After karaoke, Amane left Itsuki and the others, and dragged his somewhat tired body home.
Shuuto and Shihoko were already at his place as he had agreed beforehand, and they welcomed Amane and Mahiru with smiles.
“Welcome back. You’re not going to continue celebrating with your friends?”
“I’m worried that we’re stay too late. I don’t want Mahiru to be out there so late at night even though I’m with her, and she did prepare dinner.”
It was a little unnatural that his mother welcomed him home even though he lived alone. The same scenario happened back at his hometown however, and it felt nostalgic.
Mahiru was seemingly accustomed to this for some reason, and accepted this situation. Perhaps it was because she was grateful for what happened over summer vacation, but she seemed elated to see Shihoko, and that was enough to justify his parent’s trip here.
She spoke with Shihoko with a calm expression, and Amane passed her by, headed to his room to get changed. Mahiru had gotten changed in her own house beforehand, and returned to Amane’s place. After he passed through the entrance, Mahiru removed her shoes as usual, and went to the living room with Shihoko.
Amane randomly chose a shirt from the closet, got changed, and went to the living room. He could not see Mahiru there, and the flax-colored hair dangled at the living room.
“Anyway, how about your dinner, mom?”
“We had dinner outside. It was a sudden visit, and I did inform Mahiru-chan ealier.”
“We wanted to stay at a hotel and not disturb you two.”
“Thanks for the concern. I’ll be staying over at Mahiru’s place though.”
There was one more activity for him, to stay over at Mahiru’s place. This might be more important to him than the cultural festival. It was normal for them to not be disturbed, since they were usually alone together.
Shihoko seemed enthused once she heard that he was staying over.
“Oh yes, you did mention that in the day. Staying over tonight?”
“…That’s right. You can sleep around at home.”
“Oh my oh my, heheheh.”
“…What’s with this laugh?”
“Nothing. I’m just guessing that Mahiru-chan will be looking forward to it.”
“Nope, impossible. And don’t poke your nose into your son’s relationship.”
Even if they were going to spend the night together, Mahiru might be all the more anxious if he did anything. Amane did not show it, but he was being more tense than her. He never entered a girl’s room before, let alone his girlfriend’s.
Of course, he could not be saying such things before his parents. He ignored Shihoko’s question, and turned to Shuuto, who smiled back at Amane, clearly showing no intent to advise nor ask. You have quite the good relationship, he stated such a neutral thought.
“Young man, it is fine not to let loose, but I never thought you would make so many friends. It is impressive.”
“Who do you think I am?”
“Haha, well, you wouldn’t blend in if you didn’t actually trust them. I’m relieved to see you on good terms with quite a few of them.”
Amane did inform his parents that he got some acquaintances, but it seemed they were worried until they actually saw it.
“I never heard much about Yuuta-kun from you. Didn’t know you have such a handsome and kind friend.”
“I’m wondering about that too. He’s really a great guy.”
“I think birds of the same feather flock together. It is because you are a good person, Amane-kun.”
Mahiru might have heard the conversation from the living room, and her voice was heard while she chopped the vegetables.
Amane never thought much about being called a good person, but it was true that they got along well. Kadowaki was a boy who garnered the attention of many, but he did not stand out, personality-wise. He was poised, kind, and might have gotten along with Amane, who preferred quiet.
“You’re making it sound like I’m like Itsuki.”
“You two really care for your friends. You’re worried about the Akazawas, and you’re trying to help him, right?”
“Of course. It’s never a bad thing to try and improve relationships.”
Amane had seen his parents love for each other, to the point where they were dubbed the lovebirds. It was from them that he understood their love for their son, and they were probably more amicable than many others.
He had taken his experiences for granted, and though he did not want to impose upon others, he could not help but how that Itsuki’s family could resolve this in some way.
Itsuki’s family situation was not as dire to the point of no return as Mahiru’s. As long as they were allowed, a resolution remained possible.
“Akazawa-san said that you sound dishonest, but he can tell that you are worried about him.”
“I’ll tell him to shut up next time.”
“This is what he is referring to.”
Amane frowned once he heard the giggle. His parents too smile, either because of Amane’s expression or Mahiru’s words. Amane awkward evaded their stares, and sat down on the sofa.
He played dumb, and was met with more laughter. You had enough? He grumbled, and focused his thoughts on the TV airing the variety show.