The pavement was cold. It always was, so this wasn’t necessarily a remarkable discovery. In fact it wasn’t really a discovery at all, just an observation. An observation that really meant nothing at all.
The streets were semi-busy, it would be a half-truth to call them either empty or full. Semi-busy, and Hajime would leave it at that. He was on his way home from work, leaving tired as always. Every step he took felt like he was lugging another pound of flesh with a brand new pair of flashy cement shoes to the river.
Needless to say, Hajime just wanted to go home.
So he stood staring at the crosswalk light, waiting for it to turn green. It was tempting to just walk ahead instead of waiting, the semi-busy streets definitely would allow for him to have enough time to cross. Besides, the thing always took forever to turn anyways. He was just very lucky that the path between his office building and his apartment had one of those lights, you know?
He took a deep breath, or at least attempted to. Hajime more so gave a groan that sounded strained. He remained staring at the crosswalk light, waiting for it to change.
Hajime mindlessly looked down at his watch, the time was around seven twenty. Hajime didn’t exactly know why he wore a watch, he was always annoyed with not being able to tell the exact time down to the minute on the damn thing. It was more just like a habit at this point he guessed, maybe an attempt to fit the more professional image he wanted to present at his job?
Whatever, it didn’t matter. Hajime looked at the time on his phone.
He felt better in knowing that for no reason.
Hajime checked the crosswalk light again, almost hesitantly. He was certain that whatever he saw wouldn’t be what he would like to see. But instead, the light had turned green.
He smiled slightly before he stepped out onto the street.
The walk home from his office to his apartment building, which Hajime liked better than the walk from his apartment building to his office, always seemed to have a different air about it. Sure, the morning walk always had birds chirping and chiming along to the nonexistent tune of the rising sun. But that late afternoon walk always had a calm chillness to it, there were always more people out in these walks. Hajime didn’t exactly consider himself a people person, and he certainly wasn’t a very social person either unless the situation seemed to demand it. But he liked seeing all the people going about their days, earlier in his life he probably would have said the exact opposite of that, hating seeing to see people showing any signs of higher achievement on anything. He liked to think he got past that though, and came to peace that sometimes people take different paths throughout the world.
There certainly is an emphasis on liked though, as Hajime still found himself drowning in a sea of jealousy and washing along the shore of some emotion that’s not exactly contentment but not exactly resentment either.
He didn’t think about that much though.
And he did not think about that at all on his walks, which seemed to hold a kind of sacredness to him that he refused to address.
So he kept going home.
Hajime was getting home a bit later than usual today, as he decided to stay at work later. He mainly just talked today to the office manager, Mahiru, who he considered himself to be good friends with. She decided that she wanted to propose to her girlfriend who she had been dating for like, five years? Realizing that made him slow down a bit in his pace. Hajime remembered hearing about their first date, and joking that she was going to dump the girl within three months. Guess he was wrong about that. He was probably wrong about lots of other things too. He never had met the acclaimed girlfriend of five years, but from his Mahiru’s descriptions he knew that she was quick to judge and quite mean. Mahiru told Hajime that she probably would give Hajime some nickname as soon as she saw him, and that he probably wouldn’t like whatever it was very much. But it seemed that he would never receive said nickname, as the girlfriend never made an appearance when he and Mahiru went out for drinks on Fridays. He sort of thought the girl wasn’t even real, but after seeing that engagement ring today, all of those ideas went out of his head.
Hajime decided he hadn’t changed a lot in those five years from when Mahiru had her first date to now, when Mahiru is proposing. In fact, he still found himself as single as ever and still living in the same apartment.
Hajime kept thinking about his life the past five years when he turned the final corner onto the street his apartment building was on, when he felt himself hit something. At first he had thought he ran into a wall or a street pole, but the object he ran into wasn’t exactly hard. Sure, sure it was firm but it wasn’t made of steel or any other metal. He then looked down, mainly to check his shoes. He polished them the other day and was really hoping that they didn’t scuff.
To his dismay, there was a slight scuff on the middle of the toe on his right shoe.
