Chapter 15:

Experiences of Spring

What All Mermaids Are In Search Of

“Alright, the movie starts, in uh… 45 minutes. So we got some time!” Minato happily mentioned.

“Yeah, we can get a quick bite then snack on some popcorn!” I added with cheer.

Needless to say, but it is quite clear from the moment I left the house, my heart has been racing faster and faster with each passing second. I can’t even express my excitement. The odd part about this experience so far is that I don’t even mind that my heart is running laps. In fact, I almost like it! It feels as if I’ll be able to have more fun with my heart in this state. I think the only downside is that I’m a bit indecisive at the moment.

“Let’s just stick to the basics, soda and popcorn, please!” While at the movie theatre's snack area, Minato gleefully stated.

“Yes, right away, and for you?” The cashier promptly responded.

“Um, let’s see, how about… No, I’ll have… Wait, oh, so many options.” I quietly stuttered as my eyes darted around the menu wall.

“How about something sweet! Then I can get a large popcorn so we can share!” He announced.

“Yeah! Good Idea! Okay, I’ll have one Matcha KitKats and one Kaju Gummy!” I eagerly announced.

Easy picks for me, two of my favorites.

“Yes, right away!” The cashier politely responded.

“Okay, that should be enough.” Minato quickly opened his wallet to get enough money to pay for both his order and mine.

“Oh, I can pay for it, Motoko gave me some money for the day!” I quickly intervened.

“Arigatō, Hiromi! However, please allow me to pay for this light meal!” He stepped away to make the declaration and bow at a perfect 90 degree angle.

“Okay, if you insist…” I muttered.

“Otsukaresama!” He replied.

He then stood back up with a gleeful smile. Although, I saw the cashier stare at Minato in confusion for a quick moment as they gathered our order. Luckily this was only embarrassing for a second.

“Let’s get the tickets!” He then announced once we got our snacks.

We then went to the theater's Kiosk where we could get the tickets. This was something that was a bit of a surprise to me. I knew they existed, it's just whenever I went to the movies. It was with my parents, and I don’t know if it is mom or Motoko. They always got the tickets from one of the cashiers; I think it's because they want the same movie experience from when they were younger. Maybe? Nevertheless, we got our tickets from the Kiosk. The movie is one that I actually suggested, one that, Minato was also excited about, thankfully.

‘Baby Assassins 2 Babies’ a sequel to ‘Baby Assassins’, an action comedy, with some drama. Minato was surprised that I like movies like it. The reason for my taste in movies like this is likely because of Motoko. Her and I always enjoy absurd movies like the one we’re seeing today. Mom rolled her eyes every time she saw us watching these kinds of movies. That said, I’m just glad that Minato seems to have the same taste!

“So, we still have like 20-ish minutes, let's go sit somewhere while we wait for our theater to open.” Minato suggested.

We quickly found a bench near our theater and snacked on some popcorn as we waited.

“So um, besides action comedies, what kind of other movies do you like?” Minato asked as I shoved popcorn in my mouth.

“Hmm, mmm… I like regular dramas, one of my favorite movies is called 'Death in Venice'.” I finished chewing, then promptly explained.

“I don’t think I’ve heard of that before…” He remarked.

“Oh, I think they are opening the doors!” I announced.

“But, uh, anyway. Yeah that doesn’t surprise me. It's an old Italian movie, so I don’t think a lot of people have really seen it, heh.” I explained as we got up to enter the theater.

“Okay, that alone makes it more interesting! I’ll have to check it out!” He declared as we walked into the theater.

“Haha, yeah you sure! It's a fascinating watch.” I giggled.

We at last sat in our comfy seats happily waiting for the lights to dim and the grand show to begin!

◑ ◒ ◓ ◐

For the entire duration of the movie the entire theater was in a clamor of either exhilarated laughter or clamorous noises of shock and surprise. Every second was fast paced and joyfully energetic. Even the slower parts of the movie felt urgent! Which was crazy, I thought, because what if someone needed to use the restroom or get more refreshment! I can’t tell if this was a good choice by the filmmakers or a bad one.

