Christmas — Part 3
Around the time when we were eating the Christmas cake, Hiiragi-chan started to get lively.
“I really do have it tough….”
She slumped down on the table and seemed to be in the middle of complaining to Kanata.
“Yeah. It seems pretty tough.”
“You get it? Do you really get it?”
Kanata looked like a good listener.
Even with all the food, it was just about gone now, and the only thing left was cleanup.
Rei-chan and Sana now also seemed to get along, as the two of them were busy talking to each other.
“Then, I guess I’ll clean up since I’m not doing anything.”
The only preparation that I did was carrying the cake after all. I can only acknowledge that Hiiragi-chan did way more work. I can really feel the extraordinary amount of passion she put into the Christmas party.
I collected the cups and plates, and after bringing them to the sink, I washed the dishes.
I’ve always thought that living with someone else would be troublesome, but somehow, I feel like this isn’t so bad.
“Rei-chan, isn’t it getting pretty late for you?”
It was just a bit past 8 PM.
“T-that’s right… I should leave soon… or else my mom…”
Hiiragi-chan, who was half asleep, reacted to the word leave, as she lazily waved her hand.
“Sensei, if you sleep there you’ll catch a cold you know?”
“No… It’s okaaay. It’s pretty warm…”
That’s only for now. Since I was worried, I had Sana and Kanata help me carry Hiiragi-chan into her bedroom.
I lay her down in bed, and pulled the blanket over her. She immediately fell into a deep sleep.
“… She drank quite a bit.”
“Well, it’s true that she was super busy, so she probably really pushed herself for today.”
“Sensei is really such a child.”
Sana laughed. Since cleanup was done, we all got changed, and went home together with Rei-chan.
We locked the door from the outside and dropped the key in her mailbox. It’ll probably be okay like that.
Just like that, the home economic club’s Christmas party ended with no issues.
The next day. It was Christmas Eve.
I left my house in secret, and arrived at Hiiragi-chan’s place as planned.
Even after pressing the doorbell and knocking at the door, she wouldn’t come to answer. I called her, and realized that she had only just woken up.
“I-I just woke up… M-my head hurts…”
“You’re completely hung over.”
It’s because she drank so much last night. When I saw the bottle, only half of it was left. Hiiragi-chan’s limits are about two cans of beer and a can of Shouchuu.
She definitely took her hands off the reins yesterday.
“Sorry… Wait a moment, I’ll come out to open it.”
Immediately after she said that, the door opened.
She was still wearing what she wore yesterday. It seems that she continued to stay asleep after all that happened yesterday.
“Good morning, Seiji-kun.”
When I entered, I was instantly pulled into an embrace at the entrance.
Hmmm… for me to be met with this this early in the morning…
“Good morning, Haruka-san.”
“How about a good morning kiss—”
There was the smell of alcohol, so I inadvertently tried to avoid it.
“Puhah. You smell of alcohol.”
Of course, that’s the case. You’re completely hungover.
“Today, I thought a lot about our plans for going out—”
“Isn’t it tough with your head hurting from the hangover?”
“Uuu… How did you know?”
It’s because you don’t look too well. We went to the living room.
“How are you feeling? Don’t you feel bad? If you don’t feel bad, why don’t we wait and see how things are around lunch?”
“I’m used to it…”
“Drink water. Lots of it.”
“I’m used to it…”
Hiiragi-chan started gulping a bottle of mineral water, which she prepared herself. She then sat down on the sofa and used me for a lap pillow.
“This isn’t like Christmas at all…”
“Whose fault do you think that is?”
“S-sorry… I loosened up too much.”
She started to get teary eyed, so I patted her head to comfort her.
“It’s okay, I know you were really enjoying yourself.”
“It’s the first time I’ve ever had a Christmas party with people like that, and so I got a little too into it.”
“It’s not bad having a Christmas like this.”
There might not be much difference from usual though.
“No. We’ll definitely head out at night. Even if I have to force myself.”
“Eh? What about your hangover?”
“It’ll definitely fix itself.”
“I guess I’ll have to believe in your unfounded confidence.”
“Yeah. Leave it to me… But, it really wasn’t supposed to be like this… I was planning on acting like a very adult Haruka-san.”
Hiiragi-chan, who was on my lap, was the stable clumsy and airheaded Hiiragi-chan.
We spent the day relaxing, looking back at the pictures we took yesterday and watching Christmas specials on TV.
