I feel unsettled.
'My Lady. Would you like some tea?'
'No, thank you.
'Well, cakes and such are available at .......'
'No need for that either.
I was a little hard on the waiter for calling out to me, and I immediately felt self loathing.
...... What am I doing, I wonder?
...... But I appreciate your concern. Thank you.
'Miss ...... is a waste of words.'
There are many things that I have learned from Yashiro, but this one, "expressing gratitude in words," was a very meaningful lesson.
I was taught that the things that I took for granted were actually the result of someone else's labor, and when I looked back on it, I realized how blessed I was.
I felt it in my heart, not in words.
I knew this when I saw him ...... running around more than anyone else, sometimes up close, sometimes from afar. To do something for someone else. You don't even know that. ......
I didn't even know how stupid and petty I was, just giving and not knowing how to be grateful.
Since then, I've been trying to appreciate the hardships of those around me, one by one.
Since I started doing so,......, I've felt as if I've risen in the ranks of the waiters. The level of care, the politeness of the work, and above all, the cheerful atmosphere with a smile on their faces.
By changing myself, I was able to change the people around me.
I felt so fulfilled.
It's like a soft air that Yashiro creates by involving those around him. ...... It's very comfortable.
'You are a strange person,......, really.
You can find a lot of people who are looking for the best way to get the most out of their life.
He is always pretending to be unmotivated,...... but behind the scenes, he is more active than anyone else.
If you don't know him, you probably underestimate him.
I thought he was rude at first too.
He is blunt, verbally abusive, and extremely rude in his manner and speech.
He has a nasty way of talking that pinpoints the places you don't want him to hit the hardest.
If you make him your enemy, there is no one more annoying than him.
But if you become an ally, ......
I'm not sure what to make of that. Of course,......, so have I.'
I've been told that there are a hundred or two men who can woo me, but I can't believe that something like this would make me restless and distraught. ......
The only thing I can think of is that Yashiro might forget about me .............
'...... I don't like that. I don't like that.
I went out on the balcony to get some ...... wind and ......
'Oh!I'm here to play!
Yashiro was waving at me, his face unchanged, as usual.
He was standing in the garden, looking up at the balcony, smiling and happy.
You ...... don't even know what people are thinking, you're so fluent.
'Please let Mr. Yashiro through!
I went back to my room, told the waiter, and sat down in front of the mirror.
Since I was going to meet him, I had to at least brush through.
'It's as if he's seen me in my nightgown. ...... Hmm...'
I couldn't help but laugh as I felt my heart beating fast and furious.
The anxiety I had just experienced is gone,......, and I can brush through it with such glee. I've changed after all.
It's a good idea to keep your man waiting.
...... But my feet are kicking the floor more quickly and busily than usual.
It's like a loyal dog waiting for its owner to return. ...... I don't like it, it's disgraceful.
I was hoping for a moment to calm down and put some red on my lips. ......
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Perhaps being too good is a bad thing.
'You didn't have to be in such a hurry.
'I'm in no hurry.
Yashiro sits down on the living room sofa and looks up at me.
At least, I can resist,' I say with a generous smile.
'It's business as usual.
'Then you'd better calm down a bit. At least in your own home. See?
...... I'm afraid I'm starting to worry you.
I'm usually more graceful, you know?
Today, it just so happens that ............ Ah, why did you say 'as usual', I ......
I'm not sure what to make of it.It's a bit cute, isn't it?
It's just a small resistance.
I'm ............ glad you called my protest cute.
I'm glad I'm not a canine. I'm sure if I had a tail like Paula's, I'd be wagging it right now.
It is unbecoming of a lady to reveal her innermost thoughts to her partner.
You have a face that is easy to understand, don't you?
...... It's funny.
I don't know, everything's going wrong.
'So, what can I do for you?Or do you just want to see my beautiful face?
'I'm thirsty, so I've come for a cup of tea.
'Did you want to drink tea while looking at my beautiful face?
'Oh, yes. Yeah, yeah. Something like that.'
How nice. ......
'So, what is it? That's it.
...... That's weird. You said it was cute earlier. ......
'Well, that's fine. I'll have the tea ready in a minute.'
'Oh, wait a minute.
