Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 96 The Cat And The Feeling Of Love
“…Satou-san. Do you have anything to say?”
“This bed is so soft.”
The two single beds in this room added up may be larger than the bedroom I live in.
I sat on that bed and lightly bounced up and down, but Mashiro sighed in dismay.
Mashiro and I were now in a business hotel just a short distance away from where I was strolling with her.
There were other business hotels and love hotels closer by, but after a quick look at online reviews and choosing a place that had a good reputation, we decided to walk a little further to this hotel.
From the standpoint of price, it was not cheap, but if you go by the cosmetic point of view, it is a pretty good hotel.
If that were all, Mashiro might not have been so grumpy. In other words, the cause was elsewhere.
“…I’m going to ask you just in case, are you rich, Satou-san?”
“I’m not rich at all.”
“If that is the case, why do you spend so much money carelessly…?”
After listening to my response, Mashiro sighed again as she looked around the room.
I booked a slightly more expensive room in this hotel. The room size was about twice as large compared to the normal although the difference was not so great if you go by the price multiplier.
It may be a little expensive for a non-traveling stay, but it was much better than staying in a cheap hotel room and getting a disappointment.
“I’m telling you, it’s not like I’m wasting my money. It’s not a bad idea to splurge once in a while.”
“…Will we be traveling on foot tomorrow?”
“No, of course, we’ll take a cab. We know where we’re going, so there’s no need to walk.”
“How much will you spend today and tomorrow alone…?”
I have nothing to worry about, but for some reason, Mashiro seemed to be very concerned about money.
It was true that all the money spent comes out of my wallet, and I was not unaware of my spending.
However, if I take into account the housework Mashiro does for me on a daily basis, I don’t think even this amount was enough.
“I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while now, Mashiro, you don’t have to think about money, okay?”
“I can’t have it that way. I have been taught that money is important.”
“That housekeeper…Tch, how unnecessary.”
“N-No, wait. I’m just kidding, don’t look so scared.”
I hurriedly excuse myself to Mashiro, who stared at me with eyes that have lost their light.
Even though neither of us took each other seriously, it may not have been a joke that could be said lightly.
“But you really don’t have to worry about it, Mashiro. You don’t need to think about money until you grow up.”
It may be a job now for children to worry about their parents, but the opposite should definitely be avoided.
Especially when it comes to money, we should educate them, but we should never let them worry about it…
Mashiro and I were not parents and children. However, she was younger than me and I was in a position of a guardian.
Therefore, I want her to live freely without worrying about anything. That’s what I’ve been wishing for a long time…
“But…I want to be your support, Satou-san. Right now, I am still only receiving from Satou-san. I want to be able to repay you for that someday.”
“That’s my line. I’m the one who always receives support from Mashiro. I want to support you, too.”
“I-I’m the one…”
I feel that the usual argument was about to start again, and we said nothing more to each other in the middle of it.
Lately, I feel like this non-negotiable giving and taking has increased considerably.
I’m more grateful to Mashiro than anything else, and I don’t think I’ve ever been able to repay that debt.
And she seemed to feel the same way I do. This always leads to a situation of mutual ingratitude that I don’t really understand.
I feel that it was somehow very sterile to have a light argument when neither of us has any negative feelings for the other.
“How do I say this, but don’t you think we’re getting nowhere?”
“What a coincidence. I was thinking the same thing.”
“We both feel the same way…well, what the heck. I think it’s good that we support each other.”
“Right. …Satou-san, why are you embarrassed?”
“No, no reason.
“It doesn’t seem that way.”
Of course, it was for no reason, but I felt my cheeks burning.
If we made it clear that the relationship was one of mutual support, there would be no more unnecessary worry and scrutiny.
I thought it was a good idea, even though it came to me quickly, but for some reason, I was incredibly embarrassed when it came time to put it into words.
I felt as if the relationship I had always felt was similar to that of a parent and a child or friend had become something much more advanced than that just by using the word “support each other.”
The feeling of caring for her was greater than anything else. It was not so much that it was love or fondness.
But it was not born out of a feeling of love.
I feel ashamed of myself for being so easily conscious of Mashiro, even though I should be.
Fortunately, I have not had to reveal these feelings to anyone. I have to keep these feelings inside my heart…
“A-Anyway, from now on, we will support each other. We don’t owe each other anything.”
“I understand. If Satou-san says so.”
For the time being, I patted my chest to Mashiro who was convinced. Before I fall apart, let’s go to sleep quickly today.
We had already finished dinner before coming to the hotel, so all we had to do was take a bath and go to bed.
The room was a bit expensive and the bath was a separate type, with a bathtub and bathroom that was larger than the one at home.
As for the sleeping area, two single beds are carefully made, and the bedding was comfortable and the mats were of a good quality.
Even though this was an unfamiliar place for Mashiro, she should be able to relax to some extent.
“The door over there leads to the bathroom, and the one across from it is the toilet. Mashiro can go first.”
“Thank you very much. I’ll go first.”
I let her go to the bathroom first to cool off, and I lean back on the couch and stare at the ceiling.
With Mashiro gone, my brain gradually regained its composure.
Thanks to all the fun I had had today, a moderate sense of exhaustion was spreading through my body.
I let myself fall into that feeling of exhaustion, and when my agitated heart began to calm down.
Suddenly, there was a clank from the bathroom where Mashiro was.
And at the same time, Mashiro’s scream could be heard.
“Are you okay, Mashiro!?”
I rushed to get up from the couch, stood in front of the door, and called out to her inside.
I put my hand on the door handle for a moment, but just in time to imagine the scene that lay ahead, I held back.
“S-Satou-san. Umm, I don’t know how to use it…”
After I hear her voice from the other side of the door, the door in front of me was opened.
—And there stood Mashiro with a small towel barely covering her body.