Basking in the afterglow of the pancakes, the three of us resumed our walk around town.
We entered a back alley from the main street and headed for a store specializing in cat goods. I was constantly overwhelmed by the girls’ energy.
As I ate the pancakes, I couldn’t help but think of my stepsister.
She likes sweet things but she doesn’t like Japanese sweets. I thought to myself that she would be happy if she ate the pancakes.
I can’t hide my surprise at myself for thinking such a thing.
That night when Anri hugged me, I felt like something was missing.
I know now that it’s in the past.
At the store specializing in cat goods, Anri was playing with the puggy girl by attaching cat ears to her.
I feel soothed just by watching them interact.
Is it soothing? ……. My own emotions are becoming calmer. This is what this date is all about.
No, no,that’s wrong, this is not a date. …… Well, Puggy also joined us …
I’m not sure if she noticed my gaze, but Anri, wearing cat ears, tilted her head and said to me.
“Shin-kun? You look like our father right now, aren’t you? …… Hehe, how is it does it look good?”
I couldn’t look at Anri’s face properly because she was so cute……. I’m strangely conscious of it.
I said to Anri, while trying to keep my composure.
“You look good in …….”
“Oh, Shinjo onii-san, you’re embarrassed! Anri, you’re so cute!”
“I-idiot! It’s not that ……, it’s not that ……, it’s just that ……. You know, puggy looks good in it too.
I patted the puggy’s head to hide my embarrassment. Puggy laughs and tugss on my arm.
Then she put the cat ears she had hidden on my head.
As she pushed my arm, the physical distance between me and Anri naturally shortened.
Anri and I looked at each other.
“Yes, I’ll take a shot! Don’t move! Yes, cheese!”
Both of us blushed. The distance between us was very close. Although distance between us was farther than the night we hugged each other ……, but the distance between our hearts has grown closer than before.
“Heh, I got a super nice picture. I’ll send it to you later! Hmm, walking around the city like this reminds me of Destinyland–“
After leaving the cat shop, the three of us walked hand in hand through the city again.
It’s like we’re real siblings.
The expression on her face is completely different from the one she had when we first met in Destinyland.
At that time, she was trying to close her heart.
–I’m so glad. It wasn’t too late yet. And I’m glad that this Dojima guy became her friend.
I still don’t know much about him, but he didn’t give me a bad vibe. In fact, he smelled a lot like us. I’m sure he’s a clumsy guy. ……
I asked Puggy.
“What kind of person is Dojima-kun, Puggy?”
“Yes, I’d like to know about your dear friend, Chisa-chan.”
Puggy scratched her nose, a little embarrassed.
“He is a little strange, and …… he is not normal. He’s …… pure or something. …… I can’t put it into words, but I feel at home with him.”
“You’re right, he obviously didn’t look like a middle schooler. …… Was he alone in class too?”
The pug child looks up at the sky as if recalling some memory. Her mouth curled gently.
“…… Yes, He was more isolated than lonely. He didn’t read the air, He would say cold words to our classmates, and many of our classmates thought he was scary. But we’ve been through a lot together, and I can feel that we’re moving forward. –Oh, there was this incident: ……”
Apparently, Puggy had gotten into a lot of trouble because of Dojima.
Dojima has an imbalance between his overly pure spirit and his own high specifications. It seems that it can be very poisonous to normal classmates.
Puggy neutralized the poison and helped him get along with the other classmates, and the whole class gradually became closer and closer.
The classmates who left the puggy behind during Destiny’s time were at Dojima’s mercy, and now they seem to be all grown up.
“–I see, Chisa-chan, you care about Dojima-kun, don’t you! I can feel it. ……. Yes, Chisa-chan is moving forward, ……, because she’s become so cute!”
“I don’t think so. ……. There are still many things I don’t understand about him. …… Oh…”
“Hmm? you’re calling him by his name? It’s okay, I guess. –Puggy, good for you. Now you can concentrate on your book and your tests.”
