Anko’s Happy Romantic Diary
Author: Mutsuki Ichinose
Today I headed home immediately after school to take over for Gramps. Father was off on a delivery and Gramps had his knitting class in the afternoon, so even though it was just going to be a bit until Father returned, I was going to run “Tamaya.”
“Well, we trust you Anko.” Gramps had a kind smile as he looked at me.
“ Yep. Leave it to me!”
“ It’s only going to be for a little while. Tamako should be coming home from school too.”
“Ah, that’s right.” I looked at the clock as Gramps spoke. Big sis and her new boyfriend have been walking back to the shopping district since they got together. Only about half the time though.
Right, it’s raining today. Perhaps they’ll be sharing an umbrella. The main street of the district has a cover over it, but there’s none in front of our stores. Maybe, just maybe…… As I was thinking, I pulled out the cutest notebook from my backpack. I set it on my lap right above my knees and prepared to write in my diary.
“Oh, are you going to work on your homework out here?”
“Uh, umm…. This isn’t something like that.” What I write in here is a secret from everyone. Not that I hate Big Sis and Mocchi, but I can’t say these things to them. “Is it alright? If a customer comes, I’ll be ready to help them!”
“Ah, it’s fine. Well, since it’s raining today, I don’t think we’ll have a lot of customers stopping by.”
“Oooooh! Don’t say something like that or I’ll suddenly lose my passion!”
“It’s ok, it’s ok. Well, I’m relieved.” Gramps smiled again and went toward the sliding door.
“Have fun Gramps!”
“Ah, I’m off.”
“Co~me back safel~y!” Gramps was in his usual scrunched look as he picked up a huge paper umbrella and walked outside the store. He stopped before I couldn’t see him and faced the store across the street. Rice Cake….something or another. He gave a short greeting to Mrs. Michiko in “Oojiya”, the mochi shop like ours across the street.
Splash, splash. Taptaptaptap…. The rain struck calmly outside the store. Though it was noisy outside thanks to the rain, it was silent as night inside. I was the only person inside our small “Tamaya” store. Just for now, no one was inside the living area or on the second floor.
But I didn’t feel scared or lonely. Outside there’s a lot of shopkeepers I know. And there’s Mrs. Michiko looking over here. As our eyes met, she gave me a wave.
It doesn’t look like either of us will have any customers today though.
This diary’s real purpose will be after this though. After all, it’s a…
Well uh…….. Big Sis, you’re carrying a typical umbrella for yourself! This long-awaited rain comes and you’re supposed to leave your umbrella at school on purpose and go to Mocchi saying “I forgot my umbrella!” or something.
Well, you didn’t, did you? That’s Big Sis for you. At least it looks like they had fun chatting on the way home. Maybe it’s fine if they’ve not gone that far…..
At least she’s carrying an umbrella. Maybe it’ll be good for them if Mocchi comes inside as well. I’ll wait for the next rainy day.
“Anko, I’m home!”
“Welcome back Big Sis. Welcome to you too Mocchi.”
“Ah, I’m home.” The two greeted me as they stepped inside. Big Sis had a nonchalant look on her face as she folded her umbrella. They appear to have enjoyed their walk home together, but Mocchi may look a bit embarrassed. Big Sis… looks like usual? Hmm… I can’t really tell. She has a big smile on her face, but I can’t say if that’s any bigger than usual. Her complexion is fine as usual.
I really want to hear how she felt a little while ago when walking with Mochi… but I know it’d go into some strange territory if I asked her…. I don’t really want to have something like burnt mochi in my stew again.
“Wait a minute. Are you taking care of the store yourself Anko?” Big Sis asked as I was writing in my diary.
“Oh, yeah. Father is making a delivery and today’s Gramp’s knitting class.”
“Come to think of it, they mentioned something like that this morning. That’s great Anko!”
“Really? You’re finally manning the store by yourself Anko? If something comes up, don’t be afraid to run and grab your Big Bro-in-law.”
“Um…. Who would that be again?”
“Well… Well…… Your Big….”
“If your big luggage needs to be moved, call me! I’m good at carrying things!”
“Right. Thanks Mocchi.” I have this weird feeling now. Let’s not think about it too much.
“Anko, do you know how to tend the store?” Big Sis asked as she placed her bag inside the living area.
“Well…. I’m fine. I just started a little bit ago.” In my first time running the store, not a single person has stopped by. Nothing’s happened and yet Big Sis wants me to leave it to her.
“Then, how about we tend together?”
“Yep. Here we go.” Big Sis moved a stool to sit beside me.
“You can sit over there and I’ll sit here. If a customer comes, we can help them together. If no one comes, we can just talk. Okay?”
“Okay. That sounds fine.”
“Then let’s go!”
