The bell above the door jingled merrily as I entered the cozy store.
It was wall to wall manga, and I sighed wistfully at the smell of freshly printed paper.
This was by far my favorite store.
And that wasn’t just because I had a crush on the clerk who worked there.
As I entered, he rose and bowed to me, short, dark hair shimmering slightly in the low light. “Welcome! If you have any questions, please ask.”
I smiled and nodded in return.
Trying not to embarrass myself, still very aware that the quiet Japanese man’s focus was still on me, I managed to casually shuffle off to the section of my favorite series without creating a scene.
So far, so good.
My eyes skimmed the spines of the different novels, searching for a particular title and number, and then I frowned in defeat.
What the heck?
Amazon said that the next volume came out today!
So where was it?
"Looking for this?" As if reading my mind, Kiku smiled holding up the newest volume of my favorite manga, the one I had just been looking for.
"Y-yeah! Thanks!" I giggled and he smiled at me, setting the book on the counter.
His dark brown eyes seemed to be watching me carefully. "Will that be all, [Name]-san?"
"Y-yes. Thank you Kiku!" As I took out my money to pay for it, he spoke quietly.
"You know, I've been thinking about reading this manga myself. Do you recommend it?"
I grinned and nodded. "Yeah! It's one of my favorites. I think you would like it."
"O-okay. Arigatou." He blushed slightly. "Perhaps you could give me your review of the newest one?
If it's not too much trouble..."
Now it was my turn to be surprised. He was always so shy and quiet!
This was actually the most we'd spoken since I'd started shopping here.
"O-of course!" I stammered. "It's no trouble at all."
"Thank you again." Kiku smiled at me.
"Please enjoy it!"
I waved as I walked out the door. "Thank you!" I could feel myself blushing again and silently cursed myself, trying desperately to hide it.
Why did he have to be so nice, and sweet, and polite?
As I opened the cover to my new book, I blinked in confusion. Tucked inside was a small scrap of paper with beautiful handwriting scrawled across it.
Please forgive me for being so forward!
There is going to be a meeting for the Manga club at my university,
And I was wondering if you would have any interest in coming.
If you do, it is Saturday night at Seven o’clock.
I apologize for inconveniencing you in any way.
My eyes widened as I realized what I had just read.
Was he…asking me out!?
Squealing and having a small fan girl attack, I held onto the note carefully.
Then trying to regain my composure, I reread the invitation and frowned.
It probably wasn't a date. He was probably just being polite and inviting me because he knew I liked manga. There was no reason to get overly excited.
Just spending a little bit of time with him would be like a dream~!
Even if it wasn't a date, I still couldn't wait…