Yashiro stopped me from calling the waiter and looked as if he had an idea. What are you going to do?
'Why don't the two of us cook together sometime?
'The two of us?............ What is it?'
'And some tea.'
'...... Watakusi and Yashiro-san together, sir?'
'Oh. What do you think?
I think he told me to behave as usual. ......
'That sounds interesting.
I wouldn't be so foolish as to turn down an offer from Mr. Yashiro.
The two of us will make it.
Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?
'Head waiter. Send all the waiters back to their dormitories. You're not allowed in this house until I give you permission!
'No, ...... you don't have to be that thorough alone with me. ......'
'If I'm going to do this, I'm going to go all the way!
'......Well, that's fine.'
I've never thought of cooking ...... before.
But I'm a talented person. I'm sure you'll be able to cook to the manager's level with no trouble.
'Well, head waiter. Sorry, but you can't use the kitchen.
Mr. Yashiro calls out to the head waiter, and the head waiter bows in return. How smart of him. That's the head waiter. She's a smart woman who doesn't say unnecessary things.
'I'm sure the young lady will make a mess, so I've prepared some hot water and a change of clothes. If there are any more unforeseen circumstances, I'm sorry, but you'll have to deal with them. As long as it belongs to the house, I don't care what you do with it.
'Don't talk about unnecessary things!Cut the crap, head waiter!
'Well, you're a very good waiter.
Don't praise him too much, Mr. Yashiro. The head waiter will get carried away.
It's not like I'm going to ...... let him get away with it.
'Hey~. You are saying unnecessary things, but you don't have to be angry?
There is such a thing as necessary information.
I think it's up to ...... you to make the most of the information you get. Think it over carefully.
Then, after about ten minutes of preparation, the servants left the house.
Then, I and Yashiro stood side by side in the kitchen, wearing matching aprons.
'...... Why are you fluttering like this?
'Oh?It looks good on you, Yashiro.'
A lovely pure white apron with ruffles around the shoulders and waist.
It's the latest model designed by Mr. Ukrines. It looks good on you, Mr. Yashiro.
I'll have them prepare a ribbon for you next time. Somehow, it seems to suit you, Mr. Yashiro.
Well, let's get started.
Yashiro-san showed a brave expression in front of the food. ......
'...... pfft, I'm wearing a frill and I'm giggling ............'
'You made me prepare this frilly apron, didn't you?
It's not a good idea.
I'm not sure what to make of it.
'Is there anything you'd like to make?I'd rather you didn't make anything too difficult.'
'Yes, that's true. ......'
So far, Yashiro-san has made and spread a number of dishes.
Cakes and pasta. Yaki Onigiri and Okonomiyaki......
All of them were delicious and made me want to eat them again and again.
'Okonomiyaki............No, Neapolitan is also very hard to beat......'
'Hey, here's some tea for you!
I'm fine with tea and okonomiyaki.
But yes, that's true. ......
'Do you have any memorable tastes, Yashiro-san?
I thought it would be nice to have something that I could eat today, just for this occasion.
I wanted to get to know Mr. Yashiro better,.......
'Well, ............ apple pie, I guess.
'Apple pie?Is it apple pie?
'Oh, yeah. That's the apple pie.'
'Whole apples dipped in batter and fried in oil?
'That's an apple cutlet, isn't it?
'That's what we call apple pie in the Forty-second Ward, you know?
'Apple pie in the Forty-second Ward!The one with apple in the pie!
'Nipples in my tits?
'You've gone crazy since you came to the 42nd district, that's for sure!
If that's the case, the cause is definitely Yashiro.
It's not often that someone other than ...... Yashiro can move your heart.
It's a very simple thing to do. I thought that shortcakes and the like had a stronger emotional impact on you.
Then, unusually, Mr. Yashiro made an embarrassed expression.
He looked embarrassed, but happy. ...... He had the carefree expression of a child.
'The landlady once made this for me for my birthday. It was, well, ............ very, very good.
The landlady. I'm talking about Yashiro's mother.
The ...... mother's memorable ...... taste.
'...... I envy you.'
Speaking of my memories,......
'I've ruined the taste of your mother's.'
