Ch 30 Birthday Present for Ageha
I was a little late getting to the rooftop because my fourth period class was PE.
As I opened the door leading to the rooftop, a slightly heated breeze blew indoors.
I looked around at the rooftop, which was now completely crowded, and found Ageha.
It seems I’ve kept her waiting.
At the same time I spotted her, she was staring at me.
I walked over to the bench at the end of the rooftop and called out to her.
“Sorry I took so long.”
“I think Haru-kun has other things to apologize to me.”
Apparently still angry about the morning’s exchange, she turned away with a pout on her lips.
While doing so, I relaxed my cheeks at the fact that she had left the bench next to her empty, and as usual, I sat down gently next to her.
I tapped her on the shoulder as she spread her bento on her lap.
She turned to me with a sour look on her face as I held out a paper bag that had been hidden behind my back for a long time.
For a moment, she froze with widened eyes, and then, as if she had gradually come to grips with the situation, she broke into a smile.
“What, why, Haru0kun, do you remember?”
“Of course I remember. How could I forget?”
“Because, you know, all morning long.”
“How can I say that, it’s like a surprise…?”
I looked away and said, “I wanted to be mean,” as I was overcome by the intensity of her suspicious eyes on me.
Ageha’s face puffed up immediately, but she seemed to be worried about the paper bag, so she put the lunch box she was about to open to her side and carefully took it from my hand with both hands.
“Oh, thank you. Can I open it?”
As I responded to her question, I also secretly gulped hard.
Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll like it.
No, even if she doesn’t like it, I’m sure she’ll be happy because she’s a kind person.
…Even so, I still want to see Ageha genuinely happy.
From inside the paper bag, she took out a rectangular box, one size larger than the palm of her hand.
It was wrapped in a thin red, yellow, and purple tartan check wrapping paper that I had bought at a hundred-yen store, since there was no gift wrapping when I bought it.
I felt that it was a little too much, so I added a flower ribbon as well.
I am not very good with my hands, so I think I did a pretty good job compared to myself, but it is still not as good as a professional’s work.
As I expected, Ageha also looked at the box she had taken out and stared at it curiously.
“Haru-kun, could this be…?”
“I was hoping to have a professional do it for me, but they don’t do gift wrapping there…”
I said to her, and she nodded her head slightly, and then suddenly pulled out her smartphone from her breast pocket.
I wondered what she was going to do with it, but she just naturally started taking pictures of the gift I had given her with the camera.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m taking pictures of the present Haru-kun gave me.”
“No, I know that when I see it… well, I didn’t do very well, so it’s kind of embarrassing to be filmed.”
“Eh, that’s why I’m filming. Payback for being mean to me this morning.”
I was surprised to hear her say, “Hey,” as she stuck her tongue out at me.
Then she quietly put her phone away and smiled shyly, saying, “I’m just kidding.”
“Haru-kun worked so hard on the packing, it would be a waste if I didn’t take pictures of it, wouldn’t it?”
I turned my face away from her as she looked at me as if she was asking for my agreement.
It seems that she is very pleased with the wrapping itself, but I find that a little embarrassing.
I hear a giggle from next door, followed by the sound of the wrapping being slowly unwrapped.
I glanced over at Ageha, who was carefully peeling off the tape with a serious expression on her face.
It was taking a long time, as if she was trying not to tear it.
As I waited, I felt a bit nervous, and then she finally finished removing all the tapes. With a voice of confirmation, she removed the wrapping paper.
What appeared from inside was a notebook-style smartphone cover, mainly in pink, with a bear character printed on it.
I had found and bought this phone cover with the same character as the stuffed animal that was placed in her room when I used to watch her study in her room.
One of the reasons I bought it was because I thought it would make Ageha happy when she became a high school student and started having a smartphone, but I also have an ulterior motive in wanting her to have the one I gave her on a regular basis.
She has a… stuffed animal, so I’m sure she would be happy if it was the same character.
She took out the phone she had put away earlier and removed the light blue phone cover that came by default at the store, and replaced it with the one I had given her.
She then put the phone close to her face, turned to me, and smiled.
“Ehehe, what do you think?”
For some reason, all of a sudden, Ageha’s face turns bright red and her mouth is agape.
Did I say something wrong?
I look back at what I said.
What am I saying?
“Oh, no! The phone cover! That’s why!”
“Wow, Wow, I know! Slowly bear is cute!”
The character of the bear, “Is it called a bear slowly?” and so on, slipped from the right side of my head to the left.
I held my right hand over my heated face to see if I had managed to cover up my gaffe, and peeked through the gap between my fingers to see what was going on with Ageha.
She stared at the illustration of a bear printed on the cover of her phone, and after a few breaths, she looked up at me.
“Ah, um, Haru-kun. Thank you.”
I didn’t have the composure to determine whether or not she really liked it.
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