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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330649941556887/episodes/16817330650853189703

On the way home that day. Shinonome was somewhat absent-minded. Even when I tried to talk to her, she didn’t give me a proper reply.

And that day. It was also the first day that Shinonome didn’t  call me.

[I’ll refrain from calling today.]

And there was a notification on my phone.

…..I wonder if I had made her angry. I should’ve a talk with her. I thought so, and headed out in the morning with a bit of resolve.

However,

“Good morning, Minori kun.”

Shinonome. She greeted me with a smile.

“Y-yeah. Good morning?”

Her appearance is the same as usual…..in fact, she seems to be in a better mood than usual.

“I’m sorry about yesterday. I was…..talking to a new friend that I told you before. So I couldn’t call you.”

“Oh, I see.”

I replied, Shinonome nodded and……stared at my face.

“What’s wrong?”

“No, nothing. I’ll call you again from today. Look forward to it.”

“O-okay. Got it.”

And then we moved to our usual place…..but.

I felt like we were closer. More than usual.

We’re side by side because she taught me. ….The back of her hand. It’s that close.

“Speaking of which, Minori kun.”

However, Shinonome didn’t care about that at all. She called my name.

….no wait, if I look closely, I can see that her cheeks and ears are red.

“Did you bring an umbrella? The weather forecast said that it’s going to rain in the afternoon.”

“……Really?”

I couldn’t help but let out a silly voice. I looked at the sky, but there are hardly any clouds now.

And then I looked at Shinonome. She was holding a  white umbrella.

“Uwaa,……I’ve hung the laundry out to dry.”

“Oh…..that’s rough.”

I should’ve checked the weather forecast properly.

……Well, it’s no use worrying about it.

“Minori kun, if you don’t mind–“

Shinonome was about to say something…..but stopped.

“What is it? If you have something to say, you shouldn’t hesitate to say it.”

“–No, it’s nothing. Never mind.”

Shinonome said that while her cheeks and ears turned bright red. ……Well, there;s no need for me to force her.

No wait, is that really okay?

But before I could ask again, Shinonome opened her mouth.

“Speaking of which. Minori kun, do you have any siblings?”

“Hm? I don’t have any.”

“I see. ……By the way, What do your parents do?”

“My father is a local government employee. My mother is a housewife. ….What’s wrong? All of a sudden.”

I was surprised when Shinonome asked me that question out of the blue. Shinonome continued,

“Now that I think about it, I don’t know anything about you, Minori kun…….if you don’t mind, would you like to tell me more?”

Her smile is…..even more softer than usual. My heart skipped a beat.

“Y-yeah. That’s fine.”

And so……in the end, I couldn’t ask about yesterday. We arrived at the station where Shinonome got off.

….And, I was planning to buy an umbrella at the convenience store, in front of the station, but I forgot.

◆◆◆

“Eh, is it seriously going to rain today?”

“For real, it’s supposed to rain. That’s what the weather forecast said.”

I came to school and had a conversation with Eiji as usual. Eiji apparently didn’t bring an umbrella with him either.

“I’m going to ask Kirika to pick me up.”

“Ugh….what a normie.”

“Haha. If you’re frustrated, get a girlfriend.”

“It’s not like I want one>”.

“No, I’m sure you’re the one who’s going to regret it.”

After having such a conversation. I think to myself, 

What should I do on my way home today? I had no choice but to run home.

◆◆◆

“Rain, it really poured.”

While waiting with Eiji at the entrance. I muttered to myself.

“Moreover, it’s raining heavily. …..Ahh, housewives around the world must be busy taking in the laundry right now.”

“Me too. I left the laundry out this morning.”

“Seriously? You’re too nonchalant about it.”

It was raining heavily in the cloudy sky. I sighed as it was getting colder and colder lately.

If I go home like this, I will probably catch a cold.

“Ah. When Kirika comes to pick me up, do you want us to go buy an umbrella?”

“No, it’s okay. I’ve got someone waiting for me.”

In this case, I had no choice but to run. When I was preparing to do so.

I received a notification on my phone.

[It looks like I’m going to be late for one of my rides, so may I ask you to wait at the school for a bit?]

It was from Shinonome. It’s unusual for her to miss the train.

[Roger that.]

Even so, I’m glad I didn’t go now. Running in the rain and waiting for a train for one minute would make me catch a cold for sure…….

“She’s going to be late. So I’ll wait here for a while.”

“Oh, really? Then I guess I’ll leave first. ……Oh, speak of the devil.”

