A little time had passed and I managed to regain composure.
“We should get going, Tachibana might be there already,” the teacher’s suggestion reminded us of our purpose, and I checked my watch.
Lo and behold, it was five minutes before the rendezvous.
I don’t have enough grasp of who the boss is, but I managed a conjecture.
Rather than being late, I felt in my gut she was the type of person who’d definitely be there five minutes before the appointed time.
An image of her waiting solemnly popped into my mind, and yeah, no way would she be late.
Sure enough, she stood idly by the ticket gates while waiting for us.
“Sorry, were you here for long?”
“You three are together.
Am I a loner?”
“No, no, we just got here early and we just happened to see each other at the café over there.”
“Oh, that’s fine.”
How soothing… At that moment, I realized she was the glue that held this group together.
Reminiscing the scene we had at the café just now, I nodded in my mind.
Yeah, we can’t do it with just the three of us.
But still… The teacher wore a jersey, the boss wore the school’s jersey, and Yuki wore a hoodie.
I thought I was dressed the part for the occasion, but I was actually the odd one out.
Do girls not dress up normally? Ugh, I look like a clown.
“First, let’s shop at that supermarket over there.”
Shall we go then?”
I writhed in shy agony.
Was I being too self-conscious? Even after meeting up and walking together, no one seems to give a damn, and all I could do was quickly waddle my way to the market.
By the way, it was expensive as all hell.
“How much will you buy?”
“As much as 3k yen can get me.”
So they’re really using all the club’s budget today, huh? However, despite us being three girls and one guy, it would be pretty difficult with that amount.
My father gave me some allowance to spend on club activities, so using more wasn’t an issue.
I still felt conscious of that budget though.
“Yeah, I’ll have a look around and decide.
But with the teacher here, I might not have enough for four people.”
“Ah, don’t worry about me.
I’ll pay for my share,” the teacher said.
“Are you sure?”
I’ll consider it as me buying a meal out somewhere, so don’t worry and just grab what you need.”
She works on her days off without a single complaint and even pays for her share, which is supposed to be covered by the club’s budget.
Maybe that’s due to her sense of responsibility as a teacher or just her own temperament.
Either way, she lost something.
Thus she slunked away along with her own basket.
“Um, what do you usually need for a BBQ? Hmm, the ingredients, plates, chopsticks, cups, and even charcoal, huh? In hindsight, 3k might still not be enough,” I noted.
“Don’t worry about that, we can use the stuff at my house,” the boss said.
I wonder if it’s really okay.
I mean, I feel really bad for relying on her, even more so when she’s lending us her house… No, I’ll just take her word for it.
No use otherwise.
“Thank you very much,” I was sincere.
“So, let’s see what ingredients we need… Meat, vegetables, seafood probably, and barbecue sauce.
Oh, and drinks too.”
“Let’s grab these things then.”
From then on, we put each item in our basket one after another, all the while discussing what each one of us would like, so and so forth.
I looked over and saw Yuki silently putting shrimp in her basket.
“Do you like shrimp?” I tried talking.
I tried to lighten up the mood, but she dismissed me oh so casually.
“So, this is about 3k yen right now.
What do you think, guys?” I then turned to look at the two.
“It’s enough for me.
What about you, Yuki?” The boss answered.
“It’s fine for me as well.”
I looked at my basket, and while it may not be sufficient in quantity, it was a surprisingly complete set for just 3k.
Well, if the ladies are happy with it, I’ll just go along.
If I did say I wanted more, it would cost the two.
“Are we done?”
As it was, we finished paying the bill and left.
I wondered where the teacher was, but she met us right at the entrance since she finished earlier.
“Takasaki, this is heavy.
Take this one too,” the teacher turned to me.
“Um, I’m already holding my groceries.”
“You’re a boy, aren’t you?”
Ah, there it is, someone that only treats me as a boy when it suits her.
I wonder if she’s really reserved or not… Oh well, it’s fine.
I’ll just do it since it won’t affect me.
“Well then, I’ll lead the way,” she continued.
After we finished shopping, we went to her house.
“This house is great!”
It was twice the size of mine.
“My parents are both workaholics that constantly lose holidays over work,” she explained.
Oh wow, we’ll get to have a barbecue at such a nice place.
I couldn’t help but get excited.
“Just wait at the yard, I’ll grab the plates and stuff.”
“Are you sure you’re okay by yourself?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she said, scurrying inside her home.
After that, I looked at the yard and saw that a BBQ set, desks, and chairs were already brought out.
So, are we supposed to just light the charcoal inside it? I don’t know since I don’t have any experience.
“Oh, speaking of which, do you have any experience with BBQs teacher?”
“If you mean eating, yes.
“Phew… This is great after a hard workout!” She popped a cold one.
“That’s nonalcoholic, right?”
“Hmm? What’s the point of drinking beer with no alcohol? That ain’t beer, this is.”
Huh? Is this fine? No, actually, I thought her groceries were a bit too heavy, but it never crossed my mind that she made me carry freaking beer. No wonder she took money out of her own pocket without a shred of hesitation.
Also, her “exercise” was us walking here from the station.
Shortly after our chat, the boss returned.
“I got them.”
So, how can I help?”
“Takasaki, you put up the coals and light the fire.
I’ll cut the veggies and mushrooms we bought.
Hey, Yuki, help me.”
“Yes,” she replied.
Teacher, help me light the fire.
If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
“Can’t be helped then.”
Thus, we started prepping the barbecue.
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