And to his surprise, he found out what he had hit while he had turned the corner.
He hit a person, and a very startled looking person at that. Which was understandable, as Hajime’s knocking into them caused them to fall to the floor.
The person shook his head, almost in confusion about what had happened.
“Oh! Sorry there, didn’t see you I guess.” Hajime offered a hand to help the person up.
The person took Hajime’s hand, and got up. “No, no. Its fine, you have to say that it's my fault anyways.” The person laughed slightly, either nervously or just to diffuse the situation Hajime couldn’t tell. “I’m sort of lost! I just moved here and I can’t seem to find my apartment complex anywhere.” The person waved his hand in the air seemingly to punctuate his sentence.
“Hey, maybe I can help you? You know, to make it up for knocking you down to the ground? I’ve lived around here for a while, so what’s your apartment building called?” Hajime replied, he felt the need to make it up to this person in some way or another. Besides, there was only like four apartment complexes around here, so it wouldn’t be that hard to find the one this guy lived at anyways.
The person gave a smile. “Thanks, that’s really nice of you. I live at… I think it's called Ridge Park? It's only my fourth day out here, so sorry that amount of little information is all I can provide.”
Ridge Park? Hajime knew where Ridge Park was, in fact, that's where he lived. He then said that exact thing to this person.
“We’re neighbors then, aren’t we? Guess I should introduce myself if we live in the same building, right? I’m Nagito.” The person, who Hajime now knew who’s name was Nagito said.
“Okay cool, nice to meet you Nagito.” Hajime smiled. “So Ridge Park is just down that way,” Hajime pointed down the street, “here I’ll walk with you down.” He smiled, wanting to seem friendly.
“I think you’re forgetting something here. Well, maybe you aren’t! As I’m probably not worthy of an introduction anyways.”
“Oh, right! I’m Hajime.”
Life continued on, Hajime didn’t feel as if some enlightening and life changing experience had come of this chance encounter with his new neighbor. But he couldn’t help but feel that in some way he should have felt something like that. It was as if something was off about Nagito, something he couldn’t place in some sense of the universe.
In fact, maybe that was the enlightenment he felt that he should be experiencing. But Hajime still refused to accept it as such.
It was just the way Nagito spoke that seemed to be drilling a hole with a drill far deeper and deeper into the fuzzy and messy grey matter that called itself Hajime’s brain. The aspect that Hajime seemed to be stuck on was the fact that Nagito underlyingly seemed to pinpoint himself as... well Hajime couldn’t even place that! Nagito seemed to have some way of expressing himself in such a casual negative nature that seemed puzzling.
What stuck Hajime the most out of all the words that Nagito said, had to be their conversation in the elevator.
“Ah! Hajime, I live on the fifth floor, apartment 5-F actually. What floor do you live on? That is if you even want to give out that kind of information to the likes of me.” Nagito almost had cheerfully said as he entered the elevator behind Hajime.
Hajime pressed the button for the fifth floor as soon as he heard Nagito mention it, habit he guessed from being in too many multi-floored buildings all the time.
“I live on the seventh floor.” It was funny that Nagito had moved into apartment 5-F, as Hajime lived in apartment 7-F. It wasn’t relevant and there was no real punchline to the situation, it was just amusing how close the two apartments seemed to be. But the similarities were unnoticeable to anyone passing a glance, and they didn’t live on the same floor.
“Seven is a lucky number.” Nagito smiled and made another motion that Hajime didn’t keep track of.
They stayed in the elevator in silence for a pause, the pause seemed longer than it was by seventy years.
“So having fun in the city yet?” Hajime’s discontentment in the silence pushed him to break it.
Nagito shook his head, and made a slight noise that could not be categorized as a sigh but then again could not be categorized as anything else. “No, not yet at least. I can’t seem to find anything around here.” Nagito paused to let in a soft laugh. “But I bet that was obvious seeing as the likes of me can’t even find my own apartment!”
“Well the city can be sorta confusing for anyone new. I guess. That’s not just a trait limited to you.” Hajime was only half listening really.
