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.
After today’s ball game tournament, Yuki and I walked home. Clouds swirled around freely across the crimson evening skies as I walked a bit slower to match my pace with hers.
Under the setting sun, we happily talked about the tournament. Today was fun, all things considered. I lost that soccer match, sure, but Yuki won the volleyball tournament. Watching her go up the stage and receive the trophy on behalf of our class was moving.
However, what moved me the most was the difference in expression I’ve noticed from her. Instead of the polite smile she wore when talking to other people, every time her eyes met mine, she beamed that same innocent, purely joyful grin she had always shown me ever since we were kids. I was so elated to see her smile again.
I glance sideways at Yuki as she walked next to me. I wasn’t sure if she noticed my gaze, but she looked at me and smiled. Her azure eyes sparkled from behind her long eyelashes.
“Hey, Haru-kun, what do you wanna eat today? Since we did a lot of sports, I thought I’d make something special.”
“Let’s see… Well, whatever you cook for me is delicious, so don’t worry about it…”
“Ehehe~, so everything is delicious? I’m very happy to hear that!”
Her cooking is my exact taste in food. Everything she ever makes is tasty, and I feel like my stomach is already tied down, held captive.
She cooked me a healthy and varied breakfast every day. It was packed with different dishes so that I would never grow tired of it, and at dinner, she’d line up a sumptuous meal on the table. Moreover, she was very concerned about my health, usually choosing well-balanced ingredients, such as meats, vegetables, and other things, all so my nutritional intake wouldn’t be unbalanced.
I couldn’t be more grateful to her. Yuki was so gentle and reliable…
Talking together, we decided on today’s dinner—A special hand-kneaded hamburger steak with demi-glace sauce. However, we didn’t have any meat or other ingredients in the fridge, so we decided to head to the supermarket to buy them.
Strolling under the sun-setting sky, a big national supermarket popped into view. We walked in, seeing a lot of people gathering inside it. Walking through the automatic doors, Yuki immediately went for the shopping cart.
Seeing that, I rushed and took her small, pallid hands.
“What is it, Haru-kun?”
“We’re going to do a lot of shopping, and I can’t have you carry something so heavy.”
“Oh, no, it’s okay. This is my way of repaying you for your kindness. I’m actually fine with heavy things.”
“It’s painful for me if I make you carry heavy things, so just leave it to me. I can’t make a cute girl like you carry a weighty cart, can I?”
She turned away, handing the cart to me.
I wondered why she looked away from me. Though, I noticed a tinge of red in her ears through a gap in her hair. Looking more closely, I could also see her reddening cheeks… She was probably embarrassed I called her cute.
Thinking about it, back when she wore bandages, Yuki probably felt embarrassed every time I praised her. Her reaction was the same as when I said her hands were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, or when I called her ears small and cute… Or even when I praised her sapphire eyes.
Looking back on it now, maybe those compliments were pretty off-handed and embarrassing, but that was because I was in elementary school. Honestly, it was probably because of my innocence I was able to convey my feelings to Yuki without any filters.
She was adorable when embarrassed, but we wouldn’t be able to shop if I kept teasing her. Because of that, I just took the flushed mess of a Yuki with me into the supermarket.
Our main objective here was to buy the ingredients for the hamburgers, but since we were already here, I decided to buy other things as well. I put the ingredients into the cart as we discussed the menu for tomorrow and beyond together.
On our way to another ingredient, Yuki noticed a certain section—Candies, chocolates, biscuits, and a plethora of other snacks lay on the shelves. She reached out for one of the goodies.
“Hey, look at this!”
With sparkling eyes, she held up a special pastry. It puffed up into a fluffy ball when you added water and kneaded it.
“When you were little, you used to love sweets like these, didn’t you, Haru-kun?”
“Oh, I miss these. Mom used to buy one for each of us, and we used to play with it all the time.”
“Yeah, me too! I remember you kneading it repeatedly saying ‘The more you knead it, the tastier it gets’.”
When I was a little boy, I loved these candies you could play with. I used to mess around with them all the time, and I remember eating these fluffy snacks with her a lot back then. Though, after we got separated, I lost interest in them.
I reached for the snack she held up, remembering why I used to eat so many of these kinds of candies in the past.
There were a lot of other delicious treats out there, but even if it was fun, you’d get bored of kneading them after a while. Despite that, every time I went shopping with my mom and she bought me one of these, I’d never get tired of them.
I had a reason for that. Yuki was with me.
With her by my side, even these simple candies were more fun than amusement parks. Playing with her was so much fun, and I vividly remember all the laughing and kneading we did together back in elementary.
Nostalgia washed over me. I haven’t tried one in a while.
“Somehow, talking to you about these made me want to eat them. It’s been a while, so shall we buy some?”
“Yes, I want to eat some with you too. It’s been a while.”
“Then this is today’s dessert.”
When I was in elementary school, I used to play with a lot of these kinds of candies. I happily put them in the cart for the two of us. Even in high school, I was sure Yuki and I would be able to enjoy these just as we did in the past, with the same feelings we held back then.
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