After that, I returned home, my head full of thoughts about Ichinose senpai. His gently smiling profile keeps appearing in my head. Ahh, my chest hurts.
I’m glad today is Thursday since I don’t know what kind of face I should make next time I see him. But at this rate I’m going to be troubled when I see him on Monday. I need to think of a plan…. so I thought but as soon as I think of Ichinose senpai my head heats up and I can’t think of anything else so it’s all over.
My chest hurts and although I’m not really hungry I strangely keep using my chopsticks.
Once I finished my lunch, I laid around on the sofa.
Yuuya-kun has his lunch while my mom’s at work. I had finished all the work asked of me in the morning enthusiastically so I was bored because I had nothing to do. That’s why I can’t stop thinking about it.
All right. Let’s go somewhere then!
“Let’s explore—, explore—.”
I wore a lacy dress and white shoes. The sun seemed bright so I held a parasol as I explored the neighborhood.
I want to memorize the way to school so right now I’m trying to get to the station without using my smartphone.
Some houses had a lot of pretty flowers and some were traditional Japanese style homes. I also saw dogs and a nursery school, the places around Aika-chan’s home were overflowing in things that brought out my curiosity.
As I was walking towards the station I greeted the people I passed, talked with people walking their dogs, found a river, walked to that riverside and got excited when I found a park there, completely forgetting my original goal.
Because, there was a park you know!?
A swingset, jungle gym, slide, and on top of that a sandbox. If you see something this fun, you have to go play in it right!
I did things like playing in the sandbox with the kids in the neighborhood and playing hide and seek to the point where I was sweating.
I continued playing until the kids went home when I finally thought something.
“Where am I?”
When I looked around I saw that there were no buildings I recognized. I thought I’d ask someone but there were no pedestrians and the children which were my last ray of hope were nowhere in sight since a while ago the last kid went home in their parent’s car.
What should I do.
That’s right, my phone! With my smartphone I could just look up where I am!
I took my smartphone out of my bag and tried to use it but there was no response. Even when I press the power button it doesn’t respond. In other words,
“There’s no more battery!”
Are, are you kidding me!?
No matter how many times I press the power button the screen remains black.
Now that I think of it I haven’t charged it since yesterday. This morning it still had power but I didn’t check to see the percentage I had left. I usually don’t carry it with me when I walk so I’ve made a huge mistake! That means….
I’m a 17 year old but I’m lost. Drooping my head down, I sat down right on the spot. To think that I would get lost…..I heard that when you get lost you shouldn’t move recklessly since that would just make you even more lost.
When I stood up I wiped the sand off my skirt and sat on the swings. The swing that had seemed so fun to the point that I stood on it feels no fun anymore now that I feel hopeless.
In the park with no one in it, the only thing one could see moving was the shadow of a single figure on a swing. The park without the children’s laughing felt lonely,
My vision began to get blurry. A teardrop fell on my knee. It felt as if that drop was the anxiety in my heart falling and becoming a stain.
What should I do if I can’t return home.
I couldn’t stand it any longer so I slowly let out my crying voice. I cried on the swing just like a child.
When I heard the voice I raised my head and using my vision blurred by crying I saw someone standing. In surprise I quickly wiped my eyes and looked up again,
“Woah, I-I-Ichinose senpai!?”
The person who was my savior was the one person I didn’t want to see right now if I could help it.
Why is Ichinose senpai here!? Out of all things for him to see me crying is so embarrassing.
“What are you doing here?”
“Um, well, that is…”
I couldn’t look him in the eyes so I looked away. I know it’s sort of awkward but for some reason I don’t want to see senpai’s face. When I became lost my blood should have cooled down but now it’s so hot it feels like I’m boiling.
Yesterday was so awkward so I don’t want to see him now. But there’s a part of me that’s happy to see Ichinose senpai. Why?
“….Why were you crying?”
“Auu… Please don’t laugh at me.”
Hearing his worried voice made my chest hurt. I felt ready and told him the truth.
“I was trying to memorize the area around my neighborhood but I was pulled into looking at things like the river and seeing the dogs which brought me to this park. After playing with the kids here….. I forgot how to return home.”
“In other words, you’re lost?”
“Uu, it’s embarrassing but it’s true. I was going to look up my current location on my smartphone but I forgot to charge it so it wouldn’t turn on, that’s when I realized I was out of options.”
He must be shocked. To get lost when you’re already in high school is embarrassing.
But seeing Ichinose senpai made me lose my anxiety. I’m not alone anymore.
“Oh, sorry. If that’s the case then I’ll take you home.”
He just laughed for a second now didn’t he? He’s laughed right? Whatever the reason was, Ichinose senpai smiled towards me.
My chest squeezed tightly. What’s happening to my heart…. wait, what?
