A few days had passed since the test. This day finally came…
Yes, ‘this day’...
I felt like I was about to vomit anytime soon due to the new sensations and feelings I had never experienced before.
My stomach hurts, and I also have nausea.
And the Social Goddess was staring at me, worried. She was holding a stomach medicine-like thing in her hand.
Why was I in this state, you ask?
The answer was simple——
Because today was ‘Wakamiya Rin’s birthday.’
I chose the gift based on that famous guy rascal, Kenichi, and Fuji-san’s advice, so I wasn’t worried about that. What made me nervous was handing it to her.
I’m sure my face was stiffened right now.
As usual, Wakamiya came to my house after I’m done with my part-time job. I could give it to her at this spot.
When should I hand it to her? At what timing? In the first place, do I have to give it personally?
Those thoughts circulated in my head, bothering me.
“Tokiwagi-san, you look pale. Should I make you porridge? Or do you want to have some medicine…”
“I’m fine. Don’t worry.”
Wakamiya stared at me. She probably doubted my words.
Unable to continue maintaining eye contact with her, I turned away.
Judging from her current behavior, she probably hadn’t noticed my gift.
Most people would feel a bit conscious on their special day, but… Wakamiya didn’t look like she was expecting anything at all.
I recalled what Kenichi told me before. ‘Surprising her is important.’
…Would I succeed now?
I cleared my throat to bring up the main subject.
“...Wakamiya-san, can I have a little of your time? I have something important to say.”
The Social Goddess, who always sat in an elegant posture, straightened her back. Then she repositioned her seat in front of me.
If she wore a kimono, she would look like a noble lady of a wealthy family.
Then I stood up abruptly, grabbed the paper bag I hid, held it out in front of Wakamiya, and placed it on her lap.
Wakamiya tilted her head in confusion. She didn’t try to take it.
People would generally guess that the paper bag was a birthday gift, but she looked like she hadn’t realized that yet.
“... I’ll give you that.”
I wish I could say decent lines, or simply tell her, “It’s my gift to you.” But those words never came out of my throat. Instead, I sounded sullen.
“Um, what is this?”
“A gift… Uh, it’s your birthday, right?”
“Yes… That’s right… Err, thank you very much…”
Wakamiya, who always had a flat and monotone voice, spoke in a faltering way. How rare.
Looking at her, I also became confused.
She was the Social Goddess. Naturally, she should’ve received a lot of gifts.
Wakamiya only stared blankly at the paper bag for a while, so I said, “Uhh, you know. I’m grateful for your help every day, so I want to repay you. It happened to coincide with your birthday, so… Well, you might find it troublesome, but take it… No. Let me force you to take it.”
Wakamiya chuckled, her cheeks flushed. Then she held the gift with great care.
I was relieved when I saw that figure. Apparently, the surprise was a success.
I clenched my fist, happy. But of course, I made sure Wakamiya wouldn’t see it.
“Tokiwagi-San started talking with a serious look, so I was sure…”
“I thought you were going to confess to me.”
I coughed, then I drank the cup of tea on the table in one gulp.
After that, I denied it with exaggerated gestures. “You’re wrong! It’s a misunderstanding! I’m not confessing at all!!”
“Is that so…”
Wakamiya clearly became depressed at my response. That only made me even more restless.
“Umm… I don’t know what to say if you have that kind of reaction…”
Wakamiya dropped her head in silence.
Cold sweat flowed from my forehead.
“I mean! How can I say this… We are too mismatched, so I don’t think I can go out with Wakmaiya. It’s not like I don’t want to date Wakamiya. Instead, it’s me who is lacking——“
Wakamiya’s finger touched my mouth, stopping my panicked explanation.
And when our eyes met, she only said, “Calm down, Tokiwagi-san. It’s a joke.”
I clicked my tongue and turned away, sulking.
When I glanced at Wakamiya from the corner of my eye, she smiled with a gentle look.
“Still, I was surprised.”
“Oh… I don’t look like I’m going to give a gift, right? Is it that unexpected?”
“No, I’m more surprised that you ‘remember’ my birthday.”
“You’re so rude.”
But in fact, this wouldn’t have been possible without Kenichi’s advice. I would back away from doing anything. Usually, I didn’t pay any mind to birthdays too. I didn’t consider other people’s feelings, and I didn’t have enough experience with the girls...
I had to thank Kenichi. For real...
“Tokiwagi-san, can I open it?”
“Sure… But don’t expect too much. It’s nothing special.”
Wakamiya chuckled again, then she took the box in the paper bag out, carefully opened the wrapping paper, and untied the ribbon.
I held my breath, waiting for her reaction. The strange tension fueled my anxiety.
“Is this… a cat stuffed doll?” Kamiya said, carefully lifting the stuffed doll with both hands. She blinked her round eyes in surprise.
“Yeah… That character is pretty popular, right? It’s trendy… Wakamiya probably isn’t interested in something like that, but I think it’s not bad to follow the trend once in a while.”
Yes, this was Fuji-san’s advice.
In this area, there was an amusement park that everyone had visited at least once. And that cat stuffed doll was sold only at that amusement park. Presently, it was popular for the students to carry that around.
It would be awfully embarrassing to enter that amusement park alone to buy that, so I asked Kenichi and Fuji-san to buy it for me, owing them one point.
I felt like Kenichi would ask for something big to repay this favor in the future, but I couldn’t solve this problem without making some sacrifice.
However, I was worried. Maybe Wakamiya would feel disgusted when a young man gave her this cute stuffed doll.
As I waited and saw how things go, she raised the stuffed doll high, staring at its face.
“Wakamiya-san? You can throw it away if you don’t like it. I also don’t mind if it becomes a fossil at the bottom of your closet. You can also return it to me.”
I couldn’t bear the silence and joked with waving hands.
In response, Wakamiya hurriedly hugged the stuffed doll tight. She looked like a child who didn’t want anyone to take away her favorite toys. Then she looked at me with a blaming gaze. “I won’t hand you this doll!”
“O-oh. Okay. I’m glad if you like it,” I said with a strained smile, surprised at Wakamiya’s somewhat strong tone.
At this moment, the stuffed doll was promoted into Wakamiya’s favorite.
Wakamiya held the doll carefully, gazing at it with a gentle look. Her innocent expression was different from the usual. It was so cute that any men who saw her like this most likely wouldn’t able to take their eyes off her.
I was attracted to that. It’s like I would forget the time, charmed with her.
When she made that kind of face, I became strangely conscious. My heart was beating fast like a raging wave. My face was so hot that I felt like it would burn...
I inwardly cursed, ‘That should be a foul, right… Damn it…”
I was happy that she liked it. That was my honest feeling.
“Thank you very much.”
I scratched my cheeks.
It goes without saying that I couldn’t easily forget the smile on Wakamiya’s face at this moment from my mind.
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