Childhood friends, what do you imagine such a phrase to sound like?
A sweet and sour story about a man and a woman who have been close to each other since childhood, and their budding love as they grow older and begin to be aware of the opposite sex. …… It’s a story that is sweet and sour.
I’m sure I would have imagined that too if I didn’t know the reality.
Yes, if I didn’t know the reality…….
One cannot expect such a coming-of-age story from a realistic relationship between a man and a woman who have known each other since childhood.
Because, as in the drama, male and female children cannot remain friends forever, and as they grow up and the differences between the opposite sexes become clearer, their existence becomes more and more depressing.
In my case, I clearly remember it was from “That Girl”. ……
I remember the day when my childhood friend, who I always played with when I was a kid, suddenly stopped coming to the usual place, not because of any particular incident of disagreement or quarrel.
Since that day, I no longer actively interacted with her, not that I was hostile to her, but we both naturally changed our friends and the world we lived in.

Yes, that’s how it is with real-life male-female childhood friends.
When she and I became classmates for the first time in many years, we had become strangers, and I didn’t know how to talk to her anymore.
There is no reason to believe that our relationship will change just because we are classmates, and in fact, it seems as if our distance from each other is even accelerating.
She “Kanzaki Amane” is an active girl and has a high community in her class, and I have the impression that she always has friends around her, both male and female, and is always laughing with everyone at the center of the group.
On the other hand, I am the type of person who has built a slightly nerdy group of four guys who always get together and hang out.
Not that I’m complaining about that, of course.
I don’t have a big heart to “get along with everyone,” so I’m not very good at such a community.
That is why I am becoming more and more distant from Amane, who was supposed to be my childhood friend.

“Oh yeah Yumeji, I heard that you and Kanzaki san are childhood friends.”

During lunch break, while I was thinking sterile thoughts about Amane, who is somehow creating a different world from my own, Sato, the ace of the soccer club but one of the “usual four” because of his love of anime, suddenly said something like that.

“What?! Yumeji, really?! That slightly boyish, crisp, healthy, gender-neutral, and natural talker who doesn’t discriminate against geeks like us, Kanzaki san?”

The first to react was Kudo in his glasses, and I instantly knew what he was expecting in his colorful reaction. It was definitely the same old story I had been thinking about earlier.

“Well, I’ve known her for a long time…….”

I exhaled with all sorts of emotions.
To be honest, she is very popular. She is basically a girl who is straightforward and speaks to everyone in an easygoing manner, which is why she is liked by everyone from athletes to liberal arts students.
…… Well, it’s a bit too humble to say that she’s a [saint who calls out to people like me,] and to be honest, the underclassmen who call her [ane sama (Big sister with exaggeration)] are a little bit scary.
But that is only to other people. Kanzaki Amane interacts with everyone except me.
But I’ve been getting special treatment from her for years.
…… Don’t think special treatment is a good thing? She doesn’t talk to me, she doesn’t even look me in the eye, that’s how I’ve been treated for many years.
It’s not a suggestive reaction. If our eyes meet, her face will blatantly look at me with a frown, and she will slowly remove her gaze.
Once, when I bumped into her on her way to school, I thought it was strange that she didn’t say anything even though we lived next door, so I gathered what little courage I had and greeted her with a “good morning. Ignoring me like I was air, she ran off to school.
When we became classmates this year, I had hoped that perhaps our estrangement could be resolved a little, but my plans were shattered into tiny pieces of wood that day.

Apparently, during our time apart, I was hated by her like a bug

“There is no way in reality that a childhood friend, who tends to be the rejected part of harem manga these days, will fall madly in love with me like in that kind of story……”
“I-I’m sorry. Don’t say any more than that! I feel the same feeling as when my younger sister refutes the [impossibility and barrenness of younger sister Moe] !!”

Kudo, who had been momentarily roused by my quiet but gloomy mutterings, hurriedly apologized.
…… I remember when this guy used to get excited about his sister Moe and then suddenly stopped talking about her?

“But …… well, maybe you and Kanzaki san are too different worlds, no matter how much you say you’ve known each other since childhood. …… Oh, I don’t mean that in a bad way, okay?”

Sato gives me a strange follow-up, as if he thought his words were rude in some way.
He doesn’t have to worry about it. …… I don’t think I could ever be as friendly with her as I used to be now, either. ……
There is no point of contact, and I don’t think I’ll ever have one… Besides.

“I’ve heard that she has a boyfriend, Kanzaki san. It’s a world that those of us who don’t have a partner can never understand.”

I also recently overheard a rumor that she has started dating a slightly flirtatious guy who is currently sitting next to Amane and talking to her in a friendly manner.
I couldn’t help but feel a strange weight in the pit of my stomach, even though I didn’t remember holding anything special.

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