It was the day after they started dating, and Amane looked towards Mahiru, who sat next to him as usual.
They had the day off after the sports festival, and it was usual for her to drop by. She frequented his house before they were dating, so there was no special change. It was a natural situation before him.
Naturally, Mahiru sat next to Amane, and read the textbook found in his house.
Yes, everything went as normal.
…But seriously, what do we do after we start dating?
Amane had no dating experience, and Mahiru was his frist lover.
It was the same for Mahiru, but given their similar experiences, it was natural for the male to desire to lead.
Even if he wanted to lead however, he had no such knowledge.
He did not have much interest in other people because of what happened in the past. Amane was one with relatively few desires for a boy, and he never dreamed of actually dating a girl.
Tragically, all his passion was spent on studies and hobbies, and he lacked the crucial knowledge.
If he had played a few gal games, he might have some dating knowledge. He had no such interest however, and did not know anything.
He knew little. He only knew that dating couples would hold hands, go on dates, kiss each other on the lips, and once they got closer, would bond physically.
Amane could not possibly bring himself to suddenly kiss her, let alone hold hands and go on dates.
In that case, the conclusion was, why don’t we go on dates? This was not what it meant to be dating however.
He wanted Mahiru to be happy, and to be happy with her. The fatal lack of such knowledge left him in a little despair.
If it were Itsuki or Kadowaki, they could probably guide him along smoothly.
At this point, he was really envious of those two who were more gifted than him in many ways.
“Is anything troubling you?”
While Amane pinpointed his deficiencies in his mind, Mahiru went to speak to him, perhaps having noticed him.
“Ah, erm, uh, yeah.”
“If you do not mind, you may discuss it with me, you know?”
Mahiru did not understand what Amane was troubled about as she smiled and put the hand on her chest, giving a confident look to leave matters to her.
Amane was embarrassed to ask her as it too was her first time dating. As his first date however, he thought it would be fine to talk with her. It might be better for both of them to discuss this through, than for him to brood alone.
“You know, we’re…dating now, right?”
“…What do we do exactly for dating?”
Amane knew how stupid his question was, but he was serious.
“E-erm, it is the first time I am dating someone…and I do not read shoujo manga or love novels or the like. I am not certain of how it should go.”
“…Th-that makes sense.”
Of course, Mahiru too had no relationship with the males, or rather, she spent days not having any interest in them. Once she heard his frustrations, she looked a little troubled.
“Have you thought of anything?”
“…Like holding hands?”
“We’ve been holding hands.”
“Spending our vacation together?”
“Going out together?”
“We did it.”
Unfortunately, Mahiru’s knowledge was about as much as Amane, and the examples she raised were what they did before.
It was no wonder that if anyone was to ask Amane what would lovers do, he could not think of it immediately.
What do lovers do exactly…Amane wondered, and sighed. Mahiru timidly tugged at his sleeve.
He did not know what was going on as he looked towards Mahiru again, and found her blushing for some reason.
“…Erm, it is hard for me to say so, embarrassingly so…bu-but have we been doing lover acts even when we were not dating…?”
Silence beckoned upon Mahiru’s words.
…Now that we mention it. No, wait, we’ve been doing this without saying it outright…!?
Both of them naturally lived together in the same space, held hands, and went dating, so they did not realize these were acts usually done by couples who were rather close to each other.
No, Amane might have known right from the beginning, but he paid no mind to them as he was too used.
“I-I too have been working hard, to get you to look back at me…but, these really are things, lovers do, if I think about it.”
“…N-now that you mention it…”
“So, how about we act like normal, rather than have this unnatural understanding that we are lovers…well, we just need to touch each other every day, spend each day together. That is good for us. There is no need to beat around the bush. Let us just go at our own pace…is it okay, to continue dating like this…?”
At our own pace. These words resonated hard in Amane’s heart.
…We don’t really have to restrict ourselves to this.
Amane was anxious, wondering what were acts between lovers, but he really did not need to. Mahiru liked Amane, and Amane liked Mahiru, which was why they dated. This was the only fact they needed.
They did not have to force themselves, and just needed to spend time understanding each other. That was all.
“I guess. Sorry, I just feel…I’m not taking it easy at all. I don’t know what to do for our first date.”
“…Erm, in other words…even though we’ll be the same as before…I’ll do so while expressing my feelings for you.”
He wrapped her hand, her palm. Her blushing face looked a little red.
She bashfully lowered her eyelids, and held his palm back, leaning onto his elbow.
“…I am happy with just this.”
Amane muttered in agreement, and silently enjoyed the warmth next to him.