"Wakamiya-san. Why are you so good at cooking?"
As I stuffed the dessert served after dinner into my mouth, I asked the question that popped up in my mind.
Today's dinner was fish, stewed food, and miso soup. Other than that was boiled vegetables seasoned with blended soy sauce; a very healthy lineup.
Yesterday, the main dish was meat. And the day before yesterday was fish. Most of the time, meat and fish came out as the main dish in turn.
Wakamiya-san had been cooking for me since I got involved with her, but she never made the same menu until now. I knew that she would eventually have to make the same dish, but making this many dishes was too impressive.
Not to say, she was still a high school student and didn't study in a cooking school…
Ah. By that way, I was paying for the ingredients properly. I wasn't that much of a leecher, okay… I didn't want to be a kept man too…
"I'm practicing my cooking for my future."
"Ohh. Are you aiming to be a chef?"
"No, I don't mean that. It's just something I will have to learn…"
Wakamiya averted her eyes; her cheeks dyed red.
I didn't understand why she was fidgeting… but if she didn't want to answer it, I wouldn't force her to do that.
"By the way, when did you start practicing?"
"When I'm in elementary school. I think it's around the fifth grade. But I don't seriously practice. It's more like a hobby for me."
"This should be the example of 'the importance of continuity', huh. After eating Wakamiya-san's food, I seriously lost interest in eating out. I think you'll become successful if you open a restaurant."
"Fufu, thank you very much. I guess I can consider opening a restaurant if you said it like that. But starting a business is hard, isn't it? After all, it's not just about cooking."
I had a bitter smile at Wakamiya's realistic view.
After eating the dessert, I put the plate on the desk. Then I looked straight at Wakamiya, who was sitting across me.
"Then, what do you want to say to me?"
"Let's make a schedule."
"You could say that when Kenichi and Fuji-san were here, right…?"
Wakamiya slightly puffed her cheeks to my words. "It'll be meaningless."
"Never mind! Well, Tokiwagi-san is helpless… Please take a look at this," Wakamiya said, then he took out something from the bag. I had that thing on my side until a few days ago.
Ahh, I see. That's why her bag was bigger than usual.
"Er… That's the doll I gave to you, right?"
"Yes! This is that cat!"
The cat stuffed doll was tightly held in Wakamiya's chest. Wakamiya looked down at the cat in her arms; her eyes cast down a bit.
Her affectionate expression took my breath.
The cat was leaning into her cleavage… Any boy who saw this scene would say, "Hey cat, exchange your position with me."
I had such a feeling.
But I made sure not to show it in my face…
"What happened? I'll replace it if it's defective."
"No! And even if it's defective… I won't let you replace it. This is the first time you bought something for me…"
"W-well, it's not that much of a big deal…"
Then, why would she bring it here? I didn't understand.
She was taking good care of it, so I don't think she wanted to complain to me.
"When are we going?"
"This cat's home!"
"Ah, the place that's full of socially active people, huh…"
"Um… From Tokiwagi-san's present, I thought that you're also inviting me to go there. Am I wrong?"
"No, it doesn't have that kind of deep meaning…"
Wakamiya's expression became stiff in the blink of an eye. Then she dropped her shoulders and her knees.
"......So I'm wrong? I made a hasty judgment… This is very embarrassing…"
What should I do with this development…
Should I invite her or not?
Should I wait or not?
I don't know. I didn't expect this to happen. Even if we went there… going in a pair was a bit too…
What would Kenichi do if he was faced with this situation?
The face of my grinning stinky friend came in my mind. I looked at where Kenichi sat a few hours ago… huh?
That's Kenichi's handbook. I couldn't bear the awkwardness and reached for his handbook.
When I opened the handbook, two sheets of paper fluttered down from inside. A short sentence was written on a sticky note, "You're very helpless."
I sighed and crumpled the sticky note. I bit the lower lip and looked at the papers again.
"Um, Wakamiya-san. This is a bit too sudden, but…"
"...What is it?"
Wakamiya gently stroked the cat. She looked cute, but I just wanted to disappear now.
"When I was cleaning up, I found these tickets. The deadline was this month. Well~ How wasteful! I can't use them all since there are two of them!"
Wakamiya widened her eyes at the tickets at my hand.
"Oh! And by chance, this ticket is for the place we just talked about!! How can there be such a coincidence~ But what should I do now? I don't have anyone to invite, so I'll have to go alone…"
I put my hand on my forehead and made a big reaction like I was in trouble.
Just like a clown. But I didn't care if she thought that I was a clown now.
Wakamiya chuckled and rubbed her eyes. She desperately held back her laughter.
"If you don't mind… may I go with you?"
"Oh, seriously!? I'm grateful to hear that~"
"And you don't have to force yourself to do that character, you know?"
"Haa… Shut up."
I overdid my exaggeration… But there's no helping it. The only way to hide my embarrassment was to become cheerful forcibly.
I had to overwrite my emotions… or else I would die from the shame.
"This is a promise, okay? I won't be happy if you forget it, understand?"
"I won't forget. I'm not that ungrateful."
"No, I'm just talking to myself…"
I sipped the tea and sighed.
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