Thursday, April 10, 2014

[Shinonome v1] Chapter 5

Here's the next chapter.

Totally forgotten about April's Fool, but oh well, whatever.

Enjoy.
********************



The man's name was Eason.

At first Romiemarigana couldn't comprehend a single word he said. She only learned his name after the man pointed to himself and repeated "Eason" slowly over and over again.

Upon realizing she understood his intentions, the man directed his finger towards her instead.

"Romiemarigana," she replied.

In their language, 'romie' stood for beauty, and 'marigana' for forests. From her understanding, her mother entered labor in the midst of the forests while they were in their most beautiful season, and hence her name.

She hoped Eason could understand this story behind her name.

However, she could not get her point across to Eason despite her best efforts to convey it in her language, and that depressed her greatly.


Nishizono Yūko
<Romiemarigana's Expanding World>



***



It was a week after my date with Shinonome. When I reached home from school, I was immediately greeted by a flurry of footsteps as Arumi-san came to the door to greet me. She seemed much busier than usual — I thought to myself while removing my shoes. Arumi-san suddenly shouted.

"Eita! You have a girlfriend, don't you!?"

She said that just as I was breathing in, and that caused me to cough quite a bit.

"What? Why the sudden question?"

I turned around and asked. Arumi-san was peering at me suspiciously with her arms crossed and her cheeks puffed. She was visibly disappointed.

"I heard it from Keisuke."

"Eh?"

"You asked him about the movies, didn't you?"

That goddamn idiot — I cursed to myself. I never expected him to tell Arumi-san...... It wasn't like I asked him to keep it a secret, but I never thought he would tell her.

"Ah, it's nothing. I was craving for a movie......"

Arumi-san's hazy gaze refused to let me go.

"...... Alone?"

"Mmm, yeah."

"You liar!"

She retorted immediately.

"I'll never believe that Eita, a person who has never once watched a DVD before, would go to the movies alone. Come on, spill the beans. Who did you go with? Tell onee-chan about it!"

It feels like Arumi-san's an old geezer hounding a young lady or something. I heaved a sigh of exasperation.

"What's wrong with watching a movie alone? Sometimes you'd just feel like doing that......"

I gave up trying to explain. It would have been easier if she were my real girlfriend, but my relationship with Shinonome was a rather intriguing one. I was in no mood to listen to Arumi-san's incessant chatter either.

I set my shoes down neatly and walked past Arumi-san as if I had shoved her aside. However, Arumi-san stuck close to my back like a puppy.

"Eh....... Why are you trying to hide it?"

"Nah, who's hiding?"

"But you are in a relationship, aren't you?"

Asked Arumi-san as she moved in front of me with a head tilt and smile.

"Nope."

Arumi-san's shoulders stooped in disappointment.

"That's boring......"

I was about to retort with: it's not like I was born into this world just for your entertainment. But rather than voice my displeasure, the smarter move is to keep it within me.

"Still, Eita, do introduce me to your girlfriend if you ever have one."

I heaved my shoulders in exasperation to the persistent Arumi-san.

"If I ever get one."

"Ehehe. Okay then!"

With that, Arumi-san trotted to the kitchen. What an airhead she is. Sigh, considering the fact that she never noticed my feelings for her, it's something to be expected.

I trudged back to my room with those thoughts in mind.

My phone vibrated when I finished taking off my uniform. Looks like a text from Shinonome. There were no more 'dates' ever since that day. Moreover, there was no difference in the way we interacted in school. I guess the only minor change was the fact that Shinonome began texting me much more frequently. When we first started out, Shinonome would hardly text me except to reply to my messages.

"How about a trip somewhere?"

An unusual invitation from her. Despite the hesitation within me, I replied with:

"Sure."

"Are you okay with next Sunday?"

"No problem, but where?"

"I'm thinking about a theme park......"

I couldn't help but shout "Ehh~" in surprise.

The theme park?

It is indeed a prime location for a 'date'. Still, it feels like something's off when it's Shinonome who suggests it. It's just so far off from what's 'ordinary' to Shinonome.

