“…Pardon my intrusion.”
Amane entered Mahiru’s house for the first time, and marveled as he saw the living room that was cleaned and devoid of unnecessary items.
The decors of the room were a white and light green base, nary any unnecessary items, and was decorated just as she liked it.
It was the first time he was entering a girl’s house, and though he was initially nervous, his anxiety appeared to be eased somewhat once he saw how neat it was.
“Please enter. It may be a little messy though.”
“You sure you can say that if we compare to my house a year ago?”
Mahiru led Amane into the house, and the latter gave a wry smile at those remarks. Mahiru recalled the devastation that was his house back then, and shrugged in exaggeration.
“Well, that does not count. Do reflect back on how messy it was.”
“Ugh, I can’t deny that.”
“You are the one who mentioned that first. Given that you are working hard to maintain the current situation, I would say that if there is anything to mention…hmm, you do casually toss your dirty clothes into the basket, and sometimes drop it on the floor. It is best of you to change this.”
“Yep, better take note.”
“That is good.”
Amane usually would not allow Mahiru to wash his clothes, but she did see how he handled his laundry. Amane would flip his socks and clothes appropriately before dropping it into the laundry basket, but it seemed there were other aspects he had to pay attention to.
Amane quietly noted to himself these issues he had to take note of, and as he continued chatting with Mahiru, he was no longer as tense. Once again, he looked towards her house.
Her furniture was arranged neatly, as expected, and that was what he felt on first glance. It seemed so orderly, and so balanced, like a magazine.
And thus, he felt something was amiss.
“Well, your house looks pretty, but…”
“It feels devoid of life?”
Mahiru asked with a wry smile before Amane could say so, and he awkwardly averted his eyes.
Yes, the house was neat, and cleaned thoroughly…but it did not feel as though someone lived there.
Typically put, a house would show a person’s interests and living habits, but there was nary of that. A simple word, cleanliness, would suffice.
“It is fine. I too feel the same. And I have been spending more time at your place, excluding sleeping time.”
“I really have been spending time at your place. Nothing much changed ever since that major cleaning.”
Speaking of which, Mahiru hardly spent time at her own place. She had been at Amane’s place before they dated, and moreso after.
Since she spent so much time at his place, her presence at this place would seem diluted. She really liked cleanliness, and thus all presence of life would be all the more nonexistent.
Amane felt warm and fuzzy within once he realized once again that Mahiru was next to him. Mahiru then took a step closer, and looked at his face.
“…So, your house is my house too. You have to keep things clean, no?”
Amane was flustered to see Mahiru’s bubbly smile, and stammered.
She nodded happily, for his reaction seemed to be within expectations, and invited him into her room. It was the toughest test of the day, and would test his endurance.
He passed the living room, but it was to be expected that he would be nervous about entering the room she usually slept in.
He entered, and found it to be the same as the living room, white and light green, and yet a little more glamorous.
Just like Mahiru, the bookshelf was filled with textbooks and culinary books.
There was a doll placed on a glass desk, the doll Amane won at the game center. The bear doll he gave her for her birthday was on the bed, along with a few other prizes won from the game center.
They had no notable names, but the dolls were certainly cute enough.
Amane remembered seeing a glimpse of Mahiru’s room when Chitose did a live video call at Mahiru’s place. However, seeing it for himself was a completely different experience.
His breathing was a little frantic due to his anxiety.
The indescribable feminine sweet scent got stronger. It was a little different from the one on Mahiru, but smelled good all the same.
“Please wait here. You can read any book you wish.”
One had to wonder if Mahiru was nervous, for she did not express so, and let Amane wait while acting normally. On a side note, Amane had taken a bath beforehand, so he was going to wait for her.
They had no plans thereafter, but he was really restless at the prospect of waiting for his girlfriend at her house while she was bathing.
For the time being, he knelt on the carpet, and straightened his back. She gently chuckled, took out two sets of clothes, and dangled them before Amane.
“…Just to ask, which of these do you prefer?”
Generally speaking, the two sets of clothes were nightwear, but they were so different.
The first was made of white and pink fabrics, for indoor usual. The top was a long-sleeved hoodie, accompanied with shorts. The cute design certainly had a girlish feel to it.
The other was a white baby doll dress with laces and ribbons.
It was not transparent, but it certainly exposed more than the other clothes. There was hardly a gap at the chest, and it covered half her thighs or so.
Nevertheless, part of the décolletage and the upper arms were exposed. Surely it would expose more compared to the clothing she wore at Amane’s place.
Amane was stunned to see the two clothes, and Mahiru smiled. One had to wonder what her intent was.
“I thought I should let you choose since you are here. You would be happier.”
“I-I think you can wear anything you want.”
“Well, I want to wear something you like. I shall wear whatever you prefer.”
It seemed Mahiru really wanted Amane to choose.
He had a look.
There was no doubt both really suited her well. Truth be told, he could not imagine any clothes that would not suit her.
However, his thought was that the loose indoor clothing might be more appropriate for Chitose than Mahiru.
He felt that the feminine, mature look baby doll dress would suit her better.
But he had a feeling it would be a bad thing to choose that.
She should understand that I don’t mean anything, but my sanity will suffer.
They would snuggle together for an entire night, and those clothes would give rise to many problems. Mahiru would feel awkward to cling together, and he would be bothered if he imposed his frustrations on her.
He had a little desire to see her in the baby doll dress, but he pointed towards the warm, comfy indoor clothes. …th-the loose one, so he said, and Mahiru giggled.
“I shall wear this then.”
Mahiru then lifted the matured looking baby doll dress, and kept the loose indoor clothing in the closet.
“So what’s the point of me choosing?”
“I had a feeling that you probably would choose that since it reveals little, but will prefer this instead, and only eschewed so out of embarrassment. It is obvious from your attitude and averting eyes.”
She was so correct, and Amane was speechless, his lips quivered.
“…You didn’t have to ask if you know that.”
“Fufu, I wish to know what you like, Amane-kun. I was just checking.”
This affirmation truly was bad for his heart. His heart and stomach were wincing away.
She chose it out of consideration for Amane however, and he was delighted. His lips were merely quivering, neither smiling nor cringing.
“I shall take a bath then.”
She ignored the conflicting emotions in his heart, and simply left the room. Amane knelt in the room, humming away, and heard footsteps through the door, panicking even.
Mahiru might have been acting calm, and was really conscientious inside. Amane felt a lot relieved, but he had second thoughts since it was so awkward, and his body was searing.
Amane purged away the imagination of Mahiru in swimwear as he knelt on the floor, waiting for her to be done bathing.