Dōmeki feels uncharacteristically nervous as he accepts his tea from the café’s smiling waitress, all too aware of the woman sitting across from him. He can’t bring himself to look up at her—doesn’t dare meet her considering gaze. Instead he warms his palms around the teacup and stares into the steaming liquid as if it holds all the secrets of the universe. This had been his idea, but now he’s not sure it had ever been a good one.
But there is no one else he can ask. And he wants to do this properly.
“Dōmeki-kun,” Yūko says, her voice lilting with humor, “contrary to rumor, I am not actually a mind reader. Is there something I can do for you? I presume you did not invite me out merely for the pleasure of my company.”
No. No, he hadn’t.
Sucking in a breath through his teeth, Dōmeki steels himself and cuts to the chase. “Yūko-san, as you are aware, Kimihiro has no surviving family. But he seems to view you as something of a meddling aunt, which is why I feel it appropriate to come to you with this request.”
Here it is: the moment of truth. His cheeks burn.
“May I have your permission to seek Kimihiro’s hand in marriage?”