“No, really, this camping trip is the best ! I don’t want to go back !”
After finishing our meal, we decided to follow Misa’s suggestion and enjoy some star gazing.
We rent camping chairs at the station office, place them around the tent, and plop ourselves down.
The chair, which wraps around your body and can be angled freely, is like a swinging trapeze, and you can’t help but sway your body in it.
If I had one of these chairs at home, I would sit on it.
“I never thought I would be able to have this kind of fun right before the end of summer vacation.”
Aizawa, sitting next to me, spoke to me. I hadn’t seen him since the fireworks display, but he was still smiling at me.
I have not forgiven Aizawa yet. It is true that love is his own choice, but my feelings haven’t caught up with the fact that he rejected Riho.
Thanks to Aikawacchi, we were able to repair our relationship just before the end of the summer vacation, but if Aizawa and Riho had been together, we would have had a more enjoyable summer.
I thought of such selfish things.
“Right, that would have been the best summer memory.”
Riho, who was sitting on the opposite side, said that.
There may be a part of her that thinks of us, but she is smiling calmly, and her usual Riho personality is showing through.
Perhaps meeting Aizawa at the camp this time gave her a sense of closure.
“How about you, Misa? Did you enjoy your summer vacation?”
“Eh? I….I did. I think it was very……fulfilling.”
Perhaps it was because she suddenly changed the subject, or because she was looking up at the night sky, but Misa replied with a flustered look.
“That being said, I had to help my father with his work, and I had homework for the summer vacation, so I couldn’t just play all the time…”
“I’m sorry, Misa. Don’t say any more !”
I have a rejection reaction to words that hurt my ears.
“Maho…..you, could it be?”
“Ugh…it can’t be helped. It’s Aikawacchi’s fault for saying such a fun thing suddenly !”
The truth is, right about now was the time when I should have been frantically working on my summer vacation homework.
But now that Aikawacchi had come up with such a fun plan, my summer vacation homework was sitting on my desk at home, waiting for me to open the page.
“I won’t help you.”
“I won’t help you, okay?”
The cold stares of my two best friends pierced through me. At times like this, these two can’t settle for nothing. They are on the same page in that respect, but I wish they would have at least not said anything until I started to talk to them about it.
I looked at Aizawa, who also had a gloomy expression on his face. I guessed he had as much or more homework left to do.
“If this the case, I’ll blame Aikawacchi…….Aikawacchi?”
He would be someone to talk to even if I pretended to be unreasonable and cried. With that in mind, when I looked for him……
“Ah, yeah. Wait a minute. It’s almost time.”
While everyone else was having a great time stargazing, he was standing next to a table set up outside the tent, working on something.
He pours hot water into a pot in his hand with a hand that is clearly accustomed to doing so. He turns to it with kind eyes and smiles happily at me, and for a moment my words stop.
“What has Aikawa been doing since a moment ago?”
Aizawa raised his body and looked at Aikawacchi.
“I think it’s time.”
He pours it into a paper cup on the table, puts it on a tray, and brings it toward us.
“Here, it’s hot, so be careful not to spill it.”
He said and put it on the drink holder of the chair where Riho was sitting.
“Coffee under the stars smells so good, it’s so stylish.”
The coffee is very hot and the smell is very pleasant.
“This uses pretty good beans, right? Did you bring it with you?”
Aizawa sniffed the coffee he was handed and asked Aikawacchi.
“Yeah, it’s been my dream to drink coffee brewed at a place like this. I’m glad it came true today.”
Indeed, coffee in this night sky would be the best situation.
The image of Aikawacchi trying to create such a performance, brewing coffee, has been burned into my mind for a while and has never left.
“Sawaguchi san, what’s wrong?”
Before I knew it, Aikawacchi was handing out coffee to me as well. I was in a daze for a moment and had to rush to drink and evaluate the coffee before replying.
“Ah,……nah. I wonder what it is……hahaha, Aikawacchi, this coffee is bitter !”
“Why don’t you add sugar and milk?”
The stick sugar and milk capsules are properly placed on the drink holder sleeve.
“Ah,…..I guess so.”
For some reason, I was panicking and couldn’t respond like usual, I averted my eyes from Aikawacchi and added sugar and milk and stirred.
“Here, Watanabe san, too.”
“Thank you. Aikawa kun, you are good at making coffee, aren’t you?”
I listened as Misa and Aikawacchi smiled and talked.
Later, Aikawacchi set up a chair near the tent, next to Misa, and began star gazing like the rest of us.
As time passed and the stars shone in the sky, we felt as if we were not in Japan.
From time to time, Aizawa and Riho would talk to each other, and along the way, Aikawacchi would bring us more coffee.
I’m camping in the best situation with my best friends.
(What is this?)
A feeling of loneliness that made my chest tightened was sitting in a corner of my heart.
Without realizing it, my eyes are not on the stars, but on him, who is supposed to be in the darkness, only faintly visible.
The steam rising from the cup is already gone, and when I take a sip, the warm, sweet and bitter taste stimulates my tongue.
I have a dim feeling that this moment must have been the turning point of my summer, or rather, of my life.
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