“Good morning, Minori kun.”
“Yeah, good morning. Shinonome.”
Monday of the following week. I greeted Shinonome as she boarded the train and moved to the corner as usual.
It’s quite a big step just to do that. She gave me a pitch-black handbag that she didn’t usually carry.
“Here, Minori kun. I’ve made your lunch.”
“Thank you, Shinonome.”
You’re welcome. I’m not sure if it’s enough for you or if it’s too much. If there are any ingredients that you can’t eat, please let me know.”
To Shinonome’s kind words. I nodded with a smile.
“I understand. Thank you, really. ……Speaking of which. I said it yesterday, but I also ate all of the curry. It was delicious all the way through.”
At my words. Shinonome smiled.
“I’m glad to hear that. I’m going to make it again this week. Please look forward to it.”
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”
And with that. We headed off to school.
“Oh, whoa……whoa !”
…… Well. How should I explain this?
While looking at Eiji, whose eyes widened when he saw the bento. I ponder.
Would it be convenient if I I told him that I’ve learned how to cook? I wonder if Shinonome didn’t notice it, the lunch box and the handbag are all black, so it doesn’t look out of place.
“When did you get a girlfriend !”
“……I thought you’d say that. By the way, there’s an option that I might’ve made it myself, you know?”
“There’s no way. You can’t cook.”
“Well, we’ve talked about it before.”
It’s fine if he misunderstands, but I don’t want to lie to him. ….It might be rude to Shinonome.
I have no choice but to tell him the truth.
“The friend I told you about made it for me.”
“So she does have a romantic interest ! She’s making a huge appeal !”
“I told you it’s not like that.”
No, that’s what this is about. Are you the kind of guy who’s insensitive?”
As expected…… if this was a girl other than Shinonome, I would’ve thought so.
I’m not sure how much I should tell him. I thought
No, this is not something I can talk about without her permission.
“Anyway. I’m not that insensitive. There’s a lot of reasons.”
“Don’t tell me….the other person has a boyfriend?”
“No. Don’t pry into it.”
At my words. Eiji pretended to think for a moment.
“…..As your best friend, I’d like to ask you one question. Are you sure you’re not being played with?”
“I’m not. Just believe me.”
When I said that, Eiji let out a sigh.
“I’ll believe you if you say so. If there’s anything you need, you can talk to me about it.”
……Eiji is a good guy after all. I’m glad he’s my friend.
“I’ll be counting on you then.”
Now, when I tried to open the lunch box. Eiji thought a little more.
“Let’s try this.”
“What did you say?”
This is a classroom, so it’s noisy. Eiji shook his head when I asked him back.
“No, it’s nothing. Let’s go eat.”
I nodded at Eiji’s words. I opened my lunch box.
“Amazing, that’s really well made.”
The lunch box had two layers. One contained white rice, and the other contained…..colorful side dishes.
Stir-fried vegetables and broccoli with butter. And octopus shaped sausage and burdock root wrapped in meat. Rolled egg, etc., very colorful.
And as I proceeded to eat.
All the food was delicious. The rolled egg is not sweet, but salty. It goes well with rice.
The other dishes also have a good salty taste.
While I was eating, I noticed Eiji staring at me.
“What is it? I won’t give you even if you look at me like that.”
“I wasn’t looking at it greedily. ….I’ve never seen you eat such a delicious looking meal before.”
At Eiji’s words. My cheeks twitched.
“I’m sure it’s just your imagination.”
“….Is that so?”
I nodded at Eiji’s words. I continue to eat again……
Before I knew it, I held my cheeks with my hand as they began to loosen up again.
….Ah, this is. This is the same as Shinonome.
Seeing Shinonome’s face eating food deliciously, it might’ve been a contagious disease.
But, there’s no reason to eat the lunch box that Shinonome made for me if I don’t like it.
In the end. Eiji grinned at me as I ate it up.
“Thanks for the food. The lunch box was very delicious.”
“Fufu. I’m glad it suited your taste.”
On the way home. I gave the lunch box to Shinonome, and she looked very happy.
