Episode 9 – A Day with a Childhood Friend

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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330649941556887/episodes/16817330658545099931

“……Souta kun”

Drifting on the bright blue sea.

It was a very comfortable time.

It was as if I was melting into it. It was as if I was myself, but I wasn’t myself anymore. I was struck by such a feeling.

All the time. I want to surrender everything to the wave.

“Souta kun, it’s morning, you know?”

With gentle words, my body is shaken.

Yeah, this voice. It is beautiful like a bell, cool and…..warm. I like this voice too.

But from the moment I heard those words. That world was starting to fade away.

I wanted it to continue. I found myself reaching out my hand.

“Hyah ! S-Souta kun? ……Geez, it can’t be helped.”

Embracing that soft thing. I invited it to come next to me.

It smelled so good that I had the illusion that the world had turned into a flower.

“It’ll just be for five more minutes, okay?”

I heard her voice from above my head.

I buried my face in something soft and fragrant.

I continued to drift in the sea.

◆◆◆

“I apologize.”

Kneeling on the floor. Back straight, hands in a figure of eight. I lowered my head as if I was about to hit it on the floor.

“S-Souta kun? It’s okay, you know?”

“No. I did something unforgivable.”

When I woke up. There was something soft in front of me. I didn’t know what it was and kept hugging it in my sleep.

Suddenly, I noticed the good smell I always feel.

–I hugged Nagi. And even burying my face in her chest.

It was not a mistake or anything like that. It was a grave sin.

“I-I really don’t mind…..but I also feel like I’m getting something out of it, you know?”

Nagi said kind words to me as well.

“B-but.”

“If you apologize one more time, I’ll just squeeze you.”

I was almost frightened by Nagi’s words, but the thought ran through my mind that it was okay.

“Well, I’m going to do it either way. … I’m going to make it a daily routine.”

“Routine?”

I heard a word I couldn’t put down and reflexively said it back.

I thought I heard it wrong. Nagi nodded at my words with a very nice smile.

“Yes ! I heard that hugging releases good hormones !”

My cheeks twitched. I wondered if she was serious.

“I think we can both feel each other’s height and other growth while we are at it ! S-Souta kun ! please stand up !”

Nagi pulled me to my feet. I was on my knees, so I was lightly slapped on my hands and knees.

“Come on, Souta kun.”

Nagi gently extended her hand.

The way she held them out was somewhat compassionate. It looked like a mother hugging her child.

After a little hesitation, I put my arms around her back.

Nagi’s face lit up. She hugged me tightly.

“Hm….fufu.”

Laughter leaked out of her mouth, probably because of her happiness.

Even though I made up my mind yesterday, it looks like it’s going to break soon.

“Let’s make it a routine every morning.”

“……Tomorrow, though, we’ll be back to our normal routine.”

“We can do it before school.”

That……must be so embarrassing if someone sees it.

I don’t know what my father would say, especially if he saw me.

“Because I want you to have a good day, that’s all !”

The reason for that is probably to avoid paying attention to me.

“…….I understand.”

“!”

The moment I nodded, Nagi’s hug became stronger.

About ten minutes. That’s how long it lasted.

◆◆◆

“Let’s eat.”

“Here you go.”

Breakfast was mostly Japanese.

Hot white rice and miso soup. Grilled salmon and vegetables.

It was a typical Japanese breakfast.

“Was it too heavy?”

“No, it was fine. I told you I’m the type of person who eats in the morning.”

First, I picked up a bowl of miso soup.

As I took a sip, the delicious taste of miso and dashi soup stock and the warmth of the soup passed down my throat, warming my stomach and making me feel warm and fuzzy. I felt the warmth of the miso and dashi broth warming my stomach and flowing into my whole body.

“It tastes so good.”

“Fufu. I’m glad.”

Nagi smiled softly. I naturally relaxed my cheeks.

The salmon and the salad are well seasoned. The rice is warm, fluffy and delicious.

While I was eating, Nagi was staring at me. Her gaze was somewhat warm.

“It’s delicious.”

“Fufu. I’m glad.”

Nagi smiled happily at my words. –She looked really happy.

“Souta kun’s way of eating. It’s good. I can watch it all the time.”

“I-I’m embarrassed.”

“Fufu, sorry.”

Nagi said so and reached for her own rice.

“I’ll help you for lunch and dinner.”

“Don’t worry. I’m doing this because I want to.”

“No, but.”

“I want to take care of you.”

“……O-okay.”

Somehow I felt pressured by Nagi’s words and was pushed away. By the way, in the morning, Nagi had come to wake me up after preparing food. I had slept twice and caused her trouble. I regretted it.

While I was eating my meal again, I often felt her eyes on me. When I turned my eyes there, I met Nagi’s blue eyes and she smiled at me again.

I finished eating breakfast while repeating that.

