It was a Saturday in mid-January, 2021.
I, Shinji Ueda, was in front of Kawasaki Station.
“Ugh…it’s so cold…today too.”
I was told to meet at 11:00 a.m. in front of the station’s Golden Clock.
Today, I was going out with another girl, not Rika.
“Hey, Virgin-kun ♡!”
A little before 11:00, Dahlia-san came out of the ticket gate.
She is a tall, flashy gal.
Her name is Dahlia Kurohime. She is the same age as me and Rika’s best friend.
She has tanned skin and silver hair.
She has long, slender arms and legs and surprisingly large breasts.
She wears a leopard print innerwear and jacket.
She is very flashy looking, wearing a super mini skirt and boots.
“You’re fast, Virgin-kun.”
It’s about 5 minutes before the meeting time and I don’t think it’s early.
“You’re never late for a date with a girl, yeah, that’s a good point~”
I bowed my head to Dahlia-san.
“Thank you, Dahlia-san, for helping me choose Rika’s birthday present.”
Now, let me tell you how we came to be here.
It goes back to the day after I started going out with Satoka.
Dahlia told me that Rika’s birthday was coming up.
She asked me to help her celebrate her birthday.
“She doesn’t have many friends, so why don’t you congratulate her, boyfriend-kun?”
Of course, I agreed.
Rika has been a tremendous help to me, and I want to celebrate with her.
But I don’t know what to give her.
So I decided to ask Dahlia-san for her wisdom and came here to shop.
Dahlia-san’s mouth is open with a pout.
It was as if she didn’t expect me to do what I did.
“Oh, no, it’s just something new.”
Dahlia-san nodded her head.
“It’s been a while since I’ve had a guy say, “Thanks for going out with me.”
“Yeah. Many of the guys I dated were like, “I’m going on a date with you, it’s what a girlfriend should do,” and I thought that’s what I should do, too.”
Dahlia-san scratched her cheek with her finger.
“How do I say it… It’s new to me.”
Dahlia-san’s cheeks turned a little red, and she murmured quietly.
“Oh, it’s nothing! Let’s go. Ah, that’s right!”
Dahlia-san smiles, leans forward and says.
“Look, Virgin-kun, when you go on a date with a girl, you have to compliment her on her outfit~♡♡”
“Just a rehearsal for when you’re with Rika-tan, come on, go ahead ♡ Or is it a little too stimulating for you?”
Certainly, today’s Dahlia-san is dressed very stimulatingly.
Her shoulders are bare and her leopard print innerwear looks like her boobs are about to spill out…and they’re huge…
Yes, she is beautiful.
But…I thought to myself.
“Are you cold?”
She again pauses.
I took a pocket warmer out of my pocket and handed it to Daria.
“Here is a pocket warmer. Use it.”
Dahlia-san takes it.
“I’m not sure if it’s too cold, but I don’t want you to get sick, so use the pocket warmer.”
“Ah… ah… um… thank you.”
She takes the pocket warmer in her hand and squeezes it tightly.
Dahlia-san murmurs happily.
“It’s so warm.”
“I see. Good. Oh, sorry! It’s cold, isn’t it? Let’s go to the mall!”
I walk toward the building.
Dahlia-san followed behind me.
“I’m so glad. I’m really happy.”
“No, it’s nothing!”
Dahlia-san approached me with a smile.
I stopped and waited for her to come.
Dahlia-san rolled her eyes again.
“Oh, um… let’s go.”
We walked side by side.
“There’s something fresh about it.”
“Yeah. How should I say it? Walking side by side with a boyfriend like this. It’s fresh.”
We walk toward the building, weaving through the waves of people.
“Isn’t it normal to walk together?”
“No. They usually walk ahead of me, and I follow them wherever they want to go.”
Dahlia-san has been with many men, apparently.
I guess she was comparing me to these men whose names were unknown to me.
“It’s been a long time since someone matched my stride like that.”
“Is that how it is?”
“Yes, that’s how it is. So…yes. That’s a high point.”
