Episode 48 – Shuraba ⑧

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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16816927861803370576/episodes/16817139554809264367

Eventually, I went looking for Ichikawa san, but when I couldn’t find her, I went back to Tohno san.

“Tohno san. Sorry to keep you waiting.”
“Ah, Komiya kun. Welcome back.”
“….Eh? Aki?”
“Ugh!? Y-Youta?”
“Eh? Youta….?”

When I returned to the food court, I found Tohno san there and Aki in a jersey for some reason.
Apparently, Tohno san and Aki met by chance or were talking.
I mean, they knew each other. I didn’t know.

What is this air about though …… ?

Both Aki and Tohno san were frozen. Aki was frozen in shock when I showed up. Tohno san for the fact that Aki called my name?

I have a bad feeling about this.

“H-How did you know Youta, Hitomi?”
“A-Aki chan. Youta….”
“Wait a minute. You two….know each other?
“”Ah……””

I didn’t know what their relationship was to each other, so I asked questions.
They both hold their heads as if they are thinking about something. Neither of them can hide their confusion.

……I wonder what I did wrong.

Only anxiety builds and builds until the two of them answer something.
“T-Tell me, what kind of relationship do Komiya kun and Aki chan have?”

It was Tohno san who started the conversation.

My relationship with Aki? If you ask me what kind of relationship, there can only be one.

“Friends, right? Aki.”
“………Eh! Ah, yeah. Friends…..(Friends)………”
“Komiya kun is Aki chan’s friend …… Eh, that means the …… she just said.”

What’s this reaction…..
Something’s going dark in both of them!
I hope I’m not wrong in my answer!

“Youta what is your relationship with Hitomi…….?”
“Et-to, It’s friends though..”
“(I knew it, it’s only friends…..)”
“Ah, yeah….That’s….right…”

Heavy. Eh, what? Really, what!
Why are they both sinking like this!
What am I going to do about this?……

I-I don’t have a choice. I’ll ask then what’s on my mind, too. Then I might be able to find a way out of this.

“Et-to. What about Tohno san and Aki? What’s your relationship?”
“We are ……”
“….Yeah”

I ask a question and they look at each other.

“We are”
“Childhood friends”

And they replied.

…….Hmmm?
Childhood friend? Tohno san’s childhood friend is a …… handsome guy and Tohno san likes that guy.
I remember that part clearly because that’s what made me give up.

Oh, so that means you have another childhood friend!

“Do you have another childhood friend?”
“…….? There is not”
“I don’t have any other children I can call childhood friends. We live next door to each other, and I don’t think there’s another girl I’d call a childhood friend.”
“————-tss”

I was immensely impressed.
What, are you kidding me……? Could it be? Maybe, just maybe, Tohno san’s childhood friend is …… Aki?

[That of course, means a lot to me, Aki chan.]

I have a flashback to what Tohno san told me in the past.
……………………….Ah
Apparently, I had made a terrible mistake.

Tohno san didn’t have any good-looking childhood friends.
No, Aki is definitely good looking, but that’s not what I meant. It’s that I never had a male childhood friend.
As a childhood friend, important. That’s what she was talking about……

“Komiya kun?”
“Youta?”

I was so shocked that I lost my mind.
…… Wait a minute? So who is that person Tohno san likes that I heard about in that classroom at dusk?

I started thinking about it and it started to bother me more and more.

When Youta was alone, he began to think and started to enter his own world.

Aki and Hitomi were whispering together.

“Hey, Hitomi. if you don’t mind me asking, but the guy you like sitting next to you, is it Youta?”
“Oh, you also, Aki chan. The guy friend you were talking about earlier is Komiya kun?”

Ask each other questions that are obvious to both parties and confirm them.
Even though they knew, they still didn’t want to believe it until they heard it from themselves.

