会い (Ai), My Valentine 「Honeyfeed Exclusive」
A mound of questionable tissues atop the bin, a visual novel paused on the computer screen, and a dejected [male protagonist] laid sprawled on his bed. As the dismayed protagonist reminisced about the events that happened earlier that day, his wishful thoughts coincidentally coincided at the exact moment a dying star fell out of the sky.
"Come buy your copy", a girl in cosplay yelled to passersby, waving a sign in the air. Occasionally she would be stopped to take a photograph.
The new visual novel game for a much-loved anime, "The Daily Life of [ideal waifu]" released today. It was 2006 and the beginning of the waifu phenomenon. The phenomenon of a female fictional character gaining popularity solely by containing what many consider to be “waifu-material”.
[Male protagonist] was loyal to [ideal waifu], whilst his shelves were lined with manga featuring other female protagonists, antagonists, and side characters, the posters, figurines, and other miscellaneous merchandise all featured her.
He was so dedicated to buying the visual novel on release date he had only eaten discounted food for a whole month, saving what money his parents deposited in the bank account towards this very cause. He thought about all the food he could buy next month now he was about to fulfill his goal as he entered through the electronic sliding doors.
The store was busier than usual, with fans stocking up on the latest volumes of manga or anime DVDs to go alongside their pre-ordered purchase. He remembered the days as a new fan, juggling books with covers prone to sliding over one another, bulky figurine boxes somehow balancing on top, trying to see over so not to bump into some unsuspecting person browsing. Now his eyes moved quickly around the store. There was little to no merchandise he already owned of [ideal waifu]. A relief, as he was going to be living off instant packets of noodles for the rest of the month.
He pulled his pre-order slip out of his pocket and stood in the slow-moving line. Ahead of him, fans gushed to the cashier about their purchases, sometimes talking too much out of anxiety. [Male protagonist] was the opposite, when it was his turn to hand over the slightly crumpled piece of paper, then the money, he muttered barely a word, and upon receiving the game and bonus piece of merchandise, he thanked the cashier, keeping his face calm but he could feel the warmth of a new purchase inside his chest.
On his way out of the store, the cosplaying store employee stopped him as she noticed his purchase, prompting him to take a photograph with her. He handed his phone to the employee wearing the standard uniform and stood awkwardly next to the cosplayer. He could smell her subtle floral fragrance, however, despite the accuracy of her cosplay, she didn't fill his stomach with butterflies but instead gave him clammy hands as to how to possibly interact with her as the opposite sex.
He grabbed his phone from the folds of the sheets, bringing up the photo he had taken with the cosplaying store employee earlier. At that moment, he wished that the girl in the photo was the real [ideal waifu]. That he had taken a photo with his waifu as a 3D girl.
A thud against the balcony door jolted [male protagonist] from the bed. Pulling up his joggers, he went to investigate. What he found standing on his balcony was not what he was expecting.