A Present Full of Love
It is pitch-dark outside.
The sound of joyful voices echoing in the darkness.
It is a party for the Outdoor Club, which has successfully completed its preparations and sold itself as a recruiting party.
However, the people gathered here are all adults who cannot drink alcohol.
Although the age of adulthood has been lowered, it is still a rule in this country that drinking and smoking must be done after the age of 20.
Well, there are some who break the rule, but at least it is not broken here.
According to Yashiro, the senior members want to keep the activities clean with the motto, “If you talk and talk without alcohol, you can get along with each other.”
“Yo, Yuki. Come with me for a bit. I’ll show you how great it is to drink coffee outdoors.”
“The others didn’t show any interest?”
He invited me.
I was sure that was probably because everyone else was so reluctant to join him.
“As expected of my junior. I’m a pitiful senior. Come hang out with me for a while.”
“Yes, yes. I understand.”
The two of us spread out a small table and chair at a little distance from each other and sat down.
Coffee bean grinder? Yashiro-senpai set the coffee grinder to grind the coffee beans into a fine powder.
“Yashiro-senpai. Can’t you just use instant coffee?”
“Oh, you say such a terrible thing casually, don’t you? Oh, no. You know, this is what makes it so much fun, right? Go ahead, grind the coffee beans.”
He gave me a coffee grinder to grind the coffee beans.
I grab the handle of the grinder and turned it. It’s was quite awkward, since I could only use one hand now.
“Even so, isn’t it a little uncomfortable to grind?”
“Hmm? I use it every time I go camping. When I bought it, it grounded the beans much smoother.”
“Why don’t you buy a new one?”
“It still works, doesn’t it? I bought it with my first salary as a part-time worker. I’m very attached to it.”
He bought it with his first paycheck from his part-time job.
Even if it is a little rickety, there is a certain elegance in continuing to use it until it breaks.
“That spirit. Let me learn from you.”
“That’s disgusting. You’re not the type to talk like that.”
“Well, well, well. People change, don’t they?”
Then Yashiro-senpai put the beans I had grinded on the filter and brewed coffee using the hot water that was boiling on the tabletop.
“Here you go. It’s hot, so be careful.”
With that said, I sipped the freshly brewed coffee offered to me.
I felt the bitterness in my mouth.
“It’s not as bitter as instant…”
“Oh, you noticed? That’s right. Unlike instant powder, coffee made with ground beans is not overly bitter unless it is made by someone who is not very good at making it.”
And the aroma is good.
Unlike instant coffee, the aroma that penetrated my nose was lighter.
There is no sugar, milk, or anything else in this coffee.
I used to avoid black coffee because it is bitter and not sweet, but with this I can drink it.
In addition, even though it is spring, the nights are still cool.
Combined with the coolness, the warm coffee made my heart warm and fuzzy.
“It’s nice, isn’t it? Drinking coffee outside.”
“Right? Do you want to drink it black all the way through? There’s sugar and milk, just in case.”
“I’m going to drink it black all the way through.”
The sky is as black as the coffee.
Small lights shining in dots.
Coffee tastes even better than usual when you drink it while looking at it and talking with your senpai.
“Oh, man~. You’re a stiff, you’re married.”
“Married early. The heat may cool off fast. Take care of your wife, will you?”
“I’ve heard that if you get married too early, you’re more likely to get divorced. Even if they don’t tell me, I’ll be careful not to be attached to her.”
“Oh, yeah. Don’t let her fall out of love with you too soon. I can see that you’re really in love with her when you say things like that so that she won’t get attached to you too soon. Well, your family doesn’t have a lot of money, does it? What about rings and stuff?”
I bought wedding rings.
We put it away for safekeeping, but neither of us wear it on our fingers.
Basically, we decided that if we had to talk about it, and if we were asked, we would tell them that we were married.
However, if we are not asked, we are not going to tell them.
We don’t want to be questioned if we wear wedding rings and are married.
Now, if I tell my senpai that I bought wedding rings, he will wonder where I got the money for them. I should say, “I didn’t buy any wedding rings.”
“I didn’t buy any wedding rings.”
“Well, what about the engagement ring?”
“Not yet, either.”
“Well, it’s a student marriage. But you should still buy her a proper one someday, right?”
We do have wedding rings, but I don’t have an engagement ring.
But I don’t have an engagement ring.
I can buy it for her if I use lottery money, but …
“I’ll definitely buy it for her someday. Firmly with my own hands.”
“That’s a lovey-dovey couple indeed. Well, your wife’s birthday is coming up. I know you can’t buy her an engagement ring or a wedding ring, but are you thinking of getting her anything?”
Suzuka’s birthday is coming up.
Since we won the lottery, I can buy anything I want to buy.
But … I came upon an idea when I was talking to my senpai.
