Episode 32 – The Goddess’s Present

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“Aoi, come home with me! I have something I need to talk to you about!”

After school, Shizuka asked me to go home with her.
I am supposed to stay the night, but only once she returns home.

Originally, I would have liked to go home with Komiya kun, but he said he had to clean his room and that it would take some time, so he asked me to kill some time at random.

…… Well, let’s now look forward to seeing what he hid.

Be that as it may, I haven’t been able to eat lunch with Shizuka lately, and when my best friend says she has something she wants to discuss with me, I have no choice but to nod my head.

“Okay, I understand”
“Hooray !”

Shizuka’s face brightened at my response. She seemed to be seriously pleased because I had been refusing for some time now.

“Aoi, wait a minute.”

Then, as Shizuka and I were leaving the classroom, someone called out to me from behind.

“….what’s wrong, jinguji kun?”

I turned around and there they were Jinguji, Nagano, and the other members who always gather around them.

Yesterday, after I yelled at him in the classroom, he didn’t approach me much today, whether it was because he read the atmosphere or simply because he was uncomfortable. …… What does he want?

“W-We can go home together if you want. We can stop off somewhere like we usually do.”

He still felt some awkwardness and was more awkward than usual.

“This guy wants to buy you a drink as an apology for yesterday.”
“Oh, yeah! yeah? Please!!!!”

Nagano kun puts his hands together and looks at me as if he is praying.
Jinguji kun was watching from behind.

I guess they thought that speaking of an apology would create an atmosphere that would make it somewhat difficult to refuse.
Certainly, I felt the air around me, though somewhat, as if Nagano apologized and I forgave him.

“Hmmm…..”

Nagano kun’s face lights up when I mutter something like that, and Jinguji kun smiles gently.

But,

“I’m sorry, but Shizuka and I have something to do alone today. If you want to apologize, please do it some other time. Come on, Shizuka, let’s go.”
“Eh?! Ah, yeah !!”

I turned it down.
With my back to Stunned idiots, I and Shizuka leave the classroom.

I guess they didn’t expect to be turned down.
That shocked look on your face was just a little bit comical.

“Fufu”
“……….?”

I can’t help but laugh a little again when I remember

“Shizuka, is there somewhere we can stop?”
“….Yeah !! in front of the station! Let’s go!”

After leaving the school we headed toward the front of the station.

“So, what can I do for you?”

We enter a complex in front of the station that contains a general store and a fashion store and start such a conversation as we walk along.

“Actually, you know what? I heard it was Komiya-kun’s birthday today. ……”
“Uhh”

My heart jumped, not expecting Komiya kun’s name to be mentioned.

“Did you know that by any chance?”
“Eh, yeah..I’m pretty sure I remember someone saying that.”

I answer quietly, trying desperately to mend the situation.
We have been talking about our relationship, but no specific timing has been set. So I was afraid to say it at this time.

“So, I know it’s a little late for this, but I thought I’d buy him a birthday present!”
“Y-Yeah. So what do you have in mind?”
“That’s where it’s at~. I’m not sure what I want. If I had to say a standard item, I’d say accessories or small things.”
“Accessories and small things….”

That being said, I cringe a little.
As a matter of fact, I have already bought a gift for him.

I had been debating all day as to when to give it to him and decided to give it to him when I went to stay the night.

And after hearing Shizuka’s story, I began to worry about whether the gift was not out of touch with the world, as I was not familiar with romantic relationships.

“Yes, I think a stylish person would be happy to receive a necklace or bracelet, and I would be happy if my boyfriend wore something I gave him.”

Shizuka’s face relaxes a bit as she imagines what I said.

I wonder if he is interested in necklaces and bracelets …… like that? It’s as if I can’t imagine him wearing them. ……

“What about the little things?”
“Well, if it’s a small item, something more practical would be good. If he is a frequent train or bus rider, maybe a commuter pass holder or a pass case. That way he could bring it to school every day and it would be easy to use!”