It was a dish that her mother, who was lying on her sickbed, forced her to make for me to eat in the end. ......
It was a very simple, yet heartfelt dish. ......
'I couldn't eat the last dish your mother made for me ......'
If you eat it, your mother's cooking will be gone.
She will never cook for you again, her last dish. ......
'When I think of it, I can't eat it. ......'
And then, cruelly, it rotted away. ............
Your mother's cooking can never be ...... eaten again. ......
'I wish now that I had eaten it ...... properly instead of just looking at it.'
It will be just a complaint,......, but in front of Yashiro, it can be forgiven.
But it's no use telling this to Yashiro. ......
'It must have been delicious. It must have been the best in the world. ............ It was a shame, wasn't it? I was a little girl.
If only Yashiro had been there at that time......
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, hypothetically imagining things that could never happen.
If I could do it all over again,...... surely I would ......
'Then you can imagine as much as you want.
While peeling an apple, Yashiro looked at me.
Then he smiled and said, ......
'It's the best in the world, right?Even if you encounter a great tasting food in the future, you will think it is better than that. Isn't that great?
'No, that's just what ...... I'm saying. ......'
'No, no. I'm sure it was delicious.
He assured her proudly, and then--
You can't beat the food that a mother cooks with all her heart for her child.
--He said this with ...... absolute confidence in his own words.
'No one has ever surpassed the landlady's apple pie yet.
'No one?Can't even ...... Mr. Yashiro reproduce it?
'I think I'm getting close,......, but I'm not there yet.
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one.
'It's not even close to that.'
'I guess so. ............ Yeah. I think the landlady is still a bit better than me.
'Yes, it's ...... .............'
Even the manager can't surpass the taste. ......
'Mothers are great, aren't they?
'That's because you're a mother. You haven't raised any children.'
Your mother knew everything about me, didn't she?
From your favorite foods to your favorite colors, creatures you hate, places you're afraid of, and even why you're sulking and crying. ......
'No matter what kind of food you encounter, it's always better than that. It's amazing.'
'Mmmm ...... I feel like I'm overreacting a little when you say that much, but ............ I'm starting to feel that way.'
My mother was not that good of a cook.
Most of the food was prepared by the waitresses.
But sometimes she would stand in the kitchen herself just to make me happy. ............ Oh, that's right.
I loved ...... your mother's cooking.
Yes,......, much more than any chef's cooking.
'The food was so delicious that it instantly made me stop crying when I would unreasonably bend my stomach and cry.
'That's amazing. If we could recreate that taste, there would be no more wars in the world.
'Is my tantrum really that important?
'Because I can't help you.'
Yashiro raises his hands jokingly.
The cut apples are now simmering in the pot, giving off a very sweet aroma.
The pie crust seems to be made from the one that the waiter had made before, so it should be ready in no time.
'It smells delicious, doesn't it?
'Because it's delicious. Of course it is.'
'You're very confident, aren't you?
'That's because the ...... dough isn't mine.
'Then please treat me to a perfect apple pie next time.
'You're so selfish like that, aren't you?
'Of course. Who do you think I am?
'No, it's nothing to brag about.
You can help me too,' said Yashiro, who didn't know what he was talking about. But just because I'm next to you, I'm sure I'm helping a lot, so I'm definitely not helping.
Line up the apples, cover them with dough, and put them in the ...... oven.
After the work was done, we stayed in the kitchen and talked while standing.
We talked as usual. All the while the pies were baking.
In the quiet of the house, all that could be heard were the voices of Watakusi and Mr. Yashiro.
Come to think of it, there's been a time like that before.
'If it's bright, we won't be afraid even if we're alone.
'What?...... Ah, the deserted house late at night. It's pretty rare for a new house to be that scary.'
'It was scary because it was a new house. When people live in a house, memories are created and imprinted in every corner of the house.
Then I pointed to the kitchen floor and told her the story of the birth of the scar on it.
'This scar was made when I overturned the cauldron while trying to sneak a bite.
'What are you doing?
'...... I'm so angry. ............'
''Why can't you wait ten more minutes?'' ......
'I can't argue with that.
Good memories and bad memories, all included. ......
'There are already so many memories etched in this house. Now, even late at night, you won't be afraid.
