“Hi, how are you? I mean, how was your date over the weekend?”

“Hayama san. I-I’ve told you before, it’s not a date. It’s a study session.”

I was studying as usual. Hayama san talked to me.

Since then……I’ve been able to talk to her, though only for a little.

“Eh? Even though you put on makeup? There’s a rumor about you, you know?”

“Appearance is important. I can’t let my dear friend’s reputation suffer.”

“Is that so? …… Well, if that’s all you have to say.”

It looks like I managed to correct the misunderstanding somehow. When I was relieved, she took her phone out of her pocket.

“Ah, then. You finally exchanged contact information with him, didn’t you? Let’s exchange with mine too.”

“…..Right, I understand.”

Actually, she had been asking me that since last week. ‘I’d like you to exchange contact information with me’ she said.

But I refused.

Because I wanted him to be the first to exchange contact information with me.

“Yay !”

Hayama san was delighted and made a gut pose. ……At the sight. I somehow felt doubt.

“….Even so, why are you approaching so suddenly?”

I asked her that. She smiled comfortably.

“I originally thought that you might like to be alone. You had an aura of someone who was difficult to approach.”

“An aura, you mean?”

“Yes, an aura. But I thought there was something different about you the other day. When I talked to you I felt like I hit a jackpot.”

Hayama san grinned.

“It’s better to have many friends than few, you know? You can talk to them about all kinds of things.”

“….Talk to.”


Then, with a snap, she winked at me in a familiar gesture.

“Are you having a problem, like with relationship stuff? I’m famous for being tight-lip, you know?”

“No, I don’t have that kind of problem.”

Even though I replied in that way. Hayama san’s smile doesn’t fade.

“Fufufu. For now, right? Well, if you have any problems, you can talk to me about it. See you later.”

And with that, Hayama san returned to her seat like a storm. And gently patted the female student’s head who had taken the position.

I stare blankly at the sight of those girls. 

……Come to think of it. When was the last time I had my head patted?

I sighed. I thought of something bad. Even though I had to be careful at school.

I let out a sigh once. I started to prepare for the next class.

Meanwhile, Hayama san’s words were strangely stuck in my mind.

[…..Like relationship stuff?]

…Love, huh.


A few days have passed since then. It was already the last day of the test.


“It’s oveeeeeer.”

“Shut up, Eiji. You don’t have to yell. Everyone knows.”

“Can you be a little more excited? I mean, how was your test?”

“Me? …….Well, I did my very best.”

The problem that I had given up and skipped before. This time, I was able to solve all of them.

“If I hadn’t made any careless mistakes, I would’ve scored almost a perfect score.”

“Whoa……you’re saying terrible things.”

I was quite surprised too. It’s the first time I’ve made it this far.

….All thanks to Shinonome’s help.

“How about you, Eiji?”

“I should’ve been able to get 70%”

“That’s more than enough.”

“It’s because you taught me ! You helped me !”

If it’s like this, it would’ve been fine even if I hadn’t taught him. Well, I’ll take his thanks in return.

“You’re welcome.”

With that, we started to get ready to go home. 


“How did you do, Minori kun? Your test.”

“I had no problems…..on the contrary, I think I did the best I’ve ever done. Thanks, Shinonome.”

On the train on the way home. I bowed lightly to Shinonome, saying so, and she smiled softly.

“I’m glad to hear that. But, it worked out well because Minori kun was able to take the test after getting a good night’s sleep, right? Because if you’re studying too much, it’s not uncommon for you to forget on how to solve the problem because your brain doesn’t wok properly.”

“….That too. Because you warned me yesterday, right, Shinonome?”

Yesterday, when she called me, she told me that I should go to bed early. As I was told that, I studied moderately and went to sleep right away.

“You’ve been a great help, Shinonome…… Speaking of which. How was yours, Shinonome?”

“Oh, that’s right ! I had an English test today. I was able to solve it much faster than before. It’s thanks to Minori kun, thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help you.”

I heard that she did well in other subjects as well.

The test was over, so we didn’t study for at least today. We talked about a lot of things.

