249. A dessert in a cafe
Today’s temperature was 42 degrees Celsius, and the sun was shining brightly on the sky as if it was a ball of fire. I didn’t know if I was praising the sun or mourning my looming life, but the chorus of the cicadas sounded even more like a scream than the usual May. My sweat dripped out just by walking on the road. For this reason, even students who normally fastened their collars were opening them, resulting in their breasts looking bigger than usual. It was no exception to me, and I was wearing my uniform with the chest part slightly open.
To be honest, I felt I got more attention than usual, but well, I didn’t care since getting rid of the heat was more important. As I walked, wondering if I should take a break somewhere, rather than straight going home, I suddenly saw a small sign in the back alley.
Feeling invited by the letters, I went into the back alley, and I found a small café. The atmosphere of the store was calm, and it was more like a place where slightly older people would love to enjoy themselves while reading a book quietly, rather than a hangout place for students.
When I opened the door, the cool air inside the store stroked my skin.
“Welcome. Are you alone?”
“Then, please go to this counter seat.”
The seats I was guided to were covered with glass in front of you, and I could see the outside scenery, which gave me a nice feeling. Picked up the menu while feeling at home in a cozy atmosphere place. There were many types of shaved ice, and they all looked delicious. I decided to get a refreshing shaved ice for the time being, and called the clerk.
“May I take your order?”
“Yogurt Yuzu Lemon Shaved Ice, Please.” [TN: Yuzu is one of many citrus fruits, and quite popular in Japan]
“Yogurt Yuzu Lemon Shaved ice.”
Then I waited for the shaved ice while listening to the gentle BGM played in the store. Fluffy shaved ice was popular these days. I even bought a machine that could make such shaved ice at home. It was delicious, but as you would expect, the one at the store was a bit different. By the way, when making it at home, Mom froze the liquor, made shaved ice from it, and drank another liquor while eating it. She said that it was healthier because the liquor had a low alcohol percentage… When I saw this, I seriously wondered if it would be better to stop her drinking altogether.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
When I thanked the clerk, I smiled at the end. Then, she skipped to the back.
……What a playful girl. Cute.
When I put the spoon in the shaved ice, it made a crisp light sound, and when I put it in my mouth, the refreshing acidity of yuzu and lemon and the sweetness of yogurt were spreading in my mouth. It was the perfect shaved ice on this hot and humid day.
I was leaving myself to a slow atmosphere while tasting the shaved ice. Then I suddenly noticed someone standing in front of the glass. Well, since such a beautiful boy like me was eating shaved ice at a cafe, it would gather people’s eyes. It couldn’t be helped. Realizing that some people were standing outside, I tried to give one smile. But once raised my head and looked outside, I realized that my face had hardened in a strange shape.
The one outside the store looking at me, was a person who I would never want to meet, even though I met that person before.
That person had… a body that had reached old age but strong eyes that would make you feel the youthful energy.
That person was… Housei Toukain, Shino-san’s grandfather. He was staring at me.
…… Can I go back in time a few seconds ago? If I can, I will try my best to not try showing off! I’ll concentrate on the shaved ice!
I wanted to escape from reality, but I couldn’t. The fact that one of the big bosses in the business world was looking at me, wouldn’t change no matter how much I pray.
I couldn’t stop sweating in the store, which should be cool.
Why are you staring at me? Why do you divert your eyes? Will he go away if I say “You’re so rude”? Should I worry about an old man standing outside on this hot day? The guy wearing all black who is standing behind you doesn’t look that good, you know?
Various words came to my mind, but I couldn’t say them out loud. For the most part, this person is a man, so I don’t think he can hope for anything.
After a few minutes of such a horrific time, Shino’s grandfather left.
…… Really, what was that?
I took a deep breath while holding down my beating heart. I regained my mind and put a spoon on the shaved ice again.
……And at that moment, a bell rang in the store to inform the visitor.
I trembled with the sound.
I tried to shake off my imagination.
For some reason, I felt that the person who should have come in was gradually approaching me. The heartbeat that should have been beating normally, beating intensely again. And the person stopped behind me.
“It’s been a long time, Kohaku Hatano-kun.”
The person suddenly talked to me.
What should I do…