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.
“So you bought all of them.”
“Yeah… The gifts, the birthday cake, everything. My wallet is squeaky clean right now.”
“Haha, it’s very bold to get her three years’ worth of gifts after being apart for so long.”
After I successfully bought everything, I took Akina to a crepe shop and got her one as a thank you gift for her help. We both sat comfortably while talking. A large stuffed bear sat on a chair right next to me, as well as an ornamental box containing a necklace, and a bag filled with other things.
“Well, it’s because my mom gave me some war funds for buying Yuki some gifts. I figured I’d just use it all up.”
“That’s not a bad thing, and I’m sure she’ll be pleased. Ugh, I’m so envious she can get a big celebration from you…”
“Let me celebrate yours then. When is it? Maybe October, since your name has ‘autumn’ in it?” (TL: Japanese Kanji can hold different meanings and readings, so a lot of words are intentionally chosen because of it.)
“Mine’s in May, even though my name does beget autumn. Well, that’s because my parent’s wedding anniversary is in autumn. I still remember the story: my dad proposed to her under the sea of orange, or whatever. They decided to name their kid, me, ‘autumn’ due to it.”
“I see. May, huh. Hmm, I’ll have a lot of things ready by then.”
“I’m waiting for one hell of a surprise.”
“Yeah, I will… Uh, is it okay to announce that?”
“Hehe, true. Well, I’m sure when my birthday draws near, I’ll remember today and get nervous.”
“So am I. There’s no harm in looking forward to something.”
“You’re right, and I’m stoked. Now on the chopping block, when’s your birthday?”
“Mine? January 7th.”
“January 7th, huh. I’ll remember it. Don’t worry, I’ll give you a scare as well,” her smile was as sweet as the very crepe she bit down, one with whipped cream and chocolate. Watching her, I nib a same-flavored crepe.
The sweet was a blooming flower, the dough buttery smooth. I loved the cream not being too heavy, and the chocolate paste was a rich delight.
“I had tons of fun today. We got some gifts for Shirahato-san, and you walked along on my shopping trip,” Akina counted the things we’ve done.
“I had fun too. Matter of fact, I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.”
“Glad I could help you. Now, let’s go home. It’s getting late, so it’s about time.”
“Guess so. Oh, first, I have something for you.”
“Hm? What is it?”
I stood up and reached for the stuffed bear right next to us. I’d gotten it for her, and as soon as I handed it she kept looking at the bear, then at me, then at the bear, then at me again; her eyes wide open.
“I, isn’t this her gift?”
“It’s a ‘thank you’ for today. I’m 100% sure you love stuffed toys, and you look great when you hug him. He looks happy as well,” I thank an agape Akina. “Thanks for the huge help today.”
“Haru… You’re really…”
Her red eyes twinkled as they gently lay on the stuffed bear. She then hugged him tighter with a huge smile. The sight of a cute girl hugging a stuffed animal was so precious it warmed my heart, literally.
“I’ll treasure it. It’s the first present I got from you… Mhm, I’ll cherish it forever and ever…”
“Okay, I’m glad… So, shall we go home then?”
And so we finished our shopping spree and walked home. I held a paper bag with all my gifts for Yuki, and Akina clutched the bear I gave her dearly. Even as we go on our separate ways, she never stopped hugging her gift. I watched her walk away, bear in hands, like a happy child.
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