This is the first weekend since the opening of sports festival practice. The pole topple event I would be participating in would have one more practice, but since I wasn’t going to be actively participating, it didn’t really matter. I had a bigger event coming up that night.

“Look, you should get ready. Since Mom will finish her work and drive us.”

“No, I know that, but it’s too much and so sudden…..”

“Well, I don’t blame you this time. I was only told about it a while ago.”

Today was the first time in a long time that my family was going to get together for a dinner party. I thought we were going to have a family reunion with my step father for the first time in a long time, but he suggested we go somewhere to eat because of the occasion. Then my mother forgot to tell me and my step sister about it.

(Because both of them were too busy.)

We were the ones who had to suffer the consequences. I wish they would have at least made the schedule a little more flexible. I heard that they decided to have a dinner party only yesterday. Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen my step father. The last time I saw him was at the city hall….no, he came to see me once about half a year ago.

We got ready and got into the car where my mother was waiting for us. We were going to meet my step father there. My mother made sure we got in and started the car.

She told us that the restaurant we were going to was not a place where manners and clothes were important, so my step sister and I decided to wear our normal clothes. Apparently, my step father took care of that. Thanks to that, I didn’t have to get a haircut either.

“Oh, you two have a sports festival next week, don’t you?”

A few minutes into the car ride, my mother and step sister were talking about various topics, when they suddenly started talking about the sports festival. She said she couldn’t come to cheer us on, but she was interested in what events we would be participating in.

“I’m in the relay and Kanata is in the pole topple.”

“I see, it’s a pity that I can’t go see it, but do your best and be number one.”

My mother was driving while giving us pep talks.My step sister replied firmly and was fired up, but unfortunately I don’t think I’m going to participate properly at the moment. I’ll leave the pole topple to the more athletically skilled students.

And so the conversation between step sister and mother continues for a while, and we finally reach the parking lot of our destination. After getting out of the car and proceeding for a while, we arrived at our destination, a restaurant.

(Hee, French cuisine, huh.)

I have never eaten there, but I remember the minimum manners. I never thought that what I learned about food and manners around the world might come in handy in a place like this.

Moreover, when I peeked inside the restaurant, I found that the clothes were also sparse. As my mother said, this is not a restaurant that places that much importance on manners. The restaurant was crowded with a variety of customers.

“It seems that Dad is waiting inside, so let’s go.”

[ [Yeah.] ]

My step sister and I replied at almost the same time and entered the restaurant with my mother. The manager quickly came over to us. My mother tells him the name and that we had a reservation, and he quickly shows us to our seats.

Then I saw a man get up from his chair when he saw us.

“Hey you two, it’s been kind of a while. Have you grown a little taller?”

This man who greeted us with a smile was my step sister, Shiina Haruhiko, who’s related to my step sister by blood. He’s a university professor and is engaged in a variety of projects.

“‘A while’ you said, it’s already been half a year since then ! Stop it !”

“Haha, my bad, Haruka. I often lose track of time.”

“Geez ! Be careful !”

My step father and step sister talking to each other in a friendly manner. The two of them have a bond that I’m unaware of. Although it had been a long time since they had met, they were on the same wavelength. This is what I call a father-daughter relationship.

“Look, the food will be arriving soon, so everyone sits down. I’ve ordered a very expensive course meal.”

With that, my step father urged us to sit down. My step father and I are facing each other, and so my step father and mother. My mother is sitting next to me.

The first dishes arrived just as we sat down. The first is an appetizer, Hors d’oeuvre.

“This is a special French salad.”

Saying that, the staff brought the salad.. Lettuce, tomatoes, cauliflower, and other ingredients were mixed with a mysterious sauce. It looked expensive.

We started eating the salad with forks while chatting lightly.

(This is a sauce with olive oil and a little garlic. Maybe some vinegar mixed in.)

We don’t eat this kind of food very often, so it felt very fresh. Even if I wanted to make it at home, it would be difficult to achieve such an authentic taste. Each ingredient is quite expensive.

“Oh, Kanata kun, you know the etiquette of French cuisine? Your manner when you eat is very beautiful.”

“Y-yeah, well.”

“Fufufu, you don’t have to be so nervous. I wanted to talk with you a lot.”

And just like that, the conversation that included me was started. During the course of the conversation, there were many opportunities for the topic to be brought up to me, and I answered all of them without hesitation. He’s a university professor, so he’s very good at finding topics. There are probably not many people who can make a place so warm with just one communication skill.

