“Then I’m off to club activities. See you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow.”
I sighed once as I saw Saki off to her tennis club activities. Even though I’ve already experienced it once in my life, it’s hard to be in an unfamiliar environment. And I don’t understand the lesson. In high school, I wanted to win against Daiki, so I studied hard, but it’s been eight years since I graduated from high school. However, after graduating from high school about eight years ago, my efforts had come to nothing. Unlike work, there was no pressure, but classes were painful in their own way. The same goes with my future plans.
“A part-time job huh……”
I played soccer from elementary school through middle school, but in my second year of high school I was harassed when I joined the soccer club by Daiki, who took my position after only six months. In addition to this, I was ordered by my parents to bring in as much money as possible, so from high school I worked part-time in the kitchen of a family restaurant near here three times a week instead of joining a club. Half of the salary went to my family…..or rather, to Daiki’s allowance, and this continued for seven years until I graduated from college.
And today, I worked part-time from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I would leave Saki defenseless during that time, and I would probably forget most of my work, but that’s the sad nature of a working adult. It pains me to put a hole in my work. So I quickly headed to my part-time job.
I entered the family restaurant through the staff door, which I had grown tired of going through, finished changing my clothes, and quickly entered the kitchen.
To be honest, I was pretty depressed before I came here. I was worried about Saki, and I was afraid of making a mistake at work and getting scolded, which was more scary than what I was feeling back then. But that feeling was blown away by one word.
A gal with flashy blonde hair that wasn’t suitable to be in the kitchen and serving the food in a dull manner. She was my best friend.
Ushijima Midori. We were in the same high school, college, and even part-time jobs. However, we were never in the same class, we were in different departments, and above all, our personalities were almost the exact opposite. But somehow, we were close enough to declare that we were each other’s best friend.
“Kouki kun, good morning～”
Shibayama Shinobu, the fluffy-looking girl who tapped me on the shoulder in a mellow voice. She’s a senior at the same high school as the two of us. Her family seems to be poor, and she usually works when I go to my part-time job. However, after graduating from high school, she entered the same university as Daiki as a scholarship student and got a job as a researcher at a major company, so she’s a very capable person, despite her appearances.
“Kouki kun, you can take it easy. We don’t have many customers today.”
He’s a senior who’s much older than us high school students…..I don’t remember his real name anymore, but he was Paa san. He would have been 10 years older than me…… so he’s 27 this year. The same age as I was before my time leap, but he’s a hardworking freelancer who has never given up on his dream of becoming a mangaka and works part-time as the leader of the kitchen.
Midori, Shinobu san and Paa san……. Usually there’s one more person, but these members have been spending the same time with me together for a long time, and they are more than colleagues. On the holidays, we used to go camping in Paa san’s car, and when I was a college student, we would have drinks at Paa san’s house.
I don’t even remember when the last time I saw these girls was. 10 years later, aside from Paa san, who’s still a freelancer, they have all gone their separate ways and have drifted apart naturally. I missed them and wanted to see them, but I couldn’t call them. That’s how it is as a working adult.
That’s why I am so happy that I almost cry. Returning to the past, I felt nostalgia for the first time. After all, these were probably the most enjoyable times in my life. The most enjoyable time was when I was just wasting my youth without thinking about the future. I’m getting old….even though I’m just a 16 year old.
“I mean, aren’t we too free today～? I’m sure we don’t need four people in the kitchen～”
“We’re working, so you can’t cut corners.”
“Paa san, you need to find a decent job properly. You’re already 26, aren’t you? You’re an old man.”
“26 is not an old man !”
While talking and bickering. I moved my hands idly. Boring and meaningless time. I was happy during this time. I don’t remember any of the details of the recipe, but my body was moving on its own. That must have been how absorbed I was in it. I was still making mistakes even though I had been in sales for five years.
I wonder why I can’t do this anymore when I become a member of society. Is it because I am a full-time employee and have responsibilities? Or is it the fact that I am getting older?
While I was thinking about such old things, a girl from the hall came into the kitchen. I see, there’s still a dining associate.
“What’s wrong? Hikari.”
“Huh? Why are you suddenly calling me by my name? Are you aiming for me?”
“Oh I see…….Sorry, Echizen san.”
Echizen Hikari. She’s a first-year student at the same high school as me and since it’s May, she’s a newcomer. She’s an aspiring idol, and in a few months she will be entering the idol career as a trainee. That’s when she moved from the dining associate to the kitchen and has spent a lot of time with the five of us. So in this time, we weren’t close enough to talk to each other during work……
“Igarashi Daiki, who’s in the same class as me. He was senpai’s brother, wasn’t he?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
When I answered that, Hikari’s face, which had a sales-like smile on it, clouded over.
“……He’s here right now, and he’s planning to steal senpai’s girlfriend.”
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