Title means: first shrine visit of New Year
The next day, which is today, is New Year’s Day.
I went to Shi-chan’s parents’ house and had some osechi and ozoni. [TL: food eaten during the New Year’s Holidays]
Both dishes were delicious, and I could tell that Shi-chan’s cooking skills were inherited from her mother.
“Right,, Shi-chan, come here for a minute.”
Then, as we finished eating, Shi-chan was called by her mother to go to the other room.
Her father seemed to know what she was doing there and called to her, smiling a little wryly.
“There’s a shrine near here, and every year it’s crowded with people paying homage to the first day of the year.”
“Takuya, why don’t you go and see it before you go home?”
“—-Yes, I would like to do that.”
Since I wanted to go to Hatsumode anyway, and since I had no reason to refuse the offer, I decided to go to the shrine before I left.
But I couldn’t help but notice her father, who was still grinning, or rather, smiling mischievously.
And after a while, the two who had left the room came back.
“Takuya-kun. Come on, S-Shion, come here too.”
When Shi-chan returned with her mother, she was wearing a red furisode kimono.
I wondered if this was the reason for the grin that her father had on his face earlier, and he nodded his head with his hand on his chin, as if he was satisfied to see Shi-chan wearing a furisode (long-sleeved kimono)..
Indeed, Shi-chan in furisode really looked gorgeous and beautiful.
“What do you think, Takkun?”
“Yes, it looks good on you. –I’m honestly so nervous to go to Hatsumode with such a cute girl.
Shi-chan shyly asked for my opinion, and I complimented her honestly as I thought.
Shi-chan’s face turned bright red, and her father and mother were smiling again.
“Takuya-kun, you’re doing pretty good, too.”
“Yes, no wonder Shion fell in love with you.”
I finally realized the embarrassment of what I had said, and I am sure that my face is as red as Shi-chan’s right now.
At any rate, this is how I ended up going to Hatsumode with Shi-chan, who was wearing a furisode kimono.
Shi-chan seemed to know where the shrine was, so she showed me the way.
It seems to be a fairly large shrine, and many people gather there every year for Hatsumode.
However, since Shi-chan used to be alone most of the time when she was little and has been an idol since she grew up, this was the first time for her to go to a Hatsumode shrine, and I could feel that she was looking forward to her first visit.
By the way, she is not wearing any disguise now, because she is wearing furisode.
She is already retired and wants to enjoy her Hatsumode with me more than anything else, so she is not wearing any disguise now.
But I was still worried about her, so I promised myself that I would be careful not to get separated from her.
When I arrived at the shrine, it was indeed crowded with people.
The aisles were lined with stalls, and Shi-chan’s eyes were sparkling with the unique atmosphere of Hatsumode.
“Hey, Takkun! Let’s see the stalls!”
“Okay, okay, don’t panic or you’ll fall.”
Thus, I decided to first look around the stalls with Shi-chan.
” Huh? Saegusa-san?”
As I was looking around the stalls with Shi-chan, we were suddenly approached by two strangers, both about our age.
” I knew it, it’s you, Saegusa-san! Remember me? We went to junior high school together, Kondo!”
“Eh, for real! I’m Hino! Remember me? I mean, look at her in her furisode! So cute!”
“Oh, Yes. I remember you.”
Apparently, they are classmates who were in the same junior high school as Shi-chan.
When they found Shi-chan, they looked really happy as if they were reunited with the person of their dreams.
However, Shi-chan, who seemed to be at a loss for what to do, smiled bitterly in front of them.
“Thank goodness! I was really surprised when Saegusa quit being an idol! But then I wonder if there’s a chance for me, too? What do you think.”
“|Oi, oi, oi, stop it, Hino, you’re in trouble, Saegusa-san. –I’m sorry, Saegusa-san. But it’s been a while since I’ve seen you, and after all, I’m glad to see you. …… Um, are you alone today? If you want, you can come with us–“
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
They were totally blind to the fact that I was with them, and they were trying to seduce Shi-chan, who was with me, and asking her out to play.
But of course, Shi-chan refused the invitation and grabbed my arm to show that she was with me.
“Eh, who’s that guy?”
“Eh, What what? Boyfriend by any chance?”
Then they finally noticed my presence and turned to look at me.
Both of them are certainly good-looking, even to me as a guy, and they must be quite confident in themselves.
When they noticed my presence, they both looked at me from top to bottom as if they were judging me, and I didn’t miss the fact that they both snickered at the same time.
I guess they both thought they were better than me.
It was obvious that they thought they had a chance if they could get me like this.
“Eh, then, since we haven’t seen each other in a while, why don’t you go around with us? Wouldn’t you like that?”
A man who introduced himself as “Hino” came around next to me in a familiar manner, as if there was no way I could refuse him.
“Oi, oi, for crying out loud …… sorry, Saegusa-san. But that Hino is as pushy as ever. But if we can go around together, I’m happy too. ……”
In contrast, the one who called himself “Kondo” was more like a smart guy, trying to take advantage of the pushy Hino-kun to get the best of her.
Thus, Shi-chan and I ended up sandwiched between two different types of flirtatious duos.
They had no intention of losing to me, and I guess they wanted to steal Shi-chan away from me in this way.
I thought it was time for me to let it go, and I tried to open my mouth to say something, even though they might be my classmates—
“I’m sorry, both of you. I’m on a date with Takkun, so to be frank, you’re both in my way.”
Shi-chan smiled and told them off.
Shi-chan then clung to my arm and said
“I’m sorry, Takkun! Let’s go.”
As if to show the two of them, Shi-chan made a slightly spoiled voice towards only me.
Kondo-kun and Hino-kun, who had been cut off in front of the sweet Shi-chan, whom they had never seen before, froze as if in shock.
However, Shi-chan ignored them and quickly walked away to get away from them.
“I’m sorry, Takkun. I made you feel bad even though it’s New Year’s.”
“No, it’s not that I care about it, it’s just that I should have said something to them earlier,”
“I knew you were patient with me. Besides, they probably wouldn’t have understood unless I told them clearly.
Shi-chan’s words made me think that this may indeed be true.
I was thinking about the two of them who tried to barge in on me even though Shi-chan and I were alone, so they probably wouldn’t have cared what I said unless Shi-chan herself rejected it.
“Besides, to be frank, Takkun is 500 million times better looking than that guy.”
Shi-chan seemed to have sensed the spirit of the two of them, and she was angry with me, as if she didn’t like the fact that I had been scorned without her permission.
I was so happy that I unintentionally squeezed Shi-chan’s hand.
“—I don’t care what other people say about me. But in return, I will always be your number one. So, what you just said made me really happy, thank you.”
I was embarrassed, but I expressed my gratitude.
I told her that I would definitely continue to be the best for her.
Then, Shi-chan paused and hugged me to her chest even though we were in public.
“—-It’s okay. Ever since the day you found me, you’ve always been number one in my heart. It will always be the same. So I’ll do my best to be the best for you, too–I love you.”
The words she said in return were more than enough to fill my heart with joy.
We looked at each other, smiled at each other, held each other’s hands tightly, and decided to enjoy our Hatsumode together this time.