Amane returned home, and Mahiru welcomed him, as usual.
The difference was that she was smiling, her eyes excited, and her smile a lot calmer and gentler. Her slightly blushing cheeks showed her joy.
“Welcome back, Amane-kun.”
“I’m back. You’re in a good mood.”
Mahiru’s good mood was really worth celebrating, but Amane had no idea as to why she was so happy. Usually, she would welcome him with a beaming smile, but he had never
He did not know the reason, and naturally, was troubled. One had to wonder if she noticed his troubled thoughts, for her smile intensified.
“…Looks like you never noticed anything the entire day, Amane-kun.”
“I am speechless that you never noticed what day it is today…it is your birthday today, Amane-kun?”
Mahiru said, looking a little flabbergasted, ah, and Amane blurted out.
“Goodness, Amane-kun…happy birthday, Amane-kun.”
“…I forgot about it. I didn’t really pay attention to myself.”
It would be weird to say that he recalled once Mahiru said so, but he had completely forgotten about it, and never realized so.
Mahiru did not know his birthday the previous year, and over the past few weeks, Amane had used a lot of brainpower getting used to this unfamiliar workplace, sparing the rest of his efforts on daily muscle training, jogging, and revision. He had completely forgotten about his birthday.
In any case, to Amane, his birthday was a milestone, but he was oblivious to it, and did not have any plans to celebrate it. It might be a reason why he forgot.
His parents would celebrate this for him back home, but ever since he lived alone, he never thought about it, until this point.
“It is not insignificant, you know? I am grateful for the day you are born. Without you, I can never really trust and love a single person.”
Mahiru grimaced at Amane’s forgetfulness, and she gently raised his hand.
“Because of you, I know that love truly exists, Amane-kun, and this is why I am so happy. Your birth is something I am really grateful for.”
Her eyes were radiating a warm light unlike their initial encounter, and they stared at him.
The intertwined hand was warm. It felt as though Mahiru’s passion towards him was contained in this hand, a peaceful, cozy warmth.
“Thank you very much, for being born. for meeting me.”
She was really delighted, her voice and clearly expressed so, and Amane felt his cheeks searing.
He learned it was possible for the body to feel hot after being thanked and blessed. It was until his encounter with Mahiru that it was not an annoying feeling, but a different one, a fluffy one.
Amane was the blessed one to be thought so highly.
“…I’m the one to be grateful that you think of me so much, and even celebrate this with me.”
He did not know how to convey this warmth and the emotions, so he stammered to convey his thanks. Mahiru then said bashfully.
“I prepared a little feast for you today. Please look forward to it. And, before we eat…there are two things I want to apologize for.”
Things to apologize for? Amane tilted his head, and Mahiru lowered her eyes awkwardly.
“Erm, you noticed that I have been fidgeting around. I am sorry for causing you unrest.”
“Ah, that…well, looking at it, it’s obvious. I don’t think you’ll do anything cruel about me. I”m just worried if I did anything bad.”
“I do not think you would do anything to me. However, I caused you worry because I cannot really hide things…I am sorry for hiding something from you, Amane-kun.”
Mahiru probably wanted to surprise Amane, to prepare for his birthday, which was why she had that attitude. She really could not hide it from him, and felt guilty as a result.
It was cute that she was hiding something, and for Amane’s sake. He had no intention to blame her.
“I don’t mind that…and what’s the other?”
“Erm…I-I was preparing for your birthday secretly, and everyone seemed to have understood me, so they never said to you all to create this surprise. Actually, I wanted to celebrate this with everyone at school, but because of me, it affected the blessing you should have received on this day, Amane-kun…”
“Ah so that’s how it is…”
Both Itsuki and Chitose knew of his birthday, and they were the type to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Thus, since they never spoke up, it became a big reason as to why Amane forgot about his own birthday.”
They did not say anything so as to go along with Mahiru’s plans, and Itsuki’s invite after school was probably to delay Amane.
Those guys, so he muttered, but he knew how gentle his voice sounded at this point.
He was at a loss on how to deal with the apologetic Mahiru, so he gently tapped her head while she looked down.
“Hm, to be honest, I don’t really mind about date, location, or whether I was though. I already forgot everything about it. It’s not that we have to celebrate, today, right? Those guys are being caring for our sake.”
“I’m not really sure, but they probably think that you planning this birthday celebration will be the biggest happiness I can get, so they teamed up to hide this from me.”
The assistance to Mahiru this time was their way of celebrating Amane’s birthday.
Even if he did not receive their blessings on that day, he did not mind. He already understood that they sent their best wishes towards him.
“I know I’m really fortunate to have such caring friends around me, and it’s really a blessing. We don’t have to celebrate immediately. I don’t gauge our friendship based on whether they looked for me.”
The manner of celebration differed per person. If this was how they would celebrate, Amane felt that was fine.
He felt there were no words or things to reliably gauge a person, and the relationships formed were not that shallow. Their goodwill was more than enough
Mahiru looked a little devastated however. Amane showed a wry smile as he gently patted her head, and peered at her face.
“And it looks like I’ll be surrounded tomorrow…you have me to yourself today, so when they ask tomorrow, I got something to brag, okay?”
Amane joked with a chuckle, and it seemed Mahiru did not expect so, for she too smiled, and put her face into Amane’s chest.