Volume 4 Chapter 2 92, Being Served by My Favorite
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
That day, despite my age, I had been restless since the previous night. After all, today is the day I can meet Aqua-san at the coffee shop filled with memories.
According to the owner of Cafe Tomarigi, Aqua-san is quitting his part-time job at the cafe after today. Although I feel a sense of loneliness as Aqua-san seems to begetting farther and farther away, I suppose it’s inevitable when considering Aqua-san’s future activities. Lost in such thoughts, I arrived at the shop earlier than planned.
”Oh, welcome back!”
I started to worry if I had caused any trouble, but Aqua-san and the owner warmly welcomed me.
”It’s been a while. How have you been?”
”Y-yes, I’m fine…”
Aqua-san’s closeness still makes my heart flutter like when I was a high school girl. I repeatedly told myself not to misunderstand.
”Please have a seat wherever you like.”
I took a seat at the farthest end. Whenever this seat was available, I would always sit here and order a coffee. I don’t have the courage to sit at the counter, and the corner seat is just right for someone like me, an older woman.
”What would you like to order?”
”Um, then I’ll have a hot coffee and naporitan.”
I watched Aqua-san as he went to the counter. But then, I suddenly noticed, rather late, that there were male staff members besides Aqua-san. One was a slender, intellectual guy with glasses, and the other was a university student striking poses and looking incredibly cool. Even with just Aqua-san alone, the cafe was already beyond capacity. However, I hadn’t heard that there were other guys working here apart from Aqua-san. Except for Aqua-san, who used to work here occasionally, it should have been an all-girl staff… Could it be that there’s something in this cafe that attracts boys…!?
Hm… I need to buy some coffee beans on my way back for research purposes. Lost in my thoughts, a waitress dressed in a uniform came out from behind the counter, holding a plate of naporitan. I widened my eyes as I looked at her face. It was because that girl was the same girl who appeared next to Aqua-san in the scriptures.
”Here you go, Aqua-kun. Your order of napoletana.”
I froze even more upon hearing her voice.
Her voice, ever since then, had been incredibly similar to the voice of Oumi Tama, the VTuber I’ve been supporting since receiving the authority as a forum administrator.
”Thank you, Toa-chan.”
After Aqua-san received the piping hot naporitan from the girl he called Toa-chan, he placed it on the table in front of me.
”Sorry, I forgot to ask earlier, but is it still okay to have coffee after the meal?”
I felt incredibly thrilled that Aqua-san remembered even such small details.
”Well then, please enjoy your meal.”
I twirled the naporitan with my fork and slowly brought it to my mouth. At first, I was bewildered, but gradually, everything started to make sense. Considering the fact that Oumi Tama and Aqua-san knew each other, everything falls into place.
However, at the same time, I became incredibly restless. Could it be… Are the two of them in a relationship…? No, it’s not like I expect to be in a relationship with Aqua-san or anything like that, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a wonderful guy like Aqua-san had a girlfriend… But… but! I couldn’t help but be curious about that. While I was lost in my thoughts, the bell attached to the coffee shop’s door rang.
I made eye contact with the woman who entered the coffee shop. She was dressed a bit shabbily, wearing a disguise mask and glasses, and had her hair tied up in a ponytail, which she normally didn’t do. It was none other than Morikawa Kaede, also known as Chinposuki.
”Oh, thank you for earlier.”
”No, don’t mind it.”
After exchanging brief greetings with Aqua-san, Chinposuki-san sat down on the sofa facing me.
”Oh, it’s been a while, Onee-san.”
”Yeah, it has.”
Chinposuki-san greeted me in a low voice. Then she ordered naporitan and mango-flavored shaved ice from Aqua-san, who came to take the order. I wonder if it’s alright to eat something cold right after eating something warm without upsetting your stomach?
”Um… Onee-san, are you mad?”
”Huh? No, I’m not…”
Chinposuki-san seemed to be trembling for some reason. Perhaps it was because I naturally had an intimidating gaze, often causing my junior colleagues at work to look at me fearfully. It was the same back when I was the captain of the volleyball team in high school.
”But look, over there…”
I urged Chinposuki-san to look in the direction where the boys were.
Chinposuki-san, just like me, was focused solely on Aqua-san and was taken aback when she finally noticed the boys.
”Moreover, that kid… from the magazine…”
Chinposuki-san seemed to have realized something as I said that and leaned slightly towards me, whispering in a low voice. While confirming that Aqua-san was attending to other customers who had entered the cafe, I listened attentively to Chinposuki-san’s words.
”Onee-san… that kid is a boy, you know?”
Oops. I accidentally raised my voice, causing everyone to turn their attention towards us.
”Oh, sorry. It’s nothing.”