“Hmm, maybe-.” Nagito paused, seeming to almost not finish his initial thought. Hajime already thought that felt off for this guy. “Hey, Hajime?”
“Would you mind showing me around sometime? I don’t really have any friends or anything, so I’ll be free whenever you would want to deal with someone like me.” Nagito smiled again.
Hajime wasn’t sure if he liked that smile or not. But he just assumed the slight uneasiness he felt from it came from how Nagito must be nervous trying to meet people in the new city or something. Hajime honestly did not care enough to spend more than a possible ten seconds analyzing that smile within the moment.
“Oh, sure I guess I can-.”
The elevator stopped, and the doors opened.
“Thank you for your kindness today, Hajime! I hope I get to see you around.” Nagito walked off the elevator. Hajime didn’t say anything in response, but if that was just due to the elevator door closing or just because he didn’t have anything in actuality to say he wasn’t so sure.
The next day at work he mentioned this all to Mahiru, which he might have just done more in some aspect to get her to stop talking about how well her proposal went and how she was so excited and how she was going to have a perfect marriage and how Hajime absolutely has to bring a date to her wedding she wasn’t going to allow him to be all sad and moping around the other couples and ugh it was all too much at once for him. But deeper down Hajime just suspected that he wanted to talk about this new, different possible aspect in his life.
Hajime felt lately that he had found himself within a deeper internal rut, a situation where all the days seemed to melt together as if the calendar was only frost on the car windshield once someone turned on the defroster. This rut was not something that felt important enough to address previously, or even something he might have consciously known. But the new element within the thing had just highlighted this.
“Are you going to take him out and show him around today then Hajime? You know you’ll be ditching our routine of getting drinks down at the bar every Friday, which is pretty unreliable of you.”
Mahiru only half meant what she said. Any other time she most likely would have been pissed at getting blown off for some random stranger, but Hajime knew that she most likely wanted to start planning her wedding as soon as she could and this would clear up a block of time.
Hajime decided to play along with her poorly feigned annoyance and say something he knew Mahiru would dislike more than getting ditched.
“I could bring him down to the bar with me, you know.” Hajime cracked a slight smile.
“You would not!” Mahiru gasped in slightly more dramatics than she felt. And she was right, Hajime wouldn’t bring Nagito to the bar during his weekly drinks with Mahiru unless he felt like they were becoming pretty good friends. But Hajime did not feel that, because he did not know the guy.
Hajime snorted in response. “Maybe I’ll just take him down around the city tonight.”
That seemed to be the end of the conversation about Hajime’s new neighbor though, as Mahiru weaseled the conversation back to her wedding ideas.
It was earlier than usual when Hajime left work following that long conversation about possible wedding colors with Mahiru. She had decided on gold and white in her head already, but Hajime felt she was just refusing to admit it just yet. And whatever, that was fine.
Hajime just didn’t want to really listen to it just yet. He wasn’t sure why though, yeah yeah he was happy for Mahiru and her girlfriend- well fiance actually. Well he guessed he was happy for them. It wasn’t as if Hajime thought he reveled in the sadness of his friends, well he wouldn’t if he had more than one that is, and he wouldn’t even be sure what he would do if Mahiru’s girlfriend had rejected the proposal. Sure sure, he would offer support to Mahiru and act as he thought a good friend would act. He’d probably end up meeting the girlfriend sooner than he’s going to at this rate, Mahiru would probably ask him to help move all her stuff out of their shared apartment, because he had a feeling Mahiru would be too proud to ask her girlfriend to leave so she would just leave herself.
But that’s not what happened, and Hajime felt a little sick devoting his precious walk home thinking about something that would probably make his friend very sad.
No, really sad was just what he used to describe it in a way that just made him feel a bit less guilty about thinking about a breakup. Hajime consciously, due to the fact it would be too nice to say that he unconsciously, knew that Mahiru would have been completely destroyed as a person if her proposal had been anything but accepted last night.