“Senpai…, you said the other day that you were short on staff, right?”
Thus I started working toward Suzuka’s birthday.
I was slouched in the living room, letting my body rest on the table.
If I had to describe me in one word right now, I’d say I’m in a depressed mood.
Because, because … Yuki hasn’t been very open with me lately.
The front door opened, probably because Yuki had come home.
He clearly looked tired as he said.
“Welcome home. You want to take a bath, don’t you?”
I help him with the bath, which has become a routine for me.
While doing so, I ask him why he is home late.
This is probably the fourth time I’ve done this, but I can’t help but ask…
“Why did you suddenly start working part-time? Couldn’t you have waited until your hand was healed too?”
I don’t understand well.
I really don’t understand why Yuki suddenly started working part-time.
Because we don’t need the money.
Besides, it would have been better to wait until his hand healed, but for some reason he was in a hurry to start working part-time.
“Hmm? Well, it’s just a whim.”
I said so, but I was in a strange mood.
No way, he doesn’t want to be with me, so he’s working part-time to kill time!?
I washed Yuki’s head with a pessimistic look on my face.
“You scrub a little too hard. What if I go bald when I’m young?”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. By the way, were you busy today?”
“I’m just tired from doing something I’m not used to doing.”
“I see. Then, after taking the bath, you’ll go to bed?”
“I guess so. I have a first period lecture tomorrow.”
Then after Yuki got out of the bath, I got cleaned up too.
We both got ready for bed and went to bed.
Hehe, even though I’m used to it, I’m happy to sleep with Yuki~.
But, but, but…
“… Sooo, sooo…”
“Why are you suddenly working part-time and working hard until you’re exhausted …?”
I just got into bed and poked Yuki’s cheek, who fell asleep right away.
I’m not sure if Yuki is interested in me anymore… No, I somehow know that’s not true, but come on.
I know that’s not true. I’m not sure what he’s trying to do.
“Haa… I’m going to sleep too.”
I meditated and let sleepiness take over my body.
I don’t have a first period lecture, but I get up early to make breakfast for Yuki.
Today it’s French toast.
I bought honey and good bread.
As I was making the French toast, Yuki came into the kitchen.
“Good morning~ Today’s French toast, okay?”
“Ohhh. You’re as enthusiastic as ever today, aren’t you?”
“Right? Let’s eat.”
Breakfast for two.
Yuki finished eating and got ready to go to the university.
“I’ll see you later.”
Seeing Yuki leave, I closed the front door.
“… Boo. It’s my birthday today and you didn’t say anything to me.”
I was anxiously waiting for it now, but he didn’t even say ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.
I am not sure if it might be me.
I’m not sure if Yuki has really given up on me…
No, no, that can’t be true.
There’s nothing to be dissatisfied with…
Isn’t it still unsatisfactory for Yuki that they don’t have any night activities?
But Yuki said he won’t touch her until his right hand heals, so maybe not.
“I don’t get it! Yuki baka!!”
I was thrashing around on the bed.
Then I went to the university because I had a lecture from the second period.
I didn’t have any lectures with Yuki today, so we didn’t talk at the university and came home as usual.
Yuki had until 3rd period and I had until 5th period.
He should have come home before me, so he should have said “Happy Birthday” to me, right?
With my chest buzzing, I fearfully open the door leading to the living room.
A loud sound descended on me.
“Suzuka. Happy birthday!”
“Eh, ah, eh?”
Surprised by the cracker that was suddenly sounded, I looked at the table in the living room.
Then, what’s going on, there was a feast lined up that had been bought from somewhere.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you in the morning when you were expecting me to come all the way and wish you a happy birthday. I just wanted to surprise you.”
“BAKA! Yuki Baka!!”
I smacked Yuki.
Because, because, because I’m so happy.
I didn’t expect to be celebrated like this, so I can’t help it.
Fidgeting, he handed me a present that had come out of his pocket.
I wondered what was inside.
I watched Yuki’s reaction as he handed it to me shyly and opened the parcel.
Inside was a necklace.
It was a cute, reasonably priced, youth-oriented necklace that would look good on me.
“Thank you so much! I’m so happy!”
“It makes me happy to hear you say that. It makes all my hard work worth it.”
“That’s why I’ve been working part-time lately. I also wanted to buy you something nice with the lottery money. But I wanted to give you a present with the money I earned myself.”
“…What’s that? I’m sobbing. Ugh, oh, no, I’m starting to cry.”
“Oh, come on. Is it that much?”
“That much? You can’t use your right hand, but you started a part-time job. I thought it might be because you don’t want to be with me. I’m such an idiot for thinking that…”
I hugged Yuki while crying.
I also expressed my feelings to Yuki, who went out of his way to give me a gift on my birthday, not with the money we won in the lottery, but with the money he earned himself.
“Hehehe~, I love you!”