I stood up once, bowed, and slowly sat back down on the sofa. Then, I gazed intently at Tama-chan. The kid looked like a girl from every angle, but was Chinposuki-san’s statement really true?
”There’s no mistake, Onee-san. His voice is cute, but that is undoubtedly the voice that comes from an ‘Ochinchin (p*nis).’ As a certified ‘Ochinchin sommelier,’ I can say it with confidence, so please believe me.” (Nb: someone who claims to have expert knowledge or expertise in matters related to the male genitalia)
What in the world is a ‘Ochinchin sommelier’ certification… I searched it on the internet and found out that it actually exists, and it’s quite a serious field. I was surprised that such a qualification even existed, but I was even more astonished that Chinposuki-san had obtained it. And more than that, I became calm beyond being flustered by the fact that Tama-chan was a boy.
”Well, then, um… are all of them boys?”
”Yes, there’s no doubt that there are four ‘chinchins’ in that area. Well, Aqua-kun is undoubtedly the biggest one. I noticed it when I shook his hand the other day; those hands are definitely ‘dekichin (dekai ochinchin)’ hands.”
Huh? What should I do…? That means Aqua-san is at least the same size as that eggplant, right? At that time, Shumi-san couldn’t say it because everyone teased her, but mine wouldn’t fit something that big… I mean, I’ve never even used it before.
Huh!? Chinposuki-san looked at me with a worried expression when I didn’t react.
”I-It’s okay, it’s nothing.”
I regained my composure and took a sip of water from the glass. Then, the door of the cafe opened, and once again, someone I knew entered.
It was unmistakably Grandma’s appearance, but I knew who she really was. It was Shumi-san, Her Highness Kanon, dressed in a serious disguise using special makeup.
”Please have a seat wherever you like.”
Shumi-san confidently headed straight for the counter seat in the corner near the entrance. From that position, she could get the closest view of Aqua-kun’s interactions.
”As expected of Shumi… she noticed us but chose to sit in the seat where she can see Aqua-kun up close.”
”Shumi-san’s loyalty to her desires is nothing new. But you know, I don’t dislike Shumi-san for that, and I even find it enviable.”
As expected, Shumi-san ordered the same naporitan as us. After all, the naporitan here is made with eggplant and bacon. But, there’s no deeper meaning behind it, okay?
”By the way, more people have started coming in.”
Before I knew it, most of the seats in the cafe were filled. They were all familiar regular customers. At the table next to us, a group of four OL girls whom I recognized was sitting.
”Hey… is that…”
”Yeah, there’s no doubt. I’m a certified ‘Ochinchin sommelier,’ after all.”
”Really… that kid is a boy?”
”Huh? If that’s the case, then it’s fine. But, hey, I wonder if Aqua-kun has noticed?”
The girls from the neighboring table chatted while stealing glances at Toa-chan. By the way, is this ‘Ochinchin sommelier’ certification becoming a trend? Should I get it too? As I thought so, the boy with glasses who had noticed the girls’ conversation slowly approached the table where the OL group was sitting.
I quickly realized it was Mayushin-kun’s voice as he spoke in a soft tone. Without even needing to exchange glances with Chinposuki-san, it seemed she had also noticed.
”Could you please keep it a secret that he’s a boy? Um… Shirogane still doesn’t know, sorry. I can’t explain the reasons, but please, I’m begging you.”
The girls looked at each other and calmly spoke to Mayushin-kun in hushed voices.
”Sure… we understand. We don’t know the circumstances, but do your best.”
”Sorry if these Onee-sans bothered you. We’ll make it up to you later, so can you give us your contact information?”
”Are you a high school student like Aa-kun? It’s impressive that you can work part-time. Is there something you want?”
”By the way, could you tell us your name? Maybe these Onee-sans can buy you something you want.”
Alright, that’s enough. I mentally blew a whistle at the girls who were clearly fawning over a male student. It’s understandable that they would get excited when approached by a boy, but there needs to be some restraint.
I cleared my throat loud enough for the neighboring group of girls to hear, giving them a stern look as a warning.
The girls suddenly became quiet upon making eye contact with me. It seemed they had understood my silent warning. It’s common for young people to get carried away, and it’s the responsibility of observant adults to rein them in. As a woman myself, I can sympathize with how their excitement got the better of them.
”Onee-san… it’s really… so cold.”
For some reason, Chinposuki-san in front of me started trembling. Well, that’s because she ate a hot naporitan and then had some icy shaved ice. It’s completely her fault for getting a cold stomach! There’s no helping it.
”Um… thank you.”
