To Spill Out (Pt 2)
TLC: Krrizis & ShiraAichan
First Published on Ainushi
Kiuchi hurriedly stopped the shop attendant who had started the register.
“Huh? It’s a congratulation gift for moving in. Ah, don’t worry about her; please square the accounts.”
I urged the shop attendant to proceed ringing up the bill when,
“Sorry, please hold on for a moment. My moving is not a congratulatory event at all!! Why are you paying for it!??”
Once again, Kiuchi halted the shop attendant’s hand.
About paying for it…. It’s a present, you know.
… I forgot. Kiuchi was this kind of person.
To put it humbly, to put it reservedly, to put it dismally.
It would be nice if she just said ‘Thank you.’
“Kiuchi-san, we’re going to trouble the shop attendant and other customers if this keeps up so let me pay for them first. We’ll talk this over later.”
Turning to the shop attendant, I turned to them again saying ‘I’m really sorry, please continue’; the shop attendant swiped my credit card with a wry smile.
I also smiled bitterly. To be honest, I thought she would be pleased.
As for Kiuchi, as if she was irritated by what I had done, she went off somewhere leaving me behind at the cash register.
… I wonder if what I did was too excessive.
After I was finished paying, I found Kiuchi waiting near the exit. She came running up to me.
“Here. The money for what you paid earlier.”
Saying so, Kiuchi held out some money.
Looks like Kiuchi went to the ATM to withdraw some money.
No matter what, Kiuchi was always tight with money.
“I don’t need it. I said it’s a present for moving in, didn’t I??”
I pushed back the money that was offered.
“…It’s not a happy occasion at all. Moving out after being dumped is not something to to be celebrated. Besides, I’m just a colleague, there is no need for you to buy such expensive things for me.”
She forcefully put the money in my shirt’s pocket.
Certainly, the tableware set I chose was not from a famous brand, but it was still expensive.
Kiuchi peered into the bag that contained said set and said,
“I told you the 100-yen shop is fine. But, you really do have good sense, Tachibana-kun. The shape and design of this set is good.”
I don’t dislike this kind of honesty from Kiuchi. Though I think it’s in poor taste.
That’s why, as I thought, I can’t take Kiuchi’s money.
Because, I bought it out of my own selfishness.
Because I bought it as a present for Kiuchi.
How should I say it so that Kiuchi would just meekly accept it
How do I put this, so she would be pleased?
… Ah, that’s it.
“Then, this money is the prepayment. This month’s lunch box fee.”
I took out the money from my pocket and handed it to Kiuchi.
“My lunchbox isn’t this expensive!!”
Kiuchi said trying to push the money back.
“It includes the cost of labour and my gratitude. Besides, I bought that tableware set today because I thought it would be nice to eat Kiuchi’s food in this. Frankly, that’s my fault.”
“No, that’s still too mu–”
“It isn’t. It isn’t much. That’s the price I allotted to Kiuchi-san’s food.”
With gusto, I denied Kiichi who just couldn’t accept it no matter what.
“……… Attaching this kind of price to my cooking; It’s like I’m a chef at a three star restaurant.”
Even though she should compliantly be happy because I praised her, Kiuchi’s face turned red and she looked down.
Somehow, I’ve come to understand Kiuchi’s character.
Kiuchi, who holds a low opinion of herself, was probably not used to being praised.
“For your information, from now on if you keep putting yourself down, I will relentlessly lose respect for you.”
It would probably be easier for her if I spoke bluntly.
“……… Then, today I will show my skills to the fullest.”
Saying so, Kiuchi folded the bills.
Finally! She accepted it.
“…… By the way, Kiuchi-san, the bags are too heavy to carry on foot. Shall we head back by taxi from here??”
No matter what you say, the tableware set really was heavy.
I crouched down and made a vehement appeal of ‘I can’t walk’.
“…… Well, I got extra income. Let’s take the taxi.”
Kiuchi laughed, waving around the bills she’d folded earlier.
Extra income…… it was Kiuchi’s money from the start.
I had thought about paying for the taxi myself, but should I leave it to Kiuchi?
Because if I pay, she’ll say ‘Why is Tachibana-kun paying?’ and may return to the troublesome state like a while ago.
“Please treat me well. Sister Kiuchi.”
I lower my head with a ‘peko’ when,
“Leave it to me♪”
Saying so, Kiuchi ruffled my hair.
Somehow (my heart) pounded a little.
