Negligence, A Slack Atmoshpere
“Fuun fuun, fuun ♪”
Hiiragi-chan fluttered her legs back and forth while humming and lying on the couch. She was looking at a travel magazine.
“Seiji-kun, where should we go?”
With a sweet voice, she came crawling over to me while I was playing with my phone.
“Where should we go… There aren’t any consecutive holidays, are there?”
After munching on a senbei, Hiiragi-chan brushed off the crumbs from her magazine.
“There are. I can just take a paid vacation ♡”
I’m happy. I’m happy, but what is it, this uncertain feeling.
At Hiiragi-chan’s family’s house, Hiiragi Mama (her name is apparently Airi), after ending the meeting there… Hiiragi-chan seems to have somehow… started slacking. Slacking and slacking.
Is it because when I confronted Airi-san, I said that I was thinking of marriage and that Haruka-san was a wonderful person whom I wanted to be with, or is it because we gained approval in the end, or maybe both?
The relieved Hiiragi-chan has started to slack off. It was as if she was a cat that forgot its instincts, and ended up in a harmless state.
It could be because Hiiragi-chan had defeated her strongest enemy… or maybe it should be called the last boss? After defeating the demon lord, even a hero would turn lazy and slack off.
However… Her room has turned into a mess, as all the clothes she takes off are just scattered everywhere. The kitchen sink is packed with unwashed cooking utensils and dishes. The refrigerator contains food past its expiration date and rotten fruits. There are ten cans of beer and shouchuu, and a bunch of cheese and ham that would be great for snacking.
Is this her true personality?
“What has been going on recently, Haruka-san?”
“Nothing’s going on?”
Hiiragi-chan came hugging me from behind. She gave me kisses on my neck and cheek. Hiiragi-chan pampered me in every way.
On the other hand, for me… I really have to wonder. I do want to respond. I’m not one to be strict with her after all. Rather, Hiiragi-chan was perfect at so many things, that I didn’t have a reason to be strict with her.
“Ah, that’s right. I should drink some alcohol.”
Hey hey, it’s still the middle of the day.
Excited, and with a spring in her step, Hiiragi-chan took out a can of beer from the refrigerator, and quickly opened it.
“Nnnnnnnnn~ tastes great ♡”
It was as if she was living the prime of her life…
“You’re drinking in the middle of the day…”
“It’s fine, right? I’m on break anyway.”
That’s true, it’s okay, there shouldn’t be anything wrong. A teacher’s job is quite tough and can cause a ton of stress. I get that.
“Haruka-san, you’ve been strange recently, you know? Before, your house would be nice and clean, and you would also only drink during dinner.”
“Is that so?”
This isn’t Hiiragi-chan—or is that just me pushing my ideals onto her? But still, I should be honest about it. This isn’t Hiiragi-chan.
“Is the reason… me? Is it because I’m great for self-control?”
“What’s wrong? Why are you making a troubled face like that?”
When I was in the present, I often heard my senpai’s complaints about his wife.
Before we married, it wasn’t like this—or something like that.
Is it possible that this slacking Hiiragi-chan is because she is in such a state? I tried to unravel Hiiragi-chan who continued to languidly entangle herself with me.
“W-what? What’s wrong?”
How can I return her back to normal? Shock therapy might work the best.
“I won’t come by your place for a while.”
Hiiragi-chan’s expression became stiff as she dropped the beer can that she was holding.
“Why!? T-the only place where we’re guaranteed to be able to see each other alone is at my house!”
That’s right. I completely understand it. It’s basically the same as me proclaiming that I won’t spend time with Hiiragi-chan over the weekends. Not spending time with her on weekends, means that I won’t spend time on weekdays. It’s basically the same as saying I won’t spend time with her.
“It’s just for a bit. Just for a bit.”
Even I want to see her and spend time with her.
“Haruka-san, you like to cook and clean, right? Do you still like it?”
Looking at the state of the kitchen and her room, I don’t think she’s been doing that recently. Today, the first thing that I did after coming to this house, was not a kiss or anything like that, but to clean her room.
“You’re slacking off too much. I understand that your mother did accept us and you’re happy about that, but still.”
“Uuu~. Is Seiji-kun not happy?”
“I am happy, but that doesn’t mean we get to marry for sure, you know?”
“—It is decided, we can do it. Please don’t say stuff like that.”
Ah, she’s sulking.
Since I’ve come and gone from the future, I can’t be relieved at all. Of course, Hiiragi-chan doesn’t know that, so it’s not like I don’t understand her behavior.
Hiiragi-chan was looking at me with teary eyes. Those eyes are unfair, so I wish she would stop.
“Uuuuuuuuu…! I-is it because… y-y-you d-d-don’t love me anymooore!?”
“My feelings for you haven’t disappeared, I still love you.”
“Then, it’s fine, right?”
She stretched out her feet and clung to me, asking to be pampered.
Kuu! This! She’s too cute!
Pun pun, I shook my head and hardened my heart. I peeled Hiiragi-chan off of me.
“It’s decided. After eating lunch, I’ll go home for today.”
Hiiragi-chan, who couldn’t accept it, kept jumping at me saying, “Why? Why?”, to which I ignored as I ate the cup noodles Hiiragi-chan had prepared for lunch.
