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.
Saturday had arrived, and I was going out with Akina to get Yuki a birthday gift. Of course, telling her why I was leaving the house would ruin the surprise, so I gave her another reason. I was to meet Akina in front of the station, and we’d walk around the city to get our mutual friend the best gift. I was half an hour early and, as I walked to the meeting place, I saw her already there.
She wore a short-sleeved white hoodie and a light blue miniskirt, giving off a streetwise feel to it. It was an outfit bordering summer and fall. Akina looked amazing with her short bob, her clothes, and the nice earrings, cherries on top, swaying to the wind. I called out and she smiled back.
“Yo, Haru, you’re early.”
“That’s my line. It’s still half an hour earlier than the meeting time.”
“I was looking forward to going out with y—rather, to pick out a gift for Shirahato-san. I left the house earlier than I meant to.”
“Since we’re both early, that means we have more time for shopping. I’m counting on you today, Akina.”
“Mkay. Let’s go then.”
After we met up, we immediately started moving on to our goal for the day. We had a rough idea of what we were looking for, so we planned to stop by a few specific stores that had potential gifts.
“By the way, do you have any suggestions for what it should be, specifically?” She asked me.
“I picked up a few things I thought she’d like and some recommendations from the web. I’m hoping you can examine them from a girl’s point of view.”
“So, where to first?”
“A general store, for starters. One that has a lot of things girls usually like, I guess. I’d like to take a look there first.”
“Gotcha. Could I grab something for myself while we’re at it?”
“Of course! It’d be bad if you came all the way here just to choose something for someone else.”
“Appreciate it… Oh, I have something I forgot to ask you.”
“Hm? What is it?”
“How long will we be going out together? Um, will we part ways as soon as we choose a gift…?”
“Since it’s a special occasion, I think it’d be nice to stay until the end of the evening.”
“Fufu, I see. Glad to hear it.”
Her grin was ear-to-ear. She probably wanted to do loads of shopping today, and I also feel bad for taking her out just to pick a birthday present… Regardless, I want her to have fun as well. With these thoughts in mind, the two of us kept walking shoulder to shoulder.
As soon as we arrived at the store, I immediately noticed a jumbo stuffed bear. Next to it, cute figurines of cats were lined up in a row. There were also a lot of other things girls would usually like, such as knickknacks and accessories.
The clientele around us, as you’d expect, was mostly young women. There were hardly any men in sight, which was only natural. I was only able to enter because Akina was there with me, otherwise, I’d hesitate walking in alone, despite it being such a lovely place.
“The stuffed bear is sooo cute!” Her eyes lit up while she crouched down in front of the large stuffed bear.
“Yup, but it’s pretty damn big. Should be around 60 cm?” (TL: 24 inches for the weirdos.)
“Just the right size for a baby to hug. Hmm, looks comfy to the touch, may I hold it for a moment?”
“Yeah, it’s fine, just don’t hold it too tight.”
“I know, I know. Wow… It’s so fluffy…” She held up the bear with an enraptured expression. The one-two combo of an adorable girl cuddling a big stuffed bear was one heaven of a sight to see. The little animal, though, had an unsatisfied face despite being hugged by a stunner.
“By the way, what do you think of that as Yuki’s birthday present?” I ask her.
“Hmm, I think she’d be happy. No matter how old I get, this kind of thing won’t stop making me happy.”
“Do you like stuffed animals too, Akina?”
“I love ‘em. I’m a sucker for anything cute.”
“Then it’s a great choice for a gift.”
“Mhm, mhm! You can put it on the list of possible gifts. Let’s go see the next choice.”
She placed the bear back in its place and we looked around the store again. We headed to the accessories section to see a load of items there. It was fun even to just look around.
“You told me you gave her a keychain in elementary, right?”
“I chose one based on my mom’s opinion back then.”
“You liked it too, right? What did it look like?”
“It was in the shape of a penguin if my memory serves me right. She was super happy when I gave her a stuffed penguin, so I guessed her happiness had something to do with that. Hmm, but now that we’re in high school, I wonder if she’d be happy with a cute keychain.”
“I see. Then how about a more mature necklace?”
“I’ve seen some recommendations for them on the Internet, but they were all branded or something like that, and none seemed to fit the bill.”
“Hmm, how about you imagine her in one of the necklaces and choose based on that? Or maybe you base your choice on her outfits?”
As soon as she said that, several of the items seemed to fit Yuki. Akina was right. I picked up one of the necklaces on display since it fit her the best. A simple platinum chain held onto a shiny snowflake. It glimmered beautifully with the small gems around it, even if they were probably not real gems.
“Is it too easy to choose a snowflake necklace due to Yuki’s name? Well, I think it’d look great.” (TL: Yuki means snow.)
“Not a bad choice. I think it’s good that you got it while having her in mind.”
“I see. It’s a relief to hear you say that.”
It was on the expensive side, but within what I could afford. No problems there. This was a nice candidate for being her gift.
“It’s just my opinion, but while I think it’s nice to receive something special as a birthday gift, it would also be great to get something that I use on a daily basis.”
“Daily basis? Hmm, shampoo or something like that?”
“Yeah, that’s right. But that’s not a wise choice, seeing that Shirahato-san got the products chosen by her hairstylist.”
“Oh, she did say that. She uses things that suit her hair.”
“Yeah, and I don’t know her specific hair type. That way it’d be difficult for us to choose a product. I wish there was something else she’d love and that she’d use on a daily basis…”
“You came up with something good?”
“Yeah, I just don’t think they sell it here. Let’s move on.”
“Okay. We’ve found a lot of candidates, so let’s look at your next suggestion.”
“Thanks, Akina… For coming here with me.”
“You’re welcome. Shall we go then?”
We left the general store and headed to our next destination. I thanked her for helping me choose a gift Yuki would be pleased with.
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