Watanabe Misa is sitting at her desk in her room, taking deep breaths and catching her breath.
The time is now just past 8 pm, and if she is living a proper life, she would have finished dinner and is relaxing.
There is a flier for a fireworks festival in front of her, and on her bed is a yukata, which she has yet to put on.
“It’s time to….get some courage……”
Several weeks have passed since they returned from their trip.
During that time, Misa had not contacted Ryoichi even once.
Partly because she was busy with things at home, but when she picked up her phone to make an appointment, she couldn’t help but think about the incident on the trip.
They both held hands and watched the sunrise.
The tender look in Ryoichi’s eyes that she saw at that moment made her heart overflow with feelings.
However, just as she was about to leave, she received a call, and by the time she finished the call, her courage had waned and she returned to the inn without saying a word.
“Even though I made a promise……”
At the end of the trip, she uttered something along the lines of, “Please continue to see me during the summer vacation,” but she couldn’t think of an excuse to ask him out, so she stopped several times.
The flier of a fireworks festival in front of Misa was the perfect situation to give her the courage to do so.
This would make it easier to talk to Ryoichi than to ask him out for a normal play date since it was an event. And if she could get him to go out with her, they could make plans to have a date at a food stall, watch the fireworks together, or stop at a park by the sea on the night way home to see the night view.
As long as the mood is lifted, she will be courageous like that time. When Misa thought that far, she shook up her courage and reached for her phone to invite Ryoichi to a fireworks festival before it soured.
“Woah woah woah !”
Just as she was about to press the button to call Ryoichi, a call came in.
The screen displayed [Maho san.]
“W-what should I do?”
She had just summoned up all her courage, but if she accepted Maho’s call and had a chatty conversation, quite a bit of time would have passed. If she did that, it would take time to build up her courage again, and if she did it too late, Ryoichi might fall asleep.
“I’m sorry, Maho san !”
Misa felt guilty for putting off the friendship, but she prayed that the phone would go dead soon.
Perhaps her prayers were answered, as the call sounded off after about a minute.
She couldn’t drag out the time any longer. Misa decides so and immediately calls Ryoichi.
Her heart is pounding. While the call sounds, Misa is in a state of anxiety.
[Hello, Watanabe san?:
“A-ah, Aikawa kun?”
Ryoichi’s voice can be heard from the end of the phone. That alone made Misa so happy that she almost lost sight of her original purpose for a moment.
“Are you okay now?”
[Yeah, I’m fine.]
Ryoichi responds in a very relaxed manner. She thought that if she made a phone call with someone of the opposite sex, they would normally be nervous and it would show in their voices, but she decided to accept that she had become a comfortable partner for Ryoichi.
If she prolonged the conversation, it would be difficult to get to the bottom of what she wanted. she looked at the yukata on the bed. It was a cool blue and white pattern that had been prepared for this occasion.
“T-the fireworks festival !? …it’s…um….”
Her voice gradually became quieter and quieter.
Misa feels sorry for herself and bites her lip. She shakes herself up and says she has to be brave and ask him out…….
[Yeah, Sawaguchi san told me. I’m looking forward to it.]
The words heard from Ryoichi, she can’t help but wonder.
[It’s about what Sawaguchi san informed me at lunchtime, isn’t it? She said she was going to a fireworks festival with the members from last time. Perhaps it was something else?]
Misa was upset, but after talking with Ryoichi, she gradually began to understand the whole story.
She said that Maho was thinking of getting Ryoichi and Misa to cooperate in order to get Riho and Aizawa together.
Maho’s phone call earlier was an invitation to do so. Maho knew that Misa was often unable to answer the phone during the day due to family business, so she called Ryoichi first. Misa called Ryoichi, so there was a misunderstanding.
After listening to the conversation, Misa said,
“Yes, that’s right. I want Riho san to be happy, so I’m going to help her.”
She found herself having the usual mending conversation.
Eventually, when the call ended, she collapsed into bed.
Now that she has spoken so much, she will have no choice but to support Riho this time.
She looked at her phone and saw a text message from Maho. The content generally matched what she had just heard from Ryoichi.
Misa hugged the phone to her chest.
“Well, we can be together. That’s fine right?”
In the end, she was able to go to the fireworks festival with Ryoichi, though not alone with him, and she thanked Maho.
In front of me, a woman in a yukata is happily chatting with another woman.
The area in front of the station is filled with many people, and my view is blocked when I try to look at the ticket gate exit.
The clock on my phone currently reads 17:50, 10 minutes before the meeting time, but I am standing alone.
People around me are talking happily and meeting up with their friends, but no one I know seems to be coming.
