“You’re really going back, huh?”
Shihoko stood at the gantry where she welcomed them back, clearly disappointed as she muttered away.
“Alright alright.” Next to her, Shuuto coaxed an obviously forlorn looking Shihoko.
Amane and Mahiru had stayed longer than they planned, and they could not leave their houses empty, so they decided to return…to their current homes.
Naturally, Shihoko was looking reluctantly towards where Mahiru was. It seemed she was reluctant about leaving her cute daughter (to-be)
“Apologies, but I do have to return home, and I have other plans…”
“Don’t mind my mom. The sun’s going to set if we keep listening to her rambles.”
“You’re really cold towards your mother, dear…”
“I should be saying that about you, mom. It’s your fault for prioritizing a cute daughter instead of your own son.”
“Of course. It’s obvious I’ll try to keep the adorable, obedient daughter who may not return anytime soon, instead of my own son who can return anytime.”
Amane was in no mood to retort once he heard his mother’s flat out rebuttal.
He could understand what Shihoko was trying to convey, but he felt mentally exhausted, and that Shihoko’s actions were inappropriate.
Amane glanced discreetly at Shuuto, whose face was giving the kind goodness gracious smile. He could not hope for the latter to stop Shihoko.
Mahiru gave an awkward smile, one that seemed somewhat bashful, for perhaps she was delighted by this.
“E-erm, if there is a chance, may I disturb…”
“Drop by whenever you want! Anytime!”
“Let her finish her words…but thank goodness Mahiru.”
Amane patted Mahiru, who showed an earnest, delighted smile. Shihoko smirked away, and Amane played dumb.
“Well, it’s good that Shiina-san has taken a liking to our house. To be honest, I was wondering what to do if she was always too courteous.”
“I think Mahiru just doesn’t have a chance to refuse since mom’s too enthusiastic, and that’s why she got used to it.”
“Haha, I guess so. Shihoko-san is always so feisty, for good or bad.”
“…Are both of you just roasting me now?”
“I think that is a good point of yours, Shihoko-san, and also what makes you attractive.”
Shihoko immediately went from a pout to a happy smile. Amane gave a wry smile, and lifted his head towards the clock on the wall.
“It’s about time to leave then.”
“Yes, I guess it is time…”
They wanted to hurry and get some early seats, so they had to go their separate ways even though they were reluctant to.
It seemed Amane’s parents understood this. “Do come by next time.” Shihoko’s eyes seemed full of regret when she held Mahiru’s hands, and shook them.
Shuuto in turn gave Shihoko a gentle look, and once again, looked towards Mahiru.
“Thank you for coming by this time, Shiina-san. I’m glad that the house got livelier.”
“Sa-same here. Thank you very much.”
“Fufu. If you argue with Amane, you can just say I’m going home! and escape here.”
“You think I’ll hurt Mahiru that much?”
How rude, Amane gave Shuuto such a glance, and was met with a hearty smile.
“I don’t, and if you do, I will wonder how I educated you. There will be misunderstandings and differences however…and sometimes, you may want to be alone, or rely on an adult. You may drop by anytime if anything happens. We’ll always leave our doors open to you.”
You may drop by anytime, Mahiru’s caramel colored eyes turned moist for a moment, but were filled with delight the next moment.
Amane’s eyes too heated up once he saw an earnest, heartfelt smile.
…I wonder if Mahiru understands a little the happiness of a family
Amane had always thought that it would be great for Mahiru, who hardly lived with any family, to understand various forms of happiness in the future.
He too gave an amicable smile once Mahiru lowered her eyebrows and smile, and gently held her hand.