Episode 14 – Alone with a childhood friend



After club activities, I meet up with Ageha in the classroom. We walk side by side to take Ageha to the station. I immediately apologize for what happened in the tea room. Ageha said she would be okay until curfew, so our steps were slow. Ageha, who deliberately gives off an angry vibe, sighs and speaks in a whiny tone, saying that it has been difficult since then.

“They let me join the tea ceremony club, but even the seniors ended up getting mixed up. I responded that I had always been a friend. I think my friends are going to have a heart attack. It’s been a hard day, including lunch.”

“No, I’m really sorry. I didn’t realize how popular Ageha was.”

“I’m surprised. I thought you knew the Suminodo group.”

“Wait a minute. Even if I knew them, I would not talk to Ageha because of that. I am a friend of Ageha’s, aren’t I?”

As if surprised, Ageha looked up at me with its nearly blue eyes. It’s obvious. Even Rinen, before she was just a girl from the Shijonawate family, was a childhood friend of mine who had been playing together ever since she was a child. Same with that.

Before taking into account the house,

“Me and Ageha met at school. Before the house, she was a freshman in high school, a student, right?”

“After all, Hisanobu san is a very unusual man.”

“Is that so?”

“Because I am Suminodo, Ageha.”

“Yes, you are my friend, Suminodo Ageha. You may be a little beautiful and famous though…”

“…… Mouu.”

with that being said, it wasn’t a particularly unpleasant atmosphere to walk slowly with Ageha as we both kept our mouths shut and kept the gradually darkening sky in sight. I was hoping that she didn’t dislike it either. Before I knew it, Ageha was standing a little closer to me as we were walking side by side, and I felt relieved, thinking that we had become friends.

Since I’m making my high school debut, I want to do my best to change myself even a little. I have to change so that my distorted relationship with Rinen can get better. To recover from the relationships I destroyed that winter.

As we approach the station, I stop and Ageha slowly moves forward. Looking back at me a little, she waved her hand cutely.

“See you later, Hisanobu san”

“Yeah, see you later, Ageha.”

When I returned home and opened the door, I found the same delicious smell of cooking in progress as yesterday. When I opened the door to my house, I found Rinen standing in the kitchen, running to the front door. She was wearing a uniform and an apron, and she smiled a throbbing smile.

“Welcome back, Hisanobu”.

“Yeah, I’m home. Did you cook dinner with mother again today?”

“Yes, I like to cook. I can’t do it at my own house anymore.”

“That’s because you’re a young lady.”

“Muu. ……Sumidono-san and Hisanobu, are you close?”

“We became friends because we sit near each other. I think I said that yesterday.”

“Is that all?”

“That’s it”

The smile she had just given me disappeared and she asked me plainly with a serious expression that I could not read any emotion into, so I answered her honestly myself. She nodded again and said, “I see,”

“There’s a party tomorrow with the Suminodo group. They said it will be a hot topic.”



“The old man?”


“…… is none of my business.”

“Yes, it is. Grandpa asked me about you.”

“Asked me what?”


“I see.”

“Yeah. Yeah. So…”

“Rinen chan, you said you were going to make the next one. What are you going to do?”

“Auntie, I’ll cook. Hisanobu, dinner will be ready soon. Go get dressed?”

“Yes, I will. Thank you for cooking for me every day.”

Rinen scuttled off toward the kitchen with the same patter as when she came to the front door. As she slowly makes her way to her room, I think about what it means for Ageha to be a topic of conversation and immediately chuckle at the nonsense.

It doesn’t matter. Back in my room, her bag was placed out of the way as usual. As she said earlier, a female domestic helper is already employed at her house, and unlike in elementary and junior high school, her parents will not be worried if she goes back to her own house. Still, she was coming straight home to my house today to cook.

I got dressed and went to the dining room, where today there was a line of boiled fish. On Fridays, her father is away for dinner because of a company gathering. The four of us sit around the dining table. With three women and one man, there is no conversation I can offer. On Fridays, it is always the three women who get the most out of the evening.

Today, too, the three of us were having a good time. Rinen showed mother and sister the dresses she was going to wear to tomorrow’s party on her smartphone, and they got excited about the new designs.

After dinner, we went back to our room and after a while Rinen came to get her bag and sat down on the cushion on the floor. I was sitting on the bed with a book open when Rinen looked up at me.

“Hisanobu, are you having fun in high school?”

“I don’t know yet, but I think it’s fun.”

“Today, the class was getting excited about Suminodo-san. Grandpa heard about it from somewhere, so he asked me about it. Same high school, backstage. Don’t need.”