I was too lazy to get off my bed, so I searched for information on nearby theme parks on my phone. Once I had compiled a few candidates, I was poised to send them to Shinonome.

"I would prefer one with a Ferris wheel...... Does Minami-kun have anything in mind?"

This feels more and more like a date. It's troubling.

After some research, I only found one theme park nearby with a Ferris wheel. After telling Shinonome about it, she replied, "That works." Our text messaging came to a stop once we had decided on the date and place to meet.

I set my phone aside and spaced out for a while.

Theme parks. The Ferris wheel.

Arumi-san once took me to a theme park when I was still young, and it so happens to be the same one chosen this time 'round. That was back when I was still naive and silly; just a child who did not notice her relationship with Keisuke.

And yet, it turned out to be the very theme park Shinonome wants to go to.

I cracked my neck in frustration when I thought about it.

I expected Shinonome would say things like "theme parks are boring", but the message I got was "I would love to go to a theme park" instead. That in itself is surprising enough for me, but the fact that she's someone who didn't know where to go to on a date is all the more shocking.

Then again, she's Shinonome, so she might have used some method to get information about dating.

Arumi-san came over and asked me to head down for dinner, so I left my room.

While we were having dinner, Arumi-san was talking to the silent Keisuke as usual. As for Keisuke, he'd reply with the typical "Huh" and "Mmm."

As I watched their interactions, I realized Shinonome was quite similar to Keisuke.

Generally speaking, Shinonome's not the type to initiate a conversation on her own.

If that's the case, would it be better to keep talking to Shinonome like how Arumi-san does? Even if I cannot see any special reaction from her, we can probably maintain our relationship like the couple before me if I were relentless in striking conversation with Shinonome.

What are my expectations about my relationship with Shinonome anyway?

We're just a pretend couple who got together so that Shinonome could gather material for her work. From my point of view, the length of our relationship is of no importance. In fact, I'd have a troublesome chore off my back if we're able to end this facade smoothly.

So why on earth am I trying to prolong our relationship instead?

"Eita, anything wrong?"

Arumi-san stared into my face when she noticed me spacing out.

"Ah, nah. It's nothing......."

I hastily replied and resumed on my meal. As she looked at me suspiciously, Arumi-san popped the question which came to her mind:

"Eita, do you have someone you like in school?"

I almost spewed the miso soup out of my mouth.

"What? Why the sudden question......"

"I was wondering if you'd like to talk with me."

I have no desire to — I thought to myself. Still, I heaved a sigh and replied.

"I've none, so there's not much to talk about."

"Not even one? Or how about someone you're interested in? Onee-chan's really interested in your love story, Eita."

For a brief moment, the mischievous personality within me was tempted to tell her about Shinonome. I wonder how Arumi-san will react should she come to know about my author classmate, and how we're pretending to be 'dating' in order to gather materials for her novels.

She'd probably disapprove and say, "This is a really weird relationship."

Or will she actually exclaim in awe instead?

I ended up scrapping the plan anyway.

"I'll fill you in if that person ever shows up."

It seemed like we're dwelling on this topic quite often recently. Did Arumi-san see some sort of change in me?

Somehow, it feels as if I've been together with Arumi-san for a really long time now. Compared to the silent Keisuke or my father, it's true that Arumi-san is much more like 'family' to me.

When we were done with dinner, I stood beside Arumi-san as she washed the dishes.

"Allow me to do the dishes once in a while."

Arumi-san was quite hesitant about it at first, but she finally acceded to my request.

"Sure. I'll be counting on you then."

However, Arumi-san would turn her attention to me once in a while from the sofa, as though she wasn't at ease with anyone other than herself washing the dishes.

"You really don't need my help?"

"No problem."

"Eita, are you angry?"

"Not at all. Why the question?"

"Eita has been really gentle recently."

I washed the soap bubbles off my hand and turned around to face Arumi-san.

"...... Gentle?"

