In the end, I ended up taking the middle seat, and the situation seemed to have…..settled down.

However, my childhood friend, who was separated from me, slumped  her shoulders in disappointment, and on the other side, Idol sama smiled. My step sister sits across the table from my childhood friend’s seat and felt relieved for some reason.

…..Why, why is that?

Without knowing about their behavior, we started doing karaoke.

My step sister sang a popular J-pop song shyly, perhaps because she’s not used to karaoke, while my childhood friend sang an anime song happily. Idol sama sang a song of a popular idol group in a very idol-like manner.

….It would be really great if she became a real idol.

I rolled my tongue at a glimpse of her talent.

Then, the next is the gyaru’s turn.

The gyaru started singing a song from a recent popular male solo album. That song is from one of my favorite singers, and I used to listen to it when I was writing a novel or playing a game.

“Hee〜, so Izumo san listening to Genmai too”

The gyaru’s turn was over, and I was so happy to hear her singing my favorite singer song that I started talking unintentionally.

Then the gyaru blushed and looked at me.

“So even introverts like Genmai too? That’s unexpected ! !”

“Is that so? I’m not really interested in anime or games though.”

“Really? I thought you only listened to ani-songs because you seemed like an otaku”

I drop my shoulders at the gyaru’s comment about me being an otaku.

It’s true that it would be a problem if you were treated as an otaku just because you’re an introvert. Don’t judge people by their appearance ! !

“….I started listening to him a lot because he was a singer who was introduced to me by someone I like.”

I can’t say it out loud, so I screamed in my mind, and the gyaru muttered in a low voice. But her voice was drowned out by the surrounding noise and didn’t reach my ears.

“Eh, what did you say?”
When I asked Gyaru back, her face turned bright red and she pointed the microphone at me.

“N-nothing ! ! your turn is next, right? Sing ! ! “

“…..G-got it.”

I took the microphone from her and listened to the intro of my favorite song that I had selected.

….Yosh, are you watching? ‘m going to sing as good as the singer ! !

It’s not like I’m trying to look good for the girls in front of me, but I’m so excited that I pick up the microphone and start singing.

However, I couldn’t get the pitch right…….

That’s no wonder, because it was the first karaoke in my life.

Until now, I never had the opportunity to participate in my classmates’ social gatherings, so I didn’t have a chance to go.

When you’re singing, you’re not actually singing with the singer’s voice.  I don’t know the melody line and my voice becomes blurred.

“Pufufu. So you’re tone deaf, Rikkun〜.”

My childhood friend laughs at my singing, as if to make fun of me.

And then, Idol sama noticed something and stared at my childhood friend’s face.

“Etto〜, MIuchi san and Kaizei kun, did you two know each other?”

The other two reacted to the idol sama’s comment.

“Yeah, we’re childhood friends〜. We used to play a lot when we were 10 years old ! !”

The atmosphere is stiffened as my childhood friend shyly revealed our relationship to idol sama.

“D-does that mean….the author that you mentioned the other day was Kaizei kun?”

As she said that, Idol-sama was pointing at me with her hand trembling.

……Don’t point your finger at people ! !

Even though I was puzzled by the sudden change in  idol sama’s attitude, I plunged into it calmly.

When my childhood friend heard those words, she said [Yeah. …….] and nodded. Her sweet attitude seems to be unimaginable since the time we met again.

“Back then, I thought you were a boy, Asu.”

It’s not like I can’t hide my confusion at her changes, but when I calmly tell the truth, she scoffs at me and said [Hey〜!].

However, the heavy atmosphere didn’t disappear from the room, as if even that was not enough.

“So that means Asuka’s favorite author was Kaizei kun?”

The gyaru asked something about the author Matsudaira Riku, as if she remembered it.

As if in response to her words, the girls’ gazes attacked me. Their eyes were serious in like three different ways.

The room, which had become an inquisition, was no longer a place to enjoy karaoke.

….I can’t comprehend.

“….Well, I have published a novel, but.”

I don’t know how much the girls know about me, but when I tell them that I am publishing a novel, my childhood friend’s eyes light up.

“Eh? Isn’t that amazing? ”

Idol sama rolled her eyes in amazement.

“Well, I guess you could say that I was lucky…”

“No, that’s not true ! ! The novel that you wrote will become more and more popular, Rikkun ! ! Do your best ! !”

When she saw me saying this with a lack of confidence, my childhood friend put her hands on the table in front of me and raised her voice.

….Wait wait, where did that confidence come from? Besides, I don’t know how she, who’s only a fan and a friend, can be so attached to me.

I swallowed down the thought that I was about to say and just smiled bitterly.

However, there was only one person who reacted to my childhood friend’s speech.

It was the gyaru who had broken the ice earlier by talking about the song.

The gyaru handed me the microphone when I thought that she had put a Denmoku song in before I knew it.

“We’ll talk about that another time ! ! Since we’re here for karaoke, let’s sing some more! Anyway, Rikku. Can you sing [Uchiage Kanji] ? I’ll sing it with you ! !”

[Uchiage Kanji] a duet song by Genmai and a female vocalist, which was the theme song of an anime film of the same name, that was a hit back then. It is an immortal masterpiece that cannot be told without tears, in which a man and a woman, who become fireworks organizers, sometimes clash as a store selection with each other, sometimes encourage each other, and at other times develop a romantic relationship.

I remember being captivated by that movie even though I wondered if it was really that popular when it was shown, and I became a fan of Genmai from that moment on.

However, I didn’t have the time to explain such a thing. I was a little scared by the gyaru who held out the microphone while staring at me with sharp eyes. The microphone she was holding was stuck in my throat like a knife.

Once again, I was experiencing déjà vu like I’d felt somewhere else, and I realized something.

“…… Hey, Izumo-san. How did you know my game account name?”

“S-shut up ! ! it doesn’t matter, okay?”
As she turned bright red, she threw the microphone away, and turned her attention toward the monitor.

While questioning her attitude, I turned on the microphone.

The song intro came on and the gyaru turned up the music a little.

Then, she spoke  to me while staring at the monitor.

“If you listen to the melody and get the rhythm right, you’ll be able to sing properly, so you’ll be fine.”

After receiving some helpful advice for karaoke beginners, we started singing.

Now the duet between the two of us began.

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1 year ago

The song they’re talking about is Uchiage Hanabi by Kenshi Yonezu