It was a summer day during my day off from work.
I woke up and went to the living room to find Nanako, the older twin sister.
“Ah Sensei, Good morning.”
She has a lovely, soft smile that is soothing to look at.
“Goodmorning. Is Akari working……?”
“…… Yes. She’s working at a Western-style restaurant today.”
Akari is working two jobs.
She’s in charge of serving customers at the café in front of the station and cooking at the Western-style restaurant.
“…….I’ll heat up your breakfast”
“No, don’t worry about it. I prepare my own, and you do yours.”
Nanako looked as if she was thinking about something.
But she quickly shakes her head and says with a smile.
“I’ve got nothing special to do, so I’ll just get ready.”
“No, but ……”
“…… Please sit down, Sensei.”
Patata, Nanako went to the kitchen with a brisk pace.
After taking the dish out of the refrigerator, she put it in the microwave and filled the kettle with water to boil.
I sat down on a chair in the living room.
There was a textbook spread out on the table.
It’s summer vacation, so she’s probably doing her homework.
I’m impressed that she studies in the morning.
But at the same time, there was something that bothered me a little.
“……Sensei, breakfast is ready.”
“Oh, thank you.”
French toast, bacon and eggs, and a cafe latte.
Akari had made all of them before she went to work that morning.
I took the meal she prepared for me.
Nanako sat in front of me, smiling and laughing at me.
“Weren’t you doing your homework?”
“…… No, I finished my homework long ago.
“Is that so?”
It’s only been a few days into the summer vaca and she’s already finished it.
Come to think of it, even when she was in cram school, Nanako usually finished her homework that day or the next.
“I get it, so you were studying for your exams.”
Nanako and Akari are 17 years old this year.
They are going to take the entrance exam next year.
There were a lot of people around me who had been studying since the summer of their second year of high school.
I guess Nanako is studying for the university she wants to go to.
“…… No, this is self-study.”
“…… Yes, I was reviewing my first semester’s lessons.”
I wonder what these kids are going to do in the future, come to think of it.
I thought Nanako was smart enough to go to college, but from the way she’s talking now, I guess not.
Well, everyone has their own plans for the future, so I’m not going to tell her what to do.
After finishing breakfast, I cleaned up the dishes.
Nanako offered to do it herself, but I felt bad about it, so I firmly refused.
“…………” Sowasowa, sowasowa.
“…… Yes, Sensei, what is it?”
“I’m worried about you being behind me.”
For a while now, Nanako has been watching me from behind, peering into my hand.
“…… Is there anything I can help you with? I’ll wash the dishes.”
“Just sit down and do your thing.”
She walked over and sat down on a chair.
And then she started studying …… again, or rather reviewing the semester’s work.
As I washed the dishes, I remembered.
It was the other day, the day the final exams came back.
Akari had a couple of red marks, and her scores were low in all other subjects as well.
On the other hand, Nanako’s score was 100 on …… all subjects.
She scored 100 in all subjects. Akari and I both praised her, but she didn’t seem to be happy at all.
“Nanako is not a girl who likes to study much, right?”
If someone tells her to do something, she does what she is told.
She does her assignments when given. However, unlike her sister, she doesn’t have the desire to do things on her own.
I finished washing the dishes and came back to Nanako.
She was scribbling in a daze in front of her tattered textbook.
It’s summer vacation, but this girl doesn’t want to go anywhere.
I felt pity for this child who was at home, not devoted to anything like Akari was.
“Hey, Nanako. Do you have somewhere you want to go?”
“…… Going somewhere!”
She stood up with a bang, her eyes glittering like black pearls.
“I’m just free today. If it’s okay with you, I’ll go somewhere with you. Where would you like to go?”
” …… I’ll go anywhere with you if you’re with me. Yay ♡ Yay ♡ It’s a date!”
…… Well, since it’s a man and a woman going out together, it’s classified as a date.
As for me, even though it is summer vacation, I want to take this girl out of the house. ……
“Maybe we should go to the nearest shopping mall. I have time to kill.
We came to a big shopping mall across the river.
“……Fufu ♡ Fufu ♡ Fuhehe ♡ “
Next to me, Nanako was smiling all the time.
She always smiles, but today she was smiling all the time.
“Did something good happen to you?”
“Yes. I’m very happy just to have Sensei on my side ♡ Moreover, we’re alone ♡ Fufu ♡ “
Well, it seems that children are happy just to have their fathers with them.
That’s what Ugematsu said.
Maybe that’s how it is.
“Let’s go, Nanako. There are a lot of people here, so don’t get lost.”
“…… Don’t worry. I won’t get lost.”
We decided to just wander around the place.
There are a lot of kids and families here, probably because it’s summer vacation.
“Hey Nanako, …… Nanako?”
Before I knew it, Nanako had disappeared.
At the entrance, far behind ……, Nanako was stuck.