"You used to be really snobbish...... I feel uneasy seeing the way you are now."

I understand what Arumi-san was getting at. I was deliberately keeping my distance away from Arumi-san, to the point where Keisuke had to intervene.

But her words made me realize that that wasn't the case these recent days.

Moreover, I've been responding to her words in earnest.

"Really? Are you sure you're not imagining things?"

Though I very well know the reason behind those changes, I'd have to reveal my love for her if I explained everything. I resumed washing the dishes with that perfunctory reply as Arumi-san watched on worriedly.

***

Sunday. After meeting up at the station, the two of us took the train to the theme park.

Shinonome was wearing the same outfit as she did when we went for the movie.

She did mention she didn't own any other casual clothes, but I wasn't expecting it in the literal sense. Then again, contrary to my thoughts, that might actually be the case.

Not to mention, my outfit wasn't too far off from what I wore back then, so I was in no position to talk.

We sat shoulder to shoulder on the seats, the theme park as our destination. We're actually much closer than we were in the cinema—

There's no avoiding physical contact no matter how hard I try. I could feel the warmth of Shinonome's thigh through my jeans, which came as a huge surprise. This was probably just my own preconception, but I expected Shinonome's body to be a lot colder.

"...... Why the sudden urge to visit the theme park?"

I struck a conversation with Shinonome so as to forget about the warmth of her body. Shinonome said nothing, only to dig out a book from her handbag. I initially thought she ignored my question and was planning to read, but she showed me the book instead.

"They talked about it in the book."

The book, which lacked a dust jacket, was a romance novel by a female author. The reason I recognized it straight away was because I saw Arumi-san reading it before.

"...... Shinonome reads things like this as well?"

I was murmuring stuff like "The combination of Shinonome and romance novels just doesn't click", but Shinonome shook her head gently instead.

"I don't read them much, but I thought it would be a good chance to...... so I tried it out."

In other words, it's all for her 'material gathering'.

"The story talked about a scene at a theme park, which made me realize I have never visited one before."

"Hmm."

It was an answer to be expected from her. She's not someone who would think things like, "How about going to the theme park when I have a boyfriend."

But I was really surprised that she never visited one before.

It would be understandable if she was from the countryside where there are no theme parks around, but the area we live in has quite a few nearby. It should be normal for parents to bring their children to one when they were young. That applies even to my family, despite the fact that we hardly go out on trips.

"Have you been to one before, Minami-kun?"

I wasn't sure how I should answer that sudden question of hers.

"Urm, what?"

"Have you been to a theme park?"

"Mmm, yeah. When I was still a kid."

My parents took me to one when I was about five to six years old. The next trip came when I was in elementary school, and it was Keisuke and Arumi-san who brought me there.

"...... Were you happy?"

I was quite troubled by that question of hers.

"Urm, I guess I probably was......"

To be perfectly honest, I have close to no memories about the trip together with my parents. But considering my age then, I should have been really happy, especially since my parents hardly took me on trips.

However, the reason for my stutters was due to my other memory.

Come to think of it, that was actually a date between Keisuke and Arumi-san, and I was the third wheel. Arumi-san, being the nice person she is, showed no signs of unhappiness when my mother forced me into her care. That was the reason why she brought me to the theme park.

Back then, I was a gargantuan idiot who failed to notice the relationship between Keisuke and Arumi-san, so I naively enjoyed myself at the theme park. I might have even thought of it as a date between me and Arumi-san.

It was a memory I cannot describe in words.

Somehow, it felt like I was deliberately stirring up painful memories within me. Depressing, really.

So that Shinonome wouldn't notice the feelings within me, I turned and stared at the scenery in a daze. Shinonome did the same.

Upon arrival, we paid for the tickets and went in.

Shinonome insisted on paying for everything, but I rejected her offer and paid for my entrance fee.

As it was a weekend, the theme park was filled with families and couples. It felt a little uncomfortable to know that I was part of the group as well.

After going through the ticketing gates, I turned around to face Shinonome.

"Urm...... any attractions you have in mind?"

