Reset My Favor and Live a Normal Youth Volume 1 Chapter 11

Episode 11: “Cutting Hair”

I didn’t know my own birthday. I always write January 1st on official documents.
I never thought of birthdays as important.
So, I always forgot Hanazono’s birthday. It was a routine.

After school one day, I was walking home with Hanazono.
I told her I had made plans to go to a cafe with Tanaka but had not decided on a time yet. Hanazono got angry at me.
“Tsuyoshi, you’re hopeless! If a girl wants to go on a date, you have to make plans right away, idiot!”
“A date? I was just going to casually meet at a cafe.”
“Going to a cafe together, just the two of you, that’s basically a date! Going together to a place, chatting…looking around other places…”
“I was planning to just drink some juice and then go home.”
“You’re hopeless. Really, you need to practice beforehand then. Because if you show up to your date with Tanaka looking like a mess, she’ll hate you!”
“I see, that would be bad.”
“Not just bad! You don’t get what I mean at all!”
“What do you mean then?”
“I’m not going to tell you!”
“Hmm, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you be so stubborn, Hanazono. How nostalgic.”
“Oh be quiet! Anyway, we’re going to practice! And your hair is a mess! You can’t go on a date looking like that!”

Get a haircut to go out?…That idea didn’t even cross my mind. I’ve only been to a barbershop once before, but I didn’t like having a stranger stand behind me with blades. I always cut my own hair. I don’t want to go to the barber.
“You’re going to cut my hair?”

“What’s with that look on your face? I know you’ve always hated barbershops. Can’t be helped, I’ll cut it for you!”
“I’m not really feeling up to it, but I’ll let you do as you wish.”
“It’s not about what I wish! If you show up to your date looking like a mess, Tanaka will hate you!”
“I see, that would be bad.”
“So you’re going to properly get it cut! Wait for me later, I’m coming over to your apartment!”
“Understood, I’ll wait.”
And so I ended up preparing for my “date” with Hanazono. I still don’t really understand the difference between a date and going out. Doesn’t really matter I guess. More importantly, am I really going to let someone else cut my hair? I don’t like it but I’ll endure for the outing with Tanaka.

“You better stay home! I’m just getting some tools, be right back!”

When we arrived at my apartment building, Hanazono said that and ran off to her house. Though my apartment and Hanazono’s house were only a few dozen seconds away on foot.
I entered my apartment and put my stuff down. Then I went to the kitchen to prepare some drinks.
Hanazono likes bitter coffee. I boiled water in a pot and put instant coffee in a cup for her. It was a cup Hanazono had left here back in middle school.
My apartment was quiet. With nothing extra, this room felt comfortable.
I only really study in here. I picked up the zoology book I had been reading. Though I don’t mean studying for school classes. I read interesting papers, look up what’s trending with youth, solve math puzzles.
The world is full of things I don’t know. I’ll never get bored.

After just a few minutes, the door chime rang. Based on the rhythm of the footsteps, I could tell it was Hanazono. I opened the front door. Hanazono was there, having changed from her uniform into casual clothes.
“Come in.”
“Pardon the intrusion. Wow, it’s been so long since I came to your apartment…It’s barely changed at all from middle school.”
“I made coffee. Drink it.”
“Oh, thanks!”
I handed Hanazono the freshly brewed cup of coffee. Looking at the cup in her hands, Hanazono murmured in a small voice “My cup…hehe…”
I don’t understand the meaning of those words. But I can tell Hanazono looks happy. While watching her, I drank my own coffee. I tried the same black coffee as Hanazono. The nice aroma of coffee passed through my nose but…
“You’ve never liked bitter stuff.”
I decided to add lots of sugar and milk to make it drinkable. Carrying her cup, Hanazono moved to the living room. I followed her to the living room as well.
“As usual, there’s nothing here. Just books I can’t understand.”
“Are you not going to cut my hair? I’d like to get it over with quickly…”
“Huh? It’s fine after we finish the coffee right?”
“I don’t mind either way but…”
Hanazono was looking at the photo stand. It held a picture of me and Hanazono in our high school uniforms, standing in front of Hanazono’s house. Her dad had taken it on entrance ceremony day.
Next to the photo stand was a Pomeranian stuffed animal, [Pomekichi]. Hanazono had made me buy it back in middle school. Now he was an important friend of mine. Sometimes I pretend he’s a person and practice talking to him.
Looking at the Hanazono in the photo, I don’t feel any nostalgia. Because I reset all my feelings about Hanazono.