In the middle of the conversation, Shinonome’s cheeks turned a little red. 

I have finally figured out recently that this is a signal that she wants to talk about something.

And as expected. Shinonome stared at me. She opened her mouth.

“U-um. About the celebration after the test.”

“Hmm? Ah, the celebration. What do you want to do?”

I had already decided to do it at my place. But I hadn’t decided on the timing at all.

“Y-you know. How about the weekend……after we get the results from each other?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

However, she still had something to say. 

Shinonome at me and stopped with her mouth open wondering if she should say it or not.

I quietly wait for her to say something.

“……If the test result is good. How about we reward each other?”


Her unexpected words made me repeat it. Shinonome nodded and continued.

“Yes. Demand rewards from each other within reason…… Me and Minori kun both did our best. I thought it was only right to do that much.”

“……I suppose so.”

For a moment I almost had a bad thought. I quickly put it out of my mind and nodded.

“I understand. I owe you, Shinonome, so please feel free to ask me anything.”

“Y-yes. …..I’m also indebted to you, Minori kun. Please ask me anything. At the celebration party.”

“I understand.”

Hearing my words, Shinonome put her hand on her chest in relief. I looked at her and smiled. I started thinking quietly.

…..Reward, huh?


“Alright ! I avoid a red mark !”

“I’m glad to hear that. …..Though it was a lot lower than the score you said last week.”

“It’s within the measurement error !

I looked at Eiji who showed no shame. I chuckled.

“Well, it’s already great that you avoid red marks. ……Speaking of which, how was your girlfriend’s result?”

“Ah ! I haven’t told you yet. She said she barely made it !”

“That’s great.”

It was worth teaching them. I didn’t have much time to study.

“She was really grateful to you, Souta. She said she wanted to thank you next time.

I’ll buy him a drink next time, too.”

“Just a token of your appreciation is fine. It was good for me too.”

While replying, I looked at my test.

“By the way, how did you do?”

“……Well, let’s keep that to ourselves for now. I’ll let you know when the scores come out.”

“Oh, you’re so confident.”

The total score was given along with the seating chart. I smiled as I put the test paper away.

I’m sure Shinonome will be happy when I tell her about this.


“So Minori kun, you’ll get the results tomorrow.”

“Yeah. Shinonome and the others are next week, right?”

“Yes. …..I’ve been fidgeting a lot lately.”

Hearing Shinonome’s words, I nodded with a smile. This waiting time is frustrating. At my school, the test papers are returned first, so I can guess. But still, you know.

“….It’s the first time. I’ve never been this nervous about a regular test.

“That bad, huh?”

“Yes. I’ve only shown the test to my mother and father until now.”

At those words…..suddenly, I felt uneasy. 

 “Have you been praised?”

“……? I get praised, usually. Like, ‘well done’.”

“Hm? Is that so?

I’ve only heard that children born in such a nice place are not praised by their parents, or that it;s natural for them to do well. But it seems that Shinonome’s place is different.

“My father said that It’s natural to work hard to succeed. But there’s no reason not to praise them for it. I will also get praised when I receive a certificate for Japanese dance, etc. ……It’s not like the old days, though.”

Although she was saying it normally until the middle of the sentence. The last words sounded a little sad.

“…..I see.”

“Minori kun. Are you not going to report to your mother and father?”

“Me? I used to report it to them. I get praised so much that I don’t want to.”

I have always been able to study to some extent. When I was little, every time I got a good score, I would be patted on the head. No, not only when I was little.

“When I entered middle school, I was so embarrassed that I didn’t report my scores to them anymore. Whenever I found a test with a good score, they would pat me. They would say, ‘I’m proud of you’. Frequently.”

“They’re good parents.”

“Yeah. Too good for me.”

At Shinonome’s words. I nodded with a smile. I’ll be back home at the end of the year, and I’ll tell them the results of this test at that time.

“I hope your results will be good. I’ll pray for you.”

“Yeah. Thanks. I will also pray that Shinonome’s result will be good.”

Saying that to each other. We laughed together.

What shall I ask her…and what will she ask me? The day went on, leaving me looking forward to next weekend.

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