Not wanting to think about it anymore, and due to the fact he did actually end up ditching Mahiru for drinks, Hajime just walked on.
The streets were busier today, which was chalked up to it being a Friday this time around. He didn’t notice any faces in the crowd that he knew. He wasn’t sure if he was expecting to, it just felt like he should and he wasn’t sure why.
He felt like he should check the time, and he did. He didn’t forgo checking his wristwatch this time around either, and went around the same annoyance with it. He checked his phone for the time.
It was five thirty three.
Hajime noticed the scuff on his shoe again, and was sort of angry with himself for not polishing it out as soon as he got home yesterday. But he sort of smiled at the scuff as well, but that was something that went unnoticed in the grandose of his inner psyche. He didn’t even stop to think once more about Nagito and the events of yesterday.
Well he didn’t stop to think about the events until he did.
He saw Nagito across the street, obviously trying to read a street sign but looking far more confident than he had previously. Although Hajime was probably just projecting that Nagito looked more confident, because Nagito certainly did not learn the city any better in one day. Was anyone even capable of that?
Hajime crossed the street.
Wait? Why did he cross the street?
If he crossed the street here he certainly wouldn’t be on his way back to his apartment.
But if he didn’t go back to his apartment he probably wouldn’t be able to catch Nagito to show him around if he was already off somewhere.
But wait! Did Hajime actually really care about that? Somewhere in his mind he thought he was just going to end up using Nagito as a lie so he didn’t have to get drunk just to avoid Mahiru and her stupid wedding.
Stupid wedding? Ugh, he thought he was over this whole line of thought that just made a trip around the block and knocked on the door again. No, Hajime can’t come out to play today, stupid thought, he’s now too busy attempting to avoid Nagito.
But did he really want to avoid Nagito? Hajime assumed that on some level he just already made the assumption he wouldn’t be seeing him today, but here he was seeing him right in the light of day.
Well if Nagito just happened to notice Hajime as he was passing by, Hajime couldn’t be rude to him. Hajime was probably the only person Nagito knew in the big, big bad city. He couldn’t just let a little lost puppy run around the streets alone, could he?
Maybe he could.
No, no he couldn’t, wouldn’t.
Hajime ended this train of thought.
Heh, Nagito kind of did look a bit like a dog. It was probably the hair, so unruly and stark white. It seemed to remind Hajime of a samoyed, he’d say a maltese but something stuck in his head that he couldn’t see Nagito anywhere like the mediterranan.
Nagito tore Hajime out of his thoughts, seems the big bad city didn’t provide enough cover.
Hajime didn’t think he was angry about it though, but he wasn’t the most pleased either.
“Oh hey.” Hajime stopped walking, since Nagito yelled his name while he was slightly walking past him. It gave Nagito a chance to run to his side. “I thought you would be in your apartment all day.”
Nagito looked shocked. “How nice of you to think of scum like me! I’m truly honored.” His expression changed to one of a content smile by the end though. Although the fit between his words and the expression put Hajime a little bit on edge if not anything else.
“Heh… yeah.” Hajime only spoke due to the fact Nagito looked like he wanted a response. “So where are you headed? Trying to find some place again?”
“Yes actually! I hope you don’t take my own looking around as an insult, since I asked you to show me around, but my disgusting curiosity got the better of me.” Nagito looked back at the street sign for a moment, then back at Hajime. He seemed puzzled, and Hajime finally made the decision that he was projecting the confidence onto him.
“Well, you know what they say curiosity killed the cat.” Hajime shrugged, he knew he would end up offering to show the guy to wherever he was going in a minute. It just seemed like he was getting a little enjoyment out of the buildup to it.
“But satisfaction brought it back. It seems this rabies and flea ridden cat will just die in the street though.” Nagito sighed and looked down the block for a split second.
Hajime probably would have missed it if he was not looking straight at Nagito.
“Well, I’ll help you find where you want to go.” The conversation had taken a left down the alley of strange analogies and Hajime was not the biggest fan of getting stabbed there.
