Episode 2 – You Who Keep Pushing Hard

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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354054894733613/episodes/1177354054894911487

I thought I would never have a friendly conversation with her again.
I never thought I would have the chance to talk to her again like this, not only in class, but also with my childhood friend …… who is a famous and beautiful girl in the school.

“Hey…..Why ?”
“………”

Why, I couldn’t make a good reply to that question.
If I didn’t answer anything, shirasagi would give up. However, seeing her pained face, it was also painful to let her go up in flames.

[Really, Kasumi is no good without me!]
[Uu….that’s right. So stay close to Kasumi forever, okay?”
[I’ll take care of you! I’ll always protect you!]
[Yes!! I love you Kazuki!!]

Come to think of it, we had this exchange a long time ago.
Now that I remember such a long time ago, maybe I was concerned about it in the back of my mind, too. I chuckled as I remembered that time, and Kasumi tilted her head to see what was wrong.

“No, sorry, I was just reminiscing about the past.”
“The old days….yeah”

Kasumi used to be a child who laughed a lot.
I wonder when it started though, that I stopped smiling so much like this. I saw a fair amount of smiling when I was talking with my friends, but I still smiled less than I used to.

“…..Hey shirasagi”
“Why…..Why don’t you call me by my name?”
“Ugh…..”
“…..I….Did i do something? Did I do something to make Kazuki hate me ……?”
“No such thing !!”
“….then….why?”

……
Shirasagi is …… Kasumi has done nothing wrong. This is my problem. It’s a common adolescent problem that comes from an inescapable feeling of helplessness. As if waiting for my answer, Kasumi doesn’t take her eyes off me. She keeps looking at me with her beautiful eyes.

“……I think it’s time to go home, don’t you?”

Looking at the clock, it is almost eight o’clock.
No matter how close to home she is and how quickly she can get home, I think her mom would be worried if it were any later.

“That’s fine. They said I could stay the night.”
“……Ha?”
“So there is time. I won’t move until Kazuki talks to me.”
“Such childish ……”
“Because I’m a kid …… I’m a kid…..”

Well, sure, we’re just kids in high school. ……
But maybe I’m a little happy. That’s not because I’m happy that Kasumi is staying at my house, but because the part of her that is stubborn like this hasn’t changed at all from the past.

“…..Nothing much has changed for Kasumi. Regarding what’s inside.”
“Inside? Nothing …… has changed. It’s Kazuki who has changed…….You used to be by my side all the time, and you said you would protect me all the time…….!”

…… Hey Kazuki, can you keep quiet when you give a girl such a painful look, even though you’ve known her since childhood? No way that’s good. I let out a sigh and looked at Kasumi again.

“…… It’s a lousy reason. Really lame reasons.”
“Wait. I’m coming over there.”

Kasumi got up and walked next to me.
Kasumi, with the chair she was sitting in right next to me, sat down and grabbed my arm as if to say she would never let me go.

“Yes. Tell me.”
“….You’re not going to let me get away with this.”
“Of course. Tell me everything. Tell me the reason for this nonsense.”

The distance between us was very close as she stared at me next to her.
Come to think of it, I remember liking citrus aromas and such. That was one of the reasons why the nice aroma tickled my nostrils. Of course, the sweet scent of womanhood mixed in made me very nervous.

“……, I felt kind of out of place.”
“Out of place?”
“Unlike you, who had not changed at all, I began to feel …… that I was out of place beside Kasumi, who was becoming more beautiful and …… more popular.”

It’s a trivial reason, isn’t it?
It’s a common story …… about feeling left behind by a childhood friend who is becoming popular.

“When I was a junior high school student…you still confessed to me a lot, didn’t you? Seeing that made me think that Kasumi was really popular. She said that she was envious of having such a beautiful childhood friend, and above all, you. There were times when I was told that it didn’t suit me, even if it wasn’t meant to be offensive.”
“…That kind of thing—”

[That kind of thing]…..
Surely from Kasumi’s point of view, that’s what it’s all about …… but I–.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that about something like that. It was …… insensitive, even though I can see now that Kazuki was concerned about it.”
“No….There’s no need to apologize. I mean, it’s all my fault.”

Yes, it’s all my fault.
It is all my fault that Kasumi, who had been standing next to me for so long, left me on her own because she felt inferior to me and made me ask such a question.

“So …… this was the reason why I left my childhood friend Kasumi. I left Kasumi, my childhood friend, for such a trivial reason…… I just felt inferior on my own.”

Again, I think it was a really lame reason.
Well, I don’t think talking about this is going to change anything. I don’t know what Kasumi is thinking as she keeps her face down. But it looks like she is not going to let go of my arm after all.

“Let me check one thing…..”
“Ah yeah”
“It’s not that you don’t like me, is that right?”

Kasumi looked up, her expression serious.
I nodded my head a little, overwhelmed by the intensity of her eyes. Then Kasumi laughed for the first time since she came here,…… or maybe it’s more accurate to say that it’s been a long time.

“…… because I always thought you didn’t like me. I’m relieved …… I’ll check again. You really don’t hate me, do you?”
“Ah….it’s…all this time, I really don’t hate you.”
“I understand ……. That’s all I need to hear.”

Kasumi then stood up and opened the bag she had brought with her. Then she took out a pair of pajamas? And maybe lotion. I was so excited to see her.

“Are you serious about staying?”
“I told you, I have permission. I’m going to take a bath.”
“….is it?”

Kasumi went straight to the bath.
Left alone in the living room, I stood at the kitchen table with dishes for two in my hands.

“…… that was seriously good. And I miss …….”

In the past, we were both still small and I had never seen Kasumi cook. The stew and fried fish were not much for the amount of side dishes, but they were …… really tasty and I was happy to talk to her for the first time in a while.

“Wait, where will she sleep?”

I didn’t think it was possible, but there I was, reliving my past memories again.

[I’m going to sleep with you, Kazuki!]
[Understand. Then I’ll go get the futon.]
[I don’t need it. I’ll sleep on the futon with you!]
[Hmmmm~, well it’s fine]

Nononono….Is this it?
A few minutes later, Kasumi was in my room.

“You don’t have to ask me to bring the futon all the way over here. I’ll sleep in bed with you.”
“…… that’s the kind of thing that needs to change.”
“??”

Is everything okay?
I was a little worried.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 2 – You Who Keep Pushing Hard

  1. I have mix feelings. It’s always has to do with inferior complex in JPs. Can’t say puberty? Or maybe you don’t suit the attention she gets which puts you on spotlight? Each one is fine but showing inferiority complex shows your weak and indecisive… Am i wrong?

    But in this case i like his honesty

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