Today was a date day with Mio. I had been worried that we had been too noisy yesterday, but I didn’t make the rookie mistake of staying up all night out of excitement, so I was in perfect shape.
Mio’s house was right next to mine, so I had initially thought we’d go together from the start. However, we decided to meet up at the station yesterday. According to Mio, it was because she wanted to savor the feeling of a date.
Given that we were in a situation where I had been falsely accused and with the recent transfer of Todoroki, it wasn’t exactly a typical date scenario. It had been over two months since we officially became a couple, and this was our first date. I didn’t particularly want to do typical couple things, but I understood her feelings.
Even though Mio was my childhood friend, we had often hung out in various places before. Most of the time, it was with Rinto and his friend, but there had been times when it was just the two of us.
But being in a romantic relationship was a completely different feeling. We had both known that we liked each other for a long time…
As we walked toward the station, I couldn’t stop wearing an embarrassing grin on my face. Mio was cute, had a great figure, and her smile made my heart race. She was kind to everyone, but she showed a little jealousy towards me, and that made me happy. She was overflowing with cuteness.
“Being the boyfriend of such a girl, I feel like I’m the protagonist of a romantic comedy!”
“Look, Mom! That Onii-chan over there is laughing all by himself!”
Oh, crap. I was grinning and yelling to myself when a little boy pointed at me. The mother who was holding his hand took the little boy and strode away.
It was too late to realize now that I was completely suspicious. I noticed that everyone was walking around me avoiding me.
I felt a little sad, but as I walked on, I arrived at the station. To my surprise, I saw a girl I recognized, even though I had arrived more than 30 minutes earlier.
“Taiga!? I mean, is it my imagination that people are walking away from Taiga!?”
“Well, um… it’s just that, you know. I’m kind of being treated like a suspicious person, and people are avoiding me…”
“What do you mean!?”
I explained the situation to Mio, and she chuckled. It seemed that Mio was in the same situation as me, eagerly looking forward to today and arriving early. With a slight blush on her face, Mio extended her right hand.
“Fufu. It’s a bit early, but shall we go?”
I reached out with my left hand without hesitation, and we held hands like lovers. We had held hands almost every day and had been posting about it, so my body’s rejection symptoms, which used to occur whenever I touched someone, had been gradually fading.
As for our date destination, we decided to go to the “Wan-Nyan Paradise,” a place in Kanagawa Prefecture where you could interact with dogs and cats. It was like the dog and cat version of the “Biwako Wanwan Kingdom” that used to exist in Shiga Prefecture. There were other options for where to go, but Mio loved small animals, especially cats, so we chose this place.
It was about a 50-minute train ride away. Fortunately, there weren’t as many people on the train as we had expected, so both of us could sit together. We discussed what to do once we arrived, thinking about the 10 minutes or so we had left, but I noticed that Mio looked sleepy.
“We still have over 30 minutes left, so feel free to take a nap.”
“Mmm… sorry. I couldn’t sleep much last night because I was too excited…”
“There’s no other way to describe it except that you’re cute.”
With that, Mio leaned on my shoulder and peacefully fell asleep. Instantly, my heartbeat accelerated, and I started to feel palpitations. It wasn’t just because I was getting nervous and excited about being close to the girl I liked; there was also some pain, and the usual rejection symptoms seemed to be coming back.
“Are you okay, Taiga?”
Mio woke up, apparently still in a light sleep.
… Damn it. I love Mio. I want to touch her more. I want to hold her tightly and kiss her. There’s no way I’m going to let this incomprehensible condition defeat me.
I concentrated my thoughts and firmly embraced Mio’s shoulder, and gradually, the pain began to recede. Mio looked at me with a worried expression.
“Are you okay, Taiga? You looked like you were in pain. And, um… people were staring at us.”
“I’m sorry. I’m fine now. I won’t let go, I promise.”
Mio looked surprised for a moment but then smiled happily. She softly muttered, “It feels… warm,” and closed her eyes again. I held her shoulder gently, ignoring the discomforting gazes around us. For now, I wished they would overlook our couple-like behavior.
I knew that there might be moments like this in the future, where my aversion would flare up when I touched Mio. But if I could overcome the worst of it, I was willing to bear the pain. As long as I could be close to Mio, it was a small price to pay.
The real challenge would come when the aversion became unbearable, but for now, I wanted to focus on enjoying our date.
We arrived at our destination station, and I lightly tapped Mio to wake her up. I wished I could let her sleep longer, but there was no help for it. She looked at me with drowsy eyes, and even in that state, she was incredibly endearing.
“Feeling less sleepy now?”
“Yeah, I’m wide awake! Being close to you feels so nice that I could fall asleep right away. Um… can I use you as a pillow every night from now on?”
Perhaps still half-asleep, Mio playfully said this in a somewhat loud voice amidst the people on the train.
“Hey… don’t say things like that here.”
I realized that people around us, especially the men, were giving me hostile looks as if they wanted to curse me. Mio also seemed to finally recognize what she had said, and her face turned bright red. She looked like she might explode at any moment.
I hastily grabbed Mio’s hand and led her off the platform. We left the station and started walking towards the “Wan-Nyan Paradise.” Along the way, Mio muttered in a voice barely above a whisper, hiding her face with both hands. Her ears were still beet red.
“…Sorry about that? I’m such a… shameless person.”
“No way! If it’s your pillow, I’d welcome it anytime! You were cute, you know? But, let’s be mindful of the place, okay?”
Mio responded with an annoyed huff, and I chased after her as she walked ahead, but when she turned around, her smile was captivating.
I couldn’t help but think to myself, “What on earth am I saying while holding her shoulder in a public place like this?”
“Mouuuu, never mind! I don’t care!”
Mio, who had marched ahead on her own while muttering, turned around. Her smile was so captivating that it left me speechless.