“How long has it been since I received a birthday present?”

Mahiru searched her hazy memories as she cupped the teddy bear on her knees, muttering to herself in her room. She never informed others of her birthday, and felt that it was not worth celebrating. When she was younger, she told her friends that if she was asked about the presents and celebrations she received, she would stop talking to them.

Later on, she stopped talking about these things altogether.

Her parents never celebrated her birthday, though they did give her a present, a letter, a few notes of five-digits yen. She had hope, and opened it to find such practical things which should not be given to children. She remembered being utterly shocked by this, and felt despair by how her parents were so callous towards her.

For this reason, she would not mention her own birthday, and even if anyone else were to ask, she would keep evading the topic.

She did not want others to know that nobody celebrated her birthday, that her parents disowned her. The older she grew, the more people tried to appeal to her, and she started to find presents a taboo.

(…He is weird.)

She chuckled, recalling how bashful Amane was. She initially regretted the mistake of letting him know of her birthday, wondering why she did so, and was furious at why she did so to him, of all people. However, she knew it was unreasonable to be angry at him, and once she familiarized herself with his gruff attitude and his distinct kindness, the negative emotions she harbored vanished.

Over the months they spent together, she recognized his contradicting personality of being forthright and dishonest, and also that he was caring for others, his kindness and understanding that were usually unnoticed by others. She felt he was born with these attributes, and when he occasionally talked about his family, she sensed that it was a result of his nurturing.

(–Such a happy family.)

“I am so envious.” so she said, before swallowing the rest of her words as she looked down at the teddy bear she received. Its eyes were round, its face was adorable, and its body was pudgy like a cub. It was truly distinct. Might be awkward for a high school boy to buy such a thing.

He bought this for her, not because she was the Angel, but that he was well taken care of by the person called Mahiru Shiina. It was the first time she received a present given out of complete goodwill, and it delighted her.

She stared at the bear, the button eyes reflecting her image, her expression gentler than she imagined. She felt ever so calm, partially because the bear was so cute, and also because of how Amane treated her, as an ordinary person, and it brought her comfort.

The teddy bear was large enough to be embraced in her clutches. While carrying it, she rolled about on the bed, the texture and sturdiness built to perfection. She looked at the cute teddy bear in her clutches, and grabbed it firmly, not letting go.

(…I shall make omelettes for him tomorrow then.)

Amane never actually mentioned it, but he probably loved eggs, given how he looked while eating it. He did not want to owe any favor, but she decided to make one egg dish the next day for him, and imitate his nonchalant look as a little memory.

She imagined him gobbling down the omelette with a scowling face, and her lips naturally curled into a smile.

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