“Have you locked the door and windows?”
“I did that while you’re looking, right?”
Amane heard Mahiru remind like a teacher at his own corridor, and smiled wryly.
Mahiru usually would not talk this much, but she probably reminded him out of worry, since they would not be home for a long time.
They would visit Amane’s hometown for two weeks from so, starting from this day. Mahiru was worried if anything would happen during this period.
“I did, but I am asking just in case.”
“Right right right. You didn’t forget anything, right?”
“No. I have delivered the necessary luggage, and I did check through my handheld items this morning. I have locked my door and windows, and checked through everything from your trash to the freezer. Please do not worry.”
“Thank you for going all out with this.”
It was almost impossible to carry two weeks worth of luggage over, so they had them delivered by courier, and did not omit anything. Mahiru did drop by to clear Amane’s house, and the latter really could not lift his head towards her.
Feeling grateful that she would notice such minor details, he took Mahiru’s bag off her hands, and held her palm.
She blinked, “This is what I like about you.” and said bashfully, holding his hand.
Amane’s hometown was an hour’s ride on the Shinkansen.
They sat on the seats they booked, chatted happily as they enjoyed the scenery, and soon after, the Shinkansen arrived at its destination.
It had merely been a year since he last saw the scenery that was the train station, but he felt strangely nostalgic. At the same time, he held Mahiru’s hand, and went to the gathering spot they agreed of.
“So this is your hometown, Amane-kun.”
“Yeah. We need to take another train ride though, or a car. I’m still not home yet.”
The Shinkansen was merely a major station for them to alight at. In fact, the journey would require a little more time.
Shihoko, who had time, would be the one to welcome Amane back, so he accepted her goodwill. One could say that she had a simple reason of wanting to meet Mahiru as soon as possible though.
He went over to the big pillar by the ticket gantry, where most people would gather, and spotted his mother far away.
It was still embarrassing for them to hold hands in front of his mother, so he let go of her hand. Mahiru seemed a little disappointed, and so he hastily patted her back.
I haven’t told them we’re dating yet. Please forgive me.
It was already a habit for them to hold hands, and they would always unwittingly do so. He had to take note of this at his old home.
Mahiru seemed a little reluctant, but appeared to understand once she saw Shihoko, and regained her usual expression.
Shihoko too appeared to have noticed them; she made a cheerful, likable smile as she approached.
“It has been been a while.”
“Well well, Mahiru-chan, welcome! You really came here!”
Well, that’s mom for ya. Amane noted wryly, for the first thing Shihoko did was to greet Mahiru.
Mahiru was a little taken aback by Shihoko’s vigor as they had not met in a while, but she bowed her head with a graceful smile and gesture.
“Thank you for your invitation. It is rare to have a family reunion, and I am intruding…”
“No no no it’s fine, we’re the ones who want to see you, Mahiru-chan! We actually wanted to meet you during spring break, but we couldn’t arrange for time…ah, what’s with you, Amane?”
“You’re not going to say a few words to your son?”
“Ohh, welcome back Amane. Thank you for bringing Mahiru-chan along yes.”
Amane was not angry as he knew she was joking, but as he had replied curtly, Shihoko jabbed at him, saying “What are you pouting about. Of course I’m glad to see you back, Amane?”
The smirk left him very frustrated, but it was to be expected.
He waved her hand off, and surveyed his surroundings.
He heard that Shihoko would welcome him back, but surprisingly, Shuuto was not present. Shuuto too should have taken leave, but Amane assumed his parents would show up.
“Shuuto-san’s making lunch now~”
That made sense.
Shuuto liked to cook and serve others, so he probably was preparing various things at home.
“That’s great Mahiru. Dad’s cooking is delicious.”
So he said, but he did not say, it is not better than yours though. Mahiru too showed a faint smile.
“I see. I am looking forward to it.”
“Heh heh. Look forward to our family dishes then.”
“Mom, you should be the one cooking…even though dad’s better.”
“Hey, that’s unnecessary.”
She puffed her cheeks that appeared unbefitting her age. It was true however that Shuuto’s cooking was better.
Shihoko would cook on the weekdays, and Shuuto would cook on the weekend. Shihoko was the more experienced, but Shuuto was still better in skill.
Not that hers was bad, but Amane felt Shuuto’s was better due to flavoring. of course, he was grateful for both of them since there was someone cooking at lest.
“Well, it’s not the first time you’re being dishonest Amane. Let’s go home now. We should be able to arrive at noon if we leave. The car’s here. Let’s go.”
No point talking too much in this station, Shihoko waved and said, heading towards the exit of the station. Amane gave Mahiru a glance.
“Let’s go then.”
Mahiru nodded a little, and Amane held her wrist.
They could not lock fingers, but at the very least, he could excuse himself by saying it was to prevent her from getting lost.
Mahiru widened her eyes, and showed a happy yet somewhat bashful smile as she leaned towards him. Amane too was a little embarrassed as he slowly followed Shihoko.