Getting Along While Shopping
We walked into the store with a strange combination of Aki, Emma, Charlotte, and me. Emma, who was in my arms, kept rubbing her cheeks against me as usual, but it is quite awkward to be stuck between Aki and Charlotte. Aki was looking at me as if she wanted to complain about something, and Charlotte had a complicated smile plastered across her face. How should I respond to the two of them that are looking at me like this?
“Onii-chan, Emma wants to have dinner together with you.”
Emma-chan asked me with a cute smile while I was troubled by the looks they were giving me. I’m glad that Emma wants to eat with me, but I’m a bit hesitant to answer her request. If I didn’t have any plans, then it would have been fine, but today I had decided to eat with Aki.
Moreover, it is Aki who prepares the meal. I can’t just cancel last minute, and I’m not the one who’s going to cook, so I don’t even have the right to decide. So I was in a bit of a dilemma.
“No, Emma. Aoyagi-kun already has plans.”
She probably guessed from my troubled expression as Charlotte rushed to stop Emma. However, Aki spoke up before Emma had a chance to argue.
“It’s fine. As long as the two of you are willing to come to my house, I don’t mind cooking for everyone.”
Just as I was wondering what to do, Aki suddenly spoke up in English and suggested she would cook for Emma and her sister. Although it’s not perfect, Aki can speak English to a certain extent. I suppose that she spoke in English in consideration for the young Emma. Aki is a very shy person, I never thought she would call over someone else to her house. What change of heart did she have?
“We can’t do that. I don’t want to trouble you.”
“I am alright though? Also, from how your little sister is looking…”
Aki looked at Emma in my arms. Charlotte and I were also caught up in Aki’s line of sight and turned our gazes in the same direction. There was Emma, clinging to my clothes while puffing out her cheeks.
Emma was pouting, not only because I didn’t reply, but also because Charlotte argued against the suggestion. Is she clinging to my clothes because she doesn’t want to separate? Aki probably wanted to say that Emma is unlikely to listen to what any of us say.
“Emma, let’s have dinner with just the two of us, okay?”
Charlotte tried her best to persuade Emma. However, Emma didn’t say anything and gazed at Charlotte with teary eyes. I believe that there isn’t a competition at this point. As expected, Charlotte, who was staring at Emma’s foul-play eyes, wavered.
Emma called out to Charlotte with a spoiled voice, as if to hammer in the final nail. Then, Charlotte folded within herself.
“…Hanazawa-san. Is the offer still viable to redeem?”
“Yes, of course.”
Charlotte, who lost to Emma’s eyes, bows apologetically. Aki nodded a little and then accepted Charlotte’s words with a wry smile. Aki seemed to have predicted this result, just like me.
Then, we proceeded with the original plan shopping under Aki’s leadership. Although I say that, the only thing that I did was chat with Emma. Aki, who cooks the food, decides on the menu, and I can’t tell good from bad when I am left to choose the ingredients. And since Emma talked to me constantly, I was talking to Emma the whole time.
“Senpai, what would you like to eat today?”
“Aoyagi-kun, what would you like to eat?”
When I was dealing with Emma who was acting spoiled in my arms, the two ladies who were busy choosing ingredients abruptly turned to me and asked. It seems like the ball called ‘today’s menu’ is being thrown into my court.
The reason why Charlotte asked me the same question was because before I knew it, not only Aki, but Charlotte was supposed to cook food for us as well. She had requested Aki to let her help out in cooking. According to the person herself, just being treated doesn’t quite sit right with her.
“I can eat anything. What would Emma-chan like to have?”
All the dishes Aki prepares are delicious, so I have no particular favorite. Rather than that, I should let the youngest Emma choose from this.
“Hmm? Emma wants to eat a hamburger!”
When asked what she wanted to eat, Emma tilted her cute little head and answered with what she wanted to eat. Since she replied properly, I complimented her and patted Emma’s head. Emma went “Ehehe~” as she giggled in delight.
“It looks like we’re having a hamburger.”
“Looks like it.”
I conveyed Emma’s request to Charlotte and Aki, and they nodded with a smile.