi laughed and put her hand on my hand.

“Souta kun.”

Her blue eyes looked at me. Eyes as blue as the sea. They seemed to sink down to the bottom when they were staring at me.

However, I did not struggle.

No, I don’t even think of trying.

Because I know that it is very comfortable for me to sink to any extent.

Her eyes are almost closed. Nagi smiled.

“You remember about this noon, don’t you?”


“Yes !”

In my mind, I saw the face of that clerk.

She was the clerk who talked to me so much.

“Ah. By the way, what if I tell you I forgot?”

“I’ll remind you. ……The night is long, you know. We have a lot of time.”

Her smile was unmistakable. I had no choice but to surrender.

“But first.”

Nagi said and took her hand away from mine.

She was tapping her thigh with her hand.

“Shall I clean your ears?”

In her hand was an earpick.

“……Eh? When did you do that?

“Fufu. Actually, I bought it before, so I brought it. I wanted to scratch Souta kun’s ears.”

Nagi proudly said so. I shook my head at the sudden thing.

Nagi smiled smugly. She tapped her thigh again.

“Come here, Souta kun. Or would you prefer to be forced?”

The smile slipped from her soft lips with a giggle.

……I realized that I could not win.

And so, I put my head on Nagi’s lap.


–A long, long battle with reason had begun.

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11 months ago

Never quite understood the ear picking thing. I mean, I get that it’s a sign of trust, but I can’t imagine it being pleasant, having someone use a sharp-ish instrument to pick your ears. I wouldn’t use it even on myself, let alone let someone else use it on me. We have much less dangerous tools for the same purpose where I live, in case your finger isn’t enough for some reason.