I Had To Take A Day Off From Work [Chapter 16]



Chapter 16


TL: Akabane


***


Every time her one-piece dress blew in the wind, I would admire her. Yamamoto photoshoot continued until the evening, with her changing from white to red, light blue, and various other outfits.


All the while, I just watched her. It was awkward that I was getting paid for this, but the company approved it. Let's be strong, let's be strong.


I hadn't smoked for a while, so I went to the smoking area in the park to have a smoke, and greeted the staff members who were taking down the site. I can see the fatigue in their eyes. The blonde stylist was gone. I wondered if she had already left. Well, that's okay.


All I have to do now is to go home. I really wanted to go straight home, but I felt a little uncomfortable. I should report back and invite someone for a drink or something.


The shooting ended without incident.


"Araki-san!"


She called out to me. I was startled.


I turned around and there she was, dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt instead of a one-piece dress.


"Oh, thank you for your hard work."


"What's wrong? You look upset."


"I'm not upset, but ......"


"You must have had something bad on your mind."


When I denied it, she gave me a suspicious look. Apparently, she was curious.


But I have nothing to say. It was a complete false accusation. But I could somehow imagine that she wouldn't be convinced.


"It was really beautiful. I was admiring it."


When I said that, her eyes widened a little. She was only up to about my neck. I averted my gaze for clarity.


"Thank you ...... sir."


Let me say it, that reaction was unfair. Her face looks reddish, probably because of the sunset. Even in her plain clothes, the individuality that Miina Yamamoto possesses is not going to disappear.


"Why don't we talk a little? I'll buy you a cup of coffee. It's a can."


The words came out unconsciously because I suddenly saw a vending machine and a bench. I realized after I said it that it sounded like a pick-up, but I decided to go through with it.


She laughed. "You sound like a pick-up master," she said the same thing like I did. I politely denied it and bought two cans of coffee from the vending machine. One fine sugar and one black coffew. I told her to take whichever she liked, and she took the black one. I was a little surprised.


"How was your day?"


It was a rough question. I could have said anything if I thought of it as sales talk, but sitting on a park bench alone with her like this made me nervous.


"I had a great, great time."


"That's good to hear."


She says this while holding her coffee tightly in both hands. I'm sure she means it. There is no reason to lie here. She is about to make a public appearance.


Fortunately, there are no suspicious eyes on us. She is a freelancer, so there is no such thing as transportation and no manager. So, this time, I was in charge of picking her up and taking her home.


Even though I said so, but all I did was get a taxi for her.


I want to help clean up afterward, but it's hard to do because I was rejected. That's why it might be best to pretend like I'm doing her mental care like this.


"...... This is the first time I've taken a photoshoot by myself."


Yamamoto let the words slip out from her mouth.


"Is that so?"


"Yes. Basically, I was with one of the members."


I wasn't aware of it at all, but now that she mention it, that may have been the case. There were no Momoka Aimi solo photo books, and the members were always next to each other in gravure magazines.


I won't say anything about style, because there are different tastes. But, one thing I can say is that she was never glamorous. Well, I don't really care, thogh.


"How was it? How did it feel to shooting alone?"


She smiled shyly.


"It was like being the main character in a painting."


"Indeed. It was sparkling and really beautiful."


I don't remember a canned coffee that was this sweet. I usually only drink black coffee, so I didn't know, but it wasn't even close. It's extremely sweet. It gives me heartburn.


She was photographed, and she was exactly the kind of fresh, cool, and glowing that delays the onset of fall. At this time of night, it was a little chilly. I'm glad I brought my suit jacket just in case.


"This will be the most beautiful poster in our company's history."


"Fufu. That's an exaggeration."


"It's true."


As for the content of the poster, we would have another meeting with the ad agency. I'll be showing them the photos taken at that time, and secretly, I'm looking forward to this the most. I'm completely mixing my public and private life. I don't mind.


I plan to print it out by the end of October and distribute it to business partners and others. The appeal period before the exhibition will be about a month. I hope I can tickle the hearts of those who see it during that time.


The sunset is almost over.


I glance at her with a sideways glance. Her black hair is as beautiful as ever. The sweet smell of her hair is coming on the wind. My heart aches with a thump.


"Is something wrong?"


"Ah, nothing!"


I didn't expect her to ask me that, so I quickly denied it. She seemed to have caught me glancing at her, but she said nothing more.


It felt like a strange time was passing. When was the last time I felt such a fluffy feeling? Not a handshake session. It was more like that taste of youth I experienced long before that.


"...... I was remembering my school days."


"You are still young."


"I'm an old man over 30."


I guess this is how we humans age. I felt a little empty even though I had said it myself. I coughed and returned the emptiness that had clogged up my throat to my chest.


"What kind of love have you had?"


"Are you interested?"


"Hmm. Not really."


"What's that?"


Then I want to tell her not to ask. When I chuckled, she put her hand over her mouth and laughed.


"I've been very pensive."


"I don't want to get old."


"Yes. Not at all."


I feel like I'm at a reunion. She's not that old, and she's younger than me.


Even so, I'm sure she has lived a rich life. Standing in front of people, being told what to do and what not to do, she has given us dreams. Is such a life happy? I'm not sure.


"Are you happy that Momoka Aimi is gone?"


She said that to me when the sunset-colored wind blew. It was so hot, but I never heard of an autumn breeze at a time like this. Even though I give her a cold can of coffee.


"Happiness slips away from my hand."


"Wow. Romantic. Romantic.


"I'm showing off."


I'd never heard anyone say that to me before. Even if I had that side of me, I'm the type of person who would be embarrassed and shy about it.


So, maybe being a romantic is being vain. They don't want to say what they really think, so they say fancy things to cover it up. If that's the case, I'd be the same kind of person.


"Then, I was making someone happy, wasn't I?"


That's right. From her mouth, which had only said such negative things, came words I had never thought of.


I was so happy that I couldn't hide my overflowing smile. I had no intention of hiding it. If today's photo shoot had been a catalyst for something, then so be it.


"Did you realize it now?"


"Fufu. No way. It's been a long time."


The clean-up operation was just coming to an end. The staff came up to us to say hello, so we both stood up and returned the greeting.


We agreed to check the photos we had taken at a later meeting. We were right on schedule. For now, it was a relief. Since we had a professional take the pictures, we didn't have to worry about that.


The autumn wind that had been blowing earlier had stopped, and we turned our backs to them to leave the park.


"Um ...... Araki-san."


She stopped me, so I turned around. There she was, holding a black can of coffee in front of her face, with a cute expression.


"I haven't finished my drink yet."


"--What a coincidence. Me too."


Shall we skip a little more?


I say, and she laughs, "That sounds good." I won't let the company complain. Because it's the guest's selfishness. What a laugh.



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