Editors: Yuuki, xyi
Chapter 4: Clothes
I lied down on the living room floor whilst reading the newspaper. My home didn’t have a television, so the only way for me to keep up with current events was through the newspaper.
“‘Male suspect for the rape of a middle-school girl arrested’, hm…”
I skimmed through the articles in the newspaper whilst noisily scratching my butt.
It’s not like I didn’t understand the charm of young women, but I just couldn’t bring myself to look at them in a sexual light. Surely, I thought that this was the standard for most people, but keeping in mind the frequent reports of sexual assault of minors, it seems that there are an unexpected amount of men out there with a desire to do such things to underage girls.
“I prefer older women though.”
I murmured as I turned the page.
“Hey, isn’t that a bit rude—”
Sayu commented as she passed right over my limp body, carrying a pile of laundry in her hands.
It was all so sudden, that I ended up with a clear view of what lay under her skirt. A light blue fabric that seemed a bit too thin. Upon realizing that her underwear was more adult-like than what I had expected, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. I quickly worked my mouth in an attempt to gloss over these feelings.
“Just so you know, I can see your panties.”
“I’m wearing a skirt, so there’s not much I can do about it.”
I took a quick glance at Sayu, who was wearing her usual uniform while doing the household chores.
“Well, now that I think about it you’re always wearing your uniform, aren’t you?”
“It’s not like I have anything else to wear. Either way, it doesn’t really get dirty if I wash it properly.”
“It’s kind of weird for you to be wearing your uniform indoors though.”
I got up from the floor.
Sticking my hand into my business bag, I retrieved my wallet and took a look inside. Ahh, there’s more than I thought. I took out a bill with the face of Fukuzawa Yukichi printed on it.
“Here. Go out and buy some clothes for yourself. If you go to Uniqlo you could probably buy a full set of clothes with this.”
“Eh, I’d feel bad if I did that.”
“I don’t really enjoy being flashed with your panties every single day.”
Sayu pondered with a loud “Hmmm” for a moment, before audibly snapping her fingers .
“Then let’s go together.”
My expression scrunched up.
I imagined for a moment what it would look like if I went shopping for clothes together with Sayu.
“Uhh, I don’t really want to be suspected of being a sugar daddy, though.”
“Haha, yeah, I guess.”
“You can buy clothes on your own. I’ll go buy your futon in the meantime.” 
Sayu seemed to suddenly overreact to the word ‘Futon’.
“Nonono, its fine! The carpet is comfortable enough for me.”
“Your body aches when you wake up, doesn’t it?”
“Not in the slightest.”
Why was she being so reserved?
I said that I’d buy it for her already, so she should just take it and say thanks.
“Every time you get up you say ‘Ow ow ow’, don’t you remember?”
“Eh, I never said that.”
“Sure you did.”
Did she say it unconsciously?
“Plus, I don’t feel too good about letting a girl sleep on the floor, when I get to have a bed.”
“I’m just buying it because I want to, so no buts okay?”
Well, I suppose that this also begs the question of whether or not a member of society should have a futon for guests.
The reason being that, besides gathering the guys and drinking with them through the night, it was unlikely that there’ll be someone staying the night at my place. Perhaps that was a gross underestimation. Secondly, if I were to supposedly bring a lover to stay the night at my place, we would be sharing the bed, wouldn’t we?
“Anyway, go out and buy your clothes today.”
“You can keep the rest as an allowance or something.”
An expression of bewilderment washed over her face.
“I don’t need it.”
“You don’t have any money on you, right? Isn’t it boring for you to just sit at home every day with nothing to play around with?”
“Just letting me stay here is more than enough.”
She must have a tendency of being reserved around adults.
I don’t know whose homes she’s been to up till now, but at the very least, it’s clear that those had the sort of environment where such an attitude was necessary.
I sighed as naturally as breathing.
“I said it’s fine already, just take it. If you really don’t want to use it then don’t; save it for when you need to use it or something.”
“But you know…”
Sayu’s gaze drifted across the floor, unable to understand what I just said.
“If I take this from you… I don’t know how I would ever be able to pay you back.”
For a moment, I was left at a loss for words. What she said was all too honest.
It wasn’t just that she was hesitant to receive it, but rather, she would always ponder on how to repay the favor. She would refuse a favor that she knew she won’t be able to pay back. So that’s what it was, huh.
I scratched my head, brainstorming.
Why did it come down to this…? I mean, she’s just a kid.
“To be honest—”
I choose my words carefully. How do I get the message across?
“I’m really busy all the time, so I don’t really have much time to do the household chores.”
With difficulty and hesitation mixed in my voice, I continued.
Sayu looked on with full attention.
“But you’ve been doing all of them ever since you’ve come. In the week or so that you’ve been here, I’ve been able to enjoy myself a lot more than before… Is that not enough of a reason?”