I saw a peach-colored umbrella at the school gate. I can’t tell from here, but Eiji must be used to seeing it.

Then she talked to the teacher who’s watching at the school gate…..and it seems that she got the permission. She walked over to us.

“Hey there, Eiji. If you don’t look at the weather forecast properly, you’ll catch a cold sooner or later. Minorin, it’s been a while. So you forgot to bring an umbrella too, Minorin. Surprising.”

“Even I sometimes forget my umbrella, too. Or rather, if anything, I’m just lazy.”

After a short conversation, I saw Eiji and the others off. 

“Well then, Eiji. See you tomorrow….and I hope you don’t catch a cold.”

“….Are you sure? I don’t mind buying you an umbrella, you know?”

“Maybe the convenience stores around there are overflowing with students. Just the thoughts are enough….what?”

At that time. Something strange happened in front of the gate. There was a huge crowd.

In response to my words. Nishizawa, who was about to open her umbrella, and Eiji, who was standing next to her, both looked there.

“What is it? Is it someone’s sister who’s an actress or an idol?”

“Sounds about right.”

Eventually, the teacher cut off the path…..from there, a high school girl with a bright white umbrella appears.

……Hm. I’ve seen that uniform before. The umbrella, too, looks like something I’ve seen somewhere before.

With a goosebump, I fell into the illusion that my heart was caressed.

No way. No, it can’t be.

However, contrary to my thoughts. The high school girl in that familiar uniform. …..I could tell she was a beautiful girl just from the atmosphere.

She’s coming straight towards me. The eyes of the people around me are gathering towards her. Eiji and Nishizawa also turned their gaze on her, but….they couldn’t see her face because of the umbrella.

And then she stopped right in front of me.

“Minori kun.”

She called me by my name. She put down the umbrella.

“I’m here to pick you up.”

I stopped thinking. My hands were sweating. Sweat broke out all over my body.

“……Sh-Shinonome?”

There she was, laughing……like a child whose prank had succeeded.

She shouldn’t have come here, because she is Shinonome.

◆◇◆

Time returns to the night before.

“Sigh……”

I held my hand over my aching chest. Since then……no matter how much time has passed, the pain didn’t ease.

I even left my food uneaten and my mother was worried about me. ……I had to do something about it, fast.

“I’m an awful person.”

I thought to myself. I sigh again. The reason is clear…….

“Minori kun.”

He was a friend…….if I remember correctly, with his best friend’s lover. He was enjoying eating sweets with her.

Every time I recall that scene. My breathing becomes difficult and my heart…..aches.

“…..I can’t sleep, not today.”

But I can’t call Minori kun. ……On my way home. I’ve been giving him a messy responses. The same thing will probably happen even if I call him now.

It was hard because I knew that.

“…….Minori kun. “

I want to hear his voice. …..I want him to pat my head again.

I wondered what to do. I somehow looked at my phone and……my eyes stopped on the name of a certain person.

[Hikaru.]

Hayama Hikaru san. Come to think of it, I had exchanged contact information with her.

“……Should I ask her for advice?”

[It’s better to have many friends than few, right? You can talk to them about all kinds of things.]

[Are you having a love problem? I’m famous for my tight-lippedness, you know?”

……It’s not about love, I’m sure. Yeah, it’s different.

But I should talk to her about it. I opened her contact information.

[Are you free right now?]

I sent that. She immediately read the message.

[Oh, what is it? It’s rare to hear from you, Shinonome chan.]

I was relieved when I got that reply back….

I told her. About him.

I became friends with a certain person and we became good friends. I saw him go out to dinner with a woman. I became distressed and bitter.

I explained roughly enough not to identify him.

[Hey, can I call you now?]

I hesitated a bit…..and sent a reply of approval. I had told him I would not be able to call him today, so I figured it would be okay.

[Hello, it’s Hikaru. Can you hear me?]

“Yes. I can hear you.”

Through the phone, I hear her voice. I’ve been talking to her from time to time since then. It hasn’t been that long.

[Alright. I have something to say first, okay?]

“…..,Please.”

What should I do? I should ask Hayama san.

“Shinonome chan, You’re in love.”.

I needed some time to understand the words.

“Fwee?”

I couldn’t help but let out such a voice.

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AS
AS
1 year ago

It’s incorrect. Not “Zenpen”, but “Part1”.

amogustimestwo
amogustimestwo
4 months ago
Reply to  DasuiTL

Huh… I guess it does sound cooler. Probably cuz I don’t understand it lol.