“You know where my house is?”
“Yeah, since I’ve taken you home several times.”
“You’re my savior senpai!”
I did it! I can return home!
I walk next to the road with senpai. Afu, he’s close. I need to take deep breaths, deep breaths. So the same thing as yesterday doesn’t happen again I’ll try not to look at Ichinose senpai’s face.
I’m happy just being with Ichinose senpai but isn’t he bored since we aren’t talking? I need to think of some topic to talk about.
“Shen-Senpai do you live around this area?”
I was so nervous that I stumbled over the word.
“No, my house is 2 stations away from here. I passed by here on my way back from cram school and happened to find you Aika.”
“I see, so you’re returning home from cram school. Sounds tough.”
“Yeah, since I’m preparing for the exams.”
Thats right, Ichinose senpai is a third year so next year he’s going to college. We only have one year left together. Uu, my chest.
Wait, there was something I felt like I had to say to Ichinose senpai.
Senpai had a surprised face since I stopped so suddenly and raised my voice.
His hair was smoothly fluttering in the wind. His slim figure had no unnecessary fat. I could see his collarbone under his shirt and his rolled up sleeves which let me see his tough, manly arms. Ahh, he’s so attractive….. Wait, that’s not it!!
“Sorry about yesterday! For suddenly throwing the printouts at you.”
“Oh, about that. I’m not bothered by it so you don’t have to apologize.”
Once I lowered my head, something suddenly flowed away. Where did all my nervousness and worry go….
But I’m glad that he said that it didn’t bother him. Ichinose senpai’s heart is wide. I should learn from his example.
As we were talking I found a place I recognised. From here on I know the way home.
“I can go home from here. Thank you very much!”
“All right. Try to go straight home without getting distracted.”
“Okay! You be careful too senpai!”
When I started to go after bowing lightly, from behind senpai I saw Yuuya-kun coming towards me on his bike.
Even though his expression showed that he didn’t want to, I’m happy that he stopped for me.
Yuuya-kun looked tired from returning home after club activities. Once we get home I’ll massage his shoulders for him.
My eyes immediately went to the book and flower in the basket on his bicycle.
“That’s a carnation right?”
“I see, since it’s mother’s day tomorrow. You’re a nice guy Yuuya.”
“Not really, that’s not true.”
He must be embarrassed, Yuuya-kun turning away shyly is cute. But wait a second.
“Mother’s day!? Tomorrow’s mother’s day!?”
What a predicament! I didn’t prepare anything for the important mother’s day!
I can’t just stand here. It’s time to hurry home and think of something.
“Senpai, I’m going home. Thank you for leading me home!”
I dashed towards my house. The sun is already down so I can’t go shopping but I’ll search online to see if there’s anything I could do. I want to give my mom a surprise that’ll make her happy.
“Looks like a storm is coming.”
“She lost her memories but is still playing around with Ichinose senpai.”
“No, that’s not the case since…… I don’t think the original Aika was that simple minded.”
“…….I wonder what’s going on.”
The next day, my mom was gone since she was at work.
I need to get ready right away. Since mother is always doing all the housework, today I’ll do the cooking, laundry, and cleaning.
I looked up how to use a washing machine yesterday so now I know I was able to use it. Afterwards I did the window cleaning and used the vacuum cleaner until it was noon.
While I yawned as if I was tired, Yuuya-kun entered the living room.
He passed by without replying and opened the fridge, then heated up the yakisoba our mom made using the stove. It’s already noon so he must be hungry. Once I hang the clothes to be dried I’ll eat lunch too.
“….What are you doing?”
“Huh? It’s mother’s day so I thought I’d help with the housework.”
By the time I came to eat lunch with him he was already done eating and was sitting on the sofa, watching tv.
After I wash the dishes it’s time to shop. If I don’t hurry I won’t make it.
I headed towards the supermarket after confirming the location on my phone. I thought I’d send mom something but I don’t know what her tastes are and I don’t have the time so I decided to make dinner.
A food that everyone can eat and is easy to make for a beginner like me. That’s curry. What, you say I had it two days ago? I don’t care, I don’t mind. I can eat it however many times.
“Potato, carrots, and onions. Other than that is the meat and the curry pack I guess.”
My heart was racing since it was my first time going to the supermarket. Once I went inside I saw a variety of vegetable colors! Ahh, over here is the fruits corner. Bananas, apples, and even strawberries. They really have everything—.
“Ahh, I almost forgot my original goal.”
I’m a curious individual so my eyes easily get distracted by all the products. The things I need have to go in my basket. Ahh, this is the first time I’ve seen a raw fish! It looks so fresh that it seems like it’ll move any second. So this is a fish, I want to touch it.
