＃ ＃ ＃
「Until when did you believe in Mister Santa, senpai?」
Kouhai-chan called me out again today at noon, and as soon as she saw my face, she asked me that.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and there are already some traces of it here and there in the city.
Santa Claus. The symbol of Christmas.
Starting from midnight on the 24th to the early morning of the 25th, he will repeatedly trespass in an incredible number of houses, especially to families with young children.
When someone is young, they will believe that Santa comes to their bedside every year, but soon they will lose faith in his existence.
From a child’s perspective, it’s a lump of romance.
I really missed the time when I wrote something like「A letter for Santa」.
「Maybe around when I entered elementary school.」
It’s her「today’s question」, so I answered it honestly.
「What made you realized it?」
「When I think about it calmly, it just feels weird.」
When I entered elementary school, I was able to recognize many children other than myself, such as my classmates.
I thought it would be impossible to distribute gifts for this many children’s houses, including children I don’t know.
「Don’t you think that Mister Santa has another selves?」
「Nn… I think it’s different. It doesn’t sound like Santa.」
I don’t know if the person in charge is different from country to county, though.
But then, if I investigate that idea thoroughly, then I confess I think Santa is really there?
「Well, that’s right…」
「There’s also a proof. I don’t remember the details, though.」
It was when my parents left to do something and I was alone in my house.
「I found the gift that I asked Santa for exactly at this kind of timing in my own house.」
「It was a decisive blow.」
If I think about it now, is it possible that they let me find it on purpose?
Anyway, since then, I no longer believe in the existence of the so-called “Santa Claus”.
＊ ＊ ＊
「Then, here’s my today’s question.」
「Kouhai-chan, until when did you believe in Santa?」
He really went ahead and copied my question, huh.
「Since you still call him as『Mister Santa』, maybe you unexpectedly still believe it until recently?」
Why was this person so sharp only at this kind of time? Really.
…Well, I was the person who brought up this topic, so I had expected this risk.
But I didn’t think he would stab my wound right in the beginning.
「Until middle school…」
「It’s not a big deal, right!」
「I didn’t say that it’s bad.」
「You are looking at me like I’m someone pitiful.」
His face became a bit serious, then he continued.
「I’m looking at someone cute.」
＃ ＃ ＃
「Anyway, what’s up with today?」
I was planning to laze around, but she took me to a family restaurant.
I filled my stomach with something random from the menu and asked that while sipping the cappuccino from the drink bar.
「It’s not like we don’t have any business here.」
So there’s something we have to do here?
「Well, it’s a secret to senpai.」
Kouhai-chan took a bite of the pancakes she ordered for the dessert and didn’t say anything else.
「It won’t have any meaning if I say it. Okay?」
Then Kouhai-chan put one of her fingers on her mouth and said,「Shhh.」
「Even if you say it cutely, I won’t yield.」
「Is that so? But I won’t tell you.」
「I see. Then,」
I was about to declare「today’s question」, but I suddenly realized.
I had used it just now, right? Hey!
I asked something that didn’t really matter. About Santa, right? About until when did she believe in Santa Claus.
If she asked me that to corner me so I couldn’t ask her anymore, she did the right thing. Even so, not having the card to make「her definitely have to answer」at this kind of time was painful.
「Ah, you realized it? Hehehe.」
She immediately asked me that question after we met to make sure I couldn’t use my「today’s question」for this matter.
Recently, I felt like the number of times she played with me had been increasing.
「Well, well. Senpai just has to act normal.」
「I’ll also act normal.」
Since I had to act normal, then what was her purpose to come here? So it wasn’t her hinting for us to do something, right?
We weren’t watching a sport, so we wouldn’t have to watch other people. Not to say, we were at a family mart. There’s no way we had to watch someone here.
「Well, it’s that kind of thing. Let’s just spend our time leisurely, okay?」
After saying that, Kouhai-chan went to the drink bar corner.
Just what was that?
Maybe we were the ones who were being watched? But no one was staring fixedly at us.
「Why are you looking around like that?」
But I didn’t feel confident to say that no one was watching us.
＊ ＊ ＊
It was the right choice to talk about Santa.
Plus, senpai hadn’t realized it for now. If he noticed it, he would be stiff all over. It wouldn’t be interesting anymore.
Now then, let’s do something interesting now.
Senpai was still worrying about his surroundings, so I called him.
「Would you like to exchange a bite of our desserts?」
I ordered pancakes and senpai ordered rice-flour dumpling with azuki beans.
He answered me with two words and pushed his black plate to me.
「That’s not what I mean.」
「You… No way…」
I heard a bang from the table behind me, but I ignored it. He shouldn’t get agitated, right? Get a hold of yourself.
I took a bite-sized pancake on my fork and brought it in front of senpai’s mouth.
「It’s not like this is our first time. We did this before too, right?」
「Russian takoyaki? But that’s special.」
We were desperate to feed the other person with the ‘zonk’.
「Ahn is ahn, okay. Come on, ahnn.」
「This won’t be over unless I eat this?」
「It won’t be over even if you eat it, though?」
「You have to feed me too after this.」
Senpai sighed and shook his head in defeat.
「Senpai, do you hate it that much?」
A hint of uncertainty passed my mind. I decided to at least ask him.
「…I don’t hate it.」
「No way, you’re asking me that? You know the reason, right…」
He mumbled something in his mouth then confessed with a red face.
「It’s embarrassing to do this in this kind of place.」
Haa, he’s right.
「What is it?」
「Er, even I’m embarrassed, you know.」
I adjusted my fork right in front of his mouth so he could eat it properly. At that time, I saw his face.
I had been feeling embarrassed in our whole conversation. Not to say, I felt our surroundings stared at us a little bit.
Senpai sighed once more then he ate my pancake in a bite.
「Of course. I put maple syrup on it.」
I didn’t know if it’s only maple syrup, though.
「Then, give me the dumplings too.」
「With this, we’re done, right? Here.」
He averted his gaze and fed me the dumpling at the end of his spoon.
It was sweet.
＃ ＃ ＃
I forgot this because I was too embarrassed, but in the end, what was Kouhai-chan’s business today?
The answer was unexpectedly simple.
Maharun♪：There’s a message from my brother
Maharun♪：「Let’s meet at our house next time」
Maharun♪：Aren’t you glad♪
It seemed like her brother was observing us from somewhere in that family restaurant.
I didn’t notice him at all.
This was frustrating, so I decided to take revenge on her a little bit.
Iguchi Keita：I’m glad
The things I know about my senpai 98
It seems like he believed in Santa until the first year of elementary school.