Chapter 11 – Unplanned
Going back the same way they came with the basket in hand, they entered a coffee shop inside the outlet mall.
Sitting on the seat, Ryou ordered ice coffee and Erika, ice milk tea.
Feeling the comfortable coolness of the store’s air-con, Ryou leans against the sofa-type seat and breaths lightly as the heat leaves his body.
Seeing that appearance Erika smiles.
“Nah, I just think its cool in here. And you, not tired?”
“I’m not. But it seems that I was also lacking sleep, but I feel refreshed after that little nap.”
Erika said shyly.
Ryou agrees with Erika’s words.
“Yeah, making such a boxed lunch might cause a lack of sleep. But it really was delicious, so thanks for the meal.”
Ryou bows his head while saying so.
“Its fine already, you’re welcome.”
Erika smiles bashfully and waves her hands.
When Ryou sits up straight and clears his throat with a cough about to say something, the drinks they ordered arrived.
Receiving the drinks, they both try theirs.
Drinking a mouthful, Ryou scowls due to forgetting the syrup he always puts in his ice coffee, he then put in syrup and milk as well.
Erika watches Ryou with interest as he stirs his ice coffee.
“You always use syrup?”
“Only with ice coffee. And only milk, no sugar with hot coffee.
“You don’t have sugar in your coffee?”
“Ah, I don’t mind the bitter taste of coffee, but with ice coffee something about it bothers me.”
Erika’s face shows a complexion of slight comprehension.
“I understand, a little.”
“Understanding it’s good.”
Ryou says so while nodding with a serious face and Erika laughs.
“Interesting, aren’t you.”
“Nah, I’m normal.”
“Nope, interesting. I don’t think I’ve laughed like today in a long time. But laughter can be good. Like that time with the boxed lunch.”
Ryou who heard that suddenly began to fidget restlessly and looked away.
Erika asked Ryou whose behavior has become strange, and Ryou says in a hesitant voice.
“Well, during lunch…, I just lost my composure for a bit.”
Erika doesn’t pry further.
“So you won’t tell others?”
Erika looks blankly then enquires teasingly.
With a seemingly embarrassed face, Ryou says.
“Uhm, well it’s that, a samurai’s mercy.”
Almost bursting out laughing from Ryou’s words, Erika endures it and says.
“I’m, a woman. Not a samurai.
“Ah, then it’s a woman’s mercy.”
This time the laughter couldn’t be endured.
“What’s with a woman’s mercy? Though I know what you mean.”
“Just remain silent about it for now.”
“What is that?”
Erika laughs more and more.
“Hey, I’ll get you something from this place.”
While saying so, he flutters the menu.
Erika seeing that impishly says.
“So it’s a treat.”
“As you see.”
Ryou joins both hands together in prayer towards Erika.
Looking pleasantly at Ryou, Erika says.
“Then, is ordering cake fine?”
Ryou nods promptly.
“As you please. I might as well also eat.”
Erika’s face became astonished.
“Even though you ate so much at lunch?”
“Don’t sweet things go to a different stomach?”
“Eh, it’s certainly said so but…”
Erika’s face shows that she finds it hard to swallow.
“Besides, I feel like half has already been digested.”
“Ah, haven’t two hours already passed since eating?”
“Eh…, half that amount in two hours…”
“Well, don’t mind the minor details. …excuse me.”
Minor details is it, Erika ponders while Ryou called out to an employee and ordered a Chocolate cake for himself and cheese cake for Erika.
When Ryou finishes paying, Erika bows and says thanks.
Towards that, Ryou says while smiling.
“It’s cheap compared to that lunch.”
Being able to infer his real intention, Erika was pleased.
After that the two look around the shops in the outlet mall, and noticed it had already become evening.
“It’s already quite late.”
Ryou says while looking at his watch.
“We were together since 9AM, the time’s gone by so quickly.”
Erika says turning her eyes to the sky.
“You, what about dinner? Eating at home?”
“Yes, I had better go back soon.”
Though Ryou felt some loneliness from Erika’s words, he doesn’t show it when he says.
“Then let’s return. Which direction? Up? Down? Is it around here?”
“Three stations from school.”
“It’s the same direction then. Let’s go.”
The two walk side-by-side.
Along the road to the station the two went without words. Different from the previous time they returned home together, it is a silence with an easy atmosphere flowing.
For 30 minutes the silence continued as Erika goes down to the station and about to enter the train.
A little bit away from the next station, Erika found the timing to open her mouth.
“I’m getting off at the next station.”
“Ah…, should I escort you home?”
Ryou’s home is two stations away from the upcoming one, he has a commutation ticket so getting off on the way isn’t a problem.
Not just that, a big reason may be from them separating.
Hearing such a thing, Erika shook her head in refusal.
“Its fine, it’s the station I always use. Thanks.”
Saying so, she smiles to Ryou.
Receiving that, Ryou inadvertently smiled back.
Then, the trains comes to a stop, Erika goes out the door, turns around and says while smiling.
“Today was fun. See you tomorrow.”
“Ah, see you…”
After Ryou says so the door closes, and Erika waves behind the glass.
As Ryou is returning the wave, the train starts to move. Erika waves for as long as Ryou can be seen.
Lowering his hand which waving, Ryou lets out large breath.
(It’s dangerous, to be falling in love. No, perhaps I already am in love… It may be the first time but I know what this is. I thought she was cute up to now, so it’s simple isn’t it? Nevertheless it’s only been a few days…)
It’s that scheming glasses fault, Ryou muttered.
Thinking about the future from now on, Ryou becomes dejected.
Coming to like someone from the same school, that wasn’t a part of his high school plan.
His deciding not to be attracted to anyone was because of a girl from last year.
Though Ryou thinks nothing bad was done to the girl, she still became disgusted with him.
She was only thought of as a friend, but it became such feelings.
Then how would it be if he came to be seen that same way from the first girl he likes.
Thinking about it, he became frightened. Only from Erika, he doesn’t want to be seen that way.
Being unable to see Erika’s smile, though it’s unpleasant not to see it, he doesn’t want to be viewed through those eyes from Erika. That alone he wants to avoid.
Thinking on the other hand, in Erika’s case she’s likely not to become like that, Ryou realizing that’s just his own hope, erases that thought.
Then, what to do to avoid the worst…
“Meeting and returning home together, I should avoid it as much as possible…”
Ryou instructs himself, muttering in a voice nobody heard.