“Nn…..is it my mom?”
I was alone in bed, idly staring at the screen of my phone when the call came.
“Hello, what’s up Mom?”
“Sendai, how are you doing over there? Did you eat Shion chan’s breakfast?”
Yes, I did. I mean, Mom, it’s bad to have Senpai come and take care of me every day. I can manage on my own.”
“What’s the matter, did you get into a fight?”
“Fight……it’s nothing like that.”
“In that case, just accept her kindness. Kids who are not obedient will be hated.”
My mother said what she wanted to say and hung up the phone.
I wanted to complain to her that it was her fault that I had to be in such a gloomy mood during the daytime on a holiday.
But that wouldn’t solve anything.
I was the one to blame.
Both my mother and Senpai are doing this for my sake and with the best of intentions.
I, on my own, am repeatedly getting carried away and depressed, swayed by ulterior motives.
I have to refrain from looking at Senpai that way.
Otherwise, my heart won’t be able to take it.
I can’t have such a fruitless first love.
She never showed any interest in me at all……
“The meal is ready.”
I was just putting my messy thoughts in order when I heard Senpai’s voice coming from the hallway.
When I slowly got up and left the room, I saw Senpai standing in front of the room.
“Ah……sorry, I’ll be right there.”
“What’s wrong? Are you feeling well?”
“I-I’m fine. Maybe I’m hungry.”
“I see. I made doria for lunch today, but would you like something lighter?”
“N-no, you don;t have to. Thank you.”
I went downstairs first without even looking at Senpai who were worried about me.
And the kitchen was filled with the smell of burning cheese.
There was only one doria on the table.
“….Eat and then laze around again.”
I took my seat, and soon after, Senpai came over as well.
I asked for a small portion and then took a bite with a spoon.
As usual, it was good.
There’s no way I could complain about something made for me in the first place, but I don’t mean that the taste is not good.
I wonder if someone else will be able to enjoy this taste one day.
“……So, Senpai, what do you usually do for a meal?”
I asked her a frank question when I saw her sitting across from me drinking tea.
Come to think of it, Senpai and I don’t always eat together.
She prepares and serves only my portion, but I wonder if she eats first.
“I’m not very hungry. I’m fine with just a small snack.”
“I see. But sometimes we eat together……no, it’s nothing.”
“……I thought maybe we could have eat together. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything weird.”
I’ve always thought that a good meal would taste even better if I ate it with Senpai.
I’d like to get to know the parts of Senpai that I don’t know, even if it’s just in the smallest details like that.
Of course, there was no way I could go that far, but she responded to my words.
“I see. Is it more fun to be together?”
“T-that’s right. It tastes better together.”
“It tastes better together?”
“Y-yes. Isn’t it good to eat with other people? I always ate alone.”
“….Yeah. Then, I’ll make something we can eat together.”
“R-really? T-thank you very much. I’m looking forward to it.”
Senpai was kind after all.
She accepted my silly wish and said she would do so starting with dinner.
Men are simple, all the depression and gloomy mood I had been in earlier had been blown away by her words.
Yes, it’s impossible to make her like me right now, and I don’t care if it’s out of pity, or because of my mother’s connections, or whatever.
Anyway, I had to do my best to believe that being with Senpai was the shortcut to getting along with her.
“Thank you very much for the meal. I’ll take care of the cleanup, so you can relax.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, but I have to go shopping for dinner.”
“If that’s the case, just tell me what ingredients you need and I’ll go get them.”
“No, I’ll go with you.”
“Eh? With me?:
“Yeah. It’s more fun together, right?”
“Y-yeah, that’s true……but are you sure you?”
“It’s hard with a lot of luggage.”
“T-true. Then, shall we go out right away?”
“Yeah. Let’s go.”
She quickly took the bowl of doria I had eaten, put it in the sink, and said, [Go get ready. We’re going right away.]
I went back to my room and hurriedly changed my clothes and went downstairs.
Then, Senpai was already waiting at the door.
“You’re early, aren’t you?”
“N-no. Shall we go then?”
I was able to go out with Senpai without incident, even though my lunch date was turned down.
After all, I realized that I had made the right decision by declining Kaneko’s invitation, and I opened the door, feeling extremely rude to my best friend.
The sun was shining through a gap in the clouds.
I felt like my mood was getting brighter.
You are so bold, Tokiwa kun.
I also like the way you say that it’s more fun to be with me.
I remember there was a flier in the supermarket today saying that meat was on special sale.
Maybe I’ll make a hot pot.
I want to eat the same thing as Tokiwa kun.
It’s still cold at night, so something warm would be nice.
I wonder if Tokiwa kun is nervous, too.
He looks frightened and sometimes looks back at me anxiously even though we are just going to the supermarket.
I love it. I love that you’re so naive.
I’m here, so don’t worry.
I won’t leave you.
Watch over me so I don’t get separated from you.
“Senpai, we’re at the supermarket.”
I’m looking forward to shopping together on my day off.
But there are so many people here today because it’s a holiday.
I’m afraid I’ll get intoxicated by the people.
I don’t like crowded places.
“There are a lot of people today. Are you okay, Senpai?”
If I say I’m not okay, will you hold my hand?
If I always ask Tokiwa kun for things, it’s a burden, isn’t it?
I have to be proactive once in a while, too.
I’ll hold your hand.
“…….Don’t let go.”
“Is my hand cold?”
“I’m not good with crowds.”
“I-I see. But……”
“Is that a problem?”
“T-that’s not true. Um, is it okay if we continue like this?”
Of course it’s fine.
Tokiwa kun’s hand is warm.
His hand is warmer than when it was on the strap that day, and his hand is stronger and tougher.
I want him to keep his hands like that for a long time.
At the cash register, when cooking, in the bath, when going to bed.
I want us to stay like this forever, even after I wake up, even after I go to school.
Forever and ever.
“Please keep it like this.”
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