Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 59 Shopping With The Cat
We had already accomplished our goal for the day when we bought Mashiro’s glasses, but that didn’t mean we should just leave now that we had come all this way.
After we finished our meal at the food court, we decided to walk around the shopping mall together without having any goal in mind.
It was fun and refreshing for me to see a lot of stores that I don’t usually see in town.
If it were Mashiro, the scenery would look even more rare and glorious. Her eyes were as bright as the scenery.
“Ah, what kind of store is that?”
“It’s a general store, selling all kinds of things. Would you like to go in?”
Even though it was just an ordinary store, Mashiro entered it with a curious look and looked around the store.
Since I had only seen Mashiro at home, I didn’t realize how naive she was.
I didn’t mean it in a negative way, but I really enjoyed her innocent reaction.
“Let me know if there’s anything you like.”
There were accessories, stuffed animals, cushions, writing utensils, tableware, and more. The store was filled with a wide variety of goods.
I followed behind Mashiro as she walked through the maze, and called out to her.
Since we’ve come all this way, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to buy a souvenir or two.
“…Satou-san, if I tell you, you’ll buy them, right?”
“Yes, I will, if it’s not too expensive.”
“Then I won’t tell you.”
“What’s with that…”
For some reason, Mashiro’s pouted in frustration and she turned her head away. I wondered if I had said something offensive without realizing it.
I feel like I’ve been unable to read her thoughts more often than usual today.
In the end, she didn’t seem to be interested in anything at the grocery store, and we left without buying anything.
Maybe there was something she really liked, but since she said so, I don’t know the truth.
After that, we continued to visit various stores, including bookstores, music stores, and clothing stores.
It was fun to see Mashiro walking around with her eyes twinkling as usual, and we had a good conversation as I answered her questions.
However, she never once said or acted that she wanted anything from me.
It wasn’t that this was bothering me that much, but there was a part of me that felt as if I was being kept at a distance.
“Mashiro. Are you being reserved?”
“No, not at all.”
“No, you do. You were looking curiously at the lingerie section just now.”
“No, I’m not! Not that one, really.”
“What about the other stuff?”
Mashiro slowly looked away awkwardly. I know that Mashiro was not the type to be selfish and that she was basically reserved towards me.
But today, she had come all this way to accompany me in the first place. It was only natural that I wanted to do something to repay her.
“…You have already bought these glasses for me today.”
“It’s like I bought them on my own, right?”
“It’s not only that, but I also got to see a lot of the world with Satou-san. It’s more than enough.”
With her hands clasped tightly to her chest, she told me these words with a gentle expression and tone of voice, as if coming from the bottom of her heart.
It was not as if Mashiro was lying in her words. In the first place, she would never lie about something like this.
“I am very happy just to be with Satou-san like this.”
When I heard Mashiro’s words, I knew that my face instantly became red hot. It was my turn to look away, as I was feeling uncharacteristically embarrassed.
It was not fair of her to say such an embarrassing line so easily. If she said that to me, I won’t be able to refute anything.
“I’m sorry, that was a wild question.
“No, that’s not true. Besides, I like the way Satou-san…”
For some reason, at the very end, Mashiro lost her edge. I wonder what way she was talking about.
I’m a little concerned about this, but since I can’t face Mashiro much at the moment, I won’t pursue it too deeply.
“Shall we go to the next store?
“I-I guess so.”
The atmosphere had become a little delicate, so I regained my composure, called out to Mashiro, and started walking again.
After a few moments, the atmosphere was back to normal. It was strangely comforting and I felt tickled by it.
After walking for a while, we entered a different clothing store. The store had a completely different look, with many different kinds of clothes.
If anything, it feels like a fashion-oriented selection for young people.
I had bought Mashiro’s clothes before, but at that time I had bought bland clothes without knowing what was in fashion nowadays.
If Mashiro was the type of person who cared about fashion, I would have thought twice, but she didn’t seem to care much about such things.
Or rather, in her case, whatever she weared always looked good on her. My lack of taste may have been helped by that.
We didn’t buy anything in particular, but we were just looking around together. As expected of a fashion-conscious store, the clerk seemed to have high specifications.
“Welcome! Are you looking for something today?”
The clerk spoke to me with an astonishingly big smile.
I’m not particularly fond of this kind of sales clerk, but Mashiro was so surprised that she came close to me and grabbed my sleeve.
The clerk seemed to have seen this and put her hand over her mouth with a smile on her face.
“Are you looking for clothes for your girlfriend, by any chance?”
Mashiro, who was standing next to me, let out a squeak at the clerk’s misunderstanding, which I’m sure was not malicious at all.
Despite the age difference, it may be inevitable that other people would make that mistake.
“No, I was just passing the time. I’m sorry if I came across as a cold shoulder.”
“I see, I’m sorry. If you need anything else, please let me know.”
“Yes, thank you.”
The clerk didn’t ask any more questions and went back to the back of the store.
The problem was Mashiro, who hadn’t moved since she was attached to my arm.
As I had imagined, or perhaps it was just like a cat, she might be quite shy. If that was the case, the clerk might have been a little too hard on her.
“Mashiro, are you okay?”
“Eh. Oh, yes. I’m fine…”
Mashiro seemed to be staring blankly into the void. She doesn’t look fine to me…
When I called out to her, I got only blank replies, and she ended up staying that way all the way in that clothing store.