Shinonome did mention she never went to a theme park before; moreover, it should be expected of me to be her guide and escort. Still, it's not like I've been to one often, so I was hoping to fulfill whatever desire Shinonome may have instead.

Shinonome tilted her head and said,

"Let me see...... Any suggestions?"

"How about the amusement rides......"

"Let's go with that then?"

"Sure."

After the end of an extremely blasé conversation, we began making our way to one of the hottest attractions in the theme park — the roller coaster. A snaking queue could be seen at the entrance to the ride. The sign indicated that the wait would be about thirty minutes.

"What should we do......? Should we wait?"

Personally, my interest in the roller coaster wasn't to the point where I was willing to wait thirty minutes for it. However, Shinonome nodded, so we moved to the end of the queue.

Time ticks by, the two of us shrouded by silence.

I was trying to come up with a conversation topic, and that was when I remembered I had visited this place together with Arumi-san once. And so I spoke.

"My elder brother brought me here once."

My memories were actually fixed around Arumi-san, but it would be a pain in the rear to explain to Shinonome about her.

"Oh right, you did mention before you have an elder brother."

I then realized I haven't heard anything about her family.

"Do you have any siblings, Shinonome?"

Shinonome shook her head in response.

"Wow, that's nice. I've always been envious of an only child."

A curious expression appeared on Shinonome's face when she heard my comment.

"....... Why so?"

"My brother's adept at just about everything, be it in studies or in sports. He didn't cause much trouble to my parents. With a brother like him around, it's inevitable that I'll be compared to him in some way or other, isn't it? And so, rather than to be the failure of the two brothers, it's way better to be the only child."

The words just won't stop once they start to flow, but I guess I have always wanted to rant about it to someone anyway. There's no way I can speak to Keisuke nor Arumi-san about this, much less my parents.

I have no friends who close enough to discuss things like that.

Shinonome stared at me, her eyes scanning me from top to bottom several times. It seemed like it's some sort of subconscious action she does while thinking of something to say.

"It may sound cheesy to you...... but I'm really envious of those who have siblings."

Just like what Shinonome said, it's something to be expected — it's an answer which most people (the single child anyway) would give. This is when people with siblings would chip in with, "Yeah, I get you."

However, Shinonome followed it up with this:

"It may be a pain to be compared to others, but if you are to put it in another perspective, that means you have something worth comparing, isn't that so?"

I had no response to that. Shinonome did the unexpected and continued on without me urging her to.

"Moreover, one is able to gauge where he stands only when he is compared to others, don't you agree? Whether you are on par or not simply translates to how good or bad your position is....... I'm really envious of how you can more or less get a picture of your current situation. If I'm unable to compare myself to others, I will never know what I should do with myself."

 "Urm......"

In the end, the only thing I could offer was a muffled moan. Though Shinonome started things off with the phrase "It may sound cheesy to you", the reason which accompanied her answer was anything but that. I was quite disheartened by her point of view, so I ended the conversation with, "Yeah, you're right indeed."

The phrase "one is able to gauge where he stands" as said by Shinonome did feel like something you'd expect to hear from an author. That might actually be the case. Still, Shinonome should more or less be able to realize how peculiar she is if she's envious of things like that.

"I'm sorry for saying something strange."

Apologized Shinonome with a smile. The queue moved, and we followed suit.

"Shinonome's thought process is quite interesting though."

I muttered while walking forward. Shinonome responded by tilting her head, as usual.

"Is that so?"

"Yeah. Feels very much like how an author would think."

Shinonome stared at me blankly when she heard my raw, honest thoughts. She then lowered her head.

"I see......"

A faint murmur. I thought she was just being shy, but to my surprise, Shinonome seemed to be a little dejected. I was concerned with what I saw.

The queue moved forward once more as we were having our conversation. It was finally our turn for the ride. Not long after Shinonome and I were in our seats, a staff came over to lower a silver bar to our chest. It's a simple metal bar designed to ensure our safety. When that was done, Shinonome began looking around all of the sudden.

