Chapter 76 : Pamella
「Gill-san, please wait a moment.」(Camilla)
Saying that, Camilla took me and Pamella to the store area on the first floor and let us sit side by side on a sofa.
She then went to the back of the counter and brought a glass container with a lot of ice, two fancy looking glasses, and a bottle of juice.
「Pamella, can you keep Mark-chan company? Just think of it as a practice. And, Mark-chan, you’re not allowed to touch the hostess in this store, do you understand?」(Camilla)
No, no. There’s no way I would touch a girl of the same age as me!
On the contrary, I’m the one who has been sexually harassed by women like Celine.
「Well then, please enjoy your time.」(Camilla)
After bowing beautifully, Camilla went out from the back door.
And now, it’s just Pamella and me in the store.
The room was a little dim.
And there was no conversation between us.
This is awkward…
Anyway, let’s drink the juice.
When I tried to pick up the juice bottle, Pamella leaned forward.
「U, Um… Let me…」(Pamella)
Pamella picked up a glass and put chunks of ice in it using tongs.
After 70% of the glass was filled with ice, she silently stirred it with a muddler.
Perhaps she did it to cool the glass.
After that, she slowly poured the juice into the glass and handed it to me.
She put a lot of effort just to prepare a glass of juice.
I see. She may have already started practicing to be able to work at this store in the future.
Well, I don’t think she can serve customers yet with her age now.
After she handed my drink, Pamella quickly prepared her own drink.
「I’m drinking too…」(Pamella)
Only the sound of ice hitting the glass echoed in the quiet store.
Uhh… What’s this situation?
I took a sip to calm myself, and tried to talk with Pamella.
「I’m Mark, eight years old. How old are you, Pamella?」(Mark)
「….Nine years old.」(Pamella)
She answered me while looking down.
「I see. So you’re one year older than me, huh… By the way, the juice is delicious.」(Mark)
「The weather is nice today.」(Mark)
「Which do you like better, dogs or cats?」(Mark)
….I’m out of topic…
There are girls around Pamella’s age in the church school and the wolf team, so I thought I could talk with Pamella just like I talk with those girls, but those girls are all active children unlike Pamella.
It’s hard for me to talk with a quiet child…
This is so awkward that it makes me think watching two adults talking with each other on the rooftop is better.
When I was thinking about a topic to talk about, Pamella talked to me while looking down.
「I’m sorry… I’m not good at talking with people…」(Pamella)
Apparently my confused face made her feel sorry.
Originally, I’m not a customer, and I’m way older mentally, so I shouldn’t make this girl feel sorry.
「Please don’t worry about that. Me too, I’m sorry. Well, this is the first time we’ve met, so I think it’s normal that we don’t know what to talk about.」(Mark)
「But… I want to be able to talk a lot even with strangers like my mom did…」(Pamella)
I think it would take a very long time for Pamella to reach her mom’s level.
But having a goal is a good thing.
Oh, right. I’ve never seen her at Sunday School, so that means she doesn’t go to school, right?
Maybe going to Sunday School will help her improve her communication ability.
「Why don’t you go to Sunday School? If you meet a lot of people, you will surely be good at talking.」(Mark)
「I had been going to school until a boy teased me. I became afraid of boys and stopped going to school since then…」(Pamella)
I know a boy who teased all the cute girls in school.
「Is that boy’s name Jack?」(Mark)
「I don’t really remember, but I think he was called that…」(Pamella)
「Ahh, if that’s the case, you don’t have to be afraid anymore. He has started working and rarely comes to the church.」(Mark)
「Then, how about we go to school together? I can protect you from the other boys.」(Mark)
However, Pamella shook her head.
I thought that it was fate that we met like this so I wanted to help her, but she refused.
Well, we just got to know each other, so maybe Jack and I were not that different in her eyes now.
We are both boys after all.
However, even though I’m a boy, she never ignored me and answered all my questions, so we could talk little by little.
Since I got the opportunity to get close to her, I wanted to get to know her better, so I asked Pamella about herself.
To summarize, Pamella is Camilla’s 9-year-old daughter and has no sibling.
She once went to school when she was six, but stopped after being teased by Jack and his friends.
Camilla tried to persuade Pamella to go back to school, but then she gave up because Pamella was very stubborn.
Camilla then said, “If you don’t want to go to school, then start practicing to work at the store.”
And now Pamella is working to help the store a little as an apprentice while learning a lot of things from her mom and the other employees.
After a while of talking, she started getting used to the conversation little by little.
We spent our time talking about random things.
While we were talking, I just realized that I’m hungry.
Come to think of it, I haven’t eaten lunch yet.
However, I have stored some dishes Dad cooked in my item box so I can eat anywhere anytime.
I usually eat it at the vacant lot after taking care of the field.
Alright, let’s eat lunch!
Should I ask Pamella to eat together?
「Pamella, have you had lunch?」(Mark)
「Let’s eat together, then!」(Mark)
「Okay, I will call my mom.」(Pamella)
「No, you don’t need to call her. Just relax, I’ll prepare everything.」(Mark)
Pamella tilted her head cutely, curious about what I’m going to do.
It’s faster to show her than to explain.