I went around the store in the same manner all excited and by the time I was done it was already past three so I rushed home.
“All right, it’s time to make this—!”
I lined up the vegetables and followed the instructions on how to make it from the back off the curry box.
“Let’s see, first I need to cut the vegetables into bite sizes.”
I rinsed the dirt off the potato, and also quickly rinsed the carrots. Yuuya-kun entered the living room.
“….What are you doing?”
“It’s mother’s day so I thought I’d make dinner.”
“Can you even make something we can eat?”
“I’ll try my best!”
Huh, for a second Yuuya-kun’s eyes looked like the fish I saw at the supermarket.
Since I already rinsed the vegetables I’m going to cut them for now. It’s my first time cooking so I can’t help but have fun. I set the potato on the cutting board, let’s do this!
“Wait a second!!”
When I began to cut the potato, Yuuya-kun had an upset expression as he tried to stop me.
“Why are you holding the knife with two hands and trying to swing it down with such great force! Are you using it like an ax!”
“The potato was so hard that I thought it would be best to cut it with a lot of strength but…..”
“Also you still haven’t even peeled off the skin. Cut it after you remove the skin.”
That makes sense. So you peel the skin off first.
I put the potato in my left hand to hold it while peeling it with the knife but my right hand keeps shaking so I can’t do it well.
Uuu, this is kind of scary.
“Ohh, hand me that. You go use the peeler to remove the carrot’s skin.”
He said that and took away the knife, Yuuya-kun was swiftly peeling the skin off the potato after washing his hands. Is he a craftsman!?
I-I also want to show off some sisterly skills.
This is the peeler. I used the peeler I found in the drawer and swiftly removed the skin off a carrot. What is this, it feels satisfying! Even I could do this.
“Yuuya-kun you’re great at cooking.”
“This level is normal. You’re just unskillful.”
“You really have the diligence. By the way Yuuya-kun-”
“Aren’t you just too positive? What?”
“Until what point do you peel the carrot?”
I’ve been peeling it since earlier but I don’t know where to stop. If I keep peeling it’ll become really thin.
“Bah! Are you an idiot! You’re done once you peel one time around. You’re doing something pointless.”
“Start cooking once you know at least that much first!”
What a big mistake I made. To think that I’m wasting a carrot that some farmer made.
Beside me, feeling down Yuuya-kun let out a big sigh and put the skinny carrot and the paper thin carrot into a bowl.
“There’s still some potato left over so we could use it for potato salad.”
“Don’t mess up next time.”
Like that we steadily finished cutting the veggies and the meat (Yuuya-kun did most of it) and the curry was made. Cooking is all about love. That’s why I’ll keep thinking it. I held my hands over my head and prayed for the food to become delicious.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m sending it love. I’m wishing that it’ll taste good so mom will be pleased.”
“You look like a witch casting a curse to me.”
The time is before six. It’s about the time mother should be returning home.
The laundry I had hung outside had completely dried so I tried my best at folding it but I couldn’t do it well. Unable to let it pass unnoticed, Yuuya-kun once again helped me.
To have such a kind younger brother, I’m such a fortunate person.
“There’s a limit to how unskilled someone could be. It’s all wrinkled, hang it up after properly stretching it out.”
“Ahh, welcome home!”
“I smell curry, did you have some Yuuya ?”
Returning home from work, my mom smelled the curry and called out to Yuuya-kun.
“You’re wrong. We made it.”
“Huh? Wow, the room looks so clean. And the laundry is done.”
I was able to see my mom’s shocked face, so I guess the surprise was a success?
“Thank you for everything. Since today is mother’s day, Yuuya and I made today’s dinner with our feelings of thankfulness.”
“I made most of it though.”
“Yeah, Yuuya-kun might be a cooking genius. He’s great at using the knife!”
“Does sarcasm not get through to you—”
My mom opened her eyes in surprise. Also the fact that the cleaning and laundry were done made her more astonished. Fufufu, I did it! A huge success.
We lined the curry up on the table and my mom took the first bite.
“..It’s really good.”
“We did it, Yuuya-kun.”
Yuuya-kun, who had already begun eating, gulfed down the curry, repeatedly bringing the spoon to his mouth. Being both kind and shy, he’s too cute.
“It’s truly good. Both of you, thank you.”
My gently smiling mom’s eyes looked like they were moved to tears a bit.
It was my first time cooking so I learned how much work it was to cook. I’m really thankful that although she has work, she still makes us dinner every day.
I want to help as much as I can so I want to make dinner again. Next time I want to make a rich omelette rice like the one from my school lunch. That time I want to work hard on it together with Yuuya-kun just like today.
“Say that once you’re able to make tamagoyaki.”
More importantly, I haven’t even cracked an egg before.