46. Shocked by how dark it is
Natsukawa put down Airi-chan with a worried face saying, ‘You sure…?’, so I gave her a thumb as an ‘Ok’. Airi-chan walked towards me, opening her arms wide while saying ‘One more time〜’. I crouched down to meet her line of sight.
“Alright, here it comes!!─── Oryaaaー!! ah, Rasha-se-!!” [TN: When a customer come into a restaurant in japan, the worker will say this. it’s a short term of ‘Irashaimase’, which mean ‘welcome’ and mostly used by the worker in a ramen shop]
“Stop it, you’re not a part-timer in some ramen shop…”
Airi-chan seemed like she forgot about being sleepy already, and raised a loud happy cheer. All of this was a new experience for me, so when I saw how fragile of an existence she was, I felt the urge to ‘protect her’ dwell up inside of me.
So, is this what it means to be a father…?
“Ah, she ran out of energy.”
After around eight seconds, young lady Airi started to lose her strength.
Perhaps this last ‘dynamic carry’, was out of loneliness rather than actual enjoyment. It was just like when you enjoyed something and suddenly felt, ‘I want to do it once again for the last time’.
Also, seems that humans really became heavier once they ran out of strength. Just because I relaxed my arms, Airi-chan started to lean over. The pressure that I suddenly felt on my chest, it scared me. I couldn’t move freely…
“Well, you can treat her a bit more roughly, don’t worry. Just, I won’t forgive you if you were to drop her.”
“A-ha-ha-ha, I’m just a robot, and it seems there’s a bug in my system.”
“Just because she falls asleep, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to drop her. Airi isn’t a baby, but a young girl. She will not cry because it’s suddenly hot or cold, and she won’t cry even if you interrupt her sleep.”
“Doesn’t mean you’re allowed to cry! And don’t imitate her!”
Oops, not good. Natsukawa’s motherly attribute hit me.
But… as expected, a girl who have a younger sister that still young is amazing. Just by taking care the younger sister every day, the future as a good mom is guaranteed.
I kept calling her a goddess before, but I guess the way I saw her was still too naive. I mean, right now she is getting even closer to a goddess. No wait, how you call it….. a divine being?
Anyway, I’m still way too far of being able to take care of someone like her. At least it’s impossible to the current me.
Normally I would have excused myself like I always would, but Natsukawa… she was persistent on seeing me off.
For her to go that far, somehow it made me feel embarrassed…
“Well, you know… I just realized that your girl power… Femininity? is pretty amazing. It’s like, I don’t mind if you become my Mom instead.”
“Hey, stop it. Somehow it sounds disgusting.”
“Thank you very much.”
“I wasn’t praising you!”
It was the same before, but… no matter if what I said annoyed her or not, Natsukawa will always response. I’m sure that’s one of the biggest reasons why she didn’t just leave me aside for the longest time… Normally, you’d just ignore that right…? Aahh….. What a Goddess…
“Unrelated to Airi, what if you do something to your head? I remember that you’re worried more about this before.”
“Sorry, but the only thing my head could evolve into is to get a savant syndrome. Wait a moment, let me get struck by a lightning once.”
“I’m not talking about what’s inside… I was talking about your hair color!”
A brown color hair with the roots looks black, I said that I ‘two-toned’ it just because it sounds cooler, but as expected it’s probably unsightly to look at. Especially during the summer where the heat is annoying enough, to see something half-baked like this, will only makes you even more annoyed, I guess.
“Eventually, I’ll do something about it.”
“mm…..Well, I’m not going to force you, but it’s better to do it as soon as possible, you know? I feel like it’ll change your impression by quite a bit.”
“I’ll take a detour at the drug store on my way home.”
I don’t know why, but it feels like Natsukawa is quite persistent at a lot of things today. I can’t help but to say yes to her words… it’s like I could feel, ‘Do something about it soon, or something bad will happen you piece of shit’, kind of pressure coming from her. And since she said it this far, if I don’t come to school tomorrow with a new dyed hair, I will get minus points from her.
“By the way, between brown hair and black hair, which one do you prefer, Natsukawa?”
“Eh, but earlier…”
“Well, that’s what Airi-chan prefer.”
I just asked on a whim, but Natsukawa seemed to have taken that serious, and approached me with a stern gaze.
What am I, some mannequin? Is there something stand out about me?
Natsukawa was not even thinking about the distance between us and kept staring at me.
…Well well, I’m just a normal person, it’s just like what you see now, Natsukawa-san. Aaah, your scent… it’s…
At the end of a lot of thinking, she answered me without changing her expression.
“──I think either way is fine…”
“You can’t do that to me.”
Natsukawa’s gaze wandered all over the place, and she continued after a bit of hesitation.
