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.
“Good morning Haru-kun~! The sun’s out.”
Before my alarm could even yap, a gentle nudge pried me awake. Rubbing my half-open eyes, I saw Yuki standing right in front of me. She had her hair pulled back in a cute ponytail, as well as an apron over her clothes. She woke me up with gentle eyes.
“Morning, Yuki… Oh, you made breakfast for me?”
“I woke up early since I was so giddy from our outing-to-be. Let’s eat together!”
With a spring in her step, she held my hand and led me to the living room. I got dragged along feeling lost, my conscience still not up to par. As we go through the hallway into the living room, the scent of a freshly-made breakfast hugged me awake. Hunger took place of my drowsiness.
While she ended up waking earlier due to feeling excited, I coped in the exact opposite way. In the end, I didn’t get enough sleep after having my mind run around in circles, thinking of what we’d do today. Last time I checked the clock, it was around 2 AM.
This wasn’t news, though. Every time I would hang out with her, no matter how many times I’d already done it, I’d end up losing sleep the day before.
With these thoughts in mind, I joined Yuki at the table where she’d graciously laid out our breakfast. We both clasped our hands together, thanked the food, and started eating while sitting across from each other.
“Thank you for the food!”
Today’s menu consisted of white rice, miso soup, grilled fish, and fried Japanese eggs. In fact, the whole meal was very Japanese in style, and all items fit my palate as if I was born to eat each and every part.
“Your cooking’s the best,” I complimented her.
“Thank you! Hmm, but you can also cook pretty nicely, right? During prep for the school festival, I noticed you’ve improved a lot.”
“Well, I think I got the hang of it. Still, compared to a chef like you, I still have a long way to go.”
“Fufu, maybe someday you’ll catch up to me?”
“Nah, I don’t think so. Your home-cooked meals are the best thing since, well, things.”
Munching on her masterpiece, I struck a conversation about our plans for today’s outing. Apart from buying a new folding umbrella, I also plan on getting new items to prepare myself for the coming winter.
Since we both had shared objectives, we decided to go to a clothing store together and enjoy a nice meal out for the first time in forever. Also, passing by a game center or someplace like that didn’t sound like a bad idea at all. Proposing that to her, she answered with a happy nod.
After lunch, she insisted on doing the clean up, so I started getting ready to go out. Apparently, she’d already done everything she had to, so her stubbornness probably came from the fact I still had some things to take care of.
I did the usual. Brushed my teeth, combed my hair, then went back to my room and coordinated a nice outfit for going out. According to the weather forecast, snow wasn’t to happen yet, so I wondered how thickly I should dress in this transitory period.
Hmm, I need an outfit that makes me at least passable enough to be worthy of walking by her side. Also, it needs to be warm enough for chilly breezes, while not passing on looks.
I didn’t want her to see me dress pathetically, so I reached for my fall black-chester coat. Thinking about it with more seriousness than usual, I put on the coat, brown boots, and a light sweater inside.
As I was checking myself in the mirror, I heard a knock at the door. After answering, Yuki showed up.
“Are you ready?”
“Ah, mhm. How do you like it?”
“Very nice, it suits you pretty well.”
“I see… But, erm…”
Her fashion sense was excellent, to say the least, and her choices complimented well on her. However, there’s a part of me that isn’t satisfied with our combo. I’ve always been a guy who avoids flashier colors. I’m more of a minimalistic, safe kinda person.
That was the issue. As a result of my own preferences, I tend to look a bit too plain. Dark, even. Of course, I knew she enjoyed my fashion, but she always looked so radiant beside me I couldn’t help but feel out of balance.
“Hmm, if you’re not convinced, how about you play with your hair during our outing?”
With gentle dimples, she touched my hair. Running her fingers through my dark strands, she stroked it all carefully. I couldn’t help but squint at the comfort of her hand on my head, which only elicited a small giggle out of her.
“Your hair is very good,” she started. “Yours has a charm. It’s very different from mine.”
Mine was dark and glossy like my mother’s, and I do have a good amount on my head. The latter probably came from my father.
“Just by setting your hair up, your impression changed drastically. You still look really cool as before, but depending on how you do things, it may appear even cooler.”
