“This is for you.”
To my ever expressionless childhood friend, I hold out a small pouch which has a pretty wrapping. Without changing her expression, she silently accepts the pouch and carefully opens it to look into the content.
“Yup. Mom taught me how to make it.”
“It’s your first time?”
“…Will I die after eating it?”
“Just a joke.”
From inside the pouch, she takes out one badly-shaped cookie. She tosses it into her mouth and crunches on it. Just when I counted one, she puts the second, and then the third cookie into her mouth. Not saying whether it tastes good, without showing it on her face—I can’t tell if she likes it or not.
“Umm, is it good?”
“………It’s too sweet.”
It seems I put in too much sugar. I thought I have measured the amount properly, but it appears that I put in more than needed. I recall when Mom told me that even the slightest change in ingredients will end up changing the taste.
“I shall be looking forward to the next time.”
“Umm, you mean, you want me to make it for you again?”
“You are free to do so?”
“I-I’ll do my best.”
I take up the challenge to make her say, “It tastes good.” Next time I’ll bake some delicious cookies——I swear to myself.
Although when I realize it, she is still eating my handmade cookies.
“You don’t have to force yourself to eat them, you know?”
“I’m not forcing myself. It’s just that I’m hungry.”
“Ah, I see.”
She could’ve eaten the sweets from her home instead of my cookies. But before I could say it out, she has finished eating them all.
“Thank you for the feast.”
“In return, I’ll give you this.”
After she says that, she plucks one of the flowers in a corner of the garden and hands it to me.
“Won’t you be scolded for taking the flower?”
“It’s my own home. Besides, no one would notice if I took one.”
“…Thank you. This flower, what’s its name?”
It’s a pretty, red flower. The only flowers that I can tell are some of the popular ones, like tulip or sunflower.
“It’s a secret. How about you look it up on your own?”
“Can’t you just… no, never mind.”
She is glaring at me with scary eyes, so I look away without thinking.
“She can just tell me the name…”
It makes me curious, but right now, playing with her comes first. I’ll just look it up at the field guide when I get home later. Sheltering the precious pretty red flower in my purse, I enjoy the time together with that girl.