So, we set off to Kiuchi’s new apartment in the taxi.
Kiuchi unlocked the door and quickly entered the room.
After taking off my shoes at the entrance, I casually put the stuff we had bought earlier in the still empty room. With my back facing the wall, I sat down on the floor and spread out my legs.
Somehow, I’m a bit tired.
“You’ve worked hard. Tachibana-kun.”
Kiuchi came and crouched down next to me. She checked the time after pulling out her phone from the pocket.
“It’s already lunch time. Hmm… I’ll work hard at night, so is it okay to have something simple for lunch??”
Even though I’d just told her ‘if you put yourself down, I will lose respect for you’, Kiuchi immediately began disparaging herself.
… Well, the refrigerator is also in a sorry state so I guess it can’t be helped.
“What are you going to make??”
“I thought about simply making pasta. Tachibana-kun, what kind of pasta would be good??”
Hearing ‘What kind of pasta would be good??’, it looks like Kiuchi was not in the mood to make anything other than pasta.
“Hmm. Then, mentaiko spaghetti.”
“Great. It’s super easy♪. Then, I’ll quickly go and buy ingredients from the nearby supermarket!! Tachibana-kun, the TV… I haven’t received it yet, so you can take a nap over there.”
Kiuchi scooped herself up holding her wallet.
A nap… even though there’s no futon.
“I’ll come with you as well.”
I pushed myself up and was about to stand up when,
“I’m not going to buy so many ingredients that I need you to carry them for me, so it’s fine. I’ll be leaving then.”
Kiuchi patted my shoulder and pushed me back down. She left to go shopping by herself.
There was nothing inside the room.
Therefore, there was nothing I could do.
There was no other option, so I did what Kiuchi had told me to do and took a nap.
－－－－－Hm?? Something smells good.
… I actually fell asleep!! Me!?
I quickly got up,
My eyes met Kiuchi’s who was laying out the knives and forks.
Because the table hadn’t arrived either, Kiuchi’s handcooked food was placed on the cardboard box in which the tableware set had came in.
She had made mentaiko spaghetti, as I had requested, with sliced pork salad and plenty of vegetable soup.
The steaming, freshly-made dishes were placed on the dishes I had expertly chosen.
Look at that. Buying this tableware set was the right decision. Even placed on a cardboard box it looks good.
“Thank you for the meal!”
Taking the fork from Kiuchi, I wound the pasta around it and shoved it in my wide open mouth.
Naturally, Kiuchi’s cooking was delicious.
“That’s good, that’s good. If it’s not enough then just say so; I’ll boil some more. I have more mentaiko as well.”
Kiuchi looked happily at me, who was eating without reservation.
“Then, boil another portion, similar to this one. I can still go for another round.”
Without holding back I sent Kiuchi, who had just finished cooking, back into the kitchen.
But Kiuchi did not dislike it; rather, she returned looking pleased.
It’s delicious after all. It’s seriously delicious.
The soup and the salad as well.
I said to Kiuchi’s back while she was boiling more spaghetti.
“I don’t have more salad, but there is more soup. For now, you can eat my portion. I haven’t touched it so it should be fine.”
“But then, Kiuchi-san won’t have anything.”
I looked a bit like a glutton, don’t I?
“It’s fine. It’s fun to watch Tachibana-kun eat.”
Well, if Kiuchi says so then I won’t hold back.
After I ate to my heart’s content, including Kiuchi’s portion, I went back to helping her move.
When the delivery guys came, the cardboards boxes containing the electronics, furniture, and clothes were carried in one by one.
Slowly, the living room was filled up.
Kiuchi seems to be the type that doesn’t put a lot of stuff in a room, so the moving finished quickly.
A simple room. That was also typical of Kiuchi.
“Tachibana-kun, what do you want to eat for dinner?”
Kiuchi came and looked down at my lying form.
I felt like Kiuchi’s behaviour was very cute.
I was tired so, for now, I wanted to eat meat.
“Then, I’ll go to the supermarket for a bit.”
Kiuchi grabbed her wallet and stood up.
“I’ll go as well. I plan to eat more than I did at lunch, so you’ll need lots of ingredients. I’ll carry the bags.”
If it was for hamburgs then no matter if it’s something heavy or what, I’ll carry it eagerly.
I pulled myself up from the sofa and left the room with Kiuchi.
The two of us made our way to the nearby supermarket to do the shopping.