There were several moments that I forgot I was even on a date! However, every time I remembered. I just knew my cheeks turned rosy, thankfully it was dark. The times I focused on it, I couldn’t help but think of cutesy and or romantic things I could do. I was even anticipating for Minato to, uh, do something like… Hold my hand or something of that nature… He did not, which I am fine with. Since I still wanted to focus on the movie too.

“Wow! What a fun movie! Great choice Hiromi!” Minato smiled like a superstar.

“Absolutely! I was having so much fun, I only ate half of my KitKats, and forgot about the other!” I remarked with glee.

“Ah, so much fun. Let’s not slow the excitement! On to the next stop!” He declared.

“Right!” I shouted.

◑ ◒ ◓ ◐

Our next stop was a place that Mom was quite jealous that the two of us would be visiting. Chiba’s very own Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari!

We eagerly began our walk to the Outlet Park! Just the perfect distance from the movie theater and fairly close to the train station home as well. A lovely walk to the Outlet Park, a slightly warm breeze frequently brushed our hair. A welcoming sign of the soon coming summer season. Still inviting are the nostalgic aroma of the cherry blossoms slowly beginning to reveal their captivating colors. A moment that feels too perfect to only share with one other person.

With an excited glow in our young eyes, we arrived at the Outlet Park. The second we made it to the center of the structure, the spring air was quickly replaced by the expected scent of stylish new clothes and popular shoes. We stood in silence for a moment, the sheer volume of stores was instantly overwhelming. For the both of us, surprisingly. Since I’ve only lived in Chiba for a few months now, it was expected that I’d be surprised by the Outlet Park, however. This must have been Minato's first time here as well. His expression appeared to be similar to mine.

“Uhh, what should we do first…” Minato slowly questioned, clearly unsure of where to contrite our date.

“Well, let’s just go into the first one that catches our eye!” I suggested, with a joyous beam.

“Alright, yeah!” He happily agreed.

My strategy honestly wasn’t that good. Every store here caught our eye! Each store had some kind of eye-catching advertisement that screamed ‘Look! Look! We have great products!’ Realizing this I then suggested that we spend only five to ten minutes in each store. This was a clever way to get the most experience in an efficient amount of time.

As we went on, the excitement wore down, slowly. Despite the captivating entrances, they are realistically still all the same. Almost every store we entered, we were promptly greeted by one of the employees. Either offering immediate assistance in the chance we are looking for something, or providing a business card of the store. Each store also had pretty similar products as well. Primarily clothing, with some showing off the latest tech and gadgets, or something small with a gimmick.

I’d say that the excitement was sadly starting to dull. Mainly because of the similarities of the stores. Then the other being that we were simply getting tired. We’ve been walking nonstop for a few hours now. Regardless, this seems to be a natural outcome of the date. Especially for the inexperienced.

“Hmm, let’s take a break.” Minato prompted with a smile.

“Oh, okay.” I smiled back.

Not realizing it until we found a spot, but I think he suggested this was because I was falling behind ever so slightly. No surprise there, the most walking I do is to school and in between classes. No were near the likely stamina that Minato is custom to.

We found a pleasant spot near the top floor that was able to overlook the center of the Outlet Park. Happily enjoying each others company, we sat quietly, just watching the other patrons of Mitsui Outlet Park Makuhari going about their business.

“Oh, yeah!” I suddenly recalled something from earlier.

Minato was quick to look in my direction to see what I was rummaging through my small travel bag. I soon pulled out the sweets from the movies that I didn't finish.

“Here, we can share!” I smiled and held out the sweets for Minato to grab.

“Right, thanks.” He smiled back and took some of the sweets.

We then continued our people watching, this time with delightful snacks. I then wanted to talk a little, so I quickly thought of a good topic.

“So, um, what do your parents do?” I asked the simple question, since he had a similar one.

“So, my Dad doesn't work and just takes care of house things with food n' stuff, because Mom has a pretty good job to support the seven of us.” He explained.

