Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-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.
My commute home looked much more dazzling than it had in the morning. As Yuki walked with me, I’ve noticed the rosier cherry blossoms, the bluer skies above, and even the houses, previously boring, seemingly even more beautiful than any other place in the world.
“Yuki, are you sure you don’t want me to walk you home? I’m almost at my apartment.”
“It’s okay, the apartment I’m renting is straight ahead, so don’t worry about it, Haru-kun.”
“I see. There were a lot of apartments here, indeed, so maybe they’re close.”
“Mhm, it is. Fufu~, I’m looking forward to it.”
“Hm? Looking forward?”
“You’ll find out when we get there, Haru-kun.”
She smiled ever-so-gently at me.
Yuki looked so happy. Back then, she was fairly easy to read, even with her bandages wrapped around her face. However, now that she was free, it was even easier to do so. Her true face finally untied, her emotions finally surfacing without obstacles.
Though, she told me we’ll have to get there and see what this mystery’s all about. I’m curious.
Walking shoulder-to-shoulder down our path back from school, I could finally see the apartment building I was renting.
“This is the apartment I live in. Yuki’s must be nearby, too.”
“Nope, this is it. My apartment is the same as yours, actually.”
“I see… that’s why you were all giddy saying you were looking forward to it.”
“Yup, that’s right. Well, there’s still more to look forward to.”
“More? I can only wonder…”
We both walked into the entrance to the apartment and got into the elevator to the upper floors. I pressed the button to the fifth floor, but Yuki didn’t press any. I had a growing inkling about what she was looking forward to.
I reached my door and took out the keys from my bag.
“This is the place I’m renting. Actually, my mom should be here now. She couldn’t come to the entrance ceremony since she had something to do, but she said she’d be here at noon to serve a special meal to celebrate my entrance to high school. Do you want to eat with us, Yuki? I’m sure my mom would love to see you again.”
“I’d love to. Your mother has been very good to me.”
“All right, come on in then.”
I unlocked the door and we walked inside. Mom’s shoes could be seen at the entrance, and the scent of freshly-cooked goods permeated the entire house. I guess she was mid-cooking.
“I’m home~” I shout, leaving my shoes at the entrance.
Yuki did the same, removing her cute little loafer, and followed me.
We saw my mom as we walked into the kitchen. She finally realized I arrived and kept cooking as she turned around.
“Oh, Haru. Welcome back!”
“I’m home~! Mom, listen to me! Yuki, my good friend since elementary—”
“—Welcome back, Yuki-chan. I’ve been waiting for you to come home.”
“Thank you so much for the help today, mom.”
“It’s okay, your family has been very good to me. You’ve already told Haru, right?”
“Yes. After the entrance ceremony, I told him about my return to Japan.”
“I’m so glad… I’m elated that you both can be friends again, just like back then! I was so excited, I had to make a feast with everything I’ve got.”
They both talk cheerfully. Mom doesn’t seem surprised she’s here at all. In fact, she seems to have known about it since the beginning.
“Shocked, right~? I wanted to surprise you, so I didn’t tell you until today. Actually, your dad and I already knew she was coming back.”
“We kept in touch with Yuki’s family ever since she went abroad. Some time ago, I heard her treatment went well, and they told me in advance about their return to Japan.”
“So, I was the only one who didn’t know…?”
“Yeah, pretty much. I wanted to surprise you, so I discussed it with her family.”
“Is that so, Yuki?”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I just got so nervous about meeting you, and talking to you again… I decided to talk to you on the day of the entrance ceremony so I could muster up my courage.”
“Well, it has been three years, so I’m sure you were as nervous as the day we met, and honestly, I was too. Though, I didn’t know mom and dad knew about it. Did you even know she was in the same apartment complex, mom?”
“Yes, and I have one more surprise for you. Haru, take a look at the room next to yours.”
“The room next to mine?”
I had recently cleaned my room because mom was coming, but the one next to it should have been a storage room lined with stuff from when I moved in—cardboard boxes strewn around, and all that. It was definitely the case this morning before I went to school.
I do as my mom told me and gently open the door—I froze up completely.
This has to be a dream. I feel like I would wake up the moment someone pinched my cheeks. No, don’t. Could you please let me keep dreaming? I want to keep believing this is real.
The room, previously used for storage, was transformed without me noticing. It was tidied up and renovated into a lovely girl’s room. The bed, the drawers, the desk, and a lot of other things filled the place—And they were definitely not here this morning.
“Could it be… She’ll be living here?”
“Yes, and I’ll be next to your room, Haru-kun,” she beamed a warm smile at me.
Yuki did say she had something to look forward to while coming here with me. I didn’t say anything, but when I saw her not pressing any buttons on that elevator, I assumed she would be on the same floor as me.
I was wrong.
Not in a thousand years would I have imagined she’d be living under the same roof as me, so next to each other.
“… Is this why you didn’t come to the entrance ceremony, mom?”
“That’s right, Haru. As a matter of fact, Yuki-chan’s family and your dad moved her luggage and we hurriedly organized the room. They went home first because of work, but that’s what happened.”
“Yes, seriously! When you both promised to study at the same high school, I talked with her family. I sincerely hoped you two could keep being friends like you were before she moved.”
“So, is that why you rented such a nice apartment? It had two rooms, a big living room, a fully-realized kitchen, separate bathrooms… I really thought it was too big for me to live alone.”
“That’s what I meant. Her family will pay half the rent, so it makes it cheaper for both of us. Besides, by going to the same school together, you can help her with studying. Though… She’s been really smart ever since elementary school.”
I had no idea such a plan was going on behind the scenes… So thorough.
I looked at Yuki, and she gazes back, a warm smile plastered on her face.
“For the next three years, let’s get along with each other both at school and at home, Haru-kun~”
And so, with her parents’ approval, Yuki and I started living together.
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