I reacted to the words Senpai whispered to me as we passed through the station and came to the back of the building, regaining consciousness that had almost jumped out of my head.
The number of people has decreased considerably, but Senpai still does not let go of my hand.
Her hand was filled with strength.
“Yeah, I want to hug.”
“I see. Yeah, I’ll do my best to get the stuffed animal.”
“Stuffed animal…ah, yeah. That’s right, good luck.”
Senpai nods slightly as she fidgets with her slender fingers in the space between my fingers.
That smooth feeling made my chest tighten again.
We’ve been holding hands all this time.
Senpai said it was because she was afraid of crowds, but if she didn’t like me, she wouldn’t do this, would she?
I mean, maybe she’s……n-no, no, that’s not possible.
I’ve only known her for a short time, and there’s no way someone like her would fall in love with me.
I’m happy enough that she’s relying on me like this, so I have to make sure I don’t let her down by being flustered.
“Senpai, we’re going in.”
I was a little nervous because it was my first time to enter the store.
The same is true for Senpai, her hands are tense again.
“…Heh, it’s pretty clean inside.”
The store is located in a corner behind the station where there are many old buildings, but the inside is brightly lit and crowded with the sound of games echoing here and there.
It is also quite spacious.
Apparently, there is a crane game corner in the back.
“What do you want to do? Do you want to see any other games first?”
“No, I want to see the stuffed animals.”
“Okay. Then, let’s go to the back.”
Senpai show a gesture as if she wants to hug something.
You must want to get a stuffed animal as soon as possible and squeeze it.
That’s the highlight of a man’s life.
“Oh, I found a cute one.”
A stuffed toy of a round pink character familiar from video games.
When I pointed to it, which was the size of a cushion or a pillow, she said, [Yeah, it’s cute.]
“Then, shall I get this one? Well, I don’t know if I can get it.”
“Yeah. Good luck.”
“Ah, no, it’s just that…..”
One of my hands is occupied by holding hands with Senpai, so I can’t take the money out of my wallet.
So I thought about solving it once, but I hesitated because I thought it would be a waste.
Seeing my suspicious behavior, Senpai asked, [Is my hand getting in the way?] with a bit of regret.
“N-no, it’s not that. It’s just that it’s a little inconvenient to use one hand.”
“Not like that?”
“O-of course not. I’m wondering if it would be better if I kept it like this…..no, I’m sorry, it’s nothing.”
“Yeah. There are a lot of people, so it’s better to stay like this. I’ll give you the money.”
Senpai took out a coin purse from her pocket, skillfully opened it with one hand, took out a 500 yen coin, and quickly put it into the coin slot.
“Oh, no, I’ll pay.”
“It’s okay. I’ll pay for it. Anyway, hurry up and do it, will you?”
“Y-yes. I’ll do my best to get it for this 500 yen”
In the end, we kept our hands together and played the crane game with one hand.
But when I moved the crane to the back, I wanted to look at the side to check the depth, but I couldn’t move because Senpai was next to me.
I tried to do it as I saw it for the time being, but I couldn’t get a good grip on it.
Then, Senpai mumbled, [Squeeze……] looking a little disappointed.
“I-I’m sorry, but I’ll manage next time.”
“Yeah. Hey, if I’m next to you, will it bother you?”
“T-that’s not true.”
“I see. Okay, then. One more time, please.”
I was having a hard time catching a large stuffed animal, and I was in a situation where I couldn’t be at ease with one hand and holding hands with Senpai, so I didn’t feel like I could do it.
I was not able to concentrate and kept making mistakes after that.
I easily used up all of the 500 yen.
“I’m sorry……but I should be able to get it if I hooked it right.”
“It’s difficult, isn’t it? Do you want to quit?”
“I’ll give it one more try. I’ll do my best.”
I replied with a vigorous smile, and then I realized the same problem as before.
I still can’t take money out of my wallet because I don’t have the freedom of one hand.
Also, when I was fidgeting, Senpai put the money in first.
“Here you go.”
“I-I’m sorry. I’m clumsy, so I can only use one hand.”
“Am I in your way? Do you want me to move away from you?”
“N-no, no problem at all. If possible, it would be better to leave it like this ……ah, no, I’m sorry, I’ll concentrate.”
Once again, I was back to square one.
We had been holding hands the entire time since the station, and I guess my senses were gradually getting used to it, and my breathing became calmer than before.
The cranes are also more relaxed than before because I know the movements of the cranes.
“…..Oh, I think I can do it.”
The stuffed animal that I had successfully grasped was lifted up.
The stuffed animal was slowly carried toward the hole, and then it went into the hole.
The stuffed animal peeked out from under my feet.
“Oh, I got it ! Senpai, I got it !”
I picked up the stuffed animal excitedly and showed it to Senpai, who looked calm and happy as she lowered the corner of her eye.
“Yeah, amazing. It’s cute.”
She smiled again.
Sehe only laughed a little this time, but I’m more than happy to see Senpai, who is always calm and it’s hard to tell what she’s thinking, showing her emotion like this.
“I’m glad……Senpi, please squeeze it as hard as you can.”
“Is that okay?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Yeah. Then, excuse me.”
The stuffed animal I offered was somehow placed at her feet.
I was squeezed.
She hugged me.
“S-Senpai? Um, this is.”
“You told me to squeeze.”
“U-um…..t-that’s a stuffed animal……”
“Thank you for the stuffed animal.”
The usual sweet scent wafts through the air as she hugs me with gentle strength.
I can feel the softness of Senpai’s body.
I can hear Senpai’s breathing in my ear.
I think I was more than half unconscious at this point.
Suddenly, my bag slipped from my hand.
I was wrapped by Senpai, and I felt like I was going to melt by her.
I was frozen there for a while.
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