“W-When in the world did this happen? Since when are Aki chan and Komiya kun friends?”
“About a week ago, It was the molested thing on that train.”
What? Aki chan was molested!?”
“Huh? No, no, no! We both caught the pervert. That’s how it started, I mean.”
“I see what you mean. But why all of a sudden? You weren’t interested in boys, were you, Aki chan?”
“I was never interested …… for sure, but Youta is different from other boys…….”
“Which part is that?”
“It’s …… that …… treated me like a girl properly, or how can I say it ……”

Their conversation heated up and up.
Surprisingly, Hitomi’s eyes were devouring and Aki’s a little withdrawn, the opposite of what they usually are.

“………..”
“……….”

They thought about what to do with each other.
Childhood friends are important. If that person has someone they like, They want to support her.
But they don’t want to give up on the people they love either.

They felt that way about each other.

(There’s nothing like this. ……)

Hitomi’s feelings were dark and somber.
She had the courage to ask him out on a date (albeit in a deceitful way), only to find out that her precious childhood friend likes him there.
She thought it was the worst.

“I-I’m sorry, Hitomi. If I had known that Youta was Hitomi’s loved one…”
“No, Aki chan. That’s not true. Don’t think that way.”
“Uu…….Sorry………”

Hitomi knows what Aki is thinking and scolds her.
Aki has always tended to sacrifice herself. It was for herself, not for anyone outside of herself. It was unbearable that she was giving that up again because of herself.

“…………”
“…………”

They don’t know what to do. Such silence flows.

“N-No, it’s not that. Am I wrong?”

He, the party in the middle of all this, is carefree and alone with his head in the sand.

Hitomi thinks. She has been relying on her too much.
So Aki will always put her first
If that so-

(……Ok)

Hitomi made one decision.

“Aki chan.”
“Eh, what?”
“I-I won’t lose!”
“Eh !?”

What Hitomi did was a declaration of war on her precious childhood friend.

“I know it may be convenient after all the trouble I’ve caused Aki chan, but I, for one, don’t want to give this up!”

She declares so loudly.
Hitomi made up her mind to go forward without relying on Aki, putting her feet on the ground on her own.

(Actually, maybe I just don’t want Komiya kun to be taken away from me. …… Still…)

In contrast, Aki also felt as if the fog in her head that had been bothering her earlier was clearing.

(…….I-I don’t want to give up either!)

Such feelings were induced.

And the feelings that Aki had for Hitomi until now. Hitomi feels liberated from the sense of duty that she has to protect her.

Hitomi doesn’t need her to protect her anymore. She has become strong enough to stand up to someone like this. That made Aki happy more than anything else.

Therefore, I will take it in confidence.

“Me too. I won’t lose to Hitomi either! I won’t give up just because we’ve known each other since childhood!”
“That’s my line. Aki chan. Don’t hold a grudge if I win.”
“You too. No whining.”

In this way, the two became more deeply bonded as childhood friends.

“Okay, first things first.”
“Eh? Hitomi?”

Hitomi turns back to Youta, who is holding his head.

So I am OK with the fact that Tohno san didn’t have anyone she liked?
That’s what I’m talking about.

 …… prematurely?

“Komiya kun.”
“Eh?”

When I have gathered my thoughts, I am approached by Tohno san.

Tohno san pulls something wrapped from her bag and holds it in her hand.

“Happy Birthday! I know I’m late, but here’s a present!”
“…..Ah, T-Thanks”

I am puzzled by the gift given to me without any context.
The person who gave it to me, Tohno san, blushed with embarrassment.

“S-So. I have something to say.”
“H-Hitomi, what are you……?”

Aki called out to Tohno san who said so, but Tohno san stopped her by signaling with her eyes.

“I’ve had a lot of help from Komiya kun since the first grade. I was really happy to be in the same class as you.”
“Y-Yeah….”

What’s with this reforming feeling.
The hustle and bustle of the other customers in the food court was almost unheard of.
Only Tohno san’s words catch me straight.

“And you know what? I realized something.”
“W-What’s that?”

Hey, you’re kidding, right?
What is this? This is just like …….

“I love Komiya kun!”

………………..Serious?

(TL/N : Wowowowowowowowowoowowow)

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