“But… I’ve never done my hair before…”
Since junior high, I’ve always kept my hair short, and I tend to do the same now. Never have I used wax or any other product, and the only time I ever touch it is to fix the unkempt bed hair I occasionally have.
“Then, would you mind me playing with your hair?”
She stroked my head while giving me upturned eyes.
“If you don’t mind, that is… Um, is it a no?” She continued.
I shook my head. No way I could refuse such an adorable request.
“Then, let’s move to a chair by the mirror. Could I grab the hair products you normally use?”
“Sure. I have plenty left over since I barely use them, so use as much as you’d like.”
I handed the wax I had taken out to Yuki and sat down in a chair in front of the mirror as I was told to do. She had happy eyes while thinking about how she’d proceed. Moving her hands around, she checked what she had to work with.
“I’ve always wanted to set your hair this way, Haru-kun. You can even say a dream of mine came true.”
“Is it such a big deal?”
“Yes, it is. I mean, now I can do whatever I want with you, y’know? Nothing could make me happier.”
“O, oh, is that so…”
I couldn’t help but scratch the embarrassment out of my cheeks. She then looked into my face, then trailed to my eyes. Once they met, her face almost radiated with happiness.
“You’re embarrassed, aren’t you?” She teased.
“You’re just so cute.”
She just smiled and I couldn’t say anything back. In the mirror, I saw my own disheveled expression staring back.
“Well then, let’s get started.”
Standing behind me, she scrubbed the wax between her hands before placing them on top of my head, then moved both around slowly.
After spreading the product, she first combed my hair with a comb, little by little. Progressing further, she slowly blended more wax onto my hair. Then, she moved her hand to the front, lightly stroking the tips of my every strand. Her touch was gentle and delicate as if she handled something fragile.
It was the first time she’d ever touched my hair so deliberately. So much so, it ended up tickling me. I couldn’t hold back some involuntary wriggles, though seeing her serious—and beautiful—face through the mirror, I could tell she was doing her best for me.
With strength I didn’t know I had, I managed to resist the tickling and continued to face forward, trying to position myself in a way she could easily play with my hair. She continued to do so silently for a while, but eventually nodded in satisfaction and stopped stroking me.
“‘Kay, Haru-kun. What do you think?”
My reflection in the mirror was so different from usual, I couldn’t help but widen my eyes.
My usual hairstyle was flat and uninspiring, but her magical hands had given it a three-dimensional look. In addition, the ends of my strands looked like they had been trimmed, though they hadn’t, giving it a fresh impression overall.
One hairstyle change was enough to switch my dark and plain impression into something else. I looked like a mature and good-looking guy, which was by no means bad.
“This is amazing, Yuki… I can’t believe that just by changing my hairstyle, my whole vibe would too…”
“Yup, I agree. You were cool before as well, but now you’re even cooler… Still…”
Her reflection had an ineffable look in her eyes. I wondered if she didn’t like it after all, but apparently, it wasn’t the case. She kept her eyes glued to me, then let out a small huff of breath while twitching her eyebrows in annoyance.
“I’m worried that if you’re this cool, other girls wouldn’t be able to leave you alone. This is troublesome, what will I do if others notice your charm?”
I look at her with a wry smile on my face. Apparently, she thought I’d become some sort of magnet during our outing today, but since I’ve never experienced anything remotely close to what she described, it was safe to say her concern was unfounded. Still, her eyes weren’t joking.
“It’s all right, Yuki. That never happened to me before, and even if it does, I’ll just say no.”
“Really. I’m absolutely sure.”
I would never leave Yuki, whom I have cherished ever since my elementary days. She’s always stood by my side, so what kind of dunce would I be to follow a random girl I don’t even know?
I gave her a peaceful smile, to which she answered with one of the same. She understood, apparently.
“Thank you, Haru-kun. I’m relieved. Oh well, I’ll just finish with some things, so wait a second.”
“Mhm. I’ll be in the living room.”
She walked back to her room as I sat down on the couch. After she did her finishing touches, we were both finally ready to leave.
I couldn’t wait for our outing.
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