On the dining table, there are bottled oolong teas that I brought through home shopping, and sunny side up eggs lined up for three people.
The fried eggs that had exquisite brown charring were cooked by Kanon.
It was already prepared on my plate by the time I woke up. (I overslept a bit)
We were standing up while surrounding the fried egg, and we were already producing a cold atmosphere.
“Are your screws on too tight? Fried eggs = soy sauce.”
“No, no, no, what are you saying? It’s already been decided that ketchup is the best.”
“Salt. Salt and nothing else.”
Every member’s assertions are magnificently parallel to one another.
The tension rises even higher.
It was like a UN conference.
“Given that we are born Japanese, soy sauce is an indispensable part of our cooking, don’t you agree? The exquisite brininess grants the dull whites’ deliciousness when soaked…… Not knowing that is exactly makes you guys kids.”
“Doubt~. If we’re talking about the whites then the best one is ketchup. And if you like to, it also fits with the yolk—.”
“Salt, no contest. Simple is best. Nothing goes better with a fried egg than salt! To top it all off, sprinkling salt is when the fried eggs are at the peak of its beauty!”
“I disagree. if we’re talking about beauty then then shouldn’t it be ketchup? White and yellow with a touch of red? For the purposes of appearance, it’s a total win.”
“Black on white and yellow. The pinnacle of color schemes. It is its ultimate form if you will.”
We were emitting invisible sparks.
I know I’m talking about a very silly thing.
But even though one knows it’s nonsense, there are times when a person needs to make a point.
And that time was now.
After about 5 seconds of silence, the microwave beeped as if to soothe the atmosphere.
It looks like the bread’s been heated.
I quietly leave the scene then transferred the two slices of bread on the plate.
Continuing in that trend, I put another soft piece of bread in the microwave and press the toast switch.
It’s handy having a microwave oven with a toast function but it can only heat two pieces at a time.
“Here, eat up first”
Putting the toast on the bread, the two of them reluctantly sit on the chair.
For the time being, this morning’s cold was has come to an end. Although it feels more like a temporary armistice.
Taking the margarine out of the fridge and putting it on a table, Kanon hands Himari a butter knife and urges her to spread some.
“Th-thanks. I’ll go ahead and eat then.”
Himari promptly took the margarine and butter knife but—
“Go ahe—? You’re knifing it vertically?”
The strangest thing happened. Himari cuts into it vertically and scoops out a piece of margarine.
It happened as if she was digging through a fossil. For me being a part of the faction that scrapes of a thin layer of margarine with the utmost care, is an unbelievable outrage.
“Margarine is supposed to be used from the top right?”
“Is that so? My places goes through it vertically from end to end though…….”
“ Ah, mine too, mine too~”
I freeze at Kanon’s unexpected support.
“What the…… You know, you guys are definitely in the minority right?”
“Eh— You think so?”
“Well, even if that were the case, me and Himari are the majority here.”
Saying so, Kanon receives the butter knife from Himari and creates a deep vertical cut into the margarine.
“Like I said! Don’t gouge out my margarine!”
Unfortunately, my insistence went unheard by the two high school girls.
After the bread was toasted, I carefully stroke the surface of the margarine to fill in the hole they made.
Shit. The hole isn’t mending at all….!
Since there were 2 chairs, I was eating while standing up.
I know this is bad manners but I didn’t have a choice in the matter.
The eggs Kanon cooked were superb and were to my liking.
I tend to overcook when I do it, leaving the backside gets burnt.
I like it when better when a fried egg’s yolk is solid all the way through. It sets in the stomach better that way.
I drizzle soy sauce on top of the egg and use the chopsticks to split the white parts off into bite-sized portions.
After dipping the parts of the egg that weren’t covered with soy sauce in sauce that accumulated in the plate, I take a bite.
….Yup. Soy sauce is the best for fried eggs after all.
When I glanced over at Kanon and Himari, they were eating it with ketchup and salt respectively.
Incidentally, I once tried imitating a movie I saw a long time ago and put fried egg on top of a piece of toast but I ended up disappointed at how tasteless it was.
Because of that, I didn’t suggest it to anyone to try.
There’s nothing better than soy sauce on fried eggs, after all. End of discussion.
While eating bread and using chopsticks at the same time is a strange mealtime scene, I didn’t pay it much mind.
Thinking about it again though, toast and eggs is a pretty bare bones breakfast.
Would high school girl really find that acceptable?
Well, even if I think it over now, there are no other foods here.
“Hey….. I’m one of those people who do a pretty crud breakfast, but would it be better for us if I get some instant miso?”