"...... What's wrong?"

Shinonome stared at the bar before her chest when she heard my question.

"This...... is it?"

"Yeah."

"Eh? But from what I saw on television, shouldn't it be something that's black and pressing down from your shoulders—"

I could roughly figure out what Shinonome was describing, so I nodded and interrupted her.

"There are those as well, but this roller coaster is an older model."

Shinonome flinched when she heard the word 'older'.

"O-Old......?"

"I mean, this roller coaster was around when I was just in kindergarten."

From the movement of Shinonome's throat, I could easily tell Shinonome had gulped.

She was visibly frightened. I could have assured her that everything will be fine, but I chose not to. I'd probably never get to see Shinonome in a frightened state ever again.

The bell rang, and the roller coaster began inching forward.

I could hear what sounded like the frightened shrieks of young women behind me. Looking towards Shinonome, her eyes were shut tight and her hands were gripping onto the metal bar harder than before.

I found her to be really pitiful, so—

"Relax. You won't fall off."

I tried to reassure her, but Shinonome shook her head weakly.

"I have acrophobia......."

Rattling sounds could be heard as the roller coaster climbed up the track at an angle. We would reach the top a few seconds later, followed by the acceleration due to gravity and the incredible speeds with which the roller coaster would shoot through the tracks.

From the corner of my eyes, I could see Shinonome looking at me, so I turned to look at her.

"Minami-kun...... I'm sorry, but......"

"Huh? What's wrong?"

"Can I...... hold your hand?"

"Eh? Ah, yeah......"

Before I could even respond, Shinonome had already moved swiftly and took my hand. Her palm was clammy.

As the roller coaster shot off, Shinonome gripped onto my hand. I returned her grip immediately. The tourists around us were all screaming either in excitement or in fear, but Shinonome and I made not a single sound.

Whenever the roller coaster rumbled up and down, Shinonome would tighten her hands as if she were trying to tie them onto me. It almost felt like I was holding onto the pulse of some incredibly tiny and fragile animal in my hand.

Though of course, that was no pulse but Shinonome's hand instead.

The hand of a girl who's the same age as me. I became nervous when I realized that.

Thank goodness Shinonome's palm was clammy — she probably wouldn't have noticed my sweating palm.

My heart was thumping wildly. It wasn't due to the sharp bends of the roller coaster, but because of my nervousness from holding Shinonome's hand.

When the roller coaster finally returned back to the starting point, the staff went around to disengage the safety bar. The rest of the passengers got off the ride smoothly, but Shinonome was dazed for a short while. She then regained her senses and stood up.

Our hands were still tightly entwined.

Realizing that, Shinonome said in a fluster,

"Ah...... Sorry......"

She released my hand, and we stood up.

***

We continued to wander around, riding attractions which we deemed not too crazy. To be honest, I'm not too keen on slow rides, but Shinonome said she couldn't handle any more rides similar to the roller coaster. Therefore, I had no choice but to go along with her. She was the one who wanted to visit the theme park, so I guess it's my duty to follow her desires.

We chatted about insignificant things while we were playing on the rides.

Although, we didn't hold hands like we did on the roller coaster, and we never mentioned it in our conversations. It was as if none of it happened.

"...... Are you bored, Minami-kun?"

Asked Shinonome all of a sudden while we were resting on a bench.

"Nope, not at all."

That was my answer.

"Instead, I was actually worried if you're bored."

"I'm not."

Though she said that, her expression was not a happy one. That's precisely why I'm worried — but I didn't turn my thoughts into words.

"Well, that's great. I'm really enjoying myself."

I realized I was feeling really irritated while I was saying that. I wasn't too sure why I did, and that doubt resulted in yet another flustered feeling within me. With the way I was feeling, my tone sounded slightly harsh. Shinonome lowered her head slightly — perhaps she had somehow sensed the feelings I was experiencing.

"Urm......"

An awkward silence. I wondered about what I should do in a situation like this.

