Saotome-san wants to work
「Keeping a cover containing business documents amidst picture books…… Mio-san, who did you want to show off to?」
I unintentionally uttered a retort at my landlord/employer who is not present here.
『Work wholeheartedly to earn the trust of both managers and employees 』below the gleaming cover containing the documents, you can see a fancy binding with 『Wolf Rin-chan’s adventures』written on the front cover.
「But still, I guess it’s a given to get a clear picture of the contents inside with just this」
The existence called bookshelf is something that slowly becomes disorganized with time.
It has already been three weeks since this empty bookshelf from my first arrival has been filled with books. As usual I started worrying about the disorganised bookshelf and decided to arrange it in some order. It has been fifteen minutes since then.
「This is a picture book. This one is also a picture book. “Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals” it should be fine to not hide this……」
In the first place, why am I arranging the books all by myself deep in the night?
The answer is quite simple. It’s because Mio-san hasn’t returned home yet.
「That aside, Mio-san is late today. How rare!!」
She did contact me saying that she was unsure of when she will be able to come home. But I never expected her to not be back even after 10 p.m. It is a bit worrying as she is a person who comes back on time right at 6 p.m. most of the days and even if she is stuck with work, she returns by 7 p.m.
Dinner has been left untouched on top of the table. Hamburgers might be too heavy to eat this late.
「Even yesterday she had to watch that movie recommended by her client. She seems to be busy with a lot of things going on. Something light on the stomach…. Let’s make some kure soup」
Kure soup is written as 『呉汁』 in kanji.
It is a local dish made by adding mashed soybeans and green soybeans to miso soup. It is a nutritious meal that has made frequent appearances in the masterpiece gourmet manga 『Cooking Papa』
Since I heard it was a local cuisine, I thought that I must definitely be from Fukuoka. Only when I searched around did I find out that a similar dish exists in every single place in the country. To ask if a local dish that is local to every place in the country is still local is a hopeless endeavour.1
「Once I put this in place then I can take the beans to…. Eh?」
Thinking the last book should also be a picture book or an illustrated encyclopedia of sorts, I took it in my hand, and I realised it had a different feel. As usual they are business documents, but beneath the cover I found plain memo sheets.
「Is this a diary?」
Looking at the words they seem to be from a long time back, probably from when she was a kid.
But, the last cardboard we opened contained her diaries and yearbooks. Those didn’t have a deceptive front cover and were kept aside, on a different shelf.
「Why does this one alone get a special treatment? No, no, going ahead to read it without permission would be bad. Let’s just return to its place…..」
『Today my abacus died』
When I was about to close, this particular sentence flashed before my eyes and weighed on my mind.
I remember about the abacus.It was back when Mio-san was down with fever. After drinking Tamagozake she started talking about an abacus when I took the natto that she kept stirring.
『Return my abacus to me』
「Was that something from her childhood memories…..?」
Thinking that it is wrong to be doing this, I turn over the pages.
『My indoor shoes passed away』
『My keychain went somewhere』
An entry like this is written every two days.
Moreover, there was this one entry written on an autumn day.
『Where is Aa-chan? Mika-chan why did you do this?』
「Aa-chan is surely that……」
It’s the name of Mio-san’s treasured talking plush toy. She said that it resembled Fuu-chan a little.
「Then Mika-chan here is a human friend….?」
Hearing the intercom sound I almost jumped out. Humans are creatures that act like in a manga when they are jolted out of their reverie.
I totally forgot that Mio-san will be returning home. Hurriedly putting away the diary, I move towards the entrance.
It’s a pattern that I am familiar with.
「I am opening it now, okay~」
Open the lock.
The door won’t be opened immediately. Wait there patiently.
After about 20 seconds have passed, the door is slowly pushed open and Mio-san with a somewhat strong eye makeup peeks through the door.
「Yes, Okaerinasai. Today seems to have been tough」
「Matsutomo-san, Matsutomo-san is here…. Since there wasn’t any reply I was worried…. Whether you were here…..」
「I am sorry for being late. But I was exactly here all the while」
Since it’s my job.
「Th, That’s right. It’s because it is your job isn’t it. Yes, yes you must to do your job perfectly」
「Yup, that’s why I will be here tomorrow, the day after and after that too. Until the day that you stop paying me wages!」
「Waah, what a splendid adult!!」
Mio-san is the type of person who quickly becomes anxious thinking that I ran away as I didn’t like the job, since there was no reply for a little while.
I was wondering if I wasn’t trusted, but I learnt how that’s how she is after working hours so I try to coordinate as best as possible.
「Mio-san did you have dinner?」
「No, not yet. I am sorry that it has become so late…..」
「Not at all. I thought of having hamburger for dinner, but it has become so late. Should I make something light for you?」
Taking a look at the clock it is already 10:15 p.m. We have broken into the period where it is sinful to consume greasy foods.
「Kure soup can be prepared immediately!」
「It’s the one where you add mashed soybeans to Miso soup」
「You add the mashed beans right after tofu and fried tofu…..!?」
「Moreover today’s Miso soup is the dried tofu variety」
Dried tofu, the white layer that you get when making tofu.
It goes without saying that the main ingredient is soybean.
「So, which one do you want to have?」
Hamburger and Kure soup.
Wouldn’t that become protein overload?!! Thank god that the hamburger was not a tofu-burger but made of cow and pig meat. Still… as expected. Well I guess I have to reduce the volume of the serving.
「Then, I will start making the preparations. Please come back after changing your clothes」
Just when I thought that she was going to go with the 『Let me help』pattern.
I think today she is barely holding herself together as she is still tired from work and has yet to let loose. Hmm, is it around a middle-schooler’s level.
「Nah, a 28 year old, who is holding her act together by behaving like a middle schooler. It can’t be」
Sending off Mio-san who vanished into the bedroom, I played the straight man 4 to my own thoughts and went to the kitchen.
Why was Mio-san so busy?
I came to know of the reason after a call from Tsuchiya.