Chapter 6 - Dinner with Neighbors Part 1
As a reward for erscorting her around town, Misumi took me out to dinner and I decided to accept her invitation.
Back home and put my luggage.
Then going to Misumi's house, when I rang the intercom of Misumi's house while feeling a little nervousness in my chest, "You can open it," Misumi replied, and I opened it.
Inhaling the scent of an unfamiliar home.
The scent of the room is a little sweet and refreshing, I wonder if it's because of the air freshener, but I don't think so because I didn't notice it at all.
Which means, this scent comes from...
—Hah, I tried not to think about it any further.
Even just entering a girl's house for the first time in my life made me nervous, if I devoted my attention to something else I might not be able to hold on anymore.
Above all, if I thought of anything more than this, I would definitely be considered a disgusting person.
"Welcome, Tsushiro-kun. Please come in."
Misumi's voice could be heard through the door at the end of the corridor.
"Okay, I'll lock it."
"Eh, why should it be locked??"
I didn't expect that she would ask me, so I subconsciously let out a stupid voice.
"No, shouldn't it be locked?"
"R-Really? I didn't think much of it… because in my hometown, I only locked it when I went out."
"That's in your hometown, you know?"
"U-Ugh… for some reason, this embarrass me…"
I couldn't see Misumi from the front door, but I felt she blushed.
"Well, it's fine, from now on you have to lock it properly, ok? The entrance to this apartment is automatically locked, but someone might come in later."
"…I will be careful."
I locked the door and took off my shoes.
1LDK's apartment is the same as mine, so I don't have to worry if I enter the wrong room.
[TL Note : 1 Living Room, Dinning Room, Kitchen.]
The door separating the room from the hallway opened into the living room, and when I entered I saw Misumi standing in the kitchen, she was cooking.
"It will take a little longer, so please relax."
"No, I'll help with something… well, I don't think so, since I can't cook, alright."
I told her that I would at least help her serve the food, and I gently sat down on the sofa in the living room.
I feel familiar with sofas, tables, and TVs, because the furniture arrangement is almost the same as my apartment, but the difference is that there are still some boxes that have not been unpacked here.
"Looks like you haven't finished unpacking your things, can I help you?"
"Ah, it's okay, I'm fine."
"Really? You don't have to be shy, you know?"
"Uhm, that's not what I meant..."
Misumi said slightly awkwardly as she put something on the plate and put it in the microwave.
"The remaining boxes contains summer clothes, and… underwear..."
I see, then I can't help.
I mean, you don't have to tell me which box contains that thing. Surprisingly, she actually said that.
In the awkward silence, the electronic beep of the microwave oven button rang out.
"Ah, you can't open it, ok!?"
"How could I open it!"
Was she worried that I was strangely silent?
Or rather, does Misumi think of me as someone who might do such a thing?
No, that's not what she thought, it's just that we've only known each other for two days.
I guess I don't fully understand what kind of person Misumi is, and I'm sure the same is true for her as well.
We are neighbors.
We have a relationship as neighbors and friends at the same school.
I wonder if we will find out what kind of person we are to each other through this relationship.
Vaguely thinking about this, I turned my gaze to the kitchen.
I just realized that the clothes Misumi was wearing were not the same as the ones she was wearing when she went out today.
A warm-looking brown knit one-piece dress was above the knees and slightly tied, and the supple legs peeking out from her were draped in black tights.
She wore a yellow apron over it.
"By the way, you look like a chef, it's hard to believe your eyes can barely see."
"Hehe thank you."
Misumi heated the pot on the induction cooker and smiled as she slowly turned the contents over with a spoon.
She continued, "But, not long after I lost my sight, I had a bit of a problem. Once I got used to it, I was able to cook without any problems."
"Since when is it?"
"Uhm, that happened about a year ago."
"I see… so, so far no signs of recovering, huh."
"That is how it is..."
I remember what Misumi's grandfather said at the hospital.
"Sayo's vision will return as long as the stress she is experiencing is gone."
... the stress experienced.
Was it related to her parents' home shrine?
If so, what exactly happened there?
"Are you curious?"
She must have sensed that I was thinking about the problem she was dealing with — Misumi asked me such a question while she was serving the dish.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious.
And if I said I was curious, Misumi would definitely tell me.
But that means Misumi won't tell me because she wanted to tell me, but because I asked her.
That's something I don't like.
"Right, I'm curious, but… that means I told you to tell me, you know?"
"It doesn't have to be now. One day, when you're feeling down, and feel like it's impossible anymore… tell me if you want my help."
As I stood on the sofa and headed for the kitchen, I took the bowl from Misumi's hand and opened the lid of the rice cooker.
Then, mix the rice with a rice spoon and pour the appropriate amount into the bowl.
Even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, Misumi looked at me with wide eyes.
Misumi stood there stunned, so I called out to her, and she came back to herself and winked.
"What is it? Why are you daydreaming?"
"Ah… uhm, for some reason, Tsushiro-kun—"
Such an electronic voice interrupted Misumi's words.
"Ah, looks like it's done."
Misumi did not continue the conversation, but stepped towards the microwave oven.
I was a little worried about what she would say, but I thought it was fine. I put a bowl of rice on the dining table.
"... Thank you very much."
"Oh, it's okay."
Her voice was too low to be heard clearly, and I was surprised by the fresh aroma that wafted when I opened the microwave.
When I let out an "Oh", Misumi was giggling and smiling in a cute way as she served the food on the plate.—