Ever since Amane began his part-timer life, the question would be if he spent the rest of his time with Mahiru; the answer would be, no
Mahiru had her own life, and sometimes, she would want to be alone, or go out with others. Mahiru had been planning something behind Amane’s back recently, so on days when he did not have to work, he could rest at home until dinner time after school, or hang out with Itsuki and the others.
“You sure you’ll be fine hanging out with us, newlywed? Your wife won’t get jealous?”
Itsuki invited Amane out with Kadowaki, and they went to a coffee chain to try out a new product. They ordered a takeaway, and ate at a park near the station when Itsuki suddenly said so.
“Who’s the newly? Anyway, I can hang out during my own free time. I’m hanging out with guy friends, not girls. Just hanging out.”
“Ow, you say you’re just hanging out with me…!?”
“What, you’re the one who invited me out…if we’re really talking about that definition of hanging out, that’s impossible for me.”
Itsuki sounded like Amane was a serial cheater, and wriggled his body about. The latter rolled his eyes back at Itsuki, who quickly reverted back, and nodded away, giving the look of one who knew everything.
“Of course. You two are so hot for each other, there’s no way for us to interrupt.”
“First of all, you got Chitose. Secondly, I don’t need you.”
“Well, you’re the interfering one, Itsuki.”
“That’s harsh of you, Yuuta?”
Kadowaki coldly noted as he drank the new limited edition frozen shake, ignoring Itsuki’s words completely with a stoic look.
It’s November, it’s cold out there, it’s amazing that he could think of having a cold drink outdoors. So Amane thought as he sipped a hot match latte he ordered.
Itsuki realized that nobody took his side, made a fake cry that lasted for ten seconds or so, and acted as though nothing happened as he heartily drank the limited edition sweet potato latte.
“Well, that aside, you can hang out with us, but you’re not tired?”
“If I’m already tired, Kadowaki would already be worn out every day.”
“Hmm, I do get enough rest even at the club, and it’s not as mentally taxing as serving customers. After all, I like to run. You sure you don’t get stressed at work, Fujimiya?”
“Still hanging on. I don’t really like to deal with customers, but they’re usually older, and rather matured. The seniors at the workplace treat me well, and they do teach me carefully. The only stress I have is that I’m not doing well enough, not because of the environment.
It had not been a month since he started work, yet he felt it was the right choice to have Kido recommend him to work here.
His service skills would be of use in the future, and he was grateful that the colleagues were all kind,
Truth be told, half of a successful job was the colleagues. Amane was thus grateful to Kido for recommending a workplace where everyone was kind.
Better thank her again next time, Amane swore, shook the round paper cup, and shrugged.
“I think it’s a pity to give me such a good workplace.”
“That’s a good thing. A work environment’s very important. A workplace where everyone is disposable doesn’t sound good.”
“Nobody would ever work at such a place. Even part-timers have a choice to choose. The body and soul is more important, and Mahiru would most likely hate such a workplace.”
“She really loves you.”
“…I don’t think that has anything to do with what we said, right?”
He just wanted to say that, right? Amane glanced aside at Kadowaki, who grinned away. Feeling ticklish, Amane turned his head aside.
“Say, your workplace is a cafe right, Amane?”
“Yeah, the target group’s mainly the rich. Decent food and drinks, feels like it’s worth the money.”
“Anyone tried to woo you there, Amane? It’s common.”
“What’s your idea of a cafe…anyway, no. Some calm married women call me cute, most probably in the clumsy sense. They look at me like I’m a grandson or something.”
There were quite a few ladies and gentlemen who would give the unacquainted new staff some warm, gentle smiles. The young would not usually visit, so he never was wooed before.
Also, there were other well-tempered and good looking staff. If anyone really wanted to woo, they would be the first targets.
The most Amane experienced was a really old grandmother who said slowly, “I really want to introduce my granddaughter to you”. Of course, Amane cautiously refused due to his girlfriend
“Looks like you’re very popular with the elderly, Fujimiya. You’re usually poised and polite after all.
“I’m serving customers. I can’t be careless…well, given the customer base, I guess a quiet, unimpressive person like me might be easier to talk to. It often happened.”
“Aren’t you the popular one then?”
“Just to chit chat. Age and gender didn’t matter. It’s common for staff to chat with the customers in the cozy atmosphere when we have the time.”
Luckily, it was not the atmosphere of a usual coffee chain. It was a space for calm and peace, one suited for chatting. It was established by the many poised old customers.”
“It’s interesting to imagine you being popular with the housewives who got nothing to do.”
“Say…that has nothing to do with this. That’s rude to them. Don’t get any funny ideas.”
“Feels like there’s really a possibility. It’s a little scary.”
“You too, Kadowaki…?”
Et tu? So Amane gave a dumbfounded look, but he saw a more serious look than he imagined, that’s impossible, and he hastily insisted.
In any case, he had a girlfriend he liked, and pledged his future to her. He could no longer promise any other woman, and believed that he had no interest in them. Surely they would hope Amane would not misunderstand so.
Goodness…Amane sighed, Itsuki shrugged, and looked at the watch on his wrist.
“Hm, time’s up.”
“The time to borrow you, you know?”
It was true that Amane belonged to Mahiru, but Mahiru was not the possessive kind, and she probably would not be jealous about him hanging out with his male friends. So he thought, “Ahh, yes.” but Kadowaki too noted so,, which left Amane perturbed.
“It’s past 5, but it gets dark early, and colder. How about we split for now? You got other stuff to do once you get back after all.”
“Alright, dismissed. It’s freezing.”
Itsuki suddenly dismissed them, turned towards the entrance of the park, wanting to leave immediately. However, he then turned back towards Amane.
“I got lots of stuff to ask you tomorrow. Prepare yourself.”
Itsuki said something ridiculous out of a sudden, and hurriedly left. While Amane looked dumbfounded, “Same here. See you tomorrow.” Kadowaki too showed a wry look before heading off.
Amane felt a little conflicted at how he was left behind, and remained confused as he proceeded on his way back.