Chapter 29:

My Shopping Trip Part 2

New Leaf!

While walking, I stopped in front of one store. What was it for? Hm… The store’s name is in a fancy font. The logo has a black and pink colour scheme. The name is a snazzy-sounding French word. And the interior is sprawled with hearts… This is undoubtedly a women’s underwear shop.Bookmark here

“Interested?”Bookmark here

I quickly turned to Ren.Bookmark here

“What!? N-No! I was just… um…”Bookmark here

I could feel my cheeks get warmer as I was embarrassed. I waved my hands in denial.Bookmark here

“N-No Ren. I’m not a pervert, I swear! I was… um… yeah, I was just looking!”Bookmark here

Ren nodded. He doesn’t believe me!Bookmark here

“Wait, no, I wasn’t looking at the things in the store like the mannequins with swimsuits or the scantily clothed woman on the poster! This store... Um… Yeah, compared to the surrounding ones, this one caught my eye!”Bookmark here

I declared that with aplomb.Bookmark here

Ren nodded… No, he still doesn’t believe me!Bookmark here

“Hold on, i-it’s not that I find underwear more interesting than anything else… it’s just… um… you see, this store…”Bookmark here

Ren raised his hand at eye level.Bookmark here

“Oh, y-yeah Ren?”Bookmark here

“Sorry if it was implicit that I was calling you that when I asked if you were interested, but I was not.”Bookmark here

O-Oh…Bookmark here

I tried acting playfully to dismiss my misunderstanding.Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah… Yeah, you wouldn’t think that way… Heh heh…”Bookmark here

“I was wondering if you needed underwear. They sell some at Univear, but this store mainly sells underwear, so they are of higher quality.”Bookmark here

How do you know that!?Bookmark here

“Hm… Um, shouldn’t we, like, compare prices first.”Bookmark here

He shrugged.Bookmark here

“We could, but I do not think it would matter. If one store is more expensive than another, it won’t make a big difference.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

I thought about this. Aren’t prices something big that people need to consider when deciding on things? Well, it was for me. Well… We’re already here… and the things here look cute… Uh, I meant it could save some time when looking around at Univear... Bookmark here

“Sure, why not? We’re already here, so might as well.”Bookmark here

Ren nodded his head and began to walk in.Bookmark here

“Then let’s go.”Bookmark here

“Wait, “let’s”!? As in both of us!?”Bookmark here

“Hm? Sure. I can carry your things for you.”Bookmark here

“Men are allowed in here!?”Bookmark here

“Hm? Well, yeah. I do not really see why they wouldn’t… I think that would be bad for business.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, but… Um…”Bookmark here

He raises a good point. I… don’t know what to say. It just feels and looks wrong for a man to be in a women’s underwear shop.Bookmark here

“Wait, I’m okay with going in alone.”Bookmark here

“Are you sure? I mean, this is your first shopping experience so you will probably need help with things such as checking out. In addition, you will most likely need me to be present when using my credit card.”Bookmark here

He raises greater points.Bookmark here

“Hm… Yeah, okay… B-But make sure you stay close to me at all times, okay?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh?”Bookmark here

He seemed surprised by this. Why? Does he not want to? Sorry for treating you like my child.Bookmark here

“I assume that is excluding fitting rooms, right?”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, are those the rooms where I can try on the clothes? Y-Yeah, don’t follow me there…”Bookmark here

And when you’re alone, try not to look suspicious and get yourself arrested, okay?Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“Huh? Ren, what’s this store?”Bookmark here

With the bag from the underwear store in my hand, I pointed at the place that interested me. We weren’t in the open area but rather in a smaller area close to the subway station we left from. This store seemed to be smaller than the others and did not have a door — instead, there was no front wall and the entrance was open. There were these wooden figures that formed the shapes of round couches. There was also a counter at the back with blenders… oh wait, this isn’t a store.Bookmark here

“Authen-Berry Bubble Tea.”Bookmark here

“Bubble tea? What’s that?”Bookmark here

“Basically, bubble tea is a form of tea with tapioca pearls.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh… What’s that?”Bookmark here

“Tapioca is starch that is extracted from the storage roots of a cassava plant.”Bookmark here

“I-I see… Wow, you’re really knowledgeable!”Bookmark here

I had no idea what any of those words meant. I also had no way of verifying that Ren was actually knowledgeable. But that sounded right… I think.Bookmark here

“Considering that it’s a weekend, there are a lot of people here at this restaurant.”Bookmark here

“This chain is pretty popular. People like the drinks that they serve, like their milk teas, slushies, and fruit smoothies.”Bookmark here

“Interesting…”Bookmark here

I turned excitedly to Ren.Bookmark here

“Wait, do they serve chocolate milk!?”Bookmark here

I smiled.Bookmark here

“I am not entirely sure, but they do serve some drinks containing chocolate.”Bookmark here

“Really? Okay, then let’s-”Bookmark here

“Okay, then let’s go!”… is what I wanted to say, but I stopped. I just… it felt wrong asking Ren to buy this for me. But I am okay with Ren buying clothes for me. Why is this? It’s like… Gah, I just can’t explain it! Bookmark here

“Did you say you wanted some?”Bookmark here

“Oh, no, never mind. I… thought of the time and thought it would be best to get this after dinner, right? Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

I decided to skip out on buying from here for now. I think… I think it’s because compared to the underwear and the clothes, this is more of a leisurely commodity… Is that it? I don’t want Ren to buy me things unless they're absolutely necessary. I mean, I was okay with the donuts he shared with me because he said he got them for free...Bookmark here

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