Warm lighting radiated from the white-painted high ceiling where a hanging chandelier illuminates rows of sparkling and colorful clothes. Somehow it lends an illusion that the white mannequin beckons to you.
Inside the apparel store she hadn’t been to in a long time, Hina heaved a small sigh. Recently, she’s only been wearing fast fashion clothes so she hasn’t gone to such a sophisticated shop as of late.
“Hina! Let’s buy matching clothes for the double date!”
For that reason, Mei half-dragged her there. Feeling a bit intimidated by the shop’s glamorous atmosphere, Hina observed Mei who was happily choosing clothes in front of her. Her makeup looked flawless even though they’ve finished work for the day. Her hair was still as gorgeous as it was in the morning. Her nails were painted pinkish beige, and she wore polished high heeled pumps.
Hina also wore makeup but in contrast, she looked different from Mei with her hair sticking out all over. Hina looked at herself in the mirror and after comparing with her cute friend, her shoulders slightly dropped.
Mei’s usual cheerful voice reeled her back from her reverie.
“Come to think of it, why didn’t you tell me about Hasegawa until now?”
“It isn’t something I can just casually say, is it?”
“Well, if it was me, I’d surely boast about it.” Mei cocked her head to the side.
In the end, Hina was forced to spill everything about Hasegawa’s confession. But because it wasn’t her story alone to tell, she only relayed her feelings and how she didn’t want to go out with him. Of course, she didn’t say anything about her getting locked out of her house and staying in his room either.
Mei is a junior colleague she got along well with ever since she joined the company. She doesn’t think she’ll spread it around but she may have a slip of the tongue so she decided to keep it a secret.
(I don’t want any weird rumors to spread around…)
Thinking so, Hina looked at Mei with a sidelong glance and saw her picking up clothes while humming.
“Hina! How about this? You have beautiful legs so I think it’ll suit you very well.”
It was a light beige knitted dress. It had a turtleneck design and its length was up to the knee.
Mei aligned the dress on Hina’s body in front of the mirror. Hina frowned a little as it was a far cry from her usual style.
“I bet Hasegawa will like this too! Come on, let’s buy this!”
“I’ve been telling you but stylish clothes aren’t for me. In the first place, I’ve no intention to meet Hasegawa’s taste.”
Rolling her eyes, Mei said with a pout.
“That’s a shame! Isn’t Hasegawa a good catch?”
“Then would you consider dating him?”
“My stomach will knot in stress, so no!”
Hina narrowed her eyes and lightly laughed.
“But, I still think you should come fashionably dressed. Hasegawa is a real looker and if you come in weird clothes, won’t you stand out? You sure you’re okay with that?”
Hina couldn’t deny it. Mei can be considered a beauty. Despite her playful demeanor, she has the charm that most men would fall for. Just like her, Hasegawa was also good-looking and imagining herself standing beside him, she quivered in repugnance. She doesn’t know what Mei’s boyfriend is like, but considering that he chose a girl like Mei, he’s probably on the same level as her. If she goes dressed in her usual style, she’ll definitely gather unapproving looks.
“Sorry, I think I won’t go after all…”
“For God’s sake, we’ve already purchased the tickets so you can’t back out now.”
Mei took out the tickets and handed it to her. Hina gave up and bowed in defeat.
Mei tugged her hand and smiled cheerfully.
“Just give up and be my dress-up doll, okay?”
In the end, Hina was urged to buy the knitted dress. She looked forward to Sunday with a melancholic feeling.
“What a great weather to go on a date! Right, Hina?”
Hina didn’t feel particularly happy about it as she looked up at the soaring blue sky. The deafening shrieks of the people riding the roller coaster in front of them rang in her ears.
It’s been quite a while since she last came to the amusement park but the music and people were the same as in her memory.
“Not feeling well?” Hasegawa asked and moved beside her. He placed his hands on her forehead and Hina immediately jumped up in surprise.
“I’m fine! And please, don’t touch me so casually!”
“Hina, are you embarrassed? How cute~” Mei teased as she made a heart with her hands, then poked her. Hina wrinkled her brows at that gesture.
“Mei, you shouldn’t make fun of people so much, you know!” Yuma, Mei’s boyfriend, reprimanded her. Hina imagined a more flashy guy but Mei’s boyfriend seemed modest and reserved. Mei said he was year younger than her. He smiled gently while rustling his black hair. Hina felt that his gentle expression was a testament to his character.
“So-rry, Yu.” Mei lightly apologized in a sweet voice while lacing her arms through his. Yuma’s cheeks blushed immediately like a young boy.
“Compared to that…”
Hina muttered while looking at Hasegawa whose arms were crossed beside her. He wore his usual cold expression but kept his gaze at the younger couple’s interaction.
“Not cute at all…”
“Is there something wrong?”
Hearing Hina’s voice, Hasegawa lowered his head and looked at her. Behind his cold gaze, he wanted to berate if that was proper behavior to the person you like but decided against it. He didn’t want to make a scene and end up a laughing stock.
“Oh, did you want to link arms too? Go ahead.”
“N-no, thanks!” Hina screamed as Hasegawa chuckled, which made Hina realize that she had been teased.
“Hina, Hasegawa, we’re leaving…”
Mei happily called the two out from a distance. Hina turned her face away from Hasegawa, waved her hands to Mei and walked briskly to catch up.