Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 88 Waking Up
An electronic sound came from far away.
Little by little, the electronic sound became louder and clearer.
The electronic sound from my phone, the sound of my alarm, told me that today was Monday.
I felt the light shining on the outside of my closed eyelids. My consciousness, still in a daze, gradually awakened along with my five senses.
My eyelids and body were still heavy.
After all, I couldn’t get to sleep last night because of Mashiro, and I stayed up late.
I decided to move my body at least a little for now. As soon as I thought that, I realized that I was hugging something.
It was very soft, warm, and reassuring.
I wondered if there was ever a body pillow in my house that was so comfortable. I surrendered myself without resistance to the comfort, so much so that I don’t even care about such questions.
I pulled it close to my body once more and nuzzled my face into the pillow.
It was as soft and smooth as ever, and smelled somewhat reassuringly good. And then the familiar sound of her voice…
The moment my thoughts go to that point, my body’s activity — and by extension, my heartbeat, suddenly become more active.
In the first place, the reason I was not sleeping well was that I slept in the same bed as her last night.
In fact, she ended up snuggling up to me.
That was to say, the fact that she was still in my bed in the morning does not change.
And of course, I don’t have such a luxurious pillow in my house.
My head, which was spinning with thoughts so quickly, was getting colder and colder in inverse proportion to the amount of activity I was doing.
I slowly opened my eyelids, trying to calm my racing heart.
They opened easily, revealing the devastation in vivid detail.
My usual bed was illuminated by the morning sun.
A clean and tidy room.
And in my arms was her.
I had just mistaken her for a pillow, and this was as close as I could get to her.
She was so slender that she couldn’t even move and was nuzzling her face into my chest.
The silence continued, as I was at a loss for words in this apparently unbelievable situation.
Fortunately, her vision was completely obstructed, so she doesn’t know I was awake.
I was hoping that if I just let go as if nothing had happened, I might be able to get out of this situation somewhat peacefully…
I thought so and slowly tried to relax my arms, but at that moment, Mashiro’s hand was on my back.
She hugged me tightly.
Against my will, my heart started to beat faster and faster.
At the same time, I couldn’t move and couldn’t let go.
If I don’t do something about this situation as soon as possible, something inside me was going to overflow, and my heart was beating even more noisily.
And, by the way, I was going to be late for work.
I guessed Mashiro must have received this thought because she immediately let go too.
After a pause, I took my distance from her while falling into a glorious raccoon sleep.
This way, she has room to lighten the load and say that I was just sleepwalking…
It was going to be no good.
Mashiro’s voice sounded chilled and cold, even though it didn’t sound like she had woken up from sleep.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your masterful performance, but it’s obvious.”
“You are going to lose lunch.”
“Good morning, Mashiro.”
I sighed and replied in a heartbroken voice.
I woke up reflexively, but Mashiro has come up with a very clever idea to take my lunch box hostage.
“I don’t think threatening me with lunch is good practice.”
“I don’t know. Don’t you have anything more to say?”
Mashiro admonished me, and I honestly apologized.
Of course, I did not do it intentionally, but it is clear that it was not something you can do to a woman without her permission.
“I was at fault, too. But you can’t pretend to have not slept with me.”
“Ummm…I thought it was a perfect idea.”
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
Aside from the second half, I had thought I had done well in the first half, and I didn’t expect her to see through it so easily.
Seeing my unconvinced expression, she continued her words.
“Before you pretended to be asleep, you couldn’t hide the beating of your heart.”
“I didn’t realize I was being bugged…caught me off guard.”
“Who was the one pressing me to his chest…?”
I was able to get up on the bed again while going through Mashiro’s righteous argument.
Mashiro got up to join me and got off the bed first.
She went straight to the kitchen and started preparing breakfast.
As I stared at her back, I think back to what just happened a few minutes ago.
If she had noticed my heartbeat, why didn’t she mention it right away?
On the contrary, it would mean that she knew I was awake and she was hugging me too.
Was it just payback? Or—
“Satou-san, if you don’t hurry up, you’ll be late.”
Y-Yeah. I’m going to go wash my face first.”
She urged me, and I headed for the bathroom with a slight tug on my back hair.
As usual, I have breakfast with Mashiro, who sat across the table from me.
My favorite meal as usual. The news on TV as usual.
And yet, the atmosphere between the two of us is not the same as usual.
We don’t talk to each other at all. We just spend our time silently munching on our breakfasts.
The awkwardness of the situation almost made my cheeks pull in unintentionally, but I managed to suppress it so that she doesn’t find out.
Yesterday we were in a happy mood, but how did it come to this?
It was not a very good atmosphere to start the week.
“Yes, what is it?”
“So, that. I’m sorry about earlier.”
“I’m not angry anymore.”
While she certainly did not speak in an angry manner, I felt that she was not as gentle as usual.
Awkward… I felt guilty because I was the cause, and she won’t accept any more apologies.
“By the way, Satou-san.”
“It’s not that I didn’t want to.”
With an unbearable sense of guilt, I quickly raised my face, which has been downcast for a long time.
There was only Mashiro, who looked like nothing was wrong and ate like usual.
“In other words, you were happy.”
“Please don’t get carried away.”
When I replied with a serious face, I was gently cat-smack on the head.
But thanks to that smack, the tense air seemed to soften a little.
After that, I ate breakfast as usual and finished my morning preparations.
Meanwhile, Mashiro prepared my lunch and handed it to me at the entrance.
“Well, good luck with your work today.”
“Yeah, I’ll work as hard as I can for Mashiro.”
“He…don’t be weird, please go quickly. You’re interrupting my housework.”
“What a hurtful reason…”
Well, my level of the housework was nothing compared to hers, so what she says was not wrong.
That, too, was hurtful, but for the time being, I would pretend that it was an embarrassment and keep my peace of mind.
“I’m off then.”
“I’ll see you later, Satou-san.”
Mashiro saw me off to work again today.
I eat the bento she made for me, and when I get home, she greeted me warmly.
For me, she was an important existence that I would not trade for anything. And she always tells me that she feels the same way.
That was why I feel it was more important than anything else to face her past.
Her resolve and determination last night. And I was going to face it head-on and cooperate with her.
And above all, her feelings and those two people in her memory.
What we hope for should be the same for both of us…