“You’re a quick ear, Soke-san.” (Head family)

“….. Yes, quick. Grandpa, the daughter of Sumimichi, tomorrow, that’s why he asked. I have never been called before. So, Suminodo family, even if it’s on the spur of the moment, I can’t say no.”

“He’s a caring old man.”

“Grandpa likes popular person”

“That’s undercare.”

“Why are you so angry with?”

“I’m not angry.”



The bed shook with the weight of my movement. Rinen’s eyes wandered and then she dropped the subject.

“Saturday and Sunday, is there a photography club?”

“I’ll go…..look for a part-time job.”

“Why a part-time job? Are you in need of money?”

“I went on a photography trip during spring break, and it was a little bit of fun, so I wanted to earn money for myself so I could go.”

“I see”


“Did you have fun?”

“……. Yeah, it was fun.”

“Fufu. What kind of work do you do?”

“Hahaha, something you wouldn’t do, anyway.”

“Muu, terrible”

“But you can only do it on weekends. So, I guess I don’t have much choice at all.”

“Can’t you do it on weekdays?”

“I have a photography club.”

“I checked out the photography club. There aren’t that many active days.”

“Even if there are no activity days, there is no problem in spending your time in the club room.”


“And if don’t come home for dinner, mother will be very angry.”

“…… hmmm.”

She looks beyond the curtained window. There she sees her own house, which looks different from when she was in junior high school. I had no idea what she was thinking as she looked at it with emotionless eyes. The spacious yard, dark and subdued, was something I did not remember.

“Grandpa, he was angry.”

“Angry about what?”

“I didn’t show up at the Shijonawate family’s gatherings during the New Year’s holidays and in the spring.”

“But you showed up at all the other parties on weekends.”

“That’s the party for the outside. My uncles’ family members are also not there. But I didn’t attend the one at home that grandpa told me to attend. There will be another one during Golden Week. He wants me to go.”

“I see.”

“Yeah, right.”

“I’m thinking of going on a filming trip during Golden Week.”

“I see.”


We spent the rest of the time just being in the room together without talking, and when I looked at the clock, a little more time had passed than usual. She must have noticed it too, because she realized she had stayed too long and hurriedly got up to grab her bag.

“I’m going home.”

“Rinen, I’ll walk you home.”

“Thank you, Hisanobu.”

When I sent Rinen home, the same housekeeper as yesterday showed up to greet her today. But I was worried about her because she was late, and I apologized to her for being late. The house is a stone’s throw away, but since March the hired girls have never shown up at our family’s house.

Even if Rinen is not around, it is always her parents who show up at my house.

When I get home, I check my schedule for tomorrow and send a message to Yuisa. However, I couldn’t get a read on the message, so I couldn’t contact her.

Today was an intense day. With that in mind, I suddenly feel like talking to Ageha, whom I had parted ways with earlier in the evening, and even though it’s late at night, I start up my calling app. I was about to leave for the day when I heard a call tone for a while, and then the call switched to a call.

“Hello Ageha, is it okay”

“Hello, we just parted ways earlier in the evening. What’s wrong?”

“I just casually wanted to talk to a friend.”

“Y-yes, that’s right! I knew it.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Chuu, when I was in junior high school, I didn’t have anyone, not even a girl, who would talk to me so casually, so I’m a little pleased.”

“Haha, I am sure Ageha would have told them to feel free to contact you, right? What did they say?”

“…… Ugh, even the girl I thought I was getting along with said she was afraid of me.”

“Ageha didn’t call her?”

“Well, I’ve never had that experience and I was too shy to do it. I couldn’t bear the thought of not getting an answer.”


“Don’t laugh.”

“No, I understand. I stumbled a lot the first time I tried to contact you again after the school day was over.”

“Yes, that’s right! I’m glad.”

I was just about to end the call so that it wouldn’t be too late when I got an idea: I was going to call Ageha to see what she had been doing since she got home, to see if she had made any progress on her homework today, and to make some idle chit-chat.

“Ageha should call me tomorrow night.”


“You tried to call someone comfortably in middle school and couldn’t do it because you were too nervous, right? Then let’s do it for practice as well.”

“WWWW-what. Besides, what do I have to say?”

“You are just practicing the first step in getting in touch with a friend in an easygoing way. You can talk about anything you want, just as you are talking about now.”

“When it comes time for me to contact, what should I say?”

“Hmm. Let’s talk about what you did on Saturday.”


“Did you have a bad day?”

“No! No. …… No! No, I’m fine!”

“Then, that’s settled. Then, Ageha, good night. See you tomorrow.”

“Good night, Hisanobu san. See you tomorrow.”

(TL/N : There are illustrations at the RAW link)

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