❤︎Chapter 23: The Kiss and the Basketball Game

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"Thank you for the purchase!"

I breathe a sigh of relief as I complete the transaction.

For the entire week, I'd done extra help around the house to earn enough money for a pair of shoes I thought Tomomi would like. I wanted to thank him for all he'd done for me, including being so sweet to me.

I'd never felt more proud of myself, finally receiving this gift for him. I wondered what kind of expression he'd make. I couldn't wait to show him.

Which was exactly why I was going to run all the way back to the school before the game started. I wanted Tomomi to wear the shoes in today's basketball game!

❤︎

I thought my legs would have given out by now, but I guess my heart refused to give up now. I had been running for over 15 minutes, which was the most exercise I'd gotten outside of school in over a year. When I finally made it to the double doors of the school, I thought I'd pass out if I stopped, so I huffed and kept going.

"Hi Momoka!"

"Momoka!"

"Hey!"

There were a few classmates and members of the We Love MomoTomo club scattered across the hallways holding homemade signs to cheer on our school's basketball team. I ran as fast as I could, panting noisily as I flew down the halls.

It seemed like I had run for an eternity after I burst through the gym doors. Although there was a clamor from the screaming fan girls and chattering students in the pre-game excitement, the sound of me throwing open the doors was enough to turn heads. My eyes scan the room until I find Tomomi standing near the benches, laughing with his friends as he spun a basketball around on the top of his index finger.

I smiled at the playfulness in his attitude. His whole demeanor seemed to change when he was ready to start playing, and it was the cutest thing ever. There was a fire that ignited in his dark eyes when he put on his basketball uniform.

I forgot about my earlier tiredness and ran toward Tomomi across the court. He noticed me when I was a mere few feet away and he looked surprised. By the time I skidded to a halt, my legs finally gave up on me and I collapsed forward into his arms. Tomomi chuckles as the entire court and his teammates tease us for our accidental display of affection, but I pay them no mind.

"I thought you weren't coming..." he murmurs gently above my head. I pull away, blushing.

"I'm sorry, I had to go and...I bought you something."

Tomomi looks down at the bag in my hand with the curiosity of a toddler and I quickly pull the box out to present him with it. There's a wide grin on my face as I look back at my boyfriend, waiting for him to process the gift.

"Are these...? But they're so expensive!"

"I've been saving all week!" I open the box and present the white and silver sneakers to him, handing him the box. "I wanted to show my appreciation to you for helping me ace my test!"

"Momoka....thank you...it's so sweet that you'd—"

Before he can get out the rest of his "thank you," I summon what I have of courage left in me and stand on the tips of my toes to give him a lingering kiss on his cheek. He began to blush before I pulled away, leaving a warmth on my lips.

"Momoka.." Tomomi scratched the back of his head shyly and averted his eyes. I couldn't help but giggle at his reaction.

"My first time kissing you and this is how you react! You're the one that keeps asking for them! Good luck, you silly!" I turn away, giggling and run toward the bleachers where I'd seen my friends. When they see me, they start to scream. I can tell they saw me kiss Tomomi by the way they start to applaud and cheer for me.

By the time I sit down with them, Tomomi has already gotten his shoes on and is spreading across the gym floor with his team mates and the opposing team. We lock lock eyes just before the clock starts, and he winks at me, still blushing.

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