Since it was in the evening, there were quite a lot of women and salary men returning from their jobs.
There were also couples among them, here and there.
“… I wonder if we look like a couple??”
I grumbled and glanced at the intimate couples, releasing lovey-dovey auras, from the corner of my eye,
“We don’t look like one. If we did, then it’ll be troubling.”
Kiuchi quickly denied. I’m a bit hurt. Or rather, I should say I’m annoyed.
“To you, is it that embarrassing for me to look like I’m your boyfriend??”
“That’s not it, you’ll be the one who’ll be troubled. If a middle aged woman who is neither beautiful nor fashionable is your girlfriend… Ah, but maybe it will increase your likability instead. Something like ‘That guy doesn’t judge women by their outward appearances.’”
Kiuchi started walking a little farther from me so that we wouldn’t look like a couple.
… For that reason, huh?. In the afternoon, I had been frequently worried about my attractiveness.
By the way, this woman. She probably lost her confidence after getting dumped.
I’d imagine that she started criticising herself after being cast away.
In my opinion, it was pretty stupid to cast her away.
Too bad since Kiuchi, other than being stingy, mean, and a little stupid, she is a reaaally nice person
I didn’t mind at all even if I was seen as her boyfriend, that’s why I shortened the distance Kiuchi had made between us.
If Kiuchi and I don’t look like a couple…,
“Then, maybe we look like siblings or something?? The two of us.”
Because we’re strangers, my face doesn’t resemble Kiuchi’s at all but I probably wouldn’t mind having a sister like Kiuchi.
“That’s also a problem. People may say stuff like ‘That’s sad, huhー that lady. It looks like all of her good pointes were swallowed whole by her brother.’ They will absolutely say this.”
Kiuchi, this time I refute your objection.
Kiuchi’s self-abasement is bottomless.
Speaking of a broken heart, does it twist people’s hearts in this way too?
“Good points… I don’t have any besides my family being relatively wealthy. Even then, that’s also only because of my parents.”
I’m not as effacing as Kiuchi, but it’s not like I’m full of confidence in myself.
“What are you talking about?? You have a good face, you’re well dressed, have a good upbringing, are somewhat kind, you can sometimes be impolite but it’s interesting. ……… you say ‘delicious’ to my cooking. There are lots of good points. You’re full of good points.”
Kiuchi is probably calling me a ‘good guy’ because I praised her cooking.
But, despite that, I felt a little happy.
“Ah, there’s the meat.”
When Kiuchi and I entered the supermarket we passed by the meat corner.
While saying ‘hamburg♪’ I placed the minced beef in the basket without thinking further when,
“…… After all, Tachibana-kun’s house uses beef for hamburg. So I guess you don’t use stuff like bread crumbs, right? Demi glace for the sauce?”
Kiuchi looked at the meat I’d put in the basket with a sullen face.
What?? Was this not the meat for making hamburg??
“I don’t know what’s in the recipe but I thought the meat used would be beef. And yes, the sauce certainly has to be demi glace sauce.”
“… I see. In my house, we used ground pork and beef. Sometimes, we would also put in tofu.”
Shouldn’t it be meat!?
What’s going on!?? Kiuchi family!?
“No, no, no, no. Honestly, it’s surprising, but it’s pretty common, you know?? ‘Tofu Hamburger’ is well-known around the world. If you use tofu, it’s low calorie and low budget.”
Kiuchi raised her eyebrows and smiled embarrassingly.
…… Tofu hamburger. I’ve only been interested in meat, that’s why I didn’t know that tofu hamburger even existed.
“But today I’m grateful for you helping me move. That is why I’ll put all my effort to make a 100% beef hamburg with demi glace sauce.”
Saying so, Kiuchi laughed.
“What sauce does your family use??”
“We use a mixture of worcestershire sauce and ketchup, cook it with canned tomatoes, or use ponzu mixed with grated radish… I think??”
Just by her words, it made me want to taste the delicious flavours of her family’s household cooking.
“Which hamburg is the best??”
“Hmm. The hamburgs cooked with tomatoes, I guess??”
“Then, make that.”
I returned the beef from where I took it and replaced it with ground pork and beef meat.
“Is it okay if it’s not beef?”
Kiuchi looked up at me with a look that implied, ‘You don’t have to hold back.’
Because whatever Kiuchi makes would be good.
After having decided the meat, we headed towards the vegetable section.
Suddenly, Kiuchi’s feet came to a stop.