Even though it's just a simulation, it's still a 'date' after all. It's unbecoming of me to suddenly flare up against Shinonome. I should hide my feelings so as not to make her unhappy.

Located opposite of the bench was a small shop selling ice-cream, drinks and souvenirs.

"How about we take a look there?"

I said while standing up. Shinonome, who was still sitting down, looked at me with her head tilted. She probably didn't understand what I was saying.

"Let's go."

I hesitated briefly before offering my hand to Shinonome.

Shinonome hesitated for a moment as well before timidly accepting my hand . As I held onto her hand tightly, I could feel from my palm that Shinonome's body was stiff.

"Let's take a look over there."

I had nothing concrete in mind. I just did it because I wanted Shinonome to be happy. Without waiting for her answer, I began walking towards the store while still holding onto Shinonome's hand.

Shinonome followed me in silence.

Her hand felt soft as ever.

The fluster I experienced earlier was somehow soothed by this. I could sort of figure out the reason behind those irks of mine.

It was probably because I wanted to continue holding her hand.

I hastened my pace a little so that Shinonome wouldn't notice my feelings. Shinonome followed my pace without saying a word.

As for the souvenirs in the store, they were all items you could find anywhere. There were dragon-shaped key-chains, plushies of characters, etc. That was something to be expected, considering that this theme park has no unique mascot of its own.

I was uninterested in what I saw, and even though I was the one who brought Shinonome here, I was thinking about giving up and leaving right away. However, Shinonome, with her hand still in mine, stopped all of a sudden. I turned back to look at her.

"...... Yes?"

Shinonome was probably surprised by how I moved my face towards her, so she moved a step backwards.

"Ah, it's nothing...... I just find this cute......"

I took a close look at the accessory in Shinonome's hand. It was a dangle of a super-deformed monkey with huge eyes.

"...... That's cute?"

I blurted it out mindlessly. Shinonome responded hesitantly at a speed never seen from her.

"Eh?"

Her voice was up a pitch.

"Ah, sorry. It does look cute......"

I agreed with her immediately, but that was an obvious lie. Shinonome looked at me unhappily.

Just as she was about to return the dangle back onto the rack, I stopped her hand and said,

"Why don't you buy it if you find it cute?"

"But Minami-kun...... doesn't really like it, do you?"

"Nah, I'm okay with it. What matters is that you like it."

I then remembered there was no accessory on Shinonome's cell phone.

"There's no accessory on your cell phone, is there? This dangle looks good, so...... h-how about I buy it for you?"

I then explained that it's to make it up to her for failing my duty to make her happy and doing the exact opposite instead.

Shinonome held onto the dangle with her head lowered and remained in that position for a while. She finally said,

"Please..... buy this for me......"

I was rather surprised by that decision of hers.

"Does Minami-kun not...... want to buy it for me?"

"Eh, no, of course not......"

Whenever it comes to payment, Shinonome would insist on giving it. It was unexpected of her to say things like that. Then again, I was the one who suggested buying it for her, so I'm in no position to back off now. I took the dangle from Shinonome, released her hand and walked towards the counter.

I began searching for my wallet after placing the dangle on the counter. As I was doing so, Shinonome caught up from behind with the same dangle and put it on the counter as well.

"....... Huh?"

I looked at Shinonome in confusion. Shinonome smiled.

"I'll be buying this."

You like the dangle that much? Despite my surprise, both of us paid for one accessory each. We ended up with two weird monkey dangles.

When we walked out of the store, I passed the paper bag with the two dangles to Shinonome. Shinonome opened the paper bag on the spot.

She took out one of the dangles and passed it to me.

"Here, this is for Minami-kun."

"What?"

"Minami-kun owns no phone accessory as well, am I wrong?"

"Ah, yeah......"

I couldn't reject her offer due to my confusion — there was nothing I could do other than to meekly accept the dangle from Shinonome.

"Do remember to attach it to your phone."

Said Shinonome cheekily with a mischievous smile and a tilt of her head. That slightly intriguing smile on display was something which I had never seen from her before; it took my breath away.