That’s right… cup noodles… I don’t have anything against cup noodles, but before she would make a lot of different things. The gap between the before and now is just too large, and so I still don’t understand how I should take this.
“Once Haruka-san returns to normal, we can flirt as much as we want. Until then…”
As I was heading home, Hiiragi-chan couldn’t accept it as she bent her mouth into a frown.
If from the start, she already had this side of her, then I would have accepted this lazy Hiiragi-chan. However, she wasn’t like that. She wasn’t clumsy in that sense. Knowing what type of woman she was before, it is inevitable for me to tilt my head in confusion.
“Hmmm… am I just being close-minded…?”
I want to say that isn’t the case.
“No, but still…”
One week. I’ll just watch the situation for one week. I have already told her that I can’t accept her current slacking self.
And so, the week started and it became Monday. A clearly depressed Hiiragi-chan arrived at class.
“Sensei, what’s wrong? You don’t seem energetic?”
“Did she have a pet that died?”
“You don’t look so great either.”
The girls all came around asking Hiiragi-chan, but all she did was give them a forced smile in return. Just by saying that I wouldn’t meet her over the weekends, seems to have given her quite the large shock.
Even like this, we can see each other in class, and during lunch, we can eat our meals together with everyone in the home economics room. It’s not like we actually can’t see each other.
“Nii-san, Sensei was a little weird, right?”
Sana seemed to have also sensed this incongruity, as she asked me that on the way home. I passed it off with some random response.
Even during our customary nightly phone calls, Hiiragi-chan was unenergetic.
“I live only for the weekends… and yet, Seiji-kun isn’t going to even come and visit me…”
She sulked in an easily understandable way.
And then, just like that, days of seeing an unenergetic Hiiragi-chan continued. During that time, on a Friday night, a phone call came from Natsumi-chan.
“Hey, Thief-kun! What did you do to Haru-chan? She’s super depressed!”
“Wait, wait. Listen to what I have to say first.”
“Yeah, what is it?”
Towards the Natsumi-chan that seemed to be in a bad mood, I explained the situation that has resulted in the few weeks after leaving the Hiiragi house.
“Haru-chan is like that? What’s with that? I don’t know a Haru-chan like that… That’s not Haru-chan at all! …So, that’s how it is.”
Even for the siscon Natsumi-chan, it was a surprising change.
“And so, I thought maybe I could shock her back.”
“I see. That seems like it would work the best. But it might work too well and backfire.”
I heard a chuckle from the other end of the phone.
“I mean, just think about it?Isn’t it terrible to declare that you won’t meet her just because she got a little lazy?”
“W-well… yeah… I thought that as well.”
Her lazy behavior could probably not be encompassed by just a “little”.
“Because of that, even Haru-chan might get tired of a 100 year love.”
Natsumi-chan’s voice seemed to be laughing a bit.
Well, that certainly seems like it would be the case.
To find out that Seiji-kun was this type of person!? I can’t continue on with this!
There is a possibility for that to happen. It’s not out of the question…!
While under distress, the day had turned into Saturday by the time I noticed it. During the nightly calls that we never missed, she was a little bit less cold, is it possible…?
“I-it’s been about a week, well, it should be fine…”
Well things won’t change whether I do or do not go. After I confirmed whether she was still awake at home, I headed towards Hiiragi-chan’s place. When I pressed the doorbell, Hiiragi-chan’s face popped out after the door opened a slight crack.
“Didn’t you say… that you wouldn’t come?”
“Well, it’s been a week.”
“Then, you’ll come in?”
Since she opened it, I entered the room while being a little nervous. Hiiragi-chan’s place was back to how I knew it to be.
“I reflected on it a lot. I thought you were terrible, but when I complained to Natsumi, she told me, “He’ll get tired of you, you know?” and so I reflected some more.”
Hiiragi-chan was sitting in seiza on the couch.
That’s right, Natsumi-chan did talk to Hiiragi-chan.
“I was also told the same thing by Natsumi-chan.”
That girl… she was just trying to fan our sense of danger.
“I thought that maybe I had pushed my ideal version of Haruka-san onto you, and so I was reflecting…”
“I-it’s okay. I won’t be lazy again! Because of everything with my mother, I started slacking a bit, and became a little soft on myself…”
“I-it’s okay. In times like that, I’ll do the chores.”
Pun pun pun, Hiiragi-chan shook her head.
“It’s fine, it’s fine! I won’t do something like that again!”
“It’s fine. You can slack off a bit sometimes.”
Finally understanding that we felt the same way, Hiiragi-chan and I laughed along with each other.
“I hadn’t had enough of Seiji-kun, and was going to die, you know?”
Hiiragi-chan opened her arms. She closed in on me and hugged me tight.
“I didn’t think that Haruka-san would ever become like that, so I was really worried as well.”
“Then, you should have said that sooner.”
I lightly kissed the pouting Hiiragi-chan. It’s somehow gotten embarrassing.
Now that I think about it, Natsumi-chan was laughing right…? Was that because Hiiragi-chan and I had the same reaction?
I should give her my thanks later.