“I’ll make another one tomorrow. Please look forward to it.”
“Yeah, thank you.”
I was so happy and grateful to hear her words.
I couldn’t help but…..relax my cheeks as well.
“Hey, Souta. I need a favor. Is it okay?”
“…..A favor? What is it?”
The next day. Eiji suddenly said that to me. I thought it was unusual, but when I asked him what it was about, he said….
“I was so excited to hear that Kirika wanted to go to a sweet store. But you know I don’t like sweets, right?”
“Ah, come to think of it, you did say that.”
Eiji is not good with sweets, and on the contrary, Nishizawa, Eiji’s girlfriend, is a big fan of sweets. She enjoys going on sweets tours.
“So, the Mont Blanc Autumn Fair, which is held at the place she wanted to go, will end this week. My other friends can’t make it, so I’d like you to go if it’s okay with you…..Souta.”
I was a little surprised at his words.
“You mean….just the two of us?”
“Yeah. She wants to go with someone because she doesn’t like being alone.”
“…..Are you okay with that, Eiji? Your girlfriend is going out with another man, you know?”
Hearing my words. Eiji laughed.
“I told you before, right? I don’t mind. …..Well, it’s a different story when it’s just the two of them. That’s why I consulted you first, you know?”
Eiji’s words made me…..a little happy.
I knew that he trusted me. ……But there’s one problem.
“Have you decided the day of the week?”
“Yeah, the day after tomorrow, Thursday.”
“That would be after school,…….”
I have an appointment with Shinonome. What should I do?
“I actually have something to do after school. Can I discuss it with the other party? I’ll get back to you by the end of the night.”
“Oh, of course.”
So, I said to Eiji. I wondered what I should say to Shinonome.
“Alone with a woman, is that right?”
In the end, I decided to tell her without hiding anything. Because I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to hide it in a strange way.
“Yeah. As I said earlier, hehe didn’t seem to mind with just the two of us….if Shinonome doesn’t like it, I’ll refuse.”
My first priority is Shinonome. When I asked that, Shinonome shook her head.
“No. ……Please prioritize that over me. She’s a dear friend of yours right, Minori kun? Should I wait at the station where you board, Minori kun? ”
“Thanks. I’ll pick you up, so please wait for me. …..I don’t know how long it will take though.”
Shinonome chuckled at my words.
“I don’t mind. I’m not taking any lessons on Thursdays either.”
At her words, I was grateful. I called Eiji.
Thursday. I finished school and headed for the train station.
[It will probably take about 20 minutes.]
I got a call from Minori kun. I thought it would be no problem at all. Until that moment.
“…..I can’t calm down.”
I was so disturbed that I couldn’t help but mutter to myself.
“It can’t be helped. Shall I head out?”
It’s bad if it continues like this.
Just then, the train to Minori kun’s place was coming…..and naturally, my feet were on it.
“It’s not good….I can’t lose my composure.”
To begin with, I wasn’t told that Minori kun is heading to this area.
I let out a sigh once. But I had no choice. I started to walk.
I had only been here before when I came here to buy clothes with Minori kun. I naturally walked and looked around.
“There are a lot of things, Mino–“
I almost called his name. …..Whenever I came to a new place, he was always there.
I shut my mouth tightly. I started walking.
Then one store caught my eye. At first glance it looked like a cafe. But it seems to be a store specializing in sweets.
They are having a Mont Blanc fair until this week……I couldn’t help but think.
“Minori kun, will he come if I ask him out?”
I mumbled and immediately shook my head. The place is close to his high school. I can’t do that because it might look weird.
When I thought it was time to go back, I saw him.
I saw him.
I saw him eating Mont Blanc with a beautiful woman.
Oh, speaking of which. He said there was a sweets fair. So it was here.
Squeezed. It hurts, as if my heart had been squeezed.
It was me who gave permission. I know that. That kind of thing.
But it hurts. I wanted to ask why. But I couldn’t speak.
It was as if I had forgotten how to breathe. I fell into such an illusion.
Just like that, I……found myself walking away.
By the time I regained consciousness. I was already back at the station.
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