(Maybe this isn’t Sawaguchi san’s grand surprise or torment?)
I’m unsure of what she is going to do.
I looked at my phone again,
He was wearing shorts, a plain T-shirt, and a short-sleeved shirt with a collar over the top.
Wearing sandals on his feet, Aizawa, who was dressed in summer attire, approached me, catching the gazes of those around him.
I raised one hand in reply. Then I felt some of the attention that had been focused on Aizawa shift to me.
“Oh, you’re doing your hair right today.”
Aizawa’s eyes were fixed on my head.
Recently, because of the hot temperatures, I have been setting my hair with wax when I go out.
The reason is that it’s convenient because it keeps my hair from sticking to my skin when I sweat, but Aizawa seems impressed, so I keep quiet about that.
“Anyway, it’s five minutes before our rendezvous time, right?”
I was relieved that Aizawa had arrived and that at least I wasn’t being dumped on, but I wondered if we would be able to meet up as planned.
“Oh well, the three most beautiful girls in the school are getting ready. Let’s be tolerant and welcome them even if they’re late.”
Aizawa laughs, as if he is looking forward to it from the bottom of his heart.
His reaction is the usual, but I have trouble deciding whether it is an expectation for a particular girl or simply a pose in the form of being a womanizer.
“What is it, you can’t respond even if you look at me passionately?”
Because he was staring at her, Aizawa seemed to have made a strange mistake. He held his body and wiggled it and moved in an uncomfortable way.
“Don’t worry, it’s not like that.”
I let out a sigh and replied to Aizawa. As usual, he was unreadable, so I gave up trying to figure him out.
We both stand side by side and look toward the station. I guess that they are probably on the train, especially since there are no messages flying into my phone.
About 10 minutes late from the rendezvous, and a few minutes after the train arrived, the three of them finally appeared from the ticket gate. It seemed that they had met up beforehand and came together.
“Sorry, the train was crowded.:
Sawaguchi san took the lead, sticking out her tongue and apologizing.
She was wearing a yukata of pale yellow fabric studded with red flowers, her hair tied up and held in place with a peach-flowered hair clip.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting.”
Next came Watanabe san.
She bowed apologetically. She was wearing a yukata, a white cloth with blue hydrangeas scattered on it. The one I had seen on my previous trip had been a rental, so it was rather plain, but today’s was gorgeous and suited her very well.
“As you can see, it’s crowded here. Don’t worry about it at all.”
I said to Watanabe san, who bowed her head, and she looked up and said, [Thank you] and patted her chest in relief.
“Aikawacchi. Don’t you have anything to say to me?”
I give a short reply to Sawaguchi san, who is miffed. She planned it, so I can’t forgive her for being late…
“I’ve been feeling that Aikawacchi is treating me very poorly lately. I demand better treatment.”
“I hope you’ll take a lesson from Watanabe san then. ……Right?”
Then I pass it to Watanabe san.
When I suddenly swung the conversation around, Watanabe san laughed dryly.
She had shown her jealousy before because Sawaguchi san was always concerned about me, so I made a conscious effort to have a conversation with the three of us, but it seems that the way I was talking to her now was not very subtle.
As I was thinking like that, we continued our conversation, but half of my and Sawaguchi san’s attention was not on our conversation, but on Aizawa and Ishikawa san’s.
“Aizawa, sorry to keep you waiting.”
Ishikawa san was talking to Aizawa.
“I didn’t have any problem with it. Aikawa complained though.”
“Hey ! I didn’t say that !”
I couldn’t afford to be misunderstood, so I quickly interrupted the conversation.
“Is that so?”
Ishikawa san turns around and stares at me.
She was not wearing a yukata, but an open-shoulder blouse with white frills, a high-waisted skirt that peeked out over one leg, and high-heeled sandals with embroidered detailing.
She wore a pochette on her shoulder, and I could tell that she wanted today’s fireworks festival with a lot of enthusiasm.
“No, I think I understand that it takes women a while to get ready, so it’s fine.”
“This guy……you’re parroting my lines with impunity.”
Aizawa looked at me with a roll of his eyes and a thick look on his face. Communicating with Sawaguchi san, I was able to converse well with Aizawa.
“Anyway, shouldn’t we get moving?”
Before I knew it, Watanabe san was leaning closer to me. I was sure we would bump into each other since there were so many people passing by.
I casually switched places with her.
Watanabe san looked up and thanked me. Her lips were glistening. I wondered if she had been looking forward to this day.
“Both of you, let’s go.”
Before I knew it, the three of them were walking away, and when Watanabe san and I realized that we were staring at each other, we looked away and hurried to catch up with them.
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