It seems that she was unable to avoid the crowd of people coming from the front.
I rushed over to her.
“Sorry, I got too far ahead of you.”
“…… No. I’m sorry. I’ve always been a bit of a dork.”
Shun……Nanako’s shoulders slump as she shudders.
I grabed her hand.
“Come on, let’s go.”
I left my child alone in a crowded place. This is unbecoming of a parent or guardian.
Even though she was a high school student, she was still a girl. And she’s always been a little pouty. I’ll have to hold her hand and take good care of her so she doesn’t disappear.
“I’m so happy I’m about to ascend to heaven.”
Nanako has a squishy smile on her face, like a piece of kelp in hot water.
” ……I-I wonder what people would think if they saw me like this?”
“Hmm. Yeah, parents and daughters, I guess.”
Shuun….It was a complete turnaround from earlier, and she felt depressed.
What the hell……? I don’t know. Adolescent girls are too emotionally unstable.
I’ll have to buy an enlightening book next time to learn more, as I’m in charge of an adolescent daughter.
“Well, Nanako. Is there anything you want?”
“….. is there something I want?”
“Yeah. I’m indebted to you girls on a daily basis. I want to give you something.”
Pah ……! Nanako smiled a radiant smile.
But soon after, Nanako shakes her head in panic.
“…… Uhm! I’m sorry!”
“Don’t be shy.”
“……, but …… is …….”
Nanako stops and says with a pout.
“…… Akari does a lot of cooking and laundry. But …… I can’t do any of those things. It’s just that she lets me live with her. I don’t want any gifts. …… I don’t deserve …… any gifts.”
I poked Nanako’s forehead with my finger.
“I’ve told you before. You girls are the reason I’m in such good shape for work. I’m grateful for both of you equally.”
“I’ll give it to Akari another time. It’s your turn today. Tell me what you want. I’ll buy you anything you want.”
Nanako has a very reserved personality.
At best, she’s ladylike, at worst, she’s …… shy.
Perhaps it’s because she grew up with an assertive younger sister, but she’s a little weak in her own will.
For now, Akari is by her side, which is probably a good thing.
But eventually, they will be separated and go on with their own lives.
I don’t want her to be a child who can’t do anything on her own when that time comes.
That’s why I asked her what she wanted, because I wanted her to practice asserting herself, even if just a little.
“…… I don’t know.”
After all, Nanako didn’t seem to know what she wanted.
“You should have a look around. You will definitely find something you like.”
“…… Sensei. Yes.”
After that, we went to the shopping mall and looked around.
There were clothing stores, stationery stores, bookstores, etc. …….
” …… The clothes I have now are enough.”
” …… Stationery is also still useful. I’m not going to get a new one because that mechanical pencil is a precious treasure that Sensei gave me when I was at cram school.”
“…… Reference books? I can get a 100 on the mock exams just from the textbook, so I don’t think I need it.”
No matter which store we go to, Nanako will not find anything that interests her.
” …… Sensei. I’m sorry for everything. But …… it’s enough. Let’s go home………….”
And then it happened.
Suddenly, Nanako stopped in her tracks.
“Pet store ……?”
It was a pet store in a shopping mall.
In the glass case, there are puppies and kittens on display.
“…… Waa, waa”
Nanako’s eyes sparkled as she rested her cheek against the glass.
She was particularly interested in a miniature dachshund with brown fur.
“…… is so cute! It looks like a hot dog.”
I wonder if cute and food can coexist.
I really don’t understand the sensibilities of JK …….
I thought to myself, “This is it.”
“Nanako. Take it.”
“…… Eh? Is that okay?”
“Yeah. I’ve just moved into a house. I’ve been thinking about getting a dog for a while.”
“……Sensei! Ah, but the price…….”
I glanced at the price and hid it with my hand.
“Don’t worry, it’s cheaper than you think.”
“…… But ……”
“Nanako. I’m going to go to the food court over there and wait for a while. I’ll be back after I’ve paid and everything.”
Nanako is leaving.
The price is …… I can’t show her this, I can’t.
“Excuse me, can I have this miniature dachshund?”
The cute clerk takes the dog out of the glass case.
She explained to me about insurance and injections.
“Is this a gift for her?”
The sly clerk asks me.
“It’s for my daughter.”
“I see! Well, she’s a lucky girl, heh! Such an expensive purchase for her!
“It’s okay. Money doesn’t matter as long as it’s good for her.”
I finished the formalities and bought a dog carrier (a basket like a Boston bag to carry the dog in).
With the dog in it, I headed toward the food court.
“Take good care”
I hand the puppy carrier to her.
The miniature dachshund popped up with a purr.
The dog fanned Nanako’s face and licked her cheek flippantly.
“….Kya, It’s tickling ♡.”
Nanako gives a bright smile.
Yes, this girl looks best when she’s smiling innocently.
“Thank you very much, Sensei!”