The Walk to the Aquarium
A morning with birds chirping.
I woke up rubbing my eyes.
At the same time, Suzuka, who is sleeping beside me, seems to have woken up as well.
“Hmmm. I slept well. Good morning.”
“Oh, good morning.”
We yawn, stretch our backs, and relax our stiffened bodies.
After a moment, when that settled down, Suzuka turned to smile at me.
“We have a date today, don’t we?”
I can see visibly that she is looking forward to it.
I’m sure I’d start to enjoy myself too if I could see that kind of face.
“Now, let’s have breakfast. Breakfast.”
We get out of bed and head for the kitchen.
It’s not early in the morning, but it’s early enough.
Mom hasn’t left for work yet.
“Oh my, that’s unusual. Both of you are up early.”
“Hehe~. I’m going out with Yuki today~.”
“That’s good to hear. You guys were kind of distant in the beginning, but lately you seem to be getting more comfortable, don’t you think? You seem to be enjoying every day, don’t you?”
That’s my mother.
She doesn’t miss the slightest change.
While thinking about this, Suzuka and I prepare breakfast while talking with my mother ahead of her work.
Just as we finished preparing breakfast, Mom left for work.
In my ear, she said, “Even though you’re a married couple, you should still be dating properly, okay?” I was left speechless.
What a worrying mother she is.
The two of us are munching on our breakfasts.
Over breakfast, we talk about today’s events.
“Where are you taking me today?”
“I’m thinking of going to the aquarium, how’s that sound?”
“I like it. What aquarium?”
A bit ill-mannered, I pull out my phone and show her the website of the aquarium we are going to visit today.
It is a fairly large aquarium.
Dolphin shows, penguin shows, and so on.
I already have a good grasp of the events that we can enjoy.
“So, will you come with me?”
We then chewed on our breakfast while talking about how cute penguins are and how we would definitely see the dolphin show.
I’m already feeling full at this point.
After finishing breakfast, Suzuka and I quickly started preparing for our date.
My hair is not quite done, but I lightly trimmed it, shaved my beard which is not thick yet, and my eyebrows are fine since I just trimmed them the last time I was there.
I also checked for nose hairs.
I carefully prepare myself for the day.
And yet, I wait quietly in the living room, dressed in the clothes I bought yesterday.
While watching TV and fidgeting for Suzuka to finish getting ready, I got a message saying that she was at the door? She came.
“I can’t help it.”
A few dozen seconds of packing luggage and waiting at the front door.
The door opened fearfully.
“Sorry to keep you waiting? Well?”
An embarrassed Suzuka appeared.
I look at the clothes she is wearing.
She is wearing a knit sweater, a knee-high flared skirt, and a belt made of thick, soft material wrapped high.
Her bag was well matched and there were no complaints.
“You’re so cute. There it is. I feel like I’m seeing your true colors for the first time.”
“Well, I’ve never worked this hard before either. And, well, …… that.”
Something bothering her? Suzuka stares at me with a kind of “what the heck” look.
What’s going on? Did I do something wrong?
I begin to feel a little uneasy, but …… that quickly disappears.
“Yuki is definitely looking good today.”
“Right? You get serious. I got to get serious too.”
“I love that kind of attitude of yours, Yuki! Let’s go, then.”
“Oh, let’s go.”
We both move our feet toward the station.
We walk side by side to our destination together.
“It’s getting colder, so why don’t we hold hands? You see, we couldn’t do that when it was cold.”
“Good. Here you go.”
We hold hands tightly.
A few dozen steps passed.
“Can I be honest with you?”
“I’m not good at holding hands. I feel like people are looking at me weird, and it makes me uncomfortable.”
“Me too. I thought we could hold hands now that it’s getting colder. I’m kind of uncomfortable when I think people are looking at me.”
It reminded me of Tanaka and Kaneda-san, who were walking hand in hand in a harmonious manner.
I guess that’s how lovers are supposed to be.
But that doesn’t mean we have to go along with that.
“Shall I let go of your hand?”
Poof, hands off.
But it wasn’t because I didn’t want to.
Everyone is different.
It’s just that we’re slow, and we’re okay with that.
“I hear penguin slapping is dangerous?”
“Sure, those wings? They swim with them, don’t they?”
“Hey, Yuki, why don’t you get smacked and find out?”
“Oh, don’t say such awful things so casually.”
We are walking more happily than when we were walking hand in hand.
It’s natural, just the way it is.
Lovers are creatures that exude a lovey-dovey atmosphere.
We tend to have this preconceived notion, but of course there is such a way of being a lover.
“But I might want you to hold my hand when we are out of the public eye.”
“Hmm? Oh, well. When I was watching a movie with you in my room, we usually held hands. I certainly didn’t mind at the time.”
“Yeah, I know.”
One, we become more familiar with ourselves.
It’s comforting, and yet it also whets the desire to know more.
“But still, an aquarium? I haven’t been there since that time.”
“Certainly not since that time.”
Me and Suzuka have been friends since we were spoiled little brats.
We were in the same class in elementary, junior high and high school.
In elementary school, we went to the aquarium on a field trip. I was in the same group with Suzuka and we went around the aquarium together.
“Oh no, it was hard to contain the anger of the girls in our group that time.”
“Oh, you do remember.”
” I guess so. You see, the boys, including me, were moving forward and ahead, not caring about the girls, including you, who wanted to take their time and see the fishes.”
“Yes. That’s it. We were so angry because we felt that boys are so selfish, you know?”
“I’m really sorry about that. I was a brat at the time, no matter how you look at it. I’m sorry, so please forgive me.”
“Well, what should I do?”
Deliberately, she pretended to stretch out her judgment.
And then, Suzuka quickly jumped in front of me with a thump.
“I forgive you! But in return, you’ll escort me properly today, right?”
“What’s the matter?”
“Sorry. You’re so cute, I just shut up.”
“Heh, you can praise me more, can’t you?”
“I’ll give you a compliment. You are the cutest girl in the world, Suzuka.”
“Really? Well, I’ll give Yuki a compliment too!”
Smiling, she stood right in front of me again.
And then, out of her pretty mouth came words of praise for me.
“It’s childishly cute that you don’t like the green peas and leave them behind.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“It’s not. I didn’t mean it as a compliment, okay? My compliments are expensive!”
We walk happily on our way to the destination, which is the aquarium.