Chapter 8:


Are You Happy?

*Disclaimer and TW: for readers who have continued to read up till this chapter, please take not that the content relating to Makaira’s apparent eating disorder will continue to progress and you are asked to keep in mind that people’s experiences with eating disorders vary. The thoughts, characteristics, and behaviours which Makaira have are examples of what some people may have, or in fact may not have at all. Once again, if you feel that may be triggered by such content, please do not proceed. Otherwise, please enjoy this story, and do not be afraid to reach out to the people who you think may be having trouble with similar problems as Makaira!Bookmark here

Since the night Yuuto and Makaira baked together for the first time, they’ve been baking for the café every weekend and Makaira is trying new cakes and pastries every so often. On some days, she is reluctant about eating the desserts Hasegawa-san offers her, but Yuuto would join in on eating with her and that made her feel more comfortable because she was enjoying a meal with a friend rather than just alone.Bookmark here

On a day off from college, Yuuto and Makaira decide to meet up and walk around Tokyo together. At 11 am on the dot, Makaira show up in a violet floral dress. As opposed to her usual neutral or black and white coloured clothes, this is quite out of her comfort zone, but Hasegawa-san had gifted her the dress a week ago, so she decided to try it on. Needless to say, Yuuto was absolutely heartstruck upon seeing her.Bookmark here

Makaira slowly walks towards Yuuto but keeps her eyes on her white sneakers shyly. Bookmark here

“You– Um, you look great today.” Yuuto blurts out, blushing and looking away, then adding, “I mean, not that you don’t always look great but, the dress looks great on you. It suits you. You look good in purple. I’ll just shut up.” he says, pursing his lips.Bookmark here

Makaira giggles, “Thank you. You look neat.”Bookmark here

Neat? Really? What does that even mean?Bookmark here

An awkward silence washes over the two. They seem to have gotten much closer since their conversation at the theme park.Bookmark here

“Thanks.” Yuuto smiles with a flush of red on his face, “Shall we go to our first stop then?”Bookmark here

The two end up walking in the busy streets of Tokyo. Yuuto buys some flowers for his mom and Makaira buys some tops with a bit more colour than she’d usually go for. After that, they get to an aquarium and enjoy a dolphin show while having some ice cream.Bookmark here

Eventually, the sun begins to set and they get back to the café.Bookmark here

“Are you tired?” Yuuto asks.Bookmark here

Makaira thinks for a bit and answers, “Not in particularly. Why? Are you?”Bookmark here

“Oh, certainly not. I have a place I want to show you. I Just wanted to make sure you were up for it.”Bookmark here

Makaira shrugs, “Sure. Where is it?”Bookmark here

“It’s kind of hard to describe. Let me just give these flowers to my mom.” Yuuto says, “Do you want to leave your shopping here and get them tomorrow or something?”Bookmark here

“That would be great.” Makaira hands her bags to Yuuto. Bookmark here

After a while, Yuuto returns and they head to the place Yuuto was talking about.Bookmark here

“I live just down the road from here, actually.” Makaira points out as they walk along the familiar route she runs in every morning.Bookmark here

“Oh, really? We’re almost there.”Bookmark here

They get to a narrow pathway between two buildings and Makaira recognizes it instantly.Bookmark here

“I actually found this place when I first moved in. But I figured it must be someone’s property and I kind of just fled.”Bookmark here

Yuuto laughs, “How did you figure? It’s open, so doesn’t it look public?”Bookmark here

“Well, there was this hot cup of coffee when I came here so I was sure there was someone else and I thought I was on someone’s private property. Are we about to be trespassing?”Bookmark here

Yuuto continues laughing. He looks at Makaira’s confused look and continues laughing more. Absolute hysterical laughing.Bookmark here

“What’s so funny?! This isn’t a joke! We could get in trouble, Hasegawa-kun.”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Koyanagi-chan.” Yuuto breathes out, attempting to control his laughter, “This is my garden.”Bookmark here

Makaira raises her eyebrows at Yuuto to see if he was serious or not. Even though he was uncontrollably laughing, he didn’t seem like he was joking.Bookmark here

“Do you take care of the gardening here?”Bookmark here

Yuuto nods, “Just a side hobby of mine. I don’t really mind visitors, but there aren’t many anyway — the location’s looks a little suspicious. And that cup of coffee you saw would’ve been mine. I guess we must've missed each other that morning.”Bookmark here

“Wow.” Makaira says, astounded, “Just wow. So we met at your café, and now you’ve brought me to the garden where we could have met each other.”Bookmark here

“Must be fate.” Yuuto smiles. “Come on, let’s head in.”Bookmark here

They walk down the path to the archway and Yuuto asks Makaira to stand and wait for a while. In a few seconds, the entire garden lights up. Bookmark here

Makaira’s eyes reflect the lights igniting the garden and looks around, still fascinated by how beautiful and well-kept the entire place is like the first time she came.Bookmark here

“I put up these lights a few days ago. This place was missing some lighting at night. What do you think?”Bookmark here

“It’s beautiful. It’s absolutely beautiful. Does your mom help you with the gardening?”Bookmark here

“My mom actually doesn’t know about this place. I’m planning to surprise her once the daffodils grow — they’re her favourite. You’re the first person I’ve brought here and the first person that I know of who’s been here.”Bookmark here

“I’m honoured. And I’m sure your mom would love this place and the daffodils once they grow.” Makaira smiles at Yuuto.Bookmark here

Yuuto feels his heartbeat quicken at the sight of Makaira in her dress under the somewhat romantic lighting. He looks away to hide his blush and leads her to the white gazebo at the middle of the garden.Bookmark here

They sit down and Yuuto carries up a basket covered with a cloth.Bookmark here

“So, I actually prepared this yesterday. I have a small greenhouse in the corner with a fridge, so don’t worry, nothing’s rotten.” he says as he flips open to reveal some fruit and croissants.Bookmark here

Makaira chuckles a little and gasps softly at how nicely arranged the basket is.Bookmark here

“Everything is so beautiful here.” she says, her heartbeats quickening because of how thoughtful and detailed Yuuto is.Bookmark here

“I’m glad you think so.” he says, now arranging the croissants on their plates and putting some fruit to serve.Bookmark here

After a while, they move to the grass and are watching the stars.Bookmark here

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.” Yuuto says, looking at Makaira.Bookmark here

Makaira meets his eyes and waits for him to continue.Bookmark here

He takes a deep breath and says, “I like you.”Bookmark here

Both their faces flush red, their hearts racing in synchronization. But this time, neither of them look away.Bookmark here

“Whenever I look at you, my heartbeat quickens and I feel myself blush profusely. You’ve been beautiful to me from the start and the more I learnt about you, the more attracted I was to you. Each time you opened up more to me, I felt my care for you grow more and more. You know what… I think I’m in love with you, Koyanagi-chan.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.