“Thanks for waiting. It’s only February and it’s crazy cold. I wanted to come over at the last minute.”
“It’s okay. It’s what I like to do. It’s really cold today, by the way. Let’s go into the café first when we arrive and warm up.”
As we pass through the ticket gates and stand on the platform, Hazuki is groaning “Ugh ……” and grabbing the collar of her dull pink coat and pulling it on. Honestly, my girlfriend is so cute. Hazuki is so dignified when she’s with someone other than me that I’m sure the guys at school would be surprised to see her in such a vulnerable state.
By the way, there is a reason why Hazuki and I, who live next door to each other, went to the trouble of meeting in front of the station. It was to make our date special.
I once said, “Since we live next door to each other, why don’t you just go together like you usually do?” but she said, “No, you can’t. A date is special. If we go from our houses, it will be the same as usual.”
Thinking back, we had always met in front of Hazuki’s house to go to school since elementary school, so I agreed with Hazuki’s words that I wanted to make our date feel special.
“Haaah… I’m back to life.”
As soon as entering the café, Hazuki’s face looks blissful and she screams in bliss.
“As usual Hazuki, you’re not that good in the cold.”
“I’m wearing a coat and stuff, so my body isn’t as bad as it could be. But my face inevitably gets cold and sore.”
As she says this, she is squeezing her cheeks with her own hands.
Seeing her like that, I naturally narrow my eyes, thinking how lucky I am to be able to monopolize such a lovely Hazuki.
“Do you have an agenda for what you’re going to buy today?”
“Ummm. I don’t have a particular brand of clothing that I want, but since it’s spring, I’m hoping to find some pastel-colored light knits or lace skirts that I can wear.”
“Hazuki is as fashionable as ever.”
Hazuki probably became more fashionable in junior high school, as the clothes she wore gradually became more mature. Of course, since she was able to wear such clothes, Hazuki must have had the sense to know what fashions suited her.
“Because I want Yuuri to think I’m cute, you know?”
“Well, I always think Hazuki is cute.”
I was so thrilled by Hazuki’s honest words, that I took a sip of my still-hot coffee and turned my eyes black and white.
I was thrilled by Hazuki’s too-honest words, and I gulped down my still-hot coffee, my eyes black and white. While looking at me like that “Moou, Yuuri,”, Hazuki was looking at me while smiling. “We’ve been together for a long time, but she always makes my heart beat faster.” I felt a little frustrated while thinking that.
After the shopping was over, Hazuki and I went into an Italian restaurant, a popular place among many people, to have dinner.
Sitting in front of me was Hazuki, looking very happy and content. Apparently, she had found many of her favorites, and today’s shopping trip had been a great success.
“Yuuri, maybe you should try wearing something a little more flashy.”
“No, I don’t look good in that kind of clothing.”
“I don’t think so. Rather, the original fabric is more important in a simple outfit. Perhaps you are thinking, “I’m so cool that something so simple looks good on me!” or something like that?”
“No! That’s not true!”
“Ufufu. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.”
I was irritated by Hazuki’s grinning face, but I was really enjoying this usual exchange. Then the topic of conversation turned to the third-grade class change.
“By the way, aren’t we going to change classes in the third grade? Which course are you planning to take, science or literature?
“Hmmm. I haven’t really decided yet. I haven’t decided which department I’m going to study at university either. Which one are you going to choose, Hazuki?”
“I’m going to take the liberal arts course. I’m thinking of going to college in a foreign language department.”
“Ah, you’ve been saying that since the first day of high school! You’ve been going to cram school every day since the first day of high school to get there, so I really admire and respect you, Hazuki.”
“It’s embarrassing to hear you say that. But thank you. I also respect and love you for not cutting corners in your club activities and studies.”
I can’t help but love Hazuki for saying something that makes me happy while her face turns a faint shade of red. Perhaps if someone had heard this conversation, they would have clicked their tongue and said, “Tsk.” If I had been listening to this conversation as a third party, I would have definitely clicked my tongue. Because this conversation is just too innocent.
“I would like to be in the same class as you in the third grade. If we are in the same class, we can enjoy various events together. As for me, I am looking forward to the last festival the most. I’m looking forward to watching the campfire at the festival.”
“I know, right? I’m looking forward to being in the same class as Hazuki and making a lot of memories in my senior year. Ah, it’s almost time to hand in the printouts for the class selections, and I have to think about it too.”
“If you have any trouble, I’m always here for you, so feel free to talk to me.”
“Oh! I’ll consult with Hatsuki first then.”
After enjoying our after-dinner coffee to the fullest, we slowly headed home.
For some reason, I felt like I was missing something, so I asked Hazuki if I could stop by the park to talk with her. It was already quite late, and there was a chance she would say no, but Hazuki’s answer was, “Sure.”
“I also wanted to talk with you a little longer.”
“I didn’t realize that! I thought I might have overstepped my bounds, but I’m relieved. But if it’s getting really tough, just be honest about it, okay?”
“I’m not going to hold back with you now. I tell Yuuri everything.”
I was so happy that she looked me in the eye and told me how she felt straight away and I was about to pat Hazuki on the head when suddenly Hazuki let out a little scream, “Kya!”
“What’s wrong Hazuki?”
When I asked Hazuki, who had calmed down, she told me that a dead leaf had hit her body and she had mistaken it for an insect.
“I was a little stuttered, but if you think about it carefully, insects are rare at this time of year.”
Hazuki, who had calmed down, laughed as if to cover up her earlier upset. I was relieved to see that, and hearing the keyword “insect,” I asked her about the recent insect ruckus that had occurred in my room.
“By the way, you said there was an insect in my room the other day, right? What kind of insect was it? Hazuki also mentioned it, but it’s winter and bugs are pretty rare.”
Then Hazuki, who is usually so calm, swept his eyes and said, “Well, that…” Hazuki was at a loss for words.
“What’s the matter? Was it a bug that big?”
“I didn’t see much of it until Kouki told me it was a bug and got rid of it for me, but I was just screaming all the time, so I didn’t really know much about it.”
“I see, Hazuki has always hated bugs.”
“Ah, that’s right. What are you doing after school on Mondays, Yuuri? Club activities?”
“That’s right. I’m always doing club activities. Hatsuki goes to cram school, right?”
“U, un. Yes, that’s right. Yes, I’m going to cram school too.”
Something seems strange about Hazuki. Did she have something with Kouki at that time?
I looked at Hazuki who changed the subject impatiently and felt a little tugging at my heart.