"O-Okay......"

I should be happy about this, right.......? Did she give this to me out of goodwill, or is she deliberately teasing me because I doubted its cuteness earlier? Without any concrete answer, I had no idea what I should do.

We continued to tour the theme park even as the sun set into the horizon. We went along with Shinonome's plan and proceed to ride the Ferris wheel. I had explained to Shinonome earlier about how the Ferris wheel was not one of the hot attractions in the theme park, so we can always leave it for last and ride on it before we go home.

We moved into the two meters squared cabin and sat down. The door closed and the cabin slowly ascended into the air.

Nothing was said between us. Shinonome and I sat face to face and looked into the scenery beyond the windows.

It's space with no one around, just Shinonome and me. I couldn't help but become nervous when I realized that. I then remembered the dangle which was kept in my pocket, so I began fixing it on my cell phone.

When she saw what I was doing, Shinonome hung the dangle on her phone as well.

Both of us were done with our tasks at about the same time — we showed off the results by jiggling the dangles to each other. Shinonome smiled.

"It is cute, isn't it?"


I couldn't quite agree with her, but I shall say nothing more if that was what Shinonome thought.

"Perhaps."

I replied.

The cabin reached the peak of the Ferris wheel. Something came to Shinonome's mind, so she said,

"...... I have a question."

"Yes?"

"Can I......"

"Mmm."

"Can I...... visit Minami-kun's house next time?"

I looked at Shinonome in bewilderment.

"I have never visited the house of my classmates before...... so if Minami-kun is okay with it......"

To be honest, I have never invited any of my classmates to my house either. I own no gaming consoles nor manga, so there's nothing much to do even if I am to invite them over. That's the reason why I never tried.

"Eh, urm...... well......"

That obviously resulted in me stuttering as I found myself at a loss as to what to do. Shinonome looked at my reaction in desolation. She finally turned her face away and muttered softly,

"It's alright if you're not fine with it...... I'm sorry."

That was when the rays of the setting sun shone through the windows, dyeing Shinonome's profile with a shade of orange.

The languid expression Shinonome had should have been no different from what I typically see on her face. But for some strange reason, and I'm not sure if it was the rays of the setting sun or the emotions I was experiencing at that moment; either way, that profile of hers looked especially stunning.

"No, that's not it. Sure......."

"Really?"

"There's nothing in my house though, so if you're okay with that......"

Shinonome smiled and said,

"Thank you."

If that is all it takes to make her happy, I'm fine with it as well. Shinonome then added,

"I was thinking of writing a scene where the character goes to her friend's house to play, but I lack such an experience...... I'm really appreciative of your help this time."

Shinonome then resumed viewing the scenery outside of the cabin.

I was slightly dejected as I stared at Shinonome's profile.

I spent the whole day holding hands with Shinonome, so I thought there was some psychological connection between us. However, in Shinonome's eyes, everything we had done was all for her 'work'. I had forgotten about that cleanly.

The word 'friend' that Shinonome said earlier was ringing in my ears.

Seriously, Shinonome didn't have a single clue.

But still, the most clueless person is me.

What exactly...... am I expecting from Shinonome?

7 comments:

  1. Painful at it is. I still smiling endlessly reading this chapter.

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  2. Painfully sweet. Living in denial is such fun!

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  3. Thanks, i really enjoy reading this chapter.
    Just pointing out, it should be "appreciative of" instead of "appreciative for", dying & dyeing have different meanings.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the correction...though I'm not too sure about your supporting analogy o.o; In any case, I get your point and thanks ^^ Hope you enjoy the chapters to come as well xD

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    2. Ah sorry, i should've included the full sentences:
      - That was when the rays of the setting sun shone through the windows, dying Shinonome's profile with a shade of orange.
      - "I was thinking of writing a scene where the character goes to her friend's house to play, but I lack such an experience...... I'm really appreciative of your help this time."

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    3. ah...lol....my bad too for missing that xD thanks for pointing that out, fixed!

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