Hajime received a smile in response. “Thank you! I hope this isn’t too much of an inconvenience for you, I see you have a briefcase today and are probably off to something important.”
The briefcase in question was just forgotten at the office yesterday, and held nothing important in it. Hajime only started to use it because everyone else there had one. He guessed it possessed the same logic and reasoning as the watch did.
Not wanting to address how his briefcase was only full of old copies of celebrity gossip magazines and only a few papers that had to be filled out for his job, Hajime just asked Nagito where he wanted to go.
“Right, I probably shouldn’t be taking up more of your time than needed.” Hajime was literally heading home hoping to catch reruns of some sitcom. “I’m looking for the library.”
Ah! The library! Hajime knew where the library was, and it actually wasn’t that far from here. It was kind of a surprise that Nagito hadn’t found it himself if that’s really where he wanted to go.
“Oh sure, follow me. It’s just down this way.”
The library was in the center of the city, and just seeing the building completely changed the aura around the rest of the area. It was heavily inspired by a mix of Gothic and Roman architecture. But it wouldn’t be right to call it either of those. It was white and had columns in front, but it also had the high ceilings that were a staple of gothic architecture.
Hajime was positive that a bunch of taxpayers paid a lot of money to make the building look old.
He was also sure that he wasn’t an architect either and might have been getting his styles confused. But he was positive that wouldn’t matter when talking about the library, because it was just, in lack of better phrasing a lot.
Hajime only thought about it because he really wanted to see Nagito’s reaction.
And he did have a reaction to it, which was more of a subdued gasp. “I didn’t expect it to look… so like that.”
There was a quiet pause as they walked up the steps together.
Hajime on instinct held the door for Nagito. “Usually libraries are more modern.”
Hajime said to Nagito that he would go wander around in some random section and they could meet up by the book checkout in maybe an hour.
This prompted a string of protests, something or another about how Nagito was insignificant dirt. Hajime tuned him out pretty quickly, already seeming to get used to this quirk in Nagito’s personality.
“Well I’m getting hungry and being with you gives me an excuse to not eat alone.” It was getting around the time that Hajime would already be two appetizers at the bar with Mahiru. So Hajime wasn’t lying or anything, but he also had an ulterior motive he supposed.
Hajime just really wanted to make sure that Nagito made it back to his apartment without getting lost.
Hajime had no clue on why he felt this way, but he certainly was not going to dwell on it. Besides, it would probably be fun to finally go hang out with someone else for once.
It seemed like it took forever, but Nagito finally agreed to the dinner plans. He then went off somewhere in the library.
Hajime then decided to go the opposite direction, and quickly came to, not regret but he really was not the happiest with that decision at first.
He found himself within the romance novels.
Within itself, wasn’t that bad of an occurrence. It was just the timing that cemented the regret really.
Whatever he had no desire to dwell on it, no matter how deeply he sort of did want to dwell on it.
Hajime sighed, and lazily ran his fingers over the spines of the books on the shelf most level with his arm. Dewey decimal system be damned. At random he tipped his ring finger onto a top of some book. It promptly toppled over and fell to the floor with a loud thud. Hajime gritted his teeth slightly in reaction, and quickly surveyed the surrounding area to make sure that nobody noticed or was too bothered. He was expecting the worst, at least one person looking slightly annoyed at him. It looked that no one was bothered enough to even notice the sound in the first place.
He picked the book up, it was actually a book he had read before. He ended up reading this book sometime over the past summer, it had taken maybe a week to get through at most. Hajime had found it cute actually. It was pretty simple in terms of the plot, and if he was remembering right he searched around to see if the author ever published a sequel. If there was one, he never found it.
The book was called Better Left Written and Hidden, which really was a mouthful to say. It revolved around a girl, her name was Samantha, and she kept a diary. Well one day her crush and roommate found the diary, and the roommate decided to keep that a secret.
The book ended with the roommate confessing to finding the diary after they actually started to go on dates and stuff, and Samantha just accepted it. The two seemed happy and that was just the end, although Hajime did think that the ending kind of had a rushed feeling to it. Maybe the publisher was really pushing for a certain deadline or something?