“Yeah, ……, but you know–“
Puggy took her hand away from us, stepped forward and turned around.
“Shinozuka onee-san, Shinjo onii-san ……, that’s it for me today, the rest of you two go on a date! –I’m so grateful to have met you both, ……, thank you–talk to you later!”
Puggy’s expression had a refreshing smile. I could feel her genuine gratitude.
It was as if she was saying that it was our turn next.
A very attractive girl was there.
She waved at us and started running toward the station. I was worried that she would fall.
But even if she fell, She would be fine, there would be someone to support her. She’s even stronger than we thought …….
“Then she’s gone. …… Chisa, you were so cute.”
“Oh, she found a good friend.”
Anri and I looked at the road where the pug kid ran off.
It was getting close to dusk and the sky was turning red.
Out of nowhere, we held hands. It was as if we were confirming each other’s existence.
Anri pulled my hand and we started walking.
For some reason, I started to get nervous. I was starting to worry if my …… hands were sweating.
It was the first time I had ever gone to karaoke with someone.
It’s always just the two of us at my grandfather’s house, but just a different place can change your mind.
We sang songs in turn, feeling a little nervous.
After a few songs, the tension dissipated and I was able to enjoy karaoke more than I thought I would.
Anri, tired from the morning’s activities, drank her orange juice and sat back down on the sofa. I took the juice and put the microphone on the table.
“I’ve never done karaoke with my friends before, so I’m very happy. ……”
“Yeah, I’ve never done karaoke with anyone before.”
–The memory of that time came back to me a little.
I was invited to karaoke by Nanako, but there were only flirtatious boys there.
I pushed the charlatan who was trying to take my bag away from me and glared at him with a terrifying expression. I repeatedly shook off the charlatan’s hands as he tried to take my bag.
After being betrayed by my friends, who I thought would be fine this time, I was desperate …….
The charlatans were surprised at my defiance. There was a hint of hostility and fear in their eyes.
Anri looked into my face with concern.
“Are you okay, Makoto? Are you feeling bad?”
“No, I’m fine. I was at karaoke and remembered something from my past that I didn’t like.”
“Oh, yeah. ……”
Anri looked after me in silence.
I took a deep breath.
The day when Anri hugged me came back to me. At that time, I thought that I was healed.
I thought I was able to face the past.
Holding hands with Anri calmed me down. I can forget about the past.
But then, at a moment’s notice, I’d remember–
Saito-san, who was watching over me from afar in the classroom, looked a little sad.
When I remembered that Miyazaki, my childhood friend, was crying because of my words, it made my heart flutter.
I wonder if my stepsister, who talks to me even when I’m cold, is doing well.
Why would I remember something like that during such a fun time?
I’ve overcame my past, and Anri has healed me.
–Anri told me something about her past. …… I’ve never talked to Anri about my past before.
…… I felt like I could face my past now. This day has made me realize that I want to be with Anri forever.
I want to be with Anri forever. I want to be with Anri forever, and for that, I can’t remain broken.
I looked at Anri.
Anri’s grip on my hand became stronger.
“Anri, can…..ask me about my …… past? It’s …… not a very pleasant story, and I’m not going to …… talk about this at the end of a date.”
“Makoto ……. I told you the other day …… that I would heal you ……. So I’ll take it all in. Shinjo-kun, let’s move forward–“
Anri spread out her body and hugged me like she was wrapping me in her arms.
–Oh, I can’t compete with Anri anymore,…….
Anri spun her words.
“Makoto, no matter what happens, I’ll always be next to you. It’s not a …… wish, it’s not out of pity, it’s not comfort. –Because you are my dearest friend.”
It was at this moment that I really understood.
–Before I knew it, Anri had broken down the walls of my mind.
TL NOTE: Seele_VollereiHI3 HERE! SORRY FOR THE LOOOOOONG DELAY NEEDED SOME BREAK AFTER THE EXAMS…….. well we renovated some stuff at home.. as well as some… sauce..