Mayushin-kun came to our table and quietly thanked us. It turns out that kind-hearted people like Aqua-san tend to attract similar individuals, don’t they? When a man thanked me, both Chinposuki-san and I exchanged silly expressions with each other.
”Oh, it’s fine. But more importantly, can I order an additional hot coffee?”
”Ah, yes, of course.”
Mayushin-kun bowed slightly and then went to the back of the counter with the empty naporitan plate.
”Okay, I ordered hot coffee for you, so drink it to warm up.”
”Thank you, Onee-san… But it was your fault for making me cold… No, never mind.”
I glanced over at the counter seats and noticed Shumi-san giving Aqua-san a piercing stare. That child, honestly… so meddlesome. I opened my phone and sent a message to Shumi-san, saying that there’s no need for that bloodshot-eyed Grandma look. Shumi-san must have noticed my message right away because she looked in my direction and replied with a “thank you.”
”By the way, Hagetoru hasn’t come yet.”
”Oh… you’re right.”
Honestly, what is that kid doing on such an important day? Perhaps she overslept… Ah, Hagetoru-san is quite capable of doing that normally. Chinposuki-san seemed to have noticed the same thing and had a subtle expression on her face.
”Here, two hot coffees. Sorry to keep you waiting.”
Aqua-san brought the coffee to our table.
”I didn’t really understand what was going on, but thank you for helping Mayuzumi earlier.”
”No worries. Those girls got a little excited when a boy talked to them, so just forgive them, okay?”
”Yes, of course. Mayuzumi said he wasn’t bothered by it.”
The kindness shown by Aqua-san, who was concerned about his friends, and Mayushin-kun, who didn’t develop any dislike towards women despite the situation, warmed our hearts.
”Oh, and by the way… if you’re interested, here’s something.”
Aqua-san handed us a transparent bag with a ribbon tied to it. When I took a closer look, I saw that it contained cookies.
”Actually, I filmed a cooking video for Morinaga-san’s job yesterday and made a lot of them. If you’d like, could you take them with you? I made them under the guidance of a professional, so they should be safe in terms of taste and hygiene.”
”Oh… yes, thank you.”
As I stared closely at the cookies in the bag, I could sense a slight handmade quality to them, with some imperfections. I instinctively took out my wallet from my bag, as if about to offer all my money. However, I noticed that Chinposuki-san in front of me was about to do the same, so we both hesitated.
”Well then, please enjoy.”
I looked at Chinposuki-san once again and then shifted my gaze to the bag of cookies tightly held in my hand.
”Um… Can these be stored indefinitely?”
”Well… that’s impossible, right? If they weren’t homemade, maybe they could last longer if you put them in the freezer…”
Upon closer inspection, I noticed a small folded paper inside the bag. I untied the string of the cookie bag and took out the paper.
[To Touka-san, thank you so much for visiting the shop multiple times! I still remember how kind you were to me when I was inexperienced and spilled water.]
To my surprise, Aqua-san remembered the day we first met. That alone made me happy, but there was more to Aqua-san’s letter.
[By the way, Touka-san, you mentioned before that you don’t really like your own gazes. However, I admire your strong and determined gazes. And when I spilled the water, Touka-san, you looked at me with such a gentle expression. Thanks to your kindness, I was able to continue working here for a long time. So please don’t dislike those beautiful eyes of yours!]
I held back the tears that were about to spill. I couldn’t cry here. I glanced at Chinposuki-san, who was also reading the letter, desperately trying to hold back her tears. She must have been moved by Aqua-san’s message as well.
”Onee-san… I… I…”
”I understand. But let’s save the tears until we leave the shop.”
We managed to hold back our tears and finished paying before stepping outside the shop. Embracing each other in a nearby park, we shed tears, and Shumi-san, who had been sobbing heavily, hurriedly approached us. While comforting our younger friend, we had a pleasant conversation about Aqua-san, and before we knew it, we were all smiling, mostly talking about Aqua-san.
”Well then, shall we start heading home?”
”Yes, thank you for today, Onee-san.”
”By the way… where’s Hagetoru?”
With Shumi-san’s question, we exchanged glances. Then, we saw Hagetoru-san rushing toward the shop from the street where our park was located. Despite feeling apologetic, we laughed and exchanged glances upon witnessing Hagetoru-san’s perfectly timed arrival. We later received a message saying that she woke up thanks to our call and managed to make it in time. It was a relief for Hagetoru-san, but from now on, she should definitely set an alarm clock.
92-san may have low self-esteem, but the author envisions her as a tall, beautiful woman with a slightly sharp gaze and a generous bust. Also, Hagetoru made it on time. The author wouldn’t be that mean. Additionally, the fact that Aqua-kun can greet with “okaeri nasai (Welcome back)” is highly appreciated by the author.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.