“I heard that the sports festival is coming up soon. Haruka told me about it.”

And it became the topic of the sports festival which was the most recent event. When I told my step father about the competitions we were going to compete in, he nodded his head in amusement.

“Leave aside the relay, pole topple, huh. I guess you’re going to compete in a very unusual event. It looks like a lot of fun. I’d even like to compete instead of you.”

“Well, it looks like a difficult competition.”

“That’s what makes it so exciting. Ah, it’s so painful that I can’t go and cheer for you.”

I can see why he’s so popular among the students. It’s because he has not lost his youthful passion. It’s because of this passion that he’s able to devote himself to various research projects. And when students are attracted by his enthusiasm, they follow him. It’s as if he’s living the life of a hero.

“Well, it looks like the main course has arrived in the meantime.”

French cuisine is finally coming to an end. Today’s main course was a fine filet steak. It was served with a kind of eggplant as a side dish and covered with a kind of gravy sauce.

This alone would have cost quite a bit of money, and I wonder how much he paid for it. I don’t know the price because it was already ordered, so I’m afraid to ask.

“Hee, this one looks delicious. Haruka, stop taking pictures all the time and eat up.”

“This is not something you should eat in such a hurry !”

“Good grief, you’re a little too relaxed.”

“… Thanks to someone who became a professor.”

As one would expect from a step sister, there’s no mercy in her sarcasm, even when dealing with her father. I think she put more venom into it than she did into me. Well, I guess she’s just a little bit upset because she’s been left alone for more than half a year.

After finishing the main course, it was time for dessert. Today’s dessert is crème brûlée with strawberries on top. Well, it sure looks delicious.

Suddenly, when I looked in front of me, I saw that my step sister’s mood had changed. Apparently, her personality as the queen of sweets has begun to awaken. She’s now much more enthusiastic about taking pictures than ever before.

“Come to think of it, Haruka liked this kind of thing. Would you like to eat mine too?”

“Eh, really ! Then I’ll take it without hesitation.”

Then the step sister rolls up the crème brûlée from her father and quietly begins to eat her own portion. Her face was smiling in a way that she would never normally show.


Seeing my step sister like that, my step father also looks happy. He seemed to like seeing his daughter smile and was in a completely good mood. It’s true, my step sister is so much cuter than usual now. If I had my phone, I’d want to take a picture of her too.

(I mean, I thought my step father was childish earlier, but it seems my step sister has that blood running through her veins as well.)

The way they are immersed in what they love overlaps this father and daughter atmosphere. I was made to understand deeply that this is what parent and child are.

“Hm, if you won’t eat it too, I’ll have it…….”

“No, I’ll have some.”

I was almost deprived of my own dessert, so I started to take a bite to defend myself. The bitterness on the surface matches the sweetness underneath and the freshness of the strawberries.



I felt a glance from my step sister for a moment, so I looked in that direction, but she was looking in the direction of the sweets.

(……It’s just my imagination, huh?)

I’m sensitive to the way people look at me, so I reacted this time, but maybe it was really just my imagination. Because there’s no way that my step sister would stare at me with her favorite dessert in front of her.

And so I finished my dessert, too. The course meal also came to an end.

“Thank you so much for today, everyone !”

Then my step father called a cab and left by himself. Apparently, he wasn’t going home with us, but was going to devote himself to his research again somewhere else. I was reminded that he really likes his hobbies.

“Then we’re going home, too.”

My mother walked toward the car. My step sister also walked in that direction, looking sad. She seemed to be sad that her father left.

(I can’t understand that feeling.)

I’m a person who was relieved when my father left me. At that point, I guess I have different values and ideas about family from my step sister. Well, at least I know that my step father is not a bad person. How can I say this, he gives me a sense of security different from my grandmother.

(Well, for me, it’s just past, and it’s none of my business.)

I followed my step sister to my mother’s car. On the way, my step sister taps her phone repeatedly, so I assume that she’s probably finishing organizing her photos on the way. My step sister doesn’t waste any time for sure.


Suddenly, my step sister let out a laugh. It’s rare for her to laugh like that, so I widened my eyes in surprise, but she didn’t seem to notice. I wondered if something good had happened to her.

We finished eating the French cuisine and went straight home.

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