Even walking through the dark corridors, the fear will disappear when you remember what happened there in the daytime.
There is nothing to be afraid of when you feel that this is your place. ............
'So, Mr. Yashiro.
'Please don't lose your memories.
The days you spent with me. Please don't lose the memories.
'If I see you in the dark, I might cry out of fear.
Would it bother you if I cried?
After all, the only person who can stop my tears is you, Yashiro-san, besides your mother.
'......' at all.
Sighing, Yashiro opened the lid of the oven. Using a pair of mittens, he took out the apple pie.
The browned apple pie was pleasing to the eye and looked delicious. ......
I'm sure you'll agree that it's a great idea.
...... For a moment, I almost missed those words.
'Come on, let's cut it up and eat it.'
'Now!............What's your name, ......?'
'Hmm?Yeah, ............ is a funny thing when you think about it.'
In the hand he pulls out is a small seed: ............
'How could I forget a strong character like Imelda?'
'Yes,......, yes,......, yes!It would be a mortal sin to forget my beautiful name, even for a moment.
I'm glad ......
I never thought I'd be so happy to hear my name called. ......
'Well, then, I guess I'll be punished for my crime. Here, atone for your sins.'
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's not afraid to ask for help.
And with such a carefree smile on his face, ............ you are the only person who can get away with this level of disrespect to me.
I'll take it.
The freshly baked apple pie was very hot, crispy and crunchy, with just the right amount of sweetness and just the right amount of sourness,......, it was very delicious.
It was so good that I didn't hesitate to give it my honest praise.
'Hmm!But the landlady's is even better, isn't it?
'I can't imagine a better apple pie than this.
Perhaps it's because it's freshly baked, but it tastes even better than the apple pie at the Sunshine Pavilion.
It's definitely the best apple pie I've ever had. I don't think there's anything better than that. ......
'Let's call it number three.
'Number two is the landlady's apple pie.'
'What's number one?
A question asked casually.
Mr. Yashiro silently pointed his index finger at me, thinking that I was going to play with words again.
When I tilted my head, not understanding what he meant, these words came from his lips
'Maybe the food your mother cooked for you is better than that. For you.'
--My heart is in my throat.
I'm not going to cry, but ............ still ......
'To surpass two of the best cooks I've ever known: ...... Your mother must have cared a lot about Imelda.
She said this as if it were a matter of course. ......
I'm not going to be able to cook like that unless I put my heart and soul into it, thinking about you.
The words I wish someone had said to me were so easy to ......
'Imelda. You were loved.
............ How far will you go ......!
'Mr. Yashiro. I have two requests for you.
I can't feel my chest. But I manage to swallow my apple pie and speak quickly.
I can't see your face, but ...... try not to let your voice tremble. ......
'There's nothing like a mother's heartfelt cooking for her child.' ...... You said that, didn't you?
If so, please continue to make more delicious food for us to eat. I feel like I can touch your mother's thoughts every time I do.
'...... I can't help it. If only it was in moderation.
'It's from .............'
My voice is ...... shaky. ............
No, you can't. A little more, a little more patience, my dear.
'Your mouth is hot. There is no denying the possibility of burns, so please call the waiter immediately.
'Hey, hey. Are you all right?
'Get the waiter!It's ....... .............
'Oh, ........ Yeah. Okay, okay. I'll go get him then.'
You're a very perceptive person, really. ...... would be very helpful.
Just a word to the sound of distant footsteps.
'Thank you, .......'
'...... Hmm. It's mutual.'
The footsteps moving away were light and ...... a little sad, but somehow relieved ............
'Ugh ............, ughhhh!
I couldn't hold back my tears and they started to fall.
Yashiro-san ......, you may think that I am crying for your mother.
You're half right.
But, Mr. Yashiro. The other half is ......
'I still think ...... that you are the one who .................. ......'.
I feel safe just being around you.
It takes away the pain and suffering.
It always shows me a new world.
I'm aware that I'm so dependent on you, and I'm trying my best to stand on my own, but ............ I'm still satisfied when I'm with you.
It's a good idea.
Half of my tears are because ...... you are kind.
Please take responsibility for that.
Please take responsibility and ...... keep me in your thoughts forever.