Hajime thumbed the closed pages before haphazardly flipping to a random page. It landed on page sixty-nine and Hajime stifled a giggle.
He picked the story back up from that point and just started reading on, remembering how cliché the story was. It was kind of nice actually, to have something play out exactly as you wanted and expected it to. Not everything has to be revolutionary, Hajime thought, sometimes you just want a fun narrative.
Besides, he thought the real strength was in the author’s writing style. Just the way he used words and played around with metaphor and simile. Hajime never really had a passion for novels, or literature, or anything really like that, but something about this one author’s way of writing made him really appreciate it.
Time got lost within the pages of a good book, the time ticked away at the clock with absolutely no consideration for anyone around it or itself for that matter.
After looking at his watch for a second though, Hajime felt a sense of urgency. He almost dropped the book onto the floor to bolt to the library checkout. He slammed it back into the shelf where he thought it went instead, in the back of his head he knew this would be an annoyance for any librarian.
He started out speed walking to the checkout area, but slowed down somewhere.
Why did he care so much whether or not he walked Nagito home?
Well, more than home actually he said he was hungry earlier and that did not change. He still wanted to drag Nagito to dinner.
They just met, and suddenly Hajime felt concerned about Nagito’s ability to get himself home? Hajime wondered if he felt concerned over Nagito safety? These were questions he didn’t really have an answer to, and less time to think over in this current situation as he had to make sure Nagito did not leave yet.
Eh, Hajime will just say that he wanted a friend besides Mahiru due to not having any.
The checkout lobby was empty. Well, there were a few employees talking about behind the checkout desk. The checkout lobby was empty of people that Hajime wanted to see, and he considered asking one of the people at the checkout desk if they saw Nagito leave already. Nagito had no reason to wait for Hajime to leave the library, and Hajime had no reason either really. Well, besides this nagging feeling of wanting to that was.
So Hajime assumed the best and sat down at a bench near the door.
He did not wait for a long time though, about ten minutes later the person of Hajime’s current interest walked into view. Nagito looked like he didn’t notice Hajime yet, but Hajime suspected he would be noticed sooner rather than later. He was carrying a book, it looked old and worn.
Most importantly though, it looked heavy.
Hajime wondered what it was briefly, and then realized that if he asked he might be told.
Nagito did not notice Hajime yet, as he started his way over to the checkout counter. Then he stopped, probably realizing he had no library card here. Or maybe he did, Hajime certainly was not watching him during his entire trip to the library. But it was more likely he didn’t have one than he did, he had went off into a section immediately instead of going to the help desk.
Nagito resumed in walking over to the checkout desk, he said something that Hajime couldn’t hear over the deafening silence of the room. The librarian he spoke to put the book behind the desk, and smiled. Nagito waved to her and then turned to walk away, only slightly pausing when he finally noticed Hajime sitting by the door.
Then he moved a bit faster over.
Hajime stood up.
“Sorry trash like me kept you waiting, but I really didn’t expect anyone would be so nice as to actually wait for me.” Nagito smiled, Hajime thought that he probably used a smile to punctuate any sentence.
Hajime wanted to ask about that book, but didn’t really want to open up his sentence up with that. “It’s fine, I didn’t wait really anyways. I went along and looked at books myself.”
“That’s good! I’m glad all your time wasn’t wasted on me.”
Man, Hajime wasn’t so sure he would get used to responding to this guy, everything he said just seemed to file into more of this.
“So I’m ready to go out to dinner, and I’ve got this restaurant in mind that I want to show you.” Damn, Hajime did not actually have a restaurant in mind that he wanted to show him, why did he say that?
“How considerate of you! I think I’m getting hungry myself, and I’m sure anything you want to show me would be wonderful.” Nagito replied, he seemed pretty excited now too.
Hajime decided he would just take Nagito to the restaurant down the street from the bar he always went to. It wasn’t that far and he ate there before, sure he didn’t remember much about them but it couldn’t be that bad.