“If you had brown hair, hmm… I might have not called out to you back then.”
‘Back then’ ──is she talking about the first time we met two and a half years ago? Ah now that I think about it… a bit after we met, she said something along the lines of ‘I thought you were more of a serious guy’. Well, no one will say that to a guy with this kind of hair after all.
“…So then, I’ll color it, the color of your preferences, black.”
“I-It’s not like that’s my preference or anything…”
“Well, I don’t really care either way, so I’ll choose the one that leave a better impression on you. anyway, see you tomorrow…”
I wave my hand at Natsukawa, turned my back on her and was ready to head home, only for her to stop me. When I turned back, she showed a different expression from when Airi-chan was with us, grabbing the sleeve of my uniform, perhaps it was starting to become like a habit for her.
Well, let me say this… can you stop giving me a ‘Direct attack’ with this kind of gesture? Do you plan on killing me? You really want me to die young…?
“──T-Thanks a lot for today…”
So cute!… welp, this is bad, I almost blurted out my feelings. If I said that now, it’d definitely ruin the mood. Thanks god… my throat could control itself.
“D-Don’t worry about it. I got to meet the legendary Airi-chan after all.”
Natsukawa showed a salty expression.
Crap, it might sound unpleasant to her. But, since I only saw her in a picture before, I couldn’t help but think ‘Does she really exist?’, you know. Well, I understand the reason why she didn’t want me to meet her until now… If I was in her position, I wouldn’t want to show that cute younger sister to a stalker (me). The only reason I was allowed to today is because we have known each other for more than two years, and also perhaps because she could see me as her ‘friend’.
Though I felt the urge to tease her, since the distance between us was already so bad for my heart, I didn’t do that.
And so, just as I told Natsukawa, instead straight back home I headed to the drugstore to buy hair dye.
“───Yikes, this really stinks.”
“We already finished dinner, so isn’t it fine? Got permission from Mom as well.”
“At least close the door of the washing room…”
I wonder why the scent of the hair dye is pretty bad like this. Can’t they make it more of a fruity scent? I can’t even pinch my nose because of the vinyl gloves on my hands. And now I have to stay like this for twenty minutes, huh….
While taking out a brush, Sis looked at the instruction paper I put down next to the sink, reading the words on there.
“Hm? Dark brown? You gonna make it black?”
“…It really is black, huh? I would have been fine going back to black, but they didn’t have any… I-It’s not like I bought it because ‘dark brown’ sounded cool.”
“This is pretty much black, especially in the beginning, it will look pitch black.”
Hmm? Black is black, right? So, there’s something darker than black…? That sounds cool. My chuunibyou soul felt like it was lit in a burning flame, as Sis walked in circles around me and frowned. [TN: ‘Chuunibyo’ is basically when you’re so delusional about having some special power, this mostly happen in middle-schooler that’s why it’s also called as ‘8th grade syndrome’]
“You’re so suck. It’ll end up uneven.”
“Move. Get outta the way.”
Sis walked between me in the mirror, took out gloves from the drawer, and ──Wait, Rubber Gloves…? I got a really bad feeling about this… is it just my imagina──Ah, hey…!
“Your roots are black, so don’t do it this arbitrarily.”
“Ahhh! Ouch Ouch! Oi, you’re too rough! You’re going to pull my hairs off!”
“It’s fine as long as you don’t end up bald, right? Everything in this world is hereditary, you’ll be fine. Those who go bald will go bald, even if you try to prevent that or try some treatment to grow it back, something that won’t work will never work.”
Kaede dying Sajou’s Hair
Ah, hey, dear sister? You say it like you don’t really care at all, don’t you?! More than going bald or not, this is hurts so much, you know! it’s gonna be okay right?! Right?! Hey!? I don’t wanna go bald even if it’s just for a short time!!
A bit of time passed like that, when I saw a few strands of hair stuck at her gloves, which I looked at through the mirror, I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for my fallen hairs.
“Y-Yeah, you’re right, it’s black… Isn’t it a bit too black?”
“Told you. Well, it’ll stay like this for a week. Though it’ll go back to normal after two days if you thoroughly wash them.”
The hair dying ended, and after washing plus drying it, my hair really looked black. However, it was an irregular kind of black. To a level where it wouldn’t even reflect light. I imagine it to be a bit more of a normal black… Well, as far as I touch it, they still feel the same way when I previously colored my hair brown.
The next day, Natsukawa said, ‘Ah, you dyed it’, and I died. ※I actually didn’t.
Author notes :
“Ah, you dyed it.”
“How is it? it looks good on me right?”
“…..I-I didn’t say that.”
(Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, so cute!!!!)
TN: so this is what most likely going to happen….