Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
Yuki stayed up late every night preparing for the event. Seeing her come home so tired from all the prep made me realize just how hard a task it really was.
Meanwhile, I struggled to cook delicious meals for her. I even feel that my cooking skills have improved a bit. I always used to leave the cleaning and laundry to her, but now that I’m doing it myself, I can truly appreciate her work.
She’d fold my laundry every day, and even clean the house, two things that are pure hard work. Yuki still wakes me up in the morning and makes my lunch, but at night it’s my turn to do the housework. Seeing her all smiles when she comes home from work makes me happy, and I’m becoming more grateful to her every single day.
Our class is also starting their own prep for the festival. We are to make a balloon art exhibit, so we need to buy a lot of them.
With neither Yuki nor Akina around, there was no one for me to talk to. Silently blowing up balloons in the corner of the classroom was excruciatingly tedious, even more so when I constantly listened to the chatter around me.
After finishing the boring task, I finally went back to my apartment. To my surprise, Yuki’s shoes were at the entrance. She usually came home when it was completely dark outside, but today it seems she finished her work quite early.
I took off my own pair of shoes and exclaimed “I’m home!”, but there was no answer from her. Arriving at the living room, I realized why she didn’t say anything.
She was sprawled on the sofa, sleeping peacefully.
“Oh, you fell asleep…”
Yuki must’ve been exhausted from today’s preparations. I imagine she was so spent from her work, that when she sat down to rest a bit, she ended up falling asleep.
She was resting so soundly, that not even my shout managed to wake her up. I approached her gently, thinking she might catch a cold if she kept sleeping without much cover. Surely it would be best if she lay on her bed instead.
I gaze at her sleeping figure, her small rhythmic breaths. Yuki’s innocent sleeping face was the image I had of an angel, and I couldn’t hold back a smile, imagining what sorts of happy dreams she was having… Though I couldn’t just keep staring at her cute face.
“Yuki, c’mon, get up.”
I tenderly shook her body, calling out to her, yet she showed no signs of waking up. Then, I felt a little mischievous upon seeing her so entranced in her dream world, so I reached my hand and poked her soft cheek.
Her skin was smooth and fluffy, like the softest marshmallow. So soft and mushy, they almost seemed to suck my finger in. After that, I tried to gently drape a strand of hair over her ear, but she wriggled her head as if I was tickling her, and softly let out a low “Mmm…”
I wondered if this was enough to wake her up, but watching her continuing to sleep soundly reminded me of that incident on the bus while we went to the aquarium. That time, she was actually awake when I poked her cheek, all the while she secretly enjoyed herself, wondering what I planned on doing with her.
However, I felt as though she really was sleeping comfortably, unaware of the mischief I’d done on her cheek. She was probably too tired from all the work she’s been doing day after day. While I’m happy to see her being so unguarded around me, I’m also worried about whether she’s really okay.
I don’t know what she’s gonna do at the festival, but I do know she’s mentally and physically exhausted. That’s why I can’t let her catch a cold, so I gently grab her shoulder and try to wake her up.
Shaking her body a bit more strongly than before, I see her eyes slowly open. They were a bit dazed, as though she was still half-immersed in whatever wonderful dream she was having.
Her gaze was vague and unfocused, and soon she closed her eyes once again.
“Yuki, wake up. You’ll catch a cold.”
“Let’s go back to your room so you can get some rest, m’kay?”
She seemed to know the voice was coming from me, but she didn’t register a single word I uttered. The dream world called to her, and she went back. Perhaps being relieved to know I was by her side, she smiled mellow.
I was so thrilled to see her being cute and squishy that I screamed in my heart, ‘What the hell, isn’t she too damn cute?’ Anyone would be struck by such an innocent and lovely face, and I was no exception. Yuki was so adorable I had the uncontrollable urge to pet her head.
Following such an impulse, I gently stroked her hair. She even started rubbing her head against my hand, just like a cat. The sweetness of her gesture squeezed my heart. I tried my best to resist the temptation of petting her forever, all so I could try and wake her up again, but I couldn’t, and she slept even better.
But then, Yuki finally began to regain consciousness, and that was great, but she still wasn’t awake. Sleepwalking, she stretched out her hands toward me.
Eh? —While I was puzzled, she wrapped her arms around me in a warm embrace, and pressed her head against my chest. I was taken aback by her soft hug and I froze. She didn’t stop, however, and kept rubbing her cheeks against my chest.
This sight was also impossibly cute, and I had no desire whatsoever to pry her off me. Meanwhile, she moved her hand behind me as if trying to find something, and upon grazing against my hand, she smiled happily, as though she was a child that just found a treasure. She went on to intertwine her fingers with mine, holding my hand lovingly.
“I love… Haru-kun’s hands…”
I felt my heart warm inside my chest as she cutely said that, and I squeezed her small hand with care. While I think she did this because she was sleepwalking, I was still happy to see that she allowed herself to be so attentive to me. Happy couldn’t describe how I felt to be the recipient of her affection.
The slender body in my arms was warm and tender, and just being by her side sweltered me. I then decided I’d let her do as she pleased until she woke up since we’d surely not catch a cold due to our sharing of body heat.
No, it’s not because of that. I could smell her sweetness, touch her tenderness, and revel in her warmth. I found myself wishing I could stay like this forever.
Well, at least until she woke up…
So I kindly hug Yuki back, watching her lovely sleeping face as time passed by slowly.
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