The restaurant was simple, some typical family owned diner that was always expected to be there, but the public wouldn’t have been too surprised if the place went under. Well maybe the public was too strong of a generalization, that was really just more how Hajime felt.
The place was pretty empty, and Hajime was grateful for that. The place’s casual chatter among their other customers came as a comfort, and the staff was pretty fast to get to them after they found a spot to sit as requested by the “please seat yourself” sign.
Hajime ordered a specialty sandwich of the place, and Nagito ordered some salad. The waitress was nice and said she would have that out in a few minutes.
“So I saw you almost checked out a book, what was it?” Curiosity was gnawing at Hajime like fleas that Nagito had described earlier.
“Oh, it was just a large collection of poems I found interesting. I would have checked it out if I had remembered to get a card there. But I’ll probably be back there soon, so it won’t be that long until I get one.” Nagito played with the straw in his glass of water absentmindedly, he still had his attention on Hajime.
“Oh yeah, do you like libraries? I have to admit I rarely visit them much myself.”
Nagito nodded. “I visit them all the time. I used to volunteer at one in high school.” His thought was interrupted by a chuckle. “I would read to the kids, but I don’t think they liked me very much. This one girl would always pull my hair.”
“So I’m guessing you don’t like kids much then?” Hajime replied.
“They’re fine I guess, I actually considered working as a nanny or a teacher for a while.”
The waitress returned, Hajime felt that she was there faster than usual. But he didn’t have much of a usual to compare it to anyways.
Nagito started speaking again. “So can I ask why you picked this place, Hajime?”
“Oh, uh. It's pretty close by the apartments, so I thought you mind end up eating here a lot.” Hajime said after swallowing a bite of his burger, slightly impressed that he was able to think of something so fast.
Nagito nodded in response, he was chewing and Hajime assumed he didn’t want to be rude or anything. “I’m glad you decided to be so nice as to someone like me and show me around.”
Hajime let out a noise between a laugh and a sigh. He didn’t mean to, but he did. “You asked me to show you around remember?”
They focused on eating for a good moment, and by the end of that moment the waitress had dropped the bill off. Nagito went to grab his wallet, but by that time Hajime had already taken the bill up to the counter and paid already. Nagito tried to pay him back, but Hajime refused. He said he took Nagito out, so he could pay for him.
Hajime walked back to the apartment building with Nagito. Nagito seemed pretty happy and Hajime was content with that. He liked the idea of meeting someone new, and having another person to talk to wasn’t a bad idea.
They entered the elevator and Hajime pushed the buttons for both floors.
The elevator ride felt slow, but that might have been because they didn’t talk much in it. Well, besides Nagito thanking Hajime for showing him around today.
“No problem, just tell me what you wanna’ see and I’ll walk with you to it.” Hajime replied back.
“You’d really show me around again?” Nagito seemed surprised. “That’s very nice of you.” Nagito wasn’t looking at Hajime, but he assumed there was a smile on his face.
The elevator beeped, and the doors opened. Nagito said bye before he stepped out and started to walk back to his apartment.
“Wait!” Hajime said, stepping out of the elevator as the doors were closing. His arm almost got caught.
Nagito turned around, looking understandably confused. He was practically already at his door, he had the key in his hand.
Hajime walked up to him. “I better get your phone number so you can text me if you want me to show you around. You know, instead of just walking around on the street hoping to run into each other?” Hajime smiled.
Nagito smiled back, but Hajime couldn’t help but notice… was he maybe blushing a little? He chalked it up to the lighting, though. The lightbulb in this hallway seemed to be dying.
“Sure, Hajime you can have my number.” Nagito entered his number into Hajime’s phone and Hajime did the same.
Nagito handed Hajime his phone back, and opened the door to his apartment. He smiled and waved before shutting the door, saying something to the effects of bye again.
Hajime walked back to the elevator, feeling content.
Once he got in the elevator he checked his phone, he had a message from Mahiru. But he thought that could wait, he wanted to take a nap when he got home.