But he walks to school. It may not be a problem, but I don’t think he will use it every day.

So far, none of my purchases have been any of the above. Maybe that’s why I feel a bit of relief.
What in the world is the right thing to give him?

“Well, when it comes to that area, money is no object. If you insist on expensive things, there are plenty of them. …… The most important thing to remember is that you can’t afford to spend a lot of money on a new product. Unless you have a lot of money from your part-time job,…… but I’m broke right now,…….”

I heard a sad murmur.

“I mean, we’re just classmates now, and I wouldn’t want to get him something that expensive. So as a thank you for the other day, I’ll give him …… this!”

With that, she picked up one item at a grocery store she entered.

“……It can’t be”
“…..hmm? What’s wrong?”
“No, nothing”

Then I spilled out when I saw what Shizuka had picked up.
In her hand was a …… men’s handkerchief, the same one as the gift I had bought him.

Seeing this, my impatience accelerates.

“Y-You’re going with that?”
“Yes ! This wouldn’t be too expensive or too cheap, and it would be perfect for a classmate’s birthday!”

Yes, that’s what I thought too. It’s still early days when I say we are dating.
If I tried to give him something expensive like that, he would surely refrain and give it to me.
So when I thought about what I wanted to give, I just had the same thought as Shizuka.

To think that I made a blunder…..I never think of it !

“D-Do you want another one? Here, over here! You said accessories were nice. This one’s a little more affordable.”

I picked up a wooden bracelet and showed it to her.

“I don’t feel like he is putting on that kind of thing, Komiya kun.”
“…………”

I generally agree with that.

“Then, I’ll go buy it !”
“Ah”

Eventually, Shizuka took it and headed for the cash register before I could stop her.

What should I do with ……? I wonder if I can give him the same thing …….
I’m his girlfriend, so it’s okay. But …….

Seeing Shizuka looking so happy, I began to feel a blur in my chest.

Am I okay?…..

“Aoi? Hey Aoi !!”
“Ugh”
“Mouu, What’s wrong, You’ve been in a daze.”
“Eh, No no. Nothing”
“Is it? I’m tired. Let’s stop over there for a minute!”

Shizuka pointed toward a certain fast food restaurant.

We enter the restaurant, order the appropriate sides and we sit down.
That’s when we talked about the rest of the birthday story.

This time, we’re talking about what we would have loved to have had for our birthday.

“Gifts are nice, but I think it would be nice to do something memorable with them, like an experience or something.”
“Memories?”
“Yes, yes! I’d be happy if someone took me somewhere just for that~! Isn’t it nice to have a special experience with a special person?”

I was a little surprised, more than a little, to hear from a direction I had not thought of at all.

“You’re right…..”

It’s a memory with a special someone. ……

It reminded me of the old days just a little bit.

…… but that’s also possible.
Yes, let’s do that. Let’s do that for Komiya kun.

I arrive at the answer to what would make Komiya kun happy.

“Thank you, Shizuka.”
“……….? You’re welcome?”

I came up with an idea of what I would do for Komiya kun, and I was back to feeling a little down.

“Are? It’s Ichikawa san and Sakino san.”

Then, as if to throw a damper on the proceedings, a visitor appeared.

“…, what’s with the nasty look on your face?”
“What do you want? I don’t think we were ever close enough to talk to each other.”
“Well, don’t say that. We’ve just met, and it was nice of you to let us share your seat.”

The one who came was Shinozuka san, the student who fell down spectacularly after trying to win the game.

“You guys, Ichikawa san and Sakino san were here!”

Just as I was about to refuse, Shinozuka san immediately beckons someone over.

“H-Huh ? Aoi?”
“Coincidence, I guess.”

Coming from there were Nagano kun and Jinguji kun, whom I had just parted from in the classroom.
Coincidence? No, this is …….

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