“………storetending, huh………” After we decided on a plan, Mocchi spoke in a monologue. “Oh, looks like I’ve got to help out too… It’ll be trouble at home if I don’t.”
Hmm, I look through the glass at the store on the other side of the street. “Is that so?” I asked as I saw Mrs. Michiko yawning a while ago.
“That’s right, huh. You’ve got to help out too Mochizou?”
“Ah… that’s right.” Though a bit embarrassed, Mocchi had a smile on his face.
“Later Tamako. If it stops raining, we’ll talk tonight.”
“Right. Toss the phone tonight.”
……..what is this? Big Sis’s face looks somewhat…..
“Yep. See you later Mocchi.”
‘Ahhhhhh” Mocchi put his hand over his head, opened the sliding door, and went back to “Oojiya.”
“Up we go.” Big Sis, still in her uniform, sat down beside me. Beside me. On this rainy day in “Tamaya.” I’m not alone anymore. The store is still quiet with raindrops hitting outside. They sound like background music now.
And then suddenly,
“Covered in twi~light~”
We both started to sing at the same time and we both stopped suddenly. When my face looked at her shocked one, we both laughed at how funny it became.
“Oh?” Big Sis noticed the notebook I had on my lap. “What are you writing Anko?”
“Well…” Pull it together. “I’m, I’m doing homework, right? It’s something like an observation diary…..”
“Oh? I did something like that too. A mochi observation diary.”
“You, you really did that?”
“But it got out of date midway through. And then Father… Ah!”
Midway through her sentence Big Sis looked outside the glass door.
“It’s Mocchi.” Mocchi had taken over for Mrs. Michiko to tend the store across the street. “It’s unusual for Mocchi to tend the store by himself.”
“Right. That’s true.”
As we were talking, both Mocchi and Mrs. Michiko looked over at us. She had a sweet satisfied smile on her face and waved to us. Both of us gave a small wave back. She lightly tapped Mocchi on the head and went inside their house.
Big Sis started to look down. Her eyes flickered up, then down, up, then down. If Mochi would look over, she would suddenly look down.
“What’s going on?”
“An, um… nothing?” As she started to call my name, she looked bashful and put her hand to her head. “I remembered something that I forgot to say to Mochizou earlier.”
“Oh, is that it?”
“Yep. Nothing important though.” Another embarrassed smile.
“Then wouldn’t it be fine if you go over and tell him in person right now?”
“It’s, It’s fine!” It’s not really that important….!”
There again our conversation stopped.
Big Sis continued to look back and forth at “Oojiya.” Though the rain had fogged the glass window, we continued to look at Mocchi.
Suddenly Mocchi started to realize something and looked over at us puzzled. Big Sis glanced away nonchalantly and suddenly it was only me that Mocchi was looking towards. He tilted his head in a confused gesture and I returned one similarly.
“……..” Big Sis had started to try and think of something else, tilting her head and looking up at the ceiling.
“If it’s bothering you that much, just send him a text.”
“You do know Mocchi’s address, right? Since you’re not going to meet or call him, wouldn’t sending a text be alright?”
Big Sis looked at me with a gentle look. “….His hand was warm!” And suddenly was energetic again.
She went to her bag, reached into it, and pulled out her cell phone. She came back, sat down on the same stool, and then gradually…
“I just thought about something. I’ve never texted him before….”
“Really……..” You two always use that string phone…….. Another sigh comes out when thinking about them.
“Then wouldn’t it be fine for today to be the first time?”
“Right. I’ll do my best…..yeah!”
“Do you need to do your best just to send him a text?”
With huge eyes and quivering hands, she starts to tap to send a text. You text your friends constantly Big Sis. It’s not like you haven’t used a cell phone before.
“Again? What is it this time?!”
“I accidentally sent Mochizou a weird text!”
“What, what did it say?”
I stopped writing in my diary and looked over at her cellphone.
Big Sis, while trembling and crying, showed me the screen after she had sent her text. It was full of hearts and among them was “Build me a house.”
“How did you mess up and send this…..?” Seriously, isn’t this like proposing?
“Earlier, Kanna had”
Mid-way through talking, Big Sis looked up. I also looked up. We both looked towards the glass door through the gap between the stores to see Mocchi, running the store, notice that Tamako’s text had been delivered. He picked up his phone, flipped it open, and stopped pressing buttons.
Up to that point, Big Sis had been watching with huge eyes and muttering “oh no, oh no.” Neglecting his duties, Mocchi rapidly stood up with a dash.
And then he looked towards us.
“Big, Big Sis?!”
Her face had gone completely red. She suddenly dashed to the second floor.
Instantly I heard the door to the store open.