“It’s done. I’m completely fine now.”
She said that after getting up. Since her complexion was a lot better than this morning, even if she wasn’t completely healthy, she seemed to have returned to physical form.
“It’s thanks to the power of Seiji-kun’s lap.”
“Does that really work on a hangover?”
“Nope. Not on the hangover, but just for me personally.”
She said with a smile. It was a line that made me embarrassed just listening to it.
After saying that she was going to go shower, Hiiragi-chan left the living room.
As we were doing this and that, it finally turned around to 5 PM.
“I have to prepare to go out.”
Hiiragi-chan hid her face with her towel, and passed by the living room to enter her bedroom.
She’s still adamant about that.
After waiting for another 30 minutes.
“Thank you for waiting!”
Hiiragi-chan came out of her bedroom ready to go out.
“…Where are we going?”
“Fufufu. You’ll see after we leave.”
While happily spinning her car keys around her finger, the two of us left her house and climbed into her car.
Our destination seems to be a bit of a surprise, so I decided not to ask any further.
“I made a reservation at a restaurant.”
“So, you are going to tell me?”
“I mean, I ended up wanting to tell you.”
“Then that means we’re having dinner at a restaurant on a Christmas reservation…”
It’s a pretty cliché date, but it’s maybe so cliché that it couldn’t be helped.
“It went full circle to being okay.”
“Right? I’m really looking forward to it.”
So that’s why she dressed up a bit today. Won’t I stand out going to a restaurant like this? I am wearing a jacket that looks kind of like a suit, so I guess my clothes will somehow have to do.
With safe and stable driving, it took about 30 minutes. We arrived at our destination. It was a restaurant on the upper levels of a high-rise hotel. The car was parked in the basement parking lot.
Hiiragi-chan mentioned her reservation to the waiter, who looked at me curiously for a moment, but ended up guiding us to a seat by the window.
“Wow… The night view is pretty.”
The restaurant was high enough to allow people to overlook the entire city, creating a scenery that looked like many colored stars shining in the night.
It was a French course meal like I expected, as the dishes came out one after the other. Isn’t this going to be quite expensive? As I was a normal citizen, I ended up slightly worrying about it.
Hiiragi-chan was enjoying the wine and the meal. I’m glad that she isn’t drinking like she was last night. For me, I had Oolong tea, and sometimes some orange juice.
I thought that the French cuisine wouldn’t match the taste of a normal person like me, but it was still quite good. It could be that it just so happened to fit my taste, because I’m a middle-aged man on the inside.
While having some meaningless conversations, the courses went by in a blink of an eye, and it soon came time for the last order.
“What are we doing after this?”
I wasn’t really that worried, but if she’s drinking, we can’t really head home.
“It’s a secret ♡”
Does that mean there is a plan? I guess there was no reason to worry about a destination after this.
Hiiragi-chan got ready, then stood up from her seat to finish the payment… I took a glance at the amount, and all I can say is that it was quite large.
“Haruka-san, is it really okay? For me to not contribute at all.”
“It’s fine. It’s fine. It was my choice to do this after all.”
Once we got into the elevator, Hiiragi-chan pressed the button for the first floor. Aah, I somewhat have an idea of what’s planned after this.
Speaking of the devil, my thoughts were completely on point.
“A reservation for Hiiragi.”
After speaking to a receptionist, she was then handed a key. Room 3505.
“Your room is on the 35th floor.”
It was on an even higher floor than the restaurant from earlier.
With some guidance, we once again got into the elevator.
Hiiragi-chan didn’t say anything and just held onto my hand.
Once the elevator stopped and we got out, we soon found our room.
A set of white sheets were laid out on a double bed, and beyond the open curtains, a night view that surpassed the one from the restaurant could be seen.
“When did you plan this?”
“About a month in advance!”
That’s quite early.
Separating from me, she fell onto the bed.
She spread out her arms in preparation of accepting me.
…We ended up doing it on her birthday, but never did it a second time. We either missed the chance, or there was no opportunity in the first place. I was scared of being rejected, so I never had the courage to take it a step further.
Slowly, I fell into the bed as if to cover her.
As I was trying to take off my jacket, Hiiragi-chan placed her hand on it.
With a little bit of resistance, I slowly took off my clothes.
With a stiff face, Hiiragi-chan took a breath.
“Is something wrong?”
“No… It’s just, I feel a bit embarrassed…”