“Thank you for the meal. I’ll take care of the cleanup.”

“No, no, cleaning up is part of cooking.”

“I’m not going to give in. ……It’s not good to leave it all up to you. Besides, I’m someone who likes to help with housework too, you know?”

This is true. In the first place, lying doesn’t work for Nagi.

Nagi nodded after a small smile.

“…..I understand. Then, I’ll ask you to help me.”

“Yeah. Leave it to me. Nagi, you can do as you like, too.”

“Yes !”

And so I put the plates in the bowl and carried them to the kitchen.

◆◆◆

We ate lunch and cleaned up again. After spending some time relaxing.

“Let’s go shopping !”

Nagi said, so we decided to go shopping.

“……It’s kind of refreshing.”

“Actually, it’s the first time I’ve gone shopping with Souta kun.”

I pushed my shopping cart to Nagi who was walking in front of me.

Nagi looked at various places and then came next to me.

“It’s fun, Souta kun.”

Her face was somewhat sparkling. She looked like a child in an amusement park. This is just a supermarket, though.

The word “amusement park” reminded me of something.

“I remember you said you’ve never been to an amusement park, Nagi.”

“……? Yes, that’s true?”

“If it’s the current Soichiro san and the others, wouldn’t it be possible to go with them?”

She said that Soichiro san would be busy. Nagi didn’t say where she wanted to go, and even if she was asked, she said no.

But now Nagi would be different. Both Soichiro san and Chie san would say they would go. Because Nagi also said she would not hesitate to do so.

However. Nagi shook her head.

“No, I’d rather not.”

“……? Why not?”

“Because I promised to go with Souta kun for the first time.”

Her cheeks were slightly red and she was smiling happily.

At the same time, I remembered.

[Then I’ll go to the amusement park with Nagi.]

A memory from a few years ago. As I recall, Nagi was talking sadly about how she had never been to an amusement park. I said unintentionally.

“So you remembered.”

“Yes ! ……Those words also made me happy !”

“…..I see.”

In that case. I must take full responsibility for what I said.

“Ah, however. Souta kun, please lend me your ear.”

“……Okay.”

“It’s just a word. I won’t prank you here.”

I have weak ears. When I was in elementary school, I was often pranked by Nagi.

But this time, she didn’t seem to be playing a prank on me.

I crouched down a little and Nagi put her hands on my ears as a tube.

“Please ask me out when you are ready, Souta kun.”

Hearing those words. I closed my eyes for a moment.

“……I’ll do my best to ask you out as soon as possible.”

“That’s okay, there’s no need to rush. I can wait forever.”

Her words were soft. Something that seems to wrap everything up.

I can’t afford to be spoiled by that appearance forever.

To stand beside her.

“Ah, meat is cheap today. Shall I make hamburg steak?”

“……Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”

Nagi holds a tray of meat in her hand. The way she looks at it is like–

Shaking my head, I drowned out any evil feelings.

◆◆◆

After that, the two of us went shopping, and then we both held hands and went home. We made hamburg steak together.

The hamburg steak we made and ate together was so delicious that time passed very quickly.

Before I knew it, it was time to go to sleep.

“Souta kun.”

In bed. Since there was no one in the house but us, we could talk normally. Nagi spoke to me in a whispering voice.

“I had a lot of fun today.”

“……I had a lot of fun, too. A lot.”

I nodded to Nagi’s words and she smiled again. She really smiles a lot. At first, I couldn’t believe it.

“Thank you, Souta kun. I…..everything that was left in my heart has disappeared. I will be able to have more pleasant days from now on.”

“I’m so glad to hear that. …..Thank you too, Nagi. For taking care of me.”

“Yes ! You’re welcome !”

We thanked each other. We both looked at the ceiling.

“Whenever I have a chance, I’ll come stay with you again. ……No, I’ll make an opportunity.”

“Yeah. You’re welcome to come. I don’t mind if I come to you.”

“Yes ! Papa and Mama will be happy to see you ! Absolutely !”

As we talked, Nagi’s voice gradually became more mellow. She must be sleepy.

“……Today. It’s over, isn’t it?”

“It means tomorrow will start again.”

“Fufu. I’m looking forward to it.”

Nagi turned to me and opened her hand. I hugged her body.

“Good night, Souta kun.”

“Yeah. Good night, Nagi. Have a good dream.”

“Yes, I will play with Souta kun even in my dreams.”

I nodded to her words. Nagi’s body was warm and comfortable.

“Me too. I dream of playing with Nagi.”

“Yes ! When you wake up, let’s play a lot again. So we don’t lose ourselves in our dreams.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

So I let go of her body.

“Once again. Good night, Souta kun. See you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, good night. See you tomorrow, Nagi.”

We met each other’s eyes and smiled.

A very, very short day was over.

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