I got suddenly curious, so I asked.
Also, should I ask whether they like rice or bread better? I’m a fan of bread myself though.
“Eh. You use the instant kind?”
“Eh. Is instant no good?”
Kanon and I stop our chopsticks and look at each other with round eyes in surprise.
“Well, it’s just that instant miso is just a waste of money. Do you mean to spend that much money on a meal just like yesterday’s pizza, every time? ”
“Of course not! I’d go bankrupt. It’s just that there’s excess when you make one when you live alone, so instant would be plain better.”
It’s not that I don’t do my own fair share of cooking for myself but it’s difficult to adjust the amount on a soup-type dish.
Although the hot season may have had a hand in it, I tried eating one day old miso soup once but it had clearly become funky and gross in that time frame.
Since then I’d stop making food in quantities I couldn’t eat.
“It is true that instant things would be good enough for one person but there’s three people here now. If it’s to the extent of miso soup I could make it you know? In fact, I could c.”
“Eh…. are you sure?”
“Well, you gave me a place to stay. I can at least do that you know.”
It seems she’s pouting as she quickly turns away.
Her suggestion is helpful for me.
Coming back from work then cooking is a pretty mentally and physically draining affair.
I end up buying convenience store bento or ready made food from the supermarket most of the time due to that.
“Kanon, you’re cooking’s amazing….~”
“Ah, It was because I lived with my mother. I guess it just came naturally to me…..”
“You even made fried eggs so quickly.”
“It’s just frying an egg”
“I tried it a few times myself but I always burn it pitch black……”
Kanon awkwardly averts her eyes.
It looks like Himari isn’t good at cooking. Well, she does feel like a sheltered girl
I’m not good at it either but not to the extent where I’d burn it pitch black
There’s no need for high heat. Only use “low heat” or “medium heat” is a pet theory I’ve arrived at through living alone.
In any case, I’m grateful that Kanon took the initiative to start cooking. Home cooking is a standard for saving money after all.
But, a high school girl’s home cooking huh…..
What’s in front of me is a no nonsense ordinary fried egg.
But even so, the fact that it isn’t made by me is making me strangely ticklish.
After finishing breakfast, Himari quickly changed clothes.
Continuing to watch her dressed with only my t-shirt all throughout this morning had proved to be too stimulating.
Himari’s legs are a poison to the eyes….
With that reason in mind, Himari had changed into her uniform.
The casual clothes she wore yesterday, her uniform, and a few pairs of underwear are apparently the only change of clothes she brought with her.
The uniform that has a navy-blue motif had a neatness to it that’s different to Kanon’s school uniform.
“What are you staring at.”
Kanon muttered. It was as if she’s prickling a needle.
“It wasn’t really staring”
“Lies. I saw you. I know that Himari is cute in her school uniform and all but don’t get any ideas.”
“Why would I get any? I’ve already said it yesterday, but I am not a lolicon.”
“Himari, be careful. Especially your legs. Your thin but soft and long makes one futilely want to touch it.”
“Eeehh!? T-touch it!?
“Yeah. Even I think that way so what more if it’s a man?”
She glances at me while saying so.
“Err…uhmm….. I think it will be okay if it’s Komamura-san. He even tried to help me from a molester…….”
Kanon looked like she still wanted to follow up with something but she doesn’t say anything more.
She’s still staring at me for some reason though.
Honestly speaking though, if a high school girl in uniform is in front of me, my eyes would naturally be drawn in.
However, by no means am I looking at it sketchily.
I want them to understand it’s only just a sense of nostalgia for my by-gone youth— But with the way things are going, it doesn’t seem that will get through to Kanon………
After we all had finished changing our clothes, I’m standing inside the small the bathroom with a serious expression.
The agenda this time is “Laundry”
Until now, I’ve been using the washing machine once every 2-4 days after I had a certain amount of clothes had piled up. However, it’s definitely a bad idea to do so now that I’m living with two high school girls.
Moreover, the drum type washing/drying machine combo (Which is quiet too) would only be turned on whenever I felt like it regardless if it was day or night. Doing laundry per say, isn’t really a habit ingrained in me.
That was why I though we should make some proper decisions about the laundry so we started talking about it but—
“Frankly speaking, No……”
Kanon mutters without looking at me
“I’m ok with clothes but— I absolutely don’t want to touch underwear.”
Her voice and face screams of disliking it.
Being treated like I was bacteria somewhat hurt a bit.
I wonder if fathers of this world that had daughters this age subjected to this harsh treatment.