I returned Sayu’s gaze, to which she quickly averted her eyes .
Then, she muttered in reply.
“If you’re okay with it… Then it’s fine.”
“Alright, then we’re both okay with it.”
With a nod, I rose to my feet.
It’s not like I could go out in my tattered sleepwear. I opened the closet and retrieved a suitable change of clothes.
Sayu called out to me whilst I noisily removed my shirt.
I glanced towards Sayu, whose lips pursed in response.
Then, with a wide but gentle smile—
I put on a t-shirt whilst exhaling loudly from my nose.
That’s better, as it should be.
I thought to myself.
“Wow—! It’s soo fluffy—”
Sayu rolled back and forth on her futon.
She had changed out of her school uniform into a set of snug gray sweater top and bottoms. As I had expected, this set of clothes fits much better with the atmosphere of the room. Not to mention, it was clearly more comfortable.
“You’re going to get dust all over it, you know?”
I gently scolded her with a half-smile on my face. Sayu only lifted her head to look at me.
“I vacuum the floor every day so how could it get dusty?”
“… Well, you’re not wrong.”
Nodding in agreement, I opened the can of beer in my hands. The fizzling sound was music to my ears.
“It was a good idea to get a futon, wasn’t it?”
I asked her, taking a gulp of beer.
“Yup. I feel like I can sleep a ton tonight.”
“That’s good to hear.”
Sayu stared into my eyes.
“Let’s sleep together.”
I was completely prepared to hear a ‘Thanks’, so I ended up choking on the beer out of surprise. I barely managed to avoid spraying beer all over the place by closing my mouth as tightly as I could.
After swallowing the beer, I had a brief coughing fit.
“A-Are you okay?”
I pointed towards Sayu.
“Didn’t I already tell you that if you try to seduce me, I’m gonna chase you out?”
Throughout what I said, Sayu had an expression of ‘I knew you would say that’ as her lips curled up in satisfaction.
“But it’s not like I said anything about doing any lewd things, did I?”
“Huh? …Ah, well, I see.”
“Yoshida-san, you were totally thinking that sleeping with a high-school girl would lead to lewd things, weren’t you?”
“I don’t have any interest in that sort of thing, stupid.”
“Eh~, really now?”
Sayu happily giggled as she pointlessly rolled around on her futon.
Glancing sideways at the scene, I took another sip of beer. It tasted better than when I drank it alone, but perhaps that was just me.
“So? Wanna sleep together?”
Sayu stopped rolling around and cast a strong gaze at me.
“I’ll pass. I’ll sleep on my own bed.”
“Oh, are you scared~~?”
“I just don’t like sleeping in narrow spaces.”
Hearing that, Sayu looked at me with a mischievous smile, and upturned eyes.
“I think I’m pretty soft. Do you need something to hug?”
She said as she pointing to herself.
I snorted and said.
“I’m really gonna chase you out.”
“Aw come on, I was just kidding~~”
Looking at Sayu, whose shoulders rocked as she cackled, I thought back to how Sayu was this morning.
Her clear expression of discomfort which showed her unfamiliarity with the kindness from adults, and the soft voice and mild mannerisms that accompanied it.
I felt a little empty inside as I thought about it.
I took another gulp of beer and said.
Sayu looked at me.
“I think you’re cuter when you smile.”
Sayu stared on in puzzlement for a brief moment, but soon after, her cheeks became a little flushed.
“What, are you trying to hit on me?”
“Like I said, I’m not interested in that sort of thing.”
I frivolously said. Sayu turned her back towards me.
Oh-ho, feeling embarrassed now?
I’d been thinking about this a lot recently, but I really didn’t like letting girls lead me on in a conversation. I chuckled internally and took another sip from my beer.
It’s better for kids to be smiling, after all.
That’s what I thought.
Rather than shrinking away in discomfort, I prefer that she smile without burdens in her heart and mind; it’s much cuter that way.
Though, regardless, kids aren’t my type.
I walked to the fridge with a now empty can of beer.
Opening the fridge, I took out another can.
“Are you still gonna drink?”
“It’s a rest day tomorrow, so it’s fine.”
I replied whilst opening the can.
Then, a fleeting thought rushed to my mind.
Unexpectedly, having someone to talk to at home is not too bad.
 10000 Yen Bill, which is around 100 USD. Fukuzawa Yukichi is best known for his work as a translator, philosopher, and educator during the Meiji Era.
 A futon is a bed laid out on the floor in several layers which can be easily collapsed and folded. Yoshida sleeps on a western bed in his own room, so there’s a distinction.
 There’s a double meaning in this line. (それでいいんだよ、それで。In context, it means both “It’s okay.” and “That’s better”, the first meaning referring to the money and the second referring to Sayu’s smile.