“Good morning, Aikawacchi.”
It was Monday, the day after I went to the aquarium with Watanabe san.
As I was walking to school at the usual time, Sawaguchi san called out to me from behind.
“Hm? You didn’t set your hair today, did you?”
When Sawaguchi san stood next to me, she stared at me and said those words.
“Ah, I’m still getting used to that one……”
I looked away from her and scratched my cheek awkwardly.
I didn’t use wax yesterday at the aquarium.
I tried it once, but it didn’t look neat like when the store clerk or Aizawa did it, and I felt like stretching my hair.
“That’s too bad, I thought I was going to be able to see Aikawacchi’s debut.”
“I won’t do….debut.”
The expression on her face changed, and I could sense her friendliness in her teasing.
As expected, there is only the top caste. The way to close the distance was quick, and I ended up being pushed.
“By the way, who is this [Aikawacchi]?”
What bothered me more than that was the way she called me. Sawaguchi san was the first person in my life to call me by that name.
“You don’t like it?”
She widened her eyes and tilted her head. Her large, round eyes flashed into my eyes.
“……..It’s not that I don’t like it.”
I have never been called that in all my life.
This makes it sound like we’re not friends, I thought to myself.
My only contact with Sawaguchi san is through Aizawa, and the cafe the other day was the first time we had a proper conversation.
It is not that I dislike her by any means, but I’m a little uncomfortable with her because of her close distance.
“Instead, Aikawacchi, you can call me Mahocchi, too.”
She made such a suggestion as she pointed to herself.
If I agreed to go that far, we would be completely close to each other. Just imagining myself calling Sawaguchi san “Mahocchi” sent chills down my spine.
The combination of top caste Sawaguchi san and I seemed to stand out and attracted the attention of other students during the school day.
“Fufufu, Aikawacchi is pretty funny.”
She was laughing as we walked, as if my refusal had hit a nerve.
We parted as we arrived at the entrance to the school.
“See you later !”
Sawaguchi san waves to me and heads for her shoe box.
Her voice carried well, which made me freeze in place as I took notice of her.
“I heard you and Maho have become good friends.”
It’s lunchtime and Aizawa approaches my seat.
I had told him that I was not going fishing last week, so there was no cooking. It seems that the reason why he talks to me in spite of that is because he heard the rumors right away.
“It’s not like I’m getting along with her……. We just talked about what happened the day before yesterday.”
Aizawa’s words make me feel tired. I think that the fact that Aizawa knows about this morning means that there must be a certain amount of rumors about it.
“A friend just happened to be walking in front of you, so didn’t you just call out to them to pass the time?”
In fact, Sawaguchi san seemed to be teasing me and kept smiling throughout the conversation. It was fitting to think of it as a way to pass the time on her way to school.
“She never talks to anyone she is not interested in. She took a liking to you.”
Aizawa’s words were persuasive. He is an athletic, good-looking guy who is often approached by girls.
“Well, anyway, I think it’s just for now.”
She was only interested in me because there was an interesting-looking guy beside Aizawa. If I let it go like this, I bet she will lose interest soon.
“You have a habit of underestimating yourself a little too much, or rather, of deliberately trying to hide yourself, don’t you?”
“I don’t think so…….”
To Aizawa, who had a slightly serious look on his face, I replied in a clumsy manner.
“You’re smart and you can cook. The other day at the ball game, you were pretty good, even if you didn’t show it off too much by passing the ball around.”
“That’s in the general skills category, isn’t it?”
They are all done without a hitch. I don’t have the skills to compete with someone who has really put in the practice.
“What you lack is confidence. So I’ll teach you how to wax next time. Like you did to Riho and Maho that time, let’s knock the socks off the guys at school this time.”
“No, I won’t do it.”
Why do Aizawa and Sawaguchi love teasing so much?
After all, I had to keep dodging Aizawa’s words during the lunch break.
“Aaah ! Finally, the exam is over !”
Aizawa exclaimed and smashed the returned answer sheet.
“Aizawa, shut up !”
The answer sheets were fluttering in the air, and although there seemed to be a lot of red checks in them, it seemed that he had escaped a red mark.
“Aren’t you looking forward to summer vacation ! !”
However, I’m buoyant enough myself.
Between the weather and final exams, I haven’t fished much recently.
The results of the exams have been so-so, so as soon as I hand in my report card to my father, I should be able to get out of my skin without overdoing it.
“Of course I’m looking forward to it ! I wanted this more than anyone else !”
So I responded to Aizawa, more excited than usual.
“There’s the ocean, the pool, the mountains, summer festivals, and fireworks……spreading hope before us !”
“Yeah, sea fishing, mountain stream fishing, camping, and unexplored hot springs are also hard to miss.”
I sympathize with Aizawa and speak of the desires I want to fulfill this summer…….
“Even though it’s the long-awaited summer vacation of a first-year high school student, you are……”
For some reason I was stared at with white eyes.
“You don’t have a desire to get along with girls a little more, do you ! ”
Aizawa grabbed me by the shoulders with a serious expression and shook me. The first year of high school is the only time in a student’s life when they have summer vacation, and he stressed that I should spend it in a meaningful way.
“However, in order to make an event like playing with girls happen, you’ll need to put in a lot of hard work beforehand, right?”
Going to the pool together, going to a summer festival together, or a confession event while watching fireworks would have to start with asking the other person out.
Putting aside Aizawa, it doesn’t have anything to do with me, who is passive and doesn’t deepen relationships with those around me.
It’s too late to get upset now that summer is in full swing.
“Rather than that, regarding the part-time job, is it really okay?”
Earlier, he had said something about enjoying summer to the fullest, but that would first require something upfront.
When I was studying for exams with Aizawa, I brought up the subject of [doing a part-time job during summer vacation] and he invited me to join him.
He said that since it was at his relative’s place, he would get a free pass for the interview. I nodded my head, unable to resist the allure of passing the arduous interview process, but I checked to see if the other party had been informed of his offer.
“Oh, that’s no problem.”
Aizawa’s reply reassured me.
“Since we’re starting this weekend, we’ll meet at the station with a change of clothes and bathing suits for the next few days, okay?”
“Hm? A change of clothes? Swimsuit?”
What kind of part-time job is this?
As I tilted my head, Aizawa smiled as if he was planning something,
“Leave it to me. I’ll make sure you have the best summer memories.”
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