Well…at least it’s better than being told “Don’t wash my clothes in the same washing machine as you”
Haaa….but what should I do?
The only thing that could come out of my mouth was a small sigh.
I really can’t say to a high school girl who has never lived with a man to come into contact with a near 30 year old man’s underpants infused with god knows what.
“Do you want me to do your laundry then? But in that case, I’d have to touch both of you girl’s underwear. Is that fine?” “Hmrrrrr—”
Kanon, who already had a disgusted look on her face had somehow managed to grow even more disgusted.
…….Humans can get pretty expressive don’t they.
Sincerely though, I don’t really mind.
Considering their feelings though, taking the initiative here would definitely be problematic.
They might think I’m a pervert who’s gunning for high school girl’s underwear.
“Uhmm…… I’m fine with doing it, so I’ll do the laundry.”
As if cutting through the delicate air, Himari had timidly raised her hand.
“Really, I’m ok with it. Since you put up with my unreasonable request, I can put up with that much.”
“Then could I ask you to do so?”
“Yes. Leave it to me! When a homework tasked us to do “Chores” I helped out with the laundry. Of course, I also washed my father’s clothes too.”
“Huh, You had such homework. When did the happen though?”
“Uhm, It was in the third grade or so…..”
Well I had a feeling it was something like that. It’s a different feeling when it was back in elementary school when you didn’t know anything than now.
Still, she herself said it was ok, so it should be fine.
Although, being able to reply full of confidence with only her grade school homework experience backing her up was a bit dazzling for me.
“Ok, I’ll explain it to you again. As you may have seen yesterday before taking a bath, the detergent is on the shelf above the washing machine. Basically, all you have to do is turn on the machine and press the switch. By the way, you don’t need to dry out the clothes since it has a drying function. However, I want you to take them out of the washing machine as soon as it finishes because they will wrinkle if you leave them in.”
“I see. So the bulk of it is in folding the clothes.”
“Wow, this washing machine is quite the expensive one……..”
Kanon says as she curiously looks at the washing machine.
She noticed how expensive it is, impressive of her.
“I originally lived with my younger brother. Neither of us wanted to do something bothersome so we thought it would be better so we both forked up for one with a drying function”
“You used to live with your brother?”
“Yeah. He got a girlfriend so he moved out a while ago.”
“Heh…. So you got left behind.”
“I wasn’t left behind. That guy just moved out on his own.”
……….Please don’t look me with such pitying eyes Kanon.
However, I’m sincerely glad that the washing machine that was bought has a drying function.
If not, we would have to hang up two peoples worth of clothes.
This place doesn’t have such advanced features like a clothes dryer here.
We would have had to hang out the clothes to dry in the balcony or indoors. If we were to hang the women’s clothes in the balcony, it wouldn’t be strange for the situation here to get exposed.
“Oh. By the way, we don’t have a laundry net right? I need to write it on the shopping list.”
“…………Thing like women’s underwear aren’t built to directly withstand the stresses of a washing machine. It’s delicate unlike men’s underwear.”
Kanon’s gaze tells me “This is why you’re a tactless geezer”
No. It’s not like I really didn’t think about it, it’s just that I didn’t know.
“A-anyways, I think we’ve come into an agreement about the laundry”
I couldn’t bear Kanon’s gaze so I forcefully ended the topic.
We can finally come out of that small bathroom.
Thinking about it now, we could have another discussion in the living room. Oh well, it’s over anyhow.
“Himari, I should say sorry for you about something…….”
The moment we returned to the living room, Kanon suddenly pops out with an apology.
“The laundry, for refusing it, I mean………..”
Kanon looks down in embarrassment.
From her perspective, the situation had been brought out by her selfishness.
“Oh not at all. I’m the one who doesn’t know how to cook. And besides, I’m kind of excited about it.”
“Eh…… Don’t tell that you want to touch a man’s clothes and underwear Himari?”
“N-no! I didn’t mean it that way! Ah……..but it doesn’t mean I hate touching Komamura-san’s clothes.”
She looks out for my feelings every step of the way.
She’s just a good kid at heart huh?
“Uhm It’s kind of fun deciding chores like this….It’s like deciding who gets to be in charge of tasks like in grade school.”
“Oh~, I remember that. Come to think of it, I liked being in charge of the pets. I used to go feed the rabbits.”
“I liked being in charge of the bulletin board, the one who puts up everyone’s drawings and calligraphy behind the classroom. I found the busywork fun.”
Those two could remember something like that…….. I can’t remember what I was in charge of at all.
I unexpectedly felt the age gap between me and a high school girl.