“What about that photo?”
“It’s just…nostalgic.”
I can’t share those feelings. To me, it’s nothing more than a past event. My chest doesn’t hurt. However, I felt a stir deep in my heart.
Peaceful time passed by. What could Hanazono be thinking about? It’s very difficult for me to guess what people are thinking.
…I didn’t dislike this time. My heart calmed. Even without feelings, being by Hanazono’s side settles me. Sleepiness comes.
Hanazono, having finished her coffee, took some tools out of her bag. For once, Hanazono smiled at me.
“Alright, let’s cut your hair.”
“Oh, okay. Can I hold Pomekichi?”
“No way…his fur will get everywhere.”
I nodded ambiguously. Then Hanazono handed Pomekichi to me.
“Can’t be helped huh. You’ll properly clean him later. For now, hold him inside the cape.”
This should alleviate some of the fear. Even if it’s Hanazono, having someone else holding blades is scary. …I wonder why I find it so scary? Even searching my memories turns up nothing. Perhaps there is something in my lost memories. Oh well, no use worrying about it.
Holding Pomekichi, I headed towards the bathroom.

Today, Hanazono was unusually talkative. While cutting my hair, she kept complaining.
“Hey, why are you cutting it like that!?”
“Huh? Is it too short? It’s too late now!”
“It’s too messy! I’ll use clippers to shave it off.”
“Oh, oops. Well, it’s okay. I can fix it within limits.”
“Let’s tidy up the rest…”
The sound of scissors echoes in the bathroom. Hanazono is cutting my hair with a serious expression. Maybe because I’m holding Pomekichi, I don’t feel too afraid. It’s strange. The last time I went to the barber, it caused quite a commotion. It almost turned into an incident.
“Snip, snip,” the sound continues. Hanazono seems to be quite skilled at cutting hair. It might be a bit too close, though…
I’m feeling a bit sleepy. A lot has happened around me recently. I don’t feel physical fatigue; it’s the mental exhaustion that weighs heavily on me.

“Hey, you’re not sleeping, are you? Say something.”
“…Yeah, let’s talk about our date plans.”
“Wait, what? Our outing is not a date! It’s just a rehearsal!”
“I apologize. Where are we going?”
“Well… let’s start with watching a movie.”
“No, I can’t understand the fun of watching movies—”
“Just come to the movies.”
“Uh, okay.”
Hanazono has returned to the way she used to be. No, she seems even kinder than before. There’s no romantic interest, but it’s a good thing.
“Alright, we’re done here.”
“Wow, this looks quite stylish… Almost like a modern young person.”
The reflection in the mirror shows a neat me. I look like a different person. Hanazono also seems satisfied.
As I stand up to thank Hanazono, at that moment—

“Wait, in this narrow space, suddenly—kyaa!?”
Hanazono, trying to step back, loses balance. I instinctively support Hanazono’s waist with my left hand. It would be troublesome if she bumped into the wall.
“Hanazono, be careful.”
“Ah, you… C-close, aren’t you!?”

“It’s fine. I have no romantic interest, so I don’t mind.”

I check to see if Hanazono hit anything. It seems okay. Hanazono dislikes being touched by me. The same thing happened in middle school. At that time, I was scolded harshly, [Hey, you, don’t touch me!].
“Sorry, You’ve always disliked physical contact. I’ll let go of my hand.”
“Uh, yeah… I knew that, but…”
Hanazono mumbles something incomprehensible while looking down. She was holding onto my arm. Perhaps, the shock of almost falling made her confused. It must have been scary. The same reason I hold Pomekichi.

“Haha, it’s still tough, huh? But you know, I’ve decided to start from scratch.”
“Yeah, it’s nothing! Come on, let’s clean up because there’s hair everywhere!”
“Well, Pomekichi has hair too…”
“Focus on me, not Pomekichi!”
“Let’s handle it appropriately.”
“It’s not appropriate!”
For a moment, Hanazono makes a dark face. It’s probably just my imagination. She talks cheerfully again, just like before. I was anxious. I wondered if my aura, expression, and tone were scaring Hanazono.
Hanazono grits her teeth hard. That’s a habit of her when emotions are heightened. I remember that from before. But I can’t get back the feeling I erased.

I feel like something is stirring in the depths of my heart. I wonder why.

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