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.
Chapter 2 Part 3: Under The Roof
My mom, Yuki, and I sat around the table in the living room. Due to our successful enrollment and Yuki’s comeback, a meal so extravagant I’d never seen before was served before us.
As I brought a bit of the sumptuous meal to my mouth, something crossed my mind. I was supposed to be swooning over this mouthwatering dish, but I couldn’t taste anything. Yuki, who sat beside me, took all my attention.
Her previously bandaged face was now unwrapped, and her beauty exposed. She ate dinner gracefully and politely. The way she held the chopsticks, her tidy posture, the way she slowly brought food up to her mouth—Everything she did, oozed refinement.
She had grown so much since elementary school.
We’ve parted ways for a long time, but she remained the most important person in my life. Furthermore, I was certain we’d sleep almost together, separated by a single wall. Honestly, I still couldn’t wrap my head around how stunning she was, and these things, for a pubescent boy, were too titillating.
My parents must think I haven’t changed that much since elementary school, but I’m a growing boy, both physically and mentally. I’m worried I won’t be able to sleep with Yuki here…
As I think these things and eat my food, mom smiles and talks to me.
“Hey, Haru. Which one is the best out of all these dishes on the table?”
“Um, which one…”
Crap. I’ve been so enthralled by Yuki that I completely forgot to taste my mom’s best dishes. If I had to state my impressions on the food I just ate, I’d say… The seasoning was different than usual and gently accentuated the food. I liked it, I think.
“Um… This Miso soup. The saltiness was just right for my taste, and the broth was really savory.”
“Oh, the Miso soup was the best? Good for you, Yuki!”
Eh? I tilted my head at Yuki as she smiled tenderly.
“I’m glad you praised me, Haru-kun. Your mom made all the other dishes, but I thought I’d help out by making this Miso soup.”
“You’re a great cook, Yuki-chan. You haven’t changed one bit since you were a child.”
“Ehehe~, I’m nothing compared to you. I’d be happy to learn more things from you.”
“Oh my, you’re even good at flattery.”
Their laughter echoed throughout the living room as I sat there, stupefied I’d intuitively chosen Yuki’s dish as the best on the table.
I sip my Miso soup once again as they talked about the food. After gulping, I ate a bit of the food my mom made, but, even after re-testing, Yuki’s soup was still the most delicious meal there. It was supposed to be a simple dish, but it tasted better than the extravagant feast my mom prepared.
Yuki and I played together all the time, but unlike my mom, I had no idea she could even cook. For some reason, the way she seasoned food was the exact way I liked it. The moment I took one sip from her soup, I felt as if she had captured my stomach.
After we finished dinner, and all plates on the table were empty, my mom gets up to start cleaning. However, she was interrupted by her phone ringing. She picked it up and started to talk. Panic sprawled across her face as she picked up her things to leave.
“I’m sorry, Haru, Yuki. There’s been some trouble at work, so I need to leave now.”
“What? At this hour?”
“Yuki, it’s not unusual for my mom to get called out at night in her line of work, so don’t be alarmed.”
“That’s right. Haru’s used to it, but you aren’t, Yuki. While you were abroad, I got a new job. This kind of thing has been happening a lot since then. I’m leaving, so get along you two. Also, Haru, you’re going to live with her from now on, so be strong.”
“I’ll take care of Haru-kun, and I’ll put away the dishes.”
“Oh, you don’t mind? You’ve just moved in so you must be tired, right?”
“No, it’s fine. Please leave Haru-kun’s personal care to me.”
“You’re so dependable! I’m off then.”
“Have a safe trip!”
After mom dashed out of the house, Yuki stacked the empty dishes and took them to the sink.
“I heard from your mother, Haru-kun. She was worried you might not be eating properly,” she said while staring at the garbage bag placed in the kitchen. It was filled with empty containers of cup noodles and store-bought lunches.
She’s right, I’ve never cooked for myself since I moved here. In the mornings, I’d make do with jelly drinks, followed by cup noodles in the afternoon, and ready-made lunches I bought in the night.
“I’m going to prepare meals for you every day from now on. I’ll also be doing the laundry and cleaning, so, as I said before, please leave the personal care to me.”
“Are you sure about that…? You were sick, so you need to take it easy…”
“I’m feeling better as each day passes, so please don’t worry about it. Besides, when I was in elementary school you’ve saved me so, so many times. I want to repay all the nice things you’ve done for me with everything I can. That’s why I can’t have you interfere, Haru-kun.”
Back then, I saved her many times from the awful bullying she went through, but not once did I do it as a patronizing act. I just did it because I genuinely loved to see Yuki laugh. But if Yuki felt indebted to me, and wanted to repay a debt with me, I wanted to respect her wishes.
Over the years we’ve been apart, I’m sure there were things that have built up inside her, so I wanted to let her do whatever she wanted.
“Thank you for this. I know I’ve been pretty sloppy by myself, so I’ll try to be as careful as possible from now on.”
“Ehehe~, I’m glad to. Please let me pamper you a lot. Oh, by the way, I’ve prepared the bath already, so while I take care of the dishes, go warm yourself up in there.”
She gazed at me with a tender smile.
“I’ll go first then. Thank you for cleaning up, and thank you for taking care of me…”
Too many things have happened today—Meeting Yuki again after years of being separated, the fact that underneath the bandages, she was a stunning girl that stole the hearts of all students and the fact we started living together.
I tried to calm down my racing mind while soaking myself in the bath, trying to remove any unnecessary thoughts inside it.
—Oh boy, was I naive.
It was just Yuki and me inside that apartment, and I had no idea how strong her feelings had become during the time we were separated.
I would soon find out what would happen if I took a bath in that situation.
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