Episode 85 – It’s hard to please everybody

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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817139558660048790/episodes/16817330661588360178

“Sorry, I have to go to the bathroom.”

Arase-kun said and left his seat for a few minutes.

I was killing time while playing with my phone until Arase-kun came back.

He could have gone after we left the restaurant, but Arase-kun said that it would be bad to make me wait outside and that he would be back soon, so I had to wait inside the restaurant by myself.

As I waited alone, I reflected on the day.

At first I wondered what would happen to us playing alone together, but my fears were unfounded.

“I feel refreshed for the first time in a long time.”

I had been thinking about basketball, basketball, basketball for a while now, and I realized once again that I had been pushing myself too hard.

I’m glad I had the chance to play with Arase kun, even though it was just an impulse.

“From the very first time I met him, Arase-kun is quite a mysterious person, isn’t he?”

Thinking of Arase-kun, I muttered to myself,

I don’t know why, but I feel energized when I am with him.

I feel comfortable. It was a feeling that I had never felt with anyone of the opposite sex before.

“……!”

I thought to myself and felt embarrassed. I know that no one cares about me, but I still asked for the reactions of the people around me.

I knew no one cared, and a small sigh escaped my lips.

Then, why do I feel that way? I thought about it again.

If I asked Natsu, I’m sure she would answer like this.

—Love!

“No, no, no, me? Nono!!”

I can say this for sure. I have feelings for Arase-kun as a friend, but I don’t have romantic feelings for him.

In the first place, I have never liked anyone before, so if you ask me if these are those feelings, the correct answer is that I don’t know.

“I don’t think so… ……”

Not knowing the reason is kind of unsettling.

With my not-so-good head, I think hard about the reason again.

It is not only me. For a transfer student, Arase-kun gets along well with a lot of people.

The same goes for Sana-chan, as well as Asagiri-san and Kurase-san. They are also the kind of girls who often appear in people’s rumors.

In that sense, I feel like he gets along well with slightly different girls.

And all of them are pretty and girly from my point of view.

“I guess it’s better to be girly, after all.”

I stroke my short, unkempt hair.

…… No, no, no, I am a basketball lover.

“I don’t know about that, so it’s okay for now.”

Putting that aside, Arase-kun gets along well with the slightly different girls.

The reason is──

“……Oh, that’s right! Arase-kun is kind to everyone!”

I finally arrived at the answer, and I felt it fall into my heart.

It’s a common answer, but I think it’s the right one.

What can I say, Arase-kun’s kindness has no …… so, no nastiness.

He tries to help the other person no matter what. It is a natural feeling of wanting to do something about it.

I am sure this is true for everyone, regardless of gender.

This must be the reason why I feel comfortable.

“Isn’t that tiring, though, ……?”

I suddenly had such a thought.

I think it is wonderful to be able to do something for someone else. But I don’t think I would be able to stand it if I had to do that all the time.

It’s a massive self-sacrifice.

I felt that Arase-kun’s kindness was somehow dangerous.

“……I hope I’m just imagining things! I’ll have to thank him when I get back. And from tomorrow, I’ll have to switch back and practice again.”

I thought to myself with a small resolution. Then someone called out to me.

“Oh, is that Suika?”

“Ah, senpai …….”

Beyond my gaze, there were two seniors from the same club, Yamashita-senpai and Manabe-senpai.

The two were in front of the water server at the end of today’s practice.

The two are wearing the club’s designated jerseys, perhaps on their way home from practice.

“Well, I wondered what your plans were because you left in a hurry, but it turns out that you were here for fun.”

“You’ve got a lot of time on your hands, don’t you?”

“Y-Yes. ……”

I could feel myself getting nervous at the slightly harsh words from senpais

I know what they want to say. As I understand, there is no excuse for the current situation.

The cold stares from senpais brought back memories of the other day. A memory that has been bothering me lately.

“Oh no! I’m late!”

Since losing the game, I had been practicing even harder than before.

If only that shot had gone in.

─ ─ It’s not Suika’s fault. Don’t worry about it.

Although the captain and seniors told me so, that was definitely a shot that I could have scored.

It was a set play for me. It was also my fault for ruining it.

The big game in the final league. We lost, but it was decided that we would go to the regional tournament on goal difference. Considering our school’s record so far, it was a great accomplishment.

That said, if I had made that shot – if we had won, a different result would have been waiting for us.

We would have won a ticket to the Inter-High School Championships.

Retirement was postponed for a little while, but I know that the seniors were crying after that game. Even we sophomores shed tears, so the seniors must have been feeling even more emotional.

I had destroyed the dreams of the seniors.

The dream of the women’s basketball club, which had been on the verge of being closed down after a year of failure, – the dream of participating in the Inter-Highs.

We didn’t make it to the Inter-Highs, but we still have the regional tournament.

“I don’t want to go through this again.”

So I practiced harder than anyone else, and this time I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose …… the seniors so that they could retire with a good feeling.

That was all I wanted.

At times like this, I’m glad I have a personality that doesn’t drag me down.

I am better at moving my body than thinking with my head.

Even if I am depressed, the next tournament will be here soon.

After such a period of time, I decided to switch over and practice harder than before.

……That’s why my mom has been mad at me lately for coming home late.

“Well, that’s that! If it was still today’s time, would it be safe?”

One day when I was practicing on my own after club practice like that.

That day, I tried to leave practice a little earlier than usual because I had been scolded by my mother the day before.

I arrived at the club room and put my hand on the door.

“Aaah, Suika is really annoying, isn’t she?”

“——!?”

What I heard was me.

I froze with my hand on the door pull.

This voice is …… Nagai-senpai.

“I can tell. She’s become hot and bothered again, like before. It was just right that she was depressed.”

The laughing voice that follows is Kawakami Senpai.

…I couldn’t imagine that someone was saying something like that to me behind my back, and my mind went blank.

“Hey, why would she miss it over there?”

“Really. If only she had made that shot, we would have made it to the Inter-Highs.”

“That’s for real. That’s really what happened in the match where we 3rd year students were going to retire. Some of us didn’t make it.”

“Ayumi, you bet a lot on that match, didn’t you?”

“Oh, I’m so angry even when I remember it now. If it had been me, I would have decided for sure.”

“Maybe. Do you want to stop by Nagahama on the way home?”

“I’m going.”

“……!”

I felt the presence of the seniors in the clubroom coming out, and I quickly jumped away from the room and hid myself behind a nearby pillar.

The door then opens and Nagai-senpai and Kawakami-senpai, the owners of the voices I heard earlier, come out from inside.

“Huh?”

“What’s wrong?”

“No, I thought there was someone there.”

“Eh, Scary. There is no one here! Let’s get out of here.”

“Woww, you are scared~”

“Shut up!”

The seniors were going in the opposite direction without noticing me.

“Haahaaahaa…….”

I remembered that I wasn’t breathing until senpai were finally out of sight.

My heart was very noisy.

 ◇
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A/N :

Sorry for the late update!

I wanted to review it a bit more, but I didn’t have time to do so. ……

While Arase is helping Yuuri, there is trouble here. If one side is saved, the other side will not be able to stand. It was such a story.

I wish I could have written Suika’s feelings for Arase a little better. ……

I look forward to your feedback!

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