On White Day itself, Amane looked a little nervous as he waited for Mahiru to arrive.
The mood at school was not as rowdy as Valentine’s, but one could sense the victors looking nervous as they planned to return their gifts, and the girls were all looking forward to it.
Just to note, Kadowaki returned all the girls’ gifts with proper etiquette, and the sweets in total probably cost him tens of thousands of yen, which left Amane flabbergasted.
Amane did not wait to gift Mahiru after school, and was at home instead.
He returned earlier, and was preparing himself mentally, but he was unused to giving a gift, and was tense.
He was not wearing his usual sweater or jersey shorts, but in layers, a grey V neck knitted coat over his white shirt, and chino pants.
He probably would not look as shabby as he usually was, but he was not sure what Mahiru would think, looking at his attire.
While he was restlessly waiting for Mahiru’s arrival, he heard the unlocking of the door from the entrance.
He instinctively straightened his posture, probably out of nervousness.
Like usual, Mahiru unlocked the door with her key, appearing at the living room, and froze once she saw Amane.
“Eh, wh-why that hairstyle?”
“Well, it’s White Day, so I thought I should dress a little formal…I can change it out if you find it weird.”
He managed to shock Mahiru, but it appeared she was not too fond of this getup—so he thought as he got ready to stand up, only to find Mahiru waving her hands, seemingly denying it.
“Th-that is not true. I was just, shocked.”
Mahiru herself looked a little restless, so it seemed the usual hairstyle would have been better off.
She sat down next to him, look very uneasy.
“…I guess I shall change back if you can’t calm down?”
“N-no, that is fine, but…you are just being cool for no reason.”
“What do you mean, no reason?”
“Th-the usual calm mood makes me more relieved…I cannot calm down, like this.”
“I’ll change back then.”
“…That is fine.”
She tugged at his sleeve, and looked up at him.
Her cheeks were slightly red, probably out of shame, and her moist eyes were looking up at him, causing his heart to jump.
She might not have intended it, but she looked really uptight tugging at him while looking up. From up close, a sweet scent could be detected, and it was really tough in various ways.
He was unavoidably aware of this, but Mahiru seemed to have some interest in his attire, wanting him to stay despite fidgeting about. Both of them blushed, feeling extremely awkward.
Looking aside, “O-oh.” He clumsily answered, and then tried to pass it off as he took the paper bag next to him, shoving it onto her.
“Here, the return gift. Don’t be too hopeful about what’s inside.”
“…Thank you very much. May I open it?”
He was embarrassed to have his present opened before her, but he did not stop her.
He bought a velvet box to make it look presentable, and put the gift inside. However, he did not think the box matched the contents, and it seemed he might have overdone it this time.
With her white fingertips, Mahiru opened the dark blue box, and inside it was the pink gold bracelet he bought days ago, along with a folded piece of paper.
Mahiru did not like anything ostentatious, so he chose something simplistic, the flower motif bracelet.
The bracelet had crystal glass draped at various places, and it was a cute, elegant design.
Her caramel-colored eyes stared at the pink gold glitter upon the bracelet in the box.
“Erm, is it not to your liking?”
“No, it is cute.”
“That’s good. I think it’ll suit you, Mahiru. That’s why I bought it.”
“…Thank you very much.”
It’ll suit you, once she heard those words, she lowered her eyes bashfully.
Such a sight was really doable, and he was left breathless.
“…And, what is this?”
Amane wanted to look aside, but he found his eyes staring at Mahiru. It seemed she noticed the extra gift inside, and he scratched his cheek.
“Ahh, that? No, erm, I thought it wouldn’t be enough, so. I’ve been in your care all this while, so I thought I should grant your wish or something.”
Placed inside was a handmade coupon with the words ‘I’ll do anything you say coupon’, as though he was fooling a child. The coupon could only be used thrice and contained an illustration of a bear Amane drew. He felt he did well with the illustration, at least.
He was usually in her care, so he hoped to grant her little wishes within his capabilities, and gave this coupon as a bonus. He never expected her to focus on the bear he drew, and his shoulders were shaking.
“Fu-fufu, did you draw this, Amane-kun?”
“Shut up, I’m bad at this, okay?”
“No, it is typical of you.”
He frowned as he sensed that she was hinting how bad his drawing was, but once he saw Mahiru’s innocent smile, he had nothing to grumble about.
“…May I use it now?”
He never expected her to use it out of a sudden, but if there was a wish, he hoped to help her fulfill it as long as it was within his capabilities.
So Amane thought as he looked on, and Mahiru looked back at him, holding the bracelet box.
“…Amane-kun, please put this on.”
“You don’t need to use the coupon for this…leave it to me.”
The wish she spoke of was really minor, and Amane gave a wry smile, noting that he would have done so without the coupon.
You could have used it on something more important, Mahiru stated her cute wish so earnestly and adorably, and his face naturally relaxed too.
She reached her hand out, and Amane took the box, put it on his knees, and removed the bracelet.
He heard the soft rubbing of the fine bracelet as he cautiously unlocked it, making sure not to break it, and wrapped it around her wrist.
He carefully locked the jewelry, and the mild colored bracelet glowed slight, seemingly adding colors to Mahiru’s fine wrist.
As expected, this was more appropriate for Mahiru’s white skin.
He felt a reticent, classy item would suit Mahiru’s innocent beauty more than the fancy ornaments, and could proudly say that he chose the right item.
“Yep, it suits you.”
“…Thank you very much”
Thinking that it was not good to keep touching it, Amane let go. Mahiru then brought the bracelet on her wrist to her chest, as though embracing it, showing a gentle smile on her face.
Her face was showing a faint red, her lips curled into a smile. Amane wanted to look away, but was charmed by her and unable to look away.
The sweet innocent smile, different from a full smile, was etched in his mind.
It was a little different from the stunned smile she usually showed, or the pure delight. The beautiful smile was a little tender, but feminine, pretty, and alluring; Amane’s eyes could look nowhere else.
…This is unbearable.
She showed such a smile, this smile alone for him, and he felt unbearable about this fact.
He tried averting his eyes to control his pounding heart, but was unable to do so. Finally, he ended up staring at Mahiru until the latter noticed she was being stared at, and buried her face into the cushion out of embarrassment.