Dahlia-san laughs with a smirk.
“Please do the same for Rika-tan.”
“Yeah! I understand!”
When I responded, I don’t know why, but Dahlia’s face turned a little sad.
After that, we go around the shopping mall.
I asked Dahlia-san to show me the stores that Rika might want and be happy with.
I didn’t know anything about girls’ fashion, so she really helped me out.
Thanks to Dahlia-san, I bought a gift that I thought Rika would like.
After paying, we walked out of the store.
“Did you buy it?”
“Yeah, I got it!”
“I see. That’s great!”
“Thank you! It’s all thanks to you, Dahlia-san!”
“No, no, no. What?”
Dahlia-san suddenly noticed what I was holding in my hand.
“What’s that, Virgin-kun?”
I have two bags.
“A present for Rika.”
“No, no, no. Here’s one for Dahlia-san!”
Dahlia opened her mouth again and was surprised.
“Yeah. Here you go!”
When I hand her the bag, she accepts hesitantly.
“Why did you…?”
“Well, because you helped me choose it, and I wanted to thank you for that.”
“Oh, thank you… Ah, I didn’t do anything special…”
With eyes swimming, Dahlia-san says.
“What are you talking about? I couldn’t have bought this present for Rika if it weren’t for you, Dahlia-san. It was thanks to you. So it’s only natural for me to thank you.”
Isn’t it normal to thank someone with a gift when you’ve taken care of them?
Dahlia-san stares at the bag and at me.
She says in a quiet voice, almost as if she is about to disappear.
“I’m really happy. This kind of thing…really…something…yeah.”
She closed her eyes and hugged the bag tightly.
In her hand, she was holding the pocket warmer I had given her.
“Did I bother you with my gift?”
Dahlia-san said strongly.
Dahlia apologizes for yelling.
“It didn’t bother me at all. I am really happy. Thanks.”
She looks up and gives me a small smile.
“I’m really… happy.”
I see…I’m glad she’s happy.
“Since we’re done sooner than I thought, let’s get some lunch!”
As I was about to walk away… Dahlia-san squeezed my hand.
“Huh? Oh…that…that. It’s a rehearsal. Practicing to escort a girl.”
She says, averting her eyes while her cheeks turn red.
“Look, we’re done buying presents, right? I’ll help you practice for the next date so you don’t get flustered on the real thing.”
“Really? Thank you!”
Dahlia-san nodded, narrowed her eyes, pulled my hand, and started walking away.
Holding hands with Shinji, Dahlia Kurohime walks away.
Dahlia is surprised by every word and action of Shinji.
For Dahlia, a date is almost like a “ritual.”
She has been with many men and has naturally been on many dates.
The longing for dates and the thrill of going out with a man that she had in the early days are absent from her life.
She meets up with a guy, hangs out somewhere random, and ends up in a hotel.
She understood this through a series of acts.
After all, a date is just a way to kill time before getting to the hotel.
What the men wanted from Dahlia was her voluptuous body and polished sexual skills, not the time spent with her.
Dahlia understood this.
Dating, after all, is just about sex and building up to it.
Nothing was exciting about it, and the guys just wanted to get it on.
It’s a boring, silly time…that’s what she thought.
The time she spent with Shinji seemed to sparkle so brightly.
No matter what she did, he would always say, “Thank you.”
She hasn’t had anyone say thank you for taking the time to do this in a while.
The same goes for gifts. Whenever she begs for a gift, the guys just hand it over to me with a disapproving “Yes, yes, yes.”
But today was different.
Shinji gave it to me even though I didn’t ask him for anything, saying it was a thank you.
It was like a real date.
In the distant past, when I didn’t know any men yet, this kind of thing certainly happened.
The time and goods that men gave me seemed special, sparkling, and precious.
…A feeling that I had long since forgotten, the feeling that dating is fun.
Dating was such fun.
It is not a ritual, it is not an obligation, it is not a way to kill time.
Spending a good time with a boy.
She thanked Shinji for reminding her of such an important thing… and at the same time
At the same time, her heart ached.