That was Mocchi, who was supposed to be at “Oojiya.” Before I noticed, he had already entered “Tamaya.”
Wiping his damp hair from the rain, he yelled toward the second floor. “Give me five years! No, wait three years!”
“That’s a bit too soon Mocchi!”
Oh! These two are definitely the weirdest pair!
“That was a mistake! I sent the wrong text!”
“The, wrong text…..?” Mocchi looked surprised, ”No, no. Then how was it a mistake? That text,”
“Let Anko tell you why it was!”
………Maybe these two will always be like this? After all that, they’re finally a couple in high school. Wouldn’t it be better if they were sweeter and miserabler, flirting in love like the other couples?
“Is that right? It was just a wrong text……?”
I can’t say how dejected and relieved his face looked.
“Big Sis had something she forgot to tell you. But she had never sent you a text before, right? That’s why….”
“Ah, so it was like that? But how was it wrong….”
“It’s fine now. But besides that,” I continued to talk to the flustered Mocchi, “Welcome to the shop!”
I cheerfully gave our customer a smile.
“Not ‘what?’ Mocchi. This is a mochi shop.”
“I know but….”
“Mocchi, do you have your wallet on you?”
“Um,” he reached into his back pocket, “I do.”
“Then, you’re a customer Mocchi.”
Thank you for buying 6 mamedaifuku~!
“So, Sorry Anko. I said we’d run the shop together.” After Mocchi had left, Big Sis timidly came down the stairs and went out into the store portion.
“Did you send Mocchi a text again?”
“Wha? Not, not yet….”
“Then, since the store is fine, why don’t you head back and send one. Isn’t Mocchi waiting for one?”
“But, but there was that one. I don’t know if I can really send one…”
“It’s fine for you to go and send one, okay? If a customer comes, you can leave them to me. Head up to the second floor and send one.” I was a bit angry while I spoke to her.
“Hehehe, Anko’s pretty strict.”
“It doesn’t matter if I don’t see it. Both of you!”
“Sorry. Thanks Anko!”
“Tamaya” on a rainy day.
I’m still alone.
I was writing in my diary until that point while running the store alone when the female butcher from Just Meet opened the door and stuck her face in and spoke. “Hey hey, Anko.”
“Ah, welcome to the store!”
Stealthfully, she snuck inside the store.
“……..we heard Mochizou yell earlier. What went on?”
“Ah, well, there was a bit of crossed messages.”
“Crossed messages! What happened…..?”
“Nothing really big…. Wait, why are we whispering?”
“Ah, don’t worry about it. Are things going well with our shopping district couple?”
“Well, have you heard anything Anko?”
“Please tell me! Look, we’ll even buy some mochi!”
Sure. I’ll tell you.
“Is everything going well? I saw they came home together again today.”
“That true? That rascal Mochizou!”
“Eh, is that a good thing?”
“It definitely is! Now tell us if anything else happened!”
But it wasn’t just the lady from Just Meets anymore.
“Anko, I know Mochizou and Tamako are but,”
“Anko, maybe you might know,”
“…. It’s raining. That makes couples get closer….perhaps…”
Everyone who was curious about Mocchi’s yelling had gathered at “Tamaya.” Everyone was only interested in hearing about Big Sis and Mocchi.
“Oh! Why are you all asking me about them?”
“Well, it’s difficult to ask those two.”
“Right, right. It’s tough to talk about that kind of romance, right?”
Those two definitely don’t have that type of romance at all.
“I understand. I’ll tell you all I know.”
“””THANK YOU ANKO!”””
Sigh. Again, this shopping district….. Maybe I’m cursed due to watching those two all the time. I’m done with this lovey dovey couple observation diary.
“What the… What happened?”
The rain had stopped and finally Father had come back from his delivery.
Upon seeing that almost all of our mochi was gone, he said, “Amazing…. So you sold an absolute ton of them?”
“Something like that. I’m bad at making them round, so I’ll leave that to you.” But Father praised me for managing the store today. In the end, since it was only people I know…..I’m pretty worn out.
“I’m hungry. Is it alright for me to eat?”
“Oh, sure. Thanks for your work.”
I went to the second floor while eating some mamedaifuku.
“Ahhhhhhh” While holding my shiny notebook, I sighed. “I wanted to see a couple in love to reference for my future with Yuzuki, so I watched people I know. Big Sis and Mocchi aren’t any reference at all….”
As I finished that, I went into my room on the second floor.
Big Sis is still wearing her uniform and sitting on her bed. She stared at her cell phone while crying out in joy.
“What’d you get?”
Standing beside my smiling Big Sis, I looked at the screen.
“Today was fun. Thanks Mochizou!”
Hmm, perhaps these two are actually a romantic couple after all.
Maybe it’s just romantic for those two though.