“Seven?!” I remarked with surprise.

“Yeah, it's kinda complicated, haha. So it's me, my little brother, mom and dad, then, my grandparents from my dad's side. Then grandma, my mom’s mom. Luckily they already have some steady retirement financial support, so they hang out for the most part.” He continued, giggling, and cutely counting his family on his fingers.

“Sounds like a lively household.” I commented with a smile.

“Oh, yeah, seeing three generations go at it everyday can be kinda entertaining. Lovingly going at it, I should say.” He then provides a grand smile, happily showing his shiny teeth.

“So, I don’t want this day to end, but I really don’t want to get you in trouble with my Motoko, even more. So are there any other stores you want to visit?” I gleefully asked.

“Uhhhhmm, no. I think I’m good to get going.” He agreed with a long winded yawn that turned into a smile.

◑ ◒ ◓ ◐

Dawn was slowly floating on the horizon. I was very tired actually, but I had to remain vigilant. I didn’t want Minato to see that and think I was no longer having a good time. Funnily enough, he yawned several times on the way to the train station and on the train ride home. What a fun evening. Nothing more nothing less. A simple and relaxing day, a perfect way to have a first date.

Minato, the gentleman that he is, and has been this whole evening. So of course he wanted to walk me from the train station back to my home. Once again, little words were shared. It's late and we’re just happy that everything went as smoothly as it did. No need to talk about the day, no need to force conversation any more. We just need to be comfortable with one another.

“Alright, this is close enough, I don’t want you falling asleep on the way home, hehe.” I stopped and suggested it to Minato.

“Oh, are you sure?” He asked.

“Yup… Um, so I had a really great time today, thanks for wanting to spend time with me.” I smiled gently, as fidgeted with my palms.

“Yeah, um, anytime, Hiromi.” He shyly smiled.

Standing face to face. I just felt the need to gaze at him before I left him. I suppose I did this to appreciate that this person in front of me wanted to spend an entire evening with me, simply because they wanted to. Not uttering a single word, I looked into his fascinating deep blue eyes.

Oh, wait he closed them…

Oh, no.


I’ve made a mistake!


Quick yet calmly, I shuffled backwards to avoid a-a… A very intimate action that Minato was about to perform.

In my head, I felt the urge to laugh, but couldn’t because my lips were tightly pressed together from the unexpected movement that Minato was about to do. A-a… Ki-ki…


I only wanted to laugh because not only was my face starting to burn up it first hand and second hand embarrassment. Minato’s face was all I would focus on, with his eyes closed, and his entire face on fire, redder than red hot teapot. Not only that, he appeared to age several decades at this moment. Luckily, this didn’t last long.

“Um, sorry.” I quickly responded.

He remained silent, still probably embarrassed. I realized that this may have been my mistake. I think I gave him a signal that I wanted to do such an action. I was quiet, blissfully staring into his eyes. Thinking about it, how else are you supposed to get a k-kiss! From someone. I don’t think simply asking is the right approach.

“So, again, I had a lot of fun today and I really hope to do something like this very soon. So, um…” I slowly explained.

He exhaled, with relief. His face slowly retired to his normal color.

“To be clear, I’m not quite ready for something like that just yet, heh…” I giggled.

He still kept quiet, eyes also remained closed. Not totally sure why he’s not responding, but I’m fine with it because I think should explain myself?

“But I uh… Still, like, you. So… when you have the chance. I’d like to talk more about this. Re-relationship… That we, uh, have.” I eventually made my point.

“Hai!!!” He shouted, a little too loud.

His face and body finally became more relaxed. Then slowly formed a natural smile.

“Heh, okay, goodnight.” I smiled.

“Go-goodnight.” He smiled back, slowly returning to normal.

I then jogged back home, but soon stopped to say one last thing.

“Text me when you get home, okay!” I shouted, hopefully not disturbing the neighbors.

“HAI! I will!” He hollered to make sure that I heard him.

Even though he couldn’t see it, my smile was able to shine the rest of the way home.

I couldn't care for a second that this is how the evening ended. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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