Volume 1, Chapter 6: Facial Hair
Editors: Yuuki, xyi
“Yoshida-san, your facial hair is growing out a little.” Sayu pointed to my jawline as I was sitting down for breakfast.
“What about it?”
“Are you fine with not shaving it?”
“It’s fine it’s fine. It’s a pain to shave anyway.” I answered as I poked my chopsticks into the yolk of the fresh sunny-side up made by Sayu.
“Ah, I see.”
Sayu sipped her miso soup.
“Quick question Yoshida-san, there are days where you shave and days where you don’t. Is there any special reason behind it?”
“Nope. I just shave when it gets long.”
“So your facial hair doesn’t count as ‘long’ yet?”
Sayu chuckled while picking up a roast wiener with her chopsticks.
Somewhat bothered by her comment, I ran a finger across my chin. There was a dull scratching noise as I did so. Based on the odd sensation I felt on my fingertip afterwards, it was hard to say if whether the stray hairs on my chin were hard or sharp.
“Maybe I really should shave.”
“What’s with the change of heart?”
I placed an egg in my mouth as the yolk spilled over the white.
“Hmm. You could say that I’m feeling a little old.”
Sayu tilted her head puzzled.
“Cause of facial hair.”
“Because it’s growing?”
“No, that’s not it.”
I thought my answer through again as I carefully chewed the rice before swallowing it.
Around the time I turned twenty, I would become really concerned when my facial hair grew out even just a little bit. When I did shave, I would also double check to make sure that there wasn’t a spot that I missed.
But over time, the arrangement had become what it is now.
As long as it didn’t look dirty, I would be fine with letting it grow out.
I thought ‘facial hair’ was something like a symbol of being old, but I’m getting the feeling that I was wrong all along.”
I took a sip of the miso soup before continuing. As always, her miso soup was delicious.
“Thinking ‘it’s too much of a hassle to shave’ is the true symbol of growing old.”
“Haha, but there are people way younger than you who think it’s a hassle to shave, aren’t there?”
“You’re probably right.”
Sayu had already finished her meal while I was talking.
Oddly enough, I’ve grown used to the sight of seeing her put her hands together and say ‘thanks for the meal’.
“If you don’t hurry it up, you’re gonna be late for work.”
I agreed with a nod and stuffed the rest of the egg into my mouth. The mix between the mellow flavor of the half-cooked yolk and the soy sauce was a perfect treat for the taste buds.
Ever since Sayu started living here, I’ve been enjoying a hearty breakfast every morning.
I finished the side dishes and rice, then gulped down the little bit of miso soup left in my bowl.
“Thanks for the meal.”
“Glad you enjoyed it.”
Sayu, who was waiting for me to finish, showed a slack smile from ear-to-ear.
“I’ll wash the plates. Go and brush your teeth before you go.”
“Alright, thanks a bunch.”
Then, as I was headed to the bathroom.
“Ah, I almost forgot.” Sayu called out.
She glanced at me as she was stacking the plates on the table.
“Facial hair really doesn’t suit you. I think it’s better if you to shave.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Hehe.” Sayu giggled, her shoulders rocking along.
I headed back towards the bathroom whilst scratching an itch on my back.
My reflection in the mirror seemed oddly lethargic.
When I first moved into this apartment, I remember saying stuff like ‘let’s do our best today too’ to the mirror in the morning. I would shave, wash my face, and pump myself up each morning for work.
“Hmm.” I grumbled to myself as I picked up the electric shaver.
“I’ve really become an old man, haven’t I?” I murmured as I flipped the switch on.
“You again, Mishima? …How many times does this make it?”
“Ah! Good morning Yoshida-senpai.”
“Don’t ‘good morning’ me. You should be starting with ‘I’m sorry’ instead.”
“Ah! I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
Since the moment I checked in this morning, I’ve been in a constant mood where I feel like I might burst a vein any moment.
“Did you not read the manual or something? Hm?”
“No, of course I went through it carefully, but…”
“It’s because you didn’t read it carefully that you ended up making such a mistake!”
When I raised my voice, I noticed Gotou-san, who sat quite a distance away, turned to glance to see what was happening.
Startled, I cleared my throat with a cough to reset.
“Oh, I really am sorry about everything.”
My subordinate, Mishima Yuzuha, bowed her head apologetically but with a frivolous smile on her face that suggested otherwise. She joined the company this year and I was made to look after her as her superior, but unfortunately, she was a rather slow learner. Of course there were others who were slow on the uptake too, but even amongst them, she was an exception.
The last straw, however, was her attitude. No matter how much I scolded her, in the end she would show that frivolous smile of hers, without looking apologetic in the least. ‘I’m a newbie so it’s normal for me to make mistakes’, is what I felt like she was saying from her actions.
She looked at me with upturned eyes as she squirmed a little.
“Did I do something bad?”
“I have to start from there, huh.”
“First of all, you’ve been using the wrong programming language.”
“But I don’t know how to use anything else.”
“If you don’t know how to then learn it! I gave you the manual for it, didn’t I!?”
“That takes time to learn though, hehe.”
This expression of hers. A deceitful smile to gloss it all over.
This is what is driving me mad.
“Whatever. I’ll handle this case and give you something else to do.”
At this point, it’d be faster to just do this myself.
“I’m really sorry.”
“If you really are then try to learn from it.”
“Hehe, I’ll try.”
Mishima nodded with a smile.
I clicked my tongue and turned around.
“What is it now?”
When I turned around again, I saw Mishima with a carefree smile, as if she had already forgotten that I had scolded her a moment ago.
“I think you look a lot cooler when you shave.”
My brain froze up for a brief moment.
I ran my hand over the slippery surface of my recently shaven chin.
Then, I realized that I’d just been teased.
“How about you worry about yourself before commenting on my facial hair!”
I quickly paced back to my seat and sat down.
My neighbor Hashimoto commented wryly.
“She really is nothing but trouble. You want to take her under your wing?”
“No thanks, she’s all yours.”
Hashimoto chuckled as his fingers clicked and clacked on the keyboard.
My time had been taken by newbies the entire morning, but I still had not only my work, but also Mishima’s part to do.
I pressed the power button on my PC.
My face was reflected on the still black screen.
“…Does facial hair really not suit me that much?”
Hashimoto let out a puff as I touched my chin.
Hashimoto turned over and gazed into my eyes.
“I was wondering how long it would take for you to notice.”
So it seems my face really isn’t suited to facial hair.
I’ll shave every day now. This is the resolution of an old man.
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