Episode 81 – Hopes Shattered on a Movie Date



It had been a long time since we had seen a movie in a theater alone.
Not since my younger sister had begged me to go see an anime movie without telling our parents.

But I didn’t have a decent allowance, so there was nothing I could do even if we went to a movie theater.
But that time, I was lucky enough to see the movie. If it hadn’t been for that kind person, neither my sister nor I would have been able to see the movie.

If I could see him again somewhere, I would like to thank him for that time.

My cheeks unintentionally relax at the nostalgic memory.

In front of us, they were advertising a movie that would soon be shown on the big screen. From Western movies with flashy action to Japanese movies with popular actors. Suika was watching them, her eyes sparkling next to the reflection from the screen.

“Ah …… I knew movie promos were interesting!”

When Suika noticed that I was watching, she said so with a little embarrassment.

“That’s for sure. The first one that was done seems to be Suika’s favorite too, right?”
“Yeah, I’ve been following that series for quite a while now! That flashy car action! I get so excited just watching it!”
“What about the ones after that?”
“…… Arase-kun, you don’t think Suika watches romantic movies, do you?”

Figures. The Japanese movie was a romance movie starring a handsome actor who has been the talk of the town lately.
Suika didn’t have the image of a romance movie.

“You watch……?”
“Rude! What do you think about Suika!”

Suika’s mouth twitched a little.

“Well, I don’t really watch it.”
“You don’t watch it?”
“Because! That kind of thing makes …… me itchy. Besides, I don’t know much about romance …….”
“That’s …… right. I don’t understand it either.”
“Arase-kun? But Arase-kun, you seem to be popular with girls.”
“What do you see in me? I’ve never had a girlfriend.”
“Heee~, that’s surprising. I thought you could handle everything so smoothly that you might have had a confession of love or two!”
“Not really.”

Once, a long time ago. But that was more than ten years ago. It was a common joke between children.
I don’t have the self-esteem to call it a one-time thing and tell people about it.

“Rather, how about Suika? It’s not fair that I’m the only one who has to say it.”
“Haha, I said it’s unfair, you said it yourself! Suika is also….no”
“What’s the pause now? You do have one.”
“I-I don’t have it! Oh, it’s starting!”

I felt like I might have an idea what was going on, but I was fooled.
Actually, it did start.

On a screen in front of us, an ancient, mystical landscape unfolded, and solemn music echoed through the air. At the center of it, a magnificent statue of a goddess is projected. It is the image that marks the beginning of the film.


While I was watching the image with fascination, the phone in my pocket vibrated. It seemed to be receiving a message from someone.

Who was it?
Somewhat curious, I took out my phone a little, dimmed the brightness of the screen, and secretly checked it.

“Where are you right now?”

It was Yuri.

What, suddenly?
I could reply later, but now that I’ve read the message, I’d better get back to her as soon as possible or else I’ll be in trouble later.

“Arase-kun! It’s bad manners to use your phone in a movie theater! Something urgent?”
“Ah, no. Sorry. It’s nothing serious.”

But, I, who had been angered by Suika, put my phone away in my pocket again, after concluding that Yuri had contacted me

….I apologize later

Before I knew it, the video had shifted to the full-length version, and a loud, quiet sound began to play from the large speakers attached to the screen.
With that, Suika’s expression, which had been chatting earlier, shifted to a serious one.

Seeing her face, I felt that I would be able to fulfill my objective for the day and decided to concentrate on the images playing in front of me instead of just looking at the side of the screen.

I had not seen many movies, so this was a new experience for me.
The powerful action scenes and flashy productions. I was often overwhelmed by the big screen and the sound.

Every time I saw the movie, I could feel the excitement from Suika next to me.
I couldn’t help but smile when I saw Suika’s expression change from admiration, to gasp, to excitement.

It was a good thing I invited her.

While thinking about this, I was also excited by the climactic scene.

After Ayako san told me where Arase was, I had come to the next town over by train.

Although I had heard that he was going to Nagahama, I had not heard who he was going with and for what purpose.
But somehow the conversation between Arase and Nakashiro that I had heard before came to my mind, and I acted on impulse.

[… Haa. I like her.]

Since then, I have not been able to talk to Arase properly face to face.
He spoke to me several times, but I don’t remember how I responded to any of them. In the meantime, the holidays came and went, and now it is.

“W-Well, I still don’t know if it’s true! Until I confirm it properly with the Arase!”

I told myself that, but I had no idea where to go.

“Ugh, so many people. ……”

I’m not good at places with too many people. I want to find Arase and go home as soon as possible.

…… but what am I supposed to do if I find Arase?
And if I see him with Takimoto-san,…… I don’t know what I should do even more.


I’ve been going through a lot of ups and downs since a while ago.
I’m going to send a chat to Arase for now.

“Where are you right now?”

If he is busy running errands, i don’t expect much of a reply.
Still, I couldn’t help but send a message.


Contrary to my expectations, I found that the message was read immediately, and I waited for a reply from Arase.

However, no matter how long I waited, I never heard back.
I found myself staring at my phone screen for several minutes in the midst of the crowd.


Already somewhat teary-eyed, I remembered that this was a public place and decided to move on.

After several hours of wandering around aimlessly, I decided it was time to give up and go home. Just when I thought it was time to give up and go home.

I happened to be on a certain floor of a commercial facility. I saw Arase coming out of the men’s restroom in the distance.


As soon as I saw him, I headed toward him, avoiding people without looking aside.

And then, a little more. When I came within earshot, I tried to stop him.

“Sorry, I made you wait.”
“No, I’m sorry too. The women’s restroom is pretty crowded too, so I had trouble.”
“Well, it’s the same here. Shall we go?”

However, having witnessed the decisive scene, I froze in place.

Ah, ah, Arase is …… with Takimoto-san….

I could only look away from their backs as if time had stopped.

“T-this is a date, right …………? Ha, haha …..haha……….”

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