Episode 52

Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16816927861803370576/episodes/16817139555785284534

I, Mitsushima Aki, was in front of Youta’s house on Saturday morning, who seems to have a crush with.
I say “apparently” because I have yet to sort out this feeling that I realized after Hitomi, my childhood friend, told me about it.
No, perhaps I am just confused because I have never been conscious of the opposite gender before.

And the person who told me this confessed to him, one step earlier.
A reply to that is pending.

Surprise and frustration.
When I saw my childhood friend’s confession right in front of me, many emotions ran through my mind.
I never thought that my childhood friend and the person I love would be together.
I never thought that that childhood friend who always hid behind me would come forward and confess before me.

I was filled with such feelings.
After all, seeing her like that, I really didn’t want her to take Youta away.
This may be a sure thing.

So I have to approach him in various ways, but he was absent for the first half of this week due to a cold.
And when I think he’s here, he says he’s not well for some reason.
Hitomi also said that when she asks, he doesn’t seem to tell her, and that he occasionally stares into space and sighs deeply.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to him in school, but on Saturdays.
Every Saturday, we have an appointment.
The real intention was to do Sunday as well, but on Sunday morning, he wanted to sleep, so it became only Saturday.

Aside from this background, through this running, I will listen to the problems that Youta has and solve them.
In this way, We would deepen our friendship. That was the plan.

I come to the front of Youta’s apartment and ring the doorbell.
It rings briefly.

“….Are?”

However, after a short wait, there was no response.
I ring again.

Another short sound. But there was no sign of Youta coming out.

“I-Is he and Ichikawa san already left?!”

Such concerns pass through my mind.
She would do it. For some reason, I get difficult with her.
I don’t really want to get along with her, which is fine, but she tries to outsmart me just like I try to outsmart her.

“Even though he has an appointment with me- …..hmm?”

At that moment, the apartment door slowly opened.

“Yes………”

Out of it came Youta, still sounding drowsy and rubbing his eyelids.
When Youta saw me like that, his eyes widened at once.

“Eh?…….Aki………?”
“Good morning, Youta. Did you oversleep, by any chance?”
“Ugh. Ah yeah…….running……:”
“……? Are you okay? Maybe you’re not feeling well?”

Youta seems to have forgotten his promise to me again.
However, unlike the last time, there is something wrong with the situation.
He felt kind of tired.

“Ah, no…I’ll be ready in a minute.”

Then the door slammed shut again, and a few minutes later, Youta came out after changing his clothes.

Then we run the same course as before, just like before.
During that time our conversations were not as lively as they used to be.

There was an indescribable feeling of dullness in the air, and when I broached the topic of conversation, I would immediately receive nothing but empty replies.

After all, something is wrong.
What would be a good topic of discussion?
Then I remembered that Ichikawa san, whom I had promised to run with last week, was not here.

Alone with Youta so much, I was afraid to bring up the subject of her, but what there was nothing to talk about.
And I was somewhat concerned that she wasn’t there.

“Speaking of which, what happened to Ichikawa san?”
“…………”

When I asked him about it, Youta was obviously upset.

“I lost this today.”

But I quickly switch over and answer, keeping my composure.

“Speaking of which. Aki, are you still going to be involved in club activities after this? Today, morning or afternoon? Afternoon?”
“This afternoon.”

Then he blatantly went off topic. I saw that and immediately guessed.
He said that something had happened between him and Ichikawa san.

After that, Youta and I did not talk about her any further.

After the week began and school started, I met Ichikawa san in the bathroom.
Just as we are about to wash each other’s hands.
Ichikawa san looked at me for a moment and giggled.

Seeing her like that, I asked.

“Hey, What’s up with you and Youta?”
“………………What does that have to do with you?”

But what came back was the usual stinging response.
But I respond to it as well.

“That’s like admitting there’s something wrong with you.”
“…… Mitsushima san has a vivid imagination, doesn’t she?”
“Hmmph, I see”

I was the one who was the goodwill. Ichikawa san’s expression did not change even when I attacked her.
But something is stuck. A little more poking around and something might come out.

“Last week, I went running with Komiya kun. Ichikawa san didn’t show up, so it was just the two of us. Thanks.”
“What does that mean?”
“Just like that. I think I’ve fallen in love with Komiya kun. I still can’t believe it myself.”
“I see”
“So I didn’t want Ichikawa san to have anything to do with Komiya kun.”
“…… don’t worry about it. Me and him have nothing going on right now.”

After saying this, Ichikawa san washed her hands and immediately left the women’s restroom.

“Now……. I knew it was Ichikawa san’s fault.”

I was convinced that the strange behavior of Youta was Ichikawa san’s fault.
And I was surprised that I was able to slur my feelings for someone else and reveal to her.

It was not until the end of the week that I felt a sense of discomfort.
I looked everywhere for some of the textbooks I was supposed to have prepared, but could not find them.

I look up and see a few girls.
And soon the girls start grinning.

Oh, I feel like it’s been a while.

This has happened before. It was when I was in middle school.
Common harassment. Or should I say bullying?

I can’t speak for myself, but the girls who had admired me before suddenly became my enemies.

I’m sure Jinguji kun is responsible for this.
I guess he is spreading rumors about what is and is not true.

I silently glared at Jinguji kun next to me.
He noticed the look and chuckled.

“Don’t you have a textbook? Great, I’ll show you.”

Then he pulls down his desk without hearing my reply.
I felt the girls glare at me again when they saw that.

He must have decided to weaken me mentally.
The same way as Sagawa kun.

This certainly doesn’t make …… feel very good.
It’s like being forced to dig up past traumas.

But I will never lose to him.
I’ll have to figure out some way to fix this.

That said, trauma is still a gut-wrenching experience.
I felt sick all at once and could not think much.

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